Saturday, December 8, 2018


My husband and I took Sal for his first ever (and ours) Polar Express experience. The only word I can use to explain it is MAGICAL. To begin with, we arrived about 10 minutes before the train was set to depart (oops). Upon arrival, we were quickly directed where to park and went straight to the tent to pick up our tickets. The "conductor" started shouting over the loudspeaker about boarding, and I started to panic. Luckily, the nice man behind the counter reassured me that I was fine and wouldn't miss the train.  I simply gave my name and received our three golden tickets and a bag containing three Polar Express mugs.

Here I am thinking everything is great until I see the giant tears rolling down Sal's face. Que guilty mom. We quickly boarded the train and found my brother in law, sister in law (and her mom), niece, and nephew. Sal was clinging pretty tight but no more tears. We got ourselves settled and the magic began. The staff was very friendly and genuinely seemed to enjoy what they were doing. As a parent, I really can't put into words what it was like to watch my baby's face throughout this experience. He just had this look of wonder on his face. He kept staring all around as he took it all in. I had to hold back tears a few times, but, when Santa came out, it was almost impossible. This was an experience that I look forward to doing again.

As soon as we got home I took an extra clear ornament that I am currently using to make the favors for Sal's first birthday party and put all three of our golden tickets inside. We also hung the three bells from Santa's sleigh on the tree. I figured that if I didn't do it as soon as we got home those tickets would have ended up in a drawer.

If you are on the fence about buying tickets to the Polar Express, I suggest that you go. :)


Oh boy, it has been a while! I have been super busy with my sweet little baby. Sal is almost a year old (HOW DID THIS HAPPEN) and keeping me on my toes!

In my last post, FIRST FAMILY VACATION, I talked about Sal's 6 month check up and the goals set by his doctor. Just to recap, our pediatrician wanted Sal to be on all table food with no blending and 24 oz or less of formula a day. I was nervous but SUPER excited to begin. In the beginning, it was slow because only one new food could be introduced every 2-3 days to make sure there were no allergies. Luckily, my son has not shown any reactions to food (knock on wood). Sal was no longer eating blended food by the time he was about 7 1/2 months. Even baby cereal was kicked to the curb after our family vacation.

Now, fast forward a few months, and my sweet baby is about to turn a year old on the 28th. He eats really well and does so with NO teeth. That's right, not even one little tooth yet. However, he is still able to eat turkey meatballs, pasta, grilled cheese, eggs, bread with yogurt, peanut butter sandwiches, fruit with the skin, cheerios (or in our house, they're Joe O's from Trader Joe's), green veggies, and more. Tonight, Sal had the same exact dinner as me and my husband: penne pasta with asparagus and mushrooms in a garlic parmesan lite cream sauce. Granted, I had to sprinkle some cheerios and puffs on his tray, but, none the less, Sal enjoyed the same dinner as us.

Crawling probably started right before we went on our first family vacation and has not stopped. Sal is all over the place! We invested in an enclosed gate to keep him in one place to avoid any boo-boos. He is all over the place. The gate has been really helpful when it comes to standing. Sal will pull himself up to see what's going on and will walk along the perimeter. We are working on taking steps...
He will take some steps holding our hands but isn't ready to let go just yet. 

Monday, August 20, 2018


Well...The Baiers took their first vacation as a family! My husband and I took Sal to LBI (Beach Haven- Long Beach Island). Let's just say that vacations are in no way relaxing for parents, but instead are places to run around and create memories with your children.

The whole month leading up to vacation I was what one can only describe as a crazy person. I was obsessing over EVERYTHING! This was the first time my son ever slept away from home and away from his crib (which he loves, and I will talk about in another post).

The following bullet points were some of my worries. I will address each...

  • food changes and challenges 
  • worrying about packing clothes without having a washer/dryer 
  • overall being grossed out at a hotel room
  • is he going to sleep in the hotel room?
  • his schedule
Let me start from the beginning. My son went for his 6 month check up on June 29th (the day after he turned 6 months)... it was at this time that Sal's doctor told me that he wants him on ALL table food by 9 months... PANIC...EXCITEMENT... at this point my son was only having cereal once a day. Let me just say...I LOVE my son's pediatrician...because he's awesome, so, I trust him. This was a Friday and by Monday I was ready to start with the purees. They were a HIT! Move along a month, and I noticed that my son is consuming less formula. Out of concern I call the pediatrician ( I must be the annoying mom that calls) to ask about that and advice regarding vacation and food BECAUSE, up until this point, my food plans must have changed three times. 
1st- make a bunch of ice cubed purees to bring with me
2nd- make ahead a whole bunch of food to bring
3rd and final- bring a hot plate to make fresh food and a flat hand grater (I'll explain)

According to my son's doctor, his progress was AWESOME and would probably be on all table food within a week, (from this call) which made me panic slightly. Let's just say that I was not thrilled at the idea of my son already eating food from a restaurant hence the hot plate. 

For our vacation, I ended up bringing fresh organic fruit (yes organic...I don't push it on anyone else, but it makes me feel better for my child AND my husband needs it as well), a hot plate, and a flat hand grater. 

First of new best friend. Considering the fact that my baby is beyond purees but not yet ready for whole solid pieces of certain fruits, I had to come up with a solution... and that solution is the hand grater. I googled until it felt like my eyes were going to pop out for a solution to my problem and there was NO SOLUTION, Everything I found was either for purees or Baby Led Weaning with whole pieces of raw fruit that made me uncomfortable. I'm still not sure how I stumbled upon this idea, but it works like a charm. I used this for apples and pears whether they were being mixed in yogurt or cereal or simply were eaten on their own. 

In the end, the food situation was fine. The Saturday before we left I made sweet potatoes and a crock pot recipe that consisted of chicken breast and carrots. This made so much that I had more than enough while I was away and still froze some cubes for when I got home. I made Sal eggs and cheese for breakfast some days, pastina with cheese and carrots for lunch, and had the chicken mixture and sweet potatoes. He was a very full and happy little boy. 

Well safe to say that I 100% OVER PACKED. I was so afraid that I wouldn't have enough that it compelled me to literally pack Sal's entire wardrobe. I packed 5 rompers, 5 outfits with a short sleeve and shorts and then 5 pairs of pants. Not to mention, 5 pairs of pajamas, and his 3 bathing suits. Not having a washer & dryer REALLY freaked me out. In the end, he had more than enough clothes, and I ended up washing EVERYTHING when we got home. 

Dear Lord the cleaning I did when we got home...My husband is lucky that I didn't put him in the sterilizer :) 

Yes, I do mean hotel rooms. The first night of our vacation was spent in one room on the 1st floor and the rest of our vacation was spent in a different room on the 3rd floor. Why would we want to change rooms and drag all of our stuff up three flights of word...balcony. My husband and I knew that we would be in our room from 7:30 on because that is when our son goes to sleep, so we wanted to make sure we weren't sitting in the dark staring at each other; hence, the balcony. 

I'm someone who gets grossed out by anything and everything (except my baby- he can literally do anything). So, needless to say, hotel rooms skeeve me out. However, I will say, the Engleside Inn in LBI was VERY clean. I went over the surfaces, floor, and bathroom, and everything was clean. This was a huge plus. The next challenge was whether or not my son, who sleeps beautifully, would be able to sleep on this trip. 

As soon as we got to the hotel and room #1 my husband and I got our son situated. The pack n play was up with a new sheet and mattress cover (if you could even call what they put in a pack n play a mattress; it's a zipped up covering over three pieces of cardboard). I set up the monitor and placed Sal inside. He immediately wiggled himself to be underneath the changing topper and smiled at us like he was in his own little fort. My husband and I went outside of the room and waited...about 10-15 minutes later Sal was sleeping, and I breathed a sigh of relief. 

For the remainder of the trip, Sal slept soundly in his pack n play. The air conditioner was so loud that it could be considered a white noise machine in itself, but I still put on the one that I borrowed from my mother in law. 

For the most part, Sal's schedule was pretty much the same. The only thing that changed was his bath time and afternoon naps. On a typical day Sal's schedule is as follows:

6:30/7:00 am- Wake up
7:30 am- Diaper change and Bottle
8:00/8:15 am- Breakfast 
9:00 am- Morning nap (usually anywhere from 1-2 hours)
12:00 pm- Lunch 
1:30/2:00 pm- 1st afternoon nap (usually 1- 1.5 hours)
3:00 pm- Bottle
4:00/4:30 pm- short nap (30-45 minutes)
5:30 pm- Dinner 
6:30 pm- Bath
6:45 pm- Last bottle & story
7:00 pm- Bed 

Vacation Schedule

6:30/7:00 am- Wake up
7:30 am- Diaper change and Bottle
8:00/8:15 am- Breakfast 
9:00 am- Morning nap (usually anywhere from 1-2 hours)
12:00 pm- Lunch 
***After lunch we went to the beach or by the pool to meet daddy and my in laws 
3:00 pm- back up to the room for bath and bottle
3:30 pm NAP until about 4:30/5
5:30 pm- Dinner (we would go to a restaurant and Sal sat in the best portable high chair EVER 
7:00 pm Bottle, story, and bed

By the last day this mama was TIRED and ready to go home, but, putting being tired aside, it was a great vacation filled with so many new memories.

Thursday, August 9, 2018


THIS BOOK! Every single parent of a newborn child MUST read this book! I can not stress enough how much this book helped us! You could probably read this book in one sitting, but I suggest reading the section that pertains to your child's age. You start with Chapter 1 where everything is laid out for you. Chapter 2 is for weeks 1-6, Chapter 3 weeks 6-8, Chapter 4 weeks 8-12, and the following chapters talk about exceptions to the rule, and Chapter 6 are extreme circumstances. It ends with things other parents have said. Basically, this book helps get your child on a schedule that sets them up for success when it comes to sleeping. I was able to use this to get my son to sleep the entire night, and I always knew when he wanted to eat during the day. LITERALLY the best buy! 


Making the decision to formula feed my son was probably the best decision I made even though I felt bad at first. When my son was first born he latched immediately and fed on both sides for a total of 45 minutes. Everyone (myself included) was very surprised. The night he was born (12/28/17) he stayed in the nursery so my husband and I could try and sleep (which did not happen) and was formula fed.

The day following I breastfed on and off, but was noticing that I felt very overwhelmed and 100 % couldn't handle the fact that I could not tell how much he was eating. By the time we left, Sal was pretty much formula fed and we used "nursing" as a way for skin to skin. Thankfully, my husband completely supported my decision and the nurses (except for the lactation consultant) were very supportive as well.

Dear God pumping... First and formost, I give all the credit in the world to moms who breastfeed and/or pump. I tried pumping when we got home from the hospital... I have NO IDEA how moms find the time to do this, feed their baby, clean, do laundry, and still have time to sleep. 

In the end, Formula worked for us. We were using the Similac brand that was originally given by the hospital but switched to Enfamil Gentlease after my son had a HORRIBLE night. He cried from about 1-4 am. My husband went out and picked up the formula and a few Starbucks Espresso drinks for us! 



I know I should have started this a long time ago, but now seems to be the best time! My name is Amanda, and I am a FIRST TIME MOM to a sweet little man named Salvatore. Sal is almost 7.5 months old; he's growing, changing, and learning. I wanted to use this space to share my thoughts and the wisdom I have gained along the journey thus far.


This blog is simply my thoughts and discoveries as a new mom. What I post is what has worked for me. My information is a cummilation of advice from my son's pediatrician, trusted mom friends who know their "stuff", and my findings in other mom blogs. Please take what I have done with a grain of salt; please do what you feel is best for your baby because as their mom YOU know best- trust your gut. I hope you find what I have done helpful.

 Best Wishes


My husband and I took Sal for his first ever (and ours) Polar Express experience. The only word I can use to explain it is MAGICAL. To beg...