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I am no parenting expert, by any means. I am not an expert in any field whatsoever. I tend to do things by trial-&-error, see what works & keep doing that until it doesn’t work any longer. I was like that (in a way) when I was pregnant. I was buying every single pre-natal & post-natal mommy thing that was recommended to me on the internet. Then I was buying all of the things the baby would need during infancy that bedazzled me through targeted ads on Instagram, keeping only the things I needed, & regretting over-buying the things I didn’t actually need but thought it might come in handy during some freakishly rare parenting emergency.

It turned out that I didn’t need half of the things I bought (like the postpartum crotch-recovery kit from FridaBaby because I had a cesarean birth instead of pushing my little bean down the mommy hatch). I bought so much crap stuff that I didn’t actually use or need when my little bean finally arrived. It all felt like such a waste, especially since I didn’t have any friends or family members I could re-gift those unused items to at the time. Plus, I was extremely surprised to find that most donation sites (i.e. Goodwill, Samaritan House, etc.) do not accept baby items like toys, furniture, strollers…to name a few. Luckily for me, I kept all of those unused items & was able to re-gift them to a family member who was expecting not long after I gave birth.

Ever since my little bean turned 2-years old, I have been jotting down all of the essential items I felt I truly needed when I became a new mom, when my little bean was born, all the way up till now (my bean is 2). I periodically go through an inventory of all my little bean’s things, probably once every 4 to 6 months or so, & put aside all of the things little bean doesn’t use, need, or fit anymore into medium-sized storage bags. Then I donate those bags of pre-loved items to any friends or family that may need or want them. Periodically going through all of my little bean’s things got me thinking about making a list of the truly essential items one might need or want if they are having their own little bean. I’ve tried to make a short, concise list here.


NIGHT LIGHT

We have a night light in our little bean’s nursery that we used when she used to sleep in her own crib/bed. It’s an absolutely bougie Miffy & Friends Silicone Rechargeable Light. Jian had always imagined getting this Miffy rabbit light for our then-future-now-current nursery. This one is seriously bougie considering it is only a night light & doesn’t come with all the bells & whistles for its price point, but at least it’s cordless, has a dimmable light function, & is USB rechargeable (with a long battery life). This night light comes in 3 different sizes: mini, the one we got, & ginormous. Plus, Jian really insisted we get this one, & I’m a fan of Dick Bruna‘s MIFFY cartoons, so I didn’t argue with him.

There are tons of aesthetics, styles, & price points on the market these days. You do you, & choose whichever one fits your family unit best. Sure, night lights keep the little ones from being afraid of the dark, but we all know those night lights are mostly for the parents to check on their kids, & quite frankly, who wants to creep around in the dark only to stub your toe on the corner of a changing table or nursery chair leg? It doesn’t really matter which exact one you choose, as long as it fits its purpose. But who doesn’t like cute decor in the nursery, too?


CUDDLE TOY/SECURITY BLANKET

Cuddle toys &/or security blankets are great to help soothe the little one & assist in their nap time/nighttime routine. They are also great to bring on long car rides or on trips where the little one will be sleeping in a new environment. Some parents also bring these cuddle items to the doctor to help calm the little one down. Don’t make the stupid mistake we did & get your little one something seasonal or limited edition. Well, we didn’t technically make the mistake ourselves. My mom bought our little one an adorable little lovey blanket with a soft fabric butterfly from Target, not realizing that she bought the very last one. Our little bean immediately fell in love with it & has been sleeping with it every single day from then on.

None of us had ever thought about what would happen if it got ruined or, God forbid, lost. As soon as that thought entered my anxiety-ridden mind, I immediately jumped onto the internet to find a backup. Unfortunately for us, that cute butterfly lovey has been discontinued & out of stock E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E. The only place I can find a backup in case something unfortunate happens to ours is either on eBay or Poshmark, reselling for triple the price of the original MSRP, & that’s for a USED one, not new/unopened.

So ever since that whole thing happened in our lives, I’ve since gone by a personal mantra of “Don’t buy your kid anything that can’t be easily replaced” because if she falls in love with something then loses it or breaks it, & you have to replace it, finding something that’s seasonal or limited edition is either going to cost you a small fortune, or you’ll be shit outta luck. Therefore, in my case, I trained my little bean to sleep with a couple of “favorite” cuddle toys plus her security blanket. That way, she can interchange between them & not get upset if we have to leave one at home when we go out.

Our little bean’s first love will always be her butterfly lovey toy, but if we go on vacation or go on long trips, she doesn’t mind leaving it at home & can bring a different cuddle toy with her. Then we don’t run the risk of losing something irreplaceable. For us, we have found that Jellycat brand toys are the best. They’re soft, cute, & super portable. They pretty much come in hundreds of colors, themes, sizes & styles. Plus, you can find them EVERYWHERE, so if your little one loses their cuddle toy, you can easily replace it.


STROLLER FAN

Everybody knows what a portable fan is, right? I mean, they’re not some new fangled invention or anything like that. However, the concept of getting a portable fan for my little bean is an entirely new concept that I had never ever heard of until she came into my life. I’m sure stroller fans have been around for ages & ages, but I’ve never heard of their popularity until the more recent years. Besides, I don’t live in an area that gets hot that much throughout the year, even during summer. So a stroller fan, which popped up on my Amazon recommended list, wasn’t something I thought I needed until I went ahead & bought one anyway.

The portable stroller fan has been a great staple in our family travel pack. The three of us often travel to Los Angeles, especially during the hotter months, to visit family (or in Jian’s case, to attend work events), & our fan has gotten a ton of use because of it. We also used it on our what-were-we-thinking road trip to Las Vegas during that historic, record breaking heatwave. On top of that, last year we had an unusual heat wave during our Indian summer season, & that portable fan saved our asses. Keep in mind that we live in a 1950’s built Eichler home with no central A/C, so having portable fans around the house was how we dealt with that freak heat wave last year. I used the portable stroller fan in our little bedroom while my little bean took a nap, & it was surely a life saver.

The best feature of our portable fan is the flexible tripod legs. The flexibility allows it to be positioned practically anywhere on a standard stroller (we previously used the UPPAbaby Vista v2, now we use the GB Pockit+ All-City), so the air won’t directly be positioned at the little one’s face. We even used our fan in the car, attaching it to our infant car seat, so our little bean could get maximum airflow on those super hot days without us having to blast the car’s air conditioning the whole time. The second best feature is its long-lasting battery life. We don’t have to charge it very often between uses, which is great. So all-in-all, we’ve gotten a lot of use out of our portable stroller fan, even when we’re not using the stroller.


FIDGET TOY(S)

What I am about to say will definitely show my age, & the fact that I am more closely related to the Boomer generation rather than the Millennial/Gen-Z generation. I always thought fidget toys were fashion toys for the Gen-Z type, bored kid with idle hands. Teenagers of my nephew & youngest niece’s age were collecting fidget spinners & doing trendy tricks with them on TikTok or something like that. I didn’t really give fidget toys any serious thought until after I had a kid of my own.

Once my little bean was big enough to sit in her own high chair at the restaurants we would take her to, we realized we needed to give her things to occupy her time & attention. Giving her a straw, or a condiment packet to play around with could only sustain her attention for maybe 20 seconds or so, & she very easily gets bored from drawing all over the kids menu. Therefore, our solution was to get our little bean a couple of different fidget toys to play with when we go out.

She has a few different pop-it toys & one fidget cube with a bunch of different textures, buttons & switches on it. We even carry a small sandwich-sized Ziploc bag with some LEGO Duplo bricks for her to play with while we are outside. Those fidget type toys are great to occupy our little bean’s attention, especially when we are eating at a restaurant. We had tried to convince ourselves when I was pregnant, that we wouldn’t be those kinds of parents who shoved an iPhone in front of their kids to occupy their attention. However, I will admit that we have resorted to using our phones to calm our little bean’s restlessness, more than a few times, while we are trying to enjoy a meal out. We mostly try to mix things up & give our little bean a variety of things to play with when we go out. These fidget toys seem to be doing the trick for now.


BABY’S FIRST TOOTHBRUSH (A.K.A.) SILICONE FINGER BRUSH

I never knew these nifty little things existed until I was shopping for baby essentials on Amazon & it was recommended to me on my homepage. I have seen all sorts of children’s toothbrushes & toothpastes at the store, but I have never really heard of infant toothbrushes, mainly because I always thought of babies not having any teeth, so why would they need a toothbrush. Little did I know that silicone finger brushes are a great tool for parents with teething babies.

I guess I am old fashioned, or just stuck in remembering the way things were done when I was a kid. I thought if a baby was teething, you give them a teething toy or something cold like a wet washcloth you put in the fridge freezer to chew on. When I actually looked into what finger toothbrushes were, & what their benefits are, I bought one straight away. A silicone finger brush, also known as baby’s first “toothbrush”, is great for soothing those sore & achy gums, but it also instills good teeth brushing habits from the start, & helps the baby get used to feeling something toothbrush-like for the first time.

I started using the silicone finger brush as soon as my little bean started teething, & it really helped to soothe the soreness & the dull ache in her gums, which helped her sleep better throughout the night, instead of having to wake up every few hours to rub teething gel medication on the gums. Our little bean was also kind of a strange infant. She didn’t like chewing on the traditional teething toys or icy wet washcloths. She liked gnawing on non-traditional baby items like plastic straws & plastic spoons. Using the finger brush to massage our little bean’s gums really allowed us to cut down on our (non-medicated) teething gel dependency, & it helped soothe our little bean’s sensitive gums before bedtime. This also allowed us to smoothly transition to an actual children’s toothbrush when she got older. The little one did not fuss or refuse when we started teaching her to brush her own teeth.


FEBREZE SMALL SPACES AIR FRESHENER

Let me tell you something serious. Like, for real. How could I have not known about the Febreze Small Spaces Air Freshener? This is an absolute game changer. For all the existing parents out there, you already know where I’m headed…when your little one mic-drops a deuce bomb. I never thought about becoming nose blind to diaper odors, but it happens. Luckily there’s this little air freshener to keep the nursery from smelling like a Coachella Port-A-Potty. I tip my cap to any parent who is able to consistently & effortlessly keep their baby nursery smelling fresh as daisies.

We use a diaper pail with a baking soda disc that’s supposed to minimize diaper odors (it doesn’t). I had originally thought it would be discreet yet on-trend with our room decor if I put a cute aroma diffuser in the nursery; it didn’t work. It only made the room smell like perfume mixed with a hint of ammonia. Next, I tried placing a strong lavender scented drawer deodorizer packets at the bottom of the diaper pail, but that didn’t combat the funk either. Then I discovered this tiny little air freshener, & I tossed all the other things I tried in to the trash.

From the moment I discovered this little air freshener, I have not stopped buying them. These little suckers are so good at stamping out even the most explosive diaper smell. How I use them is to keep one on the diaper changing table, next to all the diapering supplies. If the diaper was particularly gross, then I’ll place the air freshener on top of the diaper pail for a few minutes to really reduce the odor. It really works well to greatly reduce the smell of the deuce. I even keep one in Jian’s home office…because farts happen. *Gross*.


EMERGENCY CLOTHES

Let me start this section with a little story time blurb. One time when my nephew was a toddler, we all went out for lunch in a large family group setting (including my sister, her then-now-ex-husband, my brother, my parents, my niece, myself, & Jian). My sister wanted to go shopping after lunch to get her kids some new shoes. Lo & behold, my nephew laid a huge crapper in his diaper while we were in the kids shoe store. He bombed his diaper so hard that it got all over his shorts. My sister didn’t have anything else for my nephew to wear, so she had to go to another store to buy him new clothes. She said it wasn’t worth it to bring the shorts home to wash, & ended up throwing them away. After that incident, I swore that I wouldn’t be that underprepared if/when I had my own child.

So, my takeaway from that story is to ALWAYS BE PREPARED, even if it means your diaper bag &/or car trunk looks like you are doomsday prepping for the end of the world. That is why I highly recommend having a spare change of baby clothes on hand at all times. I keep a Ziplock bag of spare clothes in my little bean’s diaper bag at all times. It contains just the essentials: one long-sleeve onesie, one pair of leggings, & one pair of socks. I also keep a spare jacket (one for each of us three) in the trunk of my car, since my car is mainly used as the “people mover” family car.

This spare change of clothes has come in handy on more than one occasion already. On our first group outing with our friends & their infant children to a children’s museum, our little bean had a cry session so intense that she threw up all over herself. She threw up so hard that she made the pie-eating contest scene from the Stand By Me movie look tame. The puke came out so fast & hard that not even my quick mommy reflexes could deflect the splash back. Little bean was covered in puke, & I was covered in puke. It was an experience I never would wish on any parent. Luckily we had a spare change of clothes for our little bean in her bag, but I had to rush back home covered in spoiled milk & baby food from head to toe. Needless to say, after that incident, I put a spare t-shirt in my car for each of us parents as well. Keep this tip in mind future parents~!


EXTRA MISCELLANEOUS TIPS

  • When getting a portable changing mat/pad, don’t get one that has a ton of pockets/compartments or folds out a hundred & one different ways. When you have to fold it back up & put it away, it’ll end up taking up more than half the precious space in the diaper bag. A simple, thin changing pad that folds up small will do. I have a changing mat from Herschel Supply, & even though it only has 2 pockets (one for extra diapers, & one for the wipes), it’s super bulky & takes up most of the space in my already jumbo diaper bag. You don’t need all those pockets for the little things. You only need enough space for a couple of extra diapers, a tube of rash cream, & a packet of wipes. Your kid won’t notice/care if the padding is plush or as thin as hotel toilet paper.
  • This is totally not necessary, but it is a bonus, if you have a sound machine or a go-to music playlist for nap time. In my experience, having a specific music playlist that I use for my little bean’s naps has really improved the quality of her naps. I put the music on before she enters her room, so I don’t have to waste extra time setting everything up before I put her down for a nap. Also, she’ll already hear the sound before she fully falls asleep, so it won’t be an instant jolt of noise while she’s trying to sleep. The music helps my little bean feel like she’s not alone in her room, & also diffuses any outside noises (i.e. washer/dryer, vacuum, etc.). I will turn off any sound machine/music a couple of minutes before the end of her nap, to help her slowly wake up instead of me barging into her room & banging around to get her up.

ENDING

Well, that’s all I would say about that. I am in NO WAY pushing any of these items on any parent. This list is merely a suggestion. It’s purely based off of my experiences. Take it or leave it. The only thing that I would say is pretty much set in stone is the spare change of emergency clothes. Having a spare change of clothes (or a spare jacket in the car) is non-negotiable for any & all parents. If you’re an existing parent, then you know all about the “exploding backpack“. That’s why I’m advocating so hard for the spare clothes. *Chuckle*

Anyhow, that’s all I’ve got to say. Sorry I’ve been absent for so many months. Between the little bean, Jian, & myself, we’ve each been sick on & off between January & February. Plus, my mom had a big seventy-something birthday celebration in February, & we had to attend my oldest niece’s wedding in Las Vegas last month (March). My life schedule has been absolutely packed, & I haven’t really had much time to properly sit down & write. Yes, I’ve been on Instagram, but it’s much faster to write a couple of hashtags than it is to write an entire blog post. Until the next one, & I hope it won’t be too long until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

From this past year until now, my little family & I have been traveling a lot. Whether it’s to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or anywhere else in between, we’ve surely racked up quite a few miles on the road. Jian & I aren’t quite ready to take our little bean on an airplane ride just yet. More than worrying how she’ll react being cooped up in a pressurized cabin with nowhere to run around, we’re still not completely confident regarding airline COVID safety practices. So, we’ve only opted to take our little bean on trips to places we can turn into a drivable trip. On top of all that, Jian & I are too stingy to pay the extra airline baggage fees in case we have to check-in our little bean’s stroller, car seat, &/or any other baby gear too large for the overhead bin.

Since we have been traveling a lot lately, I thought I’d share with you some of the essential items I always pack in my suitcase. There are a few items I absolutely cannot go without, either because of my persnickety-ness or because of my sensitive skin, but I just won’t travel without them. So they may only be essential items to me personally.


01. Like the compulsively organized person that I am, I am a firm believer in using packing cubes when I travel. Packing cubes (& compression bags) are some of the world’s greatest inventions. They keep your fresh clothes clean, your bags organized, & you won’t believe how much you can store in one of those lil’ suckers which means you can bring more junk with you when you travel to soothe your over analytical thoughts on what to pack. I don’t understand how people can just throw things in their bag & go. I don’t care if you know how to Marie Kondo origami-fold everything into your suitcase. Packing cubes make preparing for a trip so much more efficient & easy.

^ This is not the way to travel. ^

02. If I can’t find travel-sized versions of my at-home skincare products, then I will transfer small amounts of each into small reusable TSA-friendly containers. Luckily for me, I have developed a skincare routine that works perfectly for my dry skin, but also doesn’t require me to use more than 3 to 4 products. So it’s easy for me to travel with mini-sized versions of my daily skincare regimen. I don’t wear makeup, like ever, therefore my usual toiletry bag when I travel is about the size of a small men’s dopp bag.

* EXAMPLE *

03. Ever since I was a little child I’ve had severe allergies. I’m practically allergic to most shellfish & fruit known to mankind. Dogs & Cats used to be my arch nemesis (damn you, pet dander!). I mean, when I was in high school I got allergy tested by my family physician & found out I was allergic to over 100 different things (not all food related). I had to get two allergy shots weekly all throughout high school & take prescription allergy medicine. Nowadays, I only take over-the-counter allergy medication as needed, but I always carry a bottle of nasal spray with me whenever I travel. (My preferred brand is Flonase.) It’s a quick & easy way for me to immediately combat my allergies. Plus, Jian uses it now as well whenever he gets that tickle in his pickle…um, sinus…like after he’s walked through the perfume aisle at Sephora or passes by a Bath & Body Works/White Barn/Yankee Candle Co. candle store.

04. Until my little bean was diagnosed by a dermatologist as having keratosis pilaris, I never knew I had it too. I just lived with having those tiny little bumps on my skin my whole life. It never bothered me, never itched, or felt irritated. It just felt like having permanent goose bumps. I’ve used numerous types of lotions to keep my skin feeling less dry & patchy, but the bumps were always there, not noticeable unless you touched the skin. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties when I started using loofah sponges when I bathed. Once I switched from a loofah poof to the long wash cloth style, it was such a game changer. I was finally able to fully scrub & exfoliate my entire back (not just my body). That’s when my keratosis pilaris bumps started to go away. My skin feels immensely smoother in texture, & I can definitely see a difference in a more even skin tone. It has definitely improved the dryness & overall itchiness of my skin, which I’ve battled my entire life. I love using my loofah wash cloth so much that I have an extra one that I bring on all of my travels.

05. As I have said before, I am a compulsive persnickety person. Not really a ‘Type-A’ kind of person, but just very stuck in my habits & personal preferences. I like the way my at-home body wash smells & how it works well with my specific skin conditions. This also applies (no pun intended) to my body lotion. I have a proprietary mixture of various body lotions that I use at home that also works on my sensitive skin. So it’s obvious that I also bring travel-sized versions of these items with me on all of my travels. I have been known to use hotel-provided bath products when necessary, but my preference is to use my own body wash & lotion because it works best on my always dry & itchy skin. I know it is totally extra of me to practically bring my whole bathroom with me when I travel, but I at least try to keep everything to a TSA-approved travel size.

06. I remember the first time one of my former bosses explained to me how she kept a small pill case in her purse at all times. She was often getting migraines & stomach irritability, so she always kept a small packet of over-the-counter medicines in her purse. But of course, me in all of my compulsive glory, decided to upgrade that to a full on first-aid kit. It made sense back in those days when large tote bag purses were the trendy style & I used to use a messenger bag style purse. I put everything in that purse like a crazy bag lady…everything from nail clippers, to folding scissors, to cough drops. Even as I downgraded my purses over the years to be more compact & practical, I’ve always found a way to incorporate some sort of first-aid pouch. This pouch will include over-the-counter headache medicine, folding scissors, bandage plasters, & a few emergency feminine sanitary products. When I travel, especially overseas, I will include a few extra items like cold & anti-diarrhea medicines because who has time to Google Translate every single thing at a foreign pharmacy.


When I travel on long flights, mostly to overseas, the select items listed above are what I like to pack. These items are mostly to be used on the airplane, but they have definitely made those long flights more bearable. Slippers are great to keep your feet clean & reduces swelling. Neck pillows are so much more comfortable & more sanitary than using those thin cotton pads airlines pass off as “pillows”. Even before this pandemic happened, I’ve been an avid user of disposable face masks, especially on airplanes. The recycled, barely circulated cabin air really activates my allergies, so using a disposable face mask really helps to reduce my allergy symptoms. In recent years I’ve tried to not bring my personal tablet with me when I travel. I end up not using it that much when I’m on a trip, & I am more paranoid now than ever regarding property theft targeted at obvious tourists. However, on long flights I will bring my tablet, lest I go crazy over sheer boredom & lack of good in-flight entertainment options.


Now that I’ve got a kid to travel with, she also comes with a lot of her own baggage (yes, pun intended). I try to keep my little bean’s travel gear to a minimum. I don’t want to be one of those people who loads up the hotel luggage cart on a mere 3-night stay.

* EXAMPLE *

Here I’ve compiled a short list of the must-have items in her little kid’s packing list.

01. I will start off by talking about my little bean’s keratosis pilaris skin condition. Though it’s not curable, it is treatable, which means if you have it you just have to work at it most of your life to suppress the symptoms. We as parents treat our little bean’s keratosis pretty much the same way as I treat my symptoms. We have a soft silicone exfoliating brush that we use along with a gentle baby bath wash & delicate skin baby body lotion. This combination of silicone brush, bath wash & baby lotion has improved my little bean’s skin & reduced the keratosis breakouts on her skin. We still have a long, long way to go in fighting this skin condition, but these are our go-to products that we can’t go without during every bath time at home or away.

02. Almost every child has a favorite snuggle toy for naps & bedtime. Our little bean is no exception. She has a butterfly lovey security blanket that is her absolute favorite to sleep & play with. We have to be extremely careful with this item because it has since been discontinued by the brand, & the only place to get a replacement is eBay, apparently. It’s because of this that we never bring this with us when we travel, for fear of losing it. Our little bean has already lost one of her other favorite stuffed toys during one of our hotel stays in Los Angeles, & we were lucky enough to be able to get her a replacement without her knowing the difference, but we are not planning on doing that every time she loses one of her “special friends”. (P.S. We call all of her stuffed toys her ‘friends’.) Fortunately for us, this butterfly security blanket is not the only thing she is able snuggle with when she sleeps. When we travel, we will bring one of her other replaceable stuffed toys for her to use during nap time & bedtime.

03. I have a travel set of kid’s cutlery & snack boxes that I like to use whenever we take our little bean out to eat, at a restaurant or at someone’s house. She has a growing collection of kid’s utensils that she uses at home, like plastic bowls, spoons & forks, but I have a specific set of utensils that she only uses when we go out. Our little bean also has her own insulated lunch bag to carry everything in. That way we don’t have to bring her at-home stuff out with us & replace them every time she loses something. We take her mealtime eating kit with us whenever we know we’ll have to feed her outside of the house. It’s very convenient & easy to clean. Plus, we feel like we are inconveniencing the restaurant if we ask them for kid’s stuff, even if they have it. For me, I like to bring our own kid’s cutlery when we go out because it just calms the germaphobe in me.

04. This goes with the previous item, the sippy cup. Our little bean also has an ever-growing collection of these at home as well. She has one for all of the stages, from baby bottle style all the way up to full on toddler trainer cups. We have a tall sippy cup that we specifically use whenever we go out with our little bean. It can hold a larger volume of water which is good when we’re going on road trips & don’t have opportunities to make sudden pit stops. Right now the sippy cup we are using has a hard silicone tip, but we are very slowly trying to teach our little bean how to slurp from an actual straw. She knows how to sip/gulp from an open cup, but you know me, & you know I don’t like myself or my kid getting messy, especially when we’re away from home (& a fresh change of clothes).

05. When we go on family trips, I like to pack a few simple toys for our little bean to play with when we are in the hotel room, or staying at a relative’s house. I don’t pack an entire toy chest worth of toys, but I will select at most 2 or 3 toys to entertain my little bean, especially when we the parents are trying to get ready in the morning & need to distract her for several minutes. Some toys I will consider bringing are a sandwich-sized Ziplock storage bag of plastic animals, or one of her interactive toys like her toy cell phone. I try to not bring toys that are difficult or expensive to replace, & I like to bring toys that are compact & easily packable into her small duffle bag.

06. My little bean loves to read books. We can read at least 5 or 6 children’s board books in the morning before we get out of bed. So, I like to bring a mini selection books for my little bean & I to read together. My little bean also has a bedtime book that we read together almost every night before she goes to sleep, & I like to bring that book as well. When packing for my little bean I won’t pack more than 3 or 4 books, including her bedtime storybook. I try not to bring too many books in case we happen to buy more books when we travel, which is often.

07. This last one is optional. I read in some other mommy blog that it’s best to try to recreate the child’s sleeping environment as best as possible when traveling, so the baby won’t have a hard time going to sleep, but sometimes that’s just not feasible, or practical for that matter. I used to bring my little bean’s crib blanket when we traveled, so she’d have some comfort reminder of her room back at home, but lately I’ve been going through a ‘less is more’ phase, & I’m trying to scale back a lot of the junk we bring with us on vacation. I don’t bring her crib blanket on our travels anymore, but if we were perhaps to go on a longer vacation or go somewhere overseas, I might be more inclined to pack it along.


This is the end of my list. I must confess that we are taking another trip to Los Angeles, & leaving this coming Sunday. We didn’t go on that last Los Angeles trip I talked about in my previous blog post, the one where my nephew celebrated his high school graduation & birthday. Jian asked me repeatedly, yet casually, if we should go but we ended up saying no. Honestly, we really needed a break from living with my mom, & my little bean needed that time away from smothering grandma as well to develop & mature.

This time we are going to L.A to celebrate our new niece turning one year old, & celebrate another nephew turning four. We thought it would be more meaningful to have our little bean interact with more kids close to her age. Also, Jian wants to snoop around the L.A office of his company’s department. I guess I should mention that this isn’t exactly a “vacation”. Jian still has to work everyday (except on Monday’s Memorial Day observance), but I get to spend quality time exploring the city & the area around our hotel with my little bean. My mom won’t be traveling with us, as she just recently returned from L.A herself, so this will give us even more badly needed time away from my mom, a.k.a. grandma -slash- super crutch for my little one to revert back to acting like a baby & not want to learn how to walk at all. It will be interesting to see how things go. Maybe I’ll write another hotel review post since we are staying at a brand new hotel we’ve never even heard of before. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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