Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu aka Pig Flew

Not to make light of this pandemic, but this photo made its way to my inbox today ...

... with the subject: How Swine Flu is Transmitted.

I opened the message expecting to read more startling statistics, breaking news, and precautions to be taken. Instead, I couldn't help but smile. I know that's a little wrong. I especially know that after being at my doctor's office today and witnessing a bit of the panic firsthand. People are terrified ... and using a separate entrance into the doctor's office. As I sat in the "flu-free" waiting area, the receptionist's phone was ringing constantly. I could only hear one side of the converstations, but it was clear that many, many people were looking to be reassured that their sore throat and body aches are not, in deed, a form of this awful flu. Wondering am I a hypochondriac or do I really have something to worry about? The media is definitely pushing for the later. It's a little staggering to think about how healthcare professionals are able to deal with all this ... on top of usual patient load.

BTW: I keep hearing the word pandemic, and curiousity got the better of me ... I know from context clues that it's similar to an epidemic, but here's what (love the Internet) had to say about it:

- adjective - prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world; epidemic over a large area

As long as I am looking at the "lighter side" of this scary situation, I should also add this conversation between me and hubby as we were falling asleep last night.

Me: Why don't they just call it the Pig Flu? (cracking up)
Hubby: I don't get it.
Me: You know like, "When pigs fly."
Hubby: Joined me in the hysterics

Run if you want to ...

Run if you want to
Run around the world
Run if you want to
Without anything but the love we feel
~ B52's

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Ugh! I am the worst when it comes to song lyrics. (There's the infamous "Baby when you're crying" mix-up that I am fairly certain never to live down. Who confuses crying with grinding?)

Anyway, I just did a search to confirm the above lyrics, and discovered that it isn't "run;" it's "roam." Imagine my disappointment! I've been editing these photos from earlier today and singing that darn chorus over and over again in my head. Feeling all clever and what-not. All the while thinking that it was "Run if you want to." How perfect is that with these photos?

In case you haven't figured it out yet, this week's Favorite Foto Friday (FFF) theme is RUN (not roam). And if my lyrics don't match, at least my photos do. It was really a challenge to capture the movement of two almost-two-year-olds. The lighting late in the afternoon didn't help the situation, either. But I did my best, and I feel like I really captured the FUN of the moment :) NHV and her buddy O had a blast. I must've said, "Ready, Set, Go!" like a million times!

You really should click on over to Kiss the Frog 4 Me to check out other photos.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tiptoeing Through the Tulips

We made our 3rd "annual" trip to see the tulips on Sunday. It's about an hour and a half drive north of here and worth the trip, especially if you can go on a weekday - as we did the past two years. This trip - on a beautiful Sunday - involved far more traffic and crowds than hubby and I find delightful.

I never would've guessed that I live so close to the "tulip capital of the world" (or something like that). I had a college roommate from the "pumpkin capital of the world" - Morton, IL in case you're interested - and I was always just a tad envious. But now I have my own claim to fame and yearly mecca. I am guessing that tulips photograph much better than a bunch of pumpkins!

It was hard to get photos of Natalie's face because a) she was looking down at the flowers - who can blame her? they are gorgeous, b) when she did look up, it was to check out the huge kites - again, who can blame her?, and c) it was high noon with sunny skies, which required a lot of squinting. But I did take plenty of shots, and CPV must've taken the hint in this post because he grabbed the camera to take pics of me and baby girl together, too :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

For the Love of Hats

My NHV loves hats. This isn't a new obsession. It's been going on for more than a year. And she loves hats of all kinds. She doesn't discriminate. She doesn't care if it doesn't fit. Or doesn't match. Or it's out of season. Or she's sitting inside reading a book with no real need for a hat.

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I just also have to mention ... I have no idea why the inflatable bathtub is still in our living room perched on the ottoman. And I really need to find a new place to store Louie's cat toy; as it is currently hanging from the stocking hook on our mantle :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Storytime with Daddy

I'm going wordless on this one ...

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... which is really hard for me to do, by the way!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In Front of the Camera

Before I realized this week's FFF theme was ME, I had drafted the post that follows two days ago. And call me a double-dipper because - I decided to hold the presses - and use this as my FFF post ... guess I'm killing two birds with one stone; how I hate that saying - not what it implies - but it's literal translation.

Ugh, I am feeling long-winded! Keep reading ... or just scroll to the end to see ME :)

My good friend Deann - who happens to be a great photographer (among many other talents) - introduced me to this really great photography blog site:

Each week the site sponsors a photo contest with a specific theme. And, well, since I aspire to be a decent photographer some day, I find myself drawn - like a magnet - to this site and the hundred of photo entries.
This week's contest was a self-portrait, as in take a photo of yourself (and your little one if you'd like) and you must be holding the camera. That's a toughie, huh? Well, I didn't make the deadline ... and I've had pink eye since Friday ... so this probably wasn't the best week to take a picture of myself anyway. But after looking at some of the entries, I found myself feeling sad that I don't really have many pictures of me and my baby girl ... that's sad, right? I TAKE gazillion photos but that means I am behind the camera ... and stretching my arms out to include myself just isn't something I think about doing very often. But I vow to change that. I vow to put myself in front of the camera more often.
Anyway, I decided to scour the images on my computer ... I only went back to last June ... and here are a few of my favorites:

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  1. My friend Missy took this photo when we visited her in Denver last June. I love Natalie's argyle BabyLegs! And my hair looks longish and not as flat as usual ... apparently, Colorado agrees with my limp locks!

  2. I took this photo one afternoon while we were playing on the floor in our family room. It's at a silly angle, but I just love the happiness on our faces :)

  3. Another afternoon play session turned photo shoot ... Natalie has a weird look on her face but I love her little hand!

  4. On a snowshoeing "expedition" this winter, Chad snapped this shot. She's looking up and saying, "Hold me." Sweet candid :)

  5. My friend Tammy was "playing around" with my new camera and Natalie was being grumpy, so we "posed" for this grouch shot ... but somehow I look a lot more grouchy than she does ... go figure!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fun Finds for Mom

Love the environment?
Trying to be greener?

Love clever and wonderful things?
Looking for ways to be more clever and wonderful yourself?

Love to win free stuff?
Who doesn't love to win free stuff?

Well, I have the website for you ...

Go on, head on over there, you know you wanna
Oh, and tell my awesome, seriously talented SIL that I sent ya :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nothing Good About That ...

Running down a concrete "hill" is never a good idea.

If you're a 21-month old totally hyped on pure zoo adrenaline,
it's a terrible idea.

Catching your fall with your nose, rather than your hands,
is pretty much the worst idea I've ever heard witnessed.
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NHV's initial reaction was to cry, and who can blame her. That had to hurt! Once I scooped her up and made sure her teeth were still intact, I gave her a good cuddle sprinkled with glances down at her cute, mangled little face. In less than a minute, she was ready to get down and take off running again. After all, there were animals to see ... and a little less skin on her nose wasn't about to slow her down! That's my girl :)

The top photo was taken while still at the zoo; few minutes after, what will now be known as the nose-despite-my-face incident. The bottom two I shot tonight while Chad was making dinner.

It was reckless running at the zoo, people ... not some form of toddler discipline ... promise!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

Hubby did me a huge favor today. He kept Natalie while I went to the grocery store to do our weekly shopping. I was in-and-out in about 30 minutes with all the fixings for five meals plus stuff for breakfast and snacks and what-not. Impressive, I know!

Usually for our weekly shopping trips, it's me and baby girl and one of those big ol' racecar shopping carts ... because no one told me what a mistake that is ... before I made that mistake myself ... and now there's no going back. Speaking of back, I am beginning to wonder if you all really do have mine?!

This delightful trip to the "market" was all part of my master plan, I mean, my meal plan for this week. For about the past 4 months, I completely got out of this habit, and I was really starting to HATE dinner. Quite often I ponder the possibility of skipping meals and receiving nutrients/calories through an IV instead. Wouldn't that be so much easier? I know you self-proclaimed "lovers-of-food" will be aghast at such an idea. But stop and think about it. Couldn't you use extra time in your day? How many hours a day do I waste thinking about what we're going to eat, getting the ingredients (because I don't plan ahead that typically means a trip to the market), preparing the food whilst entertaining my little one, eating (this takes a fraction of the time as all the rest), and cleaning up the mess (btw: my husband is a champ when it comes to CUD, clean up duty)? Thus, the "give-me-an-IV" mentality has been adopted on numerous occasions.

But I am not terribly fond of needles ... in fact, the IV was the worst part of giving birth, in my opinion/experience ... and so I am back on the meal plan bandwagon in the hopes of changing my attitude and making the 5:00-7:00 part of my day go much more smoothly :)

This week's meal plan - in no particular order:
1. Easy Cheesy Chicken & Noodles - from KraftFoods Magazine

2. Tuna Cakes & Spinach Salad - another KraftFoods idea

3. Kielbasa, Baked Potatoes, and Green Beans - straight from my mom's repertoire

4. Sloppy Joes, Onion Rings, and Apple Slices - Easy Weeknight Favorites

5. Steak Stroganoff - Easy Weeknight Favorites
6. Pizza - I am just being realistic!
I realize this information may not be even remotely helpful or interesting to you, but I thought blogging my weekly meal plans would help ME be more accountable. Yes, this is a totally selfish blog post ... sorry 'bout that :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bad News, Good News: A Health Edition

Bad News: I have pink eye or some form of disgusting eye infection.

More Bad News: The antibiotic eye drops cost $65 - after insurance chipped in - and the bottle is teeny-tiny!

Good News: That stuff seems to be working already!

Great News: I am NOT allergic to red wine!

Bad News: I am allergic (or sensitive) to my recently purchased Neutrogena lotion. That's not really bad news.

Good News: I am no longer using that awful lotion, and I am hoping to get off the hydrocordisone cream soon!

Here's to GOOD health ... and eyes that are white and skin that is itch-free!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Reverse Psychology

During dinner tonight, I sat back and enjoyed this little discussion ...

Daddy: "Natalie, you need to take more bites of your pasta."
Natalie: "No"
Daddy: "Yesh" in a playful tone, mimicking her addition of the h at the end of the word.
Natalie: "No"
Daddy: "Yes"

Natalie: "No"
Daddy: "Yes"

At this point, I was about to intercede, but intrigue kept me quiet and entertained.
Natalie: "No"
Daddy: "No"

Oh, he's turning the tables on her right here!
Natalie: "Yesh"
Daddy: "No"
Natalie: "Yesh"
Daddy: "No"

Natalie: "Yesh"
Daddy: "Are you going to take another bite of your pasta?"

Natalie: "No"

So close!

Pretty impressive display of opposites, nonetheless!

FFF: Wet

When I first saw this week's FFF theme, WET, I thought of the obvious ... like the endless rain we've been having here and how WET everything is ... the grass (our backyard is a certified swamp), the mulch, slides, and swings at the park, ... even the cuffs of my jeans. Or the countless photos I have of Natalie in the bathtub ... obviously, she's WET in those pics, right?
And then I stumbled upon this series of photos I took on a rare sunny day when the light in our front room was really nice. I was mainly just playing with my new camera and learning to shoot with natural light and a setting other than "Auto." I was so wrapped up in the mechanics, I didn't give a lot of thought to my subject - cute as she may be - and it certainly never occurred to me that I should wipe off her dripping chin. It qualifies as WET, right? At the very least, I think we could call it MOIST :)

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My little nugget has been teething forever! It wasn't until a month before her first birthday that she started showing serious signs of teething. At 21 months, she still only has 6 teeth on top and 5 on the bottom. And so, the dripping chin and wet shirt-fronts continue!

You really head over to
Kiss the Frog 4 Me to check out some other great and wet photos.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Caption Needed

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From nuts to pickles ... are you beginning to see a theme
in my blog posts today ;)

Alright, adoring blog audience, what caption
would YOU give this photo?

Can't wait to read your comments! (hint, hint)

Just Plain Nutty

Words I didn't expect to hear uttered while perusing the children's section at the local library, "Wanna play with my nut?"

I was like ... WHAT?!

Turned to see a mommy with a squirrel puppet on one hand and chicken perched on the other. She was creating her own little puppet show ... thankfully, with a limited audience.

So, the squirrel says to the chicken, "Wanna play with my nut?"

I immediately - and yes, immaturely, start giggling and look up to make eye contact with the "voice" of the squirrel. I expected to see a look of recognition on her face like, Baby in that scene from Dirty Dancing ... realizing the lameness of her comment, "I carried a watermelon." Or the time I called Natalie my little "muffin muncher" in the middle of Starbucks and completely lost it along with at least two other patrons who heard my not-quite-appropriate remark.

Back to the puppeteer; I expected her facial expression to say something like, "Oh my gosh, did I just ask if the chicken wants to play with my NUT?" Giggle, giggle, snort, snort!

But, no, she was totally stonefaced and moving onto the next scene in her little puppet play. Which, of course, just made me laugh even more :)

I just love when trip to the library leaves me laughing ... so nutty!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Elmo's Busy Morning

Elmo ... and Natalie ... had a very busy morning ... on her 21-month birthday!
Just yesterday, a package full of ELMO arrived on our front porch. Sent all the way from Grammy's house in IL. Natalie got two Elmo books, an Elmo coloring book, Elmo jammies (meant for boys, but I doubt she'll know the difference), and the Fisher-Price Cuddle and Care Elmo - complete with binky, bib and swaddle carrier.
And today, Elmo was well cuddled and cared for ...
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First, Elmo made a trip to the potty while Natalie read him the The Potty Book - For Girls. I am fairly certain Elmo is a boy, but he seemed to enjoy the story, nonetheless. Can you see his little eyes peeking out from behind the book? Then Natalie decided to "take a turn" on the potty and Elmo was happy to join her.

Next it was time for a bath; Elmo took the plunge (with quite a thud) and Natalie hopped in, too. She even pretended to pour water over his head and told him to, "up, up" - which means look up, what mommy tells Natalie when it's time to rinse her hair. How cute is that?

After all that excitement, Elmo had to take a much needed nap. Natalie marched him right into her room, gave him a quick pat and a little shushing, and promptly tossed him into the little doll bed (the one CPV made for our friend Mary Beth when she was in 2nd grade; now as an 8th grader, she just sent it to Natalie).

When Elmo woke up (about 30 seconds later; he apparently isn't much of a napper), Natalie explained to me that Elmo was "tursty" and would need some milk. I ran down to get her sippy cup, and she took a big drink herself before offering some to Elmo.

If today is any indication, I am looking forward to Elmo keeping Natalie busy! Thanks, Grammy!

Random sidenote: In case you're wondering, Natalie is wearing a cover-up over her jammies. It's meant for wearing to/from the pool, but she adores hoods ... and this cover-up has a big hood ... so she asks to wear it. It makes me think of a little pink Ewok from Star Wars.

Good News, Bad News

Good News: The SUN is shining!

Bad News: All this natural light streaming through my windows has made me realize that my house is DIRTY.

Good News: Time to SPRING clean!

Bad News: I don't really like to clean ... organize, yes ... dusting, mopping, scrubbing windows, not so much.

Good News: Natalie slept until 8:00 this morning. It seems that her east coast confusion and 6:15 wake-up habit has ended.

Bad News: Ummmm, there's nothing bad about that :)

Good News: Yesterday was my "Friday." I don't have to go to work again until Monday!

Bad News: Please, it's all good!

Hope you're having a day filled with more GOOD than BAD!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Reasons to Smile

I can't just dump a bunch of complaints without thinking of and sharing a few reasons to smile.
  1. While rocking Natalie tonight, she reached out and wrapped her little fingers around my index finger. Like she did as a tiny newborn. Such a sweet gesture.
  2. My friend, Tammy, has decided to give this whole blogging thing a try ... again. I am really looking forward to reading her next post :)
  3. I talked to my mom on the phone this morning. She told me about my family's Easter celebration, the latest with each of my nuggets, beginning plans for a visit to the NW this summer, ... She always makes me smile!

Itching, Coughing, and Snowing

First and foremost, allow me to acknowledge that my life it pretty fabulous. And I hate to be a big baby whiner, but I am feeling a very strong urge to vent.

I have a rash.
On my neck and throat. It's not like raised bumps. Just red and incredibly itchy. And sometimes my eyebrows itch, too. How very annoying! It started while I was in Virginia, and it flaired up again yesterday. I am slathering hydrocordisone on like it's some sort of skin-soothing crack. Here's the saddest part, the only cause I can figure out is that maybe I am having a reaction to ... red wine. Gasp! How can this be?! What will I do? My body of evidence is minimal at best. It's more of a hunch really. I drank my fair share of red wine at my friend Heather's house where Happy Hour is pretty much a daily and delightful occurrence. After being home for a few days, the itching subsided. Last night, I had red wine again (served with my friend Tammy's scrumptious spare ribs) and within an hour I was itching like crazy. Could it be?

Natalie is coughing.
Not during the day. But late at night. For the past three nights, she had a coughing fit about 3 hours after she falls asleep. And I just feel awful for her. She cries out in pain and only wants her mommy. I hold her close, offer sips of milk, dose her with a little ibuprofen, and rock and rock and rock until she calms down, stops coughing and falls back to sleep. As I hold my baby girl, she clings to me, tries to stifle the coughs, fumbles for her binky when it gets coughed out of her mouth, and seems just miserable. Oh, I how I hate when my sweet Natalie doesn't feel well.

The weather sucks.
And I am so over it. Enough with the rain already. Easter was soggy and cold and gray and dismal. Ugh! Today was even colder and cloudy and rainy. The short burst of snow-like precip late in the afternoon pushed me over the edge. I mean, come on, it's April for crying out loud! And don't give me that "April showers bring May flowers" cutesy excuse. It has been raining since October. Six months of gray skies and soggy ground. I am tired of wearing my down vest and scarf and hood and clunky shoes. I am tired of drinking warm beverages at all hours of the day just to fight a chill. I am ready for a little sunshine. I am ready for temperatures above 50 degrees. I am ready to play at the park. I am ready to put this winter behind me. Where is spring already?

Okay, I think I feel better. Thanks for letting me vent!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Look Who's Cooking!

Natalie's play kitchen is (finally) finished! Isn't it adorable? It's also one-of-a-kind and made with love by her incredibly talented (and detail-oriented) daddy! It was very worth the wait ... putting that on the record because I've given my dear husband lots of grief about his timeline on this project. What was slated to take a weekend, maybe two, actually took the better part of six weekends. But, hey, who's counting ... and I guarantee you won't find one better-constructed and with so many little details. Sorry, friends, we won't be taking orders on this one :)
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The counter top is a piece of laminate leftover from another project and trimmed with oak. There's a cute pot rack; a feature CPV has always wanted in our "real" kitchen but I am not a big fan. The cabinets and shelves are, of course, painted white because I am on a very serious "white" furniture kick ... for like the last 5 years. A towel bar hangs on the right side, and there's an oak open shelf storage area, too (neither are pictured though). The fridge and oven handles are made of wood but painted silver. The sink knobs were painted - one red and one blue. By the way, the sink is a stainless dog dish; how clever! The back splash is wayne's coating. And, I am sure you noticed the tiny chalkboard ... trimmed in oak and complete with a chalk tray ... I especially love the message CPV wrote :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sweet, Innocent Smooches

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I think I'll leave this post ... wordless ... because really, what can I say?

Visit with The Growing Cunninghams

This morning Natalie and I met up with Laurie (Chitown Momma), her husband, and their darling Benjamin for a visit with our dear friends Debbie and John ... and their triplets, Hayden, Morgan, and Landon, aka The Growing Cunninghams! And they definitely are growing! Nearing their first birthday (in just two weeks), I find it hard to believe they were born at just 30 weeks. They are adorable, thriving, full of life and personality, and really a sight to behold! All three were in good spirits for the entire visit; worth noting because we actually infringed on their naptime by a good 15 minutes or so.
I couldn't get all the great photos that I wanted because 1) I was a little overwhelmed - in a very good way, 2) Natalie was clingy and whiny - not a great combination, 3) I was trying to squeeze in a conversation with my mommy friends, and 4) Well, it isn't easy to take pics of 3 babies + 2 toddlers! But here are a few ...
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This visit is one of the main reasons I decided to fly cross-country with my 20-month old ... and it was worth every airport minute!

Friday, April 3, 2009

FFF: Beach ... in Cabo San Lucas

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This past February hubby and I stole away to Cabo San Lucas - sans little one.

The sunshine, the warmth, the fresh air, the fruity drinks, ...
it was an amazing time!

This photo was taken on our last night,
which also happened to be Valentine's Day.
How romantic :)

To see other "beach" photos, head on over to FFF.

BTW: Sorry this post is so late. I am actually on the east coast - visiting friends in VA. I had this post ready and saved before I left on Thursday morning, but I forgot to hit the "publish post" button. Silly me!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tips for Traveling with a Toddler

Two Sippy Cups
With the restrictions on liquids through security, I bring two empty cups - one for milk and one for juice/water. My first stop is usually a Starbucks where I order a Chai Tea Latte for me and a kids whole milk for Natalie. Occasionally, the whole milk was free of charge - I am sure it has something to do with the cashier taking pity on me, and I am totally fine with that :) I also grab a bottle of juice and another of water and put them unopened into my backpack ... for later.

Snacks, snacks, and more snacks!
The one thing I noticed this time is that I packed a lot of carbs and sugars ... dry cereal in her snack trap cup, Mum-Mums, bananas flattened, raisins, and a Nutrigrain bar. These types of snacks provide great distraction, but I worry about the lack of nutrition. I guess that's tough to avoid, but I'd like to figure out some more protein options for traveling. Then again, the empty calories mean we eat - and kill time - more often.

Airplane Presents
After a quick stop at the dollar sections of Target and Michael's, I wrapped a few airplane presents for Natalie. This one is a no-brainer; I mean, who doesn't like presents? I actually borrowed this idea from a stranger. Years ago when I was enjoying the flight-privileges that come along with being married to a pilot, I traveled even more than I do now. My favorite part of traveling has always been observing my fellow travelers. You see some of the most interesting things. I can vividly remember once sitting in the boarding area and watching a mom and her little boy. She had this enormous backpack - just like the one I now carry through the airport - and inside were all these little presents. I overheard her explaining to the little boy that all these present were for him and he would get to open them on the airplane. He was so delighted by the mere thought of this and his focus shifted from impatience to anticipation. That idea stuck with me, and I am happy to report it worked just as well with Natalie.

Airplane Presents for this trip:
  1. ColorWonder markers and book - this was the most expensive item and the least enjoyed ... go figure!
  2. Mini MagnaDoodle - the best $2 I've ever spent. Natalie drew pictures and babbled for like 15 minutes at a time and asked for it again and again!
  3. Dried Fruit - Snacks are always more fun and tasty when opened as a present :)
  4. Box of Animal Crackers - She didn't even eat them! Instead, she took each cookie from the inner plastic bag and put it into the little train box ... naming each animal as she went. Let me tell you, some of those animals are pretty nondescript!
  5. Stickers - I chose Sesame Street characters because Natalie is a little obsessed right now! She didn't want to take them off the packaging; she just wanted to point to and name each one.
  6. Elmo Books - I already had these, but I wrapped them anyway.

I used tissue paper for the wrapping because it can also be used to wipe up a spill or even a nose if needed. And the unwrapping was as much of an activity as playing with the new item ... good stuff!

Mini DVD Player & Discs

The one I took was borrowed from my awesome friend Tammy. And my friend Liza loaned me a selection of Scholastic discs - each one in it's own skinny (packing-friendly) case - pictured above. I also brought along our current "favorite" Elmo DVD. While I thoroughly enjoyed the videos of some of our favorite children's books, Natalie only wanted Elmo. But she wouldn't watch the movie; as soon as the DVD was loaded, she would pleaded for the previews - 20 little snippets of other Elmo movies. Initially, I selected each title and pushed play, but eventually realized that I could select Preview All. I don't love the idea of Natalie watching videos all day, but this was a great way to keep her occupied, especially given the circumstances.

Go-Go Babyz - Wheels for the Carseat
Again, borrowed from Tammy - because Tammy rocks - this little gadget is pretty cool. I knew that I wasn't going to need my stroller in VA because my friend Heather - mommy of two - has plenty of that sort of gear. But I did need Natalie's carseat and I really wanted it at the gate with me ... just in case there happened to be an empty seat on the plane ... because 26 pounds of wiggly-squiggly toddler on my lap for 4 hours doesn't really sound like a lot of fun ... neither does paying additional airfare for her to fly in her own seat. But, hey, if there's an empty seat and the airline is willing to let us use it, I want to have a way to strap her to it! Fortunately for us, we did have an extra seat 3 out of the 4 legs of this trip.

Anyway, back to the Go-Go Babyz. It basically turns your car seat into a piece of wheely luggage that your child can ride in like a stroller. You attach a single piece that is a board/wheels/handle, strap your little darling in, and away you go. Clearly it's cool, and I had a lot of parents stop me to ask about it. I also noticed a lot of parents lugging bulky car seats on their backs or balancing them on the top of strollers - neither of which looked very convenient/pleasant.
But I thought I'd also mention a few "negatives." 1. Your little one sits very low to the ground. And many times my fellow "in-a-hurry" travelers didn't see Natalie "way down there" and bumped into her. 2. Dismantling the thing to use your car seat on the plane and then putting it back together again to use while in the airport is not an easy task. 3. The TSA guys were not thrilled that the carseat/wheels combo would not fit through the x-ray conveyor belt dealy. Of course, I played dumb about the fact that the wheels could come off, and the entire thing was scanned by hand.

Hope at least one of those tips were helpful. Happy Traveling!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No Fooling ... We're Flying ... Again!

This is no April Fool's Day joke. Yes, friends, we're at it again! Natalie and I are flying cross-country ... just the two of us ... for a little fun in Virginia. That's a 4 hour flight to Chicago, a 2 hour layover, and then a 1.5 hour flight to D.C. All starting at 6:40 am, which means we leave the house at, what we affectionately refer to as, the "butt crack" of 4:40 am. Ugh! What am I thinking?

At least I know we are capable of such adventures. It's not like we haven't flown before. I made a list of all the airplane/port travel I've done with Natalie in the short 20.5 months she's been alive ... let's just say we've logged quite a few hours of flight time!
  • November 2007 - SEA to STL - Natalie's 1st flight (about 3,400 miles RT)
  • December 2007 - SEA to STL - Celebrating Christmas with family (about 3,400 miles RT)
  • January 2008 - SEA to IAD - Introducing Natalie to her family in VA (about 4,800 miles RT)
  • June 2008 - SEA to STL to DEN to SEA - 3-leg trip home and then to Denver (3,500 miles total)
  • August 2008 - SEA to IAD - Litsas/Clouden Wedding (about 4,800 miles RT)
  • This one included a layover in Newark that almost made me never travel with Natalie again!
  • December 2008 - SEA to STL - Celebrating Christmas with family (about 3,400 miles RT)
  • April 2009 - SEA to IAD - Jackson/Giles Wedding (about 4,800 miles RT)
And the list continues ...
May 2009 - SEA to DEN - Bad Girls' Reunion '09
That's right, we have one more trip planned before I have to start buying a seat for Natalie ... we are heading to Denver again for another annual Bad Girls' Reunion at the end of May.

Miles flown so far ... a whopping ... 28,100. Seriously, is that all? That's not even enough miles to redeem for a free flight. Well, it certainly seems like at least 100 times that many! Perhaps it would be more interesting to calculate the HOURS spent traveling ... to the airport, through security, waiting to board, in the air, during layovers, waiting to board again, to baggage claim, from the airport, ... whew, I am tired just thinking about it!

Through this ridiculous amount of travel, I have managed to acquire a few tips for traveling with a toddler. But I think I'll post those later because right now I have a huge hot pink suitcase waiting to be packed!
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