Friday, May 28, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

We have been very busy lately and I have not had time to upload pictures or sit down with Josh's computer to post anything. Last weekend we flew to El Paso to celebrate the wedding of our friends Anthony and Paola. We had never been to El Paso before but had a great time. This trip came just 2 weeks after my last trip to Wisconsin, my kiddos are becoming regular little jet setters. :o) Now Josh's family is here visiting so maybe I'll get some time tonight or tomorrow to post otherwise it'll be a few days yet. I'm in the midst of figuring out our summer schedule - what we're going to do each day to stay sane and cool - and just found out about a free toddler zumba class on Thursdays the month of June. If anyone is interested in the details let me know and I'll hook you up!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mommy Tip #2 - Traveling

Well I made my first trip to Wisconsin by myself with both kids and it went extremely well! Roy loves having his own seat now and this time we didn't drag the carseat on board so he was able to sit in the big boy seat. He calls it a 'big boy pilot seat'. Lilli moved around constantly but was very well behaved except for a few minutes when she was just exhausted and we hit some turbulence, thankfully that plane was really noisy so I hope we didn't disturb too many passengers.

I did several things to try to keep this trip smooth here are some things that I thought helped the situation:

-bring a stroller with storage space - I had the choice between our umbrella stroller (not much storage underneath) and our Graco (a decent sized storage basket) and am glad I chose the Graco so I didn't have to carry our diaper bag and jackets everywhere we went it made running through the airport to make our connection a bit easier. And since no matter what stroller I brought I would have to gate check it, it didn't really matter that it was a bit bigger.

-stock up on "prizes" from the dollar store - I got this idea from a parenting magazine a while back and first did it with Roy when he was about 19 months old. Go the the dollar store and buy a bunch of goofy little toys and wrap them up for your child to open during traveling. My kids each got a prize when we got on the first airplane, after lunch in the airport, while we were waiting for the second airplane, and while we were in the air on our second airplane. The unwrapping part takes up some time so don't forget that part! My kids' favorites were a sticker book with stickers, a mini magna-doodle, and some little search and find books. Roy's favorite was Go-Fish, he really loves games and had never played before so it took up a lot of time in the airport.

-if you're unsure of the listening ability of your toddler, get a leash :o) - I swore I would never put my children in a leash but desperate times call for desperate measures and I was glad I had it. Lilli is a very independent child who loves to do things for herself. If her independence is taken away she is very vocal about her disappointment, so keeping her in control was crucial for our sanity on this trip. I knew she would want to walk and that Roy would want to ride in the stroller so the leash was perfect! It was a puppy backpack thing from Wal-Mart and was less than $10. She liked helping put the buckles together and held the beginning of her "tail" while I held the end. She only fell a few times for while wanting to go a different direction than me but she quickly learned that wasn't going to work. She became so attached to her little puppy she even wore it when she got home.

-only take one carry-on - It may take some creative packing but I was able to get extra clothes, 4 prizes for each kid, the portable dvd player, a case with dvds, my purse with my wallet and cell phone, some lotion and lip balm, wipes, diapers, wet-ones, and two milks all into my diaper bag. My diaper bag can be worn like a backpack which was great because it gave me both of my arms too!

-don't forget a change of clothes - We have been peed on, puked on and spilled upon many times while traveling. I make sure to pack an extra change of clothes for each kid and have had to resort to buying myself a new shirt once. There seems to be some law of physics where if you pack the extra clothes you won't need them but if you don't pack them you will encounter disaster and maybe some half naked children.

-check your car seats - We have traveling car seat bags for each of our kid's seats and they are amazing. When we get to the airport we just take the seat out, zip it up in the pouch and check it - for free!! Car seats are one of the few things left you can check for free. When packing is tight we've also stuffed the seats with diapers, presents, coats, make-up, and any other extras we can't fit in our suitcases and they still didn't charge us for them. I definitely wouldn't have been able to drag the car seats through the airport by myself.

-traveling toddler car seat strap - If you want to bring your car seat with you and have a rolling carry-on this is the product for you! Traveling Toddler We bought one of these for traveling with all 4 of us. We thought Roy would do best on the plane if he got to sit in his car seat so we brought it with us and used this strap to convert it into a stroller thing. He loved it, wouldn't get out of it, and even fell asleep in it at one point on a long lay over! It takes a little bit of time to adjust the straps but it was worth it for us! (I'll put up a pic of Roy in his car seat at the airport when Josh gets home with his computer.)

Because our family lives so far away we've been flying at least twice a year since we moved here which means Roy has flown at least 7 times and Lilli at least 5. Each time we're on planes or in cars for about 12 hours before reaching our final destination and have learned to pace our selves and our forms of entertainment. So whenever or wherever you do travel just make sure you have a plan before you go and take note from others who have gone before you!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oh What a Night

Tonight started out with the possibility of fun but ended with sadness and thankfulness. I was supposed to have a fun night out to dinner with some friends. Shortly after arriving at the restaurant my friend Jamie received a call from my husband. He accidentally hung up on her and that prompted me to check my phone to see how I missed his call... I hadn't.

However, I had missed a call from my mom. It was one of those messages I hate to get, my mom through tears told me to call her as soon as possible. A million things ran through my mind in the few seconds it took to dial her number, when she answered I immediately asked "What happened Mom, what's wrong?"

My grandmother died. My mom's mom who has been struggling with dementia and other health issues for a few years now died peacefully at my aunt's home several of her children around her. They weren't expecting her to die tonight but wanted to spend time with their mom. These are the moments that make it really difficult to be living so far from home. I wanted to hug my mom and hold her while we cried together but instead I had to hang up the phone.

A few minutes later came phone call #2. Josh told me he was on his way to the ER with our kids because Lilli had eaten some prescription medicine. We have all been sick in the past couple of weeks and Lilli got a hold of one of my medications, a cough suppressant, and opened the bottle. When Josh realized what had happened she had spilled some and had one in her mouth. He got it out but then she started coughing and threw up so he threw the kids in the car, shoeless and covered in vomit, and headed for the hospital. On the way he called Poison Control and they confirmed he needed to take her in.

I arrived at the ER a few footsteps behind them and as soon as we got her paperwork filled out they took us back to triage although the ER was full. Apparently poison control called them and told them we were coming, I overheard the nurse talking on the phone with them. The plan was to get her charcoal as soon as possible to neutralize her stomach and prevent the medicine from affecting her nervous system. In Josh's quick thinking he grabbed all the pills she had spilled and put them back in the container so we could count them and figure out exactly how many she had taken. She only had 1. Because we knew how much she had we were able to hold off on the charcoal and just have her observed for about 90 minutes before they let us go. Other than being covered in vomit she was her chipper, energetic, curious self and the Dr. was confident that she was in the clear.

Of course the sadness of tonight is obvious but there are many things to be thankful for. I am thankful that my sweet little girl is sleeping safely in the other room. I am thankful that my mom was with her mother when she passed away. I am thankful for cell phones and the ability to get news like this right away. I am thankful for Poison Control. I'm thankful for the Dr.s that made sure Lilli would be fine. I am thankful for my friends who took care of my bill at the restaurant. I am thankful for Holly who drove me to the ER and kept Roy occupied while Josh and I made sure everything was going to be OK. I am thankful for my family - those here in my home with me and those a plane flight away. I am thankful that this life isn't all we have. I am thankful for prayer.

And now I'm tired. This evening was supposed to be fun but it has been exhausting instead. I go to bed appreciating all that I have today because tomorrow is certainly uncertain.

Farm Day

We have a farm nearby called the World Hunger Relief Farm. A few weeks ago they hosted a Farm Day where they had several animals available to pet, a hayride, booths set up with different items for sale, organic lunches and groceries for sale, a play area for kids, and a craft area to make 'seed paper'. The kids loved being outside and having (mostly) free reign. Lilli was unsure of the large animals but Roy wasn't afraid one bit, he even tried to pick up a small chicken... I say "tried" because he actually dropped the poor thing! Before we left they each got a necklace made by one of the vendors, Roy chose a clown fish charm and Lilli chose a pig!

Petting the sweet little burrow... Lilli was giving him the cold shoulder.

Talking about petting the camel. Online it said they would have camel rides but I didn't see anyone riding them that day... I would have totally signed up for that!

Attempting to hold a young chicken. It looked like this chicken has seen better days.

Digging in the dirt with all the other kids.

Lilli pushing her friend Oliver around. She really loves Oliver!

Roy chillaxing with our friend Sam who just turned 1 a couple of months ago. It's fun to see him being sweet to other little ones!

Nothing like eating a muffin with a view of a goat!

Roy, Lilli, and Oliver enjoying their snack.

Watching the vendor make his fish bead into a necklace, after watching a little girl get one made he turned to me with his big blue eyes and said sweetly "Mom can I please get one of these?" How could I resist!