Mardi Gras or Easter- it still Applies!

Ok, I’ll admit it- I am kind of starting to freak out… a bit… about our upcoming trip. My poor mother-in-law has had to answer a lot of dumb questions and listen to me musing over time change, luggage, and car seat napping all day. Thanks for your support, Momma C!

I am not concerned about Hula Girl’s schedule when we’re actually there. However, it’s going to be a long journey to reach our final destination. We’re flying out of a city that is 2.5 hours away from our house, so traveling there will be our first obstacle. Our current plan is for my mom to drive Hula Girl and me up there on Thursday so we can stop by my old school and visit my former coworkers. I am making sure to arrive there about 30 minutes after school is dismissed in hopes of missing the afternoon traffic rush and avoiding the germy germy children who will inevitably get their schoolchild sick germs all over my HEALTHY child. After this visit, my mom and I will take Hula Girl to dinner somewhere. Then we’ll go to our friends’ house for the night. Jonathan will arrive much later in the evening, as he will have to work that day. I expect he’ll also be in charge of dropping off our cat, Riley, with my grandma on his way.

Friday morning we will be with our friends, and Hula Girl will likely get a full nap in before we have to leave for the airport. I think I will be bringing a bottle and feeding her that way when we arrive at the airport. I can’t imagine trying to find a quiet, secluded place to nurse her before we get through security. This airport has, like, no place like that at all. So, a bottle we will bring! I scheduled our flight to be right during Hula Girl’s second nap time of the day. It is my intention to help her sleep on the flight, but my gut tells me it won’t happen. I plan to nurse her 15 minutes early to help her ears adjust as we’re descending.

When we arrive in San Diego on Friday afternoon, we’ll take the hotel shuttle from the airport. It will be quite a short trip, thank goodness. Our next adventure will be trying to find a way to get some food to eat (Mommy, Daddy, and Baby food). There are plenty of restaurants and grocery stores in the area, but they are just out of a short walk’s distance from the hotel. Never mind, we’ll figure it out.

Saturday is the day of my friend’s wedding. Hula Girl’s dress is absolutely cute on her. My one concern is that I have yet to purchase a little sweater to go along with the dress. It will happen. Sometime. Maybe I’ll even leave the tag on it just in case we don’t have to use it.

Saturday night will be amazing, thanks to my gorgeous, wonderful, amazing sister-in-law (who is still going to lose our Easter Egg Competition, no matter how attractive, fantastic, or great she is). She has kindly accepted our request that she come and babysit Hula Girl while we enjoy the wedding reception. I am looking forward to spending time with some of my favorite girls from college, and embarrassing myself on the dance floor. I have never danced at a wedding (mine was the exception-but it was expected!) and I haven’t really ever danced at a prom/party either. Let’s just say… there is a very good reason I avoid dancing in public. Or at all. I feel like a spaz, I look like a klutz, and I am really, really terrible at it. Nevertheless, I made Jonathan promise to dance with me. Who knows? Maybe his skills will rub off on me.

Sunday we will be staying at the hotel until Hula Girl’s first nap ends, and then we’ll be taking the final leg of our journey up to Ama and Papa’s house, which will be about a 2.5-3 hour drive. Again, I am attempting to schedule Hula Girl’s nap during travel time, but we’ll see how things go. All I can do is plan it the best I can and then pray it goes well and shrug it off if it goes differently than I expected!

Monday-Sunday we’ll be with my in-laws and we’ll be having a blast. Monopoly championship tournament Easter 2011, Easter Egg Competition 2011, and lots of laughter over the cute little girl we call Hula. Laissez les bons temps roulez! (I realize that phrase is typically applied to Mardi Gras, but it seems fitting here, too.)

Finally, the Monday after Easter, our little family will travel back home on another flight followed by a long car ride to our house. Let’s just hope the following week will provide relaxation and structure as we settle back in to our little life here.

Do you have any tips for traveling with a baby or thoughts on how to get through security fast?


My Best Friends’ Weddings

The kitchen is scrubbed, top to bottom. The laundry is *almost* done, including all the diapers. The carpets are vacuumed. The meals are planned, the grocery list is made, and we’re headed to the grocery store during Hula Girl’s next awake time.

It has been a productive day so far.

I have begun the process of looking for a place to rent in the new town, just in case Jonathan gets the job and it offers a decent salary. We are going through some major issues with our current place of residence, and we really want to move out. It is really frustrating to be dealing with everything we are dealing with, since we really are great tenants- we’re clean, quiet, respectful. I don’t think our land lady really understands how much we’re doing and how she should be treating us. Sigh.

I’m going to try out some new recipes this week. I’ve decided that since I’m going to be doing this whole “Mommy” thing for quite some time, I may as well learn to cook something other than our normal rotation. So this week, we’re going to have some new dishes, and we’ll be evaluating the likelihood of repeats. Here’s the menu for the week (dinners):

  • Monday: Fettuccine with Zucchini Sauce and Meatballs; Salad on the Side
  • Tuesday: Drunken Chicken over Rice with Broccoli
  • Wednesday: Herb-Roasted Chicken with Shallots; New Potatoes and Corn on the Side
  • Thursday: Turkey Burgers  and Savory Brussels Sprouts

Jonathan is cooking on Thursday. I don’t grill. I should clarify that turkey burgers are not a new dish for us. They’re just less frequent. Also, we don’t eat much red meat; the meatballs mentioned on Monday will be turkey meatballs.

I am really looking forward to the end of this summer when we can start harvesting yummy vegetables from our garden. We’re really going to enjoy the bounty! Today, I came across a lot of really tasty-sounding recipes utilizing the veggies we’re going to grow. I can’t wait to use the recipes and share them with our neighbors and friends! I sure hope we can actually grow some stuff…

Next weekend, Hula Girl and I will be taking a short trip to my parent’s house, just an hour and a half away. Jonathan has a mandatory work training on Friday and Saturday, so we will be missing him. However, it will be a lot of fun to see Grammy and Grampy, and to play with Hula Girl’s new toys! My mom purchased a little walking/riding toy for Hula Girl recently, and we’re so excited for her to try it out. She’s good at walking while she pushes the laundry basket around the living room. She’ll be walking all on her own very soon. It will be a good opportunity for her to practice her balancing skills!

The next weekend is when we leave for our trip to California, to attend my good friend’s wedding and to see the other grandparents, Ama and Papa. We’ll also get to see Jonathan’s sister (who is going to LOSE in the Easter Egg Competition), his aunt (who made the delightful quilt I mentioned in this post), and some other fun folks. I really hope we get to the beach one day, even though it is somewhat far from where we’re staying.  At least Ama and Papa’s house is a lot closer than ours is to the beach!

We will be spending 10 days in California, so two weekends. Then I will be spending the next weekend with my best friend and all of her closest friends as we celebrate her upcoming marriage by throwing her a bridal shower! I am really looking forward to treating my friend a bit, as she just really really deserves it. We got to have coffee together last night, and I really enjoyed our time together. We’ve never had one of those best friend relationships where every little detail is important. I don’t really care what kind of music she listens to. But we do know each other well, and we can discuss the bigger picture. I also noticed that our friendship has not suffered from lack of time spent together- in fact, our friendship is enhanced even more because it is well-seasoned with prayers and words exchanged in hard times and in glad times. I am grateful that God has placed my best friend in my life, even if I’m not the only friend “of honor.” 🙂

What is your favorite memory with your closest friend?

Breakfast for Dinner

I killed the microwave last night. I was cooking some turkey bacon to accompany my omelet. I put it in and cooked it, but when I checked it, it was still flimsier than I like. So, I decided to put it back in for 30 seconds. I closed the door, pressed the ‘3’ and then… the digital screen went black. I opened the door. The light did not come on. I unplugged and re-plugged the whole microwave. Nothing. I pushed the “Reset” button on the wall. Nothing. I checked the breaker. It wasn’t broken. The microwave is dead.

We just got this one, too! Less than 2 months ago! So, I have yet another reason to visit WalMart. We didn’t actually make it there yesterday because Hula Girl had such terrible naps and I had to try to force her to take a third nap. It was unsuccessful. But now I have more on my list anyway. We’ll have to go when Jonathan gets home so he can help lug the evil dead machine.

I just realized that “breakfast” is what broke my microwave… fast. Hm.

It was really nice and warm here today. I took the covers off the windows in the nursery and let the breeze blow through. Hula Girl and I enjoyed it very much! I have decided I need to start nursing her in different environments since we’ve got our trip coming up in a couple of weeks. I don’t want her to be hungry the whole day when we’re traveling because she’s too distracted to eat. The open windows did not prove to be a distraction this morning. We’ll see how she does in the living room this afternoon.

Hula Girl will be one year old in 10 weeks from today. Unbelievable.

What’s your favorite breakfast-for-dinner option?

I Smell, Like, Soap!

Today started pretty early- Hula Girl woke at 5:00, made some noise, and went back to sleep. Then we heard her at 6:15. Since she’s been on this antibiotic, she’s had really large, very frequent, very smelly (Jonathan tells me), very loose stools. TMI. I was really concerned that she might have had an early-morning bowel movement, and since she’s never really had diaper rash in her entire life, I didn’t want today to be the day. So I had Jonathan go check her diaper- nothing. But instead of putting her back down and coming back to bed until our normal wake-up time of 7:00, he just sat in her rocker and held her while she slept. So precious!

She has been in a great mood all day long. Smiling, giggling, squealing, bouncing up and down, and waving her little arms around have kept us all quite happy. Let’s hope her attitude stays great for this afternoon. We’re receiving some visitors from where we used to live!

Yay, Spring Break! Our visitors are not coming to our house (too germy) but we’re going to meet them somewhere. It’s a great family, whose eldest was in my class two years in a row (I taught her in 4th grade and 5th grade) and whose youngest is probably the kindest, most compassionate child to walk this earth. I “nannied” for this family a couple of summers ago, and it was a blast! The girls are so easy-going and pleasant. They are very well-mannered. Even though I’m sure they fight sometimes, I never even witnessed one squabble.

As I was showering in preparation for this  visit, I was steaming up the bathroom as much as possible (did you know sinus congestion can give the sharpest headaches known to man?), and I had a revelation: I could smell my soap. After a week of not smelling anything, it was the best smell ever. However, it was fleeting. But I am holding out hope that it is the forerunner of many wonderful sensations to come in the next few days.  I WILL kick this sickness.

Jonathan dug up the roots of an old tree in our garden this morning. It was very manly of him. I am so glad we get to share this project together. Gardening is turning out to be a lot of fun (even though I haven’t really participated beyond research and shopping for seeds yet). I’m looking forward to having something exciting to do while Hula Girl is sleeping this summer. She naps twice a day and goes to bed by 7, so we’ll have a LOT of time.

Here’s hoping I can smell something (or taste something) by tonight! What is your favorite smell?

Getting Things Done and Planning Vacation

Sickness. We’re riddled with it in our house right now. Fortunately it’s not the totally-incapacitating terrible-knock-you-down sickness. For me, at least, it’s just the stop-to-blow-your-nose-or-drink-a-sip-of-hot-tea sickness. That means I’ve actually gotten a lot done.

Part of that is that I’ve washed Hula Girl’s sheets after every single nap/nighttime sleep. She wakes up with boogies all over her sheets, and I feel bad putting her back down to sleep on stiff sheets. Fortunately she has 3 sheets for her crib, so I just peel off the boogified one and put on a fresh one after each sleep. I think it’s also helping her get better a lot faster.

Hula Girl really does seem to feel better this morning. She’s back to being pretty talkative (albeit raspy), she’s standing up and bouncing, and she’s dancing to her music. All in all, she’s about 60% back to normal. Still very infrequent smiling, not much of an appetite, but drinking a LOT of water (I warm it up in her sippy cup for her).

I told Jonathan the other day that I’m pretty sure Hula Girl will start walking soon after she’s kicked this cold. This morning, she had her doggie in one arm, and she stood up hanging on to her music table, and reached out for her Pooh Bear. She stood there with 2 stuffed animals in her hands, not hanging on to anything else for about 10 seconds. So cool! She’s definitely going to be walking soon. She’s mastered the art of cruising, to the detriment of the tissue box on the end table. She enjoys pulling it to the floor, grabbing lots of tissues out of it, and ripping them to shreds, which she then proceeds to eat. Needless to say, our tissue box has graduated to the computer desk.

In other news, we’re really looking forward to our trip out to California in April. Less than 4 weeks now! We’re going out to visit Jonathan’s family mostly, but we’ve got to stop in San Diego first for one of my best friend’s wedding! Hula Girl is going to walk down the aisle in the wedding (or be carried, either way) in this dress:

Too Cute!

I also got her some little sparkly white shoes and a white bow for her head. I think she’ll be adorable.

The rest of our trip will be spent with Jonathan’s parents and other family members. We are really excited to see his sister, his aunt (creator of a fabulous quilt, seen below), and possibly even my cousins and uncle.

Hula Girl’s schedule is going to be totally demolished while we’re on vacation. I’m anxious about that, but I already asked Jonathan to help me “just deal with it” and go with the flow.  The one thing I’ve really gleaned from her current illness is that she’ll snap back to whatever schedule we’re on really easily- we’ve done it since she was born! I hope to just enjoy our time, get her rest as needed, and enjoy our time. And enjoy our time. I also hope that Hula Girl will be friendly and not quite so wary of new faces. She’s got a major case of “stranger danger” and I don’t want all the relatives and friends to miss out on holding her and cuddling her while she’s still so little.

Anyway, here’s a picture of the quilt:

Soooo pretty- you should see the detail in this thing!

Do you have any traveling with a baby tips?

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