Category Archives: Random

We are back…

…and lots to catch up on. Coming up, I plan to write up recaps on:
Houston – Gymboree, the zoo, the Children’s Museum and the aquarium
San Antonio – the river walk, the Children’s Museum and the zoo (and Brackenridge Park)
Miami – the Seaquarium and the beach!
Until them, I’m working on getting a very awake one year old to sleep…dealing with jet lag is probably another post in and of itself.
Here’s a pic of Little Man enjoying his first shovel and bucket!

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What do babies eat when you’re on the go and want to stay clean?

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When I’m out for the day and I know I’m going to be feeding Little Man, I look for the “clean” foods. Mind you, a lot of these travel well and live in our nappy bag and I’ll replenish or freshen up as needed.
Carrots – raw or cooked
Green beans – steamed
Broccoli
(Any kind of steamed green veg, mostly)
Grapes (juicy, but clear juice if going for green grapes)
Biscuits
Plain pasta
Peas
Rice (can be mixed with veg)
Cereal (shredded wheat or puffed rice are current favourites)
Homemade banana and oatmeal cookies
Dried fruits – prunes, apricots, raisins
Sliced chicken or turkey
Omelet – I take one egg, beat it and put it in a pan with a little oil until cooked through then cool it and slice in strips. Little Man loves this
Rice cakes
Pieces of chicken, turkey or salmon without sauce or gravy
Bread roll (or any kind of toast, baguette, etc)
Tomatoes (surprisingly, but if they’re deseeded, they don’t leave too much of a mess)
Freeze dried fruit (strawberries and blueberries are currently a favourite)
Crèpes or pancakes – pick a country’s version (homemade ones without salt or sugar in them)
Dried fruits (Little Man’s loving prunes and apricots) – we get the organic ones without potassium sulfate
Any puréed baby food in one of those brilliant Tetra packs – Ella’s, Plum Organics, Organix, HIPP Organic…I don’t even bother with those screw-on spoons, Little Man sucks straight from the pouch.

What are your favourite snacks or lunch foods when you’re on the go and you don’t want to leave a mess?

To carseat or not to carseat? That is the question

Taxis…they sometimes feel like a necessary evil as a city dweller, even without your precious cargo of a little baby. When travelling, one of the questions we always ask is “Do we travel with the carseat or not?” It’s a bigger question than you think because you’ll be dealing with transportation to and from the airport (or train station, or ferry, or…) and also inter-city travel.

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There are many car services that now provide car seats if that’s all you need it for, so a Google search for just that (airport taxi car seat, car service airport baby, etc) seems to work for the bigger cities. A language barrier also may be an issue. How do you say carseat in Turkish, for example? (Ok, I can Google that too…but still…).
The other thing to consider is what you’re going to do with your carseat at the airport and your final destination – be it a restaurant, museum, or park. I don’t particularly want to be toting around a carseat when Little Man is much more comfortable sitting in his specific stroller seat or if you prefer to sling, like we do a lot when we’re out and about. There are travel system strollers that provide attachments to clip your infant carseat right onto the stroller but once your little one is bigger than his seat or you don’t want to travel with your big, often bulky stroller, you’re back to carrying around the car seat separately.
And if he hates his carseat? We can tolerate it and deal with that when we are just the thereof us in a car, but to subject a very unhappy baby to another person just seems cruel.
Most cities don’t require carseats in licensed taxis. The UK law, where we live, states just that.
In November, I went to Philadelphia from New York on the train to visit Little Man’s Grandma, aka my mom, and she had a car service pick us up. I was very specific with her to find out if they had a car seat, which they said they did, but when we turned up, I found out the seat was a toddler seat, not something that was appropriate for an 8 month old. So fortunately, the trip was maybe five minutes long and just 15 blocks away. (Moral of story – always be specific with the age of your child when requesting a car seat).
There has only one place so far that my husband was adamant about us using a carseat or public transportation because of the safety records of the taxis – Moscow. We actually took public transportation everywhere, including to and from the airport, and it was brilliant. In fact, every time my husband had travelled to Moscow before this past trip, he always took cars to and from meetings and hated every minute (hour) because of the traffic and lousy driving. This time, we took the metro and he had nothing but wonderful things to say about it. Maybe except for the number of stairs and carrying Little Man up and down in his stroller. I’m sorry if I’ve offended any of you who are either from or are living in Moscow with a different view, but this is my husband’s view of the taxi situation there.
But…back to carseats and taxis…we take the risk. I know there will be many of you readers shaking your heads at our decision, but we rarely take taxis in London and when we do it is usually after a day out and we don’t have Little Man’s carseat in our back pocket. When we travel, we typically take public transportation to and from the airport, and so we are having to deal with the car seat as a separate unwieldy beast on the train, along with our suitcases and stroller bag.
It’s a constant debate. I know I should be saying that, no matter what, always buckle up your precious cargo in a car seat, whether it is in a taxi or your own car, but there are times when it you don’t have enough hands for everything.
There always is another option – hiring a car seat at your destination. I’ve found a few services in the US and the UK (some also servicing some of Continental Europe) where you can hire anything and everything about baby, including car seats. That looks like a good alternative if you know you’re going to be hiring a car (all car rental places offer infant and toddler seats too) or getting lots of rides with people and you need the car seat for those journeys.
How do you deal with travelling and car seats?

Merry Christmas!

It’s Little Man’s first Christmas and we’ve definitely gone all out. We had the tree up and decorated about three weeks ago, Santa’s dropped off the presents, and the plans for Christmas dinner (my family) and Boxing Day (husband’s family) along with the dishes we’re making sorted. All of that and the tree is still standing and the presents still wrapped despite Little Man’s best efforts.
For those of you travelling over the holidays, I wish you the best of luck. I’ve never liked travelling over the holidays but when I have it’s always been uneventful and problem free. I hope the same for you.
If you’re travelling with little ones, don’t forget extras of everything – snacks, toys, clothes, chargers, batteries – and some good cheer.
And if you see Santa in the sky, give him a wave from Little Man.

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To travel or not?

What do you do if you have a sick baby and are planning to travel in 4 days? What actually constitutes as sick? Fever? Cough? Runny nose? Vomiting? All of the above?
We’ve got just that…plus a diagnosed chest infection from the doctor yesterday. Complete with some antibiotics too. Joy.
So, what does one do? Medically-wise, I’m not worried as we are heading to New York and the medical system there is top notch. Comfort-wise, I’m only really concerned by the airplane travel…as in what happens if he decides to start throwing up on the plane…I’ll have to make sure to bring clean outfits for Little Man and for me too. Practicality-wise, dealing with a sick baby at home is like a sick baby away.
Then the the sensibility that kicks in. When I’m sick, all I really like to do is be curled up on the couch or in bed watching crappy rom-coms or cheesy television. I know Little Man doesn’t have any preference on couch or bed or tv or movies, so I like to think his equivalent is curled up on mummy or daddy, getting big cuddles while trying to get some rest.
While that can be done anywhere, why put him through a seven hour plane ride, risk being thrown up on close quarters on the airplane (and wearing soggy, milky clothes for six hours), lose the comforts of our own home all to go to New York? We are going to be seeing family members, one of which is moving several states to the south that will make visiting a bit less convenient for our trips to the Northeast, and some friends with newborns, and see New York all gussied up for Christmas (do we risk the queues at Macy’s for that photo with Santa?).
On top of all of that, there is the airline and our tickets. We’re flying with air miles and we have to cancel at least 24 hours before the flight in order not to lose our miles and get refunded the taxes (minus a £25 admin fee). We are even given the opportunity to change our flight up to the time of travel with a doctor’s note saying he is unwell and then schedule the travel for when he is well. (That doesn’t work as we are tagging along with my husband for work, but it’s good to know).
Well, we’ve decided to wait for the weekend. Since we have until Monday night to cancel our flight, we will see if Little Man throws up over the weekend. If we can go more than 48 hours without vomit and a fever, we’re getting on the plane. So far, that clock has been reset…several times…fingers crossed he’s on the other side of the hill with this chest infection. One night without a fever down, at least.

What would you do with a sick baby and upcoming travel? How do you gauge when a baby is fit to travel?