Saturday, April 25, 2015

Trip Triumphs and Fails

Plane activities:
Going off how pleased I was with myself for the snack box I made
Andrew for our flight to Austin (14 months old) I smugly thought I'd have
this Hawaii flight. No problem. He is different now than he was in October.
His attention span has improved exponentially and he is also more
reasonable. Um, exponentially accelerating from near zero still isn't that
long and, while reasonable at times, he takes his independence very
seriously. I packed him a super awesome tiny backpack. It had new sticker
books, a new book, his snack box from October, two of his little shape
matching toy boats and an historically favorited book. I even went over the
top by putting clementines and Cheerios into Easter eggs! He wasn't having
any of my shenanigans on the flight. Michael gently suggested that I tried
too hard on the flight out. Could be. He was just a grump, not too wretched
but a major grump. (*He did AWESOME on the flight home though, he enjoyed
his backpack, stayed in his car seat for 90% of the flight and was generally
in better spirits...he needed the vacation I guess)

Not Enough Clothes:
We wound up checking two bags and yet we all wound up not really
having sufficient clothing. Beach vacations are tricky because there are
multiple wardrobe changes per day and sometimes things were too soggy or
stinky for immediate re-wear. It was NBD though...we were in Hawaii, we just
wore dirty clothes.

We lucked out/splurged in finding a one-bedroom unit for only a
little more per night than the studio condos and it was AMAZING! We had
stayed at this hotel/condo complex when we went to Maui in 2013. It is
individually owned units being managed by a hotel company. It isn't fancy
(our studio was decidedly unfancy) but the beach is close and the pool is
closer. Getting the one-bedroom was such a luxury. We could put Andrew to
bed at night and then Michael and I could stay up and talk or watch a movie,
and hang out just the two of us. Having a kitchen was also great, we did at
least one and sometimes two meals per day in the room or on the property
which cut costs and frustration.

(Insanely Wasteful) Kids Water Bottles:
Arrowhead sells tiny, disposable water bottles for children. DUMB,
right? Wrong (although obviously at home we wouldn't go this route). They
were fantastic. His backwash contaminates water bottles pretty quickly so
the small size was great. Plus they had caps that couldn't be removed (so no
refills :() and didn't have any small parts which meant he was safe to keep
one all the time. I read that toddlers and the elderly are strangely bad at
hydrating so we tried to make drinking water as accessible as possible.

Snap & Go Stroller:
I worried this was probably a parenting fail developmentally since
Andrew is too old and too interested to be reclined in an infant car seat,
especially on the go but it was outrageously convenient. A bonus was that
since the beach tired him out like nothing I've ever seen we got to enjoy
something we haven't in nearly a year- sleeping baby car transfers! The
first day we spent at the beach we transferred him from car to stroller to
busy restaurant and proceeded to eat lunch while he slept. We also could use
it as a beach supply wagon. I didn't feel too badly about him missing out
because we had...

The Lillebaby carrier:
This was awesome. We went for walks on the beach in it, we took
little hikes in it, we managed through super touristy areas with it. He got
to see everything and I got to be face to face (or face to back of the head)
with him as he did.

Someone's having a blast!

Inflatable Punchy Bag Balloon
I bought these as New year's party favors and they are the best $2
I've ever spent! We brought it deflated and blew it up in the condo. It is a
fun toy that moves slowly enough that I was never concerned about property
damage. We got to have our standard family balloon games every night just
like we were home. Choosing which and how many toys to bring was a packing
challenge but this balloon was a no-brainer and now lives in the diaper bag.

Red Box:
I SAW SO MANY MOVIES! We watched a movie four of the five nights I
There we many reasons not to go. We were all sick and had been sick.
I had work stuff going on that required hustle to be free to go. Michael had
a new job that he had to put off for a week. Hawaii is so expensive. But it
was the absolute best trip. We had great weather, great family time, great
couple time, great mommy/son time, great daddy/son time..

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Whoa weekend

This weekend ended with a bang.

Started out pretty good. Andrew was home with a sick tummy on Thursday and not ok'd for daycare on Friday. I used that opportunity to take Andrew back to the ER to get his stitches taken out.

He did a great job and was rewarded with a cookie.

Then we went to visit Michael at his new office and out to lunch.

Then Andrew and I headed to the super fun children's museum nearby. I've been to this one many times with my Niblings over the years and with Andrew once. It is really fantastic but I've only been there on the weekend when it is really busy and the kids have to wait/share everything. It was nearly empty which was fun. Andrew's favorites included a little house with 6 lights switches (a toddlers dream), a ball blower and supreme to all other activities, a huge water play area.

Saturday started with a ridiculously lame cloth diaper change event. Ann-marie and I changed our children's diapers together in a room with 38 other people changing their babies. Yep. That's what we did.

But the day was redeemed by having them over to bbq.

(I did a piss poor job of taking pics-got none)
Then I crafted a bit and was so excited about the bag I made my mom.

Sunday. Sunday's headline was this:

Someone ran a red light and hit us. We are ok. Andrew's brand new seat we installed last weekend will need to be replaced, the car will need to be replaced but we are all here.

That shit was scary. Airbags, fumes, the horror in our guts the second before looking back at Andrew.

So now we are sitting here, sore, freaked and eating pizza. Beyond grateful for what did happen and a bit queasy about what could have.

Here is where I wax poetic about love and life and how fast things can change but I'm tired. I'd rather just lay here next to Michael and watch tv with our son sleeping in the next room.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

I had a great and awful weekend.
Friday night was neutral. I was still feeling sort of run down and crappy and losing my voice for no reason. I did find time to craft a few little trinkets to send to a special birthday girl and her sibs.

And this for daycare just cuz I saw it on facebook.

Saturday was fun! Despite some sleeping antics from all three of us (M is getting up at 3am to do something for work, A set off his crib alarm and it disturbed him, me I don’t really know) we managed to pull it together. We went to a car seat clinic to FINALLY get a stubborn seat installed in my car. This meant we officially said goodbye to the infant seat. I am going to miss it so much.
That afternoon we headed to Seattle. A’s daycare was doing a “Parent’s Night Out” and the plan was hang out the 3 of us in Seattle for a bit and then drop him off and go to the Pompeii exhibit, grab some dinner and pick him up. We were a little short on time but we managed to do a walking tour of the water features at Seattle Center and the PSC. We showed Andrew the giant fountain and watched children get soaking wet in the cold. The. We went into the court yard of the Pacific Science Center (PSC) and ate soft pretzels and looked at the water features and dinosaurs there.

We then whisked andrew to MightKidz and went back to the PSC for the main event, the Pompeii exhibit. It was fun and interesting although the focus was more on ancient roman civilization and I would have preferred more about the disaster and how the city was uncovered.
Only picture I got on Saturday

Then, as Michael noted keeping with the hot molten substances theme, we went to fondue and ate melty cheese and chocolate.
We picked up a happy baby and headed home. It was a perfect afternoon.

Sunday did not go so well. I felt like absolute crap in the morning. I couldn't even Zumba! But I slept it off and we started to pull it together. We decided to grab coffee and go for a walk on the trail, a favorite activity of ours.
Andrew happily ran ahead in a particularly pedestrian hazard free area. All was peachy until he took a fall. It was his typical fall- body going too fast for his legs- happens all the time. But when I walked over to check him out I saw a pointy little rock right below his face. Then his little face looked up to me with blood running down it. He had taken that rock right between the eyes and had a big gash. Michael grabbed a tissue and I held andrew and the tissue while he ran and got the car. The bleeding stopped pretty quickly which was a huge relief to me. Then I could trade worry for guilt and sadness that I couldn't hold him in the car and that he was scared. Three hours, injectable lidocaine and 6 stitches later we were on our way. Starving (is there a law that says you wind up in the ER when you're hungry?) we took our happy little trooper for a MOD pizza (he insisted on walking).

Now I'm sad that he has such a big cut right in the middle of his face. Yes, kids heal well but it's going to take a while to bounce back from a six stitch sitch.
36 hours post stitch

Michael and I have spent the week on the whole spectrum of -holy shit an inch either way would have been an eye- if only we hadn't done the perfectly reasonable act of going for a walk- what have we done to put baby. For his part Andrew has been really great, doesn't seem to be in pain, does ok leaving his bandaid alone.

An injury/ER visit was inevitable. And I'm glad I wasn't particularly worried about him as I might have been for something infectious or more major but right smack in the middle of the face was a pretty spectacular showing.

He looked especially trashy when we got home on Monday. Ugly bandaid, filthy clothes and face, covered in glitter with his hands stained from construction paper. But damn that kid can shine through it all (at least to me)

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Sunscreen Review: Riemann P20

For years I had this item on my Amazon wish list. It has been many years so I’m actually not even sure where I heard about it initially. But it honestly sounded like the holy grail of sunscreen.
Riemann P20

The formulation at that time was touted to last all day and allow you to tan through it slowly even when you’re in and out of the water. At the time, that sounded perfect. But I hemmed and hawed because, while apparently Brits love this stuff, it is not available in the US and is not approved by the FDA. Many people I told about it talked about how the FDA is often not reliable and Europe is rigid as well (this company is Danish). But my go-to anecdote for why animal research is a necessity is the story of Thalidomide. It was approved in Europe while a woman at the FDA insisted more teratogenic studies needed to be done. She was right. But obviously they do OK over there and if I lived in London I’d probably pick this up at the druggist without blinking.

I gave up on it as years passed. I slowly got the message that tanning, while not as bad as burning, was not doing myself any favors. I tried to get good at using sunscreen not only to modulate tan but to prevent it.

But I have also been to the beach and on beach vacations with pale children enough times to know that the absolutely most annoying part is disturbing a little person who is busy having fun in the sun in order to reapply sunscreen approximately 10,000 times per day. So after I had my own little pale baby I started lusting after this all day sunscreen again.

I looked it up and it was still around, still very popular with the pale people of Europe, PLUS in the past few years, as UVA and UVB protection were both required they reformulated and now it was available in higher spf with both-so no tanning through it (sob). But it was still not available in the US.
I emailed the company and explicitly asked whether they had ever submitted to the FDA and if they had ever been denied by a regulatory body. They said no, they just haven't tried to enter the U.S. Market. Hmmm.

I couldn’t stand the suspense any more, I sold a kidney and ordered some rushed from the UK (shipping cost more than the sunscreen because of my hesitation) and took it to Maui to test it.

: Putting on sunscreen once per day will be more enjoyable than reapplying all the damn time.

Materials & Methods:
Three groups (n=1)

1-Amber- P20-spf15-lotion

2-Michael-P20-spf50-spritz bottle.

-Groups 1 &2 applied liberally once per day and did not touch up. The only exception was using any residual cream from group 3 on our faces every so often and occasionally applying a bit more to our necks after showering.

3-Andrew- conventional sunscreen control

-Reapplied Coppertone spf50 every 80-100 minutes until he hated us.


We all are basically the same skin tone as we were when we left (which I am ecstatic about for the boys and know I should be happy about for myself but can't fully shake wanting to come back bronzed). Funnily enough, the closest we had to redness was Andrew’s forearms because we had an afternoon that we weren’t vigilant enough when he was in the car (no babies were harmed in this study, luckily he was pretty pale the next day).

The only areas that got a little touchy were our shoulder areas. Which we thought could be from excess rubbing of our clothes and suits or just that those areas are more prone to over exposure.

It is crazy spendy. The spritz bottle led to more waste and it is basically gone after use by one person for a week. It also stained the brim of Michael’s shorts but that washed out pretty well at home.

This stuff is so cool. So either they've been lying to us and we don't need to reapply sunscreen (many, many sources to cite dismissing this possibility) or this stuff works and they are keeping it from us.

I think it will be my go to for myself and Michael was pretty happy too. My only hesitation is with Andrew. Do I trust it?

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

I felt pretty!

Man, I did not realize the random reason for how much good a tropical vacation would do me.
Despite wearing a bathing suit >50% of the time I felt really pretty during this trip.

The past few months, all of 2015 for sure, I have been feeling like the frumpiest of the frumps. Likely due to not being able to get in a rhythm of eating well/not working on weight loss/gaining weight. Compiled with the fact that my wardrobe has majorly tanked and I have stopped any attempts at dealing with my hair.

It was really bumming me out. Looking in the mirror or at pictures and just feeling ugly and unkempt gets old fast.

But on vacation I wore dresses every day. I wore bright colors and my toes were painted for the first time in over a year. After the first day I started to leave my hair down and the salt and chlorine made it fall just right. Not to mention wearing joy on your face brings everyone up a few notches (this alone doesn't cut it because I have many photos looking like a happy fug).

It is a wake up call. I need to try to feel that way more. I have a pile of slacks to take to be hemmed. I need to keep working on my quest to find comfortable shoes that look good. I need to dig out that mascara (buy a new one). I need to go get another hair cut and start doing my hair.

I also need to get some more salt and chlorine in my life.

Oh, and I need a flower delivered daily. Preferably one that my baby has picked up off the ground for me.

*i wrote this on the plane. In the two days I've been back I did my hair once and today I am riding second day hair which hopefully looks ok after I wake up a bit.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015


We just got back from a seriously great trip to Maui. In order to properly share and reflect on the trip I came up with this list of potential blog topics on the pane yesterday. Now, let’s be real, I’m a terrible blogger so many of these will likely never surface. But at least we will all know I have thoughts on them.

Vacation topics

Toddler flying prep
Trip triumphs and fails
Hair/self image
Sunscreen review
Vacationing same place versus new adventures.
Vacation benefits and drawbacks for my kid.
Vacation and being a tightwad.

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