Saturday, March 31, 2012

In the sky...way up high.

We flew with Daddy from Cartersville to the PDK airport!  She was served refreshments and
even used her own lavatory "#2".  Please read post below and see what happens when you fly without
enough diapers on board.
In flight meal on the left and the ATL skyline above the sleeping babe on right.

Naked at the airport

Make shift diaper out of soft airport paper towels
Pee that was not stopped by airport paper towels
Daddy strip cleaning with airport paper towels
In daddy's shirt without any paper towels or diaper
Pee all in and on daddy's shirt, diaper run and back in Huggies...topless

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

NO Fly!

A frog can catch and eat a fly.  A person can fly.  However, my daughter became both.
Today, she morphed into a fly eating frog.

Sitting at our bay window, Lan was playing with our blinds.  The blinds had not been open since the "last time", so I decided to dust before I opened them.  I left Lan sitting by the window as I went to go grab our duster.  When I came back she was playing with the bottom blind.  No problem!  I love looking down to check on her and seeing that one-of-a-kind smile.  Except this time her smile was blocked by her balled up fist. This "look" meant that she was once again vacuuming and sucking up anything in her path.  I rushed to grab whatever she had planned to eat.  Before I could get to her hand, something bounced off her tongue and onto the window seal.  A dead fly.  How it came to its demise...we will never know.  I like to believe that Landyn pulled a Mr. Miyagi with her small, chubby fingers.  But the stiff fly was more than likely a victim of last summer...cause unknown.  This mommy is excited she didn't eat any part of the fly.  AND that her tongue is free of larvae!

Parents: do tell your own follies, this Momster needs your feedback!  Do share.

The fly croaked.  Please note all body parts are still intact! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Travel Hunt

I consider myself a treasure hunter.  My booty is travel deals.  I sparkle like diamonds and shiny coins when I find the X!  What map do I use to get to the X?  A host of websites.  I check out the following sites daily:
airfarewatchdog.com
travelzoo.com
shermanstravel.com
vrbo.com

Since we are going to Europe, I am frequently checking ryanair.com, too.

Cash Cuts to Consider:
Create your own itinerary.  Escorted tours are crazy expensive.
Travel with family or a group of friends.  We are splitting a house, car/gas, and food.
Find FREE entertainment.  Check out calendars online for your destination city.
Go during the off-season.  Late May, early June counts!
Fly while your children are FREE.  2 and under ride on lap or in bassinet provided.  Taxes charged.
Book early OR last minute.  I've done both and find best deals last minute.
Don't pay for checked bags, pack light.
Ask for upgrades.  I have never gotten one, but I always ask!
Take pictures as souvenirs.

I dedicate this post to those of you who asked!



The Look

She's already starting to roll her eyes @ her crazy M&D.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fishdow

We made our own fishbowl out of Lan's bedroom window!
Guess it would be more like a fishdow.
The fish is made out of a painted, plastic 2 liter soda bottle.  Easy to make, but I didn't.
He swam from The Bahamas in a sea of clothes...thanks to my carryon.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Skip Trip

skip trip:
traveling to a location extremely close to home by way of a hop, SKIP, or jump.

We enjoyed a nice skip trip to our local aquarium.  Though I prefer to travel to foreign lands, I pride myself on finding local, FREE attractions.  This past week I decided gas prices were too high, so I refused to buy gas for 7 days.  This may seem easy to some, but I only had 38 miles left in the gas tank for those 7 days!  Going to downtown Atlanta was out of the question for obvious reasons.  That's when I decided to make up the word and definition for skip trip, and take a skip trip around our city, Hiram (pronounced HI-RUM).

The insane amount of pollen kept our trips to inside destinations. That's how we found the local aquarium!  I remember when I was younger visiting a similar aquarium!  At that moment, I was reliving my childhood with my child beside me.  I am sure most of you visited the same aquarium when you were younger, in several different locations and times.  It's the place where you could touch and knock on the glass and NOT get reprimanded.  Best yet, you could take one of the exotic swimmers home!  That's right, our skip trip was to the Wal-Mart fish tank wall!  I had no idea that some Wally World's still carried fish.  It was just like I remembered it.  Lan was just as excited as me!  She watched and tapped the glass, even making fishy faces at one point.  I kid you not, we stayed and played for a good 30 minutes! I came close to buying her one of the $0.38 gold fish, but decided against it.  Buying a pet is a family decision, and a BIG responsibility.  Cody just laughed at me when I told him that I wanted to talk to him before I made such a purchase.  However, we did pick out our favorite fish in the tank and adopted him.  His name is Dada.  Landyn's pick and the only word she says.  Who needs to take him from his friends and home, when we can visit him whenever we want for FREE and with no RESPONSIBILITY?!  Best skip trip, all week!

I am down to 8 miles in the gas tank, but it was worth it to see the old school fish tank!
7 days are up and it is time to buy gas.
CHALLENGE: Give up gas for a week and tell me about your own skip trips!  
The Aquarium!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Nosey

I have found the perfect, unsanitary, and dangerous teething toy for Lan.  The nasal bulb.  You know the rubbery syringe used for sucking snot out of a little one's nose.  It has a long, pointed end that could be used to poke her eye out or even get semi-lodged in her throat.  Unsafe, yes... yet soothing for the both of us.  Not only is it great for teething, but for diaper changing!  I have learned to change a diaper on the move with twists and turns, grabs and pulls...but now with bulb in hand, she is motionless!  THANK YOU snot bulb!  She only gets the pleasure of the bulb under my supervision.  I'm not that bad of a Momster!  I guess I'll add that it was clean, too.

On to more nosey facts.  Lan draws attention when she sleeps in public.  She doesn't snore or make any noises...it's the way she falls asleep.  It's quit simple.  Give her any soft blanket to nuzzle (rubbing her whole face with the blanket) and she is OUT!  Great, right?!  Except when we are in public.  I have every white, haired grandma stop me to tell me that my daughter is smothering, even though her nose is not covered.  "You need to pull the blanket off her face."  That's the most common command we receive from the Golden Girls look alikes!  Some even do it themselves!   Because I respect those old ladies, I move it. And then my tired gal starts crying.  Secretly, once the grandma turns her back, I put the blanket back on Lan's face and all is dreamy again.  It doesn't bother me much, because I know I am going to be that NOSEY white, haired grandma one day...or on an episode of What Would You Do.  

    
The Bulb of  Motionless! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Map!

Found! I snagged a fantastic canvas map while I was out and about.  It will be excellent for teaching Lan about geography.  I am going to place it in a prominent place in our home...which may be odd considering it is children's artwork.  For us, it fits perfectly.  I am thinking it will go nicely in our dinning room with our yellow table, black miss matched chairs, and odd place settings.  Not that we have any of that, but it is what I have in mind for the future!  I am one step closer to my trendy and eccentric dinning room!

Momster?

momster:
noun
1. not living up to my own expectations of motherhood.
NOT a cross between mobster and monster.

You're welcome for expanding your vocabulary of made up words.

Poor thing needs help, for sure.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

iSpy

Down to ground!  That was the plan.  I saw her eyes scan the area right where I was standing.  Quickly, I dropped to the floor before her eyes found my presence. It was pure planning to keep her sight obscured by fluffy, white mesh.  And just as fast as she felt me in the room, she was back to slumber, nuzzled up to the fluffy, white mesh that surrounded her crib.  See, I am a spy.  It's what being a mom is all about.  Stay in the shadows and be on alert at all times.  I am better at staying in the shadows, peeking in on Landyn when she least expects it.  I have been known to hit the floor, crawling out of her room.  I often laugh at myself over the things I do to make sure Lan is safe.  That was until she became a shape-shifter.  She has shifted into a mobile, climbing, spinning, jumping, daredevil of a child!

Today, I failed to be on spy alert.  While at Target's snack bar, my stroller laying 8 month old, grabbed and pulled herself out of her  stroller by way of dangling chip bags.  This landed her onto the hard ground below.  Her fall was softened by said chips and the lip of an end cap.  I caught her leg just in time to do nothing.  Frantically, I checked her out. And then I did it again.  I morphed back into the dreaded role of self-proclaimed Momster. I should be blogging about how not to become a Momster.  I slowly calmed myself down and noticed she only had a little scratch on her forehead, that was it!  Not satisfied with her smiles and playfulness.  I took her immediately to the second best place for injury assistance...The Target Pharmacy!  The pharmacist actually did look her over and gave me advice from a mom's point of view.  I felt better after she reassured me that it was a small fall and that it probably wouldn't even leave a bump.  Small Fall?  It was like diving head first off the summit of Mt. Everest to this spy mom on 24/7 watch...

I just woke my mountain climber to cuddle with her and make sure she wasn't in any pain (besides teething).  Now back asleep, I silently pray that the only thing hitting the ground anytime soon... is ME  

    
She caught me!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Portable Babe

We've been traveling, state side.  Literally, we went next door to the state on Georgia's left.  ALABAMA!  Poor state is the root of almost every southern joke.  But it is my favorite place for a weekend visit.  Mostly, because my family members are still residents of the state.  Are they redneck?  NO.  DO they play the banjo?  NO.  DO they have branches on the family tree?!  YES!  These are questions I am asked frequently...  mostly coming out of the mouths of other "southern folk".  Funny.

Packing list for AL:  5 diapers, travel wipes, 2 bottles filled with water, box of formula, 2 baby food pouches (lasts 4 days), teething meds, hair bows, pink chucks (shoes), and onesies (it was HOT).  And that is it.  I stayed 2 nights & 3 days.  Did I need any extras while I was there?  Yep.  Diapers.  Did I buy any?  Nope.  GranGran has her own stash.  Toys?  Shoe strings and water bottles keep Lan busy in play.

These weekends are getting me ready for our BIG and daring packing adventure for the 14 day European excursion.  Obviously, babies are light cargo right now & easily portable.  No excuses for not traveling state side.  It may take longer to get somewhere, but that's half the adventure!  No money?  Save for 3 years like we did/had to do!
Bis Spater!

The Alabama family.  Now you know why it is easy for me to pack light!
The #1 is a tradition.  Some throw up peace signs we throw 1s.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Split Open

So, I lived up to my self proclaimed Momster title.  As normal, we were out and about. Tuesdays are our Tacos and Target get together with some friends.  We walk around seeking deals, while our daughters coo and grab at each other.  However, today was different.  Lan was super cranky and full of cries.  This is opposite of her usually happy and cheerful personality.  I figured she was going through another growth spurt.  And the best thing to do?  Feed her!  In 4.5 hours, she had two 8 oz bottles and NO nap.  So we continued our walk with my little screamer.  This was a new route and seemingly safe.  And as fast as that thought passed...A lady driving a Town&Country stopped to tell us to be careful, that a woman had just been abducted days before, right in the spot we were standing.  Even better my friend continues to add that a woman was murdered on a bike trail just a few blocks away.  Quickly we pushed our strollers to our next destination, Aldi.  Aldi is a European grocery store that my family frequented while living in Heidelberg, Germany.  I was in search of Germany bread.  In exchange for my wonderful friend assisting me in learning and practicing German, I was to cook an authentic German meal.  BUT, I found nothing I could use.  However, Landyn did relieve her excess fluid by throwing up two bottles of formula right by an unfriendly cashier.  I hear another lady ask the grumpy cashier to get a mop for the milk spill (due note that I offered to clean up the mess, but the cashier said she didn't have any paper towels that I would have to get some out of the bathroom...which only had a hand dryer)!  We headed out, and hurried back to our normal walking route.

Thus far I had found out that my baby was uber upset, a woman was abducted on our not-so-smart-walking-route, and that my daughter could throw-up what looked like a gallon of milk (super proud)!   Landyn started crying again, as we were heading to the car.  At the Target crosswalk it hit me.  I stopped.  Her crying was just not making sense to me.  I knew what to do, so I took my half clean hand and checked her little gums for any signs of teething.  It was there.  A sharp, shinny, perfect little-white-tooth peek-a-booing!  The tooth had already split open and made it's home on her bottom gum line.  This explained the whole day!  I teared up, thinking how bad my baby was in pain, and that her mom missed the signs of her 1st tooth.  More hidden tears...she's growing up too fast.  Super mom activated and  I darted into Target to the pharmacy area with my screaming teether.  I grabbed baby Orajel and immediately tore through the package to give my baby some relief, shards of cardboard on the floor.  Next, I grabbed the infant Tylenol and she took it like a champ.  I even picked up some teething toys, and opened it!  As a nice Target lady eyed me the whole way to check out, I was relieved to know that my daughter was not in distress anymore, though it did add to my stress. It was the prefect ending to such a crazy day.  Now to add teething paraphernalia to our packing list!
Hiding her tooth!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My World.

Is an infant portable??  Can you experience the world while taking care of your little world?  How do you  travel light?  When do you go?  What do you take?   In 3 months, I will be embarking on a new journey to discover the answers.  As of now, I am using my own personal travel experiences to guide me. I have traveled to 30 different countries, some multiple times.  Yet, this will be my first trip to a foreign country with my daughter.  Here in America, it is simple to pick up your baby and GO!  I rarely take anything other than her diaper bag and a few changes of clothes, knowing I can pick up any item I need at a local store.  Being a stay-at-home mom, I have the leisure of going wherever I want at anytime.  So lately, I have challenged myself to pretend that I am in a foreign country (even practicing my German).  I have downsized my awesome stroller to a more European friendly umbrella stroller.  I've started carrying all the items I would need for Landyn throughout a normal day.  This has helped me log the amount of diapers, formula, and baby food (I am going to use the new squeezables, they are less messy and lighter to carry), that we would need for a typical day.  We plan on taking all we need for Lan with us.  Cody and I are light packers, so we be taking carry ons only.  Also, Lan will be riding on our laps during the flight.  Great news, if you ask a flight attendant for a bassinet, they give you one to use during the duration of your flight... for FREE!  This would be the perfect opportunity to proclaim:  I AM FRUGAL!  I am addicted to traveling, so in order to fill the addiction, I must cut corners, find deals, and plan!  I prefer to embrace the culture I am visiting rather than be a tourist just checking out the sites and eating at McDonald's (they are everywhere).  With that said, it helps us enjoy our travels and makes them more memorable and affortable.  I'll be tackling the above questions in the next few days.  Suggestions or advice, welcomed!  

Strollin'

I'm pretty sure my daughter is a thief.  After shopping and buying large quantities of necessities at my grandpa's favorite store, Wal-Marks.  I rushed to load all my groceries into the car.  I was trying to beat the fast moving black clouds notorious for bringing thunderstorm rain.  Drops were beginning to fall on my face.  Quickly, I grab Landyn from her awesome Graco stroller.  This stroller rocks!  It has a wide cargo basket below the seat and a sun visor that can be manipulated into a wind shield or in this case an umbrella.  The handle is great for bag hangers and adjusts to different heights.  I'm short.  Husband, tall.  Best yet, it enables me to not have to use a bacteria infected shopping cart!  As I lift the stroller's make shift umbrella, I am surprised to find my smiling daughter hugging a 6 pack of toilet paper.  I grab my nuzzling, toilet paper hugging daughter, and put them both in the car.  Buckled in with the her prized stolen swag beside her, I jump into my seat right in time to miss the flood.  I reach back and grab the TP.  My first reaction:  Great. It was a generic brand.  We actually needed toilet paper, but not that kind.  Sad, I know.  But honest!  Second reaction:  How was my 7.5 month old able to man handle such a big item.  Third reaction:  Do I have to get my daughter out in the pouring rain to go back in and pay for the stolen item?

Starting the car, windshield wipers, and our favorite alphabet music blaring, we were headed home.  I was aiding and abiding a criminal.  Such a sweet, innocent, and STRONG thief, with a smile that lights up even the cloudiest of days!  In all seriousness, my daughter is no thief.  For today is the day that she will be cleared of all charges!  We are off to Wal-Marks to pay for the already opened toilet paper.  If only we had a receipt.  I know where it is, but once again my daughter did not mind the gap and the bag with the receipt is now home to a swaddled diaper in the bottom of a dumpster.    I'm sure the Wal-Marks will still accept our money and apology.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mind the GAP!

I lock memories.  Most the time, I use pictures to get the job done.  However, in England it was a phrase that locked into my memory.  MIND THE GAP!  If you are familiar with the phrase then you KNOW.  You know that this has nothing to do with clothing, or actually having to mind anyone.  It's actually a warning to alert passengers on the Underground, to not "fall" onto the tracks below. I never came close to hitting the tracks, but the phrase stuck with me!

Now that I am a mom to Landyn, I have realized that I use my locked travel memories to parent.  Just yesterday during church, my darling decided to urinate all over a nursery worker, after she had already thrown up in between the nice lady's toes.  With apologies and secret laughs, my husband walked Landyn out to our car and buckled her in for our 30 minute ride home.  Landyn loved this car ride, we could hear her giggling and playing.  We were all singing to some awesome alphabet music when all of a sudden I began to taste a rank smell.  I glared at my husband and asked him why he didn't at least roll the window down.  I obviously blame all bad smells on him.  He pleaded that it wasn't him, and soon the smell and taste disappeared.  Living in the south, it happens all the time to blame spouses for smells that are actually coming from distant chicken houses/trucks, dog food plants, or paper mills.

Once we arrived home, I ran in to make dinner.  Cody, the husband who gets blamed frequently, was bringing in our daughter.  As I was starting to simmer some veggies, I hear my husband yell for help.  I rounded the corner to see him running upstairs with our daughter at arms length from his chest. Our precious daughter was smiling with poop on her hands, feet, and legs...not to mention obvious areas.  The smell returned.  Our daughter has pooped what smelled like the south.  It was her, the whole time.  I grabbed my naked girl and set her in the bathtub for a spray down.  Cody handled the clothes.  Success!  UNTIL, I found my husband outside on our front lawn with Landyn's car seat and base.  He was washing it down and asking neighbors to join in the fun.  They declined.  Landyn had not minded the gaps in her diaper.  See, she is stuck in-between a size 2 and 3 diaper right now, so in her 2s she pees and poops out the top of her diaper.  In her 3s, the liquid and solids come out of the gaps on the sides of her legs, where the diaper sags.  My husband and I tell each other to mind the gap, when we are changing our daughter.  We know that though we are alerting each other of gaps in our daughters diaper, that things will still fall onto the floor, bed, car seat, jumper, ladies laps, etc..  Nonetheless, it makes us excited to know that one day soon we can take our daughter, and all her gaps, to England, where she can mind the gap and not have anything fall through!

Here's to hoping my daughter grows into the 3s before we set out for Europe!
Until then: MIND THE GAP!
Before the spray down

Friday, March 9, 2012

Welcome to THE Landyn Zone

I've been know to get into "the zone";  zone defense,  Twilight Zone, time zones, even Auto Zone.  But nothing prepared me for the Landyn Zone.  Seven pounds on 7/17 at 7:55 PM beamed me instantaneously into the parent zone.  I knew exactly what that meant.  I had to change, immediately.  I was too adventurous, traveled way too much, and even owned a fly ride (people still say that, right?).  Parenting meant trading in your interests, fun, and friends.  I was ready. We'd been praying for this moment for over three years!  When I was wheeled back to my recovery room, after a LONG labor and c-section, I couldn't feel IT.  I couldn't feel the change I had expected.  I assumed it was from my allergic reaction to morphine.  However, weeks went by and I still had yet to feel IT.    The feeling that I was in the parent zone.  Friends visited, I had fun, and I even began to dabble in some of my OLD interests.  I was beginning to think I was a horrible parent.  I felt guilty for not feeling overwhelmed or stressed out due to our new family member. She just added more fun to our festivities and trips.  I prayed for understanding and direction.  Then it happened.   In the left seat of a helicopter, holding Landyn in my lap, we slowly watched the safe landing zone come into sight,  and that is when I realized that my family was in a different zone.  THE Landyn Zone.  We parent just her, using our own strengths, knowledge, and heart.  When flying helicopters, landing zones change frequently and even spontaneously.  We did not have to fit to the mold of an airstrip, one-way, style of parenting.   We could break all the stereotypes and be different.  We wanted to keep traveling, flying, joking, and seeking.  Our goal is to share our passions with our daughter.  Landyn has taught us new ways to love, laugh, play and pray.  I'm sure we will change our zones along the way.  For now, we are zoned in on teaching our little girl our passions. She already plays guitar and sings praise songs with her daddy, and this momma already has her passport ready for her first European trip in June!
Lan's first flight!  Following the yellow line to the helicopter...