Archive for the ‘ Have Baby, Will Travel ’ Category

Why You Shouldn’t Pack Formula In A Suitcase

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

We went to visit some of Phil’s family last week. In true anal-retentive form, I did all the laundry before I left, taking great care to fold it in the order it would go into the drawers. Do I need to repeat that sentence? Yes, I painstakingly arranged the laundry just-so in the suitcase. In the order of where they go in the dresser drawers.

Phil has his own suitcase. I can’t blame him. In our new house we are going to have a walk in closet and neither of us wants to share with the other for fear of breaking up our marriage.

We arrived home late Friday night, exhausted from a full day of travel with Fia and Emmett. Particularly the latter since he’s a boy. Which means he’s into everything. Sitting still is like being a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay.

Sidenote: I honestly don’t know how the male species has sustained itself. There is no reason any boy should live past 2 with the constant death march they are on. I’m terrified to take my eyes off Emmett these days.

Anywho, we get home late, get the kids to bed, and I open up the suitcase to unpack. A plume of powder hits me. Fine, white, somewhat sticky powder. I’m surprised I didn’t end up on an episode of Locked Up Abroad for transporting cocaine. Then again, we didn’t leave the country. Nor was this cocaine.

The nearly full formula canister I had must have exploded in flight. Either that or the baggage handlers were hungry/thirsty.

Does anyone know how rank that stuff smells? And how hard it is to shake off clothes? Or vacuum out of a suitcase?

I have spent the last 3 days doing 7 loads of laundry and vacuuming and washing out my suitcase. It is now sitting in the sun to bake out the formula smell.

Phil is smirking. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be obsessive and anal…

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Why Are Car Seat Rentals Such Junk?

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Is it too difficult for rental car companies to provide decent car seats to your kids? Apparently so.

We recently went to New Orleans to visit my Aunt Nancy, known to the tots as “Baba Yaga.” Baba lives on the bayou and is a self-proclaimed woman of the swamp. Naturally we did all the things one would do in swamp setting. We caught a wild turtle…

 …saw wildly huge grasshoppers, went on a wildlife safari, taught Fia how to hold a fishing pole, went on boat rides, and swam in the hot tub.

The biggest challenge was to keep both kids from killing Baba’s birds. She has two lovebirds. They are gay. Peepers is friendly though only has one claw due to a stroke (during a hurricane) that rendered the other one useless. His partner, Peg, is bitter. And mean. He has a peg-leg. I’d probably be bitter too.  Fia was obsessed with holding Peepers. Emmett was obsessed with grabbing Peepers from Fia. Feathers, tears and screams–both from babies and beasts–were a simultaneous occurrence.

In short, it was our normal trip to Louisiana.

Except for the car seats.

Rather than lugging ours, we decided to rent from the car company. We were also flying home late and figured by renting we wouldn’t have to reinstall ours in a dark parking lot with cranky kids upon our return.

But the problem is, despite paying a fee to rent car seats, they are absolute junk. I’ve found this no matter what company we rent from. This time it was Dollar. They had none in their inventory that had the LATCH system. How long has the LATCH system been around? Oh, well, since before 2002. All their rental cars had latches/anchors in them. Just not car seats to go with them. Which leads me to believe their filthy, flimsy car seats are more than a decade old. We kept trading in different ones until we had gone through all 5 of their “inventory.” All were equally horrible, some even missing the straps that hold your kid in. It took us over an hour to install the seats and even then, they weren’t secure.

The thing is, when you call to rent a car and tell them you want car seats, they won’t tell you if they have ones from the Ice Age or up-to-date models. Car companies remain completely vague about what their inventory is and at least every company I called on the phone refuses to commit. I started searching websites.

I came across this one that talks about which car companies offer what. Ironically, it lists Dollar in the top echelon, saying, “Not only does Dollar Rent A Car have car seats and booster seats at all of its locations, but some models of the Dodge Caravans rented there come with built-in child safety seats.” 

Um, sure, they have child seats at all their locations and are happy to charge you for them. But what condition are they in? That is the question.

We travel a decent amount. I need decent car seats. Surely there is a company that does this right.

In the meantime, we flew back from Louisiana, leaving Peg and Peepers–and perhaps a Yak or two–breathing signs of relief.

At the airport, we grabbed our luggage and climbed into our car, grateful that our car seats were already installed but wondering if perhaps it’s worth the hassle to just bring our own next time.

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Off To Legoland!

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013


I’m the kind of person who won’t think twice about booking a last minute trip to Hawaii, but will still drive the extra 2 miles to save on an ATM fee.

Today I found myself frantically looking for a Wendy’s fast food restaurant while Emmett wailed in the carseat. My friend Courtney and I decided last minute to take our tots to Legoland. Apparently Wendy’s is running a promotion that if you buy a combo meal, you get a coupon for your kid to get in free!! That’s like an $80 savings. Well worth the chicken club, fries and drink.

Courtney is a vegetarian and none of the combo’s offer anything with that option. She bought her meal and drove around looking for a homeless person to give it to.  I, on the other hand, scarfed mine down and ordered a frosty to boot. As Emmett continued to cry, now hungry as the smell of fast food filled up the car, I did the opposite of Heidi Klum and bribed him with french fries (rather than a healthy smoothie). I got silence the rest of the way home.

Fia and I head out tomorrow. Emmett is staying back with Phil. He’s too much to handle right now, while also keeping track of Fia. I turned my back for a second the other day and found this:

And this:

Plus, I think it will be fun for me and Fi to do this on our own (with her bff Teddy and mine Courtney). Not to mention I only get one kid in free with my coupon. I’d have to buy another combo meal for Emmett. I’ll save the $4.50. And the calori

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My Son Is A Screamer. What To Do?

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

I know screamers. Baby screamers. Toddler screamers. Boss screamers. At any age, it’s not pretty. At least not to 99% of us. The exception is with parents and their offspring. Parents think their kids’ shrills are cute–but they also think the same of their child’s poop (and let them publicly defecate. In a restaurant). So they are no barometer.

We met a couple once who thought it was cute when their 2 -year old went into his high pitched screaming mode. He would do it over and over, almost like a crow squawking. They laughed at him and while maybe not encouraging the boy, it didn’t seem like they did much to dissuade him either. I don’t know what happened to the kid. I could speculate, but I won’t.

However, all my judging of kids and parents happened before I had my own. Now I still judge but in a different way (don’t we all?). I have a sweet, somewhat shy girl and a boy, who is, well, a screamer.

Emmett is 16 months and is rapidly discovering his voice. This means when he decides to test his vocals out, he nearly breaks glass.  Thank god we don’t live in our Brooklyn apartment anymore. I would be horrified for my neighbors.

Here’s the kicker: when he first started doing it, I found it, well, um, ack– cute.  I would laugh at him and he’d continue on. Then I realized I was becoming that oblivious, entitled parent. So I’ve started putting the kabash on it. “No Emmett,” I say, as he squawks. That word actually pisses him off and he escalates the shrieks. At this point, he’s only been doing it a few weeks and I’ve only been disciplining him for a few days. But so far, it seems to be backfiring.

So how do you stop a screamer? Especially one as little as him? Last night I was in a restaurant with him and Fia when he started. I threw his pacifier in, which at least allowed me to shove down my last few bites of food and get the hell out. But I don’t want to stop doing the things with him and Fia that we enjoy. I cringe to think of him on an airplane at this stage. 90% of the time he is such a fun easygoing little dude. And even the screaming for him is typically in a happy-hooting non-tear-ridden way.

Any tips? If I keep saying “No” is that going to make a difference? Or make it worse? He doesn’t understand timeout yet so that’s not the answer.  I knew from the day he was born he was strong-willed and had things to say. I just don’t want screaming to be one of them.


Pic of toddler shouting via Shutterstock

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Pooping in Public. The New Normal?

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

You know how I feel about the whole EC–Elimination Communication movement. As in potty training your kid from the moment they are born and going to weekly support groups that revolve around talking sh-t. Um, no. Not happening.

So I had to dive into the discussion stemming from an article in Gothamist about publicly defecating. On purpose. We’re not talking about a homeless person down on their luck either.

The snapshot is of a little boy on one of those porta potties for kids. He is sitting on it outside, at, ya ready for this? A cafe. Specifically Pier 1 cafe that overlooks the Hudson River. Diners eat while he poops. I have never….

Now I know kids have little bladders and if you are in a park without a bathroom or something, having one of those porta potties can be handy. Especially because you can keep it in your car and your kid can use it. In Your Car. In Private. But at a restaurant? Where there is a bathroom?

The nanny was apparently with the kid. But honestly, this must fall on the parents. I can only assume they made her take this thing everywhere. I am also making the assumption that they are entitled and uptight. Because this is what the latest breed of entitled, uptight parents do. I can just hear it, “We can’t let anything interrupt little Johnny’s poo.”

I mean, come on you guys, tell me you agree on this. Tell me this is extreme parenting at the sh-ttiest level.


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Pic of boy via Shutterstock

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