Saturday, December 19, 2009

International Travel with Baby (on the move) and Toddler: All the Way to the USA

I've spent the day packing. It really does take all day to pack with little ones. We are taking two suitcases that are filled with our stuff and two others that are nested together but otherwise empty to bring back all the Christmas gifts and things we buy. I really need to go shopping! For carryons, we have two small roller bags, a back pack, a shoulder bag and Curt's brief case. We did very well packing light (for us) in the checked luggage, but for carryons, I packed a lot:

1. Shoulder Bag: has diapers, wipes, changing mat (my JJ Cole Diapers and Wipes pod plus more diapers), snacks, two lego cars with lego people, a small stuffed animal, baby food, a water bottle for Ian, a few crayons, pens, a travelcase with Crayola Color Wonder paper and markers (not a big fan, but it won't make a mess), hand sanitizer, baby tylenol, baby motrin, teething tablets, extra underwear for Ian, a few books (thin and light). I think that is it for this bag. This is the go-to bag that will be left out during the flight.

2. Backpack: has pajamas for both kids (2 sets for Eva), an extra pair of pants for Ian, a couple extra onesies for Eva, tissues, throat drops, and my wallet/passports, etc.

3. Roller Bag #1: two fleece blankets because I am usually cold on the plane and the familiar blankets are comforting to Ian as well. It also contains a full package of diapers. I've never seen diapers in an airport. I always over-pack diapers. The amount of diapers I've brought is enough to handle diarrhea and being stranded due to weather.

4. Roller Bag #2: our two laptops (I was going to leave mine but with the frozen water pipe problem and the skill of the "fixes"so far, I am worried that something is going to have to the apartment while we are gone, and our big camera bag with our SLR, pocket cameras, ipod, card reader, small video camera, US cell phone, Magic Jack. Finding all the chargers and getting everything charged was a huge pain and took a long time. Ian's hats and gloves will be in this one as well.

5. Curt's briefcase: whatever he puts in there.

We won't have a stroller on the way there because we are bringing the double stroller back, but I will carry Eva in the pack and hope for the best with Ian. I think we'll be o.k. once we get the checked baggage in.

A Gift Exchange I Did Not Dread

Well, I did dread it, but it was fun. I am not a big fan of gift exchanges and it seems that every organization/friend group wants to do them this time of year. I love to buy gifts when I know exactly what the person wants or needs. It is really fun for me to buy gifts then. But, gift exchanges, you need generic gifts within a certain price range and I usually dread picking out the gift.

I forgot about the gift exchange for this party (it was on the evite, but I think I blocked it out). (Un)Fortunately, the hostess reminded me yesterday so I couldn't weasel out of participating. But, unlike other exchanges, you weren't allowed to buy anything for it you had to bring something from your house or something that you made. Curt has a collection of unopened Hawaii mugs from all his trips to Hawaii for work. He gets them from the hotel that he stays at for frequent staying. Curt did not want to part with his Hawaii mug, but he didn't have anything else in mind so that is what he brought. I had a collection of 6 Pampered Chef chocolate molds that were here when we moved into the apartment. I've used a few as hot pads once, but they have never been used as chocolate molds. When I got to the party, C asked,"Are you excited about the gift exchange?"

I said,"No, but I think SB might like what I brought."

Curt was #1 and I was #2 and you could pick a present or steal someone else's. The game was fun. Curt ended up with this Seoul Survivor Bag which was a shopping bag (because they charge you for bags in Korea), an umbrella (because it rains a lot), and lots of Korean snacks and instant coffees and teas. I got a pack of play dough and a big bottle of bubbles. I had picked a bottle of wine with a wine bag, wine stopper and holder, but that gift was stolen twice and out of the game so Curt couldn't steal it back. Some funny moments, C's husband said,"I need stocking stuffers" and stole some holiday socks and then followed up with,"Merry Christmas, honey!". SB stole the chocolate molds. I'm glad she liked them. They are a good gift for someone that makes fancy desserts like that. I am glad they are getting more use than hot plates. The OC Season 4 DVD set was one of the gifts. W, who picked it first said,"Please steal this from me." C obliged.

Well, Ian is sleepy and wants stories. I told everyone we should do a Re-Gift, Gift Exchange in January.

Friday, December 18, 2009

EC Update

I started part-time EC (Elimination Communication) with Eva back in October. We are still doing it and still doing very well. Of course, it started out great and I got cocky and said,"Dirty diapers are for other people."

Of course, the two weeks that followed that statement were filled with misses!

But, we carry on. She pees on the potty a few times a day and I catch quite a few poops. Ian caught poops yesterday and today, which was very nice because they were very loose! Today, as she was pooping, I was saying,"Poop! Yay!" and she was making a "pa" sound. Wouldn't that make a hilarious baby book entry if her first word was "poop".

Thursday, December 17, 2009

VBAC: Joy Szabo Did it and You Can, Too!

Joy Szabo, a mother who had a c-section, VBAC and was pregnant with her third child was told by her hospital (the same one where she had her successful VBAC) that they were no longer allowing VBACs. They tried to force her to have a c-section. She refused and took her case to the media. The hospital did not relent, but hopefully, she drew attention to this pervasive human rights violation if trying to force women to have unnecessary surgery. Instead of giving in or giving up, she came up with a plan to move to Phoenix a few weeks before her due date so she could VBAC.

Talk about pressure! The anti-VBAC contingent would have loved for her fail so they could use her as an example of why VBAC is bad just as they are trying to do with Michelle Duggar. However, hello, she has 13 successful VBACs, including a set of twins.
Well, CNN just published the update and she did it! Easily, too! Like, Joy, I had a difficult road to find the right providers and I had to travel, but my actual birthing was easy. Now, not every woman will be able to VBAC, but with the right support, most will be successful. After my VBAC, I wrote a post on how to plan for your VBAC. I can't promise you that you will have a birth as easy as Joy's or mine, but I can tell you that it is worth it to take an active role in your health care.

2010, is the year of the VBAC. My first doula client, Doula Amy and another one of my moms, J, are due in July. Also, Abby Epstein is going for VBAC next year.

Peter Has Two Moms

Me: We are going to Peter's house for a playdate. Are you excited?

Ian: Yeah. Peter has two moms.

My friend A has a live-in nanny. Both she and the nanny got a kick out of Ian saying that.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All My Single Babies

Sometimes I find myself singing,"All my single babies, all my single babies" to the tune of Beyonce's "Single Ladies". I can't help it. That song is so darn catchy and babies can't stop dancing to it. The other day I was singing it and dancing around and Ian said,"Your supposed to not have pants on to sing this song."

(If you have no idea why he said that, click the link to the Beyonce video).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Birthday Party at the Seoul Club

We went to R's first birthday party today. She and her mom wore beautiful white dresses. They both looked so beautiful. Another friend was there with her daughter, L, who also turned 1 today. She was wearing a pink pettiskirt and 1st Birthday t-shirt and looked adorable as well. The party was held at the Seoul club and it was our first time to go. The club is really nice. It has an outdoor pool (when it is warm), saunas (family and adult), meeting and banquet rooms, restaurants, tennis and racquetball and more. The food for the party was the Seoul Club Buffet. What a nice spread! There was a wide range of options and everything was great!

The room was decorated with balloons which are always a big hit with the kids. Eva was punching herself in the face with the balloon she was holding and then laughing hysterically. Ian was running around like a madman with a bunch of balloons. He got them all tangled up. He jumped on his mass of balloons and hid under the table and ran with the balloons. Our friends that moved to Taiwan were back for the party and Ian and E were running around together quite a bit.

R had an assortment of items to choose from to predict her future career. Despite her father urging her to pick the piggy bank, she went right for the paint brushes. An artist!

The cake was a Minnie Mouse cake from the bakery at the Hyatt. They custom made it. It was really pretty until they started hacking it up to serve it after the candle was blown out. Then Ian said,"That mouse is dead!" Other children started repeating it.

Everyone went home with red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting in cute little boxes. I ate my cupcake and then Eva's. Tasty!

We have a wedding to go to tomorrow and another birthday party on Monday. I just realized we are flying soon. Yikes!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Warm Winter Apple Snack

It is cold and grey in Seoul today. I gave Eva some Apple Cinnamon Baby yogurt and it reminded me of the apple snack I ate almost daily the last month of my pregnancy with her. So I made it.

1. Slice apple into thin slices.
2. Toss apples with cinnamon.
3. Microwave for a few minutes until soft.

It is kind of like a low calorie apple pie filling. It is quick and simple. I like eating warm foods in the winter.
If you have more time, you can bake it in the oven. If you want more sweetness (and calories), you can add honey or sugar.

Recycled Eva

Dress: Clothing Swap
Onesie and Shoes: Hand-Me Down from Ian
Leggings: Hand-Me Down from friend R
Socks: bought new from Target
Piano: Hand-Me Down from friend P

Recycling is great! I had to sneak the piano out of my friend's house today so that her son wouldn't see it leaving. He is 3 and though he still plays with it sometimes, there are other, more relevant large plastic toys taking up space in my friend's house so she is trying to clear some things out.