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Please and Thank You

Please and thank you. It’s my little pet peeve when kids demand things from their parents, grandparents, caregivers or any one and they aren’t asking nicely.

There is a point in my daughter’s daycare at the end of the day where she moves into a classroom with pre-schoolers around 4 or 5 years old. My daughter is only 2 years old, but impressionable nonetheless. A few of the older girls are not nice to the caregivers demanding things from them without niceties like please and thank you. It reflects so poorly on the kid, but also the parents.

I love that my daughter is learning lots of things in daycare, but this is not okay. It’s one of those things that you as a parent have to offer as an example of what NOT to do to your child. Although she is only two years old, my daughter is saying PLEASE and THANK YOU whenever she’s around me. I do the same with her and also thank her daddy too, so she sees how nice it is.

PLEASE and THANK YOU is such a nice thing coming from a little girl. I’m very proud of her when she remembers to say that to my parents and other people. It shows the beginning of a soon-to-be little lady!

For this, I am old fashioned. It’s just that being grateful for what you have and who you are with is such an amazingly wonderful thing to always show. This is what I want our daughter to be. I am- afterall – grateful for her every day!

July 11, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Imagination Girl – Play is easy at the Toddler Stage!

It’s official. My daughter is now a toddler — and worse, a toddler GIRL. From several tidbits of research I have, the whole toddler stage was manufactured by the clothing industry before it even was a child development stage.

It’s an odd and wonderful stage because she’s not a baby, and she’s not a pre-schooler. Everything is a discovery. Words, splashing water, facial expressions — all are new things she can do!

For me, the market researcher using my daughter as a guinea pig, this is fascinating.

Imagination sets her into incredible play time. The baby “rings” she once enjoyed only months ago are now bracelets. While the play clothes — hats, crowns, wings, tutus — we’ve collected from various $1 bins at Target, sales at Toys R Us and consignment stores become dance routines or something to show daddy who will exclaim “YAY, YOU!” I guess what I’m saying is that this is such a fun stage that I hope will continue, but know it won’t.

On Tuesday, I went with a girlfriend who has a very precocious 4-year old (only 2 years and some months older than our daughter) obsessed with princesses (from mostly Disney movies) to hear a fellow Minnesota native and one of my favorite authors on women & growing up with a strong sense of self — Peggy Orenstein. Peggy’s new book “Cinderella Ate My Daughter” discusses what happens to girls just a few years older than my daughter who can be wrongly influenced by the “Princess Culture” if not shown new ways of looking at these fairy tales (It was just published this Tuesday and is on its way from Amazon.com hopefully today, so my synopsis will have more dearth when I get to read the book).

After hearing Peggy discuss her book’s topic at the reading in Connecticut with some of the other moms of older daughters, it seems like this “Imagination Girl” stage is one I want to continue to foster as long as my husband and I can. A stage where girls can do whatever boys can. Princesses are strong and equals to their princes. Dressing up is only to become something in their imagination. Helping her choose the right princess to admire may need to come in later on though because it was hard to hear the mother whose 7 year old daughter admires Lady Gaga. Oy, I sure hope that isn’t my daughter in 5-1/2 more years. But, I will encourage her imagination however it manifests itself, guiding her to good strong female role models.

Meanwhile, her father is one fabulous male role model for a little girl. Her father (my fabulous husband) is an amazing guitar player who fosters a wonderful fascination with music. He plays for her as she dances and some times strums with him. The fun result of which was shown last week in Minnesota with family when she aptly picked up my niece’s drum sticks and played decent sounds on her drum set!

We will try our hardest to encourage the good things from princess stories, give her gender neutral stories where girls can do anything boys can, music that is fun to hear and foster this great imagination from her coloring, dancing and singing.

But, I know that some day soon, she will see an older girl proudly displaying a logo-ed princess story either in a costume or other toy, be told she has to be the princess and not the prince or strong, soldier who saves the day. Or worst, be told by a boy that she can’t play trucks with him because she’s a girl.

For now, we’re so happy that she’s “Imagination Girl” playing happily with our Gladware and plastic spoons as she is with her lace-up kit I bought for way too much money because it’s a great colorful thing from Melissa & Doug that’s “developmentally appropriate.”

January 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Our Little Circus Act

Now that our daughter is 18 months old, she is beginning to talk. Babble is more like it. She says bye bye, throws kisses on command and always says a big “hi, mama” or “hi, dada” to warm up our hearts when she wakes up. The girl knows how to work it.

We are working on teaching her body parts. She can point to her nose, ears, eyes, tummy and belly button appropriately.

However, I can’t help but think that she is fast becoming a circus performer when we ask her to show various relatives all of the amazing things she is learning. My father who she calls “Zadie” lives far away, so his connection with her is often via phone. He makes a great sound that sounds like an odd bird’s mating call. Our daughter can imitate him on command. It warms his heart to hear her imitate him, so she performs for him often.

Yesterday at the pediatrician’s office, she asked us what our daughter can say and do. Once again, we had her perform.

Perhaps, I need to stop our odd ritual. It’s just so darn cute when she recites a new word or imitates sounds. Surely, the time will come when she stops wanting to please me. Guess my husband and I should enjoy it now!

December 31, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sweet 16… Months…

It’s been a very busy 4 months. My daughter is officially a toddler as she walks determined through our house exploring every nook and cranny. Yesterday, a set of drawers fell almost on top of her. It was scary!

This got me thinking that even with all of the baby proofing we’ve done it’s still about one single moment. I want to balance my daughter’s desire to have adventure. Her curiosity is what makes her understand the world. This is something I don’t want to squash, but I also want her safe. Living in fear is bad for me, but may be necessary as she navigates this fun new world. My husband and my “hawk eyes” will need to be always around her, but from a distance.

There are a few basic rules I like to live by, and will share with you:

1) She rides her Kettler quadro-bike with a helmet always!

2) She has learned to go “tuschy first” down the stairs where there are gates prominently positioned that require her to get me before she begins.

3) She must be within eye sight at all times of either my husband or me.

The remaining internal balance I give myself is that things happen. My desire to raise a strong and savvy young woman doesn’t come without sacrifice. I believe she needs some freedom to become this great lady I envision. My hope is that she will always hear “Yay” in her head when she accomplishes something great as we always applaud her now. I’m assuming that great ladies like Eleanor Roosevelt, Golda Meier, Hilary Clinton, Marie Curie, Madeline Albreight, Katie Couric, Tina Fey and others all heard that from their mothers. No pressure to my daughter, but I expect no less from her because I’ve given her the latitude she currently has to explore our home even with dressers falling and other potential hazards in her way. It’s not like other great women before her didn’t have to traverse tough terrain like that!

November 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Year in Review – The Must-Haves That Really Helped…

My daughter just turned 1 last month. It’s been quite busy. She’s walking and talking. There aren’t too many free moments with her now, but as I clean out her already full closet and the attic filled with contraptions she doesn’t use any more I feel quite nostalgic. It is with that nostalgia that I am creating a list for those parents about to embark on this fun journey of the first year:

FIRST THREE MONTHS – MUST HAVES:

– An infant swing  (that thing has to wind up, buckle them in and rock slowly. It’s a blessing at 4 a.m. agitations, but get one handed down or in a consignment store as it’s about $100 for a 3 month use cycle. Not worth it).

– A play mat with fun toys attached for texture and pulling. (Again, good gift or consignment store purchase as it is a 3 to 6 month purchase. Once they crawl, it is of no use).

– Taggies – blankets, toys, etc. The brand is filled with great textures and colors that my daughter loves still at 1 year.

– Breathable bumper – I poo-pooed this, but when my daughter nicked her head against the crib while sleeping. The breathable bumper went on. Bright green color is cute. The other colors feel like medicine colors to me. It is ugly and doctors tell you try not to do it. Breathable bumper is okay by my pediatrician though.

– Universal stroller that clicks your baby’s car seat right in. Don’t get any other stroller until your child is at least 6 months old. This is a huge investment that you want to really fit your child’s needs. The Universal stroller is easy to click in and fold up to store in car. Unless you live in a very urban area where you’ll walk a lot with your baby, wait. I wished I would’ve.  I use my $29.99 umbrella stroller more than my $300 stroller I had to have because the umbrella stroller is easier to get her up and down stairs while still inside.

– Dr. Andrew Weil bottles (They click so you know the nipple is on right).

– Munchkin brand dryer rack is really good with the larger hooks for bottles and smaller nearby hooks for nipples. Someone does have to improve the offerings though to provide more hooks AND a companion rack for plates, forks and spoons to click on when the baby starts on solids at 6 months and then another with less deep hooks for sippy cups at 9 months, etc. (I’ll be happy to help any manufacturer develop this. My mom friends all think this is a great idea).

– Infant formula single “to-go” packs. (Even when breast feeding, I’d use these from Simulac for those “hard to go public” moments and mix it with a bottle of spring water. It was really easy.  They keep really well. Better than those pre-measured containers you can get for infant formula).

– 3 month, 6 month, 9 month and 12 month white onesies (long and short-sleeved from Carter’s or Osh Kosh B’Gosh because they are thicker cotton and wash well. Onesies are good “protection” from the bad leaks).

– A BACKPACK diaper bag from Land’s End with side mesh bags for bottles and accessible rattle toys.

– Zip lock baggies to hold diapers with diaper wipes for those “Oh my” moments in the public bathrooms.

– Deodorant baggies to throw diapers in the public bathrooms.

SECOND SIX MONTHS:

– Lots of fun colorful bins to put toys, books and stuffed animals in for baby to easily pick and choose on her own.

– Pop-up toys with any characters make her laugh and occupy hours of her time teaching her motor skills of pushing up and down the shapes.

– Sorting toys with shapes and colors to stuff inside boxes are hysterical time occupiers.

– Musical toys such as egg shakers, maracas, drums (without sticks) and bells are wonderful teachers of rhythm and receive screams of joy from my daughter.

– walking push toys of any sort, but ideally a walking toy that can push up with a handle bar for those trying to walk and also offer a seat to others who are ready to ride.

– pull toys are fun too!

– The umbrella stroller is great at 6 months and older because it is portable enough for you to carry the baby up and down stairs and folds easily at a restaurant to become inconspicuous. Those bigger strollers are easier to undo, but really down fold up as tight — especially in a restaurant, subway or tight public spot.

– The shopping cart cover is a great invention that fits easily inside the front part of a shopping cart to give her a lovely padded area with strings and loops that occupy her for hours and keep her strapped in safely, as well as hasten the spread of germs.

– a high chair that has a washable, wipeable seat. It isn’t enough that you can wash it in a clothing washer, but you really should be able to wipe it down easily after her meals. It gets messy.

– Moistened hand wipes are really great! I personally love the Aloe Vera soft hand wipes from Babies R Us or the Nice N’ Clean hand wipes you can get there too. Diaper wipes dry out her skin. These hand wipes — even Sani Clean brand or Wet Wipes in those canisters are really good at getting everything off her. Eating is a messy time, but there are other times too. These moistened hand wipes do a great job, but also seem to have moisturizer in them. It’s not alcohol smelling either.

– Sippy cups from Munchkin have silicone nipples that really work well for my daughter. I started her with the 6 ounce cups that have handles and graduated her to one without. She also uses Advent sippy cups.  Tommy Tippee from England also look good, but she’s already in possession of more than enough sippy cups.

– Sassy brand plates with plastic tops are sectioned for easy meals and very bright, happy colors. They are dishwasher safe too (or I’ve had no problems in the dishwasher).

12 MONTHS:

– She’s now 12 months and I’m finding that she is loving to imitate me. Have purchased an old fashioned Fisher Price dial phone and various plastic cell phones to keep in places throughout our house, car and the diaper bag so she can “stay in touch” while she uses any bag as a pocketbook/purse to begin her hours of being mommy.

– Got a great plastic small trike for her with no pedals that she sits and pushes herself around our patio.

– Her big red wagon with safety straps and a pocket for her sippy cup of ice water has been great fun.

– Her blow up pool has yet to be blown up this summer, but this is a nice gift too.

– My sister-in-law bought her a plastic beach bucket with shovel and hoe that is also a favored toy.

– She plays with funny sunglasses and is just starting to enjoy smaller dolls.

– I’ve tried to get her into the Little People bus I just purchased, but she’s not ready for it yet.

– Another mommy-pushing the envelope thing I just purchased is art supplies like the 24-month Crayola crayons and markers. She loves them!  She mostly sucks on the non-toxic crayons and washable markers, but also draws – spending hours at her mini table and chairs with either her daddy or me — making pictures for everyone. Hope this is the start of a Picasso!

So, these are my daughter’s beginning must-haves. It’s been a fun first year. I miss her little cuddly baby self, but am truly enjoying the walking-talking maniac of a girl she is becoming. She plays with me as we point to our nose or belly button, read books together and cuddle. My daughter is really an engaging and fun girl who is blossoming before my eyes. And what a bonus, she’s a kid I like to hang out with, too.

August 10, 2010 Posted by | kids marketing, marketing to new moms, New Moms, Uncategorized, What to buy for new mothers | Leave a comment

Infant Tylenol & The Difficulty of Quality Control in What We Buy…

After I heard about the recent recall of Infant Tylenol and Motrin (as well as other children’s trusted everyday medicine brands), I realized again that it isn’t always the name brand that matters but the trust you have in where it came from and the total lack of control we have in the actual quality of what we give our children. This goes for medicine, diapers, baby food and almost everything else.

In the age of outsourcing, brand name doesn’t always mean it was manufactured by that brand.

As a new parent, I am very concerned about the larger picture of what I’m giving my daughter. Organics don’t mean what it used to, so buying an Organic cheese or milk product from a premium brand could still lead to what happened with a trusted parent brand like Infant Tylenol. It was a bit of dirt that got into several vials of Infant Tylenol. This could happen to any product we give to our child. The problem was minor. The manufacturer’s reaction was good and quick. Yet, I still wonder how many other products we give our children every day are not undertaking strict quality control measures to make sure nothing gets out with even that minor infraction.

Mount onto that, scares that happened last year with infant formula in China and lead getting into toys that were made by China. It leaves parents like me concerned.

For me, I purchase products that I feel come from a good and trusted manufacturer and retailer who I hope are helping me review the quality control. Extra assurances like “lead free” or “BPA free” are great, but I need to know about where the manufacturing took place and the quality control measures taken. Perhaps, I’d even endorse a signature of the inspector on the products I give my child. Remember the underwear commercials that touted the inspector lady.

I realize that it is also my duty as a parent to look for the obvious like specs of dirt inside a product I am giving my child. It isn’t just buying from a trusted manufacturer that gives us quality control any more. We need to make sure we are also looking and protecting our children.

My role as my daughter’s parent is to not only look for the obvious, but understand who and where the products I give her are made. I am also going to check with the pharmacist at Target and my doctor who is unaffiliated with that retailer to double check if the generic brand I currently purchase because it’s significantly cheaper than Infant Motrin and Tylenol is safe and who makes it. Generic doesn’t necessarily mean no control measures. Target is a trusted retailer who I believe will be diligent for me in providing good generic brands. I just need to make sure.

Again, I feel like the spec of dirt was not horrible. It just reconfirms my need to stay diligent in what my daughter and my whole family digests. My role as my daughter’s mom is to understand what to react to as a concern and what to understand as something to watch.

This is something I’m just going to try to understand, so she’s safe, but not over-react. It’s hard to stay diligent and not be that overprotective, obnoxious savior mom I am trying to avoid being.

May 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Infant Formula: Why I Finally Gave into Generic Brands in Her 8th Month…

Okay, so I am now officially in the “frugal” mom category!

When she was first born, I swore I would not use any generic infant formula. Given the melanin scare last year in China it seemed a big risk. My work with a prominent infant formula brand overseas made me very nervous about this jump too. The ingredients inside generic infant formulas overseas are not apples-to-apples, varying a great deal from store to store, but here in the US, I wasn’t sure. For my daughter’s first six months, I didn’t dare try to question this. I was breast feeding and supplementing with infant formula. She was so fragile I felt in those first six months.

However, my daughter consumes now nearly 36 or so ounces a day of formula as an eight month old. Plus, she is – like her mommy – lactose-sensitive. The price of the branded formula tailored to this tummy issue is roughly $23 a 22 ounce powder can (22 ounce of powder makes a lot more than that of formula because you add 2 ounces of water to every scoop that is less than an ounce I believe, but math is not my forte). My favored infant formula brand really helps a lot with coupons. They really are very good at keeping me armed with savings opportunities. I’m very much a fan of theirs, but the cost was just getting to be too much with my 8 month old daughter’s consumption level.

With the blessing of my pediatrician father and my local pediatrician, I tried the generic formula from Target. She has had no problem with the transition — tummy or otherwise. It compares ingredient-to-ingredient with my favored brand. There really was no risk. I still held my breath for the first week. It just never was a problem. Savings are significant enough that I made the leap. $10 to $11 savings a can for which she goes through roughly 1-1/2 cans a week is $15 or so savings that compounds to nearly $50 added to our family budget for other important items every month.

She still does use my favored brand’s powder sticks (think Crystal Light like package that pours into filtered water – one pack equals 4 ounces of mixed formula). I love this!  It’s really been a life saver for traveling with her because I don’t need to bring a refrigerated pack and can leave the sticks inside her diaper bag for any time.

The generic infant formula powder was just $11.99 to $13 for a bigger can. Their version offers 25 ounces too. This is a full 2 ounces more than the branded formula for a $11 savings.

I feel for infant formula manufacturers. The trend for generic infant formula is blooming here in the US with big retailers like Babies R Us, Wal-Mart and Target, as well as grocery stores all putting their hat in the ring. I’d be educated about your choice in generic anything for your child by doing the apples-to-apples thing with ingredients and looking at each with your pediatrician’s advice. My feeling is that if a big retailer who I trust (e.g. Target) is behind this I will do my own due diligence, but will most likely try this out. The thing is — we need to keep her safe and healthy, but we also need to save for her college fund!

Guilty mom here, but I really had to go generic. It just seemed the smart choice — apples to apples!

March 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Daddy is Very Important Too!!!

It has been quite a journey since we’ve said “I do,” but the biggest trip my husband and I have taken is this past year becoming parents.

The one thing I tell new moms to do is — appreciate the father!  From the time in the delivery room on, it’s all about YOU and your baby. Dad can feel kind of left out.

It’s pretty awful for them as people tell you what a great mom you are and rarely compliment dad. My husband and I have worked hard at talking about how to work together as partners. I also am conscious of making sure he knows how very much he is appreciated as often as I can. I’m not perfect though and do slip up. It’s definitely not easy. I recognize it will also be an ongoing battle.

The net-net is that he is a great dad. Our daughter adores him. At 8 months, she laughs and smiles when he walks in the door. She can’t wait to see him when he picks her up from day care. She loves sitting with him as he watches her play with her toys (and sometimes plays along with her popping up the animals in the pop up toys or laughing as she grabs a ball away from him). She and he also have some alone time when I am away that includes his guitar playing. She really claps and sings along in her 8 month old ways.

If I can give new moms any advice, it is to appreciate dad for everything he DOES do and try to let the things he doesn’t do slide a bit. It’s helped a lot with me. Messy house isn’t as important as the time he spends with our daughter. Laundry will get done with or with out the right fabric softener. My greatest lesson in being a mom so far as our baby girl turns 8 months has been learning to be a “partner” with him in raising her!

Good luck to all of you new moms. This time together as new parents is fun, but it isn’t all games. It takes a lot of patience! (And let’s just say, it isn’t just spent on your baby). Your husband will need “affirmation” often. I swear this was the best advice I got from one of my sisters — Remember, your husband is just as much a new parent as you are!  Give him every day appreciation for the job he is doing as a dad. (Yes, I know he doesn’t have to live with stretch marks or boobs that feel like rocks).

February 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solid Foods & “Finger” Foods – When is the right time?

Our daughter is sitting up, clapping, smiling and has 2 – count ’em 2 – teeth!  She eats three meals a day of solids with snacks of three bottles in between. I’ve read that six meals a day is a good way to get your baby growing. She’s not quite crawling yet, but on her way. All of the packages say that crawling is the sign that she’s ready for those “finger foods” that make you want to just SQUEEZE them when they start. You know — when she gums Cheerios or sucks on those Gerber Graduates. So darn cute!

I’ve been anxious to get her to this point, but feeding time is pretty fun already. She is very aware of how cute she is though. When she’s hungry and we feed her the oatmeal that she loves, a humming sound comes out of her mouth. When she is done eating something like Green Beans (which are DISGUSTING by the way and form a weird off green mustache all over her mouth), she does a raspberry with her mouth and the food goes a flying!  Remember, the dark, “puke” color green is not attractive on any fine table cloth you’ve put down for guests. Nevertheless, it is super cute! We can’t stop laughing. (Suppose it’s not good to encourage her).

All of the articles I’ve read vary, so I’m just having a hard time deciphering. Crawling seems to be important, but so is your child’s ability to mash and gnaw at food, which she is already doing. Her two teeth are quite capable (thus, breast feeding is fast becoming obsolete — going down to morning only and it often ends with her biting me). She is also showing some other signs in that she sucks well on food. She is enthusiastic about food too.

The next stage is not just for Cheerios and Gerber Graduate snacks, but also the fun meats and less mushed veggies. Cut up carrots, peas that are cooked are on the agenda mostly. Some squash too. It seems a bit scary in that she could choke with finger food if she’s not ready, so I’m going to probably wait until she crawls. She is almost there — hands on the floor, butt up in the air and legs ready… just not moving any where. Guess it’s typical for my side of the family. Lazy bums that we are, we talked first. She does talk a lot. I’m told by our daycare experts that she is even talking to her self. (To which, my husband replies that she gets THAT from me)… Guess I’ll have to wait for the finger foods for a while.

She will make it there I’m sure. She comes from good eating genes marked by the sign of my still-too-tight jeans from my pre-pregnancy days. Food is such a fun endeavor. Am so glad she agrees!

February 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Traveling with Her: Some Ideas

Being a focus group moderator, traveling is part of the art and exercise of my job. It’s like exercise because it is a bit painful. It’s like an art because I do love the challenge of packing the most efficiently. Thus, it is my new quest to travel lightly as I endeavor on my first solo journey back home to Minneapolis with our 7 month old daughter and without my husband in tow.

As any parent knows, traveling with a baby usually takes two parents. Getting the bags thru security, finding the toys in the bag when she needs them, the bottle making as she screams inexplicably in the middle of the airplane as others try to sleep — it’s just a balance that works best if you have a 2-on-1 scenario. Now, I’m a worrier… but if I plan ahead the anxiety of traveling alone with her is lessened. I’ve researched ideas online. I’ve talked to my girlfriends who do this often. In fact, I even strategized with my husband – the only other person who knows our child better than me.

Here’s what I’m thinking will make travel easiest (both from the experiences of two previous round trip flights with her and from what we know she’s like now at 7 months old):

1) We got one of those inexpensive umbrella strollers at Babies R Us to bring her through security and around the airport hands free.

2) I plan to check our clothing suitcase that will be packed lightly, but still is one more bag to carry. (A cardinal sin for me usually when traveling for business).

3) We will bring on TWO compact bags — 1st bag will have my laptop. the contents of what would be my purse, as well as my work files and some easy toys for her to grab, change of clothes for her/shirt for me (spit up is possible) and snacks for both of us (she’s ready for those teething biscuits now).  The 2nd bag will be her diaper backpack that will be categorized into several zip lock bags with the most important one placing diapers, wipes and lotion/diaper cream together placed as handy as possible in the middle compartment. Our diaper backpack also smartly offers side pockets that will handily present me with two bottle options and plenty of Simulac power packets are already placed in the front pocket of the backpack (where most moms keep their keys — I am always armed with Simulac… my girl can eat).

4) I’m buying a big spring water bottle in the airport gift shop AFTER security — This is big. The time it takes to bring already mixed formula through security (they make you taste it) is just too precious when traveling with your 7 month old child alone. Simulac has wisely created these ingenious powder sticks that carry 2 scoops of formula or enough for 4 ounces when mixed with plain spring/filtered water. And if you are unlucky with security lines and are rushing to the flight, I have found the flight attendants to be really helpful with a bottle of spring water when you need it too.

5) The Oh My She Did A Real Doo Doo back up Zip lock Bag — I have also created a special zip lock with a change of clothes for her. The funny thing is that having my dog before my daughter has also prepared me for the idea that all things below protected in a zip lock bag when traveling. Not only does her change of clothes have a zip lock bag, but I carry a few extra deodorized bags and zip lock bags to accommodate any bad, smelly diapers that well… don’t belong inside a tight airplane bathroom (Remember, I am a frequent traveler as well… so thinking of others is important too).

6) Travel at Less Busy Time — Another trick I read about and totally agree with from previous experience as that frequent flyer business traveler is that moms traveling with kids should travel at times when those busy business folks aren’t. I booked myself on a mid-morning flight to Minneapolis and a mid-afternoon flight back home. This way, those busy business folks rushing to their next meeting probably won’t be on my flight and I won’t be in their way.

7) Booked My Seat Ahead of Time — Perhaps this is just a fortunate item from being a frequent flyer, but I’ve already booked us in the front seat in coach. It’s the one that kids and those who are in wheelchairs or the elderly often sit. We will work hard to get on first and immediately put our bags in the overhead and under our seats to not be in the way of the loading of passengers. Plus, if we need anything from the flight attendants it’s usually harder to forget where we are. (Just a trick — if you’re not a Silver Elite or frequent flyer of an airline, book your flight online and then call the 1-800# asking them to put you in one of those seats when you’re traveling with a child under 2 years old. They appreciate the forewarning too as they will only book certain people in the seats next to you).

8) Bringing a chocolate bar for the person who helps me — Whether it’s a nice flight attendant or the good person next to me, I am going to plan on rewarding the person who is nice to me on the flight. It just feels right. The last flight with her I got bumped into first class (so nice) because of my flight status and the time of day. My seat mate was a nice grandmother traveling for business. She was so kind, but probably wanted to sleep or study before her big meeting. Instead, she had my daughter flirting with her and holding her hand. I wished I had something to reward her for her kindness (and keep her happy for that business meeting). I figure I’ll spread the love this way. Chocolate is always a good thing!

So…I think I have it all covered. With everything to think about, I bet I forgot something. If you’re on my flight, I apologize up front for any babbling or smell coming from my daughter. She’s awfully cute and there’s chocolate for you if you’re nice!!!

January 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment