We just got back from a two-week trip traveling through Spain with our 2 1/2 year old daughter. I know, poor me. But in the true spirit of being Committed, it did get a little crazy.
Balloons make everything better.
I loved the trip. The architecture was amazing, the culture is admirable (drinking and eating all the time! Siestas!) The wine was cheap and delicious. Oh, the food…
The kiddo was a handful. She may read this years down the line, so I don’t want her to feel like I’m putting her down. It wasn’t her fault–the 9 hour time difference was rough on all of us. And she’s 2 1/2, which means discovering strong preferences, a desire for instant perfection (well, we never outgrow that, do we?), and just general upsettedness at basically everything. We thought her familiarity with travel might make things easier, which it probably did (but didn’t feel like it at the time).
Sometimes kiddo had a low sitting threshold.
For this post, I’m going to focus on how we handled the tears and tantrums. (HINT: Wine. Lots of wine.)
We learned a few things on this trip, lessons that weren’t too unexpected:
- Lower your expectations for how much you’ll get to see or do each day
- Respect the schedule, but sometimes stretching it to experience something amazing is worth the crankiness
- Staying in one place is MUCH easier than hopping cities (duh, but it was worth a shot)
- Twos CAN be terrible, but they can also be amusing
- Rely on your partner and take the burden if you’re up to it
- Talk through your plans first (ie, how are you going to get off the train? Who is carrying the car seat? Carrier on the front or back?)
- The carseat & baby carrier were helpful. We were glad to leave the stroller at home.
- Don’t forget that you’re ON VACATION and laugh and enjoy the little things as much as possible.
5) I don’t have to look at painter’s tape for THREE DAYS.
Sidebar: this has been the project from hell. Talk me off a ledge if I attempt a painting project this large on my own again.
Want to paint a stairwell, basement hall, bedroom and bathroom? Don’t.
4) NO WORK! MORE BEER TASTING!
Freelancing is 24/7. Shutting off my brain and laptop for the next three days.
Taking a much-needed break, 4 ounces at a time.
3) I get to hang out with these two lovely people.
Good food with good people.
2) Bike! Bike! Bike!
Without an agenda, we’re putting the “joy” in “joyride.”
1) SLEEPING IN.
Fingers crossed that kiddo sticks with the 9:45 wake-up call that has been once per weekend.
What are you looking forward to this weekend? Got any plans to get out of town?
As a wife with a husband who occasionally travels for work, I am prone to put a lot of pressure on myself to take on the role of both parents while he’s gone. So instead of wallowing in the failure to put away clean laundry or wash all the dishes, I’m going to share this week’s successes with you all:
1. I took out the trash
This is a BIG DEAL. For whatever reason, I hate this chore. Maybe it’s putting on mismatched slip-on shoes to trudge through the cold dark alley, maybe it’s the smell, I don’t know. I hate it, but I did it.
2. I fixed the garbage disposal
This is less of a big deal. I’m a pretty handy lady, but I occasionally have vivid horror-movie visions of my arm getting chewed up by demonic blades. Turns out, a toddler-sized fork was crammed in there. Sorry, kiddo.
The disposal is motherforking FIXED
This weekend, I took my 19-month daughter from Seattle to New York. Alone. In my lap.
I had my hesitations about taking the unnecessary adventure, but it paid off. I got to see some great old friends, introduce my daughter to their children, and see a little of the Big Apple during Christmastime. All around win. Here are the packing tips that helped us survive a redeye back East, and a 6.5 hour flight west. With a lap toddler.
With only carry-on luggage, efficiency was key
In case you haven’t noticed, the holidays are HERE. So are the cookies, candy, cheeses, gingerbread lattes, overflowing buffets, and festive cocktails. I struggle with overindulgence during the holidays and have found it necessary to set boundaries and rules for myself to stay healthy. You may have heard that the average American gains 4-12 pounds in the 6 weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
It’s easy to see why we pack on the pounds!
Full disclosure: one year, I gained fourteen pounds in twelve days. THAT’S ONE-FOUR. As in, I averaged an intake in excess of 3500 calories above my normal intake Every. Single. Day. Enter the Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge.
You can do this with friends, coworkers, family, or just yourself. It’s simple, but not necessarily easy.
Click to access the full pdf version
Click to access the simple pdf version
Recently, I took a web-based photography class via CreativeLive, taught by the incredibly talented Roberto Valenzuela. Though the class was geared toward wedding photographers, I gleaned some valuable information as an amateur photographer (cough cough). A cool tip I learned, which I’ll share with you here, is how to use your flash to create some beautiful shots.
When you think of flash photography, you think of low light, indoors, red eyes, blown out skin…just BAD…right? Well, it’s a tool, and it can be used in a way you wouldn’t necessarily think of!
This weekend, we visited a pumpkin patch at around 2:30 in the afternoon. It’s a notoriously “bad” time of day to shoot because the sun is still really bright, but lower in the sky, creating deep shadows, too much contrast, and it makes people squint if you try to eliminate shadows and have your subject face the sun.
Enter the flash.
It’s an okay shot, but the flower looks dark and sad.
On our way back to Seattle from Yakima, we stopped at one of the many fruit stands dotting the Highway 82 landscape.
This one boasted “Fruit Antiques”. Well, probably Fruit AND Antiques, but I don’t think the sign painter had the room. Anyway, it was a good stopping point, so we headed in. They did not disappoint. The fruit was fresh, the antiques old, and the wines local. I snapped a few pics around the lot. Enjoy!
Pears, peaches, and apples are in season! Continue reading