Ok… so it’s freezing here

Officially, Bytown Mom is not quite so Bytown anymore.  We moved to Seatle, Washington about a month ago.  I figured this would be a good time to get back and running with the blog.  Not becuase I don’t have enough to do with the new job, new house, move, etc, but rather becuase there have been many, many observations running through my head and I haven’t been able to share them with our friends and family (just got internet and phone running today).

So here’s the thing, it really is freezing here today.  At home in June I would either have the AC running, or I’d have the fan on in the house to get the cold air from the basement to the 2nd story.  Here the fan is running to get the warm air from upstairns down here to the main floor — where I am sitting in slippers and a sweater.  I refuse to turn on my furnace in June.

It is summy outside and looks gorgeous, but it is most decidedly chilly.  I need to adapt to this quickly as the boys are not dressed properly for school — I need to ship them in pants, shirts and sweaters.  Yesterday, Finn wore his fall coat inside all day, becuase I had put him in a t-shirt and shorts.  Oops.

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I’ve seen it all

Every time I travel, I see or learn something new. Lately I’ve been connecting through Chicago. Long the bastion of velvet track pants and McDonald’s takeout, my expectations for O’Hare are not very high. But this week’s “something new” was a low point, ever for Chicago. Two ladies boarding my plane walked on with a medium pizza in a cardboard takeout box. The thing hardly fit down the isle. She had to hold it up, because it wouldn’t fit between the seats. This made the guy next to me munching on a quarter-pounder from McDonalds look refined.

 

Wanderlust and Lipstick

My new favorite travel blog.  These ladies quit their jobs, sold there stuff and started to travel.  Now it looks like they’ve figured out a way to pay for their adventures – through their web site, books and product sales. 

But that’s not why I love their site.  First of all, I love the name.  But more than that their focus on women travellers, travelling with kids is written in real time:  “I’m doing this and this didn’t work out as planned”, or I went about it this way, and am I ever glad I did.”  I’m also getting a ckick out of “Wanderfood Wednesday“.  The later is a collection of world food related posts from many different bloggers.

Summer Travel Tips

While I don’t think we’ll be going on too many voyages with the gang this summer, here are some sources summer travel tips for you and your family.

  • Summer Road Safety:  Packing a summer emergency kit is a good idea.  I always have my winter emergency kit in the car, but once the snow melts,  I have a jack and that’s about it floating around the back.  It also suggests you “stay on top of your fluids”.  The article is referring to your car, but I know having a couple of spare bottles of water in the car (and in the stroller) are indispensable.
  • Print out a copy of Amazing Mom’s car games to put an end to the why’s.  Come to think of it, this might be good for all car trips, not just the extended ones.
  • Add to your collection of songs with music and lyrics from Song for Teaching.  For traveling themes, there are some great US geography songs.  I’d love to find some equivalents for Canada.
  • Best Nanny suggests:  Math Games, Imaginary Hide and Seek, Travel Scavenger Hunt  and other non-electronic games
  • And of course no summer trip with the kids is complete without snacks.  I love this mom’s suggestion of packing one cooler snack and one non-refrigerated snack — and her tip to store wet wipes in the car!

How to get kicked off a plane

Well given my opinion about giving unnecessary drugs to my kids, and the fact that my son once sang “the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round” for an hour straight on a train to Toronto (not the whole song mind you, just that portion of the lyrics), it’s likely that I too would have kicked off the Continental flight.

I love the author’s suggestion of having a kids only section of the plane.  On our flight back from Europe earlier this spring, the top section of the 747 was almost exclusively parents with children.  There were 4 week olds and twelve year olds and everything in between.  It worked out really well.  It reminded me of baby movie days, in that there’s an expectation of some noise and somehow while one baby/child might be loud, once you get a handful of them squwaking, it becomes background noise.

Family Travel Checklist

Over at “I’m an organizing junky”, Laura has ways to keep us organized even as we pack for vacation.  She’s got a check list that she uses for her kids and husband every time they go away. We take a different approach, my husband and I split up the boys and each of us in charge of packing for one of them. I’m not sure that our way is the most efficient, but I love that we are equally involved and that there’s only a 50/50 chance that I’ll be the one who forgot to pack pajamas.  Not only that, if I’m going to forget an item, I’d likely forget the same thing for everyone (aka shoes… oops!), this way there will only ever be two of us walking around barefoot.

What I find to be a bigger challenge is remembering all the to do stuff at home.  Here’s my list:

  • Arrange for mail pickup with a neighbor
  • Cancel newspaper delivery
  • Change voice mail and e-mail alerts
  • Book the dog in the kennel
  • Notify schools (it drives them crazy when all of a sudden my little guy doesn’t show up for a couple of days)
  • Check the fridge produce drawer — give it away or compost what’s left
  • Notify the alarm company
  • Notify Visa/MasterCard, as they always seem to put a hold on my card when there are out of country charges
  • Give grandparents our itinerary so that they can follow our journey and reach us if required.