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 Post subject: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:17 pm 
Bathes in Braggs
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Hi! Did anyone notice we weren't around? We were in the UK for 2 weeks and had parents visiting for the christmas holidays, so I feel like I haven't posted in forever!

Our trip was pretty good, but exhausting. I felt like we were on the defensive for the whole time... not like in a bad way, just constantly trying to get ready for the next thing. My organizational and parenting skills were stretched to the limit! Just the logistics of getting two kids, two carseats, two suitcases, a stroller and carry-ons through two airports, shuttles, rental cars, three houses and so on, as well as anticipating tantrums and trying to head them off in other peoples' houses. The flights were pretty uneventful, and as predicted, Lydia slept through everything and Tzipi wailed and flailed her way through 3/4ths of both flights. Poor little bug, she was so tired. There were tons of kids on both flights though, so her noise levels and behavior were certainly not the worst!

The major highlights were country walks in New Forest with my sister, her husband and their two little kids. There are colonies of wild ponies, donkeys and horses through out the whole park, and the kids were nuts for them. In certain places, as soon as you park your car, you're basically mobbed by ponies hoping you might have a treat on you. Every walk ended in a little country pub and pints of beer in front of roaring fires. It was seriously the best English stereotype ever.

We spent the rest of the time in the London suburbs with my husband's family. I am a bit mixed about the success of that part of the trip. We went into the city on the underground almost every day, but it was a lot colder that week and trying to find something to do to entertain a three year old that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg was a bit challenging. The science museum was a HUGE hit, the aquarium and the Tate less so. Really, we could have just taken the train to a station, bought her a juice box and got back on, and called it a day.

I think we did a good job mostly... Tzipi ASKED to go to bed every single night at 6 pm and slept like a log almost every time. Lydia refrained from covering anyone with poo, pee or spit-up at inopportune times, and was a model baby, pretty much. Tzipi talks SO MUCH now. It's kind of insane, and she listens to adult conversations too. Blows my mind!

I'll come back and post pictures!


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:40 pm 
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littlebird, I just have to say, I love your kids' names!


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:47 pm 
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your trip sounds pretty wonderful, all stress aside. I totally hear ya on how outings can be so very hit or miss at that age - plenty of times we've struggled or spent a long time to get somewhere only to have D want to leave after an hour or less.
yes, post pictures! also, I really really want to visit a forest with wild pony colonies!


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:06 pm 
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I am so impressed by your handling a newborn and a 3 year old in international traffic over the holidays. Wow!

I can't wait for photos of Tzipi and Lydia!

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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:54 pm 
***LIES!!!***
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Yeah, I am amazed at your parenting skills. And noticed you were gone. And want to go have an English stereotype vacation. But maybe without kids.


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:19 pm 
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Yeah, ponies (!) and pints by the fire sounds like my idea of heaven. Sounds like you had a lot of fun! I have been so relieved the times there were other kids kicking up more of a fuss than Inez on flights, even if that makes me awful. It's just nice not to be The Worst. And I like making sympathetic eye contact with all the other beleaguered parents.


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:46 pm 
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You are very brave!

<<pouts that we should've tried to squeeze in a PPK playdate while you were here (like an hour away!)


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:01 pm 
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refinnej wrote:
You are very brave!

<<pouts that we should've tried to squeeze in a PPK playdate while you were here (like an hour away!)



i know! i wish we had been able to.

on another note, holy crepe does jetlag suck. tzipi didn't have any at the beginning of our trip, aside from one slightly unsettled night, but she was up for the day at 4am both nights that we've been back, and today is still sleeping at 6pm from her 1:30 pm nap. UGH.


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:01 pm 
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I think that's the biggest difference between having and not having kids. Before having kids, you hate it when other people's kids are crying around you. After having your own, you LOVE it when other people's kids are crying around you because they drown out your own.

Welcome back Littlebird!!


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:06 pm 
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oh, and the food and beer at this one pub was so amazing. it's a little place called the royal oak in fritham, supposedly about 500 years old, and so adorable... thatched roof and all.

the bread was so freaking good, and they had a great lentil soup, and the rest of the ploughman's lunch aside from the slabs of cheese was vegan and really yum. mmm... and the beer. turns out i could live on fresh bread, beer, pickled onion and chutney.


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:40 pm 
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Can I ask how you kept everyone busy on the flights? Did you have a strategy for food and games etc? Did you nurse Lydia to manage the elevation - and how did you manage it for Tzipi?

It all sounds wonderful, and honestly, I'm pretty petrified about flying with L, so I'd love to hear how you did it!

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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Haha, don't ask me. The flights were miserable, but doable, I guess. I flew a lot as a kid and remember how cranky and tired and cramped I felt, so I guess I had sympathy? The canada to UK leg, we took Tzipi's carseat on board with us, and Lydia had a bulkhead bassinet. It was nice to have the carseat so I could have her securely strapped in, and she fell asleep fairly quickly, but she never slept very deeply and flailed around a LOT, like, falling out of her seat a lot. I hadn't managed to get her buckled in again before she fell asleep, and she threatened to shriek bloody murder every time I tried, so mostly I just tried to prop her up. The return trip was better and worse... we didn't get a bulkhead, so Lydia was in arms the whole time, but the seat arms went up so Tzipi could lie down across the seat and use my lap as a pillow. For some reason though, despite there being plenty of room and it being a fairly comfortable situation, she refused to sleep like that and basically stayed up all night, until about an hour before we landed.

For entertainment, we made good use of the apps on our phones (she likes the puzzle games best), and the video offerings on the plane. We had child sized headphones the first time, but I forgot to get them out the second time. They were a good thing to have... the adult ones they give you are frustrating for a little person to keep on. Honestly, between the boarding, the arranging blankets and clothes and bathroom trips, the meals and laps up and down the aisles and the chatting to the stewards, there wasn't much time to kill. She watched about one and a half movies, played with the phone for about an hour altogether, and coloured/read for another hour maybe. I broke out our toiletries and that killed an hour... we brushed our teeth, washed our hands and faces, applied hand lotion and chapstick, sprayed our noses with saline, brushed our hair, etc. She used her pacifier for a good chunk of both trips, and that seemed to do the trick as far as ears popping. I nursed Lydia during take off and landing when she was interested, but she really didn't seem bothered by the pressure change at all.


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:12 pm 
***LIES!!!***
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Child-sized headphones! What a great idea. I flew a lot as a kid and my mother has never complained about it and the flights I remember were perfectly pleasant (even fun), except for the one we took with my grandmother when we moved to NJ and I threw up from nervousness. That was terrible. Pretty sure Malka will be a terror on our upcoming plane ride, I can't imagine her falling asleep at all. Just hoping she is antsy and wants to run up and down the aisle, but doesn't cry.


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:22 am 
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Littlebird, I know nothing about flying with kids. Do you have to have a carseat (we don't have a car, so no car seat and it seems dumb to buy one just to fly and then to have to lug it around on holiday when we don't drive)? What is a bulkhead bassinet?

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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:33 am 
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Cc, you don't have to have a car seat, though some of the doctor/safety groups say it's safer. The big advantage I think is for small babies who might sleep well in them, meaning too that they don't need to be held the whole time. Also, if you need a car seat at your destination, it's convenient to have it with you.

The bulkhead bassinets used to be really cool...little baby beds that hooked on to the wall at the,bulkhead, right in front of the seats. Now though, some airlines just have little beds that you are supposed to put in the floor by your feet (where your feet are supposed to go, I don't know). We did a lot of research last time and then the airline we flew switched to floor beds like 3 weeks before our journey. Grr. BA has these special Britax toddler seats that are supposed to be amazing, which hook on to the bulkhead. Not sure what we're going to do with F on the next trips to Norway and especially the long one to Chicago.

Hoping that the flights themselves will be much like last time. Exhausting for us but baby happily entertained. Have to admit that tv will likely come into play this time.


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:45 am 
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A bulkhead bassinet is a cot that attaches to a little table that comes out of the wall in front. It's cozy for the baby but not secure at all. The baby isn't actually buckled in. The britax seats were nothing but glorified bouncy chairs with a three point harness. Neither would have been remotely helpful in the case of bad turbulence. The idea is that major crashes are rare and not generally survivable in planes, but severe turbulence and runway accidents are more common and will lead to avoidable injuries in children who aren't secured the same way they'd be in cars.


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:29 am 
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littlebird wrote:
A bulkhead bassinet is a cot that attaches to a little table that comes out of the wall in front. It's cozy for the baby but not secure at all. The baby isn't actually buckled in. The britax seats were nothing but glorified bouncy chairs with a three point harness. Neither would have been remotely helpful in the case of bad turbulence. The idea is that major crashes are rare and not generally survivable in planes, but severe turbulence and runway accidents are more common and will lead to avoidable injuries in children who aren't secured the same way they'd be in cars.


Last time I flew, the passengers in front of me had a baby and they were required to use an infant seat belt (that you clip onto your own seat belt, then you sit or lay your child in your lap) for take off and landing. Is that not typical? I assumed the bassinet was for the turbulence free cruise parts of the trip.


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:13 am 
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aelle wrote:
littlebird wrote:
A bulkhead bassinet is a cot that attaches to a little table that comes out of the wall in front. It's cozy for the baby but not secure at all. The baby isn't actually buckled in. The britax seats were nothing but glorified bouncy chairs with a three point harness. Neither would have been remotely helpful in the case of bad turbulence. The idea is that major crashes are rare and not generally survivable in planes, but severe turbulence and runway accidents are more common and will lead to avoidable injuries in children who aren't secured the same way they'd be in cars.


Last time I flew, the passengers in front of me had a baby and they were required to use an infant seat belt (that you clip onto your own seat belt, then you sit or lay your child in your lap) for take off and landing. Is that not typical? I assumed the bassinet was for the turbulence free cruise parts of the trip.


oh yeah, you're right. we did buckle Lydia to my lap for take-off and landing. from what i understand though, in a crash the baby strapped to you ends up becoming your air bag. which, is horrifying. i mean, at least they won't go flying off through the cabin, but yeah.

it seems air lines have weird standards when it comes to safety, and i think it's because airplane crashes are very rare comparatively to other modes of travel. i mean, i wasn't thrilled, but i had neither of my kids in 5 point carseat harnesses on the return flight, and i felt fairly safe about it.


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:13 am 
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aelle wrote:
littlebird wrote:
A bulkhead bassinet is a cot that attaches to a little table that comes out of the wall in front. It's cozy for the baby but not secure at all. The baby isn't actually buckled in. The britax seats were nothing but glorified bouncy chairs with a three point harness. Neither would have been remotely helpful in the case of bad turbulence. The idea is that major crashes are rare and not generally survivable in planes, but severe turbulence and runway accidents are more common and will lead to avoidable injuries in children who aren't secured the same way they'd be in cars.


Last time I flew, the passengers in front of me had a baby and they were required to use an infant seat belt (that you clip onto your own seat belt, then you sit or lay your child in your lap) for take off and landing. Is that not typical? I assumed the bassinet was for the turbulence free cruise parts of the trip.


oh yeah, you're right. we did buckle Lydia to my lap for take-off and landing. from what i understand though, in a crash the baby strapped to you ends up becoming your air bag. which, is horrifying. i mean, at least they won't go flying off through the cabin, but yeah.

it seems air lines have weird standards when it comes to safety, and i think it's because airplane crashes are very rare comparatively to other modes of travel. i mean, i wasn't thrilled about it, but i had neither of my kids in 5 point carseat harnesses on the return flight, and i felt fairly safe.


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:04 am 
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We've flown about five times with babynut and I've never had to buckle her to me. I just hold her in my arms. Crabby, I think you can get a harness that replaces the carseats for the older babies.


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:11 am 
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Okay, now I can't get the idea of a baby airbag out of my head.

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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:36 pm 
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There are also things like this you can buy that have the harness of a car seat without the seat part: http://www.amazon.com/Cares-Harness-Child-A


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:08 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
Can I ask how you kept everyone busy on the flights? Did you have a strategy for food and games etc? Did you nurse Lydia to manage the elevation - and how did you manage it for Tzipi?

It all sounds wonderful, and honestly, I'm pretty petrified about flying with L, so I'd love to hear how you did it!


On an overseas flight I was on with a fussy, frightened infant, the answer was...baby benadryl. I don't know if there were other things that could work, but eventually someone offered one and eventually the baby at least cried itself to sleep, but at least once asleep it wasn't scared anymore!

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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:20 pm 
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The Britax thing sounds disappointing. I know it's not helpful for safety/crashes, etc. but what I'd read was that they were super comfy and that kids (older babies and toddlers even) slept in them. Everyone needs to just come visit us, problem solved. :)


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 Post subject: Re: while we were gone...
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:01 pm 
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so, now we're dealing with major jetlag issues. it's so weird, Tzipi didn't have any when we arrived. she had one weird, unsettled night, pretty much the same as if she was staying in any new house with a lot of people she hadn't met before.

since our arrival though? hours long naps every day (yesterday, she napped for SIX hours, today, almost 4), then going to bed earlier, and waking up for the day at 4am. this morning she was up watching a movie by herself because neither of us could handle another pre-dawn child entertainment session. there was a mess of epic proportions when we got up at 6. ugh.


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