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Archive for December, 2011

Avery – 3 years, 6 months

The major event for Avery this month was my sister Linden’s wedding yesterday.  We drove for two days to get to LA and we spent a good bit of time in the car explaining the whole thing to Avery. It was hard to convince her that Aunt Linden was getting married, not her, but she was consoled by the fact that Linden was getting her and Evelyn little dresses to wear. We had two hilarious conversations about this wedding that were most memorable. The first one happened while we were still in Texas and I was wondering what the little girls’ dresses looked like. It went like this.

Avery: Am I getting married?

Me: No, Aunt Linden is getting married.

Avery: Aunt Linden is getting married?

Me: Yes, but she’s getting you a little dress for the wedding.

Avery: Is it my wedding dress?

Me: No, Linden is wearing a wedding dress. You’re going to wear a dress to the wedding, but it will probably be bronze or green, or maybe white.

Avery: Linden is going to wear a wedding dress?

Me: Yep.

Avery (very excited): Is it a white floaty dress?

Me: Um, I guess so.

Avery (very excited now): Can I wear a floaty dress?

She was VERY excited about the floaty dresses. The other one was in the car on our way to LA.

Avery: Am I going to wear a floaty dress at the wedding?

Me: Yes, I think so.

Avery: It’s gonna be my wedding.

Me: No, it’s Aunt Linden’s wedding.

Avery: In a lot of days it’s going to be my wedding. And Daddy will be my husband.

Me: No, I don’t think Daddy will be your husband.

Avery: Oh. (pause) Evelyn will be my husband?

Me: No, I don’t think Evelyn can be your husband. You have to find a boy to be your husband.

Avery: Oh. You have to help me find someone to be my husband.

So now it’s in writing, I have a record and I’m gonna hold her to it that I get to help her in the husband selection.

We took Avery to an eye doctor here. We didn’t get to see the eye doctor before we left Budapest because the glasses were so late getting to us, so my grandpa found one for us to see here. He said the glasses were the wrong prescription, her left eye should only be 7 diopters and her right should be 2. He also said she may need surgery to correct her left eye because she isn’t using it at all if the right eye isn’t patched. He told us to patch the right eye every day all day and find a doctor in Dallas to see in a month.

Apparently her glasses weren’t helping her much because the prescription was so much stronger than she needed and so her left eye hasn’t gotten a whole lot better. I wasn’t very good at making her wear the patch though either. Hopefully her left eye will start to get better now that we have better lenses and we’ll be patching her eye all day instead of only a few hours and maybe we can avoid surgery.

I have a picture of Avery in her little dress from the wedding, but no cord to connect the camera to the computer, so it will have to come later.

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In case you didn’t know, we are back in the US. By we I mean Rachel and the girls (Ivan will be following soon). We’ll be here until February (Ivan will only be here until January 8th or so I think). We got back about two weeks ago and between jetlag, Thanksgiving and just relaxing a little bit, this is the first time I’ve gotten to the blog.

I have to say, transatlantic flights with two little kids aren’t a picnic, but really, it could have gone much worse. The horror details would be that Evelyn threw up on the first flight (but only a little, and really, she throws up all the time) and Avery peed her pants during her nap on the second flight, but the flight attendants were really nice about it and it was much less traumatic than it could have been. We were headed into the descent at that point and I knew I only had a half an hour left anyway, and I was pretty exhausted and didn’t really have the energy to get too worked up about anything at that point. So we changed her pants, put an extra shirt between her and the seat and exited the plane a half an hour later.

The flight from Budapest to New York was about 9 and a half hours if I remember right. From New York to Dallas was another four. We were lucky to get it in two flights instead of three. We flew American Airlines. If I may at this point, I would say American is NOT my favorite airline. They weren’t awful, but not great either. They were on time though. If you’re curious, so far KLM is my favorite airline. I wouldn’t recommend LOT polish either.

Anyway, the kids were good on the first flight. We broke out the snacks and lunch and that took a half an hour. We colored, we read a book, each kid took a nap. Not at the same time, but it was the middle of the day for me so I wasn’t too tired anyway. Evelyn isn’t as good a traveller as Avery was and she fussed for ten minutes or so before falling asleep, but she did fall asleep, which is somethign Avery didn’t really do at this age.

The transfer in New York was fine too, except that I had to get all our luggage through customs all by myself with two kids. One of which doesn’t really walk very well on her own yet. So I found one of those luggage carts and put my five dollars in the stinking machine (5 dollars! for 20 minutes of use! In Europe they’re free) and just barely got all 3 suitcases, 2 carseats, one carry on and a stroller piled on it. Then I made Avery hold onto the cart and I pushed it one handed with Evelyn on my hip to the customs line.

After all that they made me actually go through customs because there were three of us and because I had brought apples for the kids to snack on. Luckily the apples were in my carry on so I grabbed them pretty quickly and we were on our way to the luggage drop off area so our bags could continue on to Dallas. While waiting in line for security I made Avery chug down the last of the water in the sippy cup we’d gotten on the last flight so they wouldn’t take the cup from us (this might have had something to do with the peeing the seat incident) and got through with plenty of time to hit the bathroom and the drinking fountain (hurray for free water!) before we had to board our next flight.

The domestic flight wasn’t quite as smooth. It was 10 at night Budapest time when that flight took off and both kids and I were pretty exhausted. We’d gotten up at 6 and naps had been short. Evelyn fussed quite a bit, but not in the full on fit way that I always dread. She wasn’t very well behaved, but it was early evening for the people on the plane, so hopefully none of them were missing their nights’ sleep. About two hours in both kids were asleep and I managed to doze a little. Avery didn’t sleep well because she was scrunched up in the seat, and about the time they announced the descent she woke up whining and said “Mommy, it’s all wetty.”  So we ran to the bathroom for a change of clothes. They didn’t have an extra seat cushion so I stuck an extra shirt under her for the descent. It was about 2 in the morning 0ur time when we got in, but we could have been much worse off.

So I have tips for flying with toddlers if anyone is interested.

1. Always pack a change of clothes for each kid and some basics for you. This helps if they lose your luggage too.

2. A nine hour flight seems really daunting, but you don’t actually have to pack nine hours of entertainment. Sometimes there are kid movies available, but even if not this kids can do fine.  They can entertain themselves for about two thirds of the time, but they need something to engage their minds every hour or two for about a half an hour. After that they have had their entertainment fix and they go back to being fascinated by the meal tray. (Disclaimer: this is true for my kids. Obviously all kids are different)

3. Snacks golden (My kids were hungry at all the times they weren’t feeding us on the plane.)

4. Stickers are almost as golden. Cut them into smaller sheets 2 or 3 inches square so they’re more managable in a tight place.

5. If you have a picky eater, bring a meal for them. Evelyn would only eat the bread from the meal trays.

6. If at all possible, only bring one carry on and pack the food and toys on top.

7. Consider bringing an empty bag in your carry on. I used mine to keep our coats together while we were on the plane and transferring, but it can be used as a trash or an extra storage bag for keeping things organized too.

8. Tylenol can be useful. We seem to get sick on flights a lot and this time the little one was teething.

9. Bring an empty sippy cup. Make sure it’s empty when you go through security and then ask a flight attendant to fill it before you take off.

10. Toys: playdough (sometime security takes it), colored pencils, etch a sketch, magnetic drawing boards, ipod touch (or smart phone with kid apps), stickers, nonadhesive window stickers (the kind you stick on the windows at Christmas and things like that), magnetic or nonmagnetic ball mazes. Most of these I’ve used, but a couple are suggestions from friends that travel a lot with toddlers.

11. Strollers can be handy, but if you’re having to do customs by yourself they can end up being an extra and bulky bag. Baby carriers can be a good alternative, but they’re awkward to put on in an airplane. The buckle kind might be better, I have a mai-tai.

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Evelyn – 19 months

Evelyn is really getting to be a talker. My favorite things that she’s learned to say lately are multiple word words like “Watsome!” for “I want some!” and “Ayego!” for “I want to go.” She has learned to say “uh huh” for yes the last week or so too, which is hilarious. She used to say “uh uh” for both yes and no, and she’d say “no” for both yes and no. There were two ways to figure out which one she really meant. One was to see if she was grinning madly when she said “uh uh.” If so, she meant yes. The other way was to say “yes?” with a big grin after she said “no” and if she said “sss” then she meant yes. The funny thing about saying “uh huh” though is that she does the intonation as if she were saying “uh uh” so she starts out high and gets lower, so it sounds kind of like she’s saying “uh uh” only higher pitched, with her mouth open and while grinning. Okay, so that whole thing didn’t translate into written speech so well, but I promise it’s cute.

She has a lot of words that she says, but most of them she only says the last sound. Thus babywipes are “ss,” orange is “ch,” etc, which means most words actually are “ss” because I pluralize things and she only picks up the s at the end. She does have some real words she says though, and her favorites are applesauce “asosauce!” and candy “tany” or “ta-ee.” She also say “I do!” and “me!” when someone asks “Do you want —-?” even if we’re not talking to her.

Evelyn has been a little excited about Avery’s patches that she wears on her eye every day. This morning Evelyn found a sticker, played with it for a minute and then stuck it on her eye and said “ch!” (patch). She’s also very excited about hair and anytime she sits on Grandma’s lap they have to have a hair discussion in which Evelyn points to Grandma’s hair and says “shush” which means hair (It comes from “brush,” she’s very excited about brushes) and they have to talk about hair for a minute and then we can move on to something else.

She’s a pretty clever little munchkin. She can get her own socks on and was trying pretty hard to get her shoes on yesterday. She also managed to strip herself down to her diaper this morning while I was in the shower.

Yesterday we found some sunglasses that Evelyn got when she was born from a friend and that we accidentally left here in Texas. Evelyn has been putting them on, usually upside down, and then running around the house poking everyone on the leg and saying “me!” until they notice her and tell her how nice her sunglasses are.

I took Evelyn for her 18 month check up just before Thanksgiving. She weighs 9050 grams and is 71 cm long. I think she’s still pretty small.

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