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August 15, 2009

The best part about going away is always coming home! 


Now we have some experience travelling with Elizabeth, there are a few things that we learned.


Car Trip Strategies

Elizabeth seems to have a limit of about two hours in the car before she becomes inconsolable.  We therefore stopped at Golden Lake again on the way home and spent about an hour and a half letting Elizabeth crawl around on the picnic blanket at the beach, as well as puddling in the waves again.  Actually letting her play on her own for an extended period made a big difference.   Once she was ready for a nap, I changed and fed her right before putting her back into the car.  We've found that shaking a rattle continuously seems to help as well.  I shook her alligator rattle for well over an hour. 


Travelling with cloth diapers

One drawback to cloth diapering while travelling is that you need to wash and dry the diapers if the length of time you are planning to be away is longer than your entire cloth diaper supply. 


Last time we went away we discovered that it is a good idea to have a backup plan for in case the dryer doesn't work.   That backup plan shouldn't include drip drying cloth diapers in the sun if the summer is record breaking in the wet and cool department... (Although drying prefolds in the sun is fantastic for removing stains - ours looked new again!)


Why not just use disposables for the entire time? Well, we knew we were going to need to locate a washing machine within the first couple of days of arrival since Elizabeth conveniently pooped on her cute dress twenty minutes before leaving.  The other problem was that the disposables didn't fit Elizabeth as well as the cloth diapers do, causing an "incident" that shall remain unblogged.  We ended up using cloth until we ran out, then switched back to disposables.  We washed and dried all the cloth ones.  Then we switched back to cloth for the last couple of days once we were sure we wouldn't run out before getting home.


Travelling while co-sleeping

Brendan and I "sort of" co-sleep with Elizabeth, and while it works really, really well for us at home, it's a bit more challenging on the road.  At home we sleep with Elizabeth's crib strapped to the side of our queen sized bed, which we think gives us most of the advantages of true co-sleeping while also avoiding the usual worries about child being smothered or falling out of bed.  Elizabeth strongly prefers to nurse lying down, so nighttime feedings at the cottage were a bit less restful - I had to make sure I stayed awake in order to be able to put her back in the crib afterwards.  Interestingly, she didn't want to be fed as often at night while sleeping in the crib.  We weren't tempted to stop co-sleeping though, since she needs to be taken to the bathroom a couple of times in the night regardless.  Also, it turns out that if she isn't nursing at night she ups the frequency and duration of daytime nursing quite dramatically.


August 14, 2009

"It was a misty moisty morning and cloudy was the weather. 

I chanced to meet an old man clothed all in leather. 

He began to compliment and I began to grin. 

How do you do? How do you do? How do you do again?"


We just squeaked onto the lake while the steam was rising.  By the time we'd paddled our boat to Sommerzeit and back the sun had chased the last tendrils of mist into the shadows of the bay.


August 13, 2009

When Elizabeth was first born we had an interesting time learning how to bathe her.  Whether normal or not she decided that bath time was "throw a fit" time and we quickly decided that there simply must be a better way to clean one's child.  Showers worked and life went on.  On a few occasions since then we've tried the bath again (with Mommy in the big tub) and it has been alright.  While she doesn't seem to love it like the shower she gets clean and doesn't tend to scream anymore.


So come time to go to the cottage (which is right on Lake of Bays in Muskoka) we wondered how she would take to the lake.  On the way up we stopped at Golden Lake and I let her squish her toes in the sand while the waves washed over her feet.  This was a Daddy job since Mary isn't really into getting her feet wet!  Elizabeth was absolutely fascinated by the waves which we took as a positive indicator.


Well the next day we hit the lake for a proper swim and she was not exactly a happy baby.  The water was a touch chilly so we figured we would try again the next day when it was supposed to be much warmer.  The next day the water was indeed several degrees warmer and Elizabeth approved.  She loved splashing about and swimming around with Mommy.  There was one small unanticipated issue which did arise... She tried to lap up the water with her tongue.  Now in our clean bathroom this is not such a big deal but in the lake we felt she should probably restrict herself to splashing and swimming so Mommy had to keep a very close eye on her.  She also didn't seem to terribly like being on her back in the water.  Probably partly the feeling of weightlessness and perhaps also because she doesn't tend to like being on her back period.


By the last time we took her swimming she was over all her apprehension and having such a grand time that everyone on the busy beach was drawn to admire her and comment on how much she seemed to be enjoying the water.


August 12, 2009

Brendan and I always spend at least one of our days window shopping in Huntsville.  Elizabeth loved the place with the fancy soaps, wind chimes and handblown glass balls.  The women at the cash thought it was hilarious the way she was rotating her head around trying to see everything at once.  The best part was apparently the ceiling fan.  Sorry kid - that one wasn't for sale!  Next door mom got to visit the wonderful quilt shop with the most beautiful fabrics.  Brendan didn't let me indulge this year.  Something about not having used the fabric I bought last year yet...


Elizabeth helped flame her first marshmallow and assisted me with the annual "watermelon" spitting contest (we used popcorn kernels this year again).  Strangely, babywearing is not particularly helpful in achieving a spectacular spitting distance.  We didn't let Elizabeth try.  Maybe next year!


The extremely free-range chickens were an unexpected highlight of our Bondi visit this year.  We went to visit them and they came to visit us.  Elizabeth was just fascinated.  "Chicken racing", chicken petting and chicken dust bath watching were all popular.  She didn't even manage to pull out any feathers!  The horses and pony were also interesting, but Elizabeth seemed to find them more intimidating.






August 11, 2009
I made a new (lighter) wrap at the cottage.  To test it out we hiked up to the lookout point and back.  Elizabeth seems to approve!

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