Reading List.

Our copy was waiting for us when we got home from Florida.


Do you have yours yet?





Florida trip – Part 2.

Yesterday I started recounting the first half of our fantastic Florida vacation. Today you get the rest of it.


Dash started out the day happy as a clam, again. Sleep is such a miracle drug. An all-natural pick-me-up. Go figure.

He was also excited to wear his baseball outfit that his dad bought him in a cave way back when I was about 4 months prego.

The weather was beautiful while we were in Ft. Lauderdale and Saturday was no different. My uncle and I headed to the beach again with Dash. Pat took him for a walk in the stroller and then sat in the sand with the little beach bum and I ran along A1A. About the only thing on my list for the trip was to go for a run or two in the warm weather. It was fantastic.

I could tell the locals from the tourists because the Florida natives were bundled up a bit in the 70 degree weather and the tourists were dashing into the ocean in their bikinis. Mid 70’s is heavenly if you live in the Midwest in the winter.

When I got back I was happy to see my little beach bum. We look super cool in our sunglasses, don’t we? Like Florida natives and not at all like Midwesterners.

Next we stuck his toes in the sand,

and then in the ocean.

The water was chilly and he kept pulling up his toes, but he was intrigued by the feel of the sand on his little feet.


That evening Dash practiced his raspberries with his uncle. It was the cutest thing ever.

He started doing them in response to Pat and it was too much for this mother’s heart to handle. The look on his face and his little tongue sticking out made me giddy.  Sadly he seems to have moved past that phase and we haven’t seen anymore since we got home. Or maybe that is just his secret language with his uncle.


Basically we had more and more wonderful fun on Sunday. I ran on the beach again, Dash continued to have long, peaceful naps, we ate some rugelach and baked guava and cheese empanadas, and just enjoyed our time together.

In conclusion our first trip with a baby could not have been better.


The leaving part of our trip was no good – our flight was delayed, Dash missed two naps, the airline lost our luggage – and we considered never leaving, well Pat and I considered that. Zach was the voice of reason. but miraculously Dash seems to have turned a corner with the sleeping thing. (As I type this he is starting to cry, so enough! No more talking about sleep!) And even though he had no naps he still made about 50 new friends on the plane and had them all laughing as we waited to deplane.

Now that I have had some days to reflect and recover from the sadness of leaving my family and vacation, I think the trip did just what a vacation should. It has left us feeling rejuvenated, well rested, and better able to face the rest of winter.

And its a good thing because those icicles are going to take awhile to melt.


Hot off the press – guess who has a snaggletooth? My baby!! People keep saying, “maybe he is teething,” but I haven’t been able to feel anything under his gums. But apparently I was feeling in the wrong area! Today I stuck my finger in off to the side and found a little numb and sure enough there is a little white spot poking through his gums! It looks like he has one coming in on the opposite side so he may soon look like a hockey player. So much for those cute baby smiles with just two bottom teeth.

Florida trip: Part 1

Our trip to Florida was the best. I am on board for going to Ft. Lauderdale, or anywhere in south Florida my uncles go, for every trip.


We planned to fly on Southwest so I read about their policies for baggage and all about advice for traveling with an infant. We brought our pack ‘n play and rented a swing that my uncle picked up and had ready for us. With the major pieces out of the way Dash and I set to packing our bags.


I had planned out our trip to the airport minute by minute including when we needed to drop off Watson at the kennel. Then we woke up to this:

I was worried our flight would be canceled, but Zach said if we could get to the airport we could get out of the state.

Thanks to our entrance into the world of SUVs we said goodbye to Watson, stopped to pick up some Christopher Elbow chocolate, and made it to the airport with hours to spare.

Dash was a dream to travel with. I was terrified that his little ears were going to be hurting all so that we could go get some warm air and I was gripping Zach’s arm with tears running down my cheeks when the plane took off. This guy sucked on his pacifier and fell right to sleep in my arms without a peep.

Blame it on stress, lack of sleep, hormones, who knows, but I was the only one in our family crying on this flight.

When the flight ended people kept telling us how wonderful Dash was and one lady told us to keep doing whatever we were doing with him. Ummm….if we knew we would probably end up ruining it. This is Dash in his natural state and we are just enjoying it.

That and he is a non-mobile 5-month-old who is content to sit on our laps. The couple with the wailing 16-month-old in front of us told us that their son was a dream at 5 months too. Moral of that story – travel a lot before they are one and then plan on getting a lot of dirty looks from fellow flyers after that.


The next hurdle was the nighttime sleep in someone else’s home. I have semi-accepted that grandparents don’t mind sleepless nights if it means being with their grandson, but great uncles? I wasn’t sure they would be able to handle it. The first night wasn’t perfect, but nearly.

This little baby slept more than he ever had at home and started his day happy to be with mom and dad on a Friday and to be sans clothing for the first time in months. And the uncles turned out to be so enamored with Dash’s cuteness that they didn’t mind the sleep intrusions.

Dash loved Uncle Pat and his landscaping.

We spent hours staring at palm trees, flowering plants, the pool, and the fountain. And watching Uncle Pat water the plants. Little boy loved the outdoors and all the beauty of gardens with a year-long growing season.

After Dash had an amazing morning nap – longer than ever before – we went to the beach for some liquid lunch.

And by that I mean that Dash enjoyed his afternoon meal sitting on the beach with the ocean breeze and sunshine.

More to come on the rest of our trip…

5 months old.

While we were away our little infant turned into a 5-month-old baby!

Development #1 this month is that taking a photo of this boy sitting still is much more difficult. The outtakes from this little photo shoot are a little hilarious, a lot blurry, and involve Watson and the monkey getting  chewed on.

Other developments:

~ blowing raspberries. Dash sticks out his tongue and makes blowing spit in someone’s face look like the cutest activity I have ever seen.

~ hanging out with Watson. This is disgusting, but if you have kids you know how much of having kids is disgusting so I am going to tell you anyway. Watson like to clean up Dash’s spit up. When he gets close enough to do his clean up work Dash grabs handfuls of his fur and tries to eat it. Watson puts up with the hair pulling because he likes the drool so much. I told you, disgusting, but I live with a baby and a dog – disgusting is my life!

~ lots more talking. He seems to be getting the idea that he can make sounds to get us to respond to him and he enjoys that.

~ smiling at people. Dash ate up the attention from his uncles in Florida and from all the people in the airports and on the planes. Ate. It. Up. When I went to get the car when we were back in KC Zach said Dash was “calling” to this college-age girl he saw on her phone while he and Zach waited for the luggage. He smiled and shouted until he got her attention and then kept on talking and smiling until she started waving to him.

~ pacifier use. There was a time in his life that we thought he would not ever take to the pacifier, but that time has passed. We still mostly keep it for bedtime and nap time use, but we used it a lot on the plane and in the airport. He can put it in his mouth by himself now. It is fun to watch him turn it over and over in his hands until he gets it lined up correctly.

~ switching items from one hand to the other. He can take a toy in one hand and put it into his other hand. That is also fun to watch.

What hasn’t happened:

He still hasn’t had food yet, but we are planning on introducing that soon. Sleep is…not something we like to talk about. Actually I will talk ad nauseam about our battles with sleep and our theories of why our child doesn’t sleep, but we’ve discovered that this only makes my stress and frustration increase. Dash did sleep like he actually knew what that word meant while we were in Florida which prompted me to explore real estate in my uncles’ neighborhood, but Zach seems to think we need to live in the city where he has a job. Minor details. I think my motto is “if the baby sleeps, I stay.” But I think I am nearing the ad nauseam stage so that is enough.

The most notable characteristic of our baby is that he is a joy to be around all day long. Fun, happy, and interested in everything. I am infinitely grateful that I am getting to be at home with him. When we are hanging out at 4 a.m. I am grateful that I get to be with him all day. I think if I were at work I would miss all the fun and I would just be dealing with the frustration of sleepless nights. (Now, I have reached ad nauseam.)

Anyway we love him – go figure – and I think we will keep him around as long as he will have us.


We’re back…

and I kinda wish we weren’t. Florida was wonderful, warm, and full of family time. I have lots of great photos and stories to share, but I need a nap time or two to get organized.

Thanks, Pat and Fred for a fantastic vacation!

Hitting the road.

Or the air, rather. We are Florida bound in search of a little warm weather and family time. Our little family of three is headed to south Florida to visit Dash’s great uncles. Before we had Dash I told Zach we needed to plan a trip early on in his life because I knew that I would feel like traveling with a baby was just too hard if we didn’t have a plan to do it. Plus we need a respite from this cold winter.

So down to Florida we go! On our packing list: golf clubs for Zach, baby shorts for Dash, and ear plugs for our hosts. Uncle P assures me they won’t mind a baby crying in the night, but we are trying to be prepared.

I am just looking forward to showing Dash the ocean, maybe going for a run without running tights and a neck warmer, and getting some family time.

Although he has never been out of the Midwest it looks like Florida is ready for Mr. Dash.

My friend Mo was in Miami earlier this month and snapped this photo for us.

I’ll let you know how it goes and what Dash thinks of the ocean…