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    Chiropractor Mama Dr. Dolly and professional photographer Elisa B. share about adventures in intentional and natural parenting while living in Virginia's beautiful Blue Ridge.
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Enduring a Flood

Very quick and brief interruption in the fun Valentine’s Day Gift Guide that’s currently in progress…

If you’ve been following my updates on Twitter/Facebook, then you may already know that we got a lot of rain on Sunday evening.  I mean, 2 inches isn’t a ton of rain, but considering we’ve already had the leftovers of 23+ inches of snow recently melt means there’s not a lot of other places left for rain to absorb into the ground or drains.

Add all that to the fact that we live in a basement apartment means that we woke up to completely soaked floors Monday morning.  The floor was sooo wet that a few of the blankets on our bed were draped over and touching the ground—acting like a sponge and absorbing the moisture leaving me with wet sheets and blankets.

Calvin woke up and when his feet touched the ground, he was completely weirded out.

“Mommy!  Floor messy.  Feet wet.”

Later, he stomped around the muddy indoor puddles while wearing his shoes over his pajamas.

My husband and I dealt with the mess by moving furniture around and doing a ridiculous number of loads of laundry. Not only did our sheets and blankets sop up water, but so did our dirty laundry hampers, rugs and mats.


We’ve been juggling duties at work and dealing with this upheaval at home.  All the while, Calvin’s handled it with extraordinary resolve and resilience…I admire his adaptability!

He knows his room is off limits since his bed is covered with his soft toys and an industrial strength fan blows the carpet in roiling waves.  So, he just keeps to our room and pages through books on our bed or flips through them on the couch.  Those are the only two places in the entire home where he has the liberty to play.

More than half of our dining table and chairs are covered with stuff that needed to be kept off the wet flooring.  So, we’re down to one chair at the table where Calvin sits at meal times.  Meanwhile, I’ve been sitting on the hard plastic beverage cooler, and Steve cleared off room for 1 person to sit at the couch.

Home, sweet home.


It’s truly by the grace of God that I’m not freaking out.  When things get absolutely ridiculous beyond belief, all one can do is completely roll with the punches.


After spending a full day at the office on Monday, we came home where I wanted to relax.

But wait!  I had to make the bed that had been completely stripped and used as Calvin’s reading area throughout the day.

Note: It is extremely difficult to make a bed when 1) you have a freshly bathed child sitting on it who can’t go anywhere else without getting his feet soaked with muddy water and 2) you have no where to put the clean bedding while you’re in the process of putting different parts of it on the bed.

Making the bed is usually a task that doesn’t require much thought nor take much time…Monday night, it probably took me 30-45 minutes to figure it out and deal with a young child who made a bit of a mess on one of the freshly washed blankets.


It’s Tuesday night and we still have the loud fans blasting and whirring beneath the carpets–dehumidifiers and heaters working to absorb the excess moisture.  We’re still down to 1 seat at the dining table, but the entire couch is cleared off where the three of us can fit.

Apparently, we’re hosting a group Bible study on Sunday afternoon as well as a week of visiting in-laws.  Yet somehow, I really won’t feel bad if we have to reschedule Bible study and post-pone receiving guests for a few more days.  It’s not exactly a hospitable and relaxing environment. I mean, it smells like the inside of a sweaty gym shoe in here.

But ya know what?  We’ve been through a similar indoor flooding experience before…about 8 years ago.  So, going through it a second time isn’t quite as unnerving, although still just as inconvenient.

On the bright side, 1) we’re all safe and healthy; 2) we have a warm and dry bed; 3) it isn’t the middle of summer where mosquitoes and mold multiply by the nanosecond and 4) our blessed son is handling all these changes so well that it’s really making things very easy on us.

Truly, God is good to us.

He’s blessed us with beautifully kind friends who’ve even offered to open up their homes to us.  I’m so grateful for their compassion and hospitality!

Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly

Link Love

j0384783I LOVE it when folks link to my site because it shows me 1) they’re reading, and 2) it gets the word out about Traveling with Baby better than a juiced up megaphone.

Many thanks to Marijean Jaggers at Standing Partnership.  Not only did she feature TWB on her personal blog STL Working Mom TWICE (here and here), but she also set up an interview and provided a lengthy blog commentary on the evening news WCAV CBS-19 at the local Charlottesville Newsplex by featuring THIS blog  as the Blog of the Week for May 26, 2009.  Since then, she linked to a post WITH a screenshot on the Standing Partnership blog.  Woot!  I would love to have lunch with Marijean and learn more about her brilliant prowess with public relations, because she is AMAZING.  Also, I heart the Newsplex and all of the wonderful folks that work there. X-O-X!

Yesterday, my friend Elisa of Elisa B Photography showed some serious love on her photography blog.  She’s been awesome at suggesting a camera that’s perfect for me in my aspirations of becoming a better amateur photographer.  I want to capture certain shots, but I am extremely limited by my little Canon powershot SD700.  Hey, at least I have a camera.  I’m not complaining.  However, I want to take photos like Elisa who uses sexy photography words like “aperture” and “prime lens”.  She’s also offered to help me beef up my almost non-existent photoshop skills so that I have a handful that can help me make the best of my blogging experience.  Elisa, you da best!  Anytime you shoot gorgeous candid photos of Calvin, you are more than welcome!

Also, I wanna give a shout out to the businesses that work with Traveling with Baby to provide sweet swag for the readers.  Muchas gracias to Crocs, Inc. for the Olivia (psst, you can still enter to win your own pair!) and the Crocs blog highlight on TWB!

Holla to Chip and Pepper (my favorite designer jeans) who featured Traveling with Baby on their blog.  They make rockin’ stella jeans that are kind to a mom’s curves, and they have a rad blog.

–By Dr. Dolly
Twitter me: drdolly

Something in Common with a Harvard Economist

This is a parenting blog.  This is not a political blog.  However, as a Mom who refuses to put fingers in my ears and hum away ignoring the present economic crisis (which began with policies set in motion decades before I was ever born), I will take action and I urge you to do the same.  We’re not a socialist nation (yet), and there is hope to weather this economic recession and unprecedented turn of events without giving in to the press’ fear-mongering spin on the only solution they think will fix the problem.  At least for today, this is an American mom’s political blog.

There’s a few things I have in common with a Harvard Economist.  1) We both oppose the Congressional Bailout Plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  2) We’re both think that by taking on more financial debt, the government only increases its problems, it doesn’t fix anything.  3) Last week, we both wrote letters to our respective Congressional Representatives urging them to oppose the Financial Bailout Plan.  Read Jeffrey A. Miron’s CNN commentary on why bankruptcy is the answer, not bailout.

If you’ve been listening to any mainstream media since Monday, you’ve probably only heard of reasons media and political spins on why the financial bailout plan failed and how there’s “hope” that a compromise will be reached to pass some sort of plan in the near future. The media has failed to announce that Congressional leaders received numerous phone calls from constituents urging them to oppose the bill.  According to an article in Time magazine,

congressional offices were reporting that constituent phone calls were running 100 to 1 against the measure, which was seen across the country as a bailout of the very Wall Street executives whose misjudgment in making and selling bad real estate investments had spawned a credit crisis that threatens to drag down the entire financial system.

100 to 1 phone calls in opposition is a pretty big influence on the Congressional vote.  If Americans are against the bailout, then why push it?  Why is the media pushing for it?  Also, those who voted against the bill were 66% Republicans and 40% Democrats.  There’s no reason that a Congressional blame game should be going on right now as far as which Party caused it to fail–it’s because they were representing their constituents who were writing letters, e-mailing, and phoning in their strong desire for an opposing vote.

Today, the Senate will convene to vote on the Bailout plan.  If you’d like to contact your Senator to express your views on this issue, you can e-mail, and call.  In the near future, the House will again convene, and you can contact your Representative.

In the past, there have been huge campaigns to urge people just to vote.  The issues are far more crucial than ever today.  You need to do more than vote, you need to let your representation know how you want THEM to vote on matters that affect you, your family, and your family’s future.  Freedom starts with your voice.  Act today!  For more on what you can do to help regain the liberties for which America’s forefathers fought visit the Campaign for Liberty.

Vote PA

You could either say we woke up early today or you could say we never actually fell asleep. Calvin had a rough night and seemed to cry every couple of hours. Thirsty, yes. Hungry, sometimes. Teeth hurt, probably. Diaper uncomfortable, yup, that, too. But, rarely do all those things bother him all at once in one evening. Last night was one of those evenings.

Anyway, back to this morning–we went to our local polling place and handed out info on Constitutional Republican state delegates for the voters. These are folks running on the Ron Paul platform. And yes, I DID vote for Ron Paul. The more delegates representing the constitutional policies of his platform at the national convention, the better. Calvin joined us and looked cute as always and even got in a nap.

Now, we’re about to crash for a family nap. Calvin’s already sleepin’ in his crib…and Steve & I are about to get in our siestas (or catch on on the zzz’s we never got last night!).

But, I wanted to leave you with a photo of my favorite guys.

Birthday highlights

  • my husband sang “Happy Birthday” to me when I woke up
  • my son smiled and laughed for me
  • my husband surprised me with a tiramisu ice cream cake . . . I’m a sucker for tiramisu

Three-Oh (30)

  • In the numeral system, it is trigesimal.
  • Its binary code is 11110.
  • It’s the sum of the first four squares making it a square pyramidal number.
  • A polygon with 30 sides is a tricontagon.
  • It’s the atomic number of zinc.
  • It’s the number of days in the months April, June, September and November (and in unusual circumstances February).
  • In wedding anniversaries, it’s the pearl anniversary.
  • It’s the duration of the Thirty Years’ War.
  • It’s the code for international direct dial phone calls to Greece.
  • It’s the designation of Interstate 30, a freeway that runs from Texas to Arkansas.
  • Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. (Matthew 26:15)
  • A stage in young adulthood

Can you see me now?

Taking advantage of hunting season’s photo opportunity.

In search of the perfect blender

For the past 2 years, we’ve been trying to find the perfect blender. One that can not only crush fruit and ice with minimal effort for excellent smoothies, but one that can crush almonds into butter, turn grain or rice into flour, and heat up with enough friction to make warm soup. Yes, we want ALL THAT out of 1 kitchen appliance because we want to be armed with this miraculous wonder when we venture overseas to the land of little to no western-style food. We know we’ll have to prepare everything we want by hand. Hey, I’m a big fan of Chinese food, but even I can only handle so much of it at a time (3x/day for 2 weeks is really pushing it, let alone a year or more!)

To date, the only blender that we’ve heard of that can perform such amazing feats is the Vitamix brand of blenders. These powerful gadgets have a dial that you can manually adjust to increase the speed/horsepower for better chopping/blending action. They’re pretty spectacular when you see ’em in action, but the downside is that they cost $500 plush shipping and tax. Owch! Now, that’s a hefty price tag.

So, we’ve been researching sales or other brands that can compete with the horsepower, warranty, and reputation without the high cost. The best option we’ve found, Blendtec, is slightly less expensive with a slightly shorter warranty, but it boasts increased horsepower and it even has an entire Will it Blend? series on YouTube which is rather addicting. Check out the Crowbar or Baseball episodes! Blendtec’s blenders don’t have a manual dial for speed, but they have electronic buttons that pre-determine how long they will blend: juice, ice cream, baby food, smoothie, etc. So, you don’t have to guess about the length or speed, it’s pre-calculated for you.

By the way, we also want to use a super amazing blender to make our own baby food . . . it’ll save cost (especially since it would be considered an import item in Asia), and we’ll know exactly what’s going into it: no preservatives, chemicals, food colorings.

Sure, it’ll be almost a year before our baby is able to eat whole foods, but we might as well continue our search for the perfect blender, now. We’ll probably have to get it early and try out the almond butter or ice cream feature.


We’re having our first baby which is due sometime in mid-October, give or take a couple of weeks. Since we’ll be traveling throughout about half of the U.S. during this pregnancy (so I can finish my internship and graduate!), we’d like to chronicle the exciting adventures of 1) enduring pregnancy 2) pregnancy while traveling and 3) moving overseas when the baby is less than a year old.