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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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Ch-Ch-Changes

We’re changing things at Traveling with Baby.  You may have already noticed there’s new features, interviews, and a new writer.  It’s spring, and fresh changes are in order…and we’re excited!

Recently, I received a concerned tweet from a long-time friend who wanted to know why I hadn’t told her I had another baby.

Nope. Not another adorable baby boy for me, but sweet little Lucien belongs to Elisa B., a professional wedding photographer and mom to that cute baby boy.  Elisa’s interviewing pregnant moms and sharing their stories each month.

Want to hear about the latest and greatest for everything pregnancy and baby related…Elisa’s got that beat covered.

You’ll hear from me about adventures with raising a toddler and soon to be preschooler, plus other mom-focused interests and health and wellness features.

There’s one more thing…

Beginning in April, Traveling with Baby will have a monthly focus!  Each month, posts, reviews, and giveaways will tend to revolve around a central theme.  Sure, you’ll still hear about our take on motherhood, efficient and safe travel and on-the-go tips for parents with little ones, and we’ll still have a focus on natural and intentional parenting plus wellness, but we’ll have a monthly game plan to pull it all together.

Elisa and I are so excited about these changes, and we hope you will be, too!  By May, you’ll also so a fresh new look when Traveling with Baby switches over to a self-hosted site.  Yay!

Stay tuned for April…when we feature Everything Baby!

Green Baby & Ribbon Cutting

happy-green-baby1It’s almost here…

The Happy Green Baby workshop at Downtown ACAC (111 Monticello Ave.) in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, October 3rd at 11:45 AM.

I’m teaching new parents simple ways to go green with baby through an intro course in cloth diapering and I’ll show you how to make organic baby food from scratch–don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds!

This class is part of ACAC’s pre-natal/post-natal program and the first 15 minutes includes yummy snacks and social time with other new parents.  We’ll wrap up at 1PM (just in time for the afternoon nap).

The best part about this event, it’s FREE for the general public.  So, bring your friends, and let’s have some fun!

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Then, on Thursday, October 8th from 4PM to 7PM, Spinal Health & Wellness, my practice, is celebrating our official opening in grand style with a big party and a ribbon cutting ceremony.  The office is located in Charlottesville in Berkmar Crossing, near the intersection of Rio Road West and Berkmar Drive at 679 Berkmar Circle.

We want the entire family to enjoy the fun, so we’re offering yummy Asian-fusion styled tapas, chair massage, kids crafts, face painting, portrait sittings, kid-friendly snacks, and cake!

Non-profit National Eating Disorders Association and Rabbits for Recovery will be represented at the event along with Charlottesville Regional Airport (cuz  hey, we’re building a patient base that extends beyond central Virginia!), SuzySaid.com, and many other community partners.  Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is officiating the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Don’t forget the fabulous door prizes:

We can’t wait to see you at the par-tay!

Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly

Charlottesville Life

Just over a week ago, Calvin’s grandparents and cousin M came to town to visit and take Calvin on adventures in the local area.  We had a crowded apartment, but a fun visit.  Calvin was so entertained, that I was able to make it to several networking events.

My friend Elisa of ElisaB Photography invited me to a girlfriend-networking event hosted by SuzySaid.com at Millmont Grill.

ElisaB (with baby Lucian) & Dr. Dolly at the SuzySaid event - we match!ElisaB (and baby Lucian) with Dr. Dolly at the SuzySaid.com event.  We match!

There were yummy appetizers and lots of galpal networking in a small group of entrepreneurial women.  What a blast!

SuzySaidAmy of SuzySaid.com

SuzySaid.com (Amy) was a great hostess who shared some of Millmont Grill’s best appetizer’s with us–they collected school supplies for children in need as part of the event.

I also met Jenee Libby of Edible CVille who writes a fab food blog.  I also met Jennifer Hamlin of Events with Panache–Jennifer is planning the grand opening bash for my practice Spinal Health & Wellness.  I’m so excited about this!

The next evening, I attended C-Ville’s Best of 2009 bash in a parking garage in downtown Charlottesville.  I guess the location was appropriate since  the Charlottesville Derby Dames was the featured entertainment.

Charlottesville Derby DamesCheck out these tough gals on wheels.  I love the descriptive blurb in their program:

By day we are mothers, nurses, teachers, vets, bartenders, artists and more; by night we are rock stars on wheels, passionate about a sport that combines athleticism, showmanship, firece competition, and a mischievous good time.

Talk about having an alternate personality on the track!

I enjoyed the organic apple cider donuts and organic sno-cones–yes there IS such a thing, and Carpe Donut has them in CVille.  Seriously, the best donuts I’ve ever had.  If there is such a sugary thing to splurge on, well, this is it!

Carpe Donut

Dr. Dolly enjoying an organic grape snoconeI hadn’t had a snocone in a decade, and I felt like a kid again.  That’s why I was wearing a flashing jelly ring and light-up plastic guitar necklace.  The free swag was lots of fun, but I ended up sharing it with my very cool niece and very cute son.

After I left the party, I joined up with my family on the Downtown Mall to get some real food.  Okay, it was pizza with mozzarella, fresh tomato slices, and fresh basil, but that’s better than downing donuts and hotdogs (a.k.a. not real food).

We cruised the mall stopping to enjoy live music along the way like a barbershop quartet.

Barbershop Quartet on Charlottesville's Downtown MallThen, we ran into a guy with a 150 pound boa constrictor.  It was beautiful, but it looked very heavy.  If I ever think carrying my toddler around is a stress on my back, I can’t imagine how this guy must feel.

Man with 150-pound boa constrictor15 year-old snakeThe proud owner let us touch the snake’s back.  Calvin thought it was cool, but he was a little freaked out.  When he’s older, I think he’ll totally dig snakes.

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Psst.  Stay tuned for some fun giveaways in the next couple of weeks.  Also, on Labor Day, I’m starting a new feature on amazing and inspiring women.  Can’t wait for y’all to check it out.  So, stay tuned!

–By Dr. Dolly
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

Tuesday Travels: Baby Carrier for Sunny Adventures

traveWelcome to Tuesday Travels, a summertime series at Traveling with Baby.  This season, my son and I are excited about sharing some local day trips and field trip ideas for families with little ones.  This weekly series will also feature travel tips for families with kids-in-tow and related product reviews and giveaways.  I enjoy hearing about your traveling adventures, too.

We’ve had an unusually mild summer for central Virginia.  The weather’s been perfect for spontaneous hikes and camping trips around the Blue Ridge that we often refer to as our backyard.

Calvin in Kokopax (Espresso) at Mint Springs Park, Virginia. Photo by Elisa B. Photography.

Calvin in Kokopax (Espresso) at Mint Springs Park, Virginia. Photo by Elisa B. Photography.

Just this past weekend, we had a blast picnicking, splashing on a Logosandy beach, and hiking on trails with deer at Mint Springs Park.  In the photo above, Steve is comfortably wearing Calvin in the Kokopax Classic Carrier in a photo snapped by my very talented photographer friend, Elisa of Elisa B. Photography.  (Her wedding portfolio is AMAZING–check it out!)

Here’s one more photo of my favorite little guy.

Calvin Kai in Kokopax

Calvin Kai in Kokopax

In June, we first gave the Kokopax Classic Carrier a hearty go as we traversed the Rivanna Trail which winds through urban and forest areas in Charlottesville.  Read more about our family hiking and camping adventures in Shenandoah National Park earlier this summer.

kokopax_logo_colorThe Kokopax carrier may not be the type of carrier you want to use for rugged trails in Shenandoah, but the lightweight aluminum frame is easy to throw on your back for a brisk walk or short hike.  If you prefer to wear baby/toddler on your back, this carrier allows your child more room to move about (and keep cool) compared to many wrap or mei tai-style carriers.

Calvin likes the Kokopax because even though he’s secured with a safe 5-point harness, he’s got room to breathe, reach for blackberries, and stowe his sippy cup.  Heck, it’s even got a plastic ring where you can clip toys or a soother, if necessary.  The bottom of the frame provides a comfortable footrest for baby and prevents blood from pooling in baby’s feet.

The classy fabric is cotton canvas, and it’s available in 5 other styles.  I love the beautiful fabric and contrasting storage pocket in the back (great for a spare diaper and wipes) secured with a chic wooden button.

Calvin resting in Kokopax after a long hike
Calvin resting in Kokopax after a long hike

The kickstand allows easy loading and unloading of baby.  The frame size is adjustable for varying torso lengths.  The contoured and padded waist support doesn’t chafe or rub.

This lightweight baby carrier weighs in at 2.7 pounds and fits in overhead compartments in airlines.  Travel friendly!  If you need to stowe it long-term, it comes with a green polka-dot cotton storage bag that’s breathable, yet it protects the carrier.

The Kokopax Classic Carrier is available for purchase directly on the Kokopax website, or Amazon.com, and it retails for $179.99.

TWB Reader’s Exclisive: Mention code twb2009 and receive 10% off ANY purchase from kokopax.com

Note: The manufacturer recommends the carrier for babies/toddlers 6 months to 2 years or up to 35 pounds.  At 19 months and 26 pounds, my son was too heavy for me to wear him comfortably in this carrier, however, it’s perfectly comfortable for my husband.

This carrier is best for babies who are old enough to support their own heads (6 months is a good rule of thumb) and it’s most comfortable for babies that are smaller or less than 20 pounds.

The manufacturer plans to add a hip belt in future models which will reduce strain on the neck and shoulders and allow parents to distribute baby’s weight on the hips and low back which should be decidedly more comfortable for bigger babies.

Kokopax also created a very stylish Blakely Ring Tote.  So, you can look very chic 2009 on the beach or at the local farmer’s market.

BubblesToteThe fabric styles coordinate with the options available for the Classic Carrier.  This roomy bag with comfortable grip also features a very cute mini-tote with a zippered-closure which hides loose change or chewing gum.  It can easily double as an easy-to-find wallet within the blakely tote.

The key fob, extra roomy pockets, and beverage compartment make this bag a beachy fun diaper bag or all purpose kids bag.  Yet, it’s cute enough that you may want to use it as your re-usable shopping bag or airline carry-on.  The durable nylon liner keeps internal spills from creating a mega-disaster.

The blakely is a modern day tote that rivals the endless satchel of fun carried by Mary Poppins.  Create your own Supermom bag with the Blakely which measures 18” x 4 ½” x 18”.

The Blakely Ring Tote by Kokopax is available for purchase on the Kokopax site or Amazon.com for $79.99.

Mention code twb2009 and receive 10% off the Blakely Ring Tote or ANY purchase from kokopax.com

–By Dr. Dolly
Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly

Weekend Update: Water, Water Everywhere!

It’s been a water-filled weekend.  I mean that in a good way.

We waterproofed our Eureka! A-frame camping tent since we’d had about 3 weeks of dry weather.  Of course, Friday morning, it was sprinkling, and then raining.  So, it was my responsibility to disassemble our tent while it was raining before it got completely drenched.  Calvin played outside in the rain while I worked.

My son and I spent the remainder of Friday morning cleaning our home for five hours.  Okay, so he mostly played while I cleaned, but he did help a little.

He’s great at wiping up the floors with a cleaning rag.  He’s also helpful at picking up his toys before I vacuum the floors.

That night, Steve and I got an opportunity to go to the movies while dear friends (who are expecting their first baby) hung out at our casa while Calvin slept for the night.  Thanks Edward and Elisa!

We didn’t think it’d be a very long night.  But since we go to the movie theater once a year, on average, we were clueless that it was opening weekend for Harry Potter.

Harry-Potter-and-the-Half-Blood-PrinceWe arrived at 8:30 for a 9:30 show…which was sold-out.  So was the 9:55.  Folks showed up 45 minutes early to stand in line just to get their seats.  Lines snaked around the lobby.  It was insane!

We called our friends and asked if it was okay with them if we saw the 10:15 show, because we wouldn’t be back until after 1 AM.

They gave us the green light.  We had a great time, and we felt like zombies for staying out so late-5 hours in a movie theater.  Whew!  The movie was long, full of incredible special effects and teenage romance.  However, I felt the ending was unsatisfying and unresolved.  I wished I’d gone to see Transformers 2 instead.

We spent Saturday recovering from our late night.  We even took Calvin to the pool for more swimming fun.  Now, he’ll kick his legs in the water.  He’ll jump from the edge of the pool into my arms.

Signing "please" for the beach ball just out of grasp

Signing "please" for the beach ball just out of grasp - Mint Springs, VA

An older boy beats Calvin to the beach ball.  Calvin is not pleased.  (Mint Springs, VA)

An older boy beats Calvin to the beach ball. Calvin is not pleased. (Mint Springs, VA)

Sunday afternoon, we picnicked with our friends Edward and Elisa at Mint Springs.  It was the perfect day!

Wading with Calvin in the lake at Mint Springs

Wading with Calvin in the lake at Mint Springs

Photo taken by ElisaB on my Canon Powershot SD700 IS, edited by me.

YOUR TURN:

Did you brave the lines for Harry Potter on opening weekend at the theater?  If so, what did you think of the movie?

Have you played with your kids in the water this summer?

–By Dr. Dolly
Twitter me: drdolly