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Wordless Wednesday




More running


Calvin’s Birthday Bash: Day 5

slide2 editAt the moment, my son is a a language sponge.  We’re seizing the opportunity to teach him a few words in Chinese, Hebrew, French, and a few other languages as we happen upon different cultures and languages in our city.

Although word repetition is the key to learning any language, even a first language, it’s also tremendously easy to learn new words and sounds with music.

Since last week, Calvin has been singing a discernible rendition of “Row Your Boat” and “Race Car”–I can’t wait to see what song he attempts to sing for me next!

My favorite way to share multilingual songs, cultural traditions, and exotic rhythms is through the quality selections available on Putumayo Kids’ albums.  One of their highest acclaimed and award-heavy albums of all time is the 1998 release of World Playground.  It was received with such praise and popularity that they created a sophomore release a few years later entitled World Playground 2.

world playground

The original World Playground started it all…soon thereafter were releases of country-specific playground or dreamland albums.  Putumayo Kids is the go-to label for fresh and ear-pleasing music with lyrics appropriate for children, yet full of world rhythms, instruments, and production appreciated by adults.

Calvin’s favorite track: #8 Manu Chaq ~ Bongo Bon

Dr. Dolly’s favorite track: #5 Home by Barna ~ Teresa Doyle

Calvin’s Dad’s favorite track: #1 Fatou Yo ~ Touré Kunda

World Playground retails for $14.99 on Amazon.com.  A portion of Putumayo World Music’s proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to the non-profit Putumayo Cross-Cultural Initiative.


putumayo kids logoOne winner will receive a copy of Putumayo Kids’ World Playground album.

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post before Sunday, November 5th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the contest rules all generic comments are ineligible.).  At $14.99, World Playground is a wonderful gift for a birthday or just because.

For more in-the-know fun on Putumayo World Music new releases, artist interviews, and more you can follow them on Twitter, and become a Putumayo World Music fan on Facebook.


I want to know…if you could travel with your family anywhere, what destination would you pick?

Thank you to Putumayo Kids for providing a sample copy of World Playground CD for the purpose of this review.


Congratulations to the winner, #2 Aline.

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Calvin’s Birthday Bash: Day 1

Calvin SmileI get to look at this precious face every day.  When he crinkles his nose in a smile, I can’t help but let the tensions of the day melt away as my face beams at his.

My son joins me at the office when I work three days a week.  On other days, we play together at the playground, in the back yard, or in the living room.

There is always music.

The soundtrack of our time together is full of laughter, applause, and clogging…well, at least foot-stomping.

As a nod to the year of my son’s birth, we’ve been jamming to Putumayo Kids’ 2007 release of Animal Playground.

animal playground

Picking our favorite tracks on this album wasn’t easy because there are so many marvelous musical treasures including a rip-roaring Italian version of Old MacDonald, Nella Vecchia Fattoria by Quartetto Cetra.  My heart soars from the ethereal beauty of The Littlest Birds by the Canadian band The Be Good Tanyas.  I enjoy grooving to the Latin and jazz rhythms produced with children’s voices and giggles in L’Otorhinocéros by the French group Les P’tits Loups du Jazz.

Putumayo Kids’ Animal Playground is on repeat in our CD player.  It’s the perfect album for a scenic drive, a birthday party, an afternoon of arts and crafts, or a living room dance floor.

Calvin’s favorite track: #1 Animal Crackers ~ Wee Hairy Beasties

Dr. Dolly’s favorite track: #11 Eagles ~ Terri Hendrix

Calvin’s Dad’s favorite track: #12 If A Dinosaur Was My Friend ~ Phil Melancon

The enhanced CD also includes a video for Asheba’s spirited Caribbean arrangement of the “No More Monkeys!” song.

Animal Playground retails for $14.99 on Amazon.com.  A portion of Putumayo World Music’s proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to the Wildlife Conservation Society in support of its activities that save wildlife and wild lands.


putumayo kids logoOne winner will receive a copy of Putumayo Kids’ Animal Playground album.

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post before Sunday, November 5th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the contest rules all generic comments are ineligible.).  At $14.99, Animal Playground is a wonderful gift for a birthday.prizeypick

For more in-the-know fun on Putumayo World Music new releases, artist interviews, and more you can follow them on Twitter, and become a Putumayo World Music fan on Facebook.


I want to know…what kind of music do you enjoy together as a family?

Thank you to Putumayo Kids for providing a sample copy of Animal Playground CD for the purpose of this review.


Congrats to #13, Jill L.

Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly

Playground Fun

Calvin’s physical skills have advanced considerably since the spring, when I first took him to the big kids playground.

Initially, he was a little timid.  He’d NEVER go down the slide without Mama or Daddy.

But, he’s almost two, and things have changed with this little climber…Climbing at the Playground (19 seconds) from drgarnecki on Vimeo.

Once he ascended the ladder, he announced greetings in English and Chinese.

Nei Hao (10 seconds) from drgarnecki on Vimeo.

Just in case you’re not a video fan, here’s a couple of my favorite snapshots from this afternoon.

tunnel editPeering at Mama in the tunnel

swing2 editGetting Daddy kisses on the swing

slide2 editSerious slide fun

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On the Run

runner There was a time in my life when I used to be passionate about running, swimming, martial arts, indoor rock climbing, and a number of other things that had to do with self-improvement.  Yet, I woke up today and I realized I hadn’t done many of those things in a very, very long time.  I also realized it’s been just as long that I remembered missing or caring to do those things.

Isn’t it interesting how the throws of life can alter our focus (not for better or for worse, but things are just different).

Has that happened to you lately?

Did you wake up one day and realize it’s been months or even years since you did something you used to love to do.  Not because you no longer love it, but because life’s circumstances have put different loves in a higher priority?

Replaying the previous weeks in my mind, I find that I’m very focused on a handful of things right now:

  • What will I make for lunch/dinner?
  • When’s the next opportunity to work on Calvin’s potty training?
  • Can I fit in taking my son to the park between nap time and dinner preparation?
  • How long can I hold off on doing laundry until I REALLY have to do laundry?

Then, there’s the whole chiropractic practice bit where I work 3-4 days per week.  But, even on days I’m not working, I’m still “working”.  Whether it’s thinking about different approaches to treating spinal conditions or preparing for my next education talk in the community or spending a large majority of my time on the phone with insurance companies, I’m still mentally “at work” even on many of my “off” days.

I also realized that in order to be a loving wife and mom with increasing patience and a pleasant disposition, I also need to take a little time just for me every week.  My “me time” has definitely varied over the years.  I was once completely immersed in jazz singing, then I poured my time and energy into playing guitar.  When I was in chiropractic college, I ran at Daytona Beach or swam laps to get my mind off the stresses of exams and practicals.

Then, I became a mom.

It took me a long time figuring out how to take care of my son and myself simultaneously.  Once in a great while, I was able to sneak away (usually after bedtime) to swim laps once a week or once a month.  I also was able to spend once a week training in martial arts.

Then, we moved to Charlottesville, and I became a part-time working mom (starting up my own practice…from scratch). Since January, I’ve had the opportunity for “me-time” for a few minutes here and there.  Invariably, I get interrupted while I’m in the shower with a knock on the door.  I think I kinda gave up in trying to figure out how to work it into my jam-packed balancing act schedule.

But, today I woke up and realized I used to love running–and I haven’t done it in months.  MONTHS!

The weather is gorgeous.  The trees in central Virginia are beautiful.  And, I have not yet been running.  Why not?  Why did I forget to pencil in some jogger stroller bonding time?

I couldn’t think of an answer to the question except for the bullet points mentioned above.

So, this is what I’m going to do about it.  Instead of trying to take my son to the playground 2-3 times a week, I’ll just shoot for once a week.  And then I’ll make it a point to run at Jefferson Parkway or even in my little neighborhood twice a week.  Just to remember what it feels like and why I once loved it.  I also realized the city pools are going to open in about a month.  We’ll be able to get some serious water time in AND hang out together as a family.  I’m definitely missing the joy of swimming.  And isn’t it particularly convenient that one of the city pools also has two adjacent playgrounds?

What is it that you haven’t done in a long time that you wish you had? What are you going to do to get back into it again?

Weekend Update

img_5081Although I had to go in to the office on Saturday, and Calvin fended off a nap for as long as possible, we finally managed to head over the the highly anticipated Pen Park playground.

This safe and fun park features astroturf on the playground, 2 separate playgrounds for big kids and smaller kids, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, green grass, picnic tables galore, nature trails, and a golf course.  I don’t think you could ask for anything more in a public park, except maybe a pool.  But, there are plenty of public pools at parks in Charlottesville…which we’ll be trying out this summer.

Next trip, we’re packing a picnic lunch.

Our little man enjoyed exploring on the nature trails, and driving a car on the playground.

He hiked up a pretty steep hill, and got tuckered out about 3 or 4 times, but he did make it back to the crest where you can see the swing sets peeking through the trees.

img_5096This is a friend he made on the playground.  They drove together.  Before sliding, she asked me to say “ready? 1-2-3!” before she took off down the slide.  I love toddlers.

img_5089Calvin and Daddy are enjoying driving the “bike” which is anchored to the playground with a couple of giant springs.

We spent Sunday afternoon walking around barefoot in the backyard because it was sunny and lovely…and because it’s supposed to rain and storm tonight and cold weather is once again headed our way.  We had to take advantage of the amazing sunshine for as long as possible.

So, we blew bubbles.  Calvin’s word for bubbles is “Dah!” which is also how he pronounces “ball”.  Yes, I guess they look like little shimmery balls with irridescent rainbows catching the sunlight.

He loved popping them on the bubble wand.  His face would light up and he’d squeal with delight.  He even tried to pop them with his teeth a few times.  I think the experience was somewhat surprising.

Maybe the sunny weather will return before week’s end.  I’d definitely love to bust out with those bubbles while barefoot in the backyard before too long.

National Recess Week Giveaway

And the winners are . . . Jessica who said,
I will play with Lourdyn on the floor since she is learning how to roll and flip all over the place! We will also continue training for a half-marathon together! She and I will log about 13 miles this week at the park in the stroller. Yay!! I’m already subscribed to your blog and I already follow you on Twitter. Woo hoo!! I will try to blog about your contest, but I’m not going to promise because I’m working on another blog right this second.  Love you!
Heather who said,
I have an infant who never stops moving: in my arms, on the floor, in a stroller, in the tub it reallly doesn’t matter where. I’m pretty sure as soon as she can crawl and walk, I will be the one who gets a lot more exercise.
I already geyt traveling with baby, but I will check out twitter.
Miss ya!! Love ya!!
March 2-6 is National Recess Week.  The whole idea of Recess Week is to encourage kids to get on their feet to enjoy active, calorie-burning fun.  Lively music is a great way to get toes tapping, hands clapping, and kids playing.
Putumayo Kids‘ Playground collection of albums are a perfect accompaniment to playtime.  The Playground series is jam-packed with upbeat sounds for dancing and play.  World Playground was the first album release in the series in 1999, and continues to last as a crowd-pleaser for all ages.  My son’s personal favorite is Hawaiian Playground which is joyous for adults as well as little ones. The next release is European Playground scheduled in May and Picnic Playground which will be released in July.  On tour this summer is A Putumayo Presents Picnic Playground.
Putumayo Kids is the children’s and educational division of Putumayo World with a goal of introducing children to other cultures through music.  Putumayo Kids is a truly global record label, with millions of CDs sold in more than 100 countries worldwide.

As part of National Recess week, Putumayo Kids and Traveling with Baby have teamed up to offer not one, but TWO winners will win TWO Putumayo Kids Playground CDs (manufacturer’s choice).  Double the fun and double the recess play time!

1. To enter, post a comment on how you’ll encourage your kids to actively PLAY more during National Recess week.  What will you do WITH your kids?  Be creative, but most importantly…play!

2. Earn a second entry by blogging about the giveaway and linking to Traveling with Baby.  Then, leave a comment with a link to your post.

3. Earn a third entry by subscribing to Traveling with Baby.  Leave a comment “subscribed”

4. Earn a fourth entry by following me on Twitter (drdolly) and tweeting about this contest.  Leave another comment for this entry “twittered”.

Leave a valid e-mail address, so I can contact you to claim your prize, or it’ll go to another amazing person.  This contest is open to U.S. only.

This contest runs until 11:59PM (EST) on March 6, 2009.

One winner will be randomly selected (via random.org) and announced on this post and e-mailed sometime shortly after March 6th. If a winner doesn’t respond within 72 hours, a new winner will be selected.