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Tuesday Travels: Surviving a Road Trip with a Two-Year-Old

Welcome to Tuesday Travels, a weekly series at Traveling with Baby.  This weekly series will also features ideas for local day trips and  travel tips for families with kids-in-tow.  You’ll also find related product reviews and giveaways.  I enjoy hearing about your traveling adventures, too.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family in New York AND Pennsylvania.  We spent over 8 hours on the road Tuesday evening and again on Sunday evening.

Traveling with a two-year-old for a long period of time definitely poses some challenges.  I kept him content with an endless supply of snacks: bananas, cheese, dried fruit, and Happy Baby organic puffs.  When I ran out of snacks, we pulled over for more substantial chow.

Between providing food and performing puppet shows over my shoulder with stuffed animals, I don’t know who was more worn out, me or my son.

Once we arrived, we had a blast hanging out with family.  Thanksgiving day was quite busy for Calvin and his cousins.  He and his cousin J looked for cool rocks and “acorn hats” in the yard.

We also went on a mini-hike to the top of the mountain in my parents’ backyard.  That’s Calvin’s uncle Greg on the left, cousin J, and his Daddy Steve on the right.

While on the mountain, Steve found walking sticks for the boys to use.  He showed them how to “draw” on the rocks with the ashy tips of sticks from a recent brush fire.

After the hike, the boys refueled with snacks, and then we built a cardboard “gingerbread house” with caulk, peanut butter, crackers, popcorn kernals, and pine nuts.  It wasn’t exactly multi-colored, but it was inexpensive, quick, and easy. I forgot to pack our leftover candy from Calvin’s birthday party that I’d planned to use precisely for this purpose.

Here’s the finished product. What do you think?

There was plenty of feasting on Thanksgiving and every other day, too.  Our daily routine didn’t stray much from eating, watching the boys play and kiss  baby cousin, followed by napping, more eating, and sleep.  Repeat.

It was the most amazing vacation ever!

Cousin J and Calvin kissing Baby A on her sweet baby cheeks

My folks did 99% of the cooking and preparation.  I helped by making a salad, and eating a fair share of pumpkin pie and cornbread dressing.

It was simply wonderful sharing my favorite holiday with family in my parents’ home.  The last time we celebrated Thanksgiving together as a family was two years ago…when Calvin was only one-month-old.

Happy holidays from my family to yours!

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Health Happy Round-Up: Turkey Leftover Recipe Ideas

The Thanksgiving day feast is done.  Sure, you could re-heat plates with leftovers, but eventually, you’re gonna get tired of roasted turkey.  Here’s a few of my favorite options for leftovers:

1. Create a turkey casserole.  Use rice, potatoes, mushrooms, turkey, a little turkey broth, and cheese.  If you’re a follow-the-recipe person and “winging it” in the kitchen (no pun intended) isn’t your thing.  Then check out, the Nourishing Gourmet for some fantastically nutritious and economic recipes!

2. Create turkey tacos.  Dice 2 cups of turkey meat into small 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch cubes.  Heat up a cast iron pan to medium-high heat with 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and lightly brown 2 cloves of crushed garlic.  Then, fry up the turkey cubes in the garlic and coconut oil until crispy.  While cooking, season turkey meat with smoked paprika, cumin, sea salt, and a dash of red or green chile powder.  Serve the turkey meat along with small bowls of toppings and sides such as roasted tomatillo sauce, fresh salsa, cilantro, diced onions, grated monterrey jack cheese or queso, sour cream or whole-milk plain yogurt, steamed white corn tortillas, and shredded lettuce.

3. I think I’m going to make turkey enchiladas based on this chicken enchiladas recipe from All Recipes.

4. I always prefer to use a roasted chicken or turkey carcass to make homemade broth.  In fact, you use my chicken broth recipe–easily adaptable to turkey broth.  I’ll use the broth to make my favorite vegetable soup, Golden Winter Soup.

YOUR TURN: What is your favorite thing to do with leftovers from Thanksgiving?

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Giving Thanks – Giveaways

Yay! It’s Thanksgiving week.  This is my favorite holiday–a time for family fellowship, delicious food, and a time to be thankful for our blessings.  Even amidst tough recessional times, we always have things to be thankful for, and usually it’s the things that matter most.

I’m thankful for my wonderful husband and adorable son.  They keep me laughing, and they keep my feet grounded when times are rough.  Let’s face it, the road of parenthood is anything but smooth, but at least it’s adventurous and enriching.  My life is so much fuller because of my amazing family.

I’m also thankful for my blessed Savior, Christ Jesus.  In spite of the wretched and sinful wreck that I am, He called me His own and accepted me into his flock.

I’m very thankful to all of you who continue to read my posts.  You know there are days when I’m all over the place with my writing, or there are times I’ve been silent, but you’ve stuck with me.  Thank you!

Things have been rather chaotic hectic insane stressful busy lately with starting up a practice while Calvin’s been teething and getting over a very nasty cold.  There are only so many hours in a day.  I only have 2 hands, and most of the time I use them to take care of my son instead of do things to get the business side of the practice organized, so, we’re a little behind schedule.

As a result, I need to reorganize my blogging commitments so I can do my best to stay on track with everything.  Here’s where I’d love feedback from YOU!  Help me make Traveling with Baby the exceptional blog you’ve grown to love.

What do you enjoy most about visiting this site? Do you love the Calvin photos?  The posts on natural, wholesome health? Posts on motherhood?  Posts on travel?  Other than the product reviews and giveaways, tell me what you look forward to reading, and I’ll make a point to keep your faves as I streamline this blog.

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I’m a big fan of babywearing.  If I could sew and design the ultimate baby carrier, I would.  But since that’s not one of my skills, I defer to the creators and distributors of some of the best baby carriers around. Kristen at Along for the Ride is giving away an embroidered Ergo Baby Carrier Hands Free System.

Of course, I want to give thanks by providing a couple of giveaways of my own.

Giveaway #1:

treasury20storybooksScholastic just released Treasury of 20 Storybook Classics on 4 DVDs.  The Scholastic stories you and your youngsters have grown to love are brought to life on the little screen.  This fantastic set includes my personal favorite The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.  There are over 4 hours of story-time fun for ages 2 through 8 in this award-winning treasury (Caldecott Medal, NAPPA Gold Award, and Parents’ Choice Gold Medal among 32 others).  From Karma Wilson’s best-sellers Bear Snores On and Bear Wants More to my personal favorite, Beverly Cleary’s classic The Mouse and the Motorcycle, the entire family is sure to adore these treasures featuring celebrity narration by Sean Hayes, James Naughton, B.D. Wong, and others.  The read-along feature, truly makes this set edu-tainment for young readers.  Make the Treasury of 20 Storybook Classics part of your library today by ordering online. You can also win your own set here at TWB, retail value $29.95.

Giveaway #2:

The December I turned 6-years-old, I visited my grandparents in Washington state (we drove ALL the way from Texas).  My grandmother taught me to memorize T’was the Night Before Christmas.  I loved that poem, and I recited it for the entire family when we gathered to celebrate Christmas.  I love the beautiful imagery that it conjures up.  I hope that reciting T’was the Night Before Christmas along with  reading about the birth of Christ in the book of Luke become part of our household Christmas traditions for years to come.

nightbeforechristmassstdvd-ns1As a 6-year-old, I was able to read the poem, and my grandmother recited it to me numerous times which helped me to learn it as a child.  But, with today’s DVD technology, even pre-schoolers can learn it with Scholastic’s Storybook Treasures: The Night Before Christmas…and More Classic Holiday Tales come to life.  The award-winning DVD features 7 stories plus the Spanish version of Too Many Tamales. Louise August’s In the Month of Kislev, teaches children about true meaning of Hannukkah and a little about yummy potato pancakes.  Alfre Woodard narrates Seven Candles for Kwanzaa.  And, Anthony Edwards narrates the classic poem by Clement Clarke Moore, The Night Before Christmas.  Get all of your holiday tales in this lovely treasure which is perfect for every family’s DVD library.  73 minutes of storytime for ages 3 through 9.  Order yours online, or win your own copy here at TWB, retail value $14.95.

May your family be richly blessed with love, fellowship and thankfulness this Thanksgiving!

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Fine print:

Two winners will be selected for The Night Before Christmas DVD, and one winner will be selected for the 20 Storybook Treasury (via random.org)  To enter, leave a comment answering the questions above in red telling me what features and posts on TWB you’ve enjoyed reading and that you’d love for me to continue posting as I streamline this blog.  In your comment, please indicate which DVD you’d prefer to win.  Dibs goes to the first randomly drawn name, but hey, there are 3 winners, so you do have increased odds of winning something fun for your family!

Make sure you 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 November 30, 2008.

Two winners will be randomly selected (via random.org) and announced on this post and e-mailed sometime shortly after December 1st. If a winner(s) doesn’t respond within 72 hours, a new winner will be selected.

Posted by Dr. Dolly on Traveling with Baby