Brain Dump

I’m feeling like a Brain Dump today.

1. We are back in Chicago again. I miss my parents, not just for the free babysitting but because they’re really fun to be around. I’m not sure when we became friends (and not just relatives) but it’s a nice place to be.

2. T1 visiting That Husband at my dad’s office and showing off his new hat.

3. We came home just in time for them to start drilling and working on the apartment above us. This means 8 hours a day of buzzing, banging, and noise pollution and I feel like I”m going out of my mind. They offered up free membership to the gym and pool for those affected (which I already have) or access to the club on the top floor (which I can’t visit with a baby) so I’m stuck here wondering why That Husband and  I are bickering about things that are no big deal. (Oh yeah, it’s the constant kerfluffing going on above us.)

4. Today I’m ordering a Fitbit, an Ergo, and I started testing out the No ‘Poo method. I also started my personal training today. I’m a fan of all those things.

I probably should have noted why I’m getting the Fitbit. Mrs. Penguin wrote some posts about it, which got me interested. I like that it updates wirelessly, has an iphone app, tracks your sleep, AND doesn’t mean a big black band on my arm!

5. We’ve started brainstorming how to get our unruly toddler over the Atlantic ocean to Poland without losing our minds. Anyone done a cross-continental flight like this that has any tips for me?

6. I tried to make granola and tasted it right before it went in the oven to realize that the coconut oil was rancid. I think that jar was like a year old, maybe 2 or 3. Smell check your ingredients before ruining an entire batch of goodies!

7.  I’m leaving for Boston on Thursday! I have a weddnig in New Hampshire and while I’m there I plan to hang out with my Weddingbee friends, and help a friend of mine with some unpacking before her husband starts the MBA program at Harvard. You guys know I love food like no other, any suggestions for a must-visit spot while I’m there? Vegetarian friendly and seasonally focused if you please. 🙂

8. I went to the dermatologist, oh, about 8 months ago, and she gave me a cream to use on my face. She also may have mentioned that I was supposed to come see her again in something like a week or two, but I chose to ignore that. 6 months later and I can’t go even a day without using the cream before my rash comes back. Turns out the cream was steroids and my face was addicted! The new dermatologist I went to said I am not allowed to use that cream again and gave me something else. This means my face is hideous and itchy and all-around pretty gross looking. The point of me telling you this is to warn you that you might see that hideous rash pop up in pictures and that you should probably schedule a follow-up when your doctor tells you to do so.

40 thoughts on “Brain Dump

  1. I’m waffling back and forth about choosing a Body Bugg or a Fitbit. What made you decide to try a Fitbit? Any thoughts on one versus the other? I actually started with your blog when I was researching the Body Bugg.

    Jenna Reply:

    You did? That’s funny! I added a little note to the post on why I’m going to get it.

  2. aww – T1 looks adorable in his new hat. and that teeny button up shirt! so, so cute.

  3. I’ve used steriod creams for my skin like that before. Hopefully you’ll like the new prescription. It took me a few tries before I found something I liked.

  4. I am totally curious about this FitBit. I looked on their website and I don’t really get it. Do you know any other bloggers who use it (I know one of the Weddingbee girls does, anyone else)? It looks better than a Body Bugg…and cheaper!

    Jenna Reply:

    I added a little note to the post on why I’m going to get it

  5. If you don’t like the Ergo, I HIGHLY recommend the Boba. I can’t say enough good things about it. You can carry T1 both front facing your chest, or on your back. I LOVE it. I can send you a pic of me and Owen using it if you want 🙂

  6. For the unruly children going across the Atlantic, I highly suggest making sure they are hydrated and have snacks. Also, you may want to bring some sort of sedative. 🙂 Okay well maybe just some kind of children’s Tylenol that makes them drowsy. When we went to Germany, my niece was kind of a nightmare and a big part of that was being dehydrated and hungry. We weren’t on the plane with them on the way there, but on the way back I think she did better because we realized what the problem was.

    Life On Mulberry Reply:

    As an observer without children – I echo this. I’m always amazed at the number of parents who rely on the airline for food. What, you don’t have my child’s preferred jarred baby food available? I realize that airlines do offer this stuff, and that you are likely not the sort of person to rely on the air hostess to provide T1’s food, but COME ON.

    Ill-prepared parents on flights, especially international flights, just kill me.

    Jenny Reply:

    On the same note, make sure you know what kinds of food you can take with you through inspection. When we were in Heathrow, a couple with a baby had to get rid of their baby food. It might have been because it was opened, but I’m not sure. My heart went out to them during such a frustrating situation. Most of what I’ve experienced and I’m sure you have with all the traveling and going through airports that you’ve done, you’ll probably stock up at the airport. Not ideal, but sometimes a necessary evil.

  7. Are you flying into Manchester? I know a great farm to table place! Let me know if you need a ride/want food!

  8. For flying with children, I would suggest bringing out endless distractions, one at a time. I know you’re anti toy clutter, I am too. But for something like that, I’d go to the dollar store and load up on age appropriate stuff. Does he color? I’ve found that works for a good little bit, and crayons can be a good least messy choice. Maybe tell him they’re special airplane toys that only exist on your trip. I would also take a ton of food/snacks that you know he likes so that hunger doesn’t play a role. I also don’t know how much Sesame Street, cartoons, whatever, you watch, but especially if it’s not much, that could distract really well.

  9. I just pulled the trigger and bought the Fitbit! The best part was that I got it for $7 because I had $88 worth of Amazon Rewards Points built up. I’m excited to try this out and interested in seeing my sleep patterns. My 15 month old co-sleeps with us, I’m still breastfeeding, and the little rugrat wakes up a lot to nurse. I’m hoping seeing how poor quality of sleep I’m getting will give me the push to get him out of our bed.

  10. I flew to India with a newly-turned two year old last December. I have a fairly long list of recommendations/tips. I should probably just email them to you …

    And, oh, Boston! I live here! Maybe we will run into each other! Such an awesome city. I have a bajillion places to eat here that I would readily recommend, but do you have any budget guidelines? And where in the city will you be? Because people ask my husband and I what we do for fun all the time and we mostly just look at each other awkwardly before answering, “Um, eat?”

  11. I hope I’ll get to see you, Jenna, while you’re here! As for vegetarian places, you must go to Clover Food Labs — there’s a location in the Holyoke Center in Harvard Sq., as well as food trucks around the city. Their chickpea fritters are phenomenal, and their prices can’t be beat.

  12. Hi Jenna! I have some Cambridge recommendations: Toscanini’s ice cream is a MUST!!! And Burdick’s (right off of Harvard Square) has the most incredible hot chocolate in the world. My dentist didn’t believe me when I told her I didn’t drink coffee because that stuff is potent…but soooooo good. Get the dark for a real kick. (I know it’s August, but seriously, this is worth drinking hot chocolate in August.) And Veggie Planet has some relatively cheap vegetarian eats that I daydream about…there’s some butternut squash/sage/rice dish on the menu, and I think it’s named after the owner’s cat. At any rate, it’s good stuff. There are also a TON of Indian restaurants with tons of fab veggie fare. The one right next door to Burdick’s (I forget the name) also has phenomenal, to die for kheer. Have fun and go crazy with Boston food!

  13. I’ve considered doing the no poo thing a while back because a friend of a friend was doing it ( but I never had the guts. I’m curious to see how your experience goes and maybe I’ll attempt it when school is over. lol I seem to be unable to do anything else in life until December, any little thing seems extremely overwhelming.

    That Fitbit looks interesting. I’d be curious to see how well and how much I sleep since I sleep during the day half the week and the other half at night.

  14. So many thoughts…

    Fitbit – I LOVE that it tracks sleep. Good sleep is so important, I’m considering ordering it just to figure out what effects the quality of my sleep. Since I’m due in 4 weeks (and already 3cm dilated?!) I think that I’ll wait as I’m pretty sure what is going to be effecting the quality of my sleep very, very soon.

    No’Poo – Just hopped over to Cortney’s blog to read about it – brilliant! I now really want to try it. But then I read her “washing her face with oil” and I really, really want to try that. Did you try that? Please put a No’Poo feedback post up.

    5. I’ve obviously never flown with a toddler internationally (or at all!) but obviously mothers WITHOUT children give the best advice so I’d suggest… movies on your ipad, benadryl, no sleep pre-flight, running the aisles, and this last one seems super difficult (and expensive) – but him having his own seat. So if you are on a 2-3-2, request seats C and E in the center section, hoping that they don’t fill that middle seat… and if they do, I’m sure that person will gladly move to a different middle seat. T1 will rock it!

    8. Your first addiction!!! You should have chosen wine (it is a shame your dermatologist didn’t prescribe that) and rashes are the worst – so I hope that your face’s addiction to steroids goes away quickly! xoxo

  15. You don’t have to buy an ergo; I made something very similar to that at way less the cost. If you want to check mine out sometime to see if you like it, I can teach you how to make your own. If you don’t like it then you can go on to buy the ergo. I guess that’s just my philosophy; why buy when I can make it.

    Jenna Reply:

    You’re so crafty! I admire that you are wiling to take the time for that. Recently S and I adopted the attitude of why struggle through making it when you can buy. Haha. I bought my Ergo already, but next time I have something like that to buy I promise I’ll email you and see how hard it would be to make it. 🙂

  16. for #3 – could you ask them to give you a free extension to your gym & pool membership since you already have one?

    and t1 is too cute! 🙂

    Jenna Reply:

    It lasts through the time we leave. Otherwise that would be a great idea!

  17. I thought No ‘poo had to do with T1 & diapers, so I am glad that I read the comments & realized it wasn’t!

    My hair gets so greasy, so fast that I have to wash it every day or look like an oil slick. This is intriguing to me!

  18. There are so many good places to eat in Boston, but one of my favorites is City Girl Cafe. It’s in Inman Square, which is definitely a hidden jewel for food in Boston and not too far from Harvard Square. They are small, but definitely vegetarian friendly, and I believe they are seasonally focused as well. Also, if you are in the mood for some delicious home made ice cream Christina’s is close by!

  19. T1 in that hat is seriously SO cute! I love his giant grin.

    Good luck with the no ‘poo! That has always intrigued me but I’m too scared to do it.

  20. I have a friend whose significant other is starting at HBS this year TOO! Our friends should be friends!!

  21. Hey Jenna,

    Not a mom yet, (see my other comment on your later post,) but planning several international trips during the first two years of our baby’s life, (my husband’s family lives in England and South Africa,) so have been stocking up on ‘travelling with a toddler’ tips myself.

    You may have already heard this, but the most intriguing one I’ve come across so far is to book seats away from your husband.

    Yup. You sit in row ’10’ and your husband sits in row ’25.’ That way, you each take turns with T1, and then when you’re tired / had enough or T1 is getting cranky, you can switch off. The ‘new’ parent is fun and exciting for T1, and the ‘off-duty’ parent can get some rest and quiet time for reading, movies, etc.

    Obviously, you don’t get to share in the flight with your TH, which is the downer, but the potential benefits seem well worth it!

    Hope that helps!

  22. Italian food in The North End of Boston is amazing. Also, Mike’s Pastry is worth a spot for a splurge on a cannoli. I don’t have many other recommendations since most of my Boston eats are at pubs and stuff. Check out, Tina is a food blogger who lives in Boston and often features tasty looking restaurants.

  23. I remember reading somewhere that for every hour you are on a plane you should drink 1 extra bottle of water that day. Stay hydrated!

  24. Very interested to hear about the Ergo! I’m really excited about babywearing and bought a K’Tan (similar to a Moby) for myself. DH declared there is no way he is wearing a wrap, though, so we decided to register for a second carrier as well. After reading about the problems with the Bjorn, etc., we decided on the Ergo. Probably a good idea to have multiple carriers anyway.

  25. Oh yes, I did do the No ‘Poo for six weeks two summers ago (your friend Thais mentioned it in a comment above).

    I really liked it. The best part was being able to travel without shampoo or hair crap. It was kind of surreal to pack a bag and not even need to wrap anything in plastic bags!

    In the end I stopped doing it but I keep meaning to take it up again and try some different techniques. Good luck!


  26. “I’m not sure when we became friends (and not just relatives) but it’s a nice place to be.”

    I have the same relationship with my parents and I absolutely love it!

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