Sundry: Now With Product Review Update!

Selina is arcing slowly towards almost-gonna-be-okay-someday. She is creeping up on drinking 4 oz at a time which correlates to 4 hours of sleep. Come on, 10-2-6 schedule! But last night, she had a bottle at 9:30 and slept until 1:30. Yea! Right? But then she wouldn’t go back to sleep until 4:45. Thank god I didn’t have to get up at 6, take her to daycare and go to work like a normal person. Instead, I pushed her off on Cole when Nat woke up at 5:45 and told her not to bother me until 11. And she didn’t so I went back to sleep.

I have been reading this advanced review copy of a book about teaching your kids a second language. I wasn’t sure we were doing enough signing to make Nat truly fluent, but according to the book, we are just on the verge of enough. I’m taking a real course for grownups this fall at the local CC. Meanwhile, as Nat’s spontaneous expressive language increases these days, she’s often spontaneously signing what she says. “Look, Mama Shannon, a girl on a bicycle!” for example, all spoken and signed simultaneously this afternoon.

I want to hire a French-speaking babysitter for the fall semester (about 3 afternoons per week), not to teach her any formal lessons but just to speak to her in French, while supplementing with books and dvds in French at other times. French because I have studied it forever (without, of course, gaining much fluency) so I can sort of reinforce it and also because French is so stupid hard. If she gets it in her ear now, she can learn easier romance languages later with ease. I can read most basic Spanish at an intermediate level, for example, having only ever studied French. And we’ll be doing Latin in home school which will also set her up for Spanish and Italian.

But then I think maybe I should find an ASL-fluent baby sitter instead and just stick to one extra language, done the heck to death. I don’t know. Opinions?

We are going on a lo-o-o-o-ong trip in two weeks. 48 hours and three airplanes to Kawaii to celebrate my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. It’s times like this the adoptive, happy-to-bottle-feed mom wishes her boobs worked. I am going to lug five bottles of formula, five bottles of water and a zillion little ziplock bags with four oz. of formula powder in a huge carry on bag with all the snacks the other three of us will need to survive the skinflint, don’t-feed-you-for-free-even-when-we-strand-you-for-hours new standards of air travel. Then there are the diapers in sizes one and four, the wipies to accompany the diapers and various gear items. I just broke down and bought this and we’re snapping the baby car seat into it. I never thought I’d use a stroller by snapping a car seat into it. I would just wear the baby and push Nat. But my back says otherwise. So I’ll still take my favorite wrap and snuggle Selina in it on the plane and maybe carry her some, but we’ll have the stroller as back up.

Once there, we are sure to have a wonderful time, but getting there is not something we’re looking forward to…


I just posted a review of how the new stroller performed at a mom board I frequent. I’m copying it here for your edification:

My Jooy arrived and made it through three round-trip flights from Chicago to Hawaii (via LA and an inter-island hop) and back.

It was great for the airport. I have to admit I wrapped the baby and we used the baby carseat bit on the Joovy to port carry-on luggage (we had tons of that because we had to carry 48-hours worth of bottles, formula, diapers in two sizes and I added snacks that were meal-worthy for the entire trip for my toddler and partner too, having learned the hard way in past flight delays).

But we were able to belt Nat in seated even with the infant seat in place (it helped that we didn’t put an infant in it, because I’m not sure it was really in the correct position–but fine for luggage).

It isn’t super light, but the wheels are nice and large and smooth so it was manoueverable and easy enough to push along. I found it fairly easy to fold down too–I could manage it at the plane gate with sort of 1.5 hands–that is, with a baby wrap on me too.

I don’t know how much I’ll end up using it in ordinary life. For getting down to the park three blocks from home, I’ll probably just be wrapping the baby and strolling Nat in the umbrella.
It feels sooo big to me, but when I really look at it, it’s a fair footprint for two kids and gear. It’s about the equivalent of two standing adults, shoulder-to-shoulder. That seems reasonable for subways or whatnot.

All in all, I’d buy it again. Especially for that long airplane trek.

9 responses to “Sundry: Now With Product Review Update!

  1. A pal of mine has a toddler who speaks English, sign language, and Bengali. Another family has kids who speak English, Hebrew and French. So, yes, go for three!

  2. Nat is young enough that her brain will be soaking up languages and can handle three or four without giving it a second thought. You should DEFINITELY do more than one while she’s so young! Also, as a former member of the French Ivory Tower, I say start her out in French now, and the others will be easier for her to pick up later. I used to speak to the child of a friend in French exclusively, and she understood everything without confusion. Email me if you want to talk about languages!

  3. I don’t know what the rules are when you have a baby, but I would check with the airline to make sure they’ll let you take that much water. Even if you buy water after you get through security, they’ll make you throw it out again if you need to be re-screened. My mom is diabetic and they wouldn’t let her take an emergency juice box through security.
    I’m sure you’ve already got this covered, but just wanted to throw it out as a reminder.

  4. Diapers… which reminds me, how is potty training going? I mostly ask because my own daughter (28 months) is just beginning this momentous process, with not much success so far.

  5. Have a great time, and the best of luck.

  6. My husband lived in an setting with several international families when he was under 5. He was able to converse with all his playmates in each of their languages, without any formal teaching.
    In our house my husband speaks only Dutch with our kids and I speak english 99% of the time. Our son uses english most of the time but he understands everything we say in Dutch and he consistently uses certain Dutch words over their english counterparts.
    About the travelling, oh that’s such a hassle. Mixing formula on the plane, especially with the current guidelines (ahem), is no fun. Not to mention, keeping the kids happy! Good luck.

  7. You know all this, but our favorite airplane travel tips are (1) change diapers at the last possible second before boarding, to possibly postpone as long as possible having to change on the plane (2) dress the baby in a footed sleeper for the plane to avoid losing socks and shoes and (3) be packed up, ready to go, and hovering by the gate when they call for people with small children to board — otherwise it happens so fast you miss the chance.

  8. Don’t take the water–buy one after going through screening and ask for another bottle as you board. The airlines are good about giving water to babies (everyone else is REALLY REALLY thirsty though). I’ve flown three times through the states since bringing Astrid home from Ethiopia in March and I’ve lost water bottles every time (I’m a fast-learner!)

  9. Everything I’ve heard is the more languages the better. My best friends kids speak Latvian, English and Spanish. It can’t hurt!

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