Getting Ready…

It’s been ages since I last updated. In fact, I think it was around the time Atticus was 2 months old. Yikes.

But like many of you know, adding a new member of the family makes free time few and far between. Let alone free time for writing. Cause suddenly, Atticus is 11 months old.

Can you believe it?

I can’t either.

So why am I writing now? Well we are doing something with the whole family I’ve wanted to do since falling in love with Michael.

WE ARE ALL TRAVELING TO LEBANON (and Paris)!!

Sorry to shout but it’s so damn exciting!!

Writing about our travels is something I’ve always done here, but I didn’t get a chance to document my Greece trip, with Atticus, the way I would have liked. I really learned a lot on that trip about traveling with babies, that I felt like someone should be writing about.

So I searched and searched, and while there seemed to be some really excellent family travel bloggers out in the interwebs, none with a perspective quite like me and my family.

Which means: I’ll be back WAY more often, and hopefully this blog design will be updated soon with current pictures and pics of our little guy on this side bar over there ——>

First though, let me give you a little background on how this trip came to be.

Michael’s close friend Joe, has lived in Lebanon for a few years now, and is marrying a fantastic person in a few short weeks.

Last fall, when we first heard the wedding might be in Beirut, we started thinking about making the trip as a family, particularly because it was a perfect occasion to finally make the trip. Selfishly? It would give us a chance to all meet and visit with Michael’s Teta, who is in her 90’s. In fact there’s a whole extended family we have never met, waiting for us there.  Needless to say, by January, we had our tickets booked.

How does Paris factor in? Since we had to have a layover somewhere in Europe, because the US has no direct flights to Lebanon, we asked the girls where they’d like to stop and gave them a few options.

Well about a split second after I said Paris, they both shouted “Paris!!!! The Eiffel Tower!!” And that’s how we ended up with four days and nights in Paris as well. Which was an excellent choice IMO. I haven’t been to Paris since college, and have been dying to get back there, to revisit the city I fell in love with and practice my French. And I think the kids and Michael will love it as much as I do.

Now, many may be wondering how or why or what we are thinking, taking three kids overseas and especially to Paris and the Middle East right now. And I hear you.

Traveling can be scary. All the unknowns and all the fear mongering in the media, can really mess with people and make naturally curious human beings, distrustful and insulated.

But for us, the experiences and understandings we have gained from traveling the small bit of the globe we have seen, far outweighs the inherent risk of living in the era of the world we inhabit.

People wonder how we can take a baby or small kids. Won’t it be difficult? What will they eat? How about the baby, what about his schedule?

Well, I can tell you from traveling with Atticus and my sister to Santorini, Greece, this past October, it’s not as hard to travel with a baby as I thought it was. The hardest part was the plane ride. The rest was just tucking him into the carrier, having to stop to nurse occasionally and finding a spot to change his diaper (hard to come by). Having two adults to deal with the baby was excellent, and will be again. The big girls are pretty self-sufficient, and we trust that they’ll be just fine on the plane once their movie screens are working.

As far as schedules go, the girls don’t nap, and the baby sleeps really well in a carrier. So…babywearing for the win, again.

And eating? Thankfully all three kids are adventurous eaters and love carbs and pastries. They’ll fit right in with the Parisian kids. And Lebanese food is their absolute favorite, and the girls know how to say most of the food in Arabic already.

We found an excellent looking AirBnB in Paris with its own children’s bedroom, a few blocks from Notre Dame and Place St Michel. Then we will fly to Lebanon and stay with Michael’s Teta (grandmother), in the village my father-in-law grew up in, for a week. After that, it’s off to Beirut, for the rest of our holiday, which we have an lovely apartment in the Hamra district to stay in.

But now the hardest part of traveling. Packing.

Its the WORST.

We are leaving in five days and things are only vaguely packed. It’s a bit stressful, to be honest.  IMG_0016

Tomorrow…watch me turn this overflowing laundry basket of black knit and Spanx into a beautifully organized and (hopefully) wrinkle free suitcases

I’ll break down the method to my madness of packing for five people for three weeks in two totally different climates, with a special occasion in the mix

As always if you have any questions please let me know! I’ve got all kinds of post ideas about traveling with kids, cheap flights, finding the perfect hotel/rental, how to make things less difficult once you arrive in the country you’re visiting. Let me know if there’s anything else you can think of…

Happy Sunday!!

 

A Look Back at 2014: Part 2

We’re taking on the second half of 2014 in this post. In case you missed it HERE is the link to my post from yesterday…

In effort to counteract such sadness and to welcome the hope and promise of the year ahead let’s look at some pictures. Cause pictures always make me feel better. And if you don’t already you really should follow me on Instagram @mrseyebrowz. Because I post there way more frequently than here. Also…pictures of Iz sleeping in all manner of weird spots and positions on a regular basis.

JULY – Tracey and me. First we saw The Wailers (yes, Bob Marley’s band) at this year’s Common Ground music festival and then we had the absolute pleasure of watching The Violent Femmes perform the entirety of their first album, first to back. This was an adolescent dream come true for us. We sang along with every single word of every single song. LOVE.
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When we go to Chicago for vacation, we know people. Like our buddies Kennedy and Chase who met us at the Shedd Aquarium for some fun times! Their faces in this picture. I die. IMG_6582
These four minis had an awesome time tearing up the Shedd. IMG_6599
Clearly, Isora was NOT impressed with the crying baby next to us OR the dolphin show. IMG_5433
The coolest thing EVER. We got to pet Stingrays. We loved this park of Shedd. IMG_5453
Such a fun day at the Lincoln Park Zoo with André and Merissa. They showed us a great time in Chicago. IMG_6632
AUGUST – Nothing like having a few friends over to remind us of how awesome our new backyard is. And by a few friends I mean a thousand mosquitoes. They made a meal out of poor Izzie’s face when she spent over two hours playing in the sand box. Clearly it didn’t even phase her. Look at that smile. IMG_6669
That one time when Isora passed out in the car and we brought her into Culver’s and she slept the whole time we ate.
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The Kitty Ear Krew. Merissa bought these Kitty ears for Cedella. And she has rarely taken them off since. Then it became a thing. We wear Kitty ears on Wednesdays. IMG_6841
This is totally MY type of situation. Nah mean?IMG_6857
Me and my girls. Relaxing up north in Tawas having the best ice cream ever. IMG_6858
Up North. On Lake Huron. Fire circle. Grandma Linda’s natural habitat. Love this picture. IMG_5735
At Dinosaur Gardens. Where we always act like complete idiots. I cry with laughter every time I see this. IMG_5819
I’m obsessed with this picture. And this is why I love Lake Huron. It’s wide open beach. Very few people. A whole lotta sand.
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This summer’s trip to Oscoda was just us girls. Memories. Made. IMG_5864
SEPTEMBER – First day of Junior Kindergarten to be precise. The look of pride on her face is just everything.
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Cedella and her absolute BFF Anna. Don’t they suddenly look so old?IMG_6024
Hanging out at the Michigan State Homecoming parade. Go Green!! Go White!! IMG_6065
This is what Izzie does while Ella is at school. Sleeps in weird places. It’s a glamorous life. IMG_7003
This may be my favorite photo of the year. This one Tuesday in September it was super hot and me and my besties Leslie and Nicole and all of our 6 girls piled into the cars and drove out to the beach at Holland State Park for the day. It was SO good. And not long after this picture, like days, me and Nicole found out we were pregnant. And almost a month after this picture Leslie found out she was pregnant. A little bittersweet but still so perfect. I love all of these girls so very much. IMG_7042
OCTOBER – For a birthday gift for me, Tracey and our bro Robbie (all born within 2 weeks of each other in Sept/Oct) I got us tickets to see Neil DeGrasse Tyson speak. We love this man. You know who loves him too? Cedella. She is obsessed with Cosmos and knows his name and was thrilled to join us for this lecture. She even stayed awake for nearly the whole thing. IMG_7164
The Sims Kids (minus 1). We geeked out on this so hard. It was fantastic to be with these two for the night.
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The Coolest Astrophysicist in the Universe. IMG_6072
Mom’s ‘Retirement’ Party. I say ‘retirement’ because she is still working 40 hrs/week. But they threw a lovely party for her at the library and we all came together to celebrate her kind of ‘retiring’.IMG_6179
HALLOWEEN – Padawan Ashoka Tano and Jedi Master Yoda. To say I love their geekiness is an understatement.
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Trick or Treating with Superman and Star Lord on the absolute coldest day of the year. IMG_6309
And the Great Pumpkin Walk with their besties Owl (Mia) and Wolf (Anna). IMG_6285
NOVEMBER – Was. Hard. So very hard. Nicole and Leslie and me. And our bumps. Two days before I lost Miles. This picture is one of my favorites and also the hardest one to look at. 
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We lost Miles the week before Thanksgiving. All of our Canadian cousins drove in to spend a long weekend over Thanksgiving. And though I was absolutely distraught and physically exhausted, family was truly the best medicine for my broken heart. Just look at Ella feeding her sister. They love each other so much. I’m clearly doing something right in that regard. IMG_6356
I just love the relationship these two have. Cedella and her Jiddo John. Always goofing around and playing together. He’s her best buddy.
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Despite how heartbroken in made me to meet these two new little boys in our family, it also brought so much love to my soul to hold them. This is Adam. Cedella is obsessed with him. Look at what a great big cousin she is.
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And with Mila and her new little brother Leo. Cedella also loved Leo. She just loves babies in general. I love these children so much my heart could burst. IMG_6394
DECEMBER – Though I was feeling only slightly human, we had to make Christmas the best ever for our girls. So out to the Christmas tree farm we went. This was our first attempt. There wasn’t a good tree in sight, but Isora had a great nap on my back. Doesn’t she look cozy back there? She woke up and looked around and said “This is the most beautiful place ever. Look at all the Christmas trees!!” Love this kid.

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And the following weekend we made it out to the Peacock Rd Tree Farm. SCORE! Here’s my crazy family getting ready to cut down our beautiful tree. 
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And this one night, after we had the tree all decorated, I was just sitting by myself watching a Christmas favorite when all of a sudden the tree dropped. Like TIMBER in five seconds flat. I didn’t even have enough time to react. And couldn’t get it back up by myself. Enter the Two Drunk Mikes. The figured it out, eventually. It was pretty hilarious to watch. BONUS POINTS if you know what movie I was watching.
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Christmas Cookies with Grandma Becky!! The girls loved every minute. IMG_6578
And finally, Crafts with Santa time at Grandma Linda’s library. The girls have been every single year since they’ve been alive. Except for Cedella puking all over herself on the drive down to Detroit, ruining her fancy dress, and the following stomach bug that all of us (even Grandma and TeTe) suffered, it was SO much fun!
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So other than our 7 Christmas celebrations (that’s a post for another day), this was our year. Looking back on it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Sure we had a lot of heartbreak when we lost Miles but buying a house and another year of watching these amazing girls grow was incredible.

And while I’m not interested in making any actual resolutions for the year, I will say this: 2015…the year for counting my blessings each and every day.

That’s our year. How was your year? Any highlights? Thanks for spending a little time at Babies & Bacon today.

A Look Back at 2014: Part 1

Well to say 2014 was a busy year is an incredible understatement.

We searched for and found our first home.

Cedella started at People’s Church Preschool.

Isora managed to blow us all away with her ability to fall asleep nearly anywhere.

We traveled to Chicago and to the Cottage up north.

After waiting until we were moved and settled in our new home, we got pregnant.

And lost our sweet baby 14 weeks later.

Then we had 7 Christmas celebrations and our home became the Toys R Us graveyard.

It was eventful. Such a great way to begin the year and such a shitty way to end it. So much sadness. And it seemed to be all around us. So many people sick, hurting, suffering and losing loved ones.

In effort to counteract such sadness and to welcome the hope and promise of the year ahead let’s look at some pictures. Cause pictures always make me feel better. And if you don’t already you really should follow me on Instagram @mrseyebrowz. Because I post there way more frequently than here. Also…pictures of Iz sleeping in all manner of weird spots and positions on a regular basis.

WARNING: LOOOOOOTTTTTTSSSSS of pictures ahead. Like 30. So I’m splitting this post up into two parts. Enjoy!! 

JANUARY – This little spitfire sassy pants turned 4 years old and started her new school. She amazes us more every day she’s on this planet. And ::gasp:: she will be 5 in a mere 9 days. I’m gonna need some Kleenex. ASAP.

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And one of the most amazing things about this year? Watching these two grow even closer together. It’s the best.

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FEBRUARY – Me and my girl Kasey decided to throw an all-out Frozen birthday bash for all of our kiddos. It was AWESOME. Here’s Cedella Elsa with Kennedy Elsa and Lexi Elsa.

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And dozens of our favorite friends.

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Cedella had TWO hot dates for Valentine’s. Grandma Becky took her to her first Broadway theater show, Beauty and the Beast.

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And Michael took her to the Daddy Daughter Dance.

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We all got good gifts this Valentine’s. Check out those flowers for me and My Little Ponies for the girls.

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MARCH – I can’t even. They’re holding hands. And El rocked those silly glasses for days!

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Birthday celebration with Grandma Rose! How lucky is Isora to share a bday with her Great Grandma. So. Lucky.

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We had a big old St. Patty’s birthday bash for all our friends at our home. It was crazy and chaotic and FUN!

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And then this happened. March 22nd. We found our Dream Home. Loved it the second we walked in.

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APRIL: Our dear sweet furry baby Kira had to be put to sleep. I’m choking up just looking at this picture. We miss her so much.

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Yep. It snowed in April. It’s Michigan. It does that.

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Cedella in that hat.

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And Isora with these headphones on. Such hipster kids.

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MAY: We got the keys and moved into our new home!! So we bought the biggest bed we could find at IKEA. It is Heaven.

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Keys to our Kingdom.

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First morning cup of coffee in our new home.

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First night we slept in our new home. Once we slept here that first night, we never slept at the old house again. It was just Home.

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JUNE: This one day we ran around Detroit with TeTe, hitting up Eastern Market, Belle Isle and the Heidelberg Project.

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Then we watched my BABY sister graduate from High School. Yep that’s Kylara. She’s 19 now. I’m so old…

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And the best part about June? Our besties moved into a new home in the same city. As if they weren’t already, these four girls are now totally inseparable.

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And while she has always passed out wherever she happened to be, we started noticing Isora sleeping in the craziest places in the new house.

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July through December coming tomorrow!! Want more? Never want to miss an update? SUBSCRIBE ———> over there, at the very top of the page just below ‘Contact Me’. Enter your email address to receive all the latest Babies & Bacon updates right to your inbox.