Staying in touch with the fam' while on the road

This morning, after returning from the second of two trips away from my family in the last 3 weeks, my daughter Isabel said, "Mom, it's odd to have you around. It's great, but it feels odd." Eh, can you grab that knife by the handle and twist it a little more?

Traveling when you have kids is a double edged sword. I'm not one of those moms who pines away the whole time I am gone. I enjoy my time by myself, and I love me some boutique hotel action. However, I feel intense, recovering-Catholic-scale guilt about burdening my husband with the 3 kids and the dog while I am gone. And I feel badly that I miss the crucial every day mundane details that, let's face it, make up a child's life. What they had for lunch. Whether they had PE today. How their outfit worked out for them on the playground.

I've found that video conferencing from the road has really helped, although it's kind of a tight squeeze to get everyone into the conversation. Best to take turns....

Staying in touch with the family while traveling, via Google video chat

There are no easy solutions to simultaneously doing right by your family, your job, and yourself. The best you can do is just enjoy your kids as much as you can, tell them you love them as often as you can, and tell your job to kindly take a back seat once and a while.

Did I mention I will be traveling again in 2 weeks? Better get a bigger monitor for the home computer....

Teeny Tiny Birthday Party Theme

For Isabel's 7th birthday, we embraced her love of the miniature and had a teeny tiny birthday party! To give credit where credit is due, it all started with a nifty party set by Martha Stewart that we bought at Michael's, which included tiny invitations, mini part hats, cups, and plates, and even teeny little goody bags. We bought a few bunches of mini carnations and gathered them in little teacups for a centerpiece. And we planned a menu of tiny foods, including:
  • Mini bagel pizzas
  • Teeny pigs in the blanket
  • Lilliputian Oreos and Ritz Bits
  • Itty-bitty cups of Ben and Jerry's ice cream
  • Tiny cupcakes and a mini birthday cake
Finally, we compiled as many miniature items as we could for our teeny loot bags:
  • Mini magic markers
  • Tiny post-it notes
  • Baby sized Goldfish crackers
  • Teeny Tootsie pops
It was truly hard to tell whether the kids or grown ups had more fun in planning and throwing this party. A highly recommended theme!