Monday, January 30, 2012

Announcing the Strawesome winner, and other updates

For the Strawesome giveaway, I printed all the comments, put them into a hat, and had a child randomly draw a comment.





And the winner is...


Trini! Please leave me a comment with your email address, and I will get in touch with you (the comment will not be published).


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In other news, I finally booked the flight for my Dad's visit. He lives in Hungary, so there are no direct flights, but I was able to find one that only changed planes once (in London). He will be here for a little over five weeks, from mid-March until late April. My Dad is a very easy guest, AND he cooks awesome food, so this will be great fun. It's been three years since his last visit. The kids are excited, as is my husband, who has been working on learning Hungarian and can't wait to have a more willing tutor than me.

I just love how the ticket price for a round-trip flight is only $193, and the taxes and fees added on top of that are more than twice as much. We sure pay a fortune for an opportunity to get molested by the TSA!!!



On a related note, my grandma on my mom's side passed away earlier this month. She was one of my favorite people in the world, such a sweet old lady. Her funeral was last week, in Germany. The TSA was the single reason why I was unable to attend her funeral. (In fact, they were the reason why I had not visited her since finding out that she was terminally ill some time back.) Sure, booking a flight last minute would have cost a fortune. Sure, for my husband to rearrange his schedule to allow him to stay home with the five oldest children for several days would have been hard. Sure, flying over 5000 miles away from my babies would have been nerve-wrecking. Yet, we were willing to do all that. 


What I was not willing to do was risk my safety and that of Anna (who still nurses and would have had to travel with me) to the caprice of the perverts who get paid to molest air travelers in the US. Those who refuse the naked body scanners and invasive "enhanced patdowns" are regularly put in handcuffs and detained, sometimes even arrested. No way was I knowingly taking any of those risks pregnant, and with my little Anna in tow.

Anyway, we are looking forward to my Dad's visit.

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In other news, no sooner had I posted about my slowly recovering from morning sickness, than it came back to haunt me. Eating a corn dog was pretty much the worst possible food I could have had. Daily green smoothies for breakfast seem to be one of the few things that ensure a good day, but I keep running out of greens and ripe bananas. Other things that help: sipping on ice cold tea. My current favorites are vanilla rooibos, pregnancy tea, and black tea with lemon and honey.

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Speaking of pregnancy, I recently discovered this blog and have been in shock and awe at the brutal honesty, and the reality of maternity conditions in the sticks of rural Sudan. God bless that lady, I think very few could do what she does.



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To end on a more positive note, a friend of mine shared a great deal on Family Fun magazine with me. Read all about it here. You can get a one-year subscription for just over $3, but you can renew for as long as three years. No catch, no strings attached, just a great deal. I love Family Fun magazine, and have been a subscriber since Solomon was just a newborn. My current subscription just expired, so I renewed for the full three years.


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That's all for today. There's another busy week ahead. Enjoy your babies, they really do grow too fast!

15 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry you missed being able to see your grandma last time. I think the TSA is a bit more kind to those traveling with children (especially if you were by yourself with just Anna). They don't separate children from their parents. My husband, I, and our two young children recently flew. I found a great way to avoid body scanners! I just held hands with both children, walked through the metal detector, and they didn't blink an eye. Just a thought if you need to or want to visit Europe in the future.

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  2. You must be so excited to be able to see your dad!!! Wow! I cannot imagine mine being so far away.

    So sorry to hear about your grandmother...and that you were not able to get to the funeral. This is the same reason our family no longer flies...stupid TSA. :(

    I hear you about the corn dogs. When I eat anything super rich or fried, I get awfully sick too. My friend told me that being sick after eating certain foods when pregnant is the liver's way of cleansing the body...in other words, the liver gets overloaded and "cleanses". Makes sense; I just have to watch what I eat.

    Glad you are all well! Love reading your updates. :)

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  3. Zsu, I am so very sorry about your Grandma. I lost mine less than a year ago, and I miss her every day. She will always be in your heart.

    It is too bad that you cannot make it for her funeral, but please do not fear the TSA so much. We flew to Disneyworld in August, we flew out of two major airports with our little girls and we had no trouble with the security. In fact, while in line at one of the security stops, we were moved to the front and were taken swiftly through the metal detectors with no problem. If they had asked us to go through the body scanners, my husband and I had beforehand agreed to comply and go through, though we would have refused the children to go through. That is a right that you have, and it is even posted in the airport. If you are calm and polite, you should have no trouble.

    Also when our oldest was six months old, we traveled by plane and we also had no trouble with security (and this was six months after Sept. 11). They simply asked me to remove baby's shoes and carry her through the metal detector. Then a very nice female TSA agent asked me to lift up baby's shirt, she gently patted her rump and we were sent on our way with no problems. I held my daughter the entire time and no one else touched her, save for the female TSA agent who asked me politely before she touched my baby. And then all she did was lightly touch her covered bottom. It was really very painless.

    It will be lovely having your dad come for a visit, and I am excited for you and your family.

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  4. Hi- I ordered the straws and got the free shipping. Thank you so much. I just ordered the Family Fun magazine also and got that discount. I had been wanting to subscribe and I'm so glad I got a great deal! Did you get my email?
    Amy

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  5. I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother's passing. It's a shame you couldn't get over to see her. (Surely a doctor's certificate stating your pregnancy and therefore exemption from body scanning would be appropriate?)

    Regarding the glass straws, or avoiding plastics generally, what do you freeze food in when you make large batches? The majority of "freezer safe" food storage on the market seems to be plastic.

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  6. I feel the same way you do about the TSA but I have to say I think I might have made an exception for someone that was so special to me. We took a 13 hour drive with 2 kids to see my mother at Christmas this year rather than flying to avoid all the TSA nonsense.

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  7. Hey Zsuzsanna! I was wondering with your father coming to visit, would you consider a nice post about your homeland? It seems that everything I've read here is all negative. Thanks

    -Rachel in AL

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  8. I realize the TSA does not send every person through the naked body scanners or invasively pat them down each time. However, passing through security on international flights is much stricter than domestic flights - last time we went 4 years ago, we passed though at least 4 security checkpoints each for the way there, and back. That was BEFORE the new TSA guidelines, which have only been in place the last couple of years.

    Also, most people do not realize when they are being sent through the naked body scanner. Anyone can opt out of them, but is then subject to the molestation known as "enhanced patdown". Some airports are worse than others, depending on how many of these scanners they have, but even if they have none the agents can choose to invasively pat down any traveler. Any other time, a complete stranger feeling and prodding private body parts through clothing would be considered inappropriate. Just because a government worker in uniform does it does not make it better, that makes it WORSE.

    While I might have risked an altercation at the airport by myself if it came to refusing both the naked body scanner or the molestation, that is NOT a chance I was willing to take with my baby in tow. Like I said, those who refuse both are typically taken into custody while being investigated, and who knows what they would have done to her in the meantime.

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  9. Sorry you missed flying.

    We have flown with our eight children around the world and to several countries. We are currently living abroad as missionaries.

    We have always prayed and asked our friends to pray. So far, when TSA sees all of our children we have been treated really very, very well. Politeness also goes a long way. We speak softly while ramaining firm in our convictions.

    Having so many in strollers means they escort us through a special isle and we have never had any problems.

    That said, I fully agree that what TSA is doing to some passengers is a terrible violation of law. I was in the airport and met an elderly lady in tears over her "search".

    I am thankful for how we believe the Lord has protected us so far.

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  10. I don't blame you--I have heard some scary stories about parents getting separated from children by TSA agents. I would freak out if someone took my baby out of my sight in an airport!

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  11. Oh also, to Lisa above: I have NEVER been allowed to hold my son's hand going through the metal detector, even when he was pretty small. As soon as they can walk, we are instructed to send them through the scanner alone and have them walk to the agent on the other side of the detector. I was always concerned he would run off when he was very small.

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  12. I too send my sympathies regarding your grandmother. I can't imagine how it must feel, especially having not seen her in so long.

    Even if I could bring myself to allow the creeps at TSA to see my naked body, I could never ever emotionally make it through an "enhanced" patdown (called such for enhanced pleasure perhaps?). I am very certain that I would be selected for enhanced patdown too. I always wear long, loose, a-line skirts or dresses.

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  13. I am so sorry to hear that your grandmother passed away and you didn't get to see her :( just by looking at her picture you can tell she was a nice person .

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  14. sorry about your grandmother. and not being able to see her. i was just wondering about that situation. was she a Christian? will you see her again? just wondering your beliefs about that and how it affects you if she wasn't? i only knew 2 grandparents, one on each side and didn't know them well. it would have been nice to have been closer to them. my parents were a little older when they had me, so they are getting aged now and it is hard emotionally. not sure how long my parents will still be here. they are latte and early 70/80s. anyway, sorry for tor loss of your loved one!

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  15. I got my straw two days ago and I love it! :)) Thank you again. :)

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Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.