Silent Auction to benefit Haiti

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I've just read about a silent auction on a blog I follow.  All proceeds will go directly to the American Red Cross to aid in Haiti.  Please check it out here.

Kolcraft Auction to Benefit Kids in Haiti

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Kolcraft is hosting a silent auction on Facebook to benefit the kids in Haiti.  It ends at 4pm today.  Check it out here.

Coupon Savings Tracker

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I have been a hot-and-cold couponer for most of last year.  This year, however, I have decided to begin in earnest and see if I can save some real money.  In order to see if I am meeting this goal, I found a great tool to use at The Coupon Project.  It is a Savings Tracker in Excel.  You can record your purchases and your coupons (usually already summed up on your receipt) and this spreadsheet will automatically track your savings.  This will be a great tool to see how well I am couponing and to see if the investment in time and Sunday newspapers is worth it.  I'm excited to get this ball rolling!

Scentsy Candle Giveaway

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Just a heads up on a great Scentsy giveaway.  Go here to check it out.

Gummy Lump Train Table Giveaway

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Check out the giveaway here.

Looks like a good one!

Traveling by Air with a 1-Year-Old

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We've taken several trips with our little boy throughout his first year of life.  All by car.  None of those trips will be as difficult (I fear) as the one I am planning for February.  For two reasons - one, we are traveling by air and my son is in the exploratory phase where asking him to sit nicely on my lap for more than 10 seconds at a time is torture, and two, we will be traveling without daddy.  Am I crazy?  Maybe, but since we are going to see daddy graduate from the Army's Basic Training after several weeks of his absence, we will be going however difficult the trip may be.

Over the last month I have been researching ticket prices.  Recently I began to research the airlines policies regarding baggage, specifically what I can bring for my baby.  I was surprised to find out that for most airlines, I can check both a stroller and a car seat at the gate without reducing the amount of checked and carry-on bags I can take.  That may be common knowledge to some, but it was a relief for me to find out.

I also found out that a child under the age of two can travel for free on a paying adult's lap in most cases.  However, if an extra seat is available, the child can sit there if they have a car seat that is approved for air travel (it will say this on the seat).  So the best thing to do is bring the car seat and use it if there is a seat or check it if there is not.  I do have one think I haven't resolved in my mind, though.  How will I carry my baby, a stroller, a car seat, a diaper bag, and whatever else we may have through the airport?  I don't know if you've noticed, but forward facing car seats are usually not very compact.  I'll be pondering this and let you know if I come up with a sleek solution.

Another consideration that is important when purchasing the ticket is the cost to check luggage.  For example, Delta may have the cheapest ticket according to Orbitz.com (one of my favorite flight search sites), however you can end up paying $50 or more for your baggage.  I encourage researching the cost of checking baggage before buying the ticket.

Now, here are several sites I found helpful in my quest for information:

Child Safety on Airplanes (from the FAA) 
Flying with Small Children: Checklist of questions to ask your airline (from babycenter.com)
Packing Checklist for Traveling with a Baby (from babycenter.com) 
Delta's Infant and Children Items Policy
Delta's Baggage Allowance (and costs) 
Southwest's Infant and Toddler Information 
Southwest's Baggage Policies 


As a point of interest, I will be traveling Southwest.  Not only did the have the best priced fare, but they do not charge for checked baggage (up to 2 bags 50 lb each) and they will allow me to use a seat for my son if one is available even though he is not paying.  The representative I spoke to at Southwest was very helpful and interested in helping me find the best fare possible.  I really appreciate this about Southwest.