Jump to content

USA travel thread #33


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
162 replies to this topic

#1 Therese

Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:40 PM

New thread time original.gif

Your last thread is Here

#2 blackcat20

Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:42 PM

Gold biggrin.gif

#3 traceybrown

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:01 PM

Silver

#4 Fairey

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:08 PM

Bronze happy.gif

#5 Jo_P

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:17 PM

Rotten egg??!!!  tongue.gif

#6 Therese

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:19 PM

My goodness you girls are quick biggrin.gif

#7 blackcat20

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:21 PM

QUOTE (Therese @ 28/01/2013, 09:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My goodness you girls are quick biggrin.gif


First time I've ever managed it!

#8 Mellie Kate

Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:02 PM

wow that was a quick thread,we certainly are a chatty bunch.

Thanks for the Pearl Harbor tour recommendation Kee we found the one that we are going to do.

#9 ~Kee~In~Hawaii~

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:45 AM

No worries Mellie Kate, glad you have it all worked out original.gif

Well, my sister pulled the pin on coming on the trip to Hawaii. Says she isn't into travelling (not that she'd know as she's never gone anywhere in her life to see if she likes it or not). Her real problem is that for the extra bit of money she needs, Mum offered it and said she can just pay her back $20 a week but she doesn't want to pay it back and thinks either myself of Mum should just pay for her and her fiance and son to go over there (!!!). I will never understand my sister's attitude that she's entitled to everything without putting in any effort or hard work. Anyway, even with it being a trip for Dad, she doesn't want to pay for a cent of it no matter what else we've offered so she's chosen to not go. Even having a new job handed to her on a plate so she can earn some more money isn't enough to motivate her so she's staying home. I hate to say it but I'm a little relieved. Her fiance can be a strange one sometimes, we were watching our tour videos of NYC the other week with them and had some footage DH shot on the hop-on, hop-off bus around Manhattan. My sister's other half had a weird look on his face and when I asked him what was wrong he said if he was on that bus he would have punched that guy who kept talking about stuff in the face a few times. Even after I pointed out that was the tour guide and that's his job, to tell us all about the city and the landmarks, he still said he'd hit him for talking so much. I started to have serious doubts about his mental state and was really dreading the Circle Island Tour of Oahu if he was going to be like that! I also don't have to plan the rest of their wedding either so it's a little less stress for me. I know that sounds terrible but they were so happy to say what they wanted and then leave everything up to me to actually get done, I was getting a little jack of it all truth be told. And I got the distinct impression that they assumed I'd be paying for their whole wedding because I was the one who was getting in touch with the celebrant, cake shop etc about the details for it.

Anyway, now it's just Mum, DH and I and we can all go over, relax, say our goodbyes to Dad and then sail home together. I don't have to organise flights for my sister's troop to get back to Australia and Mum won't end up out of pocket when my sister starts making demands for extra money while we're over there (which I have no doubt she would have done).

Now I get to figure out the things I want to do there that we weren't going to do because of my future brother-in-law and his attitude. DH has suggested an island-hop to the Big Island to go back to the volcano for a day, which I will be looking into later today.

Jo: I haven't forgotten you, will get you that info on transfers today too! I know, I'm a bad travel agent! wink.gif



#10 Mellie Kate

Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:27 AM

Kee sounds like a blessing in disguise that your sister and her fiancee arent going,cant say that i would want to travel with him either.

I really hope that your sister doesnt pull any stunts that would stop you guys from all from going(like planning a wedding for when you are ment to be in hawaii,thats the first thing that popped into my mind)

Hopefully its a stress free trip for you all now

#11 Peanut

Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

QUOTE (Jo_P @ 28/01/2013, 08:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Rotten egg??!!!  tongue.gif


laughing2.gif

#12 Peanut

Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:37 AM

QUOTE (Mellie Kate @ 29/01/2013, 09:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Kee sounds like a blessing in disguise that your sister and her fiancee arent going,cant say that i would want to travel with him either.

I really hope that your sister doesnt pull any stunts that would stop you guys from all from going(like planning a wedding for when you are ment to be in hawaii,thats the first thing that popped into my mind)

Hopefully its a stress free trip for you all now


I think this too.  Now you'll have a much nicer holiday with your Mum, Kee!

#13 lamarque

Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:39 PM

Oh Kee, what a crap situation you're sister has put you in.  I really hope she will let you scatter your Dad's ashes without any fuss.  I agree with the others about having a better holiday though!

If anyone can give me some advice, I would be grateful.  I think we will book our flights in the next week or so.  I have been online almost every day and I think we will pay extra to go direct from SYD to LAX and DH would like to go on the A380.  original.gif   I'll be going to the travel expo this weekend to check out some more prices too.  

The timing is the problem.  We would leave about 1pm Sydney time and arrive in LA at about 9.30 am their morning so about 1am our time.  I'm really worried the kids will be too groggy/sleepy to handle a flight straight to NYC.  

What does everyone think?  The kids are 10 and 8.  Are we better off staying 1-2 days in LAX and then flying over to NYC or run the risk of grumpy/moody/'carry me' kids and transfer straight away??  I'm hoping excitement will get them over the line but I have my doubts as I remember how awful I felt arriving at a similar time with not much sleep.

#14 blackcat20

Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:01 PM

QUOTE (lamarque @ 29/01/2013, 01:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If anyone can give me some advice, I would be grateful.  I think we will book our flights in the next week or so.  I have been online almost every day and I think we will pay extra to go direct from SYD to LAX and DH would like to go on the A380.  original.gif   I'll be going to the travel expo this weekend to check out some more prices too.  

The timing is the problem.  We would leave about 1pm Sydney time and arrive in LA at about 9.30 am their morning so about 1am our time.  I'm really worried the kids will be too groggy/sleepy to handle a flight straight to NYC.  

What does everyone think?  The kids are 10 and 8.  Are we better off staying 1-2 days in LAX and then flying over to NYC or run the risk of grumpy/moody/'carry me' kids and transfer straight away??  I'm hoping excitement will get them over the line but I have my doubts as I remember how awful I felt arriving at a similar time with not much sleep.


I dont have kids, but having done this trip, Id just get it all over in one go. By the time you arrive in NYC its evening, so you can head to bed pretty much straight away, then wake up the following day fresh and ready to go. If you stop in LA you need to adjust to the time change, then again when you go to NYC...

#15 rob6712col

Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:34 PM

We have 3 kids , 5,5,and 7 and we did stop in LA for a couple of days to get over the jetlag before flying over to Orlando. We wish we hadn't bothered to stop and had kept going. The kids were fantastic and could have easily kept flying. The great thing about your timings is that they will zonk out and sleep on the LA-NY flight, probably all the way.  Just make sure they know that they will be on the plane all day and all night and that they have to have a sleep. This made the difference for my kids and they never asked if we were there yet. The A380 is fantastic to fly on with kids too. The TV in the headrest in front kept mine happy the whole trip. I recommend taking your own comfy headphones though for the kids. Being able to get up and go to the snack bar to get some pretzels, fruit or a drink is great too and just breaks the whole trip up a bit. Go straight through, and next time we will be doing that to.


#16 Fairey

Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:27 PM

QUOTE (~Kee~In~Hawaii~ @ 29/01/2013, 09:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Her real problem is that for the extra bit of money she needs, Mum offered it and said she can just pay her back $20 a week but she doesn't want to pay it back and thinks either myself of Mum should just pay for her and her fiance and son to go over there (!!!).


oomg2.gif Honestly, Kee... my jaw literally just landed on the floor!!

I take it from your post that your sister hasn't said anything about your Dad going back to Hawaii? Hoping that's the case - I know how much it means to you for your dad to be laid to rest at your other "home".

Also - I'm about to send you a PM about some Europe stuff original.gif

Lamarque - Whilst my kidlet is only a lil' tacka, we're going straight through to NY. Especially as we arrive in NY at night anyways.
DH and I have done a number of 24 hour + travels ~ I would just keep going. I'd rather stop on the way home than the way to our destination (not only do you break up the long flight, but it feels like the holiday isn't entirely over yet!!).

I don't know if that helps - good luck making your decision!!

AFM - Disney World booked tthumbs.gif I've only paid the deposit, and have been playing with the (poxy) website and can't find an option to pay the remainder, but it's at least booked. I did also find a way to make a cute Disney character appear next to our names. Quality afternoon today wwhistle.gif

Has anyone used priceline or undercover tourist before? Good or not so good?

#17 Holidaysfor8

Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:37 PM

Lamarque I just wanted to add my 2 cents in on your comments - our last trip to America nov11/jan12 we left melb at 11.15am and arrived in La at 7.30am their time I think around 3am our time? Anyway my youngest 2 boys were 8 and 9 and when we got to LAX they hit the ground running lol I think with the individual screens these little tv/tech freaks nowadays are in their element and seem to cope better than we do lolWe leave for our next trip 7 weeks today and this time we go melb to la with a 3 hour gap then straight to NYC - we discussed stopping overnight but decided after the way they coped last time were gonna fly straight after the first legI'm confident they will be fine - fingers crossed I'm not wrong lol

#18 Holidaysfor8

Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:01 PM

Hello againI'd like to pick the brains of anyone that has been to new york, Washington dc, Nashville, Atlanta and Orlando Here are my questions if anyone has any advice pleaseWe are going over with 3 of our kids dd15 ds10 ds9 we leave in 7 weeks
New York 4 full days, no car- is a double decker and/or hop on hop off bus worth the $$?- apart from Brooklyn bridge, central park, statue of liberty, 9/11 memorial, times square, Fao schwarz and the bakery from cake boss is anything else a must see?
Washington dc 2 full days, car- again is a double decker and/or hop on hop off bus worth the $$?- Arlington cemetery, whitehouse, what else should we see?
Nashville 3-4 days, car- any must see/do ideas?- accommodation advice?
Atlanta 1-2 days- any must see/do ideas?- accommodation ideas?
Orlando 14 days, car- best place for universal and Disney tickets? Prob looking at 2 days universal and 5 day Disney - have Lego tickets, anything else we must see/do?- already have accom
Also we are driving from NYC -Washington dc- Nashville- atlanta to Orlando -any advice or suggestions on things inbetween?
Sorry for all the questions, appreciate any help/adviceXo

Edited by Holidaysfor8, 30 January 2013 - 08:03 AM.


#19 pascalls

Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:31 PM

lamarque - We went straight through in 2011 when DS was 8 & DD was 4. None of us slept much on the SYD-LAX leg. We were all too excited & there were too many great movies to watch! We had 4 hours between landing & our next flight and we just went straight to the gate to wait. DD actually fell asleep on the floor while we waited! We all slept at least half of the LAX-NYC leg, I think DH & DS slept for most of it (they slept the least to LA).

I would do it exactly the same if we were to do it again. We had enough sleep that after dropping off our bags at the hotel we went out for a walk & something to eat, despite travelling for about 24 hours. None of the excitement of being in New York was lost, even after all the travelling! biggrin.gif

#20 lamarque

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:02 PM

QUOTE (blackcat20 @ 29/01/2013, 01:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I dont have kids, but having done this trip, Id just get it all over in one go. By the time you arrive in NYC its evening, so you can head to bed pretty much straight away, then wake up the following day fresh and ready to go. If you stop in LA you need to adjust to the time change, then again when you go to NYC...


Oh, I hadn't even thought of them sleeping from LAX to NYC. Thank you blackcat!


QUOTE (rob6712col @ 29/01/2013, 01:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We have 3 kids , 5,5,and 7 and we did stop in LA for a couple of days to get over the jetlag before flying over to Orlando. We wish we hadn't bothered to stop and had kept going. The kids were fantastic and could have easily kept flying. The great thing about your timings is that they will zonk out and sleep on the LA-NY flight, probably all the way.  Just make sure they know that they will be on the plane all day and all night and that they have to have a sleep. This made the difference for my kids and they never asked if we were there yet. The A380 is fantastic to fly on with kids too. The TV in the headrest in front kept mine happy the whole trip. I recommend taking your own comfy headphones though for the kids. Being able to get up and go to the snack bar to get some pretzels, fruit or a drink is great too and just breaks the whole trip up a bit. Go straight through, and next time we will be doing that to.

Thanks again rob6712col.  Feeling a bit more confident about continuing on now.  Thank you for the tip about the headphones too.  original.gif


QUOTE (Fairey @ 29/01/2013, 04:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lamarque - Whilst my kidlet is only a lil' tacka, we're going straight through to NY. Especially as we arrive in NY at night anyways.
DH and I have done a number of 24 hour + travels ~ I would just keep going. I'd rather stop on the way home than the way to our destination (not only do you break up the long flight, but it feels like the holiday isn't entirely over yet!!).

Thank you Fairey.  Yes, we'll be stopping at Disneyland on way home.  biggrin.gif

QUOTE (Holidaysfor8 @ 29/01/2013, 04:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lamarque I just wanted to add my 2 cents in on your comments - our last trip to America nov11/jan12 we left melb at 11.15am and arrived in La at 7.30am their time I think around 3am our time? Anyway my youngest 2 boys were 8 and 9 and when we got to LAX they hit the ground running lol I think with the individual screens these little tv/tech freaks nowadays are in their element and seem to cope better than we do lolWe leave for our next trip 7 weeks today and this time we go melb to la with a 3 hour gap then straight to NYC - we discussed stopping overnight but decided after the way they coped last time were gonna fly straight after the first legI'm confident they will be fine - fingers crossed I'm not wrong lol

I'm going to have everything crossed Holidaysfor8!!  DD is a cling-on when she's tired and they both get so emotional after about 8pm.

Probably over-thinking it.  Not much I can do about it once it is booked, so I'll take everyone's advice and continue on to NYC.  Thank you ladies.  original.gif

Anyone want to talk about tipping in the US?

I get the general idea of it in terms of restaurants, taxis and bell hops (10-15% of bill/fare and about $1 per luggage item) but am wondering about the following scenarios:

  • receiving advice from concierge;
  • people who open doors for you;
  • take away shops etc


Can anyone think of a situation I haven't mentioned where I might be caught out?  I pretty much live without cash in the wallet these days, so it will be interesting.

Also, how does everyone pay for things over there?  Do you load up credit cards before you go and just use that to withdraw cash etc?  I've heard the 28 degree Mastercard is good..??

Holidaysfor8 - Wow, not long for you now!  From my research I think the Statue of Liberty is closed and you can only do a cruise around it???  It might re-open in time for your visit though.  

We will be doing (on top of what you're seeing - Top of the Rock, Empire State, Museum of Natural History, Central Park Zoo, Guggenheim, Madame Tussauds and probably The Cathedral of St John the Divine.   Plus I'll probably take DD to American Girl but I think your DD will be too old for that.  

A friend of mine recently returned from NYC and she said the hop-on/hop-off buses were fantastic and much better than the subway where you can't see anything so I think we will probably do that in combination with the New York City Pass.  Hope that helps.

Haven't been to your other destinations sorry.  original.gif

#21 lamarque

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:08 PM

QUOTE (pascalls @ 29/01/2013, 06:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
lamarque - We went straight through in 2011 when DS was 8 & DD was 4. None of us slept much on the SYD-LAX leg. We were all too excited & there were too many great movies to watch! We had 4 hours between landing & our next flight and we just went straight to the gate to wait. DD actually fell asleep on the floor while we waited! We all slept at least half of the LAX-NYC leg, I think DH & DS slept for most of it (they slept the least to LA).

I would do it exactly the same if we were to do it again. We had enough sleep that after dropping off our bags at the hotel we went out for a walk & something to eat, despite travelling for about 24 hours. None of the excitement of being in New York was lost, even after all the travelling! biggrin.gif

Thank you pascalls.  original.gif  Sorry I was composing my post and didn't see yours until I hit reply.  I love hearing everyone's successful journeys (with kids)!

Also thought of another thing, if we did stay in LA we probably wouldn't be able to check in until 2 or 3pm anyway so defeats the purpose of stopping over to give the kids somewhere comfortable to sleep.  ddoh.gif  Where is my brain today?  Fogginess of a migraine I think.

#22 Holidaysfor8

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:36 PM





Thanks LamarqueNo not long now but it's just crept up on me and im nowhere near as organized as i was last time lolWhen we were there last time we tipped the car hire shuttle bus driver who drove us from LAX to the car rental mob and he was shocked as he said it was rare ffor people to do so - it was only $10 (we had 10 bags between the 8 of us) but boy was he attentive after that and gave us all these hints on what to do and see and iinsisted on holding the door open and unloading all the bags for us lolWe tipped anywhere between 10-20% of the bill but again there was 8 of us and hubby soon started tipping only what he felt the service was worth lol but having said that we only came across one grumpy person our whole 9 weeks there :)An easy reminder was if you use proper knife and fork and they brought you food or drinks to your table ie: table service then you tip - if its like mMcDonalds, kfc etc then you dont tip.We tipped valet parking attendants about $2 each time and bell hops $1 a bagJust be careful as some resturaunts will automatically put a tip on the bill - you DONT have to pay it if you don't agree - there were a few places that automatically put a 30% tip on the bill and we crossed it out and wrote down what we wanted to pay - tipping is an important part of America but its not compulsory
We took over heaps of cash, travelex cards and the no longer available nab gold card Look for ATMs in walmarts for fee free withdrawals, we found chase bank ATMs the worst with $5-$10 per transaction
Yes the statue and island are closed for repairs after sandy so iM thinking they won't be reopen for usI forgot about top of the rock we want to do that, i,ll check out your other suggestions thank you

#23 blackcat20

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:42 PM

I always tip the shuttle drivers, usually just $2 as I travel alone.
For restaurants, usually look to double the tax as your guide to what to tip.

Re the NYC hop on/off buses, I found them good to get an overview of the city and orient yourself, then you can head out on your own.

#24 Holidaysfor8

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:44 PM

Just wanted to say
Best ever piece of advice about traveling to USA I found on this site a few years ago was
Hit the ground running
In other words forget your Aussie time zone, the minute you get to your destination get into THAT time zone from the get go
So don't take a mid day nap etc but rather try do what you would do at that time and try go to bed as close to the time you normally would
We landed in lax at 7.30am la time after a 14 hour flight (I think it was about 3-4am melb time?)
We picked up our hire car, drove to the citadel outlets and shopped - had lunch, drove to our accom for a 4pm check in, had dinner and we went to bed between 8 and 10pm
Not one of us suffered any jet lag at all
Yes we all crashed the minute we did go to bed but it was just like being tired after a full day out original.gif

#25 Holidaysfor8

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:46 PM

Thanks blackcat, we arrive in NYC about 7pm at night so I was thinking of a tour the next morning to do just that, get an idea of what was where and decide where to go etc




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Teaching our son to say no to violence against women

Today, on White Ribbon Day - and every other day - we're teaching our son to say no to violence against women.

Mothers told to breastfeed in 'spacious' toilet

If there is one thing the owners of Tillings Cafe can be certain of, it is that the eatery won't win the award for Britain's best baby-friendly coffee shop any time soon.

Mother gives name to son dumped down drain

A woman who admitted to dumping her newborn baby down a Sydney drain has reportedly been allowed to give him a name.

Taking small steps to reduce stress

Are you feeling used up by life's stress, family problems and a demanding job you can't turn off? Many people are way beyond work-life exhaustion. They are functioning as robots.

Bad news: we're running out of chocolate

The world's biggest chocolate-maker says we're running out of chocolate.

Born at 23 weeks, 'Chopstick Baby' survives first week

A baby who was born at 23 weeks has survived her first week of life outside the womb.

Manic stations: the nesting instinct in pregnancy

It might sound like temporary insanity, but almost obsessive nesting as you near your due date isn’t uncommon – even if you’re not usually a particularly clean person.

How a baby can survive alone for days on end

The baby found abandoned in a Sydney drain may have been alone for up to six days without being fed, leaving many asking how he could have survived.

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

A child's excitement at Christmas time is a beautiful thing, but one dad ponders whether his toddler daughter is getting into the festive mood a bit too soon.

Hospital lets dads the experience some of the pain of childbirth

A new experience is radically altering men's views of childbirth.

Italian doctors questioned over formula bribes

Italian police have placed 12 doctors under house arrest on suspicion of promoting baby milk formula over breastfeeding.

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Those special moments of sibling bonding

Every now and then your child does or says something that is truly memorable.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Baby monitor footage posted online

Footage of Australian babies and children sleeping in their bedrooms are among the images on a Russian site showing live feeds from thousands of homes and businesses around the world.

Did this new dad really hit on his wife's midwife?

Was there really a man who was actually there by his wife’s side as she laboured and gave birth to his child, all while he was making what he perceived to be meaningful eye contact with a midwife?

Keep calm and ignore the Tantrum Trolls

Tantrum Trolls are a small but growing species of predatory bottom-feeders who delight in picking on parents at their most vulnerable.

It's okay to never 'get over' the death of a loved one

The death of children, siblings, and parents has long term impacts on the rest of our lives.

What Mark Latham needs to know about depression and motherhood

Love has nothing to do with mental illness. But love may drive a mother to do something about it.

'We're just trying to keep our child alive': life with FPIES

We have a beautiful seven-month-old son, and his allergy rules our life.

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong'

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

Christa Engles was changing her baby's nappy when tragedy struck.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.