Introducing the newest member of the pod

L and R meet Baby G.

L and R meet Baby G.

She’s here! She’s here! The newest member of our pod arrived Monday around 7:30 a.m., and we couldn’t be happier to welcome her into the gang. (I’m actually writing this post from the hospital.)

As you know if you’ve read this blog for a while, I don’t believe in publishing any identifying information about my kids on the Internet. I will, however, tell you this, the baby’s first name starts with the letter G, so here on these pages she’ll be known as Baby G.

Big sisters L and R are delighted to have another little human to boss around dote on. As for we grownups, Powerwoman and I are stoked about introducing another little one to the world. We’ve got a few trips on the horizon—some we both have been planning/tossing around for a while, others that will come as a surprise to some (more on that around Christmas time).

In other words, we’re stoked to get this baby home, watch her grow a bit, then get back out on the road.

With that in mind, consider yourselves warned: Over the next year or so I’ll be writing a number of posts that spotlight the challenges and wonders of traveling with a little one again. Some of the perspective will be a fresh take on the same old issues—diapers and swaddling and hotel cribs and lap children. The rest of it will be entirely new; after all, now we’re a Party of Five.

So stay tuned. Hopefully the adjustment period for you, dear readers, is easier than it undoubtedly will be for us. I promise we’ll keep it real.

Preparing for an ‘Expert Roundtable’

Sisters. North Lake Tahoe. Summer 2014.

Sisters. North Lake Tahoe. Summer 2014.

Over the course of my professional life, I’ve spoken in front of standing-room only crowds of journalists, packed lecture halls of marine biologists, and giant auditoriums of car salesmen (really; don’t ask). None of these gigs has given me as much pride as the engagement I’ve got lined up for Wednesday morning: I’m the featured speaker for the “Expert Roundtable” in L’s kindergarten class.

The gig is part of a monthly series during which parents come into the classroom and chat with students about what they do and the tools they use to do their jobs right.

The last speaker was a veterinarian. I’m chatting about being a journalist.

Because I can’t bring kittens (let’s face it: A vet is a tough act to follow), I’ll be bringing newspapers, magazines, keyboards and steno pads for the kids to touch and feel and share and (in the case of the pads) keep.

Beyond that, my plan is simple: I’ll chat a bit about what kinds of stories I tell, explain how I collect information for my stories, have the kids interview each other (for a sense of what that’s all about), then I’ll share the process through which I put the stories together. (HINT: The process involves bowls of pretzels and M&Ms.)

I’ll conclude with some examples—a retrospective of some of the most fun stuff I’ve done over the years. Naturally, because I specialize in family travel (and because family travel comprises the bulk of what I’ve written since L was born), I’ll share a bunch of anecdotes about that.

Like that piece about the time L and I traveled to Beverly Hills so she could sketch haute couture. And the piece about the time we crossed the Thames River, in London, in an underwater tunnel. I’ll share a story from our family trip to Yosemite this past spring, and the piece from last month, about R’s birthday walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.

I’ll also share my favorite anecdotes from the month we spent living in Hawaii—the ones about the goats that jumped on the picnic table, and about the time when Blue the horse stuck her white fuzzy nose in through the car window and nuzzled my kids.

I might even show them some of the stuff I reported on our August trip to Walt Disney World Resort.

No, I’m not expecting more than half of the kids to pay attention. And I’ll be happy if one or two (beside L and her BFFs) even remember my name. But maybe, just maybe, one of those kids will hear my stories about my life telling stories and be inspired to become a journalist herself (or, I guess, himself). The mere chance of that is reason enough to do it. Which is precisely why I’m so stoked.

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