First Flight-10 months old

This past weekend we attempted yet another first in Cora’s life.  Her first airplane ride.  I can honestly say I had more anxiety for the 5 hour drive we took back in July versus this plane ride.  Mainly because of her hatred for the car seat.  We were heading to Rochester, NY for a wedding and it required two flights because we live in the middle of no where.

I prepared by reading up on blogs and any other helpful article but it is pretty much all the same.  Bottle/binky for take off and landing.  New toys for distraction.  Snacks.  Plan around naps.  Cross your fingers.  It turns out you can read whatever but your kid will do whatever they want.

We flew out of our tiny airport where a security line doesn’t exist.  We have all the TSA in the world to help put things on the scanner belt and wait patiently on us.  I did wear Cora in her Ergo through security while the Husband had her infant car seat/stroller combo that conveniently held her diaper bag and our extra backpack.  All we had to pull out were her bottles of formula for them to inspect and that was about it.  Shoes back on, formula back in the bag, and we were off on the other side.  Wasn’t that bad.

I will say, since we were gate checking our stroller and car seat we purchased these bags from Babies R Us.  They saved our car seat and stroller from getting completely disgusting while on the plane but folded happily back up into themselves when not in use.  I think they are totally worth it.  And yes, I found taking her own car seat easier than renting one from the car rental place.  I may change my mind as she goes to a different car seat.

For the most part, my kiddo wasn’t bothered by take off or landing.  In fact, she wasn’t bothered by much of anything.  She behaved, played, enjoyed her new toys, licked the window, waved at fellow passengers, and was quite happy at having Mom and Dad’s full attention.

Our largest problem came when she was over tired.  She isn’t good about falling asleep because she might miss something.  So I won’t lie, there were meltdowns before she would give in and fall asleep.  Meltdowns that maybe lasted 15 minutes tops.  Twice a flight attendant gave me free wine once she was asleep in my arms.  Amen.  Out of all four flights total we received zero dirty looks.  Some gave a silent thumbs up once she fell asleep but that was about it.

Also, remember, those flight attendants are there to help.  They don’t want you to have a crazy baby either. They let the Husband stand in the back for a few minutes to get Cora to sleep without so much distraction.  I tell ya, they have a job I couldn’t do. But also keep in mind, they are not there to cater to your child.  They have first class to cater to.

I have to say, I was actually shocked by how nice people were in general.  On our very first flight a Mom sat right next to us and eased any worry I had.  She was on her very first flight without her now 2 year old daughter and now stuck with my kid.  She was headed for a girls weekend and we chatted the whole way.  She has flown a lot with her little one and gave me all of her advice.  I could have hugged her.  No one glared.  No one rolled their eyes at the baby on the flight.  In fact most people said, “Hey, I was a baby once.  I bet I cried a few times!” And lastly, the best comment people can make when you get off the flight “She did great!”

Exhale.

I won’t say it was easy.  Delays suck.  Lack of sleep sucks.  Travel makes for a long day no matter what. All the germs suck.  Tight cramped places, even with a happy baby, suck.  Wine served on planes sucks but I won’t complain because free wine when desperately needed should never be complained about.  The main thing is, we survived, we learned a few things and we had a great time.

A few great things to pass along:

  • Even though it was warm out, we dressed her in pants and socks because reality is, a crawler needs to stretch their legs and that place happens to be on the nasty airport floor.  Bring an extra outfit and socks for baby.
  • If your child is a binky baby, remember plenty of extras.
  • I cannot say this enough- baby wipes and hand sanitizer.  We went through so many wipes. Because baby hands and airport floor.
  • You have to swallow your fear and just know that All. The. Germs. will happen.  All of them.  You can’t stop it.
  • Bathe your child immediately once you hit the hotel.
  • Be polite to your flight attendant and those around you. Do not let your baby hit their seat or grab their hair.
  • Think ahead about your own clothing choice, especially if wearing your baby most of the time.  Flip flops were a must to make security easier.
  • Keep your shit organized.  No one wants to stand in line behind your while you dig around for your ticket.
  • We purchased this Fisher-Price backpack diaper bag and have been using it when we go places more often than my shoulder diaper bag.  Makes life easier in an airport and I love the pockets and storage.  It does have a cooler on the side for two 4 oz bottles.
  • We also used one of these cooler bags.  Comes with an ice pack that is allowed, by TSA,  to cool formula.  It only holds three 4 oz bottles but worked.
  • My husband also brought an extra backpack that held the new fun toys.  All not loud and not bulky but new to baby.  We also had an extra shirt for each of us because you never know when poop or puke can happen.  From the baby, not my Husband.  To add to that, have a plastic sack stored somewhere in case of those accidents.
  • Baby food and extra spoons.  I accidentally threw away a baby spoon instead of a wipe.  Ooops!
  • Don’t over pack.  You have to haul all that shit around.  Our two backpacks were easy for us to place below the seats in front of us and we gate checked the stroller and car seat.  My Ergo, when not in use, was also easy to shove into a backpack as those weren’t overly full. I didn’t carry my purse, just wallet.  We obviously checked our main luggage.
  • Tag team with your spouse. Give one another breaks.
  • Stop for wine/beer/food on your layover and don’t bitch about the price.  One glass tastes so good and is so worth it.
  • Check to see what your airline rules are for infants. I can say Delta was a bit more relaxed than United when it came to wearing her, standing in the back, etc.

Lastly, go with the flow.  It is hard to do with our Type A personalities but we didn’t set the bar too high so we didn’t feel like we were failing.  There were so many times we were shocked at how well she did.  This kid always surprises us! Just don’t ask how she slept in the hotel. That is an entirely other blog post.

If only I would listen to my baby

If you would like to go back in time you can read about my anxiety and issues with my current daycare situation.  Basically, I just haven’t been in love with it.  In July, my current provider had a scheduled week off and I had to find other care for my child.  Let me back this up and just say, to make it more of a pain in my ass, she took off a Wednesday to a Wednesday.  No, this wasn’t for any reason other than a week off.  It is hard enough to find back up child care but to do it with odd days like that is hard enough.

I was very proud of myself to find a back up provider.  I’ve known her for years, someone in my yoga class, the original person I wanted my child to go to for daycare and she was available to take my kiddo those wacky days. We even went for an evening to her house so Cora could check the place out and we could get into more detail about how she does things.  I left on cloud 9.  This was the provider we had been dreaming of! The one to fix my problems! And oh, look, she can take her full-time this winter! Everything was working out wonderfully.

I dropped off Cora for her first day there and then she shot me the look of horror as I walked out the door.  I walked to my truck and could hear her screaming at the top of her lungs, wondering why I just left her with strangers.  Oh, my mamma heart about went right back in there and said fuck it, I’ll stay home with her.  But I knew she would be fine.  They always quit crying 5 minutes later and she will make new friends!

Hell, no.

I walked back in, later that day, and I could hear my child wailing.  She was presented to me, red-eyed, no pants, and still wearing her lunch.  I was told she was a bit of a handful but that is okay! She will get used to it!  My heart sank.  I looked in her bag and saw she only drank 2 bottles.  2?! She normally goes through 6.  6 because she picks through them, an ounce here 3 ounces there.

We both cried on the way home and I rocked her to sleep that night and prayed for a sign from God.  I was questioning my mamma skills.  11pm God gave me a sign in the form of a vomiting child that didn’t need to go to daycare the next two days.

Then came the following week. We had two days to make it through and I had convinced myself that the prior tough day had been to her starting to not feel well.  Needless to say, those two days were not as bad as the first but they weren’t magical.  She hardly napped or ate.  She didn’t want to make new friends and came home wearing her lunch everyday.  For fucks sake did no one have a wash cloth at some point throughout the day?!  I walked away that last day and felt defeated.  Maybe this wasn’t the answer to my problems.  And if this wasn’t the answer, then what was?

The following day she went back to her regular daycare.  She clapped when we walked in the door and lunged to the floor.  She went to her boyfriend and mauled him.  He in turn gave her his binky.  They chased one of the older girls around and she gave no fucks when I walked out the door.  She slept hard when she took naps.  Ate all her food and was completely normal when I picked her up.

So you know what, maybe I need to put aside my own issues, my own future worries, my own personal debates and listen to what my child is telling me.  She is happy every day.  She has friends.  She likes it there.  Sure, she can’t talk and tell me everything about her day but if I stop and listen close enough, I can figure it out.  I’m walking away taking this as a lesson.

Mom Friends

It wasn’t until I had Cora that I finally understood why moms wanted to join play groups for kiddos.  The opportunity to sit around with other moms and chat started sounding really appealing.  Sure, I have mom friends that I can talk to, have wine with, but unfortunately most of my friends have older kiddos.  They are ones that used to come to me, when I had the oldest in the group but now roles are reversed.  They no longer want to talk about late nights, sleep regression and why the hell my baby hates food.  They have moved on to elite sports, 5th grade homework, and school bullies. Sure, we can still swap stories but we are still in two different worlds.

My Husband and I recently went to a 2 year olds birthday party that changed my mind all over again.  We sat in a room of virtual strangers, my baby being the second to youngest child in the room.  Mostly moms, my Husband the only lingering Dad.  I watched children converse with my child and it was different from watching her play with her friends at daycare.  Kind of funny.  Interesting to watch who she took to and who she didn’t.  I noticed how different my baby was compared to others, in a good way.  Not saying she is better or they are better, just different.

The moms seemed to naturally come together, chatting, and sharing stories.  I couldn’t quite find myself comfortable enough to join their conversation.  They asked a few questions but my answers didn’t feel up to par for them.  Mean while, my 9 month old sat at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at something she had never seen before and started climbing, my Husband a few feet away, leaning against the wall, watching.  One mom looked at me in horror, questioning my child climbing stairs without us two inches from her.  My answer “She has strange climbing habits we encourage.  She will figure it out or one of us will catch her.  There is carpet.”  Basically we know what she is capable of.  She was fine.

Silence from them all.

Two points against me.

The one mom held her baby tighter like I might put her up a flag pole next. My baby made it to the second floor and turned around to wave at us, so proud and yelled out “Dada!”  My Husband went up to teach her how to come back down the steps backwards.

How do you  possible leave her to go to the gym? How is her schedule? You know, your husband can go into the other room and hang out with the other men, right?  Does your baby actually answer to her name?

So many questions kept coming. I felt like I was being rated. What the fuck do you mean does she answer to her name? Is there wine here?

My Husband later pointed out to me they weren’t quite my type.  Okay, that makes sense.  Just because you are a mom doesn’t mean you are my type of mom to hang out with.  Just like you may not be the person I want to get drunk with in Mexico or you may not find my planking contests, while taking shots, on the boat, to be amusing.  So maybe we can’t all be friends because we are raising a child of similar age.  Why didn’t this cross my mind before hand?

So I’ll stick with my friends to drink with.  They don’t seem to mind that I come out in public with a baby strapped to me 50% of the time.  The other 50% is because she has a Dad who is cool parenting her as well and doesn’t just reside himself to the men’s area of the house.  Plus, making friends as an adult is hard work.

Have you found a mommy group that fits you?

Adulting through the bad days

There are so many times I want to sit down and write.  I stare at that damn blinking line and blank screen.  I want to say how shit my day was or how exhausted I am or how frustrated I am that day because no ones life is all rainbows and butterflies, including mine.  But I can’t write.  I click the close button and walk away instead, still holding my feelings in.

On my old blog I wrote about my divorce to a group that understood. No filter, sometimes twice a day. There was no judgment in a world of custody battles, separations, court proceedings, lies, cheating, and vows dismantled.  We spoke of our good days and bad days as we cheered one another along till we got down the path that suddenly cleared us to a happier ending.

In the blog world of parenting it feels so different.  I take that back, not so much the blog world but the parenting world as a whole.  It is all so fucking judgmental. If you say you fought with your husband or had a bad day, people blame parenting.  They look at you like you don’t have it all together, pat themselves on the back because hey, at least they don’t have that problem.  When maybe I’m just having a crap week, because I am.  People who don’t have kids can relate, they are allowed bad days too, contrary to what some parents feel.  It doesn’t mean my marriage is going down the shittier or I hate the fact that I had a kid.  No, it just means I’m riding the struggle bus this week.  The divorce bus ends, the parenting/marriage bus doesn’t.  It is called life.  What goal are we cheering one anther towards?

If you go to an AA meeting or NA meeting, you sit and call out your name.  You name your drug of choice.  You tell how your day is going, good or bad.  Everyone pats you on the back, cheers you on.  They don’t judge you for choosing crack over cocaine.  No one is going to roll their eyes for you going with a bottle of rum a day over vodka.  In the parenting world you get the shit judged out of you for choosing breast-feeding over formula.  Maybe addicts know more than us.  Not that I’ve ever been to a meeting but my Husband has been to enough for me to make this shit up and for you to just read it.

Hi, My name is Sanibel.

(Hi Sanibel)

I want to say this past weekend was tough…flu for every single one of us.  Baby with a double ear infection who has lost enough weight to make me nervous but apparently not her doctor.  Stuck inside for days.  This week comes with sinus infection for me and the baby has a cough.  We are using a back up babysitter that I thought would be our babysitter solution.  She isn’t.  We need groceries.  We are having so many problems with Rebecca I don’t even know where to start in a world where people hardly understand her story.  My Husband walked through the door yesterday looking so defeated, I didn’t know how to help him.  I need a nap because I can’t sleep at night. I lie awake a night worrying about everything from babysitters and bottle weaning to a teenager sneaking out in the middle of the night.  I wonder how the hell kids go from precious angels, sleeping in a crib, to teenage, lying, shit heads.  I have no one to talk to that understands the extremes of both. But seriously, my summer has rocked.  I’m not lying about that.

If you want the truth, that is it.

I take my seat, I eat a cookie, I drink coffee.  You leave a meeting feeling better.  Like a weight lifted off your shoulders.

I want my blog to feel like that again.

I want to dump my shit here again and not feel like I’m fucking offending someone who chooses to parent different from me.  Because everyone is offended by everything these days.  Why can’t we just cheer one another on that we made it through the week because sometimes that is damn hard.  Kids or no kids, marriage or no marriage.  Sometimes adulting sucks.

 

 

 

This is 8 months

The eighth month has come and gone.  She has officially been on the outside as long as the inside.  How weird.

We wrapped up her eighth month with a family camping trip, in Kansas, at Eisenhower State Park, for a family reunion.  (Highly recommend the place if you are in the area.) This was Cora’s longest car trip at around 5 hours total and didn’t do too bad considering she hates her car seat.

We aren’t huge campers but we rented a nice camper and set off to meet up with the rest of the families.  We had an absolute blast and I have to say, camping with a baby wasn’t that bad at all.  Her pack n play fit perfectly in the camper, we had AC, her monitor reached around the area, her Go Pod once again became a lifesaver and she doesn’t venture off of her large picnic blanket so we were able to contain her fairly well. Also, gallons of sunscreen and bug spray were used.

While we had a tiny tub with our extremely tiny shower, I just showered while holding the baby.  Hilarity ensued is all I can say.  Water everywhere, shower curtain being pulled down and me naked in the tiniest shower alive with a slippery baby who thought this was the funniest thing we have ever done together.  My Husband was of no help as he laughed his ass off at us.

Elf

Good memories.

This past month we took her to the lakes, swimming, for the first time and it was a huge hit.  Thank goodness.  We purchased this baby floatie and it has been well worth the money.  She can chill in there for hours and it keeps the sun off of her.  We can happily float on ours right next to her and everyone is good!

Other general items- still crawling, pulling herself up, letting go of things, so close to walking, popped one more tooth (2 total now), starting to only wake once a night, and getting better with the jar food.  She says bye-bye, dada, mamma, and growls like a dinosaur on command.  Because that is an important life feature. We go in for her 9 months appointment Friday but I think she is around 18lbs and is currently in 9 month clothing.

We are still in the stranger danger phase.  When does this end?  Anyone?  She is fine going to me, Hubby, my sister and her babysitter.  Also, my ex-boyfriend who was at the family reunion.  Long story.  Otherwise, she lets everyone hold her for two seconds and that is it.  I feel bad for Grandparents and friends who really want to interact with her but I can’t force it and some of them have a hard time accepting this phase.

Otherwise, we are on cruise for this summer.  I’m really proud of how well we are sticking to our summer goals and really enjoying time together as a family.

How’s your summer goals?

Turning 34

This past weekend we celebrated my 34th birthday.  We celebrate in our household with a birthday week.  You get to call all the shots, have extra glasses of wine, choose all the activities and get full control of the remote because birthday.

It is amazing how a baby can alter or ruin all of this.

Saturday night my sister stayed home with the baby while the Husband and I went out for a lovely, expensive, over-indulgent dinner that lasted 3 hours.  Can I first say how quickly a glass of wine goes to my head with no baby in tow?  With baby, I can drink a bottle and never find a buzz because if I’m not careful that baby would take my phone and start ordering thousands of dollars in shoes from a foreign country I can’t pronounce.  Or something along those lines.  So I have to remain on my game.  Back to the dinner portion, it was fucking amazing.  And I ordered all the food and dessert and practically floated out of that place.

My 21 year old self was at a bar, in New Hampshire, taking shots and making out with a really hot guy, whose name I never quite got.

Like any normal 34/32 year old adults, we stopped at the grocery store for formula and wine before heading home, where I immediately fell asleep in a happy food stupor.

Sunday brought my actual day of birth which started with brunch with the in-laws and mimosas.  It all fell apart after there.  There was a trip to the beach that took hours to get to due to nap fights and other priorities.  The baby shit all over her car seat on the way there, which we were not prepared for.  Damn you baby swimmer diapers and my lack of an extra swimsuit. The rest of the day went from there with no chance to save it.  By the time we were home the Husband went to mow and I attempted, for an hour, to get Cora to bed.  Attempt being the key word.  At the hour mark we were both in tears and I sat there thinking, this is my birthday.  Rocking a pissed off baby and crying.

My 21-year-old self was sitting in the corner taking shots and mocking me.

I went to wave the white flag at my husband who got her asleep within minutes.  That made me cry harder.  She has been preferring him more nights over me lately and he was leaving town the next night for work.  I took a shower, poured a glass of wine and we finally sat down to our lovely meal at 9pm.  The baby promptly woke 5 minutes into the meal with a stuffy nose.  Needless to say, sleep has been non-existent the past couple of nights due to said stuffy nose.

My 21-year-old self didn’t have slept the couple of nights after that birthday but that was because she met Mr. Summer Love and had crazy sex every night.

34-year-old self.  No birthday sex because sleep.

But I do have the love of my life.  And a baby, who despite it all, is incredibly sweet in the middle of the night when she is sick and wanting to cuddle.  And coffee. I have coffee.  21-year-old self didn’t need that to survive.

Remind me next year to book a hotel room with the husband, minus the baby.

 

Those Weekdays

Monday afternoon I sat in the rocker in the nursery, rocking Cora to sleep with her bottle.  There was no fight, she was tired.  Her eyes were closed as she drank herself into another world of contentment.  I sat, slowly rocking the chair, and looking out her window to our front yard.  I realized I loved the way the tree shaded our front yard in the afternoon.  Something I don’t notice on the weekends.  I loved how quiet our neighborhood was during the week.  I watched the butterflies chase each other in the wildflowers on the front bank.  I looked down at the baby as she pushed the bottle away, shoved her binky in her mouth and settled, fast asleep, in my arms.

I sat there for awhile just being and watching the world, loving the calm moment.  Eventually I realized it was either I was going to fall asleep or I should get up and continue chores.  I slowly laid her in the crib and slipped out of her room.

That moment, that is why I knew I couldn’t go back to work full time. That quiet moment in my house, in her room, slowing down, and just enjoying the moment.  That was what I was looking forward to when I was pregnant.

The weekends are full of great moments too but these are the moments, her and I, on our own schedule and in our own world, that I love.  Those extra two days during the week are something I would never want to give up and it is time I will never be able to get back with her.

The funny thing is, she woke up 90 minutes later, a complete monster, who needed another nap, and made me want to pull my hair out.  That is called God giving me balance.  Can’t have too much of a good thing.