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.

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?

This Marriage of Mine

You know, I had this post about how having a baby hasn’t killed my marriage.  People warn you of that, how having a baby changes your marriage. Of course it does! So does building a home, losing a job, changing jobs, getting married, losing a parent, moving states and a million other things.  Everything that happens in life changes your marriage, not just having a baby.  If having a child ruins your marriage, well, you didn’t have a good one to start with.  Truth.

Here I thought we were doing fine.  I mean, we have our days and nights, for that matter, where we get snippy and annoyed with one another.  We have resentment when one feels like they are doing more than the other, waking up more at night, changing more diapers, working longer hours or has more snot on their shirt.  Our sex life isn’t non-existent, it isn’t what it was before but nothing that makes me worry.  We carve out time for sex, dates, talks that don’t include just the baby and the hubby reminds me that I’m beautiful and I make sure to smack his ass and tell him he looks good on the way out the door.

I thought we were good.

I thought  I was juggling this parenting, marriage, work, hubby crazy hours thing okay.

Apparently not.

Cue Sunday night.

Cue pure exhaustion from a baby with hand, foot, mouth disease.  Nights of no sleep.  Trying to make the best of Father’s Day for the hubby.

Cue wine that went straight to my head.

Cue a husband that made an off-hand remark that just snapped me.  Any other time I would have laughed. I took the baby for a bath instead and cried.

By the time we went to bed, well, I don’t know how the talk started.  We shouldn’t have had a talk like this when I was this tired and drinking but he kept going.

We went to bed with all these words and questions hanging in the air.  I spent the next couple of days with a sick, clingy, baby and he left to work out of town. This left me with time to be pissed, over think, be frustrated and annoyed.

We didn’t discuss it on the phone or via text because that is a rule of ours.  Serious talks need to be had face to face.  So when he came home last night, we put the baby to bed, handed the monitor to my sister and took off on a walk to hash things out.

One mile later, we were back on the same page.  We had ventured too far off the page from one another.  While I’m good about verbalizing what is wrong, he is not as good.  Mainly because if he doesn’t stop and think about his words, they come out really wrong and create more of an issue.  Which is what happened Sunday night.

A mile after that we were back to normal, catching up on the past couple of days.  We were back to where I knew our marriage was at but sometimes we need to stop and self check a bit better with one another.

We have chosen to be very mindful of having a marriage separate from being parents.  We don’t want to lose “us” in the day to day of raising a child.  Some days that is harder than others when a baby consumes a lot of our energy and time but we make it work.  But what happens in our marriage influences us as parents and that changes our family as a whole.

How has having a kiddo changed your marriage?

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This is 7 Months.

I feel like 7 months if full of all the things.  This month may be the one that I have seen the most growth and change and I feel like it has all happened in the past week too!

Cora is still not a fan of baby food.  Every now and then she will eat sweet potatoes but anything else, she clamps her mouth down and shows zero interest. We try every night and basically throw away a lot of jars full of food.  One day she did decided puffs were not meant to feed the dog with but that she can indeed eat them.  And Mum Mum’s are a huge, messy, favorite.  I have moved on to giving her regular food which she seems more obliged to try.  Avocados being a favorite, mangos not.  Otherwise, she just likes her bottles.  This weekend she actually just started eating more than 4oz at a time.  I know.  I see other kids chugging 8 oz bottles but she won’t sit still long enough for that.

Due to all the busyness and not eating during the day, she still thinks the middle of the night is appropriate for all the bottles.  She still gets up twice a night, chugs them down and crashes.  I will say that it isn’t so bad because we are getting to the point that going down for bed and naps are so easy.  We rock her with a bottle and when done we set her in her crib and she puts herself to sleep.  No fighting.  Man, it all does get easier.

In the past week her first tooth has popped through, she took off crawling, and started pulling herself up on things.  When she gets ahold of your hands she wants you to walk her around the room.  Or if there is a toy to push around, so she can walk, she will do that as well.  She actually prefers to push around the diaper boxes.  I would bet she will walk in the next couple of weeks.  Yikes!

Then there is the planking.  I don’t know if it is from watching me do yoga daily or what but she gets there and holds her plank for a long time intentionally.  All. The. Time.  Other parents at her daycare have even commented on it.  She has amazing form!

Due to all of her crazy new moves, we officially had to take down her infant swing.  She could climb out of it (even while belted in) and was trying to pull herself up on it.  I posted a side by side photo of her last swing and her first swing. Woah, all the feelings right there.  This is officially the first month that I keep thinking to myself, slow down baby girl, time is flying.

She says mama and chases her poor puppy around the house.  We have put her in her little blow up swimming pool in the front yard.  She loves being strapped to me while we go for walks.  (I bought the Ergobaby by the way, best purchase ever!) We have also officially started letting her sit in shopping carts now like a big girl.  I also finally gave in at restaurants and let her sit in their high chairs.  All this has made our ability to get up and go just a bit easier.

Lots of people like to ask me about her schedule.  I can tell you that she isn’t an overly scheduled baby.  The one thing she is consistent about is bedtime at 7:30.  But if we choose to say, get 8pm reservations somewhere to eat and take her, no biggie! She goes with the flow.  She gets up between 5am and 7am, no rhyme or reason.  For the most part she is now taking three big naps a day or a million cat naps, depending on if we are home or not.  She takes a bottle when she wants one and we only wrestle with the food situation at dinner time.  I can say I am thrilled she is so flexible because we are on the  move a lot.

More than anything, she is becoming more and more interactive which makes it much more fun for us. I don’t feel as exhausted from figuring it all out.  I don’t question what I do as much, instead I just let her take the lead.  I think we might just be figuring this parenting thing out.

And because life is fun, we are heading into her 8th month with hand, foot and mouth disease.  That is such a joy.

 

Babies and Screen Time

We often have this problem when we go out with my Husband’s family of screen time at the dinner table.  We don’t get together often, birthday’s and other general celebrations.  But the other children (3 and under) are plopped into a high chair and immediately handed an Ipad with their favorite show turned on.  My poor neglected infant and, now 14-year-old, are not allowed such devices at the dinner table. Even my Husband and I have a no phone rule while eating.  Home or otherwise.  I sit in my chair and I won’t lie, I judge the crap out of my in-laws.  I’m pretty open-minded about other parenting but this is one I just can’t get past.  Am I crazy?

My 14-year-old learned how to act in a restaurant by sitting correctly, not wandering with food, not having a device other than the provided crayon and paper and if she acted up, I hauled her ass out to the parking lot to have her pull her shit together and not ruin everyone else’s meal.  We sat as a family and played tic-tac-toe or I spy and also managed conversation together.  I’m not saying it was always perfect but she learned how to be a human and have conversation.  I would like for Cora to learn the same thing.

The only thing I see in my in-laws kiddo’s is the inability to interact with others in public.  I know for a fact this is their normal at home procedure-eating in front of the TV.  Don’t even get me started on how I feel this creates eating issues.

Why are we as a society so quick to shut our kids up or stick them in a corner to be entertained?

Call me crazy, but we are following the recommendation of not allowing our child electronics, technology, TV, or whatever till the age of 2.  I don’t turn on Disney, Baby TV or anything else for Cora and we don’t have apps downloaded on our phone for her enjoyment.  Yes, our TV is on in the background when we are home but we normally don’t sit down to watch our shows till after she is in bed.

Isn’t the world around her enough? How much do you allow your children? Are you the family I’m judging at the restaurant?

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