Friday, August 19, 2011

Lessons learned & a proud moment

Here's our proud moment: 1st vacation with Oliver that involved a flight across the country and we cloth diapered the whole time :-) I wasn't sure I'd want to deal with that with a flight and somebody else's house. But, we made it work. It was no extra effort at all.

On to lessons learned:
  • Bottle or food on take-off and landing. Wake up the baby if he/she's asleep. I didn't do this and he woke up crying on our landing in the last flight.
  • A few new toys. I got 3 new things for him and brought them out 1 by 1. Each was good for a good half hour and then I put them away and took them out on our way back and it was all new to him again.
  • Take the window seat next time. On the first flight, we took the aisle and the middle seat, and I had to put my leg up to stop Oli form crawling to the guy sitting in the window seat. On the way back, we had the window seat and he was fascinated with looking out the window, banging on it etc.
  • Don't drag the stroller for a 3-4 day vacation where we are going to a wedding and related functions. My cousins took him for a walk one day but otherwise we never even took the stroller out of the car. So, really evaluate what you'll be doing on vacation before dragging another piece of equipment.
  • The Ergo carrier was AWESOME! At BWI, they even let me carry him in it through the metal detector. At OAK, I had to take him out and send the carrier through the x-ray machine but it was still worth it to have it. He was in it while we waited in line to board; I wore him on my hip and he just looked around at people the whole time.
  • My kid sleeps better on vacation than when we get back home. So, be prepared for a few days adjusting back to normal schedule after every vacation. I was happy he did so well on vacation, I wasn't prepared for the sleep regression we are going through now.
  • If there's a washing machine available, don't over pack for the baby. I took 3 times the number of clothes I needed for him.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Oli's first flight (photo heavy)

was all the way to CA and he did so good!We flew Southwest, and had a layover in Phoenix on the way there. Oli did awesome with both take-offs and the landing at Phoenix. On the landing into Oakland, I forgot to wake him up in time to give him his bottle and his ears started popping while he was asleep, so he was crying for the last 10-15 minutes of the flight. But, otherwise, he flew like a pro.

Once we got there, he did everything you are supposed to do on vacation. Napped, played at the playground, even got some video game time in with daddy.

We had my cousin's wedding reception to attend; don't my boys look handsome? I had shoes for Oli but they came off even before we left the house. So, I left them off, his socks were dressy enough. He had so much fun at the reception, he would raise his hands and shriek when everyone clapped at the speeches. He tried all the food that we had and then he passed out, sans pants.
He met some new people this time. He met his great-grandma, my mom's mom; he met his Aunt Jenny and Uncle Chris.

He also met my mom's brother and his wife for the first time but I can't find a photo of my uncle, but here's my aunt. He was fascinated by the shiny sari.

He met his soon-to-be Aunt Cindy, who he got fresh with and gave some smooches to as soon as they met. We figured out eventually, he just wanted to eat her pendant.

The flight back was a little worse for us, since we had 2 stops, no plane changes, but that meant 3 take-offs and 3 landings. He did so good with all take-offs and the first 2 landings. The last landing, he was just tired of being cooped up, tired of the 12 hr day and probably hurting from the air pressure. So, he cried for a half hour or so before we landed. I have tons of photos that I'll upload to Facebook when I have more than 10 minutes to myself at home. So, probably this Sunday.

Here's a photo of him with his grandparents:

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

First time away from the bubs

4 days without seeing him. 2 calls a day to my mom. 1 video chat.

And, after all that, it was so amazing to come home Monday evening to this:

Yay, you are home!
Which changed into this after just a few kisses from mommy:

Daddy save me!

2 days in Gettysburg, just lounging, taking it easy, sampling some local wines, some microbeers, dinner with great friends, eating at some great local joints.

We stayed at the historic Gettysburg Hotel, which is now owned by Best Western. It was right in the middle of town, perfect spot for us to walk anywhere from. We went to see the Gettysburg Diorama the first day. It was the perfect start for me, since I didn't know much about the battle, it gave me an overview and pointed out all the important landmarks. So, the second day, when we did the tour, I could see the whole picture in my head as we drove through the different parts.

I am proud to say I even ran one day on my vacation. Now, the plan was to run everyday, so I should be ashamed of failing at that goal. But, the very first day, we got there and checked in. Jeff took a shower and a nap and I went to find the fitness room. It was in the basement, this 10X10 room, with a non working TV. Now, I listen to my iPod when I run but I like the distraction of moving photos. But, I started running. Within less than 10 minutes, I was so short of breath, the room was fogging up and I was having trouble lifting one foot after the other. I looked at the thermostat and it was 72, so I lowered it to 65 and ran some more. After another 10 minutes, it had only gone down to 71. I somehow managed to finish my run and stumbled outside. There were the laundromat and the kitchen right next to the work out room. Yeah, I didn't make it back down to the dungeons for exercise. But, for those who might worry for my health, I went back at work today and managed to do my regular run without too much of a problem.

It's good to be back. It was good to get away. BUT, we missed Oli so much! I am not sure we'll ever be able to do a child free vacation ... at least till he's at some annoying stage. But, right now, with all his cuteness, we are not letting him out of our sight overnight anytime soon.And, he turned 9 months on Monday! Pediatrician appointment today, so another blog post will be up tomorrow!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Parenting by Instinct

Our grandparents did it, our parents did it, I am doing it. I was given the book, What to Expect When You are Expecting ... did I read it? Nope. I was given some other books that I didn't read. I did not read Consumer Reports or the Baby Guide on the Bajillion Things Your Baby Might Need. And, you know what? I survived my pregnancy. I gave birth. And now that my baby is here, I have not read a single book. Not one on sleep training, not one on feeding, nothing, not a single one. But, I think I will write one that's titled "Parenting by Instinct." It'll be a page long. This is what it'll say.

Prologue & disclaimer: This book, in no way, shape or form, attempts to be the guide to parenting and the writer, in no way, shape or form, attempts to be an expert on parenting. The writer is a novice parent of a 9 month old, stumbling through the obstacle course that is parenting along with her infant.

The book:

Go with your instinct.

If you think your baby is hungry, feed him.

If you think your baby needs changing, change him.

If you think your baby is hurt, cuddle him and give him lots of kisses.

If you think your baby is bored, put on some music and dance with him.

If you think it's none of the above and your baby just needs to cry, let him cry.

If you think your baby needs a pacifier, give him one. If you think he needs to be weaned, take it away.

If you want somebody's advice, ask for it but remember no two babies are alike.

If you like somebody's advice, follow it.

If you don't like somebody's advice, don't follow it.

If you don't want somebody's advice and they give it anyways, grin if you want to or scowl if you want to. Or throw your coffee in their face and tell them to mind their own business. But, you could get charged for assault for that behavior so don't blame me.

If you want bazillions of pieces of advice that are irrelevant, you can ask Dr. Google.

In the end, listen to your heart. you know your baby and his moods the best. Nobody else can step in and tell you what's better for your child than what your instincts tell you.

Epilogue: I am not saying all books are bad. But, one book cannot prescribe to every child. We are all individuals. Just like we shouldn't group adults and apply stereotypes to them, we shouldn't be doing that to our children. That's what these websites and books that say, "oh by 6 months, your baby should be applying to Harvard," do. They are stereotyping babies and causing unneeded anxiety in many new parents.

So, read the books, if you want, listen to people, go to the Internet, but in the end, parent by your instinct. Your mental health will thank you for it!

Back jacket of book:

What did the book say I should be doing now?