Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Have Baby, Will Travel

We did it.

Survived the first plane trip with the Girl.

I know a lot of people do this sooner, or with more frequency, but it is an accomplishment none the less.

It really wasn't too bad. The Huz gave the trip down a 7.5 on a scale of 10, which I will say is optimistic. The trip home was much better (primarily due to less crying and no rental car seat).

Some tips/thoughts, in no particular order ....

- I typed up a list before I went of what needed to be packed. A) because I'm a list-maker, and 2) because packing a baby is a last-minute ordeal and I couldn't be racing around the house checking things for the third time.

- For the 3 of us, we packed two carry-ons and two checked bags. I am a notorious over-packer and it hard for me to balance all the baby contingencies without packing her whole room. Also, gotta love Southwest for no checked bag fee!

- One carry-on was solely for baby flight essentials: blanket, burp cloths, bottles, pacifiers, book, toy, diapers, wipes. Our other carry on was for items that could go overhead, but we couldn't risk losing in lost luggage (meds, BREAST PUMP, etc.)

- I gave her a half-dose of Tylenol a little before take-off. Not so much for a sleepy effect, but just in case her ears hurt.

- Pack one more bottle than you think you will need, just in case of delays. If you are breastfeeding you have a back-up, but I'm not really a public nurser and Girly is so distractible that the airport was like Disneyland.

- We didn't have any issues with airport security and bottles. I just told them I had milk and it went right through the x-ray - no questions. On that note; beware when you open your bottles in the plane. Your bag gets jostled so much that milk can spill into the cap of your bottles, and/or the milk can expand due to the pressurized cabin. Either way - we had major spillage on landing which resulted in a wet, crying mess. (Me and her).

- Use a bottle / pacifier / boob on take-off and landing to help with the ears. I'm not sure that it makes a difference which one - just sucking is good. Huz thought a bottle would be better because Girly would have a motivation to suck (FOOD), but she generally takes her pacifier, too. Our rookie mistake was giving her the bottle as we taxied out to the runway. It was half a bottle and she usually doesn't eat that fast, but she sucked it down and then we just SAT THERE. Don't give them the bottle until you are going.

- Also, warming the bottle can be a bit of an issue. Breastmilk, at least, needs to be packed in a cooler bag. Girly won't take a cold bottle, but lukewarm is OK. The first flight attendant was nasty and told us they didn't have any way to warm a bottle, so Huz stood in the airplane lav trying to warm it in the sink until the second nice flight attendant offered to get him some hot water from the instant hot tap in the back. Thanks. On the way home, Huz stopped at an airport restaurant and got hot water to-go in a styrofoam coffee cup with a lid. That worked great (be sure to pour half out before you get on). Plus, then we already had the cup to warm the other half-bottle on the plane.

- Car seat debacle! We debated what to do about the car seat ... we didn't buy Girly a seat on the plane and knew there would be almost no chance of an open seat on a Southwest flight. We had a rental car waiting for us on the other end and needed a car seat. We thought it would be a nightmare to deal with checking the car seat and picking it up on the other end and getting it installed in the rental car, so we elected to rent a car seat and Bjorn/carry her through the airports. The carrying worked fine, but the rental seat? Not so much. The manager at the car rental place was nice and helped to install the seat, but it took FOREVER and they really are not experts at car seat installation (and neither are we). It was an older model seat and we just could not get it as tight as I thought it should be. We had no choice but to go with it, but I won't do it again. For an older child with a forward-facing seat it might be ok, but I won't do it with an infant.

- The better solution would have been to buy a car seat bag and to have checked the car seat right away at the curb or airline desk (not gate check). You aren't charged to check a car seat and if you bring your own fabric bag, you can stuff a bunch of other things in there, as well.

- My last tip is to travel to a place where there are babies, because that cuts down on what you need to bring!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wah Wah

(You know ... the Debbie Downer sound .... wah wah).

It's a topic that no one wants to think about, but really should. Really. Really.

A will. A guardian. Life insurance. Disability insurance. Nothing makes you feel more like a grown up than talking about this stuff. Even more than having the kid in the first place!

We're still working on getting these details accomplished and I came across a good post on Parent Hacks the other day about this very thing.

Six Steps to Financially Prepare for the Unexpected

While you're at it, get yourself a living will. Your family will thank you for it.

Now, go have some ice cream. We're done with the serious stuff for today!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Reason #2 for making your own babyfood

A good friend gave me a subscription to Cookie magazine and I love reading it. Lots of cute / clever / modern ideas for kids and families. Further, a lot of blogs I read have recently been linking to items on their website, which is also great!

Last night I came across a great tip .... make peach puree for your baby, and then use some for yourself to make bellinis!

Just so happens that I have 6 organic peaches waiting in my fridge for the Gal ... do you think she'll mind if I borrow one?

YUM, mommy juice!

Friday, July 3, 2009

7 month itch

Not much to report these days ... life has settled into a rather predictable schedule. (Which will certainly change now that I've typed those words out loud).

Feeding time is much better and not so irritating. It does mess with our schedule some, but in truth, we are homebodies most of the time.

I wonder if the Girl's non-interest in eating had something to do with me. She ate great at daycare from the start, and even ate very well for her Aunt. She has never been one to be finicky about eating - she nurses and takes a bottle from me equally well. Perhaps the fact that the colored food didn't come from a boob bothered her. Who knows?

I am loving the Baby Cubes. It is perfect to pop a container out of the freezer the night before, put it in her cooler bag with bottles and send it all off to school. I am finding, though, that just one batch of food can fill up most of your cubes. I'm currently using a combo-approach of Baby Cubes and ice cube trays. One smallish butternut squash or about 3 sweet potatoes will fill up an entire ice cube tray. I pop the cubes out into plastic bags in the freezer and I can still put the cube of food into the Baby Cube container for school.

My immersion blender works best for anything I cook on the stove top, like apples or pears, or something I baked in the oven, like squash or potatoes. The Magic Bullet worked great for mangoes. (Buy frozen chopped mangoes in the freezer section instead of fresh - thaw them in the fridge and they are a much better consistency for blending). I really like to cook and all of this has been super easy and convenient thus far.

Our doorway jumper (similar to this) is proving to be nice. Girly shouts when we leave the room, especially during cranky evening time, so it is nice for her to hang out in the doorway to the kitchen while we are getting things done. She also really likes to sit in her hook on high chair and watch us - I'm loving that, too.

The next task to obsess over: Traveling With Baby. I know we are very lucky that this will be our first trip with baby in tow - many people don't have family close by and do this earlier or much more frequently. Still, lots of details to ponder ... advice???