Saturday, September 29, 2012

Traveling adventures with a baby

So this past weekend my husband was a groomsman in his cousin’s wedding. Problem was this wedding was in Kansas City, Missouri. Which is about a 9-10 hour drive away from where we live. Traveling with a 7 month old on a 10 hour trip is not an easy feat. 

This year is the year of the weddings. All three of Matt’s cousins have gotten married this year (one of these cousins has yet to get married this year). They are all from the same family. So it has been a big year for Matt’s aunt and uncle considering both their two sons and one daughter is getting married all in one year. The first wedding was in May, this wedding was in St. Charles. This trip wasn’t bad at all considering Grant was only three and a half months old, and the trip was only a six hour trip. Plus we didn’t have to spend the night at a hotel. Since the wedding was close by to where Matt’s aunt and uncle live, they so graciously let us spend a couple nights at their house instead of a hotel, which worked out really well. Grant was really good during this trip. He only fussed a few times; we only had to make about 3 stops. On the way home he ended up pretty much sleeping the entire 6 hour ride which made the trip so much easier. This trip blindsided me and made me think, wow if it’s this easy to travel with a baby, it probably will be a breeze with the next wedding when Grant is 7 months old. I was warned by other people that this probably would not be the case. Apparently babies are easier to travel with when they are really little, under the age of four months. 

And boy was I in for an eye-opener. Definitely babies when they are older are very unpleasant to travel with. I had my worries and suspicions that Grant would not be very good during the car ride considering in the last month Grant has been going through the “I hate being in my car seat phase.” I do not like this phase. I know it is a matter of time that this phase will pass. But only if it could pass a wee bit faster.  With this phase, every time that I put Grant in his car seat, he starts screaming bloody murder, he arches his back and becomes stiff as a board. It’s extremely hard to put his little arms through the straps when puts up the biggest fit to resist it. And not only that, small trips are the worse. Last week we came from Matt’s sister’s house for a birthday, it was only a 30 minute ride, we had to stop twice, and even sitting in the back with Grant, he was inconsolable. He pretty much screamed bloody murder the entire half hour ride. And it just wasn’t one ride, he would be like that. He would be extremely upset in any ride that would take more than 20 minutes. So you can why I was freaking out with this trip considering, car riding is the enemy. I could barely take a half hour of gut retching screams, let alone 10 hours.

As my apprehension of this trip how this trip was going to grow, I started to get advice from many people in my life on how to make the trip easier for everyone. I got the “give him Tylenol an hour before the trip and he’ll sleep the entire ride”. And the “leave right when he goes to bed and drive through the night when he is sleeping.”  While I appreciated others’ advice, I just decided to to endure the trip without drugging my child to sleep or driving the trip half asleep ourselves.

Teething biscuits keep me entertained too.
Surprisingly the trip wasn't as terrible as I thought it was going to be. Grant was actually even better on the way home to Ohio. But compared to when he was 3 months old when we traveled, I had to keep Grant extremely entertained. And it seemed like we had to bring twice the amount of baby stuff then we did last time. This time I had a giant bag of toys to entertain Grant. None which really entertained him. I discovered that anything that wasn't a toy, things that Grant knew he could have, entertained him more. These toys included: My plastic key card on a lanyard that gets me in and out of the office, a magazine, paper coffee cup holder, my car keys, Pringles can and more. Yes, you can shriek that I let my child play with my car keys among other terrible things. But when you are desperate to keep a baby happy, you find yourself resorting to anything, just so you don't have to hear a crying baby for 10 hours. 

With our trip, we left the house at 8:45 am, and didn't get to Kansas City until 8:30 pm. We had to stop about every 2 hours. Grant would start getting very anxious, and fussy. He would get so excited to be able to get out of his car seat. At one rest stop, he got a blanket out put it in the grass, and let Grant roll around. He was so happy to be free from his restraints! And he tried to eat the grass too. 
Woah Grass! This is so much better then the toys I can play with in the car.

I also kept Grant entertained with movies. I bought a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD and Thomas and Friends dvd. I popped it in my laptop and set the laptop near Grant so he could watch DVD. Yes, I know it's terrible that I'm already using television as a way to make my child happy especially when he is only 7 months old. But it really did calm him down. He was crying, and as soon as I put Thomas and Friends, he instantly calmed down, and then started banging on my laptop with excitement. 

Loved watching Thomas and Friends!

My favorite part was when we got to the hotel, and Grant was so excited to be no longer in the car, that when we put him on our bed, he started kicking and moving all over the place. 

So happy to be free!
The only bad part of staying in a hotel with a baby, is Grant didn't have much space to roll and move around. So we used the big king size bed as his playing field. And I felt bad when he started crying, because I didn't want to disturb other people in the rooms. Also I learned when you are in a small room and don't have a diaper genie, putting a dirty diaper in the trashcan makes the entire room smell terrible!

 Overall the trip was great. And the long 12 hour drive had its moments. But we survived. And I'm glad I don't have to make a 10 hour trip with a baby anytime soon. But in about a month will be an interested adventure. Which is the third wedding in Missouri. But this one is in St. Louis, so it will only be a 6 hour drive. But the interesting element to this one, is I won't be there. It will just be Matt and Grant. Though they will probably drive with Matt's parents. I'm going to Chicago that same weekend for a conference at work. I'm starting to have my regrets, and I'm starting to freak out a little. I just keep telling myself, it will be fine. But it doesn't help that Grant is attached to his mommy. So we'll see how trip #3 goes. Hopefully it goes well. Grant will be 9 months by then! Woah where has the time gone? I don't know. How time flies! And I now feel like a traveling with a baby professional.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The life of a mommy losing her mind...

Before I became a mother, I used to be a really planned and organize person. When going to family gatherings, I would bring everything I could possibly think of that I might need. Pretty much bringing everything buy the kitchen sink. I am a very type A personality, I like the think of every possible scenario, making sure everything goes according to plan. I am a perfectionist, and like everything done a certain way and if it doesn't go my way. I start freaking out. Well I know I've said this before, but motherhood is starting to make me lose my mind. And my type A personality has turned into a I don't care anymore, it will be OK, kind of personality. It's interesting how motherhood changes one's personality. One thing I've learned about motherhood, is you have to be easy going, go with the flow, and deviate from the plan. Because guess what? There really is no set plan when being a mother.

Lately I've been feeling like I'm a chicken with my head cut off in work and in life. Motherhood has officially made me lose my mind. And an hot unorganized mess. This past weekend, it was the annual Sherman picnic. Usually I come extremely prepared. This time I forgot a grape pie that I spent the morning making, lawn chairs to sit in, and my camera to take pictures of Grant doing cute things like take his first hayride. Good job me. My excuse? I had a crying baby to take care of and didn't have a chance to do a run-through to make sure I had everything that I need. Good thing I at least remembered to bring the baby :)

I'm really starting to feel like a mother. Later that night at the picnic, I came in the house from sitting by the campfire. I went to say goodbye to Matt's grandma, and she pats me on the shoulder to say goodbye to me, as she gets spit up all over her hand. Yes, I was walking around with spit up all over my jacket, and had no idea. After-all I was in the dark.

I will say that this past week I've been losing my mind at work. Mainly it's a combination of lack of sleep and pulling myself in a hundred different directions. Though despite my lack of organization or even effort to care anymore, it doesn't even matter when I get to see Grant's adorable smile. He melts it all away. :)

even though my mommy is losing her mind I'm pretty cute

Monday, September 3, 2012

Behind the scenes parenting

Look at me I'm cute and it takes a lot for me to be cute

While Grant is so flipping cute, it takes a lot to be cute and to maintain the cuteness of a baby. I didn't realize how much grooming is actually done to a baby. I thought the big thing was just giving a baby a bath, but there is so much more than that. Babies get a lot of personal pampering. Well pampering they don't want. The big thing is clipping Grant's nails. Which I HATE doing. I cringe every time I do it. Because his nails are so tiny and hard to clip. He moves around a lot and I get so nervous I'm going to hurt him or cut them too short. He seems to scratch his face way too much.

The other thing to maintenance Grant, which lately we have been doing more then usually because he has a cold, is suctioning the boogers out of his nose. His nose gets so gross! I never realize how snotty babies can get. Functioning his nose is a very cumbersome process. Usually Matt does it since I am terrible at it. But anymore it takes TWO people to hold him down while suctioning his nose, because Grant gets so feisty. He hates his nose getting picked on. He screams, he swishes his head back and forth, and puts up a big fight. I dislike having to "denasal" him as Matt and I call it. I didn't realize prior to having a baby how often you have to suck boogers out of a baby's nose.

Another thing is ears. Again how does a babies ears gets so waxy? It seems like we have to clean them everyday. Earwax just oozes out of them. Again this is a two person process. I have to hold Grant while Matt uses a q-tip. Then I flip Grant the other way. In general cleaning his ears freaks me out because I'm afraid I'll go to far down his ear.

Baths are annoying at times. I know babies need clean but preparing bathes the whole process in general is very time consuming. Though I am entertained at bath times, because Grant has so much fun in the water. But I had to retire his baby bath tub because he was flailing around so much in it, it was hard to hold on to him. He loves his bath seat. Sometimes it's easier just to take a shower and hold Grant while in the shower. Setting up a bath, is a big production.

Having fun in the water. I love baths

Other important things of maintaining a baby's cuteness, is their skin. Grant's skin is very dry. I have to put lotion on it all the time. One thing I've discovered from the doctor, is that Johnson and Johnson baby lotion doesn't actually moisturize the skin. It just makes the baby smell good but that's it. So I use the Aveno lotion, it works great moisturizing his skin. Another thing we use now is coconut oil. It smells so great when I put it on Grant. And what is nice about it, is it has so many uses. Like conditioning my straw over processed hair.

Even though Grant requires a lot of maintenance and pampering. He is so stinking cute, it's worth it. All the snot suctioning, nail clipping, and ear wax picking, seems like nothing when I see Grant's  cute little smile. :)