Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Letter To My Garden

Dear Garden,

I am sorry for the last two growing seasons. As is so often the case, I have been distracted by life events and not given you the attention you deserve. The last couple years have involved more wedding planning and baby making than weeding, and this has been unfair to you. I cannot imagine the shame you felt as the other yards teased you and told you that you looked like a foreclosure. Your weeds have been allowed to grow taller than your flowers and your edible plants have withered away. I won't even begin to apologize for the sins Prince has committed against you. Lets just agree to disagree about whether he was a good addition or not.

What I want you to know is that I can change. I'm sure you've noticed the car seat that often travels past you, and this probably makes you even more skeptical that I will have time for you. You should know, however, that that little squishy bundle of giggles and smiles often takes naps. I promise to spend at least one of those naps out puttering with you each day. I'm sure you've also taken note, that a somewhat healthy looking garden is growing within you, your green grass has actually been cut on a semi-regular schedule and Prince's poo poo no longer overstays its welcome. I cannot promise that you will ever win the prettiest yard on the block award, but I can promise that you will no longer be the worse (have you seen the yard across the street?).

Thank you for this second chance.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blowin' Bubbles In My Bumbo

This is Claire giving her first real try at hanging out in her Bumbo seat. I think she liked it, though she might have been a little distracted by practicing her latest skill.

Flying With Baby

I got to admit, I was more than a little nervous to take our first plane flight with baby. Flying can be hectic enough, but throw a little one who could possibly spend the whole flight screaming into the mix and the anxiety level definitely goes up a notch. Pre-baby I was the traveller who would try to sit as far away from babies as possible, and generally cringed when I'd see one was boarding. While I know a crying baby on a plane isn't really the parents fault (hey, you got to travel), I still didn't want to be "that lady" on the plane.  

Fortunately for us, Claire proved we have nothing to fear from flying with her (we'll see how it goes when she's old enough to move around). In fact, she spent most of the flight like this.

So all of my worry was for naught. As long as Claire was sleeping or sucking on something for the landing and take off she was perfectly happy. We had about 15 seconds of fussing on the first take off right at the moment when I noticed my ears were feeling their worse, and after that it was fine. In fact, we think she thought this was the best day ever because she was constantly being held and loved on.

Aside from baby's behavior, navigating an airport with baby wasn't all that difficult either (I'm sure that wouldn't be the case if I was travelling alone with her). I just had her in a little carrier and she was good to go and I was hands free. They've changed the rules so you can walk through the metal detector while wearing your baby, they just ask to swab your hands to make sure you weren't doing anything bad before you got there like, you know, making bombs.

I also found the TSA people to be particularly warm and friendly when interacting with Claire and me. I imagine their interactions with a lot of travellers probably aren't all that pleasant, so I made sure to repay their friendliness by being extra pleasant during the screenings. I think it made all our days a little better.

Honestly I think the hardest part about travelling with baby was the prep that goes into it, not the day itself. While we could have packed a third bag, I was trying not to because we already had an extra bag to take back full of stuff for my mom. I really didn't want to be trying to maneuver four bags and a baby at the airport! Figuring out how to pack all of our necessities and hers without packing an extra bag took a little planning, but it also made us be minimalists in what we took with us. As someone who tends to over pack, it was actually kind of refreshing to go bare bones and yes, four pairs of shoes is bare bones for me!

Our first experience travelling with Claire was certainly a sucess. I look forward to taking many more adventures with my little family in the future and hope the getting there portion of the trips are as uneventful as this one was.

My General Baby Travel Tips

1) Fit everything you and baby need into one carry on bag. The fewer the items you have to juggle the better.
2) If you have an Ipod, load some books on it. You can listen to those while holding baby for the next 10 hours.
3)Make sure your paci is on a leash or you will constantly be chasing it under seats. Also pack at least two because you'll be switching them out to clean them a lot.
4)After you finish packing your carry on, pack one more outfit and bib for baby.
5) Take extra plastic bags (we had two poopy blow outs).

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Learning to Play

We recently returned from a trip to Indiana, and aside from being a great time to hang out with family, it was also a time of great development for baby Claire. During this week, in which she turned four months old, Claire became very interested in playing with toys. She had started to show some interest before, but everything we had for her to play with at home was just a little too heavy or large for little baby hands.

Her first big burst of interest was when we sat her in her cousin's Kick and Play. It's like a saucer bouncy seat, but with toys dangling above and sensors below her feet. She loved batting at the colorful toys and hearing the noises the seat made as her feet hit the sensors. While she swatted at the toys a lot, she seemed even more interested in kicking everything, including the hanging toys. This little lady has definitely found her toes in a big way. I now have to fight them out of her hands during diaper changes!

Jeff was especially inspired by her new found interest in toys and bought her several light weight ones while we were out and about (you definitely know you're a parent when you go to the mall to buy grown up shoes and only come back with items for the baby). She's particularly in love with the green ball he found for her in Nashville Indiana. Its delicate enough that she can get her little fingers gripped around it and its full of rattles. She gets frustrated at it sometimes though because she hasn't figured out how to get a giant round ball in her mouth. I'm sure she'll figure it out in time.

I'm really excited that this development happened during a week when Jeffry was off of work. Being a SAHM, I get to see all her little changes in person, and it was a real treat for him to get to do the same.

Her First Laughing Fit

I don't know how many times I can watch this before it stops filling me with joy, but if the world were like Disneyland, I'd have her laugh playing from all the hidden speakers to be a soundtrack for my life.