Monday, April 30, 2012

16 weeks...which means 'almost 4 months'

"Now is a good time to go on a trip with your baby – even if it's just a short day trip. At this point, your little one may have outgrown colic, be sleeping more regularly, and be ripe for new experiences and adventures. He or she may love seeing, smelling, and hearing new things. Bonus: Since your baby's not too mobile yet, it will make the trip more relaxing for you, too!"
The monkey has been on so many "day trips" he's now bored with them.
This is an activity that is suggested for parents to do with their 16 week olds! Does this mean all the trips I've gone on so far were too much for the monkey or is it just that he wasn't able to enjoy the experiences as much (which I would understand since he slept on the majority of our 'adventures, outings and/or trips'...but that's not a bad thing, because it just meant I was able to thoroughly enjoy them with a sleeping monkey). However, I do think waiting till he's 16 weeks to go on a trip is a bit extreme, especially a 'short day trip'...but maybe that's because I took the monkey out on 'day trips' when he was 2 weeks old.

And really what does "sleeping more regularly" have to do with trips!? If I waited till the monkey 'slept more regularly' I'd still be locked in the house...except if they counted sleeping regularly as going to sleep every time I put him in my carrier - if they did, then I'd be ok.

And finally...yes, he is more mobile because he's not moving but that does not mean when you go on these new adventures you will be traveling light...nope, you'll be taking everything plus the kitchen sink...you know those parents you looked at and thought, "Why in the world did you pack snacks, drinks, chew toys, blankets, hats, mittens, scarves, jackets, shorts, socks and short and long-sleeved onesies (or shirts) when we're just going to the park?" That's right, you now understand...you must be prepared for AT LEAST 1 outfit change, as well as being prepared for any weather occurrence - I mean if the temps suddenly goes up or drops low you want your child comfortable so you must be prepared...which means my friends, that you will never pack light again! You are doomed to overpack for the next 18 years...because if your kids don't pack it you must so that when they start to complain you'll be prepared...I'm planning on being the parent that is tough and says "oh you didn't pack it, tough luck for you...I told you you might need it!" However, I guess we'll see if I stick with it or if I turn into my mom even more and I'm prepared for everything (which I'm guessing is how I'll actually turn out)...I'll keep ya posted on that...but for the time being I'm prepared for most situations when we go out...the monkey usually needs 2 outfit changes!

"Short day trip #687", monkey 15 weeks old at the tulips.
The monkey forgot to put his sunglasses on...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Parenthood

Parenthood: the time in ones life when what works 1 day/week/month is almost guaranteed not to work the next and what works for one parent pretty much means it won't work for you. So all that advice people love to share...yep that's right - it won't work, but boy does it sound good!

That is what I'm discovering one of the meanings of parenthood to be...so when people suggest I need to feed my kid rice cereal at night in his bottle with formula ("just make the nipple on the bottle bigger") because it'll help him sleep through the night...all I can say is "thank you" because 1, my monkey doesn't need more food, 2, he doesn't drink formula - not that there is anything wrong with that, but I've chosen to be a milk cow 24/7, and so far my body has allowed me to do that, and 3, well there is no way I'm making any bottle nipple bigger for this kid! (I've found the smallest bottle nipple, for when he does get a bottle, and he eats way too fast through it.) So if I have nights where I don't get much sleep - so be it - it's what I signed up for when I became a parent!

I've discovered that you really don't need 8 hrs of sleep a night in order to function large moving machinery (ie. cars) or care for intricately made things (ie. babies),  in fact I feel great after 1 stretch of 3 hrs (run a marathon anyone?...ok, not really, because I'm not a runner, but if I were I'd be ready!) In all reality I've realized that after getting 4-6 hrs of sleep during the night, in total, (waking up between 3-6 times to get that sleep) I can go 16-18 hrs before I'd like to fall flat on my face and sleep (this coming from someone who LOVES to sleep but who is unable to take naps - or who, when I do take a nap, wakes up extremely grumpy ). However, I'm not the only one who has discovered this...the monkey has too! So you know what that means right? That's right...on those nights where I'm exhausted and I really don't think I can do anything or handle anything else, the monkey says, in his wise Yoda-like voice, "parent you are, test you I will"...and a meltdown occurs which requires the 1 thing that I thought I lost hours ago - patience...but somehow it comes and I'm able to deal with it and move on (this also coming from someone who lacks patience on 8-12 hrs of sleep).

Therefore, last night was a wonderful night, unlike the previous week...the monkey slept 3 hrs 48 min (yep I keep track of his sleeping because he doesn't sleep a lot), woke up and ate, then he slept for 2 hrs 40 min, woke up and ate and then slept for 1 hr 40 min and we got up...what a great night! Maybe having Rusty talk to him and tell him if he didn't sleep momma was gonna get really grumpy worked, maybe it was the fact that he slept next to me in my bed, maybe it was the screaming fit he had for about 45 min before bed, maybe it was the fact that he was up way past his bedtime or it could've simply been the placement of the moon in the sky in relation to star #43 and Pluto...because seriously, when it comes to this thing called parenthood, anything could be the cause of something working or not working and we'll never know what it is! So I'll take last nights sleep gratefully and tonight when bedtime comes I'll try a whole new set of things to try to get him to sleep I'm sure.

Peacefully sleeping monkey, 15 1/2 weeks.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Airplane 101

When traveling on an airplane with a 3 month old, alone and for the first time there are a few things you should do. They are:
1. Apologize to all the parents who have traveled with a baby on the plane, especially if that child threw a screaming fit on the plane and you judged them and their child. Why? Because you realize this could be you!

2. Repeat number 1 as you pray to whatever being you choose (although I think God or Jesus work best) that your child does not have a meltdown while on the plane.

3. Repeat 1 and 2 as you discuss with your 3 month old the appropriate behavior for airplane travel. That's right - have a discussion with a 3 month old! Yes, it is possible...they might not listen but you should always tell them about proper behavior. What do you mean why? You do it because, what if they do pay attention and act accordingly - that's right you could end up being the parent with the child who behaved the entire flight! Those expectations could be things like:
  • We sleep during take-off and landing, any anytime during the flight...in fact sleeping through the entire flight is a great way to pass the time. 
  • We don't throw tantrums and screaming fits when we're thousands of feet in the air, it's just not something that (insert your last name here)'s do. 
  • We don't spit up on our neighbor - if you have to spit up, do it on mommy or better yet the burp cloth, but please try to refrain from spitting up at all. 
  • We go to the bathroom before we fly - no one likes to use ports-potties, and really that's all an airplane bathroom is - its just not pleasant. 
  • When eating, refrain from kicking your neighbor - after all your neighbor is just the poor soul who happened to have bad luck in getting seated next to a 3 month old. And yes, I realize there is an arm rest there but we don't kick people in order to get what we want...again it's not something (insert your last name here)'s do. 
  • Put a brave face on when that crazy flight attendant comes up and pretends like she's your grandparent and kisses you...it's just because you're so cute and she just can't help herself! 
4. Repeat 1 and 2 and only take the absolutely necessary items into the airplane bathroom when your child decides to poop (twice!) on the plane rather than before boarding ...seriously only the necessary things like a pad to change him on so he's not just laying on the little folding try, diaper and wipes...not much else will fit in the bathroom (I learned this from experience). And take plenty of diapers...more than you think you'll need and take a change of clothes or two just in case you run into a situation where you need a change of clothes for your baby.

5. Praise your child for his following the rules (that he chose to follow)...sleeping during take-off and landing, sleeping on the plane, not kicking the neighbor, not spitting up during the entire flight and putting up with the flight attendant.

 6. Take a rattle, a couple of pacifiers and some finger puppets or another toy that you can entertain your baby with if s/he is awake...it's all small stuff that will easily fit in your diaper bag and you'll most likely be happy to have with you.

7. Take a carrier/wrap of some sort to put your baby in so you can have your hands free during part of the flight AND that way you can go to the bathroom (if you must) and not have to hand your child off to a stranger.

8. Take food - formula, bottles or if you breast feed, your boobs and a cover of some sort (even if you don't think you need to cover up it's something nice you can do for that guy that ends up sitting next to you...he'll know what your doing but he won't be uncomfortable and you can chat if you like).

9. Take a blanket for your baby...just in case s/he gets cold (my baby is a heater but not all of them are...and if you sit by the window it is colder).

10. You can sit anywhere on the plane you want (except the exit row). If you fly SW less people sit in the back of the plane. It's your choice of window or aisle (I wouldn't do the middle seat) - the nice thing with aisle is you can get up to walk your baby if you need to without making others get up (although, if your baby is fussy people will move to let you out).

Above all realize that no matter what you really can't stress about it because if your child does decide to have a meltdown or gets tired and cries, there's really nothing you can do other than what you normally try (rocking, walking, singing, talking, feeding, etc...)...and the people on the plane...the majority of them are parents or grandparents and they understand and sympathize with you and your child...AND if they're not parents they probably will be at some point in the future and then they'll be apologizing to you for judging you and your baby. All of that to say the monkey did great on the flight!! So we know he does well on long road trips and airplanes...now I feel like I need to take a cruise to see how he does on ships!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Monkey Laughs (for the camera!)

The monkey has been laughing for awhile now but just not when I turn the camera on...I mean he's been laughing in his sleep since he was about 2 weeks old but not laughing as much when awake until about 2-3 weeks ago but it was at random times and I couldn't get it repeated. He'd laugh but then when I tried to get him to laugh again - it was like he'd look at me and say "But I just laughed for you momma - what's your problem - why do you want me to laugh all the time?!" Yesterday while I was talking to Rusty on the phone the monkey laughed so Rusty got to hear it...but he wouldn't do it later when the camera was on. Then this morning he started laughing when we were listening to music and bouncing around...so I carefully got the camera turned on thinking "just maybe"...and what do you know he started laughing again! So here I give you the monkey laughing!

Tummy Time

So the monkey isn't big on tummy time - he'd rather be on his back kicking his legs...however we still must have tummy time because his legs are pretty strong but his arms are SUPER weak...so we're working on strengthening them and he's trying to figure out what to do with arms and hands...he doesn't seem to think they're important (as you'll be able to see in the following videos).

Yesterday he turned himself so much that his legs came off the mat and he was pushing the mat...I wanted to see if the same thing would happen today, but it didn't exactly - he did turn a bit, as you'll see but not as much as he has.
As you can see he went from being straight on the mat to going sideways - not bad for a kid that only uses his legs! (Oh and if you're wondering about the necklace it's a Baltic amber teething necklace that is suppose to help with the aches and pains of teething - and this kid feels everything...so if it helps even a little it's probably worth it...we'll see.)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

1st Easter and 3 month birthday!

Since we were on the road we stayed in Lexington for the monkey's first Easter so we could be with family, and luckily the Easter Bunny found us! The monkey, even though he won't really remember his 1st Easter, got some great things in his 2 Easter baskets...that's right 2...who get's 2 Easter baskets?!
Notice the UK jersey and monkey (who was wearing a National Championships hoodie)...he also got a banana!
He liked his monkey.
He liked the jersey (it has shorts too).
He liked his ducky with rattle.
And his 2nd Easter basket - another animal and candy!
So after a fun morning of looking at his basket we went to church and the pastor put Owen to sleep - which was fine with me - he didn't wake up till the end of the service...of course it did occur during his morning nap time. Once we got home it was "picture" time.
Since it was his 3 month birthday we had to get a pic with the Elvis sunglasses!
And then for Grandma we got a nice picture without sunglasses with her.
And then of course the "official" 3 month picture...he was upset his martini glass was empty - the other glass was full of jellybeans!
Then, after the "official Easter outfit" that was Grandma approved he did what I had been hoping would happen...he spit up ALL over himself so we had to do an outfit change into his "real" Easter outfit (for some reason not grandma approved)...But it was also time for the Easter egg hunt...and since he couldn't "hunt" Aunt Stephanie made a pile of eggs for the monkey to hang out in...
Notice the egg by his head...yep a MONKEY!
And Easter evening ended by relaxing with grandma on the couch...not a bad 1st Easter/3 month birthday!

The Great Uncle Sam or Uncle Sam the Great...

The monkey had met all the "Greats" on my mom's side of the family in Kentucky (Aunt Carolyn the Great, Gin the Great) except for Uncle Sam - because he lives in Florida. So while in Florida we made sure that the monkey got to meet his Great Uncle Sam and that Uncle Sam got to meet his Great Nephew! (If you didn't know I really like adding "The Great" or just "Great" to people's names...they sound super important! I've also decided that they're "Great" because they practiced on the 1st generation of nieces and nephews and now they're not just good they're GRRREAT! - Corny I know, I just couldn't resist!) We were able to hang out with Uncle Sam and Monica two times while we were down there - which was SO nice! And the monkey liked Uncle Sam the Great, however I think he REALLY like Monica. The pictures below speak for themselves (sorry for the bad quality of 2 of the pics - I took them on my phone).
The monkey had just woken up...
so he was a little hungry.
He wanted to change to Uncle Sam's other arm...
because then he was closer to Monica!

Napping in Florida

The monkey had a BLAST in Florida AND he learned to nap every day...
Inside on the couch.
Outside on beach walks.
Outside by the pool.
Amazingly he has decided to keep naps as part of his daily activities - which I am NOT complaining about at all...this kid went from sleeping every once in awhile during the day - usually on walks or in the car (and some days not sleeping at all during the day) - to now taking a couple of naps every day! Granted some of his naps are only 15 minutes, but others are 1 1/2 hours!! So nice.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pictures of the pool...and video.


We already did a write-up on the pool, but here are the pictures I wasn't able to post at the time and a video so you can all experience with the monkey - the trauma I put him through!

Sleeping monkey arrived at the pool, even though he was under an umbrella the sun was still bright to his sleeping eyes.

The monkey starting to wake up.

He is actually awake but just unsure of his swimsuit...

He wanted to lounge on momma's chair in the sun while I pulled my hair back.

AH HA! The pool. But see I started him off slowly with just his feet...
then we tried sitting with our legs further in the water...and he was ok with that.
We talked about going further in the water.
I told him we were going into the water and warned him that it was cold...
 
(Again - video is sideways...I now know, don't use camera unless it's the video camera...otherwise it shows up sideways...which is crazy to me.)

The monkey is cold...and SO glad to be out of the pool.

But don't worry momma knew how to warm him up...strip him down and wrap him in warm towels and a blanket...and he fell asleep. It was just too traumatic.

Pictures of the beach...and a video

So we've already decided Owen likes the beach...but I just couldn't post pictures since I didn't have my computer with me...so here are the pictures.
In the wet sand for the 1st time.

The 1st wave came and we "jumped" it...so he could just feel the water and get used to it.

The 2nd wave came and we forgot to warn him - so it surprised him and he wasn't too happy - he doesn't like surprises.

We got ourselves together because I promised to warn him when a wave came again...

The monkey's "brave face"
We warned him about the next wave and he was fine...
What? You don't believe me - well check out the video - sorry you'll have to turn your head or your screen - I don't know why the camera takes video's sideways (guess I should've used the video camera instead!).
After playing in the waves it was time for a walk...
The monkey knows that walking and hearing the waves is relaxing and can sometimes solve problems...

see - no need to worry he solved his problem on the beach walk!
The is the monkey under wraps when the sun was shining down right on him...besides being slathered with sunscreen we literally covered him up...don't worry he could still breathe...I told Rusty I would let him get a tan - and I didn't!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

First night at the beach (in pics)

For a write-up on the beach check out, The Beach. Here you will find photos of the Monkey's time on the beach...We went down the first night we got there - because once you breathe in the air and hear the waves you really know you're really in FL...and we had to teach the Monkey that!
1st time in the sand...he was kicking his feet around in it, so I decided to...
sit him down in the sand...he didn't complain as he kicked his feet.
We went a little further down the beach and tested the sand again.
Monkey and me at sunset.
This was after I told him we'd come back in the daytime...think he's excited!
It's a "baby's cradle" in the sky...the stars and moon (hard to see in pic - but we know it was there!)

Road Trip: Lexington to St. Augustine Beach, FL, Part 2

The monkey did great on the 2nd day of traveling - and it was a bit longer than the first day...so when we got out to stretch our legs, change diapers (well only he had a diaper on) AND get some pictures of him at the "Welcome to FL" visitors center - he wasn't in the best of moods...I did feed my child I promise you...I just didn't feed him before these pictures because if I had he would've been asleep - so instead I settled for some great "crying baby" pics - but it's not how he felt about FL...just this stop. (The monkey wanted to write the captions...since I chose the pictures I figured it was only fair.)
"Mom my diaper is dirty and I'm hungry - PLEASE just change me and feed me...who cares about a pic in front of this sign...especially since you didn't get the whole sign in the picture!"
"Really putting a baby in a bag - like that hasn't been done before! Come on mom - I'm dirty AND hungry!"
"Seriously, people are not going to believe I was really water skiing! But at least you chose the water skier and not the 'Little Bo Peep' looking girl...guess I'm lucky."
"Aaahh, clean diaper...now food...see I'm eating my hand - it means what? That's right - I'm hungry!"