Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Alligator

One of my most favorite Abby-isms is her asking to ride on the alligator. Since we've been traveling quite a bit lately she is loving staying in the big puffy beds, the gourmet breakfasts, and pressing the buttons on the "alligator". You know, the elevator. I don' have the heart to correct her because it's so darn cute.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sam's 2 Month Check up

We placed our bets on weight and were a bit generous with what we thought was our "big man".  Sam seems to be following in Abby's footsteps :-) He's just a tad smaller!

He is 23.25" in length (56%ile), 10 pounds even (5%tile), and his head circ is 15.5" (53%ile).

He did pretty well for it being his lunch time - a little fussy and wasn't a big fan of his THREE shots and one oral vaccine.  Nothing a little milk couldn't help.  A bit of tylenol tonight will hopefully help with the tenderness we're pretty sure he's feeling right now.

Two months down and just one to go before I end maternity leave and go back to work for the rest of my life.  It's been nice having some time off and getting some projects done around the house. I'll have to take pictures of all the pinterest inspired completed, almost completed, and wishful thinking projects I still have on my list.  Until then, we'll enjoy the last few weeks with Sam.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tips for Flying with Kids

This was probably the most anxious part of our trip - I was petrified Abby and/or Sam would be those kids on the plane.  We were extremely lucky that we have very minor meltdowns that seemed to last minutes, but really were just a few seconds.  Here are our tips for a successful trip.

  1. Pack light - pack what you need and put away 1/2 of it - especially if you have laundry facilities.  We checked one piece of luggage($25.00) and the car seat base (free) and had one carry on with essentials (breast pump)and a change of clothes for each of us.  Going through security was still a process, but I could wear Sam leaving my hands free. Everything had to go through the scan - stroller, car seat...getting him situated on me as soon as we got to the air port was smart. 
  2. Bring car seats - if you're renting a car, bringing your own car seat is critical. I didn't trust renting one as I didn't know if it had been in an accident.   We could have checked this, but it came in super handy on the plane as Abby was comfortable to sleep in it.
  3. Bring your stroller - We brought the snap-n-go and Sam's bucket seat.  These were gate checked prior to boarding since we couldn't bring them on the plane, obviously.  However, being able to stroll stuff through the airports/resort/safari instead of carrying stuff was a Godsend.  I wore Sam on the plane, had Abby's back pack and Sam's diaper bag. while Tim had the carry on w/Abby's seat strapped to the luggage.  Either one of us could hold Abby's hand.  Abby carried her Dora pillow with blanket stuffed in.  She looked like such a big girl!
  4. Pack a backpack for just the toddler.  We surprised Abby with her own small backpack with a dozen games, plenty of snacks/bribes, and a sippy cup.  Games included some busy bags I put together (counting, letter recognition, etc), coloring book, crayons, dry erase board/markers, etcha sketch, pen and paper, stickers, books.  You could also include playing cards, electronic items like our kindle or other small games.  We went through ALL the games several times.  If you bring anything that makes sound, be sure to get headphones or ear mics, as Abby calls them.  Besides the safari in Florida, these might have been her next favorite treat.
  5. Plenty of snacks - M&M's were used as bribes, fruit snacks, lollipops, crackers, etc.  Sippy cup was filled with water after security.  These were also shared with our neighbors.
  6. Have a bottle or boob ready for the littlest one.  I chose bottle so I could keep Sam in the Moby wrap.  I just needed to adjust a bit to get the right angle.  I ended up pumping in one airport, but otherwise feedings were timed well.   
 The only "uh-oh" moment we had was when we arrived in Pam Beach and had to trek all of us and the checked baggage.  We ran out of hands and contemplated getting one of the smart carts.  But, we rigged the car seat base to the stroller and off to the shuttle we went. Pheww

The meltdowns that occurred were the result of a pinch from the car seat, a bump on the head, and taking away the kindle before take off.   Of course the latter was at 11:30pm, so that might have been the problem, too.

Lastly, if I had to choose a flight time, I wouldn't chose 6am.  Holy early batman.  We had a 6pm flight back to Maine and while we got it at 1:30am after a delay, that was almost better.

We love to travel and hope these tips help those who are traveling in the future.  I'm sure I'll come back to this post (and add to) next February.  :-)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Going with the Flow

One thing I've learned as a parent is that as much as you can be prepared, sometimes you just gotta go with the flow. Here's an example:

We had just been seated at our outdoor table at a restaurant in Florida when Abby claimed she had to go pee - while she was peeing.   It took me about .02 seconds to realize we hadn't packed an outfit for her in the diaper bag.  The FIRST time since she's been potty trained.  Well, I thought quickly and ran her to the bathroom in hopes of a hand dryer.  While there was one - it didn't work.  Figures.  Of course, we could have turned around and headed back to the hotel, but we didn't.  Her wet pants didn't seem to phase her so we ordered and ate quickly.  You gotta go with the flow.    :-)  Thankfully, we were outside and not sitting indoors and that the seats were similar to patio chairs with strips of plastic and not nice cushioned ones. 

And another one:

Tim and Abby were splashing and swimming in the pool while Sam and I were poolside.  He had just woken to eat so we were nestled in one of the cabana's.  All of a sudden I heard a familiar shriek and screaming.  Abby's first, and probably not last, all-out tantrum was on full display in the pool all because she didn't want to get out.  Poor Dada had to pull her slippery body from the water and take her to the room for a time out.  Embarrassing for sure, but then again, most parents by the pool looked on with sympathy - they've been there, too. 

And one more:

We ended our trip with two nights at Papa's place in Port St. Lucie.  We hadn't quite figured out where Sam was going to sleep and figured that if nothing else, he could just sleep with us.  Brilliant Gwen offered up the laundry basket - she may have been kidding slightly, but it worked perfectly!  A beach towel for a little padding, and voila!  A travel size pack-n-play.  :-)

Hey, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.  Always going with the flow....

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy Two Months Birthday, Sam!

Yes, we are one day late, but for good reason.  We hustled to get out the door yesterday to go shopping and didn't have time to take the obligatory shots.  Priorities, you know.

Sam, I am, is TWO months old.  He is smiling up storm, fairly interactive in nature, is nursing like a champ ,and sleeps well for a baby, that is.  He will give anyone a big smile, especially after eating.  He LOVES to be held, even when content and often will remind you of this.  Abby was content in her bouncer or mat for several minutes so Momma could do a few chores.  This little guy likes in on all the action.  He is eating well and often.  Generally 4oz every 3-4 hours. He is sleeping well and gives us 6 hours at a time - mostly between 6pm and midnight.  We're working on moving that to midnight to 6am.  He sleeps best being swaddled - even during the day.  He is a big fan of his pacifier and often his hands get going so fast he pulls is out. 

Sam is already a traveler and was a rockstar on our trip to Florida.  Thatta boy!  He's pretty cute and we're still trying to figure out who he looks like the most.  Any thoughts?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Florida 2013

It's been challenging finding the time to type two handed.  Usually, if I'm on the computer I'm also feeding Sam.  I've stolen a few moments to write before another project calls my name....or Sam.

My favorite quote from the trip was during take-off when Abby said, "We're flying like Super Grover 2.0!!!"  It was awesome and definitely set the tone for the trip.  She was sooo excited to fly!

Overall, we had a fantastic trip.  We prepared and thought through all the "what-ifs" to avoid any disasters, which was absolutely to our benefit.  Our 6am flight on Monday was a little crazy (see future post for Tips on Flying with kids) and we were thankful to take our own car and not rely on a ride.  My awesome brother picked up the truck and dropped it off prior to our arrival home - love him!

We arrived in Florida to warmth and sunshine - thank goodness!!  Abby's first to-do as declared on the plane was to go swimming in the pool!  So we checked in, grabbed our suits and off we went!  Grocery shopping could wait.  We had enough snacks to tide us over if we were hungry.

Swimming in the pool!

Instead of putting the ball, why can't I just drop it in?
The resort was super family friends and had a ton of activities such as a splashground/playground for kids, a 9-hole mini golf course, noon time crafts/games for kids, 1pm root beer floats by the pool, several kid friendly pools and an adult only pool.  Just steps from the beach and minutes from Publix and loads of restaurants.  We took one 1/2 day to visit the Safari and Abby will most likely tell you it was her favorite part of the trip. A drive through a 4 mile safari then time to hit up some amusement rides, splashground, and a picnic lunch.  

Field Trip to the "Zoo"

M&M Bingo at Noon

Hanging out with Papa

If you don't have a pack n play, a basket works just fine!

We spent five glorious days in Palm Beach/Singer Island and then drove an hour to Port St. Lucie where Papa has taken roots for a month.  We had beautiful weather (high 70's/low 80's) all week and no rain.  A bit of color on the skin, Vitamin D in the body, and lots of fun and laughter to energize the soul.  We have to do this each February. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Serene Moments

I'm hoping to queue up several posts recapping our trip to Palm Beach, but I wanted to write this one first.  After all, aren't vacations about those quiet moments that help you totally and 100% relax and let go?  My only regret is that I didn't grab my camera.  Don't fret - I'm sifting through almost 400 pictures to pick my favorites to post. 

Mine was on our last morning in Palm Beach.  The last moment to catch the beautiful sunrise on the crystal blue and turquoise water.  Waking at 6:45 I had to make a split decision to go or not to go. Life is all about grasping those moments when you can, so I went.  (Remind me to tell you about my 8 hour drive to see the Grand Canyon for 30 minutes).  I tossed my hair in a pony tail, grabbed a cup of coffee, and headed down to the beach.  The quiet of the morning was very peaceful. While resort workers readied the property for the hustle and bustle of the day, early risers read the newspaper poolside with their own coffee.  The walk to the beach was short.  I was there in just a couple of minutes which was the same amount of time to wait for the golden ball of heat. 

As I waited, I looked.  I looked to take in the six other people doing exactly what I was; the gentleman with his two Chihuahua's; the grains of sand falling between my toes; the light breeze moved the scent of the morning around; the waves lapping over the ripples in the sand - finally cresting over the last hill; the shells scatter across the massive beach clearly indicating the highest point in the tide; the few birds peck at their breakfast.

The colors in the sky begin to change quickly.  The night turning to dawn.  The sun turned the sky to brilliant oranges and pinks.  It happened quickly and within seconds the ball of fire rose in its predictable way and immediately filled the sky with warmth, light, and promise.  The promise of a new day never failing.  To wash away the bad days, continue the good days, and give wonder to the next days. 

In the 10 or so minutes I was on the beach, the serenity was overwhelming.  I took it all in and let it give me the strength for the day and the excitement to enjoy the last day at the pool with my family.  I hope you, my faithful readers (family and friends!!) do the same.  Grab your moment when you can.