Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tips and Tricks for Flying with a Baby

This Thursday when we fly back to Utah it will be Everett's 18th flight in his 18-month-old life! With a once-colicky baby I was so terrified to fly with him and a now-very active and loud toddler I still get a little nervous, especially when we are flying without Ben. We have been lucky and surprised though because Everett has done awesome on all the flights so far (albeit the longest flight has been five hours).

We usually try to push Everett's nap so he will sleep on the plane (best white noise machine ever) but when that doesn't work I thought I would let you know what I have learned so far...I have only had one bad experience with a rude passenger, people are usually so nice and understanding.



NEW TOYS: Before the airport I hit up the Target Dollar Spot and just grab a few things that Everett has never seen before.  It doesn't have to be an awesome toy, as long as it is new it entertains him for a while. When he was a wee babe, the stacking cups were a favorite and now he is really into sticker books (which are a good time suck) Someone also just recommended pipe cleaners to me which I am going to try on this next flight, I think I will bring some Cheerios and show him how to string them onto the pipe cleaners (again, I love things that take a LONG time)

BOPPY: We have only done one red-eye flight (which I will probably never do again) but I brought my Boppy breastfeeding pillow, so Everett could lay down on it when he was asleep on one of our laps. That way no one's arms are going completely numb holding him.

SNACKS: Obviously super important for all ages.  When he was a baby we loved bringing the squeeze pouches and puffs and now he loves goldfish (can I just say the new goldfish flavors are freaking delicious) and fruit snacks etc. I know suckers can be sticky but they also take a lot of time to eat and are kind of a novelty to Everett so it might be worth it (and good for popping their little ears). Also, just saw on the Love Taza blog that her kids love Pez on flights so I will have to try that as well.

ICE CUP: When the flight attendants come around with drinks I ask for a cup with just ice.  It might just be Everett, but he loves Ice so I let him suck on the ice and play with it for a bit and that will entertain him for at least 10-15 minutes.

BABY CARRIER: Everett is just barely to big for our carrier these days but up until now it was a life saver going through airports. I would strap him in so I could be hands free at the ticket counter and through security and I could still pull my own carry on. Be careful with the sling carriers that have metal rings, I have seen security make moms take them off and wake up sleeping babies to go through the scanner!

BOTTLE/SIPPY/SOOTHER: This is old news but bring them a soother or some kind of liquid or breastfeed on take-off and landing to help their ears pressurize.  You are allowed to bring breast milk, formula, or even juice or water through security if it is in a baby cup they just test it real quick. NOTE: You do not need to wake up your baby if they are sleeping to make them suck or anything.  I learned that the hard way.

WINDOW SEAT: I always try to get a window seat because A)It's the easiest to breastfeed modestly and B) Everett loves pulling the shade up and down and looking out the window.  On flights where I can't select my seat, I usually ask at either the initial ticket counter or the gate and every single time they have been able to change my seat to a window seat.

IPAD: I use this as last resort but Everett will watch a little bit of a downloaded movie or Barney for about 10 minutes.  We also love to scroll through photos and videos I have on there and point out who is in the pictures and what we were doing.  Also Photobooth and simple games can be entertaining for when they are a little older.

CHECK IT: Do you know almost all airlines allow you to check a stroller and car seat and base for free.  You can also carry on a diaper bag and breast pump for free (in addition to your own carry on) for FREE!  We usually check our car seat (in this awesome travel bag) and then gate-check our stroller so we can put him in in through the airport (when we aren't using the bjorn).

Sunday, August 17, 2014

32/52 33/52

                                    A Photo Series 'A picture of my child once a week, every week for a year'
32/52
When Ben comes home every night, instead of running to him, he takes one look, happy screams and sprints to his bucket of toys, he knows his dad can never turn down playing with him.

33/52
My blonde-hair blue-eyed baby

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Taking Stock


 ^^^Pictures from our day in LA last weekend, this is at the LACMA
 I have seen this post going around, I'm a copycat

Making : plans for our return to Utah {9 days}
Cooking : everything on the BBQ
Drinking : water, trying to give up my soda addiction
Reading: Blogs and If I Stay, what would I do without upcoming movies to make me read the book first
Wanting: to remember how Everett answers 'ya or yap' to absolutely every question
Looking: for a balance between eating healthy and enjoying delicious food.
Playing: peek-a-boo, tickles, bubbles, and dance party.
Wasting: away our afternoons at the pool in the best way.
Sewing: nothing
Wishing: for a date night with Ben.
Enjoying: our last few weeks in California.
Waiting: for my bangs to grow out....again
Liking: my freckles and light tan
Wondering: Who the heck 'A' is. I'm catching up on PLL and this show bugs me so bad but I can't stop. Also, it's a little scary, I can't watch it at night.
Loving: naptime.
Hoping: I'm doing ok at raising a good kid.
Marvelling: at how much Everett really understands.
Needing: sleep. and to sleep train. and possibly a baby free vacation.
Smelling: Johnson's baby lotion. I think I will still be using it on Everett when he's 12.
Wearing: more lipstick. 
Following: my one year old everywhere, 
Noticing: I'm really not very good at keeping in touch with friends. I need to get better.
Knowing: that I need to be more positive and grateful.
Thinking: about how much I love it when Ben is home.
Feeling: hopeful and confident.
Bookmarking: house decor. I need a house first.
Opening: bills, bills, bills
Learning: the art of the bribe.
Giggling: is the worst word.  





Friday, August 8, 2014

On Mothering: Normalize it?



 Although the main reason I keep this blog is for journaling purposes, I have said before that I don't want it just to be a 'here is something fun we did and pictures' I want it to be a place where I can write down my thoughts and joys and frustrations etc. Since my role and my day-in and day-out is being a mom right now, I decided that I want to do a little series on this blog about that-motherhood. Maybe once a week, maybe once a month, just whenever I have anything to say I guess.

So anyway, here's the first, lets do this.

You know when you have those incidents and in the moment you are stunned and don't know what to say?  And it isn't until after when re-playing the events fuming you think of all the things you should have said.

That happened to me a while back at the local splash pad...

{Prolougue} Ok so Everett is 17.5 months and yes I am still breast feeding him.  I have had such a great experience with breastfeeding (but that's all for another post) and although I didn't plan on breastfeeding for this long, it is just what has worked for us, especially with this summer being such a transition and all over the place.  We are planning on weaning when we get back to our home and routine in Provo in a few weeks.

Ok so we were at the splash pad, we go there almost every day and this particular day it was really busy, lots of kids and some older kids too (maybe 8 or 9 year olds).  Everett was doing his thing, playing in the water etc.  He came over to the little chair I was sitting on and I sat him beside me to eat some grapes and stuff.  He climbed on my lap and got into 'the position' I could tell he wanted to breastfeed.  He usually only does before naps and bedtime but I don't know maybe he was thirsty? maybe he wanted some comfort? I don't know and didn't mind.  I grabbed the GINORMOUS beach towel I had brought along and put him under it and he ate for like 1 minute, then back to playing in the water.

Well I could see this women kind of eye-ing me and getting closer.

She finally ended up next to me.

"What is he? Three years old?" (said very snottily)

"Oh no, he's only 16 months actually" nervous laugh

"Oh, still a little old to still be breastfeeding no?"

(caught really off guard) "Well, haha, ya, maybe, uh....he just really loves it so...."

"Well maybe you should just keep in mind that there are some older boys here today and maybe in the future be a little more respectful of others in public"

(Stunned) "Oh....ya....sorry...."

She walked away and I was kind of in shock.  She left maybe 10 minutes later.  Another 10 minutes passed and I see one of the security guard for the little outdoor mall place the splashpad is in coming towards me.  I was thinking no way is he coming to talk to me, I was nervous and my heart was beating fast like I was about to get in trouble.

"Hi Ma'am.  We just want to remind you that this is a public area and to remember to be modest and respectful of others"

(holy crap) "Hi, ya, that is why when I fed him, I covered him and I up in this huge beach towel (picked it up and showed it to him) No one could even tell what I was doing!"

"Oh I'm really sorry, she didn't say you covered up"

"Well ya, I did, I was completely covered"

"Oh ok well no worries then, have a nice day"

When I got home, I told my friend about it and she was furious for me, and then later when I told Ben he had the same reaction. That lady made me feel like I did something wrong....I didn't....AT ALL! Now I was really angry too, how dare she? And then tell on me?

I am a person who avoids confrontation at all costs, but in that moment I should have stuck up for myself, Everett, and moms everywhere! I wish I would have said:

"Excuse me, first off that is absolutely none of your business how long I wish to breastfeed MY child. And secondly, I was completely covered up and in no way making anyone uncomfortable except for maybe you who feels like she needs to make other mothers feel bad about themselves to make yourself feel better.  And even if I wasn't covered up, it is my right and privilege to nourish my child how I see fit.  So turn around, back up and worry about your own kids."

And then maybe I should have flashed her to really drive it home.  Ok probably not.

I like to cover up myself when breastfeeding in public, just for my own comfort, but there is a movement to normalize it more in public, not feeling the need to cover up.  Although I prefer to cover up, moms who don't want to or if the baby hates being covered-more power to you! It's what are bodies were made to do. We all know there is a lot more skin shown on TV or billboards and in a 'sex sells' manner.

What do you think about the #normalizeit movement?  Did you see the recent article in Glamour of Olivia Wilde breastfeeding her newborn? Pretty cool,  making strides!

Monday, August 4, 2014

I love the mountains....Boom dee ah dah

Look familiar?  Last year here


On one of our last days in Canada, we headed to Waterton, remember that place I used to have a cabin and where my fondest childhood memories take place? Yes there. And it was kind of heart wrenching to be there and not have a cabin, but still beautiful, nature-full and good for the soul!

We had a picnic on the 'beach', Everett and Hailey threw rocks and a quick stint to the splashpad. Then we headed to Red Rock, where you hike up this {red} water filled canyon.  Although we didn't do much hiking and more of the splashing variety. Everett braved the cold water like it was nothing while my feet were aching from pre-frostbite I am sure.  The view from these red rocks is sure something else.

We couldn't leave before grabbing some ice cream at the Big Scoop. I indulged in a Canadian favorite called Tiger-it's an orange ice cream with black licorice swirls, which is a surprisingly divine combination {Everett wholeheartedly agreed}

Then we headed back home with Barney episodes on repeat, but not before Waterton graced us with a bear sighting on the way out. Thanks old pal, feels like the good ole days!









Echo Lake 2014


Well another MacLennan Reunion at Echo Lake has come and gone.  I know only my family and my need to document everything are really interested in this post, but it comes in handy when there is a very serious debate on whether we had/played the football game last year or not and you can look back on posts like these. We did not..........I owe you 50 bucks Matt.

This year was a special one because it may be the last year with the 'Pink Palace' (the cabin pictured) before my aunt and uncle build a new cabin in its place.  So to honor it, we jumped off the roof as many times as we possibly could with whatever objects we could think of (see broom and tricycle pictures).  Everett loved the boat this year, he was in pure heaven swimming in the lake daily and even went on a 'crazy' tube ride behind the boat.  We played kick ball instead of football this year and I enjoyed it way more even though our family is a little too competitive for a friendly game of kickball! And the usual-amazing food, game nights, swimming at Turtle Bay, Tube Wars and daily early morning skis (well for the C&C clan). I missed Ben this year and felt sad every time I was on the boat while the rowdy kids tubed, because my husband LOVES tube wars. And I missed Kylie who is busy being all Greys Anatomy at PA school-Next year, we are getting our priorities straight!

Roll the pictures...

^^^Family Kickball night, a new tradition if I have anything to say about it!
^^^Roof Jumping Shennanigans
^^^Cute kids// a whole smattering of cute kid

 The 'Easy Ride'-Me, Everett and Grandma//Hailey on the tube with my dad


 ^^^Turtle Bay Swimming
^^^^He's single girls//A Man and his posterity behind a boat

^^^Love Birds! The couple behind the MacLennan Reunion!

Echo Lake 2012
Echo Lake 2013

31/52

 A Photo Series 'A picture of my child once a week, every week for a year'
31/52

I don't know if it is me projecting my emotions on Everett, but I always assume he is going to be scared or hate certain things and experiences, and he always surprises me. This water is glacier, frostbite, antartica water cold and he just waded in, sat his butt down, splashed and played with the rocks for as long as I would let him.  {Waterton Lakes Canada}
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