The Recovering Non-Alcoholic

Random musings, fun facts and innuendo galore!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Things I never thought I'd say

"Honey, please don't put that teething ring back in your mouth after you've rubbed it on the cat's asshole."

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Playing catch up (or is it ketchup? catsup?)

OK... I haven't blogged since March. It's now August. I'll bring you up to speed:

Eddie is 7 months old, weighs 18 lbs and measures 26.5 inches. He has 3 teeth and we're expecting tooth #4, the top left front tooth, any day now. I can see it through his gum. Teething sucks, our poor baby is in pain all the time! We use a lot of Baby Orajel and he has some nice teething toys and a teething blanket. Though his favorite teething toy is his hand or my finger. Typical. He has a little cold right now but I have it too so he's getting my antibodies in his milk.

He looks more and more like his daddy every day! Except for the coloring, he has blue eyes like I did and his hair is an indescribable color - alternately red, blond or light brown depending on the light. Rich has several redheads in his family and I kinda hope Eddie got the red hair gene, but we'll see what happens.

Eddie's starting to crawl! He's been commando-crawling on his belly for weeks, and lately he's been getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth. He'll be putting both skills together any day now. And he rolls around all the time! I have to put one leg across his belly when I change his diapers. Otherwise he rolls away from me and gets poop all over the place.

We're still breastfeeding, and Eddie has been eating solid foods for over a month now. His cousin Sylvie was kind enough to give him her gently-used high chair, which makes feeding much easier. We mostly feed him Beechnut baby food but he also gets Earth's Best or Gerber Organic here and there, and a few times I've pureed carrots or bananas for him. He's up to 2 solid meals a day and we nurse before and after, since breastmilk is still his primary source of nutrition. Usually he gets 2 vegetables or a veggie and fruit at lunch, then at dinner we mix a fruit or a vegetable with rice cereal and pumped breastmilk. His favorites are peas and sweet potatoes. He'll also eat carrots and most fruits, but he didn't like the chicken or turkey baby food. I tried it myself and the texture is a little tacky, maybe we'll hold off on meat & poultry till he can chew more thoroughly. By September he should be eating 3 solid food meals a day, then we can introduce the stage 2 foods. As far as weaning is concerned I plan on introducing whole milk around his first birthday, and continue to offer the breast until he doesn't want it anymore. We'll leave it up to him unless we really need to wean him completely.

We've also made some new friends! I found a wonderful playgroup of local parents and kids. Eddie's the youngest in the group, the next oldest is a year older than him and the rest range from 2-10 years. The moms in the group are great, very down-to-earth people who've really made me feel at home. The kids are a lot of fun too, I'm getting a preview of what's in store for Eddie down the road, and the other moms and older kids enjoy him too. We usually meet once a week at a local playground, or if the weather doesn't cooperate we go to McDonald's so the kids can use the play area. We've had some birthday parties lately for both adults and kids, and a group of us went to the zoo last month. Got some great pics of that! There's a picnic in the works for later this month, and a BBQ next month, plus a girls' night out at some point. Rich also went along for a guys' night with some of the other husbands. The guys are great too and he enjoys hanging out with them. I'm so glad to have such great friends down here!

OK I'm heading to bed. Got a full day ahead of us tomorrow - playgroup, errands, and getting Eddie over his cold.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Flying With an Infant

As if merely taking a baby out in public wasn't challenging enough, try traveling with one! Actually Eddie was quite a good little traveler, it was just a logistical challenge. In this post I'll describe the trials and tribulations of travelling with a 6-week-old baby, and I'll save the details of our actual vacation for the next post.

We flew Southwest as usual. I used the SuperShuttle van service, which I highly recommend, to get to the airport, as I did not feel like driving to the airport at 4am then paying to park for 6 days. The driver and I had some difficulty installing Eddie's car seat but we eventually figured it out. I used the curbside check-in service and checked Eddie's car seat and Snugrider. I carried Eddie in his Moby Wrap, put the diaper backpack on my back and rolled a small suitcase full of everything that wouldn't fit in the backpack. After showing Eddie's birth certificate and obtaining his Boarding Verification Document and my boarding pass, we were ready to embark on this journey.

Of course we had to go through security before getting to the terminal, and I foolishly chose to take Eddie to the restroom and change his diaper first. By the time we left the restroom the line at the security checkpoint was a mile long! But the people around us were really nice, and one gentleman lifted that dastardly suitcase onto the conveyor belt for me. That left me free to fish out my ID and boarding pass, which I'd forgotten about since I was so consumed with getting my expressed breast milk and quart-size bag of liquids and gels past the TSA staff. And wouldn't you know it, they barely gave either item a glance! I was half-expecting them to test my diaper ointment and hand sanitizer for explosives and possibly put me through a cavity search. Not that I'm complaining. One funny thing - the TSA lady didn't notice Eddie's documentation, just my name on the boarding pass, so she asked "Is his name Chloe too?"

We got to the terminal in plenty of time for me to feed Eddie and myself before boarding the plane. A flight attendant immediately offered to help put my suitcase in the overhead, for which I'll be eternally grateful. I managed to snag a window seat next to an empty middle seat so I could lift my armrest and create some extra hip room. The gentleman on the aisle was polite but quiet, trying to get work done on the plane, so after a while I felt extra brave (not to mention engorged) and decided to try pumping some milk with my wonderful new Medela Swing. I got set up quite discreetly and hit the power button, only to discover the batteries had died. Doh! I'd only used this pump once before so I'm assuming the power button went on & off when it was jostling around in the diaper bag.

We had to change planes in Philadelphia, and we had about an hour layover between flights. I figured this would be plenty of time to find a ladies' room, change Eddie's diaper, and either breastfeed him or buy some batteries for the pump... Wrong! Due to ongoing construction at Philadelphia Airport we had to go through an unsecured area to get from Terminal D to Terminal E, which meant we had to go through security AGAIN. This sucked! I was already feeling stressed from going through security in Nashville, plus my boobs were really starting to hurt and I had to pee and I wanted to change Eddie's diaper before we got on our next plane. And of course the TSA guy made me feel like some kind of cretin because I couldn't put away my ID and boarding pass and bag of liquids & gels AND take off my shoes in one fell swoop. Sorry buddy, I grew a child inside my body, not an extra pair of hands outside it! I was so flustered by the time I got past the metal detector that I left my suitcase on the conveyor belt! Luckily a nice gentleman behind me in line managed to catch up to me with the suitcase very quickly. I met a few angels on this trip...

Once I had my shoes back on I checked the time, realizing that we had 25 minutes before our flight took off. Yikes! Thanks a lot, City of Brotherly Love, for sucking away 35 minutes of our lives that we'll never get back. I got to the ladies' room, managed to pee and attempted to breastfeed Eddie while sitting on the toilet, which lasted about 5 seconds because neither one of us could get comfortable. (Yes, I know there are bathrooms on airplanes, but they are not designed for people with substantial asses. Neither are the aisles for that matter.) Checked the time again and realized I wouldn't have time to change Eddie's diaper. That didn't exactly me feel like mother of the year! I did have a bottle for him however, so he wasn't going to go hungry, and I had just enough time to stop at the sundries shop for AA batteries before getting in line.

We boarded the flight without incident and a nice man put my suitcase in the overhead for me. Shortly before takeoff a flight attendant informed me that I couldn't have Eddie in his carrier during takeoff and landing "for security reasons." Apparently somebody at Southwest, or perhaps at TSA or FAA, feels that parents should have both hands on their baby during takeoff and landing. That would make it awfully hard to put on our oxygen masks should a need arise, but whatever, I'm no aviation safety expert. We took off and landed without incident, and I managed to pump a little milk so my breasts weren't aching quite so much. And once again Eddie slept through most of the flight, so nobody gave me any crap about him. In fact he received several compliments, both for his behavior and his cuteness.

Rich's stepfather met us at Manchester Airport. Our Snugrider came through the baggage claim right away, and we grabbed the car seat next to it, only to realize it wasn't my car seat. Oops! So we put it back on the belt and I described Eddie's car seat to How, so he could watch for it while I changed the diaper. I expected third-degree diaper rash burns by this time but Ed was fine. He did celebrate this temporary "freedom" by peeing all over the place, so I had to change his clothes too. This made the quick diaper change take about 20 minutes and I kept apologizing to the moms in line behind me who wanted to use the diaper changing station, but they were all really nice about it. They were veteran moms who understood. By the time I got out of there How had located Eddie's car seat and we were ready to roll. I'll blog further about the visit in my next post.


Cut to 6 days later. My brother Randy drove us to Manchester Airport, which is about 10 minutes from his house. This time I decided to check my suitcase, and I was all set to pay the $25 extra baggage fee, but they counted the car seat and stroller frame as one item so I didn't have to pay the fee. That made me very happy! Also I left my winter coat behind, since I've never worn it in Tennessee and the next time I wear it will probably be next winter so he can meet me at the airport with it. That made one less cumbersome thing to drag around. A very nice woman helped me get Eddie out of his snowsuit while we were waiting in line, that made things much easier. And this time I was smart enough to change Eddie after going through security. Good thing, because he chose this moment to kick off the Peepee Teepee and peed all over himself, so I had to change his clothes too. Fun fun...

Once he was changed we had very little waiting time before our flight was called. A couple of flight attendants came by to coo over him, which was very nice. This kid's fan club grows every time we leave the house! We didn't have to change planes this time but we did stop in Baltimore before continuing to Nashville, and that gave me an opportunity to change his diaper again without risking him peeing on anybody - how mortifying would that be? Eddie slept for most of the trip but unexpectedly woke up and got fussy shortly before we landed in Nashville. Fortunately I had a bottle and a pacifier at the ready.

When we got off the plane the flight crew had our stroller and car seat waiting for us, which was wonderful! And a nice flight attendant unfolded the stroller for me without my having to ask - also a great customer service move. Rich met me at the baggage claim, we collected my suitcase and got Eddie back to the car without any issues. Once again, as much as I miss New England, when I travel without Rich I miss him more. And Eddie was very happy to see his Daddy!

In summary, these are Chloe's Travel Tips for Flying Alone With a Baby:
  • Get through security first, then check the baby's diaper!
  • Use a front carrier to get your baby around. This is a must! It frees up your hands to fish for your ID, boarding pass, cash, etc. Of course you'll need to take the baby out during takeoff and landing but it's fine for the rest of the flight, and for getting around the airport.
  • Wear slip-on shoes. Check your sneaks or snow boots or whatever else. It's worth the time and effort you save by not having to tie your shoes while juggling an infant and whatever else you're carrying.
  • If you're breastfeeding, bring a manual or battery-operated breast pump and pack it in the diaper bag. This is less about feeding the baby than about your physical comfort. Going 5-6 hours without nursing or pumping is gonna hurt! If you use the battery-operated kind, leave the battery compartment empty until it's time to pump. And pack extra batteries!
  • If your baby likes pacifiers, put one on a string with a clip and clip it to your shirt or your front carrier. You don't want your baby wailing because he or she spat out a $3 piece of silicone and wants it back!
  • Speaking of pacifiers, you definitely want your baby to suck on something during takeoff and landing to equalize the pressure in his or her ears. A pacifier or bottle is great for that. If you breastfeed and are comfortable doing so on the plane, I've heard that also works well and will comfort your baby. In a pinch, have the baby suck on your finger.
  • Just because you can bring one carry-on and one personal bag onto the plane doesn't mean you should. Put everything you need into a generously-sized diaper bag and check the rest.
  • Don't let the 3-1-1 rule freak you out. Obey it, of course, but in all likelihood they're not going to check your bag of toiletries for traces of explosives. At least they didn't with me. They just had me put the baggie in the plastic bin with my cell phone and shoes, and barely glanced at it. Same thing with the breast milk I brought along. Get your ID and boarding pass out first, worry about the other crap later. And speaking of liquids and gels:
  • You don't need to put things like travel-size shampoo in your carry-on because you will not need them on the plane! If they lose your checked luggage you can buy shampoo when you land. If you're stuck in the airport for 3 days and have to wash your hair in the bathroom sink, you won't care what brand you're using. Use the 3-1-1 rule for things like diaper ointment and hand sanitizer, maybe some Mylicon drops for gas or saline drops for stuffy noses. You won't need any other liquids or gels during your flight.
  • Pack enough diapers for 2-3 days of being stuck in the airport in an emergency. If you're stranded longer than that I'm sure the airline or TSA or the Red Cross will hook you up. Unless you're traveling to a third-world country, chances are there's a supermarket or Walmart or someplace else to buy diapers when you reach your destination. And in all likelihood you'll run out at some point on your trip anyway.
  • Pack a baby nail clipper in your checked luggage or plan to buy one during your visit. It's amazing how much their nails grow in just a couple of days!
  • Lastly, remember that there are nice people out there. Flight attendants, fellow passengers, and most TSA employees are human beings too. A lot of them are parents and know how it is, and the ones who don't have kids generally have at least one child in their life who they love. They get it.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

If Not Now, When?

  • How old does a child have to be before he or she is "old enough" to go out in public?
  • How do you feel about babies and children who cry or throw tantrums in public?
  • How do you feel about their parents?

Rich and Eddie and I went out to dinner Friday night. It was the first night out for us since Eddie was born 5 weeks ago. We had a lovely dinner at Applebee's and Eddie slept through most of it, then got fussy toward the end of the meal. (NOTE: Eddie is not a particularly fussy baby, he just cries when he's hungry or uncomfortable or just wants to be held.) I figured his diaper was messy (I was right) and took him to the restroom. This took about 20-30 minutes, due to his fondness for pooping again during the changing process and for peeing all over his clothes. When I brought him back to the table in his fresh diaper and clean new outfit, I discovered that Rich had paid the bill despite my insistence that dinner was my treat. It turns out Rich was very upset about Eddie having cried in public and just wanted to get out of there ASAP. But I didn't know that yet...

Then we went to Target because we were almost out of diaper rash cream and I wanted to get a few other things. We were already in a hostile mood because 1.) I had screwed up backing out of our parking spot at Applebee's, and when Rich called me on it I got upset and insisted that he take over the driving, and 2.) I noticed that Rich had not buckled Eddie into his car seat properly, which left his upper body vulnerable in the event of an accident. When we got out of the car Eddie started crying again, partly because Mommy and Daddy were arguing and also because it had gotten colder and it took me a few minutes to get his car seat attached to our wonderful new SnugRider stroller frame. Rich managed to calm him down, only for him to start up again once we got inside the store. So Rich took Eddie out of his car seat/stroller to comfort him, which would have been fine if it hadn't left me to push a shopping cart AND a stroller! And of course Rich wouldn't give Eddie back to me to put in our new Moby Wrap, which might have calmed Eddie down. So we argued about it for the next 10 minutes (I cut my shopping time way short!) and Rich didn't say a word to me the whole ride home. That's not like us. We rarely argue and never give each other the silent treatment! So this made for quite an unpleasant end to what should have been a fun, romantic evening.

When we got home I asked him why he was so mad. It turns out that he was very upset about Eddie having cried in public! He feels that it's inexcusably rude to subject other shoppers and diners to one's child's fussy behavior. I agree that it's annoying when you're trying to shop or enjoy a nice dinner and the kid at the next table starts crying. But Eddie wasn't crying loudly, mostly because we attended to him before he got too upset. He was harder to calm down at Target, probably because of the bright lights or his parents' arguing or both. And in both situations we obviously did our best to calm Eddie down and address what was bothering him. That, IMHO, makes us very different from parents who ignore their children's public crying episodes or temper tantrums or misbehavior.

Those brief episodes at Applebee's and Target convinced Rich that Eddie was too young to be out in public with us. Rich suggested we not take him to a restaurant or store again until he's old enough to tell us what's bothering him when he gets upset. I countered that he won't be able to do so effectively until he hits the Terrible Two's, when he'll be ripe for public temper tantrums. And tantrums will continue in one way or another throughout childhood and adolescence. We cannot keep our kid inside until he's 18, tempting though it may be. Sure, I'd love to make it so that other members of the general public never hear my child cry or yell. But it's going to happen from time to time. It's simply our choice to either handle it like responsible people or bury our heads in the sand. I'm opting for the former and so is Rich.

Anyway, what do you think? Is 5 weeks too young for a trip to Target and a casual dining meal at 5pm? If so, how old should he be before we take him out again? How old were your kids when you took them out in public for the first time, and how did they behave?

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Can't say he doesn't try...

CHLOE: Hey babe, can you get me a fresh sleep-n-play out of the clean laundry basket? Eddie wet this one.

RICH: What's a sleep-n-play?

CHLOE: It's a one-piece full-body garment, like little pajamas.

(RICH reaches into laundry basket, holds up an article of clothing and looks at CHLOE for confirmation.)

CHLOE: No honey, those are my panties.

(RICH puts down the panties, shakes his head and leaves the room.)

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

We have a baby!!!!!

Yes, the bun is officially out of the oven! Edward Lowe "Eddie" Hincman was born this past Wednesday, January 9 at 3:44 pm CST. He weighed 7lbs 8oz at birth and measures 21ΒΌ inches long. And there is no scale that quantifies how scrumptiously cute he is! We've taken tons of pictures and some videos. Here are a few favorite images from our hospital stay:

Me & Rich in my hospital room the night before Eddie's arrival

Grandma fixing Mom's hair, which of course got messed up again anyway...

Eddie in his bassinet shortly after birth

One very sore, exhausted, happy and proud mother

The proud papa with his little man (yeah I took this one, that's why it's fuzzy)

Another view of Eddie in his bassinet. Check out those beautiful eyes!

I'll add videos in another post once I figure out how, and of course more pics from his first few days at home.

Anyway, Eddie is an absolute joy! He's adorable to look at but even more fun to know. He has the most delicious baby smell. I just love kissing his face and head and taking in that yummy new baby scent. Granted he has been farting a lot, probably from taking in too much air with the first few nursing attempts, but the farts don't smell that bad and it's so funny when he does it that we don't mind, we just laugh. (And the feedings are going better now that my milk has come in.) He has the cutest baby cry I've ever heard, kinda sounds like a motor revving up or a horse neighing but cuter. Not that he cries a lot, just when he's hungry or wet or needs something. And when he stops crying, lets out a little sigh and rests his head on my chest... there are no words.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

An Eventful Week in an Eventful Year

Got my driver's license a week ago. Finally! It took me till I was 29 years old and almost 9 months pregnant with my first child, but I got it. I am officially a licensed driver. Yup. Me.

My test was scheduled for 11:30 am last Wednesday, and it was nice & sunny out. That was important because if there's even a cloud in the sky they call it "inclement weather" and cancel or postpone all road tests. On the way to the DMV Johnny, my driving instructor, gave me some helpful pointers about changing lanes. In the past I've gotten nervous about it, spent way too long checking my blind spot and ended up doing this herky-jerky motion to get into the other lane. He had me practice a few times till I could do it smoothly. We got to the DMV and my examiner was a very nice lady. She had me back out of my parking space and head toward the road, then asked if I was pregnant. Awesome! No strangers have asked me that my entire pregnancy and I'd been feeling like I just looked fatter than usual rather than glowing and with child. That alone made my day. So she had me drive around a few side streets, where I carefully obeyed the traffic laws and maintained an appropriate speed. Then I pulled onto a main road where she had me change lanes a couple of times, so Johnny's lane-changing tutorial turned out to be well-timed. Then she directed me back to the DMV, had me pull into a parking space, and told me I'd passed. WOO HOO!!!!! I couldn't believe how easy it was. I knew they didn't test on parallel parking in Tennessee but I expected to have to back up 50 feet, do a 3-point turn, park on a hill, etc. Either I got the pregnant lady handicap or it's this easy for everyone. Regardless, I earned my little piece of plastic and am allowed to drive all by myself. I'm a big girl now, huh?

Then on Sunday I got.... A BRAND NEW CAR!!!!!!! (I've always wanted to say that, in the voice of the announcer guy on The Price Is Right. Cue me running down the aisle in a bright colored T-shirt with my big ol' pregnant boobs bouncing all over the place.)

Rich & I visited a couple of local dealerships on Saturday. I'd been envisioning a clunky 10-year-old used car that somebody's grandma drove to and from the supermarket and church. But Rich felt that a new car would be better and safer for me & the baby. We didn't find anything we really wanted on Saturday, so we tried another dealership on Sunday, specifically Crown Ford on Thompson Lane in Nashville. We told each other we weren't necessarily going to buy, we just wanted to see what was out there.

And what was out there? A 2007 Ford Focus sedan. Maroon with gray interior. Automatic transmission, 4-cylinder engine (27 mpg city/34 mpg highway) and a surprisingly roomy interior, thanks to the cab-forward design. 5 years' roadside assistance. Air conditioning (which Rich's truck lacks), CD player, 4 cup holders, and most importantly a LATCH system to help secure the baby's car seat. Plus they threw in a free tank of gas and my first oil change will be free. Because Rich owns a Ford truck that had 10 payments left on it, they agreed to apply the $3000 rebate to his truck loan, so now we have one monthly car payment and his truck is paid off! The car payment is slightly higher than his truck payment was, but we can still swing it. And it cost surprisingly little to add me to his auto insurance policy. While I would have been satisfied with an older used car, it's nice to drive around not worrying that I'll blow a gasket or need to replace the alternator, whatever those terms mean. I'll post pictures of the car as soon as I have a chance. Of course I had to drive the new car home all by myself, following Rich in his truck. A nerve-wracking experience, but we both got home in one piece with no damage to the car. Yay!

So in the space of one year I've done the following, in this order:

  • Moved from Massachusetts to Tennessee with my boyfriend
  • Found my first gray hair
  • Graduated from massage school
  • Adopted a cat
  • Got pregnant
  • Got engaged
  • Obtained my driver's license
  • And got my first car - a brand new one at that!

2007's been one hell of a year.

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