Traveling with Babe(s): Part 2 

We are doing it…we are taking the plunge and traveling as a family of 5 well technically 11 but our Rickettedly Awesome crew will be gracing the friendly skies with our presence!

WE ARE…doing DISNEY!

Back in part 1 of Traveling with Baby we had a tender infant he ate, smiled, pooped and held tight to his favorite stuffed toy…now we have a mobile 9 almost 10 month old who enjoys putting everything in his mouth, pulling any hair he can get a hold of and flinging things as hard and as far as he can <HELP> well thank goodness it’s a straight 2 hour flight and he still loves the milk from tap. But the struggle is what to pack and I can’t lie it arouses a bit of anxiety so here is my list so far…

NECESSITIES

1. Bought a new baby carrier by Brighter Elements with a toddler seat. Now we know I love my k’tan but it doesn’t provide enough comfort for me in the neck and shoulder region so this carrier is a little more for longer wear and also anyone can connect and carry babe, so I can truly be hands-off free!(click product name to go to site)

2. Double stroller (we decided to buy a Kolcraft Cloud Double Umbrella Stroller folds up for easier handling during travel click product name to be taken to the site)

3. Since we can’t bring the highchair we have purchased a Chair Belt Baby Chair Harness– such a nifty invention that I’m sure some wonderful mom (or dad) invented spur of moment with like a shirt or fabric in order to get their little one to sit safely in a chair–well I thank them. This folds right up and fits in the bag and fits almost any chair. (Click product name to be taken to the site)

4. Car seats we have decided that since the airline doesn’t charge us to check carseat we will just bag them and bring them along instead of paying $50-$100 to rent with our rental car.

FOOD and DRINK

3. Trusty breast pump, saver bags and bottles (2)

4. Baby Bullet- everything in me is saying just go buy baby food but that feeling in my gut is saying stick to what you know and hasn’t been recalled- homemade baby food! we are cooking while down there so he will get the same.

Hmm, am I forgetting anything?? Oh yes, I’ve decided to pack a few diapers in the diaper bag and purchase a pack of diapers when we get down there that way we are cutting down on the bulk of having to pack over 60 diapers. Thus leaving more room for clothes. 

 

I’m Back!

I took a little break from blogging not because I had nothing to write about but because I had so much to write about I became overwhelmed with the thought of it. And also, I kept saying to myself that I wanted this to just be a blog about our lives and realizing that my life is all about the kids…well it was a tad bit of a gut punch. No matter how fun, cool and free spirited I am my days encompass taking care of kids and their needs from sun up to sun down. I work from home so there is no separation or break from that reality. Not that I’m complaining but I thought I would have more to offer up. So I will pick up where I left off and toss in some nuggets that let you know that there is still a bad ass super weird chic in this kinda crunchy, kid-loving, baking, minivan driving mom shell.

Why I No Longer Thank My Husband…

Being a work from home mom[YUP, I work a 40 hour week while tending to a 3 yr old and an infant–I walk on the wild side!] I spend my days doing what seems like working around the clock my jobs blend because they are in fact blending I can’t say to work I have a sick baby hold on and I can’t say to the kids I can’t feed you til I get my lunch break so everything bunches together. Well because of that sometimes I jump at going to the nail salon, getting my hair done or what used to be yoga[have to get back to that] but basically anything that let’s me be kid free for a bit. So I make sure hubs has instructions (give baby this many ounces, leftovers or nuggets for dinner), blah blah blah and out the door I go…

I enjoy my time and head home.

When I arrive at home I always ask how were they for you? I know, he’s not the babysitter but I’m curious — wanting to know were they a chaotic bunch, rowdy, bickering and baby fussing or were they charming and delightful [secretly hoping for the first scenario so he gets a dose of my daily struggle] and then I say Thank You so much- – and I wonder how many moms say Thank You to their husband or the father of their children for them getting a moment to themselves. I used to say Thank You, for the moments he tended to babe while I took a long hot shower. WHY? This is what we are supposed to do/be…relief for one another, help mates, a tag team or whatever you want to call it, but we’ve gotten away from that. I do majority of the tending and when I get away the first thing I do is show gratitude…But this isn’t something he has ever had to think of, he’s never come home and said “thank you felt so good to get out for my weekly bowling league with the guys, how were the kids?” When he runs somewhere kid-free he doesn’t come home and say Thank You. When he gets a long hot shower and time to shave without interruption he doesn’t say Thank You and the reason being is because it’s expected and because it’s not even something that crosses his mind. This isn’t a bash session this is just the way some of us are conditioned we don’t get a lot of time to ourselves so when we do we are appreciative and thankful to the person that granted us our moment of freedom. 

So yesterday I went to get my hair done, gave my usual instructions and out the door I went. Upon my arrival all kids were asleep and so was hubs. I said hello, I’m back and good night. I had time to eat, pee and pump before infant had me back to mom duty.

I say all this to say Moms we are deserving of time away from the kids[doesn’t make us a bad mom or negligent]…be it a long 20 minute shower, going for a walk, grocery shopping, spas, brunch with girlfriends, weekly fitness classes, whatever and we shouldn’t feel guilty or feel saved when the other parent takes over so we can do those things. While yes we do appreciate it we should expect it[we aren’t abandoning our family we are simply hitting pause]. We shouldn’t have to ask or beg for it, we should be a team–coordinate schedules and communicate. But one parent should never feel trapped or like they got their [pardon] papers to grab some kid-free time.

Spring Instrumental Concerts are to parents what cleaning toilets after mystery meat taco lunch is to janitors… 

But gotta do it…

When my son told me he wanted to play the drums I dreaded the idea, thinking he would be banging on a drum every day and it would get to the point that it seemed like he was banging on my skull. BUT…little did I know the layover to playing a drum would be much worse 》》》 xylophone. Bman has wanted to play the drums for years now and jumped at the chance when he realized he could leave Strings and Make the Band(ha, see what I did there) he’s now in Band no longer in orchestra. I enjoyed orchestra such sweet sounds! But this band gig when I tell ya I struggled…that wasn’t even the word. While he and his band of fellas, all grinning through the gateway instrument, hit their keys with precision each time it felt like a cat scratching my ear drums…coupled with some wind instruments not quite registering as music to me (perhaps that’s why the Band director plays background tracks during the performance) I don’t know but this was extremely difficult however they tackled a few threenager faves like Twinkle Twinkle and Jingle Bells and the always popular Hot Cross Buns!

As we are walking to the car my son asks the dreaded question, “Mom, what was your favorite? ” and I immediately start humming ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ citing that as my favorite song they played…my son straight face said “we didn’t play that song”…oh, well I like that rock song where it was just the percussions [he told me the name, I forgot it again, oops]. 

I know, I know I’ve got to do better if he’s going to stick with the band I’ve got to put on my big momma pants (usually leggings or jeggings) and get into it. But orchestra was so pretty their songs so whimsical and delightful to the ear –someone may say a tad boring– but most of the tunes played are on my relaxation playlist. 

So word of advice…when your kid, in elementary school says he wants to play the drum think long and hard and consider this a warning…say no to the gateway instrument or prepare to hear keys that could summon Apollo (Greek God of Music) or wake a mummy in the deepest tomb. 

BACK THAT BUTT UP 😱

Ha did that title grab ya?! 

In my excitement about little guy starting solids last week I didn’t correctly plan out his menu. So in not planning carefully and trying to use fresh ingredients in the house I caused a major back up.

PicsArt_04-21-11.22.26

YUP! Little guy is constipated, backed up, in need of relief. Let this be a lesson to my solid food feeding parents– mix up the menu and keep in mind the foods that bind (rice cereal, carrots, bananas, apple sauce(though I heard apple juice has the opposite effect)

But this week little guy started carrots since I had fresh carrots in the house and figured they would be tasty – he enjoyed! But a few days in we had apples so I said to myself and little guy, that apples would be a nice treat I think he would enjoy…and enjoy he did. Now here we are and the end of the week and usually he has no problem popping usually he poops 2-3 times and day soft consistency but today his poop was one little pellet ball [uh-oh sure sign of constipation] and he was straining and getting upset. I decided to lay off solids for the rest of the day so we can get his system back on track and move this clog along.

Now there are products in the store

that can help relieve baby such as Mommy’s Bliss homeopathic oral solution for constipation, Pedia-lax, etc. [I encourage parents to consult their pediatrician and read the labels as some products have a recommended age]. I don’t have any of those products in home and didn’t want to run out so here are a few things I am trying…

1. COTTON SWAB IN RECTUM [I never said this{shit}was pretty or fun] lay baby on back, lift legs as if changing diaper and take a cotton swab(q-tip) rub some Vaseline to lubricate and insert into rectum and gently make small circles while moving cotton swab gently back and forth. This can get messy – your baby may pass gas which is a good thing but when you pull out the swab poo may start flowing so be ready. *can also use a thermometer or instead if inserting using your finger apply a bit of pressure around the rectum* This helps with immediate relief.

2. SUGAR WATER [can use white sugar but brown is recommended] take 1 ounce of warm water and a 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar mix it up and give to baby 2-3 times a day before milk and food if you can.

3. PRUNE JUICE [diluted]- I have done about an ounce or two.

4. DARK CORN SYRUP [like the Karo found in your grocery store] take a tablespoon and add to baby’s milk or cereal.

5. RAISINS – take 5 or 6 raisins soak them in water over night, mash them up and strain and give baby the liquid.

6. ABDOMINAL MASSAGE

7. WARM BATH – should help get stuff moving hopefully not in the tub (didn’t say it wasn’t messy)

There are several more from Castor Oils[call pediatrician] to drinking water. I will say you don’t want to over load on sugars so try to selection one remedy.

Understand, this solids thing is all trial and error so we have to be patient and keep our eyes open for anything not okay like constipation, rashes, gas or fussiness. For us, I will do a better job meal planning for little guy and adding foods high in fiber to make sure I’m not backing that butt up. Foods like spinach, peas, beans, sweet potatoes and peaches.

Don’t back that butt up help your little one stay regular and at ease. As for our little guy I opted for the cotton swab remedy as well as the brown sugar water. That way when we got the bowels moving they can keep moving without blockage. Once little guy started going he was still straining and crying but eventually he pushed through and peed all over himself and me but that was my fault because I was trying to soothe and encourage but didn’t teepee the penis not realizing all the pushing and straining might cause him to pee. Into a warm tub we went, which was also doubled as a remedy.

Just know these things have a tendency to work themselves out but these home remedies can help things along and soothe our little people. We want them as happy as can be and we all know when backed up and uncomfortable that makes smiling a challenge.

Homemade baby food 

Little guy started solid food this week!! (We are excited and ready) *Let me take a moment to say this every parent works on their own timeline and does what they feel is best for their children.* With our other two I started solids around 4 months, our oldest just because he just loved to eat he was downing 5-6oz bottles of breastmilk at a time and was very interested in other people’s food. Our daughter, was opposite she was and still is a tiny one and the pediatrician urged us to start solids, we did. But I will say I have friends thay have waited till their babe was 3mos, 9mos or 1 year old so there is a wide range. Our little guy is a week shy of 6 months and we decided to go for it. 

Started with homemade oatmeal (a first for us) I usually just buy Gerber oatmeal or rice cereal but this go around I said, nope!(just [organic] oats, put in blender/bullet and pulse till powder) 

Today, dusted off the trusty Baby Bullet. Had a fresh avocado– which I like to start with because it’s a good fat, so I like to think not only is it good for babe but also helps move things along in the digestive system — which we found out with our daughter the introduction of solids can confuse the system and give the bowels a bit of trouble. 

Just halved the avocado saving the other half for the following day 

Avocado pictured was in the fridge for a day and a half.

 –ha, you just thought to yourself those avocados turn brown as soon as you cut them–true, so what I do is take some oil [I use olive oil] drizzle it on the avocado and spread it thinly across the exposed avocado inners and it keeps from browning so quickly. 

Once halved I scoop out the goodness and put in the blender, add in 2.5 oz. of fresh pumped breastmilk and blend til smooth….Voila! 

Baby approved, made by mommy so I know what’s in it and how fresh the ingredients are! 

Freezer Meals: Lasagna

We are a family of 5 but right now one kid drinks milk from the tap and our toddler has a tummy the size of her little fist. When I make large meals after a night of leftovers my family is ready for something else, so usually food goes to waste. In order to cut down on food wasted (because as I mentioned diapers cost, ha) I’ve decided to freeze and date certain meals for later consumption and convenience. I didn’t slave in a kitchen to have food go to waste no-no-no sooooo freezing it and breaking it out at a later date it is. Stews, soups and lasagna make large batches so I’m starting there. This past Sunday I made Lasagna Roll-ups [or as I call it lasagna without the commitment] using ground beef and spinach (♡ big hit with the family ♡) and I ended up having enough ingredients left over to make a small lasagna. 

Today my son wanted a piece so I cut his share and divided the rest. I figured someone will want it for lunch, a quick dinner for kids or just wanting some of mom’s lasagna. Now I’ve seen people freeze a whole lasagna or they make small portions in those individual foil pans but I had neither. I have a few pieces that I want to save.
I took my pieces and wrapped them tightly in Cling Saran Wrap – though I’m sure the press and seal would work best – but we are all out. 

Once my pieces were wrapped tightly I placed them in a freezer bag,  removed as much air from the bag as I could making sure it didn’t balloon when I sealed it closed.

And then into the freezer they go!

I’m excited to be able to reach into the freezer and have a ready-made meal and even better no food is wasted <happy dance>