Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tucson: Day 1

Yay for smaller airports! After our first flight ever it was nice to know that we weren't landing into some giant monstrosity like Dallas. Tucson airport is easy peasy.

During our flight there was a poor little toddler wailing (almost as if the universe was giving me a glimpse of what it could've been like). So, on our way off the plane a couple people asked me how such a little baby could make so much noise. Um, not my baby! Poor mama, I felt her pain.

We were later than the crowd to get to the luggage carousel (last row takes a while to move) and our bags were swirling around the belt. My auntie and step-dad were gonna fetch us, but I couldn't see them anywhere. So, baby in one arm, I managed to pull off the bags and drag them over to the chairs. Super mama - woot! I called and they were just down the way waiting for us at a different gate. I suppose the airport isn't quite so tiny after all!

By that time chickadee was tired of the whole traveling game. I changed her diaper, and made her a bottle, but she was fed up. Total solidarity with the plane mama - here was my baby going from cranky to full wail force.

My auntie held her squirming body while we hoofed it to the car rental counter. Everything was in order, but they didn't have a car. I smiled and was patient while I could hear the super cry in the background. My poor step-dad, he's not a baby person at all and here was this little ball of loudness that was headed to his home. I think the counter lady finally felt pity on me because she upgraded us to a much nicer car at no charge.

My parents took the extra Mia car seat to Arizona since we didn't need two. It was wonderful to have something familiar to use, even if I had to adjust all the straps since it was fresh outta the box. Chica even calmed down in the car (which is rare) and I managed to drive us all the way back to my parents house. Day o' travel was complete!

Playing with her overjoyed abuelita.

Up and Away

Chiquita and I are off on our very first adventure! We flew from San Diego to Tucson all by ourselves. We are so very big and grown-up!

The flight:

I had every intention to arrive at the airport an hour and a half early, but life jumped in the way (as it does). Zach was sick so we had to make a detour to pick him up from his grandmas house (which was not very far out of the way, but add traffic and...). By the time we got to the airport we had just under an hour till our flight. D unloaded the bags and I wrapped the girlie in her sling. It was kinda tricky lugging the bags (a big orange roller and an army duffle) to the curb check, but I managed (cause I'm all strong and I've got things under control - haha).

Leeloo generally likes her sling, but sometimes it takes a little soothing to remind her. This process is usually accompanied by the use of a pacifier, which she's also not quite sold on yet. So, there I was, bags in tow, diaper bag (black Petunia Pickle bottom for visual reference) slung over shoulder and free hand ever so gently and patiently assisting with pacifier usage (i.e. me not doing a very good job and occasionally poking her in the cheeks). Luckily the Sky Cap noticed and grabbed the bags. He was not only helpful, but he patiently waited while I fished my wallet out of the diaper bag one handed (because it's so much easier to carry just the diaper bag until you realize its a bottomless pit). I got us all checked in and even managed to find the five D gave me for the tip. The Sky Cap smiled, wished us a good trip, and pointed the way towards our gate.

One of the best things about the San Diego airport is that its small and mostly hassle free. Without a baby in tow I can usually get to the airport just before my flight and catch the plane well before boarding. When I walked through the sliding doors I realized that today that would not be the case. I walked passed the security check point and followed a line of people that extended beyond a restaurant, the whole bank of luggage carousels, a bookstore, and the escalators to the parking lot. This was trouble.

D thinks I'm a pessimist. I think I generally have faith that things will work out. We got into the line and began our snails pace.

I have seen people fly with kids before. Stroller, diaper bag, bottles, stuffed toy, books, snacks - everything you could need for any situation. I went the bare bones route and only had the diaper bag with essentials (bottle, diapers, extra set of clothes - its only an hour flight after all), and I felt fairly prepared. What I wasn't prepared for were the dirty looks. You would think I had worn white after Labor Day! Sure people said "Oh, what a cute baby", but you could see the fear in their eyes and hear the inner dialogue that begged, "please please please don't be on my flight!" What made it worse was about 25 minutes into the line the little one started to get hot and bored. So like every mama I shushed and bounced and smiled assuredly at people that this was not the prequel to a total breakdown.

About forty minutes into the line we could finally see the metal detectors. Leeloo is very curious. It is a wonderful quality, but it means that she also likes to be on the move. Don't stand in one spot for too long, because she wants to see it all. Snail line wasn't the best place for her to explore. Luckily one of the security people noticed her agitation and ushered us into the much shorter business class line. Now that we were moving she calmed a bit. It was a good thing, because I needed to prepare for the security check gauntlet.

Two bins: Shoes off, jacket off, sunglasses, boarding pass and pacifier. Diaper bag down and laptop extracted to its own private bin. Then I formed the bin-bag-bin train and pushed them along onto the conveyor belt. We made it through the detector without any beeps, but got ushered aside for a hand swab anyhow. The agent grabbed the bins and cleared us of terrorist activities. Shoes on, jacket on, computer tucked away and off we went.

The reason I wanted to get to the airport early was this myth I heard called preboarding. In my head we'd mosey in, casually go through security while she flirted along the way, get to the gate and onto the plane before everyone else so we could get the first row of seats with all that leg room, then I could settle her into feeding all nicely covered up. Pipe dreams. We made it to the gate while the last handful of people were boarding. Ticket scanned we made it onto the jetway only to get stuck in a snail line again. This time with warmth and stagnant air. Bring on the super fuss.

A lady in front of me was nice enough to compliment me on keeping my cool. Was I cool? The only thing in my focus was the grumpy baby not wanting her pacifier (why do I keep thinking that one day she might like it?). Finally I thought to lift her up out of her sling. Magical. She was hot. She calmed again and we made it all the way, passed the stranger glances, to the last row of the plane. The diaper bag went up, we sat down, I managed to get my breast out with a little modesty, and she began to nurse. Accomplishment.

The flight went smoothly, chica slept for the majority of it. Despite a strange, twitchy, talkative man in our row the hour passed fairly quickly. It's still amazing to me that you can get on a plane and be in a whole different state in such a short amount of time. We landed, our first mama/baby solo trip was a success!

On our way to the airport!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Leeloo hits the gym.

Chiquita and I are still very symbiotic, but everyday she spends a little more time out of my arms. Her newest discovery is her little gym. She doesn't last very long in it yet, maybe ten minute increments before she gets cranky. But, she's in it several times a day, so maybe we're onto something.

The kitty likes it too.

So do big brothers.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy hearts day!

We have fun with our little photo shoots. Or I could say I have fun, she probably wonders why I constantly hover over her making silly faces. This outfit was a perfect match for Valentines. I would send the pic to whoever gifted it to us, but I lost track of presents somewhere in December and have yet to sort the thank yous. (Ugh.) For now I'll just throw it into the universe: Thank you for the super cuteness!

Leeloo got her first shots last week. Like most babies she did not like them. But, she didn't cry for long. In fact, she was ok enough to visit the NST nurses and Dr. Ching right after. Then we went to Target and cute little kitchen store! She was great. So far the car/car seat is hit or miss, sometimes she digs it, sometimes she cries. However, she does love her K'Tan. She usually falls asleep when wrapped up next to me, and it's the only time she'll hang onto her pacifier. Sometimes I have technical issues getting her into it correctly, but I have to guess it's heaps easier than wrapping the Moby.

Along with the shots the little one got weighed and measured. She is 23" long and weighs just over 11 pounds :) So big!

As far as her tummy goes the doc suggested that we hold off on any diet changes. She thinks the tummy stuff is normal and should get better around three months. Since she doesn't complain everyday we're just gonna have to wait and see.

The doc did have one concern: her head. The sides of her head are very flat. I think she was stuck inside me so long that it smooshed her. Doc thinks her lying on her sides isn't helping her head round out. Doc wants us to keep her head as upright as possible (um, have you seen how babies lay?). At the 4 month visit we will reevaluate, if the isn't enough change we have to go to a neurologist and get fitted for a helmet. :( Poor girl. We'll have to do our best to keep her helmet-free. Come on roundness!

Happy Valentines everyone!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2 months

The kitty is always close by.

Big brother lovin
She's gonna have them wrapped I tell ya.
Nana & Aunt Tane

The Russells

More and more smiles everyday.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

(almost) 2 months

Big girl is two months old on Monday! Everyone tells you it goes so fast, and they are right. Just today we retired the last of her newborn onesies. She's just too long for them - maybe she'll be tall like her dad's side of the family. She also went up a diaper size. We're still using disposables, but she should fit in her cloths any day now.

Good things:
-She loves her mobile (which gives me time to shower).
-The bouncy chair also remains a good place for naps.
-Recently she's spending time on the floor, however tummy time is not a fave.
-She's starting to smile more (which I adore).
-She's starting to sleep for five hours at night, it's not consistent, but still- big huge awesomeness for me!

-She still has grumpy tummy days. I have used gripe water and chamomile, but I fear the Elimination Diet is in my future. Mixed with my food allergies I think I may be restricted to rice and fish. Much more research before I hack my food back that far.
-She's becoming a mama's girl. Remember that spoiling I mentioned? It's in full effect.
-We haven't established a routine yet. So everyday has a different schedule, def keeps me on my toes.

On the mama front things are going fairly well. Two months in and I'm still mostly a hermit. We have been to the store and out to eat a couple of times. Yesterday we even went to a friends for dinner. Sunday is Superbowl and we will be out all day with the whole family. It's all about the baby steps.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mia Mia Mia mine.

We went up to the cemetery last weekend. We know another baby buried there, she died when she was little too. If you two lived she would be your Aunt Beth. Perhaps you already know each other. Tiny spirits floating on the breeze.

We went to put flowers on her grave. We also left a picture of you and each one of us let a balloon drift into the sky. I tied mine to Ripley's, so they could find you together.

I miss you my darling girl. Your sister grows each day, she is wonderful and the sparkle in my eye. I see you in her sleepy smiles and I know that you will always be with us.