Friday, November 30, 2012

flight or fight

Although Linnea hates riding in the car, she was apparently born to ride airplanes. I'm not sure how she was able to sleep for almost 2 hours with the constant stream of airport announcements and domestic disputes were going on around us, but she did. This was on top of a 2 hour ground delay coming out of LAS due to weather in San Francisco. This turned out to be really great, because all the people we would be with on the plane got to see how calm and easy she was ahead of time.

Flying to Vegas was really what I was most concerned about, but no one seemed annoyed. One of the 20-something guys who had been whooping it up with his compatriots even offered to help me with my suitcase. The flight back had a lot more sympathetic people, which turned out to be fantastic, because Linnea cried from the landing approach until the deplaning.

I was super nervous about nursing in the terminal and on the plane, diaper changes, diaper blowouts, and Linnea being cranky, but really didn't have much issue with any of these.

Things that worked for me:

1. Baby carrier. I decided to forgo the stroller this trip and just use the Ergo for getting around. Great decision. Linnea likes being carried in it, and it meant that I had both of my hands free for getting stuff done.

2. Gate pass. Virgin America was fantastic about giving Whit a gate pass so that he could help me get everything through security. This was definitely one of the things I was worried about. The counter representative in Las Vegas offered to give my mom one for the same function, but because my dad was waiting curbside, we decided to forgo this.

3. Checked baggage. On my way to Vegas, I carried on my suitcase and gate checked the car seat. On the way back, my mom insisted that I check the suitcase, but I still carried the car seat through security, only to decide to check it to baggage claim when I got to the gate. Linnea doesn't sleep in the car seat, and so there wasn't really any benefit to keep it with me. Next time, I'd check everything I could and just go through security with her and a diaper bag.

4. Making friends with all the airline staff you can. Everyone -- the counter representatives, gate representatives, and flight team -- were totally great this trip, and really helped me navigate some of the more awkward parts of the flight experience. No one seemed to mind my being back in the staff area of the plane while Linnea slept, but I tried as much as possible to show my gratitude.

All in all, good trip. I'm sure flying with Linnea will get more complicated the older she gets, but at least I had a relatively easy first go of it to build some confidence.

Monday, November 26, 2012

four months

[FYI: I'm counting "months" as "weeks," so this is actually "16 weeks"]

Dear Linnea,

You are four months old today. We are celebrating this age milestone with a trip to Vegas to visit your grandparents.

I am pretty sure that the minute people on our flight saw you, their disappointment on sharing a flight to VEGAS BABY YEAH with an infant evaporated the moment they saw your footie pajamas. Oh, who am I kidding? These people had already been drunk for at least 2 hours.

Speaking of the flight, I was so very nervous about taking you on a plane by myself. I made detailed lists about three weeks in advance. You turned out to be a rock star flier, so everybody's a winner. Because VEGAS BABY YEAH.

We have been weaning you out of your swaddle. Your dad and I imagined we would do it once you forced the issue, i.e., learning to roll over. You did force it; however, it was because you went from "oh hey, the swaddle" to "WHY DO YOU HATE MY FREEEEDOMMMM!?" over the course of two days. During the first night, you slept awesomely with one arm out. I woke and listened in mute apprehension as you sucked on your left hand to put yourself back to sleep. You were a champ at putting yourself back to sleep, and now I am embarrassed because clearly I did not think you capable of this. You are obviously a capable person, and your mom's fear of mistakes might be the only thing that can pen you in. Stick with me, kid: there will be plenty more underestimation and anxiety where that came from.

[It turned out that that you did start to try and roll over this week, so I'm glad that we went ahead with the Banning of the Swaddle operation.]

We finally set up your room. As you've been getting more aware of everything, it suddenly felt odd to nurse you in one space, change your diaper in another, and put you down for naps in still another. Now, most activities are in your room, with the exception of playtime because I like having you out be able to look out of the sliding glass doors. Like a nature aquarium.

After trying to stuff your increasingly mobile limbs into your old clothing, I finally came to my senses and pulled out the 3-6 month outfits. They are still a bit too big, but you don't seem to notice.

You are getting WAY strong, and have been pushing off forcefully with your feet. This has made bathtime a little more challenging.

Something is going on in that brain of yours, because you have started getting more distracted while feeding, and keep looking around and then back at me as if to say, "how about that depth perception, AMIRITE?!" You are more observant, watchful. You stare at things and stick your tongue out in concentration, just like your father. Your eyes follow me around the room.

You giggle when I tickle your tummy. You now prefer humming/singing when we try to get you to sleep. My choices are Simon and Garfunkel, Beach Boys, and musicals; your dad's are the more age-appropriate "Make New Friends" and "Frère Jacques" (although he does like to throw in "We Are Young" on occasion).

We are getting ready for you to start daycare next week, which means more lists, flowcharts, planning on my part. After some initial frustration, you have been taking a bottle from your dad every morning. LIKE A BOSS.

Thanks for persevering with me for these four months, Linnea. I think we're getting the hang of it.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

next size up

Ladies and gentlemen, we have outgrown the 0-3 month clothing. I cannot believe her feet were ever that tiny. I am saving a couple of things (her going-home outfit, a really nice wool/silk set that her grandmother got her), but am likely giving the rest away.

It's a little bittersweet. On one hand, it's sad to think of her growing so fast. On the other, this clothing reminds me of how much of a struggle the first month was, and how one of the only things that I felt confident of was folding her little onesies and matching her pants to her tops. While I still struggle day to day in figuring out how to care for this small person, at least I know her a bit better. You can't stay strangers for long after wiping baby poop off of someone's thighs.

Friday, November 16, 2012

day 102

Linnea is starting to giggle more regularly, and enjoys 80's-era Bobby Brown.

Friday, November 2, 2012

"i don't want to live on the moon"

I tried to sing this song to Linnea the other night, but couldn't remember the lyrics (even though I sang this song repeatedly as a kid). Time for a refresher. Happy Friday, y'all.