There’s nothing better than putting your baby down to bed, not hearing a peep from his room, and coming downstairs to watch Glee with a bowl of honey nut cheerios.
I’m grateful that Miles took a really long morning nap so that I could as well.
I’m grateful that Chris agreed to go on our own little Turkey Trot when I know he just wanted to sleep.
I’m grateful for Boston Market’s Thanksgiving feast.
I’m grateful that Miles took a really long afternoon nap so that I could clean my carpets.
I’m grateful for my Dyson.
I’m grateful for my steam vacuum.
I’m grateful for two great pets that keep me company.
I’m grateful for my family that Skyped me from their dinner table (especially my sister who was eating one of their THREE pies in front of me).
I’m grateful for my in-laws who called to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving because they knew their son was at work.
I’m grateful for Gerber’s canned turkey so that Miles could have a feast of his own, and that I didn’t have to puree it myself. Even if it smelled like dog food.
I’m grateful for Healthy Choice frozen dinners.
I’m grateful for Diet Coke. More than I can say.
I’m grateful for Jeopardy. And saved episodes of Glee that I can re-watch.
I’m grateful for a husband that works so very hard for our family.
I’m grateful for my testimony in a loving Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ.
And of course, I’m grateful for the blessing of raising one of His precious children.
And…I’m pretty sure I’m grateful for the cookies I’m thinking about making.
I promise that I am also planning on doing an entry with more words than pictures, but I couldn’t resist putting these adorable pictures up first.
As I was driving home from Costco today, I noticed a very nice little patch of green grass with beautiful fall leaves, and I immediately knew I needed to get some pictures. No, I do not drive around with our camera in the car. Chris and I went back later after running some errands. I later realized I should have put Miles in his “My First Thanksgiving” outfit since we aren’t really having a Thanksgiving this year, but oh well.
And I also know that I should be adjusting colors in Photoshop since we really only use our fancy camera as a point-and-shoot, but we haven’t gotten around to loading the program on this computer.
Proof that he can sit up with out his hands on the ground (he fell over about three seconds later).
The most sure way to get him to smile? Sing a song. I believe this one was my warm-up song from 8th grade choir: “Mama made me mash my M&Ms.”
As promised, here is the story of my return trip to Charlotte from Denver. Looking back, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but still makes for a good, little story.
When Chris and I flew to Denver, we booked a flight that stopped in Memphis for an hour or so because with two of us, it wouldn’t really be a hassle. We had checked the stroller frame and car seat with baggage, so we didn’t have any extra junk to haul around; I strapped Miles to me, and since he was drugged, he stayed pretty mellow the entire time. But when I returned home, I was alone because Chris had left the day before to get back to work.
My brother drove me to the airport with specific instructions from my mother to walk me inside to make sure I got off okay. So that’s what he did even though I explained that I could push the stroller with one hand and pull the suitcase with the other.
We walked up to the Delta section only to see that I have to check myself in at a kiosk before I can go up to the counter. Does this really save time? I absolutely hate it! No one ever knows what they’re doing and there is always a reason that you need to talk to the agent anyway. Especially if you’re last name is Johnson and have been put on the terror watch list because no one was willing to take the time to fix it in the system. (We spent years having to see the agent at the desk). So, I go up to the kiosk, swipe my credit card, and nothing happened. I tried again. Nothing. I asked the agent (or greeter, I’m not really sure which) for help. She asked if I had swiped the card correctly. Yes, I’m not stupid. She tried it herself. Nothing. She asked if I was sure that was the day of my ticket. Of course, I said. Why wouldn’t it be? I usually have a copy of my itinerary printed out, but Chris had it with him. So she directed me to the ticket counter for real help.
The agent asked, “What’s your final destination?”
“Going through Atlanta?”
“No, it should be non-stop” Because who wants to try to handle a plane change alone with a 6-month-old?
“We don’t have a non-stop to Charlotte.” So she asked what time I thought I was leaving, did some typing in the computer, and then directed me to the USAirways counter. Oops. I assumed that because we flew Delta for the first leg, and because Chris flew home on Delta the day before, that I would be on Delta also.
So then I walked over to the USAirways counter, still with my brother, which I was grateful for at this point. I checked myself in with no problems, but then the agent asked where the baby’s boarding pass was. What? Doesn’t the ticket need to just say “Infant in arms”? No, apparently that’s how Delta does it. Not USAirways.
Let me explain how this tripped was booked. Chris found the flights one night while we were watching TV while I was feeding or holding Miles. No big deal. Until I was checking our itinerary a few weeks later to send to my mom and noticed that Chris had typed his name in as “Chris Johndon.” And he had forgotten that we now have a child and had not added Miles to the ticket. I called Expedia because that’s where we booked the ticket, and they explained that they could change it in the system, but our boarding pass would still have his name misspelled. The guy kind of laughed when he realized that Chris hadn’t just typed a d instead of an s, but he failed to type the rest of his first name or his middle name at all.
But apparently, it only applied to the first flight under Chris’s name. USAirways likes you to put in the baby’s name and birth date. Luckily, the agent was willing to just do it there at the counter (which begs the question, why is it necessary at all?).
Then I asked her if I could check my stroller and car seat at the counter since it was just me traveling alone with the baby.
“Don’t you want it with you in the airport?”
“No, I’m just doing to strap the baby to my chest so that I don’t have to carry more things.”
“Well, maybe you should just gate check it.”
“I really don’t need it; can’t I just check it here.”
“You can, but I really think you should just gate check it. I wouldn’t want it to get damaged at all—not that we would damage it, but just to be safe.”
This went on for a while longer until I finally just caved and agreed to gate check. Fine and dandy, but I don’t think anyone realizes how hard it is to go through security with stuff and a baby.
As I mentioned before, one great thing about having a baby was the family line at security in Charlotte where we got to skip to the front of the line. Not so in Denver. They have a family line, but it didn’t appear to be any different than anything else. So there I am, taking Miles out of his stroller, carrying him on my hip and trying to get my shoes off, place the shoes in a bin, place the diaper bag in a bin, placing the plastic baggie with my liquid medicines in it in a bin, unhooking the car seat from the stroller with one hand, placing it on the conveyer belt, and then trying to fold the stroller frame up with one hand (it involves twisting the handlebar and pulling up on the frame at the same time)! I managed to get it all on the conveyer belt with one hand, still managing to hold onto our boarding passes and my driver’s license, with NO help. Not ONE person offered to assist me in anyway. Not even a TSA agent that should be there to help people in the family line. Oh wait, a TSA agent did step forward to tell me that I needed to turn the car seat up-side-down so that it wouldn’t get stuck.
Gee, thanks for the help, sir.
But we made it through security in one piece.
After that, the only real hassles were trying to get some food in a busy airport while pushing a large stroller that I didn’t want to have with me in the first place. Oh, and unfolding it all again in the jet way.
I guess I should be grateful that we traveled before all of the TSA changes. I’m pretty sure that Miles would not go through the body scanner, but how are they supposed to scan me and not him? And how could they pat me down in the new way with a baby in my arms? I’m almost positive that there is no way I would let a TSA agent hold my baby. I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s because they always seem so surly.
This post has been a long time coming, but I find that when Chris is out of town, as he has been for the past three days, my motivation to do anything greatly diminishes. Since no one will see me, I may stay in my pajamas longer. Since no one needs to eat but me, I may just have cereal for dinner. Since no one is here to complain, I may just watch chick flicks after Miles goes to sleep rather than blogging.
But back to the point: our recent travels to Denver. Chris was able to secure a few job interviews in the Denver area (yay!), so we made a family vacation out of it last week.
Our immediate concern was flying with a 6-month-old. I have great confidence in Miles and his mellow attitude, but if he gets tired, he wants to be walked around, which is not always the easiest thing to do on an airplane. Ever the physician, Chris was eager to offer Benadryl as our solution. I was a bit weary of the whole thing because it seems against logic to medicate an infant for something he doesn’t have just to make traveling more convenient. I was way more weary when the bottle said not for children under the age of 6. But Chris convinced me that he knows what he is doing, we tested it at home, and then gave Miles some Benadryl before our flight. Awesome. He was so sleepy that he slept the majority of both flights.
Before the wonder drug took affect: After:
And next to the tax deduction, we learned that the next best thing about having a child is the family line at airport security. In Charlotte, we were able to skip right to the front of the line. Awesome!
Chris was busy much of our trip, but we were able to spend time with my immediate family and my grandpa and aunt that came from Utah for my niece’s baptism. Miles hasn’t yet developed stranger danger, so he was pretty happy with whomever was holding him. He was especially interested in his three cousins, always wanting to touch their faces and giggle at their antics. The following video is him enjoying his cousin Abby act like a frog. If you don’t want to watch it, just know that it ends with spit up.
My sister was always eager to hold Miles but kept complaining that he wasn’t snuggling with her like he does with me and Chris; I had to explain that it was probably because her pregnant belly was in the way. She’s a little baby hungry.
And of course, Miles was in love with his Uncle Steve just like all children. Steve was happy to play with him, loving the smiles that Miles so freely dishes out.
We were so happy to be able to spend time with family that lives so far away. And of course, it was great for Miles to meet his Great Grandpa Sieb and Great Aunt Bronwyn, even if he doesn't realize it.
But my favorite picture was taken at 4:30 in the morning before anyone else was awake (poor Miles didn’t adjust well to the two-hour time change). It was a little cold in the house that early, so he needed his hat to stay warm. Or, I just thought it was cute.
The trip home deserves it’s own entry, which I will have to get to another time. Stay tuned.
Today is Miles’s (still not sure where that pesky apostrophe should go) first half birthday, not something I will celebrate in the coming years, but I figured the first one is kind of a milestone. In all honesty, all I can think about is being half way done with breastfeeding. Selfish, I know.
I know that I said the big milestone at 5 months was that he was eating solids, but that may have only been a half truth. I started rice cereal when he was about 4 1/2 months, but it didn’t go so well. He started waking up every few hours all night long. Not fun. So we suspended cereals for a while longer. The second time around went much smoother, and now he is officially eating his veggies (carrots and sweet potatoes so far). Carrots were not a big hit the first two days, but I think it had more to do with time of day than with taste, texture, or temperature. I was trying to feed him at the same time that Chris and I ate dinner, you know, so we could enjoy a family meal together. But that is the witching hour for Miles, so he was not totally into something orange being shoveled into his mouth. And I’m just going to say it: I do not like the smell of poop from a solids-eating-baby. I thought I didn’t like the smell of newborn poop, the poop that everyone else kept calling “sweet,” but I totally get it now. Anything is better than what we have now.
This past month has been a real challenge for my confidence in mothering. Just when I thought I had the whole thing figured out, he totally changed the norm. Where he used to be able to fall asleep without a fuss, he started crying and fussing. Where he used to sleep through the entire night, he started waking once or twice. Where he used to go right back to sleep after being nursed at night, he would cry or coo or whatever, just not sleep. Where he used to wake up after 7 am, he would wake up at 6 or so. Not cool. He could be teething, he could be growing, he could be testing my fortitude, I don’t know. We’re working through it.
He is still a very happy baby, though. He loves to be held and snuggled, but also loves to wiggle on the floor, jump in his jumper, or play with toys (kind of).
And in honor of his half birthday, we gave him sweet potato. We were going to put a candle in it, but didn’t have any.
This is the face I get if I don’t put enough oatmeal in the spoonful. It also comes with a nice gagging noise.
We also gave him a cupcake. And by that I mean that we put it in front of him, took a picture, and then Chris ate it.