Sorry for the blogging sabbatical I took without any explanation. While I know most of the people who read my blog are friends and people who mean well, it creeps me out a bit to post anything about my whereabouts just in case there really is a real life creeper who wants to do something nasty. The past 2 weeks Brayden and I have been spending quality time with my family down in Baton Rouge. While the visit was SO much fun, we're glad to be back home with Drew and Toby, both of whom we greatly missed (and I am sure Toby especially missed us since he was kenneled most of the time-- poor guy!).
Our original plan was to drive down with my sister Megan and her boyfriend after they visited us for Labor Day weekend. That plan got nixed however, when Megan came down with the Swine Flu. Drew and I thought it best that we keep separation, especially with B and I having to drive in the same car for so long with Meg. So we waited a week, and drove down half way, where my dad picked us up to bring us down to BTR. B did SO good in the car. He actually slept from Vicksburg, MS to Baton Rouge without a peep-- about 4 hours! I was so impressed and VERY thankful (I had had nightmares of him screaming the entire way down). 2 days after we arrived in Baton Rouge, my sister Laura, who lives with my parents, came down with the swine flu. G-R-E-A-T. My mom was kind of freaking out about it, just stressing about B being in the house. I called 2 pediatricians up here and also called Drew. In talking with the doctors and with Drew, we just decided to stay in Baton Rouge. Since Drew has just started a new job, time off isn't really an option right now, so in the event that B (or I) got sick, we'd pretty much be on our own. We had both already been exposed so it was pretty much a waiting game at that point on whether or not we got it. Drew also reminded me that Baton Rouge is such a bigger city, that the level of care B receives there would be a bit higher and we would have hospitals that had PICU's available. So we stayed. Thankfully my parents house is set up in such a way that Laura was on different floors and sides of the house than us. She basically was quarantined the whole first week we were there, and thankfully no one else in the family came down with the swine-o or anything else while we were there.
Since I grew up in Baton Rouge, the food and people are not foreign to me, even though I am sure that I come across as foreign to them (since my nice Arkansas Razorback shirts and Arkansas accent was clearly evident most days I was there!). I miss the culture of Louisiana, and definitely miss the food, but, oh my gosh, the heat is unbearable-- and I went at the end of September! I don't think B liked the heat either, because every time we'd take him for his evening walk, he'd cry. Normally he loves the stroller, but I think down there it was just a lot more hot than he's used to (not to mention HORRID humidity, which only makes the heat worse!).
During our stay B was able to meet my grandmother, and his great-grandmother Laura. We got pictures to mark the occasion. She's the only great-grandparent still alive for B, so it was neat to watch her interact with him and tell him stories about my dad. B was also supposed to meet his great-great-uncle Mike and great-great-aunt Rina, but my Uncle Mike came down with the swine flu too (they live a different city though!), so that meeting is postponed until Thanksgiving.
Sleeping in the same room as a child was probably the hardest thing I've had to do as a parent so far. I don't know how people co-sleep or have their child in the same room. I'd NEVER sleep if that were the case. B stirs a lot when he is sleeping and since he was in a pack and play (and because he's really tall) he'd kick the sides. SO loud, and definitely annoying at 4am. He stirs for literally 3 hours before I get him. Incredible. So basically, I would sleep from 11-4, and then off and on until he'd finally start fussing at 6:45. He'd start talking at 5:30 though, so really anything after that was just rest. Needless to say we're both thankful for our own beds and rooms again :)
Speaking of pack and plays, something funny happened on the night before we left to meet my dad. We had decided to stay the night in Little Rock to shave some of the driving time off of our day on Saturday. B woke up uncharacteristically early on Saturday morning and it quickly escalated to a cry, so I went to check on him. To my horror the little pad bottom of the pack and play had accordianed all the way to one corner, leaving no bottom to the pack and play. B was wedged between the two cross bars of the bottom of the pack and play, curled in a fetal position, arms and legs facing up. He wasn't really crying hard, but was obviously in some discomfort. Who knows how long he had been like that before waking up. Thankfully he was face up... I shudder at the thought of what would have happened had he been face down! I think the reason it did that is because Drew and I forgot to velcro the pad through the bottom of the pack and play. I can assure you that won't happen again!
And the, "yes I am an adult, and no I am not acting one" award goes to yours truly. The night before I left I went on an outing with my two youngest siblings. Jeff was given my dad's old car while I was down there, so I was able to help him polish it up. He also had a 15" subwoofer installed and so Laura and I had wanted to check out the new ride. We went and got fresh beneigts (again, no clue on how to spell that word) and then drove back with the windows down with some pimping music blaring. About half way home we were stopped at a stoplight and we had the music cranking. All of us were dancing and throwing our arms around, when all of the sudden blue lights started flashing 2 cars ahead of us. My stomach sank as a state trooper started walking towards the car. He was really cool about everything, and asked the usual questions. The most humiliating one though was how old we all were. Jeff: "I am 17." Laura (laughing so hard I thought she might pee her pants, and wishing I could kick her for laughing when clearly we could be getting a ticket): I am 19" Flashlight shining on me, Me: "I'm 27." Bahahaha. Really? Why does stuff like this happen to me? Thankfully the guy let us off the hook and just explained to Jeff that at lights we should probably turn the music down since some people don't want to listen to the rap we've got playing. Whew. Definitely something to laugh about now, but geez.
The plane ride back wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be. I was afraid I'd be "that" person on the plane... you know, the one with the screaming child who won't shut up and makes everyone else's trip miserable? Not to mention I was lugging around not only my almost 20 pound baby, but also my breat pump, a carry-on suitcase for B, AND my diaper bag, which was stuffed to the gills. Getting through security wasn't that bad, but having to strap B on to me with the snugli AND carrying all of that stuff was a pain. Once I got on the plane it was fine though. Thankfully from Baton Rouge to Memphis he slept the entire plane ride. Once we got off though, I really thought the rest of the trip was doomed for failure. He was fussy and hungry, I had to pee, and as I got off I realized that I was at gate A2 and needed to get to gate C5-- clear across the Memphis airport! So I plugged B up with a paci, got all of my bags situated so I could lug them, and off we went. Half way to our destination gate, I decided to take a potty break. Before I had left I naively thought to myself that the diaper changing stations would be IN the handciap stalls, and therefore I could just strap B to it, quickly pee and be on my way. Oh, but I was wrong. The diaper changing tables were outside the stalls, so I had to change B, THEN pee. Well, remember now, that all I had was an infant carrier (which he was already removed from due to the diaper change moments before-- and he's still hungry at this point b/c I haven't given him his bottle). So I had to unbutton my shorts and pull down my underwear all with one hand. Then I had to prop B up on my knee and SIT on the toilet. I should note here that I NEVER sit on the toilet (actually, I try to avoid public restrooms altogether) in public. It really grosses me out. So there I was, sitting on the toilet, my shorts and underwear down to my ankles, 6 month old on my knee (screaming by this point because he's hungry), peeing. Ah, the humility God grants us by being parents. I mean, really, I wonder what the people in the other stalls were thinking. As I finished my business, I quickly realized that the hardest part was yet to be done. See, I had quickly unbuttoned my pants and pulled my drawers down, but I didn't think about having to pull them back UP with one hand. And you know how sometimes, if you're in a rush, when you pull your drawers down the top part gets all rolled and you have to unroll it (ok, well maybe that doesn't happen to you, but it does to me, so just roll with me for a minute)? Yeah, mine had done that. So there I was, screaming child in one hand, trying to bend down to get my shorts and drawers (without letting the paci that was on his clip hit the floor), trying to unroll my drawers, and once I got it all up trying to button (remember, I am post-baby here, so although my clothes fit, they don't have as much give as they used to) my shorts. I finally realized that my zipper was only going to zip half way with one hand, and decided that I was OK with that, hoping my t-shirt would hid anything that was showing. I grabbed all of my gear, ran (well, not really... but it was as close to running as you can get when you are hauling the aforementioned gear) out of the bathroom, plopping myself into the closest chair and frantically searching for a bottle. B immediately quieted up, but once the bottle was gone he got fussy again. At this point the people at the gate I had positioned myself at were really starting to stare, and I KNOW they were thinking "Dear God, please don't let this woman be the one sitting next to me." Luckily for them I was still another 100 yards or so to my gate. I finally got B to settle down, grabbed a Corky's BBQ sandwich (which by the way, airport food is the biggest rip off known to man. It's even worse than a football game!), and finally made it to the gate. I antibacterial wiped the seats, laid B down on chair and I sat next to him, scarfing down my sandwich before he had time to roll of the chair. Thankfully by this point he was SO happy. Almost too happy. You see, when B is happy, he will make these screaching sounds that Drew likens to a small dinosaur. So there I was, eating Corky's like a fat person who had been on a diet for 10 years, with my small dinosaur of a son, screeching for all of gates C1-5 to hear. Some of the ladies around thought it was cute, but I could tell it was wearing on some of the other passengers. Holding him didn't help either, so finally I just let go and let live. I mean, these people who were glaring had to, at some point in their lives, screech like a dinosaur too right? And I don't know about you, but I would much rather a happy screeching baby than a mad screaming one? So he just screeched to his heart's content. Once we boarded the plane, he was fine, all screeching done with, and he was asleep right as we took off. He slept half way through that last flight and was happy when we got home. All in all it was a great trip. I'll sign off with a few of my favorite pics taken during our travels.
Celebrating Meg's birthday
Gigi reading B his favorite book, "Moo, Baa, La La La"
Getting kisses from his Aunt Laura and Aunt Meg
Such a cutie patootie!
Talking with Pappa D about guy stuff
Playing with Aunt Laura after she recovered from Swine-O
Getting his first piano lesson from Aunt Meg :)
Gigi clearly was pooped out by the end of our trip
Mom and I got pedicures a few days before I left. Cody was very impressed.
Fishin' with Poppa D
Leavin' on a jet plane: his first airplane ride