Monday, July 2nd, 2012
Damn, three weeks in a row and I’m still writing about my own milestones. I hope this means I’m vastly improving myself. Either that or I’m getting dumber and need more fixing.
Sometimes I really think we suck as parents. We decided to take a last minute mini-vacation. Saturday we started looking for hotels and cool places within a 6-hour drive from Los Angeles. We’re hotel snobs and all the places we wanted to stay were sold out. After exhausting the morning, we gave up. Then Phil had an idea.
“How about Sequoia National Forest?” he shouted from the office.
“How far?” I shouted back.
“Looks like only 3 hours. I found a cabin with a private pool.”
Done. We threw ourselves into a packing frenzy and headed out the door.
As soon as we were on the road, our old-life, (pre-kids) started knocking. We have always loved going off the beaten path. We’ve trashed many a rental car by finding dirt roads and rural routes to ding up the paint and ruin the shocks. Once in Hawaii we went off-roading so badly that we nearly rolled our rental jeep. With kids, we don’t take dangerous driving risks. But taking a scenic route with what looks like a 2-hour detour to see an old ghost town? Totally within the realm of reason.
A few weeks ago, we went to Palm Desert. On the way home we took “the scenic route” through Joshua tree. A 2.5 hour drive turned into a 7-hour one, with temperatures hitting 102-degrees. Poor Fia and Emmett were troopers, but by the time we got home, we were hot, exhausted, and dirty. Whatever “rested vacation feeling” we had was left behind on a cactus. You’d think we would have learned our lesson.
We take off on our detour towards Silver City. Turns out it’s a ghost town made up of relics from other ghost towns. In short, a tourist site. Having said that, it was still pretty cool to see all these old buildings and let Fia run around obsessing over spider webs from the 1800s.
Pre-Barf Ghost Town
I looked at the map and told Phil that the shortest route appeared to be through the mountains. You can’t tell on the iPhone how twisty the roads are. But you can guess where this is going. Two hours later, with each turn getting sharper, I start to feel sick. No sooner did I say to Phil, “I’m feeling queasy” did the projectile barf of Fia go splatting all over the back of my seat.
We had a half-pack of baby wipes and one small bottle of water and about a gallon of barf. There wasn’t a house, a store, or a gas station within an hour of us. Yup. We definitely got our wish. We were in the middle of nowhere.
We pulled out Fia, getting covered in barf ourselves, reassuring her through her tears that it was okay. We tried to wipe the barf off the car seat bedding, the safety straps (where vomit was stuck in all the grooves), and of course Fia, all the while cursing that we should always have paper towels in the car. Or at least napkins. Or maybe a better f–king plan where our own selfishness doesn’t dictate. We used all the baby wipes but 3. We saved those for Emmett. (Oh right, nearly forgot about him. He slept through it all. God, he’s good.)
We got Fia as clean as we could, promising her the pool in a mere 90 minutes. That’s like 90 years to a kid. Nothing we could do but forge on at about 5 mph with Phil practically walking the car at each turn. The windy road ended 3 miles (30 minutes) later.
At the cabin we all jumped in the pool, letting the residue of barf and guilt wash away. The water was heaven and all the playing made up for our stupidity. But seriously, no more of this ridiculous decision making. We have to remind ourselves that with babies it’s not about YOU. I think after this trip we finally acknowledge that.
Image: Windy Road via Shutterstock
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Fearless Feisty Mama, Milestone Monday
Friday, June 3rd, 2011
For all you frequent baby fliers out there, I have a travel tip. Money-wise it kind of sucks to buy them their own seat, right? Sanity wise, it’s priceless. I had a recent dilemma on this:
I had to book a last minute ticket to Florida. Five days out and the flight was wide open. I decided to take my chances and not buy Fia her own seat. My gamble paid off. The plane was empty. We had an entire row. And I saved a few hundred bucks.
Now on the way back, there were only 4 seats left to buy, so on that leg, I bought her a ticket. I’m not willing to risk it.
But it’s a good little travel tip to keep in mind. And one more: if you have a baby who gets carsick like mine, take the barf bags from the airline seat pockets. I promise they come in handy down the road, on the road.
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Have Baby, Will Travel
Monday, May 23rd, 2011
I think I have to stop flying–at least until Fia learns to love television. Neither scenario thrills me. But at 18 months, it is becoming exhausting. I don’t dare take a night flight, because if she doesn’t sleep everyone will despise me. Plus, she is a very specific sleeper. (For naps: only in stroller in bathroom with lights off and fan on. At night: only in crib. She can also climb out of the pack n play, which now makes hotel stays difficult.)
So daytime flights are it. Problem is, it’s her time to be on the go. But on the plane, she has to sit. I don’t let her roam around, crawl on the floor or kick the seats in front of her. That would make me the person I used to hate. I refuse to be that oblivious/obnoxious parent. She’s allowed to crawl on me/my seat and that’s it. However, it’s soon going to drive me to drink…or at least drink more than I already do.
Case in point: On a recent flight I took this self-portrait.
After 2 hours of trying to get her to nap, she finally succumbed. I was both shocked and victorious. Problem was, she slept on me. There I sat for 90 long minutes, scrunched against the window, knees up, legs spread. I looked like I was at the gynecologist or giving birth. I sat right by the bathroom, so many a passenger got a glimpse.
I also had this stupid cough that came out every time I lied down–or scrunched– as the case was here. I knew I couldn’t chance my stomach lurching up and waking her. I managed to reach into the diaper bag with one arm and find the organic lollipops to suck on. I had searched all over town for them– much to my husband’s annoyance. At least that mission wasn’t a complete waste of time.
My tip of the day from this trip: don’t wear jeans with holes in the crotch. That was my only saving grace. And don’t travel alone with an 18-month old. Wait until they are well on they way to becoming addicts of television or better yet, portable video games. And by the way parents of older babes–when does that milestone happen? I need to have some sort of travel to look forward to.
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Fearless Feisty Mama, Have Baby, Will Travel
Sunday, August 15th, 2010
When I was pregnant I made a promise. I wouldn’t slow down on my love of travel. I would strap the baby on my back and just “go.” Then Fia came December 2nd, along with three massive snowstorms and a trail of sleep deprivation. Like a bear, I went into hibernation. I didn’t think I’d ever leave the house; let alone the city or state. Fast forward 9 months and now Fia and I are bouncing around the country together, with 12 flights and 5 states under our belt (often by ourselves, sans hubby).
I thought I’d give a list of tips I’ve found most helpful while traveling with Fi. Like American Express, don’t leave home without it.
- At airport, put baby in sling and load your diaper bag and carry-ons in your car seat/stroller and roll to the gate. You can carry baby through security in sling, so it’s easier than holding up the line to take them out of car seat.
- Formula and baby food can go through security with no problem.
- At the gate, you need a tag for your stroller. Get it from the agent before you board. Then relax.
- Babies cry on planes. Embrace it. (If baby is super fussy, I offer to buy the passenger next to me a drink. No one has ever taken me up on it, but the offer seems to ward off the angry stare).
- I find businessmen typically offer the most help when boarding. Take them up on it! Have them carry your diaper bag and carry-on and put in overhead. This gives you time to break down stroller.
- If baby has her own seat, you have to bring the car seat on. With baby in it, it can be super heavy. I suggest carrying baby in sling, and carry on empty car seat (or have businessman do it for you) until you sit down and situate for flight.
- Sign her up for a frequent flier card (if she has her own ticket). It’s never too early to rack up the points.
- If staying at a hotel, most have free cribs and pack ‘n plays they will put in your room (I always bring my own crib sheet though).
- During take off and landing either feed or give pacifier. At least until you get through the first few flights. Now, Fia doesn’t even need it.
- Find yourself empowered by the whole experience. And trust me, each flight gets easier.
Oh, and all you Moms out there worried about germs?
You get over it after a few flights! As we waited for her 12th flight, Fia decided to lick La Guardia–and I finally gave up stopping her.
Need advice about traveling with your baby? Ask away in the comments section!
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