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Wordless Wednesday: 4 Generations

Almost wordless. I wanted to just write a short note to explain the significance of this post. I think this picture will be very special to Lucien in years to come. Here he is with his daddy, granddad, and great-grandfather (who is in his late 90s).

I have a very similar picture from my own childhood and I am the only child who has it (my great-grandmother passed away before any of my siblings were born). This will likely be the case for Lucien as well, so while he didn’t really seem impressed on the day, I do hope that he’ll appreciate the significance down the road.

Aren’t we lucky to have these photos as a lasting memory? I think so.

Traveling Teething: Oh Plah! Bracelet {Review}

Welcome to Tuesday Travels, a regular series at Traveling with Baby featuring ideas for local day trips and travel tips for families with kids-in-tow. You’ll also find get-up-and-go related product reviews and giveaways. I enjoy hearing about your traveling adventures, too.

I mentioned last week that Lucien has started teething, and some of the measures we’ve been taking to make him more comfortable. I’ve been noticing lately how much his motor skills have improved and how he enjoys having a toy to play with in the car. I try to remember to keep toys in his diaper bag or car seat, but I’ll admit it’s not always the first thing on my mind when I’m heading out the door (more like “do I have matching shoes on??). He’s also old enough now that he can remove his binkie, turn it around, suck on it, and (sometimes) get it back in. I thought that given these factors I’d like to try out a product I had heard about.

Roundhouse send me their “Oh Plah!” bracelet in “serenity” and I have to tell you that I love it. It’s stylish so I’ll wear it with my clothing and it makes a great accessory. The bracelet come in a variety of colors and patterns so that you can choose a color that reflects your style and goes with your wardrobe. Mommy approves.

Unlike a pacifier (which easily slips out of his mouth and onto the floor) and toys (which are sometimes left at home and aren’t handy), the Oh Plah! bracelet is at my fingertips in a second and satisfies Lucien’s craving for something to look at, play with, and chew on.

Lucien enjoys the bracelet too! It’s super flexible, so he is almost strong enough to take it off my wrist himself. It’s durable and washable (a must for a new mommy!). It has a smart little hole that he slips his fingers into to hang on. It’s free of BPA and other harmful chemicals.

Here’s a little more information about the bracelet:

  • Constructed of medical grade thermoplastic- non-toxic, bacteria resistant, and free of lead, latex, PVC, BPA and phthalates.
  • Meets or exceeds the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) regulations, in addition to meeting or exceeding safety testing standards for Canada (C.R.C. c.931) and the European Union (EN-71).
  • No small parts means it’s safe for even the tiniest babe.
  • Extremely durable yet flexible, standing up to frequent chewing without looking worn or damaged.
  • Easily cleaned with soap and water, and dries quickly so that it can be worn again right away.
  • Great as a nursing reminder (switch wrists to remember which side comes next).
  • Made in the USA.

Exclusive for Traveling with Baby readers: Readers of Traveling with Baby will receive 15% off their purchases at  Roundhouse using the following code: “Traveling15”

Note: One bracelet was provided for the purpose of this review. Read the full disclosure policy.

wellBEing weekends: Teething Begins

 

Welcome to a semi-weekly series on Traveling with Baby, wellBEing weekends.  Each weekend (Friday – Sunday), wellBEing weekends will feature health-related news, recipes, and fresh tips on wholesome health for your family’s well BE-ing.

This week Lucien started teething. I have to say I’m not surprised we’re here already, even though it is a little on the early side. He has already proven he’s ahead of the curve in the growth department, and why should he be any different when it comes to teeth? He’s drooling, not sleeping as well, and generally a little on the fussy side (where did my little cherubic three month old go?)

So what have we been doing to sooth the little one? We’re nursing more frequently, for one thing. I’m not about to say no to such a sad little guy. I also learned a trick for a friend of mine who is going through teething with her fourth child – she presses down on her daughters gums (lightly, of course) and while it’s uncomfortable for a few seconds, it does provide some relief. I’m glad I learned this trick as it’s been useful when Lucien has been too uncomfortable to nurse well. He’ll detach and complain, I’ll press down across his gums, he’ll go back to nursing, and the cycle goes ‘round again.

Another thing we’ve tried (with great success) are homeopathic remedies. Within minutes he’s gone from fussy to happy and I can’t remember seeing such a quick turnaround.

I’m looking forward to trying our new teething bracelet (sent by Roundhouse) this coming week as well. We’ll be out and about quite a bit, and it’s the perfect time to try their “Oh Plah!” bracelet. I’ll be posting about it soon.

Your turn: What have you done to sooth teething babes?

Ch-Ch-Changes

We’re changing things at Traveling with Baby.  You may have already noticed there’s new features, interviews, and a new writer.  It’s spring, and fresh changes are in order…and we’re excited!

Recently, I received a concerned tweet from a long-time friend who wanted to know why I hadn’t told her I had another baby.

Nope. Not another adorable baby boy for me, but sweet little Lucien belongs to Elisa B., a professional wedding photographer and mom to that cute baby boy.  Elisa’s interviewing pregnant moms and sharing their stories each month.

Want to hear about the latest and greatest for everything pregnancy and baby related…Elisa’s got that beat covered.

You’ll hear from me about adventures with raising a toddler and soon to be preschooler, plus other mom-focused interests and health and wellness features.

There’s one more thing…

Beginning in April, Traveling with Baby will have a monthly focus!  Each month, posts, reviews, and giveaways will tend to revolve around a central theme.  Sure, you’ll still hear about our take on motherhood, efficient and safe travel and on-the-go tips for parents with little ones, and we’ll still have a focus on natural and intentional parenting plus wellness, but we’ll have a monthly game plan to pull it all together.

Elisa and I are so excited about these changes, and we hope you will be, too!  By May, you’ll also so a fresh new look when Traveling with Baby switches over to a self-hosted site.  Yay!

Stay tuned for April…when we feature Everything Baby!

Heather’s Story

Heather is a good friend of mine, and is pregnant for the first time. She’s about 33 weeks along and expecting a little girl named Noel Virginia (I can’t wait to meet her!). I asked Heather to share some of her thoughts on pregnancy, and she was happy to oblige. I’m hoping to follow up in a few months when she is a new mommy!Finding Out: I took a pregnancy test a couple of days after I’d been feeling totally different (SO SLEEPY) and just had a feeling that something was up. With 3 positive tests, it started to sink in that we were going to have a baby! My husband got home from work that evening to find me sitting on the couch waiting for him. I can only imagine what look I must have had on my face, whatever it was prompted him to ask me “What did you buy?!” (hahaha). When I told him what that look really meant he was teary eyed and speechless for a few minutes…. it took a little while for the reality to sink in for both of us, we’re extremely excited to meet our baby girl!  

 

Birth Plan/Prenatal Care: After looking at our options and doing some research my husband and I decided to have our baby at home. Noel and I have been receiving excellent care from our midwife, Liz O’Shea. I’ve been going to see her every 4 weeks for a visit since I was 12 weeks along, we start going every 2 weeks until she’s born this week. We’re coming close to the end… I guess I should say the beginning! At 36 weeks she’ll come by for our home visit, making sure everything is set up and ready for our little girl’s arrival. 

 Healthy Measures: I’ve been watching what I eat – making sure I’m getting plenty of protein, not too much sugar (sometimes you just HAVE to have it though!) plenty of veggies, drinking pregnancy tea, and taking my prenatal vitamins. Exercising, drinking plenty of water, and trying to stay as low stress as possible. My hubby has been a huge help in reminding me to care for myself and our daughter!Wise Words: I’ve been so blessed to be surrounded with other mothers who have been encouraging me and keeping me focused on what I need to do for myself and my daughter. The advice just keeps coming and I’m doing my best to soak it in and apply it! What have you learned so far? I’ve been reading plenty of books on natural pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and caring for your child’s health, just to name a few – Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin, The Thinking Women’s Guide To a Better Birth, by Henci Goer, Ina May’s Guide to Breast Feeding, by Ina May Gaskin, How To Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor, by Robert S. Mendelsohn. I’ve also watched, The Business of Being Born, and Orgasmic Birth, along with various other videos provided by our Bradley Method class. The Bradley Method – Natural Husband Coached Childbirth – was a 12 week class my husband and I just finished with. They’re really big on nutrition, exercise and informing you of all of your options for making the best decision for your family. It was a lot of fun for my husband and I, and it really gave him a lot to think about and prepare for her birth. P.S. Everyone must read this just for fun!! – Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth, by Jenny McCarthy 

 Memorable Moments: The first 16 weeks were filled with nausea and being exhausted. After that 16 week mark it was like flipping a switch, I felt SO much better! If you had asked me then if I’d plan on having any more children I probably would have slapped you! Now though my thoughts are completely different, I haven’t even met her yet and I know that this is TOTALLY worth it. Aside from some aches and pains of a growing womb and child I feel wonderful. Although I do have my moments of feeling fat and pudgy, I get over feeling sorry for myself when I remember that my extra fat storage is good for my little girl and in time it will be gone.  I think I’ll miss feeling and watching her squirm around inside of me, but I’ll get to hold my baby, so I think that will make up for it! I am looking forward to my next pregnancy … somewhere down the road of course. I think I’ll be better prepared for all of the little changes that occur during pregnancy and not freak out when something completely normal happens. For example leaking colostrum way before I thought it would be an issue – that was a weird sight to see, but totally normal.  I can’t tell you how many times in these past few weeks I’ve opened a door into or walked into someone with my stomach. Or seeing that tight space that before pregnancy would have been a piece of cake to squeeze through, then going for it only to get stuck! Also my nephews must think that my big round belly is a target for them to jump at – they do a good job of keeping me on my toes!   

PS For a complete sneak peek from Heather’s maternity session click here.

Good Morning, Saturday

This past weekend our sleep was a little rough. We’re starting to go about 8 hours between feedings, but Lucien is rousing/fussing a few times during the night, which means mommy is rocking the babe in his bed or giving him a pacifier. He’s 14 weeks, and in the 90th percentile, so I know he’s not hungry during the night – he’s just used to nursing!

I feel like we’re on the cusp of getting some serious sleep, but while we’re going longer between feedings it doesn’t mean catching more zzz’s … yet! Saturday morning was lovely though, since we got to sleep in. Lucien nursed at 7am and fell back asleep. I was tempted, tired as I was, to get up and start my day but as luck would have it he (and we) got to sleep until 9:30! I snapped these pictures just before he woke up.

Your turn: What do you do to encourage healthy sleep with your children? How old were they when you started to try for a full night of sleep?

7 Months

Calvin is 7 month’s-old today.

This is the part where I get all sentimental and sappy . . .

He used to be so little.  Well, he’s still little, but now he’s grown at least 7 inches taller since birth, and he’s doubled in weight (and then some).  He was cute then, but he’s super cute now.  All he could do was eat, cry, and poop.  Now, he still eats, cries, and poops . . . but he can do some more advanced things.

At 7 months, Calvin talks, well, he says “hey” and “hi”.  He drinks from a cup and eats solids from a spoon.  He can grab his bowl and cup from me with a pretty commanding grip.  He can hold my face and grab my nose.  At the 7am feeding, he does the sign language for “milk”.  When he’s amused, he’ll throw back his head and laugh an infectious giggly, happy laugh.  With support standing, he picks up his legs and attempts to walk and dance.  He sits up on his own, but sometimes topples over on his side . . . and he hasn’t quite figured out how to sit up from his back or belly.

He rolls to each side and plays with his toys.  Right now, his favorite toy is his “car” control panel with responsive lights and sounds.  He smiles in response to my smiles.  Besides his mommy and daddy, his favorite people are the ones closer to his size and age.  Calvin LOVES bananas and mangos (sugar-addict, I’m not surprised).  He’ll actually hold his bowel movements until we place him on his potty (unless, of course, we’re behind the power curve and we forget to put him there after his meals).

This past week, he discovered he can splash in the tub with his hands . . . thus far, he’s been kicking and “swimming” with the backstroke.  Calvin’s got a keen memory.  He knows where something is or at least where it used to be if it’s no longer there.  At bathtime, he always looks for a bottle brush that’s on the counter.  When I moved it before his bath, he kept searching for it.  Smart cookie.

Now at diaper changes, he rolls to his belly and scrambles away from me . . . he’d rather creep around naked then be pinned down with a diaper.  Yes, he started creeping forward last week.  He does the hand and toe push-ups (better than any adult I’ve seen!).  And, he’s still got those 2 bottom incisors that are sharper than any ginsu knife.

It’ll be neat to see what he can do at the end of this month.  He’ll still be my favorite little dude.

Rollin’

Since Calvin figured out how to roll from his back to his belly, he definitely prefers that position for quite awhile.  He’s discovered a whole new world on the mat of his play gym, and a whole new line of sight to his toys.  He’ll roll from back to belly or vice versa to get closer to a particular toy.

Steve told me a particularly funny story.  Calvin noticed his little plush green frog head rattle on the floor, but it wasn’t quite within reach.  So, he rolled over to get it.  But, since his fine motor control isn’t quite where he wants it, he accidentally flung the frog across the floor so that it was far away.  He cried out of frustration and rolled onto his back . . . suddenly noticing his lamb toy.  So, that took his interest for awhile, when the frog head suddenly came into view again.  He scooted/rolled toward it and just as he got it, his fingers caught it almost in slingshot fashion and launched it way out of reach.  Once again, he cried in frustration (that darned frog!) and started playing with his plastic chain/chew toys.  I about fell out of my seat laughing about that one!

Most days, I find him on his belly in his crib when he awakes from naps.  Also, when I read to him out of his board books, he likes to help me turn the pages, and he’s getting pretty good at it.

I think he’s got more teeth on the way soon.  Calvin still gnaws on his fingers and drools worse than me!

West Coast Highlights

For a teething 5-month-old, Calvin traveled so well. It was a lifesaver to have Steve with me to help keep him entertained. But, most of the time people sitting next to us were extremely accommodating. When nursing, his long legs would often bump up next to the person next to us. If I was sitting in the middle, that meant that at least half the time, that person wasn’t Steve.

While checking in at the airport in Lewiston, Idaho, another passenger in line wanted to hold him while I was digging out a pen for luggage tags. I saw my grandmother walking up toward us. And, I said aloud “I’ll let grandma hold him”. The nice woman from Louisiana who’d offered, opened up her arms wide and said, “oh goody!”. But, I corrected myself and said, “his real grandma” who swooped him up with hugs and kisses. But then, of course, Calvin was the center of attention and my grandma got to brag on him to the nice woman who wanted to hold him.

While at his great-grandparents ranch in eastern Washington, Calvin enjoyed looking at the fish and waterfall, and he had fun checking out Mema’s chickens.

Calvin was the center of attention. He showed off his cool tricks: smiling super bright and big for anyone who held him or spoke to him face-to-face. That smile will light up anyone’s face and mood! He also hit a couple of milestones while we were there: he got his second tooth (bottom left incisor), and he was finally able to roll from his back to his belly. After he did that once on his own, he’s been doing it non-stop.

Aside from hugs and kisses, he also had to be subject to family traditions and torture for babies: we just HAD to get a photograph of him in the Native American papoose. My sister had been photographed in it as a baby, so of course, all the great grandchildren must be photographed in it as well. He was a little long for it, but we made it work. Then, he tried to sit up (the papoose isn’t made for babies to sit up) until we distracted him enough to play with the beads dangling from it. Calvin’s great (x4) grandmother was from the Cree tribe in the Quebec area of Canada. It’s possible that there were more Native American relatives on my grandmother’s side, but that wasn’t ever recorded.

Calvin attended his first Sabbath School and enjoyed the interactive Bible story about the shepherd and his lone lost sheep. He was the youngest child, by several months, but he had just as much fun as the older children.

We got a picture of almost every relative who held Calvin while he’s still little. I anticipate our next trip out west, he’ll be running everywhere!

On the Fly

Calvin traveled amazingly well yesterday.  He endured some very long flights, being around LOTS of other people, and the loud airplane.

My gripe is Northwest airlines wouldn’t let me select all seats for all our connections when I booked our tickets online.  I called them in advance to tell them we had a baby and wanted to have our seats together.  We were told just to check in at the gate at our initial airport and that they’d take care of us.  Yeah, right!  Instead we were assigned middle seats apart.  We got that corrected in Detroit, but 2 legs of the trip we were in non-reclinable seats in the aft of the plane.  NOT fun.  So, I plant to call Northwest airlines with comments and suggestions for our return flight home.

When in Seattle-Tacoma airport, we had a 3 hour layover.  The food court was jam-packed and finding an available table wasn’t an option.  So, we found a table with another family with small children and asked to join them.  Of course, we talked about kids ages, what they were like traveling, and our various destinations.  As with any other public place, having a baby is an instanst conversation-starter wtih complete strangers.  Babies are cool like that.

Calvin ate pretty frequently on the trip . . . he wanted to nurse about every 2-3 hours . . . and he was HUNGRY.  I think he’s having another growth spurt.  He’s about due for one, it’s been at least a month since the last one.  Nursing also helped him with the altitude changes. 

One family in front of us had a young girl (less than 2 years old) who slept the entire 2.5 hour leg of one flight.  Afterward, the mom turned around to talk to us and asked us if we used dramamine or motrin with our son when flying.  We said no.  Then, she insisted that it helped them with their ears and helped them to sleep.  We told her we just breastfed during take-off and landing to help him clear his ears.  She was still persistent and told us how it helped her daughter and that they ALWAYS used it when they flew.  Steve told her he never got upset during the flight, he just got a little loud when he wanted to be playful, but that only lasted a few minutes.  I wanted to say, “no we don’t dope up our son to make flying more convenient for us.”  But, I didn’t, I bit my sassy sarcastic tongue.

On the 4.5 hour flight from Detroit to Seattle, a woman was behind us in line preparing to board with her 3 month old baby girl decked out in cool sunglasses and at least 2 snowsuits.  She said the baby’s grandma nicknamed her pterydactyl and she just hoped she’d be somewhat quiet on the flight.  She didn’t explain the nickname thing, but we learned ALL about that soon enough. 

Once we were on board, this other young mom was seated in the row behind and across from us, and pterydactyl presumed to make loud, shrill, shrieking cries and eardrum piercing screams.  Steve and I looked at each other with an “oh no, I can’t believe that sound, and why are they near us?” desperation.  A young man behind us smiled and laughed (he was a veteran dad to 2 youngsters at home).  A middle-aged woman and man in front of us were frantically scanning the packed flight for available seats in ANY other part of the cabin where pterydactyl wasn’t within earshot.  They even asked the flight attendant numerous times for other seats.  Fortunately, pterydactyl napped several times during the flight, but when she was awake, her prehistoric cries pitched through the cabin.  I thought there had to be something wrong with that child to sound like that!  I was also grateful Calvin didn’t delve into empathetic cries.  He was pretty content, and when he was upset for brief moments (mom, you’re not feeding me FAST enough!), I think the comparative sounds from him and pterydactyl caused those seated around us to not mind Calvin’s noises too much.

Pictures from the travel and from our stay in Washington will be updated on our flickr account soon enough.  Stay tuned!