April 29, 2012

Miss A's Nine Month Check Up!

I don't know what took me so long but I finally brought my camera to the doctor's office for Miss A's nine month check up. This check up was particularly good because she wasn't going to get any shots! Thank God!

Miss A is currently 31" (which not only means she is off the charts for height, but her car seat is no longer suitable/legal!) She weighs 20lbs. She is one healthy baby girl and I am one proud mommy!

I LOVE THE CHILDREN'S CHECK UP ROOMS! This time she had a lovely blue hippo! :)

Working Mom Likes Work (Is that wrong?)

[Hello! I am currently on a coffee high right now and my precious daughter is napping. Double Score! I want to spend some time thinking about... something important.]

I constantly have people asking me if I'd prefer to stay at home with my baby instead of work. The truth is that I enjoy working. I enjoy time spent outside of the house.

It's not that I don't like spending time with my baby because I definitely do. I am just not one to stay cooped up inside each and everyday. I have always kept a very busy schedule. During high school and college, I participated in several activities at once... piano lessons, sports, meditation club, work, internships, class, etc. I am just used to multitasking (or at least I was). Having a baby was some type of enlightening experience for me. My only task is to care for and love my baby. Nothing more. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that babies cause you to be cooped up in the house all day long, despite what it feels like. Babies can be taken anywhere you go--- out to eat, to the park, zoo, grocery store, etc. But they do require feedings and naps every couple hours. They do require entertaining, time, work, and energy.

People like to guilt trip me. They ask, "Don't you miss spending all day with your baby?" I respond bluntly, "Nope. I like the break. I also love my work and all the people I get to see." I have given up on explaining myself because it is pointless. Sometimes I just respond with a simple "No." I like to cause drama I guess. It doesn't really matter what I say though because I always end up feeling guilty for the rest of the day.

The two loves of my life <3
This is a really dumb topic when you hear my work schedule. I work part time. I only work 35 hours a week for one to two months at a time. Out of the whole year, I work maybe four months. In Miss A's life thus far, I have worked three out of her nine months of existence. I am very lucky to have so much time with her. I know this but when people hint at the fact that I'd rather work than be a stay at home mom, I feel insulted. I feel like I am a bad mother when really I am not. Working allows me to spend more quality time with Miss A rather than just being home with her all day. If I am with her all day, everyday I grow restless and the time spent with her isn't as exciting as the time I have with her after I get out of work. When I come home from work, I am very excited to see her and I smother her in hugs and kisses. I tell her how much I've genuinely missed her and then we get time to laugh and play. The weekends are more enjoyable because I get two whole days to be with her. Working makes me not take the time we have together for granted. Also, when I am at work she is never with a random babysitter. She is always with either her daddy or grandma. Working gives Miss A more quality time with other members of the family.

Granted, I am not working my "career" full time job yet, I know things will change. Maybe I won't like longer work hours and I'll feel like I don't get enough time with Miss A later. But for now... my time commitments balance out.

I don't like people making me feel bad about myself. Duh. And I don't like people telling me how to live my life. I have a million dollars in student loans to pay off. And I also have my own life to live as well as provide a good path to success for my daughter. I just want people to respect the way I choose to live my life. If it bothers you, get over it and live your own life please (and thank you).

It's funny because the people who complain have children and work themselves. Go figure.

ARE YOU A WORKING MOM? HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BALANCING FAMILY & WORK TIME?

April 27, 2012

The Worst Change Since Pregnancy: Strong Gag Reflex

Besides the normal pregnancy/motherhood changes that I will mention only to send my complaints out into the world... (pause)

I still have stretch marks.
I still lactate. (I stopped breastfeeding almost five months ago.)
I am permanently sleep deprived. 
My brain no longer cooperates like it used to. Read here for a failed attempt at explaining myself.
Due to toy overload & my 9 month old's undeveloped cleaning abilities, I cannot keep my house clean.
 
(resume) ... I ALSO have the worst gag reflex ever now! This is the real reason for my post. I NEED to complain about this because I just do not understand it. It is so bad that I constantly presume to think I am pregnant with a second child! And with all the chaos of sorting out my life with my first baby, that thought is not a happy-naked-baby-floating-on-clouds-with-bunnies thought. It is downright terrifying.

My symptoms consist of the normal gagging at the sight or smell of unpleasant things like curdling baby formula left in a bottle for three weeks or dog poop squished between your toes. But also the thought of unpleasant things...

Miss A ate something off the floor today, gagged, and vomited it up right in front of me. I ran, while gagging, to get a cloth for her and my carpet, and then instantly had to run, teary eyed and gagging, back to the bathroom... When I regained my sense of composure, I came back and realize she gagged on a piece of old salami... that she threw on the floor many many hours earlier. Needless to say, I ran back to the bathroom. Thankfully I have only threw up a few times with these gagging episodes. Usually I just get all teary eyed and upset my stomach. 

Often, I just feel nauseous/gaggy (Can I say that?) for no reason at all. Today I literally gagged without anything unpleasant in mind or sight. I ate my healthy dinner at 4:30pm and around 7:00pm I was gagging for fun. I laid down while Miss A napped because I felt slightly nauseous (from gagging?) and it took all my effort NOT to gag while laying down in bed. What is my problem?

List of Reasons I Gag (pleasant huh?)
  • Nasal Dripping in Back of Throat
  • Excess Phlegm
  • Spoiled Milk
  • Scent of Bananas (too powerful)/ Other Strong Scents
  • Changing Dirty Diapers
  • Watching Amelia Eat Catfood
  • Watching Anyone Eat Something Gross/ Raw Eggs
  • Some Meat/ Too Much Meat/ Nasty Ground Beef/ Raw Meat/ Red Meat
  • Eat Too Much/ Eat Too Little
  • Brushing Tongue
  • NOTHING AT ALL

Just writing this post is making my stomach queasy. I am not exaggerating either.

Now I didn't have the perfect, strong stomach before but gagging was NEVER an issue until my first trimester of pregnancy hit me full force. I wasn't the pregnant lady who threw up every morning, but I was the pregnant lady who gagged dozens of times throughout the day. SO... VOILA-- GUESS WHAT-- My strong, powerful gag reflex has decided to stick with me on my battle through life. I'm so lucky. I told my doctor about this when I saw her four months ago but I was recovering from bronchitis so she said that I would most likely get over it. She was helpful. AND WRONG! (LIKE USUAL!) Oh my bad, that's another issue.

But hey-- life is good! At least I have a cute little baby girl now... to gag at every second of the day.

:P 

April 23, 2012

Banana Time!

We have been working on solid baby foods with Miss A. She looovvesss bananas and really everything else except for Gerber's Cheesy Broccoli/Carrot Mush. It's weird because I always assume anything with cheese has got to taste better!

Miss A is a pro at the "banana eating" task now, so I thought I'd flatter her by announcing her new big girl abilities with glamor shots.  ;)

Banana Time!

I love this picture on the left. It's hilarious! "Nuummmmmmmmmmmmm Banana...."

April 22, 2012

Blahhh!

Husband got forced to work three 12 hour days in a row.
I never see him anymore.
Baby did NOT sleep well last night... woke up every hour crying.
Turns out baby is sick. Running Nose. Cough. Red Cheeks. The Whole Works.
Husband comes home at 5am again tonight.  (Started work at 5pm.)
I work tomorrow at 8am.
Grandma can't watch baby til 12:30pm tomorrow.
Can't bring baby else where because she is sick and we don't have a formal babysitter to pay. 
I'm forced to call off work for the first half of my day tomorrow. LAST NOTICE. Can't call in til morning.
[Probably contributing to the reason women are discriminated against in the workforce.]
Been only partially successful cuddly & comforting my crying baby all day and night.
Bought a pack of disposable diapers for $40 today, accidentally. [Thought they were only $20.]
Too late to return them because we broke open the box & changed baby's diaper before paying.
Feeling guilty for not using cloth diapers for an entire month.
Disposables make her poor little bum bright red from diaper rash. gDiapers are much better with that issue.
Feeling guilty for giving up baby sign language.
[I still sign bottle, diaper, clean, dirty, more, I Love You, Water, and All Done... but what's the point if no one else does.]
Barely have time to reflect on how my own life is not going in the direction I want it to.
I'm stuck, feeling hopeless, and giving up on my own life.
Praying for sick baby to sleep through the night tonight.
Praying she is all better by morning and that I'm not sick.
Unlikely. 

April 20, 2012

V-Tech Sit to Stand Pink Activity Walker

This past Christmas Miss A received this totally awesome pink activity walker made by V-Tech. She hasn't been able to use it in the standing position until recently. Before she pounded on the top piano/activity center while it was on the floor. (And I do mean pound. Anything to hear that dang cow or lion talk!) Now that Miss A is 9 months old, we let her stand by it and play with all the gadgets and buttons attached to it. Since she her legs are still pretty wobbly, I still remain close by while she plays. The toy itself is fairly stable. I've only seen her tip it forward once or twice. It has breaks on the bottom so it won't roll forward. I'll lift the breaks once she starts walking or taking a few steps by herself. The best part of this product is that it is an educational toy. It promotes learning colors, numbers, animals, and traffic safety ("Look Both Ways!" and "Go Slow!") not only in English but in Spanish as well. I am even learning some animals in Spanish-- pretty cool for the parents passionate about foreign language. (That's us!) She really loves this toy because she is able to stand and play... and that's exciting! It's something new. Sounds silly but it's huge for her. Look at all her excitement!


Miss A is fully entertained by the V-Tech Sit to Stand Pink Activity Walker


April 19, 2012

Raising Children to Accept Diversity

If there is one thing I've learned about people and society, it's that discrimination is still prominent despite what everyone may believe. I cannot wrap my mind around the reasoning people have for continuously making racial slurs, sexist remarks, and nasty cuts against sexuality choices. I am embarrassed to admit that I have several people around me who cannot get past this way of thinking. How can people NOT understand how important it is for us all to get past our differences and just get along? I am going to make sure my children are able to accept diversity and not judge people based on appearances. 

I feel so offended when someone is bad mouthing an entire race or group of people different than themselves for no reason at all. First of all, you cannot judge one person based on stereotypes. No single person is the same as the next person in their racial/gender/age group. I have so many friends (some really close) who are Mexican, Japanese, Black, White, Heterosexual, Homosexual, etc. They do not all fit into the same "White/Heterosexual" category that I fit within. Big Deal. Just because someone's skin is not the same exact color as mine does not mean I have the right to bash them to make myself feel better about XXX. Why would anyone even want the entire human population to look and act the same? That would just be boring. My point is not to segregate everyone's differences though. I want to demonstrate that just because two people look entirely different doesn't mean they aren't similar minded or that they cannot get along. The point is that race (or any other prejudiced reasoning) is an irrelevant factor in determining how you should interact with a person. 

  • Example: One of my best friends from elementary school is Mexican. I didn't even know she was Mexican until several years down the road. Race was not the deciding factor of our friendship. It was completely irrelevant. While on a road trip with her and another friend, I got to meet some of her Spanish-speaking, extended family and enjoy a traditional Mexican dinner with them. (Delicious fajitas, prepared differently than I'd have made them...) Even though she was born in the United States, her family is of the Mexican heritage. If I would have discriminated against her in the past, I would not have had the honor of her friendship and presence in my wedding party
  • Example: Another of my elementary friends is African American. I played with her all the time during school recess. When I reflect back on this time period I do not think "Oh, when I was in elementary school, I played with one white girl and one black girl." It just doesn't come out like that. I think of how great our friendship was and how much fun I had talking and playing with her. I do not think about her race because once again, that was irrelevant.

Discriminating against people on the grounds of race, age, sexuality, race or anything is just plain wrong. How long will we have to keep engraving this into the minds of people and children before it will actually stick? As parents, you set the example. You are showing your children how to interact with people on a day to day basis. Every time you make an offensive joke about this group of people or make huge negative generalizations about this group, your children are listening and learning from your bad examples. We want to raise children to accept diversity! Why?

  • Example: There are schools in close proximity to me that end each day with a huge fight between the Mexicans and the African Americans. Race is the only reason for this battle. And since these kids who are fighting are mainly under the age of 18, how do you think they learned to hate the other race? PARENTING. I'm sure there are cases where the students just learned to hate each other at school but if parents would take responsibility, they could help improve the situation. 

I hear people blabbering on all the time about nothing. These comments that I've heard (from people close to me) written below clearly explain my reasoning for writing this article.

  • "It is a serious sin to be gay. Demons are making them that way. I don't know what to do but I pray God will help them or else they are probably going to Hell."
  • "I don't think it is right for two people of different races to make babies. You can date them but I think it's wrong if you decide to have children together."
  • "I don't think you should live in these apartments because there are nig*** children playing outside."
  • "I don't care what he has to say because he is gay."
  • "Don't you feel uncomfortable around her? ...like she's always checking you out?"
  • "They are dirty..."

These comments are just ridiculous and completely unacceptable. If anyone reading catches themselves thinking or speaking things like this, do society a favor and take the time to figure out why you are reacting this way. Make friends with people in your community. Get out of your comfort zone and meet people you make such rash stereotypes against. Chances are that if you just take the time to have an open minded conversation with someone you dislike for this reason or that, you will realize that they are just as human as you and now you have a new friend. 

Discrimination is a complete disregard towards someone's basic human rights. It can lead to bullying, self-hatred, violent retaliation, exclusion from jobs, schools, social groups all around, and much, much more. It is emotionally devastating for someone to find out they are not good enough for something they cannot change. This really makes me feel sad when I think about those around me who take part in such crimes of prejudice. How can people around me feel so compelled to hate those different than themselves? Even though it sounds like I am referring to awful people, it could be someone that attends church and dearly loves his friends and family.

I'm going to reiterate the fact that you as parents are responsible for your children's view on diversity. Your actions will become their lessons. Set good examples. You may not feel like you discriminate against people for one reason or another but if you segregate yourself, how can your child learn that it is okay to socialize and respect people of a different race, culture, or sexuality? Show them. 


Comments are welcomed.

April 16, 2012

Mommy Loves Yoga

My mind is calm and clear. All of my stress and worries have disappeared. I feel as if a button was pushed to completely refresh my body. I have waves of calming sensations pulsing steadily throughout my body. I am totally chill. And I LOVE IT.

How did I achieve this awesome state of being?

Yoga Cat doing one of my FaVe positions. I own this 2012 calendar too. I am a freak, I know. LOL
I just finished a session of Yoga X from my P90X workout program. It is an hour and a half long session focusing on flexibility, coordination, and balance through four different sections. It includes Moving Asanas (flowing transitions between poses), Balance Postures, Floor Poses, and Yoga Belly 7 (abdominal/core work). Yoga X is intended to be more intense, which is probably why it is so lengthy. My goal is not to convince you to try Yoga X but to urge you to try yoga in general if you haven't already. This is one of the few ways I can bring myself back to reality and gather my composure when the pressures of motherhood, family drama, and life stresses hit full throttle. Somehow I am able to gather my remaining strength and focus in on moving and breathing my way through the various yoga positions. It is almost like I both "zone out" and concentrate on perfecting the poses during the workout. I get a huge relieving wave of sensations and just utter calmness within. I can't explain the feeling entirely but it is awesome!! It's definitely some form of (much needed) meditation.

I'm not sure why I never wrote about yoga during my pregnancy but I did do prenatal yoga workouts throughout my entire pregnancy. I was determined to calm my mind for my developing baby (Miss A who is already 9 months!) I wanted to create a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere for her, especially since I (like many!!) had many major emotional meltdowns. I practiced different yoga moves like the infamous Kegels during squats to help prepare my pelvic floor for child birth. Also there are many poses to alleviate lower back pain like Cat Pose and also to help with circulation and sciatic nerve pain. For pregnancy, I can't recommend a better workout! Well maybe swimming... that relieves you of your massive body weight! :P

But I think yoga is especially ideal for mothers who need a personal time out from everything after a lonngg day of crying babies or lazy husbands. (hehe :P) The people who tend not to like yoga are those that haven't had much practice with workouts that require flexibility and coordination. This is not a reason to steer clear of it though! I promise that with practice you will learn to move through various positions and reap the mind clarity benefits as well. Don't make the mistake of thinking yoga is for lazy people, because you do get a GREAT workout. It may seem boring to those who don't like to meditate or move slowly through workouts, but all I can say is to just give it a chance.

IT IS AWESOME.
This mommy loves yoga because it is the ultimate cure all. The panacea for ALL life stresses.

May sound extreme but I swear it is true. I guess you won't find out until you try it for yourself!


April 13, 2012

Check out the Ultimate Blog Party!

Warning: This post strongly confirms that I have a social media/internet addiction.

So while I was browsing Twitter and checking out all the tweets, blog posts, and site recommendations from my Twitter Mamas, I decided to also check for updates on one of my favorite blogs, Dagmar's Momsense. Turns out she posted about this cool party that I am about to share with you hosted by 5 Minutes For Mom.





Ultimate Blog Party 2012


I have been constantly searching for new ways to grow my online mom community and this is by far the coolest I've found! The Sixth Annual Ultimate Blog Party will host four live online events and give away 150 prizes worth over $21,200. You get the chance to mingle with other bloggers like yourself and build many friendships. So if you have linked up yet, head over and join in on all the fun!

If you are coming from the PARTAYYY, let me quick introduce myself! 

I am a new mom, wife, college graduate, professional scorer, and mommy blogger writing about several of my personal experiences through motherhood. I started writing during my pregnancy because I was extremely excited to have our baby girl. Now, she is already nine months old and at my favorite stage yet! She is starting to copy everything I say, which is super cute! We are currently practicing "stepping". I hold her arms up and she "steps" around with my help... :)

Oh the joys of motherhood! [One, being forced to wake up super early every morning!]


Well I'm so glad you stopped by! Can't wait to check out some great new blogs!

April 11, 2012

April 8, 2012

Miss A in her Easter Dress


Is It Healthy for Your Baby to Eat Cat Food?

This is an important question here. Is it healthy for your baby to eat cat food... or more importantly is it unsafe??

Miss A insists on gobbling down as much cat food as she can get her paws on. I often catch her with bits of soggy pieces of cat food all over her chin. When I pick her up and set her all the way across the room, away from the cat food, she immediately army crawls back as fast as possible. She desperately tries to snatch another piece of cat food before I pick her up and move her back across the room again. Once I do, the race back to the cat food happens again and again... and again.




You are probably wondering why I don't just block off the area around the cat food. Well... I've done that. It's like my cats and baby have teamed up though. She still manages to get some cat food. I don't know if my cats are playing with their food and bat the pieces into Miss A's reach or if they personally paw-deliver pieces to her! It's the most disgusting thing in the world but yet Amelia makes a game of seeing how much she can shove into her mouth without me noticing. When she gets quiet, I instantly know she is up to trouble and probably sitting in the corner shoving pieces of cat food in her mouth. Gross.

Babies! 

We feed our cats (and baby?) Purina Cat Chow, the indoor formula. Here are the ingredients listed in this delicious concoction.

Ingredients:
Corn meal, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soy flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), powdered cellulose, animal liver flavor, soybean hulls, malt extract, calcium carbonate, phosphoric acid, salt, choline chloride, potassium chloride, taurine, zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, parsley flakes, niacin, added color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 2), copper sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite. I-4500
Let's take a closer look at a few of these ingredients. I am no scientist so you will have to bare with me.

Poultry By-Product Meal: This is chicken that is rejected for human consumption. This means the chicken is dead or old and dying. It includes bones, offal, undeveloped eggs, and feathers.

Corn Gluten Meal: By product of corn used as an inexpensive protein source used mainly in animal feed.

Animal Fat: Animal fat can't be too bad for your baby seeming how breastmilk is at least 50% animal fat. The animal fat in cat food is likely to be chicken or turkey fat. It's essential for giving the cat energy. Also it enhances taste!

Animal Liver Flavor: Harmless flavor that Amelia especially loves.

Soybean Hulls: Another by product meal from the soybean meal industry. This is added to help reduce hairballs.

Several Vitamins: Babies don't really need vitamin supplements if they are eating their fruits and vegetables, along with formula/breastmilk. But the body will just flush out the excess vitamins anyways. So I say it's harmless.

I honestly should have stopped researching at the poultry by product meal ingredient. I feel sick to my stomach and I'm not even the one eating the cat food! The purpose of cat food is to provide CATS with a healthy meal especially formulated for their body's nutrition needs. Cats are different from humans. (In case you forgot... like I do occasionally.) So of course Miss A should NOT be eating cat food!

However, Popular Science wrote an article that answers my initial question.

No it is not healthy to eat cat food... on a regular basis. It does not provide the essentials nutrients needed for the human body. 

It may be consumed safely though. So you know, I am not trying to rationalize why it is okay to let Miss A eat cat food. I will constantly be making sure she eats as few pieces of cat food as possible! I hear my mom used to eat dog food as a baby. This kind of behavior must run in the family. Haha! :P


---------------------


To make up for her cat food eating behavior, I try to include a healthy diet by making some of my own homemade baby food. Tonight it was Peas & Lima Beans. I bought one bag of frozen peas and one bag of frozen lima beans. I cooked them and pureed them in the blender with some water. I mix in some baby cereal too when I feed it to her. Sound gross? Miss A had it for dinner tonight and loved it...

I use Munchkin Fresh Food Freezer Cups to store leftovers in the freezer.
Maybe you'd prefer cat chow?

NASTY. That is soggy cat food on her face...

April 7, 2012

Let the Bedtime & Naptime Tantrums Begin!

I know when my baby is tired. Not only does she start to get crabby and rub her eyes profusely, but she refuses to be satisfied by ANYTHING. No toys, kitties, lullabies, or pacifiers will ease her into comfort. She is just overtired. Plain and simple.

As soon as I walk into Miss A's room with her in my arms, the tears instantly begin to flow. She knows she's about to be placed in her crib. The baby cage. Her jail cell. If I sing her the ABCs or Itsy Bitsy Spider, then she will hold off and cry the moment she is set into her crib. That's a start. If I have a warm bottle, she will cry [THE SADDEST CRY EVER] but only for 20 seconds or so until she realizes she wants her bottle more. That is when I tuck the covers around her, turn on her music, smother her in kisses, and quietly escape. If there is no bottle, I place her pacifier in her hands and fearfully run out of the room! The pacifier will not soothe her so if I can get her to hold onto it, there is a 50/50 chance she will put it in her own mouth after I leave. Depending on how tired she gets, she will only cry for a few seconds or maybe a couple minutes. Then she will doze right off before her mobile can even stop playing music. That's on a lucky day though.

She has the advantage unfortunately... Look at that cute face! Simply Irresistible.
All I can say is...

Miss A. Let the battles begin!

April 6, 2012

Peaceful Dining Experience With Your Baby

Do you take your baby with you to eat out at a restaurant?

Dining with Miss A at Olive Garden
Before deciding whether or not to bring your baby, ask yourself these questions.

How old is my baby?
If she is a newborn, chances are she will sleep throughout the entire meal. At this stage you are golden (for the most part) so go for it! If she wakes up you can simply nurse her or give her a bottle.

If she is older than five months...
Do you want to chance having a screaming baby in a sit down restaurant while everyone turns their heads towards you? 
Do you want fruit puffs/cheerios flying across the table? 
Do you want your plate pulled onto the floor? 
Do you want her to throw all her toys, pacifier, bottle, sippy cup, and spoons on the floor?
If you answered yes to these questions, go for it! You are fearless parents!
If you answered no, don't worry! You can still eat out with your baby. You just have to time out nap time and feedings right. If you mess up... well you never really know how your baby will act out in the restaurant, so it's not your fault but be prepared for the worst.

Here are 10 Tips to Create a Peaceful Dining Experience With Your Baby!
  1. Go to the restaurant as soon as your baby wakes up from a nap. Change her diaper and go. 
  2. While you place your orders, feed your baby at the restaurant. I bring her fruits and veggies and spoon feed her her entire meal.
  3. Bring snacks to place on the table in front of the high chair.
  4. Bring her sippy cup filled with water. 
  5. If possible, order foods that your baby can taste too. This keeps my baby occupied for sure. (mashed potatoes, squished peas or other soft veggies, applesauce, etc.)
  6. Bring toys! (plastic keys, books, dolls, anything and everything!)
  7. Bring pacifier. You can always dip the baby's pacifier into different sauces if they are old enough! And it works great as a baby silencer some of the time.
  8. Definitely have a spare diaper... I'm sure I didn't need to tell you that one! Keep some diapers in your glove box for emergencies!
  9. Include your baby in your family dinner by talking and even playing with her. 
  10. Relax! Look around the restaurant, chances are there are several other babies at tables. Some will be crying. Some will be happily eating. Just know that it is okay for your baby to make noise in public! However, if a temper tantrum is coming on and there is nothing you can do... it may be best to grab your doggy bags and head home. 
  11. Bonus: If your baby cries, take turns holding her in your lap. That buys time for us. 
We have taken Miss A out to eat several times! We can't help it. We love eating out. Sometimes we were prepared. Many times we weren't prepared and it was HELL. Yeah... all those questions I asked at the beginning about throwing food, toys, screaming baby, etc... That was Miss A at the Hunan Restaurant tonight with my family. We went because it was my mom's birthday. It was also Miss A's nap time... but everyone took turns holding her around the table and it wasn't SO bad. :/ There was a family next to us with an older child crying too. NO BIG DEAL!!! Haha.

More Dining... with a Bread Monster!
And once you've had several peaceful dining experiences at the restaurant, you're more willing to chance it because it can be quite fun for your baby. Miss A always looks up and all around, checking out the new scenery. She also heavily GAWKS at everyone eating around us but I haven't ran into anyone who didn't smile back at her. The waitresses always seem to love seeing Amelia too. So it can be FUN, I promise. Just work on the timing of naps and be sure to follow my tips above. For motivation, look at my happy baby in my last post. We ate out in Saugatuck a couple days ago with her. She was even tired and overdue for a nap but did fine!

Happy Dining with Baby!




Family Day Trip to Saugatuck, Michigan

Can you bring an 8 month old baby on a day long bike trip? 

We debated for a few weeks on whether or not we wanted to bring Miss A with us to Saugatuck. We were planning to go biking around the downtown area and look through all the cute boutiques there. At first, we immediately tried to get a babysitter thinking it would be more enjoyable without worrying if Miss A was going to fuss and cry throughout the trip. But when our babysitters backed out, we decided it could be a fun family trip... or at least a good experience for Miss A, whether or not she enjoyed it. So we packed up our things... [bikes, bike trailer, stroller, Miss A's baby food & formula, bottle, diapers, wipes, extra sweatshirts, socks, blankets, dozens of baby toys, pacifiers, and everything else...] And off we went.

While I drive I have a cute little face peeking up at me. It is absolutely irresistible. It makes me want to stop, park my car and just chill in the car...


We didn't even drive for two minutes and Miss A passed out. Nap time! The timing could not have been more perfect. She would be well rested by the time we got to Saugatuck. [about an hour away with including our coffee stop] First stop was Panera Bread! It is the closest thing to a Belgium or French bakery that I have found. I ran in and grabbed us some coffee and bagels AND un Pain Au Chocolat. :) Delicious.


As soon as we parked, I fed Miss A some sweet potatoes and peaches. 


We sat in the grass while daddy readied our bikes.


Miss A was riding in luxury. She had a windbreaker [clear plastic over the screen], two fuzzy, warm blankets, and a big bag of toys at her side!


I was really excited to stop at this park! Miss A had so many new things to experience.


FIRST TIME ON A SWING! SHE LOVED IT!!

Cute pictures of Miss A & daddy by this cool little worm statue!


FIRST TIME ON THE SLIDE TOO!


After some biking, we switched to walking around town so we could easily browse through shops. It was the perfect time for snack time! [For Miss A anyways!]


I love Saugatuck! It's very pretty... can't wait to return in summer. The scenery will be breathtaking! This picture below is by far my favorite! Miss A was having fun looking and smelling the flowers. 


We stopped at the Butler Restaurant, which is one of the oldest buildings there that has been continuously in use. 


Afterwards, we had one more stop. AllĂ© Rue. Earlier I had seen a french boutique that I desperately needed to look through! I am in love with everything French... so it was necessary. 


 Miss A did so good for so long! And then the frown came...


Then the tears...  :(


Then it was NAP TIME. So back to the car we went for a tour of the Lake Michigan Coastline. 


Oval Beach


 Lots of Dunes


We drove along this road that followed the shoreline... These are some examples of the houses we passed. Crazy. And not fair that they get to wake up to this beautiful view every morning!


To answer my first question, YES! You can bring 8 month old babies on day trips. We had the best of luck with timing. The nap times in the car were essential and key to making it all work out happily. This trip couldn't have been better! :)


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