Can we have this to go please?

We recently discovered that an hour wait, a missed nap, and noisy, unfamiliar surroundings can quickly cause an 8 month old to go from happy and curious to agitated and restless to crying and pissed off in just a matter of minutes. OK, so we already knew that, but we’ve been smart and/or lucky enough so far to avoid such a situation…until recently, when Hannah made her first restaurant visit. We had a feeling that the long wait could be the first ingredient in a recipe for disaster, but the night started out just fine. The waiting area was packed and this lovely March weather pre photo IMAG0846-1_zpsb7b15e6f.jpgvented us from waiting outside, so we all (mom, Josh, Jill, Mariah, Monica and us) managed to carve out our own little section right in the path of the nice employees attempting to seat and serve tables. Hannah actually made it through the wait just fine, but we could tell she was getting a tired and hungry. The cute little squirt is a timebomb, and while Sam and I can usually cut the red wire before the timer hits zero, sometimes there’s stopping it. This was one of those times.

We had our bottle warmer plugged in behind the hostess station and it was ready about the time we were seated. Success. Then started my scavenger hunt. (Listen to this while reading the next few sentences) Head to the table with baby and baggage to help get Hannah seated in her high chair. Over to the bathroom to wet a washcloth. Back to the table to drop it off. Down to the hostess station to grab the bottle and bottle warmer. Return to the table to drop off the bottle. Go to the bathroom to wash of the pacifier that fell under our neighbor’s chair. Finally, I got back to the table and sat down to order with everyone. Hannah reluctantly took a few bites and sipped a little milk, but she was starting to get a little restless and wasn’t all that interested in refreshments. She didn’t finish the food or bottle, but she definitely wasn’t full. The fuse was lit and it was a quick burner. While to us it actually felt like hours, as I’m sure it did for our neighbors at surrounding tables, it was probably only 20-30 minutes of actual discomfort. Sam did her best to keep Hannah entertained, walking her around the restaurant in an attempt to distract and calm her. Meanwhile, I ate, cause that’s what I do best. In hindsight, we probably should have left the restaurant a little earlier and took our food with us. I finished mine, but Sam felt so bad for our neighboring tables that she barely ate…so hers came home in a container and she got to eat it cold a little later. Moms are the bomb. At the time, it was so loud in there that we could barely hear Hannah, so it didn’t seem like it could be bothering anyone. Sam begs to differ. We packed up and headed out. It was a delightful ride home, a screaming baby in the backseat and two flustered, frustrated parents in the front. All ended well though, we got her in her jammies and she took a bottle and passed out like nothing even happened. Short memory that one.

Lesson learned: baby’s first visit or visits to a restaurant should be when he/she is well-rested and during non-peak hours. There is a lot for them to process, all 5 senses are being stimulated at the same time. We had been avoiding doing too much in public for months with the flu being so nasty this year and Hannah only being half-vaccinated, so it’s something we needed to ease into. Well, that night was the equivalent of taking a high school freshman to a nightclub on spring break – too much to see, taste, hear, touch and smell for the first time. Luckily, Hannah didn’t get alcohol poisoning or fall off a balcony, she just shed a few tears and exercised her vocal cords a bit. No harm done!

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March 31, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Observations and musings. Leave a comment.

‘Tis the Season

While it’s been a couple of months since I’ve written anything, that’s not to say there isn’t anything to write about. Hannah is 6 months old, I’ve been at my new job a year, we’ve been in the new house a couple of months, it’s going to be 2013 in a few days, the Yankees are treating the offseason like they are the Rays and slashing payroll…there’s definitely no shortage of things happening…however, finding the time and motivation to think and write (or exercise, socialize, organize or any other -ize) is a challenge. Just when we start to get in a groove and feel comfortable doing some things regularly or spontaneously (see the -izes), life throws a curve. Hannah has her second ear infection in 6 weeks along with a cold much worse than the first one (coincidentally, that’s the last time I posted), so just when sleeping and eating patterns get established they then get thrown out of whack. Also, Sam is sick for the second time in as many months as well. She’s not been quarantined this time around, but I feel so bad for her. Meanwhile, me and my immune system are working hard to fight off the nasty stuff going around, but it’s hard to imagine I won’t succumb at some point. Fun stuff that comes with Hannah being sick: Loss of appetite – check. Diarrhea and diaper rash caused by antibiotic – check. Fussier than usual – check. Sleeping more during the day than at night – check. So basically she’s me after a particularly excessive week of drinking in college. At least she has a good excuse.

Let’s focus on the good. There’s plenty of that. She takes a while to warm up to strangers, but her smile is worth the wait. She’s sitting up pretty much on her own, just needs a little help getting there – come to think of it, kind of reminds me of when I had to help Sam sit up when she was pregnant. I think maybe Hannah‘s starting to get a little lazy though. If she leans too far one way she goes down, head first of course since it weighs more than the rest of her body, and she doesn’t even try to catch herself. If we don’t catch her then she lands on her head and we get a look like “dude, thought you had me!” She doesn’t usually complain when she falls, unless she’s in the garage playing with my nail gun or blow torch, then she cries when she face-plants. But I try to catch her there because the floor is hard and greasy and leaves a mark, I don’t want people to think I’m irresponsible or something. Another indication that she’s got her dad’s lazy gene is when she is lying down on the floor playing she doesn’t want to go after anything. She just half-ass waves her arms, stares at the object and grunts. If we don’t help her get to the toy then she whines, cries or channels her focus onto something else. Maybe she’s just working on harnessing the force. If that’s the case it’s not strong with her. She’s actually getting close to crawling. She can get up on her knees, but when she then tries to get up on her hands and straighten her arms, her legs slide back out from under her. Then she scoots her legs back up and her arms fail. Coordination just isn’t quite there. Thinking it will be in another month or two.

A couple of teeth are coming in. That’s a delight. I have to imagine that to her it’s confusing and concerning. All of a sudden there’s these hard, rigid nubs coming out of her lower gums and they hurt like hell. She’s constantly feeling them with her tongue, kind of resembles a toothless old man gumming a pretzel or dog who can’t get the peanut butter off its chin. Really nice descriptions of my precious baby daughter huh? Orajel seems to work wonders, but half the time I get it on her tongue and lips and she drools like crazy. Tried some Hyland’s teething tablets, but I don’t think she’s ready for those yet. They are supposed to dissolve under her tongue. Good luck getting anything to stay under a 6 month old’s numb, slobbery tongue. We’re slowly figuring out the magic combination of solutions, which includes teething toys, cold wet cloth, Tylenol, Orajel, teething tablets and when all else fails, rubbing her gums/teeth with her fingers or ours. It’s all trial and error, and her preferences change daily.

Some other quick things. She’s starting to eat real food. So far it’s mainly just been oatmeal and rice cereal. Tried sweet potatoes for the first time, OK at first, but not a big fan just yet. Once she’s had some real food I’m sure I’ll have something to say about that. No words yet, just lots of babbling and moaning. Working on “da-da” and “ma-ma.” And “dammit you suck A-Rod.” We’ll have that down by mid-summer I think. She’s growing like crazy, over 17 lbs and into 9 month clothing. Hair is starting to come in, pretty thin and light though. Very “Hammer-ish”. And her eyes look like they’re going to be brown like her daddy’s or greenish-brown like mommy’s. I keep hearing she looks like me and my standard response is “poor kid’…I think she looks like Sam too though. Hard to tell just yet, but there’s still hope!

That”s all for now, happy new year everyone!

December 30, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Observations and musings, Updates. Leave a comment.

Knowing how to blow your nose should not be taken for granted

Little Hannah has reached a new milestone, though it’s one we weren’t looking forward to. She came down with her first cold. Of course, as things tend to go with us, she started showing symptoms the same weekend we were moving into our newly purchased home. As happy as we were to be getting our own place again, we couldn’t fully embrace it because we have never had a sick child before. Naturally, we took every precaution, checked her temp every 15 minutes, made sure she was getting enough to eat, counted and examined every diaper and even purchased a little Swedish contraption that allows us to suck the snot right out of her nose. Yes, that exists. I refused to participate at first due to the perfectly logical and rational fear of ingesting my child’s mucus (no matter how much I love her I have to draw the line somewhere!)…however, once I realized the only way the stuff is getting all the way through the tube to my mouth is if I hooked it up to a shop vac, I decided I could contribute some lung capacity. As terrible as it sounds, we’d actually recommend the thing, combined with saline drops it really does help clear out the nose better than a bulb (and it’s supposedly less irritating for the baby’s nose…though Hannah may not agree). OK, enough product pitching, that’s not the point of the post. Not that I ever really have a point.

It started with a stuffier than usual nose and she pretty much didn’t do anything for a couple of days other than sleep and eat. Her fever got over 100 a couple of times, but not by much, so the doctor didn’t want us to bring her in. Regardless of how many times we called. Which was a lot. And I’m fine with that. One thing I read prior to Hannah‘s birthday was that you shouldn’t hesitate to call the doctor’s office if you think there’s a problem. Better to go with your gut and annoy a nurse than to sit around wondering and worrying all the time. I’m sure as we become more seasoned we’ll be able to figure some things out on our own, but right now we’re rookies and we’re not ashamed of it. She’s not out of the woods yet by any means, but so far we’ve been lucky. At Hannah’s age, just 3-4 months, the potential is there for it to get so much worse. Poor Sam is a little more…shall we say cautious…than me. Part of that is due to her huge sensitive, loving heart. Also contributing is the fact that she’s a nurse and sees worst-case scenarios on a daily basis. Maybe it’s just me, but I think one of the fortunate things about being a guy is we tend to under-react and have a bit more tolerance when it comes to stuff like this. On second thought, I hope it’s not just me…I don’t think I’m just insensitive and cold! I care, I swear! It’s just easier for me to not dwell on it. Sam can just stare at Hannah for hours constantly checking her vitals and meanwhile I’m trying figure out what’s for dinner and why the hell the Yankees can’t hit all of a sudden.

Like I said, it’s not completely gone. Hannah’s still got some congestion and drainage. She snores away, sounding like a little pug when she sleeps. She also seems to be spitting up/puking more than usual, so we’re really looking forward to our next appointment with the doc in a couple of weeks. He has no choice but to see us then, it’s state law! Until then we’re just going to keep sucking her snot, playing CSI with her diapers and hugging and kissing those stupid germs right out of her!

October 20, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Observations and musings, Updates. Leave a comment.

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