Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Adventures in Parenting: Month 11

Weight: 24.5 lbs
Teeth: 8

Eating:  He eats just about everything.  We still haven't tried crunchy vegetables, but he eats table food at day care and pretty much everything we eat for dinner.  

Life Changes: Last month I mentioned that we were house hunting.  Well, now we've house-found, house-bought, and are house-fixing up so that we can house-move-in.  I'm pretty excited and nervous at the same time...it was my first home buying experience.  I was constantly certain that everything was going to fall through, and since it was a For Sale By Owner, at least once or twice I had the thought "this guy doesn't even OWN this house...he's a con man and he's fake-selling us someone else's house.  Have we checked his ID???"

The new house is very similar to our house upstairs--we're pretty sure it was the same building plan/builder.  BUT--now we have a basement, extra bedrooms/bathrooms, storage, a tornado shelter, and a ton of other little extras.
New Living Room

We bought the new place from the original owners, who lived there for about 13 years with their 3 kids--meaning it's well lived in.  So we'll be spending the next month or so fixing dings and dents and repainting and cleaning carpets and whatnot. But I'm excited to move in.  We've already met some of the neighbors and it seems like a great, family-friendly neighborhood.  We've even been invited to a neighorhood BBQ.  Yay!

Finding a New Day Care:  *sigh*  This is no fun.  Seriously.  Trying to find a space for a kid under 2 is SO frustrating.  One day care we called didn't have openings until NEXT summer.    So we may be shuttling Lil' Man to his current day care for a while, which is really out of the way (like, in another town out of the way) until we can find an open spot.

First Plane Ride:  Over Labor Day week, we flew down to Louisiana so my friends could meet Lil' Man for the first time.  I was anxious about the plane ride, but he did great, both there and back.  We had a connection in Dallas, so each leg was about an hour long, which was pretty manageable.  He would sleep for one of the flights, and then be awake for the next, but was pretty easy to entertain--we'd feed him puffs or applesauce and let him play with the seat buttons and latch for the tray table, or sit and watch out the window.  I downloaded a bunch of games and videos onto my iPad, but we never had to use them--ah well, they're ready for the next time!
In Dallas we had a little bit of a layover, so he even got to play in the kids area!

We stayed in Lafayette for 3 days, Morgan City 1 day, and New Orleans 3 days.  It started out a little rough: we tried to visit an alligator farm, only to get there and find out they weren't doing tours, but they did let us see all the wild-caught alligators that had come in that day (it was a LOT, despite it only being about noon).     Then we tried to visit a tap room and got kicked out because they were having a private event (but hadn't put a sign on the door). The next morning, I had planned for us to do a nature walk at one of my favorite spots in Lafayette, only to find out it had flooded in the recent rains and was teeming with mosquitoes.  Needing to fill some time and let my restless child crawl around,  I enlisted help from my local friends and they pointed us to Kart Ranch, which has a special play area for little ones under 5.
But from that point on, it went pretty well.  We got to see most of my friends, eat lots of good food--Lil' Man had MANY firsts:

  • grits
  • cajun sausage
  • rice dressing
  • boudin
  • beignets
  • jambalaya
  • snoball
  • shrimp
  • and probably others that I'm forgetting.
Nommy nommy beignet from Morning Call at City Park.

Sleeping...was rough.  All of our hotels provided either Pack 'n Plays or a collapsible crib (we confirmed this ahead of time before booking), but Lil' Man had a hard time sleeping in so many new places, and would inevitably end up in bed with us sometime around 3am. Which means we were all a little sleep-deprived for the entire week.  I brought some sheets from home so they would smell familiar, which probably helped, but apparently not enough.

"Yeah, I see the crib.  I'm good right here."

We played tourist and visited Avery Island Tabasco factory, City Park in New Orleans, and did a walking tour of the Garden District (for free, using the self-guided tour in that link).  Note:  The sidewalks in New Orleans are...choppy, at times, which can be rough for stroller travel.  You've been warned.
Brace yourself, kiddo...

Initially, I spent a lot of time planning our trip by trying to find kid-oriented activities for us to do.  And then I realized--when your kid is under a year, and still sleeps a fair bit, and can't walk, and won't remember any of the trip, it's a little silly to spend a lot of time (and money) trying to do activities he can't really participate in and won't remember.  Our son can still spend nearly half an hour being entertained by a PLASTIC SPOON.  So, aside from making sure the places we went had high chairs, it was pretty easy to travel with him and still do the things WE like to do--which is mainly eat, drink, and walk around and see stuff.
Snoozing while Mom & Dad try some new brews at Second Line Brewing in NOLA.

I realized about halfway through our trip--this is actually a pretty easy age for traveling with him (aside from the sleeping arrangements).  He's still portable in the infant carrier/stroller, he's not nursing anymore so we can feed him a bottle anywhere that has warm water, and he's eating table food so we don't have to cart around a bunch of baby food. Each morning before leaving the hotel, we filled a bottle with hot water (and put the bottle in a coozie to help keep it warm), and grabbed some yogurt, a banana, and made him a jelly sandwich from the complimentary breakfast fare--bam, there's lunch and snacks for him, if we don't happen to eat at a sit down place with choices for him.  

And New Orleans was very kid-friendly, everywhere we went.  We particularly liked Urban South Brewing, which has a kids area for little ones to play at.  Lil' Man loved the train table and the tote full of Mega Blocks.  They usually have food trucks, but none were there the evening we visited, so the bartender recommended ordering pizza from Slice & having it delivered. I loved eating at Slice when I lived in NOLA, and I'm happy to say it's still delicious. (I highly recommend the Flying Hawaiian.)
Not really thinking, I put our kiddo down in the kids play area without socks (because it was pretty warm out).  And it wasn't long until I noticed his bare feet were pretty dirty.  And some Mom Guilt started creeping in.  "You put your son down on a dirty old warehouse floor, and let him play?  When were those blocks last cleaned?  He's totally going to get lead poisoning, or Zika, or some other disease from touching all this dirty stuff."  

And then, in a moment of fate, a 20-something girl walked over to our table and said, "I just have to tell you...you guys are doing life RIGHT.  I mean...seriously." And she gave us a little bow. I laughed, and thanked her, and pushed the Mom Guilt aside as I looked at my happy child, contendedly playing, and smiled.  Yes...yes we are.  Kids are meant to get dirty.  And later after we finished our pizza and beer, we went back to the hotel and plunked him into the pool, which took care of all of that soot just fine. :)

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