Daddy Duty

Sleep, Eat, Diaper Change. Repeat.

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2012-03-30 13.36.44

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Dallas/Houston Trip Report: 90% of things you worry about never happen

We just got back recently from Texas and boy are we glad to be home!  There truly is no place like home. Also, I’ve said it time and time again, but my wife is a saint.  JJ and I would be lost without her. She always seems to know what to do at the right time for JJ, whereas, at times, I feel like I’m playing detective and guessing half of the time. I truly admire her confidence, her love, and her care for JJ and me and am so, so lucky to have her in my life. 

The purpose of the trip was to spend some time with my cousins and to attend one of my good college friend’s wedding in Dallas and to throw a red egg party for JJ to meet the Houston family.  

We were apprehensive about doing both the whole time we planned the trip. I was fully scared, yet prepared to be the parents everyone stares at with the crying baby on the plane. I tried to think about how to handle every possible situation and even role played going through security a couple of times to ensure we didn’t lose anything and went through seamlessly (I told you I was neurotic). I decided to do an early morning flight into Dallas, drive from Dallas to Houston and take a late flight from Houston back to Vegas.

Despite all of my worrying, airport security and flying were the least of my troubles.  JJ mostly slept during his 1st flight ever and just wanted to play on the 2nd flight (tiring us out). The major issues we ran into were:

  • After arriving at the hotel room the first night, he seemed to sense he wasn’t home and wouldn’t calm down.  He kept observing the room and looking around and wouldn’t go to sleep. He went between crying and observing while Claire and I tried every trick we knew (diaper change, feeding, songs, etc). As a last resort, we put him in one of his favorite long sleeved outfits and he calmed down. After that, I speculate that he wasn’t used to so much air on his skin wearing short sleeves.  As we had just left 50 degree weather in Vegas to be in Dallas at 80 degrees, this was the first time he had ever worn short sleeves.
  • We missed our glider,  One of our habits is to glide JJ to sleep. As we didn’t have a glider at the hotel, Claire and I became human gliders mimicking the motion with sitting sit-up like movements.  Those ab workouts really tired us out.
  • We also missed his whale bath tub.  Without it, we towel bathed him spot by spot. When we returned home, our bath loving baby suddenly forgot he loved baths and began crying in the water.  I’m sure he’ll like them again with a couple more.

In preparing for the trip, these are some of the main points I followed:

  • We carried as little as possible despite checked baggage fees. Knowing that we’d need our hands at check-in, security, boarding, etc, we didn’t want to be dealing with stuff. We only carried the diaper bag, a small pillow, a baby carrier, and JJ and checked everything else.
  • We gate checked the car seat and a stroller frame (it’s lighter than the actual stroller and is easier to travel with)
  • Claire and I took up maybe 20% of the luggage combined with the remaining left for JJ
  • Had we been in one place longer, I considered shipping wipes/diapers to the hotel to minimize luggage, but we didn’t that many for this trip so we just packed them (FYI, I ended up being 4 diapers short and had to buy another pack on the road…so close).
  • We asked for bulkhead seating, the poor man’s 1st class.  This provided ample room to maneuver.
  • We got a big rental car. I love saving gas, but having space to move around and haul JJ’s stuff necessitates a big car. We don’t need a minivan for the 3 of us, but an SUV/full size is a necessity in my book.

Now that I’ve survived, here are a couple of adjustments I’d make for the next trip:

  • Less clothes for JJ. We were way over-prepared for accidents and brought a lot of clothes we didn’t need.
  • Consider not bringing the baby carrier. There weren’t many times to use it.  I know some parents carry their baby in the seat like that on the airplane, but JJ was too tall and ended up standing on the seat when in the carrier.  To let him dangle the way he’s supposed to in a carrier would’ve necessitated a bending forward on my behalf over the foot space causing back strain.
  • Check if the hotels have computers in the lobby.  Both of the properties we were at did, so I didn’t need to carry my laptop to work after all.
  • Ask for a room far away from others if the occupancy is low. Many a time, a slammed door or loud neighbor would startle JJ.
  • To date, JJ has only slept in his Moses basket.  We’re working on the transition to his crib, but he hasn’t liked it so far.  Knowing this, we ended up creating a pillow fort on an extra bed in the room for him that worked out instead of ordering a crib in the room. Hopefully, we’ll be requesting a crib next trip.
  • I will probably only do early morning flights from now on as JJ sleeps best in the morning. 
  • I won’t make plans.  I had planned to see the zoo, museums, etc to show JJ my old spots as a kid.  However, his sleeping and fussiness overruled and we canceled all of the sightseeing plans to give him time to adjust to his new surroundings.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten a tip or two, so I’ll be sure to add it to a future post. We don’t have any more travel planned in the near future and probably won’t as traveling with an infant is truly tiring. On the one hand, it was great that we were able to spend time with family and friends and visit old and new spots, however, the convenience of home and a regular schedule is hard to beat. We’re not completely turned off to travel right now, but we’ll be taking a break for a bit.
 
On a personal note, it was a very neat feeling taking JJ around to where I grew up. I felt nostalgic seeing green grass and red brick houses as we use desert landscaping/turf and stucco in Vegas. It was a fun feeling to bring him back “home” and to let the Texas family friends meet him.  I am definitely a proud papa. At times, I thought about moving back so he could have the wonderful childhood that I had, however, I was then bitten by a mosquito and began sweating due to the humidity and was reminded that I’m not sure I can take another Texas summer.  Vegas is hot, but the dry heat makes a BIG difference.  Who knows, only time will tell what the future brings. 
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I have readers in India?

I was just peeking at a traffic report and was surprised to see I have followers in India and Alaska.  Although I’m happy anyone is reading this, it blows my mind that search engines are picking this content up and sending it to Indian searchers…weird, but cool!  Hello to my Indian followers!  This post’s for you!  You came the furthest to read it.

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Don’t, just don’t, please don’t

So annoyed!!! I usually blog using blogging software instead of through the online portal.  However, I was on a different computer and tried to blog on the fly. As luck would have it, after typing a catch-up post, the internet went out and I lost it.  Ugh!!!!  So frustrating…

Update: WordPress isn’t so stupid afterall. Just found my draft.  It didn’t have everything, but it’s enough.  Whew, I was just about to try to type this all up again from memory in my sleep deprived state.

Many apologies for the lack of updates.  We’ve been on the road the past week and I’m scrambling to get caught up on work. Quick preview of an upcoming travel post: JJ was calm on the airplane, the hotel room freaked him out, wearing short sleeves for the 1st time freaked him out, he’s smiling ALOT now, still in size 1 diapers (2 is coming soon though), he’s wearing 3-6 months clothing now.

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In addition to asking if JJ sleeps through the night (he isn’t.  3-4 hours at a time is as good as it gets right now), I have some new pet peeves about people:

  • When he’s in the stroller and covered, a lot of random people will lift his blanket or pull back his sunshade to get a better view of him. What the heck?  LEAVE HIM ALONE!!! He’s sleeping or we’re protecting him from your germs, but your curiosity doesn’t give you a pass to disturb my kid.
  • Kissing him, pinching his cheeks, grabbing him, petting him (like a dog), patting his head, etc.  Do you want me to do this to you or your family?
  • Heavily perfumed people being near him. Long after they’re gone, the smell lingers leaving him with “old woman” smell a la White Diamonds or something. This then necessitates an immediate bath…Ughhhhh!!!!
  • Is it a boy or a girl? He looks like a boy. We call him Jason, Jr. and most of his clothes and accessories are blue.  Are you serious?
  • Calling him strange/other names. If we tell you to call him JJ or Jason, stick to that.  Don’t be cute.
  • Being rude or unaware. It’s not that I expect to have my door opened for me everywhere, however, if you’re directly in front of me and see me behind you with a stroller, a baby, and other baby stuff, hold open the door.  Don’t slam it on me or look back to see how I manage the struggle.
  • Disobeying my parenting. As a result of talking to the doctor and reading numerous baby books, we’ve decided to feed JJ milk exclusively. No water, no honey, no fruit juice, no cereal, etc. What is up with people trying to dip his pacifier in honey, feed him water, and basically ignore what I’m saying very clearly. We’re also trying to keep tv’s, ipads, etc away from his view. However, that doesn’t stop the casual helper from plopping him in front of the tv. Furthermore, I don’t care what worked for you 50 years ago, that’s not what I’m doing. Things change. My cousin is the perfect example of this. Through the years from his 1st to his 4th child, medical advice has gone from telling him to put the babies asleep on their backs, to their sides, on their tummies, and now back on their backs.
  • Using a flash to take pictures of him when I tell you to turn the flash off because your cheap camera sucks in low light despite what I’m telling you.
  • Poorly timed clothing gifts. This isn’t a complaint per se, but it’s more of a suggestion/tip. I know not to look a gift horse in the mouth and am most appreciative to have received everything that our generous friends and family have provided JJ.  However, in the interest of getting the most use out of the gifts, I implore everyone to time clothing gifts appropriately AKA don’t give him Winter clothes that are his size now as we are entering Summer.  We just can’t use the clothes and they will be donated unfortunately. It’s a waste for all involved sadly.
Just so you know, most of the time, for the sake of argument, “I will agree and act like I’m taking your advice although I’m not.” I rarely, if ever, try to confront someone when they do these things. However, do know that Claire and I are pretty comfortable in our roles now and will ask for advice as we need it. Despite my rant here, it’s tough.
At the end of the day, I know that 99% of people are trying to do the right thing according to what they know. They aren’t being mean, hurtful, sneaky etc. Therefore, I’m not trying to bite anyone’s head off over this stuff. However, a lot of people are either ignorant, ill informed, self-centered, oblivious, or who knows. Inevitably, these actions just annoy me and are sometimes (potentially) hurting my son. My job and purpose is to protect JJ and look out for his best interests to the best of my ability. Daddy bear isn’t afraid to step on a few toes to protect my kid.  You play nicely and I will also play nicely.  You don’t listen and you don’t see baby bear.  Capiche?
P.S. Although we’re past the pregnancy phase, just wanted to remind everyone that people shouldn’t be rubbing other people’s bellies without permission (including men’s and I’m talking about mine specifically). Just because a woman is pregnant and showing doesn’t give you an unlimited access pass to go molest her to touch the baby. Most women I’ve met are okay with it to feel a kick or whatever, but it’s always polite to ask first.
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Bumbotime

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Happy Sunday!

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I’VE GOT SUNSHINE

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JJ is 101 days old!!

So, this may be a fluke, but we’re obviously hopeful.  As JJ turned 100 days yesterday, he changed his sleeping pattern.  He slept 6 straight hours 2 days ago and another 7 straight last night.  Claire and I feel invigorated, refreshed, and ready to take on the day.  It’s an amazing feeling.  Please stay this way!!!  I just heard that my 1 year old, 2nd cousin is up to 11 hours of sleeping a night. I am so envious, but she gives me  hope and am glad my cousin’s getting some rest at least!

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$6 for two enfamil infant formula at CVS YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary)

Saw this in a deal blog even though we’re not using formula so far. Hope it helps!
 
Enfamil infant formula deal this week in CVS. It is $23 per can when you purchase two cans it is $23×2=$46, then cvs will give you 10 extrabucks when you buy more than $30, you can download enfamil $5 offhttp://www.enfamilalerts.com/enfamilcoupon/, then the final price will be 46-10-10=26 for two cans. $13 each.
It will be even sweeter if you have $4 off 20 and enfamil coupon checks. Assume you have both, the total price will be 46-10(extrabucks)-10(enfamil coupon)-4(4 off 20)-10(enfamil checks)=$12 for two cans.
$6 each!

The $5 off coupon http://www.enfamilalerts.com/enfamilcoupon/

You can get $4 off 20 by sign up your email and extra card.It is at the middle of right side.
http://www.cvs.com/CVSApp/user/home/home.jsp

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Free Hilton HHonors Gold Status

Check it out here

It’s free and usually takes 50 nights a year I believe.  Sadly, I’m Gold, but I actually had to stay the nights to qualify.  You can simply sign up and start out Gold. Gold gets you breakfast, internet, and upgrades.  Even if you don’t plan on travelling soon, go ahead and sign up so you have the status in case your plans change.  It never hurts to be elite!

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