What you missed: tantrums

At the 15 month mark, Suzianne bestowed upon us the blessed gift of toddler drama:

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Fortunately, Suzianne and I were flying cross-country during her first real inconsolable tantrum. That’s right, just a momma, her demon spawn and 130 strangers. And a Bloody Mary in a kids cup with a bendy straw.

For 4.5 hours, we wrestled on and off the seats, up and down the aisle. At one point I Momma Mean Whispered, “you are the reason adults cry when they see babies on a plane.” The woman beside me said, “So true, but I do love her hair.”

Then, as the freakin landing gear lowered, so did her eyelids. I was left with this in my lap for the last 15 minutes of the flight:

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As the evidence actual sleep became clear, a chorus of “You’ve got to be kidding me”‘s echoed throughout the cabin. Yeah, people, tell me about it.

Then, of course, nothing could wake her:

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Woe unto you, parents of 12 – 14 month olds. One day, you’ll wake up to find your 15 month old, formerly happy-go-lucky baby looking at you like a Walking Dead cast member:  IMG_7466

This is the toddler warning shot.

I have no advice for you.

Just be sure you’ve got a fully stocked bar. You’ll also need a flask because most of the tantrums happen in public.

Suzianne is especially prone to playground scream fests. The hallmark these is a Boneless Meltdown, followed by Flailing About In Momma’s Arms, and topped off by the Unbendable Toddler Plank, which prohibits stroller insertion. I don’t have any of that on video because I need every available appendage to keep her from falling and busting her head open.

The good news: this phase only lasted about four weeks. She’s about 16.5 months old now and only really goes boneless when I retrieve her in the mornings. She wants her Daddy, not me. But that’s another post…

10 months!

This month, Suzianne shed her infant-ness and became a little person.

I don't even bother with the couch, blanket and bunny anymore. She's too fast!

She was quite busy during her 10th month on Earth, breaking in three new teeth and discovering many new things about herself. This month, Suzianne:

Found her voice (it’s loud) and began communicating her preferences–via high-pitch squeals–for fun things like daddy, Melissa-the-awesome-nanny, chasing Georgia, Bluegrass music, bath time, Vegas showgirls and guacamole:

Nakey, Nakey.

 

Yum!

 

Vegas, baby.

 

Oh, and she’s got some dislikes, too, such as getting dressed, teething, having her fingernails trimmed, and new toys that make too much noise:

Make it stop!

She also hates Santa:

Not a fan.

This month, she’s started to realize her physical abilities like crawling! and standing with assistance!, as well as limitations, like standing on her own.

Ooo! We even had our first projectile vomiting episode! Lucky for us, it was following a very scary choking episode (She turned purple, ya’ll. It was horrible. But she’s clearly got a rockstar esophagus that knows how to take care of business.) at a nice restaurant in San Diego in front of lots of strangers; lucky for you, I did not get a photo of it. BUT I do have this five minutes later picture, where Suzianne is the happiest baby on the block and could not care less that our table, her stroller and her daddy’s jacket now smell like throw up:

Post-vomit playtime.

The best part about month 10 is Suzianne’s self-established sleeping routine. She now puts herself to sleep for her 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. naps. Even better: she puts herself to sleep each night at 7 p.m. and sleeps (most nights) until 6 a.m. It’s LOVELY and worth every one of those heartbreaking four or five nights of “crying it out.”

She sleeps!

Suzianne continues to be a very chill child who is always happy, unless she’s tired, teething or hungry. Or hungry, but refusing to eat. Or has had the iPhone she was about to eat taken away from her. Or thinks you are trying trick her into taking a nap. She’s also very smart and observant like her father. And a very chatty, loud-talking, crazy person, like me.

Now that my hormones have leveled out, I can honestly say being Suzianne’s momma is a privilege and joy–and I’m thankful for every single moment.

Watch her grow! Take a scroll through the Month-by-Month archives.

Suzianne to San Diego, Day 4: move along, nothing to see here

Oh, Day Four. You are but a fog. I laid in bed all day while Suzianne played with mom and her friend, Genetta.

And since I took a muscle relaxer (that made me quite sick, but did help my back), I had to pump and dump my liquid gold. It was so, so very sad:

I do remember the massage I got though. It was heavenly and helped quite a bit. Will be repeating that today…

Oh, BUT, BUT! There was a shining moment I shall not type here–because Suzianne reads my blog–but will show you:

{squeal, squeal!}

{virtual high five}

Yes.

Oh, yes she did.

Thank you, Suzianne. Momma needed her beauty rest.

And thank you, friends for the back pain tips, stretching suggestions (those are awesome, Michelle) and words of encouragement! You’ll never know how much your support means!

 

Suzianne to San Diego, Day 3.5: It’s all fun and games, til somebody gets their back thrown out

Guess what? I can’t lift my baby. Sweet.

Yesterday afternoon, I had just changed Suzianne’s diaper, and breastfed her in the Nordstrom lounge when all of the sudden, I couldn’t move.

My back had given out and I could not lift Suzianne into the stroller seat. I couldn’t even stand up. So, there we sat.

I was all panicked; mom was on the other side of the mall. Suzianne was all, “why are we sitting here when we could be checking out the Michael Kors purses?”

Last night, she had to sleep in the bed with me so I could feed her without lifting her in and out of the crib. It turns out, it’s the feeding her part that is making my back seize up. So now, I’m laying here, feeling like a moron. A moron in a lot of pain who cannot feed her baby.

But at least I’ve got this handy Rite Aid heat pack mom had bought me when I had the boob issue. I’m bringing sexy back:

And hoping that a day of bed rest will fix me.

This clearly means that I can’t fly home tomorrow, because I can’t carry Suzianne, much less break down her stroller in the airport security line. I can’t even breastfeed her at this point. Good thing I packed the pump.

This sucks. But it is at times like these that you really, really appreciate your momma. Mom has been taking such good care of me/us. Last night, she took Suzianne away and put me in a bath with Motrin and a glass of champaign. This morning, she took Suzianne at 6:30 a.m. so I could rest.

I’m equal parts sad and freaked out. There’s really nothing worse than hearing Suzianne cry, or seeing her want to play with me, and not be able to meet her needs.

The good news: if you’re gonna be “stuck” in a city, at least we’re stuck in beautiful San Diego.

We’ll be here a few extra days. In the meantime, if you’ve got helpful tips on managing back pain, please leave them in the comments!

Suzianne to San Diego, Days 2 & 3

Yo. Every time I brag on the Internet about how much Suzianne has slept the night before, she refuses to repeat the awesomeness the next day. I’m pretty sure she reads this blog; she’s very advanced. So, I’m not going to tell you how well she has slept since we arrived in San Diego. I will not say that she has given me at least three, sometimes four hours sleep at a time the past two nights.

I will not jinx myself in this way, so, sadly, you won’t read about how amazing this turn of events is. Instead, I’ll just say that Suzianne seems to really dig San Diego. Here are some photo highlights:

There has been plenty of adorably flailing around on the floor:

There has been tummy torture time and the occasional roll over (which she only does in front of an audience) to avoid tummy time. Suzianne clearly believes that if she advances to the next level–rolling over–it will get her out of tummy time. No dice, sister.

We’ve strolled around the lovely Balboa Park…and had a dramatic I NEED A NAP NOW MOMMA meltdown there:

There was a delightful visit to the Granny Sue Sue infant spa:

And even a dinner party! This dress is one Granny Sue Sue brought back from Paris, ya’ll! Suzianne looked fabulous. She fell asleep about 20 minutes after we put it on her and then slept in it for a God-sent amount time that shall not be mentioned on this blog lest I jinx myself:

And finally, there has been just waking up happy, alert and ready for anything (except tummy time):

As for me, I’m really enjoying spending time with mom and watching mom spend time with Suzianne. Also, I’m not going to lie, it’s awesome have a break during the day so I can nap, blog, etc.

Coming up this afternoon: Suzianne’s first convertible ride! Stay tuned…

 

Suzianne to San Diego: Day 1.5

Oh, people. You can SO take a 10-week-old from D.C. to San Diego. I hope I’m not jinxing myself on the flight back by writing this, but Suzianne was her usual, happy self the entire way. My baby may not sleep at night, but she can ROCK a cross-country flight, yo.

You’ve already heard about how easy our pass through airport security was; here’s how the rest of the day went:

But first, let me explain that the amazing Granny Sue Sue flew all the way across the country to accompany me *back* across the country to visit her. Yes, she did. So, when you see pictures of her with us, even though we’re going to visit her, that’s why.

At the airport:

Because I’m just slightly anal-retentive, I made Granny Sue Sue go with me to the airport like 13 hours before our flight left. Okay, really just four hours before. But still, it was WAY to early. Since we breezed through security, we had three hours to kill at the airport. We quickly found the pub. Suzianne snoozed the whole time, even with the random old school rap blasting in the background:

After hamburgers, we attempted to find a “private” part of the terminal so I could breastfeed. WIth the aid of my rockin’ Hooter Hider (thanks, Aly!) I did so with minimal awkwardness, except for the random two people who came over and sat by us (see photo):

Which leads us to this important announcement:

Dear Jet Set People of Earth:

When a woman goes out of her way to find a secluded part of the terminal and is CLEARLY feeding her infant with her boobs, don’t then sit next to her. It’s weird. And you then lose the right to give her rude looks, BECAUSE YOU CAME OVER HERE.

Safe travels!

Team Newman

They didn’t stay long, and Suzianne was a happy/drunken camper:

It was around this time that my left boob started throbbing. All day, the bottom half of it had been warm, firm and quite painful to even the slightest touch. I thought maybe I had bruised it pumping. You know, because you can push on parts of your boob to get more milk to flow. But it kept getting worst throughout the day. A quick Google told me it likely was a plugged milk duct. But we had a plane to catch…

The Plane:

We checked our stroller and car seat gate-side; the United flight crew was very nice and accommodating. Since Suzianne is an infant, I just held her in my lap:

Before takeoff, we asked the flight attendant if we could store the breast milk in a fridge somewhere. Within minutes, four bottles of it were sitting pretty in the drink cart.

It was also fun to watch all the people walk onto the plane with content gazes until they realized an infant was sitting near them. They’d glare at her with uncertainty and resentment, while Suzianne gave them the bobble head stare that read equal parts amusement and apathy.

She was all “Just chill, ya’ll. I got this.”

On takeoff, we swaddled her up for her nap and gave her a pacifier to suck on. As we ascended, my ears popped like crazy; Suzianne laid there and never made a peep.

During the five hour flight, we kept her on her normal eating, playing and napping schedule. We were so lucky it happened to work out that she either needed to nap or nurse on take off and landing. 

In no time, both Suzie’s were snoozing:

Which left me awake with a horrible movie to watch and a throbbing boob to hold. After a few hours, I couldn’t take the pain anymore and asked the flight attendant if she had anything warm I could hold on my boob.

She didn’t hesitate and said she’d return in a minute with a hot water bottle. About five minutes later, she handed me a large bottle of boiling Aqua Fina wrapped in a towel. The heat was a huge relief; if only mentally. But my boob still hurt.

A little later, we had an in-seat diaper change:

Some in-flight nursing (during the decent):

And before you know it, we were in San Diego!

The time difference:

Since Suzianne hasn’t yet found a night sleeping schedule that involves much actual sleeping, I decided to just follow her internal clock, rather than make her adjust to pacific time. Last night, she actually slept very well; sleeping in three 2 hour and 45 minute intervals. That translates into 2.5 hours of sleep at a time for me, which is awesome.

Also last night, I kept a hot compress on my boob for about 30 minutes. And this morning, after our early morning nursing, Suzianne unplugged the duct! I feel like a new momma. 

Conclusion:

Take your baby to California! As several of you told me, this is the easiest flight I’ll ever take with her because she’s so little. And it’s true! You can do this! Of course, I’ll be doing this alone on my way back to D.C., so we’ll see if my story changes any on Friday!

Suzianne to San Diego, Day 1

We’ve made it through security! It was quick and painless. TSA agent screened the breast milk in some machine, but did not open it.

Suzianne slept the whole time:

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I am feeling a little silly about having left the house so early. We left the house at 11:15 AM and are already at the airport pub; and it’s only 12:30 PM. We’ve now got two hours to kill.

Next up: breastfeeding in the airport, boarding the plane and the actual flight. Wish us luck.