Yeah, I Hate That Screaming Child, Too

Posted on Sep 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

My friend Lauren recently sent me the following article: How To Fly Cross-Country With Small Children (Without Benadryl).  Presumably she expects I will be traveling frequently with my little one in the next few years: trips from Japan to both the East and West Coast to visit family, a Danube river cruise next summer, port-hopping to visit Damon, Christmas in New Zealand, vacations to Fiji… Okay, maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but regardless, Baby is likely to get acquainted with airplanes fairly early on.  I am already anxious over the possibility that she won’t be a good flier, so articles like this are helpful.  Or not.

What to Avoid*

Being that I’m not actually a parent yet, I probably shouldn’t be commenting on others’ parental advice.  But this I can’t resist.

The author clearly does not approve of medicating your child with Benadryl or other antihistamines for a flight.  First of all, I didn’t know that was even legal, and now that I do, I find it to be FANTASTIC news!  I regularly medicate myself for flights, so why not my kid?  It’s only logical.  (I’m sure someone is reporting me to Child Protective Services at this very moment…)

So what does she suggest instead?  One of her ideas is giving your little tyke 4-5 surprise gifts throughout the flight (but only for flights longer than 4 hours).  “You can get a good 20 minutes out of the novelty of opening the gift and exploring it…” I’m sorry, but when have you ever seen a child spend 20 minutes opening a present?  I would say 20 seconds to destroy and immediately discard of the wrapping, max.  But Non-Medication Mom may have thought of that: she suggests using a scarf for wrapping, buying you another 20 minutes of non-meltdown flying time by playing peek-a-boo or dress up with said scarf.  Right.

Another suggestion: Pack snacks.  Okay, I’m totally behind that.  I get super cranky when I am not fed regularly, so I’m sure the same goes for a small child.  What does the author rely on to stave off her kid’s hunger? Tofu cubes and organic protein bars…  Because all small children love tofu?  Cookies and crackers are deemed too messy; the crumbs might stoke the ire of passengers and flight attendants alike.  What about the screams of a child being force-fed tofu?  I’d think that would be a bit more offensive than, say, cracker crumbs.

Her final and “controversial” tip: the iPad.  Not technology!  She recommends using digital technology only when parents get desperate to control their tantrum-y child.  While I also don’t believe in excessive media usage (I was allowed 1 television show a day growing up), I think airports and airplanes might be a valid exception to that rule.  I used to think I didn’t need an iPad – until I was pregnant, in a non-moving line at an airport, and witnessed two very small children just in front of me behaving positively blissfully.  I was amazed at how quiet they were.  This was not normal.  Children stuck in line are inevitably fussy and disruptive, right?  But these kids were so peaceful.  Then I noticed why: the iPad.  And I immediately committed myself to buying one once Baby is born, if solely for the purpose of entertaining her during these exact situations.  I guess that makes me a bad parent (to-be).  Hey – If it prevents the wrath of fellow travelers, not to mention a migraine for me, I think it’s worth it.

Of course, I could just forget the iPad altogether and go for the Benadryl in the first place.    Much cheaper, anyhow.

*Image

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Williams-Sonoma is Mocking Me

Posted on Aug 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

Still reeling from my failed baking experiment, this morning I sought solace by flipping through the latest Williams-Sonoma catalogue, admiring the gadgets I’ll never use and the recipes I’ll never make.  While perusing the catalogue, I came across this:   An entire page devoted to gluten-free baking.  Flourless pastries that look so delicious I almost licked the page.  Why is Williams-Sonoma taunting me with that which I cannot accomplish?  It’s cruel! Like any good American girl, I would now normally go stuff myself silly with comfort food to silence my shame.  But alas, I don’t even have decent baked goods to comfort eat.  –Sigh–  What’s a girl to do?   Share...

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Domestic Diva I am Not

Posted on Aug 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Confession: My friend Kim and I once put ½ a cup of salt into a cake batter instead of ½ a teaspoon.  The batter never made it in the oven.  Later that night I broke my collarbone by running into a door, so I tend to think it was just an off night. Yet time and time again, my baking skills prove inadequate.  Sure, I haven’t mistaken ½ a teaspoon for ½ a cup again (that is not a mistake you make twice), but I certainly have had my fair share of culinary disasters.  Let’s examine last night, shall we? A childhood friend of mine, Sara Stewart, writes a very fun foodie blog: Nourish and Flourish.  Her latest post includes a picture of delectable looking chocolate-chip peanut butter cookies and a link to this recipe.  The PB&C combination is one of my all-time faves, and the web reviews of the cookies were so good, that I set out to bake my own batch.  For someone with the kitchen skills of a four year old, this was quite an ambitious undertaking. Here’s the thing – the cookies are flourless.  Now I am 100% behind flour products.  But the picture just looked sooo good, why not give gluten-free a try?  Not to mention the recipe was insanely easy.  Only 3 ingredients!  (4 when you add chocolate chips).  How is it possible to screw up a recipe with 3 ingredients?  Well let me ask you this:  How is it possible to mistake ½ a teaspoon with ½ a cup?  It just is.  Especially when you’re me. I mixed the ingredients together, popped the cookie sheet in the oven, and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  The cookies failed to cook.  At least in appearance.  Sure there was a slight burning smell wafting from the oven, but they were still mushy and looked NOTHING like the picture on Sara’s blog.  My mother kindly reminded me that a flourless cookie would not look like a regular cookie.  Touché.  But why did Sara’s look so fluffy and, well… edible?  I eventually removed the cookies from the...

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How to Torture Your Husband: Part II

Posted on Aug 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

It’s finally here:  The conclusion to my baby-shopping saga. After two painful hours of shopping – no, not shopping, that is inaccurate – more like weight lifting car seats, the thought of more shopping seemed unbearable.  But we were on a mission.  We summoned what teensy bit of strength we still possessed and forged on.  Enter Pottery Barn Kids. Clouds part. Rays of light pour through.  A chorus of angels breaks into song.  This is what we I had been waiting for.  Bliss. I know a lot of people have beef with Pottery Barn and their franchises, like Phoebe from Friends. It is over-priced, massed-produced commercialism at its worst.  Blah, blah, blah.  Whatever.  I embrace that over-priced, mass-produced commercialism.  Takes all the guesswork out of home shopping.   Instead of obsessing for hours if my home décor will accent my furniture properly, I can just flip open a catalogue and all the guesswork is done!  Am I feeling Shabby-Chic? There’s a collection for that!  Urban-Sophisticate?  Another collection! How about Modern-Coastal? Yup! Another collection! The shop-by-room concept is simply brilliant. Pottery Barn Kids is just as glorious.  Because I had properly researched before entering the store, I knew what bedding I wanted.  This is what I chose: Penelope Bedding How adorable is that!  It’s cute with a touch of sophistication.  Because yes, my baby needs sophisticated bedding.  Wouldn’t want to get overly cutesy.  And this is what is so fantastic about PBK – I can match the bedding to the stroller blanket to the lamp to the wall decals to the valances.  What’s a valance?  I don’t know but I’ll take two!  All this perfect coordination sets my little OCD heart a-flutter. So there we were: Retail Heaven.  Damon didn’t stand a chance.  “Why is everything so… pink?” he asked.  I couldn’t be bothered to answer such a silly question, so instead I took him over to the bedding to discuss color options:  Pink/Chocolate or Pink/Green?  These are the decisions that keep me up at night.  I had initially decided upon and already registered for the pink/chocolate combination – I felt...

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Can I Get Your Digits?

Posted on Aug 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

I have a slew of wonderful girlfriends, all of whom I love dearly.  Yet they all share one major flaw: They live very far away from me. This wasn’t a problem until recently.  I’ve had plenty of opportunities and occasions to visit and connect with these ladies, and as an added perk I’ve gained a lot of Southwest points doing so.  However with my jet setting ways rapidly coming to an end, I was recently hit hard with the realization that I have no close friends where I actually live.  Damon and I moved to our current hometown eight months ago – what the heck have I been doing? Well, for one thing, I used to work from home.  While my dining room is very comfortable and cute, it is not the best place to meet people.  Combined with the fact that I’ve spent probably 85% of my weekends (not an exaggeration) out of town, I haven’t been Ms. Social Butterfly of Norfolk.  Sure, I chat with the other moms-to-be at my prenatal yoga class, but it’s very superficial.  Yes, I volunteer with a local Girls on the Run Chapter and absolutely adore the elementary school girls I help coach.  But they aren’t going to join me for post-pregnancy cocktails; at least not without me getting arrested.  I’ve even signed up for a church small group and a MOPS group, but those don’t start until mid-September. To avoid turning into a lonely old hag, disheveled and crazed with no friends to stop by and help out with the baby or more importantly, drop off home-cooked meals after I deliver, I needed to take action, STAT.  So here goes: The other night Damon and I are out to dinner.  He recognizes a woman who enters the restaurant as the wife of a fellow Naval Academy friend.  As we walk out, he stops by her table to say hi.  This is my chance.  We get to talking. I find out she has three little girls and loves to shop.  This could be something.  As we’re leaving, she hands me her phone. ...

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Apologies for the Earthquake

Posted on Aug 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

I have a confession: I caused the earthquake.  Actually, I think my unborn child did. In case the earthquake has rattled your brains to the point of memory loss, there is a hurricane heading toward the East Coast.  As a Southern Californian, I haven’t gotten all caught up in all the hurricane hoopla.  I mean, it’s just rain, right?  Apparently not.  Damon came home in the middle of the day and moved all our important stuff off the first floor of our condo, so I guess it’s kind of a big deal.  Irene is not even supposed to hit till the weekend, and we’re already relocating our furniture and buying non-perishables? So at about 1:50 today I left my condo to walk to my 2:00 pilates session.  As I stepped outside, I started thinking how East Coasters totally take their natural disasters for granted.  They have days to plan and prepare; yet they act as if the sky is falling.  What’s a little house flooding and electricity loss when you know it’s coming?  In California, we have earthquakes.  No warning for those babies, thankyouverymuch. I was berating East Coasters in my head for their inferior natural disasters when I walked into my pilates studio.  “DID YOU FEEL THAT?” my instructor shrieked.  “WE JUST HAD AN EARTHQUAKE”.  While reflecting on hypothetical earthquakes, I completely missed a real one. “I was literally just thinking about how we have to deal with earthquakes here!” I shrieked back.  Now that timing is just weird.  My instructor, Mary, glanced down at my stomach.  “What are you growing in there?” Suddenly it dawned on me: I am breeding a demon child with supernatural powers strong enough to cause earthquakes and national panic!  There is no other explanation for the freak timing.  I’ll make sure to have a discussion with her about this when she’s born. In the meantime, I apologize on her behalf.  It won’t happen again. Share...

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