Monday, November 26, 2012

Vacation FAIL

Have you ever had to use a barf bag?

It's not exactly a club one aspires to be a member of, I realize.

But a week ago on Delta Flight 2112, a Motion Sickness Bag and I became fast friends, making me the last member of our small family to be victimized by a nasty Dominican Republic bug.

We were supposed to return from our week-long vacation in Club Med in Punta Cana on Wednesday the 21st, but after my husband and Baba G fell ill Saturday and Sunday, respectively, we realized it was better to get back home as soon as possible — especially since the pediatrician's office would be closed on Thanksgiving.

And then I got sick on our Atlanta > Chicago leg, so we made the right choice. We stepped foot in our condo Monday evening, not a moment too soon.

My husband has been known to get sick when we travel, so when he came down with a ton of unpleasant symptoms late Saturday night (the 17th), I chalked it up to him not heeding my warnings about avoiding the resort's salad bar.

But then Sunday night Baba G wailed and wailed, and I knew something was off. He's usually a great through-the-night sleeper, and had been perfect for our first four nights in the pack 'n play the resort provided.

Sunday evening, however, he was so miserable that I brought him into bed with me and banished my husband to the other room (he was still extremely sick so needed to be away from us, anyway).

I snapped this picture of BG finally resting in a mass of pillows shortly before he got up Monday morning:

Sleep, at last.

Why is he only in his diaper, you ask? Maybe because the air conditioning in our room was broken and we were suffering in a very humid and stuffy 78 degrees.

After he woke up, it was clear he was not well. I will spare you the details, but let's just say that all of the things the Travel Clinic had forewarned us could go wrong, DID go wrong. On top of that, the extra-heavy-duty medicine they gave us to cure Baba G of all foreign germ invaders wouldn't stay down.

That's when we decided we had to pay the crazy-high airline change fees and cut our trip short. Thankfully, BG did not have as rough of a time coming home as I did.

I didn't even have to give anyone around us earplugs! He slept the whole way home.

Once we were back in Chicago Monday night, the worst of it hit me. My husband and I were so incredibly sick and weak that when BG woke up Tuesday morning covered in, um, a mess, I knew we needed help. So at 6:30 a.m. I called my parents, who I knew would not hesitant to make the five-hour drive from Michigan to come be with their ailing grandson (and, you know, us).

Over the next two days my husband and I got better, but Baba G did not. And then, at around 5:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, BOTH of my parents got violently ill within about ten minutes of each other, I kid you not.

I felt like a total ass because I had just assumed all of us had ingested something bad at the resort. Even though we only used bottled water for BG, I figured that since he puts his mouth on EVERYTHING, he had clearly licked up a deviant germ. But once my parents became sick then I knew we were dealing with some sort of contagious virus.

This whole situation was — and still is — awful, but what makes it so much worse is that my brother and his wife are having their first baby literally any second now (her due date was yesterday), and now my parents cannot go out to visit them in D.C. for at least two weeks to ensure they're no longer contagious. As Cher said best, "If I could turn back ti-iime...."

Baba G is not at 100% yet and since it's been over a week, we're hauling him back to the pediatrician's office tomorrow (we went in on Tuesday, too... stay tuned for a post on Taking Poo Samples for Parasite Sampling!).

Needless to say, he's not a fan of Thanksgiving (that's his 10-month birthday sticker on him below).

What the hell happened to all of us?

I regret a lot of things about our trip... about going to the Dominican Republic in the first place... etc., etc. I will probably never forgive myself. But we did at least have three fun days together as a family on our first vacation with BG, and then he and I had a nice mommy/son day alone before all hell broke loose.

Here's some proof:

I hope to be back with a much happier post soon! And I hope your Thanksgiving was better than ours was... it kind of HAD to be, right?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Snaps vs. Zippers

We're on our vacation right now (LOTS of posts about that after we return), and since it's really hot here I packed a bunch of Baba G's lighter-weight onesies for nighttime. As we've hit the cold temperatures back in Chicago and he's been in thicker, fleece-like onesies for a while already (the "super-comfy" zip-up kind by Carter's are my go-to at this point), I forgot how much I suck at snaps.

Yes, that's right, I am so uncoordinated that I seriously cannot ever get a onesie snapped up without having a mini nervous breakdown.

Here's what I'm talking about: look at the snaps for the Next brand onesie on the left (along the bottom) and then the zipper for the Carter's brand one on the right.

So. Many. Snaps! (There are two up by the neck as well._

The thing I do like about the snap-together onesie is that it's easier to deal with for a diaper change ... or at least the part where I only have to get his bottom out of the outfit is easier. With the zip-up there's no way around having to tug his left leg out of the leg/foot panel and then maneuvering it back in afterward. And I know that the Next onesie is really comfy for him (I actually really love that brand (it's British), but from what I can tell they only offer snap-up onesies). But I just cannot remember a time where I snapped it up correctly. Even this morning I found a gaping hole in the leg after 30 minutes after I changed Baba G. It's even worse when it's an early morning or late-night changing!

Which do you prefer: snaps or zippers? (I read about a brand that somehow incorporates magnets (fellow Breaking Bad fans that at this point I MUST stop and say: "Yeah, bitch! Magnets!") to close up onesies, but it seems like that would be uncomfortable for a stomach sleeper like Baba G.)

Any other types of onesie creations out there I need to know about?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Primo EuroBath

I was terrified to clip Baba G's fingernails... and only slightly less scared to give him a bath. I hadn't even started looking into baby tubs when a friend sent me the Primo Eurobath. She had two toddlers, so I figured she had done her homework.

And she had, because this tub has been great. It's got two "positions": one for babies who can't sit up yet and the other for those who have mastered the art of not flopping over every two seconds.

Here's what it looks like without anyone in it:

And here are model babies in the two positions:

It's easy to put a towel under your baby in the reclining position to give him a little more padding and help him refrain from sliding around too much. That's what we did when BG was really small.

But now he's a big boy (nearly 10 months old) and usually sits up during bath time, even though I actually still put him in with the "option to recline," because sometimes he likes to just chill with his ducky like so:

Winding down after a long day

He can still sit up just fine from that position:

Where's the party?

When I was pulling in the generic product shots for this post, I realized that some people are quite fanatical about this tub. It's gotten a lot of rave reviews on Amazon, and I have to say that even though I haven't really given much thought to what would or wouldn't make for a great baby tub, I have no complaints about this one and am glad my friend saved me the trouble of having to worry about it.

The bottom line: The Primo EuroBath costs about $39 and is something you're going to use every day for at least a few years. (Unless you don't give your kid a bath every day, in which case, rock on with your stankity baby! Kidding — I'll be the first to say they don't actually need that much cleaning! In fact, in the winter especially it can dry them out.) But you get my point: it's not an expensive product for how much you're going to use it. Having said that, my parents always washed my little brother in a dish tub and he turned out just fine.

Other things I like about the EuroBath besides the two-position design are: 1) the little grooves it has to hold washcloths, toys, a small bottle or soap, or what have you 2) the fact that it has a drain, even though I always just flip it over (it sits in our bigger tub) when we're done. But I like the OPTION of a drain, 3) how light it is, 4) that it doesn't have any scary chemicals in its materials, AND 5) it stands up easily on one end to dry out (some people add a tie onto it in order to hang it from the wall.

So yes, you could say I give this product a "yay." Baba G seems to like it, too.

Out of curiosity, does anyone out there have one of those "spa" tubs for their kid? The kind that warm up and make the water all bubbly and whatnot? I have a pedicure tub like that and always wondered if babies could possibly appreciate the luxury!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Baby Fingernail Clippers

There were few things that freaked me out more as a brand-new parent than the challenge of cutting an itty-bitty baby's nails. I was relieved when our pediatrician told us that we could get away with just filing them in the early days ... but those days didn't last very long. And even though we swaddled Baba G every night, by the time he was three months old he was wiggling at least one arm out in the wee hours and scratching his face.

Does this cheek gash make me look gangsta?

When the moment of truth finally came and I knew I had no choice but to cut BG's nails with real clippers, I first used the American Red Cross kind for babies (on the right in the picture on the left, and on the bottom in the picture on the right) that I received in a big "Safety and Grooming" kit. 

The experience was a miserable failure because that safety extension on the bottom of the clippers makes it IMPOSSIBLE to clip anything. I had another generic pair of baby clippers that came in a big gift set of grooming items we received from friends, and I realized that the safety extension could slide off, leaving you with simple mini-clippers (as seen on the left and top in the pictures above).

I tried these and they rocked. But I have totally failed you as a baby product blogger because these have no brand! I'm assuming they're the exact same as ANY brand of baby clippers without the safety part clipped on. I see no difference between them and normal adult nail clippers except for their overall size.

I have been lucky in that I have never nicked BGs skin or cuticles (enough) to cause bleeding. But these clippers are definitely sharp and I can see how it could easily happen.

I am also something of a glutton for punishment in that I always clip BG's nails when he's fully awake. This goes against this sage advice which suggests doing it while he's asleep or right after a bath when nails are softest. Or having someone help me hold his arms down.

While writing this post I realized that I have no idea why I never tried the baby nail scissors that we have a few pairs of (which came in those same grooming sets). I've never used nail scissors myself, so that's probably why. But my friend and fellow new mom Claire Z tried out these cute Piyo Piyo baby nail scissors ($6) and was happy with them:

Has anyone else been pleased — or frustrated — with a certain brand of baby nail scissors or clippers? Anyone have any time-tested tips for getting the job done quickly and painlessly?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Baba G's First Halloween

I've never been a fan of Halloween. I love seeing other people's costumes, but am just not motivated to put much effort into creating a unique one of my own. So I knew I was going to feel guilty when everyone started asking about what Baba G was going to be for his first Halloween.

"Um, we're just going to put him in a monkey outfit one of our friend's sons wore."

And that's what we did.

Fake monkey, real banana

What are you doing to me.

Yeah... I don't get what's going on

We had him in this costume for less than 10 minutes. We just wanted to get a few pictures to send to family members who expected us to do SOMETHING for his first Halloween. Thankfully, I didn't end up feeling guilty about our lack of Halloween activities or excitement. I mean, he can't even have candy yet. What's the point?

That same evening he also became a pirate. This was a lot easier because the "costume" was really just comfy PJs from Baby Gap (best part was a Captain Hook hook on the left wrist). Then we just tied a hat/patch thingy on him for a few minutes in order to snap some pictures. I originally attempted to tape the little parrot onto his shoulder, but that lasted for about .2 milliseconds. (His Great Aunt Sue sent the hat/patch and the bird, which was actually a teeny card.)

Did anyone really get into Halloween when their kid was just a baby? Am I a bad mom for not feelin' it? I think once he can trick or treat or is excited to pick out his own costume, that will be a different story. At that point I'm going to try and convince him to be THIS:

"Gnome on a mushroom" = Best kiddie costume.

If you love the above as much as I did, bookmark this site for costume ideas next year!

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween — whether you dressed up or not.