Monday, December 24, 2012

Baba G's First Santa Visit

Give me another Bad Mom demerit, because I had no desire to take Baba G to see Santa. But we ended up going to Macy's yesterday and waiting in line for two hours to see the old guy anyway. In retrospect I'm glad we did, as my parents are visiting and it did make for a pretty fun memory.

Even though he hadn't taken much of a nap in the morning and the wait for Santa cut into his second nap, Baba G was extremely patient. This picture, however, makes it look like he's Over It.

This better be worth it.

For most of the two hours, he was busy checking out other people or having fun toddling around the clothes aisles (yes, he's walking!). He even caught a 15-minute snooze on his dad's shoulder after we were inside the darker "Santaland" complex.

Once we made it to the end of the line, we were quickly whisked into Santa's private chambers. We were only allowed to take pictures from an area off to the side (as Macy's obviously wants you to purchase their official shots), so here's what happened after we all stepped away and left BG alone with Santa.

Then he was like: "Who IS this dude?"

Next he must have realized that the sooner he gave us a semi-decent shot, the sooner he'd be off that guy's lap.

And so begins a tradition of yearly Santa pictures. I think once BG begins to associate Santa with presents, he'll look forward to seeing him. Because he sure did like all of the presents he's gotten so far — many of which I'll be writing about in coming posts.

In the meantime, we're heading to Arizona tomorrow to visit my husband's side of the family, and we're certainly all ready for a break from the cold Midwest.

Happy holiday to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

All Things Reconsidered: The Worst Christmas Song Ever

This past weekend, Paul McCartney was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. And for his closing number, he sang what I consider to be the worst Christmas song ever: "Wonderful Christmastime."

If you've been reading my personal blog over the years, you might remember that I am a huge, huge, huge Beatles fan. Which means that I love Paul on his own as well, and have seen him in concert twice: once in Boston in 2002 (check out my decade-old article in my grad-school paper here) and again last summer at Wrigley Field. But I still cannot abide that damn song.

Here's where the irony comes in, though. For some unknown reason, my husband and I made up a little ditty that we sing to Baba G every night to kick off his bedtime routine, and it is set to the tune of Wonderful Christmastime.


Compare the lyrics.

Original 1979 song:
The moon is right
The spirit's up
We're here tonight
And that's enough

Simply having a wonderful Christmastime
Simply having a wonderful Christmastime 

Our song:
The water's warm
And the time is right
For a bath time

Simply having a wonderful bathtime
Simply having a wonderful bathtime

(And then the part where Paul goes "ding dong ding dong" we go "splish splash splish splash.")

So now, instead of only having this annoying tune stuck in my head during the holidays, I have to deal with it YEAR-ROUND. What have we done? And WHY have we done this? (I blame my husband — he claims to actually like the original song, and I still can't figure out if he's just messing with me.)

It seems to make Baba G happy, at least.

Do you guys have any weird traditions/routines like this?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The BabyBjorn Soft Bib

Back in September I asked for bib recommendations, even though I was pretty happy with a few of the brands we'd been given as gifts. Both on the blog and through other channels, many people raved to me about the BabyBjörn soft bibs, so I figured I'd give them a try.

I feel like the word "soft" is a bit of a misnomer here, because I consider terrycloth a fabric that's soft. These bibs are made of plastic... and yes, while that plastic may be toxin-free and slightly bendable, it's not exactly what I'd call soft.

The front of the bib is molded into a little catch-all pocket at the bottom, and the back of the bib can be adjusted for fit like so:

Baba G had already been eating in his high chair for a few months before we tried the BabyBjörn kind, and I think that's the reason they just weren't going to fly. They were too different from what he'd gotten used to, likely felt weird and heavy around his neck on top of being a bit distracting in the front, and therefore he became more interested in playing around with the bib than he was in eating.

I'm trying to eat these puffs, but this big thing keeps getting in the way...

... so let's play with it!

Look mom, it's a new teether!

This is what happened every time I put the BabyBjörn bib on BG, so I stopped using it.

The bottom line: From the nearly 250 positive reviews on Amazon on top of all of the personal recommendations I received, it is clear that many parents out there love these bibs. They certainly ARE easy to wipe down and clean. However, they didn't work for us, and I think it's because we didn't use them from the start. So my recommendation would be that if you want to not have messy food-filled-and-stained cloth bibs to throw in the wash every other day, you should probably try the BabyBjörn soft bibs as soon as your kid starts eating solids. If that's all they know, then they're not going to be as thrown by the unusual shape and feel of these bibs later on. At least that's all I can chalk Baba G's resistance up to!

A 2-pack goes for $18.50.

For a refresher on the bibs I've always liked and am now sticking with for good, see this post. And truly, thanks to those who recommended the BabyBjörn bibs — if I ever have another baby I will try them for the First Feeding and never look back!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pottery Barn Kids' Personalized Beach Tote

Right as we were finishing up packing for our vacation a few weeks ago, I remembered that some of our friends had sent Baba G a really cute beach tote just after he was born. I'd stowed it away in his closet since he arrived in January and summer fun was pretty much the last thing on my mind at that point.

But I pulled it out in the nick of time for our trip, and it really came in handy. As you can see, our friends had it personalized. It's from Pottery Barn Kids, and while this exact design appears to have been discontinued, they have a lot of other options remaining.

This bag, called a "Fairfax Striped Tote," costs about $50, zips closed at the top, and there's an inner zipped pocket as well. It was comfortable to carry and was just the right size for all of Baba G's "stuff" that we hauled around the resort — ranging from sunscreen to snacks to towels to diapers.

The bottom line: This isn't something I would've bought for Baba G on my own, but I thought it was a really cool gift. So much so that I plan to get a personalized beach tote like this (though they also sell them at lots of other places besides Pottery Barn Kids) for any of my fun-in-the-sun-loving friends who have kids in the future.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holy Hell I've Become the Calgon Lady.

Anybody remember this commercial?

To my great horror, I found myself thinking, "Calgon, take me away!" last week.

Next I immediately thought, "Holy crap, what has become of me? I've turned into a ridiculous chick with serious rage issues from a '70s commercial."

I hit my breaking point the day after my last post. I was only able to even write that post in the first place because we have a wonderful nanny who comes to help out with Baba G while I go upstairs and do my freelancing work. Last Monday was the first day she was back after our Vacation Gone Awry.

The situation I have is, on paper, exactly what I dreamed it would be when I quit working for The Man in mid-2007: I have a successful freelance writing business, can work from home, and finally have a kid — who I can see throughout the day while also getting stuff done thanks to our nanny.

What I didn't plan on is how LITTLE I would actually get done during business hours. Why? Because shit always happens.

Last Tuesday, a perfect storm descended upon our condo. After our nanny arrived, I went upstairs to start working and was hit by an extremely cold chill as soon as I got there. The thermostat confirmed it was only 55 degrees. The furnace had broken. Thankfully, I knew how to fix it, but this took up nearly an hour of my time.

Next, our alarm system — which had gone on the fritz the day before we left for the Dominican Republic — started going berzerk again. We had already had someone out the day after Thanksgiving to fix it... now I needed to call them back. As it turned out, they could get a technician to our place within a few hours. Once he got there, I had to pretty much stay with him as he did his work... which included him convincing me that we needed to add on two monitored fire alarms. (We already had fire alarms, but they weren't connected to any monitoring system.) This all took about 2 hours.

By that time I was nearly late for a client conference call. After that was over, my husband had come home and he, I and our nanny took Baba G to the pediatrician's office because he was still throwing up more than a week after our return to the States.

The pediatrician checked him out thoroughly but said there was pretty much nothing we could do except wait and see if he continued to throw up. I was told to touch base with them in two weeks if that was still the case.

We got home at 5, our nanny left, BG did in fact throw up again after his evening bottle... and then once he was finally asleep I got a text from our nanny saying that SHE was now sick. (I had bought her flu masks and all sorts of other anti-germ things to stop this from happening, but this bug is EVIL.)

That was when I busted out the wine and had my Calgon Moment. As my best friend Nerdy P said, "It's like CONTAGION up in your condo!"

The rest of the week went by in a blur as Baba G got better, our nanny returned on Friday (but then her husband got sick!), and the weather warmed up enough so that we could all finally get some fresh air.

Baba G hasn't thrown up since that Tuesday night, my brother and his wife had their beautiful baby daughter on Thursday morning, and my parents are almost out of the contagious timeframe so they'll be going to visit Grandchild #2 soon.

Please know that I am fully aware this wasn't THAT bad of a day or a week or a month. At one point when I was crying to my aunt about everything, she recalled how when she was pregnant with her second son she found out she had gestational diabetes, worked full-time, had a three-year-old AND was taking my grandpa to chemo treatments multiple times a week. Needless to say, I put my situation in perspective right quick.

I have also stopped feeling guilty about taking Baba G to the Dominican Republic. My pediatrician assured me that nasty bugs like what we caught are all over the place in the US, too.

But I'm going handle our next vacation very differently nonetheless. In the meantime I'm going to see if they actually still sell Calgon.

- e