Baby jet lag

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I may have underestimated Evey’s jet lag in my last post. We’ve been in Thailand for 2 nights. Chris and I have pretty much adjusted to the time, but Evey is still wanting to sleep all day long.
The first day we landed at 4 am local time. We dragged ourselves through immigration, Evey on the verge of a meltdown at every step.
We managed to get through, fetch local currency Baht’s from the ATM, and fetch our luggage. Then we tried to connect our phones with a traveller SIM card. Turns out our phones are locked to foreign SIMs so we may have to purchase a travel phone. Evey started to freak out, so we gave up.
Our hotel transfer didn’t seem to be there, and we had no idea how frequently it came, so we decided to take a cab.
They have a taxi system at the airport where you take a number and then take the cab at the area marked with your number. I wandered around outside with Evey while Chris lined up.
Within 20 minutes we had the cab.
We (shamefully) opted not to bring a carseat on this trip. The locals tend not to, so we figured we wouldn’t either. Needles to say, I white- knuckled it all the way to to hotel (maybe 10 min). Evey had a mini fit in the car while I held her on my lap.
She was fine when we got to the hotel. The concierge asked if he could take a photo of her, and she even managed a big smile. We headed up to our room, showered and went down for breakfast by 7am (8pm in Canada). She was happy through breakfast, even.
When we got back to the room, we all crashed until 4pm local time. We woke up, ordered room service, and went back to bed. Come 3am, we were all up.
Since then, our naps have been on Evey’s schedule. She is awake for an hour or so, then has a total fit and she goes down for another nap. She has slept pretty solidly the last 2 days, and we’ve let her! Her frustrated cries and grunts are not possible to ignore.
At night (which to be fair,  is daytime in Canada), Evey wakes up and wants to play for an hour before she wants to go to sleep. Again we let her. We kind of trade off who watches over her while the other snoozes. Building a fence out of our bodies around her on the bed.
We knew we had done nothing but sleep the last few days when we went down to request more water, coffee and toilet paper from the front desk.
The concierge looked at us and asked: ‘ how long have you been here?’
We responded ‘well, 3 nights, technically. But really, 2’
He said ‘Housekeeping brings those things each day’.
We laughed and said ‘Yes, but we haven’t really left the room long enough for them to come’.
He looked a little confused, but that’s fine. We got this hotel near the airport so that Evey could adjust to local time and so we didn’t feel obliged to sight see these first few days.
We are happy with that decision because Evey is adjusting much more slowly than us. She doesn’t understand why she is so tired all the time!

I fear I may have ruined her great sleep pattern we had going at home. It was so dependable! I’ll keep you posted whether she finds that rhythm again soon.

Long haul flight with baby

We went for our first flight with baby, and it was a long one. We might be insane,  but we figured 5 hours or 20 hours didn’t make much difference. Evey was either going to love it or hate it.
We flew out of the Montreal airport with China Air. We got good deals for our flights because China Air recently started flying out of there. I had called the airline ahead of time to request a bassinet,  and was happy to find out we got it. We were happy to have brought the stroller: it allowed us to store all our stuff and transport Evey through the terminals.
Our first encounter was with a Chinese woman who just loved Evey. A bunch of people stopped and cooed at her. Then she asked if she could get a picture with her. We accepted. Her husband must have taken 15 photos. That was just the confidence boost Evey needed, because after they left, she looked around at everyone else, like she was wondering who else wanted to have the pleasure of her smile. Little did we know this would be just one of many times people would want to photograph her on this trip!
At our terminal,  we watched the planes. Then, when it was nap time, I was able to use one of the nursing rooms near most washrooms. It was a good spot, because it was private and had a chair and microwave (for those with formula). Other than that, it wasnt well suited for nap time. The room was bright, the announcements were blasting, and the turbo hand dryers in the washroom next door came on intermittently.
Still, I managed to get Evey to sleep just as the overhead announcement asked us to come to the terminal desk. Turned out they had switched our seats, so they issued new tickets and we still got the baby bassinet on board.
When it came to boarding time, we held back a bit. We figured 14 hrs on board was long enough, so the later we got on, the better. It was a good thing, too, because once at our seats, the plane was delayed 30 minutes due to ‘issues with our flight plan’.
We had heard the hardest part for babies flying is takeoff and landing.  So, in anticipation of this, we gave Evey ibuprofen once we got on the plane. With everything going on, and trying to get her to swallow her meds, Chris fed Evey her meds with one hand, and poured half the bottle down my leg with the other. I was covered from knee to foot in sticky, cherry coloured liquid.  Perfect in time for the longest trip of our lives. The guy next to us brought me some napkins and then asked the stewardess if he could have a different seat. Nice, I thought, he figures we are in for a disaster.
Evey slept right through takeoff. She slept right through the installation of the bassinet,  too.

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She slept in the bassinet a couple of times,  but mostly slept on me. We had some trouble getting her back to sleep after her initial nap, so I spent some time walking up and down the aisles in her carrier. She made alot of friends. The flight was mostly like that. Nursing,  sleeping, playing. Chris had the pleasure of changing diapers in the tiny restrooms,  where the mirrors fold down over the toilet.  Small space for Evey. Not sure what people with a larger toddler would do. We brought a small bag instead of our larger diaper bag, and this is why.
The landing to our stopover in Beijing was without incident. In fact, she slept through that, too.
At Beijing airport, we stopped at a restaurant for some food, then found a washroom where again there was a Nursing room.

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It was an ok space with colourful wallpaper and a creepy poster that I pressume says second hand smoke is bad for babies. The room had a slight sewer smell, as did many areas of the airport. like the Montreal airport, this room was also bright and loud.
We got Evey to nap in the front carrier between flights.

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The last leg of the journey was Beijing to Bangkok.  A 5 hr flight in a much smaller plane. We got 3 seats and a window all to ourselves. Evey was great again, but her patience was running thin. The pressure during landing was more difficult for her, but she did ok. No giant fits.

We were so proud of our baby for surviving this huge trip. We were all totally exhausted and our schedule was upside down, but it seemed like this effected us more than her. We all spent the next day and a half sleeping, but now seem to be roughly on the local time (save waking up for the day at 3am, but I think we’ll iron that out).

While it all went as smoothly as one could hope, I’m sure glad we don’t have to do that again for another 6 weeks!

Life’s Wonder is upon us

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As we leave on this new adventure
I’m proud of us today
For creating the world we want
Our little girl to be raised in

While she won’t remember
Specific sights, tastes or sounds
She’ll forever be influenced
By the freedom of it all

2 months we’ll spend focused
On her and us alone
Grasping life’s wonder
And turning it into our own

Packing for Thailand with baby

We leave for Thailand with our 7 month old baby tomorrow! We’ll be gone for nearly 2 months. It’s easy to overpack with a baby. Everything and the kitchen sink goes in, ‘just in case’.
However, we know they have babies in Thailand, so we’re trying to minimize what we bring, because we can always purchase there.
After studying what we believe we’ll need for the trip, I’ve accumulated our packing list. (In no particular order)

4 sets of outfits: laundry service is readily available in Thailand. We also figure that we can hand wash items, and that if we need more, there are babies (& hence, clothes) in Thailand, too! We’ll take 2 light dresses and 2 long sleeve shirts and pants.

2 sets of pj’s

– 1 warm sweater: for the plane and any chilly mornings or evenings (if those occur?)

– Long-sleeve bathingsuit: to cover baby from the strong sun rays!

Reusable swim diaper

2 Full-coverage hat: again, all those strong rays!

Sunglasses

– Umbrella stroller: We went with a Summer Infant 3D Lite stroller. Super light and has a strap to carry it when the roads are too rocky, etc.

– UV stroller cover: again, Rays! Also doubles as a bug net

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– Baby lifejacket: We have heard that boats will not have them in her size, and we also want it for swimming at the beaches. This will take up the most room in our luggage, but it is a priority for us

– 60 SPF baby Sunscreen: We’d like to make sure that baby is well protected, so we’ll bring our own. We’ve heard it’s alot more expensive in the tourist areas.
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Travel Crib: we splurged on the Phil and Ted’s lightweight crib. It packs up super small and only weighs 6 lbs. It gives a safe place for baby to sleep under a mosquito net, and then we don’t have to share the bed 3 ways!

– Other: baby Tylenol, diarrhea meds, rehydration salts, baby wash (she has sensitive skin, so we’d rather bring our own), nail clippers, comb, small collection of diapers (we’ll buy more there), dehydrated baby wipes (again, sensitive skin, so we’d like to bring our own)

– Toys!: We’re going to bring a ziploc bag filled with small toys and books as distraction. Because distractions are always a good idea!

Hungry Hippo

I live in a home with a hungry hippo.
She’s always there, just one step away.
I spend my life trying to feed the hippo
But the hunger never stops.
Just when I begin to forget the feeding trough, I hear the call again.
That hungry, hungry hippo is driving me insane.

Why I Gave it All Up

We had it all.
The house, the cars, the white picket fence (figuratively).
We gave it up. All of it.
We sold our house, sold one of our cars, quit our jobs, said goodbye to most of our furniture.
I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel a loss. A decade of memories, a lifetime of friends made.
Of course these people and things aren’t lost for good, but certainly changed forever.
But it’s not as though these things were taken from us. We chose this.
We willed the sale of our home. We orchestrated this change, in the hopes for something better. Maybe even not better, but different.
My husband needs a career change. I need a change. And although there is so much we are sad to leave, there is a sense of pride.
We didn’t want to be tethered to a place. We never wanted to feel stuck.
We don’t want to feel we can’t do something because our location won’t permit it.
And so, we know we’ll have these things again some day : our own home, a second vehicle, more furniture. We enjoy these things, as materialistic as that is. But for right now, at this stage, we would like to go without. Prove to ourselves that, while we like those things, we don’t need them. We own them, they don’t own us. Our lives are not dictated by the things we possess.
That’s why we gave it all up, even just for a little while.

Baby Privileged

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I’ve noticed something since being pregnant. Our society values babies. The term ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ has taken on a new meaning for me. It’s always been so, I just hadn’t really noticed before. It seems that most cultures value babies in varying ways, but I wasn’t prepared for it. It’s not one of the perks of parenthood people talk about.

For my husband and I, having a baby was our choice. We did it for ourselves. If we didn’t have input or support from anyone, we were going to do it anyway, fate permitting.

So when I was pregnant, I was surprised by the support from strangers. People stopping to help me, ask questions, or even just smiling at me. I quickly became accustomed to people holding doors for me, giving up their seats for me. I, unknowingly, began to expect this special treatment.

Since having the baby, this special treatment has continued. People will go out of their way to make room for my stroller, sometimes allow me to go ahead of the line because of a fussy baby. Everywhere we go people are complimenting our child. Strangers constantly talk to us now. I expect stores to be easy to peruse with a stroller. I also expect high chairs in restaurants and change tables, too.

What began as a choice that my husband and I made to start a family, has turned into a type of privilege. One that I might have trouble giving up when my child grows up. I suppose that privilege will slowly fade and I will be weaned off of it.

Until then, though, I plan to enjoy this privilege and thank each stranger that insists on lending a helping hand.

Goodbye House

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Goodbye house.
Goodbye big blue doors.
Goodbye birds, and Goodbye trees.
Goodbye windows, creek in the kitchen floor, fireplace that I adore.
It’s been nice lawn, street, and that creepy A-frame shack.
Goodbye mural, Goodbye sink.
Adios light fixture, basement ceiling and goodbye garden.
So long stairs and front door.

Goodbye, house.
Thanks for being our home.
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It’s all happening

Well now we’ve done it.
Today is the day.
We jump from one adventure now, onto a new one.
This move is somehow bigger than any we’ve done before.
Today we face excitement.
Today we face fear.
Today we close a chapter.
We close that chapter with love.
We open the next chapter with so much learned.
Life is speeding and spinning, advancing and changing, just how we like.
We take the leap.
We put our plans into reality.
It’s all happening, today.