Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Off to South America

Nine months ago, my husband booked the two of us a trip to South America. It was my "push present." An opportunity to explore a new continent together, to enjoy each other, and relic in the fact that we successfully brought a life into the world, by way of my vagina - a fact which needed to be celebrated. (You're welcome for the visual.)

At the time, a trip across the world sounded magical, wonderful. With a baby still tucked safely inside my tummy, I had yet to realize how hard it would actually be to take this trip.

Pre-baby, Bryan and I traveled all the time. As a perk of Bryan's frequent travel schedule, we've been able to take very nice vacations on points and miles alone. This one included.

Since having Liam, obviously, our trips have scaled down just a bit. We've taken several trips with Liam, and just one without Liam. We went on 5-day trip to Florida in May to celebrate our anniversary without Liam. Like this trip, I was dreading it, but much to my amazement, we all survived every day we were away. Liam loved being spoiled by Gigi, and it was so wonderful to be able to reconnect and unwind with my husband. (Not to mention sleep in!) At the end of those five days, I was SO ready to see our baby. It literally felt like my arms were aching as we sulked through a 4-hour delay on our way home.

This trip we're taking is 10 days. DOUBLE the time. So for months now, I've had this week looming ahead of me. I use that word, "looming," purposefully. I'm excited, yet dreading it at the same time.

Bryan always talks about how the fact that his parents traveled a ton and have lived all over the world has played a huge role in his wanderlust. And how trips like this one will be so awesome to have to show Liam, and our other kids, as an example and encouragement to seek adventure and explore this amazing world. Our plan, if we have anything to say about it, is to travel as much as we can as a family. We want to show our kids the world.

Our first family vacation to Seattle

I know he is right. The trip, and what he has planned, is going to be AMAZING. We'll be making memories for ourselves, while our sweet boy will be home making memories with his grandparents that they will cherish forever. Especially since we don't live in the same place as them, their time with him is always limited. It's going to be amazing for them to spend some quality, extended time with Liam.

My sister sent me something the other day that was such a great reminder - not just for this trip, but for all aspects of my life.
"No amount of guilt can change the past, and no amount of anxiety can change the future. It's impossible to be happy if you're constantly somewhere else, unable to fully embrace the reality (good or bad) of this very moment."
This really hit home, especially as I wrote a few weeks ago about feeling "less than" lately. And even more so as I think about this trip.

This trip is happening, ready or not. So why am I wasting energy worrying about it? And what am I even worrying about? I know Liam will be in the best of hands with his grandparents and our nanny. They will all take the very best care of him. And once you have a baby, I feel like your mortality becomes so much more...real. In other words, if our plane crashes on the way to Peru, he loses both of his parents. I realize this is morbid. In the same vein of wasting energy worry about things that are going to happen anyway, it's also a waste of energy to worry about things that are out of our control.

I also feel guilty for leaving him, and I've been all kinds of stressed out thinking about whether or not to continue pumping while I'm gone, or to wean. I literally CRY when I talk about the trip. This is not, OK, people.

I'm not going to jail. I'm not going to the other end of the Earth. I'm not even going to be gone for two weeks. I'M GOING TO SOUTH AMERICA. This is exiting and amazing! We are going to Machu Picchu and South American wine country, for crying out loud. To say nothing of Buenos Aires.

Basically, I need to pull my shit together and change my perspective. I need to realize how many people would LOVE to trade places with me. I need to be grateful that we can afford such a trip, regardless of points or miles, and that we have grandparents who are willing to travel to our home, take time from their lives and allow us to do such a thing. Taking a luxurious vacation to South America most certainly is not something to cry over.

I've figured out a plan for the whole pumping scenario - one that works in such a way that I can do so on our trip without (hopefully) affecting my supply too much, but that also will not interfere with the trip.

Not to mention, the trip will be so good for me and my husband. Strengthening the bond with Bryan is also in Liam's best interest. Nothing bad can come of quality time with your significant other.

Whom, I really need to apologize to. He's planned our ENTIRE trip and literally has barely shared a detail with me because he doesn't want to upset me. I know he thinks I'm not excited. (Honey, if you're reading, I'M EXCITED! I promise, I am.) I am so grateful my wonderful husband. Trip planning is but one of his many talents and things I love about him. I haven't even thought about the fact that he is having a hard time leaving Liam for an extended period, as well. It's nice to know we'll have each other as support. (Along with some amazing Chilean wine to take our minds off it, ya know?)

So here's to seriously letting go, embracing reality and opportunity, and being thankful for this trip and all the good that will come out of it, for us, for Liam, for the grandparents.

I'll catch ya'll on the flip side!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Teething Bites: 3 Teething Tips

Two little chompers, front and center!

Babies go through so many difficult phases. Teething is one of the worst. Why? Because it lasts for YEARS - not just days, months. Babies teethe, all the time.

In fact, teething topped the list as the most difficult childhood milestone, trumping potty training, the terrible twos and the first day of school. according to a survey conducted by Infants’ Advil® in April 2015 among 2,000 U.S. parents.

Teething was one thing I was not looking forward to with Liam. Once we got through the sleep regression, which remains the hardest phase for us to date, I breathed a sigh of relief. Only for about 6 weeks though, when we were faced with TEETHING!

I've heard horror stories of babies teething, but so far, teething has not be horrible for us. (Knock on all the wood.) It hasn't been great, but it hasn't been horrible. Liam definitely gets super fussy, doesn't sleep well, and just cries the saddest, most whimpery cry ever. I can take a few sleepless nights, but hearing my baby cry in pain/discomfort and not being able to help him is quite honestly, THE WORST.

I'm not alone, either - according to Infants’ Advil®, 29 percent of moms and 16 percent of dads admit to having cried as a result of watching their child teethe. Been there, done that.

Currently, Liam has two teeth with three on the horizon. I'm pretty sure a third tooth on bottom will break through soon, in addition to his top teeth. That's a lot of pain my babe is in!

The kind folks at Infants' Advil reached out to me to let me know they had teamed up with NUK® have teamed to create simple and effective solutions that provide relief for both baby and parent. They kindly provided me with teething tip information, product samples and tips from their survey.

Yay for free stuff to help with Liam's discomfort!

Thankfully, we've been able to manage Liam's pain and discomfort with a few tricks and toys, so I wanted to share some things that have worked for us. Nothing really revolutionary, but they do help!

1. Invest in teething toys. For a few months now, all Liam wants to do is put things in his mouth. It's been kind of hard to determine if that's due to curiosity or teething. We figured it wouldn't hurt to get our hands on some teething toys. If he was teething, they'd help soothe - if not, he could just chew away to his heart's content anyway.

Some of our favorite teething toys include The First Years John Deere Massaging Corn TeetherNuby Bug A Loop Teether BeadNuby Icybite Hard/Soft Teething Keys, Banana Brush and of course, Sophie!

2. Use food. Cold and frozen things are awesome for teething babies. Before we had any toys, we just froze wash cloths and gave them to Liam to suck on. He also enjoys gumming the bottoms of our cold beer cans and bottles. :) We also invested in these feeders. They are not only awesome for bringing to restaurants and keeping Liam occupied, but we can literally stuff anything in there for Liam to chew on. We've put everything from frozen fruit to ice cubes to frozen bagels. Good for helping to relieve pain and be nutritious!

3. Don't be afraid to medicate. Obviously this is personal preference. For me personally, I was hesitate to give Liam medicine at first. After talking to my pediatrician, she assured me that it would be more than fine.

The first time I gave him a pain reliever was after his two-month wellness visit when he was in clear discomfort and had a fever, and it helped so much! Seeing that made me more confident moving for future instances where we've had to give him medicine for illness, or recently - pain!

My biggest tip here is, if you're comfortable with it, don't be afraid to give your babe some relief. S/he will be fine. And don't wait for things to be bad before giving! I should add that my child happens to love oral medications - he gulps down Gripe Water and pain reliever with no issue. He really loved the white grape, dye free flavor of Infants' Advil! (He cried when I was done giving the dosage.)

That's all I've got! Like I said - nothing earth shattering or new, but more tried and true. You can do it!

*Disclosure: I was given free product for this post, however all thoughts and opinions are my own, and writing a post was optional.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Happy Monday, everyone!

I'm currently watching the train wreck of a show that is Bachelor in Paradise. I know I'm not the only one watching.

Just wanted to apologize for the lack of posts, lately. Work has been crazy, I've been traveling, and I'm gearing up for a 10-day trip to South America next week! I am equal parts excited and anxious about our trip. It's going to be amazing, and I am so looking forward to spending one-on-one time with my husband. But - 10 days is a LONG time to be away from my baby! It will go fast and he will be in great hands, so that's what I just keep telling myself.

In any case - as a result of the success of some of my recent posts, I have a ton of stuff written and unpublished - I've been shopping them around to some sites that pay for original articles. Once I get the green/red light, I can publish here or send you to read them elsewhere!

In any case - I'm still here, still reading your comments, still writing. Just taking some time to get things taken care of at home and outside the home, and try to keep getting my writing out there on bigger platforms.

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! We were in Iowa celebrating my bestie's husband's birthday and had a blast. Suffice to say, I can't party like I used to.