Archives for May 2010

Roomba Rodeo

Today, you are both 11 months old. Yes, already. Where on earth has the time actually gone? Both of you are walking probably 70-80% of the time now. Anna, you have two teeth just starting to come in up top. Lucas, you have two teeth on the bottom, two up top, and two more just coming in up top. You are starting to develop more of a smile now that you have teeth. However, you are also learning to experiment with them, and every now and then have a tendency to bite me on the nipple, right through my cloths, usually without warning. One moment, you’re looking around, making all manner of little-person noises, and the next moment I feel this sharp pain, yelp, and you then look clueless about the basic laws of cause and effect.

A while back, we got a Roomba vacuum cleaner that lets us put it down on the floor in a room, turn it on, and just let it go. When the two of you see that thing come out, you both attack it, sometimes even before I put it on the floor. Now that we have a wooden floor in the basement, I can put one of you on the center of the roomba, start it up, and you get to ride it. It makes odd jerks and turns, of course, which is what makes staying on the thing a bit like a rodeo for you. Yes, it’s true. Vacuuming can be fun for the whole family.

You are both into cheerios big time now. We still feed you formula, as well as a growing variety of solid foods, but when Mom and I have dinner, we can now pull you two up to the table with us, and keep you busy with a handful of the little O’s while we eat.

Internal Compass?

On our trip back east, Lucas, you slept for part of the ride, and were squirmy on the rest of it. I did not pay that much attention to it at the time, but you kept turning around and around in my arms, in the seat, and on my lap, and always to the left. I figured you just preferred to turn to the left… no big deal. I even joked that by 10-months of age, you were already politically involved and showing strong left-turning tendencies.

Except that on the trip back west to Seattle, you turned almost exclusively to the right. I’m not sure if you were somehow “unwinding” yourself, or if perhaps you have some overactive internal compass, or if perhaps you were just turning in alignment with the magnetic fields. I tried Googling a few terms to see if I could find anything about this, but I don’t even know what to search for.

Your First Plane Ride

Well, my beloved, you just had your very first plane ride. It’s past midnight East coast time, and you two just went to bed about an hour ago, making it roughly 8pm Pacific Baby Time. It was a VERY long day, yet with only a few items of note along the way.

Your day started out pretty much like any other, waking at roughly 6am, bottle feeding, then an hour later, we start you on your solid meal. Today, we left for the airport at around 9:15 for a flight that did not board until 12:30. We had never taken you through security, and we were really not sure what to expect. Fortunately, at SeaTac, there is a separate line for families and those needing special assistance. It meant that we got to bypass maybe 30-45 minutes of standing in line and go to the front where they check our tickets and ID. However, we still had the regular delays getting through the metal detectors.

Now, I already knew that babies require a great deal of paraphernalia, and of course, we had it all packed up into one large checked-bag, and three carry-on bags. But when we have to start taking off our shoes, removing the laptop from its case, pulling out all gels and liquids, and especially all of the bottles of formula that we brought for the journey, well, it seemed like we unpacked almost everything. That also meant that whereas I usually took two of those little plastic bins to go through the X-ray, I think we had 12 of them this time. Normally, one to three people sort of line their stuff up on the pre-conveyor belt. We took up the whole fricken table, especially when you count that both car-seats needed to go through X-ray, as well as your stroller, and Momma and I had to carry you through the metal detector. The point is that it was a really big deal getting through security, and I was glad that we gave ourselves as much time as we did.

So we made it through, found our gate, and then we had 90 minutes to spare before boarding. We found a spot big enough to claim as our own, and in that time and space we ended up eating lunch, feeding and changing both of you, and then somebody nearby asked what time it was. When I heard the answer, I realised that we were late, having just blown that huge margin of time we allotted ourselves. Our little “spot” was far enough away to make it our own, but also so far that we missed the call for boarding where they let 1st class and those needing special assistance on first.

I spoke to an agent and asked about going to the front. She looked at my ticket, and said they had not called our section yet, somehow missing that I had a baby with me. She said I should be fine getting in the back of the line. I really did not care to argue with her. I simply said “Thank you, and I don’t think that will work for us… you see, I am only HALF of my party, and there’s another baby behind me… I am going to step to the front to have time to secure the car seat and child.” I did not wait for an answer, but just went to the side of the line, walked up front, and showed my ticket. Even then, it was long way to the back of the plane and you, my boy, are HEAVY inside of that car seat.

Momma came on with Anna about 15 minutes later, having checked the other car-seat and stroller at the gate. No sooner did she sit down than we were about to push away from the gate.

The flight itself was fine. There was very little turbulence, and Lucas, you fell asleep in the car-seat almost immediately. Anna, it was clear that you were getting tired, but you like to sleep on your stomach, and there was no easy way to do that. Eventually, you fell asleep on both my and mommas knees, and all was well. Then, Lucas, when you woke up, you would not sit still for the world. You kept squirming, wriggling, and turning around and around (always to the left for some reason). Neither one of you had any problems with the air pressure going up, and we made sure to feed you on the way back down to help you with your ears. It was all working out quite well, up until we landed.

We had no interest in standing with you amid the horde of people trying to deplane, so we just sat still, planning for the line to die down. Unfortunately, it’s HOT and HUMID on the east coast, and it did not take long for the plane to get quite warm. While people were still standing to the right of us, Lucas, you lost it — puked all over the place, and we did not have a barf-bag anywhere near at the ready. Fortunately, I saw that “5-second warning” sign that I have come to recognize (yes, you have a warning sign), and called out “LOOK OUT, PEOPLE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!” And you managed to puke all over the isle, narrowly missing the other passengers save for Momma.

One of the other passengers called to a flight attendant in the rear that we needed lots of paper towels. Some came forward, then he said “Uhh… we’re going to need a lot more than that… maybe 5 times that many.” Yes, my love, you made quite a big mess for so little a person.

And that actually reminds me of a story…

One year, when my brother and I were much younger and traveling to see our grandma (your great grandma), your uncle got airsick. The attendant told him to just sit very still, and wait for everybody else to leave the plane, so that we could leave with more space and air. And everything was going well… we were on our way off of the plane, he was walking slowly, and literally at the very edge between the plane door and the jet walk. Then, one of the attendants turned to him and said “I hope you feel better soon.” That was her fatal mistake because in that moment, your uncle turned around to say “thank YYYOOOUUUUUGGHHHHHHHH,” and completely lost it inside the plane, just one foot from the door.

But for now, you are at grandpa and Sithee’s house, you are fed, changed, and in bed, and Momma and I are tired and ready for bed as well. Tomorrow, your uncle (the puker from above) will be here, and the day after that, you’ll get to meet your great grandmother.