Totally Random: links to look at.

Here are some interesting things from around the web…

Fun around the world trip to scroll through. Stay tuned for the quick appearance of a single mom!

15 Recipes Every parent Should Know. And pretty much none of them are what I would have guessed. A great list.

A terminally ill father’s gift to his daughters. Kind of makes you think, right?

An interesting way to think about early childhood: hand prints in wet cement.

6 words to say to your child.

School is no place for a reader.

Pink Power Detox Smoothie. Normally I roll my eyes at anything with “detox” in the name (what can I say – I’m a toxicologist) but this tastes good so I’ll look past it.

Hope to post again sooner than later, but this having a baby by myself and working from home and doing all the dishes thing? Kicking my ass at the moment.

 

 

Someone got a tooth today!

My wee one has his first tooth! I can’t believe it. It’s in the front on the bottom left. It was a very exciting and proud moment. Who knew that I would get so excited about a tooth? I never would have thought.

We were just “talking” before he went to sleep and I just had a feeling something was up so I checked for a tooth. Sure enough! The tiniest little sharp bump.

Also, I thought babies cried and cried when they cut teeth. This guy has been nothing but cheery for days. Weeks even. He does have the rosy/flushed cheeks though. My little baby. I can’t believe it. Does everyone look at their kid and think: What??? That thing came out of me? And now it’s growing teeth?!!! So weird.

Good night!

 

Always be prepared.

So. Some things have caught me off guard lately. These are things I either ran out of time to plan for before baby was born – or that I didn’t even know to prepare for.

You are going to need an emergency contact for your baby/child. I have to admit I didn’t really think about this at all. But any time you fill out a form at the doctor’s office, leave your child with a babysitter/nannyshare/daycare you will have to put someone down. Easy, right? Maybe. If you are lucky, the decision is a no-brainer. If not, it can be tough to find the right person. But once you put someone down you are done right? Nope. You need to prepare that person you have put down as an emergency contact to be equipped to go get your child, get them safely home or to the doctor and care for them until you can. Think about: a car-seat, medical information and contacts, keys to your home, current instructions on feeding, back-up emergency contacts and possibly even a copy of your will. Here is a good template I found online for preparing your caregiver for emergencies. It isn’t exactly a cheat-sheet for your emergency contact but it’s getting there and will get you thinking about what information to put down.

Speaking of your will – I’ve mentioned this before. There are really good templates available online at “Get Your Shit Together.” I imagine the biggest decision for anyone is who to leave their child to in the event of something awful happening. Again, this might be a no-brainer for you. If not, try to set some time aside to think about it and also to have conversations about it with possible candidates. It’s a serious conversation, but the right person will feel honored you would ask.

Ok, that was serious enough. Let’s go check out how Kim at “Zero Fox Given” is staying prepared in life!

A (maybe accidentally) great book for babies of single moms that I (accidentally) discovered.

Have you seen this one?

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It’s really cute. It tells the story of a baby trying to do nice things just for mama. Short and sweet. You can find it here.

5 tips for traveling alone with an infant

1. Fly on Southwest or other carrier with open seating. This way if there is an extra seat on the plane you can just bring your baby’s carseat on with you and snag the seat next to you (with attendant’s permission of course). With assigned seating, even if there is an open seat it is not likely to be next to you and you will have to ditch your carseat at the gate check area as you board. So even if they can rearrange you to be next to the open seat…the carseat is long gone. 

2. Not likely to be a free seat available by the time your flight rolls around? Buy one. The main point of #1 is that you can set your baby down. It’s great to have more options. You can hold your baby or your baby can be in the carseat. For any flights over 1.5 hours I would highly recommend this. I love holding my baby, but the experience of holding my baby for 5 hours (half of it squirming) was quite a workout. That experience has me planning to buy a seat for my baby from now on. Plus it’s a lot safer for your baby to be buckled into a carseat than in your arms in the event of an emergency.

3. Be friendly when waiting at the gate. Yes, a lot of people will be glaring at your and your baby. But some people will be chatting you two up! They might even offer to hold your baby on the plane if you need to use the bathroom. It’s like having friends in high places. Get it?! Good one Beck!

4. If you are going to rent a car its easy to rent one at the airport  – or if you decide to rent a car later – remember Enterprise! They pick you up! Never seemed like a better idea to me than it is now.

5. Bring a secret stash of toys to introduce as needed. My baby got bored of toys after a few days. So I would give them a rest and give him something new. After a few days, those old toys were like new again! He also enjoyed many other “toy” objects while we were on the road: cloth napkins, spoons, leaves, water bottles, those spring loaded hair clips, etc, etc).

Got any other good ones?

We’re baaaack! + some interesting things from around the web.

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We had a great time in the Midwest and Canada. Baby is a happy traveler! I couldn’t be a prouder mama about that. I’m glad to be back but…not. You know? I can’t wait to go back to Canada. I encountered so many nice people, it was a real boost. And the Fall colors??!! So beautiful. Just trying to settle back in and yet keep a little of that travel adrenaline going. Any advice?

Anyway, here are some good reads from around the web!

I stumbled on an interesting mom survival tip. Not totally sure how I feel about it but it does make you think outside the box!

While I was there (momastery.com) I found another interesting and honest post about enjoying mothering vs. enjoying having mothered.

A very funny video about choosing how to identify racially.

And while we are on the topic – a great video from an honest blogger, Alexis Belon.

Last but not least: the best toy for a teething baby. EVER. (Thanks Cait. I picked one up pretty much as soon as we landed back in California).

Planning to post all the good travel tips I learned soon!

This is my baby. He’s a baby. Let him be a baby.

…that’s what I feel like saying when people ask:

  • What race is his father? (When asked as a part of just getting the scoop – not intending to have a thoughtful conversation about race).
  • Why doesn’t his father want to be involved?
  • Does his father know about him?
  • Does his father’s family know about him?
  • Has his father met him?
  • Does his father support him?
  • etc. etc. etc. (I don’t even want to say because I don’t want to put anything else in anyone’s head).

I want to say: get to know us and it can become helpful to have these kinds of conversations. But if we aren’t close – or if I just met you today! – please don’t ask me to gossip about our lives. It feels awful. I do appreciate the curiosity (when it comes from a good place) and I’m down to talk about race. But just go easy – little pitchers have big ears. (And in my humble opinion white people especially should think about why they are asking people about the color of their skin. Just curious? Not a good reason IMHO). It’s a super fast way to make people feel very “other” and out of place. Sure, it’s great to be open and to educate yourself on the experience of others – but just not at their expense. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read this). Will being asked about his race everyday negatively impact him in the long run? I have no idea. Maybe it will fill him with happiness about that aspect of who he is. I can’t help but feel protective though.

So, please, think about the question you want to ask. Then think about the possible answers. And then…think about how it feels to give that answer. I’ll give you an example. “Has his father met him?” “…No.” Aaaaand now I feel like shit. If you know us – maybe that’s a starting point for a deep conversation. If you don’t – well you know where you can go and what you can go do. (That would be ‘to hell’ and ‘eat a brick,’ respectively). That was mean, sorry. But really, who wants to be asked about painful issues by a stranger?

The questions above are personal and still very loaded at this point. I haven’t figured out how I am going to tell my child the story (his story) of these questions so, to a certain extent it is helpful to have (helpful) conversations about these things with people who love us. But I’m careful about what I say around my son. His ears are fully functioning already. Just as I was deliberate in not putting him in a gender-box before he was born (any sooner than the inevitable), I’m also hesitant about putting him in an exact color box or a father-status box or a zero personal boundaries box. 5% because I’m figuring out what I’m doing as I go along and 95% because these are things for baby to decide as he grows (and perhaps re-decide and re-decide, etc). There is only a short time where I have the privilege of speaking for my child and I want to do it in the most respectful way.

These questions have been taking me by surprise since before baby was even born and recenlty I’ve noticed I’ve started trying to beat people to the punch at times – just to deaden the awkwardness a bit for everyone. Not really a good feeling either. He is such a miraculously happy, happy baby. I’d rather focus on that. Positive feedback. 😉

Thanks for letting me rant once again. And thanks to all the people who have waited for me to bring this stuff up myself and at my own pace – there are plenty of those out there and I so appreciate you. (And a shout out to my friend Cait for letting me rant about all this in person. Miss you).