Thursday, February 26, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Flying with Sophia is always an unknown “adventure”. She has flown approximately half a dozen times in her short 2 years of age. The first time I took her on a plane, she was about 10 weeks old. I was by myself so I carried her in an infant sling and she slept soundly the entire flight. The lady sitting next to me did not even know I was holding a baby for the first 10 minutes of the flight. I was confident that future trips would be just as easy! I was lulled into this belief just as Sophia had been lulled to sleep by the sound of the plane’s engine. However our confidence crashed as we found our trips becoming increasingly difficult as she got older.
One time when Sophia was still an infant, Trey and I were trying to get her to sleep on the plane. I was holding her in my arms and praying that she would settle down when the overhead speaker crackled and the flight attendant’s voice boomed through the plane. Sophia jerked awake at the sudden sound and her face turned purple with anger before she let out a LOUD scream and began crying. Trey was flustered and frantic as he tried to comfort her and her cries felt amplified in that small airplane. We didn’t ask – we actually demanded that flight attendant turn down the volume on the overhead speaker but it didn’t help. Every announcement that day was followed by us comforting Sophia and shushing her back to sleep.
Last summer, we were all returning from my family reunion in Charlotte. Sophia was almost two but we were taking advantage of the airline rules and were traveling with her as a “lap child”. This means she did not have her own seat and would be restricted to our laps for the entire flight. We were not worried, because 99% of the time there has been an extra seat nearby that we can use while one of us sits with Sophia. Unfortunately, this flight was COMPLETELY full and on the way home Sophia had a complete, over-the-top, classic meltdown. I knew it was because she had not gotten enough rest during our trip – but I had no remedy for it mid-flight. Sophia basically screamed for the last hour of the flight and did not even want to be touched or comforted. I tried everything I could think of such as snacks, stickers, suckers… but all I did was succeed in escalating her screams. When they announced a delay in our landing (we circled Dallas for almost 40 minutes), everyone around us groaned in frustration and I knew we were the culprits. About 10 minutes before the wheels touched down, she exhausted herself and fell asleep against Trey. I was weary with relief – but it was short-lived. The landing woke her up and she was unhappy once again.
Trey and I looked at each other when we got off the plane and said those same words that we say after each trip we have taken with Sophia…
“NEVER AGAIN! We are NEVER getting on a plane with her again”!
But time passes and the feeling of wanting to visit my family begins to make these memories fade.
In the last two years, I have learned to change diapers in the mini-airplane bathrooms, on my lap, and in the middle of crowded airport bathrooms. I have sat in a stall to nurse Sophia so I could avoid the stares from strangers at the gate (even though I am very modest and could discreetly feed her while completely covered). I have endured the dirty looks, loud sighs, and “helpful” advice from fellow passengers for the multitude of inconveniences that I have brought upon the entire plane by bringing my young daughter on board. I have carried a diaper bag and car-seat on one arm while pushing an empty stroller through the airport and carrying Sophia in the other arm (and I had bruises for weeks from the car seat bouncing against my leg).
Tomorrow is a flight of firsts… the first time we have all flown into Columbus (these were the cheapest tickets I could find). The first time we have ever taken a flight that includes a layover (pray for good weather in Chicago). The first time we have all flown together with Sophia in her own seat (maybe I will get to read a book or magazine while Trey and Sophia watch a movie on the computer). The first time that we have flown without bringing a stroller, diapers or pull-ups (I need to remember to bring an extra change of clothes for Sophia in the event of a bathroom emergency). Maybe, just maybe, it will be the first flight since that VERY first flight over two years ago that we make it the entire flight without any tears. Or maybe when we return to Dallas on Monday, Trey and I will turn to each other and say, “NEVER AGAIN!”
Thursday, February 12, 2009
All of these things need to be done, so I planned these bedroom moves to happen during my second trimester when I am supposed to be sailing high on the seas of energy. However, this pregnancy is not following the "normal" timetable and I feel like I am stumbling through each day feeling sluggish and sleepy. I walked into the baby's room, opened the door to the closet, and saw it piled high with boxes, baby toys and blankets. I just sighed at the mess, closed the door and walked away. I really don't know where to begin, so I have decided that my main role will be to delegate and give orders about what needs to be moved, painted, or put away.
Another strange occurrence in our house, Sophia has been having trouble sleeping through the night lately. This is the little girl who has slept 10+ hours in her own bed since she was 6-8 months old. In the last few weeks, Sophia has been waking up crying in her sleep. I will walk in her room to find her sitting up in bed with her eyes closed and tears streaming down her face. She never tells me that something is wrong and usually I can rock her to calm her down and put her back to bed. This does not help my fatigue, but I am not alone in my lack of sleep. Trey has also been up with her several times during the night - last week he stayed up with her for hours one night because she was wide awake and could not go back to sleep. They stayed up and watched TV while cuddling on the couch. Is Sophia picking up on the fact that things are changing around our house? Is she having bad dreams? Is she scared of the dark? I don't know yet but her new "big girl" bed will be delivered this weekend, and we will all have to re-adjust to her new sleeping arrangements.
I know that things will calm down in the next month or two, mainly because I will be slowing down during the last months of my pregnancy. I remember at the end of my pregnancy with Sophia, I could not even walk up the stairs without stopping halfway to take a break and catch my breath. My body has already rejected any form of exercise and I prefer to "lie down" after work instead of heading to yoga class to do "downward dog".
I am getting tired of riding these waves of chaos - the swells of activity (and preparation) never seem to end… I am looking forward to slowing down soon. I am ready for the calm to descend upon our house. Hopefully in the next few months the baby's room will be ready. I will have sorted through the clutter and pulled out her swing, some clothes, the car seat, and infant toys for her little brother.
I remember how peaceful Sophia's room felt before she was born. I would sit in the rocking chair in the corner and look around at everything we had arranged for her arrival. A stack of diapers on the changing tables, drawers filled with tiny clothes and socks, a soft blanket draped over the edge of the crib. I would breathe in the smell of anticipation and a wave of CALM would wash over me.
The CALM before the storm.
I hope that by the end of May I will be rested and ready for the CHAOS that a newborn will bring to our house.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sophia, my baby girl, got her very first haircut.
Just to let you know, Sophia had hardly any hair on her head by her first birthday (check out the picture below). I would buy headbands with bows attached and she was almost ALWAYS dress her in pink so everyone would know I had a baby girl. But she was still a beautiful bald little baby.
Around the time she was 1 ½, we noticed the adorable blonde little curls starting to sprout on her head. By the time she turned two, I was finally able to pull up some curls into a little ponytail on top of her head. This is only after chasing her down and bribing her to let me fix her hair.
We still struggle with taming those curls each morning, which is why I was a little worried about her first haircut. Sometime she will scream and pull away when I wet her hair before I brush it. As her hair has grown, the back now gets tangled in her sleep and she hates for me to comb through the mangled mess. More than once she has gone to daycare with that wild mane untamed.
I helped keep Sophia’s head steady at first and watched the tiny little curls get trimmed away. Of course I kept a few curls as a keepsake, although Trey thought I was being a little too sentimental.
Saturday morning, Trey brought Sophia to the “beauty shop” where I was getting my hair done. Our plan was to let her see me sitting in the chair so she would know what to do when it was her turn. After I was finished I waited to see if she was going to ask me to hold her on my lap, or if she was going to sit on the “booster” foam block all by herself. Sophia didn’t even glance my way as she climbed up into that big chair. She stared at herself in the mirror as we put the drape around her little shoulders. I think I was more nervous than Sophia, so I kept telling her how proud I was that she was being a big girl. I was also busy taking lots of pictures to preserve the memory.
As Ms. Alesha started to spray Sophia’s hair with the water bottle, I held my breath. I guess I was expecting a protest, but Sophia sat perfectly still in the chair. Ms. Alesha combed her hair straight and started to cut.
In less than 10 minutes we were finished and Ms. Alesha put Sophia’s little yellow bow back in her hair. I asked her to give me a big smile…
We had talked about her reward for being such a big girl during her haircut, so afterwards she got to pick out a sucker. What color? Pink, of course. My baby girl is growing up.