Filed under: baby
Today, Avery is 9 months old!
9 months! I can’t believe it.
She’s getting more confident in her mobility and strength, but still a little wobbly when it comes to balancing on two feet. Just this morning I was standing in the kitchen when I felt her crawl up behind me and pull up to standing using my pajama pants. There was a certain look on her face that said, “mom, don’t make any fast moves ok?”.
At 9 months, she is still bald (more or less, there are a few wisps!) and still toothless. Any day, right?
But that grin, it melts my heart.
I also figured some of your might be interested in my thoughts on flying with a baby. To date, we’ve made three trips with Avery (11 flights, 7 of which were just the two of us). Side note: Oklahoma, Seattle, let’s get a direct flight, ok?
Anyhow, a few weeks ago, Avery and I flew to the east coast to visit my sisters (and Avery’s 14 month old cousin, Holly).
Since we were little girls, we’ve made it a tradition to have an annual get together. The four of us are scattered across the US and typically rotate where we meet up. This year we decided to pick a baby-friendly venue that none of us had been to. Where did we choose? Colonial Williamsburg! Oh yes. It was fun, the weather was perfect and Avery really enjoyed the historical reenactments!
The last time I flew with Avery she was 5 months old so I knew things would be a little different this time around. We had a direct flight (5 hours) on the way there and a layover in Denver on the way back. I thought it would be a good test of what was better – one long flight or two medium flights. (The answer, one long flight. Definitely.)
I think one of the biggest challenges of flying solo with a baby is figuring out how to schlep all your gear to the airport. Kyle was out-of-town when we left, so I ended up driving to a shuttle lot at 5:30 a.m. The above photo is how I managed to actually get from the drop-off area to the terminal. Precarious, but effective.
Typically I check her carseat, base (not essential, but nice to have), stroller and luggage if we’ll be gone long enough. This time though, since I would be the last one to arrive at the airport I decided to try NOT CHECKING ANYTHING. After I got into the terminal, I transferred Avery to a carrier and piled all the luggage in the carseat (which included her diaper bag plus one carry-on bag for both of us). Because of our long flight, I decided to bring her carseat to the gate in the off-chance that they’d have an extra empty seat on the flight. And you know what? It worked. And it was amazing.
Not only was Avery able to nap easily on the flight, but she also used her carseat as a chair and jungle gym! It kept her entertained far better than any toy or distraction device I brought. In fact, I sheepishly bought an iPad mini before the trip (for the baby!) and ended up using it for me! To read a book! (On our way back, I only got an extra seat on one of the flights. Fortunately, it was the one from Denver to Seattle – much appreciated after a 1.5 hr layover turned into a 4 hr layover due to a snowstorm?!?)
In my experience, I try to only bring what’s essential and that might vary depending on where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone. For this trip, I knew I’d need a stroller but in a few weeks Avery and I are going back to OK for my sister’s graduation and I’m thinking of leaving it at home since there will likely be a family member holding her at all times. But without a stroller (aka fancy shopping cart) I’ll probably check the carseat base and our suitcase. But, I’ll definitely bring the carseat to the gate again. Absolutely worth the hassle of carrying it through security and being that person.
Do you guys have other tips for flying with little kiddos? I was fearful at first, but it hasn’t been so bad. Then again, I haven’t had to deal with any explosive diapers or mid-flight meltdowns. (I just jinxed myself, didn’t I?)
Avery turned 8 months old yesterday!
This past month has been marked with a lot of drool.
Drool, some fussiness and yet…no teeth.
But most of the time, she’s still a happy girl.
A happy girl, who, is crawling all over the place and quickly testing out our “phase one” baby proofing efforts.
Originally, we were going to design and build our own baby gate (of course we were). But then, y’know…we ended up buying the least ugly one we could find on Amazon that could be here in two days. (Ours is this one from North States.) It was a little fussy to install, but we’ve been happy with it so far.
Aside from removing things at her level and consolidating all the media equipment into the new cabinet, we identified any sharp corners that might be an issue. So far, only the fauxdenza has been a concern so we added foam tape to the outside corners. (I was skeptical at first, but it blends in with the cabinet pretty well.)
Oh, and the dog bowls. Fortunately, Bailey is not one to ever leave a morsel of food in his bowl, so we don’t have to worry about that. But she has figured out how to splash the water and pull the food bowl out. This one’s not so much a safety concern as it just gross.
So…the loft ladder. Fortunately, there’s no way she could fall through it so the only dilemma would be how to keep her from climbing up it. We thought we had plenty of time to figure that puzzle out…
…and then she started pulling up on it. We’ve barricaded it with certain non-elegant options (Pack ‘n Play, laundry basket, large golden retriever), but need a better long-term solution. The tricky part is that Kyle and I still need to be able to go up and down the ladder easily and the barn door still needs to slide between the ladder and wall.
(Ugh, this pulling up thing is stressful…just enough strength and coordination to get on two feet, but not enough to be stable. Makes me want to put her in a padded suit and helmet!)
The only thing we haven’t been able to baby proof is Bailey. (Sorry, buddy.)
At least he makes for a soft landing.
Avery turned seven months old yesterday!
I picked up this hat at a Gap Outlet yesterday and couldn’t resist using it as this month’s “prop”. It is ridiculous and I love it.
This last month has been a developmental explosion (as other parents told us it would be) and it’s been so fun to watch Avery eagerly try new foods, wiggle across the floor (she currently prefers the worm move) and attempt to stick her entire foot in her mouth.
I think she might also be working on a first tooth, as sleep these last few nights has been a little rough.
Good thing she’s pretty sinkin’ cute.
Oh, and thank you all for the feedback on highchairs from our six month post. We used Laura’s Albee Baby tip and scored a Stokke Tripp Trapp for $180 (with no tax and free shipping!). I’m still on the fence whether to pay another $70 for the baby set. So far we’ve just been using the included harness which seems to be ok (though she does slouch a bit to one side if she’s tired). I might keep an eye on Craigslist as I’ve seen them pop up from time to time. Thoughts?
One last thing – did you read this blog post about work-at-home moms? Even though Avery is still little and on a (somewhat) predictable schedule, it’s a topic that I’ve been thinking more and more about lately. I know we’ll need to tweak our current set-up as she gets older and it’s good to know that others are asking for help.
Avery is six months old today! (She can’t believe it either!)
She had her 6-month well visit and another round of shots this morning, so today has been a little rough. It took a few tries but I was finally able to snap enough photos when she was in better spirits.
These are the same jeans she wore for her 3-month shoot, but I don’t think they will fit for much longer! (My stepdad made the “Avery” onesie. He bought a 3-pack to make her “Apocalypse Survivor” onesie so this one was a by-product.)
Behold, the power of Sophie! Look deep into my beady black eyes, Avery…
Did you get enough? Ok. It’s also been awhile since we did the last product update post, so I figured we were due.
Last time we were at the tail end of the “4th trimester” so a lot of our baby stuff revolved around sleeping and comfort. As I was taking photos this time around, I realized that we hadn’t really acquired many new products or contraptions. The one thing I did finally buy – toy storage.
Super cute, right? I saw a similar 3 Sprouts storage bin on Stefanie’s blog a while back and had to go for the squirrel (because they’re cute and creepy?). Avery’s favorite pastime (besides eating or sleeping) is to lay on the floor and play with toys/books/Bailey or anything within reach really. We had received a few toys as gifts and they sat neatly on one of the shelves in the wardrobe. And then Christmas came. All in all, everyone did a good job about not going crazy, but when you have 3 sets of grandparents, extended family and lots of aunts and uncles, it adds up. Fortunately, she got some really great toys so there wasn’t any, “oh…I’m sure this Disney Princess karaoke machine is age appropriate!”.
Avery is a reluctant sitter but an avid wormer and lunger, so floor time is her jam. It’s hard to catch her in focus.
This baby has always been eager to use her legs, so we knew she would love a jumper. I’d heard mixed reviews about the kind that clamp to the door frame (from a health and safety standpoint) but seeing as how we don’t have any traditional doorways it was an easy solution. I started doing some research and came across this jumper from Canadian company Merry Muscles. It was more than we wanted to spend, but as soon as Kyle and I watched the YouTube videos on their website we were sold.
This jumper has a couple of different installation options, but the easiest solution for us was to simply screw the included hook into our exposed joists in the living room. The height of the jumper is determined by which chain link it’s hung from. We’ve had this for a few months now and while it took her a few weeks to get the hang of it (and be tall enough to see over the front bib) she LOVES it. She will happily spend 30 minutes to an hour in it, bouncing…spinning…appreciating the architectural decisions that her parents made. The harness part has a series of snaps to grow as the baby does and everything seems incredible well made and durable. I have not had any safety concerns since we’ve owned it. Plus, it’s super easy to take down (I just stand on the couch and slip it off the hook).
Here’s a rundown of the other must-haves or lifesavers that we continue to use on a daily basis.
Crib: Although this is an obvious daily use item, I wanted to give a quick update on our decision to go with an IKEA Gulliver. No regrets! Yes, I’m sure I would have loved the Oeuf (my second choice) but not enough to shell out an extra $900 or so. Avery isn’t into the gnawing or jumping phase yet, but so far the Gulliver has held up just fine. Here’s another thing, I used to think that the crib was important because it would be the focal point of the room. Well, it’s really not. Who knew?
Monitor: As mentioned last time, we received an Angelcare monitor that detects both sound and movement. Our house is small enough that we don’t really need the sound component, but the movement detector has been a luxury. Avery started rolling over to her tummy at about 3 months, so we stopped swaddling and relied on the monitor to ensure us that she was ok (an electronic pad goes under the mattress and an alarm goes off in no movement is detected for 20 seconds). Once or twice a week there’s a false alarm (when she’s wormed her way to the corner of her crib), but I don’t mind a few of those for the peace of mind it gives me. Now that she’s older we’ll probably stop using it soon, but I am thankful for all the shut-eye that was saved not having to go and check on her to ensure she was still breathing.
Now that I think about it, we still use and love almost everything that was profiled in that first roundup post. The only things we’ve retired are the swaddles and the bassinet. (It’s marketed as a chair too, but she doesn’t have much interest in lounging anymore.) I still carry her in the K’tan – it’s great because I can keep it in my purse or diaper bag (yeah, I got one of those too) and comes in handy at the grocery store or for going on a walk with a weaving golden retriever at my side. (It was indispensable for traveling last month!)
Next on the horizon is solids. I made pureed pears, apples and sweet potatoes last weekend. We started with pears and she loved them (so much that she dived toward the spoon rather than wait for me to bring it to her mouth!). Right now she sits in her Bumbo (another lifesaver, another item I didn’t know what the hell was before having a kid), but we need to upgrade. Originally I wanted the Stokke or OXO highchair (brown and wood!), but I just can’t justify the cost (around $250 or so) when I can get the well-loved IKEA one for $25 (which is also smaller and you can rinse it off in the shower!). Of course now I’m thinking of holding off on the high chair all together and instead I ordered this table chair (it was recommended on Lucie’s List and got great reviews on Amazon). Since the dining room table is my office these days, we’ve been eating at the island so it made sense to go this route with Avery. It will also allow her to be part of the action as I’m cooking, eating, etc. (And in true Zerbey fashion I ordered it in brown.)
So there we are, six months in! Do you guys have any must-haves or great tips? I’m guessing my next post like this will be all about baby-proofing our house. That’s going to be fun (prooooject!).
And for those of you that have made it to the end of this post and aren’t so much on the baby train, our next post is all about BIG, SEXY ARCHITECTURE. Watch out.
I wasn’t compensated for any of my reviews. Just trying to pass along good info from one design snobby parent to another.
Phew…between the holidays, travel, work and Kyle and I both getting sick it’s been a busy month. I had plans to do a 5-month Avery post (didn’t happen) a 2012 Year in Review post (oops) and a post about our trip to Oklahoma. So, here’s a conglomerate catch-up post to kick off 2013!
We thought this would be the one year where Avery wouldn’t mind sitting on the old man’s lap. She’s normally an easy-going kid, but apparently being hungry and tired and seeing Santa was a recipe for disaster. But it was hilarious and we took lots of photos anyway!
Or perhaps she was too overstimulated from the raucous carousel ride beforehand. There’s a tiny “amusement park” in my hometown that mostly caters towards the under five crowd. They were open the weekend before Christmas for festive train and carousel rides and photos with the big guy. I spent some quality time there in the 80′s so it was fun to take Avery (even though she was really too young to get it).
Avery and her cousin Holly (who is 5 months older) also had some quality bonding time – hanging out on the rug, making big plans for the future.
Unless there’s a wedding or other family event, Christmas is the only time of the year that I see all my siblings (minus one brother and might-as-well-be-sister-in-law, who are living in Italy). We spent one evening around a bonfire at my parent’s house, sipping beverages and talking about where we should get a (theoretical) family cabin. Maybe a cute place by the beach or a cabin in the mountains? We evaluated where we all live or might someday live and realized that the most geographically central location was…Oklahoma. Hmm.
We had a little scheduling snafu this year with our air travel so Avery and I ended up flying separately from Kyle. I was a little nervous at first, but she did great! (See, she’s all “I got this, Mom”.) After carrying/wearing/holding her for 9+ hours (love that non-direct flight!) I think the only thing that suffered was my back the next day.
By the time I was feeling up to doing Avery’s 5-month photo shoot she was already 5 1/2 months old. So that didn’t happen. But I did take some photos on the actual day at my parent’s house. She’s much more animated now, grabbing everything and acutely aware of her surroundings. She will be six months next week. NEXT WEEK! I’ve honestly felt that time has gone by at a normal clip since she was born, but the jump from 5 to 6 months went by way too fast. (I’ve also been meaning to do a baby product/gear follow-up since things have changed quite a bit since our last one at 2.5 months!)
Oh, 2012 year in review? How about a written summary instead:
-Converted the loft to an office.
-Went to the Grammy’s in LA.
-Started finishing out the basement.
-Won our category in Apartment Therapy’s Small, Cool contest!
-Converted the flex room to a nursery.
-Landscaped our front yard!
-Lost our kitty, Felix. =(
-I left my former firm.
-We had a baby 3 days later!
-Kyle finished the basement bedroom during part of his paternity leave.
-Started Studio Zerbey.
-Kyle left his former firm to join Studio Zerbey.
-Work, baby, work, baby, work…
So what will 2013 bring? Aside from growing our business, we have some more house-related projects in mind. For one, the bedroom. (I know, the room we gutted and remodeled 4 1/2 years ago!) The bedroom was the first space we remodeled and it’s never felt quite right. Oh, but we’ve got ideas. Perhaps we’ll also finish the basement? We renewed our building permit again (for the final time?) so there is a ticking clock. Maybe the backyard? It’s winter so the only one who really goes back there now is Bailey, but I’m sure when spring rolls around we’ll get the itch.
Happy New Year from the Zerbey’s, feels good to be back!