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Entries about baby

The Outlet Mall

rain 20 °C

Two weeks ago, while staying with my sister-in-law and visiting my husband's family, we went shopping at the outlet mall in Wrentham, Massachusetts. Myself, Bodhi, my mother-in-law and my niece Jenna. It was going to be a great day shopping. We arrive and I soon realize that I have forgotten all things essential for Bodhi. I forgot the diapers. I forgot the wipes. I forgot food and snacks and milk. And the raingear. In short, I totally misplaced my mind, and had nothing I needed...

So, I went about trying to find a solution. First, we drove around the small town of Wrentham trying to find a supermarket or drugstore. No luck. We found a Cumberland Farms convenient store, but they didn't sell baby supplies. We went to the outlet and I was determined to find something. I looked for a baby store, I asked in Carter's and another kids' store if they knew where I could go. I asked where you rent strollers if they had any extra supplies for sale. No luck. So then I did what I thought best. I walked up to another couple pushing a stroller and asked if they knew where I could get diapers. I had left all of mine at home and was desperate, I said.

The woman looked at me. Her baby had the tightest black curls and the brightest smile. Bodhi and the other boy were grinning at each other from their respective strollers. "No, I Don't... What size is your baby?"
"Size 3", I replied.
"So is mine", she said, "And I have an extra here, you can have it". Her husband handed me a diaper that looked like blue jeans, complete with fake pockets in the back.
"Really? You sure you won't need it?"
"We are on our way home anyway," the Dad said.
"You are a lifesaver!", I said, and I meant it.

What a blessing, and what a lesson. I felt that day that motherhood really is a community. And when we are willing to reach out, admit our needs, and connect with it, wonderful things can happen. I only hope I am able to help out another mother and return (or pay forward) the favor. Bless you, mom in Wrentham...

Posted by globalmomma 14:44 Archived in USA Tagged shopping baby massachusetts trip community diapers Comments (0)

5 Questions You Never Ask...

For Mothers Everywhere (pardon me this angry rant, but please comment and add any 'others' I may have missed!!)

Number 1: "Are you pregnant"?
I never believed that someone would have the gall to ask this question until it happened to me...when I was NOT pregnant. Actually, what she said was, "you are not pregnant, are you?" or something slightly more innocent sounding, but equally horrifying. I remember my reply...uh, no. Then she said, "that is a terrible thing to say, isn't it?" and I said, uhh, yes, it is. Then I walked away. I have heard these accounts from many of my friends, both those who have just had children and some who have not had children. Now I believe that there are people dumb enough to ask this question. And 90% of the time, it is a woman who asks, which makes it worse. Men we can shake off, like, well, they must not know what a pregnant woman would look like. Women should know better. I still want to slap the woman upside the head who said it to me, and if I see her, I just might. Basically, unless a woman is buying baby supplies AND she looks like she is about to give birth on the floor, don't ever ask this question. Even then, tread lightly. Otherwise, wait for her to say it, then respond.

Number 2: "Is she (i.e. your baby) still not sleeping through the night?"
Unless you have a child who is five and still not sleeping through the night, don't ask this. Especially if you follow it with a gushing remark like, ohh, my baby was sleeping through the night at only 10 weeks old, it was sooooo easy. In fact, any comparisons like this should probably be left unsaid. It sounds condescending and judgmental. It also implies that the mother looks exhausted and so you assumed that her child must be wearing her out. You know what assuming does, right?

Number 3: "How much did you gain during your pregnancy?"
Women do not like to discuss their weight, in case you hadn't noticed. Especially discussing the time in most of our lives when we have weighed the MOST...it is not exactly enjoyable conversation. Unless you are a very, very good friend or our mothers, do not go here.

Number 4: "Is he circumcised?"
If you know the mother or father to be vocal advocates of this topic, then fine. Otherwise, I find it a bit intrusive to be asked this question. Discussing this with your pediatrician, family, or friends is OK, but with strangers, not so much. Asking someone what they are thinking about it before the baby is born seems innocuous, because they can answer with "I just don't know" if they want to, but asking after the fact about someone's decision on their child's body parts is a little too much. Especially if you just met in a birth class or at the park.
I could add "Who's the father?" to this list as well, because asking that is just plain rude. I don't know many in this position as single mothers, but again, I have heard accounts of people asking this. If you are not close enough to know, then you shouldn't know.

Number 5: The question that has really infuriated me personally is this: it seems sweet at first, "How old is he/she?"
You answer, "14 months." You are expecting some sweet reply like, 'what a darling', or 'he's so cute', or 'enjoy it'. Replies you have heard many times. But instead, this person chooses to say, "Really? My God, he only looks like he's about 9 months old!" Or the other way, they say, "wow, she's so big! my 2 year old granddaughter is her size!" Not cool, people, not cool. Thinking you can size up another person's child's age is just not helpful. Plus if the parent has worries about their child not eating well, or being overweight, you just add to their worries unnecessarily. I used to want to trip those people who guessed my son's age in the airport or at the mall. "How old is he", they would say, "seven months?" "No, he's ten months." "Really? He's so small!" Gee, thanks, and you're ugly. That's what I should have said. :)

Posted by globalmomma 17:30 Archived in USA Tagged friend best sleep child baby questions weight age rude pregnant pediatrician Comments (0)

The Travel Groove

May 14
I am waiting for it to start. The travel groove. Anyone who has ever traveled for more than a few weeks in a row know what I mean... when things begin to just fall into place, you just know the places to go, and providence moves with you. Until that time, the first few weeks of winging it can be trying. Things just don't work out, places aren't open, finding your way is difficult. You can wander around a city aimlessly... hungry, tired, trying to find a good hotel at your price. We look for those hidden gems of restaurants that we like to find; but sometimes the baby is tired and impatient, and we have to settle for a touristy, overpriced, unsatisfactory experience of mediocre food and ambiance. It happens. But we feel like novices! Because once you get used to traveling, this struggle happens less and less. It happens to beginners, but not experienced travelers. Maybe it is an ego thing, when we have a bad experience with a place we are staying or a restaurant, we blame ourselves for our lack of savvy...
One day we forgot to change Bodhi's diaper for about 6 hrs while walking around sightseeing Rome, not sure where to stop or go. With a child it is that much more difficult because you have to anticipate their needs, and their needs can be very immediate. You can't just press on, knowing the right thing will be just around the corner.

I like to think I give him a few "perfect moments" a week. You know those perfect moments, when everything goes right. You are the perfect temperature, you have everything you need, you are in your warmest flannel pajamas snuggled by a fire watching your favorite tv show. That kind of perfect moment. Or the kind where you are sipping on a glass of prosecco watching the most gorgeous gigantic sun slip behind a bubble of blue and pink clouds, enjoying the breath of the sea, and feeling the warmth echo off of your skin on a glorious summer day. Those kinds of moments are the type I hope I give to my son every once in awhile. When I see him looking blissed out, and feel his muscles relax as a hold and rock him, feel him give off waves of heat as he is falling asleep to the sound of my lullabies and the sound of ocean waves on the iPod, I think: I hope this is a perfect Bodhi moment.

I get really really mad at my little boy sometimes now at night, that he can't sleep. I know he tries, I know we are asking a lot with forcing him to adjust every few nights to a new environment. But I still just really want him to learn how to fall asleep by himself, and to sleep through the night again like I know he can, like he used to do. I hear myself at night rationalizing, maybe if I just sit here he will figure it out. Shhh. I say, be quiet! Go to sleep! Those comments fall on deaf ears. He wants to be held, to fall asleep in our arms. But our arms are becoming less willing as we get more tired. I guess he is also working on his travel groove.

Posted by globalmomma 05:16 Archived in Italy Tagged travel of italy a with baby rome month Comments (0)

First Day

Arriving in Rome

After a long, crazy, difficult month, we have arrived in Italy at last. We took the overnight airplane trip on Luftansa from Boston to Munich, then Munich to Rome. The flight was uneventful, except the first hour was definitely rough. Bodhi struggled to fall asleep and the few rows of people around us heard about it. I stood up and bounced him to sleep again and again, trying to focus only on him, and not everyone else around us, to calm him. Hoping to let go of the recent embarrassment I feel at having my life on display, having all eyes staring at me as I sing him nursery rhymes, while I stand and rock him to sleep. Chris was able to sleep a little on the flight, while I was Bodhi's sleeping pillow. We planned ahead, we ordered the bassinet (available on international flights in bulkhead seats if you call ahead to reserve = amazing!). Yet, he would no longer sleep in the bassinet - it is too loud with the attendants bustling about, and the noises dinging and lights coming on and off. Now that he is an alert little guy, he isn't having any of this chaos while he sleeps. I miss those early baby times of good sleep in the midst of a hurricane. He slept on me most of the flight, so I did not sleep a wink, but I have trouble on planes anyway - at least he was resting, so I count it as a victory - we made it!

After weeks of dreading this flight, it was soon over, and we are groggily making our way through the Munich airport to await our next flight to Roma, train from Rome airport to Trastevere, and then a taxi from the train station to our apartment rental near Vatican City.

The rest of the afternoon, we are fighting to stay awake. I had my first taste of Italian espresso for this trip, Chris has his first glass of prosecco as we walked through our little neighborhood bleary-eyed. Our bill came to 3,70 euro. I love the cost of wine here, cheaper than water, almost as cheap as the coffee. You don't have to drop half the price of dinner for two decent glasses of wine.

We made our first venture to the local grocery store. I found the baby food section and think: This IS baby food, right? not dog food? I think I am able to read enough Italian, but the labels all have animals on them. Vitello = veal. Calda = lamb. Tacchino = turkey. They have goat, calf, pig, horse, rabbit, chicken... These are not cute animal caricatures like on Sesame street foods either - they are real animal photos. That can't be right, horse???! It can't be horse meat, can it? I look on the back and with what little Italian I can understand, I read the labels. Yep, it's meat alright. Meat and water. And prosciutto, Italian ham, is available in pureed baby food, as is parmigiano reggiano and mozzarella, pureed and ready to mix. I don't see pastas, which I imagined were all I would see. Shells with olive oil, shells with bolognese or marinara...but maybe that is too easy, something households can make on their own. I soon do find the baby pastas, smaller shaped dried pastas that you do boil and make yourself at home. But no 'ready made' pasta meals. Just straight meats, straight vegetables, straight cheeses all meant for mixing with rice cereal, pastas, etc. Actually a very inventive way to create baby food combinations. I grab a prosciutto baby food jar and a blend of mixed veggies to start our culinary baby food adventure. I also notice a baby olive oil supplement, like you would find baby vitamins here, a special olive oil to add to baby food. Love it. More after some sleep.

Posted by globalmomma 17:18 Archived in Italy Tagged food flight baby rome overnight luftansa groceries Comments (0)

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