I've begun the packing! I must say that I feel very good about packing. It makes me feel in control of things and prepared. There are so many variables going on a trip, but having packed well can be controlled and helps me feel like we've started out on the right foot. Thus far, I've packed most of the food we are bringing, a few of my clothes, a few of Natalie's clothes, a few of Natalie's toys, diapers for the trip, Gone with the Wind for me to read along with book accessories, a gift for our nephew, and the travel size toiletries.
What makes this packing challenging is that we want to fit everything so that we don't have to check an extra bag. We figure it will work out as follows: Mike gets a suit case and I get a suit case that get checked; one carry on will be Natalie's suit case and the second carry on will be Natalie's stuff for the trip as well as a book for Mike and I (which we don't think we'll get a second to read, but just in case); we each get a personal item, Mike's will be the stroller and mine will be the nursing pillow. The problem is that I don't think all of Natalie's things will fit in her bag, so that will cut a little space in our bags. On top of that, we need to bring things like her high chair cover, the breast pump, swimming diapers, and breakfast for the first morning for Natalie and I. Its going to be a bit of a challenge. Add to that, we are spending the first night at my parents, so we have to have things segreated out for the stay there. Luckily, we have diapers, wipes, butt cream, spoon, bowl, booster seat, and pack n play at their house always.
Some of the other good things are that we are starting to get a better picture of what their house is like and what we are going to do while we are there. That makes me feel better since I can start to think about what we are going to have to do to prep each day. I sound like such a control freak, but I really don't think we can just go with the flow when we are thousands of miles away from home with a baby (and then with me with my food allergies, too). Mike has said that at least one night once Natalie has gone to sleep he wants some time alone with his brother, which makes total sense. I have no problem with that. While I'm a bit shy, I do want to get to know my sister in law better since I've only met her once while we were in the hospital after Natalie was born. He's also hinted that there will be times when things might be a little uneven on the child care side, but I've said that as long as things are pretty close to even I'm alright with it. I find it interesting that he has almost no worries about the lack of child proofing and keeping Natalie entertained, while that is a big concern of mine. Then, yesterday when we had to tell her no about something and she started crying (but did stop, my smart Natalie), he goes, I think there might be a lot of this at my brother's. No, really? I've been worrying about that from the get go. Grumpiness due to no overload.
Random thought about this trip: Will air port security make Natalie take her shoes off?
In other news, we got Ellie groomed. It turned out that I stayed with her while it was done, so there was no kitty freak out. In fact, after a little petting, she purred the whole time. She loves people, so she was very happy to have three ladies petting her all at once. The only time we had any trouble was getting her up to do her chest, and she scratched me on the neck. The groomer cut off her toe feathers, which made us a little sad, but she started before I had a chance to stop her.
The weekend here went by kind of slowly since we didn't have anything to do for once other than going to the mall for Ellie's grooming. Natalie and I went out alone on Sunday to Shaws to get a few things we can't get at Walmart, which helped break up the day. I bought salmon on a whim and we had it for dinner, which turned out to be very nice. Natalie was a bit cranky over the weekend, too.
Today, however, Natalie was in a great mood most of the day. She did a lot of playing on her own in the morning, even letting me use the computer without trying to bang on the keys. She went down for her nap easily, though she didn't sleep quite as long as usual. We watched some Sesame St, then went to her room for a poopy diaper change and to nurse. Well, nursing turned into a nap. I might have tried to move her to the crib, but I hadn't moved the side down, and she is getting so big, I'm not sure I can move her into the crib effectively by myself. Well, she slept for a while, then work up, but she wanted to snuggle. She fell back to sleep with her head against my chest sitting up. After a little bit, she fell over backwards on to my arm and lap. Then, I moved my hand and she woke up unhappy. We snuggled again and she promptly was back to sleep in against my chest in a slightly different position. So, the whole endeavor lasted about two and half hours, and was ended when I attempted to reach my book. Luckily, that time she didn't mind waking up. Since it was about 2, we skipped the 3 o'clock nursing that we've been doing off and on, and instead she had lunch at 230 and dinner at 430 with her veggie (tomatoes today) and puffs while we ate dinner and nursing at bed time. It was funny because yesterday her tummy seemed way fuller than today. Either she was blocked up yesterday, or that extra nursing really makes a difference.
Since there isn't much else to say, here is a lovely list of all the things Natalie eats now!
Carrots, squash, green beans, peas, sweet potatoes, mixed veggies, country mixed veggies (just means it has potatoes), sweet corn cassarol, sweet potatoes and sweet corn, rice and corn, mac'n'cheese (the only non-veggie one), pasta veggie mix, squash and zucinni. Also, apple sauce, bananas, peaches, and pears but we rarely eat the jars of fruit.
watermelon, bananas, pears (though she didn't much like them last time), cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries, green beans, cooked carrots, zucchini (didn't go over big), cucumber (also didn't go over well), and tomatoes.
sweet potato puffs (these are the only veggie flavor, so I haven't given her any of the others), rice rusks (both regular and the new veggie ones I found), saltines, gold fish crackers, yogurt melts (in all three flavors, but she seems to like the mixed berry the best), yogurt (tried about 8 flavors now, but blueberry and strawberry banana seem to be favorites), Cheerios, wagon wheels (but she doesn't seem to like them), multi-grain baby cereal (which adds wheat to a mix of the rice and oatmeal she'd had before; until about a week ago, she had regular baby oatmeal every day)
Things we are going to try soon:
toast, spaghetti-ohs, chicken, broccoli, fish, peas again now that she chews better