Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer is Winding Down

Wow this summer is flying by! I feel like it was only yesterday I was thinking of all our visitors and activities and how much we would be doing, and now, we're in the middle of our last week of summer visitors. Next week is VBS and then...nothing? Whoaa but here are some highlights from our busy summer so far. =)

Lots of Flying
Spending Time with Family in Cincinnati


 Josh, Amanda and Kate came to visit!
Father's Day!
The Harrison Cousins =)

Sierra Came to Visit

Pro on the water, riding on a boat!
Fishing Trip in Wisconsin

Lauren, Aaron and Easton came to visit! Finally a buddy Barker's size! ;)

Hmm a summer full of the beach, pool, splash park, lake, and bathtub...it's a good thing Barker loves the water!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Aquarium Fail

Yesterday we decided to visited our local aquarium! I'd never been to ours before and I thought it could be a nice afternoon with our baby boys. But...it was not what we expected.

Upon arriving we could tell that it was packed. But, there seemed to be a quick turnover for parking spots so I thought we'd be fine. Then, after paying $20 a person (luckily the boys got in free because they are under 2yrs) we began to push our strollers into the very crowded aquarium.

All of my past aquarium experience made me think we'd be in a cool building with large rooms or wide hallways lined with giant fish tanks. But this could not have been more different.

Every corner of the place was packed with way too many tourist, the hallways were smaller than the hallways in a typical high school and in the few porthole like windows you struggled to see one or two animals. Then, there was one tiny, smelly elevator that took us to the upper level that was covered but outside (so it was very hot and muggy, also extremealy crowded). There were about 6 large tanks but all we saw were two pelicans, one dolphin, and two sea turtles. Then outside, there was a tank with stingrays and a tank with another couple of turtles.

And that was it!! Seriously. I'm not sure how that can be considered an aquarium.

Oh wait...there was a tiny room with a couple standard size fish tanks (like the ones you might have at home) that had some seahorses (my favorite) and a puffer-fish...we also saw a few bones.

So it was one hot, smelly, crowded, not stroller friendly "aquarium." Not really worth the $20 I gotta say.

So, it was a little disappointing, but we did go for icecream afterwards, so that was fun. ;)

Here are our highlights from the experience though:

Barker was not impressed =P
Chillin' with a Sea Turtle
Look! I'm touching the tank! (Stingray touch tank ;))

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cousin Bonding

My cousin is visiting with her 1 year old son! Our boys are 4 months apart and it is soo fun seeing them together.

 These boys love the water!

They also both love dogs, climbing on things, and crawling to new places. Easton (the older) is very proud every time he stands up and peeks over something. He also likes to kiss Barker and tap him on the head. Barker likes to see what Easton is doing by taking toys out of his hands. Haha They've also only woken each other up during naps/the night a couple of times. ;)

It's unfortunate that we don't live closer together.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Baby Locked Me Out!

Now that Barker is crawling I am careful to shut the back sliding door whenever I take the dog outside. However, a few days ago, I discovered something else I need to be mindful of...

It was in the low 90's and I had just left Sahara on her chain because she needed some outside time. I then turned to come back into the house and discovred that the back sliding door wouldn't open! The latch that locks it had been flipped down! There have been a few rare occasions where the latch has jiggled and locked on it's own, but when I looked down I could see that was not the case this time. My very curious 8 month old had found the nearly invisible latch and locked me out of the house.

First I was a bit amused and wished I had my phone and could take a picture. Then it occurred to me, my 8 month old is locked inside the house by himself and I don't even have my phone with me to call someone!

Luckily Barker was laughing the whole time, apparently seeing your Mommy on the other side of dog slobbered glass is amusing. I kept pointing to the latch and hoping he could push it back into place while also praying my husband would be home from work soon. The first couple times Barker touched the latch but only continued to push it down. I had my hand in position though to quickly open the door should he push it up.

It seemed like a long time but in the end he figured it out and I was probably only locked out 5 minutes. But boy am I glad God was watching out for us that day!

Since then I've seen Barker switch the latch again a couple times, but luckily I was inside with him. I guess it's time to hide a key...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Standing Up?!

Yesterday I was working on my laptop when I looked up to find Barker standing up! He had pulled himself up all by himself! I quickly grabbed my phone to take a picture before he fell down. So...these are a little blurry but here you go!

8.5 months old

One Hand?!

How is he growing so fast?? I love this little guy. =)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Little Explorer

Now that Barker is on the move (crawling) his first exploration stage has begun! It's so fun to see him discover the world for himself, although it's also exhausting constantly redirecting and picking things up.

The other day Barker crawled into the kitchen while I was making lunch. I didn't think there was anything at his level that isn't baby friendly so I let him explore. A few minutes later my husband entered the kitchen and asked about the soaking wet baby on the floor playing with our dog's water bowl. Barker was having the time of this life! haha It wasn't as much fun when Mommy forced him to change his clothes though. ;)

Outside of Daddy's Office

He continues to find new things every day. The dog's cage (chasing puppy is soooo fun), fake trees, tables, tons of wires, and Daddy's office.

I wonder what we'll discover next...
Starting to pull himself up!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Traveling with an Infant

We have successfully completed our 3rd round trip set of flights with Barker Allen! Barker is a pretty chill baby to begin with, but there are some basic tips I've discovered while flying with him so I thought I'd share. =)

Things to consider about our situation: 
- He has flown at 6 weeks; 9 weeks; 6-7 months and 8 months.
- His longest flight was a little over 2 hours.
- We have not had more than 1 connecting flight in one day.

When Booking Your Flight:
- Look for flights in the middle of the week.
      Planes will be less crowded, giving you a better chance at a couple of seats or even a row to yourselves.
- Be sure to mark your ticket with "infant in arms"
      If the flight is not full, often they'll try and place you next to an empty seat. On Delta, if there is an empty seat next to you, they will even allow you to install a car seat.
      Delta also allows you to check baby items (car seat, base, stroller) for free.
      Most airlines will allow you to curbside check as well.
- Direct flights are great, but if it's longer than 3hrs, you'll probably want to break it up.

The Day of Travel:
- Wear simple slip-on shoes to help you get through security quickly while holding a baby
- Check as much as you can so you'll only be responsible for a well-stocked diaper bag/purse; a stroller; and your baby
- Carrying a baby through the airport without a stroller may sound easier, but babies get heavy very quickly while walking that much. So use a stroller. The elevators are usually not hard to find and work just as quickly.
- Have a well-stocked diaper bag! (Easy to reach toys, toys your child may not have seen in awhile so they will seem new, items that can be dropped and picked up easily)
- Bring wipes! (Good more more than just baby clean up. Wipe off those airplay trays before Baby begins drumming on them.)
- Find a spot for your little one to stretch out before boarding the plane.
- Dress your baby in comfortable but really cute clothes (if he's fussy, at least other people will think he's cute, that always helps, right?) =)

On the Plane:
- Wipe down trays; windows and armrests (anything your baby may want to play with or chew on)
- Use the seat pockets so everything is in each reach once the plane takes off. (I typically secure a sippy cup with water; a couple toys; my phone; and if there is room; a book.)
- The window can be a nice toy as well. Barker loves to see the shade go up and down. =)
- By take off our little guy is usually ready for a nap. I set him on my lap facing me. Once we start moving and gravity pushes him towards me, he is able to fall asleep in a position that I can maintain and still be able to play on my phone or read a book.
- When your infant is really little, it helps to nurse (or give a bottle) on the way up and the way down.
       I use a sippy cup of water if it is not time to nurse.

     Well, those are my findings. Naturally your baby isn't going to sleep or stay quite the whole time (wouldn't that be nice!) but hopefully these tips will make things a little easier.
Our little squirmer has had his fair share of airport tears (he was going through a growth spurt during his flight at 6wks) and loud squeaks as he was discovering his voice. But it actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! And I've found that the more relaxed I am, the better it is for all of us. 

Happy flying Mommy and Babies!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Little Mover

It's hard to believe that just 2 weeks ago Barker still wasn't truly crawling. He's growing in leaps and bounds! And now I have a little follower...

I left him to play in the living room floor while I prepared his breakfast this morning and the next thing I know, he's in the kitchen with me! haha

Then I took Sahara outside and when I turned around, I saw him on the threshold getting ready to crawl outside after us! Guess I'll have to be more careful about closing that door now. Time to start really using the pack-n-play! Although that means I'll need to find a new "toy box" for downstairs...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Baby Loves the Water

It was obvious from the start that Barker loved the water, but this past week it has become even more obvious. He loves to splash in the pool with his tongue out

giggle in the ocean (mmMMMmmm salt water is yummy)

practically hyperventilates with excitement in the tub, then cries when I take him out

and now tonight, after seeing me turn on the water of fill up the tub, he could not get in fast enough. I barely got him undressed and he was crawling off down the hall towards the bathroom. haha (oh yeah, he can crawl now!!)

I love this boy. =)