The Gluten Bigot

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Series | Traveling with a Baby - 0-3 Months Old

Oh well hello there often neglected corner of the internet. I have missed you! As you may have heard, working fulltime and having a toddler doesn't leave an amazing amount of time for personal endeavors beyond showering daily and maybe watching some YouTube videos.

There is something we have been doing a lot of - traveling! Since Bricket has been born he has gotten around, including long haul trips to Europe and Australia. Before I started traveling I googled about traveling with a baby and there was so much great information. I wanted to pull together some posts by topic on the things I've learned, if for no other reason than to be able to look back on it when/if we have another baby. For those that know me, or have been reading this a while, this will also catch you up on where I have been.

Let's start with traveling with a baby that is 12 weeks or younger.... First of all congratulations you brave soul. Booking that first trip is anxiety inducing for even the most seasoned travel. Starting them young is a great idea! 

Bricklet's first trip was NYC-SFO at 8 weeks. My husband needed to go for work, and I wasn't keen on not having any help with the baby, and my husband wasn't keen on being away from him. Here's what I learned on that trip:

What you'll need
  • Passport for baby if traveling internationally
  • Baby carrier. This will make your life so much easier.
  • Bottle / breastmilk / nursing cover / etc 
  • Toy and/or book
  • Blanket - especially if domestic as many carriers won't provide, especially if you fly economy
  • Car seat - not super required if you don't have a seat for baby, and are not hiring a car on the other side. 
  • Covers for stroller and car seat. We didn't have one for our full stroller. We got this one for the car seat and it worked wonderfully, although if I were to do it again I would splash out on this one.
  • Tylenol. Even if you generally don't give it, better to have it on hand.
  • Diapers. Bring twice what you think you'll need on the airplane. This also buffers if you have delayed luggage (like we did when Bricket was 8 weeks old, and we had to do a Whole Foods run upon arrival for diapers and wipes).
  • Change of clothes or two for the baby and you. Because wearing pee is not glam.
Navigate the airport
  • Strollers and car seats can be gate checked. If you are baby wearing use the stroller as a cart. Note it does need to go through the xray machine in most airports
  • Security: Let TSA/screeners know about the baby's milk (unless you are only feeding 'straight from the tap')
  • You will not go through the full body scanner with the baby - just the old school medal detector. They will also swab your hands for an additional test.
In the air
What no one tells you is this is magical baby time. Although terrifying, especially if you are a first time parent on your first flight, most babies under three months will sleep most of the flight. There is built in white noise and motion.
  • Feed at take off and landing to help with their ears, ignore any asshole who gives you any sort of evil eye. I also breastfed whenever he complained because it was an easy way to minimize crying.
  • Wear that baby so when he or she falls asleep you can read and your arms don't fall asleep. 
  • Make sure and skip to the loo BEFORE the baby falls asleep. Otherwise you will not be comfortable!
  • If baby cries, ignore any asshole who gives you any sort of evil eye. Don't panic. You're doing your best. Do what you can to soothe the baby. Sometimes, babies gotta cry.
  • Don't be above giving Tylenol if you think the baby needs it.
Car Rental
  • If you rent a car, have a car seat (duh). At this age, we preferred to bring our own. 
  • Car seats can be rented, do know you will have to install it yourself. 
Add caption
At the hotel
  • Book the crib in advance. Make sure they offer cribs. Some offer pack and plays which do the trick. Note some don't' have proper crib sheets and you will panic about the baby's safety - you can ring ahead to inquire, or bring your own just in case.
  • Many offer baby toiletries (usually Johnson & Johnson), some offer baby tubs, changing tables, etc.
  • If you're a germaphobe, make sure and put down blankets. You could request an extra flat sheet or duvet.
The amount you will bring for the baby is crazy. Bricklet took a full suitcase on this 5 day trip. 

What tips can you add? When was your first flight with your little one?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Men & Women, Becoming a Parent & The Work Place

In the past almost two years, I've noticed the comments that differeniate men and women in the workplace when it comes to babies. It starts with the pregnancy, and what I have seen has been pretty similar in terms of announcements and initial acknowledgement. As the months go on is where the divide begins. 

I have never heard anyone speculate on if a man would come back to work after the baby arrives. I hear this about almost every expectant women from colleagues, friends and family. Women are expected to want to stay home, abandon their careers and focus on raising the offspring. Yes, working is the norm. But if you're female you're at least supposed to WANT to stay home.

Next is leaves... but this one is larger than me and varies by country. In my family, we were lucky, my husband had equal time off to me (his employer has an amazing new parent leave policy, well beyond what is legally required). In fact, he had more paid leave than I did - and I was the one who had a csection haha. The result was my husband had lots of time he took over the span of the year to bond with Bricklet. Most of the dads I know in the US have no paid leave and therefore can't afford to take much more than a week or two off.

Once the leave is over, no one is shocked when the dad comes back. Expectations do not change. But when the mom comes back in some cases there will be the shock of 'I didn't think she would come back.'  And sometimes the expectations from her do change, but not in a positive way. I was lucky and had an amazing boss who didn't modify his overall expectations of me. 

Finally, once back and in the swing of things almost no one remarks to dad "Wow, you're doing a great job balancing work and family... you really can' have it all!" But women will hear this, even when they feel they are sucking at everything so long as they aren't hiding in the mother's room crying about missing their baby. I've had several people make similar remarks to me. All well-intentioned. I'm flattered each time, especially if it's a day where I really feel like I"m failing someone - why aren't we giving this support to dads? 

I wonder why no one remarks? Is it because women are still carrying the load at home (the second shift)? What about when you have someone who is a complete equal contributor (ahem, my husband)? Why don't they deserve acknowledgement? 

This isn't intended to be a rant. I just want everyone to think about it. Is the speculation of whether a woman comes back to work progressive and supporting equal expectations of men and women? If you knew the conversation was about you, how would you feel about it? When you're giving the new mom kudos, are you acknowledging the new dad who also has dark circles and is on his third coffee? Is this the conversation you want your kids to be having in 20 or 30 years? If the answer to any of those is no, then maybe it's time to re-evaluate if your conversations match you values.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Dear Internet: Do Something Good Today

Hello internet friends! So much craziness happens online - but so much good happens and I hope some of that good can be funneled towards on of my friends today. This blog gets a few hundred visitors a day: I hope at least a few of you can help the cause by giving or sharing!

One of my best friends, Kailee, needs help. If you'd like to do something awesome - please give (yay for creating positive karma!) or share.  Doing either you can feel good about not only helping financially but showing Kailee that the world doesn't only take from her and that it can give back too.  

One of my best friends, Kailee, has opened a gofundme. The father of her daughter has initiated a custody battle she cannot afford. The money she is raising will cover her retainer - but the fees can really get crazy.  Kailee has an amazing little girl, Ellexys. Ellexys' father, who has for six years has been infrequently involved in her life, has dropped a 50/50 custody filing on Kailee. If you read their story you will get more context about why this would not be a good situation for Ellexys - and I can say her father has been very flaky her whole life and I feel would change his mind quickly if he managed to get joint custody which would break Ellexys' heart. This girl deserves the love her mama gives her! Despite the fact he does not deserve it, Kailee has always encouraged, and fought for Ellexys' father's involvement in her life - even when he didn't want to and it required supervised visits and all efforts on Kailee's behalf. Kailee has worked hard to provide a stable home and a happy life for Ellexys, who is a gorgeous, happy, smart, and well mannered little girl. While the courts are not likely to put Ellexys into a disruptive situation, Kailee still needs to appear in court and has to pay a lawyer and court fees. She was rejected for legal aid, and has a family lawyer she has worked with since Ellexys was born wants to stay with who cannot take the case pro bono. Kailee works incredibly hard and is doing everything she can get get money on her own. She would do anything for anyone, however the universe has not always offered her people in her life who would do the same. I would love for all the goodness she has put into the world to come back to her.

Please share via her GFM page, this blog (buttons to all the things below), or, if you can, give. Thanks for your help everyone!

Friday, March 13, 2015

My 200th Post!

It took a bit longer than I thought it would with my lack of posts in the past year and a half or so, but this marks my 200th post on this blog! When I started this blog a few years ago I didn't really think anyone would look at it, I just wanted a creative outlet and excuse to make sweets and use my DSLR! I never thought that hundreds of thousands of people would stop by and that many of them would even come back!

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by my little space on the interweb, and supported by writing, photography, gluten free life, pregnancy and first year as a mom! I really appreciate you taking time to read my random posts and sometimes leave notes, tweet or message me! 

I really do miss the time I used to invest into making and finding awesome gluten free food. As my life has changed, youl'll notice my blog is going to continue to roll with me and I will post about mom life, parenting randomness, and really whatever I feel like. When I have time to write I really just want freedom to go with my current stream of consciousness. If you don't like certain post types and have subbed my RSS, please feel free to subscribe to only the label (or labels) which interest you. 

Once again, thank you everyone. If you have any post requests, let me know in the comments!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Upper West Side Restaurant Round Up | GF & Family Friendly

Last year in need of more space and wanting to try out a different neightborhood, we made the move to the Upper West Side. Of course, having a little one our restaurant adventures are quite different now. I thought I write up our go-to places in case you're in the area and are looking for somewhere that will not scorn you for having children. I will note we don't order off of kids' menus, I will note where I know they have one though!

Nice Matin (79th & Amsterdam) - a long time favorite of ours. They have high chairs, bunch time there are lots of families. It's a nice brunch to bring the little one to. 
Parent Bonus: Has highchairs, coloring kits

Cafe 82 (82nd & Broadway) - not just for hangovers! Also great for family diner breakfast or lunch. I still love their waffles, but have gone for pastrami sandwiches the last few times. Honestly, the pastrami isn't the best, but they do have very good fries.
Parent Bonus: Has highchairs, very friendly staff

Rosa Mexicano (62nd & Colombus) - I just realized I haven't posted on this place before. It's a chain which usually discourages me, their food is very good. It's high end mexican. Their pom margaritas are awesome, and their guacamole is the best. A couple months ago we discovered Bricklet loves re-friend beans, so win. This was actually the first proper restaurant we brought him to. 
Parent Bonus: Has highchairs, has kids menu, gave us a plastic cup (which beats bringing my own so the baby can have water)

Crepes & Delices (72nd between Broadway and Amsterdam) - another place I haven't posted about, this one is newer. We nipped in one day that I was hungry and shared a salted caramel crepe (my husband and I, we didn't share that with the baby). We go here every few weeks now. Bricklet LOVES crepes, and so do we! I will note this is not a sit down restaurant (as most crepe places are not)
Parent Bonus: Custom order the crepe to kid or baby's liking, you can do takeaway

What are your favorite gluten free family dining options on the UWS?

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