JeAnn Apodaca is a full time mom of 14 month old Aidan. She’s very active in her community, including as a Peer Community Leader for babywearingnm.org. JeAnn has a degree in chemistry, and after a career in technology sales, she chose to stay home with Aidan. She lives in Bosque Farms, NM with her husband and son. She gives some great insight in her post, including some excellent baby travel tips. Thank you, JeAnn!
Photo credit http://daniellebakerphotography.com.
After having kids, what product can you not live without?
My daily planner. Yes, the good, old fashioned paper kind. I’ve just never been one to track my appointments in my phone, but before having Aidan I could actually remember everything I had going on in my head. Maybe I didn’t have as much going on, or maybe “mommy brain” has had a bigger effect than I’d like to admit! Either way, with all the doctor’s appointments, play dates, lunch dates with friends, birthday parties, etc. it is really vital for me to be able to jot things down in my planner.
What was the best kid friendly vacation or day trip you’ve been on recently?
There hasn’t been a specific location that was more friendly than another. In fact, the last 3 trips we took were to D.C., Scottsdale and Las Vegas, none of which scream “bring your baby here”! However, I will say that I DEFINITELY prefer a trip that involves flying over driving.
Every trip that we have taken Aidan on that involved a car ride (anywhere from 2-8 hours) was not very pleasant at all! Maybe he just hates being strapped into his carseat. It has been surprisingly easy to travel by air with Aidan, and I have done it both by myself and with another person (my mom or hubby). Here are my biggest tips:
- Wear your baby through security and use the stroller as your luggage cart. I always check my bags but you’ll still have either a diaper bag, purse or both. If you wear the baby, you’ll have your hands free and simply have to walk through the metal detector.
- You can take as much food, snacks and liquid that you need to accommodate the baby. I would just say anything that is liquid (water, breastmilk, formula) try to keep under 3 oz otherwise they will open your container to “test the vapors”. You can always have extra frozen liquid on hand.
- Take advantage of pre board, family lanes, and help from nice folks that offer. And if your baby cries more than you think people will tolerate – don’t stress it. Really. They more than likely are sympathizing with you.
What tools do you use to track your child’s milestones? (ex. baby book, notebook, spreadsheet, etc.)
This is why I am so thankful for Baby Page. I used to track Aidan’s monthly stats on a super cute chalkboard. Aaaannnnd….that worked for exactly 4 months. I got lazy. So, I started relying on my memory in combination with my gazillion photos of him to track milestones like first time he rolled over, crawled, walked, etc.
Needless to say, I am in desperate need of quite a few books very quickly….because he is already 14 months old and my memory is starting to get overloaded! BabyPage to the rescue!
What are your son’s favorite books right now?
Aidan’s favorite book is The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, pictures by Beth Krommes. Honestly, I think it is the illustration that he loves so much! It is a wonderful book.
What is the grossest thing you’ve ever had to clean up?
I don’t really consider much gross anymore. I guess vomit is the grossest. I can tolerate poop and the smell more than I can tolerate vomit and that smell.
What’s a really useful product that you don’t see on a lot of registries?
NoseFrida!!! Oh goodness. I regret that it took me so long (4 months) to discover this! The standard bulb nasal aspirators pale in comparison to the NoseFrida. And they are quite dangerous to be honest! I think all first time moms, myself included, see nasal aspirators as “suggestions” for their registry and they think “Oh, but I’ll get that for free from the hospital. I won’t need it.” Wrong! They are junk. Get a NoseFrida.
Do you love your stroller and/or baby carrier, and would you recommend it?
My stroller is Chicco brand and it came with the carseat, KeyFit30, that clicks right in. It is great, but I have to say, I have only used it about 10 times total. And the very first time I did use it Aidan was already 10 months old! I am more of a baby carrier/baby wearing type of mama. I have a variety of ring slings, woven wraps, stretchy wraps (like a Moby), and buckle carriers.
I HIGHLY recommend wearing your baby! They are many physical and psychological benefits to wearing your baby, and I could go on and on about it, but I won’t. Instead, I will just say – who doesn’t love baby snuggles and two free hands while doing it?? Exactly. (side note: if you are interested in learning more, I am a Peer Community Leader for Babywearing NM, which is a nonprofit organization here in New Mexico….feel free to contact me or check out our website babywearingnm.org)
If you had an extra hour of time in the day, what would you do with it?
Me time!! It would change every day but would range from catching up on emails, relaxing with a good book and glass of wine, browsing Pinterest or actually working on the many projects I have in my head, getting a mani/pedi… ahhh, the dreams 😉
What is something about having kids that you didn’t expect you would love?
Diaper changing time. Not to say that I actually enjoy changing diapers. It is the time that he is laying there on that table just gazing up at me. Ever since he was a tiny infant, I would stretch out that time by snapping photos of his cute outfit or swollen baby belly, tickle his legs, smell his stinky toes, rub his belly, kiss his chubby neck.
Even now that he is 14 months old, I still do many of the same things, and have added even more to the mix. We love learning about his body parts, singing songs, discussing his clothes and shoes… It varies everyday and it is truly not planned. I feel like that is a time that we really connect and I never knew it would be when I was changing his diaper!
What advice would you give to first time moms?
Hmmm, I don’t really feel like enough of an expert to give advice so I will pass on some advice that someone gave me – way before I was even pregnant! Cherish every, single moment. NO matter how horrible it is, or how much more exciting you think the next step will be.
Before you know it, that silent baby starts cooing, and then saying “mama”, and then full sentences, and then maybe doesn’t even want to talk to you! So cherish and savor and hold onto every little thing that you can, for as long as you can. The future is inevitable, so don’t rush it!