Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Baby's first 4th of July, Fireworks and Pooping on the boardwalk aka Massive Baby Diaper Blowout



This was baby Manni's first 4th of July.  We drove down to Bradley Beach during the time allotted for her morning nap (Manni naps twice a day.  The first starting between 9:30-10:15 and the second around 2:30-3:00).  Baby Manni loves sleeping in the car sometimes falling asleep the second the car pulls out of the driveway.  This trip despite there being no traffic (No shore traffic?  I know, blasphemy!)  Manya refused to sleep and spent her time alternating between her patented "do do dooo!" and her unoriginal and desperate screaming.  Any chance we could make this stop and get some rest?  A/C?  Wind through the windows? Perhaps a pacifier or some white noise?  None of those tactics abated the issue and Rhianna only made it worse (as it always does).

This is what I see when I check if she's sleeping.

Once we arrived at the shore Manya had slept a maximum of eight minutes and as soon as she caught glimpse of Grandma and Great Aunt Ruth she was too excited to calm down. 

Onto the beach!



Holy crap was it hot!  A mind sweltering 97 degrees with 160 degree sand.  But the baby (who was carried through the lava sand) loved it.  Loved the sand, loved the baby pool filled with salt water, loved the hundreds of people waving and smiling at her.  Mostly Manni loved the salt.  If she could talk Manni would have said, "Wats Dis?  Salty!  Salty! Salty!  I Luv Salty!" 

Between the thousand attempts at drinking the Atlantic Ocean, freaking out with excitement over waves splashing her legs, having her eyes pop out of her head every time a sea gull walked by "Doo!" and digging in the sand, Manya fell asleep.  At the beach.  Sound asleep with forth of July chaos all around her. 

When she awoke we watched the sea gulls destroy a poor family's half open cooler filled with cookies and sandwiches.  Two dozen gulls wreaked havoc on the impromptu picnic as Manni giggled and skrieked with each hop of a mischievous gull or jittery wing flap.  Soon the fat white gluttons took flight and began bombing the beaches from above.  Manya had no idea of the stinky danger being dropped on us innocent beach goers but I was quite certain to quickly retreat away from the bombing zone.  Grandpa was not so lucky and had to take a rather serious dip in the ocean.

It was a good day.






With the Fourth of July on a Wednesday the scheduling of fireworks varied by town and date.  Due to this there seemed to be new fireworks every day of the weekend AND on Wednesday the 4th as well.  Pretty cool. 

For our 4th Firework display we made the short walk down the boardwalk to Asbury Park.  No, we did not see Bruce Springsteen on our jaunt but we did see hundreds of Jersey peoples eager to see some explosions.   People watching the Jersey Shore is so good there could be a show about it....  wait for it... wait for it... yep.

The fireworks were scheduled to commence at 9:15 which was after Manni's usual bedtime.  We hoped the excitement of the people on the boardwalk would energize her enough to push through and see her first firework display.  By the time we made the twenty minute walk down the boardwalk and turned up the Pier to get a nice angle on the Asbury Park beach front, Manya was quite upset and was in no mood for remaining in the Bugaboo stroller.

Under normal circumstances Manni is dressed in cloth diapers but when we go on vacations or long day trips away from the home we tend to use disposables.  We love our cloth diapers but when you're a long way from home its easier not to lug around a bag of poopy diapers.  The fourth of July was no exception.  We did use a cloth swim diaper but opted for disposable regulars.

With Manni growing to full blown hysterics we pulled her out of the Bugaboo only to find a MASSIVE poo tidal wave of horror.  Shirt, pants, diaper, stroller, demolished.  The diaper was filled to the brim and had overflowed onto everything.  The most incredible part was it was totally solid.  This wasn't baby poo, it was ordinary grown child poo, just somewhere are 15lbs worth of it. 

No wonder she was so upset.

Poop Everywhere!

We went into full Jack Bauer mode for the clean up.  Hands flipping the baby, tearing away clothes and tossing around wipes.  Flipping portable changing pads and scooping up rogue chips of shit.  I must admit I was in shock at the amount of waste that came out of this cute little baby. 

-One full diaper (and when I mean full I mean you could do curls with it)
-One fully covered shirt
-One pair of pants that held enough that it could be considered a second diaper
-One Bugaboo fleece cover (thank god we had that on top of the Bugaboo canvas) with a full human sized poo on it
-Four to Six pairs of hands that needed full scrub downs
-A chip of shit on the boardwalk

Yes, that's right, a chip of shit. 

During the premiere of Cirque de Soleil Asbury Park, a chip of shit had flown off one of the poop covered items and landed on the wood Pier.  We all spotted it but in our haste no one had actually cleaned it up.  Being that it was 9:12PM by the time the baby was cleaned and changed and there was no light remaining in the sky, the chip of shit disappeared as the sun dipped behind the horizon. 

It was there, in the darkness, hiding, stalking us like an assassin. 

A chip of shit.

An assassin of poo.

Lying in wait, ready to be stepped on, or sat on by the first family member who forgot about its existence. 

Yes, it happened and I'm not proud of it.  I left my child's chip of poop on the Pier by Asbury Park.


Moving on.

The fireworks were amazing.  Yea remember that we were going to see fireworks for our nations birthday before we were horribly sidetracked by the poo-nami (credit to Josh once again) of the decade?   Well the fireworks were great and despite our reservations over a the possibility that the explosions might be scary for a 10 month old, Manni had no fear.  On the contrary.  She was SOOOOOO excited.  With every explosion the clapped and giggled and whipped her head around to smile at everyone.  "You see Dis?".  "Look at Dat!"  She made tons of "Oooooooo"  and "Dooohs!" 




And just as the finale began she crashed hard.  The Ergo got strapped on (as the Bugaboo was a poop zone now) and Manya was out.

The walk home was crowded with sugar crashing children racing around like lunatics.  I think children after 9 at night play games where their only goal is to chop block adults by throwing their bodies into the back of your knees as hard as they can. 

In other news there were at least 60 Muslim women going to the beach at 10:00 at night.  I know the lifeguards are done at 5:30 and the sun went down at 8:45 plus these women are wearing burkas covered everything except their eyes and its all black.  If a rip tide gets 'em they're done for.

Sarah made the astute observation that I might be Ramadan and they were cleansing themselves in the pure open water after the sun went down but I looked it up and Ramadan doesn't start until July 20th. 

So I have no idea what we stumbled upon but I sure hope they swim as safely as possible in the pitch black of night.



Friday, July 6, 2012

Baby Pool

 The barrette stayed in her hair for 3 more seconds of cuteness.

Parents spend an inordinate amount of time discussing, theorizing, reading about and stressing over sleeping habits and poop.  It may be because all parents are crazy, or perhaps its due to the fact that 80% of our lives are now dictated by baby sleep and poo.  Either way, prepare for more fun times in the battlefield of sleep and smell-fest of solid food baby poop.

I have to admit, guys spend a good amount of time discussing farts and bowel movements well before they have children.  I think we can all agree that the humor of farting is universal and timeless.  Long after the 3rd world war is over our children's children's children's children's children will be laughing at a funny 'toot' or a perfectly timed 'perp'.  And boys will still marvel and gloat over their most recent 'one wiper'.

Having a one wiper with an infant is akin to receiving a Christmas bonus.  Nothing is more elating than taking a recently soiled infant and completing the change almost instantaneously (and without having to change a pad, the wall, your shirt and pants, and sometimes take a bath in the sink).  An easy clean up is always a nice surprise.  On the other hand, a properly contained explosion that takes 4 or more wipes (a single wipe can be folded and reused up to 4 times itself) always befuddles me.  It's contained.  There was no blowout so how is there so much, so many places and why does it seem to multiply in front of my very eyes like Tribbles if Tribbles were multicolored poo.

Now that it's summer we will be spending a great amount of time at the shore playing in the ocean waves and at the pool swimming in the shallows.  This of course brings into play the dilemma of diapers in the pool and/or ocean.  No one wants to replay the classic "Caddyshack" scene at the local pool this summer and I'd prefer not to be labeled "That Dad" as I fish for floaters while an army of angry moms and kids burn a hole through my chest.  I promise if that happens I'll A) be confused why I'm at a public pool and B) pull a Bill Murray.  Promise.

To prevent a pool poop disaster we have purchased swim diapers like the rest of the child bearing world.  To add a wrinkle to the swim time we use cloth diapers (I'll have a full length in depth cloth diaper post up in the next few weeks.  I promise) and will be using cloth swim diapers.   I'm not overjoyed with the idea of testing the swim diaper in public but I've heard enough good things about them to ease my mind.  Or at least trick myself into a solid false sense of security.

 Blossom?  I don't understand you joke dad.

We decided to ease baby Manni into swim time with a back yard baby pool (no diaper needed!).  We quickly learned that Manni HATES the cold water.  She shrieks like a banshee and clutches onto your shirt in terror.  She has the grip of a power lifter and he little fingers dig into cloth and flesh.  The must be warmed by the sun before she'll ease herself in.  Unfortunately once you make the mistake of torturing her with a cold pool she no longer trusts anyone to place her in a more comfortable pool. 

 Back off woman dis water is cold!

Manya also became leery of the quite abundant green grass surrounding us all.  She wasn't a fan of the unusual texture on her feet or her butt.  That is until she realized she could rip it out of the ground and throw it all around.  The grass ripping distraction allowed us to gradually move her closer to the pool which led to splashing from outside which led to major splashing, which led to sitting in the pool.... and success!  

 Mushroom Pool = Amazing

 That's my robe

Measuring cups for pool toys?  Baby don't care, just make my spa water warm!

She loves the water but still gasps when water hits her face...

Don't you just love the mushroom pool?

Twitter & Instagram : @babymanni

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sleep rocking, CIO, teething, Ninjinti and baby adventures





It's hard to be a gangsta!



Manya is now living in a world of relative routine.  Most parents agree that creating a bed time and nap time routine is beneficial for building solid sleep habits in children.  As parents with little experience (we're only 10 months into making mistakes with this child) and having lived through a wave or two of the ever exciting sleep regression, building a routine was a logical progression from our previous organized chaos.  We're not sticklers for exact to the minute schedules.  More often than not, even if we try to create a blow by blow routine, we end up totally throwing it out of wack every other day. 

Manya is teething all at once.  She has two cute bottom teeth that are totally adorable and a mouth full of gums that are sore and sore and sore and horrible.  The aching pain comes randomly, often at night, and distrupts her sleep.  One day, one side of her mouth is purple and sore.  Then next, nothing.  Each time her mouth aches her nose swells a little, boogers run and her nose gets clogged.  It's a rough life for our little cutie.

Despite the teething pains, the swollen mouth, and the snotty nose, Manni has fallen into a bit of a sleeping pattern and is able to put herself to bed (sort of) and stay asleep even if she wakes up during the course of the night - horray!  It's still a daily adventure and the other night we had our most memorable sleep experience yet.

As we discussed before, we dabble in the Cry It Out (CIO) Method.  We don't have the heart to let her cry to the point of near sickness but we do let her work on putting herself to sleep via a little tears.  Recently Manni's gotten to the point where she cries for just a few seconds sometimes and barely two minutes other times.  It's amazing.  Due to the teething sometimes we aren't so successful.  This one time she was upset on and off for almost 40 minutes.  It was quite unusual.  She'd be quiet and then cry and then quiet, and then cry, on and off, on and off.  Rather than entering her room and test the fury of an upset baby, we checked on her via the Manya-nitor.

I wish I had the poise to have video taped what I saw, but parental instinct kicked in too quickly.  On the monitor Manya had - in a sleep induced haze - pulled herself into a sitting position and passed out.  She sat there rocking back and forth and side to side like a drunken sailor, bopping her head into the crib post (its padded) over and over again in slow motion.  With each knock she'd barely wake herself up enough to whine.  I ran into the room and with a gentle and swift flip I put her square on her back and after five seconds of crying she was out for the night.

Nothing quite like a baby who falls asleep sitting up.

No sleep walking please.

 She thinks it's funny.



Manya doesn't need anything with her for comfort to fall asleep but if she had to chose it would be a small white sleep blanket.

Manya's sleep blanket is a small square of fabric attached to a stuffed bunny.  For the past nine months we referred to this bunny as Manni's Ninjinti.  It's called her Ninjinti because it says "Ninjinti" on the small square blanket.  Great story right?  Well what exactly is a Ninjinti?  We have no idea...  well, now we know thanks to the infernets and the internets.  Apparently Ninjinti is a Dutch little white bunny.  I never would have guessed.  Google told me that much.  How it got to our home or why a bunny is called a Ninjinti or how you pronounciate Ninjinti correctly is beyond me but if it gets baby Manni to sleep every night then Ninjinti is out best friend.  And it's fun to say.

Ninjinti.

Ninjinti.

Nin- jin- teeeeeeee!!!!!!!

I am easily amused.

BTW this is not the only time I've been confused by lettering on baby stuff.  For three months baby Manni wore a onesie with words separated by snapping buttons.  On one side it read "RABLE" and on the other "ADO".  Each and every time I put this onsie on her I read it as ADO'RA'BLE! (imagine it as though read by an Italian)  I swear that only after three full months of wear did I realize it actually said 'adorable'.  And yes, I felt like an idiot, and no, you will not get a picture of a onsie that says Adorable on it.





I sleep.
I got some toys!

TWITTER : @babymanni