Blog Archive

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Dos and Don'ts of traveling with an infant

We survived our trip to Canada last week!! In total, Audrey went on four different flights -- two long ones and two short ones -- and I learned a lot from this experience. I read a lot of advice before I left, and now I'm here to share with you what tips I found most helpful, as well as some other tricks I picked up along the way.

DO: Buy "ready to use" formula to bring on the plane

Enfamil Gentlease Infant Formula for Fussiness & Gas, Ready to Use ...

This stuff is spendy as f**k, so I never bought it before this trip. I paid $10 for a damn 6-pack. But, it meant that to feed Audrey on the plane, all I had to do was fish a bottle of formula out of my bag and pour it into one of her bottles. If even that sounds like too many steps, you can get nipples that attach directly onto the formula bottle itself. I opted not to use these, though, because the nipples are really small and weird and make me feel like I'm feeding a baby animal instead of a baby human.

Haha look at this goat! He's having a bottle!! What a crazy goat! What's he gonna do next?!?!

The other advantage of bringing ready to use formula is that you have to undergo some extra screening to get through security at the airport, since large liquids aren't usually allowed. This will give you a great opportunity to flirt with the cute TSA agents as they check to make sure your baby's Enfamil isn't secretly a bomb or something.

Hey baby what are you doing later? 

DON'T: Have the kind of baby who thinks pooping right as you board the plane is some kind of hilarious laugh riot

There isn't a whole lot you can do to avoid this, but maybe start by having a sit-down talk with your baby about air travel etiquette before the trip. I did not do this, and as a result, my baby pooped as we were boarding not once but TWICE. The second time, she even blew out her diaper a little bit. (for any non-parents, a "blowout" is when the poop, ummm, 'exits' the diaper through the back waistband, frolicking instead in baby's clothing. You can't sit the baby down or push on any part of the diaper at all, lest more poop come out. It is exactly as horrifying as it sounds)

Both times, I had to ask the flight attendants for special permission to run to the bathroom and change her diaper before takeoff, while all the other passengers on the plane rolled their eyes and stared at their watches. We were those people.

You know, 'those people.'

DO: Bring a baby carrier onto the plane with you

I strapped Audrey into her Ergo carrier several times during the flights. On the first flight, I put her into it so that she could take a nap, and she slept wonderfully. On another flight, I put her into it before we landed, and she sat calmly the whole way down. I just had to bounce in my seat like I was having a seizure for like 20 minutes straight, but that was better than listening to her crying.  The Ergo also let me be hands-free while we exited the plane. Turns out it's a lot easier to wrangle luggage when you're not also holding a baby.

DON'T: Try to eat a sub sandwich while baby is in the Ergo carrier.

You will have to turn it sideways and eat it like you're playing the flute, and then lots of crumbs will end up on the baby's head. People will judge you.

Like this, but with a sandwich.

Having trouble imagining it? Okay, here:

Please don't make me also add the baby carrier. I don't have Photoshop and that's way, way beyond my abilities in Paint and PowerPoint.

Ugh, okay fine. See, I told you this was going to be a disaster, and I was right.

DO: Buy formula and diapers (or better yet, ask family members to do this before you arrive) at your destination rather than packing them

These things take up a lot of space. Don't do that to yourself.

DON'T: Travel somewhere that doesn't have your store brand of baby formula

Canada doesn't have Rite Aid, which means they don't have the Tugaboos Gentle formula that Audrey drinks. No big deal -- Tugaboos Gentle is just Rite Aid's off-brand version of Enfamil Gentlease. So we got Audrey the Enfamil instead.

Holy good God Almighty, the things that that Enfamil did to her digestive tract were unforgivable. After a day and a half drinking it, Audrey started letting out farts that could clear a room. They smelled like the worst dog farts of all time -- like a dog that had eaten nothing but overcooked Brussels sprouts and yard poop farted directly in your face. It was a sort of rotten vegetables and weeks-old dirty mop water fermented in feces kind of smell. And she was ripping them constantly, with a big smile that suggested she was proud of her work.

As you can imagine, a couple of brewskis only made the farts smell worse.

The poops smelled just as bad, and they were liquid. She blew out her diaper more times in the week we were gone than in the previous six months of her entire life. That was what I got to deal with on the tiny changing table in the cramped airplane lavatory while an entire aircraft full of people waited for me.

I have PTSD about the whole experience now.

On the whole, Audrey was very well-behaved on the trip and it was great to see her in the arms of her great-grandparents, who had never met her. I might even go so far as to say it was all worth it.

But if I never again have to clean up a liquid poo blowout in an airplane bathroom AS FAST AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE WAITING FOR ME, it will still be too soon.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bad joke eels to keep you company for the next week

There won't be a real blog next week because I'm taking Audrey to Canada to visit family! And don't even think for a second that that means you can break into my house and steal stuff. Jesse is not invited on this trip so he will be cuddling the shotgun until I get back!

But since I wouldn't want to leave you guys totally empty-handed, here are some bad joke eels to keep you laughing through the week. What, these jokes aren't good enough to make you laugh for 9 days straight?? Sounds like you need to get a sense of humor.

It's so apparent now! | I didn't know my dad was a construction site thief. But when I got home, all the signs were there. | image tagged in memes,bad joke eel | made w/ Imgflip meme maker


Thursday, April 3, 2014

The types of people who give advice on internet forums

Have you ever posted a question or asked for advice from a public internet forum? If not, you are missing out SO HARD.

No one on earth gives more insane advice than internet strangers with no stake in your situation. They will fill in any blanks in your story with bizarre, unfounded assumptions; they will give everyone in your story the personality of a Mexican soap opera character; and best of all, they will insist that you take actions that would be so out of proportion and ludicrous that your family and friends would involuntarily commit you to an asylum if you did what they recommended. And if you don't want to take their advice, well then screw you, you can rot in your terrible situation forever and don't whine to me about it, neither.

Without any further ado, here are my favorite types of internet advice-givers! (other than the people who actually give helpful, well-reasoned advice. I love these people for real, but they're not fun to laugh at so we'll just ignore them)

The person who thinks you're overreacting, no matter the situation

Even if you haven't taken any action yet, this person is here to tell you that you are being CRAZY and taking things way too far.

(I'm going to be using the Facebook template online for all my examples because it is the easiest way to showcase morons responding to things and I am lazy.)

Seriously, don't even CONSIDER taking action. Don't even consider CONSIDERING taking action. Don't have feelings about things. Stop it. You're overreacting.

The person who thinks you're NOT OVERREACTING ENOUGH, no matter the situation

Here's our friend "YOU ARE NOT REACTING ENOUGH" responding to the same thread:

I always wonder if people like this actually follow their own advice. "Ditch her; she sounds like a terrible friend." "Fire him; I would never stand for that from an employee who has never been a problem before." "Kill him; collect the insurance money."

Generally speaking, these two types of commenter will not really interact with each other, since they have no common ground whatsoever. So, it is up to
you to decide who to listen to -- is your husband 100% definitely cheating on you and you should divorce him immediately, or is he 100% definitely NOT cheating on you and you have serious jealousy problems that need to be addressed?? There is no middle ground. You have to choose.

The person who makes a completely overblown analogy that has no bearing on the situation

Whatever your problem is, rest assured, Bad Analogy is ready to give you incredibly dramatic advice on a completely different and unrelated situation that they've decided is pretty much the same as yours. Your little kid wants to play with an iPad? WOULD YOU LET HIM DRIVE YOUR CAR IF HE WANTED TO AS WELL? Mad that you have to keep your shoes in the closet so your dog doesn't eat them? WHAT IF YOUR DOG WAS EATING CHILDREN? WOULD THE SOLUTION BE TO JUST 'LOCK THEM IN CLOSETS SO HE CAN'T GET THEM'???

Yes, crazy person. Your analogies all hold up and I agree with every word.

The person who greases up a slippery slope to hell based on their own life

The only response I ever have to this person is something along the lines of "what in the actual f*** are you talking about."

You can recognize the Slippery Slope to Hell commenter because they always offer a disclaimer with their comment, which roughly translates to "this won't definitely happen to you the same way it happened to me, but I'd still peg the odds at above 85%."

The person who ignores everything that makes your life different from theirs

This person wouldn't know empathy if it drove a U-Haul truck through their living room window. They "put themselves in your shoes" in only the most literal way -- that is, they imagine that they themselves, with all their own life experiences, prejudices, and preferences, are in the same situation that you are in, and then just tell you what they would do or feel. Take a look:

So helpful!

Empathy is all about understanding the other person's actual feelings. Like, even when they're different from yours (SAY WHAAAAT??!). It's crazy and it can be hard, but it will also keep people from hating you. Try it sometime.

This is a good lead-in for my other favorite commenter, though:

The person who reads all the most insane advice and gets the idea that you've agreed to 100% of it

"ICan'tRead" is at least 75% of all internet commenters who arrive on scene past the first 10 or 20 comments. They skim the original post really quickly, then read the craziest advice and skip immediately to the bottom to beg, BEG you not to follow it. And then they lambaste you for even considering following it. They shriek about all the ways that following this insane advice is going to blow up in your face. They imply that you're a bad person and an idiot for planning to take such drastic action.

... action that you never once even remotely hinted that you were going to take.

Learn to f***ing read, idiots.

The person who has zero knowledge or experience with the situation but offers advice anyway

I can't get that mad at this person. At least they're just trying to help. It's actually sort of adorable.

The person who completely misunderstands the entire question

Sometimes I wonder if I have some sort of dyslexia that makes everything I write look correct to me, but look like total gobbledygook to everyone else. It's the only possible explanation for some of the comments I've received when asking for advice.

"This whole thread makes me sick" is my favorite thing that anyone can type into a comment box. It brightens my day, my week, and my year whenever I see it. Don't stop, people-who-are-made-sick-by-forum-threads. You keep doing you.

I don't even know how to respond to this person without being a snarky bitch because I just have so little patience for people who can't f***ing read. Your best bet is to just comment in choppy broken English all the time, because if I think it's not your native tongue then I'm much more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt when you completely misread something and then go off on me for it.

The person who gets distracted by something they find objectionable within the question itself, refusing to offer any advice until their grievance is addressed

Your objection has been noted.

The person who offers unsolicited advice on parts of your story that are just brief background, filling in all the details themselves

Three words are all this person needs to complete the entire story. "Mom has noticed" clearly means "Mom and I have had extended whispering conversations every time my sister leaves the room, which I'm sure she has noticed and is mad about. Mom has always been closer with me than with my sister, so my sister was already sensitive about this type of thing. You see, growing up, the two of us were very competitive, but ..." and on and on forever. I bet you never realized someone could get so much out of the phrase "Mom has noticed"!!! We're all learning something today.

There are more. There are so many more. But we'll just start with this.

And if you do any/all of these things, then I don't even know if I should tell you to stop or to keep doing it forever and ever until we all die. Because on the one hand, it's annoying, but on the other hand ... the internet just wouldn't be the same without it.