Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Parent's Travel Guide for the Holidays!

Ward is a frequent flier because both sets of his grandparents live far away and they love having him visit because I guess they didn't get enough of toddler tantrums and surprise pooping the first time they raised kids. And now that he's old enough for his own seat whenever we fly, he has already settled into a routine of buckling up, pulling his tray table down, and demanding that complimentary Sprite every time a stewardess anyone comes by, which keeps him pretty occupied for the first three minutes we are on the plane. The rest of the time is just opening and shutting his window as rapidly and aggressively as possible. And I'm still trying to teach Ward the ole "I just flew in from Vegas and BOY are my arms tired" joke for whenever our families pick us up at the airport, but he doesn't seem to appreciate the hilarity of it...I fear he has his father's terrible sense of humor.

Ward, like most kids, is acutely aware that he has the upper hand with me when we are trapped on an airplane (scientific fact). This means once we step on board that it's a whole new ball game. With whole new rules. And whole new ideas. And whole new consequences. And whole new rewards. And whole new--are you still reading this part? Did no one ever teach you how to skim?

You Vs. Baby: A helpful guide to flying
Tip #1: Give your baby everything he/she wants. 
Are you just hanging out at home with your kid? Don't give them whatever they want, you'll raise a monster! Are you on an airplane with your kid? Give them everything they want! Give them all the things! Does your kid like cookies? Give them cookies. Do they like coloring books? Bring fifty. Hell, does your kid like gogo dancers? (Stupid question, I know. Who doesn't?!) Then you had better call the talent agency before your next flight. Like most kids, Ward loves candy. Every time he smells/sees/hears the word chocolate, he starts demanding some. If we are at home when he demands it, I just say NOPE and walk away while he lies on the floor kicking the pantry door (from the inside or the outside...both have been done). But in airports, that's not feasible. I mean, don't get me wrong, I have TRIED to walk away from him mid-tantrum at the airport, but nosy strangers always end up intervening with their pesky "Miss, was that your child you left crying on the floor ten gates back?" or the really annoying ones who are like, "I'm not sure you should stick your baby in the overhead bin, he doesn't seem to like that." Don't tell me how to raise my kid, lady! So, to sums things up, Ward generally consumes about 4,000 calories of candy when we fly.

Tip #2: Sit behind a young person. 
Ward loves putting his tray table upanddownandupanddownandup for li-truh-lee the entire flight. And he does it with such gleeful force that it pounds the seat in front of his every time. I used to try and stop him because I knew it was disturbing the passenger in that seat, but that would always result in an immediate nuclear meltdown that was now disturbing the passengers in every seat on the plane. So now I just make sure we are behind someone under the age of, oh, eighteen, because if there is one thing everyone knows about the tolerance of others, it is that old folks don't give a #&@% about how hard you're trying to control your kid. They just you to stop annoying them. Young people, however, still have enough self-consciousness and insecurity to let someone kick the back of their seat for two hours without saying a thing.

Tip #3: Try to coordinate your child's illnesses with the flight so you don't feel ethically conflicted about giving them "baby's special sleepy medicine." 
Because there aren't infinity pages in Sky Mall, a flight can get pretty boring after about the first ten minutes. Sleeping is like hitting the fast forward button, so as far as I'm concerned, being conked out is the best way to be, child and adults alike.   I lucked out this last trip because Ward had a nasty cough the day we flew home from Memphis. I gave him some hippy medicine with honey and melatonin in it, so he spent 90% of the nearly-four hour flight snoring...and talking yelling in his sleep "NO DINOSAUR," "MOMMY APPLES?" and (my personal favorite) "BEEF CANDY!"
Tip #4: For every person who seems annoyed with your baby's behavior, there are ten others who sympathize.
One time, I was flying from Memphis to my connection in Phoenix and Ward was still young enough to be a "lap child," meaning I didn't have to buy him a ticket, he could just sit in my lap the whole time. Do you know how long a two year old likes sitting still and facing forward on his mother's lap while staring at the back of an airplane seat? About zero seconds. The only thing that kept him from opening the emergency exit and parachuting out was the fact that I had Oreos and an iPhone for him to watch movies on. But of course, that only lasted to long, since up until recently, it was FAA policy to force passengers to shut off and put away their electronic devices during ascent and descent. I can only assume that policy was designed to most effectively oppress passengers and keep our morale down in the depths of hell where it belonged. When I reluctantly pried my phone out of Ward's hands to prepare for landing, his reaction can only be explained as...catastrophic. Or maybe apocalyptic? Yeah, that's the word: apocalyptic. He was thrashing around in my arms so hard that he cracked the (stowed) tray table and dove off of my lap into the aisle. And as I struggled to pull his trantruming body off the floor, the stewardess yelled from her jumpseat that I'd better contain him because we were landing, which was really helpful of her. By some miracle, I got him back into my lap and restrained him with a bear hug while he screamed and coughed and gagged because just before his fit, he had stuffed a whole Oreo in his mouth and chewed it but hadn't swallowed it yet . This meant that during the entire tantrum, Ward had been spewing out black Oreo gunk (which inevitably ruined both of our shirts so much that I had to throw them away later). At the fever pitch of this situation, the woman in front of me turned around and screamed, "COVER HIS F*CKING MOUTH!" If her objective had been to make me cry, she was too late. She did, however, succeed in encouraging me to stop restraining a raging Ward from donkey-kicking the back of her seat like I had been. Did I mention that he had earlier found a Sharpie in the terminal, so his face looked like this then entire time?
Was that the worst flight I'd ever been on? Yes. And that means a lot coming from someone who once flew from Amsterdam to Atlanta sitting next to a person I'm pretty sure was in the late stages of tuberculosis. As I gathered our things to deplane, felt humiliated and defeated. I slowly lugged a (now sleeping) Ward off of the flight as my diaper bag and purse hung from my elbows, banging on every seat as I walked down the aisle, which is how I'd imagine a sad Charlie Brown would get off a plane if he were a parent. However, once I got onto the jetway, multiple people approached me with kind words and encouragement. "It's okay. I once flew to Hawaii with my six kids and I'm pretty sure it gave me PTSD," said one guy. An older mom gave me a hug, "I've been there. We all have. Well, most of us." My connection wasn't leaving for another couple of hours, so I found a dark corner at an empty gate and held Ward as he continued to rest up for his next round of outbursts that would occur on the following flight. I didn't seem to mind as much that time, though, and I had those kind people to thank.

In conclusion, I'd like to say this: Flying with kids is like paying your tithing: it hurts and is hard, but if you do it, the windows of heaven will pour out blessings unto you. Wait, is that right? I'm not sure that simile is really working out. Maybe you should just stay home?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Rehder Family Eye Candy

We got all hussied up (that was supposed to say 'gussied up' but I like the typo better) for family pictures a few weeks back, and anyone who knows Sloan (so, like, five people) is probably wondering how I was able to coerce him into doing this at all, let alone on a Saturday afternoon during football season.

Well, obviously, I did what every wife does and employed my own proprietary blend of nagging, threatening, and promising of sexual favors to win his cooperation. Who says women can't get what they want? Feminism, yeah! *high fives self*

And as whiny as husbands can be when it comes to acting all Stepford Wives for just three seconds in front of the camera, babies are worse. But that's not news to anyone, is it? I mean, HEAVEN FORBID I try to get this little pudding pop to smile for a picture in his nice clothes before we go to church where he will eventually have taken them all off by the end (three hours is a long time, people!)
 
But somehow we pulled it off. I credit my pal Ashley for scrambling around the desert brush and remembering to flip onto her back whilst tumbling down gravelly cliffs in order to protect her (probably unamused) bun in the oven, all while Sloan Ward threw one fit after another. Pictures might steal your soul, but they sure are not fun to take! Wait, that doesn't sound right.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Latest Haps!

The Rehders have been pretty busy around here packing away our summer clothes, then getting them back out every few days because 80 degrees in November! Worry not, however, we have been doing a few other things besides putting on sweatshirts then stepping outside and immediately forming pit stains the size of dinner plates.

Okay...I guess we really haven't been doing much else.

You may be wondering why I sound so healthy, and let me tell you why: a few weeks ago I started a new diet and exercise regime! I don't want to give away all of my secrets, but I WILL tell you that my new lifestyle involves Halloween candy,  five year old pairs of Spanx, and long crying jags in the shower. I'm not seeing major results yet, but I'll keep my shoulder to the wheel until those numbers on the scale start to drop! Then I'll probably quit (that's how I usually do it).

In other news, Sloan and I have settled into a nice routine of his coming to me on a weekly basis and pleading with me to stop spending money by trying to calmly explain student loan interest rates (which is an ironic term because there is NOTHING interesting about them). I think it's really sweet of him to hold out hope of my cooperation, but seriously, those over-sized picture frames, rolls of sequined trim, and ceramic owls are not going to collect themselves! *chuckles* Men!

As for Ward, he's been busy perfecting the art of the tantrum; and he gets ample opportunities to practice. "You cannot sit on that Chihuahua. Stop shoving your shoes into the exhaust pipe! No, you can't push that homeless person down the slide. DO NOT KISS THE PIGEONS."  But for as many tantrums as he throws, those are still preferable to the times when he acts simply devastated when he hears me say no.
Right when he heard me say, "Nope, 
no park. You're taking a bath."

This is why Ward typically gets whatever he wants.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I Was a Fun Kid!

Just kidding, I wasn't fun. I was a sensitive child. Really sensitive. I mean, like, so sensitive that looking back I wonder if I had some sort of childhood psychosis. I have no idea why I was so sensitive, nothing traumatic ever happened to me...come to think of it, nothing traumatic has ever happened to me in my whole life ehhh I probably shouldn't tempt fate with that sentence. Where was I? Oh yeah, talking about being a neurotic little kid. And I was short. And I wore big glasses. Wait, was I actually just Woody Allen as a kid? That would explain everything! EVERYTHING.

I remember one time (and by 'remember' I actually mean 'every detail of this encounter is imprinted so firmly into my mind that it will be the last thing I see when I die) during a lesson at my piano teacher's house she gently chided me for not practicing enough. Her quiet, five-second rebuke got me crying so hysterically for so long that she eventually just got me a lemonade and let me sit/cry/watch cartoons on her bed until my lesson time was over.
That smile was a LIE.
Or one time at my friend Christy's house, we were walking through her kitchen talking about Powerpuff Girls when Christy's mom politely told me I shouldn't say the word butt. I silently nodded then continued calmly walking with Christy back to her room and once she closed the door I proceeded to bawl for two hours on a (bewildered) Christy's pillow until she called my mom picked me up. Then, I kid you not, for the next month I got sick with fear every time the phone rang fearing it was Christy's mother calling to yell at me about saying the word butt. (Unsurprisingly, she never did.)
That vest was a LIE.
But don't worry guys, I toughened up! Now, I'm unafraid of criticism, disapproval, and even outright rejection (not true at all). I mean, my life is nothing like that one time I sat my whole family down to play the piano for them, and when I was done with my song (aka pressing down random keys with a very serious look on my face), they clapped enthusiastically and asked me what I was going to name it. I thought for only a second before blurting out the perfect name for my song, "Let Me Bake the Cake." To my dismay, everyone immediately started laughing and I was inconsolable for the rest of the night while my mom tried to explain that everyone was laughing because they thought I was so cute...but I knew the truth. And I still know. They were laughing AT me.
Me right before I told them
the name of my song.
Oh, family, you thought I forgot about that little incident, didn't you?

Well I didn't.

Watch your backs.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sloantimes!

Sure Sloan is weird and creepy and kind of annoying, but the good outweighs the bad. He's manly and muscular and knows how to properly haul children.
He's also tender-hearted and sentimental (I know this because every night he sleeps with MY senior quilt).

But the best thing about my baby is that he's loves his baby. WARNING: FOTO OVERLOAD
Man, Sloan sure is lucky to have us.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Bubba the Strollerboy!

I bought my baby a stroller a couple of weeks ago. Sloan was all like, "You're just doing this to impress your hipster friends because it's cool to reject gender roles now," and I was all like, "Rejecting gender roles? What? I'm just buying a stroller," even though Sloan is actually 300% right about my motives (I can admit that on here because Sloan doesn't read my blog. Heck, I'm not sure he even knows it exists...or that I exist...or that we're married, considering I've never actually met Sloan, I've just created our marital relationship through this blog using stolen photos of his little family and photoshopping my face onto his real wife's body. WHAT JUST KIDDING HA GUYS please don't call the police I can't go back there again.)

To say that Ward likes his stroller is an understatement.
To say that he loves it is an understatement.
To say he would rather see me thrown out of an airplane than that stroller is, also, an understatement.

The stroller goes pretty much everywhere Ward goes...except for church because I have to draw the line somewhere. Like every other kid, Ward needs to learn that going to church is about being bored, and if I don't teach him that now then later on in life he'll end up swingin around naked on wrecking balls or twerking on TV like that Wiley Cyprus character, and I don't like her behavior one bit.

It doesn't interest Edward to actually put a 'baby' in his stroller. I've tried sticking dolls in there, but he gets annoyed and throws them on the ground with this sort of "who the HELL put this in here??" attitude. I'm slowly figuring out it's because he essentially thinks of his stroller as a portable chair, so of course he doesn't want to put anything in it...then he wouldn't be able to sit in it, and that would defeat the whole purpose of schlepping it around in the first place.
And, I guess, any extra cargo would also hinder his offroading capabilities.
And that's important to him.

Friday, September 6, 2013

I'm Back and Better Than EVER!

I haven't posted in a while because I've just been lazy. And because we went to Seattle!
Seattle! The Jewel of the Northwest! The Emerald City! The Coffee Capital of the World! That Place Where a One Bedroom Basement Apartment Costs Three Million Dollars a Month (plus utilities)! Seattle!

If you've spent this past month lying on your bedroom floor, slowly losing consciousness as you constantly refresh my blog's homepage awaiting a new post, I apologize. If you haven't been doing that, but have instead continued to live your life in a normal manner whilst occasionally checking my blog for an update, I hate you. And for everyone else who just DOESN'T read my blog at all, I am going to hunt you down and make you pay, so help me. Yes, you will spend the rest of your life in fear, always looking over your shoulder, and one of the times that you do, I'll be there. (But since you won't even know to be scared because you're [obviously] not reading this, I've been super busy printing and mailing out flyers to you and the other 6,999,999,897 people on Earth who aren't currently followers. Also, I've been getting a lot of questions about who this threat applies to so let me just say that there are NO EXCUSES for not reading my blog, so I don't wanna hear about how you don't have a computer/can't speak English/are an infant! Geez, people these days don't take any responsibility, which is exactly what happens when everyone gets a trophy as a kid! And soda pop! It's all that damn soda pop!

Soooo we went to Seattle to be with the family as they finally sealed the deal with Doc to go ahead and take Mikyn off of our hands. It was all little shaky, but once we heard the I do's, Rehders across the world let out a sigh of relief. Have fun with that, Fullmers! *rubbing hands together, mischevious laugh*

The wedding was lovely, which was not a good thing since none of us know how to act fancy. Case in point, this is how Sloan gets Ward dressed for church:
It makes more sense when you know that
we're members of the congregation
at Chippendales Presbyterian.
But we somehow muddled through without being too low-class!
[via]
In fact, not only did Ed wear clothes, but he wore a suit! Which is pretty good considering he typically keeps his shirts open and tied at the bottom like a cranky version of the Chiquita banana lady.
Now, there's something that happened while on our trip that I want to address right now. You might have heard rumors, there may have been some whisperings about town, so let me set everything straight. It is true that I was approached by a one hundred pound teenage boy hunky man while I was buying Cheetos on the ferry. He said, "You're really beautiful, you know that?" To which I (confused and hard of hearing) replied, "Cheetos!" and walked away before realizing what he'd actually said to me. I rushed back to thank him, but by he was already gone. Was he a ghost? Was he a magician? What he a mega-rich playboy who had seen my face and right then decided to love me and only me until the day he died, then realizing his love unrequited, decided to jump overboard to silence the roaring agony of his heartbreak? No one can know for sure (except for me: it was the third one).

*sigh* So there, you've heard it from me directly. Hopefully that will quell the constant inquiries my family has been receiving. They've been supportive.

But enough about me! Here are some pictures from our trip!!

Ward doing an impression of Mikyn.

Me doing an impression of me.

Ward and Ed doing impressions
of each other.
Sloan doing an impression
of...a jolly lumberjack?
Ward not really caring about what 
the word impression means.