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The Bumpdate: Thanksgiving, Growing Up, Growing Old and Travel Tips From the Pros

The Newsletter for Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness Families and Friends


Happy Thanksgiving week, friends! We're anticipating a low key week here at the birth center but if you need anything, we are a phone call away. Our kids are out of school for the entire week so we're focusing on keeping ourselves sane until Monday the 27th when we all return to our regularly scheduled programming.

This time of year can be completely overwhelming for so many of us. The mental labor of planning, coordinating and executing a family event can easily take away from the joy of the day. This year my mother is incapacitated after a full knee replacement a few weeks go so it falls on my siblings and I to throw together Thanksgiving dinner. And although we all have kids, spouses and homes of our own, my mom, the matriarch of our family, handing over the reigns feels like a really big deal. One that my brain says I'm not ready for.

For many Gen Xers including myself, 2023 has been the year of feeling the weight of being the sandwich generation; we have both aging parents and young kids. I often tell expectant parents in our Core Classes that becoming parents is life-altering in ways you cannot anticipate until you've been designated as another living being's guardian. Until now, you've been someone's child, now YOU are the parent and there are no other grown-ups to defer to. You're it. I agree wholeheartedly with the statement that the postpartum period lasts seven years because it's really isn't until around then when you have a good grasp on what's expected as a parent. You've made it through the challenges of feeding, diapering, potty training, daycare, preK, now elementary and extra curricular activities fill your time. I've been told it is calm before the storm of adolescents. Yay. And all the while your parents are aging and experiencing all the life and social changes that come with it.

Growth Wall in Grandma's Kitchen, 8 Gonzales Grandkids

As my parents get older and begin needing more help with their day to day lives I find myself reflecting on the holidays, vacations and special occasions that my folks, mostly mom, put together for us. I don't recall hearing her planning or stressing about these events, though I'm positive she did. When I catch myself complaining about the stressors of the season I try NOT do it when my kids are around. I want to raise kids that appreciate the time and effort my wife and I put into our activities AND I want them to enjoy these moments with our extended family. I want my kiddos to look back at these years and remember all the fun things we did on break together and all the shenanigans being around cousins brings. Every year will look a little different as we all get older but for now, we're all together and I'm so incredibly thankful for this season of family. Thank you for being a part of our HOH family. We hope you have a relaxing and cup-filling break with the people you love most.

Gratitude from the HOH crew:

Mary Love

2023 has without a doubt been the most challenging year of my life. However, the hurdles of this year also allowed me to feel the tiny joys, the simple bits of life and the love that so many people have for me. I am grateful beyond words for my family and friends who stepped in to help and hold me. It takes a village and I’m so happy to have mine.

Sweet Ophelia!
Rachel Palomera:

This year I’m thankful for my sweet baby Ophelia and her smiles, as well as my wonderful husband. I’m also thankful for the support of my coworkers throughout my pregnancy, birth and postpartum 🥰🥰🥰

Paige Hopkins:

I am grateful for a completed to-do list. Time spent with family and friends old and new. Seeing new souls come inot the world gives me more joy than I can express. But I can't forget to mention how grateful I cam for Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream, the perfect brownie, clean sheets and a good book!

Kate Lavender Jones:

I’m thankful for my beautiful daughters, my wonderful profession and amazing coworkers, my health and that of my family and my menagerie of animals to keep me warm at night!

Bethany Horton:

This year I am thankful for my health, my loving, supportive and understanding family, and my amazing coworkers that help make life easier.

Leah Jolly:

I am grateful for each sunrise, it signifies another day to love and spend time with my family, friends, colleagues and clients!

Travel Tips from the Experts

Globe Trotting, New Big Sister, Petra!

I asked our HOH and WHC parents to share their top travel tips. Here's what they had to say:

Waffa: Nurse/give bottle/paci on take off and landing to help with the ear pressure!

Keary: Get the kids their own seat.

We scheduled flights at nap time and had A LOT of airport runaround time - he sleeps.

Also gobe snack spinner on Amazon

Painters tape- best hack from IG ever

Kerry: My six month old babe only slept 30 minutes on our 11 hour plane ride … so keeping expectations low helped me not get frustrated!

Kellie:If your child is prone to blowouts use a cloth diaper cover like esembly over a disposable. Saved me countless time.

Sarita: Get👏🏽the👏🏽bulkhead👏🏽, With all international travel we do, getting lounge access is incredible (who knew baked beans would be so popular?), the busy boards can take up some time, and the spinners are great for a window seat.

Lindsey: Everyone needs a change of clothes (or two) in your carry-on. I have been thrown up on in a planes by all of my children. Also a handful of gallon zip top bags for dirty clothes or even catching vomit. I learned the hard way that those paper vomit bags in seat back pockets are worthless. The bottom got soggy and ripped almost immediately.

Ally: My best advice for baby travel is to just feed, feed, feed on demand whenever they’re really little. I also would bring a hand pump and empty bottle (I breastfeed) just in case she refused my breast, which happened one flight and it was a disaster for the last hour of the flight. Not sure if she would have taken a bottle, but gosh I wish I had it as an option.

My one other piece when it comes to baby nap schedules, is to not to stress too much. Be aware of when they might be needing coaxed to nap, but they’ll be so tired from traveling that they’ll catch up on sleep when they get where you’re going.

Rocio: For us having done it both ways. Security and boarding goes MUCH easier if you are baby wearing. I gate check (when boarding) my stroller/carseat but I still use the carrier through the airport and push the stroller around with our backpacks sitting in it lol it just helps to be able to quickly collapse the stroller for TSA and always have free hands. Otherwise you're trying to do everything else with your baby sitting in the stroller then you pick them up and have to put the stroller up/down with them in your arms. It's chaos."

Alexandria: We just landed in San Francisco! I recommend babywearing throughout the airport, but I use a travel stroller for the car seats with a car seat strap. You can pack extra things like diapers in the car seat bags, which we always gate check. Definitely bring a change of clothes in ziplocks with extra diapers. Painters tape is gold like others have mentioned. Pack more snacks than you think you need! I love packing fresh cut fruit. That’s It bars are great for the little ones. Give your toddler a job like pushing the stroller if traveling with two. My four year old loves this book to prep - we got it when he was around 18 months old, so he knew what to expect.

We love this bag for our family of four. You can carry it on and wear it as a backpack.

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

Upcoming Events

  • Infant / BLS CPR and First Aid: Saturday 12/2 10am $45 a person. MUST register and pay HERE

  • Core Class Comfort Measures: Saturday 12/3 2-4pm Please Register

  • Core Class When Plans Change: Wednesday 6-8pm Please Register

  • PP Support Group Babywearing: Thursday 12/7 10-12 Members Only

  • Meet the Doula Night: Friday 12/8 6-8pm Please Register

November Events!

New address 6550 Mapleridge Ste 100

Monthly Ongoing Events

  • Thursday In Person Postpartum Support Circle: 10-12 in the community room. Open to current HOH & WHC members. Feeding clinic first and third Thursdays of each month.

  • Queer Parent Circle: Second Sunday of every month 2-4pm Open to the public.

  • Babywearing Beginners Series:Every Third Saturday 4-5pm Free for HOH & WHC

  • Birth workers Circle: Second Sunday of every month 11am-1:30pm midwives, student midwives, doulas, birth assistants, Obs and L&D nurses are all welcome to attend.

  • Various Childbirth Education Curriculums starting soon: Bradley Method with Anne Zwicky

That's all for now! Have a great week everyone.

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