Visiting the US Consulate!

Since Wesley is the child of a US citizen (me!) he is a US citizen himself. In order to claim that though, we had to file some paperwork, since he doesn’t have a US birth certificate. The paperwork is fairly simple, especially in comparison to some of the government paperwork I’ve filed in the past (Canadian Permanent Residence, I’m looking at you). One question, however, requires that both parents of the child list every period of physical presence in the US. Living close to the border, that was a fairly long list for us (and I never even crossed said border until 2004!). Still, we got it all sorted out the night before- the application for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, the application for the Social Security Number (which I’ll need to file my taxes) and the application for his US passport (which will be his proof of US citizenship).

In order to file this stuff, we had to make an appointment at the US Consulate in Toronto. We made an appointment for the latest time they had available (10:30 AM) since we’d have to drive there and the morning drive into TO is a bit rough.

We got out of the house at 7:30, and after the drive and then the subway ride downtown, we barely made it in time. It was Wesley’s first subway ride! We took him in the Boba carrier because we didn’t want to deal with taking the whole big stroller and everything on the subway, and we didn’t know if we’d have space for the stroller at the consulate either. It worked really well for the trip.

Once we got downtown, we quickly hit up a Canada Post outlet to get a prepaid Express Post envelope (which you have to submit with your paperwork so they can mail you the passport and report of birth abroad). After that, we headed up to the consulate, which is on a shady sidestreet that is closed to car traffic.

MAN, was that place crazy. The line for visas was way out the door and down the street, and then there was another line inside, then another line after that. The people getting visas there had a long wait in front of them. We had an appointment so we were able to head in and up to a different area, but we had to throw away the ice packs we were using to keep the baby’s milk fresh, at security. Oh well. At least we didn’t have to waste any of his food (it was still good when it came time to feed him, shortly after).

After getting through security, we headed upstairs to the designated office. There were a bunch of windows, and we had to sign in at one, and they checked our paperwork. We had to fix a few things, and then wait to be called. After that, a second person checked our paperwork again, and we were told to wait again, and then we were called again, for our final paperwork check and interview. All told it was about an hour, which was a bit faster than we were expecting. We were the last ones out. The waiting area had a lot of children (naturally), and the washroom had a nice changing table and we were able to feed the baby there, which was nice.

All in all it was an interesting outing! We hope to get Wesley’s paperwork and passport in a few weeks, and his SSN sometime after that (it takes much longer). I’m glad we got it done now and not later when he would be harder to handle in a government office sort of situation. 🙂


Wesley is 6 months old (as of last Thursday)! He’s pretty much enormous. At his doctor appointment, he weighed 18 lbs 13 oz, and was over 27 inches long! The joke is that he’ll be taller than me any minute now (since I’m only 5’1″, he doesn’t get his height from me!)

He’s started on solid foods. So far, we’ve tried sweet potatoes and green beans, and rice cereal, and the biggest winner so far has been sweet potatoes mixed with rice cereal. Introducing new foods is a bunch more fun than I thought it would be- I thought feeding him would be really time-consuming and messy enough to bother me. But really, Wesley has been a relatively tidy eater (in that he hasn’t sneezed it all on me yet) and he gets through his little bowl of food pretty quickly, in about 15 or 20 minutes.

He rolls all over the floor, and is working on crawling, but hasn’t quite figured out how to push with his feet yet. He loves standing up though, if you hold him up he is super pleased to be on his feet (no standing on his own yet, of course!)

We had a half-birthday party for him last weekend, and it was nice! Just a barbecue for our friends, and their kids, too. Our friends have some really charming kids, as well. There were 6 children here aside from Wesley, and they were all girls, so that might have something to do with it, but talk about well-behaved and quiet! I hope they had fun. It was fun to have so many littles around, but I don’t know if I could handle it every day!

He’s still a pretty good sleeper, but he almost always has to sleep in his crib in his room now- where he used to be able to just nap wherever he was, now he’s too distracted if anything cool is going on around him. So he naps in his crib most of the time.

Trip to Texas!

About a month ago, Trevor and Wesley and I took our first plane trip together as a family, to Texas to visit my parents and brother and sister-in-law.


The flights were pretty awesome! It was Wesley’s first time on a plane, and we did some planning ahead and things worked out incredibly well. We flew mostly on MD88s, which are a middle-sized plane, two seats on one side and three on the other. We were on the three seat side a few times, and that worked out surprisingly okay!

Can I just say, pre-boarding for families with kids under 2? Awesome. Gave me enough time to get situated without having to trip over a bunch of people and bags, and without worrying about people bashing my kid with their bags. That was sweet.

We bought enough ready-made formula for the flights down and back (as Wesley is formula fed at this point) and brought our bottles. The timing worked out such that it was time to feed Wesley at each takeoff (we had 2 flights down and 2 flights back) and that kept him calm during the initial parts of the flight and probably helped keep his ear pressure normalized. Because we were next to a third person on a few of the flights, I was a bit apprehansive, but each time they complemented us on how calm the baby was, which was nice. After takeoff, he’d be pretty much done eating, hang out for a bit, then have a nap on our lap/shoulders/whatever. It worked out well.

In praise of the family restroom

On the way down, during our layover, we both needed to hit up the restroom and Wesley needed a diaper change. Enter the family restroom! If you’ve not seen these, it’s basically a big, accessible restroom with a change table. We got everything taken care of way faster than if we’d gone to the separate restrooms. Super awesome.

In Texas

While we were down there, we stayed in a hotel near my parents’ house, so that we’d have our own space and also because I kind of love hotels and this one had a whirlpool, so yay. We bought the baby supplies we’d need while we were down there. Diapers (we used disposable diapers, though we use a cloth diaper service at home), some wipes, swim diapers (so Wesley could try out the pool!), formula and water, and a couple other things. My mom got Wesley some clothes as a nice gift, and we also got some clothes from Kimberly and Tony (my brother and sister-in-law) which was nice.

We mostly hung out at my parents’ house and my brother’s place, which was good and relaxing. I was worried that with an infant it wouldn’t feel like we were on vacation, but the hotel stay helped with that (I love having other people make my bed! Also, whirlpool). We watched TV and played with the baby and had a good time. We watched crazy stuff too, Superman II! And Hazel. Random, but entertaining!

Speaking of the whirlpool, we made use of it a few times! It was nice. We also took Wesley in the indoor pool they had. It was a little chilly for him, but he had fun!

To give my mom some babysitting/grandma time, Trevor and I went with Tony and Kimberly to see The Avengers. We saw it at the Movie Theatre Tavern, which is a fantastic thing they have in Texas (and some other locations in the US) where you basically have your movie and food and beer all at once. It is particularly fantastic for comic book movies, I think.

They also have a system there which I think pretty much all diners/casual dining restaurants need- you push a button, it lights up, and then a server comes. Seriously, awesome. It’s rude to call a server over (especially from across the room), but sometimes they don’t catch the pointed glances when I want a refill or a dessert menu or the check. All in all, it was a nice baby-free outing, and my parents had fun babysitting. Here’s my dad and Wesley!

Back home

The flights back were also pretty good, Wesley had a tiny bit more fussyness but was overall pretty calm. He got a little bit upset on the car ride back home from Buffalo, but we made it home late in the evening and Trevor and I both had the following day off from our various obligations so we were able to get back into our regular home routine. Overall, I definitely recommend traveling with infants, especially when they’re still not mobile on their own (as Wesley was at the time, he’s rolling all over the place now).