5 tips for traveling with a toddler

On the road.Traveling with a baby is a grand adventure, and these tips are for traveling with ONE child. These tips will probably not work with more than one child in the car… of any age.

  1. Place car seat in the back seat facing the rear of the car. An adult should be seated next to the baby. This way, you can see each other and will most likely have the most upper body space for movement by the adult.
  2. Remove toddler’s socks and shoes when the toddler is in the seat. They will get the message that this is a relaxing time, no walking will be involved for awhile.  Plus, they sleep better without socks and shoes. Each time you stop for gas or food, socks and shoes are put on the toddler, and he is allowed to walk and run while holding the adults’ hand.
  3. Have a bag of toys nearby. Give the toddler ONE toy at a time, preferably a toy they haven’t seen in a while, or a new toy. Allow them to become fully bored with one toy before changing to another toy. Switch out with picture books for toddlers. If the toddler isn’t complaining about being bored or restless, leave the toddler alone.
  4. Sleeping while travelingBaby blanket should be nearby at all times. In addition to being a security blanket, an entire hour can be spent playing “peek-a-boo” in a variety of ways. Over the blanket, under the blanket, from each side, or play tent. The adult who plays with the toddler gets special treatment whenever you stop the car. In the evening, a Margarita is a great reward.
  5. Have the toddler’s bottle and/or sippy cup ready before you start the vehicle. Hydration should be encouraged, and be sure to change the diaper when you stop for gas or food.

I fell down and haven’t gotten up… maybe I need a new bike helmet?

I can’t put it behind me. Sunday, September 8, 2013, was Grandparents Day. It was a typical Sunday watching our nearly 1-year-old grandson for the day. We had a fluke accident during a bike ride, (Grandfather hit a tree and the bike continued forward with the baby in a front baby seat on the bike) and long story short, the little guy was air-lifted by helicopter to a pediatric trauma center 50 miles away.

Life Flight - Helicopter Ride

Life Flight – Helicopter Ride

He was fine, but because his bike helmet had cracked in the fall and he was showing signs of lethargy, we called 9-1-1. Procedure and common sense required a CT Scan, X-ray, and observation. His mama and daddy met him at the hospital and we all sat in the ER with him for 4-6 hours’ before he was discharged. He was fine. No injuries. He was more traumatized by the neck brace, papoose board, IV in his right arm, blood pressure cuff on his left arm, and the piece’-de-resistance, the pediatric neck brace he had to endure for at least three hours in the ER. He’s fine.

Giro Infant Safety Helmet saves the day!

Giro Infant Safety Helmet saves the day!

All glory and thanks to God for keeping our grandson safe and injury-free that day! Two months later, Super Baby is still fine and my husband’s injuries are nearly healed. The accident continues to affect me. For starters, that was the last day I rode my bike.  I’m “overprotective,” I don’t encourage the little guy to take risks or push any physical skill-building activities. Crawling is just fine.

bike adventureSometimes I close my eyes and the accident replays in my head with all the fear and terror of that afternoon. I tell myself I need to “get back on the horse” — so to speak.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to ride a bike with my grandson ever again, and that makes me sad.  My husband shows no interest in fixing the bikes. He retrieved a piece of the tree trunk after the city cut it down–vindication, revenge?  No one else will hit that tree ever again and suffer the “what-if” of a possible head injury. Sounds good to me! But I don’t like being afraid to ride my bike. We’re having good bike-riding weather, so I think about it often. And now I’ve seen this remarkable new INVISIBLE BIKE HELMET — only $535. Too cool!  Does it come in infant/toddler sizes?

7 Quick Takes – Shutdown

— 1 —

A household shutdown is imminent.

I’m not able to focus to get any tasks complete. I need a break from this mess that I mostly created by myself. I am a slob!

— 2 —

What would my family’s reaction be to a shutdown?

Hello? Anyone home?  Oh. He’s in his “man-cave” doing serious stuff on his computer–“World of Warcraft”  No reaction. Hmm.

— 3 —

WHICH services would be denied during the shutdown?

Cooking. Dishes. Laundry. Shopping. Vacuuming. Cleaning the toilet. Yard work. Making the bed. Washing windows. Scooping the kitty litter. Washing the car. Non-essential crap.

— 4 —

How long will the shutdown last?

Aim for Christmas.  More crap will be received then, and will need to have a space all its’ own.

— 5 —

Who will resume services when the shutdown ends?

Crap.  Me.  After 2 seconds of serious thought, a shutdown is not  sounding like a good plan.

— 6 —

Is mooching at Mom’s house allowable during the shutdown?

Of course. Mom loves me no matter what. More than that though. She wouldn’t want my hubby to be scarred by this experience. He will  eat like a king!

— 7 —

What lesson will I learn from a shutdown experience?

A shutdown is like a tree falling in the forest.  No one hears it; no one cares. The tree rots. Bugs are happy.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes – Grandparents Day 2013

— 1 —

Giro Infant Safety Helmet saves the day!

Giro Infant Safety Helmet saves the day!


Grandparents Day started great but ended up 50 miles away at a pediatric trauma center. Our 11-month-old grandson is fine, but the grandparents are still a bit shaky about riding a bike with him (after the bikes are repaired and a new bike safety helmet can be ordered for him). Summary of the bike accident HERE.

— 2 —

It’s been a while since I regularly strolled the aisles of the toy departments of local stores. A visit earlier this week freaked me out when I was minding my own business and a stupid Furby toy started TALKING to me as I walked past. I thought those things were GONE for good. After reading Jennifer’s post on 7QT, I would recommend putting the Furby in the trash and gently explaining to her daughter that the little guy left on a pilgrimage…. It would be an act of kindness any priest would absolve.

— 3 —

I am feeling relieved and a bit proud of my accomplishments this month, as they involved three very different learning curves. (Getting our church’s new website organized with menus, content, links, widgets, setting up and organizing our parish’s new Flocknote network for text/email communication with parishioners, and setting up the new email system for the parish staff.)

Of course the rest of my life was put on “hold” until I had time to cook dinner, wash clothes, sleep, (but I don’t do that much anyway), and clean my house. I did maintain the litter box… anyone who’s got cats knows you don’t let the litter box mess pile up, or they find somewhere else to pee and poop in your home!

House Cat #2

House Cat #2


If my daughter reads this post this week, clean out your litter box. I’m sure it needs it. Learn from my mistakes.

— 4 —

New baby in the house

New baby in the house


Parenting styles are not lost on children. I recently showed this picture to my adult daughter of herself when she was about two years old. We had recently brought her newborn brother home from the hospital and no one was getting much sleep in the house. She fell asleep at the table while eating lunch.

She had the exact same thoughts as I did when I found the photo… “Dad made my lunch… because he served it to me on a paper towel.” That’s right daughter! Mommy always served (and still serves) lunch on a plate, whether it’s plastic, paper, or china.

We’ve been married 36 years, and he STILL will make and eat a sandwich lunch on a paper towel. I still complain about the cost of paper napkins.

— 5 —

Chile Verde Pork Tostada

Chile Verde Pork Tostada

.

I assume that most folks have a favorite menu item that they order EVERY SINGLE TIME they go to their favorite restaurant. Am I right? The Chile Verde Pork Tostada is only available on the lunch menu. I no longer have a desire to go to dinner there because this lunch item isn’t available on the dinner menu. That’s nuts, isn’t it? Do you ever order something that’s not on a menu? Do you get it?

— 6 —

Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Sangre de Cristo Mountains


My brother is in the midst of a monsoon currently drenching parts of New Mexico. I pray for his and others’ safety as they brave the storm. On the positive side, the creek he uses for water shouldn’t run dry this winter/spring like it did earlier this year!

— 7 —

My sister recommended a movie for me to watch soon… Fargo. If you’ve seen it, what did you think? It’s rated “L” (limited adult audiences by the Catholic News Service. I don’t have a problem with dark humor. (I recently discovered I love to watch “Breaking Bad.”)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Bike Safety Pays Off

G-man sports the Giro infant bicycle safety helmet

G-man sports the Giro infant bicycle safety helmet


A bicycle helmet is one of the best things in life you should focus on for anyone in your family who rides on a bike. Even if it’s just a bike ride down the street.

A fluke accident happened in the blink of an eye this afternoon while on a bike ride with our 11-month old grandson, (who still looks like his photo from last month)….

Long story short: Babysitting, 3-mile bike ride with infant, narrow sidewalk, tree, riderless bike, bike & infant fall, broken helmet, broken bikes, hot day, prayers to Jesus and Mary, 9-1-1, call G-man’s parents, Life Flight helicopter, pediatric trauma center 50 miles away, Divine Mercy Chaplet, x-rays, CT-scan, pediatric cervical collar around the neck, pediatric blood pressure cuff on the left arm, IV and IV board on the right arm, and oh by the way, no water or formula for three hours in the pediatric ER. Another 3 hours ’til the attending physician released infant with ‘all clear’ after observation. The only thing that kept this child calm was two full-length viewings of Pixar’s “CARS” movie on an iPad. Grandparents sustained minor injuries; parents lost 5 years off their original lifespan. Baby sleeping comfortably. Rosary.

One-Year Birthday plans may proceed, thank God, and all the angels and saints, too. If he hadn’t been wearing a helmet, I don’t even want to think about the head injury that could have resulted. Thank God the bike and baby fell in sand. Not the sidewalk, not the road (which was within 3 feet).

So, make sure you and your child wear a bike safety helmet when on your bikes.

Here’s how we established bike helmet safety: When we first got the bike helmet, G-man fought to get the strange contraption off his head. He wriggled. He cried. He pulled. We did not give in to his complaints. We led by example. Grandfather would put his bike helmet on saying “Hats on!” with a smile. Grammy would put her bike helmet on saying “Hats on!” with a smile. And finally we would both put his helmet on saying “Hats on!” with a smile. When we got to our destination, his would come off first with a big “Hats off!” and a smile. Right on down the line. He learned to accept the bike helmet as a matter of course after that!

In the event his parents allow him to get on a bike again (after repairs), we’ll need to invest in a new helmet. Not sure when this will be. This accident happened so fast, I can’t even remember seeing it happen, and it happened right in front of me! One second they were THERE, the next second they were DOWN. I didn’t even have time to apply my brakes. I hit the brick wall and dropped my feet from the pedals. The sprocket from the chain dug into the back of my ankle, but I don’t feel anything wrong yet.

Don’t worry about “bike helmet hair.” If it bothers you that much, find a different sport that doesn’t require head safety.

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Two days. That’s how long I was able to get to bed early and sleep for a good 8-9 hours.  I meant to go to bed at 9:30pm… but that was nearly six hours ago and I’m STILL at the computer. Haven’t even gotten to my email yet.  Don’t wanna.  Why?  Because it’s got a 2-day backlog of messages!

— 2 —

Pulled weeds in my front entry IN THE DARK surrounded by angry mosquitoes one night this week.  (I got home late, obviously.) My helpful hubby provided two citronella candles and a halogen workshop light draped over the hedge. (The alternative was him using the weed-whacker indiscriminately to clear the jungle away from our entry.)

The halogen light sure helped me see the swarm of mosquitoes intent on draining my body of every drop of blood.  Thank you, God, for mosquito repellent.  It worked.  And the shower afterwards gave me the most glorious and clean feeling in the world. The weeds have been eradicated for another few months. My plants are named Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frankincense, Gideon, and Herbert.  With the exception of “Herbert,” can you “name that movie” from which the names are taken?

— 3 —

No cat drama this week. Always good.

— 4 —

Another day closer to my drivers license expiration date.  I have my certified marriage license and my certified birth certificate ready, now I just need to review the drivers handbook to prepare for the test.   I’d rather be pulling weeds.  In the dark.  With or without mosquito repellent.

— 5 —

I’m nearing the point of needing to learn about video compression.  If given a choice, I would probably prefer to pull weeds–in the dark–with mosquitoes. I know enough to know that if I learn about lossless compression, I will FOREVER be on the other side of geekness.  Friends’ eyes will glass over when I speak. I know this because it bores me senseless.  Here’s another movie reference…

I don’t want to know WHERE the water comes from!  I just want to be able to turn the faucet on and get water!

— 6 —

Prayer success of the week!  I prayed a Rosary for a friend who is experiencing spiritual attacks on every level. (Thanks for saying a quick prayer for Linda. God will know which Linda needs prayer!)  I should pray the Rosary more often, I know. I think about it often. Are there some families who actually pray the Rosary every night?  God bless you!

— 7 —

New crib

Just driving by when I spotted this crib.  It was a gorgeous day to spend $40!

I bought a crib this afternoon for my grandson to take naps when he visits us on Sundays. The ladies at the thrift store were so excited that it was new in the box… but it has a drop-down side (and every mother and grandmother knows no one is supposed to sell that style any more) … thanks to government over-regulation.  It’s a great crib made by Simmons (at a great price–$40) and it’s better than the port-a-crib hand-me-down we’re using now.  I love that it’s never been drooled on. The teething rails are pristine. No teeth marks. Yet.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Sleep Quote

My grandson is experiencing a “hiccup” in his sleep training due to a head cold. Because he’s only 11 months old, my daughter is also experiencing sleepless nights while trying to keep him comfortable. She sent me this quote by text message yesterday:

What cruel irony that makes sleep such a necessary thing,
then deprives us of its ease. -Jenna Hebert

And this was the day after she explained the importance of sleep to form physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing in babies. (Hence, the sleep training.) Gabriel has come a long way since the days of his nickname, “Monsieur Crankypants!”

photo