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NEVER say never…

3 Jun

I must confess…I have never been a fan of the child safety harness/backpack.  I need to apologize to any parent that I may have stared at a little too long with eyes of wonder and possibly judgement…I walked in their shoes….through four airports.  I was nervous someone was going to scream “free the leash kids!!!” every time I was approached by a stranger.  Strangely enough, I only received words of encouragement from those happy to see me keeping my toddler close in the busy airport setting.  Whew!

I guess I imagined my son would walk like a well-trained dog when I strapped on his “monkey backpack.”  Instead, he acted like his usual toddler self….walking wherever he wanted to go, pulling on the tether when I didn’t follow, and falling to the floor in a temper tantrum when I still didn’t budge.  The backpack/harness is also a great way to develop sibling animosity.  My daughter was determined to be the controller of the leash and my son could not dislike that arrangement more.  It caused countless scuffles and screams between the two.

So, I carried my son through four airports.  I was envious of every parent I saw pushing a stroller and wondered why I thought it would be simpler to bring less baby “stuff” with me on this trip.  But, every time I had to rest my arms or search for an item in my bag, I was very comforted by the tug on my wrist from my son’s tether…I knew he was within arms reach even when I had to look away.


I wear my most cherished accessories…

12 May

I am a baby-wearer.  I have never been a huge fan of strollers {I like to keep my babies super close}.  Stories about cars hitting or running over strollers and other horror stories like this and this have terrified me.  Only after having my second child, have I resorted to regularly using a stroller when I am out and about with the two of them.  

When I was pregnant with my daughter I ordered a Maya wrap…turned out to be way too much material for me.  I tried the Moby wrap…again, too much material and work for me.  So, I then purchased a Baby Bjorn and both my husband {yep, the husband wore it too!} and I LOVED it until my daughter reached 20+ pounds and it became uncomfortable for all involved.

I still wanted to have a way to “wear” my daughter even after she outgrew her Bjorn, so I was on the search for a new and hopefully inexpensive wrap.  I am an extremely amateur sewer, but I decided to give this pattern a try.  It didn’t cost me a penny because I had heavy material and thread remaining from curtains I made for our old house.  As with everything I have ever sewn, I made a mistake {this time while sewing the seam}, but it was easily covered with a pocket that conveniently carried my cell-phone or a pacifier when needed.  Overall, I was pretty happy with the results and was definitely happy with the price.  I put my new baby carrier to the test when I flew cross-country with my daughter later that week…it was the perfect hands-free, toddler-wearing device for me at the time.

This is not me, my baby, or my sling...

 Next week I face the ultimate challenge of flying with my 18 month-old son {please keep in mind that I don’t even take this child to the grocery store with me anymore…he is that difficult to wrangle}.  When he wants to “GO, GO, GO” there is really no stopping him and he doesn’t find being strapped to his mama fun AT ALL!

I have one toddler-taming idea in mind.  Stay tuned… 


24 Mar

I’ve been really, really behind on blogging lately.  I’m still living my life as a mom…busy reading kiddo-related stuff and children’s books.  Here are a few articles that I have found important as of late.

Looking Back

My son is 16 months old now, well over 20 lbs and still facing backwards in his car seat.  Why?  Because I love to hear him scream while I drive and have no clue what he is doing?  Because it brings me great joy to see his little legs scrunched against the backseat when I buckle him in?  I don’t know how we’re going to make it to the minimum of 2 years-old, but that is what the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending these days.  No, it’s not new news, but it’s a hot topic of conversation these days among moms of young children.  I will abide in the best interest of my child’s head, neck, and spinal column…legs are just a little less important.

Car seat No-Nos

Way back in the month of June, I tried to share some of my car seat education {I trained with the firemen back in 2005!} to discuss some common safety mistakes that parents make when securing their kids in their car seats.  This article does a better job as it quickly flashes through 11 of the most common mistakes.  I am non-compliant on #6: Tethers.  Shame on me.  If our vehicle was equipped for tether use, I would start using them today.

What Not to Eat

This link does not apply to me, but is for all my preggo friends out there.  I always assume other people know what is considered safe and  NOT safe to eat while pregnant, and then I watch some preggo down a pack of licorice and am greatly disappointed.  Just kidding…I had no idea licorice was on the list of forbidden foods.  Thank goodness that is not a flavor I craved during pregnancy {or anytime really}.

The Sleepless Toddler

This last link was actually forwarded to me by my husband.  We have been having a tiny issue with our youngest not wanting to sleep.  AGAIN!  The first year of his life it was probably my fault that he was a poor sleeper.  I don’t like to let my children cry it out.  Especially for the first 6 months of life when babies haven’t even developed object permanence {knowing that something still exists even when they can’t see it}.  I didn’t want MY child to feel abandoned.   So here we are again…exhausted.  It’s nice to know that we {the parents} haven’t messed up this time.  We’ll just call it a developmental milestone…although this one won’t be going down in the baby book!

Cord Safety!

10 Mar

I read a depressing article about a baby monitor recall a few weeks ago.  Of course, it’s not the baby monitor itself that was dangerous…it’s the cord to the baby monitor.  All household cords can pose a strangulation risk, but cords near cribs are especially dangerous because most children are left unattended for longs periods of time while in their cribs.

This is how I have managed the cord situation on my AngelCare monitor.  I think this method of cord-wrangling could be used with any monitor that requires to be set-up close to the crib…possibly even with the video-monitors that were recalled.When I secured the cords to the crib for the first time {in 2007!!} our crib was brand-new and I thought painter’s tape would be the least-damaging to our crib’s finish.  Little did I know that within about 6 months little teeth-marks would line the crib’s edge making the appearance of the backside of our crib of little concern to me.

Above, I secured the remaining wire under the crib leaving only a short strand to extend to the outlet.

To finish, I firmly pressed a crib slat up against electrical box.  This entire safety measure only took a few minutes to complete.  I don’t know what baby monitor manufacturers are suggesting parents do with the cords, but this has worked well in my house for over 3 years now.  I was temped to use something more permanent to secure the cords, but the thought of staples becoming loose and ending up in my child’s mouth made tape an easy choice!

I still have a standard baby monitor in my daughter’s room.  It sits on top of her dresser and all the cords are neatly hidden and safely out-of-reach behind it.  If a monitor does not have to actually be attached to the bed or very close-by, tucking the cords behind furniture seems like one of the safest alternatives.

It is horrible to think that something parents use to insure their baby’s safety has actually taken lives.  But, almost anything can pose a danger to young children in one way or another.  It is ultimately up to parents to protect, monitor, and teach their children {when age appropriate} to safely exist in their environment.

Crib Safety…

21 Feb

Bedtime is the time of day when most parents feel relieved of their parental duties as they put their children down for a night of rest.  If you are like me and you put your baby in a crib to sleep at night, it may seem like the safest place they have been all day especially compared to speeding down the highway in the backseat of the car {safely secured in their car seats, of course!} or even exploring the stranger-filled {and germy} mall from their stroller.   But, it is amazing how many things there are to take into consideration just to lay your baby or young child down to sleep SAFELY.

My biggest bedtime concern with my children was and still is SIDS.  Even though both of my children have passed the identified danger zone {the first year of life}, I am still very cautious with both of them.  Interestingly enough, SIDS prevention is basically suffocation prevention…placing your baby on a firm and flat surface to sleep and removing all fluffy or soft objects like pillows and stuffed-toys from the sleeping surface.  It is recommended that infants are swaddled with their hands free {think: by their face} or even sleep sans blanket.  Mothers who experienced a healthy and especially drug-use-free and smoking-free pregnancy are less-likely to have a SIDS experience as are mothers who space their pregnancies at least one year apart.

There are a few more easy and very important things parents can do to decrease their infant’s chance of SIDS…#1: Placing your baby on his/her BACK to sleep!!, #2 creating a smoke-free environment.  #3 Pacifier use.  Those are all pretty simple, right?!?!  But even if they weren’t simple…you would do them for your child’s safety, right?!?!  If you want to test your SIDS knowledge, click here.

Last, but not least, ALL drop-side cribs have been outlawed due to the sickening number of suffocation deaths related to them.  So, if you have one, it’s time to go crib-shopping again or maybe make the move to the big-girl/big-boy bed.

This post and my last post are both tangents that I had to separate from another post I am in the process of creating {I guess I am very long-winded on the subject of safety!}.  So, stay tuned…hopefully my next post will be about cord safety…in and out of the crib!

Plug it!!

18 Feb

Before I was a parent, I thought child-proofing a home meant putting child-locks on cabinets that contained dangerous chemicals and placing outlet plugs in un-used outlets.  Once I became a parent, it didn’t take me long to realize that my prior theory about child-proofing was weak.  Unless I wanted to stay on my child’s tail every second of every waking hour, child-proofing meant safety-proofing and included locking every drawer and cabinet I didn’t want my daughter to explore, anchoring unstable furniture to the wall, moving animal food/water bowls, placing gates at the top AND bottom of staircases, locking doors, only cooking on back-burners of the range, covering sharp corners, moving dangerous decorations out-of-reach, even ridding ourselves of some furniture {mean coffee tables!} altogether…and that was probably still only the tip of the iceberg.

Then my son {the future electrician?} came along.  Plugging open outlets was not enough because he loved to un-plug everything…and then try to plug it back in while his chubby little fingers gripped the electrical prongs.   We basically re-arranged our home for his safety…placing furniture in front of any used outlets and then using outlet plugs on the exposed, but otherwise unused outlets.  Even night-lights must be removed from their outlets and the outlets re-plugged the minute his feet hit the floor every morning.  If you’re wondering why I don’t just tell him “no” or re-direct his attention…don’t think I haven’t tried.  His safety comes first.  I know that I am not capable of giving him my undivided attention 24 hours a day…and that is basically what it would take to keep a very mobile one-year old boy safe day after day after day.  I have safety equipment in place so that I can have a break from the fear of my children getting hurt…at least while we are supposed to be safe in our home.

My husband and I can be pretty frugal, so when we safety-proofed for our daughter we opted for the super cheap outlet plugs seen here {12 for $2.49} and continued to use those to safety-proof for our son, but, if  another little trouble-maker like our son made his/her way into our hearts and home, I would probably spring for these {12 for $33.90} so I wouldn’t every worry about my children finding or attempting to use an uncovered outlet again.

Kids!!!  Thank goodness they are SO worth the work!

The fan.

12 Jan

Children are THE greatest blessing.  I can’t think of anything more amazing.  They are truly God’s greatest gift.

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We had only lived back home in our “new” state a few weeks when we were visiting my in-laws at their home that was now just a short drive from our house.  My daughter was about 9 months old.  She was a chubby little ball of smiles and excitement and she was very attached to her mama.  I followed my husband into the office to join his parents in front of the computer {for what, I cannot remember} while lifting my daughter over my head.  She smiled and squealed at me in delight…..THUD, THUD, THUD….I felt her body vibrate through my hands and she broke into tears.

I  had just lifted my daughter’s head into the moving ceiling fan.  Not even in the privacy of my own home, but in front of my husband AND both of his parents.  I’m pretty sure I had never felt like more of an idiot or made myself appear any more incapable of caring for a child than I did in that moment.  I was hot with embarrassment and tears filled my eyes as I cried with my child.

The good news was…no damage done.  No cuts, no bruises, no concussion….and no memory of the incident whatsoever!  Ceiling fans are not near as dangerous as they look!!  The bad news…My husband would not let it go.  If he made any little parenting faux pas it would always go back to….”well, at least I didn’t put her head in a fan!”  He always said it lightheartedly and only to tease me, but it always hurt my mommy pride just the same.

Fast forward two years and add an approximately 3 month-old son into our family picture.  Imagine my husband excitedly getting our son out of his crib post-nap. Now imagine my reaction when I heard a loud THUMP, THUMP followed by a distressing fuss {he’s a tough little guy} from my baby boy.  I peaked my head around the corner to see my husband sheepishly calming our son with the ceiling fan spinning above his crib.  No questions asked…I knew what happened and my husband’s face read like a book.

The good news….no damage done to our baby boy.  The bad news {for my husband, anyway}…my husband had blown his ammunition.  We were once again on an even playing field…and no word of the fan incidents have been mentioned  in our home ever since!

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God’s second greatest gift??  It may just be a child’s lack of memory during those first few years of life {it gives us parents a chance to get it right!}.