Driving

Did We Just Become Best Friends?

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Who's driving this rig?
Who’s driving this rig?

Road Warrior Running on Empty

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I need a day off bro!

Maddie obviously has a little too much on her plate right now.

Her mom is on the road – New teeth are breaking through – And she’s racking up the miles. Factor these things together and Maddie is running on a short fuse.

She’s actually dealing with the stress quite well. Most of the issues are once again surfacing during the clothing and diaper changes. It seems like every time we have to change one or the other, Maddie is fighting mad.

She actually screams as if she is being interrogated underneath a long-forgotten Gulag. When other people hear these crazed protests, they worry that the baby must have fallen off of the changing table.

It doesn’t last long – once the change is completed, the baby is all butterscotch and ponies again. We have theorized before that it is always better not to mess with Maddie, but she can’t wear the same clothes all the time.

So, the question is, how do we alter Maddie’s perception that changing her clothes somehow violates her life, liberty and pursuit of happiness? There must be a way to distract her, but so far nothing seems to work.

We’ve gone through this stage before, but her protests have never been so over-the-top as they are now. As always, all suggestions are welcome!

Baby Stars at Holiday Family Supper

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I make these stars look good!

Now that Maddie is tearing up the solid food, the dynamics of eating around her have changed completely.

The baby perks up anytime someone nearby puts something into his or her mouth, especially when it’s her mom or dad. Even when you take a drink, Maddie has no problem when it comes to reaching out for a little taste.

Today was no exception when we visited my Aunt in Central Virginia. Maddie was in remarkably good spirits after taking another road trip. We got Maddie into the house and placed her onto a blanket on the floor. My Aunt’s tiny Yorkie named Bonnie Blue couldn’t wait to come out and meet the baby.

The little pooch kept circling Maddie and trying to approach her to spread a little bit of love. The baby wasn’t sure what was going on, but the pup was dying to play with her. No physical interaction actually took place, but it was beyond cute to watch them size each other up.

With all of the relatives in the house, there was no way Maddie was going take a nap and miss out on any of the action. She put on a halftime jumping display that would have shamed Madonna at this year’s Super Bowl.

Once it was time for supper, Maddie was chomping at the bit to get in on the action. My aunt broke out an amazing array of turkey, ham, potatoes with all the works and Maddie was going wild.

I prepared an enormous plate for myself and started breaking off pieces from a roll for the Madster. She was gumming them up and setting them down while we everyone was eating around her. The baby was in all her glory because she was eating with the group, just like the big girl she is.

Each time she got the bread nice and soggy, we would replace it with a new piece to keep her interested without fear of any choking. This went on for a while until we decided to switch gears and actually let her try some turkey. Even when we finished up, the baby wanted to keep the party going.

Maddie communicated to us that is was rude to eat and run, but we had to get her back home for some quality naptime. As always, she was a perfect lady and left everyone with a smile on their face.

Baby Befuddled by Parents Bungled Exit Strategy

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Wait, is the baby still in here?

Maddie’s parents have discovered that when it comes to traveling with the baby, leaving in a timely manner is far easier said than done. The best-laid plans can go south in a big hurry. This fact was proven once again this morning when Maddie woke up to a muddy diaper that left her father weak in the knees.

Maddie’s mom was getting ready in the other room when she heard the following words tumble out of her husband’s mouth. “Honey, please start a bath for the baby right now!”

My wife thought I might be exaggerating until she rushed into the baby’s room and then made a screeching u-turn and rushed right back out. The impromptu bath time is always a formidable opponent in executing a timely exit. When all was said and done, it took us almost two hours to finally get on the road. The baby seemed happy for the moment and that’s all that you can really ask for during a long road trip.

We made it to Maddie’s grandparents house and apparently the fireworks were just getting underway. After some great playtime with the grandparents, Maddie was slipping into that dark and fussy place.

We still have yet to pinpoint the cause of her consternation.

Maddie endured a restless night, so it could be that she’s just tired and cranky. It’s also possible that she might be reacting to her new and foreign surroundings. Maddie’s self-awareness has surged in the last month, so as far as she is concerned, this might be her first perceived trip away from home.

Whatever the problem was, she went off the deep end early and often this evening. Her bedtime was checkered by several unhappy wake up sessions. Keeping this in mind, we can only hope that it’s not too late for her to get a good night’s sleep. At the very least, this will give us a small edge when the baby wakes up tomorrow morning. However, when you hit the road with Maddie, you always run the risk of awakening her inner Honey Badger. Let’s be careful out there!

Road to Nowhere Trumps Shot Trauma

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New Jersey Roads - Just Another Day in Paradise

After two rough rounds of baby vaccinations at the two and four month mark, Maddie’s parents tried to shake things up a little for today’s 6-month shot extravaganza.

  • Instead of an afternoon doctor’s appointment we switched it to morning.
  • We gave Maddie baby Tylenol before her appointment even though she swallowed very little of it.
  • We also decided that I would carry her home rather than put her into the stroller.

As expected, the shots themselves were not pleasant. We got Maddie home quickly and she was literally falling asleep in my arms. Unfortunately that nap lasted less than 20 minutes and trouble was brewing in Maddie’s world.

A sleepless hour later, it was apparent that if the baby was going to get any sleep – we had to go not just the extra mile, but also several of them. I strapped Maddie into the car seat and followed the advice of Horace Greeley and Kid Rock – we headed west. Within five minutes, Maddie was zonked out and sleeping soundly.

We had no destination in mind, just the Beirut-like war torn roads of New Jersey rumbling beneath us. It reminded me of the 80’s song by the Talking Heads called Road to Nowhere.

As the miles ticked by, I thought about this McDonald’s drive-thru about 70 miles away. I figured that after forty years plus, it was time to try my first shamrock shake. I considered waking Maddie for her approval, but ultimately decided that she should rest up after her ordeal.

140 miles and two and a half hours later, we arrived back at home and Maddie was just beginning to stir. It turns out that shaking things up was just what the doctor ordered to help the baby make it through her 6-month vaccines. Thankfully, Maddie was able to sidestep any major shot trauma and I finally got to try my first green milkshake. Life is good!

Start the Car, I Need My Sleep!

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Step on it, I got a life to lead Cha Cha!

Maddie has always been very good at sleeping in the car, but lately it’s where she’s getting her best rest. Sad but true.

The baby has been boycotting sleep like it’s her job. A half hour here and 45 minutes there, but once the car gets rolling, she goes lights out. Keep in mind I said once the car gets ROLLING.

Even the briefest of stops leaves the occupants on pins and needles, terrified that the sleeping beast may awake and lay waste to all those in her path. Today was no different – we started driving and Maddie let out a huge snort of relief. The very first traffic light I hit, Maddie lit me up like a Roman candle. The light turned green, Maddie hunkered down for another nap. Do you see a pattern here?

Once we hit the highway, all of our troubles melted away in blur of perpetual motion. Yet 40 minutes later when we arrived at our destination, tragedy struck yet again. This time, I actually had to crawl into the back seat and feed her a couple of ounces to make sure she didn’t take me out.

Luckily just two ounces did the trick and baby was actually asleep on the bottle. I crept out of the car back into the driver’s seat, never once looking in the back seat to see if the little scream therapist had spotted me. A few miles down the road, I finally dug up the courage and took a quick glimpse in the back seat, but Maddie was out.

With Maddie at the tender age of four-months-old, we are reading a great deal of material about establishing proper sleep habits. We decided that we are going to dive in this weekend and set Maddie on course to a lifetime of wonderful and blissful sleep. The real question is who will making the rules, Maddie or her parents? If you are making wagers, I would make the baby as an early 3 to 1 favorite.