23 June 2011

Traveling Lessons Learned

We are still recovering from our first trip out of town with both boys that did not involve visiting family.  It was a wonderful milestone, and it really made me wonder why we don't travel on our own more often.  We do travel out of state twice a year to see our lovely families in Oklahoma and Ohio, and before the boys were both walking, that was enough travel for me!

If the whole idea of traveling with babies and toddlers is foreign to you, I recommend Travels With Baby.  It is a thorough discussion of traveling long distances by car and plane, with tips for overseas trips.  While I learned a lot from this book, I most appreciated the discussion of *why* you should travel with kids, or, more appropriately, why not?  An infant will need to be fed, diapered, and helped to sleep just the same whether you are home or away, but the scenery change can do a world of good for parents who enjoy travel.  All you need for travel with kids:  careful planning and knowing that unexpected things will happen along the way.

For now, I will just detail our efforts to prepare to fly with a 3 year old and a 1 year old. 

01 June 2011

Rock-a-bye Doggie

I never really thought about how much singing goes on in our house until a great friend visited who doesn't really sing much.  My husband is an amazing blues/rock guitar player, and his singing is impressive, too.  I once took a class called, "Singing For Those Who Can't Sing," and I must admit that now I can (sometimes) tell when I'm off key (so long as someone nearby is singing properly).  While Daddy sometimes worries that the 'variety' of musical quality might keep the boys from developing his natural ear for music, I sing for joy and comfort, and the boys don't complain very often.

We began singing purely for comfort.  I was truly shocked that even my singing could comfort my newborn baby.  Over these few years, we've also learned to sing for any reason we can imagine.  Some songs help to comfort or calm a boy who is sad or needs help transitioning to sleep (Rock-a-bye Baby, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star).  If we are playing and the stress level gets too high, we try to sing engaging songs (Open, Shut Them, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes) to redirect everyone, or mellow songs (My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean) to lower the tension.  If someone is really resistant to sleep, we choose something monotonous (The Ants Go Marching, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Hush Little Baby)- it may not be fun, but it really works.