Monday, September 28, 2009

Train ride

We had a pretty good weekend, and were able to spend some time outside. It's cooled down about ten degrees since we got some rain, but the humidity as gone way up, so it pretty much still feels uncomfortable after 11:00 am. Ah, Texas in the summer.

We went to Williamson County Regional Park on Sunday morning, because I'd read online that they have a train. It was actually really cool, a 1/4 scale miniature train that goes on a loop around the park for about 10 minutes. It's called the Cedar Rock Railroad, and it's worth the $2.50 the ride costs. It even goes through a tunnel! Carter really enjoyed it, and kept saying "train" and "choo-choo" afterwards. Here are a few pictures:







Here is a little video of the ride. Carter would smile whenever I turned the camera away from him, and then stop smiling when I turned the camera back. LOL, guess who he gets that from?



After the ride, we checked out more of the park. Carter ran around on one of the soccer fields for a while. Though the fire ants were out and fierce, he never stepped on any anthills, to my amazement.





What is it with kids and sticking their heads through things?



Here are Doug and Carter walking across the field.



We went over to the playground, and Carter was entertained for a few minutes. Mostly he wanted to explore the grounds, though.



There was another family on the playground, and the dad asked how old Carter was, then commented that he looked like a big, strong boy. He said, "He'll make a good football player." I think the is the Texan way of telling someone you have a cute baby. Or something. :-P

The other thing we did this weekend was get a DVD player installed in the car. Now, I resisted this as long as I could. I tried really hard to avoid TV for Carter in the first year of his life, and only relented to show videos in the car for long drives when keeping him entertained became hard in the last few months. He has just never liked car travel, basically. When we turned him forward facing this summer, that made a difference for a while, but when the novelty wore off, we were back to square one.

One day I realized that I took him out in the car as little as possible, kept the drive time to 15 minutes or less, and could make no more than two stops. If I broke those "rules", we would both end up miserable in the car. And that was seriously limiting what we were doing during the day, I realized. On weekends, when I would suggest going somewhere across town, Doug would be reluctant to stress us all out by making Carter sit in the car that long.

And so one day when I had a hard time getting Carter to go somewhere we had to go, I got out the DVD player and popped in a Baby Einstein DVD, and it was suddenly very easy. And every time we got in the car after that, Carter would say "video, watch!" He even started to ask to get in the car and go for drives. All of the sudden, our world opened up again. We could go to parks and places across town, and the drive would be easy, even pleasant. I could run errands and make multiple stops, and it was okay.

And so I decided to have a DVD player permanently mounted in the car headrest, so we don't have to take the thing in and out all the time. The installation was done Saturday, and Carter was really excited when he saw it. He even wanted to show it to Michelle this morning, taking her to the garage and over to the passenger side of the car, pointing at the headrest and saying "Watch!"

I like that it has a zipper cover so you can hide it.



And so here we are, going down the road and watching a video.



Yes, I lose about a 1000 Crunchy Parent Points for this, but it's made a huge difference in our general happiness when we travel. Totally worth it!

3 comments:

Debby said...

Wow...love the train..that looks like the one in Burlington that we took Aidan to,,,I LOVE the headrest DVD player!! It looks like it came with the car...great invention...Looks like you had a great day on Sunday...don't worry about the points you think you may have lost...Carte loves the DVD and you have made up points in so many other ways...love you all...Mom/Nana

Rita Wilbur said...

DVD in the car: hey, whatever works for y'all. Give yourself credit, not guilt. I'm lucky in that Sam does pretty well in the car. Then again, he had no choice but to ride in the car a lot ever since he was a baby. His thing is just that he wants to listen to the Wiggles all the time....

As for trains - you should come to SA and ride our train! It costs the same as yours (and is free for kids under 3), it has a tunnel AND two bridges, and the ride lasts about twenty minutes. Sam is a huge fan, to the point where he recognizes the freeway exit that goes to the train.

Of course, Austin has a big train, too. Thomas the Tank Engine (a real train done up like Thomas) is supposed to be coming to Austin this fall, maybe next month? I haven't decided whether to take Sam or not, but if you're interested, maybe we could take both boys.

hazelhawthorne said...

I know what you mean about being reluctant to use the TV too much. Most of the time when Amber was little we didn't have TV. Now we have a big screen TV (with full surround sound, the joys of being married to a technogeek). This last week, I was struggling to get Halloween costumes done during times Liam wasn't needing my attention. I finally turned on PBS and he watched Currious George, Arthur and Sid the Science Kid. He had a great time and I was able to get stuff done.

I'm glad Carter likes the DVD player. We have one in our SUV which my step-son loves and I expect Liam will too once he gets turned around and can see it.