• 11/07/2019 9:55 PM | Deleted user
    How to manage your child’s sleep while traveling

    Have you ever had even just a little anxiety around traveling somewhere and what it might do to your child’s sleep?... I think we all have!! Unless your child is a unicorn sleeper, sleeps well anywhere and no amount of traveling disrupts their sleep. In that case… good for you!!


    But for most of us travel and sleep do not seem to go hand in hand, but I’d like to offer that they could!!


    Travel always seems to be a tricky endeavor where naps and nighttime sleep can get a little (or a lot) wonky. here’s always something exciting going on… maybe friends and relatives who are anxious to see the baby, or maybe once you arrive at your destination there’s too much to do/see, or maybe you’re just throwing caution to the wind with no sleep plan during your travel/vacation times. But you might find that your child’s sleep never really returns back to what it was pre-travel. 


    So here are some sleep tips you can take with you in planning for your trip, once you are at your destination and once you have returned home that will help ease the sleep hiccup that is travel:


    Building up to travel:

    1. Don’t over-pack, but don’t under-pack either 

       Bring along baby’s blanket, lovie and sleeping clothes. Anything that smells familiar and reminds them of their home sleeping environment will help them get to sleep in their new surroundings.

       And if you can, even bring a Pack&Play, your own white noise machine (or free app), and monitor. Ok, so this might feel like overpacking, but you’ll thank me later… I promise! And having the monitor might allow you to grab some dinner down the hall if you’re staying at a hotel. My husband and I have done this MANY times, which was great because we didn’t feel stuck in the room once our boys were laid down.


    Travel day has arrived!:

    2. Plan to start driving around a nap

       This will depend on age, because at some point you need to just get in the car and get going, but for younger babes taking multiple naps… hop in the car right when they would normally go down for a nap. Often-times babes will sleep better from the motion in the car, but this might buy you a couple hours of quiet before babe wakes up and wants to play, or eat, or the worst kind… wants to get out because they decided they hate the car seat!


    Once you’re there:

    3Try to maintain your home schedule as best you can 

       Changes in the routine are the quickest way to end up with an overtired child. And if you had a great sleeper before, overtiredness will almost undoubtedly cause a reemergence of any bad sleep habits you’ve worked so hard to prevent.

       If your child is tired and cranky, you’re going to have a lousy time. Sticking to the schedule and keeping babe well-rested will assure that the time you do get to spend with friends and family is fun, happy and relaxed.


    4. Don’t skip naps, or push bedtime to later

       As tempting as it may be to let your child skip a nap (if he/she is still taking them), or let bedtime fall back an hour or two, so that you can fit extra activities in, I highly recommend you resist the temptation and stick to the schedule you’ve kept at home. Overtired could definitely rear its ugly head here, too.

    5. Create your child’s own space within yours

        If you must share a room with your little one, try to create babe’s own space within yours. So, use furniture to your advantage, a partition in the room, get creative… whatever it takes so that babe can’t see you from their crib. 

        And don’t bring them into bed with you if you can avoid it. It will be much harder to return to independent sleep once home, if you weren’t doing this before you left.


    Once you’re back home:

    6. Right back to the same routine before you left

       Bounce back into your old routine like you never left. If babe knew a good solid routine and schedule before-hand, there’s comfort in the familiar and it will make returning home that much easier.


    Some might argue… we’re on vacation and we’re going to have fun! TOTALLY! DO IT!! But if the wheels fall off too much while you are away, this is often where I hear problems occurring. Families get back from travel and they just can’t get back to the way sleep was before they left and they just end up dealing with the night wakings, or co-sleeping (where they didn’t do that before). So just know that you can absolutely get back into some good solid sleep habits,even if your child wasn’t the greatest sleeper before you left. 

    How your child’s lack of sleep (and by default, your own)affects your relationships and/or your marriage

    Was there ever a time when you thought to yourself… “There is a reason why sleep deprivation is a torture tactic?” 


    The above comes to mind for many of the families that I work with when their child isn’t sleeping well. I am a children’s Sleep Consultant at Happy Baby Sleep Consulting and I find my families wondering this and more. Some parents are so worn-down that blame quickly replaces the love they felt for one another, or there’s just no energy left for self care anymore, or there’s no desire to maintain the relationships and friendships that once fed you. One mom was so exhausted that she fell asleep while driving and crashed her car. Another was so frazzled that she didn’t realize the mistakes she was making in the kitchen and set part of it on fire. There are so many heartbreaking stories of individuals being unable to cope and/or relationships being deeply affected from ongoing sleep deprivation.


    As we dive a little deeper into how lack of sleep affects your relationships, it is a sad fact that even just a few nights of broken sleep will affect your ability to cope and deal with others appropriately. The depth of lack of sleep affects more that you think. It’s definitely about your babe and his/her overall health, but also your own. It’s about the health of your partner and the health of the other children in your home (if you have any). It’s about the self-care you give yourself and about the relationships you have outside of your family that sustain you too.


    But, you don’t go from fine to a complete and utter mom-bieovernight though. It usually creeps up slowly. For months you’re not noticing that you’re being grouchy, complaining a lot, or being nit-picky. You don’t necessarily see what you’re doing. But it trickles into the way you feel about yourself, the way you show up to the people in your life, to your friendships, your partner. Sleep deprivation has a terrible way of sneaking into everything you do. 


    So, I urge you to take a look at how the lack of sleep affects the entire family and the other relationships you have.


    Adding a baby will absolutely cause some upheaval; this is also true. There will be some months at the beginning where it’s all about survival mode and that’s ok. But the problem can grow as the child does. Most people wait too long before they start looking for some help with sleep. From a partnership/marriage perspective, some families will be on the verge of divorce when they then consider reaching out for help. The partner has moved into the spare room, they’re not spending time together and they’re not being intimate. This is a difficult reality for some families and it needs to be acknowledged that it happens and it happens a lot more than you might think. 


    A 2006 study showed that people who were sleep deprived had an increased tendency to blame others for problems, had a reduced willingness to resolve conflict by accepting any blame, there was an increase in aggression level and they had a lower willingness to behave in a way that would facilitate social interactions. I feel like this would be a lot of moms these days!!... some of us are just done, burning the candle at both ends, with lack of sleep making life much worse.


    But there is a light at the end of the exhausted tunnel!

    One of the benefits of working closely with families to resolve their child’s sleep issues is to hear from families… “Solving mychild’s sleep problem saved my relationship with my partner.” This is a HUGE deal!!!


    We know that sleep is one of the foundations of a happy and healthy life. So let’s stop trying to tone down the importance of it and start looking at how it impacts our own sense of well-being and our relationships with other people. It takes a lot to keep any relationship and/or a marriage healthy.


    And once baby is sleeping better it’s life changing. You’ve gotten back an essential need. You start to feel better. You’re showing up to everything much better, you start to feel good about yourself, you’ve got more energy, there’s more “you” time and you might start feeling better about your partner (if you have one)


    If you are still struggling with sleep, I just want to encourage you… just find something that does work. If that is talking with a friend about what they did to get their child to sleep well, do it! If that means hiring a Sleep Consultant because you need the one-on-one help, do it!! I’d be honored to chat with you about your sleep struggles and offer some suggestions. Sleep is so important that it needs to be solved however it can so you can be the best version of yourself possible!!


    Charleen McDaniel

    Happy Baby Sleep Consulting



  • 10/02/2019 1:10 PM | Deleted user

    Do you ever have the feeling of not knowing what to make for dinner? I do ALL THE TIME. I feel like I make the same old thing every night. After having two kids, I have lost my creativity and drive to make a 12 course meal. I finally found something that I would like to share with you all.

    I’m sure many of you have heard of Hello Fresh or other similar types of meal services. They send you weekly meals and you can choose how many people, how often to receive them and what type of meals. This type of service is exactly what I have been looking for.

    Our fellow PMC blogger gave me a free trial to use so I went ahead and put my first order in. It came the next week and the first meal was a hit. Of course, Adam would rather have a slab of meat but the girls would for sure NOT eat a hunk of cow…..so pasta it is!

    You just follow the recipe card that is provided and voila you’ve got a meal!

  • 09/24/2019 2:34 PM | Deleted user

  • 09/21/2019 4:42 PM | Deleted user

    Congratulations to parents Elizabeth and Micah Hope, and big brother Wyatt. Baby Finn Carter Hope was born on July 24th and is such a cutie. 

  • 09/21/2019 4:10 PM | Deleted user

    Tonight I learned of some heart aching news of a toddler being mauled by a family dog (Good Day Sacramento, 2019). This reminded me of the importance of teaching our crazy, sometimes impulsive kiddos safety when interacting with dogs. 

    The American Academy of Pediatrics offers some quick tips:

    • Always supervise children with dogs. Yep, even your family dog.
    • Act calm/no aggressive play with dogs. No growling or wrestling.
    • Ask for permission to gently pet. Allow dog to sniff child prior to petting and try not to pet face or tail.
    • Leave dogs alone that are sleeping, eating, or with puppies. (Can I substitute moms for dogs here?)
    • If knocked over by a dog, curl into a ball and cover face with arms and fist (2017).

    Many of us love dogs and most dogs do not mean any harm. However, our children (especially toddlers) don’t always have the best manners with animals and can accidently provoke them. Let’s help teach our children how to be a dogs best friend. 


    Good Day Sacramento. (2019). Toddler Mauled To Death By Family Pit Bull In Granite Bay. Retrieved from https://gooddaysacramento.cbslocal.com/2019/09/20/infant-mauled-to-death-pit-bull-granite-bay/

    American Academy of Pediatrics. (2017). Dog Bite Prevention Tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved from https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Dog-Bite-Prevention-Tips-2017.aspx

  • 09/14/2019 10:10 PM | Deleted user

    Keeping your little ones happy and also burning energy can sometimes be a challenge. It’s so hard keeping our little ones busy and there is so much to do in this beautiful city/state. The problem I am coming across is how to keep my toddler happy while having a newborn connected to me! It’s seriously one of the hardest challenges I’ve encountered so far (real note there’s plenty more!). When it’s crazy hot outside the park just doesn’t quite cut it. On days it’s hot the Park for mornings are great but then the afternoon comes and I have a stir crazy little monster running around the house bored out of her mind, so I am starting to utilize some indoor options! PMC offers $3 open gym Friday’s at Adventure Recreation Center which we went to this Friday and it was a total hit! Then I found out about this place called Time Out which I’m sure most of you know of but for any other new members that have also recently moved here or new moms with kids just starting to get on their feet and run around, is another little gym-like place for little kids. We went there today and I had to pry my daughter out of there, so it was also very successful. I wanted to post about these things as ideas for the remaining hot days and also for the upcoming rainy days for our little ones to still be able to enjoy their days and for us moms to not go crazy stuck inside with all that energy. 

  • 08/07/2019 1:22 PM | Deleted user

    Hello ladies! My name is Kaylani Bronson and I am a new member, the blogger and I just so happen to be the new kid on the block! I wanted to share a little bit about myself and my family with you all! 

    My husband is an electrical linemen and we have traveled for his work for a few years living out of our fifth wheel camper. We mainly traveled just in Kansas which is where we are both from, one day Kenneth came home and said let’s go to California! So we packed up the camper and hit the road (I waited with our daughter at my grandmas then flew out here). Basically long story short is we couldn’t find a camp spot for full timers that was in the area or big enough for our camper and the hotel room after 3 weeks was just no longer an option so we decided maybe a house would be the better way to go! Sooo we knew we wanted to be within an hour from the bay and basically picked Petaluma because it “looked nice” (I know that’s crazy haha) 

    So here we are living in a home in California with our almost two year old daughter Kinsley and newborn baby boy Karl! We have no family or friends out here so it has been a crazy ride! Thankfully I was introduced to this club and I’ve never felt so involved in something already! The ladies in this group are seriously amazing and so supportive, which is actually incredibly different than back home. Everyone has been so welcoming and wonderful to us especially since we have had the baby. The meal train was one of the best things I think I have ever experienced! I am incredibly blessed to have been introduced to this group and I’m so thankful for everyone I’m meeting! 

  • 06/25/2019 2:16 PM | Deleted user

    The weather is beautiful and we live in wine country, so why not plan a fun day with your family and enjoy a day in the vineyards! There are many great options for families in this area and we've created a great resource guide to help you find the right location for your family. Check it out: Family Friendly Wineries.xlsx

    One of my personal favorites is Foley Sonoma located in the Alexander Valley in Geyserville. They have a large property where you can bring a picnic and play provided lawn games or enjoy their beautiful tasting room complete with an outdoor patio. No matter where you choose to picnic and taste, this property boasts picturesque views and is very family friendly! 

    Did we miss a winery in our roundup? Please send an email to resources@petalumamothersclub.org and we'll update our guide! 

  • 05/19/2019 3:39 PM | Deleted user

    Submitted by: Amy Cathcart

    My 4 year old has been super into science experiments lately, and one we recently did was teaching about capillary action- as we were playing with ink and water I got the idea to transfer this new knowledge into an art project for her! 

    Spring Flowers 

    1- We drew on coffee filters with markers making spirals of different colors on each one. 

    2- Then, we worked on folding skills and folded each coffee filter into a triangle shape by folding in half twice.  

    3- I lined up cups with about 1” of water in each one, and she put the folded coffee filter into the cup with just the tip of the triangle in the water. 

    4- We watched the water “climb” and blur the colors together, leaving us with beautifully colored coffee filters! 

    After they dried (24 hours later) we tied the bottom of the triangle with pipe cleaners and made a bouquet of spring flowers. This clearly wasn’t fancy enough for my fancy four year old, so we had to give them a quick spritz with perfume to make them smell pretty too

  • 04/30/2019 3:13 PM | Deleted user

    I'll admit it - I'm a little afraid of cooking fish. It's so simple, but in my head I make it crazy complicated. I'm filled with unfounded paranoia about over or under cooking it, forgetting a bone, making the house reek of fish, or turning my kids off seafood for good. 

    My point here is that, while I feel confident in cooking most dishes, fish just doesn't come naturally to me. 

    That being said, I'm really good at making this one, and my family likes it.

    Panko Crusted Salmon


    2/3 Cup panko

    2 T minced parsley

    1 T lemon zest

    1/2 t salt & 1/2 t pepper

    1 t Old Bay seasoning (optional, but necessary in my opinion)

    Olive oil

    4 salmon fillets, with skin

    2 T dijon mustard

    lemon wedges 


    Preheat oven to 425.

    In a small bowl, combine panko, parsley, lemon zest, and seasonings. Drizzle 2 T of olive in and toss to mix.

    With salmon fillets skin side down, brush each with dijon mustard, then salt & pepper. 

    Press a thick layer of panko over mustard.

    Heat oil over medium high in an oven safe skillet. Cook salmon, skin side down, for 3-4 minutes.

    Put pan in 425 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, then cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. 


    - Caitlin McSorley

The Petaluma Mothers' Club

P.O. Box 521 Petaluma, CA 94953-0521

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