Synopsis of our trip...(though it probably won't seem so condensed)
Just after I posted, we did stop at IKEA. I went in shopping with Mags in the sling. I was trying to be as quick as possible, but, yes, we took ample time to get through per the normal "experience". Maggie got a bit fussy partially through, but then fell asleep. I had been wondering about additional stressors, and I noticed this time that once she couldn't deal with it any more, she just shut down and slept. She did sleep really well on me.
Interesting...she goes into protective mode. I'm now beginning to refer to things as toxins (or overstimulation) that she has trouble processing, or protective mode, when she shuts down to be able to do the most necessary functions. The balance is providing experiences and trying to prompt her to process stuff without overwhelming her systems. Through discussion with one of the therapists this week, in her current state, she probably does need to be in a bubble for the most part and can definitely come out of the bubble, but in little doses here and there.
That isn't really the route I expected to go down with bringing up the IKEA trip. What I was trying to say is...when we finally left Paramus, NJ, we got stuck in some traffic, and then....we watched the temperature gage on the Honda (aka NinjaRocket) climb and climb and climb. A few weeks back we were out of coolant and had been keeping our eye on it, but I haven't really had and issue as of late. Shawn was able to pull over and pour some coolant in, only for it to be puked out everywhere-Lovely! Of course, in typical Selmeski fashion....we found ourselves dealing with car troubles. Then again, why wouldn't we?! However, being on the side of the road in the Midwest or the the South is a bit different then in the middle of traffic in Jersey when auto shops are close to closing up on a Saturday. We began trying to hop along. Turning engine off while sitting, and turning it back on to go 50 feet. As the gage climbed all the way into the red, Shawn began cussing at the car, Maggie was cooing in her seat happy as could be, and I sat, trying to be as quiet as possible. We did make it to a Midas shop. Not good news. Head gasket failure is what they had to say. It was looking like we would be laying our beloved to rest there. Oh crap...we began exploring all kinds of options. Taxi to Newark then rent a car. Bus. Hotel. Anything. None of the options were very viable. Expense and a car full of stuff and we couldn't just abandon the Honda. Hmm...
At about that point, I talked with my sister for a bit, to have her look for bus rates better. When I told her about the predicament, her response, "well crap, I even prayed that satan wouldn't get a foothold with mechanical problems". I think she knows us just a little bit, and that pretty much sums up that experience. (Even though Shawn blames it all on me having to stop at IKEA).
Shawn ended up having the brilliant idea of pouring some block sealant in. The guys in the shop felt bad for our sob story of on our way to get therapy for our daughter. They found some of the manager's personal stash in the back. Also, the older couple that I was chatting with inside offered the gentleman's coat for the baby. So much for those cold Jersey folks. :)
The sealant worked and we got moving a little apprehensively. I think Brooke may have been fervently praying for the situation too. Our goal was White Plains to catch a bus to Hartford possibly, but we were moving so well we decided to see how far we could go.
Since it was doing ok, we swung through Shawn's hometown of Pleasantville, saw Grandpa Frank's old body shop, the high school, and the home he grew up in. We even spoke with the current homeowner for a bit. It was great to see where he grew up, but a bummer that it was so dark.
Finally, we did make it to the hotel outside of Hartford. We were all ready to crash!