Tag Archives: toddler

Light Catcher

We are attempting to do no reduced screen time and we found such a quick, easy, cute craft for these gloomy days at the Dollar store! Everything was included for $1.00. The paintbrush, paints and the light catcher.

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We popped open our learning tower, tossed on our apron, laid down a drop cloth/towel and set to creating.

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B loved getting messy!

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Amazingly, we finished our craft and the sun came out!


What are you doing with your little ones as you strive to reduce screen time?

Thunder Over Michigan

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Our first air show as a family was a hit! I hadn’t been to an air show in years and was happily surprised at how much they had to offer. Three generations of our family enjoyed a perfect weather day celebrating America.

Amazing planes from the last century parked on the Tarmac for all to see and TOUCH! Very cool for B! Then later, these same planes were started up (hello gas and fumes!) and flown through the sky with finesse.

My favorite was a re-enactment camp depicting accommodations, weaponry and tactical gear from each of the major American wars from the last century complete with veterans in their official uniforms to tell their war stories. Another surprise was a WWII battle re-enactment with cannon fire and an ambush by the Germans. It seemed to be a HUGE hit for the young boys ages 7-9 years old (even more so than the bouncy house area)!

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We brought a picnic of fruit, trail mix and PB&J sandwiches, a blanket, some folding chairs and enjoyed five hours of non-stop fun. B barely made it to the car before he fell asleep
(Very unlike him!) from the running around, sun and yes, bouncy houses. The Kid Zone was worth the trip in B’s opinion.

The real action was in the skies however, the aerobatic planes were incredible. Just watching from my spot on the ground made my stomach turn, I could only imagine actually being up there! AMAZING!!

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Deets:
Admission is FREE for kids 15 & under. Adults $35 but I bought a Living Social deal for half off plus a deal on parking (usually $15). All told I spent $77 for four adults and one child to park and enjoy. I felt like I got MORE than my money’s worth!

For additional fees you could take a ride in an actual plane or dine in air conditioned comfort in a special luxe tented gallery. We did spend $10 for an all day pass, versus $3 per jump, for B to jump in the bouncy houses, which, in my opinion was 100% worth it. There were also rock climbing, bungee swings, tennis and other kid-centered activities. I feel confident that any child or adult could find something to spark their interest here. The day was perfect enough, where even an indifferent teen could simply relax and soak up the sun while the family browsed around. There was certainly enough security, military and fire safety personnel present to put a parents mind at ease.

Food: Check their website for any changes but this year (2013) you could bring in anything that did not require a cooler. No alcohol or barbecues of course 🙂

No Smoking! They real reason was because the planes on the Tarmac were going in the air and were fully fueled up causing fumes that are extremely flammable. I just thought it was great to be at an outdoor event and not have to choke through clouds of smoke – blech!

Bathroom: Port-a-poetry’s only for the general admission folks. There were running water portable sinks to wash hands at every cluster and they weren’t disgusting (as far a port-a-potty’s go) . B got to use his first urinal, because there was no way I was going to try to balance my toddler over an open hole of excrement. I was impressed at his skill! Of course he let daddy take him potty after that.

Charitable: Proceeds from the event went to funding the Yankee Air Museum http://yankeeairmuseum.org/ and the bomber plant where the original “Rosie the Riveter” became a National hero.

Have you ever been to an air show?

Schmutz the Dog, our new favorite pet

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Schmutz the dog is our new favorite pet. He looks like our doggies, smells like our doggies, but lives in a book on the activity table. He’s inspired us to get bits and baubles from our craft trunk and create some of our own family portraits.

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Covering the table with our pirates booty of treasures we laid out the book for inspiration. Once we decided our base would be a paper plate we squirted glue where the necessary body parts would be adhered and discussed the function of those parts (eyes for seeing, nose for smelling, mouth for tasting). B was deep in thought as I started using scissors to cut strips from some yarn and ribbon.

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Voila! Our masterpieces!! (Sort of) I am still working on mine. We had a great talk about body parts, senses and buttons. B used his fine motor and decision making skills. I would say we made the best of this gloomy day…

The Stroller Crew Hits a Detroit Hot Spot

Moms, babies and toddlers love to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Eastern Market is the perfect place to do it, especially for the new Tuesday market. The Tuesday market is like the “best of” from the massive Saturday market, from my “mommy” perspective. I looove Saturdays at Eastern market for the sheer volume and amazing vibe, but I can barely weave my way through the crowd myself, let alone with a stroller!

You might not grab a Bloody Mary at Viviano’s with little ones in tow, but you’ll have your choice of locally sourced grass fed beef burgers with homemade buns at Ned’s food truck (totally cool converted airstream) with their farm fresh accouterment. Of course what kid doesn’t love macaroni and cheese?!? The Mac Shack has the most decadent options I’ve ever seen on this comfort food classic, a must-try.

Tuesdays market has all of my favorites. Coffee from the caboose cart, fresh leafy greens from Vang’s, made-that-morning bread and bouquets of gorgeous flowers to brighten any day.
We tasted artisanal cheese, strawberry rhubarb jam, kale chips, pickles and even had a go on the xylophone! You can’t get THAT at the zoo!
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If the little ones may ask for a cool treat on a sunny day, don’t deny them (or you). It doesn’t have to be a market day for you to enjoy Michigan’s own Hudsonville ice cream from Mootown Ice Cream shoppe. Try a double decker sundae, smoothie or even quesadillas!

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Grandma holding B while he tried his hand as a street performer.

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Bathroom details: Bringing a potty training toddler anywhere can be daunting. “Potty Breaks” are frequent and it’s important to know where the good potty spots are. I chose the bathroom in DeVries (formerly R. Hirt Jr.) which lies between Shed 2 and Viviano’s. Head to the back wall of their delicious shop for a one person private toilet which your stroller might actually fit into. Otherwise, it’s rural rest stop accommodations in the public stalls next to the Welcome Center in Shed 3.

Bonus: Shed 3 was open but not full of vendors like on a Saturday. It was an enclosed wide open safe space to let the toddlers run. There were some street performers from a Krav Maga studio which were pretty interesting. There was even a business making an attempt at a “kid zone” offering a bean bag toss and face painting. I’ll be honest, I really didn’t go over to investigate because if B saw something he could throw he would’ve hurt someone or something. Plus, face painting gives me the heebeejeebee’s.

Parking: At 10am on a Tuesday it was easier to find parking than on 7am Saturday. We got lucky with a spot directly in front of Viviano’s.

By an hour and a half we had filled our market baskets and sampled our way through the entire market. A quick side trip to Whole Foods (literally around the corner on Mack Ave) and it was a fun and filling morning.

B returning our cart at Whole Foods.

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Me and B enjoying our tasty lunch, YUM!

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Backyard Birthday (and other ways to draw blood)

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Size 8 toddler shoes (and toes) all around. The swing was full of laughter and crumbs, the best seat in the house! One of B’s friends has a little sister who invited us to her 1st birthday party, we were happy to join in the fun! Rain showers threatened and then dribbled but not for long. Every child there was eager to share the cake AND presents. The birthday song was the cutest chorus I’ve ever heard. It was a perfect backyard party, until…

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B decided to wipe the patio with his face. I mean when does the instinct to put your hands out in front of you as you fall begin? I know toddlers are top heavy with their wobbly legs and balloon shaped noggins but, seriously!? Apparently he was playing with an excavator (no longer just a truck, these kids are specific and discerning) when he started to run to show it to someone and tripped. The excavator was completely unharmed in this incident. B on the other hand may be scarred for life.

He cried one of those cries that starts out as long silent inhale, mouth agape, but ends up as a blood curdling horror film worthy screech. My heart dropped. I heard the thud of his over- sized head clunk the pavers like a ripe melon. After we calmed down and wiped him clean, all was well. One of the fathers there is a physician and examined B. No stitches or MRI’s needed, “just keep it clean and he’ll be fine”. In the end all he needed was a hug and a lollipop. I wish all troubles of the world could be as easily solved.

Have you had any bad “ouchies” with your little one?

Rain Barrel Gardening

My husband hates this monstrosity. He is only going along with my romantic idealism that having a rain barrel makes me a conservationist so I don’t bother him about buying more signage for his man cave (seriously, that’s another story all together). He drilled a hole into one of our gutters and now this massive barrel sits in wait for me to fill up my watering can seven times (yes, I counted) to water every single potted plant and herb in our yard every day.

It would be much easier to use the hose, but I am stubborn and want to prove to my neighbors (a.k.a my in-laws) and my friends that I’m not just taking up valuable deck space with this thing but actually benefitting the earth. As I do this routine each night I offer B to hold the can and pour the water (you know, teach him how things grow). He was into it the first week or so, but two months in, he’s OUT. I’m beginning to wish I had just stuck with my original plan of paving my entire yard.

I am hating my plants right now. They are so needy. I even had to beg someone to come over and water them when we went away for the weekend. I secretly hoped the person would forget and they would all die and I could be released of my nightly obligation. Why can’t I commune with nature? I want to be “earthy”, but I’d rather be doing almost ANYTHING else. I’m beginning to see the allure if that green grasslike indoor /outdoor carpeting. Am I losing my mind?

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Detroit Prince (SS)

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A beautiful day for a boat ride! The hum of the engine acts as a lullaby while the summer breeze tickles the toes through flip-flops (or flippers, as B calls them). The gentle touch of a toddlers hand is the icing on the cake. Although other “rulers” may be official in the two countries we are balancing between, B is truly a prince today.

As we slide through ancient glacial pathways that now separate two countries, one is tempted to think of those who swam, paddled and sunk in these depths. I am reminded of the constant balance battle between man and nature as a huge plume of steam rises from a smokestack along the rivers edge.

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The Detroit Princess Cruise line is NOT a sponsor nor did they compensate me in any way to take their cruise. I purchased a Groupon and took the chance on a sunny July day that my two year old could miss his nap and still enjoy the river.

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Facts:
Daily outings at 1:00 and 3:30PM at Bishop Park in Wyandotte (behind the Henry Ford Hospital and Bacon Memorial Library) and a separate boat has the same schedule at Hart Plaza/ RiverWalk. All passengers are taken on a first come first served basis do try to arrive thirty minutes before boarding and be prepared to stand in line, even if you’ve purchased your tickets in advance.

Good to know:
The ramp (the gang plank?!) was too skinny to fit the stroller through so we had to “unload it”, fold it and carry kiddo and everything else on board. Once on board we could’ve stayed in the dining area but attempted going up on the covered deck. Found a nice shady wooden bench (relief) after braving metal stairs that were more like a ladder (yikes). The bathroom was much like you would find on an airplane, so diaper changes would need to be done ” al fresco”. You can bring drinks and snacks on board for the 0-5 year olds but anyone 6+ better have cash on hand for anything else available at the bar.

At $17 per person 6+ years old for a two hour cruise it’s a fine family value, though I’m glad I had a half off deal.

Does your toddler love the water? If so, what water fun have you had this summer?