Tag Archives: toddler

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?

Toddler’s 1st Movie Theater Experience

Monsters University at Emagine theater in Woodhaven, MI was our first choice for a mother-son morning. First of all, I love this theater because they serve beer (and everything else) although I did not have a beer this time, it was a cool and refreshing respite from the heat wave, while giving B and I something to do on a steamy July morning.

I followed a few simple suggestions from moms who’ve come before me, this is what they told me:
1. Choose a morning show time. (Most likely the crowd will be other kids who might be less likely to get bothered by toddler behavior.)
2. Arrive ten minutes (or more) after the posted show time to avoid the trailers. Most toddlers have a 90 minute max on their ability to sit still, even in this scenario.
3. Get your toddler a kid sized snack pack to hold, they will be mesmerized at least as long as the popcorn lasts.
4. Get the booster seat! B would’ve fallen through the crack in the seat if we hadn’t requested it. They are free but were not (hello, why not?!) at the entrance of Monsters University. B is a BIG two year old, and it was necessary for him.

Even though B and I did not sit through the ending credits like his dad and I would have, we had a very nice morning. Was it perfect, no, of course not. Between potty breaks and pure silly’s we saw about 80% of the movie. But, for a first time out, I was proud if B and me for our results.

Happy trails!! (His dad and I went to see The Lone Ranger after that…alone)

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A trip to Trader Joe’s is just as educational as the zoo, right?

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A quick morning errand turned into an education for mom & tot.

Visiting the new Trader Joe’s on Telegraph Rd. and Maple (15 Mile Rd.) gave B the chance to explore hands- on fruits, vegetables, dairy and grains from around the globe. Sipping coffee from a just-his-size sample cup (what, your toddler doesn’t like coffee?) and pushing his cart, he was allowed to be the “big boy” that he so fiercely proclaims to be. We talked about colors, letters, shapes, smells and textures all while trying to watch our manners (no running into the ankles of other patrons with your cart). B showed me and everyone at the store he was more than worthy of that free organic lollipop the cashier offered him.

Zoo, schmoo, how can watching a seemingly lifeless lioness (no matter how close that new glass enclosure can get you) compare to cool air conditioned independence??

Thank you Trader Joe’s, see you next week!

Construction Vehicles!! (Books & Activity)

They say there are only two seasons in Michigan: Winter and Construction.

That’s fine with us!

B is totally fascinated with construction vehicles. If we see a construction site, he absolutely must stop and watch. He loves how big and noisy they are. He loves how they can rip an entire tree from the ground by its’ roots or crunch concrete like it were a piece of tissue paper.

This is my own compilation of B tested and approved books with a sensory bin that has been a total hit with every toddler (and most adults) that have come in contact with it.

HOW TO MAKE THE BIN:

I found an “under the bed” bin on clearance and stowed it in the laundry room until all of my bin materials could get pulled together. I used:

1. An old 5lb bag of flavored coffee beans that have been in my freezer for at least three years.

2. White beans that were on the bottom shelf and on clearance at Kroger. (You could also try the bulk aisle at Meijer).

3. A 5-pack of CAT construction vehicles from the toy aisle at Target for $6.00, totally worth every penny!

4. Some old fake moss rocks I had in a bowl on our coffee table before B could walk. They had been “retired” to the bookshelf collecting dust for over a year.

5. We colored a paper plate blue, cut it out (together) and taped it to the bottom at one end of the bin for a “lake”.

DONE.

Easy and cheap for ALL of the ten minute intervals it has given me.

What works in your home to get those “ten minutes”?

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What are your toddlers favorite books?

Toddler Bowling

It’s a rainy day and our active family cannot be cooped up at home for long or we start to get crabby. So we tried a bowling alley in Allen Park, MI.
http://www.rooseveltlanes.com/open.html

A friend had pointed us in their direction because it is small, clean and family owned and operated, my kind of place.

For less than $5 our toddler got shoes, a ball he could lift (6 pounds) and an open lane. The staff gave us an apparatus that is used by bowlers in a wheelchair but it worked perfect for our two year old. They raised the “bumpers” on the lane so no matter how B threw the bowling ball, it would make it down the lane.

After a few rolls, B wanted to try to throw it down the lane like Daddy does. Now, Daddy has two 300 rings from league play, so, I think it’s safe to say, we’d all like to throw the ball like him, but regardless, B was done with the handicap ramp. He rolled the ball as hard as could down the lane and it literally took so long to get to the pubs the roll didn’t even register! Too funny! It was about as fun as watching paint dry but B got his silly’s out and we all had a few laughs.

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We played two games and B was beyond done. It took about an hour to complete the two games. Then we went into the “game room”. B doesn’t have the skills or interest to really play, so we saved our quarters but he had about another twenty minted of fun just clicking buttons and touching all if the games with their blinking lights.

We are potty training B now, so the bathroom is a really big deal when we go somewhere. When it was “time”, B was able to relieve himself with daddy in a clean bathroom, always a positive. No kiddy potty or step stool at the sink but, we still rated it high. There was also a changing table for the needs of tiny ones.