Dino-Might!

I love dinosaurs. I always have. I used to dream about being a paleontologist when I was a kid, but then realized I was better at words than math. I have a love for the sciences even though I am not great at them, and I want to pass this along early to my son. I started collecting dinosaur crafts and projects and coloring books and all sorts of fun things to do with him in July, which I deemed would now be known as Dino-month.

So I was super excited when I saw that a nearby indoor playscape/preschool/wellness center was having a drop in class for preschoolers and toddlers all about dinosaurs!! There would be songs and stories and sensory bins and a craft – all for $12! I was so excited to take Wyatt. I knew he would love it. Then I realized…I would have to socialize too! My biggest nightmare as an introvert super shy momma, is interacting with other parents. But, like we push our kids to move past their fears, so must we as parents push past ours. And it is good for us to get out of our comfort zones too – I need to grow and move forward as well. So, this was it for me. Wyatt needs to do this sort of thing, it is so good for all kids to interact with their peers and all that, and especially for Wyatt. As a kid with some developmental disabilities due to his CP, he picks up a lot of language and movement by being around other kids. So, it was time for this momma to toughen up and go talk to some strangers! Lol.

dino4

I had this super cute outfit laid out for him to wear – but then it got breakfast on it and had to be changed. Note to self: put cute outfit on preschooler after he eats..

We finally rolled up to the place, which was in the middle of an adorable neighborhood. I was feeling nervous, made worse when I walked right in to the end of the baby and mom yoga class that was before the Jurassic Wonders class. But the yogi (whom I actually knew, I met her when our husbands worked together years ago) is a sweet welcoming soul who made me feel less awkward and less like bolting back out the door. Wyatt and I took a seat and waited for the class to clear out then I put him down to explore. The place, Nature’s Playhouse, was super accessible and I totally loved its vibe. Natural materials, solid and sturdy wooden toys everywhere, tables scattered about, puzzles, a rocking board. I felt like I was in a kid’s secret fort. Wyatt dug it, and enjoyed that shoes weren’t supposed to be worn in that room, since he hates wearing shoes. He had a big grin on his face the whole time we were there.

As the rest of the parents and kids trooped in, we circled up with our kids for story time  and songs. Afterwards, there were two sensory areas, an area with dinosaur books to flip through, including a cool one with different textures to touch, and the craft, which was painting a dinosaur with sponges and paint. Wyatt and I started with the painting, getting the messiest out of the way first.

dino 1

I think he did a great job! After that we headed over to the sifting through the sand bin, where the kids used paintbrushes to brush away the sand to find the dinosaur stickers hidden under the sand. Wyatt seriously loved this the best. Most of the other kids liked the area where you dug through beans and did some pouring and jazz, but Wyatt liked the sand area. We happily played over there, I made awkward (on my end) conversation with another mother, then, it was time to go! The class passed by super quickly.

I am so glad that I went – Wyatt had a blast! I will have to watch for other classes that fit into our crazy life schedules, even if it is just to drop in and play. It is worth it for the big grin I saw on my son’s face the whole time we were there.

Walking back to the car, I noticed the sidewalk full of acorn hats, something I had missed on the way in. I stopped and picked one up. Acorns are special to our family, almost a talisman. My Wyatt is my acorn, my tiny boy – and like my grandma said, “From tiny acorns grow mighty oaks.”  Stumbling on these acorns was a reminder, I think, of how we all need to grow, to be strong and to be mighty..

I am looking forward to our next visit!

Road Warriors

My husband is a bit of a bike fanatic.

He has at least four bikes, all for different purposes and of differing values. He has a fancy fancy Specialized bike, an older bike that he has made fancy with a special Brooks leather seat (or saddle, if you will), an old bike he fixed up to ride with Wyatt, and then a beach cruiser. I have an older bike as well, I just thought it looked cool sitting there all vintage-like. However, I am not a bike person. I am that person who is afraid of riding bikes. I am a bit nervous and not super confident of my biking skills, so I often do not go on the bike rides that Billy takes with Wyatt. But Billy always wants me to go, so when he requested a family bike ride for Father’s Day, I couldn’t deny him!

 

One of the parks near our home has a 6 mile ride that is closed to car traffic for a bit on Saturday mornings, so our plan was to go early before it got too hot for little man. After figuring out where to park, we slapped on sunscreen, hopped on our bikes, and hit the road.

It was a beautiful ride, smooth sailing, gorgeous scenery right in the middle of a city. A true greenspace. Wyatt thought it was hilarious that I was riding along with them, across from him. It was his first time seeing me on a bike, and he kept cracking up and waving to me. Billy and I soaked in the scenery, enjoying our ride. We went about three miles, and decided to turn around to head back to our car, to make our round trip six miles instead of twelve.

That’s when disaster struck.

Somehow, Billy and I got really close. And I panicked, thinking that my wheel was going to bump theirs, and cause them to crash. So, what did I do? Jerked my wheel harshly to one side, basically throwing myself at the ground. I was so afraid Wyatt would see me laying in the road, with the bike on me, and not want to go again that I jumped right back up immediately, despite some gross wounds.

Long story short – that effectively ended our pleasant ride. I limped my way over to a picnic table by an access road, while Billy and Wyatt finished their ride to the car and came to rescue me. I had time to check out my injuries and they were all pretty superficial, although they looked ugly. I did go to urgent care over one of them, a tiny wound on my foot from my pedal. The doctor was more interested in the gigantic bruise on my arm – he wanted to x-ray it to see if my arm was broken. I had to explain to him that my family just bruises dramatically. (and apparently, bike ride dramatically too..)

While I sat there waiting, I thought about all those huge falls the cyclists in the Tour de France take, and how they mostly just get back up and keep pedaling! They are some hardcore dudes, riding with broken legs (Valverde, if I recall did that in 2014, at least for a little bit), nasty sprains and breaks and gashes and fatigue and just in general, probably not feeling super. And they ride up mountains and over cobbles and through the rain and storms and hail. Past crowds booing them or cheering for them, getting in their way, on little sleep and still sore from the day before. I think people view cycling as kind of an easy peasy sport, but I think you need to be so tough, mentally and physically, to endure the Tour.

Speaking of, the Tour starts Saturday! I am so excited, I can’t wait! I am forever amazed by their intensity and drive, and then sometimes you get that break in their concentration, where you see a bit of their personality peek through too – I love those little glimpses. Every year I pick a different cyclist to root for, and I am still up in the air for this year’s pick.

Anyone else getting excited over it?

Girls’ Night Out

So my super amazing, thoughtful, hilarious friend met a pretty awesome guy, and fell in love. And what comes after Love? That’s right, marriage!

(I am a little off timing wise posting this, since she got married over Father’s Day weekend, in a beautiful seaside wedding)

Since Jill was having a destination wedding and due to different circumstances, mostly toddlers, we were not able to go. But we couldn’t of course let this time of her life go by without a celebration. So, girls’ night out it was!

We started the night out with dinner at Rock City Eatery in Detroit, which is a hip little place, slightly edgy, with a great menu. There are just enough different options, with something for everyone – the safe choices, the more experimental choices, vegetarian choices. And our table seemed to hit them all, with octopus, brisket, and macaroni gracing the table. However, the big deal of the meal were the pickles as appetizers.

Yes, pickles. Not only do they make them there, apparently you can take the jar of them home when you leave. I have to say though, I don’t like pickles! I took everyone’s word for it though that they were fantastically amazing and worth being so acclaimed. I preferred the poutine, which was delicious.

They also had some pretty legit craft cocktails! I was the designated driver, so I did not indulge in one all to myself, but I definitely sampled the array around me! And god bless American they were good!! I need to go back when I am not the designated driver because, they were awesome.

 

 

The desserts looked pretty BA too, but we decided to do something fancy and class it up for our friend instead. Instead, we skipped across the street to The Whitney, and up to their dessert parlor. Yes, parlor. The Whitney is an historic mansion of a n old lumber baron in Detroit on Woodward, beautiful and gorgeous. I didn’t take enough pictures at all, the whole night, sadly. We continued with drinking (or not, in my case. I did have a glass of wine though at dinner) Our server whipped up tableside Spanish coffee for those interested, and then we all dug in to our desserts. I had the flourless chocolate cake, which they called Ugli Cake, and it was divine. I had never had flourless cake before, and this one was so good! It was dense and nutty, and I ate every bite. The white chocolate strawberry torte was popular at our table, as was the bread pudding. We had such a blast, laughing and chatting, and feeling a little like little girls playing pretend. (but with booze) Some of us also had some fun posing like the portraits…

Sadly, our evening was not a late one, as most of us have little children at home. But we had a great time on our adventures out, celebrating one of our best friends. It was a fabulous night, magical when we left it seemed almost, with a chill in the air, a giant moon, and the mansion behind us. I can’t wait for our next night out!

whitney

 

What Wyatt’s Reading: April Wrap Up

What

April in Michigan is usually pretty crazy weather wise – this April was seriously the weirdest that I can remember! In ten days, we had a snowstorm, rain, hail, an 80 degree day, and even an earthquake! That last one was just for additional proof that nature goes nuts in Michigan in April. Lol. So for Wyatt’s reading we focused a lot on weather books. It is not all we read about, but we did do a lot of springtime weather books. And then turtles and fire trucks and ducks and bugs because he likes those things, they are some of his favorites.

 

  Wyatt really loved Raindrop, Plop. I had to read that over and over. He also loved BooBoo, another favorite. I loved Here in the Garden, it was an absolutely beautiful book about loss and how someone you love can stay with you in all the memories you have together. But be prepared, I cried every single time I read it!!

 bug hotel

Which brings us to Bug Hotel – Wyatt’s favorite book of them all. I have read this countless times to him and he plays with it independently as well, since it is lift the flap. I have taken it with us to restaurants and out visiting friends, and it completely occupies him. He loves it so much I bought him a bug hotel of his own! I am not really looking forward to seeing bugs all the time, but I know they provide important services to our planet – except ticks and slugs. What do they do, I want to know. Lol.

And if any of you have kids that watch Spirit, that little horse there is Chica Linda, who is apparently Wyatt’s favorite horse too. Lol.

How about you? Read any good kids books lately?

Flashback to my first Mother’s day

I wrote this on my first mother’s day. That first year is so tough, and we had a bit of a rocky start anyway.

This year my little boy gave me a gift he made in preschool, along with a colored card. I get hugs and kisses and I hear “Moooom? Mom!” all day long, with some “I ruve you Mom”s thrown in there too. He is a busy kid, getting into everything all the time.

This year I got to sleep in late, and my husband had a hot cup of coffee waiting for me, smiles from him and the boy. A gift box wrapped in paper decorated by Wyatt. While Billy ran to the store for bagels, Wyatt and I took a spin around the living room to our favorite, Eric Church.

Anyway, I started thinking about that first mother’s day.

It began with an early morning poopy diaper. Bleary eyed, I tried to calm my son at an hour I hadn’t seen since college, way before having a baby. My movements hampered by sleep deprivation, my coordination and skills were all off, making cleaning him up and keeping the mess from spreading everywhere difficult. But we made it through and I was rewarded by bright eyes and a contented boy, who was also getting a bit hungry. I laid him back down while I went in search of his next bottle. Out of our premade formula, I opened the canister to find that there was not enough left to make another batch. Since my husband had stayed up longer with our son to give me a few more hours of sleep, I didn’t want to wake him for a trip to the store too. So that left me. After pulling on some random clothes from my bedroom floor, and running a brush through my crazy mop of messy hair, which only made it worse, I ran up to the CVS on the corner. I was surprised by the amount of men there, especially at this early hour – then I remembered it was Mother’s Day. The greetings cards and candy in the hands of the other patrons was a big tip.
My day fell into a gentle rhythm. Church with my mom and aunt, a nice ride around a pretty island with my husband and baby, followed by a ride through the park while rain fell around us. It felt cozy in that car, with the gentle rain shower splashing onto the windows, the three of us in the car together, safe and warm. It was like time could stand still, as we looked out the windows at the birds, the yellow fields of dandelions, families barbecuing despite the weather. Billy gave me a beautiful necklace, with Wyatt’s birthstone on it, along with an etched leaf with a “W” for Wyatt, which I love. But it was his gift of time spent with me that meant the most. Just us, no agenda, nothing which had to be done except enjoy the day slowly. Our lives are so busy most of the time now, squeezing in chores between feedings, doing all of the important business of living in rushed hours, but not really taking the time to enjoy what we are doing and who we are doing them with. My Mother’s Day gave me that time, to enjoy my small family, my boys. To remind me that every dirty diaper exists because my son does, when we never thought that we would have a child.  My Mother’s Day might not have begun like a commercial holiday, with breakfast in bed, flowers,  a clean kitchen. But it was real. Every dirty diaper, every last minute trip to the store, every minute of lost sleep are moments I rejoice in, for this boy is now in my life, and all that comes with him.
 I still rejoice in every single minute with these two guys.
And this year, I did wake up to a clean kitchen.

Gearing up for Storm Season

Spring has arrived, and everything seems to be coming back to life. Birds are chirping in the trees, green shoots are emerging from the earth,  the sun is shining brightly in the morning.

However, spring in Michigan also means storm season has arrived, with severe storm and tornado watches and warnings. My dad works for disaster services, and has volunteered for the Red Cross for years and years. His prepper mentality has rubbed off on me over the years, and while I am not quite to my dad’s level, I am trying to be more prepared for what comes our way, especially with a toddler who I want to keep safe at all times.

So with my dad’s input, I put together a small Stormy Day Kit. The helmet is all my dad’s suggestion – I would never have thought that. He pointed out to me though that so many people are injured during tornados due to flying debris in their home that a helmet is a must, at least for Wyatt. Many times cities or organizations have bike safety awareness events in May, and often they hand out free helmets to kids. Keep an eye out for one of these events, and maybe you can score a free helmet for your safety kit. Or for your child to use while bicycling if they don’t have one already! The one in my picture is the one we put on Wyatt for bike rides or when he is outside in his gait trainer, but I hope to pick him up a spare at a bike safety event this month.

My Stormy Day Kit

First and foremost, a weather radio is a must. I really liked this one by Esky. It is small, easily portable, charged by a hand crank, charges your cell phone, and is solar powered in case you want to take it camping or hiking even. It’s water resistant, has an extra flashlight for you, and has AM/FM/WB stations. We just leave ours tuned to the weather band though during inclement weather.

Flashlights, extra batteries are a given and easily added, and a first aid kit is another necessity, although one hopefully you never have to use, except to maybe  steal a Band-Aid from. (although if you do, replace it!) I got this one at Target for less than five dollars! I am probably going to pick one up for my car’s summer adventure kit too.

Non-perishable snacks and water are a good idea, in case you need to take cover for a while. I also added bubbles to help entertain Wyatt, since I wouldn’t want to run my phone’s battery down too much. I will probably also add a book, and some crayons and a coloring book as well. And since he is still a little guy, a diaper and wipes. You never know right? Kids need a diaper change at the worst times usually – just ask my friend Kelly! An extra phone charger to keep with your kit would be a great addition. Best to have all the chargers in my opinion. If you will need medication, remember to add that in as well, either add in some extra if you have it or grab it on the way to sheltering in an emergency. I also threw in some hand sanitizer, because I always have it with me. Lol.

I also have two fabulous apps on my phone – Code Red and the FEMA weather app. Both are free and will keep you up to date on any emergency situations. Code Red actually alerted us to a hostage situation that was taking place nearby, where a man with a gun had barricaded himself into a building. We hadn’t been watching tv or anything, so we had no idea that it was happening. It really didn’t affect us, but it was a good thing to be aware of. Basically, it made me go check to see that all of our doors and windows were locked. So it was good to have. I will add though, that they do seem to notify me a lot, especially the FEMA app. I don’t know if there are settings I can adjust but it is definitely something to be aware of, especially if that is something that will affect your phone plan and charges.

Your own stormy day kit can be personalized and customized to fit your needs and your family’s need, based on age of kids, no kids, pets, and geographic area. For more ideas, check out Fema.gov and Ready.gov and to just learn more about how to safe this spring and summer. They have all the instructions on what to do during all sorts of weather – they are the experts! I am not a professional or anything, just a person who tries to be prepared and organized. (tries, being the key word!) And that reminds me- I am going to add a whistle to my stormy day kit.

Please make sure to do the research necessary to keep your own family safe – these are just my ideas and what I have in my own kit as suggestions and to get you thinking about what you need for where you live and for your family. A starting off point, if you will. If you do end up making a stormy day kit, I would love to hear what you learned from your research and what you added to yours!

 

P.S. This is not an affiliate post! 

storm kit