Forcing the Bloom

Happy, Healthy Mommy Blog

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Homebody or World Traveler? With Kids?


Are you are traveler or a homebody?  Do you prefer a staycation or a trip to a new country?  Have kids changed our perspective?  

I find myself traveling WAY more with my toddler than I ever did or wanted to before I had a baby.  This is the COMPLETE opposite of what I expected.  I still would not categorize myself as a globetrotter.  I don’t enjoy traveling like I know some people do.  And I really haven’t traveled very much.  But now I kind of want to that change.  I never had that urge before.

It is WAY more fun, at least for me, to explore and sightsee with my child.  My toddler (almost 2 1/2) is still an unconscious learner.  That means he absorbs his environment.  It’s not something you can quiz him on.  It just becomes a part of him.  I have the amazing job of showing him new environments.  That makes traveling for me pretty exciting.  Where before I focused on the hassle and inconvenience associated with travel, now I think of the sights and sounds my toddler feels – the wonder and richness.

I am the first to admit that we haven’t traveled very much and I still consider myself a homebody.  And yet, we HAVE visited Miami, St. Louis, Savanna, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands).  Now, we’re in New York City.  Where should we go next?  I’m thinking Costa Rica.  Then, Europe?

Do you LOVE to travel?  What are your secrets for a success trip?  How far would you go with your children?

Below is a bit of a collage of our exploration of NY city.  A hodgepodge of what we have been up to recently.  You’ll see that we visited a beautiful church near Central Park, biked across the Brooklyn Bridge, visited the fountain and carousel in Bryant Park (near Times Square and the Mid-Manhattan Library), and learned to cook and make art projects in a tiny apartment.


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A Cricket In Times Square

Has anyone read “A Cricket in Times Square” by George Selden?  This was a favorite book of mine when I was young.  I couldn’t help thinking about the story during our exploration of Times Square and Rockefeller Center this past weekend.  I’m not a shopper so I think I’m done with this area of NYC.  Sensory overload!  We visited the Lego store, the M&M store, the Hersey store, and FOA Schwarz.  My favorite was the Hersey store and mainly because they handed out free chocolate.  Daddy and B loved the Legos and large stuffed animals.  I loved hearing B talk to the stuffed animals!  Too cute.


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First Week in NY City

I’ve been in NY city for 4 days and, of course, it’s been a whirlwind of adventure.  I’m proud to say that we have already set up a Montessori-type shelf system and it works great!  I could only bring one box of toys for B so I rotate toys and activities often.  I keep most of them up on a top shelf and use the bottom two shelves as the “working” shelves.  A few of the “must haves” were B’s Brio train set, a small bag of assorted race cars, a big and small airplane, and tinker toys.  We have a variety of other toys as well but do you see a theme?  Transportation!  Got to love boys.  I also brought two big containers of math and language activities and a container of art supplies.  All for our tiny apartment.  Most of our learning however on the go – exploring the city.  A backpack and umbrella stroller have been essential.  The pictures show: a long car ride, dropping our dogs off at a farm, entering the city by the George Washington bridge, getting around on subways and trains, settling in, and visiting the Museum of Natural History and Children’s Museum of Manhattan.  WHEW!


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Adventures in NY City

I’m excited to visit New York City!  We leave Saturday and will be there for several months.  We found a furnished apartment on the Upper West Side.  It would be much EASIER to stay home and let my husband visit us on the weekends (I seriously considered this).  BUT, I also tend to choose the more (or most) difficult option.  Beside, it will be an adventure!  Hadn’t I been asking for an adventure?  Yes, I’m 5 months pregnant.  And, yes, I’m pulling my toddler out of preschool (Montessori toddler class) for a few months.  I’m disrupting his life and routine.  And, yes, the BIG APPLE is very different from our suburban life.  We’re going from big house to tiny apartment and trading our car for the subways and buses.  BUT, this will give me great blog material!

Since we leave this weekend, I’m taking the opportunity to review my Summer 2014 goals for B (28 months) and make new ones for NY City.  Here is an assessment of my success with our Summer goals.  And as I mentioned in the past, I’m shying away from a curriculum per se.  I do, however, prefer structure – aka a list of goals or suggestions for things to work on.

Summer Goals – June through July (27-28 months old)

1.) Potty Trained   – no, some progress but still working on this

2.) Count to 20 – yes, he likes to count!

3.) Practice writing – yes, we practiced, not much but a few times

4.) Build vocabulary – yes, I’ve seen large growth in his vocabulary

5.) Join book club at library – yes, we enjoyed visiting the library about twice a week

6.) Attend vacation bible school – yes, we attending all the meetings

7.) Start geography and science – yes, we did several activities in these areas

8.) Make nature table – no, didn’t even start

9.) Weekly art projects – yes and no, we did art almost every week but not all the weeks

10.) Get ready for baby – yes, B went to all my appointments, we talk about his little brother everyday and he seem to get it

Here are my NY City Goals – August – October (29-31 months) 

As you can see, some of the goals are specific and some are open-ended.  I’m sure I will need to adjust them.  

1.) Observe B daily – watch B work or play silently and write down his interests, help him cultivate his interests

2.) Be a conscious role model – be more aware of B watching me and be a role model of good behavior

3.) Make the library our second home – find a library close by and visit regularly

4.) Independence – encourage and develop potty training, self-care, language and life skills

5.) Explore – learning on the go – trips to museum and parks, no rushing (go on toddler time), talk and learn as we go


Here are some fun pictures of our Montessori-inspired (and other) activities this week.

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