Forcing the Bloom

Happy, Healthy Mommy Blog


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Boxes, Beach, Biology

We are off again on another adventure!  Last year this time we were packing for New York City.  This year we are off to St. Louis!

Check out our other recent travels around Georgia and Washington DC.  My friend took some amazing pictures of our travels which you can find on her blog, Stupendous Strouts.  She has a gift for photography and managing/mommying three adorable children!

Our next trip to St. Louis is for my new job.  I’m an attorney, doula, and now college professor!  I’m very excited to be heading back to my alma mater and teaching a subject that I’m passionate about  – ENVIRONMENTAL LAW/POLICY.  I graduated from Vermont Law School (the #1 environmental law school in the nation!) with a dual degree in environmental law.  I will be working in the BIOLOGY department which is where I spent most of my sleepless nights during college.  I was a biology (B.S.) and political science double major.  My husband and I actually had dates at the Science Center.  We would stay up late splitting a Reese’s peanut butter cup and working on homework.  He wrote code while I wrote papers!

Before I return to my beloved Biology department, we are hitting the BEACH!  We’ll be beach bums for the entire month of July.  My husband wants to try kite surfing but I think we should get a paddle board!

In order to accomplish all of the above, our house has been full of BOXES!  Traveling makes you appreciate your home but clearing clutter is refreshing and living in a new place is energizing.  Traveling can be exhausting but it’s worth it.  Here’s to enjoying the journey!

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Science vs. Art

We enjoyed our visit with family in St. Louis, Missouri.  We visited the St. Louis Science Center.  Even though B is only 22 months, there were lots of things for him to see and do.  It basically was a great place to run and play on a cold, winter day.  But watch out for those dinosaurs!  They were scary.  Sometimes it’s nice to be needed.  As we were walking (running) around the Science Center, I started wondering if we were encouraging science over the arts.  We could have gone to the art museum or the history museum, but instead we chose the science center.  I actually didn’t even consider the art museum.  We probably would have gone to the zoo if it was warmer.  So maybe it was more  a factor of B’s age and the need to be loud and run.  In either case, my goal is to be more aware of B’s interests.  Right now, it’s all about transportation!  I like that our Montessori school allows for student/child independence and freedom to choose their own activities.  My goal is to incorporate those ideas into our home as well.  You can check out my at home Montessori activities in my other posts.

Does your family lean more towards the arts or science?  How about sports?

Here are a few pictures from our trip!

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Learning ABC’s with Letter Tubs

A confined toddler on a tiny airplane could spell disaster.  My toddler has been on a plane four times in the last two weeks.  Luckily, half those times he was asleep.  Some of the places we have been include San Francisco, St. Louis and Miami.  My little 19 month toddler is BUSY and changing all the time.  We had to be very creative on the plane and in the airport terminals.  I packed a bag of new goodies that he hadn’t seen before and surprised him on our trips with these presents.  The LeapReader Junior was a big hit.  I also brought 5 new Matchbox cars.  I brought a old wallet and small calculator he hadn’t played with and I also brought a couple of old favorite toys, like our Ikea cars.  We made it but I’m ready for him to have his own seat.  Do you have toddler tricks for traveling?

One of our trips was to visit family, including Aunt Karen.  She is a big inspiration for this blog and a great resource for interesting challenges.  Some of her challenges to me have been to make my own laundry soap and date bars.  One this trip, I spent a day following Aunt Karen around her home learning very cool ways of staying healthy and saving money, all of which I will post about later.  Aunt Karen runs a daycare in her home and has years of practice keeping toddlers busy and learning to read.  I was very fascinated with what I call her “Letter Tubs” and plan to make some of my own.  She saved old yogurt dishes and labeled each one with a letter of the alphabet.  Then she filled each tub with tiny objects that started with the corresponding letter.  For example, the tub for “F” had a tiny fence, frogs, flowers, felt and feathers.  Each tub also had a big letter and small letter, which were usually magnet letters.  You can also make Color Tubs using the same concept.  I will post about the other activities Aunt Karen shared with me including sprouting, raising active yeast for bread, composting in the back yard, art projects, bike riding and play dough just to name a few.  Just as soon as I get back from my next trip to DC!  Any suggestions for long car trips with toddlers! 🙂

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From St. Louis to Michigan – Aunt Karen’s 560 Mile Bike Ride

That’s about 90 miles a day biking the back roads from St. Louis to Michigan.  My husband’s Aunt Karen and Uncle Jim are an inspiration for this blog.  They are a paragon for healthy, active and frugal living.  Check out my prior posts about their hiking trips, recipes, and homemade/cheap cleaning products – just some of Aunt Karen’s inspirations.  This summer their 560 mile bike trip was reported in a small town online newspaper, the Rantoul Daily.  Scroll down to the second page to read the full article, “Couple tandem bike through Rantoul“.  The reporter also included a nice picture of the couple in tandem in case you are skeptical.  🙂  So, what are you doing is summer?

We were happy to get in a 5 mile bike ride at the beach today!  🙂

Biking