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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Toddler (Spring) Fever

Springtime is like a toddler.  One moment a lamb and the next moment a lion.  Quick to change, a whirlwind of activity, excited about everything, and ready to begin again and again and again.  My toddler is about to turn 3 and just like the 2 year old lion we met at the zoo – he’s found his roar!  (Lions develop their roaring capability after they turn two.)  Just like I’ve completely given up on the weatherman (because who can blame him, the weather changes every second in the spring – rain one minute, sun the next, 70 degrees back to 50 degrees in a day), I have given up predicting my toddler.  My 3 1/2 month old is more predictable!  I DO know that summer will arrive eventually.

This past week I retreated to my parents house at the beach for a respite (or as close as I’ll ever get!).  My husband is away traveling and in addition to that disruption we have dealt with stomach bugs, sore throats (me), runny noses, temper tantrums, and the usual travel conditions – new routines, new foods, new places, new temper tantrums (did I mention that already?).  When I think about all we’ve done, it seems that my toddler has weathered the storm quite heroically.  Through it all I have continued a learn-on-the-go, Montessori-inspired, education philosophy.  The beach is one HUGE sensorial bin.  I have “followed the child” down the beach for an aimless, toddler walk.  We have discovered nature at the zoo and listened to grandparents reading stories.

So, my question…how do you keep education rolling along when everything else is constantly changing?  School work during trips?  At the grandparent’s house?  At the beach?  On springbreak?

Pictures from our trip to Nana’s and Papa’s at the beach…

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Life in a City or Suburbs?

Over the last two weeks we have transitioned from our tiny apartment in New York City to our large(r) house in the suburbs of North Carolina.  I miss NYC but I’m also glad to be back in NC.  Throughout our three-month visit in NYC, I’ve thought long and hard about what I like about both places.  Here’s what I learned:

What I love about NYC:

1.) Everything in walking distance – life at your fingertips 

2.) Amazing variety of people, languages and cultures

3.) Energy and entertainment – This City TRULY does not sleep – dinosaur bones, singers in subways, Lion King, Rangers game, Yankees game, Penn Station at 1 am!

What I love about the suburbs (and our “big” house):

1.) Rooms and backyards – extra space is great with a toddler and opening the back door to go out and play is VERY convenient

2.) Open windows = clean air and quiet, nature sounds

3.) Big kitchen – I enjoy cooking in (though not cleaning) my big kitchen – Love our counters for cookies and crafts.

Do you live in a city, suburb, or something in between?  What do you like about where you live?

If you could go anywhere for 3 months (or more), where would you go?

YouTube video – a peak at NYC

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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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Family Trip to Charleston, SC

Just when we thought Spring was REALLY here, Father Winter takes one last blow.  Before the unseasonably cold weather hit, we went on a quick day-trip to Charleston, South Carolina with my parents.  Although I didn’t get pictures, we went on a horse-drawn carriage ride.  Otherwise, we walked and ate good food!  I love visiting Charleston.  It’s a beautiful, historic city with lots of charm.  I can’t wait to go back!  What are you doing for your Spring Break?

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