Stickers.

In May, we road-tripped to NYC for some much needed vacation. We had some key toddler activities that really helped us make it through. (You can read about those HERE).

STICKERS at CLEcitymom.com

STICKERS. CLEcitymom.com

If driving from Cleveland to NYC wasn’t enough of a challenge, we embarked on our biggest road trip yet driving the Indiana, Iowa, Illinois and back to Ohio. Day 1: a five hour drive. Day 2: A six hour drive. Day 4: a three hour drive. Day 5: a seven hour drive.

With. A. Toddler.

We brought along the classics from the last trip, but I knew we were going to need a few more goodies.

So, I went to my favorite store in the world, Marc’s (and my husband’s least favorite store), and stocked up.

This time, I bought a few new books, flashcards/picture cards, and a massive amount of stickers.

I really had no idea if any of these things would work, but to my surprise, they did!

The real MVP of the trip was the sticker book. For $1.49 (this is why I love Marc’s), J-bird had a new book about a party in the jungle. At the end of the book, you could make a party hat and load it up with stickers.

I am not joking when I say that this occupied J-bird’s time for about 3 hours! Yep!

Stickers take a lot of concentration to peel off, and then for a little creative mind, placing them in just the right place is very important, not to mention ripping them off and placing them on mommy’s arm, the seat, or anything really.

What a hit.

For your next trip in the car, test out some stickers and let me know how it goes!

Cheers,

Anna

Beach Days

As a Clevelander, I’m fortunate enough to live in close proximity to Lake Erie. Is it the best place to swim, lay out, or hang out? Probably not. But, for a toddler who hasn’t seen the beaches of the Caribbean or walked in the sand of Mexico, it’s pretty incredible.

This weekend we had a little bit of down time, so we decided to head to the lakefront. What a beautiful weekend of sunshine, warm weather, and the lightheartedness of summer.

CLEcitymom Beach Days

The awe and wonder of waves hitting your child’s feet for the first time is one of the most magical things I’ve experienced.

Watching J-bird grab the sand in her hands, draw little shapes with her fingers, and discover the not-so-pleasant feeling of wiping your face after you’ve been digging in the sand was so incredible.

CLEcitymom Beach Babe

It’s so easy to take these experiences for granted, especially when you’ve traveled a decent amount and seen many amazing things. But, wow… watching a toddler discover the world really puts it all back into perspective!

So here’s to a new week. May the beauty of this world remind us of how big and amazing our God is.

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. — Psalm 19

Cheers,

Anna

City Gardening with a Toddler

Gardening with a toddler is a memorable, sensory filled experience that I am so glad I did with J-Bird (aka my kid).

Watching her touch the seeds and the soil was so fascinating. We live in the city, and she’s spent the majority of her life in the concrete jungle known as Cleveland, so grassy plains and earthy adventures are not really childhood memories for her.

Raised Bed Garden

CLEcitymom Raised Bed Garden

You may be wondering why our garden is in a giant plastic bin.

Cleveland has a lead problem. We have lead in our paint and lead in the city soil. So, the best option for gardening is a raised bed that doesn’t have access to this lead-filled soil. As a working mom who is also in school, I just don’t have time to build a beautiful raised bed. This bin situation is quick, easy, and still loads of fun.

So we took one of our large plastic bins (you can get one for about $5 at Target, Walmart, etc…), drilled large holes in the bottom for drainage,  and filled it with organic raised bed soil from Home Depot. The bin was filled with 2 bags. (Don’t mind the grass the fell into our bin. Totally unintentional!)

Soil

CLEcitymom Raised Bed Garden

We then planted our seeds according to the directions on the seed packs, watered the soil, and let the fun begin. It’s been a few weeks and we are starting to see results!!!

I love going out and checking on our garden with J. She loves touching the dirt and gets so excited to see the plants growing.

Seeds

CLEcitymom Raised Bed Garden

It’s not a big garden, but with a small child, it is very manageable and a fun experience that doesn’t cost much. You even get to enjoy the fruits (or vegetables) of your labor!

We planted peas, spinach, and kale!

I’m sure a super mom out there could take this to the next level and have fun painting the bin. I’m far from a super mom- more like a fly by the seat of my pants kind of mom, so our bin is just blue. But you know what, it works.

Plants

CLEcitymom Raised Bed Garden

We had so much fun with this little spring adventure.

Here’s a rundown of the supplies:

  • 1 large plastic bin
  • A drill or any kind of sharp object you can make holes in the bottom with
  • 2 bags of organic raised bed soil
  • Seeds
  • A watering can (you can always use a plain old cup if needed)
CLEcitymom Raised Bed Garden

CLEcitymom Raised Bed Garden

I hope you try this with your littles! It was so fun!

Cheers,

Anna