"Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which all loveliness arises." -Pedro Calderon de la Barca.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's a Lego Minefield! (Or Keeping a Moving Baby Safe)

Disclosure: This post is the the third in a series of sponsored posts as a Brand Ambassador for the ARKANSAS BETTER BEGINNINGS program.  I am doing this because I believe in their mission.  Everything expressed will be my own opinion. #ARBB

My world has changed- 
In the last week someone has started to not only pull up in her crib, 


but actually crawl!  
At six months I wasn't totally prepared 
and have to make some changes!


1. The Lego/BobbyPin Minefield 
With older siblings, the path to the playroom is paved with many dangers. All those tiny toys...in our house it's mainly LEGO or similar toys, but in the past it's been doll shoes or accessories. Also the big sister's hair pins are probably not optimal for a baby-safe zone. 

2. And We All Fall Down
We have two stairways in this new house.  I've never had to worry about baby gates before, but now have to get shopping for gates for top and bottom of stairs as well as basement stairs.  

3. Shock Protection
I did pick up a package of electrical outlet covers before she was born, and have them in most outlets, but looking around I've seen cords hanging from lamps, plugs with easy access to baby hands (and she's strong!) 

4.  Safe Snuggles
The crib needs to be lowered now that she's standing.   It may seem like she's not tall enough fall or climb out, but I don't want to find out the hard way.  Lowest setting here we come.   I didn't use bumpers because of safety issues, but now thinking about a teething guard on the top rail to prevent her from banging her head in a fall when she's sleepy and trying to stand.  

5. Cabinet & Closet Hidden Dangers
I've got to get door knob protectors or just a key for the bathroom closet door to keep little hands from trouble.  Also cabinet locks for kitchen cleaning supplies under the sink and knife drawer.  I use all natural cleaning supplies anyway, so not very worried about chemical dangers, but it's still not a good idea to eat them!  


For more information check out the resources on the ARKANSAS BETTER BEGINNINGS site!

Friday, September 19, 2014

College Dreams & Other Things (or Summer Road Trip 2014- Part 1)

This summer we wanted to take a road trip that consisted of touring colleges that my daughter is considering next year, with some fun thrown in.
The plan was to make a giant loop and hit every school from here (central Arkansas) to DC and back with good dance programs- BUT of course with only one week to do it, we ended up with a MUCH smaller loop... (only 1300 miles... so glad we opted for the small trip!)

Day 1:
We made it to Memphis by lunchtime and stopped by the Memphis Zoo.  

Goofing off with the Panda bears at the zoo

Boys +5 years at the zoo

Next we headed a few blocks over for a quick tour of the beautiful
Rhodes College in Memphis, TN
"Rhodes looks like Hogwarts!" 

We pushed on and got to Nashville for the night.  (I'd made reservations as we drove in the car on hotels.com.  We stayed across the street from Vanderbilt

Vandy @ night

Day 2:
We'd made arrangements to tour Vanderbilt after lunch, so we visited the Parthenon in nearby Centennial Park.  My kids are huge Rick Riordan fans (author of the Percy Jackson series) and we like to make "Percy Jackson" stops when we travel.  In Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief,  Percy and the gang stop by the Parthenon to obtain a magical pearl.  The museum inside the Parthenon even has some notes from the movie and props, which the boys loved.

Parthenon Fun

After a quick lunch at a quaint old diner (place was cuter than the food was) then headed to Vanderbilt for the tour.
Elliston's Diner

Wow.  
What a gorgeous campus.  No wonder it's so expensive!  
The tour was fantastic in itself. 

This is a DORM @ Vanderbilt

After the tour we hit the road.  Emily's Butler tour was Thursday morning and we had to make it to Indianapolis!  


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

On Getting Kids Out!

Disclosure: This post is the the second in a series of sponsored posts as a Brand Ambassador for the ARKANSAS BETTER BEGINNINGS program.  I am doing this because I believe in their mission.  Everything expressed will be my own opinion. #ARBB


It seems like in the age we live in that we have to pry ourselves away from technology.  
Adults and teens are always checking something "important" on a cell phone or lap top.
At home and school kids are glued to game consoles or TV.   
We're so paranoid of strangers we don't let them play outside without us. 

We've been trying to get outside as a family at least one day a week.
Arkansas has so many beautiful parks and trails!
This past week we went on a slow hike on the Two Rivers Park trail.

What do you see?

A few bottles of water, some snacks in a backpack, and the family was all we needed for a fun Sunday stroll.

With the older kids we played some games as we walked:

One was "What living creatures do you see or see evidence of?"
(They found people, dogs, butterflies, bees, wasps, spiders, and trails that deer had made.)

We also played "What shapes can you find?"
(My son saw vertical lines in the pine trees, angles in the bent branches and grass, spheres in the berries.)

Their favorite game was "If you were stranded in the forest, what could you eat?"
(This gave us a good discussion on what was and wasn't edible and we took pictures to research berries and mushrooms.)

They ran and climbed trees.

For the baby there was so much to see, and hear, and smell.  Learning with all the senses.





But the best part was that we had fun as a family together! 


Did you know that studies have shown that children who play outdoors have less stress and anxiety, better cognitive development, lessened ADHD symptoms, better vision, and more Vitamin D?


Other great ideas to get your kids outside NOW:

  • Blow bubbles 
  • Lie on a blanket and name shapes in the clouds
  • Watch the birds at a bird feeder
  • Plant a garden or help with a community garden
  • Splash in a puddle together
  • Make a designated "NO TECHNOLOGY" day 
  • Catch fireflies in a jar
  • Find some constellations in the stars or have them name their own

More great ideas for Outdoor Fun can be found HERE on the Arkansas Better Beginnings website!


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