there are so many reasons to love living in portland. and drop-in toddler-friendly activities abounding are a major benefit…especially when you have one that needs to get out of the house thrice-daily and who demands, “no, new!” when you take her to the nearest school playground. the drop-in part is crucial so you don’t end up paying for a series of activities that you only end up making to once.
so far in bee’s little life, my mantra has been ‘free free free’. my limit has always been five dollars on toddler entertainment with free being even better, because you never know when a fit will cause you to bail. and because then i could justify my habit of pricey toddler snacks like seaweed and coconut water. my old stand-by activity of walking to the grocery store is out. because, two kids. as is any trip to any store or place that institutes a ‘break-it-buy-it’ rule. but lucky for us, rain or shine, preschool naturalists lead nature hikes of approximately one hundred meters – the perfect length for both blair and healing newborn-toting mama.
i imagined this summer with a new baby to be kept as simple as possible, but have found that the simplest solution for everyone’s sanity, sleep-deprivation be damned, is to keep bee’s mind engaged with new activities. little angel-baby, will, is always content to ride along on mama. today we all went on our second ladybug nature walk (shh, don’t tell anyone that neither one of them is technically old enough). bee loves her new ‘school’ for so many reasons. 1: boys. a new obsession. 2: it’s outside. indoor activities besides the library are not as enjoyed lately. 3: parks mean there might be swings and slides after. 4: the ladybug backpack.
the hardest part by far is getting out of the door in the morning with toddler and newborn in tow. my answer: no mess activities. in a typical morning, blair draws with chalk on the wall or crayons on massive paper, builds with legos, maybe watches an episode of daniel tiger, feeds her dollies, and paints in the bathtub with shaving cream (usually so i can contain her while i shower). if she’s exhausted all of her creative energies before i have our bags packed, she’ll typically remove all contents of all drawers and closets in house (vitamins, dog treats, bibs, towels, and all the clothes).
Without further ado, here’s our morning in pictures…
we lasted through nearly the entire hour ‘class/nature-walk/what-have-you’ until little will had to be tended to. bee was done anyways and happily munched on a cookie so i could feed and change will on a park bench.