Foodie Baby all mapped out

I’ve alluded to it before, but when Wonder Boy was young I had a series called Foodie Baby (actually, a separate blog but we threw it all together here later) where talked about my dining experiences with a toddler.
I posted about many local restaurants to me and a couple not-as-close, describing food menus, high chairs commentary, and so on.

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Well, now that Lil’ Wonder is 13 months I am considering revisiting this series, though I admit, my dining budget is smaller than it was before.


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But here is a fun gadget for you to play with – a map of all the locations I talked about a couple of years ago!

Each location is current as of the date the blog post posted. I haven’t gotten to revisit all of them, so if someone has greatly changed please just let me know.

 

Flying at Camp Snoopy

The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them. I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.

I admit, i was a bit trepidatious about the trip to Camp Snoopy. Wonder Boy had grown up only riding a couple rides there, being a little timid of rides, and they had taken away two of his favorites to make room for bigger Peanuts-themed rides.

It’s been a lot of work, some days, going to theme parks with Wonder Boy. He loves to look at rides, but anything new brings out the fear, and we recently only spent 20 minutes at Disneyland because he refused to go into a new place. (And my lesson learned- threatening to go home over it means you will have to leave. It sucked.)

I partnered up with the ever-awesome Desiree at Camp Snoopy hoping her children would bond with mine into some kind of superhero actually going on rides group.

It worked.

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Yes, that is Wonder Boy, the one who refused to get on much but the semi trucks at Knotts and cried over going on the big train, happily swinging away.

He happily swung away a couple of times, begging to go on again but being dragged off for another new adventure.

Every new ride he tried, he said it was his new favorite.

 

He blew my mind all day, including when we went back to again ride the swings and he decided to take on the scariest-looking one, with me beside him.

He rode it three times.

And yes, that is him saying “whoooAAAAAaaaa”….

Wonder Boy, while being fearless in some things, is definitely not when it comes to loud noises, rides and fireworks.

Checking out a new and improved (in Wonder Boy’s eyes) Camp Snoopy was a definite adventure. Here’s some tips for the summer if you plan on going down.

  • Sunscreen! not all of the ride lines have shade to stand in, and lines for rides like for the hot air balloon ride move slow because of the ride capacity.
  • Water! Because. Knotts also has souvenir cups you can buy and keep refilling all season long.
  • Height Guidelines! Check them before you get in line and read the signs. I saw several kids turned away after standing in line with siblings. They will be checked. The new rides are all for taller children, my son is 43″ and just made it for a couple of them. The schoolbus and big rigs are still pretty universal.
  • Patience! My son was determined NEVER to ride the Linus Launcher, aka his new favorite ride ever. Is they balk, watch it go a round or two or come back later. A few hours into the day and my son was a more adventurous kid.
  • Make sure you get a chance to ride the Grand Sierra Railroad, which has some cute Peanuts vignettes.

Let me know if you decide to go flying at Camp Snoopy!

Water play

Disclaimer: I received product to review. No other compensation was given, all opinions are my own.

Over our fence lies the park, and past that the pool. It’s hard to know that Wonder Boy can hear his friends swimming when he’s stuck home, when I’m trying to do dishes or clean, or anything else.

So I make sure they have a little fun with water, be it a leftover bowl from a salad spinner that cracked, or filling up the water table and letting them splash all of the water out.


Since I’m getting more and more busy, I’m making sure there’s a good diversion for when I’m working, be it watercolors, a schoolish workbook, or homemade play dough, one of the things on my list to do tomorrow.

And making sure they have a cool time outside when I am at home and making sure they play with all of their toys, not just try to talk me into cartoons.

It helps that in the summer I have a shirt-optional rule, meaning that if we’re home, all I require is shorts to hang around and play.  It also means Lil’ Wonder is in a diaper only all day- way easier on the laundry pile!

photo (4)Lil’ Wonder hated his little swimming pool I got a hold of for him, refusing to sit or stand in it after I filled it up. Until this weekend, when I figured out just a little water would make him happy to crouch besides it or maybe, just maybe in it and splash away.

Of course, this is the same kid who cries at bathtime but loves to get soaked and stand on the stairs at the pool, repeatedly stepping off them and having to be saved the next second because he wants to be with the big kids and forgets he sinks like a rock (I’m always two feet away at most).

I just don’t get this kid some days.

Wonder Boy loves to wade through it and kick all the water up. I thought he playing in it would entice his little brother, and it did, but only when no one was wearing enough clothing for me to actually take pictures.

Wonder Boy is beginning to actually swim, which is really exciting, since this time last year he was crying whenever his head went under water. I’m hoping by the end of summer he is actually swimming! He’s been taking swim lessons at the YMCA for months, which helps his pool cravings swimming twice a week with a gaggle of other silly little boys and girls.

Note: the pool is from Backyard Ocean and it’s really nice. You can blow it up to make a soft bottom and the squares make it less slippery than what I used to play in as a kid. Wonder Boy likes to kick and splash in it. So- baby-intended, big brother approved I guess?

Care Bears Love to Learn app

Disclaimer: I received an early link to download this app for review purposes. No compensation was given. All opinions are my own.

I work to find games that are gender neutral or cute enough to keep my son exposed to different types of media. He still plays with a tea party app occasionally and loved to play a Frozen game or check out My Little Pony on Netflix.

And I have been guilty of more than once playing one of my son’s game or catching videos on Netflix that take be back to my elementary days, when I would sit every afternoon at 3 p.m. for My Little Pony Tales and that time we went to the movie theatre to see the Care Bear Adventure.

The ‘Care Bears Love to Learn’ app is full of small games that are adorable for the preschool set.
And you may catch yourself playing a game and enjoying a moment with your favorite bear (Mine was Cheer Bear!).

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This app has a variety of simple learning games including:

    •    Counting sweet treats with Share Bear
    •    Building shapes with Grumpy Bear
    •    Care Bears card matching memory game with Love-A-Lot Bear
    •    Identifying colors in Share Bear’s garden
    •    Matching objects with Funshine Bear
    •    Music making with Harmony Bear
    •    Learning letters with Tender Heart Bear 

My son loved the fact he could collect Care Bears for a collection, and I loved that it was cute simple games that were gender neutral enough for young boys and girls both.

The app is currently only available for the iPad. Click link to go to the iTunes page!

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Pantry chalkboard project

Going back to work more meant getting more organized in a big way.

While I had tried before, writing notes down on a piece of paper wasn’t going to cover it on a day-to-day basis – I needed a more permanent way to offer schedule, food ideas, and a message center for anyone in charge of Lil’ Wonder and Wonder Boy. image Center stage- the inside of the pantry. (Illustrated here with the inside of a cabinet door since I forgot and already had put the tape on. See how it makes a nice space perfect for the paint? It was made for this project. ) The inside of the pantry door was long used to tape up printed- out toddler food ideas, neglected cleaning schedules and other things I could ignore while digging through the pantry for food. And the new addition – chalkboard paint. image While I am seriously a year or two late to the chalkboard paint trend (thanks Pinterest) I had long thought about painting something in my home. The paint came in several colors, but I didn’t feel any of them would work in my kitchen (darn, no yellow!) so I went with regular ol’ chalkboardish color (Moonstone). image Of course I picked a weekend that my husband wasn’t home a lot, and of COURSE we couldn’t paint with the practically hyperactive Lil’ Wonder running around, so Wonder Boy and I waited until 9:30 at night on a Saturday to do our project. We live a crazy life, yo. I taped it off with regular painters tape, then added that rubber band trick you see a lot on Pinterest. image It totally works, y’all. I showed Wonder Boy the ‘moves’ long strokes, up and down, a little on the paintbrush at a time. I admit, he totally impressed me with his mad painting skills, I dripped more than he did! image After a good solid coat, Wonder Boy was put to bed and I snuck in another couple of light coats afterwards. Voila, our new chalkboard! I keep it real with these photos. My house is a mess. deal. image Painting at night was totally my friend, as the next morning Wonder Boy was eager to try out his new project and it had a chance to completely dry overnight. It made him feel like a little man of the house to have accomplished a big project like this. I was glad to teach him a skill and get a quick project accomplished that made the transition to working a little easier. And? It totally works. Right now I’m using an towel to help erase, and it may need a wipe every couple of week, but I’m trying out different places to write what is for dinner, what could be for lunch, and what my work schedule is. But also – artwork. image