A blog about me and my adventure as an ex-pat.
Because someone told me to... Thank you Gaby.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

highs and lows...

I have an awesome group of ladies around me here in Michigan who have a positive influence on me every day.

Sometimes in huge, go out of their way, insightful, deep and meaningful ways and sometimes just a little comment thrown into a group conversation makes a big difference!

So I thought I would share that gem of an idea here, to record it for future reference and in case anyone reading this thinks it's a good idea too.

If you manage to get your family around the dinner table at the end of the day or you are trying to extract something more out of your kids, on the day home from school, than "it was ok" or "nothing much" then try the 'high-low' game.

Ask them to tell you one thing that was a high, the best thing that happened to them that day and their 'low' or the worst thing that happened. Try it, you might be surprised at the answers you get!

Take today for example; we managed to all sit down to eat together before Jeremy goes away for the weekend. Being a Wednesday, it was 'Mummy and Toby day' and we don't have many left so I am trying to make them count. Make them memorable. Savour this special time together.
Today we had some errands to run so started the day with a Biggby hot chocolate, then a special trip to Church where Miss Jan and Miss Kristen made a big fuss of him. We took the dog for a walk (we are dog sitting, so Tallulah is THE most exciting thing in our house at the moment) and the sun was shining so Toby could ride his brand new 'big boy bike'. We also visited a friend who just had a new baby. Being a 5 year old boy I didn't think he would be that interested, but he happily washed his hands so he could stroke baby Isaac's head for a few seconds.

So what do you think was his high today? His new bike? Waking up next to Daddy this morning? Tallulah?

It was that he got to stroke Isaac's head because "He is just so cute!". Bless him! He is full of surprises! It made me smile and you never know quite what is going on in a child's mind but this game definitely gives you a window into their world.

So thank you so much for the idea Carolyn!

(No baby photos I'm afraid but here's a pic from our walk today)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

knee high naturalist...

I heard about the knee-high naturalists program at Binder Park Zoo over a year ago and have been meaning to take Toby but it was one of those things that never worked out until today.

You have to book onto the program in advance and there is a maximum of 20 kids (an adult has to accompany them) and I just never got around to booking it.

It's designed for preschoolers aged 2-5 so Toby was the biggest kid there but it didn't matter!

So was it any good? Would we recommend it? Would we go again?!


In fact I've just booked him onto another 3 sessions. It's only on Wednesdays and Thursdays but Mummy Toby days are Wednesday and Fridays so that works for us.

When you arrive there are toys and games to play with. This morning there were lego bricks and a bean bag toss, a den to play in and balls to play catch with. Toby headed for the bean bags and then the legos! Pretty predictable :)

When everyone arrived they explained the theme for the day. It was camouflage and they did a good job of finding songs and videos to show them about animals that use camouflage.

And then you get to meet a couple of animals. The first one was a big bull frog called Jeremina. She was too delicate to touch but we got to see her up close.

And then the one that came with the warning... We were told we could leave the room if we wanted to as they brought out........ a snake!

Each child was able to stroke him and see him up close. And he was beautiful! He felt like a soft basketball and had beautiful brown markings that looked like dead leaves.

It was then time for more playing or jigsaws or artwork depending on what your kid wanted to do. We did some jigsaws and then made a collage of a snake in camouflage. Fun preschool type stuff.

After some fun action games, we headed outside to have a walk and a game of hide and seek. The warmer weather (29oF) meant they all had a great time climbing on the snow mounds, picking up pine branches and smashing the ice. And it was fun for me to be behind the scenes at the zoo!

That's the tram stop for Africa behind us! 

Before we knew it, it was time to leave. The best $10 I have spent in ages!! We will be back for amphibians in two weeks time.

The staff were fantastic - so friendly and engaging. We will have to keep an eye out for them when we visit in the summer!

If you want more info click here.