Happy New Year

Happy 2014!

imageDear Friends,

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite picture(s) with you. It’s me (3 months old) and my mommy in NYC.  This picture pretty much sums it up how I feel felt (I can’t believe I’m using past tense!!) about 2013 and the things I’m grateful for, like my parents.

In 2013 we traveled overseas three times and we had a couple of road trips within the U.S. as well. My parents do not shy away to travel the world with me but instead teach me the importance of it. My grandfather, who I never got to meet, unfortunately used to say that everyone “should find the time to smell foreign air”. We couldn’t agree with this more, including our pups who joined us on our trip to Canada!

This being said…I hope all of you have fond memories of 2013 and remember: We’re all writing our own life stories, so write wisely, and don’t forget to smell foreign air!

Wish you all a happy 2014!

xo,

Kingston

Toddlers Wish

Fishy-Tuesday!

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We just got back from Aruba and I already miss the fishes! So, I asked my parents if they could take me to Bass Pro Shop (they have the greatest aquariums!) and of course they said “yes” (how could they ever resist my baby face?!)!

How I wish

I were a fish!

My day would begin

Flapping my fins.

I’d make a commotion

Out in the ocean.

It would be cool

To swim in a school.

In the sea,

I’d move so free,

With just one thought:

Don’t get caught!

-Anonymous

I simply admire and adore the underwater world…How about you?!

Happy Tuesday!

Toddler Meets Underwater World

Visit to the Aquarium!

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To give me a glimpse of the underwater world my parents decided to take me to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

From drinking fountains to rain puddles, I am simply fascinated by water! Taking me to the Aquarium was the best choice yet; it seemed like the place was specially made for me, with windows low to the ground so I can pipsqueak on marine life without needing a boost!

Besides all the fun I had with fish-watching, I also got a chance to learn more about colors (“the seahorse is black and white”); and my parents were able to coach me some basic biology (“that baby fish is small now, but he’ll grow just like you have!”).

It was such a wonderful day! Thank you, Shedd Aquarium for this great experience! I added fishes to my favorite animals now!

Happy Exploring!

Road Trip With Your Toddler

Greetings from Niagara Falls!

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My parents and I love adventures, in fact, we love it so much (!) that we went on a road trip to the Niagara Falls!

I’m aware that a road trip with your tot(s) doesn’t sound as appealing at first – but I’ve listed a few things below that might help you make your trip as relaxed as possible!

Things You Need for the Car Ride

  1. Snacks, lots of snacks!
  2. Juice boxes
  3. Antibacterial wipes, i.e. baby wipes for your hands after eating, diaper changes (you get the picture)
  4. Sunshades, if your car doesn’t have them
  5. Music for toddlers (we don’t like the music you listen to except for “Gangnam Style”)
  6. Diaper bag
  7. Extra clothing
  8. Paper towels
  9. Interactive toys (I brought my LeapFrog LeapPad2 Explorer)
  10. Books

Other Thoughts

Be sure to plan your route and where you might want to eat (Subway, McDonalds, etc.). Also, give your toddler(s) pit stops to stretch. No one likes to sit in one spot for large amounts of time, even parents!

Happy Traveling!

The Importance of Quality Time after Daycare

Bonding after a long day at work.

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Both of my parents work full-time which is why I go to daycare. Yet my mommy and daddy always come and visit me during their lunch break! It’s important to spend quality time together!

Last night my parents and I went to the beach to simply watch the world go by! These nights are wonderful because they are always filled with laughter and lots of love!

Below are a few tips for making the most of the precious hours you have with your little ones and greatly enhancing your quality of life.

  • Enjoy the Ride: We have quite a commute to work (about 35min) and instead of just listening to the radio we try to bond with each other during the car ride. We play games, like “I spy” or we sing together!
  • Plan an Activity Each Night: My parents work until 5:00 PM and instead of sitting on the couch after work they plan activities we will all enjoy together! My mommy structures our nights nicely so we can maximize our family time together; such as going for a walk, going to the park or stay in and play a board game.
  • Put the Chores on Hold: After dinner, parents may be tempted to tackle dishes, but I say: Relax and use the extra hour or two to spend with us! You can always clean up once we’re in bed!
  • Sit Down to Dinner: Eating together as a family is “oh-so” important! Don’t turn on the TV but instead sit and eat together. Also, make dinner times fun by encouraging us to help you prepare dinner, for instance.
  • Read to Us: I could go on and on about books because they’re my passion! I love books – as you might know by now! Reading to us is the easiest way to spend quality time with your tot(s). In addition to fostering our love of reading, you’ll also be creating lasting memories with us! Doesn’t get any better, does it?

Taking Your Toddler To The Water Park

Big Fun For Little Splashers!

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Over the weekend my parents took me to Barefoot Bay Family Aquatic Center in Mudelein which was a lot fun! Barefoot Bay Water Park is a New England-themed, six acre family water retreat! We love it because it offers amenities for swimmers of all ages (including tots my age!).

When it’s hot and sticky, a water park is most definitely the best place to stay cool, however, a few guidelines must be in place so you and your toddler(s) will enjoy the water park!

  1. My parents supervised me at all times even though the Barefoot Bay Family Aquatic Center employ lifeguards, but I think that no one can substitute the watchful eye of a parent or guardian, don’t you agree?
  2. Make sure you provide us with enough snacks – which by the way – is a great way to get us to take a break! We’re small, so we get worn out very easily when playing in the water, in fact, I got so tired I took a nap in the shade as well.
  3. Sunscreen is important! Don’t forget to use 50 and up sunscreen on us! I wore swim trunks and a shirt – yet my mommy made sure that I was covered all over my body with sunscreen (even under my shirt!).

After my nap I was ready to splash some more and go down the mini slide! It was so much fun!

What did you do over the weekend?

Exploring Nature

I’m an adventure tyke!

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I’m a firm believer that you’re never too young to start exploring nature and more importantly enjoying it! Parents often doubt themselves thinking it’s impossible to take us on a hike or you might wonder how exactly you go on exploring nature with a toddler.

Below are my favorite ways to enjoy nature:

  • Let us explore and touch nature. My parents always let me explore nature, i.e. they let me touch the trees, smell the flowers and so on.
  • Let us play with dirt. I love playing with dirt! Don’t be afraid when we’re getting dirty and/or messy – it’s all good! Let us dig, toss and wet it, whatever – just don’t be afraid!
  • Let us seek out sticks. Sticks invite us to imaginative play! I sometimes use it as a fishing pole and pretend daddy and I are going fishing! It’s so much fun!
  • Let us hunt for rocks. Rocks are perfect for little hands like mine. They come in all different shapes and sizes! My favorite activity with rocks? I enjoy putting them in a bucket before taking them out again.
  • Let us spend time around water. The beach is awesome! Water invites us to nature play and discovery!
  • Let us plant a garden together. Mommy and daddy planted tomatoes and strawberries in our backyard and I was a big help when we planted them! ‘Til this day I still enjoy watering them and even more so, harvesting the goodies once they’re grown!