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    Chiropractor Mama Dr. Dolly and professional photographer Elisa B. share about adventures in intentional and natural parenting while living in Virginia's beautiful Blue Ridge.
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Don’t cry over spilled blocks

When my son builds, creates, and interprets his innovations, my heart soars.  His bounding spirit so full of purpose and exploration is a constant reminder to look at things differently and to simple create.

Lately, everything he creates is related to dinosaurs.  Everything.

Together, we’ll build with Lego Duplo blocks to create something that looks sort of horse and giraffe-ish.  But, Calvin confidently dubs it a dinosaur–a specific type of dinosaur with specific dinosaur features.

For example, a tower of 20 colorful stacked bricks is…

a big, big dinosaurus rex with a loooong neck

Noted.

Actually, in this drawing, I can actually see the belly, a tail, and feet.  When I asked about the scribbles on top and what they were, he kinda shrugged and smiled, and then changed the subject. That was AFTER he named this drawing “Dinosaur for Daddy.”

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I want to encourage Calvin to play, create, and imagine.

But…

I kinda hate it when he dumps the legos allthefloor. ALLoverthefloor. allOVERthefloor. just before dinner time. or before we leave the home.

I mean, everything is all picked up for the evening and suddenly, I hear…

CRASH! Plastic bricks colliding with dozens of other plastic bricks into a heap of rubble on the floor of my recently picked up and very smallish living room carpet.

A few pieces tumble and roll under the couch and the dining table and my desk (did I mention we have a rather tight space?).

And then, my shoulders collapse.  I let out an audible groan.

Maybe it’s that I’m tired of our cramped, small space where tripping over a plastic brick or ball is just the daily grind because there is NO other place where my son can play.

Perhaps I just get tired at 6pm. Period.

Or maybe, my husband and I need to lighten up and just let our son’s free-form expression occur regardless of trip hazard and time of day. (Seriously, why must he dump the entire bucket on the floor RIGHT before we’re about to sit down for dinner.  Why then?)

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But, that’s not the only time he chooses to pull the bucket of plastic blocks out of their shelf.

Yesterday, he pulled them out at 7:55 AM–he and I needed to get out the door by 8 AM to greet a patient scheduled 30 minutes later.

I heard the plastic contents empty on the floor as I was scurrying about our apartment and getting ready to load up our gear and lunches into the vehicle.

That sound made me stop in my tracks.  Groan. Sigh. I asked my son, “Really?  Did you have to pour those out now?”

Because, let’s face it, two year-olds completely have the time concept figured out.  At the most inconvenient moment, THAT is when they need to go to the bathroom or create a giant mess, or completely take off every single piece of clothing that they’re wearing (just as you’re getting ready to head out the door).

Then, I just shrugged it off.  I asked him to help pick them up because we needed to leave to get to the office and we didn’t want to leave a mess.

Shockingly, without a protest, he picked up every single block and very quickly returned each one to the bucket.

That’s where I ruined everything.  As I dashed to put the bucket back on the shelf (because I just couldn’t wait for my son to do it himself), the bucket tipped on the shelf, and all the blocks poured out onto the floor.

I did it.  I spilled them.  (Hand raised high) It was ME!

I stopped.  Looked at my son squarely, and I said, “I’m so sorry.  I spilled all those blocks after you picked them up.  Mommy made a big mess.  We don’t have time to pick them up now, we have to leave.”

It’s okay Mommy.  It’s alright.

Blessed by the grace of a two year-old.

*Lego Duplo Brick photo by tlossen via Flickr.

It’s easy being Green!

My favorite pajama company, Hatley, is offering great savings from now until Earth Day with code: EARTHDAY!

Earth-friendly dyes and water conservation practices go into each and every Hatley pajama product.  Plus, they make super cute pajamas.

Calvin just got a pair of Shark jammies in the mail yesterday, and he can’t wait to put them on!

Note: I don’t receive any compensation for promoting Hatley.  We just love their pajamas!

Tuesday Travels: Carnival Fun

Having allergies to pollen or poison ivy or whatever it is this kid’s got is not much fun.  To avoid exacerbating the condition, we’ve kept him cooped up indoors for most of the week.

But, two year-olds need to expend energy. Outside. Often.

So, we thought a great way to boost his spirits and get his mind off of itchy skin was to check out a couple of rides at the Dogwood Festival carnival.If we rode any more rides than that, we’d break our bank account.  The prices were comparable to a full up theme park, without nearly the amenities.

But, it was local, not very crowded, and it was fun.

Check out Steve’s cool toes on his Vibram Five Fingers shoes.

Calvin was a little timid at first.  He just wanted to snuggle with his Daddy when they did a few rotations on the ferris wheel.

But after they got going, his face lit up in a huge grin (even through puffy and red eyes).

I love the vibrant colors on this symmetrical shot.  Plus, my two favorite guys are smiling at me.

Since this rather benign ride was such a big hit, we decided to use our remaining tickets for something a little more racy (yet still safe and appropriate for a two year-old).

After gaining his approval, we attempted to try out Calvin’s first roller coaster ride: the Dragon Wagon.

It was literally a roller coaster for little kids.  However, it was surprisingly faster and jerkier than it looked.

The entire time, Calvin was shouting “Whee! So fast, Mommy!”  In fact, he wanted to go again, and again.  He was feeling brave enough to try several other rides.  However, we were out of tickets.  Two rides was enough for his first carnival experience.

We’re SO relieved our son likes roller coasters.  So relieved!  Whew!

The carnival is in town for another week.  So, take out a small loan, and go have some fun with your family!

Sad Heart

Nothing makes me more sad than when my little guy is under the weather.  Lately, it seems that he’s been under a string of things.  Part of the fun of a developing immune system in a small child.

Just over a month ago, he and his dad were down with a stomach bug.  A few days later, he had an allergic reaction (possibly to some food) that resulted in a very difficult night with a bad croupy cough.

About the time that went away, spring allergies hit with a fervor.  My son got more than a runny nose and watery eyes, he ended up with a full body rash.  After talking with several people today who grew up in central Virginia, it seems as though he probably does have some form of poison ivy.  It’s all over his face.  Only a few days ago, his eyes were completely blood shot.  He looked like a little bloodhound.

He’s on the mend, but it’s taking a long time.  As B.J. Palmer said, “Healing takes time.”

So, forgive me if I’ve been a little behind with regular columns…I’ve been sticking to my first priority and taking care of my little one–even in the wee hours of the morning when the itchy skin is at its worst.

Please lift up Calvin in prayer.  I’ll get back to posting about some more fun aspects of parenthood in the near future.

Posh Baby! Oilo Pillow {Review}

 Oilo sent me a beautiful pillow in cobalt with their wheels motif and I’m quite smitten by it. There’s a lovely , modern print on the front in a navy and ivory color scheme.

For those of you who didn’t see post I wrote on Lucien’s nursery, I’ll admit I’ve been on a bit of a redecorating kick lately. I think it’s some post baby leftover nesting instinct mixed with spring cleaning frenxy. This pillow was timely!

The pillow is 13″ x 17″ and made of 100% woven cotton with a dacron fill and a hidden zipper closure. From start to finish it looks like it’s been made with quality in mind.

I’ve included a full size image, because I wanted everyone to be able to see the subtle texture to the fabric, which I love so much. Also, and importantly, it’s maching washable!

I have been pouring over the website and also love their beautiful gliders. They seem like a posh addition to a little nursery don’t they?

Here’s a little history about Oilo: Founded in 2009 by Annalisa Thomas to offer a chic, new solution for fashionable nursery décor.  In her quest to find modern and stylish nursery décor for her first child, Thomas found a void in the marketplace for distinctively styled nursery décor at an affordable price. With a degree in arts and a background in graphic design, she founded Oilo™ to offer the modern mom high quality designer level products that feature clean, simple and sophisticated design.  Oilo’s distinctive collection of bedding, furniture, wall art, rugs and lighting is designed by Thomas in partnership with her mother and company co-founder Dorte Anderson.  Anderson brings to Oilo more than 25 years of interior design experience specializing in custom décor. 

I love mommy owned busnesses. And I love designs that work both for a nursery and a home at large. Appealing, but not too “baby”. They grow so fast. Thank you Oilo!

Exclusive for Traveling with Baby readers: receive 15% off purchases at  Oilo using the following code: “twb2010″

Your Turn: What products do you like most from Oilo’s line? Thinking of adding it to your child’s bedroom, or elsewhere in your house?

Note: One pillow was provided for the purpose of this review. Read the full disclosure policy.

Wordless Wednesday: Get that Binkie!

A Mom’s Holiday

I’m not talking about Mother’s day.  I’m talking about working moms taking a day to do something creative and fun with their kids and other working moms.

That’s exactly what my friend Jennifer Hamlin and I did on Wednesday.  It was a spontaneous sort of an adventure that began with a trolley ride to the UVa where Calvin and I met Jennifer and a room full of women for the monthly CVille SheBlogs meeting at Para Coffee.

(By the way, my little sleepyhead did not want to get out of bed this morning.  When I told him he needed to wake up so we could take the trolley.  He sat upright and said, “Get dressed!”  He was rarin’ to go from that moment forward!)

After our meeting Jennifer and her daughter asked us if we wanted to join them downtown at the Virginia Discovery Museum.  Since I was sans vehicle, I said we could meet them downtown, but we were going to ride in on the trolley.  Instead of looking for downtown parking, Jennifer and her daughter hopped on the trolley and joined us.

We window shopped and admired pretty things like a live finch and plant-shaped candles at Caspari.

I wasn’t used to taking leisure time to “look” at things I would never buy.  Okay, online window shopping aside.  But, we simply walked and took our time and had a relaxing day with our precious children.

With a little muscle, we turned the merry-go-round carousel, and then we spent a few hours in the Discovery Museum (if you visit once with a member, your April membership is free for your family!).

Calvin and I haven’t been to that  museum before, and it was surprisingly cool.  Not too big, and not as small as I thought.  It was just right. Calvin’s favorite features were the train table and the live honeybees.  I think we may decide to join as members.

After running themselves ragged from so much fun, our kiddos were about to collapse in fatigue.  But, not until they had one more go on the carousel.

Then, we hiked to the other end of the Downtown mall to Marco & Luca’s for a tasty and inexpensive lunch of dumplings.

Dumplings were a huge hit!  Look at that boy go with his kuàizi (a.k.a. chopsticks).

All four of us rode the Trolley back and we said goodbye.  I could have done some house cleaning, but I snuggled up with Calvin for an afternoon nap followed by more playing in the backyard and a walk down to see train tracks.

That was just the day off I needed.  No work.  No computer.  Just a lot of smiles, laughs, time away from things that always need to be done.  It was the perfect day.

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