Turkey Talk and Tots’ Trot Scavenger Hunt at the Park!

A couple of weeks ago we met up with our playgroup in the park to Talk Turkey!

The kiddos made turkeys. The moms helped their kiddos make their very own little turkey and the kiddos were prompted to come up with things they were thankful for this thanksgiving. The things they are thankful for at this age is priceless. When I got home I made certain to write them down. Our toddler was thankful for her toddler bed. Our preschooler was thankful for his sisters, how awesome is that! And our first grader was thankful for her family, all of them, she clarified in case there was any confusion. I am so glad I wrote them down so that years from now I can look back on that day in the park and have fond memories, what a treasure! And that is one of the many things I am Thankful for this Thanksgiving, specifically, the opportunity to meet such amazing moms and their kiddos through our playgroup and share events like this one with them.

After all that Turkey Talk we had our own little Thanksgiving. Everyone was asked to bring a dish to share for lunch as well as their own plates, cups, and utensils. We had:

  • PB & J squares
  • Veggies & dip
  • Cheese sticks
  • Cookies

It was totally a Toddlers Thanksgiving feast.

After we had lunch we went on a quick Tot’s Trot and little ones were each given a brown bag with an apple, apple crisp recipe, instant oatmeal packet, and stickers inside to use as a marking device in order to indicate when they located the items glued to the outside of their bags for the  mini scavenger hunt. Thank you for sharing this toddler friendly scavenger hunt From Chalkboard to Strollers (awesome blog, be sure to check it out!).

We had such a wonderful time.  It was an enjoyable morning for the kiddos and moms. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with the other moms and having time for adult conversation while the little ones played on the playground. We also lucked out with regard to the weather, it was amazing! I had asked the moms to please dress children accordingly. Bring layers and hats and mittens if the weather calls for them but thankfully the kiddos were able to shed those layers because it was a warm sunny day.

I had such a wonderful time, the kiddos, and other moms seemed to as well, I think we will make this an annual event, a fun-filled Thanksgiving celebration in the park!

Day 2: African Safari Wildlife Park

Well, I have had some time to process the fact that the kiddos have HFMD.  I have contacted all the kiddos parents who planned on attending the b-day party on Sunday and explained the situation. I changed our “yes attending” R.S.V.Ps for all immediate playgroup meetups to “not attending”. And my hubby has contacted the parents of children our children have been in contact with this past weekend.  Minus the entire water park of course, to bad there isn’t an app for that. I do feel horrible about the fact that we might have exposed more children.  Although, it does seem like HFMD is going around, and as a close confidant of mine stated, HFMD is the new chickenpox, and maybe she is right?  Maybe 20 years from now my grandchildren will be receiving the HFMD vaccine and I will be sharing the story of when my children had HFMD.  I would tell them about today and how their grandfather called off work to stay with me and the kiddos. How he had a great plan for having a fun-filled family day with the children that did not involve them being around others but was sure to guarantee a memorable experience, one we would cherish……..

We told the children we had a fun afternoon planned but that it would remain a surprise until we arrived at our destination. Sure enough, a tough game of 20 questions followed, they were so eager to know where they were going. Thankfully lunch via drive-thru lead them off the trail for a few minutes and they got to eat their food in the car since they were contagious, which just added to the entire experience. What is it about a drive-thru and eating in the car that is such a treat to a child? Forty minutes later and we were there….

African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton Ohio

It was the perfect park for our little ones.  They could stay in the car the entire time so we didn’t have to worry about them coming in contact with others.  It was so much fun! I have to say I was honesty surprised at how much I truly enjoyed this experience with my family.  We purchased 4 cups of grains and 2 bags of carrots to feed the animals and let me tell you there is nothing cuter than those animals’ big brown eyes peering into the car; of course, they only come a close second to the big blue eyes of my babes gazing back at them.  Having the animals come up to your car and feed them was so cool……


Of course it was a little difficult to capture the entire giraffe. His head was so large that his nose took up the entire window cavity. Then my hubby decided to open up the sun roof for easier access. Being able to feed a giraffe while in the car with my family was by far my favorite.


After we, and by we, I mean my hubby, son, and I fed the animals I grabbed the hand sanitizer. Squirting hand sanitizer that contains alcohol onto a child’s hand that has HFMD is not recommended. What follows is screaming, then panting, and a sincere question of “why would you do that?”. What’s even worse is when your mom quickly grabs her water to pour on the burning hand in hopes of cooling them off only to realize she has a lemon in the water.

I felt so horrible, poor kiddo. But besides the hand sanitizing and lemon water incident the day was wonderful. If it wasn’t for HFMD we probably would have experienced this outing with friends and we might have missed out on this amazing family bonding experience. Should I be thanking whoever my kiddos contracted HFMD from?  Since it was the HFMD that made us not include others in on this experience? Maybe….just maybe there is a blessing in disguised?

Flutter Your Worries Away at The Butterfly House

The first day of May brings about much anticipation and excitement for many impending events.   Big events such as, the culmination of the school year, the joys that will precede summer break, graduation celebrations, the excitement of Mother’s Day, and last but not least, Opening day of The Butterfly House!

The Butterfly House is located in Whitehouse Ohio, just a short drive from Toledo and it is by far one of the most relaxing outings/field trips I have ever had the pleasure of sharing with my children.  The first time we visited the butterfly house our eldest was 3 years old and infatuated with butterflies. In fact, her room is adorning with pink butterflies.  She practically lost her mind when we entered the magnificent space where she was greeted by gorgeous Morpho Peleides, Papilio palinurus, the classic, all-time favorite Monarch, and many many more gorgeous butterflies fluttering all around.  

The experience is amplified by the fact that while walking around viewing the gorgeous butterflies in such an idyllic environment classical musical plays in the background.  The combination of fluttering butterflies, the water trickling in the small pond, the amazing foliage all around, and the classical music embodies you and bring about one of the most relaxing experiences.  When I leave The Butterfly House I leave with the same relaxing mindset that is only equal to a Spa experience but for much less.

I had been counting down the days to our visit, so desperate for the relaxing feeling that encompasses you after the visit.  May seems to be one of the craziest months with school activities, after school activities, rehearsals for recitals, recitals, weddings, showers, Mother’s Day, etc.  I could feel the stress mounting and I knew that The Butterfly House was just the thing to help me relieve the mounting pressure piling up from the multitude of responsibilities and obligations.  And it did!

We so enjoyed our visit, we went with our Playgroup and the young children seemed to enjoy themselves as well as the parents. Our preschooler really enjoyed watching the butterflies eat and noted the Proboscis and how it looked like the butterfly had a cool straw that sucked up the banana. He also enjoyed seeing the pupa (chrysalis). The butterfly house has a window where children can watch the butterflies emerge from the chrysalis. It was a wonderful learning experience for our preschooler and toddler. We can’t wait to go back with big sister once school is out. The Butterfly House also has a beautiful space for picnicking after your visit, the scenery, breeze, and environment are unsurpassable.


Are you fascinated with butterflies? Do you have favorite butterfly?  Have you been to a Butterfly House near your home or perhaps the one in Whitehouse?

Playdate sponsored by Rudi’s Organic Bakery (Post also includes FREE Custom Sandwich Box info)

God knows moms have enough to worry about when it comes to the health and wellbeing of their children.  That’s why I am thankful for Rudi’s Organic bakery. 

The best things in life are free. Free from (anything bad like) synthetic ingredients, chemical pesticides and fertilizers. When we say organic, we mean it. Our products are USDA Certified Organic, which tells you that at least 95% of our ingredients are organic. This is good for you, your family and the environment. (Source:http://www.rudisbakery.com/)

So, you can see why moms don’t have to wonder what’s inside Rudi’s bread. I believe we have an unwritten code as moms, if we have come across an amazing product, technique, or the like we need to share that with other moms.  And share we did…..

When you come across a product like Rudi’s, that gives moms peace of mind, a celebration is in order. So we got out our Pom-poms and then headed to Health Foods by Claudia to purchase our Rudi’s organic bread (they offer Rudi’s entire line of bakery products and a slew of other amazing organic products, I highly recommend Health Foods by Claudia. And, good news, if you aren’t local they are launching their e-store soon, check it out) and invited over all our playgroup friends.

We packed the house, literally! We welcomed 14 magnificent moms and 16 amazing little kiddos.  We decided to keep it simple and a bit traditional. While Rudi’s offers hot dog buns, hamburger buns, rolls, tortillas, wraps, bagels, English muffins, and sandwich flatz we decided the best way to introduce Rudi’s was the most practical way, the way in which moms often utilize bread, the good old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The PB & J is a staple in most of our moms’ lives. Whether it is packing a lunch for school, meeting up at the zoo, going to the park for a picnic, the easy to prepare, climate controlled, and fan of most kiddos is the PB & Jelly. But we added a twist. The kiddos had the option of making their own sandwich. They could select the Rudi’s bread they wanted, spread the PB and J, and then select a fun cookie cutter shape.

To accompany the PB & J moms brought grapes, cheese sticks, yogurt, carrots, apple sauce, juice boxes, milk, etc. to share.  The moms in our playgroup are so amazing; they are so kind, compassionate, and considerate of others and this was definitely apparent at our play date.  Most moms might think I was nuts to have 14 moms and 16 kiddos in my home especially since it is on the market and there is a chance that a prospective buyer might want to see our home the next day. But not me, the moms in our playgroup are such good moms; it is evident and reflected in their children’s behavior. They are also great friends; they did so much between bringing food to share, helping set out food, and clean-up that I actually got to enjoy the play date too.  Thank you Playgroup-in-Toledo moms for being such wonderful moms and great friends; I am truly blessed to have each and every one of you in my life.

After lunch we finished up our play date with a trip down to the park. What better way to conclude a well-balanced meal than with some activity. The kiddos had fun playing on the playground, swinging, and chasing after bubbles until their little bodies couldn’t go any more. Then it was time to head home where I hope all the moms got to have a little bit of a break while their children napped.

As if the bread, cookie cutters, playdate, park, etc. weren’t enough!  The kiddos also received a Let’s Doodle Lunch sheet that allows them to create their own masterpiece and then submit that to Rudi’s and they will place that custom designed masterpiece on a sandwich box for the kiddos. AND, and each child has a chance for their custom design to be the Official Rudi’s Sandwich box!  Sound like fun? Wish your kiddos could participate? They can!! Click here to get your kiddos art work on a sandwich box for FREE! ( Also, May1-31st, Rudi’s is running Get a dollar, Give a dollar, you can get $1 off coupon and Rudi’s will give a dollar to the celiac organization of your choice)

All of us moms agreed that Rudi’s was delicious and the kiddos seemed to enjoy the bread too! However there is the issue of the price and yes, if we are being totally honest it does cost more than non-organic breads.  However those non-organic breads contain preservatives and additives that do not contribute to a healthy well-balanced meal.  As moms we know that our children are what they eat. I know I have witness the effect that highly processed food have on my kiddos. They are often lethargic and left craving more highly processed food and that is a road I do not want them going down.  I would rather spend a few more dollars today for healthy, organic food for my children then spend thousands years down the road trying to fix organs that processed foods have damaged. My children are worth it! Are yours?

Please share your thoughts. Have you ever tried Rudi’s organic bakery? Would you? What is your take on organic foods?