Vancouver aquarium

So, I’ve been on holidays and haven’t written anything for a few days. We’ve been doing a lot and visiting a lot of people.
One of the places we visited was the Vancouver Aquarium. We were really excited to take Chloe there. She loves animals and fish etc.
Also, when Chloe was a baby, the only thing that would or could calm her down was the song Baby Beluga by Raffi.
So, we were pretty excited to take her to see the beluga whales as well. (That song doesn’t work anymore, by the way. But it has over 1400 plays on my phone alone).
We decided to go to the aquarium on Sunday. Maybe that was a mistake. We went around 3pm and it closes at 5 so we didn’t think it would be too bad. But it was so busy! It didn’t help that it was rainy that day, either.

The first part of the aquarium we checked out, was the jelly fish.

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Chloe thought the jellyfish were awesome. She kept telling us every time we passed some. “Mommy, daddy, jellyfish!”

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Chloe also loved pointing at the fish, but she was a bit skeptical of the larger fish when she was up close.
She really was just happy looking at everything there. She was amazed by it all.

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For us, the belugas were the big highlight. We watched them from below.

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Then, we spent 15 minutes outside in the pouring rain, watching them from above.

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And of course, being the tourists we are, we bought Chloe a bunch of beluga souvenirs.

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We got her beluga:
Socks
Tshirt
Bag
Stuffed animal
And a cup.
We also purchased a penguin umbrella since she also loves penguins.
It was not a cheap day…but it was well worth it!

Traveling with toddlers: entertainment

For our long roadtrip, I decided to put together several items for entertainment for Chloe. She is almost 2 so I find that a lot of things are either too young or too old for her.
Here are some of the things I assembled:

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We are fortunate enough to have a DVD player in our truck, so we brought along a bunch of movies, knowing this would end up being a huge part of Chloe’s entertainment.
I purchased some books from garage sales, and a couple from the bookstore in hopes that the novelty would last a little while. I also threw in some old favorites. Bedtime books were kept in Chloe’s suitcase, apart from the car books. During part of our trip, I sat in the back and read books with Chloe. Matt also took a turn in the back, reading books to her.

On Pinterest, I saw an idea for bringing a baking tray and magnets. I figured this was a worthwhile idea to try. In all honesty, Chloe was a bit too young for this one. We played together for probably 5-10 minutes out of our 12 hr drive so far. At first, I handed her one magnet at a time. Then she would place it on the tray. Sometimes I’d ask the colour and get a response.

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Then I tried sorting into colour groups. Chloe kept this up for a few magnets. Then took all the magnets off and handed them back to me, announcing that she was all done.

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Other activities I tried were a colouring book and a pompom container. Normally, Chloe loves colouring. Or ripping the paper off the crayons. Whichever. Anyway, I brought the crayons that have already been stripped of their paper. Chloe didn’t seem to interested. It lasted 5 minutes, tops.
The pompom container was a recycled cream cheese container with two holes in the top that Chloe could push pompoms through. At home, she can’t wait to play with pompoms. This lasted maybe 2 minutes in the car….

One activity that went well was playing with stickers. Once again, I was in the back with Chloe. I’d let her point to a sticker, I’d peel it off and then she’d stick it on the paper. She loved this.

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We have only done one part of our trip, so I have more time to try things again or try new things.

The two most entertaining things on the highway were 1) movies 2) snacks.
In the cities, Chloe happily looked out the window and pointed out every single bus and truck. So that kept her busy.

Do you have any suggestions for things for a toddler to do on long drives?

Sandwich rollups

This is a super quick post about making sandwiches interesting to kids. I saw an idea for rolling up a piece of bread to make it look like sushi. I figured this would be a neat idea to try with Chloe for our road trip.

Chloe has not always been a sandwich girl. It took a long time to convince her to eat toast. Now she loves pb and j on toast. But she makes a huge mess.

I was kind of skeptical of this idea because food with Chloe is so hit and miss. I only made one. And I kicked myself for it later. She inhaled it.

I took a piece of flax seed bread and cut the crusts off.

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I put the natural peanut butter on and then the jam.

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I didn’t think I put much jam on, but when I rolled it up, I had to wipe excess jam away.

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I secured the sandwich rollup with a toothpick until I gave it to Chloe.

It was surprising how much she liked this idea. Maybe just because it was novel. But who cares! She ate her dinner. That’s all I care about.

Traveling with toddlers: snacks

A long road trip with an almost 2 year old. Hmmm.. Sounds terrifying. I did a lot of planning and prep in hopes to keep her happy, full and feeling good.

I went to the grocery store and bought some unhealthy snacks but also lots of healthy ones.

I decided to have a large snack bag in the back that could be reached from the front or back.

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Some of the items in the bag were:
Fruit/vegetable packets
Fruit cup
Granola bar
Pretzels
Mini crackers with peanut butter
Apple sauce
Mandarin oranges
Strawberry muffins (see post from May 22)

I also had a cooler full of good food for the three of us. I had:
Celery with peanut butter
Carrots and ranch
Apples
Grapes
Strawberries
Buns and sandwich meat
Pb and j for Chloe
Yogurt
Water
Pepperoni sticks

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I got the idea for the jars from cool mom picks
I was kind of excited about those jars, thinking they were a good idea. But I forgot about them, at least on the way to our destination (12 hrs of driving, spread over 2 days).

I packed so many snacks. Which was a good thing because Chloe ate most of the time. But it was also annoying because we were tempted to eat out a few times, which is to be expected, but we still had all this food…

We’ll see what happens. We are still at the first part of our 10 day trip.

What are your go to snack ideas for toddlers on road trips?

Colour sort

A while back, I made a colour sorting activity inspired by a busy bag idea on Pinterest.
I had some folders that weren’t being used, so I decided that I would use one for the activity. I cut up four different colours of construction paper into little squares.

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I glued one of each colour on the inside of the folder. Then, I put glue on some pieces and gave them to Chloe to decorate the front of the folder.

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The first time I tried this activity, Chloe was pretty interested. The second time, she was interested, but for less time.

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This time, she sorted by picking up only one colour and handing it to me. She would label the colour and I would ask her to find more.

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Chloe is getting pretty good with her colours. It makes me happy.

Strawberry muffins

While planning snacks for our road trip, I realized I had a bunch of strawberries and a yummy looking strawberry muffin recipe. I figured they would be a good breakfast item for our trip.

First, I cut up the strawberries and got all the dry ingredients into one bowl.

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My little helper and I took turns mixing the dry ingredients.

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Next, we put the butter and sugar into the mixer. Chloe helped add sugar….it was a bit messy.

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The egg and vanilla were next.

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The recipe said to leave the strawberries for 15 minutes and then to add them to the flour and coat them with the mixture.

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Finally, we added the dry ingredients to the wet and folded it all together. I used two spoons to scoop the batter into the muffin tins. Chloe was itching to get the spoon to lick off the extra batter.

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The muffins baked for 17 minutes. In the meantime, Chloe got her spoon and was getting impatient for a muffin!

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Here is the end result. These were so yummy! They will make a great snack or breakfast on our trip!

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Coconut lime chicken

This recipe from the meal planner made me hungry just looking at it. It only has a few ingredients so I figured I’d try it.
First, I cut up the chicken and assembled the ingredients.

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Then I cooked up the chicken and added the curry powder. I started making my basmati rice at the same time.

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After the chicken was cooked, I added the coconut milk, green chiles, lime juice and zest.

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At the end, I added a green onion but didn’t have cilantro.

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This dish was okay, but didn’t meet my expectation. It was very soupy. I think I would like it thicker. I let it simmer a bit longer, hoping it would thicken up, but it didn’t.
Also, I was hoping for more flavor. I think if I was to make this again, I’d add a bit more curry powder and lime juice. And maybe add some heat, as the chiles added flavor and not heat. It’s too bad I didn’t have the cilantro, it probably would have been delicious in this meal. Oh well. Next time!