Thursday, January 31, 2013

Port Discovery

Allie was a rock star during her constraint therapy on Tuesday.  She spent a solid 30 minutes picking up ping pong (and ping pong sized) balls and putting them down a crazy toddler-proof marble ramp.  She was doing such a good job and I was so proud of her!  There were at least a few times when she got her hand all the way open and her pointer finger and thumb properly wrapped around the ball all by herself.  I think she knew she rocked it.  Whenever she would get the ball all the way onto the top of the ramp, she would clap and cheer “I DID IT!” 

After therapy, I decided to surprise Allie with a trip to a children’s museum in Baltimore called Port Discovery.  It was probably the coolest place that I have ever been and I only wish that I could have gone there when I was young!  There are three stories of a crazy jungle gym maze with rope bridges, tubes, and ladders.    There are fully stocked play grocery stores and diners where the kids can buy and pretend cook fake food.  There were cool ramps and climbing obstacles all over with conveniently placed pads for when the kids wipe out.  They had an art room, a story time room, a soccer area… it was seriously amazing.

Allie liked it just as much as I did.  From the moment we walked in, she was running.  I took all these pictures but she is just a little blonde blur in all of them.  

Exploring the fake trees
Run... Run... Run...
Playing with bins of stuff

Crashing story time with the older kids

She really loved the toddler room, where they had a puppet show and lots of balls to play with.  She kept surprise throwing the balls this poor crawling baby.  This little baby was quite a trooper and still seemed to like Allie, even after having the ball thrown at her head 5 times. 

"Hey, baby...  BALL!!!!"
Peek-a-boo with herself

Checking out the baby circle, and supporting herself with Righty to do it
We explored Dorothy’s house from the Wizard of Oz.  Allie loved the slanted floors and the music.

She also loved the parts of the massive jungle gym that she could get too.  There was this little alcove that was perfect for someone of Allie’s size to sit in and watch the big kids.

Running on the jungle gym
And, there were buttons all over the place to touch.

But, my favorite part of the whole place were the stairs.  Allie was so excited to get to different parts of the museum that she walked (yes, WALKED!) up and down the stairs and didn’t think much of it.

Up the stairs...


Down the stairs...


She effortlessly maneuvered the stairs with 3-4 steps without so much as an “I DID IT!”  She then got to a big staircase that was probably about 20 steps high.  She took those stairs on too.  She crawled up the first 75% and then got up and walked up the last quarter.

We were there for nearly two hours and Allie ran and ran until she could not run any more.  She would trip on something and then lay her head down on the ground to rest for a few seconds until she popped up and resumed her mad dash.

Must stand up...
I knew it was time to go when we got to a short staircase going down and she stopped, turned to me, and asked “Help?”  I picked her up to walk down the stairs and I asked if she was hungry.  She answered “Yeah!” and then signed for food.  With that, we left without so much as a fight.

We ate lunch and got in the car for the hour’s car trip home.  She slept the whole way.  I stopped for gas about a mile from our house and she briefly woke up while I was standing outside the car.  She gave me the biggest happiest smile and immediately fell asleep.

Our little excursion was so much fun for so many reasons but I think the most meaningful for me was that she was such a typical kid while we were there.  She was running, exploring, and having so much fun.  It’s nice to be able to experience these normal childhood moments with her and we feel so lucky that she is capable of experiencing them with us. 


  1. Michelle those are the cutest pictures of her! I really love the ones of her going up an down the stairs! What a little star! I cannot believe she is almost 2!!!!!

  2. What a wonderful day you two had. You can't always plan for them. They just happen. Wish I could have seen her running all over the place!!! Thanks for the pics.