Reading with Young Children: Recommended Books for Babies & Toddlers

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I love to read. I have so many wonderful memories of reading from when I was a little girl: curled up in my parent’s window seat with my parents and brother, reading stories before bed; my Dad reading us The Hobbit when we were a bit older; and my Mom reading Harry Potter aloud to me in the hospital when I was in my early twenties! I have always loved books, and when our little girl was born, I knew I wanted to try to pass that love of reading along to her.

Check out my latest post on Victoria Moms Blog for the rest of the story, including my list of recommended books for babies and toddlers!

Creating Homemade Toys

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I love homemade toys. And I love DIY projects. There is something special about a toy that is made with a particular little one’s interests in mind. Over the past year, we have created some wonderful homemade gifts for Baby E, that she has truly loved. I am thankful for Pinterest, and the inspiration that it provides. And I am extremely grateful for my Dad, who is a fabulous carpenter and can turn any project idea into reality!

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Halloween with Toddlers

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I have to admit, I have never really been a huge fan of Halloween. I don’t love ghosts, mummies, witches, spiders, and many of the other things associated with Halloween. And as I got older, I always found it tough to come up with a good costume idea for Halloween.

But, since becoming a mother, I’m starting to really enjoy this holiday because of the fun opportunities it offers for children and families! Here are some of the things that I am starting to love about Halloween, and looking forward to this year …

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“Enjoy every moment – they grow up too fast”

This post is in response to the Pace Oddity prompt. The prompt states: “If you could slow down an action that usually zooms by, or speed up an event that normally drags on, which would you choose, and why?”

The number one piece of parenting advice I heard when I was pregnant, was “Enjoy every moment – they grow up too fast”. Well, that and “get some sleep now because it’s about to get a whole lot harder!”

Our little girl is already 3 years old, and while the sleeping has gotten much better, I have to say I feel like the years are flying by a bit fast! There are so many amazing moments as a parent. There are many times when I would love to slow down time and just enjoy this amazing time of our lives with our little girl …

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Gift ideas for a 3 year old

Last year I wrote a post about tried and tested gifts suitable for a 2 year old. Before Baby E, I always used to find it a bit challenging shopping for children’s birthday gifts. It was difficult to know what gifts would be a hit, and which would miss the mark … until I had a little live-in tester of my own! Baby E just recently celebrated her 3rd birthday, and she was very lucky to receive some really lovely gifts. For anyone shopping for a gift for a 3 year old this summer, here are some of our favorites that you might look into. And who am I kidding, I’m writing this for myself too!  I’m fairly sure that when Emma is grown, and I’m buying gifts for little ones in the future, I’ll need to look back at this post! I already had troubles remembering what a good gift for a 1-year old might be!

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Snapshots: From a raspberry to toddlerhood

This post is in response to the weekly Discover challenge, Snapshots:

Get inspired by Andrea Jarrell’s post “A Roar for the Ages,” and tell a broad story using a series of short, focused scenes.

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We are all sitting around the table at my parent’s house: my parents, brother, sister-in-law, husband and I. We have finished dinner and are chatting, when my husband asks “What time does Shoppers [Drugmart] close? Does anyone know?”. This question, seemingly out of the blue, ends up being how we break the news to our family that we are pregnant! My husband, never the best at keeping secrets, has inadvertently revealed to the family that the reason for the evening Shoppers trip is to purchase a pregnancy test. Our family is over the moon with our surprise … and even more so when we text them all later that evening to reveal the results of the pregnancy test!

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Technology & Toddlers

In our family, we are still trying to determine our stance on technology for kids. It’s a tough one. As much as technology is a big part of our lives (one of my degrees was even in Ed Tech!), we haven’t quite decided how much we want it in our young daughter’s life. But I do recognize that there are times when technology is useful. Not long ago, both Baby E and I were quite sick. All that either of us felt like doing was cuddling on the couch and watching a little bit of TV. At times like that, with a sick toddler (and Mama!), there’s not much else you can do!

Our favorite way to spend our family time is playing games and make believe, doing crafts, and outdoor fun. Our weekends are filled with what Baby E calls our “adventures” – exploring various locations, activities, and events around town! We actually don’t have cable, and TV is a very small part of our lives. But on those occasions that we do include technology, we tend to choose carefully.

It’s up to each parent to decide what’s best for their family of course, and there are many resources to help with the decision (Mayo Clinic TV guidelines, HealthyChildren.org (American Academy of Pediatrics), Caring for Kids (Canadian Pediatric Society) and Common Sense Media are just a few). Here, I’m sharing with you some of the TV shows and iPad games that we have found Baby E enjoys … and that we think are relatively educational!

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