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.

1.
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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We’re singing in the rain … and visiting the museum, Butchart Gardens, and more!

Over the past few months it feels like we have seen a lot of rain. Victoria has been known to experience its fair share of rain … but I feel that this year has been a bit extreme! Baby E has even taken to lifting up the blinds and peering outside in the morning, reaching for her rain boots as she asks me “is it raining Mama?”

It can be a bit trickier finding fun things to do with a toddler when the grass (and slides!) are soaking wet, and a lot of your regular outdoor activities aren’t possible. Our family loves to go on little “adventures”  – usually on Saturday mornings, packing up and heading out as soon as we are up and ready, returning back in time for Baby E’s nap! Here are some of the adventures we have enjoyed during the rainy Fall/Winter season, as well as some of our favorite ‘At Home’ rainy day activities.

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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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Elfie Magoo’s 2015 Adventures: Week 2

Elfie Magoo is still at it, entertaining us with her adventures each morning! Here’s what she got up to this past week:

December 14: We caught Elfie Magoo staying up late trying to finish her Christmas craft, a Popsicle stick snowflake! Baby E and I helped her finish it in the morning.

December 15th: Sneaking in a little workout before bed. Preparing for all those Christmas dinners and treats to come!

December 16th: Coloring is all the rage these days, and can be very relaxing. Even Elfie needs a little stress relief as Christmas draws near!

December 17th: The closer we get to Christmas, the busier things get for Elfie Magoo. Here we caught her sneaking a little nap with a pillow of marshmallows.

December 18th: Looks like Elfie Magoo just hopped out of the bath!

December 19th: Elfie Magoo was swinging from the doorway when we found her this morning!

December 20th: What a crafter! This morning we found Elfie Magoo cutting out paper snowflakes to decorate our house!

Baby E continues to love the search for Elfie Magoo every morning! We love finding out what Elfie has been up to!

Elfie’s 2015 Adventures: Week 1

This isn’t the first year that Elfie has visited us. She visited us once before, and I blogged about her mischievous adventures. At that time, our daughter wasn’t old enough to talk, and we really wanted to give her the opportunity to name Elfie herself. And so our little elf became known simply as Elfie – in line with Baby E’s other animal friends: Fishie, Puppy, Froggy…

This year, Baby E loves Elfie! She wakes up in the morning, and asks me “Where’s Elfie?” and starts the search. And sure enough, she gave Elfie a new name as well: “Elfie Magoo”!

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Exploring Victoria & Sidney during the holidays

Christmas is one of my husband and I’s favorite times of the year. The decorations, beautiful trees, incredible meals, time with family and friends … I’d actually say it’s my very favorite time of year! Summer time is a close second!

One of our favorite things about Christmas is all of the activities around town. This is even more fun now that we have a little one to share things with. Everything is that much more exciting when seen through the eyes of a child that is experiencing things for the first time!

Both Sidney and Victoria have tons of activities for families during the holiday season. Here are some of our favorites, and a few new ones that we hope to try out this year:

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Exploring Parksville & Qualicum with a Toddler

The air is starting to feel cool, and I can see the rain clouds hovering today. As Fall approaches, I’m thinking back to our incredible summer filled with boating, swimming, and exploring. This summer, our family of three took a vacation to Parksville/Qualicum for 5 nights. Parksville is one of our favorite summer destinations. For a family of water babies, it’s the perfect get-away!

My husband and I had enjoyed a few summer vacations up island before Baby E was born. But this was our first time with Baby E! We stayed at the Sunrise Ridge Resort, which we really enjoyed. We had a nice 1-bedroom place with a pull-out couch, kitchen island, stove/dishwasher/microwave, patio, and BBQ! The resort has a pool, and a path down to the beach. It was a great home base for all of our adventures!

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Tried & tested gift ideas for a toddler!

Before we had Baby E, I often found it tricky buying gifts for my friends’ kids. I was never really 100% sure whether what I had chosen was the right age level, or something that they would enjoy. I admit to googling things such as “best gift ideas for a two year old”, or heading straight for a toy store employee to ask for their recommendations! I had the best intentions, but I didn’t know enough little children to see what toys were hits, and which were only used for a few hours and then discarded and forgotten!

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This Little Piggy…

In our family, we love music. We listen to music while we cook, eat, shower, play games, or drive in the car. And we love to sing! We have a number of children’s CDs, and we love nursery rhymes.

Baby E definitely has her favorite songs. As much as her Dad and I would love to listen to other songs on our ‘Music Together’ CD, we rarely make it past song #1: “Hello song”. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a great song, and you’ll often catch me singing along in the car. Sometimes I’ll even drop Baby E off and head off to work and it will be 5 or 10 minutes before I realize that I’m still listening (and singing!) to her CD! But on a 30 minute drive to town, listening only to this one minute and ten second song … I’m not going to lie, it has the potential to get a bit tiresome!

She has other favorites as well. On the same (Hello) theme, Nan recently discovered that Baby E loves the song “Little Sir Echo”. This is another wonderful thing about becoming a parent. I had forgotten all about this song, but as soon as I heard my Mom singing it with my daughter, all of the memories came back: singing the song with my parents and brother as we explored little caves on the beach, singing in the bath, and filling long car rides with sing-alongs and rounds!

Our love of music and nursery rhymes is starting to show! The other day we were playing, and ticking Baby E. We wiggled her toes and said “What are these?”. Her immediate response? “Piggies!” I guess we have all been singing a lot of “This Little Piggy went to market” with her!!

The only books I read these days are printed on indestructible cardboard!

baby booksEver since I became a mother, time seems to move quicker, and there seem to be less hours in the day. Many of the things that I used to have all the time in the world for, now don’t even fit into the day sometimes! Here are a few of the things that I rarely have time for these days, since I became a mother:

  • Reading: rarely do I have the chance to read anything besides skimming the google results for sleep techniques for babies, squinting to read the directions on the back of the baby Tylenol bottle in the middle of the night, or reading books printed on thick indestructible cardboard.

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