Fun Apps for Pregnancy & Parenting

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I am the mother of a 5-year old and a 5-month old. I am sleep deprived; have been for the past 5 years, 6 if you count pregnancy! I am always looking for ways to make life as a parent easier. I also have a Masters in Educational Technology, so I tend to look to technology for help! Over the years, I’ve come across a number of apps that I have found useful during pregnancy and motherhood. Anything that makes things quick and simple is considered a win in my books!

Here are my favourites! I’d love to hear if you have any other apps that make motherhood easier for you. As with any app, I recommend checking out the regulations and privacy concerns before you commit. My recommendations are based solely on usefulness to a busy Mom, not on the legal/privacy aspect!

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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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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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Get your toddler to bed in these 25 simple steps

Baby E turned two a few months ago, and it seems to be true what they say about two year olds. As my husband says, she’s become a “two-nager”!!

One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed is the recent battle for bedtime. We are anxious for a little bit of toddler-free time to unwind from the day, and she is anxious … well, anxious not to sleep!!

Two months into the “two-nager” years, I think I have gathered some useful tips for other parents who are in the trenches of the bedtime battle. Here are my 25 “simple” steps for getting your toddler to bed:

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An Extreme Tale: Was Charles Dickens a father?

*This post was written in response to today’s prompt: An Extreme Tale
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
When was the last time that sentence accurately described your life?

Was Charles Dickens a father? I’ll have to google that. Because I’m pretty sure this quote was written about the first few months of parenthood.

For me, the first few months were truly the best of times and the worst of times. Starting with the delivery. The delivery was the most painful yet amazing experience of my entire life. From start to finish it lasted just over 24 hours. During the labour I experienced the most excruciating pain I’ve ever known, and then when Baby E was placed on my chest I experienced the most intense joy and love of my life. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions.

Actually, it began even before that day, with the pregnancy. I wouldn’t say that I had an incredibly difficult pregnancy, but I did have some challenges. After Baby E was born, a very good friend of mine became pregnant. We were chatting one day, and she noticed the nostalgic look in my eyes and asked me how I could seem to be blissfully daydreaming about my pregnancy, when it was such a difficult time for me in terms of health? It’s true! I was daydreaming about what a lovely period of time it was! Despite the health issues, I loved every minute of being pregnant. I loved the knowledge that I was carrying another human being inside my belly. I remember how excited I was the first time that I felt her move inside me, and how I smiled every time I felt a little kick or nudge. I loved the smiles and comments that I would receive when people noticed my belly – it opened the door to conversations with strangers everywhere I went. I loved that I was growing a life inside me, and that every day was shared with our little girl. Continue reading

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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