This post was originally published on Victoria Moms Blog.
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.
It’s true, kids really do say the darndest (and cutest!) things. Baby E is 3 1/2 years old now, and she is a little chatterbox! To capture some of the hilarious things she says, we’ve started a Memory Jar. I cut up a bunch of slips of paper, and made a little pocket on the outside of a jar. My husband and I try to record as many of Baby E’s sweet or funny comments as we can. On New Years Eve we open the jar and read the comments together. Best night of the year! I then glue all of the slips of paper into an album so we can look back on the years. It’s a tradition we started a few years ago, and it’s been wonderful.
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!
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 …
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!
I’ve mentioned before how my husband, daughter and I love to go on weekend adventures. We head out first thing in the morning (well “first thing” for a family with a toddler!), as soon as we can all get dressed and packed up. Then we return back home in time for Baby E’s afternoon nap. Although recently it looks like Baby E might be getting ready to drop her nap (mixed emotions about that)!
I am constantly on the lookout for events, festivals and activities that we can explore. Maybe it’s my background as a teacher, but I love to research and plan outings. I search online for event listings and info, and add them all to our phone calendars. Then we see which events we can make it to. That might sound a bit crazy, and it does take a bit of work to gather everything .. but we really love exploring new events around town, so it’s worth it! I’ve found a bunch of Spring events (April through June) and I thought I would share what I have put together. Just in case anyone living in the Sidney/Victoria area might be interested! I have never been to a number of the events listed here, so I can’t vouch for them just yet. But I am excited to check them out! I will note the events that we have taken Baby E to in the past.
As I come across new events, I’ll add them to this list. I’m planing to do another post for summer when it gets closer (it feels close, with the sunshine this week!)
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.
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!
Baby E has always been interested in books. When she was little, she would sit on the couch, or in her seat on car rides, and “read” her board books. She would look closely at each page, examining every detail of the pictures. She would honestly do this for an entire 30-45 minute car ride!
Baby E celebrated her 2nd birthday not long ago, and lately she has started to become interested in longer stories. I wrote once before about only reading books printed on thick indestructible cardboard. Well, I’m excited to share that we are now branching out into paperback books!!
I have always loved to read, and even before we had our baby, I fell in love with children’s books. When my best friend’s children were young, I loved reading their new books with them. I actually bought two of the books in this list (Skippyjon Jones and Click Clack Moo) before I even got pregnant, because I loved them so much, and hoped that one day I’d have a child of my own to share them with!
If you’re looking for new books for your family, or to give to a friend, here are some of our favorites right now:
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: