Blogging Perseverence

I really miss regularly blogging here. I don’t post on Facebook, so this space is a great way to showcase our pictures and write about our family adventures. I come on here and scroll through past posts…there are so many details about my days that I’ve forgotten! I am so glad I have them documented.

But what can I say? Certain seasons feel busier than others. My third baby is due in June. I give myself one blessed hour in the afternoon when Elizabeth is sleeping and Joe is happily playing games or watching videos on my phone. Early on in my pregnancy, I was using that hour for chores, blogging, and working out. But recently, I’ve been using that hour to nap. Funny enough, I don’t feel nearly as guilty about it as I would have if this were my first or second baby. Somehow I’ve come to accept that I can’t be super-mom. I’m ok with my kid having some screen time. I’m ok with being average and admitting I am tired and need a nap.

Yet, I do believe in strength and perseverance with habits and practices that are good for the soul. I think blogging and exercising are very good for me. They help keep me sharp and energetic. They also make me feel proud. Additionally, I am inspired by my husband. He recently changed jobs,  his new job site has a dedicated lunch hour. So, for the past 2 weeks, he has gone to the gym onsite and done a 30 minute workout. He also bikes to work year round (as in a Canadian year-round. AMAZING).

It could be easy to dismiss his recent routine. But I wonder, what if we switched positions? What if I was the one with an hour for lunch and an on-site gym. Would I use it? While napping is certainly a wonderful thing to do (especially for a pregnant lady with 2 kids!), I’ve been wondering if I could “make it” without them. Could I nap every other day? And on alternate days spend some time writing here and then do a quick 30 minute prenatal workout? Today, I think I will try it. One day at a time, right?

Advertisements

Skating on the Emera Oval

Look at my cute little walker!

I only had one skate this year, but I really couldn’t have asked for a better day/place to do it than the Emera Oval, here in Halifax!

Monday, February 19th was Family Day. Josh had the day off, and after brainstorming for a bit, we decided that the thing we wanted to do the most was to take advantage of the perfect winter day and head to one of the best free things to do in our city: skating at the Oval.

It is SUCH a family friendly thing to do. They have free skate and helmet rentals. They let you bring your stroller on the ice (the pusher and the pushee have to wear helmets, but a small price to pay to be part of the fun). They have plastic skate-aids for the less experienced skaters. And they have Beavertails!

I wish I had gotten more pictures of us out on the ice, and especially me skating with the big double stroller. But, being a parent of two young children and participating in an activity that requires all hands on deck means that less-important tasks like picture taken get put on the back burner.

But, it was so fun and I think we all have some awesome memories to take away from it. Plus, what a workout! My butt definitely felt it the next day! I am so happy that our city has such an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors during the winter. I know we will get more and more use out of it as our kiddos get older and are able to skate independently on their own.

Halifax, Dartmouth, Sackville, and Bedford Playgroups

Updated February 22nd, 2018

My three-year old’s son’s first words to me in the morning are, “What are we doing today?” Since he started crawling, my son has craved movement and adventure. My 16-month-old daughter is not quite as busy, but I’m starting to see that she enjoys daily adventures to. Needless to say, hanging out at home all day is NOT and option for me. So much so that my husband started biking to work so that we can have the car during the day. What a guy.

Every day around 9, we have our bag packed and ready to go.  We used to love the occasional trip to the indoor playground, but now that I have to pay for my daughter too, those trips have moved in the the Special Occasion category. We are always in the market for fun, free things to do during the week. We head most places in Halifax, Dartmouth, Sackville, Bedford, or anywhere else within a 25 minute drive. I’m not a leading expert in playgroups, but I have definitely done a lot of research. My son favors places that he can run and burn energy, but we have been to plenty others that are smaller but packed with fun.

I have not been to all of these playgroups, but have tried to provide as much detail as I can. I hope this list is helpful to moms and dads like me who need to get out of the house during the day!

MONDAY

Veith House: (9:00am – 10:30am) A safe, child-centred environment for parents to bring their preschool-aged children to play, and connect with other parents. This is an opportunity for parents to bring their children and play together, read stories, do crafts, play dress-up, and use other available preschool supplies. 3115 Veith Street, Halifax

Fairview Family Centre: (9:30am-11:30am) Children 0-5 years old are welcome to this Halifax playgroup and no registration is required. 6 Titus Street, Halifax

Family Playgroup: (9:30am-11:30am) Located at Fairview United Church on the lower level. This is a great place for stay at home parents to come and let their little one be entertained with snack time, reading circle, rhymes, games, crafts and more. 3524 Dutch Village Road, Halifax

Halifax Metro Vineyard: (9:00am -12:00pm) An indoor playground for preschoolers. It’s open Monday to Friday mornings. The cost is $2.50 for each child 6mo+, and they have to wear indoor shoes in the play area. The entrance is around the back of the building. There are multiple small play structures in the middle of the room,  a “track” where little ones can pad around on cars or trikes, and lots of different play spaces with a great amount of toys. This is one of my son’s favorites! 1129 Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville

Little Lambs Playgroup: (9:30am-11:30am) A caregiver and children’s playgroup.  All are welcome to this Sackville playgroup, bring a snack to share. Held in the basement of the church, it is a great open space for kids. They have a few tricycles, and some great toys to play with. Very casual. St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Lower Sackville

Sackville Sports Stadium: (9:00am-11:45am) Caregivers are invited to drop in with their children for conversation and coffee, while the children participate in unstructured play. Coffee and tea are available, but make sure to bring your own snack. Adults and children are then invited to end the morning with a 45 minute splash in the pool. 409 Glendale Drive, Lower Sackville

Mom & Tots Playgroup: (9:30am-11:30am) Located at StoneRidge Fellowship church. 85 Temple Terrace, Lower Sackville

TUESDAY

Wee Wild Ones: (10:00am-11:00am) This program is for children 5 and under. There is a different program each week with activities such as stories, puppet shows and block building to explore the weekly theme. Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax

Little Ferns Playgroup: (10:30am -11:00am) Little Ferns is circle time geared towards preschoolers age 0-5. It features an interactive story, with books that are both beloved favourites and new bestsellers. Action songs will have your little ones moving and shaking! And, finally, fun for all ages – let’s play with some toys! Bedford Fiddlehead’s store, 620 Nine Mile Dr, Bedford

UpStreet Kids: (9:30am – 11:30 am) Caregivers and their children are welcomed for a time of encouragement and support, not to mention tons of fun on inflatable bouncy castles at this Dartmouth playgroup. Lot’s of space, and stations with toys, push cars, play doh, coloring, and tables for parents to sit and chat. Lots of great snacks, coffee, tea, and juice provided. Evangel Church Dartmouth, 1412 Cole Harbour Road, Dartmouth

P.A.C.T: (9:30am-11:00am) A wide variety of activities for children (of all ages) plus discussions, speakers, resources, parent information and support. 1114 Cole Harbour Road, Dartmouth

Precious Moments: (9:30am – 11:00am) Free play is encouraged until 10am, when circle/craft time happens until snack time at 10:30. At 10:45 there is a story and a song. Salvation Army Dartmouth, 171 Main Street, Dartmouth

Halifax Metro Vineyard: (9:00am -12:00pm) An indoor playground for preschoolers. It’s open Monday to Friday mornings. The cost is $2.50 for each child 6mo+, and they have to wear indoor shoes in the play area. The entrance is around the back of the building. There are multiple small play structures in the middle of the room,  a “track” where little ones can pad around on cars or trikes, and lots of different play spaces with a great amount of toys. This is one of my son’s favorites! 1129 Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville

WEDNESDAY

Welcome Wednesdays at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic (10:00am-12:00pm) There are age-appropriate self and staff guided activities through the museum, along with activity and colouring sheets, the puppet theatre will be set out to play with along with crafts for all children.1675 Lower Water Street, Halifax

St. Agnes Drop-In Playgroup: (10:30am-12:00pm) Open to anyone in the community. Children and caregivers meet for coffee, tea, snacks and unstructured play in the gymnasium (the white building with the ramp at the back of the church). There are toys, tricycles, cars, and lots of space for running and playing. Caregivers are encouraged to bring a snack to share where possible. This playgroup runs year-round, but occasionally can be cancelled for parish events. My three-year-old’s favorite part, “My favorite part was playing chase and riding the bikes!” Please contact Tanya to ensure it is running that week. 902-454-8281, stagnesdre@eastlink.ca. St. Agnes Catholic Church, 6903 Mumford Rd, Halifax

Moms Group: (9:30am-11:30am) This M=moms and pre-schoolers group is geared toward young mothers, and childcare for preschool children is provided. Come for a Bible or Bible-based study, time to share with each other, and coffee and snacks. It runs from 9:30–11:30am Wednesdays throughout the school year in Ellis Hall (the lower level of the church). First Congregational Church of Halifax, 1871 Seldon Street, Halifax

P.A.C.T: (9:30am-3:00pm) A wide variety of activities for children (of all ages) plus discussions, speakers, resources, parent information and support. 1114 Cole Harbour Road, Dartmouth

Halifax Metro Vineyard: (9:00am -12:00pm) An indoor playground for preschoolers. It’s open Monday to Friday mornings. The cost is $2.50 for each child 6mo+, and they have to wear indoor shoes in the play area. The entrance is around the back of the building. There are multiple small play structures in the middle of the room,  a “track” where little ones can pad around on cars or trikes, and lots of different play spaces with a great amount of toys. This is one of my son’s favorites! 1129 Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville

Sackville Sports Stadium: (9:00am-11:45am) Babysitters, Mom’s and Dad’s, and all other caregivers are invited to drop in with their children for conversation and coffee, while the children participate in unstructured play.Coffee and tea are available, but make sure to bring your own snack.Adults and children are then invited to end the morning with a 45 minute splash in the pool! 409 Glendale Drive, Lower Sackville

St. Margaret’s Bay Toy Library: (9:30am-11:30am)  Children and caregivers have a chance to play, borrow toys, socialize, have a snack together, make crafts and learn to cooperate with others. While the children play, adults can share experiences and make new friends. 2$ for non-members. Giant Steps Children’s Centre,15 French Village Station Rd, Upper Tantallon

THURSDAY

West End Wee Ones Playgroup: (9:30am – 11:30am) Join other parents and caretakers for
a drop-in program for babies and preschoolers at West End Baptist Church. 1986 Preston Street, Halifax

Parents and Tots Coffee House and Playgroup: (9:30am – 11:30am) This is a group for parents and their small children (aged newborn to 4 years) to gather and share stories, news, coffee and snacks. There will be toys for the children, and coffee for the adults. Small snacks will be provided. This is a drop-in event, to be held every Thursday morning from 9:30 to 11:30 in the ballroom of the Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax at 5500 Inglis Street, Halifax

P.A.C.T: (9:30am-11:00am) A wide variety of activities for children (of all ages) plus discussions, speakers, resources, parent information and support. 1114 Cole Harbour Road, Dartmouth

Halifax Metro Vineyard: (9:00am -12:00pm) An indoor playground for preschoolers. It’s open Monday to Friday mornings. The cost is $2.50 for each child 6mo+, and they have to wear indoor shoes in the play area. The entrance is around the back of the building. There are multiple small play structures in the middle of the room,  a “track” where little ones can pad around on cars or trikes, and lots of different play spaces with a great amount of toys. This is one of my son’s favorites! 1129 Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville

FRIDAY

Come Play: (10:00am-11:30am) A public, semi-structured play group for children ages 0-5 and their caregivers (come to the door on Fuller Terrace).  The playgroup includes playtime, songs and stories, crafts, snacks, and coffee for the grownups. This playgroup is open to day-home providers, so there can be a lot of buddies to play with. 5657 North Street, Halifax

Peanut Alley Playgroup: (9:00am-11:00am) Drop-in playgroup for infants, toddlers and their grown-ups.  Coffee and tea are provided while the children play. There are craft tables, which are converted to snack tables at 10am. There are lots of toys to play with. I asked my three-year old what his favorite part was, “My favorite part was the really cool craft!” It looks like it is open to day-home providers, so there were quite a few little buddies to play with. Located at the back doors of the church. 300 Stokil Drive, Lower Sackville

Sackville Sports Stadium: (9:00am-11:45am) Caregivers are invited to drop in with their children for conversation and coffee, while the children participate in unstructured play.Coffee and tea are available, but make sure to bring your own snack. There is no swim on Fridays. 409 Glendale Drive, Lower Sackville

Halifax Metro Vineyard: (9:00am -12:00pm) An indoor playground for preschoolers. It’s open Monday to Friday mornings. The cost is $2.50 for each child 6mo+, and they have to wear indoor shoes in the play area. The entrance is around the back of the building. There are multiple small play structures in the middle of the room,  a “track” where little ones can pad around on cars or trikes, and lots of different play spaces with a great amount of toys. This is one of my son’s favorites! 1129 Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville

LIBRARIES

The Halifax Public Libraries are a GREAT resource for families who are looking for activities during the day. With 14 locations all over the HRM, chances are there is a daytime program that you can attend. Some are free registered programs, and others are drop in. They also have special events throughout the year, so be sure to check out their printable calendar of events.

 

 

Jesus’ Mom

Today at playgroup, the game Joseph was playing with two other boys was getting a bit rough, and I was monitoring to see when I’d have to intervene, while trying to respect their need to play. However, when Joseph ran over a little girl with his tricycle (it was an accident, but still). I stepped in right away. I ordered him off his bike, marched/dragged him when he refused to walk over to the little girl with her mom, and made him apologize. I let him go play again, but I noticed it was quiet in the room. I questioned myself, thinking their silence was an indication I was out of line. Was I too forceful? Was I mean? How was my tone? Was it too much to ask of a 3-year-old to go apologize and expect him to be more careful next time? Continue reading

My Week: Work, Potlucks and Friends (and soup!)

I officially wrapped up editing my last photography session of the year! I delivered it to my client last week, and I definitely let out a sigh of relief. Trying to work on the side (even if it’s only 5-10 hours a week) is an awful lot of work when I’m a mom full time. Even though this was my most successful year  and I had a lot of fun, I think I will take 2018 (and possibly longer) off from trying to work. We don’t need the money, and I’m hopeful that I can find other less consuming hobbies to give me a creative outlet. Like this blog for example! I hope I can spend more time here. I’d like to include details about my life that I might otherwise forget!

And food. My whole life revolves around food these days! For the past two months or so, every week I’ve made a menu for our family. It started out in an attempt to help my son out of his picky eating by documenting foods he would try, and coming up with new creative meals and snacks that might spark his interest. But I became hooked! Menu planning has helped with grocery lists, creating variety, and documenting successes (and failures!). Not to mention sanity in my day: I know what we will be eating tonight. Needless to say, there will be food pictures here.

Continue reading

A Couple More Soups, and Thankfulness

I was really pleased when I got big response when I asked my Facebook friends for tried and true soup recipes. I’ve been on a soup-kick lately, but in a world where Pinterest makes EVERYTHING look amazing (when really it’s not), I wanted some legit recipes that people have tried. In total, there are 17 recommendations!   Continue reading

Constantly Learning

For our morning adventure, today we headed to an unofficial indoor playground run out of a church basement, Halifax Metro Vineyard Church. I like this one because it’s cheap ($2.50 a kid), has equipment meant for preschoolers, lots of toys and a “racetrack” for cars and trikes. The racetrack is Joseph’s favorite feature, and he really looks forward to riding around, often doing it for the full hour and a bit that we are there. However, because he enjoys the bikes so much and because he tends to veer on the more “intense” side of emotions, if someone messes with his bike, he doesn’t respond favourably. Last week, he got off the bike to play with something and another kid was getting on. I couldn’t believe my eyes when he went over and shoved the kid, who then fell. Of course, this same kid had a cast on his arm. I was furious. I pried his fingers from the bike, strong armed him kicking and screaming (Elizabeth too, not kicking and screaming) to the snack room where we took a little time out and ate a snack. He gathered himself together, and was able to enjoy the rest of his time, but episodes like that give me a lot of anxiety. When he doesn’t respond well, I feel myself losing control. Control of not only the situation, but also of my emotions. Needless to say, I dread situations that lead him to freak out, because I’m not confident in my abilities to navigate it in a healthy way. So I will avoid places that have led us to negative experiences before. Continue reading