Fave 5 Toddler & Pre-School Friendly TV Shows (That Won’t Drive Parents Crazy)

Elyse Lalonde has always called Saskatoon home. She started on the motherhood journey in the Summer of 2015 when she had her son. Elyse is a working mom, always seeking a fine balance in life with a busy toddler. As a MommyConnections “alumnus,” she enjoys socializing with moms and babies her son’s age. Elyse has always enjoyed writing and journaling, and hopes to share her experiences (good, bad, and sarcastic) with the online parenting community in Saskatoon.

We try to diversify our screen time shows, and when we’re not watching the mindless drivel of Paw Patrol or PJ Masks, we try to balance our time with some of the shows below. They’re not totally annoying, and they have an educational piece to boot! Note this is simply my opinion and there are more shows out there that could’ve very well made the list. But here it is, my fave 5 toddler and pre-school friendly TV or Netflix shows:

  1. Super Why – Whyatt and his storybook village friends take you into a book each and every episode to help solve a problem that one of the friends has encountered. The problem in the selected story mirrors the problem that the storybook friend is experiencing. At the end of each episode, they put two and two together and voila! Problem solved. I like this show because it breaks down letters and words in the story and asks the audience members for help solving the problem. The graphics aren’t the greatest, but the content of the show is still solid.

 

  1. Wild Kratts – Do you remember the Kratt brothers from “Zooboomafoo?” I was not a fan of the original show, but this show is sort of a re-vamp featuring the same energetic brother duo, only with more adventure! It’s part cartoon, part real life, where the brothers explore the natural world, and encounter villains and problems along the way, with a team of scientists and futuristic technology. Adventurous and informative! Also, you’ll be signing the theme song all day. You’re welcome.

 

  1. Octonauts – Similar to Wild Kratts, this British cartoon is set in the deep sea, with cute little characters (including a turnip!) who are both scientists and super-heroes monitoring the activity on the ocean floor. Each episode has the team solving a problem, rescuing an animal or two. “Creature Report!” is a summary at the end of each episode where they show the audience the real-life animal equivalent. Educational, fun, and cute!

 

  1. Magic School Bus (and the Magic School Bus Rides Again!) – This was a favorite of mine as a kid; curious elementary school students embark on new adventures with their school bus each episode! Their adventures take them on educational outings that are fun and exciting. I feel good letting my kid watch this one, new or old episodes. As for me, I’m always enamored by Miss Frizzle’s calm and quirky demeanor. That lady has a lot of energy….

 

  1. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – Because the development of a child’s social skills are so important… there’s Daniel Tiger! My favorite feel-good show for my kid. This cute and relatable Tiger brings you along in his neighborhood, and encounters many types of social “problems” that your young child will be sure to experience, in one way or another. And he solves these problems in a fun and relatable way, which includes a little rhyme or song. For instance, “Try to solve the problem yourself, and you’ll feel Prou-ud!” or, “If you have to go potty, STOP! And go right away…. Flush and wash and be on your way!” We watched the episode where Daniel goes to get a vaccine, and his mom explained that yes, the shot will hurt a bit. But there are ways to distract yourself from the discomfort. My son applied this situation when he went for his flu shot this year. It worked like a charm! This show is inspired by the original Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and my favorite feel-good toddler show. Try it, and you will not be disappointed!

A big shout out also to Big Block Singsong, the 1-minute distraction between TV shows on CBC. You are awesome.

Who is this Supermom? – Mommy Blogger

Elyse Lalonde has always called Saskatoon home. She started on the motherhood journey in the Summer of 2015 when she had her son. Elyse is a working mom, always seeking a fine balance in life with a busy toddler. As a MommyConnections “alumnus,” she enjoys socializing with moms and babies her son’s age. Elyse has always enjoyed writing and journaling, and hopes to share her experiences (good, bad, and sarcastic) with the online parenting community in Saskatoon.

It’s been said a million times before, but this gig is hard.

There are days I wish I was better at this whole parenting thing. There are days I feel I fail my kid. There are days I feel like the opposite of a Supermom.

Nope, I’m not always Supermom. Should I strive to be?

Who is this Supermom, anyway? All I envision is a woman running on a perpetual treadmill, with a continuously increasing incline, who’s speed only increases. It never decreases. It never ends. All the while, she has a smile on her face that looks like she is straining every last ounce of her being. Slowly but surely, the life is being sucked out of her.

Is she even real? Is that even possible to take on more and more and more while “perfectly” balancing your life, your house, your spouse, your child or children, your responsibilities, your commitments…. Your family, your work, all the while projecting perfection, and happiness, and positivity? Hells no.

I don’t know why Supermom is the standard. I don’t know who she is, or where she came from. I don’t know where she is going, either.

It’s not possible. It’s not the standard to reach for. Supermom, you can do better for yourself. You can do better!

Real balance in life and in parenting is possible. I know it exists because I’ve seen it. Because on good days, it’s palpable. And here are some situations that may come up, and ways to avoid the Supermom trap:

  • Evening commitment causing you stress? Skip it to have dinner at home with your family. Or, even better, grab some take-out on the way home from work! That meeting wasn’t that important, anyways. And home cooked meals can be overrated!
  • Need to kill time before bedtime? Not in the mood to play, or read, or pretend? Put on a movie one evening mid-week to relax and unwind with the family on the couch. Your kids will like the extra screen time that day. And you will, too!
  • A messy kitchen causing you stress? I guarantee it will be just as messy tomorrow, so if no ones cleaning them, leave the dishes in the sink for another night so that you can play with your kid or have a conversation with your spouse. A clean kitchen is everyone’s responsibility—not just yours!
  • Your kid not wanting to get ready for the day and you know you will be late for work because of the situation? Take a step back from the power struggle with your toddler to “connect” with them for a moment before you lose your shit again and hastily take any more of their toys away. Yup, that happens. You’re probably not going to be late, and if you are, your boss will get nostalgic and understand that you’re a young parent in the throes of toddlerdom, and they will understand. Make up the time later that day! What’s an extra few minutes at work at the end of the day?
  • And when all else fails, call on grandparents to babysit your kid to give them the quality time that they may be needing so that you can have a break. You deserve it, mom. Re-balance! No grandparents in town to take care of the kids? Take a day off, use a vacation day and send those kids to daycare. Because mommy needs a break!

That, to me, is a Supermom. Someone who does what is needed. Someone who realizes that balance is not just about the kids—it’s about you, too. You are a part of the family, and you need to take care of yourself. Sometimes its in the little things. Sometimes it’s whatever you need to do to complete the day, or get to bedtime, or me-time.

Let’s re-define the Supermom.

 

Valentine’s Day Raffle Winners

Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets for our Valentine’s Raffle. All the money from this raffle is being used to purchase hand and footprint kits which will be donated to RUH Maternity Ward to give to families who have a little one who passes away. In 2018 we donated 40 kits and they were unfortunately used up within a few months. As of right now we have raised enough to purchase 25 kits, but we would love to donate more this year. We are still collecting cash donations – to arrange pick up/drop off of cash or to send an EMT please email jennie@mommyconnections.ca. Thank you for your support.

And a big thank you to the amazing local businesses who donated items to support our raffle. THANK YOU!

Our winners are:

  

Item #1
5 flex classes – Lead

Winner: Katie McBride 


Item #2
Puzzle, blocks and giraffe toy – Mastermind Toys

Winner: Heather Wiwchar


Item #3
Maternity or newborn session – Sheila Anderson Photography

Winner: Angela Miskokzi


Item #4
Bronze birthday party package –Marian Gym Club

Winner: Chelsey Spence


Item #5
$25 gift certificate –Raising a Little

Winner: Krystia Elgar


Item #6
4 1 hour jump passes – Apex Trampoline Park

Winner: Courtney Bohle


Item #7
Apex swag bag and 2 1 hour jump passes – Apex Trampoline Park

Winner: Hope


Item #8
Apex swag bag and 2 1 hour jump passes – Apex Trampoline Park

Winner: Chelsey Spence


 

Item #9
Wet Paint Pottery – Vase and $25 gift card

Winner: Deanna Becker


Item #10
BioMechanics Personal Training and Massage Therapy – Consultation and private personal training session
Winner: Anne Kendall

Item #11
BioMechanics Personal Training and Massage Therapy – 1 hour massage

Winner: Lorraine


Item #12
Smallprint Saskatchewan – A fingerprint pendant

Winner: Amanda Lennox


 

Item #13
Little Hands and Me Parenting Network – $30 for you and a friend

Winner: Dee Cameron


Item #14
Salsa Babies Saskatoon – $20 for you and a friend

Winner: Anne Kendall


Item #15
WeeSleep – Laura – 30 Minute Phone Consultation

Winner: Anne Kendall

Fave 5 Mom/Baby Exercises

Hi, My name is Brittany and I’m a first time mom to a beautiful baby girl! I live with my (common law) husband of 5 years, our 4 year old rescue dog, Luna, and of course our daughter, Claire. I have a full time job with the City of Saskatoon that I will be returning to in September. In my (very little) free time I enjoy video games, board games, and Netflix. I live for coffee and craft beer. I enjoy cooking and baking but don’t have nearly as much time for meal prep as I’d like. Being a parent is both the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done in my entire life and also the most fulfilling. I can’t wait to share my experiences – good or bad.

As a brand new first time mom, I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure to bounce back to my pre-pregnancy body. Which, if we’re being totally honest here, wasn’t all that healthy to begin with. I’ve always been on the bigger side, which didn’t really bother me too much until I got pregnant. Suddenly, every extra pound I gained was frowned upon.

Now that I’m a few months Postpartum, and my daughter is a little more self sufficient, I feel ready to start exercising – and hopefully getting to a more healthy and sustainable place than I started.

Here are my 5 favourite mom and baby workout moves:

1.Walking or Highchair Lunges

Standing upright with your baby held against your chest or in your arms outstretched in front of you, take turns stepping forward with one leg and dropping the rear knee to the floor. Do a few repetitions on each leg. This can also be done with your baby sitting in their highchair. On each repetition I make silly faces and noises to keep her entertained.

  1. Baby Bench Press

Lying flat on your back holding your baby in your hands, press your arms straight up in the air. Bend your arms and bring your baby down to your face. I give big kisses or raspberries on her cheeks to make this a fun game for her. **Be warned: this is not always the best idea if baby has recently eaten!

  1. Front Squats

Standing upright with your baby held against your chest (or in your arms outstretched in front of you if you’re feeling adventurous), keep your back straight and squat down as low as you can without lifting your heels off the ground.

  1. Plank (or Push Ups)

Lay your baby on their back looking up at you. Get yourself in a plank position, on your toes or on your knees, whatever feels best. If planking, hold for 30 seconds and release, rest for 10-20 seconds and repeat. If doing push ups, bend your elbows, keeping them tight to your body. Keep your back straight (don’t let your core disengage) and give your baby kisses or raspberries at the bottom. Repeat.

  1. Baby Crunches

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Sit your baby up on your stomach against your thighs. Engage your core and crunch up. I bring Claire’s face closer to mine so I can give kisses or raspberries.

As always, be gentle with yourself. Don’t start a rigorous exercise routine without first consulting with (and getting the okay from) your doctor or obstetrician. Drink lots of water and (try to!) get enough sleep. Your body will thank you!

Fave 5 Kid-Friendly Restaurants (when you still want good food)

My name is Teri and I’m the proud mama of a beautiful, busy, hilarious, brilliant one-year-old boy. Being a mom is a challenging and beautiful adventure that nothing else in my life prepared me for. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who is there through all the ups and downs, awesome friends who are happy to share their parenting knowledge (or at least laugh with me through the chaos!), and an extended family who is always ready to help. I work as a marketing and communications professional, and love sharing my experiences as a mom.

Before we had our son, my husband and I used to love to eat out. It was something we did socially with friends regularly, and just the two of us would grab supper or brunch pretty consistently without giving it much thought. Now that’s changed—we don’t go out as often, so when we do we don’t want to just go anywhere, we want to go somewhere delicious! And sometimes we live the kiddo at home and can eat anywhere, but we also like to take him along when we can. So here is my list of the top five kid-friendly restaurants that are still delicious.

Before I dive into my list, a couple of disclaimers. One: our son is about a year and a half old, so the things I love about restaurants might be different than what you look for if your kiddos are older. Two: I definitely didn’t prioritize healthy eating with some of my choices, but hey—eating out is a treat right??

  1. Amigos.

If you’ve never been, go immediately. They have some truly delicious Mexican food, and the atmosphere is causal and hip enough that you don’t feel like you’re making a sacrifice. The menu is pretty big, they have highchairs and there’s guacamole—what more can you ask for? Minors are allowed until 8 pm.

  1. Fuddruckers.

This probably isn’t a surprise to anyone, but there is no way I could leave this classic off my list. Burgers you can top yourself! Fries! Non-stop pop! Milkshakes! Liquid cheese you dispense with a pump! I’m hungry just thinking about it. They also have plenty of highchairs and it’s usually loud enough that your children definitely won’t be a distraction.

  1. The Broadway Café.

This one is a favourite with my parents, and I’ve remained a fan even now that I’m the mom. The menu has everything you could ask for—all-day breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, chicken fingers, salads, soups—the service is super friendly, and they also have highchairs. The meals are big enough that if your kiddo is little he can probably just eat off your plate.

  1. Cora.

Another place with meals big enough to share, Cora is on my list mostly because I’m a breakfast lover, and any place with all-day breakfast is a winner in my books. They have highchairs for kids and give them crayons and colouring sheets, and the plates usually come overflowing with fruit that our son loves to gobble up. They serve non-breakfast items too, but… waffles.

  1. WDM restaurant

If you want affordable food with all the classic options (French toast, bacon and eggs, chicken fingers, hamburgers…) and you’re looking for a place with an activity attached, head to the WDM. Our little guy loves to explore Boomtown, and our family ate there recently for less than $17 (total!) and didn’t even finish our food. They have highchairs and it’s pleasantly noisy, so it’s family friendly and a great way to spend the morning or afternoon.

There you go mamas! Don’t be shy—take your kids the next time you want to eat out. And yes, Boston Pizza will always be there, but there are lots of great options in the city if you want to shake it up a little.

The Paradox of Alone Time – Mommy Blogger

My name is Teri and I’m the proud mama of a beautiful, busy, hilarious, brilliant one-year-old boy. Being a mom is a challenging and beautiful adventure that nothing else in my life prepared me for. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who is there through all the ups and downs, awesome friends who are happy to share their parenting knowledge (or at least laugh with me through the chaos!), and an extended family who is always ready to help. I work as a marketing and communications professional, and love sharing my experiences as a mom.

Before I became a mom, I didn’t think a lot about how I spent my time. There usually seemed to be enough to go around—I saw friends frequently, went out with my husband regularly, took a class every once in a while… basically, my time was my own and I never felt like I had to sacrifice much to do something else.

Now, the way I think about time has completely changed. Of course, having a kid is going to disrupt your schedule a bit, and I knew I was in for a bit of an upheaval. I love my life now, but a lot has changed. I see friends less often, but I try to make the most of the time we do get together (or we get together with the kids!). I am lucky to have family members who are more than happy to baby-sit, so my husband and I still get some time out together, sometimes with friends and sometimes just us. But I’m also back to work full time, and I don’t get to see my son as often as I did during that first year, so now that’s in the mix. It’s a complicated thing to juggle, and I often feel like I’m falling down in one area if I’m succeeding in the others.

However, there is one area that always seems to drop to the bottom of the list, which I bet is true for a lot of moms—my alone time. These days, if I do get time to myself, it’s most often because my husband has gone out and I’m at home while our son is in bed. And while this time is nice, it’s not quite as relaxing as having actual free, all-to-myself time, unburdened by the responsibility of taking care of a tiny human being.

It’s been on my mind more lately because I have a work conference coming up, and I will spend two nights in a hotel in Banff. By myself. I am looking forward to this, maybe more than I should be, because not only does the conference sound great, but also, the alone time! Actual quiet, no one needs anything from me and I don’t have to be responsible for anyone else, alone time. I think I am most looking forward to getting to sleep past 6 am, when my adorable early riser usually prefers to start his day.

I say all of this now, but I know that when I get there and I’m in that quiet hotel room, I will miss the little voice saying “Mama!” to start my day, and the snuggles before bedtime as we read stories. And therein lies the paradox—there is now always something to miss. I’m working on figuring out the balance, and I’m not quite there yet. But, for those two days at least, I will try to feel grateful that I have something to look forward to when I get home—and enjoy the quiet while it lasts.

Happy As I Am – Mommy Blogger

My name is Erin. I’m a toddler mom and a pup mom. I had my son in May of 2016. Becoming a mom was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, and I have loved every moment of it. I am a stay at home writing mom. I write everyday after my son goes to bed. My partner occasionally works away from home. When he’s home, we spend as much family time together as possible, and when he’s gone, I practice my Solo Mom Life. Life isn’t always easy, but I try to be as grateful as I can. My son helps with that. You can find my blog at thewritingmomma.ca or follow me on Instagram and Facebook at thewritingmommalife

I’d like to tell you a few things about myself. I have wrinkles. I have grey hairs. I have a belly. I have circles under my eyes. Sometimes I feed my son ice cream for lunch. Sometimes my son gets screen time.

These are all things that should just be things. They shouldn’t be discussed by the world. (Obviously, the world does not discuss me specifically. But I am constantly seeing things that do judge all the above things.)

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of being the target audience for somebody to tell me I’m not good enough. My face. My weight. My hair. My parenting.

I have friends, acquaintances, and strangers trying to offer me creams to help with my wrinkles. Mommas are judged by the wrinkles on our faces. As though we shouldn’t be proud of the life we’ve lived.

I have strangers trying to get me to try their exercise programs and weight loss items. I see posts about how we can be better.

What if I’m happy as I am?

What if I’m happy that I’m aging? What if I’m okay with my wrinkles? They mean I laugh. They mean I am alive.

What if I’m okay with my extra weight? Shocking right? I am in no way saying you shouldn’t exercise. Exercise is important. I want to be a strong mom both mentally and physically. I AM a strong mom. I’ll continue taking care of my body. However, if I want to enjoy a treat, I will. I won’t be hard on myself or exercise more to make up for enjoying food.

Am I happy with my grey hairs? Some days. I am struggling with grey hairs because they’re popping up all over the place. However, I will once again by grateful that I’m still here. Not everybody gets that. I may dye it someday, but that is more because I might want to try a different look. I’m always trying different looks. I’m happy with myself, but I’m also good with changes.

As for my parenting, I am well aware that ice cream for lunch is a terrible idea. So is fast food. I don’t do either of these a lot. In fact we do fast food once a month, if that. I can judge myself, I don’t need help from others. I choose not to be hard on myself for doing something once in a while. Especially if my kiddo isn’t eating.

Screen time? I am impressed with the parents that don’t let their kids watch any tv. I’m not one of them. Sometimes, I let him watch digger or Blippi or Cars. He enjoys it, and usually it’s because I need to get something done. (Like make him some ice cream. – That is a joke. I do make real meals for my family most of the time.) We also don’t rely on the screen. We do a lot of activities, and play all the time.

In fact, right now, as I’m writing this, my son is in my lap playing with play dough. I am multitasking like a Mom. 

My point is I want to be me. Imperfections and all. Without somebody telling me I should change. I fully understand that I don’t have to listen to the world. I don’t listen to the world. I do just fine without adding the extra stress on myself. I don’t need it. Being a mom is stressful enough. I judge myself enough, I don’t need help from anybody else.

Mommas are judged if their kids don’t have enough fat in them. Fat is encouraged on kids. If somebody thinks your kid is skinny, they will tell you.

And yet they are also judged if they themselves have too much fat on them.

By the way, if your journey right now is about weight loss, getting rid of wrinkles, or grey hair, I am not here to judge. If you are happy with your decisions, and happy with yourself, that is all that matters.

Be proud of who you are, and forget about what the world wants you to be. If you see something in yourself that you feel needs to be changed, do it. I’ve made many changes throughout my life. Self improvement and self care are NEVER bad things, but I refuse to make my changes based on what somebody is telling me needs to be changed. (Unless it’s a doctor or trained professional.)

I love most of my imperfections. I will tell the whole world about them usually with pride. (Or to let people know that I see it before they tell me themselves.)

I tell my son all the time how wonderful he is, I want him to see me giving myself the same love.

It’s time to ditch the mom guilt and be happy with us.






Fave 5 Kid Friendly Crafts

Amanda’s blogs are based on the life of being a working mom, wife and all that other stuff. Amanda uses quotes and everyday life to motivate or at least entertain others. Her two beautiful girls, Georgia and Elsie, husband, Robbie, and dog, Max, are the inspiration to her enjoyable blog posts. When Amanda isn’t blogging and doing mom stuff, she is a Speech Pathologist. She loves crafts, staying active, sports, mojitos and wellness. The thing that sets Amanda’s writing apart from others is her open and honest view into her life. The ups, the downs and everything in between.

We LOVE crafty at my house! Or I love crafty and the girls love making a mess. Either way, we do a lot of crafts.

With the cold weather we have spent a lot more time inside which means a lot more activities to keep everyone happy. So I thought I would share my top 5 kid friendly crafts.

1) Paint in a bag

Supplies needed: paint, large ziplock bag, crafting paper, painters tape and glitter (the glitter is optional)

Step 1) I cut the paper to size to fit into the bag. And then place the paper in the bag.

Step 2) Choice some paint and squirt toonie sized amounts of paint in random spots on the paper.

Step 3) Close bag and tape shut to avoid paint squirting out. I used painters tape because it was thick but also easy to open when we wanted to add more.

Step 4) Push the paint around and make your master piece.

Step 5) Add more paint and/glitter as you see fit!

Optional – we have also done this with adding stickers onto the paper and then pulling the stickers off after to spell words or make a sky with stars. Whatever you want goes!


2) Tissue paper art 

Supplies needed: disposable table cloth, variety of colours of tissue paper, scissors, a thick canvas or thick paper, squirt bottle and water.

Optional: gloves as the dye from the tissue paper will stain your hands.

Step 1) cut tissue paper into different sizes and/or shapes.

Step 2) put down table cloth and put on gloves if wanted. Fill squirt bottle with water.

Step 3) squirt the canvas/paper where you want to place your tissue paper 1 time.

Step 4) place the tissue paper on top of the water spot on your canvas and spray again until covered with water.

Step 5) repeat steps 3 and 4 with different colours and shapes until you are happy with the covering of your canvas.

Step 6) let the canvas sit with the tissue paper to dry. We also patted some of the water to help it dry faster.

Step 7) take off the tissue paper and throw away.

Step 8) let your art dry and you’re done!


3) Sensory Bottles 

Supplies needed: empty water bottle (the VOSS water bottle is a great bottle to use), clear hand soap, clear dish soap, food colouring, glitter, glue and objects you want.  (Such as sequences, googley eyes, beads, small pieces of LEGO)

Step 1) take the label off the water bottle and fill 1/4 with dish soap and 1/4 with hand soap.

Step 2) add food colouring, glitters and objects.

Step 3) add more soap if needed until bottle is about 3/4 full.

Step 4) glue lid on and enjoy!!!

* this version is the slow moving sensory bottle version. You can also use water and glitter or clear glue instead of the soap for a bit of a faster moving bottle.


4) Egg Carton Bugs

Supplies needed: egg carton, scissors, hot glue gun,  pipe cleaners or wire, paint,  molding clay or pom pom balls, q-tips and paint brush.

Step 1) cut egg carton into individuals for bugs or into longer strips for a caterpillars.

Step 2) paint the egg cartons and let dry. We used q-tips to make the dots on our lady bugs.

Step 3) then we used pipe cleaners for the caterpillar’s antennas and for the lady bugs we used molding clay to make the ladybugs heads and eyes. Then we bent small wire and stuck it the clay for the lady bug’s antennas.

Step 4) I used the hot glue gun to put the clay heads onto the lady bugs and let dry!

Step 5) done! We had a family of bugs to play with!!!

We have also done this to make other insects such as spiders! Use your imagination!

 

 

 

 


5) Pooka Dot Craft 

This last one is not really an art project but was fun to play with stickers and colours!

Supplies needed: paper both white and coloured sheets, coloured stickers (I found these at the dollar store in the office section), marker and tape.

First we did it by colour.

– I wrote the names of the colours on the coloured paper and then tapped up four different coloured paper on the wall. Then had my daughter match the stickers to the coloured paper.

– next we wrote her name on different pieces of paper. One letter per page. I wrote the letters of her name on the stickers and she had to match the stickers to the paper again but with letters this time.

– last we did the same thing as the letters but with numbers.

This was a huge hit! She loved stickers and was happy to do an activity by herself!

There you go. Five of my favourite crafts to do with my kiddos. Hope you can use some of the ideas for crafts at home.

Have fun!

Fighting the Cold – Mommy Blogger

Amanda’s blogs are based on the life of being a working mom, wife and all that other stuff. Amanda uses quotes and everyday life to motivate or at least entertain others. Her two beautiful girls, Georgia and Elsie, husband, Robbie, and dog, Max, are the inspiration to her enjoyable blog posts. When Amanda isn’t blogging and doing mom stuff, she is a Speech Pathologist. She loves crafts, staying active, sports, mojitos and wellness. The thing that sets Amanda’s writing apart from others is her open and honest view into her life. The ups, the downs and everything in between.

So I want to talk about January and apparently the first week of February.  NOT COOL Mother Nature, not cool!

Winter can be a very difficult time for everyone, and I found that this past January was an especially tough month for a lot of people. Even my 1 year old is protesting the cold. She was so upset with the cold when we walked from the van to daycare today that she tried to fight the wind. Literally fight it! She glared, babbled (which I can only assume if she was able, would be some swear words) and tried to punch the wind. It made me giggle a bit and almost made the cold worth it, almost!

I love the fight in my daughter. Her fight reminded me that we all have a little fight in us and sometimes we need to reach deep to keep that FIGHT! We need to fight to keep hope that things will get better. That fight is what can be the difference between moving forward or not moving at all.

I can say that from experience. From the times when I was a teenager to now, those little moments of fight is what has kept me going.  It kept me moving when I was depressed, kept me moving when I was too anxious to breath and then again when postpartum hit.

Hope is what gave me the courage to ask for help when I needed it in those times. Sometimes it was just a hug or a moment to myself to cry, other times it involved talking with professionals.

So hold on to your fight and reach out! Talk with someone to help you find those moments and that hope. Or if the cold is just making you grumpy then find the sunshine in your day wherever it may be and remember, spring is just around the corner!

Fave 5 Indoor Family Activities

Nicole Betker is a mother, wife, rabid Toronto Blue Jays fan and a pop culture junkie. Always having an opinion or something to say, it’s time this journalism grad found a place to share her musings on the acts of “adulting”.

I loathe winter and everything that comes with it.

The cold. The snow. The shovelling. The large jackets, boots, mitts, toques, scarfs and socks.

Needless to say, I hibernate. I’ve never been a winter outdoor person. Skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or sledding has never interested me. With this comes the ability to find indoor family fun activities to avoid the dreaded, hated winter.

Here are my five favourite family activities to help avoid the cold, enjoy time together and not feel like you are being held hostage by Mother Nature.

LEGO

New to our family. LEGO has quickly become a favourite. After Santa brought a bucket of Classic LEGO and mom and dad added a second in the excitement, we’ve been obsessed with building the biggest items we can think of. Three story houses, towers over six-feet tall, city skyscrapers, trains, robots, you name it. Time flies when you are living in the land of imagination.

 

 

Crazy Forts

Classic fun – take a blanket, throw it over pushed together furniture and a fort is born. But now – let’s add to the fun. Crazy Forts allows you to build castles with turrets, rocket ships, tunnels, igloos or really anything you can imagine. Sticks fit into specific holes in a ball to create your frame, and now throw a blanket over. We’ve had many trips to the moon, or to a castle to save a princess.

 

Baking/Cooking

We all see those recipes in our social media newsfeeds and now is the time to try them. The hits and misses keep meal and snack time fun. Just make sure the sprinkles jar is closed tightly – don’t learn the hard way like I did.

 

 

Video Games

Our system of choice is Nintendo. Mario Party and Mario Kart create family competition, while Just Dance and Wii Sports gets us up and moving. You’d be surprised at how good a toddler can be at race car driving.

 

 

Art, crafts, play-dough

Pull out those colouring books, crayons, markers, scissors, glue, paint and get creative. Or just pull out the play-dough and create over and over again.  A toddler can make a robot out of anything – or so I am learning.