Monthly Archives: February 2012

Family Day at Woodbine Fantasy Fair

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The third Monday in February, parts of Canada observes Family Day and this year we went to Woodbine Fantasy Fair.  Located at 500 Rexdale Boulevard in Etobicoke, this is Ontario’s largest indoor playground.  Since it opened in 1985, it has served over 7 million guests and has 9 full sized family rides, a 3 level play village, midway games and an arcarde.

I had been there once before for a work function and always thought what a good place it would be to take my daughter there. Going with friend’s of ours and their children, we were all ready to celebrate Family Day.  I do believe that we went on the BUSIEST day ever as everyone and their neighbour had decided to visit Woodbine Fantasy Fair that same day.  There were thousands and thousands of people and their children confined in a 1 acre space, filled with rides, cotton candy and the excited screams of kids.  We were quite lucky to have arrived as it opened as the lines were long and were ten times the length by the time we left.   We only stayed for 4 hours as the lines became so long that the tots we had with us were becoming restless and in that 4 hours, we only went on 3 rides.  By then all of us adults were ready for some Tylenol.  I think had we gone on a different day, it probably wouldn’t have been as chaotic.  I would definitely go again, but choose the day we went on better.

Here are some fun facts about Woodbine Fantasy Fair;

 

* has served over 7 million guests since opening in 1985

is over 1 acre in size – located on the second level inside of Woodbine Shopping Centre

* won the “Toronto’s Sun” award for best place for birthday parties

* won the 2009 Etobicoke Guardian Readers’ Choice Award for best amusement destination

* hosts & contributes to many charity events

* each original Carousel horse is worth approx. $30,000 U.S.

* Fantasy Fair Express has traveled the equivalent of driving to Florida and back – 18 times, over 55,000 miles, since 1985

*A hole had to be cut in the roof to drop the 35′ tower over the side of the building and into the park using a 100′ crane

* The Ferris Wheel is the only side loading & 2nd story loading wheel of its kind in North America and soars 50 feet into the air

Rub A Dub Dub

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Rub A Dub Dub

Rub a dub dub

Three men in a tub,

And who do you think they be?

The Butcher, the Baker,

The Candlestick Maker.

Turn ’em out, knaves all three

Mother Goose’s Quarto

The Best Cupcake I Have Ever Had!

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The 8th was my birthday and overall I have to say it was a great day.  I received birthday wishes and cards from all my friends and family and my hubby was making me my favourite dinner for when I got home.  When I got to work, I came in to find a card on the top of a box.  I opened the card and saw the signatures of my co-workers.  I picked up the box and it was a Prairie Girl Cupcake.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Prairie Girl Cupcake!

The Chocolate cake with Peanut Butter Icing.  Mmm.  It was the best cupcake I have every had.  The icing was peanut butter, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet.  Just the right amount of peanut butter flavour.  The cupcake was so moist, and flavourful.  So if you ever get the chance, check out Prairie Girl Bakery, you will be glad you did.

What a Week!

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What a week it has been and this is my first post in 10 days so I guess I’d better explain my absence.

After a visitor-filled weekend to celebrate my birthday, my sister noticed a lump on my daughters’ shoulder.  I asked my daughter to come here and there was a large bony lump on her shoulder.  I gasped loudly which made my daughter start to cry.  Me and weird lumps don’t mix well.  I was trying to think of any injuries that could have caused the lump.  Then I remembered that 6 weeks prior, she had fallen and hurt her arm badly.  We had taken her to the hospital where they proceeded to say that it was nothing more than soft tissue damage and sent us on our way without so much as a Xray.  We took her back to the same hospital and it turns out that her clavical was actually broken and had healed on its own.

So with trips to the hospital, work has been insane.  Our General Manager is taking a very well deserved sabbatical, leaving a managerial vacuum to be filled.  On top of that, we have installed a new software that we were trying to work out all the kinks. Needless to say, whenever new changes come, people are bound to react and so with the learning curve of a new software, working 6 very long days in a row and having a co-worker (and very good friend) leaving to fly across the world, it has been the most stressful week ever.  Now I am fighting off the flu, oh the joys!

So while I have neglected my blogging, I am back and you will see many posts from me.

Get Out of The House Mommy Group

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While perusing Facebook today, I stumbled across a self made group from a fellow Mommy called “Get Out of The House Mommy Group.”  One Mom of two little girls created a group and invited her friends to join.  What they do is each Mom makes a list of fun things that Mom’sand their tots can do in their surrounding areas.  What a brilliant idea!

When I was 7 months pregnant, I moved 5 hours away from all my friends and family to live in Toronto.  I was on Maternity leave and was due with my first baby in 2 months.  I knew no one and certainly no other Mom’s.  What was I going to do with a newborn in a city that was so very different from the small town (country girl born and raised) I was from.  For a long time I stayed cooped up in my home, only taking my daughter out for walks to the local plaza and around the block.  It became very isolating.  When I tried to talk to other people, all I could talk about was bowel movements and diaper rash, feeding and sleeping schedules.  I was acutely aware that none of these people found this particularly stimulating, but I hadn’t spoken to another adult woman in months.  I knew then that I needed to get out, even if it was more for my own good than my daughters’.  I searched online and found an indoor playground.  It was the same playground I used for her 3 year birthday party.  There I met other mom’s and found out about all the really fun and interesting things to do with your babies and toddlers.

So when I stumbled across that group today, it made me remember how isolated I was and how long it took me to go out and explore this great city I call home now with my daughter.  So I have compiled my own list of the places that I took and still take my daughter to.

MY LIST OF FAVOURITE KID & MOM FRIENDLY PLACES TO GO IN TORONTO 

1) Amazon Indoor Playground

Located on 1500 Royal York Rd, this indoor playground provides a fun, safe environment for kids to play and interact with other children.  There is a fridge available onsite for those who pack their own lunches and coffee and tea are free to the parents.  $10 per child and $7 for siblings, this is a great deal.

2) Stars & Strollers

Cineplex Odeon provides mom`s a chance to see movies and be able to bring their children too.  With a choice of 2 movies a week, the theatres provide more lighting, lower sound and in-theatre change tables so you can get the big screen experience in a baby friendly experience.

3) Alderwood Swimming Pool

I loved doing Mommy & Me swimming with my daughter.  Located at 2 Orianna Drive, this pool provides baby and toddler friendly swimming times for only $3.

4) All Fired Up Paintable Ceramics

Now that my daughter is older and crafts are her thing, I needed to find a place that could provide a fun environment and the bonus of me not having to clean.  You can choose your own piece, from cups to plates to statues of Dinosaurs (I have a nicely painted one on my bookshelf), and paint it with any certain number of colours you choose.  The best thing is, if you don`t finish, you can come back another day and finish it.

For more places to take your children in Toronto, check out the website Toronto4 Kids.com.

I hope you take the challenge and post your favourite places to go in your local city so other Mom`s can take their children as well!

I Dream of Sleep!

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I don’t ever remember feeling so tired for so long.  It seems since the moment I became pregnant with my daughter, sleep was a luxury. The definition of sleep is to take the rest afforded by a suspension of voluntary bodily functions and the natural suspension, complete or partial of consciousness.  For all the mother’s out there, let me ask you this question; When was the last time you got a complete nights sleep?

Recently, my daughter has been off her sleeping pattern.  No longer does she sleep from 8 – 7 with a lovely 3 hour nap in between.  Now its up late, wake up in the middle of the night,up very early and barely any nap.  Let the weeping begin.  I prided my daughter’s ability to sleep.  She was a trooper like her Mom.  By 2 months, she was sleeping from 11 – 5 with numerous naps throughout the day.  I never had to fight to put her to bed, she loved her bed.

Let me paint an image for you.  It is a weeknight.  3 am.  I am slumbering away in dreamland, when I awaken to hear the click click of her doorknob.

“Mommy.  Mom.  Mommyyyyyyyyyyy!” She bellows.

Maybe if I don’t answer, she’ll go to bed.

“Daddy.  Dad.  Daddyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!” Nope, she’s awake and NOT going back to bed.

My hubby croaks, “She’s not going back to bed, just answer her.”  She called you last I thought to myself.

“Princess, what’s wrong?”

“Mommy, I can’t open my door.”

“Go back to bed Honey.”

“I don’t want to.” Saw that coming.

“Why not?”

“I want to watch a movie and eat a cookie.”  Well at least she’s honest.

“Boo, it’s 3 in the morning, you’re not watching a movie and eating cookies.”

“Can I come in your bed?”  Ugh.  I crawl over my hubby who is groaning over the thought of sharing a bed with a toddler that awakens each morning in a new and sprawled out position.

I stumble to her door and she is waiting for me on the other side.  She lifts her arms and commands “up” and the lays her head on my shoulder and resumes sucking her thumb.  Oh yes, I have a thumb sucker.

I lay her down in between us.  I am hoping that she will go back to sleep after all, Mommy and Daddy need to work in the morning.  Hope is folly.  First, the constant thumb sucking sound is loud and wet.  I tell myself over and over again “it’s just white noise.”  Ok, sleepy time.  Not likely.  My princess then begins to toss and turn,  flip and flop, until hubby barks for her to lie still and go to bed.  Five minutes go by before the motion begins again.  This time it’s flailing limbs.  They are tapping Daddy’s shoulders, kicking off blankets, digging into Mommy’s back and little fingers twirling around my hair.

“Honey, go to sleep or you are going back to your bed.” I grumble.

“Why?”

“Because its sleepy time.”

“Why Mommy?”

“Because Mommy and Daddy need to work in the morning and you have to go to daycare.”

“Why?”

“Because we have bills to pay.”

“Why?”  My patience is growing thin, and so is hubby’s.

“Because darling it costs money to live.”

“Why?”

“Because nothing is free.”

“Why?”

“Ok, listen,” I sit up, rubbing my eyes.  “Honey, it’s late, Mommy and Daddy are very tired and we really, really, really need sleep.”

She lays quiet.  I lie down and wait until she starts up again.  Time keeps passing and she is remaining quiet.  Maybe she is actually going to go to sleep.  Ahhh, my eyes are heavy.  I begin to drift in and out of sleep.  Just when I am at the brink of sliding serenely onto the night train, this is what I hear;

‘Mommy, I want a pony.” That’s it!  My hubby has had enough.  He picks her up and begins to walk to her room.

“Ok Boo, we’ll see you in the morning.  You gotta sleep in your bed tonight.”

“Ok Dad.”

Finally.  My hubby walks back into the room and turns to me before laying his head down he says, “She is never, ever, sleeping in here again.”

I’m sold.  I check the time, its 4:30, a hour and a half since she woke up and we have got her back into her bed.  Ok, now it’s sleepy time.

Click. Click.

“Mommy.  Mom.  Mommyyyyyyyyy.  I can’t open my door.”

Oh my goodness, what now? 5:25 am and she is wide awake.  Only before I get to answer, she has opened her door and is now staring me right in the face.

“Hi Mommy.  I want to watch a movie and eat a cookie.”  This time, she doesn’t go back to bed.  We are up and our day has officially begun.  I am not usually a coffee person, but on that day, I needed 2 coffees.

Do Clothes Make the Measure of a Child?

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I saw an article today in the tabloid magazine In Touch Weekly.  I was flipping though, getting my daily dose of mind numbing monotony when I stumbled across a “Who Wore it Best” page.  Usually the page is of celebrities wearing the same outfit and then rated on who wore it better.  However, this article was not adults, but these celebrities kids!  There were several pics of celebrity children, pitted against one another based solely on what over-priced article of clothing they were wearing.  I was stunned.  It’s one thing to compare adults over their clothing choices, but these kids do not have that choice.  They themselves did not purchase these items, earn the money to pay for them or make the decisions themselves as what to put on their bodies.

Suri Cruise wearing Emu Boots

 

I remember what it was like to be a kid.  I was more concerned about getting outside to play with my friends and cousins than the clothes that I wore.  Clothes to me at that age were nothing more than something to keep me from walking outside naked.  Now that I’m a mom, I am deeply concerned with the clothes that are being advertised to children.  I keep seeing children younger and younger being put in outfits that should be on older kids.   I see parents spending small fortunes on childrens clothing that will only fit for a maximum of 4 months.  Its not that the price of clothes dictate how long the clothes will last, or that they will stand the constant washing from getting dirty so often, but it instead makes people whisper;

“Oh did you see that? Her 3 month is wearing the lastest Baby Nikes!”

“That Lululemon cap looks so good on her little boy.”

“That is so from Ralph Lauren’s baby collection last year.”

When did we start to put stock on what went on our kids backs versus who they are on the inside.  Somehow I highly doubt that my three old cares that I buy her clothes from Old Navy and not from H & M.  I doubt that she cares that I buy her running shoes from Payless and not from Nike or Adidas.  I dress my daughter exactly how she should be dressed, like a three year old little girl.  She wears cutesy pj’s and denim jeans with colourful tops.  She wears corduroy overalls.  She wears velco shoes and bucket hats to keep the sun off her face.  I want my daughter to be more concerned about her own happiness and her own self worth based on her personality and accomplishments than she is wearing the latest clothing trend.  For example, a clothing trend when I was young was wearing overalls with only one strap done up.  Belly tops were pretty big too and platform running shoes.  Doc Martins were big as were grungy clothes. None of these styles stood the test of time.  But I remained intact, self esteem and all.

Sam Sheen wearing Emu Boots

I want the same for my little girl.  There are already enough pressures on little girls as it is that there is no need for added stresses. They are clothes for Pete’s sake!  The jeans will tear, fade, rip and wear out.  The shirt will shrink, get stains and won’t fit anymore.  The shoes will get holes and wear out.  These items will not last forever.  But somehow we have to ensure that our children persevere.  How are they to do that if all their self worth is tangled up in clothing?  When my daughter is older, my greatest wish is that she will be able to look in the mirror, blemishes and all and know that despite what she wears, that she is beautiful.  She could be beautiful in rags or gowns, beautiful in slippers or high heels, that she is beautiful because of the person she is.

There are clothing lines that are targeting younger and younger children.  A French lingerie line called Line Jours Apres Lunes targets girls from age 4 to 10.  When I first read this article I almost vomitted.  Lingerie for 4 year olds?!  What does a four year old, or a ten year old for that matter need lingerie for?  The definition of lingerie is intimate underwear or sleepwear worn by women.  Not intimate apparel for toddlers and children, intimate apparel for WOMEN.  Women that have built a secure image of themselves.  That have to maturity and self confidence to wear something that is intimate and sometimes revealing.  Children and their childhood’s should be protected, kept innocent for as long as possible.  The world is tough enough without people leering at them in derogatory ways.

Jours Apres Lunes

So until my daughter has her own job, lives under her own roof, pays her own bills, she will wear what I deem age appropriate and I will continously put more emphasis on who she is as a person.