Zoo Tots


Starting in January, we have been weekly visitors to the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Poppy has been attending a wonderful program called Zoo Tots. I had never heard of this program before, and was thrilled when I was asked to participate. Most of our structured programming is sports-based, which is partly my choice, as those are the activities I tend to gravitate towards, and partly because they seem to be more prevalent.

Zoo Tots is very interactive and hands on. The kids arrive to the smiling faces of zoo volunteers - one of Poppy's favourite parts is the name tag sticker:) Each week there is a different theme - this week it was 'Tails'. The instructor talked about tails and then produced an abundance of tails for the kids to wear... as you could imagine they were excited! Then it's story time, snack time, and craft time.

After leaving the zoo classroom we head to an outdoor part of the zoo, but sometimes places the public normally can't go to. It's a learning experience for the adults, too. Seeing how the zoo keepers prepare all the food for all the animals was really interesting. It's sooo specific, almost like a science lab. And they have to have several days prepped just in case something happens... the size of the fridges and freezers were nothing like I've ever seen before.

This week we got to go see the horses, and just as the presentation was starting the horse pooped. It couldn't have been a better start for 3-5 year olds... lots of laughs!

Poppy talks about what she learns each week and eagerly shows her dad and brother the craft she makes. I would highly recommend this program for people looking for pre-school activities, and it's no problem at all to bring a younger sibling. I just checked and the next session is sold out, but I think another one will start in the summer. Click here for more family programming.

Thank you Assiniboine Park for inviting us to your program. The cost of registration was provided, but all opinions are 100% my own!

Mornings, the non-instagrammable ones


Last week I got a group text from a friend, inviting us to a kids b-day party. The text read in part... 'so this is the least instagrammable event ever. Lower all expectations - it's 90's style where there are beers in the snow and nothing cute about it.' Ha! I literally Laughed Out Loud.

We went to the party and had a great time. The kids played and there was food and drinks and probably lots of instagrammable moments, but I kept my phone in my diaper bag and didn't think about it once. It's so funny with social media, you want to have a happy and cute 'feed', but also want to project your real life, and also don't want to be constantly snapping photos all the time as opposed to living in the moment. It's a balance, for sure.

One of the most important things I've learned over the past year has been to be present. This is an ongoing 'lesson', and by no means have I mastered it. In fact, I think I'll be in a state of learning forever, and hope to continually improve and become more aware. It's a beautiful way to live, and has opened my eyes to some wonderful moments I otherwise would have missed.

Our mornings are a cherished time, and ones I will certainly miss when I have to go back to work next year. We don't have to leave the house until about 8:40am, which gives the kids some unstructured playtime. Lately they have been into sword fights... yeah, bad idea I know all the parents are cringing... but I've been trying to let them do their own thing. I guess Poppy was getting hurt so she had the idea to 'get protected' and wear Soren's hockey gear. I love that he helped her put on all the pieces, carefully making sure the velcro straps were done up. Have there been tears? Yep, but there have also been a lot of laughs and smiles and kids being kids. We sometimes forget about Blake and then search around to find her under the coffee table, in some shoes, or under the computer. Our mornings start with love, lots of love.

Blake - Almost 7 months


It's hard to believe that Blake is almost 7 months! The past year has been such a whirlwind... I am trying SO HARD to savour all of these sweet little moments. I only have to look at Soren to see how fast time flies. Blake got a tooth - two! - this past week. Both of the bottom two popped through on the same day. We had been wondering whether Soren would lose a tooth first, or if Blake would get one. It seems that she has him beat:)

She definitely has him wrapped around her little finger, that's for sure. Soren is absolutely obsessed with Blake, in fact it would be easy to say she is his favourite person in the world. He doesn't give me a lot of cuddles or affection... but there are no limits for his baby sister. It's very sweet to see their relationship grow. The only tiny issue with this is that Soren is not the most patient or loving towards his other sister, Poppy. Poppy is VERY affectionate and loving, and would like nothing more than to get a hug from Soren. When we arrive at school in the afternoons, Poppy will spot Soren and run across the playground to try and hug him. He will bypass her without even a hello, and race over to see Blake and give her a hug.

Blake is still not a good sleeper. She will usually sleep from about 6:30pm-12:30am, and then she's up every hour or two until 5ish when I bring her into bed with me. It's not the most restful for either of us, and I really hope we can get over this sleep thing sooner than later. One night she slept straight from 6:30-4am... so I know it's possible... just not happening regularly. During the day she typically naps twice, although one of those naps could only be 10 minutes. Most days she will have at least one nap that's 1-1.5 hours, although the timing of this is rarely consistent.

As you can see from the photos she is close to crawling! She gets up on all fours and moves around quite quickly either by pulling herself with her arms, or rolling. I had to instal a baby-gate at the top of the stairs because she is fast, and with two other kids needing my attention I knew I could not rely on watching her all of the time.

Other than that, she's a happy baby! She still does not like being apart from me, sometimes even when I'm in the same room as her (if someone else is holding her). The 6:30 bedtime allows me to go out in the evenings without her, on days when I can get a babysitter... usually my dad:) We are looking forward to warmer days and park playdates. It seems she has an awful lot of 'friends', so there are no shortage of babies to play with.