Monday, July 24, 2017

Even Though I Don't Do it All, I'm Still Enough

Having a child and being someone’s mother is truly an amazing thing. Through the highs and lows, I can honestly say that I am living my best life, and motherhood has made me become the best version of myself.

That being said, living my best self did not happen over night. It actually took a lot of work, a lot of self-reflection, and a lot of acceptance.

As a new mom, it’s very easy to get lost in the noise. In the darkness of sleep deprivation, hormonal imbalances, body issues, and a slew of other delightful effects that might occur post partum, focusing on external pressures and perceived weakness can sometimes overpower appreciating and truly valuing your new-found strength.

Motherhood is confusing, and wading through the flood of emotions can be a challenge. To top it off, there is an enormous pressure to be the “I don’t know how she does it” girl. I remember busting my butt to have that perfectly tidy house for when people came over to visit. I made brownies, and kept my fridge full of goodies. I tried to do my make up, and even my hair; everything I did was faking it in the hopes of tricking people into believing I wasn’t drowning on land.

Then one day, my daughter smiled at me. A real smile, not one of those gassy ones, and I finally stopped and asked myself what the hell I was doing. I realized what an amazing gift I was squandering. In focusing on what I thought were inadequacies, I was wasting what I had; so, I decided in that moment to unapologetically embrace my new life as a mom. I stopped caring about what other people thought of me. I stopped putting pressure on myself to be that picture of perfection moms are made to feel like they need to be.

I threw my hair in a messy bun, and I stopped caring if I wore the same outfit three or even five days in a row because I finally realized that motherhood, especially new momma-hood is all about survival.
Furthermore, I actually started seeing and appreciating the hardships, as well as accepting the simplicities in my day. While there is an enormous pressure to feel like you have to do it all, the reality is you don’t. As a mom, you’re doing enough. Even if all you did today was feed your child, and watch daytime television while they napped away in your arms, you did enough.

There will always be vultures ready to pick you apart which is why it’s so important to find that inner confidence and trust in your abilities. So what if your hair is greasy, your house is a mess, and you just fell face first into the pile of laundry you are too exhausted to fold; at the end of the day, if you could see yourself through the eyes of your child you would know how truly amazing you are.

Your best IS enough, so stop doubting that you are one hell of a strong mother.

Andrea ArEsse resides in Port Moody with her husband and daughter. She is an avid DIYer and fills her days with arts and crafts, themed photo shoots, travel, and exploration. Women empowerment has become a big part of her life since having a daughter, and she has spent the last year writing a survival guide for new mothers that she is hoping to have published in the coming months. Head over to the blog to check out her sassier side of motherhood. www.momknowssomethings.com  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Book Review: The Magical Power of Wordless Books For All Ages

We are excited to offer our summer book review with partnership with Anne from Kinder Books.

From Anne from Kinder Books~ 
Before I dive into the book itself, I want to share with you how I came to select this title for my
first Urbanbaby & Toddler magazine review.

Recently, in one of my kids yoga classes, we played charades. The task was to express a word through yoga poses and to include a breathing exercise. A group of four kids ages 8-10, started walking in all directions staring at a pretend phone or holding one by their ears. One
stopped in chair pose still doing the same phone gesture, not looking up. Another child laid down still looking at the screen.

The riddle’s answer was PEOPLE. When the word came out I could hear an “Ah, yes!”. I was touched to see how these young kids perceive society these days as absent, lonely and not breathing.


Immediately, I was reminded of a story that I hold very close to my heart. “Sidewalk Flowers”
by Jon Arno Lawson/Sydney Smith. When I saw this book for the first time, I was attracted by
the dandelions on the cover and the girl with the red coat. Books can trigger memories and
this one certainly did it for me. I owned a red coat as a little girl.

After passing pages filled with lovely flowers and birds you become part of a black and white
world. Except for the little girl in the red coat holding her dad’s hand. No words, just pictures.
Dad is on the phone.

Distracted.
In a hurry.
Always.

As the reader turns the pages and fills the story with their own words, more colours emerge,
creating a hopeful, connected and kind feeling just like the little girl does with her gestures.
You feel warm and included with every page you turn.

With wordless books children become creative storytellers. Pre-and early readers build
important literacy skills such as listening skills, vocabulary, comprehension and structure of
stories. By using words of their very own, struggling readers gain confidence and motivation
as they read this story time and time again, including new observations and feelings with each
read. This book is also beneficial for children who are being raised in multi language
households.

This quiet book is a celebration of children, the importance of small things and small gestures;
it’s a story for everyone.

Sidewalk Flowers by Jon Arno Lawson/Sydney Smith, Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press, 2015 Retail Price: $16.95, Hardcover

Get your copy at www.store.kinderbooks.ca/sidewalk-flowers

Anne Uebbing is an Early Childhood Educator and a Kids’ Yoga Teacher living in Port Moody with her husband, two kids ages 9 and 11, a big black dog and one green eyed cat named Marvolo.
In 2011, Anne founded Kinder Books, a traveling children’s book store specializing in stories that reflect people's lives, fostering connection and empowerment. Anne supports authors and artists who create beautiful, challenging and encouraging messages with their work. Aside from her online store, you can find her at various
community events where she likes to share her passion for unique children’s books with everyone.
Kinder Books variety of yoga products, hand puppets, First Nations titles, water bottles and specialized titles, nurtures children’s minds as it sparks the imagination and interest in the world we live in. Find out more about Kinder Books here www.kinderbooks.ca

Friday, July 7, 2017

Explore Walla, Walla with the Kids!

With school out for the summer, parents everywhere are looking for a rich experience for their family vacation - one that nourishes the soul while creating long-lasting memories for everyone in the family.

With more than 120 wineries, Walla Walla’s wines and imaginative culinary scene entice adults from all over the world. But enlightening museums and cultural sites that help tell the tale of Washington and the Pacific Northwest, one-of-a-kind outdoor attractions, and a friendly, relaxed pace make a trip to Walla Walla adventurous, educational, and altogether refreshing.

Below are just a few family-friendly attractions available in Walla Walla this summer:

Explore & Learn
A can’t-miss stop for school-aged children, the Fort Walla Walla Museum tells the story of the many people who have inhabited the Walla Walla Valley. Occupying 15 acres of the 200-acre Fort Walla Walla Park, the museum houses the nation’s largest collection of horse-era agricultural equipment, as well as a variety of living history exhibits. The Whitman Mission, a national historic site, includes an engaging visitor center and historic grounds to explore. For younger kids, the Children’s Museum of Walla Walla offers interactive, hands-on exhibits perfect for curious minds.

A Sporting Good Time
Like baseball itself, the Walla Walla Sweets embody the carefree days of summer. With 30 West Coast Baseball League games played each summer in historic Borleske Stadium, the Sweets offer a fun, affordable pastime for visitors of all ages. Set on the rolling terrain that surrounds Walla Walla, Wine Valley Golf Club is among the must-play golf courses in Washington. But it’s best shared between father and son, mother and daughter, or grandparent and grandchild.

Downtown Walla Walla
Find yourself in downtown Walla Walla with the family? Stop by Inland Octopus, a whimsical treasure-filled toyshop, or Book & Game Co. with its impressive selection of children’s books and games. A treat is never far away with Bright’s Candies, purveyors of old-fashioned handmade confections. Viewing windows allow for an up-close look at the candy-making process.

Farm Visits
Explore or u-pick your way through the Valley’s rolling farmland and roadside farm stands, including Blue Mountain Lavender Farm, Klicker Berries and Antiques, Lampson Blueberries, Monteillet Fromagerie, Welcome Table Farm, and Old Homestead Alpaca Farms.

For the Parents
Home to an array of lodging choices, including conveniently located and fully equipped vacation home rentals, Walla Walla makes for a perfect multi-generational family retreat. Parents and grandparents can take turns savoring the region’s award-winning wine and experiencing the rest of Walla Walla’s many attributes with the kids. Many of Walla Walla’s wineries are themselves family-friendly, some with outdoor spaces for the kids to roam, including Three Rivers Winery, notable for its 3-hole golf course onsite, Waterbrook Winery, and Dunham Cellars.

For more information on planning a trip to Walla Walla, go to visitwallawalla.com

Friday, June 23, 2017

Happy Canada Day Celebrations


ABBOTSFORD

June 30: Canada Day Birthday Celebrations 

Abbotsford Exhibition Park,
Rotary Stadium
6:00 PM - 9:00PM
A birthday this big deserves a weekend celebration! Help us kick off Canada's 150th birthday by enjoying some amazing local talent on the main stage and grabbing a bite to eat from the food trucks on site. We're very excited to have Calvin Dyck and the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra take the stage, as well as many other local entertainers. Info: www.abbotsfordcity.ca/canadas-150th


VANCOUVER

July 1: Canada Day Celebrations
Canada Place, Vancouver
10:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Van stage performance, workshops, circus performers, giant board games, face painting, water park and fireworks.

July 1: Canada Day at Sunset
Sunset Community Centre, Vancouver
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Come to Sunset for an afternoon of family fun. There will be a petting zoo, a bouncy castle, face painting, food trucks, live music, and cupcakes for everyone.
Info: www.mysunset.net 

RICHMOND

July 1: North Shore Canada Day Parade 
Steveston, Richmond
10:00am - 10:15pm
Full-day street party, food trucks, several stages, tall ships, a marketplace and performances. CTV Vancouver's Ann Luu will be on scene, and Juno Award-winners Wintersleep are headlining the event.

Info: www.richmondcanadaday.com/


NORTH VANCOUVER

July 1: North Shore Canada Day Parade 
10:00 AM
East 13th Street, Lonsdale Avenue and West 17th Street, North Vancouver
There will be bands, community organizations, dancers, members of the RCMP and the Legion, and many others.
Info: www.canadadaynorthshore.org

July 1: Canada Day at Fort Langley National Historic Site
Fort Langley National Historic Site - 23433 Mavis Avenue, Langley
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Celebrate Canada’s 149th Birthday at the site where British Columbia was born. Enjoy multicultural music, cake and ceremony at noon and family activities. Fort Langley’s celebration continues at the neighboring museums: Langley Centennial Museum and the BC Farm Machinery and Agricultural Museum – be sure to visit us all for a fun-filled day.

July 1: Surrey Canada Day
Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, Surrey
10:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Celebrate Canada Day with multi-platinum award-winning Canadian musician Matthew Good.

July 1: Canada Day Celebrations
Burnaby Village Museum
11:00 AM – 4:30 PM
A 1920 backdrop for multi-cultural family entertainment including a musician, displays, and demonstrations.

July 1: Pitt Meadows Canada Day
Spirit Square, Pitt Meadows
8:00 AM –10:15 PM
Get up early, and head over for a pancake breakfast. Join the 8K charity run (or the shorter Kids Run), then continue the festivities at the square.
Info: www.pittmeadows.bc.ca

July 1: Maple Ridge Canada Day
Maple Ridge Memorial Peace Park
10:00 AM –7:00 PM
Begin your day with a visit to the Haney Farmers Market and BIA Summer Market. Maple Ridge Museum and Archives Society will join in the celebrations. . Entertainment, singing, dancing, activities, food and fun will continue throughout the day.
Info: www.mrpmparksandleisure.ca

July 1: Another All Day Canada Day
Queens Park, New Westminster
11:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Come to Queen’s Park for a fun day of celebrations. There will be family entertainment and fun activities for everyone.

July 1: Coquitlam Celebrates Canada Day
Town Centre Park, Coquitlam
12:00 PM – 10:30 PM
A fun-filled day of festival favourites including entertainment, food, cultural village, artisans and a spectacular fireworks display.
Info: www.coquitlam.ca

July 1: Canada Day 150
Townsend Park, 45130 Wolfe Rd., Chilliwack

8:00 AM - 10:30 PM
A Canada Day tradition! Start your morning with a delicious pancake breakfast in support of your community ($5/person). Performers on the Prospera Community Stage: Rosie Ribbonstar, Excel Martial Arts, Erik & Brittany, Ever After Princesses, Nilan Ritter, Taoist Tai Chi Society, Brook Potter, Korean Fan Dancers, Jana Seale, Marshall Forsythe. Children’s crafts and hands-on activities, Bouncy Castle, Face Painting and Fireworks at 10:30pm.
Info: www.chilliwackartscouncil.com/events/canada-day



Monday, June 19, 2017

RCMP Mickey Mouse and RCMP Minnie Mouse

RCMP Mickey Mouse and RCMP Minnie Mouse is a collaboration by a husband and wife team from
2 blue ducks, a distribution, manufacturing and licensing company who teamed up with Disney and the RCMP Foundation to create the stuffed RCMP Mickey and Minnie dolls.

Mickey Mouse has joined the Mounties, and Minnie too! Rocking the red serge, RCMP Mickey Mouse makes a great gift for children and collectors alike. Soft and Cuddly those two are sure to bring a smile to your child.

Just in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary July 1st, the RCMP Mickey and RCMP Minnie project is a unique blend of globally-recognized cultural icons. RCMP Mickey and RCMP Minnie can be found in hundreds of toy stores, RCMP detachments, Indigo, Toys “R” Us, the Drake General Store, airport stores and online through the Mountie Shop.

Win your very own pair of RCMP Mickey Mouse and RCMP Minnie Mouse valued at $65.00. Enter to win at www.urbanbaby.ca/category/contests. Good Luck!




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Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company and its affiliates that delivers innovative and engaging product experiences across thousands of categories from toys and apparel to books and fine art.

The RCMP Foundation is a registered charitable organization that develops and supports community programs for vulnerable youth, in which local RCMP members are involved.  Established in 1994, the Foundation also manages the commercial use of the RCMP’s image and protected marks, which generates royalties to give back to these programs. Since its inception, the RCMP Foundation has donated over $9 million to support hundreds of initiatives for the benefit of Canadian youth.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Petite Boutique Books

Petite Boutique is a brand new line of baby books designed exclusively for Indigo, for children ages 0 to 3 years. Each book in the collection was created with babies in mind, covering core concepts like counting and colours, while engaging young kids in learning and literacy from day one.



Illustrated by talented French artist VĂ©ronique Petit, the collection makes for a thoughtful birthday or baby shower gift, or a welcome addition to baby's first library. Little ones will love charming features like touch-and-feel pages, high contrast images, mirrors, and silicone buttons. As highlighted in the IndigoKids Reading Journey, fun features like these are essential to inspire a love of reading in young children.

All titles are exclusively available at Indigo, in stores and online at indigo.ca

Some titles include the following:

  • Petite Boutique Animal Babies
  • Petite Boutique First Words
  • Petite Boutique Here We Go
  • Petite Boutique Nursery Rhymes
  • Petite Boutique Out and About
  • Petite Boutique Wild Animals Peekaboo
  • Petite Boutique Watch Me Grow Height Chart
  • Petite Boutique  Who Goes Moo

Contest: Share the gift of reading with your child! Enter to win Petite Boutique Book Prize Package. Enter to win at www.urbanbaby.ca/category/contests. Good Luck!

Friday, June 9, 2017

UBT Review: Good Day and Good Night on the Carousel Theatre for Young People

Carousel Theatre for Young People’s popular Bee Stage presents Good Day and Good Night – a performance designed specifically for children three and under. The play brings a delightful and uplifting story about friendship from two unlikely characters who on a regular day would miss each other – The Sun and The Moon. 

If you haven’t had the chance to attend a performance at the Bee Stage, the theatre is designed specifically for babies and toddlers and focuses on setting that invites the audience goers to crawl, laugh, clap, and activate all five senses in kid-friendly environment made just for them.

Through the beautiful set design and eye-catching costumes little minds are in awe of all the sights to see. Audience goers are comfortably sitted in the middle of the room with the play happening around them. Through interaction, songs and help from the audience The Moon and The Sun see that they are not that different after all. As the story progresses the characters learn to work together to make an excellent team.


Good Day and Good Night is directed by Carole Higgins and features Steven Greenfield, Alexandra Lainfiesta and CJ McGillivray. Dramaturg: Jessica Mann Gutteridge. Set and Props Designer: Sarah Mabberley. Costume Designer: Kiara Lawson. Stage Manager: Ashley Noyes.

Good Day and Good Night is playing at the Bee Stage at the Carousel Theatre for Young People from
June 6-18, 2017. Tickets are $15 per person and available for purchase at tickets.carouseltheatre.ca or 604-685-6217