Thursday, March 29, 2012

How Do Dinosaur's Eat Cookies?

This month our theme was My Senses and we have been learning and talking all about the 5 senses. At our Tales 4 Tots we read a book called How Do Dinosaur's Eat Cookies? which was a scratch and sniff book too! The kids got to smell the different pages, trying to figure out what sent they were smelling.

After storytime we sang Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and talked about what body parts we used to smell, touch, taste, hear, and see.

For a craft we used different material to make puppets out of brown paper lunch bags. The babies played with the material, such as feathers and yarn, testing their senses while the big kids made their puppets.

Join us next month! We will be reading a cute story about a penguin. Thanks Scholastics for sending us these fabulous stories!

Mirror, Mirror Giveaway - CLOSED

The classic Disney story of Snow White comes back to life on the big screen. The Evil Queen (Julia Roberts) has her sights set on the royal throne and on the handsome prince (Armie Hammer), who's in love with Snow White (Lily Collins). Out of anger and jealousy, the Queen banishes her to the forest. But instead of being devoured by a vicious beast, like the Queen intended, Snow White enlists the help of seven dwarfs to help reclaim their destroyed kingdom. Mirror, Mirror opens on March 30, 2012. Click here to watch the trailer.

We are giving away 5 prize packs!

Each prize pack includes:

1 Mirror Mirror: The Movie Storybook
1 Mirror Mirror: The Movie Novel
1 Charm Bracelet

To enter to win comment below what your favourite dwarf from Snow White is.  Contest ends midnight, April 5, 2012.

Chriztina H
Micheline G 
Amanda  J
Nicole G 
Terri S

Fisher Price Stand 'n Play Rampway Review

momstown Winnipeg was lucky to be selected to review the Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Stand 'n Play Rampway. The day my package arrived I hide it until the evening so I could set it up while the kids where asleep. I've learned the hard way not to assembly big toys with a toddler and a baby around. So night time came and I opened the box I was pretty overwhelmed. Pieces galore! I asked my husband to help me put it together and he looked at me and said "honey, it's your job to review the product, including assembly." Hmmmm. As much as he was taking the easy way out of helping me, he had a point!

So as I reluctantly started to put the pieces together I quickly realized how easy it was. The pieces snapped together and it helped that they had numbers and coloured dots to direct you. I quickly put it together and started playing with it. I instantly knew it would be a hit with both kids.

Morning came and the look on the kids faces was priceless. It was a great day for this mama, as the kids played with it ALL DAY! Even my 11 month old got right into it. It took him a few tries and watching his big sister but he managed to place the car on the top and watch it go down the ramp. I loved that there where two ramps, so neither kid fought over it. They each took a side. My son got a kick out of the car ramp on the side, moving it up and down. And I loved how there was a parking spot for the cars when the kids weren't playing with it so we didn't lose the cars.

The Stand 'n Play Rampway was a big hit in our house. This mama gives it two thumbs up! 

Don't forget to enter to win one of your very own during the month of March!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Alphabet Play at Indigo - Letter M

Yesterday we had our Alphabet Play at Indigo. We meet up here every second Wednesday and learn all about a letter. Indigo has been wonderful at providing us with a story and lending us the space. We have circle time and do a craft based on that letter of the week. We started at A and are making our way to Z.

Yesterday we were on the letter M. M is for Monkey, so we read 5 Little Monkey's Play Hide and Seek by Eileen Christelow.

We borrowed some adorable stuffed monkey's from Indigo and used them as props while we sang 5 Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed. They kids had a riot as the monkey's disappeared!

For our craft we made Macaroni Monsters! Anything involving using lots of glue and goggly eyes is a winner with kids of all ages.

The kids decided to do some shopping while they were at Indigo!

Join us next time as we learn all about the letter N! Check out the calendar for dates!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sports Saturday: Scavenger Hunt

It is hard to believe it has been over a week since our last post.  momstown Winnipeg has had a fun-filled calendar including our monthly Junior Chefs meeting, Alphabet play at Indigio, new Mamas Meet and Greet, Baby Sensory play, Tales 4 Tots, and moms only Book Club and Supper Club.  We ended our week with a St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt.

Unseasonably warm temperatures on St. Patrick’s Day had 12 families ready to play and run to follow the rainbow to Mr. Leprechaun’s pot of gold.  We gathered the children for a short story, written by yours truly, and then we were off to find our first leprechaun dressed in red.  

The leprechaun dressed in red offered us a clue to lead us to the leprechaun dressed in orange.  We continued until we found the purple leprechaun who was guarding the pot of gold. 

Once all the children were gathered, we read our final message from Mr. Leprechaun and enjoyed our treasures.  

The kids and parents alike had a fabulous time running around the park at Lindenwoods Community Center.

We had a fabulous time today!!!  Thanks for coming over.

Lisa B.

This article was written by Lisa B, one of our newest blog contributors. When she's not chasing her 2 boys outdoors, she's up to her elbows with glue and glitter!

Junior Chefs - Rainbow Salad

momstown is focused on MY SENSES this month, so our Junior Chefs brought in their favorite fruits and vegetables.  We were able to see, smell, touch, and taste them.  The fruits and vegetables were discussed by color starting with red then orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.  As we talked about the fruits and vegetables of a particular color, we would move those fruits/veggies to the corresponding color construction paper.  Once we made our way through the purple fruits and veggies, it was time for tasting.  Each child (with help from mom) sampled every fruit and vegetable on the table.  

Braxton and Chace, two of our Junior Chefs, sampling the Rainbow Fruit Platter. Check out last months post on how to make these adorable hats!

Look at the colorful plates!

Our Junior Chefs learned the importance of eating a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables.  They give you energy to run and play!

Thanks to Lisa for hosting another fun Junior Chefs! 

This article was written by Lisa B, one of our newest blog contributors. When she's not chasing her 2 boys outdoors, she's up to her elbows with glue and glitter! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sharing Breakfast and Making a Difference

Yesterday momstown moms got together across the county to celebrat National Breakfast day.  We learned the importance of eating breakfast and sharing, and of course we had some fun too!

We started off the day with some crafts, making rainbows and learning to count and match up the colours with Fruit Loops. Corn pops are also great for making a pot of gold. The timing couldn't have been more perfect, just in time for St. Patrick's day. There may have been some snacking going on too. How can you resist!

We had circle time too. We discussed the importance of eating a healthy breakfast and read the book Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli.  The kids loved this book and shared their favourite foods. 

We also had some fun with a parachute, keeping the kids active. What kid doesn't love a parachute?!?! 

Did you know 1 in 10 Canadian children (637,000) live in poverty and are at risk of starting their day on an empty stomach?  momstown distributed Kellogg's "Breakfast Kits" to momstown families who we're able to teach their children all about the importance of sharing.

momstown families got to take their cereal home to distribute to local families. Each kit, contained a box of cereal, a bowl, napkin and a spoon, everything you need to start your day with a good breakfast.  We sent our left over cereal to Macdonald Youth Services.

You too can get involved and make a difference. Look for the specially marked boxes of Kellogg's cereals. For every participating box of Kellogg’s* cereal purchased, a donation will be made to Canada’s two largest breakfast charities, up to a maximum of $50,000. 

Take part in the Share Your Breakfast movement on National Breakfast Day and throughout the month of July and join us as we help hungry children. Click here to learn more about how you can get involved.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Enter to Win Tickets to Richard Scarry’s Busytown Busy Show - CLOSED

Guess who's coming to town on March 31! In a brand new live production, Koba Entertainment brings you the theatrical debut of a longstanding classic whose best-selling books and television series' have been enjoyed by families for over 50 years. For the first time ever, Richard Scarry’s Busytown will take the stage and become larger than life!

Richard Scarry’s Busytown: Busytown Busy captures the incredible world of Richard Scarry and follows the adventures of Huckle Cat, Sally Cat, Lowly Worm, Sergeant Murphy, and many of their unforgettable friends.

The Busytown gang is stopping by in Winnipeg on March 31 at 1 pm at the Burton Cummings Theatre. Tickets are available on ticketmaster.

Better yet, want a chance to win tickets? momstown Winnipeg is giving away a family pack of 4 tickets. All you have to do is let us know in the comments what your kids favourite character is and leave your email and / or your momstown user name so we can contact you. Easy peasy!

Contest closes midnight, March 15.  Winner will be randomly selected. Open to all residents in the Winnipeg and surrounding area.


Congratulations to Robin. You won a family pass to the Busytown Busy Show. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

The 10 Positives to Formula Feeding

“Happiness is not something ready-made.  It comes from your own actions.”- Dalai Lama
I’ve kept a journal since I was about 12 years old.  I find journaling to be very therapeutic and it has helped me through some challenging times.  I also journal when I am happy as well.
I would like to share one of my journal entries with you, entitled The 10 Positives.  As some of you may know, I had a breast reduction when I was 18 years old, long before starting a family was even on my mind.  I knew that I would possibly have trouble breastfeeding and I prepared myself for that while I was pregnant.  I met with lactation consultants and did as they instructed and I also bought a $200 Medela electric breast pump. 
On a good day I produced very miniscule amounts, even with the breast pump.  Eventually, the emotional toll of not being able to breast feed Calista caught up with me.  I’ll be honest: a contributing factor to feeling emotionally drained was related to some of the snide, rude and uncalled for comments I heard from people about formula.  I called one person out on her attitude and she apologized for her comments.
I really struggled emotionally with the fact that I was not able to feed my daughter the way nature intended.  Yes, I did it to myself but I was also 18 years old and suffering from severe back pain at the time.  I’m still very happy with my decision to have the breast reduction when I did and I don’t regret it for one moment, even with the issues that came 10 years later.
Breast is best, we all know that but for a number of reasons, some moms are just not able to breastfeed or choose not to in some cases.  Who are we to judge others?  My husband and close friends and family supported me and their support eventually outweighed everyone else’s comments. 
One day I woke up and I all of a sudden I felt 100% better about Calista being formula fed.  It was as if all of the stress I had been carrying with me was lifted off my shoulders while I slept.  I wrote the below entry in my journal to finalize myself coming to terms with what the future had in store for us.  The 10 Positives is my personal list and I’m sharing it with you so that other moms who are in a similar situation as I once was may feel some peace and move on to their next chapter.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I am happy that Calista is formula fed.  Being happy is just simply better then feeling some random, negative emotion all the time.  I will no longer compare myself to others and allow the comments and opinions of others to define how I feel.  Since when did I really care about what others thought anyways?  I refuse to allow this situation to create any more stress in my life.  There are going to be countless situations over the years to come that won’t go as I have planned and as I’ve always done, I have to continue to go with the flow.  I always find a way to come out on top in even the crappiest of situations and this is no different. Here are my Top 10 Positive reasons why I’m happy that Calista is formula fed:
Positive number one: Darcy and Calista can spend as much time together as they want and I don't have to be with them.  There has been some good solid bonding going on with them since she had her first feeding (a bottle) from him right after she was born.
Positive number two: I can go to the gym and not feel rushed because it's almost time for Calista to eat.  I did feel rushed the first time I went to the gym but that was because I was away from my daughter.  Missing Calista is a completely different issue that has nothing to do with her needing to eat.
Positive number three:  I don't need to wear ugly nursing bras.  I've seen some really nice printed ones at boutiques but unless you want to shell out a lot of cash, you're stuck wearing old lady looking bras.  Those went out the window after my breast reduction.
Positive number four: My nipples aren't chapped and my breasts don't hurt.  They're readily available too should there be some free time to play.
Positive number five: I can be surprised with reservations to my favorite sushi restaurant for dinner.  Darcy is super awesome with surprising me!  There are no worries about not having frozen breast milk on hand for the Grandparents to give Calista.  A can of formula and a couple clean bottles and we’re out the door!
Positive number six: Unfortunately society is really closed minded and not everyone is open to a woman breast feeding her baby in public.  So by bottle feeding Calista, those people who would have stared or said something to me have been spared the wrath of Christina.  Regardless of how you feed your baby, you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.  Society and people are crazy!
Positive number seven:  I can get together with my friend and enjoy a bottle of wine over great conversation.  I don't have to worry about passing the alcohol on to Calista.  I can also eat what I want to and not worry about certain foods not siting well with Calista.
Positive number eight: Formula fed babies eat less often than breastfed babies so pretty much right from the beginning, I didn't lose as much sleep as I thought I was going to.  Plus when Darcy is able to, he can feed her allowing me to get some extra rest.  With the exception of a few pockets of nights here and there, sleep deprivation caused by Calista has never really been an issue.
Positive number nine: As much as I love watching Calista grow and develop, I'm looking forward to her being an older baby.  I'm comfortable with her but I'm even more comfortable when babies reach the 5-6 month mark.  I know I'm not alone in this thinking because my friend said that for her second child, she wants to give birth to a one year old and skip the whole newborn and infant stage (I later learned more about Postpartum Depression and discussed the issues more with this friend.)  With Calista being formula fed, Darcy and I have been able to share every single responsibility and that in turn makes life easier for me.
Positive number ten:  Not that I've done this yet, but if I want to go see a movie by myself such as the new Julia Roberts movie Eat Pray Love, I'm able to.  I can even stop and get my brows waxed on the way to the theater; something that needs to be done actually.  Not that I've done this yet either, but I can sit in a coffee shop by myself and just zone out.  When I have time to myself, I can actually enjoy the time because there's no reason to rush...other than the fact that I'm away from my daughter but like I said, that's a whole other issue.
Fast forward to today, I’ve been to a lot of coffee shops and movies by myself since writing that journal entry but I still haven’t seen Eat, Pray, Love.  More importantly, Calista is a healthy, vibrant and happy 20 month old.  I’m very happy too! 
Often times it is difficult to find the positive in a negative situation.  We look and we search for something good but just can’t find it.  I believe that it is because we need to create our own positivity and happiness instead of just looking for it.  We need to be proactive in our game of life.  You are rolling your own dice, not anyone else.
Are you going through a challenging time?  What are your Top 10 Positives?  Create them!

This article was written by our guest blogger, Christina. She is currently a SAHM to an adorable 20 month old. The views and opinions are of our guest bloggers and do not necessarily represent the views of momstown.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr Seuss!

Today is Dr. Seuss' Birthday and of course we had to celebrate with a party! It's the momstown way! This free event was open to the public and we had loads of crafts, games, circle time which included reading Dr. Seuss books and singing songs, cake and some fun times with a parachute! And of course some good times hanging out with other moms while the kids ran around and played.

Patiently waiting for the fishing rods.
Pin the egg on the plate game.
Yertle the Turtle Craft
Cat in the Hat hats
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish fishing game.

Story Time

A special thanks to everyone who came out and to Kildonan Place Shopping Centre for letting us use their centre court!