Tag Archives: Playing

These Days




Just in the past week or so Eli has started to actually play. It’s still crazy toddler playing, but he’s finally sitting down or sitting at the table and occupying his time with toys instead of just wandering around the house carrying things or moving random objects from here to there. It’s nice. Really nice. I think that part of it is that Rhys and Amelia sit at the table a lot and Eli wants to be up there doing something as well. He’s all about cars and trucks, like most little boys. He can’t say a single word but he can make loads of sound effects already.

Now that the weather is warming up and our snow is quickly melting we are taking lots of walks around the block. Sometimes he walks and splashes in the puddles and sometimes I push him in the stroller. We are both loving the fresh air after being cooped up all winter long. Its fun to see his world open up; new smells and sounds and sights. He’s clearly enjoying himself.

I’ve been busy with the house and kids and husband, as per usual. I moved all of my living room and dining room furniture a few days ago and swept and moped everywhere. It was so clean and shiny and sparkling. Today? It looks like a dirty stuff bomb went off. There are muddy footprints all through the house (husband), there are tiny cars scattered about (Eli), there are clothes all over (Amelia), there are Lego bits and loom elastics and pine needles. It’s a never-ending tedious job that makes me drink at night.

But that’s life. Clean one minute and messy the next.



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She Sells Seashells.

Today’s learning activity is brought to you by the letter S!

Are your kids bored with summer already? Rhys told me yesterday that he wanted school to start today. Oi! We’ve got another month and a half to go! I have the kids doing some reading (we’ve been visiting our library quite a bit), book reports, art journals and Rhys is working on a grade 2 math book, but they still have days where they lose their interest and start to go stir crazy.

 The kids decided they wanted to explore sea shells today. It’s amazing how kids can be enthralled with simple nature items if you pair them with a little bit of guided learning. Rhys and Amelia thoroughly enjoyed exploring each and every shell (as well as some rocks, feathers and a couple pine cones).  I let them take some time just turning them around in their hands before I sat down and had them  look at the shells in different ways.

What colours do you see?

What shapes can you find?

What are the different ways we can sort them? Big, small, similar, broken, shiny, smooth?

What do they feel like in your hands?

Which one is your favourite?

When they became slightly bored with just looking at them I brought out some paper and got them to trace and draw some of their favourites.

Afterwards, we ended with a game of ‘Where’s That Rock?’ in which we lined-up 4, 5 and then 6 seashells and hid a little pebble underneath one of them. The kids took turns changing the location of the rock and order of the shells to try to stump one another. As it turns out, Amelia was surprisingly really good at getting it right on her first guess (which irritated Rhys like no other)!

The seashells held the kids attention for quite some time, enough time for me to start thinking about what else I can dig-up around the house or yard that they can learn about and explore.

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A Little Bit of Life (or Yes Mom).

My children hear ‘no’ a lot. They also frequently hear ‘don’t’ and ‘shhhhh’ and ‘stop’. I used to be much more relaxed when it came to my children and what they did. Not that they were running around chaotic all of the time, quite the opposite. I had things planned for the day for them. We did crafts and activities and played and went on adventures. I feel like I’ve been slipping for quite a while in the area of having fun with my children or facilitating fun and creativity and bonding.

I follow a group of Facebook called ‘Play at Home Mom’. I really enjoy seeing the posts and comments on the things they are doing with their children and how they try to say ‘yes’ a lot. It’s inspired me to work on my mothering and get back to where I used to be.

Yes, you can take the mini-mop and clean the floors with me.

Yes, you can have a handful of fruit loops and be creative with your breakfast.

Yes, we can paint our nails so that they are pretty and matching.

Yes, we can walk to Timmies after school and you can get that huge Jets doughnut.

Yes, you can help me wash the dishes.

Yes, I will sit and colour a beautiful garden with you.

Yes, I will take a picture of you being a goofball with your magnifying glass on the stairs.

Sometimes I forget that my children are dealing with a lot of change as well. They need to have those days that are wins; moments where they see in a very tangible way that mom is on their team, cheering them on or playing right along side them.

On a totally separate note, here is my littlest niece, Coralise, getting eaten by a fish…


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With My Boy.

Rhys went to a birthday party at the Manitoba Children’s Museum yesterday. They recently renovated so I was excited to see what they’d done with the place. I showed-up at 1:30pm for the 2:00pm party so Rhys and I could take a few minutes to walk around and see the place. I figured that would give me enough time to walk around and still be early for the party.

We got to the front desk and gave the girl the name of the boy whose party Rhys was attending. She furrowed her brow and said, “my, you’re here early”…which I’m fairly used to hearing since I’m compulsive about being timely. I told her that I wanted to be there a bit early to see the new building. She told me that I had more than enought time to look around because the birthday party didn’t start until 3:00pm. Ugh. My bad. I’ve been scatter-brained for the past few weeks so things like this are happening more and more frequently.

It worked-out well in the end, that is, after I took a breath and got past my initial frustration. It was just Rhys and I, something which doesn’t happen often. We had a little date and played at the museum for an hour before his friends showed-up, just me and my boy.   I really like the new layout, the design and the use of colour. With that said, I wouldn’t ever go on a Saturday again…

I left Rhys at the party after it started and went back to the house to get James and Amelia. We made our way back to The Forks, grabbed some mini-doughnuts and then went to get the boy. Because Rhys was there for a party we all got in for free so while Rhys was finishing-up we let Ammie snoop around and explore the space. The highlight of the whole day was watching Rhys spend 90% of his time at the water table and the building station (which didn’t surprise me at all. give him anything to do with engineering and you won’t hear from him for a few hours) and then seeing James gravitate to the exact same station to do the exact same thing. Rhys is so much like James that it’s shocking.


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A little bit of life – Summer Edition.

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Sorting Table.

The other day, while I was on one of my many trips down the long hallway of Rhys’ school I spotted some tables pushed-up against a wall. There were little signs on each of them that read, “If you want it – Take it!” The tables sat fairly low to the ground with solid wood legs and signs of years of use all over them…farmhouse-ish even. Unfortunately the signs were both crossed-out with some lucky persons name written underneath the heartbreaking ‘yougotheretoolate’ X. I thought about those tables for a good half-an-hour after I left the school. Oh, the possibilities!

The next day when I walked back into the school – lo and behold – another table! A better table! This one was a bit taller, a bit darker and a bit more beat-up with big square legs and dovetailed corners. What a beauty. I waisted no time in getting my name on it. I found out that it is an old Canada Post sorting table. Furniture with a story behind, my favorite.

The kids have a play table already. When I was pregnant with Amelia, James and I went down to Ikea and bought the kids a little table and chairs set. It has served them well but I’ve recently realize that the kids have out-grown the table. It’s meant for regular sized 2 & 3 year-olds…not overgrown 4 & 6 year olds. The kids don’t even like playing at the table anymore since it’s too small for them to spread-out their colouring or Lego.

A little while after the sorting table found its new home in my front window Rhys brought his army toys up and took over. The good guys (because Rhys is always the enemy) actually had room to spread-out and develop strategies!

I really liked the table when I first saw it but I fell in love with the table once I saw my kids playing at it.

(isn’t it the best?)


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Pink Lego.

Ammie asked for two things this Christmas.

1. a pink scooter.


2. pink lego.

I was fortunate enough to actually find a pink bin of pink lego, not duplo…lego! I was so excited because I knew that she would be so excited. She sits and watches her older brother play with his lego all of the time. Every once-in-a-while he’ll let her play with him, but it’s all boy stuff and boy colours. The thought of her being able to pull out her own bin of pretty lego made me happy. No more asking, no more dissapointment.

She was THRILLED when she tore off the wrapping paper to see that mommy had indeed listened to her requests and found what her little heart wanted. She’s been building and building and building. Granted, that is Rhys’ hand in the picture but Ammie has it made now. Rhys loves to build and she loves to play with his creations. Now he can build her tractors and kitty cats and he can be the farmer and she can be the horse. It’s worked out rather well.

And, I’m not gonna lie, I enjoy building with the ‘girlie’ colours way more than with the gross ‘boy’ colours.  So much prettier. (And I have to point out the lovely flat screen tv that is sitting behind the yellow house. Those lucky lego people…)

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