Posted in toddler's guide to St. John's

flying colours

Last post from St. John’s, folks. We’ll be saying goodbye to this lovely little city on Saturday, heading home to Calgary via a short holiday in Orlando. I’m hoping that our sunny detour will allow our boxes to arrive in Calgary within a few days of us doing so, but I can’t say for certain when that Toddler vs The Disney Marketing Machine post will be appearing. My goal is to be back online sometime in the beginning of April.

The weather wasn’t really great this morning, but I wanted to take Madeline to see one more thing in St. John’s – the butterfly exhibit at Bowring Park. It’s in their conservatory (though I would personally call it a greenhouse) on the duck pond side of the park (as opposed to the swimming pool side of the park). Madeline and I parked in the lot near the duck pond, and walked up. I thought she’d love seeing real, live butterflies because she’s quite attached to her Time for Kids: Butterflies book and really enjoys the Little Einsteins DVD about the caterpillar/butterfly.

Truth be told, I hardly recognized my little Lepidoptera fan as she cringed and ran every time one flew near her at the exhibit. The butterflies were spectacular (and there seemed to be hundreds), but it wasn’t nearly the fun time I imagined, considering that Madeline was cowering on a bench. One little orange butterfly actually landed on her orange parka, but I thought twice about telling her about it 🙂

Even if Madeline wouldn’t recommend it, I would. Go see the butterflies at Bowring Park. The exhibit runs for a few more weeks. Admission is $5 for adults, and free for kids four years and under.

Posted in a-spoiling we will go, Gear, toddler's guide to St. John's

the things you find when you’re lost

This morning, I loaded Madeline up in the car and set out to run two errands – dropping a spare pair of contact lenses off at my husband’s office and then onward to the yarn shop. The first errand was accomplished deftly enough (considering that we drive to this office multiple times a week), but it was our subsequent journey where things went quite wrong. The yarn shop is located in a part of town that I am embarrassingly unfamiliar with, so I was using my TomTom to get there. Only, I must have inadvertently turned the sound off, so I have no idea what kind of directions it was giving me, I kept driving straight for way too long, turned off somewhere, and I suddenly found myself on the highway to the Irish Loop. Ooops. I took the first exit of the highway, and ended up on Topsail Road. Was there anything good on Topsail Road? Why, yes! St. John’s sole baby boutique, coo chi coo. Hadn’t been there before.

Madeline’s not really a baby anymore, but I did think that maybe this place would stock the Mustela shampoo that I’d been recommended for finally banishing her cradle’s cap, so we stepped in.

Lo and behold, they did carry Mustela products. And tons of other nifty things like Zooper strollers, Hotslings, Babylegs, and Bjorn potties, which I had in the past ordered over the internet, and often from the US (hello, duty fees). They carry Snack Traps, an item that I quested after while in Edmonton this past summer. Manhattan Baby toys, which we liked spoiling Madeline with when we were still in Calgary. And other cool things, too. I offered to buy Madeline a Steady Cup, but she turned me down, saying those were for babies (hee hee!). She tried on a few pairs of SKRs, but the Size 9s were an inch too big, and the Size 8s were a squeeze. Boo.

I’m kind of impressed that the types of things are so much more available domestically than they were when Madeline was an infant, and even more impressed that it’s possible to buy a pair of Babylegs without having to leave St. John’s!

Posted in toddler's guide to St. John's

… got the winter-in-st.john’s-blues ….

A few cures for the winter blahs, all at the Dominion on Stavanger Drive (Cabot Square):

Invest in Kids

Fridays, February 9 – March 9, 10-11 am, Ages 1.5-3 years
There is a different educational theme for each of the five sessions. Each session is supposed to include stories/songs, crafts, and snacktime. A nominal charge of $5 applies. Maximum of 10 children. There is a flyer posted on the community board in the store that has more detailed information, and you must register your child in person.

Little Hands Cooking School

Tuesdays, Feb. 6 – Feb. 27, 11:30-1:00pm, Ages 3 – 5 years
Each week (register separately) a preschooler and parent/caregiver prepare a few different dishes (each week seems to have a theme; it’s best to check the notice on the community board for the actual details). It’s $7 per class, sounds like a lot of fun,  and when I checked, 2.5 year-olds were not yet allowed to sneak in …

Posted in Humour, Little Person Updates, toddler's guide to St. John's

miss manners

Madeline and I went to the Y today, after a three-week hiatus created by snow and our jet-settin’ ways. I was kind of in a blue mood during my workout, but that changed when I went to collect Madeline from playing with her friends in the child-minding room. One of the caregivers came over to me and was gushing about how charming Madeline was. I guess that Madeline had wandered over to her, and then had this conversation:

Madeline: Hi! What’s your name?

Caregiver: I’m Sherrie!

Madeline: Nice to meet you! I’m Madeline! (imagine hand offered for shaking)

And I was told that Madeline ended up repeating this exchange with the other caregivers and the older children. What a little shmoo she is … charming when I’m not around, trying to to flood the kitchen when I am 🙂

Anyway. I heard an exciting announcement on the radio this morning, for anyone in St. John’s who is reading along still. Aliant Winterlude Family Fun Day will be celebrated in Bowring Park on Sunday afternoon, from 1-4 pm. The weather might be okay for some outdoor fun …

Posted in toddler's guide to St. John's

local interest

A random assortment of St. John’s links for today …

There is a new-ish upscale-ish baby boutique on Topsail Road, and they have a website: coo chi coo.

I found a pretty awesome website that keeps a calendar of kid-friendly activities in the St. John’s area: On the Go Kids. I am really loving the calendar feature, even if two of the events listed for every Sunday are predictable skating at Mile One and swimming at the Aquarena.

The terrific playgroup at the CUPW building that I blogged about awhile back has an actual website: Family and Child Care Connections.

Not necessarily St. John’s related: Madeline went to bed at eight last night, and didn’t stir until 6:47 this morning! Whee!

Posted in Designated Link Day, Milk, etc., The Elusive Sleep, toddler's guide to St. John's

Riddle of the Day

It’s like a lame joke: How do you night-wean a two year-old toddler?

Why, very gently.

Madeline and I have made good progress with the weaning project. The night-time nursing sessions have been gone for over a month now, and I’m feeling so much better. And we’re both sleeping better, which is also a good thing.

I did this on my own, and thus prepared myself to face hours of inconsolable wails. A few days before Night 0, I told Madeline that very soon I wasn’t going to have any milk for her at nighttime, but that she and I still could cuddle. On Night 0, before tucking her into bed, I told her that if she woke at night, I wasn’t going to have any milk for her; night-time was for sleeping, but that if she was hungry she could have some Cheerios, or if she was thirsty, she could have a drink of water.

Sure enough, Madeline did wake up shortly after midnight. She howled in my arms for about six minutes, but then asked for water and Cheerios. I tucked her back into her crib, and I didn’t hear from her again until morning. I was shocked. I guess that sometimes it *is* possible to reason with a toddler!

The second night was similar, except she was angry for a much shorter amount of time. These days, Madeline usually wakes up once and calls for me, but it’s a quick bed-side visit. Most of the time she merely asks for her cup of water to be refilled or a cuddle, and then she rolls over, taps her Ocean Wonders Aquarium on, and re-assumes her sleeping position. Two nights ago, she actually slept from 8:30pm – 7:15am without requiring my attention at all. Amazing!

Friday Links: The Carseat Version

  • I stumbled upon Kids in Safe Seats, which is a volunteer organization promoting the safe use of carseats in the province of Newfoundland. Their information about the importance of staying rear-facing longer isn’t up-to-date, but they do hold free seat checking clinics (and the schedule is on the website). The neat thing about this organization is that they’ve been keeping stats on correct and incorrect installations since the fall of 2000. Thus far, only a little over 6% of parents are using their carseats correctly when brought for inspection. I’m stunned.
  • One of the other parents on the parenting forum I’m a member of posted a link to Top 10 Cars for Kids in Car Seats, and it’s a really good article! To date, I’ve installed Madeline’s Marathon in an elderly Ford Tempo, a Toyota Camry, a Toyota Tercel, a Chevy TrailBlazer, Mazda Proteges of both the sedan and hatchback varieties, a Nissan Altima, a Mazda 6 sedan, a large Lincoln something-or-other, a Chevy Malibu Maxx, and now, a Ford Escape. Let me tell you, bumpy seats, oddly angled seat-backs, and protruding headrests are the bane of my existence. I agree with the article naming the Malibu Maxx to their Top Ten – the rear seatback reclined so I could get a better fit with Madeline’s carseat, and the entire rear bank of seats could be adjusted back so that there was plenty of room. My next fave would be my Tempo back in Calgary. It’s too old to have anything other than a plain-jane backseat.
  • Car Seat Safety with Winter Coats is another timely article about how to check that your child’s warm winter gear doesn’t compromise the performance of their carseats. Everyone knows that thick coats are a no-no, right? Even if you live in Alberta and it’s 48 degrees below zero with the windchill factor it’s a no-no 🙂 Jokes about my traditional winter home aside, please read this article and make sure your little person will be safe in a crash. Keep the thick and puffy coats in the car in case you need them, but they don’t belong in a carseat.