Date Night!

It’s Thursday! And in our family it also means Date Night! I grew up watching my parents rarely miss a date night once a week. It was so important to them to make time for each other and even more important for us as their kids to see it. It must have worked because they have been married for 45+ years! It definitely created a sense of security in my life seeing my parents show their love for one another and putting aside one night a week without the kids to entirely devote to their relationship. In growing up with this I have realized that it might be one of the most important investments we can make for our relationship and the happiness of our family. ⁣

My husband and I have been carrying on the same tradition that we saw growing up with our families. Sometimes it’s not always easy with two small kids and the responsibilities and daily life but it’s an opportunity to catch up on the ups and downs of the week, a time to listen to each other, share our concerns, plan our goals for our family and just time to regroup, recharge and reignite the romance.⁣

Hygge

“Hygge” I’m sure youve heard this word before. It seems to be the latest craze. Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish word for the art of coziness. A word used to describe a feeling or a moment.

Did you know that both Stina and I are Scandinavian? Stina is of Danish heritage and I am of Norwegian heritage, however I never heard of hygge until I married into a Danish family. We definitely practiced hygge, candles were lit, the fire was on, cozy blankets were around and there was always lots of family but I never actually knew there was a name for this.

When I met my husband’s family I began a whole new appreciation for the meaning of hygge and it didn’t take long before I was regularly practicing it in my house and with my own family.

Here we are having a very hyggelig evening. ⁣
(Cozy, homy, delightfully intimate, often at home with candle lights and warm blankets) ⁣

Today I Almost Threw in the Parenting Towel

Today I almost threw in the parent towel. I went to pick my children up from the spring camp that I had signed them up for. I thought today will be the day I will walk in and I’ll be able to do it without the stroller. We made it in fine with a little struggle. My arms were full with bags and I had a toddler on my hip and one holding my hand but we made it in. When the camp was over I went to pick them up and brought them out and we made our way slowly to the car.

As we were leaving and walking down the steps, all of a sudden whining started to happen, snacks were being requested and they wanted a treat from the store inside the building. I had nothing for them and I definitely was not going to stop for a treat while my hands were full. I thought “Oh no here we go! “I could feel an epic meltdown coming on. So as we walked out to the parking lot I continued to remind them that that we would have a snack when we got to the car but that wasn’t enough. Both, at the EXACT SAME TIME dropped to their knees in the middle of the parking lot and started kicking and screaming. Cars were coming from all directions and my hands were completely full with bags and of course spring art projects that they had made at their camp. I literally froze and didn’t know what to do. I thought to myself, “ How am I going to make it to the car without looking like I am kidnapping these children or that I’m a complete failure as a mother and I have no control over my children?”

As I was trying to pick up the pieces, this lovely lady noticed my struggle and came over, tapped me on the shoulder and in the sweetest voice like an angel from the heavens said, “Can I help you?” I looked at her with I’m sure a look of relief and said, “Yes please. “ as she grabbed one of my kids and I grab the other we made it back to the car.

She talked to me and told me about how she remembers these times and that she was in my place 30 years ago. She said it’s one of the hardest times but you will get through it and you’ll look back and actually miss it. So thank you to the lady from the heavens because who knows what would have happened.

What a great reminder. Instead of judging people ask how you can help.

Reading, Do You Know the Facts?

This is my sweet boy all cuddled up and reading to his bunny. It’s a rainy day in Vancouver and I thought I would share some facts about reading to your children. ⁣

⁣I’m sure you’ve heard over and over again how important it is but I think sometimes knowing the facts can help. It has for me. I’m trying really hard to devote at least 10-15 minutes of reading a day to my kids. That doesn’t seem like a lot but that’s about as long as they’ll sit for right now. 😌You have to decide for your own kids what they can handle. ⁣Here’s the facts! ⁣

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The more you read to your children the more they will build a love themselves for reading. ⁣⁣

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Daily reading is crucial for building fluency and language development.⁣⁣

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Reading to your child strengthens your bond between each other.⁣⁣

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Reading stimulates their imagination and helps them gain a better understanding of the world around them.⁣⁣

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Reading helps to develop better listening skills.⁣⁣

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Reading helps them to understand written words.⁣⁣

⁣⁣and reading helps build vocabulary skills. ⁣⁣

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So curl up with your little one and READ away!!⁣⁣

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Our Journey with Potty Training

I did a post on Instagram about our journey with potty training about two months ago and I wanted to update you on our progress. Well…it’s not what we expected but we’ll take it! Read on to hear our story and find out how it ends.

Potty Training! We’re in the thick of it! Currently I’m training both my boys, because, of course, the youngest is curious and wants to join us every time the oldest is on the potty. Why not do both?! 🤷‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️

Stina is also starting with her little boy too. So, we have three boys learning how to use the potty right now under one roof! I’m sure you can imagine the 💩 show around here, literally!

I’m trying everything with my oldest son! He’s coming around but it has taken a month of countless accidents, bribery begging and pleading. I’m pretty sure my house reeks of pee and of course scented candles from trying to hide the pee smell. TMI? 😬 I know there are other parents going through this right now or that have gone through it and are on the other side. It’s no joke, especially with boys!

About two weeks after this post I decided enough is enough! It was too much pressure on everyone and I was really sick and tired of cleaning up accidents. My oldest had zero problem with “going” in his underwear. Confusion, frustration embarrassment and anger set in. I was so over this whole potty training thing and thought this just isn’t for us right now. I took the approach that we just weren’t ready and it was time for a break. We thought ok we’ll try again in late spring.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that my youngest was taking it all in! Every reward I bribed my oldest with, every time I begged and pleaded, every time I did the potty dance when he just sat down on the toilet and nothing even came out, HE WAS TAKING IT IN.

About two days ago my one and a half year old tapped on my leg and said, Mommy pee pee!” I said, “you have to go pee?” “YES!” He said. So off we went to the potty and just like that he sat down and went PEE!!! I couldn’t believe it! We stood up and did the potty dance like you wouldn’t believe and literally had a party. I was so proud! At that moment I realized that it was nothing to do with me and not knowing how to potty train my child. (Yes, I got down on myself about that.) It was about The fact that one of them was ready and the other one was just not. Simple as that. I think we go into panic when our kids don’t keep up with the “milestones” when sometimes it really is just a readiness thing. I have no doubt in my mind that my oldest will go when he’s ready and right now for him, pressure is not doing anything but harm. So as of right now I have an almost 4-year-old in diapers, who likes to, let’s say, encourage my almost 2-year-old to go on the potty so he can get a jellybean too, and an almost 2-year-old who is totally potty trained. Who would’ve guessed?

Here is Wesley using the potty!

Here’s his cousin who’s practicing too!

Learning Activities

Here are a few ideas and suggestions for ways to spend quality time with your kiddos while keeping their brains (and yours!) active and having fun together anytime!

Ideas for Pre-school and Elementary aged learners:

Check out your local library for books and activities ⁣

Read books together outside under a tree or inside on the floor⁣

Go to the museum or the aquarium and notice all the signs around⁣

Have your kids write a journal⁣

Incorporate math into every day activities like estimating grocery bills, counting collections of toys, baking cookies ⁣

Make learning into games (check out Bre’s learning activities for pre-schoolers in our highlights) ⁣

Drawing letters or words in the sand at the beach, making mandalas with found materials ⁣

Puzzles⁣

Build a lemonade stand and have them help with the money⁣

For more details and ideas, check out our blog post! And don’t forget to follow along in our stories to see what we get up to with our kids this week.⁣

Ideas for Pre-school aged learners :

Matching lowercase and uppercase letters with magnets ⁣

Colour sorting with stickers on construction paper.⁣

Sorting shapes in an ice cube tray.⁣

Alphabet fishing in the bathtub. Use alphabet magnets and asked them to pull out the letters that you call out.⁣

Car parking in an old box. Match the colour of the car to the colour in the parking stall. You’ll have to get creative and use felts for the parking stalls. ⁣

Create an alphabet hunt in the house. Tape letters all over the house and yell out the letters and tell them to go and find them and bring them back to you.⁣

String Cheerios. This is great for fine motor practice.⁣

For videos on how you can do these activities visit our instagram page @themindfullmommies