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Our Snow Day .. Rainbow Snowman

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I had to work yesterday when Vancouver got hit with the annual ONE Day of snow.  I enviously watched my Facebook feed of family and friends playing in their backyards building snowmen and plopping into the snow to make snow angels.

As usual today  the temperature is warmer and the snow is slushy.  On the way to give Auntie Robin her gift Little A picked up some snow and threw a snowball at me and started laughing  her little head off.  OH GAME ON!  I picked up a bit of snow – hey good packing snow.

We were going to make a snowman,  not just any snowman – a rainbow snowman.  We built a snowman, went hunting for rocks and branches, grabbed a carrot and some cranberries – for the nose and eyes of course.

Then I grabbed her paint and it was time to make this snowman the coolest dude on the block.  Little A was so engrossed in painting her snowman.  She made buttons, pants, painted a smile, added hair and cheeks.

Who needs fresh snow!  We had a Blast outside!

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Pickpocket – Oh No He Didn’t

It started off as a great Tuesday morning. No rain (big for this week), meeting a lovely friend and her mom for breakfast then heading to the burbs for a playdate.

Little A wanted to take her puppet “Pegasus” in her little stroller over to the restaurant which is only a couple blocks from our house. Sounded like a good idea. I couldn’t resist a quick iphoto along the way of her with her mini stroller. So I dug my phone out of the “activity bag”.

Tuesday Stroll in the hood

Tuesday Stroll in the hood

After snapping this photo I dropped my iphone back into the activity bag’s side pouch. I have a big purple bag that I take with me to restaurants and on playdates. It is frustrating when a toddler who is bored and starts to misbehave while you wait for a meal to arrive. My activity bag is usually loaded with snacks, extra clothes for accidents along with various activities to keep her busy (play doe, paint by numbers, crayons, dice etc.). Today the activity bag also included her water bottle and a full lunch (sandwich, strawberries, carrots, cucumbers, fishes) for the playdate later.

Here is  the big activity bag, note the side pouch

Here is the big activity bag, note the side pouch

It was 9am so Main and Broadway was busy with pedestrians late for work or heading to Tim Hortons for their morning coffee. We were happily waiting at the corner eager to see Aunti Robyn and her mom. I was a little more aware of my surroundings because it was our first time out with Little A’s stroller – it was another thing to be concerned with my hands full and wanting to safely manoeuvre across the street.

I bent down slightly and at the same time shifted my big bag to be more behind me on my shoulder. I felt something hit it. I turned to say sorry to the person I assumed I had wacked with my mega bag (trust me it is not light). I turned around to notice MY iphone going into the inside pocket of SOME DUDE’S coat!

hey that’s my phone – my brain screamed very quickly at me. GAH! my phone!

“HEY DUDE!!!- NICE TRY BUDDY!!!” I said to this stranger as I ripped the phone from his hand. It was pure instinct there was no thought involved.

I can’t believe I just reached into this jerks coat and grabbed my iphone back – Now it just cracks me up. But then all I could think of was quickly get my phone then turn back to my daughter and make sure she wasn’t rushing out onto Broadway (thank God she knows the little red hand means do not go).

The guy didn’t put up a fight at all, he kinda smirked at me and then walked away. Yep just walked away. I didn’t yell “help thief”, or “stop”. I wanted out of the situation, more importantly I wanted to get my daughter out of that situation right away. My heart was racing – its a busy street, so much bad could have happened, this man could have pushed me onto the road, or knocked over my daughter That scared me more.

I got her across the street safely and rushed to the restaurant, of course calling my husband right away to calm my nerves, that and a boozy coffee.

I have a vague description of the guy and probably won’t recognize him if he ever walks past me again. But when I grabbed my iphone from inside his jacket I did snap a photo – I find this funny but at the same time it unsettles my stomach

 inside the suspect's jacket

inside the suspect’s jacket

So I’ll NEVER drop my phone in the outside pouch where it is easy to scoop, and realized I have the fight instinct first, although it is quickly followed by flight instinct.

I do feel a bit like a superhero crime fighter, but I’d prefer to stay in my Peter Parker/Clark Kent uniform.


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Where are the tots gyms this fall?

Children need to climb and run and jump and did I say run… Sometimes Vancouver rain keeps us from being able to be outside for a longer period of time.  The community centres are a parents saving grace when the November rains hit.  What to do? What to do?

Most of you know I have moderate a facebook group called Families Against Boredom   I started the group to invite anyone to post family events in and around Vancouver.  Tonight I sat down and went through all the local community centres to find out when they had Tots Gyms (open playtime for children under 5)

So here is the list  of Community Centres that have tots playgyms  and a great consolidated document from VSOCC:

Champlain Heights Community centre has Sunday playgym ages 0-5 9:30-11:30

Coal Harbour has a variety of playgym times every day (9:30-11:30, 12:00-1:30, 3:30-5:30)

Creekside Community Centre (Olympic Village ) has playgym on every day of the week see link for times. (either 9:30-12:30 or 2:30-5:30)

Trout Lake Community Centre has a play gym on Sunday mornings from 9:30 am to 11:30 am.

Dunbar Community Centre has Tots gym Mon- Fri 11:00-12:30

False Creek Community Centrehas tots gym morning of Mon, Wed. Fri. Sun.

Hasting Community Centre has tots gym Tues, Fri. Sat. 11-1:15

Hillcrest Centre has tots gym Mon-Fri 10:45-12:15 and one on Sunday

Killarney has tots gym Tues. Fri, Sun mornings

Marpole-Oakridge has a Tues. Midday and Sat am tots gym

Mount Pleasant Community Centre Mon-Sat. tots gym 10:15-12:15

Renfrew Park Community Centre Monday family gym 9:40-11:30

Roundhouse Community Centre Tots gyms Mon-Thur and Sat. various times

Sunset Community Centre Playgym Mon, Wed-Fri 10-11:30

Trout Lake Community Community Centre Tots gym Mon-Fri 10:00-12:00

West Point Grey Community Centre Family playtime Sat. and Sun 10:30-12:00

West End Community Centre Playtime Mon-Sat various time

there’s a FREE drop-in for kids 0-5 at Kimount Boys & Girls Club at 395 East 6th Ave (at Prince Edward), Mondays & Tuesdays from 9.30 to 11.30am every week

VSOCC list of Services for Families in the Downtown Core

I hope this helps any reader when the rain makes us all a bit stir crazy.  Sometimes there’s even bouncy castles = Heaven to two year olds

Little A – last November (working mom doesn’t get much of a chance to enjoy the tots gyms these days)

I have a Facebook group called Families Against Boredom (F.A.B) where I like to share Vancouver family events I think might be interesting.  My goal for F.A.B is for everyone to have a comfortable place to ask for advice, give advice – a sense of community even if we live in different municipalities. Check it out and join in the conversation.

We are all new to parenting at one point.  Regardless of the debate : living in the city vs. quieter suburbs or small towns. I say make the most of where you live.  I’m lucky to be living in Vancouver.  I can hike, sit at the beach, see great art, and music.  I have access to elite classes or  community courses for my daughter – wherever she ends up – I have access.

There’s so much in our own city to enjoy.  Searching can be overwhelming.  FAB takes a bit of the search out for you.  And you have opinions from other parents… how good is that.  Sometimes we don’t have time to read a whole blog review about an event or park.  F.A.B is quick- as a parent you need quick.

Somedays all I have time for is a quick scan of my Facebook updates on my phone.  I hope Families Against Boredom grows and more people add events they like, or upcoming festivals, great playgrounds.  Please join and lets see where it leads you and me. Families Against Boredom