The First Ever Union Station Holiday Market Starts December 1st!

Union-station-holiday-market

 

Holiday pop-up shops are my favourite! I get sick of heading to the same old places to do my Christmas shopping, and when I have shoppers-block (it’s like writers-block, but worse) the best thing for me is curated pop-up market with unique gifts!

The Toronto Market Co. is launching it’s first ever Union Station Holiday Market this year, and it runs from December 1st – 7th in The Great Hall at Union Station.

 

 

http://www.nadege-patisserie.com/the-shop-2/

 

 

There will be over 25 different artisans, designers, and gourmet food vendors. Some of my favourites on the list include NADÈGE Patisserie (their macarons are to die for!), and BRIKA whom I have blogged about in the past.

 

 
Union-station-holiday-market

 

 

Be sure to check out this market while it lasts!

Here are the details:

DECEMBER 1 – 7, 2014

Dec 1: 7am – 7:30pm (opening day)

Dec 2 – 5: 10am – 7:30pm

Dec 6: 10am – 6pm

Dec 7: 10am – 5pm (final day)

The Great Hall is located on the ground floor level of Union Station. It is accessible from Front Street (main doors into the station) as well as the lower levels of the station where the platforms for TTC / Subway, Go Transit and Via Rail are located.
 

 

 

 

Joey’s Big B-Day Bash + New Birthday Theming Launch

m4s0n501

Joeys-world-bowmanville

 

On Monday night our family was lucky enough to be invited to Joey’s Big B-Day Bash at Joey’s World in Bowmanville.

The event was lots of fun with everything decorated for a birthday party, face painting courtesy of Natasha’s Fab Art, and pizza and cake for everyone. There were even cute swag bags for the kids!

 

 

Joeys-world-bowmanville

 

 

Joeys-world-bowmanville

 

 

image

 

 

I have blogged about Joey’s World in the past as I am a big fan of the facility, and I had my son’s second birthday there.

Joey’s Big B-day Bash was to launch their new theming options for parties.

You can now add a theming option to any Joey’s World Party Package, and the themes start at just $7!

 

 

Joeys-world-bowmanville

 

 

Some of the theming options include:

•Angry Birds
•Avengers
•Barbie
•Cinderella
•Despicable Me
•Frozen
•Happy Birthday
•Minnie Mouse
•Monster High
•Planes
•Princess Sophia
•Spiderman
•Thomas

 

 

Joeys-world-bowmanville

 

 

Joeys-world-bowmanville
 

 

Joeys-world-bowmanville

 

 

Joeys-world-bowmanville

 

 

They also have some great banner options where a special message for your child can be personalized and hung on the wall.

 

 

Joeys-world-bowmanville

 

 

Joeys-world-bowmanville

 

 

Our family always has a great time at Joey’s World, and they do an excellent job hosting birthdays parties. Their new theming options cover pretty much everything kids love from Thomas to Frozen. Check out all of the details on their website here!

Joey’s World is located at 380 Lake Road in Bowmanville. www.joeysplayground.com

 

 

 

When is the Right Time to Switch Childcare Providers?

10690105_10154672160160360_9144856823515859508_n

 

One of the hardest choices I think I have had to make so far as a parent has been choosing where I would leave my son when I went back to work. I created a list of questions I would ask when visiting daycare’s, and I obsessed over every detail in each facility from counting heads in each room to confirm their advertised numbers, to studying the lunch menu looking for nutrition. I was pretty nervous about the whole situation. I knew that I had to leave my son in someone else’s care so I had to make a big decision.

I chose a daycare facility that seemed to meet all of my criteria. I really liked the staff working in the infant room, the facility was very clean and seemed well organized, the food served was nutritious, and overall everything seemed comfortable to me. It took a few weeks, but eventually my son settled right in and seemed to love his daycare as much as I did. It had some great conveniences for me too – it was close to home, had very flexible hours, and they even had Saturday care and special date night drop-in offerings. We had a great first year where my son brought home a craft almost every day, and he seemed to really love the staff.

Basically we invested a year into this daycare where we ensured my son was comfortable being dropped off, that he was happy, and that he was learning while he was there.

Unfortunately the second year at his daycare started out rocky. Our son was moved to a new room which is seemed to go seamlessly at first, and we again really liked the staff he was in the care of. Obviously there were a lot of changes anyway – gone were the soothing lullabies playing in the infant room, and instead they were replaced with the shrieks and screams of toddlers using their newfound walking skills to terrorize each other. Nothing out of the norm really – toddlers are a crazy, so we embraced this change of pace.

What we started to notice was that the crafts we used to see daily stopped coming home, mostly because they weren’t being done as often. The daily summary sheet we used to pick up to see how our son’s day went was often not done because things were “too busy”, and when we asked for details on his day it was described as “great” pretty much every day. His naps were starting to get shorter and shorter, and eventually we found that he wasn’t napping at all. Normally for some kids that wouldn’t be a big deal, but our son loves a good 3.5 hour nap. To not have a nap three days in a row, well to be honest I was scared to bring him home because he was beyond exhausted.

We tried to understand some of the reasons for his lack of naps but there didn’t seem be any from the staff, and when we asked about crafts we were told they were still done often. We tried to ask the right questions, but we weren’t getting anywhere.

Here is where I think I made the mistake – I could tell things just weren’t right anymore, but I kept thinking about this investment we had made into this daycare. We spent a year there making sure he was happy and comfortable – how could I just switch him to somewhere else? He would need to re-adjust to a new and potentially scary place. What if he didn’t like a new daycare? What if he missed his old daycare?

I continued to procrastinate until suddenly I realized I was worried all about the wrong things. Our son’s favourite staff member in the toddler room had just left for another care facility, and the new person who worked in his room seemed to terrify him. I noticed he didn’t really say goodbye to her when I picked him up at the end of the day, but one morning when I dropped him off she happened to be there first thing in the morning, and he practically screamed and ran when he saw her. I had never seen him react like that before, and suddenly I realized he couldn’t stay there anymore.

Wow did I feel guilty.

I went on the hunt for somewhere new for my son to go for the days that I had to go into work, and I found a great Montessori school to enroll him in. When it was time for my son to say goodbye to his daycare, he said goodbye to everyone, and the staff were sweet enough to have a party for him. This sweet gesture had me wavering a bit, but we moved on.

His start at his Montessori school was rocky at first as well – he cried for the first two weeks that I left him there in the morning. At the end of the day when I picked him up he seemed really happy, and right off the bat he was napping either one, two, or sometimes two and a half hours. After the second week he was completely settled in. He started to run into school each morning after a quick kiss, and would say goodbye to me before I was ready to say it myself.

The relief I have felt since changing care providers has been overwhelming. I look back now and think that I really should have worried more about the signs that my son was unhappy than the fact that I would need to transition him into another facility. I think the biggest thing that I learned was that I didn’t trust my instincts that something wasn’t right. My son would have a good day at daycare, and suddenly all of the uneasiness I was having could be explained away. I would think that maybe it was just his age that was the cause of him napping less, or maybe he was just going through an irritable stage. What was really going on was that he wasn’t happy, and I should have picked up on that sooner.

When I decided to change childcare providers it didn’t matter to me if he was in a home daycare, a daycare facility, or a Montessori school. After seeing him unhappy I realized more than ever what was most important was that I needed to make sure that he was happy. To see him scared of being left with someone was probably the worst feeling I have had on this two and half year parenting journey so far, and my lofty goal for myself is to make sure neither of us feels that way again!