It’s Our First Birthday!!!

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Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday Newfoundland Mommy!
Happy Birthday to You!!!!

I guess I should have said “to my blog”, but that didn’t sound as nice.

I can’t believe that my website is one year old!! I honestly didn’t think that many people would be interested in what a small-town Mommy from Newfoundland would have to say, but I am happy to say that I was wrong! Not only have I been graced with followers and other readers…but there are people from all over the world reading my posts!

I would like to thank each and every one of you who take time to visit The Newfoundland Mommy. Without you, my website would not exist. Well…it would exist, but with nobody reading it and that would just make me a crazy person posting stuff on the Internet for no reason.

Honestly, thank you all. I toast each one of you and look forward to another year of writing for you.

God bless your cotton socks!

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Alternative Gift Ideas for Children

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With Christmas now behind us, what better topic to write about than gift ideas for children! *dodges tomatoes and heads of lettuce* Woah there!

I waited on purpose to write about this topic. The majority of parents, particularly those with small children, prefer getting toys for their kids at Christmas. After the Holidays are over we run into Birthdays, other special occasions/events and so on. I figured now would be the best time to share a list of alternative gift ideas for kids.

Alternative Gift Ideas for Kids

1) Books – Who doesn’t love a good story? A book is a gift which can bring years of enjoyment.

2) Tickets/Passes – A trip to the movies or a night at the hockey game. Single use tickets are an adventure!

3) Memberships – Why not invest in an annual YMCA membership or a membership to the Zoo? It’s a gift that can be used year-round!

4) Subscriptions – If you subscribe your child to their favourite magazine (ie – National Geographic for Kids), it will be like Christmas once a month! Kids love getting mail!

5) Arts and Crafts Supplies – Sketch books, paint, crayons, popsicle sticks, stickers and clay. Help support your child’s creative side!

6) Restaurant Gift Card – My kids LOVE going out to eat. Why not treat your little ones to their favourite restaurant!

7) Lessons – Help to broaden your child’s mind with a set of lessons. There’s horseback riding, piano, art, swimming and more!

8) Coupons – This is perhaps my favourite gift to give and my kids love them! Best of all, to give them is totally free! Here are some ideas:

– Get out of Time Out free (minor offences)
– Choose What’s for Dinner
– Good for One Fancy Bubble Bath (bath side fancy drink and snack included)
– Good for One Movie Night (at home, any night)
– Mom/Dad will do one of your chores
– Pick the activity for any Saturday afternoon
– Good for one batch of your favourite cookies

There you have it! Toys are nice, but sometimes it’s best to give something a little different.

Too Many Toys!

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Holy moly b’ys, I am up to my yin yang with toys! Of course now that Christmas is over, there are new toys which I had to find places for. After completing my task, I don’t think came to mind “You can’t can have too much of a good thing”!

There’s more to it than the kids simply having too many toys. No matter what is brought into this house, they always revert back to their favourites. What are their favorites, you ask? Marbles, McDonald’s toys, things given to them two years ago, etc. I’m honestly baffled and a bit annoyed!

This Christmas, my children worked very hard on their wish lists for Santa and were so excited about what they had asked for. At the top of my Son’s list was a Zoomer Dino and for my Daughter, a ballerina doll. They delighted in telling everyone about what they were hoping for, even complete strangers at the grocery store! On Christmas morning, I’m sure you can imagine their delight (and the screams, the running around, the jumping on couches…) when they opened their presents and found what they had been wishing for. For hours, we played with their new toys and marvelled on how cool they actually were! The next day…bam…marbles.

Please tell me how lining up marbles is more fun than a dinosaur which is able to move on its own, is able to be trained and it even farts! It’s not difficult to use at all. By the end of Christmas Day, Jack was able to handle the Dino very well. It wasn’t just their main gifts either. All Christmas presents came second to the marbles. It baffles the mind!

Space in our current house is limited and there is no more room for new toys. So, I have decided to put a boycott on toys until further notice. There are SO many other things that can be given rather than toys.

When spring arrives, I’m going to have to go through their toys and donate or sell the things which aren’t used anymore. It’s really a shame since half of their toys are almost brand new…meaning they haven’t been played with much. Besides their favourite toys, my kids are really into art/drawing, crafts and reading. I will have to do more to encourage that.

In the meantime, anyone got a spare bin?

The Beginning of January Blues

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Well, tomorrow is it. First off, it’s my birthday (yay..) and more importantly, it’s the last day for the Christmas decorations to be up. On Old Christmas Day (Jan 6th), everything will come down. Of the 365 days in each year, January 6th is my least favourite day.

I. LOVE. Christmas. With all my heart! As soon as November 12th comes along, I have the Christmas music on all of the time and start to prepare for the upcoming Holidays. By December 1st, my house is decorated inside and out!

For the odd skeet out there who think I’ve been taken over by the “commercialism of Christmas”, keep your drawers on! I keep the true meaning of Christmas very real for my family and we have many traditions which help us keep the spirit of Christmas alive.

I love everything about Christmas. Our traditions, midnight mass, the lights on people’s houses, the smiles on everyone’s faces, the excitement of Children, the decorations in my house and the magic of Santa Claus! People are a bit friendlier, families spend more time together…what’s not to love?!

That’s why I get really down when it’s all over. The world becomes a bit more plain, people forget their manners and life goes on. As the old saying goes “I wish everyday could be like Christmas”. At least…I think there’s a saying like that. Maybe a song?

I shouldn’t be too sad I suppose. If this year is anything like last year, my kids will be singing Christmas carols until June.

New Year’s Resolutions

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It’s the New Year and you know what that means – time for a new, better you! Time to get in shape, get your finances in order, go to Church more, stop swearing and organize your house. How many of you now have raised eyebrows?

Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. It’s the start of a new chapter, if you will. Why not bring some positive change into your life? However, making a resolution just for the sake of making one is pointless. If your heart isn’t into it, if it’s going to feel more like a chore rather than a challenge, then you are setting yourself up for failure.

Here’s another thought…why do people keep going back to the same resolutions? Fitness, finances…those are major lifestyle changes! If you’re ready to commit, then by all means go for it! If you aren’t ready for many major changes in your life all at once, perhaps a more realistic goal would be best.

I’ve made two New Year’s Resolutions this year:

1) Start putting my pictures into albums.
2) Donate one item to the food bank for each day of the year.

One benefits me and the other benefits other people. The picture thing is easy, just something I’ve been putting off. The donations thing is easy too. Each week I go shopping I will pick up 7 items which are on sale (always a dollar or less). At the end of the month, the kids and I will bring it to the food bank.

If you’re not ready for any changes, why not resolve to not make a resolution this year? Haha! Whatever the case may be, I wish you much success!

Happy New Year!!

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Whaddaya at b’ys!? I hope you all had an awesome New Year’s Eve last night. My husband, Troy, and I didn’t really have any plans as such. Perhaps cook some hors d’oeuvres, watch a good movie and bring in the New Year quietly. New Year’s Eve has never been really big with us, especially since we had children. However things didn’t really turn out as we had planned…or didn’t plan rather!

Just before the kids were due to go to bed, we let them watch a TV show about Arthur (the aardvark) celebrating New Year’s Eve with his family. After it was over, Jack and Gabrielle realized that it was indeed New Year’s Eve and wanted to stay up. We didn’t stand a chance, they played the “cute card”.

We were totally unprepared! What were we going to do with a 6-year old and a 3-year old? Well, the night started off with a good game of Monopoly Junior followed by a nice drive around town to see the Christmas lights. We happened upon a fireworks display too! The kids were thrilled! Troy got really excited too and decided to purchase some fireworks of our own. After coming back home, we played Monopoly again and the did our countdown! Jack and Gabrielle were SO enthusiastic and were even more so after we set off our fireworks.

Next New Year’s Eve, I think we will plan more for the kids. Some noise makers (yes, I’m THAT crazy), more kid-friendly snacks and perhaps some of our friends too! Should make for a good time!

Happy New Year Everyone!