What’s on this Mother’s Day in Durham

I’ve left the planning of my own Mother’s Day to the very last minute. I know I can’t be the only one – Mother’s Day can be a struggle because we’re so busy putting our families first, even before ourselves. Here’s my challenge for you this weekend. Make this Mother’s Day about recognizing all that you do for your family and enjoy yourself. If you’re struggling for ideas for things to do, I’ve got you covered:A mother and child hold a paper heart together

Things to do to treat yourself:
– Enjoy a gentle yoga class and free cupcake at Rejuvenation Point studio.
– Forget the diet and enjoy a meal at Baldwin Street Burger.
– Window shop at your own pace at the Oshawa Centre and the Pickering Town Centre.
– Splurge on a bottle of wine at the LCBO and enjoy a glass on your deck.

Things to do with your family:
– Pack the stroller and walk along the waterfront at the Kiwanis Heydenshore Park.
– Visit the Bowmanville Zoo and watch the animals.
– Create a mom and baby handprint keepsake at home.
– Enjoy the sun and new flavours at the Gourmet Food Truck Frenzy.

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First Impressions: Day Care Tours in Durham

First Impressions: Day Care Tours in Durham

Finding information on a prospective day care can be time consuming and exhausting for first time parents. Not only are there numerous factors to consider, but many providers are difficult to contact, aren’t upfront about fees and tours can be tough to schedule with more than one adult attending.

Starting next Tuesday, I’ll be posting a weekly series called First Impressions: Day Cares in Durham. In this series, I’ll be sharing my experiences touring day cares throughout the Durham region. These posts will include any information you can’t already find yourself online – fees, registration fees, opening hours, food menus, staff members and my take on the overall feel of the environment.

I’ll be looking for your input too – If you would like to request a post about a day care or even if you have information about a day care that you can share with other readers, I’d like to hear from you. As always, feel free to leave me a comment or send me an email at themotherhoodscene@gmail.com. All tips, links and reviews are appreciated!

Meet local moms of multiples

If you’re a mom to twins or triplets (or more!) keep your schedule open during naptime today and join this local group. When you have multiple little ones to look after all at once, joining a support group might seem low on your list of priorities. There’s always plenty of laundry to do and that coffee isn’t going to drink itself, right? Well, don’t just trust my advice on this – there are numerous benefits to joining a group for parents of multiples.

The Durham Parents of Multiples logo

Durham Parents of Multiples (DPM) is a local not-for-profit organization that exists to support parents of multiple birth children with support, advice and resources. Members can connect with their community both in-person and online, to benefit from access to continuous support. If you check out the DPM Facebook group you’ll see they’re growing quickly at 135 members, which goes to show that there are lots of local families in a similar situation.

Cost: Membership is $35 per year for a single parent and $40 per year for a family. This fee includes a basic membership to Multiple Births Canada.

 

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Have a playdate at Joeys World Playground

One of the best locations for a moms in Bowmanville to meet for a playdate is Joey’s World Playground. While mostly catered to older kids, there is a basic play space setup for infants. The variety of foam play structures available are best suited for little ones that can crawl, stand and toddle.

A view of the infant play space at Joeys World Playground

You can easily spend a few hours here between naps – There’s a cafeteria-style sitting area with high chairs and seats for both you and baby to have something to eat while you’re there. Joey’s World also sell a variety of adult and kid-friendly snacks and make coffee on site. Now here’s the best part: This place is open until 8pm every day of the week except Monday. These opening hours are longer than most of the indoor play places I’ve visited locally, so it’s earned a special place in my top places to go in Durham.

Joey’s World Playground is located at 380 Lake Road, Bowmanville, and is open everyday from 10am-8pm except Mondays.

Cost: A single play pass is $6.45 for children that are crawling and $9.45 for children that can walk. Adults are free, provided there are only a max of two per group.

Have your baby’s ears pierced

There’s plenty of debate on the hows of getting your babies ears pierced, so it’s worth doing your research before you decide if you choose to have your little one’s ears pierced with a needle or a piercing gun. There is a lot of information out there, but a good place to start is by reading the Association of Professional Piercers position on the needle vs gun debate. There are many clean, reputable and reasonably priced options in the Durham area for whichever option you choose. It’s worthwhile visiting these locations in advance to get a feel for their staff, learn about how staff are trained, check out the cleanliness of the equipment and ask any important questions that you may have.

An infant has her ears pierced

The procedure is fast and most babies will only cry for a few minutes – similar to what you could expect at a vaccination appointment. A staff member will first sterilize your baby’s ears, and then a mark will be placed on the ear where the piercing will be made. You’ll be consulted at this point to ensure that you’re happy with the placement and symmetry of the piercings. Once you’re satisfied, it’ll be time to secure your little one to keep them safe. You’ll be asked to hold your little one’s head securely and their arms down for the procedure. The piercing itself is over very quickly. Some locations will even use two staff members to piece both ears at the same time. Make sure you ask at the beginning of your appointment so you know what to expect.

Recommended locations that use a piercing gun in Durham:

Caryl Baker Visage
Locations: Oshawa Centre, Pickering Town Centre
Cost: The service is free with the purchase of a set of earrings which range from $45-79. You can expect to pay between $59-102 all up, including earrings, tip and tax.

Claires
Locations: Oshawa Centre, Pickering Town Centre
Cost: Ear piercing is free with purchase of Claire’s Starter Kit, which includes a set of earrings and an aftercare solution. Starter Kits range from $48-73, depending on the style of earring that you choose. You can expect to pay between $62-95 for the starter kit, tip and tax.

Recommended location that uses a piercing needle in Durham:

Motor City Tattoo
Location: 640 King Street E, Oshawa
Cost: $40 for both lobes. This fee includes the cost of the initial jewelry, which is made from surgical stainless steel. Expect to pay around $52 in total for the service, including tax and tip.

A few tips for a smooth appointment:

  • Many moms apply a numbing ointment known as Emla cream before the appointment to reduce any pain. You can buy this online or at any local pharmacy for around $18 plus tax. This is best applied 40 minutes to an hour before your appointment.
  • Make an appointment when the location of your choice is likely to be least busy. Typically, weekday mornings are the best time to go when it’s quiet and staff aren’t busy.
  • Locations using the piercing gun will recommended starting with a 14 karat white or yellow gold earring, as this metal is the least likely to cause an infection using their method.
  • Some locations will require proof of your baby’s 2 month vaccination for the procedure. Either call ahead and ask or bring along your vaccination card as a precaution.
  • Infections can happen, so it’s important that you choose a location that has trained staff to perform the procedure. Your piercer should be able to answer any question you have about skin needles and cross contamination.

If you know of any other reputable locations that offer this service or have any tips of your own, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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Take advantage of the First Choice First Haircut Free promotion

I’m not sure when the ‘First Choice Haircutters First Haircut Free’ promotion began but it’s something that I learned about from a few local moms. I couldn’t find anything official on the First Choice website, so I knew I had to investigate to find out more. The official word from the company Facebook page says that this promotion varies by location, but after speaking with upwards of 10 salons in the Durham region they all had the same response: All First Choice locations offer this promotion. Wohoo!

A little boy having his haircut

If I’d known about this a few months ago I would have booked my little one in for a visit here. What’s on offer is similar to what you would get at Melonhead – A lock of your little one’s hair and a certificate, minus a printed photo of the occasion. This is a small consolation considering that you can save yourself upwards of $20 just by visiting any one of these First Choice Haircutters locations locally:

Ajax
65 Kingston Rd East (Harwood and Kingston)
15 Westney Rd North (Westney and Kingston)
105 Bayly St West (Bayly and Harwood)

Bowmanville
87 King St East (Liberty and King)

Pickering
1340 Kingston Rd (Liverpool and Kingston)
705 Kingston Rd (Kingston and Whites)

Oshawa
1051 Simcoe St North (Beatrice and Simcoe)
300 Taunton Rd (Riston and Taunton)
595 King St East (Wilson and King)
1445 Harmony Rd North (Taunton and Harmony)

Uxbridge
282 Toronto St (Cemetery and Toronto)

Whitby
3975 Garden St North (Taunton and Garden)
4091 Thickson Rd North (Taunton and Thickson)
617 Victoria St West (Gordon and Victoria)

Cost: While baby’s first haircut is free at First Choice Haircutters salons, I recommend tipping your hairdresser as if you were paying the full cost of a kid’s cut ($9.50 a visit).

 

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2015 Family Day in Durham: Baby-friendly community events

A mom and baby play together in a pool

Ah, long weekends! While it’s never really time off for mom, the change in pace that a long weekend can bring is always a refreshing change of routine. This Family Day in Durham there are lots of inexpensive activities on offer for you to enjoy with your family:

Ajax
Watch a live children’s show at Winterfest in Ajax.
Pick up a cup of free hot chocolate while you’re at the Winterfest family event. The children’s live show starts at 2pm, so if baby has just finished their nap, bring them along to watch.
Cost: Free


Bowmanville
Take a tour of the Bowmanville Museum.
This building is a restored period home full of information about local history. Perhaps all the walking around you’ll do on your tour will rock baby to sleep?
Cost: Free

Learn about the universe in a planetarium show.
The Ontario Planetarium will be visiting the Bowmanville library branch with their mobile planetarium. Bring along baby for a show of the stars, planets, comets, meteor showers and even, the Northern Lights!
Cost: Free.


Oshawa
To celebrate Family Day, the YMCA in Oshawa will be open.
This location has a heated pool for you to take your little one for a swim. Ask any parent – Babies will always have the deepest naps after playtime in the pool! Well worth the planning to make it there.
Cost: Free. Sign up for the free five visit pass online before you go to save time when you arrive.

Check out the playful, Family Day, science experiments at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery.
The gallery spaces will be converted into a science lab for Family Day so, that means lots of colorful and interesting objects for baby to see.
Cost: Pay by donation. The gallery suggests $5 per family.


Pickering
Watch the ice skating at the RBC Family Free Skate. 
Better yet, take turns ice skating with a family member. Your baby can watch you skate from the sidelines while in a family member’s arms!
Cost: Free.


Whitby
Take the family for a free swim at the Anne Ottenbrite Pool. 
A swim in the pool doesn’t just have to be relaxing for baby, it can be for you too. The pool will be open for two hours so you’ll have plenty of time to arrive and get ready.
Cost: Free.

Contribute to a cooperative art project at the Station Gallery. 
After you’ve contributed to the art project, there is lots left in this gallery for baby to look around and see. I like to think that the calm atmosphere at the gallery will also soothe baby!
Cost: Free.

 

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