Cold Weather Ideas

So I think we can officially begin to admit that winter is on its way now…

Families Forward shared a list of ideas in their Fall/Winter newsletter – and we’re resharing them here for when you find yourself (and your small people) with a touch of cabin fever. They’re all parent + child programs and all either free or super-affordable. They’re all in the River Heights / Fort Rouge area, but similar programs run all over Winnipeg.

Have you checked any of these out? Have any more to add to the list? Comment away!

Rhyme + Storytime @ Harrow United Church

for kids 0 to 5 years

Fridays @ 09.30-11.30

FREE

Parents + Tots @ Riverview Community Centre

for preschoolers

Fridays @ 09.30-11.30

FREE

Ride + Play @ Earl Grey Community Centre

for kids 0 to 5 years

Tuesdays/Thursdays @ 09.15-12.00

Wednesdays @ 09.15-14.30

$2 per child

Mother Goose @ Carpathia School

for kids 0 to 5 years

Tuesdays @ 09.30-11.00

FREE

Family Fun Night @ Carpathia Community Centre

Wednesdays @ 18.30-20.30

FREE

Families Connecting @ Lord Roberts Community Centre

for kids 0 to 1 year

Tuesdays @ 09.45-11.45

FREE

Families Connecting @ Augustine United Church

for kids 0 to 1 year

Wednesdays @ 09.30-11.30

FREE

There are also programs for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers at many of the public libraries. These programs require registration… You can find out more at the Winnipeg Public Library website.

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Wrap-Up: Winnipeg’s Best 2010

Bethel MOMs has compiled a list of Winnipeg’s Best – according to the city’s most important experts (moms!). Without further ado, we present our master list of awesomeness. Get your scrolling finger ready… It’s quite the list!

I’ll do my best to add some links in the coming days so you can check out some of these businesses that might be unknown to you. And feel free to add new ideas in the comments section!

A BIG THANK YOU to all the businesses who provided coupons and giveaways for our moms this morning. I’ll be adding a separate post to acknowledge them as well.

Best Places to Eat

Best Casual Date Night Restaurant

    • Maxime’s
    • Lovey’s
    • Bonfire Bistro
    • Prairie Ink at McNally Robinson
    • Stella’s
    • Yiho Sushi Cafe
    • Sushi Ya
    • One Night in Bangkok
    • Pizzeria Gusto
    • Hu’s on First
    • Naru Sushi
    • The Keg
    • La Fiesta
    • Kawaii Crepe
    • Buccacino’s
    • Massawa

Best Fancy Date Night Restaurant

    • In Ferno’s Bistro
    • The Current (Inn at the Forks)
    • Joey Polo Park
    • Ivory
    • La Scala
    • Cafe Carlos
    • Bistro 7 1/4
    • Hy’s Steakhouse
    • Velvet Glove (ask for Lisandro)
    • The Melting Pot

Best Family-Friendly Restaurant

    • Cora’s
    • Boston Pizza
    • Applebee’s
    • Old Spaghetti Factory
    • Montana’s
    • Stella’s
    • Olive Garden
    • Perkins
    • Burrito Del Rio

Best Restaurant to Celebrate a Birthday

    • Dessert Sinsations
    • Star at the Conservatory
    • Sunday Brunch at the Fort Garry Hotel
    • Old Spaghetti Factory

Best Place to Order a Birthday Cake

    • Sargent Sundae
    • Cake-ology
    • Dairy Queen
    • Piazza di Nardi
    • Roblin Bakery
    • Goodies Bake Shop
    • Double D’s Cheesecake (mixed variety cheesecakes)
    • Maxine (in chinatown)
    • Tall Grass Prairie
    • Sweet S-erin-dipity Cakes

Best Ice Cream / Gelati

    • Banana Boat
    • Eva’s Gelato
    • Sargent Sundae
    • Marble Slab Creamery
    • BDI
    • Nucci’s

Best Coffee + Dessert

    • Prairie Ink at McNally Robinson
    • Starbucks
    • Baked Expectations
    • Dessert Sinsations
    • Crusty Bun
    • Cheesecake Factory
    • Ellice Cafe
    • Double D’s Cheesecake

Best Places to Go

Best Place to Let the Kids Run Out Energy

    • Kidspot at Waverly Baptist Church
    • Ride & Play at Earl Grey Community Centre
    • Portage YMCA/YWCA
    • Lord Selkirk Play Group
    • Kid City
    • St Vital Centre Play Area
    • Indigo Books kids section

Best Place to Pamper Yourself

    • Ten Spa at the Fort Garry Hotel
    • Riverstone at Inn at the Forks
    • Tiber River
    • Urban Oasis at the Clarion
    • Giselle’s
    • For a Good Deal: Aloha Nails or Giselle’s School

Best Outdoor Playground for Toddlers

    • Lots of great spots in River Heights
    • Mulvey School
    • Brock Cordova Park
    • Harbour View
    • Assiniboine Park Zoo

Best Free Family Activity

    • Dakota Water Park
    • Free Family Swims at St James Civic Centre Pool or Sherbrook Pool
    • The Forks
    • Oak Hammock Marsh
    • Wading Pools (Brock + Corydon has a nice one)
    • Walking in Assiniboine Park

Best Family-Friendly Local Festival

    • KidsFest – Winnipeg International Children’s Festival
    • Fall on the Farm – Steinbach
    • Folk Festival

Best Daytrip with Kids

    • Birds Hill Park
    • Grand Beach
    • Local wading pools
    • Falcon Lake
    • Farm visits
    • Gimli
    • Half Moon in Lockport
    • A Maze-in-Corn
    • Fort Whyte

Best Place to Have a Birthday Party

    • Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra hosts birthday parties with an instrument petting zoo
    • Academy Bowling Lanes
    • Children’s Museum

Best Place to Go Trick-or-Treating

    • Wolseley
    • The Rock Church
    • Assiniboine Park Zoo
    • St Vital or Polo Park

Best Kid-Free Weekend Getaway

    • Minneapolis
    • Toronto
    • Falcon Trails Resort
    • Fort Garry Hotel
    • With the Girls: Spa + Yoga Package at Fort Garry Hotel

Best Nursing Room / Family Washroom

    • Sears
    • Polo Park near Customer Service
    • St Vital Centre
    • Goldeyes Stadium

Best Family Photo Location

    • St Vital Park
    • Assiniboine Park
    • St Norbert Monastery Ruins
    • Exchange District
    • Anywhere that’s meaningful to you

Best Kids Haircuts

    • Hair Do Zoo
    • HairFX
    • Tech

Best Place to Volunteer as a Family

    • Christmas Cheer Board
    • Put together Samaritan’s Purse shoe boxes
    • MCC School Kits Warehouse

Best Place to Donate Kids Stuff

    • MCC
    • Crisis Pregnancy Centre
    • Spence Street Thrift Shop

Best Places to Shop

Best Place to Get a Deal on Kids Clothes

    • Value Village
    • Garage Sales
    • Kijiji
    • eBay
    • Sales Racks at Superstore
    • MCC
    • A Children’s Place (sign up for coupons)
    • Old Navy or babyGap (sign up for coupons)
    • Winners

Best Place to Get a Deal on Diapers

    • Superstore
    • AMP Diapers
    • Sign up for Huggies or Pampers Coupons
    • Costco

Best Place to Buy Kids Birthday Gifts

    • Kite + Kaboodle at The Forks
    • The Child’s Place at Grant Park
    • Toys R Us
    • Toad Hall Toys
    • Humboldt’s Legacy
    • eChildren
    • Children’s Museum Gift Shop
    • Lux for Sprouts
    • Chapters / Indigo
    • McNally Robinson
    • Winners

Best Place to Buy Party Supplies

    • Walmart
    • Dollarama
    • Party Stuff
    • BirthdayExpress.com
    • Dollar Store

Best Place to Buy Toys + Activities for a Rainy Day

    • Dollarama
    • MCC – bags of miscellaneous toys for 50 cents
    • Michael’s

Best Place to Buy Kids Gear (strollers, high chairs, car seats, etc)

    • Sears
    • Lux for Sprouts
    • Mom’s + Children’s Paradise
    • eChildren
    • Toys R Us

Best Place to Find Coupons

Best Place to Buy Organic Fruit + Veggies

    • Farm Share
    • Organic Planet
    • Superstore
    • St Norbert Farmers Market
    • Eat It

Best Place to Buy Locally Made Clothes

    • Sew Dandee
    • Brave New World

Best ‘Mompreneur’ Company for Kids

    • Playful Peanut on Etsy
    • AMP Diapers
    • Lilypad
    • Small Potatoes

Best Place to Buy Used Kids Stuff

    • Kijiji
    • Used Winnipeg
    • Baby Bin Boutique
    • Kids Around
    • eBay

Anonymous Commenting

A few of our moms have shared that they’re a little shy about sharing their comments on this website. This is just a quick post to let you know that you don’t need to be!

When you leave a comment, you’re asked to provide a name + email address. Your name is posted for others to see – so it’s always an option to make your name Anonymous (or anything else you’d like). But your email is 100% private, so you don’t need to worry about anyone (even the moderators) knowing who you are.

Thinking About: Bringing Sexy Back

Don’t you love showing up at MOMs, having some thought-provoking discussion, and then leaving with lots to think about? That seems to have been the consensus after this week’s session on love + marriage.

So let’s keep all that good thinking (and sharing) going…

What’s one thing you are willing to commit to do today that will improve your intimate life with your spouse?

Wrap-Up: Love in the Time of Colic

This week’s guest speaker – counsellor Mark Westman – came to us bearing good news and bad news about romance after kids.

THE BAD NEWS: Reality is that you may never be more tired, sexually disinterested, distracted, lacking in free time, and tempted to see yourself as unattractive as you do now. This makes romance very challenging in this stage of life.

THE GOOD NEWS: A great sex life after kids is not magic. If you make changes in these areas you are almost guaranteed that things will be hot and passionate. You have to make a decision and take action.

We had some great discussion, and Mark shared his ‘Top Ten’ tips to reintroduce some sizzle at home.

1. Check your mental attitude.

2. Romance needs privacy.

3. Plan for regular time together.

4. Make room for spontaneous AND planned sex.

5. Create and save energy for sex.

6. Kill the distractions.

7. Create rituals that encourage intimacy.

8. Initiate sex assertively.

9. Stay sexy.

10. Choose to jump in.

In Mark’s words, we need to be realistic about what is required to keep romance and sex after kids. Sometimes one or both spouses will be frustrated, tired, bored, confused, sad… Making time for romance takes hard work, sacrifice, and even discipline – but intimacy with your spouse is worth it.

Romance is the glue that not only hods your marriage together, but your entire family as well. The greatest gift you can give your kids is a passionate relationship with your husband. Prioritize your marriage, and not only will the sparks fly more easily, but you, your husband, and your kids will reap the rewards.

Here’s a list of books that were recommended during Thursday’s chat:

Next Week: Love in the Time of Colic

You’re all moms, and you all know what we’re talking about… The role of ‘mommy’ can be all-consuming, and it changes everything – marriage relationships included.

This week, guest speaker Mark Westman shares his insights on keeping a little bit of romance alive in the stage of life when you’re exhausted and your hair smells suspiciously of baby puke. And he’s doubly qualified to share with us: he’s both a counsellor and a happily married father of three.

See you on Thursday!

Wrap-Up: The Big Swap (and little mommy secrets)

Well, I think we can officially call our first-ever MOMs Swap a success! Just about everyone left with some new (temporary) treasure to enjoy over the next couple of weeks.

But the real story of the morning was Heidi’s talk, where she shared from her heart about the truth of her experiences as a mom. It’s a big job and as many in the group shared, it’s one that isn’t always easy – especially with so many eyes watching and the constant harassment from our very worst critic of all: OURSELVES.

Some of the moms shared about their ‘dirty little secrets’ from motherhood – from little white lies about bedtime to their fear that one of their children will want to play football (SHUDDER).

Now’s the time to spill, girls… What ‘secret’ about mommyhood are you dying to get off your chest?

Swap Ideas (and official rules)

Here are the official rules of our first-ever swap meet:

1. Label items with your name + contact info (phone number and/or email address).

2. If you find something you’d like to borrow, talk to the lender to exchange information and make arrangements to return the item. You can record all the details of your swaps on sheets that we will make available.

3. All swaps are the responsibility of the borrower and lender.

Simple, right?

All that’s left to do is to take a peek around your house and find some items you’d be willing to part with for a couple of weeks. (Don’t worry… If you come empty-handed, you don’t necessarily need to leave that way. Moms who bring items to swap will get first choice of items to borrow, but you’ll still get a chance to borrow – or you can just come and hang out!)

Here are a few ideas to get you started. These are things that other moms are already planning to bring…

Snack + Devotion Schedules Added

We just added a page under ‘All About MOMs’ for our current snack + devotion sign-up schedules.

If you’re not sure what you volunteered for (hey, it happens to all of us!) you can check there. And if you’d like to volunteer, we still have one spot open for snack on October 21 and a devotion spot open in November. Email Leanne – or talk to any of the committee members – if you’d like to sign up! Details on exactly what ‘signing up’ means can also be found in the ‘All About MOMs’ section.

Thanks!