Thursday, July 13, 2017

Beginner Biking in Mountainview Cemetery


Despite the fact that we bike pretty much everywhere, the kids actually don't ride their own bikes that much. Linnaeus was riding on the road to & from school, plus longer rides on the weekends last summer, but since he got a larger bike with only hand brakes, he isn't road safe again. He needs time to practice & get used to this new bike so that he can stop reliably.

But finding the time & place to practice hasn't been that easy. Our back lane is a great place to ride... when there aren't impatient drivers rat running through it. If we go to a park, the bikes get left behind in favour of the playground or the wading pool. We do have a driveway, but it's not really big enough for Linny to ride around that much.

Just a couple of days ago, I decided to bring the kids up to Mountainview Cemetery for a practice ride. We used to commute to Linny's school through Mountainview while we were at the swing site during the seismic rebuild, but this was the first time we'd gone there just to ride. We towed Linny's bike on our Yuba Mundo & carried Bronte's bike in the Bakfiets to get there, as it's a couple kilometres uphill from us. Once we were in the cemetery, we let them free on their bikes & they rode around for about an hour.

If you haven't been there before, it's a great place to learn to ride with lots of paved roads throughout all the sections of the cemetery, but very little traffic. We saw fewer than ten cars in the hour or so that we were there. The hills are great for helping new riders get some momentum up to start pedalling, & also to learn how to do things like standing up to pedal uphill. Because of all the intersections, you can also practice turns & hand signals.

After we'd been riding for a while, we stopped in the shade under a big tree for a snack. There isn't a lot of seating like benches in Mountainview, but there are quite a few places with a patch of open grass, so you don't necessarily have to sit right on someone's grave. There are always a few neighbourhood dog walkers around, plus the occasional person driving in to place flowers on a grave, but generally, we have the place to ourselves.

The kids had fun & both of them got in some good practice riding, so I think we'll go back more often. Have you ever biked in Mountainview Cemetery? Got any suggestions of other good places for little kids to practice riding in East Van?


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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Bronte 3.10

One of B's actually matching outfits
This past month has been a fun one for Bronte. She finished her first year of preschool, sort of got a cat (a neighbourhood feline has decided to hang out at our house every day), & went bike camping.


I love seeing her personality develop. Her sense of humour has always been there, but besides being a bit of a ham, now she's starting to tell jokes. Her social nature makes travelling more fun, since we end up talking to far more people when she's around, since she's always asking dog owners if she can pet their animal or waving comically at anyone we pass.

She is becoming more & more independent, as well. She regularly helps herself to snacks from the fridge & freezer, often things she shouldn't be eating, like popsicles for breakfast. She loves to pick out her own outfits, which tend to include layers of skirts, clashing colours & patterns, plus fancy sandals. One of her favourite things in the world is temporary tattoos. She always has a random assortment of smudged ones up her arms, as well as some very odd tan lines from previous ones.

Can't wait to see what the next month brings with this energetic & creative little person.


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Friday, June 9, 2017

Bronte 3.9

Apparently she needed whiskers.

Another month has flown by in the end-of-school-year craziness. Bronte is still growing like a little weed, actually hitting a bit above average for height in the growth charts. She's also gotten a lot more--hm, how shall I say?--independent in the past month or so. Nearly every day she decides to try doing something she knows she's not supposed to, like biting chunks of butter or cheese off the block, climbing up to the cabinet where candy is kept & eating her brother's lollipop for breakfast.

She continues to draw & paint most days, mostly on appropriate surfaces. Her taste in dolls has shifted from baby dolls to take care of to Barbie dolls to pretend with. She got attached to a couple of bedraggled knockoff Barbies at a yard sale & they "followed her home". I think we're going to have to get her something a bit better quality though, as these two literally lose heads & limbs on a regular basis.

Mini Micro Footie has gone well & I think we'll enroll her again next year. She's actually quite good at kicking the ball & passing it accurately to another person. I'm thinking of looking for some sort of dance class for her over the winter, since she's so high energy & loves to perform. If you have any suggestions of fun, affordable dance classes for four-year-olds in Vancouver, let me know!


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Monday, May 15, 2017

Bronte 3.8

It's been a busy month, so I'm rather late on B's monthly update. Here's a few pics of April in her little world.

Naps still occasionally happen

She was seriously excited to get to sample peas at Costco. Yep, you read that right: peas.

B joined Britannia Mini Micro Footie--go team Netherlands!

Loves her hand tools, just like mama. She helped out with some floor demolition.



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Friday, May 5, 2017

Jane's Walks This Weekend

I love me a good walking tour, but Jane's Walks are something particularly special. These walks are named in honour of the late Jane Jacobs, an American-Canadian journalist, author, & activist known for her influence on urban studies. Read more on her story here.

The topics vary in each Jane's walk, from public art to affordable housing to the Burrard Bridge redesign & many more. No matter which walk you take, you'll learn something you didn't know about Vancouver!

All are free of charge, plus you can search the listings & filter by things like dogs or bicycles allowed, family friendly, what sort of terrain you'll cover in the walk, etc.

Check out the Jane's Walk Vancouver website here with all the details.



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Monday, April 24, 2017

#Moms30for30 Wardrobe Challenge

A few years ago, I joined in on a fashion challenge called Moms 30 for 30, to try out living with a small wardrobe. The idea is to pick out 30 items of your clothing that you will wear during the 30 day challenge. Not counted in the 30 items are: "specialized" clothing like workout gear or pyjamas, outerwear, underwear, socks. I didn't count shoes or other accessories like scarves, jewellery, or belts either.

I found it easier in some ways to have fewer clothes to pick from. Accessories were more important when the basics were limited, which was fun. I sort of wanted to have a do over with my choices part way through the month though--if you want to read the full story, click here.

I swear I have NO recent indoor selfies
When I got a message in Instagram that Raj of Pink Chai Living was doing the challenge again this May, I decided to try again. I think it might be more fun to do this one in the spring, as the weather warms up--the last challenge was in November, so lots of layers & long sleeves.

I'm still mulling over what my 30 pieces will be, but I'm thinking about sticking to mainly white & black this time around. When I do decide, I'll post a shot of the entire set of clothes like I did last year.

I'll be posting daily selfies of my outfits (instead of just me in my coat, like nearly every one is for the past six months!) on Instagram, hashtagged #Moms30for30, & probably a weekly update here on the blog.

Anyone else want to play along? You don't need a blog or Instagram to do it, nor do you need to be a mom--however you want to join in is fun--but if you do post your outfits on social media, use the #Moms30for30 hashtag. I have to say, doing this challenge helped me realize which clothes I don't wear & what I like to wear better, so it has been easier to purge my closet since then. I also find I get a bit of a confidence boost from creating outfits rather than just putting on clothes.

But don't just take my word for it--head over to Raj's site, Pink Chai Living, to read her seven reasons to join the #Moms30for30 Wardrobe Challenge.


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