A Year of Kindergarten & Preschool

When Aiden entered Kindergarten this year, I knew he was ready. Though he’ll always be one of the youngest (and probably shortest) kids in his class, he rose up to meet every challenge. Aiden blossoms in school. It suits his needs for structure and for socialization – two things he’s always needed – and he grew so much emotionally, socially and as a student as well. He has made a lot of new friends, is engaged in school, and is excited to learn. We were very lucky both with class composition and with teacher and I’ll forever be grateful that his first year in so school was so special.

Aiden’s favourite classes are music and library time, though he also loves math, reading and art activities at school. 

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Though we don’t hear much from Aiden about his days at school, he looks forward to each and every day and always comes out with a smile (and a hungry tummy!). I’m so proud of all he’s achieved this year. And just look at how much he’s changed! Onward to Grade 1 now (eek!)

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Damien, as well, had his first half-year of Preschool, starting in January. As a May baby, he’ll be starting Kindergarten at 5.5, instead of the nearly 5 that Aiden was. While I’m ok with this, it will mean he’s in preschool for a longer time (2 more years) and, given his engagement at school and his keen interests in learning, he may be quite ready by then. He’s already showing interests in learning to sound out words!

Damien did really well in preschool, adjusting quickly to drop-offs (most of the time), and learning to play with other kids (most of the time). He’s spirited and independent, with most of his interests being in very solo activities (making music). That said, he is learning to branch out into parallel play with other kids who have other interests, and this is nice to see. Occasionally he’s struggled with aggressive tendencies, but it has come and gone. We’re working on it and I feel he’ll be a different kid once September rolls around again. 

Here’s to a Summer of adventures!!

Decals Are The Easiest Way to Redecorate

Not for the first time, I have turned to decals to redecorate for the boys. For 3 years, Aiden has had a cute train decal in his room (which was his first upgrade from his nursery style), but he’s grown up again (eek!) and it was time to reflect that in his room.

Though his room is still painted the baby-green colours, Aiden’s yet to notice that (yay!) and so I’ve simply made changes where we could. He has Star Wars sheets with a simple blue comforter cover, which will allow us to modify his room without fully investing in new bedding. Sheets are inexpensive to change! I upgraded his curtains from green stripes to plain blue. And I purchased new wall decals. 

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Given his room is already covered in Star Wars art, and Star Wars is more “acceptable” to us geeks than Pokemon for decor, I researched decals and again went back to etsy for my purchase. There were more decals than I could have ever imagined, but I opted for the X-Wing because it is so striking, and the black seemed simple. I carried it through with some very inexpensive decals I picked up on Amazon

It was so fun to surprise Aiden with his room makeover!!

A while ago, we surprised him with a new bed (from Costco). Though we had a convertible crib, we always thought we would move to a larger house soon, and that never happened. With the addition of more furniture to his room (side table, book case), a double bed would have eaten up too much floor space. In the end, we’re happy with the bed we purchased! We have so far kept the crib, in case we ever do want the full matching furniture set in a larger house (or wish to sell it). Costco has great bed selections – we love the storage on this one! – and even many trundle beds, another great option.

Fishworks in North Vancouver: A Review

Despite living in North Vancouver for many years, we ate at Fishworks for the first time this past Sunday. Fishworks was created to fill a void for great seafood on the North Shore and embraces timeless dishes with a contemporary feel. The menu had lots of amazing options.

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I dined on the tuna tataki and the Fishworks Bouillabaisse. I’m a sucker for a good bouillabaisse and I am so glad that this did not disappoint. I find it’s ether a dish that disappoints or it’s lovely! At Fishworks, the portions were huge, I couldn’t even finish! Neither could Ianiv finish his carbonara!

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Date night logo not good kids

Our service at the restaurant was great, though we ended up closing up the place. We arrived at 8:30 and were told the kitchen closed at 9, though I wasn’t warned about that when reserving. I was actually surprised to find the restaurant empty so early! Any idea why this could be?!

The only downside to the night for me was a really terrible martini! I did not enjoy the olives at all (they tasted like soap?!), so as a ‘dirty’ martini, the whole drink was ruined for me. 

The Active Mama Restaurant Review Guide names Fishworks as date-night worthy(heart) and a girls night contender (martini), but not a kid-friendly choice. Though I’m all for taking kids to nice restaurants, they have to really enjoy seafood to come with you here!

91 Lonsdale Avenue
North Vancouver

Michael Park: A Review

Nestled in a tree-surrounded wedge in the Boulevard / Calverhall neighbourhood area, off E 11th Street and Drayton Street, is a lovely little park. Michael Park boasts a beautiful shady park with a huge grassy area and lots of trees for climbing, plus a decent play structure and two swing sets (surprising!). 

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The park is partially fenced, which helps deter ‘runners’ from escaping, but cannot be relied on for determined toddlers. The kids played here quite contentedly for an hour and a half – until everyone had to use the bathroom (of which there wasn’t one, of course!).

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For more of my playground reviews, check out the full directory of North Vancouver Playgrounds.

Chief Dan George Park: A Review

Chief Dan George park is one of the smallest playgrounds in the District of North Vancouver, called a “neighbourhood pocket park,” which is great to burn off steam if you live close by, but not much else. Geared towards smaller kids, the park boasts a single play structure (climb up, slide down) and a swing set, plus a digger and a ball structure, though it does boast a larger green space for exploration. 

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For more of my playground reviews, check out the full directory of North Vancouver Playgrounds.