I did not think I could love more than I already do but magically, my heart grew big enough for two.
I did not think I could love more than I already do but magically, my heart grew big enough for two.
When I was in grade school Pokémon was all the rage. Everyone had the trading cards and watched the show. I got consumed by it myself. Everyday after school I would watch the show, every time I had some change I went to the corner store and got a pack of cards. It was a rush to crack open a fresh pack and see what surprise critters waited for me inside; maybe I would get a shiny or one I adored from the show. It was a little silly that I was so obsessed with the cards considering the majority of the people in school playing the game were boys and they were not anxious to have me join them. I never actually learned how to play but I still enjoyed collecting. One day in grade four during recess someone went into my cubby spot and stole my shiny Hypno; I am still mad about it. That is the power of this game. I am sure a lot of the hype is nostalgia but for good reason.
I certainly was not the only person who enjoyed the show and games. Pokémon became a vital part of many millennials’ childhood. Many of us grew up playing and never actually stopped. In fact, for my 24th Birthday my partner and I went and got a pair of Nintendo 3DS’ along with a pair of Pokémon games so we could play together. My partner is actually a much bigger fan than I am and he has helped me fill in a lot of the information I was not able to catch on to when I was younger. We have watched all the seasons and movies together and now that our son is old enough to enjoy the show, we watch them with him as well. Pokémon Go could not have come at a better time for our family. It is exciting for us to be able to share such a big part of our childhood with our children now; to have our children enjoy something we loved so much. Pokémon Go brings our childhood wishes alive; we can be Pokémon trainers!
The game appears to be getting a wonderful reaction. It seems like everyone I know, young and old alike, are enjoying this game. Of course there are people out there that are not impressed or it just is not something they enjoy but I am really impressed with the game for various reasons. Although there is a lot I would like to see added or fixed, the game itself is fun and what it has accomplished is even more amazing. This game is doing what many others have tried and never quite accomplished on such a large scale. Pokémon Go has gotten people out of the house to get exercise and fresh air but it has also, which I never realized would happen but I am pleasantly surprised, made people socialize. In a world where technology and social media seems to distance us while claiming to bring us together here comes a game where people just happen to find real community while playing. This is not a forced kind of socializing; you go out not even expecting to meet or talk to people but you do. You have this connection, you have tips, and jokes, and you have a good time with it all. It is exactly what the world needs right now. It is exactly what makes it such a great family friendly game.
My son is two and a half and he loves to go catch “Pikamon”. Today alone we spent at least an extra half an hour walking around while doing errands just to have fun with this. Something that would normally be rushed and boring became an adventure. We even went up a level while simply walking to the store. While my son does not quite understand how to actually catch the Pokémon and I am not sure he gets the whole augmented reality thing, he is able to get excited about walking around and catching them. He cannot swipe to throw the balls but he tries, most of the time I do it for him quickly and he presses the button on the ball while the critter is being caught, he feels like he is doing it. Once the Pokémon is caught he jumps for joy, we high five, it is a blast and it makes him so happy. Maybe a part of it is because he recognizes the characters, I am sure it is also partly exciting to be doing it with Mommy but I love to see that joy on his face. I love that it is getting us out of the house longer, it is something we both enjoy.
We are not the only family playing this together. My Facebook feed is full of my peers and their children trying to “Catch ‘em all”. Honestly, I cannot find a con to playing this with your children. It is something you can all enjoy and bond over. There are a few things I will say in warning, if you are interested in jumping on the Pokémon wagon: 1. Be cautious and teach your children how to use caution while playing- people have been seriously injured or worse while not paying attention while playing 2. Be mindful that this game does use the data on your phone if you are not connected to Wi-Fi 3. Be present and play with them, this is a great opportunity to have fun with your children- simply driving them around for them to do it defeats the purpose, and yes I saw a mom driving her two children around in a minivan doing this a day ago.
All in all, I say I am down with PoGo as family fun! It is a great way to get out with your kids and explore your neighbourhood or even travel to find new places with new Pokémon. You can easily make a whole day out of this. I really love that this is fun for all ages. It is available on the Android Google Play Store and Apple App Store and is free to play with the option to buy items in game.
Let me know what you think about Pokémon Go as family fun in the comments below. Is there any other game you enjoy playing with your kids?
If you are looking for a different Pokémon fix or perhaps to wind down after a long day of Poke hunting, Netflix Canada has plenty of Pokémon episodes and movies for you to enjoy; we certainly enjoy watching them there!
Niantic (the company that created the Pokémon Go app) actually has another augmented reality game called Ingress that my partner and I had started playing a few months ago. If you aren’t a big Pokémon fan but still enjoy this particular type of game Ingress is definitely one you should check out. I would not consider this a family friendly game. This is more of an adult game.
Potty training my son has been quite the journey and is, unfortunately, not over yet. I have learned quite a bit from the experience though and I thought it might help some of you mentally prepare…
Apparently a Mom
Were you aware that monsters main source of nourishment comes from grass. Also, did you know there is an Apparently a Mom Youtube Channel?
My son discovered his feet a couple of weeks ago. Naturally, he has not stopped playing with them since. Have you ever looked in to a baby’s eyes the moment they discover something new? There is a spark, a light, in their eyes that was not there before. You can almost see them learning. If you have not experienced this, I hope that one day you are able to. I have been lucky enough to see those exact moments twice now. The first time he realized he had hands and the second, his feet. You know that feeling you get when you come to a realization? It just washes over you. I imagine that is how babies feel when they figure out that those funny little wiggly toes belong to them.
It is so simple, so natural, and so perfect. I am not sure what will come next. I imagine getting up on his hands and knees since he already rolls all over the place and scoot around on his stomach. The days go by so fast, although they can seem so long.
I admire him often, it has been rewarding and enlightening to watch him grow every day. I try to take it all in and adapt some of that lost child like magic in my life- like, when ten little fingers meet ten little toes and there is nothing more needed in the world.
Why are we so judgemental as Mothers? It is like pushing a kid out of your body makes you Queen-of-all-things-parenting. It is one thing to speak up out of genuine concern but to shove your opinion in someone else’s face- just because you did not do it that way- is ridiculous. If I have my kid not strapped in his car seat in a moving vehicle, please say something to me – I have clearly lost my mind. If you just do not like that I give my baby bottles, you can go walk into oncoming traffic, seriously.
I have been fairly lucky to not have people give me unwanted “advice” but many of my fellow Mothers are not so fortunate. I have also noticed it is quite the topic of concern for a lot of parents. With the rise of social media in our daily lives people tend to post quite a few pictures of their little ones. This becomes troublesome when someone viewing your pictures finds something they do not agree with. Say you innocently snap a picture of Junior eating some French fries and post it on Facebook, “LOL guys, we are noming on some cheezburgarz for lunch”. Well, I can guarantee you someone on your friend’s list is sitting behind a screen going on about how they would never let little Suzie eat such junk. How dare you feed your child such nonsense! Don’t you know they are going to drop dead at fifteen if they eat even one hamburger?
We all have an opinion on pretty much everything – just because you have an opinion does not mean you are all-knowing. Mothers online seem to not have a filter and cannot seem to figure out that not every child on the planet is theirs to parent. Whatever happened to women sticking together? Being a Mother is hard enough without having people jump on your back for every little thing. When did we get to a point that every suggestion is taken as an insult to our parenting? I should not have to question whether or not to tell the (hypothetical) mother that just posted a picture of her three-month old not properly strapped in to her car seat that, that is not a good idea. Giving someone advice out of genuine concern should not be met with animosity. When someone gives me advice I take it into consideration. What if that advice saves my child’s life one day? I am not telling anyone to just blindly follow what someone tells them to do with their child, who knows where this person is getting their information. Also, just because this one thing worked for their child does not mean it will work for yours. Take what everyone tells you and store it away in your mind for future reference, use it as a starting point for research. Think for yourself and parent your way but do not dismiss the people who are giving you advice because they care – do not attack those people either, they mean well and who needs the bad karma? Not me, I get enough of it on my own.
You may have noticed people taking cute monthly pictures of their new babies for the first year of life. If you haven’t you might want to come out from under your rock, they are everywhere. It is a great way to watch your child grow in such a crucial fast paced part of life. Some pictures are super cute and others… not so much. Either way I decided to give it a shot and share my tips on how to get super cute monthly pictures to cherish as your little one grows. If you have not already guessed it, this is a DIY because who has the money or time to get professional pictures done every month?
Without further ado here are my tips:
1. Pick a theme: Without consistency how can the pictures be a series? The theme can be anything. You could use the same theme you used for the nursery. For example I used “owls” as our theme.
2.Consistency: With that being said, stick with something once you have done it. For example, do not use a theme in two pictures and not in the rest.
3. Choose how to list the month: You can buy stickers you can stick on your baby’s clothing or whatever you want to stick it on that says the number of month. You can also use blocks or a chalk board, whatever you like. I have seen some cute pictures where people have typed the text in on the picture and included milestones, likes and dislikes, etc. If you are up to it you can even make your own sign or sticker to customize it to your theme.
4. Start at 0: Start taking the photos when they are first-born. I had not decided to do them until he was a month old so, I do not have a new-born picture. I regret that because he grew so much within the first month. It is so amazing to see where they started at the very beginning.
5. A happy baby is cute: Take the pictures during a time of day your baby is happy. Make sure to have baby fed and satisfied. Who wants to try to pose or deal with a grumpy baby? Not me.
6. Keep it simple: The more complicated you make it or the more time-consuming it is the more likely you are to have a baby that is not going to cooperate. I took a total of 15 minutes setting up and taking the pictures.
7. Take multiple: I snapped quite a few pictures to ensure I could pick the cutest one. I wanted to keep him happy and smiling during the shoot so, I played with him. At the time he was not interested in playing for very long which ensured I acted fast.
8. Something to compare: I found it useful to have some sort of object by him to be able to see how big he is in comparison. We used a stuffed owl that we bought at the hospital for him. You could really use anything to do this, the owl just matched our theme and was a cute addition. It can also show milestones. He cannot hold it just yet in his first photo ( or first couple if you took the 0 month one) but as he gets older he will be able to interact with it.
9. Photoshop is your friend: If you happen to have this or a similar photo editing software it can be really helpful. I used it to add in the month sticker, correct the picture, add in a border, and add text. Who says photoshop is only good for air brushing those evil skinny models?
10. Have fun: Have fun and go with it! This can be an awesome time to make some cute memories. When you look back at the pictures they will have an added sentiment. These moments are beyond precious, soak in and enjoy every second that you can! You never get them back.
Remember, you do not need any fancy equipment to do any of this. I used my cell phone, a stuffed owl, a blanket my Grandmother made, and photoshop.
Let me know how they go! Be sure to share them with me when they are done!