Flashback: Apple Picking at Mountain Orchard

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Apparently this is THE place to be for apple picking every year! Ali wrote this post several years ago….have you been to Mountain lately?

It’s that time of year again. The air is getting crisper and the kids are settling into their school routine. For me, fall always means apple picking. Every fall for the past several years, my girls gather a bunch of friends and we go apple picking.

Mountain Orchard has always been our orchard of choice. It’s a great place for families, it’s close to Ottawa (only a short 40 minute drive on the 416 toward Kempville) and the majority of the trees there are actually the direct descendants of the original McIntosh tree, first discovered by John McIntosh in Dundela, Ontario, in 1829. I think that’s pretty cool.

donut5Mountain Orchard is about more then just apple picking. There are corn maizes, wagon rides, a hay jump and (best of all) the hot fresh apple cider donuts that are made right in front of you. They are the real reason we go back every year. Well, that and the fresh apple cider.

16My girls love climbing into the apple trees to get the apples and there are trees for kids of all ages – with ladders for the older kids to climb and low hanging branches for the little ones.

No matter where you go apple picking, it’s a great way to spend time with your family and friends and get outside to enjoy the fall weather. All the apple orchard near Ottawa are open now and many, like Mountain Orchard, are open every day until the apple picking season is done (usually by the end of September).

Have you been apple picking yet? We’re going again this weekend! 

 

 

 

The Best Ways to Prepare for Life with a Baby

The other evening I had the pleasure of attending a Better Beginnings Night at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre. This was an event that reached out to any person looking for more information about pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum resources here in Ottawa. We saw women very close to their due dates, as well as women and their partners planning for pregnancy. There were birth doulas, postpartum doulas, chiropractors, and various businesses offering information and free samples.

This got me thinking – what are the best ways to prepare for pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum? I think we all know the more obvious ways to get ready: prep the baby’s room, attend regular prenatal appointments with your healthcare provider, and purchase baby supplies. But research has shown that women and partners who are well prepared for the reality of postpartum life tend to fare better in terms of adjustment issues and perinatal mood disorders.

So as your “in-house” doula, I present to you the top tips for preparing for life with a baby (hint….this involves a lot of classes!):

1. Take a prenatal class – one with an actual live teacher. The City of Ottawa now offers a free online course, but research has shown that your interaction with a teacher and/or classmates will enhance your learning. You also want to make sure that the class you choose focuses primarily on labour and birth – stages/phases, physiology, comfort measures for pain and  unexpected outcomes.

2. Take a yoga class – start in early pregnancy, and continue practicing as much as possible throughout each trimester. You not only prepare your body for the physical rigor of labour, but you teach yourself relaxation skills (the KEY to having a healthy birth)

3. Take a baby/newborn preparation class – most of us have absolutely no experience with newborns before we decide to get pregnant. In order to be comfortable with all the challenges you will face as a new parent, you need to understand newborn behaviours, sleep patterns (no, newborn babies do not sleep through the night!), and diaper, feed and carry your child.

4. Make a postpartum plan – it sounds silly, I know. “I need a PLAN to parent my child?” Yes, you do…at least in the beginning. You will be shocked at all the little details you hadn’t thought of once baby arrives. Who is nearby to give you support? How will you get breaks? Who will cook and clean the house? Walk the dog? If you take time to think about these things before you enter the postpartum phase, you’ll feel less overwhelmed.

5. Take time to hang with your friends who have become parents. Ask them questions. Hold a baby, and offer to babysit several times.

The clients I work with who adjust the easiest to postpartum life are the ones who have:

- a lot of family nearby
- husbands/partners that can stay home on paternal leave (if this isn’t possible due to financial reasons, plan who else you can call on for assistance)
- lots of experience with newborns
- taken prenatal classes
- lower anxiety due to proper physical activity, meditation or relaxation skills, and yoga

Did you adjust well to the postpartum phase? What made it easier on you?

Welcome to Sponsor Tumblers Gymnastics

We’re so lucky here in Ottawa to have a great selection of gymnastics centres. Some are recreational, while other combine both recreational and competitive options – which means that anyone can participate, regardless of ability (wouldn’t it be cool to have an adult gymnastics class? I’ll admit I’m rather jealous of my 2 year-old tumbling around on the mats!)

Tumblers Gymnastics Centre has been around for 25 years, incorporating in 1989 as a not-for-profit organization. It’s now one of the largest gymnastics clubs in the province. Recreational classes follow the CanGym program, and specialty classes include Introductory Rhythmic Gymnastics, recreational trampoline, and Acro for Dance.

We had a chance to go and check out Tumblers’ drop-in class, which runs every morning at 10:30 a.m. except Tuesdays.

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The centre is GIANT! My daughter was in awe of all the fun things to check out – she had access to all the equipment during the drop-in. For a two year-old, it’s better to be free to run around :) Her favourite things to do were jump on the trampoline and walk on the balance beams!

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Staff were welcoming and friendly, and interacted with all the kids on the bars, trampoline and balance beams. A viewing area in the lobby is available for parents to watch their child’s progress in kinder and recreational classes (a.k.a quiet time for Mommy to drink coffee ;) )

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Check out the Fall schedule now for drop-in times, kinder and recreational programs – children can participate from as young as one year in parent-assisted classes.

If you’re in the East end (or anywhere for that matter!), come by and check out Tumblers Gymnastics Centre – my daughter is already asking when we can go again!