Sunday, December 04, 2011

The makings of a polar bear kid

If you read my last post you know that we are having a hard time introducing the fun side of winter to our two year old toddler.  You can read that story here: Help, my toddler hates winter! 

We decided to devote this whole weekend to as many different kinds of outdoor fun as we could fit in.  There were some "interesting" moments, a few melt-downs, and plenty of things to still figure out.  However, there were also lots of smiles, giggles and I actually heard the phrase I most love to hear come out of my son's mouth, "Mommy fun!"  

I do believe we have a polar bear kid in the making.

toasty warm and happy

Smiling polar bear kid

X-country skiing

The first thing we tried this weekend was cross country skiing (again).  We tried it a couple weekends ago and our son Noah wasn't a fan despite enjoying it last winter.  I should clarify that Noah doesn't ski himself yet but he's always loved being outdoors either in his Chariot or his child carrier.  

We've gotten a new ski sled for this winter that will hopefully allow us to get into the backcountry more. Getting him into the pulk and comfortable was actually a lot easier this time around.  We brought a couple pillows to prop him up with and we didn't fully strap him in due to the easy terrain we were skiing on.  

Noah was quite happy and content for a good hour and a half as we made our way slowly up to the half-way point on the Cascade Fire Road. The only difficult part of the first half of our ski trip was getting Noah dressed in the parking lot.  We learned that it's best to change into ski pants before leaving the city.  (Although, it would make for a more difficult diaper change at the trail head.)  Dilemma dilemma.  

We also decided that in following with the saying, "if it aint broke, don't fix it," we'd let Noah wear what he wanted; his baby mittens and monkey hat.  They might not have been as warm as other choices but he was much happier and that counts for a lot!  I did manage to get a balaclava on under the monkey hat and a scarf on over-top.

When we got to the half-way point of the ski trip we let Noah out of his pulk and he happily explored the packed trail, had a snack and drank a bit of juice.  We got tons of super cute photos and Noah was beyond content!  Taking the mittens off for the snack resulted in cold hands though and we had a nasty twenty minutes or so while Noah got used to skiing again with the cover over his pulk this time.  

I also put my over-mitts on top of his little baby mittens and that wasn't on Noah's top ten list of acceptable clothing options.  It didn't take long before Noah must have realized that he was really toasty warm and therefore quite happy.  The crying stopped and he promptly fell asleep.  Bliss!

Rest stop

Pulling the pulk back to the car

Outdoor Christmas festivities

After skiing we went to Banff for their  Winterstart FestivalNoah got to take his first horse drawn wagon ride up and down the streets of Banff.  The smile on his face was worth the 45 min. wait.  Then we got to watch the Santa Claus Parade.  Noah sat high up on top of Daddy's shoulders as he waited for Santa to appear and he enjoyed the parade for the most part.  He was a little scared by the truck horns though and so we eventually had to leave and brave our way back to Calgary (and the snow storm that hadn't hit Banff yet.)

Waiting for Santa


Today we thought we'd give sledding a shot since Calgary got over 25cm of fresh snow overnight.  Our neighborhood was transformed into a magical winter wonderland.  It actually took a lot of effort to pull Noah in his sled to the local playground.  

Unfortunately Noah wasn't a big fan of riding in the sled and didn't like the sensation of tipping sideways or falling backwards as the sled jerked and twisted around.  We did get him to try riding in the sled down the little bunny hill in the school yard and he proclaimed that it was fun.  Yay!  

After two rides though he decided it was more fun to watch Mommy slide down the hill while he walked up and down the snowy hill.  Maybe mountaineering is in his future and not becoming a bobsled or luge athlete. 

Going to the park on a snowy Sunday afternoon


Playing in the snow

After sledding we walked through the big field to the playground and discovered that Noah likes walking through snow.  Deep snow.  He wouldn't get on the sled because he wanted to wade through all the snow "by self."  

We taught him to hold his shovel with his mittens on - victory!! and he enjoyed playing in the snow for a bit as he filled his sand bucket with snow.  As I discovered last summer, a toddler only needs a bucket, a shovel and a small truck or car to play with.  They can be used with sand, water, snow, dirt, pine needles, or mud.  No other toys needed.

Playing in the snow

Tonight my husband plans to take Noah into the hot tub while I'm out with girl friends.  That is another classic winter activity that I know he'll love!

Nice and warm

I realized how incredibly blessed we are as a family this weekend.  We have a very gentle and calm child who allowed us to ski for almost three hours.  Not many parents of toddlers can claim that.  Noah is also great at just going with the flow and can be gone from the house all day with no set schedule. 

We were gone Saturday from morning until almost bed time and Noah never truly lost it.  He napped in the car en route to the mountains and then again in his pulk.  I know many families that have to plan their day around their child's nap schedule or make sure they spend enough time at home but Noah loves being out exploring the world.  We are very lucky.

I'm also really enjoying this Christmas season and the beginning of winter as a family.  I can't remember the last time I rode down a toboggan hill, made a snow angel, tried to make a snow man, or just played in the snow.  Having kids lets you experience the joys of being a kid again and I love it!

The joys of childhood


  1. Sounds like a really wonderful weekend!

  2. What a brillaint time you all had & I love your photos - your snow is so lovely & deep - jealous! Would you consider linking up to an outdoor link up I'm having on my blog with mama peapod & Greening Sam & Avery?

  3. Send me an e-mail Kierna.

  4. WOW Polar Bear Club indeed! Loved reading this! It's like a domino we're heading out!