Thursday, May 05, 2011

Seattle Baby [and Parent] Activities

My Dear Seattle Peeps -

I finally got around to going to Lincoln Square Cinema’s
Mommy & Me Thursday Movie. I am so glad that many of you talked it up because it was SO MUCH FUN!

We saw Water for Elephants and there were perhaps 10 moms in the theater. Tops. The place was dead. But the sound was low, the lights were up, the parking was free, and nobody batted an eyelash when the bambino started fussing. Best of all, they came and took our food/drink order from our seats. It was fabulous. Ben slept for the first 20 minutes and then nursed for the next hour or so. At one point I stood up to rock him (nobody behind us) and he bobbed along with the music.

Definitely one of the best parent/child things we’ve done so far. Thanks for inviting me, Jennie!

Deets: In Bellevue, every Thursday at 10 am. Three movies to choose from. Check the website for weekly showings. 

Here are a few other “Seattle Mom” Activities that we’ve enjoyed.

PEPS [Program for Early Parent Support]
A friend of mine recommended PEPS and I am so thrilled that we signed up. It’s a group of ten moms that meets every week to discuss problems, share advice, and provide support during those first few tough months of parenthood. Everybody lives within a few miles of each other and its been a great way to meet fellow mothers. We’ve started going on walks together and a few gals even meet for a weekly private pilates session. It's an amazing group o’ women and it’s been fun to share our successes and get advice. They were so very helpful when I was struggling with pumping breastmilk for the kiddo. I’m hoping that we’ll continue to meet after our session officially ends.

Deets: Sign up before you have your baby and they’ll assign you to a local group with a moderator. Topics include feeding, sleeping, schedules, postpartum depression, etc. It’s $150 for 10 weeks. They also have evening groups (for the whole family) or programs for older children or those with both a newborn and an older child. Click here to read more.  Highly recommended!

Birth and Beyond’s First Weeks Class
One of our local baby shops holds a weekly class called First Weeks, taught by Ann Keppler, a nurse and long-time birth instructor. She is simply phenomenal. I went with Benjamin a month after he was born. It was a relaxed Q&A session that allowed me to get answers to a lot of first-time parent concerns. I felt so much better after that class!

Deets: It’s an informal drop-in session that is held twice a week at Birth and Beyond’s classroom, with a $10 suggested donation.  First Weeks is specifically designed for babies up to 12 weeks; they also have sessions for older babies. Click here for the calendar. 

Seattle Public Library
I haven’t been to this but they have a weekly Baby Storytime at the Northgate Branch on Saturdays. One of the librarians who does this program gave a quick presentation to our PEPS group and she was fabulous. I’ll bet that the kids adore her. She also mentioned that each library has a bin of baby board books that don’t require check-outs. Simply go in, grab a handful of books, and bring them back when you’re done with ‘em. We've gone several times to change out Benjamin's nightly stories. It’s fantastic.

Deets: Go here to see the Northgate Branch’s schedule of events or here to find your closest library location. Not all libraries have baby story time. 

And that’s what we’ve done so far!

This summer we have plans to do some hiking and hit up the zoo, the aquarium, and the Pacific Science Center. On sunny days we’ll head towards the local wading pool and on chilly days towards Volunteer Park’s Conservatory. My mom and I used to have picnics in the conservatory on those nippy winter days when I was little. They don’t let you do that nowadays, unfortunately.

One of our very favorite places was the Seattle Japanese Garden and Benjamin made his debut trip there a few weeks ago. We’re also looking forward to walks on Foster’s Island (one of my favorites, due to the wildlife), trips to the Ballard Locks, and beachcombing at Carkeek Park.

In a few months we'll be able to start baby swim lessons and we are so excited about that. I'm also looking forward to the day when I can do some swimming of my own, without the kiddo.

Most of these activities are probably too involved for Benjamin to really enjoy at this age but his Mama will have a great time. That’s ok, right?!

Any activities that you particularly enjoyed as a kiddo that you're looking forward to or have done with your offspring?