Oh my goodness. It’s a new year. And it’s the year 2015. That means a few things to me:
1) I graduated from highschool 15 years ago (YIKES!)
2) We’re as close to the year 2030 as to the year 2000. (WEIRD!)
3) Portia starts KINDERGARTEN this year! (OH… EM… GEE !)
4) It seems like a good time to recap the most popular posts on North Shore Mama in 2014.
I have gone through my Google Analytics and found out which 10 posts received the highest hits over the past year. I thought it would be fun to share what North Shore Mama readers seemed to enjoy the most, so here goes. (In order from the 10th most-viewed post to the most popular of 2014!)
#10 – “A Frozen 4th Birthday”
Our eldest daughter, Portia, turned 4 in October and, in only 2.5 months, this post got a lotta lovin’. So much so, that it made it into the Top 10 of the most viewed posts for 2014. That makes me really happy because SO MUCH love and planning went into this celebration and it’s so nice knowing it reached so many readers.
We had a big surprise lined up for Portia that was even more fabulous than I could have imagined. We had THE REAL Queen Elsa coming to Portia’s party and Elsa was definitely a highlight of the event! We arranged for Elsa to ring the doorbell and have Portia be the one to answer the door.
To see all the detail that went into this birthday party, click here.
#9 – “To the Parents of the Screaming Children Next to us at the Restaurant…”
This is one of my personal posts that seemed to resonate with other mamas and papas.
My husband and I sometimes just really need a break from cooking and cleaning every night and it is SO nice to be able to get out for dinner every now and again. It’s actually quite a novelty and I usually dread it because I’m so worried about what the other tables around us are thinking about the scene that’s usually created at our table. That’s right, you heard me… I fear the judgement of others. I try not to let it bother me, but eye-rolling hurts. (And ps. I SAW YOU!)
Find out why this night was such a positive one in the end, by clicking here to read the full post.
#8 – “The One Thing My Daughters Have Never Seen Me do”
Another personal post that made it to the Top 10 most read last year was about setting a positive example for my girls.
Before I tell you what my girls have NEVER seen me do, I’ll tell you some of the things they HAVE seen me do.They see me drinking freshly made juices in the morning for breakfast. They watch me get ready to go to the gym in workout gear. They see me attempting at-home workouts. They’ve been with me when I meet up with friends for coffee. They see me belly-laughing. They’ve even seen me ugly-crying. They’ve seen me the happiest of happy and the saddest of sad. And those emotions get explained to them because I want them to know why mommy is feeling the way she is. I want my girls to know that it’s ok to express themselves and it’s ok to be feeling whatever it is that they are feeling. I can only hope they will grow up wanting to share with me their range of emotions.
So, what is it that they have NOT seen me do? Find out here!
#7 – “Realising I am not the Mother I Always Thought I’d be”
I had a really hard time gathering my thoughts properly in order to write this post. Of all my personal pieces, this one got the most attention last year. More importantly though, this post made me feel the bravest I’ve ever felt, after feeling the most vulnerable I’d ever felt when I hit ‘publish’.
At first, when I came to this major realisation, I felt like I had failed. I convinced myself I was just doing something wrong and that there are parents that would give anything to be where I was, so I needed to give my head a shake, suck it up and just keep going. It took a lot of soul-searching to admit to myself that this isn’t a matter of failing or succeeding. This is about happiness and well-being and I haven’t been listening to my head, my heart nor my gut when my entire body was telling me that I wasn’t where I should be.
#6 – “Baby Teeth: What if they erupt crooked?”
On any given day, when I open up my Real Time Google Analytics, someone, somewhere in the world is reading this post. (Who knew it was such a common question?) This post was written by our resident Dental expert, Dr. Melissa Skinner, and it has helped many-a-mama since it went live!
‘Baby teeth’ are essential to a healthy child’s growth and development. It allows your toddler to eat comfortably, learn to speak well and esthetically be proud of their smile. Also, ‘baby teeth’ need to stay put well beyond the infancy and toddler years. In fact, some of the ‘baby teeth’ will still be in place when the child goes to middle school.
Learn more about this… here!
#5 – “iPad Apps for Toddlers”
This was one of the first posts I ever wrote on North Shore Mama in the spring of 2012. For some reason, it still gets a lot of love 2.5 years later. I even have on my “post ideas” list to write an updated post about iPad apps for kids, but I keep putting it off. Maybe I’ll bump it to the top of the list now that I know how many mamas are looking for this kind of information.
Of course all children are different and have their preferences in life, but here is a list of iPad apps that we love for our daughter. Some of them are free, but we purchased a few of our favourites once we had a chance to demo them and have deemed them as ‘must-haves’.
So, what WERE Portia’s favourite apps when she was 18 months old? Read on here!
#4 – “Family Travel: Springs RV Resort in Harrison Hotsprings”
We’ve had the chance to travel quite a bit with our girls and, for that, I am extremely grateful! One of my goals for 2015 is to document our trips better on North Shore Mama so that other families can see what there is to do in all the fun destinations, in case they have the chance to vacation there too!
Nowadays, to own a second home/cabin anywhere on the West Coast is a different ball game. Housing costs in Vancouver and surrounding areas are not what they used to be, as we are all aware. Owning a primary home is a feat and an accomplishment in and of itself. Owning a secondary/leisure home … it’s not an option for most of us.
If you’re looking for a great family getaway really close to Vancouver, you’ll want to learn more about Springs RV Resort, so click here!
#3 – “Top 5 Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails on the North Shore”
Fellow North Shore mommy, Bianca Bujan, of Bits of Bee guest blogged on North Shore Mama and this was the magic she produced. This post got a TON of attention over the summer but readers are still enjoying this one even into the winter months.
I’ve always loved hiking – it’s the only physical activity that I can enjoy without it feeling like gruelling exercise – so I feel fortunate to live in North Vancouver where we’re blessed with so many great hiking destinations.
Here are Bianca’s Top 5 local trails for hiking with the wee ones.
#2 – “Water Water Everywhere! Water Parks and Pools to Play in this Summer”
Another one of the Top 10 posts last year was one of the first posts I ever wrote! So interesting. It’s also a great way of knowing what readers seem to be most drawn to, so that when I plan my posts going forward, I have an idea of what will be useful and fun for North Shore Mama readers.
The warm weather is here! Fingers crossed that it stays! As we are heading into the summer months, I know that we will be seeking out water parks and outdoor pools for Portia to play in. I thought it would be a fun idea to do a roundup of these sought-after amenities for anyone who would like to try one (or all) of them this summer. (Fellow North Vancouverites, did you know we have FIVE water parks right here in our city!)
AND…. WHICH POST WAS THE MOST POPULAR POST OF 2014, YOU ASK???
# 1 – “Starting without Slang: Teaching our Kids the Proper Names for their Bits”
This post took the cake with OVER 5,000 views 2014. It was written by a lovely and extremely resourceful Vancouver mama, Marnie Goldenberg as a guest post on North Shore Mama. Marnie is the sex-positive parent and community educator behind The Sexplainer, a site which I highly recommend!
With the proper names for their body parts and our ongoing openness about how they function, our kids develop comfort in communicating honestly and openly about their bodies. If your kid has an infection (bladder infections can cause burning when you pee) or if they’re hurt (a fall can cause bruising of the pubic bone or if at the water park they somehow scrape their labia or scrotum), you’ll hear about it right away. Proper words also protect our kids since abusers seek out children who don’t know about their bodies. Ill-intentioned adults look for kids who are ill-equipped. Dinky and vava might scream ‘uninformed kid’ while vulva and testicles says ‘my parents tell me about appropriate and inappropriate touching’.
To read the rest of this very informative article, click here.
I want to take this perfect opportunity to thank you all for your continued support of North Shore Mama! The comments, the follows, the ‘likes’ and the time that you take to read what I work so hard to write and curate on this site really means a lot to me! THANK YOU and happy 2015! xox