Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Good bye and Thank you

It is with genuine sadness as well as hopeful anticipation for what the future may bring that I am making this announcement: Alan and I have sold A Gym Tale!

And, no, this is not an April Fools joke, lol.

When I started this blog, I wanted to share how I balance being a wife, a mother, a teacher and a business owner. Well, after all these years, it turns out IT'S REALLY HARD.

For ten years, the hours were VERY long and the job was VERY demanding but I could always find the balance between work and my life at home. And the experiences that I got to share with your children and my own at A Gym Tale made the effort WELL WORTH IT. For ten years I HAVE LOVED MY JOB!

However, over the past year it has become more evident that balancing A Gym Tale and my growing family requires too great a juggling act, leaving me feeling as though I can't do anything as well as I want. Now, the list of chores at home are VERY long and the kids are VERY demanding.

I am not one to settle for mediocrity. There are areas of A Gym Tale that need more attention than I can give and, likewise, there are areas in my personal life that have been neglected as well. Alan and I are very fortunate that our experience with A Gym Tale presents me with the opportunity to take my life in a new direction. It will be heartbreaking (and terrifying) to leave A Gym Tale in June, but we are looking forward to a very exciting direction that our family has planned.

The most amazing part of operating A Gym Tale has been getting to know so many families in and around Barrhaven. In fact, I have met many of my closest friends through my Play Classes and Nursery School. I am very thankful to all the families that have made me part of their children's lives. I am very thankful to those families that will remain part my life long after A Gym Tale.

The hardest part of leaving will be missing out on teaching your children and watching them grow over the years. I will miss watching your children explore their limits in the gym and music classes. I will miss chatting with the parents at the play classes and pick up and drop off times for Nursery School and Before and After School. I will miss saying good morning to everyone 6 mornings a week (I may actually enjoy sleeping in a little;). THANKS TO ALL OF MY FRIENDS, CUSTOMERS AND STUDENTS that have made this decade of my life so fulfilling.

I also owe a great deal of thanks to the many wonderful staff members that have shared this journey with us. Their energy, enthusiasm and commitment to their job breathed the life into our birthday parties and our programs. Alan and I have been tremendously fortunate to have employed such memorable characters, strong teachers and diligent workers.

The original A Gym Tale on Greenbank and Larkin 2005

The new A Gym Tale on Strandherd 2009

2015 family pictures by Elizabeth Fulton Photography.

I am also very excited to introduce the new owners, Katrina and Geraldene, to all of you. I am so happy to say that the business is actually staying in the family - Katrina and Geraldene are Alan's aunts. As their family is currently transitioning to a new stage (children are going off to University or soon to graduate) they are very excited to begin a new adventure in their lives as well.

Katrina and Geraldene have been training in the Nursery School program and becoming familiar with A Gym Tale since January and will now be training with me for the next few months in other areas. I will continue to be supervisor for the Before and After School program as well as teaching Nursery School until the end of the school year. Katrina and Geraldene do plan on keeping the licensed programs and camp programs running as they currently do now. But they do have some exciting changes in the works for Drop In Play (Enchanted Forest open Tuesdays and Thursdays to Drop In guests), yearly memberships, Birthday parties (option of loot bags and special guests appearing at the parties!!), expanded food options at the canteen and much, much more over the next few months. Keep your eyes on the website for details to come.

As I alluded to, my family and I have exciting plans for our future and I would love to share these new experiences with you all as well. If you are interested in keeping in touch, I would invite you to follow my Facebook page here where I will continue to post updates on my blog. I will be finishing the school year at A Gym Tale as supervisor of the licensed programs (nursery school and before and after school), but as of June 26th my time at A Gym Tale will come to an end.

Thank you for all of the memories.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Gym Tale's Nursery School Program

Registration is now open for Fall 2015 Nursery School! It has been brought to my attention that many people do not actually know what the Nursery School set up looks like - it is very different from play classes and birthday parties. This post will show you what the learning space looks like as well as a bit about the program. Please feel free to call or email anytime to organize a tour.

The Nursery School program is a drop off program for children 2.5 years to 4 years of age. We offer a morning (9-11:30) and an afternoon program (12:15-2:45) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the option of 1, 2 or 3 days a week. The program runs from September 2015 - June 2016.

The children participate in a Reggio inspired classroom prepared to entice children to explore science, math, language, manipulatives and building, reading, writing and dramatic play. Children take part in circle times, an introduction to French (through songs, calendar and stories), stories, music, open ended art, sensory play, group games and always ending with gym time! The program moves quickly keeping little ones busy but offers plenty of opportunities for choices and creativity.

Language activities, letters, writing centre in far corner and blue table for group activities.
Building and manipulative activities

Science activities on shelf and dramatic play area which changes bi-weekly

Writing centre to encourage doodles, drawings and early writing skills.

Table for group activities and cozy, covered reading area for sharing stories.

The Nursery School program also includes plenty of special activities such as a trip to the grocery store during our food theme, visits from pets, the dentist, Fire trucks, construction workers and many other community helpers. We also enjoy Holiday concerts, teddy bear picnics and an end of year graduation ceremony.

My bulldog loves his annual visits:)

And of course the last 30 minutes is always gym time which alternates between the gymnastics equipment and the playground.

Spaces still remain for the 2015-2016 school year. For more details please visit the website (, email, call or visit and we would love to show you around!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Day in the Life of Everly

I cannot remember the last post I made and I really have been trying - why don't kids all sleep at the same time or at least sleep in the evenings?!!!

I get lots of comments each day about how I manage to work with Everly. It is one of the greatest benefits that A Gym Tale has given me - the ability to keep my children with me while I continue to work. I am very fortunate that each of them has loved being wrapped up and carried. Everly is probably most content out of my three kids to be carried and loves just taking everything in as I go about my morning at A Gym Tale. 

I thought I would show some photos of a day in the life of Everly and highlight some of the things that baby wearing makes possible.

Snuggles before the chaos begins:)

I open A Gym Tale at 7:30am for the Before School Program and I begin disinfecting the toddler area.

I then move on to the pirate ship and castle - the worst part of my day!

Answering the phone is becoming increasingly more difficult!

Gym & Music play classes.
Play time with her friends!
Isla reading her sister a story in the afternoon.

Everly adores her big brother!

Making dinner and lunches for the next day.

Dadddy time <3 td="">

Everly is really struggling with teething, so this is where she ends up sleeping in the evenings so that I can get work done.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


It has been a long time since I have sat down at my computer, since all has been quiet in the house (I am going to pay for these longs naps tonight) and since I have felt ready to write again. It seems as though having 3 kids actually makes life really busy - like crazy busy and the days actually fly by like seconds, except for when everyone is screaming and 5 minutes feels like a life time!

But I needed to write about some misconceptions that have been brought to my attention and most definitely need clarified. It appears that some, maybe more than I am aware, feel that I am making having 3 kids, a business and a traveling husband look easy. Which is making others feel bad about how they are coping in their own lives.

(2 year old wakes up crying)

Let me start by saying that I am really happy that I look that put together at work to give off that impression! But let me give you an inside view:) How am I surviving? Well a trip to Sephora in Bayshore equipped me with the make up needed to somewhat cover up the fact that I am only getting about 6 broken hours of sleep a night.Furthermore chocolate - a lot of it. Like more than you can imagine. That is a habit I need to stop. Not caffeine - I planned on making this cup of coffee last Thursday! but leaving it there makes me feel like I may be a able to make it at any moment! Although no guarantee on when I will be able to actually drink it. I dream of one day drinking a hot coffee.

(Baby begins to cry & 5 year old wakes up - will continue writing later)

Later, turned into the next day at 10pm at night. Once again all is quiet. Everly has been going down around 7:30pm but then waking up every 30 minutes until 10pm. So in between running up and down stairs I am doing dishes, making lunches and tidying the house up - so that things do not pile up from one day to the next or I will lose my mind in the mess, as well as keeping up with the never ending piles of laundry. Here is one pile that was clean and needed folded, but while I ran upstairs to nurse Everly back to sleep, the damn dog thought he would lay on them, shed fur all over them and then push them to the floor. Thanks for that. 

As for my marriage, all is very well and we work hard together to make our family a priority, to keep up on maintaining the house (our neighbours may disagree on this point) and a business. Fall is a very busy time for Alan and his travels take him around the world. I think the closest we have come to a date was going to a funeral. That is pretty sad and we really must work on carving time for us.

As for work, I have managed to stay pretty timely in responding to emails as I can do that on my phone while nursing Everly into what will hopefully be a deep sleep. I also have every program plan and song burned into my brain forever more so the programs do just come to me and I am receiving wonderful support from Miss Megan and Miss Lindsey with the planning of the Nursery School and After School program. All of our guests at A Gym Tale have also been very understanding in having me run the classes with my baby.

All this to say that I am no different than all the other parents and that I am right in the trenches of raising young children and all of the exhaustion that comes along with it.

However, there is not anywhere else that I would rather be. I am so thankful that I can bring my baby to work with me. I am so thankful that she loves being held so close and she is content to watch the world around her and then nestle in to sleep the morning away. I am also very thankful that I am able to spend the afternoons with my children and that we can go on adventures around the city together or go home and snuggle up for a movie. I am still holding on to hope that I may be able to drink a coffee in the afternoon as well.

Elizabeth Fulton Photography

Elizabeth Fulton Photography

Friday, June 20, 2014

Everly's Birth Story

Everly Khaleesi Wyllie was born on June 13th, 2014 at 5:12pm. She was born 8lbs 8oz in the comfort of our own home and greeted by her siblings within moments of being born. We understand that home births are not for everyone both for comfort levels and health reasons. However, for our family, this was the best birth story that we could have dreamed of.

We had been growing impatient as for two weeks prior to Everlys' birth contractions would start and continue regularly for hours and then abruptly end in the evening without ever becoming more intense. Finally, it appeared that all of those early contractions were in fact moving baby along - our midwife told us Friday morning to call her in several hours as she was sure labor would be beginning at any time -  and I was now at 6cm's.

Moments after her birth
By lunch time contractions had begun once again, so I called my mom to come to our home to spend the day with the kids. They made a birthday cake for the baby, played in the basement and had plans for a movie night. By 2:30 we had called our midwife to come as contractions were beginning to pick up in intensity - still only 5 minutes apart, but it was enough for the midwife to come by. At 3:30 things has stayed pretty consistent so I tried moving into the birthing tub. Our Doula arrived by 3:45 to offer her encouragement, support, calming words and relaxation reminders. It was by 4pm that the intensity grew. By 4:45 I asked what time it was and had a snack - I was assuming that we still had a long way to go. However, within minutes the pushing stage began and baby was born at 5:12pm in the birthing tub! It was not an easy birth, but it did go incredibly smooth, with no worries cropping up with baby at any time and it was fast! One of the midwives went to get the kids, my mom and my mother in law and they were seeing baby within moments of baby's birth. The expression on Ewan's face is simply amazing. We then did the gender reveal with everyone present and named our baby girl Everly Khaleesi Wyllie. Afterwards, I was able to go straight into my bed with baby. After some snuggles and nursing Everly, I enjoyed a hot shower while Everly was weighed. We then settled into bed for the night at home surrounded by family.
Meeting baby & gender reveal

I am so thankful for the support that we have had so far. Everly and I were able to enjoy 3 days of bed rest and then 3 days of staying around the home. With such a short time off of work, I wanted to ensure the very best recovery by actually listening to the midwives and our doulas suggestions. The midwives continued to visit us at home and our very first trip outside of the house was only yesterday for family pictures with Elizabeth Fulton Photography.

Today, one week after Everlys' birth, we are all feeling wonderful. I am feeling quite rested as Everly seems to have settled into a 4 hour stretch of sleep between midnight and 4am, another 2 hour stretch until 6am and then 2 more hours until around 8am. She is also sleeping plenty during the day and quite content to be in my stretchy wraps or ring slings. I do love this cuddly stage.

 The kids have made a phenomenal adjustment. The first three days they were over the moon with excitement and somewhat bouncing off the walls, but we had plenty of family to keep them busy. This week we have settled into a relaxed schedule and we are just trying to go with the flow. Both kids are loving holding Everly and 'teaching' her how to make silly faces.

We are so happy to introduce to everyone our precious baby girl Everly. We are looking forward to a quiet summer getting to know her and enjoying some much needed family time. Thank you so much to everyone for their well wishes and positive thoughts.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Still waiting:)

No baby yet! Although I am both feeling (and hoping) that labor will begin any moment.

I have been meaning to write another post for some time, however, I felt as though I would only be whining and complaining. I am so very thankful that we are expecting our third child and so excited to hold baby in my arms, but at the same time, enjoying this pregnancy has been near impossible. I still try each morning to think positively and try to remind myself to enjoy these last few weeks, days or minutes of being pregnant (most likely for the last time), however, the moment I sit up and swing my legs out of bed, I am still hit with nausea and soreness (all over at this point) which more or less ends any positivity that I might have mustered together. But all the same I am trying to savour these last moments of pregnancy.

I have been 'off' of work now for almost two weeks. I am still popping in and out of A Gym Tale - which I have to admit is so wonderful stopping by to chat with teachers, parents and kids and then telling them to have a wonderful day as I head home to relax! My back has also seen significant improvements since I have not been cleaning the playground. I am so very appreciative of how many staff members have really stepped in to help ensure that I am getting time to rest and spend with my family before the arrival of new baby. We really are so lucky to have dedicated staff members.

The month of May has also brought with it Ewan's 5th birthday - so hard to believe that 5 years ago I first became a mother. It has seemed like a lifetime and at the same time it feels as though it was just yesterday that Ewan was in my arms or the wrap at A Gym Tale! Ewan is obsessed with Ninja Turtles, so naturally we had a Ninja Turtle karate party at home. During the weeks leading up to the party we had so much fun prepping the ooze, making masks and algae and worms for desert Of course, we had to end his day with an ooze bath to make it a true mutation day!

While enjoying some time off, I have been able to get back in touch with some friends for play dates, go on a field trip with Ewan and his class to the farm, prep the house for baby to arrive, even get a pedicure and read a book! As much as having this extra time to myself and to spend with my family has been wonderful, I am very ready for baby to arrive. At this point I think it will be easier having baby out rather than in. We will keep everyone posted! Also, still no name yet:)

Monday, March 31, 2014

March Updates and Need Help with Names!

Since Alan's last post we have not found out the gender of this baby - nor will we:) I thought this would be difficult, but I am actually just fine with waiting - maybe it is Alan's need to know that is motivating me! As of now, there is no need for any further ultrasounds, so the baby's gender will continue to remain a welcome surprise. Unfortunately, I am really not feeling any better than I have been. Although at the beginning of the month I thought my energy levels were starting to increase - they have since been on the decline and I am back to sleeping an average of 10-12 hours a day or dreaming that I was sleeping.

At A Gym Tale, the month of March has been a busy and exciting month. Registration for the September Before and After School program as well as the morning and afternoon Nursery School program began and we are very excited to see so many returning families and younger siblings joining the programs. We are also very pleased to welcome all of the new families who will be joining us next year.

March Break camps also took place and were a huge success! Each and every space was filled and the camp program ran wonderfully. We were lucky to have such a wonderful group of enthusiastic kids who were always up for the themed obstacle courses, gymnastics skill building, group games on the playground, themed art and hanging out with Spiderman!

We are very excited for the Summer Camp program and to a new season of fun activities!

March Break also gave me some extra time with my own kids and we spent a lazy week playing and creating in our basement. The kids were thrilled to stay in pj's each day and not have to hurry for anything. Alan was away on business and I was lucky to have my mother in law come by in the mornings as I went in to A Gym Tale and then I rejoined the kids at home afterwards. Since winter has been dragging on, I decided to attempt making a sunshine quilt that week - I accomplished about half of it and then the break ended. I will need to wait for my next week off to finish as I simply do not have any extra time right now - bedtime is now 7:30 with the kids:(

Spring enrolment for the Gym & Music classes also took place and the session has had a wonderful start! We have had a great turn out - the miserable weather leaves visiting the parks still nowhere in sight. But I am so happy to have so many families join me in the classes for the next few months. I will be leading the classes until mid May, at which point one of my fantastic hostesses will take over for me. I can't say that I am not excited to have my next break in sight - I will miss seeing and chatting with everyone each week, however, disinfecting the playground is becoming quite the challenging task each morning!

Lastly, I will end this update with baby names. We have NOTHING that we agree on and this baby may end up nameless for a long time! I love the name Henry for a boy and no other as of yet. And girl names I am looking for a name that is a little more extravagant. Alan likes no boy names at all (really not helpful) and Arya for a girl (another 4 letter name that begins with a vowel - his weird rule on names!)

K, so... Lindsay just ran to the bathroom to throw up and asked me to post this for her. I see she mentioned our issue with compromising on a name. Is that really something you should really even compromise on. I mean, no offence but Lindsay's ideas for names kind of suck. Henry is a repeated alias in English monarchy that my Scottish ancestors despised (according to Braveheart).

If you named your daughter any of these names, you are awesome... Arya (GoT), Maisie (plays Arya in GoT), Adora (He-Man's twin sister), Iona (like Isla, another Scottish isle).

Boy names are pretty lame but they've gotta be better that what Lindsay is proposing.

Yes, I know Lindsay has to grow this human being inside her and should have a say - but that's only for 9 months of the baby's life. This baby will have to live with this name forever. I can't imagine one of us will just cave with an "alright, fine" for such an important decision. I've tried to explain that her ideas are poor but she doesn't understand. How do we find a middle ground?