Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Skating Outdoors

December Fatigue

Is it the stress of the holidays? The stress of shopping? The fatigue of getting sick because December is always a bad month in our house?

It seems whenever I get to this time of year I just feel tired. It is like the stress and load of the entire year is winding down and I feel more run down. It could also be that I see the light at the end of tunnel - time off for the holidays. Every year I try to save up as much vacation time as I can so that I can take two weeks off for Christmas and New Years to spend with my family.

Every year I promise myself that I won't get sucked into the stress and hoopla of the holidays. And every year I seem to let myself down and find that I am swept up in the craziness. At this point I still have cleaning to do in the house, baking and cooking to finish, some small presents to buy, presents to wrap and there is only 2 days left. I have one more day of work and then I am off. My plan for Friday is finish up a few things and put my feet up and enjoy my family for the day. I feel like every year the holidays pass me by and I miss the special moments with family and friends. This year I am going to try to make sure that I enjoy the people in my life.

At night we are going to spend time with close friends. Every year on Christmas Eve they have family and us ( we have known each other so long we are like family) over food and drinks. The kids play and check in with NORAD to see where Santa is and how close he is to our house.

What do you do to decompress and de-stress over the holidays? Do you do anything special with friends and family to appreciate the special times of the holiday season?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Share A Smile - What Makes Me Smile

I have been thinking about this...What Makes Me Smile? At first I was thinking about all those great trips and moments during my life with family and friends. I wanted to recount some great experience or opportunity but you know what truly makes me smile? You know the kind of smile that warms your heart, even when you are feeling down or in a particularly dark place? Well, truly what makes me smile is often those small sweet moments, those moments in time when your 5 year old daughter is signing to her self when she thinks no one is listening or watching. Or the time when your daughter gives you a hug for no reason and tells you she loves you or tells you are beautiful or says you are the best Mom in the world.  It is those unexpected, but heart warming moments of my life that truly make me smile.

As parents we often get caught up in work, bills, functions and events, car pooling, kids name it we get involved...and we often forget to slow down and notice those sweet moments of joy that happen every day. We let life get in the way of life!

I also think the best way to smile is to share a smile. Let's face it a simple smile from a stranger can make you feel so much better when you are having a bad day.  So what is more special than being able to share a smile online....and with the Snack Pack Share a Smile Campaign you can do just that and also help out someone who could really use your help over the holiday season.  Snack Pack Canada is donating $1 to Food Banks Canada for every “smile” shared on their facebook page Snack Pack Smile on facebook. They’re aiming to donate $20,000. Check out the page, “Like It,” and follow the easy instructions and $1 will be donated on your behalf. You can even send “smiles” to your friends and $1 will be donated on their behalves as well. There are even prizes to be won. Check it out and bring a smile to someone in your life.

Disclosure - I am participating in the Snack Pack Program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Conagra Foods Canada. I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Don't Worry Mom...I Can Eat It All!

This picture makes me laugh when I see it. I bought this cinnamon bun for my youngest. I asked her if she was going to be able to eat it all. Naturally, she said, " No problem". It was as big as her head.

p.s....Mom helped finish it off.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Write A Review Wednesday: When Stella Was Very, Very Small

I am not sure how I didn't know about Stella and her little brother Sam. The childrens books are written by Montreal author Marie-Louise Gay. The series of book follow the adventures of Stella and her little brother Sam.
I was immersed in the world of Stella and Sam when I did a book reading for kids for Playhouse Disney Canada as they toured to announce the new show set to launch on the channel in the new year. I was lucky to receive a gift package of several of Gay's lovely series.
My kids have already read several of the books and I have read a few to them. One of my favourites is When  Stella Was Very, Very Small. 
It takes Stella back a few years. This was before Sam was around. In this book, Stella remembers what it is like to be very, very small. She discovers the worlds revealed through listening, seeing and feeling. I love this book. It is sweet. I love the story and I love the illustrations and artwork, the water colours and drawings have a lovely whimsical feel.

 Write a review Wednesday was started by author Tara Lazar

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reading for Playhouse Disney Canada

I was invited by Moms Central Canada to read at Erin Mills Town Centre. There was a great spot set up for kids to colour, play, watch and listen.
Here is a copy of the book I was reading from the Stella and Sam series. Check it out the show that is coming to Playhouse Disney Canada in January
M and I reading before the reading! Like mother, like daughter.
Doing my best! I was a little nervous and didn't know what to think or expect. The Playhouse Disney crew was great and very welcoming.
Lots of kids taking part and getting a special sneak peek at the new show Stella and Sam. I can't wait to see it on Playhouse Disney Canada!

**I received books as a gift and will be compensated for my time by Playhouse Disney Canada 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hitting the Con!

So I am heading off to my first social media/networking conference. It is not because I haven't wanted to go before, it just never worked out. I find it hard to make it to many of the conferences because of the hours that I work and I would rather take vacation time for family and friends rather than work. But this conference is during the day which is perfect for me. ShesConnected Conference is bringing 100 connected women together to talk and listen and learn.

ShesConnected is a full day, hands-on conference and workshop to connect top brands with Canada’s most influential and powerful digital women. "Brands are sponsoring this event so that selected digital women attend for free. In exchange, digital women attending will gain insights on how to best work with brands, receive great swag, and get connected with other great women."

I was thrilled that I was chosen to attend. I think it will be a great chance to meet some really fantastic women and learn about brands and social media. I hope I can share what I learn with everyone here and on twitter. Look for updates next week.

I'm speaking at the ShesConnected Conference

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Oldies But Goodies

When News has a Happy Ending

I have worked in news for many years. I don't want to age myself too much but let's just say that it is more than 10 years. There are some stories that just stay with you forever, stories like 9-11 and the day the war in Afghanistan started, and then there are those powerful local stories that just tug at your heart strings. Recently I had the pleasure of playing a part in one of those tug-at-your-heart stories.

Back at the end of September on a Thursday night I got a call from a man saying that his 87 year old father was missing. He had been missing since the day before when he never returned from a visit to his doctor's office. The man told me about how his father had called to say that he got lost but that he got directions and would be home soon and then they didn't hear from him again. This man told me how his father always listened to our radio station and that they hoped if we did a story he might hear it and call home or one of our dedicated listeners would hear the story and call police when they spotted the man and his car. After a short bit of investigation I discovered a police release had been issued and so we called back to do an interview with the missing man's son. We quickly got a story together and on the air in the hopes that this great human interest story would come to a happy ending. Hours went by and we didn't hear anything. And so my night came to a close and I went home.

The next day I came into work not knowing how the story had ended. After a brief search in our system I discovered the missing 87 year old man had been found and he was now safe. He apparently become disoriented and confused, ending up several kilometers away from his home. His car was out of gas and he was about to spend a second night in his car. It was one of our listeners that reportedly heard the story and spotted the car and license plate and then called police.

I was able to call the man's son back and express my happiness that things had ended well and that the family was back together. It was an emotional phone call. He was emotional and it brought me to tears. He told me that he believed that I saved his fathers life by taking his call, not blowing him off and actually taking action. I have since received an email with an update and several lovely pictures of his dad and mom together. And then tonight I got this....

It was a basket full of all sorts of goodies from the family. It makes my heart feel good to know something that I did  helped someone, that somehow what I do every day actually impacts someone. These kinds of experiences are invaluable. I have learned so much about myself through helping this family. I have learned how important individual stories are to the fabric of a city, about how important good news stories are to me as a journalist and as a person and a mother....and so much more. It also reminded me of all the things I  have to be thankful for....especially family.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - At the Farm

The kids at Springridge Farm for birthday party & Fall Festival

My Recent Absence

It seems like forever since I posted a blog update. And to be honest the past several weeks have been a bit of a blur.

The first two weeks of September were just hard. I had one daughter starting grade 2. She was off to school every day. Perfect. I also had my youngest daughter starting SK. She was off to school, well, what seemed to be never. Our school board does something called graduated entry. They think it is best for the kindie kids to enter the school slowly and so they only go to school in a staggered way.  The first day was only a visit, and then the next week my daughter went for a 20 minute visit. Several days later she went for a couple of hours until finally on September 17th she finally went off for her first full day of school. It really did seem like it took forever for that day to arrive. Not that I wanted her to be off all day it was just hard trying to manage one in school and one waiting to go to school.

Finally I have a routine. Both kids were off at school and I could finally get a home routine in place. Right. Wrong. The first full week of school for both kids and I got really sick. There is an early flu going around my work and guess who got it. Right . ME! So I was off work a couple of days trying to shake it and get better but instead what happens? I get the stomach flu. Nice. So stuffed up nose and cough wasn't enough, I had to be throwing up too! ( sorry I know probably too much information but it had to be said). So one day off work turned into four days off.

Once I got better I was hoping for a nice quiet week but that is not what I got. The following week I had to deal with something that is possibly a mother's worst nightmare, especially a mother to two little girls with a full head of thick curly hair. Yes, you are thinking it aren't you. Yes LICE. It is a taboo topic for a lot of Mom's and Dad's. Many feel embarrassed about it. Which is  the wrong approach. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. As I have just learned from my experience it is every where... and I mean EVERY WHERE. The schools are full of it and it is rampant. Dozens of our school are dealing with itor have been dealing with it ...and that means so are the Mom's. It was a difficult week but we made it.

So, that is why I haven't been posting as much lately. I am hoping to get back on track. I have a lot swirling around this brain of mine and I hope to get writing about it soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When Mom is Sick

So what happens when Mom gets sick?

Well, in my house this Mom struggles to let go of the reins. My husband offered  to get up to get the girls off to school I should have just stayed in bed but I didn't. We did the tag team thing. It does make things easier but since I wasn't feeling well I was struggling with things a bit this morning. I got up to get lunches together and sign their lunch orders and book orders. Then, because the girls wanted me to drop them off at school, I went along for the ride to school. It is usually me who does school drop off and pick up. I was exhausted when we came home. So I eventually went back to bed.

I slept for several hours. I was much needed rest.

When I got up I did the dishes and cleaned up a bit. My husband picked up the girls from school. And Mom was back on duty. I watched a movie with the girls and fixed them some left overs for dinner.  After some play time, oldest daughters dance class, a trip to the grocery story I finally put the girls to bed. By the end of the night I was exhausted

I just wonder why it is that I find it hard to let someone else have control while I am sick. I know that I need to take care of me so that I can kick this cold but why is it so hard?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Barbie

M wouldn't pose for a picture so I had to snap this one in the movie. Thanks to Erica and the Yummy Mummy Club for hosting. My little fashionista loved Barbie A Fashion Fairytale

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Knowing When to Unplug

Earlier this summer I read a great article in the NY Times about parenting while plugged in . It is a great piece about the impact of parents who talk on their phones, instant message, tweet, facebook all while trying to parent. I was really struck by the piece because I have, like so many other parents, been guilty of doing the very thing I was reading about. I have put my kids on the back burner while answering a tweet or checking email on my blackberry BUT I try not to do that anymore. Reading that article was a bit of a light bulb moment for me. Sad really that I needed an article to make me notice what I was ( or wasn't ) doing with my kids. I now try to make sure that I am not spending a lot of time online while I am with my kids. I am trying to make a distinction between family time and computer time. Sometimes it is work to resist the urge to sit down in front of the computer and start tweeting, checking facebook and email. Or even worse, picking up my blackberry and checking email.

Now to the reason I decided to write this post. On the weekend I took my girls to a great city hosted event, the annual Childrens Festival. It is close to our house, just minutes away. It is free and a great chance to spend some quality time together. It never ceases to amaze me though that so many parents/adults find it so hard to unplug when the are out with their children. Don't get me wrong, I know there are things/calls/emails that just can't wait but do you really need to talk on the phone for 20 or 30 minutes while waiting in line with your children or even worse, while your children are running wild around the park because their parental unit is not paying attention? I get a quick call, or email to deal with the issue and then get back to spending time with your children.

Why is it so hard for us these days to actually unplug and spend quality time with our families. Isn't it more important to actually be focused on our children, to really be PRESENT with our families?  What are your thoughts?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Play Date Police

So today was a first for me. Every Mom sometimes plays play date police. You know, monitoring the screaming and yelling and the mean talk, the usual play date mayhem but today was a first. My daughter's play date friend was caught with stuff that didn't belong to her and then tried to say it was hers. Here is how it all went down.

My daughter's friend arrived at our house a little before 1 o'clock pm. She was dropped off by her mother. The play date went fine. The girls played well, all three of them. Both my daughters were involved in this play date. After about an hour everyone decided that we should go to the park so we did. We got to the park and the girls started to play on the monkey bars, trying to do tricks. They were hanging upside down and that's when it happened. From the friends pocket dropped a case of eye shadow. My oldest daughter said " Hey that looks just like Emm's." (Emm is my youngest daughter.) To which the friend said "No it's not. It's mine. I have one just like it." To which my daughter said "No that looks just like Emm's." So I decided that I needed to get involved, especially when I saw the friend trying to slip it back into her pocket and walk away. I said "Let me see that." The little girl tried to hide it in her pocket and walk away from me. So I insisted. When she showed it to me it was immediately apparent that it was not hers. The eye shadow case had my kids initials written in nail polish on the lid. I told the friend that I was going to have to take it back and everyone continued to play.

Now, fast forward about 10 minutes. And guess what happened? Ya, something else fell out of her pocket. It was just a little trinket but it wasn't really the fact that it was just a little toy, but rather that it didn't belong to her, she didn't ask to take it or even play with it and she was trying to conceal it in her pocket. My oldest daughter said "Hey, are you trying to steal our stuff?" The friend said "NO". To which my daughter said, "Well, then why do you have all our stuff in your pockets?" Good question I say.

Now I didn't make a big stink about it at the time. I took back the stuff and the play date continued. I was stunned to be honest. I started to think back on all the times this little girl had been over to our house. I started to think that maybe I didn't handle it the right way. Should I have been more direct with this little friend? Should I have said something to her mother when I dropped her off at home?

What do you think? What would you have done?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Tooth Fairy is Coming

My youngest daughter reached a milestone today. She is growing up.( **sniff, sniff. Can someone pass me a tissue?)

This is a funny picture she is over smiling... if there is such a thing
 "M" is so proud. She lost her first tooth today. She was ready to shout it from the roof-top. She did manage to walk down our street and tell every neighbour who was home that she lost her tooth. Oh and of course she had to show everyone.

Evidence. The tooth. It is so tiny.

Playhouse Disney Canada Blog Tour/Giveaway (CLOSED)

Before I had children I always wondered why there would be a 24 hour all kids/cartoon channel. I mean really who would be watching kids T.V. shows at 3 o'clock in the morning. That was B.C. - before children. Now that I am a mother of two young girls I see the beauty in a 24 hour, 7 day a week non-stop kids cartoon channel. It is a lifesaver.

Playhouse Disney Canada is one of those life savers, on T.V. and online. I have been blessed with two beautiful girls, one is a great sleeper and the other is not. We have spent many a night over the years up at night, surfing channels at 3 a.m. and now when we are up in the middle of the night on those rare occasions we have a family favourite to turn to. The beauty of Playhouse Disney Canada is that there are shows for both my girls. My oldest daughter is 7 years old and has outgrown some of our favourite shows ( or so she says) but there are two shows that she likes, Franny's Feet

is a long-time family favourite and a new favourite, Strawberry Shortcake.

( I am happy to see Strawberry Shortcake back on T.V. It is a favourite show from my childhood.) My youngest girl is only five years old and she loves the classic Disney characters, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is her fav.

She would watch this show over any other, hands down. She sings all the songs, knows all the characters and will watch without interuption right until the end (and that is saying something because she isn't a huge T.V. watcher, she would rather play than sit and watch.) As a Mom I like Playhouse Disney Canada because I never have to worry some inappropriate show will come on. It is a safe option.

The other great thing about  is what parents and kids can find online. There is a never ending source of games, activities and even shows. It is a great online choice for families.

I would love to hear what you and your family love to watch on Playhouse Disney Canada. Leave a comment on my blog and include your email and you could win a Playhouse Disney prize pack which includes;
  • Playhouse Disney DVD with 5 full episodes (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, Imagination Movers, Special Agent OSO, My Friends Tigger & Pooh).
  • Magnetic Pen
  • Sticker Sheet
  • Crayons and Colouring Magnet
Contest Details
  • Open to Canadian residents only. You may enter this giveaway on multiple blogs but are only eligible to win one prize package as part of the Playhouse Disney blog tour.
  • Giveaway will run until Wednesday, August 18th at 11:59 pm EST
  • Winner will have 48 hours to reply to my e-mail with their name and address or another winner will be chosen.
Must Do Entry
  • Leave a comment telling me what your child’s favorite Playhouse Disney Canada show is.
Bonus Entry
  • Go to Playhouse Disney on Facebook and subscribe to the newsletter. Leave a comment saying you have done so.
  • follow my blog with google friend connect
  • Follow me on  twitter and tweet about the giveaway using the hashtag #PlayhouseDisneyCanada (can be done once a day, don’t forget to leave a comment with the direct link to your tweet)
Disclaimer: I am participating in this Playhouse Disney Channel Blog Tour by Mom Central.  I received a Playhouse Disney Prize Pack and a thank you card for my participation.  The thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Another Monday

It's Monday. And I am tired. It is the start of another work week and feeling as tired as I am right now it could be a long week. I wonder why it is after a weekend I feel less rested then when I started. More and more weekends are about working and cleaning and buzzing around town with kids. Saturday and Sunday are probably two days that are the busiest of the entire week.

I work evenings during the week and so often miss out on a lot of things with the kids. I try to do as much as I can with the girls but I often run out of time and must head to work. So when the weekend comes there is cleaning to do, shopping to get done, meals to cook, laundry to wash, rooms to tidy, dishes to wash, kids play dates to arrange and family time to squeeze in somewhere. By Sunday night I am exhausted and it's time for bed and then the week starts all over again.

I often wonder why I try to do too much. I think deep down I am trying to make up for the lost time with my girls. I try to spend as much time with them as I can, while still getting all the housework and other chores done too. It is all part of that Mom Guilt thing that I think all Mothers deal with( secretly or not so secretly) I try not to let it get to me but that is often easier said than done. Working is just part of life. I believe that I am teaching my girls that girls can do great work, love what they do and be a strong part of a household....but I am missing out on a lot of things. I, like a lot of people, struggle with balance. It is work. I have to keep reminding myself of what is important and not to stress about the small stuff. Time with friends and family is more important sometimes than the dirty dishes in the sink. It is all about mind, body, spirit and making sure that you are nourishing all parts of yourself. It is work for sure. It is a struggle but if you don't take care of yourself you will be no good to the people who you love the most and who love you....I am learning to do that a little bit every day.

What do you do to nourish your mind, body and spirit? I love to hear your stories and learn a few tips along the way. Here's to Monday! And to nourishing myself so I have enough energy and strength to make it to the weekend!

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Best Neighbourhood Ever

I am lucky. We live in a fantastic neighbourhood. Our house is on a great street with mature trees, beautiful houses and great neighbours and we are a block and a half from the lake. From our house we have a beautiful view of Lake Ontario. When the sun shines, it glistens off the water like diamonds.

Today I decided to take the kids to the beach. We loaded our stuff in the car and picked up a friend and were at the beach within minutes.
We are so lucky to live so close to water. I have lived near Lake Ontairo my entire life. It is so great to be able to share this with my children. I think kids grow to have a greater respect for nature and the environment when they experience it, live it, touch it.

It was a great day at the beach. We got to spend time together. We enjoyed the beautiful sunshine together.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tanner's Story and the Power of Twitter

The story of Tanner Bawn and his aunt Catherine Connors has gone viral. It is the talk around water coolers and online chat rooms and social media. Tanner's customized motorized wheelchair was damaged while on an Air Canada flight from Toronto to New York. Tanner is 10 years old and has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and is completely dependant on his $15,000 wheelchair to get around. It is his life. Tanner and his Mom made the trip with Aunt Catherine to watch a group of tutu wearing bloggers and social media mavens, including Catherine, as part of Tutus For Tanner, a charity run in Central Park. When the group arrived at New York's LaGuardia Airport they discovered the wheelchair had been dismantled, seemingly beyond repair.
Catherine  immediately took to Twitter, first asking people for Air Canada phone numbers, and then explaining what happened. The online campaign created a flurry of reaction, making it one of the ``trending'' topics in Canada. By Thursday afternoon the family had the chair back. In a statement, Air Canada said an all-night repair service in New York managed to fix the chair. The company also said it would make one of Tanner's wishes come true. A trip to Disney World for the family.

While Air Canada finally came around to fixing the problem and is promising to look into what happened so it doesn't happen again, it wasn't without pressure from the twitterverse. And I am very proud to be an active member of twitter and what the power of the people can accomplish. Social media is a great tool for people and corporations. WE get to express our trials and tribulations, joys and passions, we can bitch and complain and most importantly find answers, friendship and support. Companies would do good to listen to what is being said in the realm of social media. There is much to learn, glean, and discover from customers and there is also a great opportunity for these companies to reach out to customers to offer real help, services and insight.

I am proud of the twitter community. We are a strong bunch of people, we support each other in good and bad times. Way to go TWITTER!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cottage Tradition

My aunt walking to the car from Webers
People stand in line in the rain with Webers umbrellas.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Frugal Friday

Many months ago I thought I would start writing about saving on Fridays. I wrote a few posts but haven't been too inspired lately and then yesterday I caught Oprah and the topic was frugal families. All I can say is wow. I was inspired by the families that were on the show and the tips and pearls of wisdom that these people were sharing.

 Firstly, one woman talked about how much she now saves on her hydro bill. I was astounded. To save this woman unplugs everything in her home when it is not in use and that goes for appliances, TV's and lamps. These appliances all pull in energy when they are plugged in, even if they are turned off.   In May 2008, her energy bill was $268. After she started unplugging, her bill went down to $91. And when she got really vigilant—even turning off the air conditioning—her energy bill was only $60.42. Wow. I immediately went around the main floor of our house unplugging things. I unplugged about 15 things that were in plain view. We are going to get tough on lights and electronic items left on and see if we too can get our monthly hydro/electricity bill down.

The second things was the family that lives on one income, $58,000 a year, and still managed to save $70,000. They are a frugal family. Dinners for $5.00 or less are a regular thing in their house. It made my husband and I start thinking about what we spend our money on. We both started packing lunches again. Food and eating out are the two things that we spend most of our money on. We both work downtown and are often eating out or picking up food on the way home. We are trying to cut down.

I am also trying to cut down on the number of times I go to the grocery store every week. Ideally I would like to only go once a week but that takes planning. The more visits to the grocery store in the week, the more money I spend. This fall I am making a pledge to only go shopping once a week, go with a list and plan meals for the week. I am also hoping to make multiple meals to put in the freezer for those days when we are short on time or just too lazy or tired to cook.

What are you doing to cut your budget and save money? I am always looking for easy, fun and successful tips to cut spending and increase saving.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Pets My Kids LOVE

My kids are desperate for a pet. We used to have a dog but he passed away. They are eager to get another pet, they would like a dog or a cat. The only problem with a cat is that I am very allergic and cats often spark asthma attacks for, a cat is out for our house. BUT don't despair. They have the next best thing.

These are the beautiful little kittens that live at my parents house. They are cute and cuddly and much loved by my two girls.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Playhouse Disney Canada Blog Tour

I am very excited that I was selected for the Playhouse Disney Canada blog tour by Mom Central Canada. While my kids don't watch a tonne of television, they do watch Playhouse Disney Canada.

As part of the blog tour I will be writing about the channel, what I like and, of course, what my kids like. I will also have a great giveaway for a lucky reader but I will have more on that on a later post. Stay tuned.

I am participating in the Playhouse Disney program by Mom Central. I will be receiving a Playhouse Disney prize pack and a thank you gift card to facilitiate this post. The opinions of this blog are my own

Monday, July 19, 2010

Another Birthday

So another year has passed. My baby is now 5 years old. The picture above was taken just after my little M came home. I love this picture because you can see instantly the love that big sister K had for her little sister.

It is hard to believe that it has been 5 years already. We have family on hand for M's birthday and she got everything the little princess she is wanted. Fancy clothes, dress up high heels and makeup. Yes I said makeup. I happen to be raising a little girl that loves all things girlie, especially makeup. To be honest I am not sure where that  came from because she certainly didn't get it from me. She is her own person that is for sure.
Part of me is happy that my husband and I are able to allow her to be herself, love the things that she loves and embrace her feminine self. The other part of me is worried. Worried because should a 5 year old really love makeup and high heels so much? I am not sure.

I want the best for my girls. I want them to be tough and soft, strong and sensitive but it is such a fine line, there is a difficult balance. Stay tuned. There are many years ahead on this parenting road. An exciting journey.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Tonight there was sad news from Peterborough, the body of a 4 year old boy was pulled from the waters  of the Otonabee River at Inverlea Park. Police say the boy was swimming with family when he failed to surface from the water. The youngster apparently was swept away by swift currents. There is word there was no adult present at the time.

This latest drowning comes on the heels of a deadly start to the summer. There have now been 14 people who have drown in the last three weeks.

It is National Drowning Prevention Week. According to the Canadian Lifesaving Society drowning deaths have continued to increase in recent years.

Below is a summary of facts about drowning deaths in Canada. The statistics are from data compiled from the Chief Coroner’s Offices in all provinces. The year 2006 is the most recent year for which data is available. In Canada:

• Nearly 500 people die every year in water-related incidents (In 2006 508 people drowned in Canada)

• Drowning deaths decreased for children from 0-17 years of age, but increased for adults 18-34 and adults 50-64 (The highest increase in drownings was among 50-64 year olds. Adults 18-34 had the next highest drowning increase)

• Drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death for children under 10 years of age

• 61 per cent of drownings occur in lakes, ponds, rivers, streams and waterfalls

• 6 per cent of all drowning deaths (32 total) occurred in private pools

• 57 per cent of drowning deaths occur while participating in aquatic activities such as swimming or boating

• 58 per cent of drowning deaths occurred while the victims were engaged in recreational activities

• Of the total number of drowning deaths, 85 per cent were amongst males and 15 per cent were amongst females

By age group, toddlers 2-4 years of age have the second highest drowning risk in Ontario. The average annual preventable water-related death rate (over the 1992-1998 period) for 2-4 year olds has been 1.8 deaths per 100,000 versus the provincial average for all age groups of 1.4 per 100,000 population.
Most of these children were alone (60%) and playing near water (70%) when they fell in and drowned.
Parents are the focus of the target group given their role as the supervisor of their children

The message for parents of children 2-4 years from the Lifesaving Society is if you are not within arms’ reach of your children anytime they are around water, you have gone too far.

Among the recommendations:

- Never leave a child alone in on or near water – whether it is a backyard pool, wading pool, bathtub or a lake. The drowning process can take as little as 10 seconds.
- Pool owners should ensure that fences enclose all sides of a pool, not just the three that municipal law requires.
- Keep a close eye on sliding and patio doors. Ensure doors are locked and put alarm on the door to be absolutely sure.
- Ensure all gates have a self-closing latch and that gates are locked to keep children out of the pool area when it is not in use.
- Keep safety equipment around the pool, for easy access including a reaching pole, a ring buoy or other floating objects that can be thrown to someone in need. Also, keep a cordless phone nearby for emergencies.

 There are lots of opportunities for children to learn how to swim. Every child should learn to swim. And every adult should learn CPR.

Monday, July 5, 2010


I first posted this article back in August 2008 but I often return to the list after a bad night sleep. We have had a few bad nights recently so I thought I would repost this useful list.
I have been blessed to have a child that has never really slept well at night.She wasn't a great sleeper as a baby and now at 7 years old she really still isn't that great. I have also been blessed to have a child who does sleep well. Always has. The biggest challenge has been that the child that doesn't sleep well is my first born. New parents and a new, non-sleeping, baby are not a good mix. We naturally thought she would grow out of it, she never really has. I have often wondered how much of a role my husband and I played in our daughter's poor sleeping routine. Then our second daughter was born, a naturally good sleeper from the get-go and that kind of threw my theory out the window.

I had the pleasure of asking a sleep expert about sleep and soothing babies. Dr. Heather Pizzo, The Baby Sleep Coach, has some great tips and advice for new and old parents. I know these tips helped me to make changes and improvements, I hope they are helpful for you too.


1. BE CONSISTENT. Dr. Pizzo says parents need to choose a method and stick with it.

2.BE PREDICTABLE: Infants and toddlers thrive on predictability and routine. It is important for them to know what is coming next.

3.COMMUNICATE: Communication is important both between you and your spouse, and between you and your child. Parents need to be on the same page as each other.

4. FLEXIBILITY: It needs to be understood that a routine does not mean following a clock or a rigid schedule, says Dr. Pizzo.

5. SLEEP INDUCES SLEEP: A consistent bedtime routine sets your baby's internal clock so that she's naturally sleepy at a predictable time. A consistent wake up time is as important.

6. ELIMINATE ALL SLEEP AIDS: Eliminate the use of sleep aids like rocking, swinging, sucking after the age of three to four months. Babies need to fall asleep on their own.

7. TRANSITIONAL OBJECTS: Babies often choose an object as their security object, which is there for them in the night when you are not, it could be a toy or a blankie.

This was all part of research for an article I wrote for Urban Baby & Toddler, For more on soothing your baby or helping your child get to sleep and stay asleep, check out the article in the Fall issue of the magazine.