All posts filed under: Helpful Parenting Tips

The Truth About Travelling with Kids

Here are the details: we took our 4 year old son (Ollie) and our 15 month old daughter (Jaime) to Europe for two weeks. We flew from Toronto to Paris to Stockholm, stayed for a week and then flew from Stockholm to Paris, to Bordeaux. Yes, there are hundreds of posts out there about “the truth” about traveling with kids, so I’ll do my best to not be repetitive and really just lay out the facts. If you want the cole’s notes, read right below, if you want the long version, keep reading. Don’t expect anything. Give up on following any kind of routine. Even the crappy moments have silver lining. Don’t Expect Anything Prior to leaving I had all these silly expectations about how I would keep my children on Canadian time, we could go out for late dinners, not be on the bedtime clock, blah, blah. You just can’t have any expectations about what it will be like, not one. There were moments when I thought what are we doing? Traveling around Europe with …

Small and big choices

Bed time routine is starting and your child needs a bath, they’re oozing dirt out of their little fingernails and you can smell the summer dust all over them. You’re having a super, hard time getting them to get into the bath. You’ve tried your whole arsenal of tricks and nothing is working, so now what? We like to call this, “the small and big choices”. Getting into the bath is a small choice, choosing to sleep at grandma’s house (big choice), picking pj’s (small choice), picking skating over swimming for Fall (big choice). Each choice, big or small has a result. Learning about “choices and results” is a very important step some of us sometimes leap past.  The other night Ollie wanted to sleep at his grandmother’s house (she had given the ok, the ball was left in our court). We passed the choice onto the O-man, and told him that’s an example of a big choice he got to make. Essentially the little choices we make easily, without whining, complaining, crying, swearing (oh yes, the O-man …

Popsicle

I’m sure there could be plenty of puns I could have used for the title, but I’m pretty tired in all honesty and my writing fingers are sleeping at the keys. It would have been really easy if Oliver’s name was Peter instead. I think I had a pretty decent capacity for intelligence until I got pregnant with my first child. Currently, this first child of mine, is really into Popsicles. We got a Popsicle maker as a gift last Christmas and upgraded the model this past summer to a larger one. It comes from a company called Zoku, they make some pretty cool gadgets, worth checking out. The whole popsicle making experience buys you about 20 minutes of entertainment, to me, that makes it a worthwhile endeavor. Even better is that we can sneak in one of those baby squeeze pouches made out of veggies. Oliver will have two Popsicles in a row, without a doubt, think about all those little veggies that are sneaking into his mouth and he doesn’t even know. This …

Seasons Newest Client!!

I had my second c-section on May 11th at 12:45, it was a scheduled c-section. I’ve learned a lot of new facts about second c-sections and I think it may be worthwhile to share with moms who are anticipating going under the big knife again. Please note that all facts are based on my personal experience and every woman’s birth story is different….so use my knowledge but don’t hold me to it. Here are 3 facts I now know about second time c-sections: Having a scheduled c-section is probably one of the most civilized way to give birth. The recovery time on your second c-section is definitely easier than the first time. It really sucks not being able to lift your first-born child, like really sucks. Here are 3 facts I now know about second babies Second babies are easier, they themselves may not be an easy baby, but the shock of what has happened to your life is eliminated, it’s like riding a bicycle, you never forget. The hormonal roller coaster still climbs up …

Valentines Day Crafts

We’re prepping for a few events where we’ll be sharing some valentines day crafts, so thought we would share them here too! They’re not only easy but also very budget friendly! All supplies we’re purchased at the dollar store (minus the cardboard, which was rescued from our recycling bin). Valentines Day Wreath   Materials Mason Jar Lid Various Heart Decorations Twine Red Ribbon Hot Glue Directions Wrap the twine around the Mason Jar lid, very tightly and hot glue both the starting point and the end point. Use whatever heart decorations you like and tie a ribbon at the top. Although this is so perfect for Valentines Day you could definitely use it as a Holiday Ornament too!   Valentines Day Love Sign Materials Needle and red yarn Square of burlap red ribbon or rope Felt Scissors Hot Glue Directions You can get as creative as you like with your little burlap square. We kept it simple but would encourage those creativity juices to flow! We simply cut a heart out of felt and hot …

Great Ideas for Wee Little Hands

We’ve been very busy with summer camp and our little Tots have been experimenting with all sorts of materials. We’ve been doing a ton of art and sensory activities. Each day at camp we have a new theme and then base our art/sensory activity on the theme. Here are a couple ideas you could easily do at home with your little one. Not to worry if you don’t have access to a proper sensory bin, any shallow container will really do, the dollar store has a great selection! Craft Ideas Boat Pictures Cardboard, construction paper, cotton balls, blue tissue paper, blue, paper plates Zebras Paper plates (cut in half) black construction paper, glue, pompoms, cotton balls Weather Chart This was an easy and fun craft. We’re learning about weather and seasons and so this craft fit perfectly. We traced the kids hands and then helped them to cut them out. They used different colour tissue paper depending on the seasons. For the winter picture they stuck on cotton balls. Materials: construction paper, tissue paper, glue, …

Making Mistakes

So this month my son is really into markers, particularly the lids (which is definitely better as it means less marker on the walls however, it does mean that we constantly have marker on our hands). I’m not sure why anyone ever thought that non-washable markers was a good idea (or really my thought should be about what possessed me to buy them in the first place). My son’s absolute favorite thing to do is put the marker lids on his on his fingers (which he then appropriately calls marker fingers) and then tries to play with his toys which inevitably results in frustration since he can’t accomplish anything with markers on his fingers. What gets me, is that he still tries every time. My son is a clever kid, I know all parents think that about their own children, so I’m ok with the eye roll at your computer screen. My question is that how come toddlers will try something over and over again regardless of whether or not they keep getting the same …

Craft Ideas for All Ages!

I just did a talk on how to nurture creativity within yourself and with your little ones. It was for a great group of moms who were really keen on getting their kids crafting more (my kind of moms). Creativity is so important and will be more and more in the generations to come as standard employment positions will cease to exist and we’ll need to think more creatively in the job market, or for resources, etc. Being creative to children is so natural. Ken Robinson describes creativity and children so perfectly in his famous quote: “we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it”. It’s important we nurture creativity in our little ones as much as we can and we can do so by encouraging them to think outside of the box, to explore and to use their imaginations. Find a space in your house that you can designate to “creating”. Ikea sells the perfect “craft” table for little ones and let them get started! For those of you that have kiddies who …

What Would You Do With a Time Machine?

Let’s be honest who hasn’t thought about what they would do with a time machine? I may ponder this thought more than the average person but I think it would be hard to find someone out there who has never had the time machine thought, even for a fleeting moment. Of course, there are the big ticket items we all think about, stopping wars, preventing unnecessary deaths, etc but let’s eliminate those from our list of possible time travel choices. Let’s say, your time machine only takes you to moments in your own life and you can’t prevent anything from happening you can just have a chat with an earlier version of yourself, what would you say?  Childhood Self Play, play lots and lots, enjoy the fact that you can entertain yourself for hours with a cardboard box and a paper towel roll. Entertainment isn’t cheap in your thirties. I know that your big brother is a bit of a pain but trust me one day he’s going to be your best friend, you’ll even …

Increasing our Creativity!

Creative projects have an endless amount of therapeutic benefits. Creating something with our own two hands leads us to sentiments of accomplishment and pride, these feelings are present in us even from the age of two when we draw our first circle or when we colour in our first picture. As we grow, our projects may increase in complexity but the feeling of achievement remains. Taking nothing and molding it into something allows us to gain confidence. We begin to value our self-worth and individuality the more we create, the more we put our ideas out there, the more we grow creatively. Creativity can help to foster: Self-esteem Imagination Determination Assertiveness Courageousness Perhaps some of us are scared by the word creativity because it is often associated with artistic abilities, however, creativity and artistic ability are not necessarily a complementary pair. One can be extremely creative in something and yet have no idea how to hold a paintbrush. We can be creative in our finances, in sports, in problem solving, in writing and even in …