Archive - 2012

1
Ruby the Catty Bunny
2
Summer Fun
3
Whatever Floats Your Boat (or in this case, your child!)
4
Summer Slide Is NOT An Amusement Park Ride
5
Shopping With Kids
6
Muskoka Woods
7
Yell At Your Own Kid, Not Mine
8
Karma Cleanse
9
My Mandate To Hydrate
10
A Penchant For Invention

Ruby the Catty Bunny

If you have young children you’ve likely been subjected to Max and Ruby. You’ve also obviously wondered, where their parent are. I always assumed they were killed trying to hop across the interstate.   *Update 2017—recent episodes of the show now include mom and dad rabbit! They hopped into the show after their mysterious five year absence. I’d love to know how creator Rosemary Wells feels about this rabbit resurrection. In past interviews she’s said, “We don’t see Max and Ruby’s parents because I believe that kids resolve their issues and conflicts differently when they’re on their own.” Maybe Wells is cool with this. Or perhaps this is the shows producers caving into PC pressures? Very curious… The other day as my daughter sat watching the show her older brother was nearby researching bird calls with his new Bird Watchers App. He’d been asking for it for months. I finally relented and now live in a constant state of, “Is that a bird in my house?! No, it’s just the app. Man that sounds real. Oh my god, maybe there IS a bird in my house?! ” While he was busy with his virtual flock, my daughter enjoyed her favourite[…]

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Summer Fun

The weather here in Ontario this summer has been perfect for outdoor fun. And what tops our list of family friendly activities? The drive-in and geocaching!  The Drive-In A starlight movie night IS summer. I’ve been going to the drive-in since I was a child and I love taking my kids now that I’m all grown up-ish.  Drive-in tips: Arrive early enough to ensure a spot not too close to the screen. This can mean up to two hours before the show (depending on the night and the weather) so come prepared with activities to keep the kids entertained. Many drive-ins have a playground for kids to enjoy while waiting for the sun to set. The drive-in near us happens to have the scariest slide and squeakiest swing set anywhere. Outside food/drinks are not permitted but, if a few bottles of water and some snacks should make it in undetected… so be it. I still head to the snack bar and buy popcorn at some point during the movie anyway. Bring blankets, a sweater, socks (in case it gets cold) and bug spray. Bathrooms get busy in between movies so go just as a movie is ending or after the next[…]

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Whatever Floats Your Boat (or in this case, your child!)

  We take water safety very seriously and my daughter always wears some kind of floatation device — a life jacket on the boat and this *Puddle Jumper floatie by the pool. One day last summer, due to a “code brown” situation, I broke my own rule and took off her floatie vest in order to rinse out her suit and attend to the “poop deck.” And I took my eyes off my child. Though it was only for a few seconds and I was less than two feet away, that’s all it took. She leaned over the pool to retrieve a ball and fell in, silently slipping under the water. That’s the thing about drowning; it’s not the wild, splashing scene often depicted on t.v. or in the movies.  It’s deadly quiet.  Kids, especially ones like mine with zero body fat, sink like a stone. Luckily her brother was right there to reach down and pluck her out out of the water. This summer Avery continues to wear her Puddle Jumper. ALWAYS. As well, she’s learning to swim without it but only when an adult is in the pool with her. It’s important for non-swimmers to feel the sensation of sinking.[…]

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Summer Slide Is NOT An Amusement Park Ride

It’s July and we’re fully immersed in summer fun: swimming, travelling, frolicking but all the while, my nine year old is slip-sliding away…. specifically, his math skills are. All the progress made in the spring is slipping away. I don’t tell my children this, but I despise arithmetic. Words are my thing. It seems my son has inherited my love of literacy and my distaste for addition, subtraction and all things numerical. As an elementary school teacher I know that though all children have strengths and weaknesses, all children can learn. The key is finding the way best suited for them. So this summer, before we slide any further down this slippery number line, we’re not playing around. Er, well actually we are, playing. Playing math games. We have discovered that our son responds well to math games, puzzles and other FUN problem solving activities. Here are three of the brain games we’re playing this summer: 1. Puzzles like this IcoSoku Game from Recent Toys I hate puzzles more that I detest math, but this turned out to be fun. Easier than a Rubik’s Cube, but harder than doing your taxes. It says it’s designed for ages 5-10 but I’d like to[…]

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Shopping With Kids

  I used to love to shop; back when I had money and time and the energy to remain upright for several hours in a row. Now when I shop, usually with two kids, I get in and out as fast as possible, often forgetting items — like an entire grocery bag, left behind on the conveyer belt. I figure as long as I make it out of the store with coffee, chocolate and two children (preferably mine), I’m winning. Shopping with BOTH kids is…busy. Though my son is handy to have along. He entertains his sister and drives the cart; which is usually a great help (minus the time he “shinned” that lady). Shopping with JUST my nine year old son is…chatty. He likes to discuss every item that goes into the cart. He always brings along his wallet in case he spots a ‘must-have item’ but rarely buys anything; usually opting to wait and see if something of better value comes along. This trait he gets from his browsing dad, not his lack of impulse control mom. Shopping with my JUST my nearly six year old is…chaotic. Look up enthusiastic in the dictionary and you’ll find her blurred[…]

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Muskoka Woods

  Camp songs and campfires, silly skits and the Tuck Shop. I remember camp fondly and know this is something I want to share with my son. Eventually. The issue is, I’m somewhat over-productive. Fine, just put an “s” in front of mother and that’s me. The thought of sending my baby off into the wild without his mama to check on his well-being every fifteen minutes? The horror. When the two of us were invited to visit Muskoka Woods on a media tour, I was disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to go. It would’ve been the perfect opportunity to let my son get all campy WHILE keeping my eye on him. But, his birthday party was scheduled for the same weekend. Details had been arranged, RSVPs had been returned. Our S’more making hands were tied. A friend suggested that I at least give him the option. So I told my son we could either keep the party plans as is or reschedule and go to camp. Upon hearing the camp itinerary he said,  “We get to go on a bus?! Is it the kind with a bathroom on it??” Oh dear. I had him at bus. The kid[…]

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Yell At Your Own Kid, Not Mine

  My “Karma Cleanse” is complete. For the most part I was able to avoid the gossip (pretty much) and negativity around me. But now that it’s over, may I just say… …. DON’T FRIGGING YELL AT MY KID!!! My head nearly exploded keeping that in last week.  I’m not a yeller. I’m more of a cool glance, slow and low toned speech kinda gal. When my kids are in trouble, they get the message loud and clear; no shouting required. This is how I choose to discipline. However, if you find raising your voice works, then go for it. But you yelling at my child (lady at the splash pad!) is not cool.  On the weekend our family went to a local park to enjoy the beautiful day and the cool misty water park. My son, a tall boy, was standing behind a shield you can turn, aim and fire water from at passersby. A smaller kid was actually controlling the shield and the water trigger. Like I said, my guy was merely standing behind it. I know this because I was watching from the distance. This is how I know my child did not squirt the blonde woman[…]

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Karma Cleanse

  I originally called this exercise a #karmacleanse, but then I remembered that purposely using the wrong letters to be cute annoys some people and god knows I wouldn’t want to annoy anyone and have them sarcastically tweet about how “Some people think they’re so clever using two ks.” The level of back stabbing and gossip and PATs (passive aggressive tweets) online is astounding. Whether you choose to participate or feed into it is totally up to you though. If you swim with sharks, you’re bound to get bitten. This is why I prefer adorable dolphins and whales and of course super cute seahorses. I manage the social media end of things for several brands which means I’m kicking around on social media a lot. I am fully immersed in it — the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. The downright ugly seems to have exploded lately. I’m looking at you, trolls.  This ever growing negativity doesn’t just exist online. It’s everywhere—at the grocery store, in the park, in the school parking lot, on television, in the news, in magazines. We can’t seem to get out from under the heavy black cloud of negative ions (science thingy) hanging over our heads. And[…]

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My Mandate To Hydrate

  Gator skin, flakey fingernails that won’t grow beyond the boundaries of their nail beds, hair resembling a wheat field at harvest time… I’m in the midst of a dry spell. What could be missing from my daily routine that could be responsible for this desperately dry situation? I drink at least one glass of water a day so…. oh wait. Mystery solved. Our bodies are 70% water so I’m guessing it’s a tad important. I like water (especially with a little squeeze of lemon) so I’m at a loss as to why I’ve been avoiding it.  I have decided to end this drought and made a plan to liquify my assets so-to-speak and came up with a Mandate to Hydrate. I vow to drink water all day, every day for a week, and then *graph my results. The first day I may have overdone it. When my teeth started floating, I knew I had H2Overdosed. Day Two, I sipped water sensibly throughout the day (not madly gulping tumblers-full like a college freshmen at a Kegger like Day one). By lights out I had consumed about nine glasses of water. I felt good; maybe a little bloated, but in a[…]

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A Penchant For Invention

I’m not a red head, nor do I have a Cuban husband or a best friend name Ethyl. However, I relate to how Lucille Ball relentlessly generated hair brained schemes. Lucy always had a plan and would stop at nothing to see it through to the awkward and often disastrous end. My friends and family always tease me about my “big plans.” There’s a distinct pause on the phone when I say, “I have this great idea. Want to hear it?” Invariably after they take a breath, they listen and offer words of patient encouragement (followed by a very faint snickering, which I can totally hear by the way!). Admittedly, not all of my ideas are gems. My NiftySnail Craft & Activity Kits delivered to parents and grandparents via snail mail took off with snail like speed and then died a slow and painful death (and now I’m stuck with a ridiculous email addy that I can’t seem to shake). My dry-erase freezer contents tracker system and its fancy digital version got freezed out.  The crafting empire I started with my friend Sarah took off, but only for one half of the partnership. Can you guess which half? The half who[…]

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