Category - Review

1
Goldfish Swim School Oakville
2
The Truth About Our Drinking Water and The Urgent State of Our Environment
3
Special Gifts For Special Families
4
Happy Planet Soup Will Make You A Souper Star!
5
Back To School, What’s Cool?
6
Our Back To School #CartersOshKosh Fashion Picks + Enter To Win a $500 Gift Card!
7
Let’s Put Libraries Back at the Heart of School
8
The Solution For Not So Sweet Feet
9
TIFF Kids—special films for special kids
10
Family Films and Fun: 2016 TIFF Kids International Film Festival AND digiPlaySpace

Goldfish Swim School Oakville

We’ve been trying to teach our daughter to swim for years—on our own and through a variety of classes, but success has been elusive.  We were optimistic about an adaptive swim class offered by the city, but once again, progress was minimal. The pool was freezing—like blue lips, could barely make it through the class, frigid. It was also large and loud, with way too many distractions. The instructors tried their best, but aside from one-on-one instruction, there was no real distinction between this “adaptive” program and a regular community swim class.  I was sceptical when I heard about the Goldfish Swim School opening near us. I didn’t believe it would be any different from past swim school experiences.  But, we decided to give it a try and holy sh…allow waters! Avery’s swimming has dramatically improved after only a few months of weekly lessons. She was swimming confidently, and with proper technique, after only four classes!  I’ve since recommended Goldfish Swim School to everyone!! Friends, neighbours, strangers on the internet, random moms in the grocery checkout line. It’s just so exciting to have found a program that is fun, safe and effective. We love it so much that my son is[…]

Read More

The Truth About Our Drinking Water and The Urgent State of Our Environment

Some people idolize musicians and movie stars. And there are those whose hearts beat for environmental crusaders, like David Suzuki. I was invited to listen to Dr. Suzuki speak on World Water Day. I RSVPd yes faster than you can say, “The Nature of Things,” and asked if I could bring along my son who we (half) jokingly refer to as “The Next David Suzuki.” Inspired by the presentation, my son delivered an impassioned speech of his own this week at school on the topic of the urgent need for environmental rehabilitation. His words echoed that of his hero as he explained that the days of merely preserving nature are over. Alarmingly, many scientists believe that 90% of humans will be gone by the year 2100. This horrifying revelation is not science fiction, but based on scientific data related to overpopulation, environmental destruction, and climate change. Suzuki’s concern and underlying frustration was apparent, “Who needs nature in a city? We have Netflix,” he said. His tongue-in-cheek statement refers to our obsession with technology which has created a dangerous state of isolation. Shut off from the world around us, we’re too distracted to comprehend or even notice the gravity of our[…]

Read More

Special Gifts For Special Families

What do exhausted, stressed out parents really want? What’s an age appropriate gift for a child with autism? Is there an inexpensive toy suitable for a child with fine motor delays? Can certain games help with speech and language development and if so, are they actually fun? All good questions I’ll try to answer below—my merry gift to you this retail festive season. Parents, especially those parenting a child with special needs, rarely take the time to pamper themselves. The holidays are a perfect opportunity for you to gift them something that forces them to take a moment. Yes, I said “force them.” I know this from experience. #stubborn Presents To Pamper Parents:           Special parents can be painfully practical. Since we’re often at a loss for time, practical and useful is always appreciated. Practical Presents for Parents:         Sometimes it’s hard to know what to buy for a child with physical or developmental needs. When in doubt, ask the parents what might be appropriate. Here are a few ideas.  Gifts for Kids With Cognitive, Motor, and/or Speech Delays:               Happy gift giving!  Feel free to message me[…]

Read More

Happy Planet Soup Will Make You A Souper Star!

Did you ever imagine adult life would be this busy?? We could easily compare who’s busier, but that would take time and frankly I just don’t have any extra to spare. If you’re not too busy, I whine more about that HERE.  It doesn’t help that I’ve never been great at time management. Did you see my grade school report card post? Spoiler alert…I got an Improvement Needed in “Makes Good Use of Time.” Now that I’m a parent of busy kids this impediment has only gotten worse. My kids have full schedules—rep sports and lessons and classes every day. It’s capital B busy.  I’m not complaining (out loud). I happily accept my duty as a parent to deliver my children to these things. Since I work from home I’m also in charge of starting dinner most nights. And most nights I do. But some days (you know the ones) I throw my arms in the air and wail, “I don’t wanna!”  That’s when I’m temptated to veer into the nearest drive-thru. Never underestimate the allure of french fries wafting into hangy nostrils. I try to remain strong because as great as it smells, I know McFried food isn’t the best choice. When I’m[…]

Read More

Back To School, What’s Cool?

  There’s a rumour going around that summer is nearly over. I refuse to believe it but we did some back to school shopping just in case… FYI—This post is not sponsored. I wasn’t paid to toot anyone’s horns. I’ll tell you if any of these items were given to us. Otherwise, I dug deep into my mom jean pockets and paid for these myself or plan to. By “plan to” I don’t mean to imply that I stole anything. I haven’t shoplifted since I was six years old and I took a tiny brush from the paint store I was in with my mum. In my defence, I thought they were free. My mother made me go back to the store to return it. I’ve never gotten a five-finger discount since. A few of this items are still on my wish list.  My ever growing, long, long, super list of wants.  TECH       BOOKS     LUNCH TIME     LOCKER LOOT      

Read More

Our Back To School #CartersOshKosh Fashion Picks + Enter To Win a $500 Gift Card!

When my son was a baby the majority of his wardrobe was from Carter’s. OshKosh B’ gosh; he was a stylin’ little dude. He obviously didn’t care if his socks matched his overalls or if his onesies had cute sayings on them, but I did. He was my pride and joy and dressing him up in cuddly outfits made me swoon. Thirteen years later his socks no longer match his pants. In fact, they rarely match each other. This man-child doesn’t give a care about fashion and heaven forbid I should lay out a super cute outfit like one of these for him to wear… So thank goodness for my fashion-loving daughter. She loves dressing up. Hair accessories, purses and bracelets, dresses, cute t-shirts and pretty sparkly shoes…she adores all of it. A few weeks ago, before I even knew I’d be writing this post, we popped into the Carter’s | OshKosh store near our house. We needed tall socks for “Crazy Sock Day” at Avery’s bicycle camp and I knew I’d be able find what I needed. Neon star and polka dot socks in hand, we browsed for a bit. My son was with us and I felt a sudden[…]

Read More

Let’s Put Libraries Back at the Heart of School

My son and I started the Harry Potter series together when he was little and his passion for reading (and writing!) took off from there. My daughter has learning difficulties, but it hasn’t impeded her reading. She often sneaks the light back on after bedtime to read. She looks at the pictures for clues and makes up the words when she can’t sound them out. Some nights she reads in a loud whisper to our cat and falls asleep mid-sentence. My children are lucky—they have both the passion and the opportunity to read. Their bedrooms, their classrooms, and their school library are filled with books. They get books for Christmas and they use their birthday money to shop for more books. This isn’t the case for a lot of kids. They may have the passion for literature, but not the resources. It’s unfortunate and wrong. My first few years as a teacher were spent at a high needs elementary school in Toronto. My classroom was sparse and the school library was outdated and depleted. It was frustrating. My students wanted to read. They NEEDED to read. “The imagination developed through early literacy is an important part of children’s overall growth, fostering cognitive and social development and ingenuity—the building blocks[…]

Read More

The Solution For Not So Sweet Feet

My son’s sweet baby feet smelled of freshly baked bread and sunshine and blades of sweet spring grass. Then he turned twelve and the distinct baby feet smell soured into a distinct…stink. In case you think I’m being awful for discussing my boy’s smelly feet, I assure you I asked his permission before sharing. He thinks watching his mother squirm and gag at his post basketball game shoe parfume is funny. It is not, for I am highly sensitive to smells. Seriously, I can sniff out a moist sweat sock hidden under a pile of laundry from a mile away. I’m the Sherlock Holmes of smelling. As vile as my son’s shoes can get, he has nothing on his dad’s size 12 odour generators. My husband is very active. He teaches Phys Ed and not from the sidelines—he gets out there with the kids and works up a sweat. And when some of that sweat pools in his shoes, the aroma can reach a nine—ranked on a rank scale of one (baby feet) to ten (a family of dead rats decaying under the porch in the heat of summer). And what of my shoes? Obviously they smell like daisies 24/7. My husband thought he[…]

Read More

TIFF Kids—special films for special kids

  My eldest child has been making short films since he was old enough to use an iPad. One of his earliest was an iMovie project called, “A Video For A Special Sister.” He showed it class by class at his school in an effort to teach his peers what it’s like to have a sibling with special needs. The technique was amateur, but his message was mature beyond his years. Is it possible to be a doting stage mother if my child is behind the camera? Anyway, like some sort of cosmic cinematic kismet, a fitting showcase is coming to the TIFF Kids International Film Festival this year! My son and I are going to view the Jump Cuts Young Filmmakers Showcase—short films created for young people by young people.   This year’s theme challenges young filmmakers (grades 4-6) to create an onscreen representation of a disability. It will be interesting for my mini Spielberg to watch how his peers approach filmmaking, editing, and story telling. I wish he had known about this earlier and could’ve entered. He’d have won for sure! That was my dramatic stage mother voice again, wasn’t it? Speaking of disabilities (seamless segue, I know)[…]

Read More

Family Films and Fun: 2016 TIFF Kids International Film Festival AND digiPlaySpace

I think I may have given birth to the next George Lucas. My son has been making videos since he was little. #toddlersandtripods From early on he’s scripted mini movies, created stop motion animation and made documentary style shorts about topics he cares about like animals and basketball and Star Wars. His films have become more complex and creative. For now it’s a hobby, but perhaps it will turn into a life passion? C’mon kid—mama wants to rub elbows with Tina Fey and her squad. When we were invited to preview this year’s digiPlaySpace my son actually passed on a basketball game so he could come along. He has big hoop dreams, so this was clearly something that piqued his interest. If you live in the GTA and have children in the 3-13 age range, The 2016 TIFF Kids International Film Festival and digiPlaySpace are a must-see-must-do! I had no idea all of this family-centered entertainment was right in my back yard. If you’ve never been, here’s the scoop: The TIFF Kids Film Festival will be presenting 139 films from 35 countries. All the screenings and events take place at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, April 8 to 24, 2016.[…]

Read More

All images and text are copyright © 2018 Forever In Mom Genes