Archive for the ‘Children’ Category
Tuesday, July 17th, 2012
While the rest of the city was busy wrapping up the 100th Celebration of the Calgary Stampede, I was putting the finishing touches on my son’s 5th birthday. Like all parents say, time sure flies once you have kids. Hard to believe that my oldest starts kindergarten this year!
The party was a hit! I put up party decorations, filled the goodie bags with Dollar Store gifts and ordered our Sonic The Hedgehog ice cream cake from DQ. But what would make this 5th birthday party be a hit? A magician of course.
I’ve blogged about this young man before, but he did such a good job, I thought he was worthy of another mention. TriXtan from Our Next Show does home parties too. And not just for kids, he could spice up a 40th birthday party too! He was so great with the kids though. He’s even inspired my son to try his own magic tricks. (Mind you his tricks are putting his toys in his socks and pretending that they’ve disappeared… lol). TriXtanwas interactive not only with the kids, but with the parents and grandparents too! Plus he showed off his amazing talent of balloon art too. He showed up with a 3 foot Sonic The Hedgehog for my son. (Only took him an hour before coming to make it!!) Plus the kids got what they asked for. One child wanted Spiderman, another wanted a Lobster. Yes, a Lobster balloon. (That was from my youngest). Sorry didn’t get a picture of it. I’ll see if it’s still around.
And his tricks had you asking, “how’d he do that”. And rolling on the floor laughing!!
So if you’re looking for something different for your party, this guy delivers. A young man making a living entertaining others with a craft that he’s worked on for the past 10 years… and he’s in his early 20′s!
You can also visit TriXtan with his production Our Next Show, July 18th and 19th at Cardel Theatre in Quarry Park. The shows you’ll see are full of magic, illusions, variety arts and inspiration! Go to www.ournextshow.ca for more information.
Bonus code is magic.
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
Not long ago, I blogged and told you about Alexander’s Quest. Read the blog here.
Alexander Edwin Brown IS a hero, and now that hero has a quest of his own. This family may have a broken heart, but they certainly know how to see The Brighter Side of life.
And now you can make a difference and have FUN doing it at the 2nd Annual Kids Knight Fundraiser at the Aerospace Museum in Calgary on Sunday May 27, 1:00pm to 5:00pm. I have two sets of 4 tickets to give away! Bring the kids for clowns, balloon animals, a magician, face painting, glitter tattoos, crafts, cookie decorating, petting zoo by Butterfield Acres, bounce house, photo booth, princesses, Star Wars characters, cupcakes, snacks and door prizes! Plus since it’s at the Aero Space Museum you get free access to all the aircraft!
Thank you to everyone who entered! And thank you for your beautiful comments. We made the draw, and have contacted the winners. Please keep Alexander’s Quest on your bookmarks for future fundraising events. This event is now sold out. For more information visit Alexander’s Quest online http://www.alexandersquest.ca/Events.html
Thursday, February 9th, 2012
One of the perks of being a girl is to have great hair. Our mother’s fuss with it for us when we are little, then we fuss with it when we are older. We spend hundreds at the hair salon to try to make it perfect. But imagine losing your hair. And not just when you are older. Vanessa McWilliams, founder and owner of Confident Curls, knows all to well about this.
Her story starts at 9 when she was diagnosed with Alopecia. It’s a medical condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body, usually from the scalp. And by the time Vanessa was 11 she had lost all but a little of her hair. I can’t imagine what she went though at that age to have such a huge loss. To most, it’s just not comprehensible.
Throughout her tween years she wore wigs that were too old, and too heavy for her small frame. It wasn’t until she was in her late teens where she took it upon herself to find the right wig. Not only did the wig fit, but so did the idea. She knew, based on her own personal experiences, she had to help other women and children. As Vanessa says, “Discreetness without embarrassment, a comfortable atmosphere, and getting properly fitted with your ‘Dream-Do’ by another wig wearing woman, is the ultimate ‘personal’ shopping experience!” That’s how Confident Curls was born.
The one thing I’ve seen through Vanessa is her passion. And I’ve always said that in life we should always do what comes natural and what we know. And Vanessa is doing just that! All at the same time helping other to put smiles on their faces! Thank you Vanessa for sharing your gift from the heart.
For more on Confident Curls, visit http://www.confidentcurls.ca/ Here you can find out more about her great products, more about Vanessa and how you can donate.
Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
One of the most common questions I get is, “How do you balance work life with home life?” I always respond saying the key word is balance. Balance means to keep things even, but in reality, it’s a juggling act. How do we juggle to keep the teeter totter in tack?
We have to do research to find the resources and options that make our own lives work. If you’ve decided to go back to work, now you have to find childcare that works with you AND your pocket book.
Do you do a dayhome, daycare, nanny or a sitter?
With our first child, we hired a live out nanny. She showed up at 8am and finished at 4pm. Her duties were to take care of our child and tidy up after themselves, plus maintain the baby’s laundry. Since her duties didn’t include house cleaning, we also hired a housekeeper to keep up with what I couldn’t get to (IE: the bathrooms). But it got too expensive for us. So, after 7 months we moved my son to daycare.
That kept the costs down, but still had the housekeeper to tidy up as we both worked. Daycare was GREAT. My son loved it, they loved him, and he had great interaction with other children. The only downfall, which was a big one, was when my child was sick, he couldn’t go to daycare. And, we all know that you can’t really stay away from the germs that spread in a daycare. No matter how clean and tidy it is, there are germs. And once one child gets a cold, it will eventually spread to your child. So now what? Where are you going to take your child? You can’t miss out on work. You don’t want to use up your vacation days. You can’t always use family and friends every time your child has the sniffles. And you don’t want the guilt of taking your child to the daycare, pretending you didn’t know they had a cold and being THAT parent that always gets the other kids sick…. So FIND A SITTER.
But you’ll have to do your research. Not all sitters can work during the day. Where do you find one? There are several resources for you. One is to get to know your neighbours. Perhaps there’s someone who is retired, and wouldn’t mind helping out. Or, look in your local community news letter. Maybe place an ad looking for someone who would be willing to “occasionally babysit” during the day.
OR… go online and sign up with Canadian Sitter (Known as Canadian Nanny) This is a great website where you subscribe to find the best sitter for you. You place an ad looking for someone who is available during the day for occasional babysitting. Only the ones who are interested in your ad will email you. You meet with the sitter, and decided if she/he is right for you. Now, know that Canadian Sitter does not screen the people who sign up, that’s up to you. You should always ask for references.
In the end, we had a list of 4 sitters who were willing to work during the day. One was a fight attendant who was available when she wasn’t in the air. Another was a retired preschool teacher, who was looking to keep herself busy. And the other two had part time jobs who may be available. This way you have other options that will reduce your stress when your little one needs a day to recover from the sniffles. Plus, the sitters even worked out to babysit during the evening when Mom and Dad needed a date night. There’s nothing wrong with having a “List of Sitters”. If one isn’t available, try another. I had a great experience with Canadian Sitter, and hope you will too.
Now you can work towards that balanced teeter totter. If there is such a thing! But it’s going to take a bit more juggling than a sitter, but it’s a start! And you are just working towards what’s best for you and your child!
Go to http://www.canadiannanny.ca to find a sitter!
Bonus Code: Sitter
Friday, December 9th, 2011
Once the decorating starts, you have to finish until the end! Every year we see the neighbours put up their lights the same way they did last year. You hang the Christmas wreath on the door, just like you did last year. And the tree goes up with the same decorations. Well, except the new ones your kids made. (If you forget those, you’ll hear about it!!!) Instead of doing the same thing year after year, why not kick up your holidays a notch with a Letter To Santa Cookie!
While surfing the tweets on Twitter, up came a link to Letter To Santa Cookies. Intrigued, I clicked! WOW! What an awesome idea. I love love love this idea. The letter your child wrote to Santa is on a cookie! What a wonderful, unique idea. And they look delicious too! But that’s not all, the best part, besides having the coolest cookies in your neighbourhood, is that $1.00 of every cookie sold will go to an organization called Children Without Poverty. If it wasn’t for Bloomalicious, I would have never known about this fantastic group of people.
The creator of Letter To Santa Cookie, chose this organization from her heart. Having experienced first hand from her childhood, she felt the need to give back. She remembers a time when she was in 6th grade going to school and her tummy was rumbling from hunger. Back then, things were “tight” at home. It’s unfortunate that anyone goes through those experiences. But it’s those moments we remember, and those moments make us who we are today. And today Bloomalicious can give back.
Children Without Poverty provides mentoring, support and assistance to families moving from homelessness and poverty to a desired sustainable lifestyle. Incredible! What a wonderful gift that would be. Thanks to Bloomalicious and their support through the Letter To Santa Cookie, now you can make a small step towards helping these children. To learn more about this local charity, visit their website www.childrenwithoutpoverty.com.
And on Christmas Eve, your child’s face will light up when they see their letter on a cookie! And during the rest of the year, be sure to check back with Bloomalicious for one of their custom made cookie bouquets! Another Great Idea with Amazing people!
Bonus Code: COOKIE Expires Midnight Monday Dec.12/2011
Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
Partners for Safety
Provided by UNICEF
While trick-or-treaters won’t be carrying UNICEF boxes on Halloween night, UNICEF wants to ensure children are safe as they go door to door collecting candy. For the 17th year, UNICEF’s Partners for Safety will be on patrol. More than 800 vehicles will patrol Calgary streets from 6 to 8pm, making sure this will be a safe Halloween.
The Partners for Safety include: Calgary Police Service, Emergency Medical Services, Calgary Fire Department, Calgary Transit, Shaw TV, Calgary Animal and Bylaw Services and Calgary’s Child Magazine. Any child experiencing a problem can go to a partner vehicle or fire/police station for help.
Halloween safety tips:
* Tell your parents which area you will visit and when you will be back.
* Stay out of houses and cars unless parents permit.
* Travel in groups down one side of the street before crossing to the other.
* Look both ways before crossing the street and cross only at intersections.
* Avoid shortcuts through alleys, lanes or private property.
* Check treats with an adult before eating them.
* Wear bright, reflective clothing.
* Use makeup instead of masks, which can limit your vision.
* Carry a flashlight.
The UNICEF Partners for Safety remind all motorists to be extra cautious when driving on Halloween night!
For more information, visit unicef.ca or contact 403-270-2857.
BONUS CODE Safety
Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
The Common Cold
As we approach Cold and Flu season, parents are already frantically washing their kid’s hands. We yell at them to NOT touch ANYTHING in the public washrooms. It’s like a plague, and we just want to stay away from any sort of sickness.
Not only do we feel sorry for our little ones when they catch cold, or worse stomach flu, but we also have to worry about ourselves. First off, if we get sick, how are we to care for our loved ones? And secondly, if we get sick, how are we ever going to take time off of work?!
The Calgary Health Region gives out pamphlets year round to help us under stand the Common Cold.
1.) What is a cold?
The cold is an illness caused by a virus. There are over 100 different cold viruses. Colds can occur any time of the year.
2.) How is a cold spread?
A cold can be spread when someone who is sick coughs or sneezes tiny drops into the air or onto objects. People who breathe in or are in direct contact with these drops (example: by touching their nose or eyes with contaminated hands) can get the disease.
This is why we try to teach children to cough or sneeze into their elbows!
3.) How long does a cold last?
A cold usually lasts about 7 to 10 days. It can be spread to other people one day before, and up to 5 days after symptoms appear.
4.) How is a cold treated?
Antibiotics DO NOT help a cold, because it is caused by a virus, not bacteria. There is no specific treatment for a cold, but to ease symptoms you can eat healthy foods and drink lots of water, juice and warm liquids, rest, gargle with salt water to help throat pain, take pain or fever medicine as needed (ASA products such as Aspirin are not recommended for children) and use a cool-mist vaporizer.
5.) When do you go see a doctor for a cold?
When you have a fever for more than 2 days. See below for a guide on *Normal temperatures.
If a child is under 3 months who has a fever.
If there is pain on one or both ears (small children may tug on their ears when they have pain)
If you have trouble breathing or pain in your chest.
If you have a very painful and red throat
6.) How can a cold be prevented?
Wash your hands
Keep your hands away from your nose and eyes
Don’t share drinks, cups, spoon or forks with a person who is sick
Maintain a healthy and active lifestyle
For more information call the Health Link 403-943-LINK (5465), 1-866-408-LINK or Communicable Disease Control at 403-944-7075
This is actual information taken from The Calgary Health Region pamphlet given to me from the Alberta’s Children’s Hospital. (This material is designed for information purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction and/or treatment. If you have specific questions, please consult your doctor or appropriate health care professional.
*Temperature Guide for children:
From the Calgary Health Region
Fever is one way your child’s body fights an infection. The most common illness in children is infection from a virus. There are thousands of different viruses. Fever can also be caused by an infection with bacteria. Fever itself will not harm your child. How high the fever is does NOT tell you how serious your child’s illness is. How your child acts is a better sign. Normal temperatures* in children are:
• Rectal: 36.6 – 38.0 °C (97.9 – 100.4 °F)
• Mouth: 35.5 – 37.5 °C (95.9 – 99.5 °F)
• Underarm: 34.7 – 37.3 °C (94.5 – 99.1 °F)
• Infants under 60 days: 36.3 – 37.3 °C (97.3 – 99.1 °F)
• Ear: 35.8 – 38.0 °C (96.4 – 100.4 °F) (not recommended in infants)
*Canadian Pediatric Society
A baby less than 3 months old with a fever needs to be seen by a doctor.
Health Services Link – http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/
Bonus Code: Cold
Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
We have two children, and we have a list of about 4 babysitters. But it’s not always easy to find the right sitter for your kids. Thanks to Ellen Percival from Calgary’s Child Magazine who has some GREAT tips on babysitting with her Babysitting Handbook.
Babysitting Handbook By Ellen Percival
Hiring a babysitter is a welcome break for mom or dad and a great way for young people to make a little spending money – especially if they enjoy caring for children.
Finding A Babysitter You And The Kids Will Both Be Happy With.
What do you do when you need a babysitter and your family is busy and your best friend has plans? Plan ahead for that time and begin your search early. After you’ve found a prospective babysitter, have them watch your children for an hour. This will give you an idea of how well they get along and you’ll be more likely to enjoy a relaxed time away from the children.
Four Easy Steps
It’s simple to find a good sitter if you follow these easy steps:
Plan ahead for the inevitable time that family and friends are not available to baby-sit. This allows you time to be selective.
Network. Let your friends, family and neighbors know that you are looking for a babysitter.
Meet the candidates in person. This will allow you the opportunity to see how they interact with your children.
Look for someone who has experience and references and/or has taken a reputable babysitting course.
Set the Ground Rules
It’s important that you clearly communicate your expectations.
Ensure that your children understand that in your absence, the babysitter is in charge.
Write down and review ground rules with both the babysitter and your kids prior to leaving.
Make sure you explain clearly any rules that you have for your sitter. For example whether or not guests or personal calls are allowed and what parts of the house are off limits to them and the kids, etc.
Tips for Parents
Once you have found a great sitter, make sure they how much you appreciate them.
If you have to cancel at the last minute, show that you value their time by paying your sitter a cancellation fee. (One or two hours of pay would be appropriate.)
Feed your children before the sitter arrives or have food that requires little or no preparation or have take out delivered. Make sure you have snack food on hand for the children as well as your sitter.
Don’t be late. If you are delayed, call. You sitter will worry if you are late and so will their parents.
When you get home ask how things went. Were there any concerns or problems?
Former Police Chief Jack Beaton, suggests to keep your children and the sitter safe, you provide the babysitter with the following information.
Take the babysitter on a house tour to discuss things such as:
How to lock the doors and windows, How the burglar alarms work and what could set them off, The fire plan, The location of and how to use the fire extinguisher and first aid kit, and The location of the smoke detectors and flashlight. The cross street or description of your house location as well as the address.
As parents, we know the basic safety tips and crime prevention strategies, but we can always use a refresher. St. John Ambulance, the Red Cross, the Calgary Jewish Centre and the YMCA provide babysitting-training courses that also offer valuable information to parents.
For more safety tips on babysitting and staying home alone visit the Calgary Police Service Web site at www.calgarypolice.ca
Bonus Code: Babysitting
Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
If we could only go back to the days where we saw the world through the eyes of a child. How different would life seem? You don’t want to risk your children’s vision, and what the world looks like to them. Remember to have your children’s eyes checked. As part of their back to school routine, have their eyes looked at. Our friends from Calgary’s Child Magazine remind us why it’s important!
Calgary’s Child Magazine:
The Eyes Have It!
Vision plays an important role in helping children adapt to the world around them. The first time to start caring for your child’s eyes is during the first weeks after birth, when vision skills first begin to develop. You can help your child perfect these skills and prevent vision problems from affecting their lives by following these steps.
Catch problems early by being alert for signs such as an eye turning in or out, frowning or eye rubbing.
You can help develop your child’s vision and tracking skills by hanging a mobile on your baby’s crib, keeping toys within your baby’s view and talking to your baby as you walk around the room.
Vision problems among the very young are generally uncommon, however if you suspect a problem seek an early professional evaluation. Every child should have a thorough eye examination before age three and again before entering school.
For more great family tips and ideas visit Calgary’s Child Magazine.
Bonus Code: EYES
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
Cleaning up my kids toys is a HUGE task. They have SO many. So what am I supposed to do? Throw them out or donate them. My husband doesn’t want me to get rid of them at all. He says we should just put some away, then in a few months recycle them and bring them back. It’ll be like getting new toys again. For once… I think he has a good idea. But the task was a bit daunting! Oi! Here’s how it looked before the big clean up!
And he’s how it looks now.
How many days before it looks like the first picture again! My kids are 2 and 4. How on earth, in their short years of living, did they get so many toys! At what age did you throw out your kids stuff… for good? It’s so overwhelming sometimes. But I’ll be honest, my kids to play with every single toy they have!!!
Bonus Code: TOYS