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Christine Reeve

Family Values and Work

Up until 2 weeks ago, my work was full time. 730 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, both kids in Daycare. No flexibility, no leaving early, or even really being able to stay home with the kids if they were sick.

PS – this is not a political opinion post. 

This was a change after having an incredibly flexible, work from home or partial work from home job since my daughter was 1. I started this full time gig just before she turned 9.

I loved my work.

I loved the customers, I loved my co-workers and I loved the daily challenges. I respected and grew to care for the people I worked with. BUT there was certainly “culture shock”.

The kids being in daycare, coming home spouting opinions and “Well, Dayhome Lady says…” 9 hours of my day not seeing them. By the time I got home and made supper, it was pretty much shower and to bed. There was one time my son was a bystander of a fight on the bus, a kids head hit into his mouth knocking one tooth out, and he was bleeding. I wasn’t there at the stop for him. Dayhome was. It broke my heart.

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In Parenting, Random Thoughts, Working Mama on
October 24, 2019

When the “Bully” Tables Turn

My daughter has seen her share of bullies and she’s only in Grade 2. From preschool on there’s always been that one child. She has been the child who runs to the teacher immediately so has been a “bully” target because of it. My initial reaction is Mama Bear but almost always secondary I wonder about the child. We know that kids who bully are sometimes modelling behavior they’ve seen or as the Have You Filled a Bucket book says, they have an empty bucket and don’t understand that hurting others won’t fill theirs.

Honestly, I’ve thrown my Judgy Jessie hat on more times than I care to admit when watching said children’s interaction with their parents. Saying to myself, “Ah, now it makes sense”.  Does it though? Do I know the back ground of what’s going on with that family? No, I don’t and I hate judgment. I feel guilty every time I think back to any time I decided to do that to another human being.

Let me tell you why this has suddenly become so clear to me that it’s the wrong thing to do. Because recently, it was MY daughter that was the bully.

And I am sort of ashamed it came to that. I’m not going to get in to great detail but she made some bad choices, along with some other kids that were making bad choices. The only reason I know is because her little bro ended up being involved.

When she finally opened up and let me know what was going on I was in shock. It was like the first time you realize your parents aren’t perfect. MY DAUGHTER? The “tattle tale”, help everyone who’s in trouble, compassionate, smart, funny little girl had made the CHOICE to treat others badly. Needless to say it was a very long conversation. Followed by further conversations with her AMAZING teacher, and at least one apology letter being written.

In the end, I feel like the whole situation was one of the best things that could have happened to our family. They say kids teach you more than you teach them. Truth. I had to hold in my reactions and think a lot about how to make this a teachable time. I also took this as an opportunity to remind her that I’m here to help her get through mistakes like these. She learned from this, showed remorse and even now, weeks later, we discuss it as a cautionary tale.

Cause kids make mistakes. Our kids make them, other kids make them and we make them too. Our job as adults is to help them through, learn as we go and withhold the judgment against other adults who are maybe just doing the best they can.

I know that’s what I am hoping for the next time either of my kids decide to dabble in bad choices. I’d love to say they’ll never do anything like this again, but if I thought that, then this situation would have taught me nothing.

Edmonton's Child

4 Beautiful Winter Hikes for Families around Calgary

The weather outside is getting colder and mountains are slowly being capped by snow. The cold weather and extra layers to go outside and explore with kids can be a daunting task. It is not always easy convincing toddlers and preschoolers to keep their mitts on. However, it is worth the struggle. Trust me. The trails turn into a beautiful winter wonderland. For children, this means entering the land of “Frozen”. Hot chocolate by the fireplace is also so much more enjoyable after a day of exploring in the cold. These 4 hikes, located in the Born to be Adventurous “Hiking Guide for Families”, are perfect winter hikes for everyone to enjoy. They are rated for little kids and range from easy to difficult for little feet. This means that toddlers and their grandparents can find a hike to enjoy together this winter.  

3 Winter Hiking Tips: 

Bring along Ice Cleats in the backpack in case the trail gets slippery.

Plan to take a little longer finishing the trail as hiking in the snow can be a little more challenging for kids. 

Be prepared and consider using some of these 7 hiking tips for hiking in the winter with kids.  

4 Beautiful Winter Hikes for Families around Calgary

Troll Falls

Troll Falls is an easy 2.4 km hike with minimal elevation located in the stunning Kananaskis area. In the winter, Troll Falls turns into a natural frozen masterpiece. Use caution when exploring the falls as it is very slippery, and pieces of ice can break off from above. Park at the Troll Falls Day Use area. The trail starts passed the end of the parking lot on the left side. 

If the trail is packed down with snow in the winter, then consider bringing a sled to pull the kids when they get tired of hiking.  Even though the downhills are not too long or steep, it is best to get off the sled during the downhills to avoid accidently hitting a tree or another hiker. 

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In Lifestyle, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
October 12, 2019

Thankful For….

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we give you – Thankful for…..

1. That two hours of sleep you got between feedings. Cause, you know, it could have been just one.

2. That silence you had for 20 min. It was great, until you find them “painting” with your Sephora make up.

3. That 5th time you said their name and they responded to you vs tuning you out.

4. Booking that dentist appointment once a year. 45 whole me time minutes.

5. That 5am Saturday morning wake up. Cause dragging them out of bed all week has been super fun.

6. All the extra room in your massive purse. Because you need a change of clothes for each kid when you go out, snacks – oh and your husbands wallet.

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In Parenting, Random Thoughts on
October 11, 2019

Mama, Can You Cuddle With Me?

The other night as I frantically finished up the evening chores and sent the kids off too bad my daughter came up to me and asked me if I would cuddle with her in bed.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who has answered this way but I told her “just let me finish up the dishes and what I am doing here and I will come cuddle with you.” I guess deep down my hope was that she would fall asleep and I could continue finishing up cleaning up the kitchen, putting away toys they had missed, hang up jackets, prep snacks and lunches. That I could finally sit down and throw on some Netflix or do something that I had been wanting to get done the whole day and needed my alone time to do it.

After about 3 minutes of silence I hear her say “mama are you still coming?” I instantly felt bad, she had actually been waiting. I had given her this hope that I was coming when I didn’t really have the intention of coming to cuddle with her. This mom guilt came over me and I dropped the sponge and went to her room. I invited our son to come and cuddle with us too. I mean was it going to take an extra two minutes of my time, five minutes even to lay in bed with them cuddle recite some Quran and make them feel like they are loved and cared about until the very last minute of the day. It’s about them going to sleep feeling like it was a good day no matter what happened at school or whatever fears or struggles they had at the end of the day it’s us against the world and no matter what mama is there. It was just a simple moment that she’d asked for but I was telling her without really telling her that I had other things that were more important than her.

Perhaps in my head I justify it as I had spent the day with them, running errands for them, rushing around for them, cooking for them taking them to the library, driving across the city with them and many other “mom duties”.

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In Edmonton, Events, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
October 9, 2019

Get To Know The Know Tribe Edmonton

We have had the absolute pleasure of working with The Know Tribe Edmonton and had the opportunity to showcase Alberta Mamas alongside many other amazing lady run businesses in Edmonton in The Know Book. 

The reason we love everything about this endeavor is that it’s really all about women supporting women. Marina, Renata and Stephanie (Know Ambassadors) are women helping other women get out there and be seen. Not just creating connections within the group but with The Know Book, exposure that can be touched, felt and picked up by people all over the city.

The Book:

It’s a vetted guide that highlights dynamic women that are often under-the-radar, behind-the-scenes, and are busy perfecting their craft. It is a diverse collection of women from all walks of life, industries, ages, and backgrounds.

The Tribe

It’s a casual place where high-level, like-minded women come together to create and foster relationships. There are absolutely no mean girls allowed. We are a sisterhood.

The events that you can take part in are incredibly fun. One of the best parts is being in a group and realizing you are meeting people you follow on social, and admire, IRL. Connecting, inspiring and learning from each other.

You can even see what others have said about being part of the Tribe on YouTube!

Get In The Know 😉

There’s an event coming up that you can attend to really see what it’s all about.

October 17 at the Creative Hive! Check out the Eventbrite for all the details.

‘YOU CAN ALWAYS TELL WHO THE STRONG WOMEN ARE. THEY ARE THE ONES BUILDING ONE ANOTHER UP RATHER THAN TEARING EACH ANOTHER DOWN.’

#MomCrushMonday – Chanelle Walsh

WAHM/D, SAHM/D, Work out of the home or other?

I’m a work from home mama, running my small business, Nora’s Closet – Baby Boutique from home. I make and sell birthday outfits as well as bows for little girls.

 # of Kids? Ages?

One little girl, Nora, who is 17 months.  

What movie makes you cry?

Toy Story 3 – every single time!

Tell us about a mom/dad who inspires you?

My sister, she is such an amazing mama to my two little nephews and I always go to her for advice!

What’s the fondest memory you have of your life as a mom/dad so far? The biggest challenge? 

The fondest memory I have was holding my daughter for the first time. It was just completely life changing!
The biggest challenge hands down has been lack of sleep and adjusting to sleeping way less than before having kids.

Would you rather be able to see 10 minutes into your own future or 10 minutes into the future of anyone but yourself? Why?

Most definitely my own future! I’m always curious what the results of my actions are long term!

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Thank You 811

Sometimes I look back on when my kids were really little and think to myself; What would I have done without the nurses at 811?

Of course as Canadians we are lucky in a lot of ways, but I’m specifically talking about our access to health advice.

Back then, I had 811 on speed dial. I don’t know how I would have got through those years without it. Even now I’ll call ahead of taking them directly to the hospital. Obviously if it was something really serious I would take them straight there but, thankfully I’ve almost always been able to use the advice I receive to help.

How long is too long for a fever to last?

How many times is too many times for my kid to have puked in 1 hr?

At what point is a cough not just a cough anymore?

What the heck is this bump on their toe?

What is 811?

811 is Health Link. By dialing 811 you gain access to quick and easy advice from a registered nurse 24/7.

There is also really great information at your fingertips on myhealth.alberta.ca

So, thank you. Thank you to all the medical staff that work tirelessly in our hospitals and on the phones.

We are grateful for you!

Remember, in a medical emergency, always call 911 or visit the nearest emergency department.

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10 QUESTIONS WITH . . . Tracey McGonigal

Each month, we play 10 questions with one of Alberta’s most interesting mamas. This month we hear from Tracey McGonigal, the owner and creative force behind Tracey Bakes YEG. She’s also a busy wife and mama with a full-time day job. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram, sharing photos of her breathtaking cakes and cupcakes.

1. How did you begin this journey into the world of cake decorating?

When my daughter Olivia was born, being a first-time mom some days felt so isolating and lonely. While I was over the moon about having a beautiful, healthy baby I wasn’t used to staying home after being part of the workforce for so long. I’ve always liked to bake but this time gave me the chance to really fall in love with it and it was something I got to do for myself.

2. Can you describe your creative process?

I generally like to sketch out most of my cakes beforehand to plan on how I want to tackle it. I like to keep up with what’s trendy while staying true to a particular style on how I like my cakes to look and meeting up with what my client needs. I also love to work with both buttercream and fondant, I like to be versatile so I’m never bored doing the same thing.

3. What is the most rewarding aspect of owning and operating your own business?

Hands down the awe in my clients and how grateful they are when they see their cakes for the first time. Just knowing I had created something to do that makes all the long hours super rewarding.

4. It’s Sunday morning. How is your family spending the day?

My week is always so hectic (I also work as a full time medical office assistant) and Sunday is a chance to catch up on things like laundry or other “fun” house work. Some days we say the hell with it and do none of the above to do something fun out of the house with our daughter.

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In Lifestyle, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
October 2, 2019

Behind The Lady With The Camera

Dear Mommy,

You told me today that we were having family photos and I needed to dress nice, but when we got there you stood behind the lady making funny faces while everyone looked at me and giggled.

I wondered why everyone was staring at me. You looked so pretty Mom. You still had that tattoo I drew on you earlier, and your hair was a bit tussled from when you tickled me and I squealed with delight. We had a great day. I won’t remember it though because you stood behind the lady taking pictures.

When we got the photos you were so excited. You told me how cute I looked and how big I was getting. I asked to see the photos but they were all of me. I see me all the time, I wanted to see you.

I wanted to see your face when my tiny hands brought you flowers for the first time. I wanted to see your smile as we looked at each other. I wanted to see us holding hands. Mommy? I asked. But you weren’t in the photos, because you stood behind the lady taking pictures.

It’s years later and I’m growing up. I’m packing my things for my new house and you ask me to go through the family photos to see if I want to display any in my new home. I sort through hundreds, if not thousands of photos of me. Not finding any of you. I pass on the photos as it’s kind of odd to display your own baby photos in your home. I would have framed and hung photos of us from my childhood but there aren’t any, because you stood behind the lady taking pictures.

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