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Lifestyle

Free Resource: Fueling Brains

Yesterday the team at Fueling Brains reached out to Alberta Mamas about the platform they’ve launched in Calgary. You can check it out at www.FuelingBrains.com.

It’s an online tool for educators and parents, meant to support early childhood learning of your kids. They’ve been working in the child care space for nearly a decade as Kids U and they’ve put together a toolbox of activities and parenting resources based on the work of their educators and researchers.

And they’re offering it for free.

While they’re putting together this platform, they’ve also made a page for first responders and frontline workers seeking childcare. The platform’s founder, Anil, and his team even had their shoulders tapped to help healthcare practitioners in Alberta.

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15 Ways for Mamas to Stay Sane During Covid

Good morning, or afternoon or evening to you.
You are the glue keeping everything together right now. You set the tone for the ebb and flow of your family routines. You are constantly taking the emotional temperature of your child, children and spouse. Now you are not only Mama, but Mme.Mama, teacher as well as cook, nurse, maid, and your own person. And it is to this last point that I would like to touch on at this time. You. You must also rescue yourself right now, you must look after yourself, stimulate and nurture your spirit and mind in this moment that feels like we are trying to stay afloat swimming in a toxic soup of uncertainty.
Below are 15 suggestions of ways to attempt to rise above the heaviness, to love yourself, to create your silver linings.

1. Gratitude.

We still have so much to be grateful for. A gratitude journal may sound corny, but the act of reflecting and writing down daily at least 5 things you are grateful for may help reset some of the negativity of our current challenges. Don’t feel like a gratitude journal? Then journal down all your fears, frustrations, resentments and brainstorm what can be done to minimize those.

2. Hygge.

It means coziness. Hugs, cuddles, lighting candles, enjoying just being with each other with no agenda. It’s calm and loving.

3. Good news.

There are still good news stories out there. Search for them, subscribe. One most recent one is by The Office alum John Krasinski

4. Dance.

Oh my goodness, you need to dance. Everyone has there jam, their boogie tunes. I guarantee if you boogie to some tunes, you will smile. If you sing along, this may be amplified. Have a silly dance off with the family or just on your own.

5. Work out, sweat.

There are many sites that offer access to their workout videos. One example is Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser on Outlander, has created a free 30-day challenge of workouts that do not require a gym.

6. Start a flower or vegetable garden.

It’s too cold too plant outside right now Spring blizzard, do these words belong together? Here they do. You can get some cups or pots and make a little corner to start growing herbs or flowers. If you don’t wanna grow a garden, buy some potted flowers or plants.

7. Go outside.

Just do it. Everyday. Even when it’s cold. Bundle up. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, after I have spent an hour outside I never feel overwhelmed afterwards. If the sun is out, I am like a meerkat sunbathing with my face to the sun.

8. Hot water.

Hot bath, hot tea, hot coffee. Little escapes. Can go all out if you want with a bubble bath, candles and a nice drink, learn how to perform a tea ceremony or make tea time like the British.

9. Get organized.

This one pays off at the end, but is so worth it. You may turn into Marie Kondo and come to enjoy it. So many things that can be organized; family pictures, rearranging furniture and purging objects, simplifying, cleaning your closets. Each area that has been organized and cleaned will make you feel lighter.

10. Get your art on.

Doodle, do finger paint with your kids and all the crafts you get them to do. Order an adult paint by numbers. Decorate a room the way you want, not by what is trendy.

11. Laugh.

Watch funny movies. Follow funny people online. I like to read Andy Ritcher tweets, watch comedy specials on Netflix and Sketch comedy troupes on CBC Gem like Baroness VonSketch, Portlandia. Whatever tickles your funny bone, find it.

12. Reach out to friends and family.

Everyone is in their own bubble almost literally at the moment. Reach out to those you love, even if you just send a funny gif or a cool article you read. Share good news, make good news. Do nice things for others.

13. Do something “selfish”.

If it is financially possible, get something you want, have wanted. My favorite perfume Heaven is discontinued. I ordered a small bottle off eBay for $18. I was excited to get it, then excited to wear it. Perhaps you love scarves? Get yourself one if you can. Love purple? Paint one of the walls in your house purple.

14. Wear nice clothes.

PJs are comfy, but you don’t have to wear PJs and active wear everyday. Put on some of your “going out” clothes, do your hair, or do your hair in a funky way.

15. Be gentle with yourself.

Keep up the good work Mamas. Be gentle with yourself.
Anna Marie Chemi is a stay at home mom who never wants to grow up, with 2 sweet boys.

COVID-19 : 7 GUIDELINES FOR PARENTS SHARING CUSTODY

Author: Lorraine Mlambo is an Edmonton based Family Lawyer.

Like a thief in the night, we never saw this coming. The Covid 19 pandemic is the unseen common enemy that has wreaked unprecedented havoc around the world, leaving a trail of disaster, deaths, uncertainty and confusion. This pandemic will undoubtably pose a challenge for parents who are already separated or going through separation.  To help parents through these trying times, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) have issued the following helpful guidelines:

  1. BE HEALTHY.

Comply with all CDC and local and state guidelines and model good behavior for your children with intensive hand washing, wiping down surfaces and other objects that are frequently touched, and maintaining social distancing. This also means BE INFORMED. Stay in touch with the most reliable media sources and avoid the rumor mill on social media.

 

  1. BE MINDFUL.

Be honest about the seriousness of the pandemic but maintain a calm attitude and convey to your children your belief that everything will return to normal in time. Avoid making careless comments in front of the children and exposing them to endless media coverage intended for adults. Don’t leave the news on 24/7, for instance. But, at the same time, encourage your children to ask questions and express their concerns and answer them truthfully at a level that is age appropriate.

  1. BE COMPLIANT WITH COURT ORDERS AND CUSTODY AGREEMENTS.

As much as possible, try to avoid reinventing the wheel despite the unusual circumstances. The custody agreement or court order exists to prevent endless haggling over the details of timesharing. In some jurisdictions there are even standing orders mandating that, if schools are closed, custody agreements should remain in force as though school were still in session.

  1. BE CREATIVE.

At the same time, it would be foolish to expect that nothing will change when people are being advised not to fly and vacation attractions such as amusement parks, museums and entertainment venues are closing all over the US and the world. In addition, some parents will have to work extra hours to help deal with the crisis and other parents may be out of work or working reduced hours for a time. Plans will inevitably have to change. Encourage closeness with the parent who is not going to see the child through shared books, movies, games and FaceTime or Skype.

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Saving My Sanity During Social Distancing

Normally, I work outside of the house and due to class cancellations I’m home with the kids. I honestly thought the Social Distancing (as per the awesome Dr. Henshaw’s suggestion) wouldn’t get to me.

Well, I was wrong.

It was 10am on the second day when I finally broke down. I cried, a lot. I cried for the people who are sick, I cried for the people who’ve died, I cried and cried and cried. And then, I heard my kids playing and I told myself I had to stop.

There are people out there on the front line – grocery workers, nurses, doctors, police, fire, 911 operators, the list goes on and on. Like all the memes say – We can stay home – for them and for everyone.

So I made myself a list of 5 things that I can do to save my sanity.

Live Yoga/Meditation

There are so many people offering free live, or affordable online memberships. I’ve been watching two in particular myself – Fitcityguide and Metta Yoga but I would LOVE to hear if you’ve found awesome resources!

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In Parenting, Random Thoughts, Working Mama on
March 9, 2020

This Is 40 Patina

I will be 40 this year.

I’ve have heard that some people have a “scary” age. One that they just don’t look forward to and I always thought mine was 40, but now that I’m here – not so much.

In my 20’s I was crazy.

Farm girl gone to the big city, that first taste of freedom and ALL the mistakes. I had no idea who I was, what I wanted to be and absolutely no self esteem. I hung out with the wrong people, and dated the wrong guys, but really, came out on the other side smarter for all of it. I think of these years as my “test drive”

In my 30’s, I was better?

Gone was most of the crazy, I was married for a bit by then, had my kids and life just kinda went on. I started to come into my worth. My friend circle got smaller, but much more valuable. Towards the end of this decade here, I can honestly say I like myself more than I have my whole life.

I work with the younger generation and I hear them lamenting about turning 23, or 27 or whatever it is and I just keep telling them that they’re coming up on the best years of their lives. I tell them, believe in yourself, love yourself, be kind to yourself, life keeps going and really we just get more awesome.

The way I look at it is, I’m a Classic.

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In Events, Northern Alberta, Parenting on
March 8, 2020

3 Kid-Friendly Easter Events in Grande Prairie

The days are slowly getting longer and temperatures are increasing, which means spring is on its way! Check out these 5 family-friendly events in the Grande Prairie area to celebrate Easter, which lands on April 12 this year.

1. Easter Eggstravaganza Hosted By Muskoseepi Park 

Kids ages 2-10 are invited to meet the Easter Bunny, decorate cookies, play games, make crafts, and participate in the Easter egg hunt.

What you need to know:

  • Cost: $5 per child

  • Date & Time: April 11, 2020 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

  • Location: Ernie Radbourne Pavillion, 10326 -102nd Avenue

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In Parenting, Random Thoughts on
March 7, 2020

It Takes A Village

It was Valentines Day and I had made a lunch date with one of my favourite humans at Famoso Pizza. We are sitting at lunch, my youngest son tagging along for the ride.

The table next to us was filled with about 20 firefighters from the Spruce Grove Fire Department. We witnessed a man stand up and choke back a few tears as he made a speech to his retiring captain. It was touching and obvious that this man had made a huge difference in the lives of his team and in the community.

I looked longingly at my son knowing that I owed his life and safety to these brave men.

A couple years ago my son got locked in my vehicle while I was getting his brother out. The door closed and my car lost signal to the keys inside. My car is made to never lock with the keys inside so this was a very, big, problem. I got my one son out while my youngest stayed strapped into his car seat.

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In Contests, Edmonton, Explore, Lifestyle, Uncategorized on
February 29, 2020

Beginner Family Skiing Tips + Giveaway to Rabbit Hill Snow Resort!

Beginner Skiing at Rabbit Hill Snow Resort

I have flirted with skiing my entire life. I love the idea of it, but to be honest I found it kind of overwhelming. There’s the gear that I don’t really understand, the risk of hurting myself, the potential embarrassment of hurting myself or looking a fool and don’t even get me started on my fears of me or kids falling off the chair lift! BUT I see families skiing together and I love it! The chance for exercise outside all day, the scenery, the family connectedness, confidence building and often challenging nature of the sport are all reasons that I want my family to ski together. Plus, my husband grew up in a small mountain town and has been on skis since he was 3. Its in his blood and something I would love for my son and I to share with him.

Go Ski Alberta approached us and asked if we would be interested in doing a beginner ski day a few weeks ago. I jumped at the chance because as a family we had made a goal that we would ski more this winter (yet had only been once so far) and I love the idea of sharing the experience of skiing with others who also might be apprehensive about it.

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In Lifestyle, Parenting on
February 21, 2020

Unpopular Opinion – I Let My Kids Stay Home From School When They’re Not Sick

My kids are 8 & 11 and are in Grade 3 & 6. Just like us sometimes they need a break. So I let them stay home from school even when they’re not sick.

We don’t over schedule (as much as we can with two active kids) but sometimes life piles up. Big family changes, busy weekends, changes in school, and growth spurts sometimes all pile up in one messy ball of emotion and they get to a point where they just cannot function.

So they get to stay home. No questions asked.

I will say that this does not happen often. We trust them to make a judgement call when they need it and this power has yet to be abused. So far in this school year the youngest has taken one day and the oldest has taken two. They are rarely sick (knock on wood) and although we travel occasionally they don’t often have to miss a ton of school.

I can usually tell as soon as they wake up that they are going to use the “free pass” that day. Sometimes they will wake up, start playing into it and talking about staying home but 99% of the time they perk up, eat their breakfast and continue on with their day. But the other 1%? They tell me they just need a day.

A day to stay in bed. Read. Build Lego while listening to their podcasts. Watch their favourite cartoons. Cuddle.

I know the privilege I have to be able to work from home and adjust to their needs. I am grateful I have kids who do not take advantage of this. I get that this will not work for every family.

But for us this works. And as they grow up and become adults I hope that they learn that it’s OK to take a day to recharge.

 

 

Box Social Event Planning

Deanne Ferguson is the owner of Box Social Event Planning. When she is not planning fun, family, friendly events she is finding the yummiest food for the Edmonton Home and Garden Show Food Stage. She loves her #cocktailMonday dates with her husband and chasing around her two boys. You can find her at @DeanneFerguson on Instagram and @BoxSocialYEG on Twitter