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In Explore, Lifestyle, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
August 8, 2019

Tips for Surviving Long Haul Flights with Kids

Dreaming of taking trips to incredible destinations? Dreaming of taking your children around the world to experience new cultures and take on new adventures? Having nightmares about the long flights? We have all been there!

From when my children were old enough to have a passport (so basically the first few weeks), my husband and I have been taking our children on trips around the world. Our first long haul trip was with our 6 month old daughter to Turkey. Of Course we were terrified. As new parents and never having travelled with children before we couldn’t even anticipate what it might look like. To make it worse, him and I had this image of exhausted parents not having slept for 24 hours pacing back and forth in airplane consoling a screaming baby in our minds. Our first experience wasn’t too far off from that image to be honest. On the way to Turkey, we had crying, no sleep, we had many many outfit changes and throw up. Lots of throwup! Not a great way to kick off a 2 week vacation. BUT we sat down, and we worked out a great plan for the return, taking into account everything we had experienced. It was almost perfect! We got it all worked out and we were now prepared. Fast forward 6 years and 2 kids later, we have taken many long haul flights including Egypt, Singapore, Indonesia, and The Philippines. 

I want to share with you my tips for taking long haul flights so that you can get past the anxiety of flying with children and start enjoying all the amazing places this world has to offer! 

BABY: 

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Fort Saskatchewan Event – Spark The Energy Credit Union Grand Opening

The first thing I asked myself is – What the heck is Spark The Energy Credit Union?

Here is a snippet from their About Us Page to give you an idea:

“Originally founded in 1953 as a credit union for employees of Shell Canada.
As the energy industry evolved, so did the credit union. On June 13, 2018, the membership approved to change the name from Shell Employees’ Credit Union to SPARK The Energy Credit Union to signal our opening to the people of the energy industry at large – no matter if you’re an employee, contractor, or consultant.”

They’re not just like any other financial institution – they’re for Albertans, by Albertans and they have the financial products, advice, service, and understanding to help you and your family thrive financially. 

And they’re opening a Credit Union branch in Fort Saskatchewan to do just that! 

The Grand Opening provides you with an opportunity to check it out AND have a little family fun!

DETAILS

When: July 26, 2019; from 10 to 2 pm

What:

  • Special SPARK gift bags for first 50 attendees 
  • Door prizes
  • FREE treats from the Tiny Tim’s mini-donut food trucks
  • Face painting & balloon animals 
  • Mix 107.9 will be live on location 
  • Grand Opening Giveaway of a Family 2019 Seasonal Membership to Jurassic Forest  

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Raising Kids That Return Shopping Carts

I was brought up to be aware of how my actions affect others around me. Whether it is with words, actions, or implied – everything we do causes the people around us to react either positively or negatively. As a parent this is a HARD concept to teach especially to young kids. But then I realized one day that it can be simplified in little actions which will grow to bigger actions as they get older.

Which leads me to the shopping cart.

We’ve all seen the abandoned shopping carts in the parking lot but have you ever considered the way those carts left in the middle of the parking lot affects others?

Someone with limited mobility may not be able to park as close as they want to now.

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5 Reasons We Love The St. Albert Botanic Park

This past weekend we decided to take advantage of the sunshine – it’s few and far between lately! My daughter has become interested in taking photos – especially of flowers – and we had never been to the St. Albert Botanic Garden so that’s where we went!

1. It’s FREE

You park in the lot and it’s right there. There is a gift shop you can peruse if you like but entrance is free.

2. It’s bigger than you expect!

I hadn’t looked up anything more than where it was so when we got there, the entrance gardens were already impressive. But then we kept walking. It’s LONG. There is an entrance park, an East park, a West park and more additional gardens. We stopped along the way so much to take photos we spent almost 2 hrs there.

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In Lifestyle, Parenting on
July 12, 2019

Hobbies? Ha! What hobbies?

From age 9-16 I was a competitive swimmer for a small summer swim team in Jasper National Park ; the Jasper Red Fins. We were small but mighty and we called ourselves “RED HOT!” WE were very proud. I didn’t actually learn to swim until age 9 but my parents focused on it so much that within months, I had completed all the levels and joined the swim team. Swimming became my life. I wasn’t the fastest swimmer but my technique was good and I loved it! I enjoyed early morning practices and I would even go to the pool to “swim laps” on my own regularly. Our pool had a Kilometer Club and where the goal was to swim 100km in the specified time frame and we got prizes at different milestones.  When I say swimming was my life, I’m not exaggerating! 

After age 16, I started coaching the swim team. First I was an assistant coach then a year or so later, I was the head coach. The team was mine! I was a “take no crap” kind of coach. I was a 6am practice kind of coach. I was a “no junk food or unhealthy food the week before a competition” kind of coach. Like I said, swimming was my life.  I did this until about age 21 when I stopped spending the summers in Jasper.

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In Lifestyle, Parenting, Working Mama on
July 8, 2019

#MomCrushMonday – Mona Ismaeil

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

# of Kids? Ages? 2 Kids:  I have two kids; Manessa (6 years) and Malik (3 years)

What movie makes you cry? My Sister’s Keeper. It just hit close to home. When it came out, I was struggling with some health issues.  Most often, I tear up in movies that have to do with Parents and their children.

Tell us about a mom/dad who inspires you? 

My own parents for sure! My parents made a very tough decision to leave home; Egypt; to seek a better future for themselves and their children. They learned the language, worked 7 days a week, built their life together one brick at a time.  They were typical immigrants working for the dream.  They raised my sister and I here in this amazing country trying to balance an Eastern culture and Faith in the Western world. They taught us to be proud of who we are, and to remain rooted.  They taught us to work hard, be honest and to do what you can in life then leave the rest up to God.

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In Lifestyle, Parenting on
July 5, 2019

My Kids Like Video Games, Should I Get Them Into Code?

By Leah Elzinga

“My kid spends all their time in their room playing video games. I’m worried they’re not making friends. At least they like technology?! Maybe you can teach them to code!”

Every six weeks or so I receive an email or request similar to this one, with frazzled parents begging me to teach their kid to code to get them out of the basement but… that doesn’t work. Here’s the thing: I love technology. I love the thing itself, I love the process of building it, and I love the people involved. In and of itself, though, technology isn’t the solution to all of our problems: people are

So let’s unpack this problem. Kid spends all their time playing videogames online. Ok, so this isn’t really a problem in and of itself. Is the kid still active? Gets their homework done? Let’s assume the answers there are a “yes”.Kid is anti-social. Ok, so this we can work with, but maybe not in the way you’d expect.

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The Hats We Hang Up

We’ve all heard the expression of “wearing many hats”.

As a parent, our “hats” grow exponentially – teacher, disciplinarian, many meal maker, friend, therapist, taxi driver, launderer, the OMG It’s Lost Forever Finder Hat 😉 etc.

In order to take on all these new “hats” we often have to hang up some old ones. Sometimes it’s our Career hat. Sometimes it’s hobbies. Like, did you know I have my motorcycle licence? Probably not because I hung up my helmet once the babies came. Sometimes parents manage to juggle all the “hats” they had before – I’m not sure how they magically do that but that’s pretty amazing.

My kids are getting old enough now that a few of the “Mom Hats” don’t come out as often. It has me eyeing a few of the ones I hung up and thinking to myself that perhaps, I could take them off the hangers soon. I could maybe even try on some new ones and see what fits. It’s both freeing and daunting. Like, they won’t need me as much soon. And eventually not at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in mom mode ALL the time, but I always know if I’m not there someone else is taking care of them. There will be a point where they will be their own people completely, and in turn, well, so will I.

I might need to start looking at Kijiji and get myself some wheels. 😉

Did you hang up any of your “hats” when you became a parent?

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In Lifestyle, Parenting on
June 16, 2019

Should Schoolyard Games Be Banned?

I still remember the feeling of being thrown flat on my back after getting blocked in a game of Red Rover. The wind would completely be knocked out of you and you would lie there for a while looking up at the sky, getting your bearings before hopping up and joining the other team. BUT nothing beat that rare occasion you found the weak link in the other team and you went flying through winning the chance to bring someone back to your side.

I didn’t go to school THAT long ago (I am not that old…) but it seems like a lot of games we used to play are considered dangerous and are not allowed in schools anymore. So this got us thinking:

I get that the school boards are trying to prevent injuries but are we bubble wrapping our children too much when we say they can’t play games like Dodgeball? It’s a tough question and we would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

In Lifestyle, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
June 14, 2019

Three Bees Series – Part 1 – Bee BIFF

PART 1 – BEE BIFF

Is it not funny to think that there was once a time you would sit by the phone and wonder if he would call or text you; and when his name appeared on caller ID, you would smile and get butterflies? And now that you are separating from him, you know he will call or text and wish he wouldn’t; and when he does call or text, it gives you an uneasy feeling.

Hostile emails, texts and other forms of communication from a former spouse with a high conflict personality may be routine.  Bill Eddy’s BIFF Response method is one way you can effectively handle hostile communication. This method encourages you to be Brief, Informative, Friendly and Firm in your responses. It also encourages you to respond rather than react, which will leave you feeling more empowered.

Brief

It is best to be brief in your responses to those nasty messages and communication. The more material you provide to your former spouse, the more ammunition they will have to attack you; and the higher the chance of an argument ensuing. It is best to keep your responses simple and to the point.

Informative

When confronted with nasty and hurtful comments, it can be instinctive to try and lash out, to face these issues and correct them. However, this response is what sets you down the path to confrontation. Simply stick to providing an accurate set of facts, and nothing more.

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