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Parenting

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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In Lifestyle, Parenting on
June 9, 2019

The Phrase No Parent Wants to Hear – “Mom I’m in the Talent Show!”

It’s the words no parent wants to hear.

“Mom I am in the talent show!”

I mean I guess if you have a child prodigy that can sing and dance like Michael Jackson or play the piano like Beethoven or crush through wood planks like Chuck Norris – awesome. The talent show is for your child. But these words scared me. My kid isn’t talented.

And before you get all Sesame Street on me telling me every child has their own talents blah blah blah -hear me out. I know my kid is talented just not in a “I will be the next America’s Got Talent star” kind of way. And I remember how mean kids can be.

And then he drops this bomb on us…

It’s an original song. About Bulbasaur the least appreciated Pokemon.

See the source image

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When Pets Aren’t Just Pets, They’re Family

In the summer of 2000, my boyfriend at the time, now my husband and I were living together and I convinced him (begrudgingly) to get a puppy. I had been on the Humane Societies website and saw that they had four American Eskimo puppies. I fell absolutely in love with a photo of one, then named Indy. I went to meet him all by myself. He was the runt of the litter. All ears and we named him Buddy.

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5 Strategies to Reduce the Stress of Motherhood

By Victoria Smith

Stress is on the rise, particularly with women. But, I don’t need to tell you that, do I? Intuitively, we feel overwhelmed. From acting as a perpetual chauffeur to coordinating play dates, or from healthy meal planning to juggling sick days and attempting to work from home, motherhood is stressful. Here’s the deal, though, it can be less stressful when you have the right tools, strategies and mindset in place.

Before we get into five strategies that you can implement immediately, we need to start with mindset. If you think your day is going to be stressful, it will, because that’s how you’ve primed your brain. You’ve given it the signal to find evidence of stress wherever you look. To counter this, what I want you to do is start every day by setting an intention. Believe me, I know that if you wake with the kids, it can be hard to find a moment for that, so a fall back can be to write out your intention and set it next to your alarm clock. What should that intention be? I put it back to you – how would you like your day to go? For example, my daily intention is to show up as an engaged parent, wife and friend, and a Rockstar entrepreneur. Yours could be to a search for gratitude. Or to be mindful. The intention is personal to your needs and desires, but set one and start each day reminding yourself of it. Only then will the following strategies take real effect.

1. Stop comparing yourself to other moms

It is so easy to get into a shame-spiral of how you are performing as a mother when your friends or Insta-community are throwing Pinterest-perfect parties for a two year-old. Or maybe you pick
up your child from daycare only to find out that they’ve bitten another child – of course it would be the most well-behaved child of the seemingly put together momma. We are all on our own  motherhood journeys. We all have our own past, our own challenges, and our own beliefs to grapple with. Just because you do things differently doesn’t mean you’re doing them worse. First step if you find yourself in this comparison black hole? Take a social media break. If the comparison is coming from in-person interactions, before each encounter remind yourself that you are doing the best with what you have, and your kids are well-loved. Because at the end of the day, your child won’t care about the perfect party or baked goods or that they were potty trained a year before all the other kids. They’ll remember time spent one-on-one with you, the cuddles and bedtime stories. Presence and love matter most.

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In Parenting, Random Thoughts on
May 27, 2019

To Trash or Not To Trash?

One of the things that I struggle with on a daily/weekly/monthly basis is how much evidence of my kid’s childhood really needs to be saved? You only get one shot to collect memorabilia to immortalize your child’s early years… and the pressure is on. I don’t want to screw it up, but…will I still care about their very first scribble when I am 60? If I do, how many pieces of scribble paper do I keep? What about their first onesie, or their first soccer jersey? And what about the first time they wrote their name in all capitals? Or the first time they wrote their name with just the initial capital? Or the first time they wrote their name using cursive? It is a very slippery road I tread here, and I don’t wish to be a future guest on Hoarders. Does anyone else deal with this insane mental battle each time it comes to children’s items?

It feels like a nearly daily debate over whether to chuck or save the latest sub-par colouring page or sneaky little activity that has found its way home in the school envelope (Teachers- I am on to you! You don’t have the heart to throw these things out so you send them ALL home for me to deal with). As soon as I try figuring out whether it deserves saving or not, I begin to think thoughts like;  it is definitely not their best work but they wrote “To Mom” in the cutest printing. Or,  they made if for me. How much longer will they be making me art? However, they also gave me a rather wrinkled copy of Rubble’s head yesterday… Maybe they won’t notice if I recycle this one? But what if my child’s love language is gifting, and I am just throwing away her love…

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In Parenting, Random Thoughts on
May 8, 2019

The Butterfly Effect

This is not an easy post for me to write, but in light of recent events, I feel compelled to share a part of my story and some of my coping mechanisms…. So here goes. I’ve been described by some people, as a person who has a lot on her plate. They’re not wrong, it is a lot to juggle.Taking care of two young boys, caring for a mother who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and early onset dementia,managing the household and having 2 bigger dogs to contend with, holding down a job ( or sometimes 2 jobs) and having a husband that works in and out of town does have me mentally and physically exhausted at times. My emotions get the best of me. 

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In Parenting on
May 6, 2019

When The Kids Get Sick

Some might not put the disgusting childhood illness known as hand foot and mouth disease and mini vacation in the same sentence, but here I am. We live somewhere in between being minimalist and slow living, yet a busy season of life really picked up this past year and I feel like from the beginning of school to now has gone by in a flash. We are busier than we have been over the past year and trying to take things slow has gotten so much harder, not just with the extra activities, but feeling the outside “do it all” pressure from the outside world creeping in as well. 

I do often get caught up in the mundaneness of the stay at home mom life. The kids play with the same toys each day, the schedule doesn’t vary too much except for adding random outings here and there in between appointments and preschool, and I find myself checking my Facebook News feed to have nothing change every hour (or 5 times an hour) which is more often than I’d like. 

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In Lifestyle, Parenting, Recipe on
May 5, 2019

Sick of Making School Lunches? We’ve Got You Covered Until Summer Vacation!

It’s May and I don’t know about you guys but I am sick of making school lunches and the kids are tired of their lunches. But don’t worry we’ve got you covered with a list of easy, quick and fun lunches to carry you over until summer vacation!

  1. Wraps – The easiest transition from boring bread. Some favourites in our house are: banana and sunflower seed butter (school safe and same taste as wow butter without all the sugar), ham and cheese, jam, and cream cheese and cucumber.
  2. Crackers and cheese – Add pickles (if you’re kids are into it!), sausage, and their favourite crackers to make an easy lunch.
  3. Breakfast cookies – The kids will get a kick out of being able to eat cookies for lunch and you’ll feel great knowing they will be full and ready to take on their afternoons. There’s so many great recipes on Pinterest or you can check out the ones we love to make (and are SO easy to adapt to taste) here.
  4. Cereal – Keeping with the breakfast theme, send individual packs of cereal with them to school for lunch! Keep it simple and let them eat it dry or send some milk in a thermos.
  5. Leftovers – This one is best if the kids have access to a microwave but is such a time saver if you can make it work!
  6. Pizza Roll Ups – This is a little more prep but can be made ahead in big batches and can be kept in the freezer until you want to use them. Get pizza dough (make it yourself or pick it up pre-made at the store), roll it out, lay down your favourite toppings, roll it up (think cinnamon bun rolling), slice into even pieces, lay out on a lined baking sheet and bake. So easy and delicious!
  7. Muffins – Cram them full of good, healthy ingredients and they won’t miss their sandwiches at all AND they will stay full until the end of the day.
  8. Mini Pancakes – Make the night before to make the morning easier, add some fruit and the kids have a fun, easy lunch.
  9. Pita Bread and Hummus – The EASIEST lunch for those days when you just don’t have time. Bonus if you have those individual packs from Costco. Even a two year old can pack this easy lunch!
  10. Let Them Choose – Give them parameters (has to include all the food groups for example) but them let them go wild. No restrictions. It is always interesting to see what combination they come up with!

We hope some of these give you inspiration to get through the school year! We’d love to hear what your kid’s favourite lunches are. Share below!

Can we also agree that the cute shapes, googly eyes, and over the top bento boxes be done for the year? No one needs that pressure right now. Save it for September Karen.

 

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 #cocktailsMonday dates with her husband and chasing around her two boys. You can find her at @DeanneFerguson on Instagram and @BoxSocialYEG on Twitter.

Beyond The Books – 5 Ways To Utilize Your Library

I LOVE the library.

Give me a room full of thrillers, adventures, self-betterment, romance – you can go anywhere in a library! A while back I found out there is a lot more to my little library card than paper books, magazines, movies and cds to take home. I just had to share.

ME Libraries

With my FREE EPL card I have access to 9 Libraries across Alberta via the ME Libraries website. Why would that come in handy? Well, for example, I reside in Edmonton BUT have joined the St. Albert library. They have Pre-Loaded Audiobooks – my EPL doesn’t. These come in handy on flights, long drives etc. You just plug in your headphones and voila! Great for kids too. This access can also come in handy if you’re on vacation somewhere in Alberta! You can visit the library, take out a few things and return them before you head home. I’m sure there is a plethora of other ways this comes in handy!

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