With Christmas just around the corner it is time to start thinking about gifts for our children and others. The grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends have started asking us for gift ideas for the kids and one of the things we always tell them is that we would appreciate experience type gifts. Yes, toys, books, games and art supplies are exciting- but the experience gift is something that really goes the distance with holiday gift giving- in our homes at least.
We all have grand illusions on what it is like after a baby comes home. Your baby is content and on a schedule like you read in the books (depending on what book you read), your home is maintained the same way with the addition of a couple of baby related items, and all the extra baby tasks are split evenly between your spouse and yourself. If you already had your baby, you will realize this was all a dream that did not come true. Reality is not at all like this.
Often when talking to friends, the topic of splitting duties come up. Friends usually start to complain about how their spouse is not pulling their weight around the house and they wished their spouse would do more. The last thing I would hear from this conversation was how “unfair” it was.
We know we need to do our bit for the environment, especially as the UN has released a report saying we don’t have a tonne of time until we see a major shift in the increase of natural disasters due to climate change. While individually it feels like we can’t make a big difference, remember there are some things you can do as a consumer and make changes in your home and your day to day life that will make a difference (we promise). The great news is is that being green at home, can often be inexpensive, and you may even safe money.
As the seasons change, we want to change up our wardrobes too. We have to admit that we feel amazing when we have a new outfit that shows our true style and makes us look FABULOUS! Your style and mood may change as quick as the weather does here in Edmonton but of course, most of us cannot afford to be buying a new outfit every week so we have to be able to revamp what we have or find ways to update our existing wardrobes and make them seem new and exciting! Here are some tips for re-creating your wardrobe on a budget!
The meal time struggle is real.
No matter what you make, bake, cook, or blend there is always someone at the table that is less than impressed with what is for supper. And for some reason it is always supper at our house that is the struggle. The boys go through phases of picky eating and being more adventurous it seems which also throws me for a loop. One day they just want plain noodles and chicken fingers and the next they are shocking you and eating a plate of fish (after 10 years of me coaxing, offering, trying, fighting, bribing… you get the idea) and liking it.
So I’ve come up with some tips and tricks that have helped me throughout the years. These may not work for every family but they have definitely helped ours. I’d love to hear your thoughts on meal times and how you make them more manageable too!
The day is here! The day that your children, if old enough to talk, have probably been going on about incessantly since school started: HALLOWEEN.
This day can cause a lot of stress for parents. There’s just so much excitement, sugar, sensory overload, sugar, late bedtime, sugar, excitement, sugar…. which, for most kids, means eventual overwhelm and meltdown. What I’ve learned in my 5 years as a “Halloween Parent” is that you gotta do you, mama. When I was a new mom there was a post by a mom blogger essentially shaming moms for not trick or treating around their own neighbourhoods…. Obviously that stuck with me because I still remember it. Guess what? Who cares! Forget about what others think you should be doing on Halloween and just do what you think is best for your kid(s) AND your sanity.
Let’s chat about mom birthdays.
Today is actually my birthday. Last night I was chatting with my husband and comparing birthdays as a mom to the whole New Year’s Eve phenomenon. The more you hype the event up, the worse the disappointment can be in the end. You can’t get overly optimistic about a birthday when you are a mother, because, let’s be honest, it isn’t really YOUR day anymore. There are still little mouths to be fed, laundry to be folded, a work day to get through and of course, the most difficult part of the day- bedtime. There is hardly any time around those events in which to schedule birthday activities. I laugh when friends ask me what we are doing for my birthday. Nothing! The answer is survival- just like every other day with three kids.
Albertans don’t let a little cold weather or snow keep them from getting out and enjoying some fun now, do we? No, and the All is Bright Festival on 124st is a great example of Albertans embracing this season in the city.
On Saturday, November 10th from 4PM to 8PM, the businesses of 124 Street and High Street invite you to their annual light up festival and let me tell you – it’s a must-see. My kids and I have gone every year and it never fails to impress.
Airplane travel with babies can be an anxiety-inducing adventure! Especially when your baby is under 2 years old and they are riding in your lap. I traveled lots with both of my children when they were babies and compiled this list of ideas that I’ve used personally to keep them occupied on those long flights.
This list is for babies aged about 8 – 18 months.
- Lots of favourite snacks to munch on – also new snacks to try out will create a lot of excitement and wonder as well!
- Coloured sticky notes to pull apart and stick around is always entertaining!
- New board books or tiny books for small hands.
- Magnetic sticker books.
- Aquadoodle is always a hit with the older babies.
- Wrap up little trinkets from the dollar store to let them unwrap on the plane. You’ll have to bring the wrapping paper and tape so you can do your wrapping after going through security.
- New small toys. Anything with new texture or interesting gadgets they can handle and play with will keep them busy.
- Stand and let your little one enjoy roaming around in your seat (if it’s safe of course!) Gives them more freedom than being confined to your lap.
- Walk the aisles periodically to let them explore and stretch.
- If all else fails, load some baby-friendly apps on your tablet or smartphone to keep them occupied or distracted.
Do you have anything great ideas to add to this list? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!
I used to go BIG for birthdays. That is actually one of the things Box Social Event Planning did when I started the business. We planned parties for parents that wanted that “Pinterest” party but didn’t have time. We would do such elaborate parties that one time we brought 8 foot trees into a play place to create a perfect Woodland Theme.
But then I stopped. Because I didn’t understand why I was throwing all this time and energy into one day for a little human that wouldn’t even remember it. I still love scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram and seeing beautiful, well curated parties but it just doesn’t work for our family anymore.
I wanted my kids to still have memorable birthdays though. Not something that just blipped by. And then we got the Birthday Banner.
I am not sure when it started but it has become a tradition in our house to hang the Birthday Banner. I remember picking it up at Target (sigh I miss Target even though the Canadian one wasn’t as good as the American one) and hanging it up for one of my kids’ birthdays. It was a September birthday and it was a very busy time for our family between school starting (being married to a teacher in September is not fun) and a busy event schedule for myself. So we threw up the banner and sang Happy Birthday to my youngest around Eggo Waffles topped with whipped cream from a can. Then I brought it out for the next one. Now a few years later it is something my kids love waking up to. It is made out of felt and gets hung in the same spot every time. Sometimes it gets fancy 3M hooks, other times it is held up by green painters tape.
But it is always there.
It took me a while but I have realized that the kids do not care about all the decorations, the cake, the late night party planning. They don’t care whether they have Pinterest worthy handmade cupcakes or a cake bought on the way home from work with a generic “Happy Birthday” on it. They want you to be there. To be present. To sing “Happy Birthday” and watch them blow the candles out not be worried about all the other stuff.
So from now on that is my goal. To be present. And hang the banner every birthday.
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.