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“These Are a Few of Our Favourite Things”

Tis the season and oh how we love the holiday’s at Alberta Mamas. As the song goes, here are a few of our FAVOURITE things.

“Getting a Christmas Tree

from my parents farm” ~ Mama Deanne

The first house you see

decorated, with their lights all aglow. That feeling!

Spotting the PERFECT gift

Maybe it’s not super big, but you know it’s something they will really love.

Cooking the turkey

Making sure you’ve taken it out to thaw, getting all your fruits and veggies and spices prepped for stuffing. And in our house, we also dress it with a little bacon.

Advent calendars

Wether they are home made, store bought, for you or for the kids, I’m almost as excited as the kids to see what they get!

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Elf on the Shelf – Love It Or Send Him Back to the North Pole?

Why I Love Elf On The Shelf:

We love when December 1st hits and Elf On The Shelf comes back from the North Pole and here’s why:

  • The magic of it all! They think it is real and I love the Christmas magic that happens when they believe.
  • Let’s be real – it is a parenting too for the whole month of December. The kids definitely act better when “Jingles The Elf” is watching.

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Five Funk Defying Podcasts

I spend a bit of time in my car, like most moms. Specifically my drive to and from work are my longer jaunts and the perfect opportunity for inspiration. On the way to work, I have my favourite morning show – specifically Crash and Mars on 102.3 Now Radio. On the way home though, I chose from one of my downloaded podcasts. Sometimes I listen while I work out or cleaning around the house. I use Podbean but a lot of people have great podcasts available through their iTunes.

I thought I would share a few of the favourites I’ve listened to lately. They’ve made me feel inspired, teary eyed and/or are just generally uplifting. I’m including the links to the specific podcasts on Apple but you can always just search by the name to find the exact one.

1. Oprah SuperSoul Conversations – Lady Gaga  Heal Through Kindness

Honestly, I had no idea what she’s been through and her approach to life is inspiring.

2. Oprah SuperSoul Conversations – When You Know Better You Do Better

Who hasn’t done something they regret? But this really makes you feel like it’s ok to forgive yourself.

3. Oprah SuperSoul Conversation – Dr. Brené Brown: The Anatomy of Trust

I am still making my way through this one, just started it the other day but you can’t go wrong with Brené!

I am making my way through quite a few of the SuperSoul Conversations cause I just love me some Oprah.

4. Russell Brand Under the Skin VULNERABILITY AND POWER (WITH BRENÉ BROWN)

Yes, yes I do love Brene Brown. And Russell is pretty cool too!

5. RISE Podcase with Rachel Hollis – Making a Big Decision! 

Honestly, when you get to the end of this podcast you’re like – how was something so simple not common sense? Decisions can be stressful and this breaks it down!

Previously I shared podcasts that inspire me as a mom!

I’m always looking for new ways to be inspired or get out of a funk. Have you listened to anything good lately?

Chris is one of the only mama’s with a “day job”. Mom of 2, a 7 & 9 year old, she works as an admin for a locally owned bake shop. She loves cider, hanging out with good people and writing about her feelings. She currently resides in our Capital City, however she grew up on a farm north east of the city and never forgets her farm girl roots.

 

In Lifestyle, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
November 10, 2019

Why You Should Be a Plant Mom

We’re done having kids. The boys are now 8 & 11 so we’re out of the baby/toddler/preschooler stage. I have loved every stage but the older they get the more I see a little baby and want to squish their little cheeks and start again. KIDDING. I don’t want to start again. But I need something to keep me company during the day while the boys are in school. Pets are not an option (WAY too much work plus the whole allergy thing) so I’m becoming a Plant Mom.

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In Lifestyle, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
October 29, 2019

There’s More Than One Way to Halloween!

The day is almost 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 6 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. Read more

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

In Parenting on
October 22, 2019

Parent Hack! Kissing Dots To Help Your Child Put Their Shoes On The Right Feet

kissing dots

For as long as Finn has been able to put on his own shoes, he could care less about his shoes being on the wrong feet…that is until he started preschool and kissing dots were introduced. Now he’s obsessed.

kissing dots

I wish I could take the credit for kissing dots, but all of the credit goes to Finn’s preschool teacher Ms.Rebecca.

It’s not just HIS shoes though that he wants to put kissing dots on, it’s everyone’s. Recently he was super upset when his older brother absolutely refused to even entertain the idea – they aren’t cool when you’re 9!  Nevermind that daddy has black shoes, his solution….coloured paint (I mean it’s actually a good idea).

It’s also expanded to strangers. When we were out at a local indoor playground recently a parent was telling their child to put their shoes on the right feet and Finn loudly said: “You should get some kissing dots”. I’m sure had he known that I keep a permanent marker in my purse he would have offered that as well.

How Do Kissing Dots Work? 

  • Get a permanent marker (or paint)
  • Grab the shoes
  • Put a dot on the two inner outsides of the shoe so that they can “kiss” when they are together
  • That’s it

It is literally the most simple solution that I can’t believe I’ve never heard of before, but you know what? Finn has put his shoes on the right feet since then.

Just Another Edmonton Mommy

Christine Bruckmann is one of the founding members of Alberta Mamas and is known to everyone as the research ninja. You can also find her writing on her blog Just Another Edmonton Mommy.

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 Health, Parenting, Random Thoughts, Working Mama on
October 18, 2019

The Pressure To Do

The pressure on a mom is unlike anything I believe. There is the old motivational quotes about diamonds being coal that did well under pressure. They turn out to be these beautiful things because so much pressure has been put on them.

I don’t know about you guys, but I think I would settle for a pretty rock found on the beach instead of a diamond. Worn smooth by the ever changing flow.

As women we have come so far. Even from just a hundred years ago. A Beyonce says in the song We Run The World, “we smart enough to make the millions, strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business.” Now I’m not one to argue with the Queen B herself of course, but this is the exact problem.

So much pressure to do it all.

  • We should be great mothers.
  • We should be awesome kick ass business runners.
  • We should be gorgeous.
  • We should have clean homes.
  • We should be patient, kind, loving, understanding and strong.
  • We should be amazing cooks and bakers.
  • We should be top notch crafters.
  • We should be able to mend worn clothing, sibling rivalry and broken hearts

As my teachers say “Stop shoulding on yourself”.

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