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!
The Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta (CPAA) is ready to host their 13th Annual Life Without Limits Challenge event this September where people of all ages and abilities come together to celebrate their accomplishments, raise funds, and most of all … have fun!
This yearly event is not your typical walk-a-thon, as the CPAA puts a big focus on making the event fully inclusive and open to the community.
“Many of the individuals we work with have some form of a disability and live right in your community. This event is giving them a day to have fun with their friends and family. It’s something they look forward to each year. The more participants we have out, the more fun they have.” Says Joanne Dorn of the CPAA.
Each month, we play 10 questions with one of Alberta’s most interesting mamas. This month we get to know newborn photographer Hailey Hamilton. Hailey hails from Calgary, and is the owner and artistic talent behind Hailey Hamilton Photography. As a mom herself, Hailey gets that life with a new baby can be crazy, and strives to be flexible and understanding with her clients in order to make their experience relaxed and enjoyable. Connect with Hailey, and check out her beautiful portraits, by visiting her website or Facebook page.
1. How did your career as a photographer evolve towards a specialization in newborn photography?
At one time, I photographed almost everything. After a bunch of my friends had babies (and I was asked to take photos), I quickly learned how much fun it was to pose them and squish them into adorable curly positions. I found it was much easier to be creative with newborns and to be able to achieve the looks I was envisioning. As a mom myself, I’m also very comfortable working with babies!
2. What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Having the opportunity to snuggle new babies is obviously amazing, but as an artist, the most rewarding thing for me is achieving the final finished portrait and seeing my vision come to life!
3. Which three words best describe your artistic style?
Clean, simple, minimal
4. It’s Sunday morning. How is your family spending the day?
Brunch at our favorite breakfast spot, and then wherever the day takes us!
5. What’s your favourite kid-friendly destination in Calgary?
My son is a teenager so we don’t usually do too many kid activities. But escape rooms and go karts are always a hit.
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.
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.
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.
How did I not know this little piece of camping paradise existed right in our own backyard?
The Mamas were very lucky recently. Arrkann RV set us up with some sweet trailers for Glamping right in Edmonton. You can read all about our take on the trailers here – but I digress.
Rainbow Valley Campground boasts 39 15 amp powered sites + 29 natural sites;
And a massive green space WITH a playground.
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?
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.
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.