Yesterday the team at Fueling Brains reached out to Alberta Mamas about the platform they’ve launched in Calgary. You can check it out at www.FuelingBrains.com.
It’s an online tool for educators and parents, meant to support early childhood learning of your kids. They’ve been working in the child care space for nearly a decade as Kids U and they’ve put together a toolbox of activities and parenting resources based on the work of their educators and researchers.
You are the glue keeping everything together right now. You set the tone for the ebb and flow of your family routines. You are constantly taking the emotional temperature of your child, children, and spouse. Now you are not only Mama but Mme. Mama, teacher as well as cook, nurse, maid, and your own person. And it is to this last point that I would like to touch on at this time. You. You must also rescue yourself right now, you must look after yourself, stimulate and nurture your spirit and mind at this moment that feels like we are trying to stay afloat swimming in a toxic soup of uncertainty.
I will be 40 this year.
I’ve have heard that some people have a “scary” age. One that they just don’t look forward to and I always thought mine was 40, but now that I’m here – not so much.
In my 20’s I was crazy.
Farm girl gone to the big city, that first taste of freedom and ALL the mistakes. I had no idea who I was, what I wanted to be and absolutely no self esteem. I hung out with the wrong people, and dated the wrong guys, but really, came out on the other side smarter for all of it. I think of these years as my “test drive”
In my 30’s, I was better?
Gone was most of the crazy, I was married for a bit by then, had my kids and life just kinda went on. I started to come into my worth. My friend circle got smaller, but much more valuable. Towards the end of this decade here, I can honestly say I like myself more than I have my whole life.
I work with the younger generation and I hear them lamenting about turning 23, or 27 or whatever it is and I just keep telling them that they’re coming up on the best years of their lives. I tell them, believe in yourself, love yourself, be kind to yourself, life keeps going and really we just get more awesome.
The way I look at it is, I’m a Classic.
It was Valentines Day and I had made a lunch date with one of my favourite humans at Famoso Pizza. We are sitting at lunch, my youngest son tagging along for the ride.
The table next to us was filled with about 20 firefighters from the Spruce Grove Fire Department. We witnessed a man stand up and choke back a few tears as he made a speech to his retiring captain. It was touching and obvious that this man had made a huge difference in the lives of his team and in the community.
I looked longingly at my son knowing that I owed his life and safety to these brave men.
A couple years ago my son got locked in my vehicle while I was getting his brother out. The door closed and my car lost signal to the keys inside. My car is made to never lock with the keys inside so this was a very, big, problem. I got my one son out while my youngest stayed strapped into his car seat.
My kids are 8 & 11 and are in Grade 3 & 6. Just like us sometimes they need a break. So I let them stay home from school even when they’re not sick.
We don’t over schedule (as much as we can with two active kids) but sometimes life piles up. Big family changes, busy weekends, changes in school, and growth spurts sometimes all pile up in one messy ball of emotion and they get to a point where they just cannot function.
So they get to stay home. No questions asked.
I will say that this does not happen often. We trust them to make a judgement call when they need it and this power has yet to be abused. So far in this school year the youngest has taken one day and the oldest has taken two. They are rarely sick (knock on wood) and although we travel occasionally they don’t often have to miss a ton of school.
I can usually tell as soon as they wake up that they are going to use the “free pass” that day. Sometimes they will wake up, start playing into it and talking about staying home but 99% of the time they perk up, eat their breakfast and continue on with their day. But the other 1%? They tell me they just need a day.
A day to stay in bed. Read. Build Lego while listening to their podcasts. Watch their favourite cartoons. Cuddle.
I know the privilege I have to be able to work from home and adjust to their needs. I am grateful I have kids who do not take advantage of this. I get that this will not work for every family.
But for us this works. And as they grow up and become adults I hope that they learn that it’s OK to take a day to recharge.
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 #cocktailMonday dates with her husband and chasing around her two boys. You can find her at @DeanneFerguson on Instagram and @BoxSocialYEG on Twitter
We got married young. Really young. Like so young that now when I see people that are 21 I can’t believe that I was already married and expecting our first child young. Neither of us brought a lot of stuff coming into the marriage. We both lived on our own for a bit but when you’re a poor student you don’t exactly have the nicest things.
So when we got engaged I was REALLY excited about the registry part. I know I know I should have been thinking about marrying the love of my life blah bah blah. But what I really was excited for was two things:
We LOVE Alberta made goodness so we scoured the amazingness that is Instagram and reached out to a few amazing small business in Alberta to curate a most awesome give away.
One Lucky Mama will win ALL OF THIS – #AMmadeinalberta goodness worth over $400!!
It seems like a simple activity that we should all be able to do right? It is cheap, can be done at any time, and doesn’t take any equipment other than shoes.
Most women that I work with feel really frustrated when it comes to running because just doesn’t feel good. They leak, they have back, hip, pelvic and/or leg pain, or it just feels awful on their bodies.
Lots of Mamas I meet love running and want to return to running races or plan a getaway for a destination race. Some just want to get out for a run a couple of times a week for fitness and for the mental break. Many want to run with their kids and not be stuck on the sidelines watching as their kids grow.
The most common strategy that I see women take with running is to take it slow. They start with a slow 20-30 minute jog around the block with plans to work their way up to longer or faster runs.
And I totally understand why! I made the same mistake myself nearly 9 years ago when I returned to running after my first baby Avery was born.
This approach misses a few KEY strategies though, which is why many women find it hard to get past this distance or they quit all together.
Narrowing down the perfect gift for your child’s teacher, coach, tutor, or babysitter can seem overwhelming. We polled a group of moms and teachers and found out some of the best gifts you can give this holiday season that won’t break the bank.
- A thoughtful note is at the top of everyone’s list. A personalized thank-you note for your kid’s teacher to show appreciation for their hard work is sure to be well received.
- A favorite for many is sweet treats! Cookies by George or homemade holiday treats; either way, they won’t last until the end of the day.
- A box of quality chocolates or biscuits. A great option if you know of your caregiver’s preferences or dietary restrictions.
- If you’d like to steer away from sweets, fancy crackers with artisanal jams are a great option. You can even pair this gift with a beautiful handcrafted cutting board.
- A Christmas tree ornament. You can get crafty and decorate one with your child or pick one up at most retailers.
- Gift cards are a sure-fire hit! For the coffee lover Tim Hortons, Starbucks, or McDonald’s all offer gift certificate ages of varying denominations. If you’re unsure, we love giving (and receiving!) gift certificates from Chapters Indigo.
- It might be tempting to give a bottle of wine; however, we recommend giving a gift certificate to the liquor store instead. The recipient can choose their favourite alcoholic beverage.
- A personalized gift basket filled with lip balm, hand moisturizer, and hand soaps is useful for nearly everyone.
- Classroom staples such as whiteboard markers, fine writing pens, a beautiful notepad, or colourful sticky notes make great teacher gifts.
- A pair of mittens or a warm scarf are perfect for the teacher who works outdoor duty during lunch and recess.
- An insulated travel mug is perfect for those early morning commutes. If you know the recipient’s tastes, you could add packets of handmade or store-bought hot chocolate.
- A framed handwritten poem from your child to their caregiver. This could be an excerpt from your child’s favorite book or poem your child makes up. You can add a hand-painted and decorated frame to make this an extra special gift.