Summer is over, the kids are back to school, and s...
Hey mamas -- are you a little freaked about yo...
Imagine your spouse takes you out for your birthda...
For last week's Funny Friday moment, click here. ...
How would you feel if you came home to find your c...
In our house, the holiday season begins when we ho...
Archives June 2013
We know you want this amazing prize pack courtesy of Pampers!
We’re asking you to have some fun by picking a name for Will and Kate’s baby (not here in the comments, over here in our contest entry form.)
You don’t have to be correct, heck, you don’t even have to correctly guess the baby’s gender. You simply have to pick ONE popular Canadian baby name that you like from our list of…
AND sign up for our Moms Mail e-newsletter.*
Easy, right? Enter the contest here.
One lucky random winner will receive this luxurious prize pack courtesy of Pampers full of lovely stuff you probably wouldn’t splurge on yourself! (BTW, Pampers did not pay for this post, it is however providing all these superluxe prizes, including a six-month supply of diapers.)
- Britax B-ready Stroller ($529.99)
- Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat ($199.99)
- Marc by Marc Jacobs Preppy Nylon Eliz-a-baby Diaper Bag in Brown ($415)
- Kids First Rain Hunter Rain Boots in Yellow ($70)
- Armani Baby Blanket ($50)
- Sophie the Giraffe ($25)
- Kodak Play Sport Video Camera ($150)
- 6 month supply of Pampers Swaddlers ($500)
- Pampers Sensitive Wipes ($120)
Are don’t worry, even if Will and Kate’s baby girl or boy surprises us with an early delivery…you can still play! We’re just having fun here with our lists of popular Canadian baby names, we’re not looking for accuracy!
*Yes, if you’ve already signed up for our newsletter, you can still enter!
Like reading about the Duchess of Cambridge? We’ve got way more!
Scanning iTunes and blog sites, it’s either Snowbird or New Orleans is Sinking.
But what if I don’t like Anne Murray or The Hip?
Does that leave me with a weekend of Stompin’ Tom & Lightfoot? I mean, there’s only so many times you can hear Tillsonberg and Alberta Bound.
Or I could just commit to playing all 18,000 versions of K’naan’s Wavin’ Flag.
And then I wonder, do covers count? Because then I could have a 72-hour song salute to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. (For the record, pun intended, Rufus Wainwright’s version is my absolute favourite. Plus it’s on the Shrek soundtrack…)
Sunglasses at Night?
Summer of ’69?
The Lost Finger’s version of Men Without Hat’s Safety Dance?
Am I really stuck with songs that only start with the letter S?
Maybe I’ll just grab a mojito, throw on Adam Cohen’s Melancolista and call it a day…
If you have any suggestions, let me know!
I am going to make a guess about what some of you are thinking, because I used to think it too: How does anyone forget their kid in the car?
But then I read (and warning: this piece is incredibly graphic if also really really well done) Gene Weingarten’s 2010 Pulitzer Prize winning piece Fatal Distraction, and I learned why it is caring, even organized parents can make that mistake. In brief:
- Rear-facing carseats, which are great for the much more likely event that one is in a car accident, contribute to children being left in cars, because you don’t see whether there’s a child or not in them from the front seat.
- The issue is not that “parents forget” their child. It’s more common that something disrupts a really well-worn groove in a parent’s routine, like the daily commute. Driving itself contributes — have you ever driven somewhere with something else on your mind and not really remembered the drive? It’s that neurological state kicking in.
- Sleep deprivation can play a role: The baby has a cold, both the parent and the baby are tired, the baby falls asleep, that parent doesn’t usually do drop-off or gets a phone call and misses the turn to daycare…. (Yet another reason for not being on the phone in the car.)
- As caring as we parents all are, we wouldn’t be able to function well if we worried about our kids incessantly while they are in the care of others. So if we think our child is say, at daycare, we won’t be checking in with our memory to see whether we dropped them off or not.
Thankfully a perfect storm of distraction and sleep deprivation or illness and inattention is rare. It’s probably not something you need to worry about, and yet…hearing a story like this, I am glad to have some practical tips to apply. From KidsAndCars.org:
- Put something you need like your purse, cell phone, etc. at the base of the car seat so you are forced to look in the back seat.
- Keep a large stuffed animal in the child’s carseat and when the child’s in the seat move it to the front passenger seat. (I freely admit I never did this, but if I knew I were suffering from a lack of sleep I might have.)
- Make arrangements with your child care that you will call if the child isn’t there; ask that they call you if your child does not arrive and they have not heard from you
I’ll add one to this: When we have a change in our usual drop-off routine, my husband and I check in with each other after getting to work to ask how drop-off went, generally just a text message.
Just to round off this slightly fearful topic, I will tell my own story of distraction. When my son was about 9 months old, I was settling a sleepy-him into his carseat when someone approached me for directions. I answered them, got into the driver’s seat and drove off. Sure enough, when I got home, I had not done up his straps. Luckily, we didn’t get into an accident, just like most days.
But it did make me a better parent and person. Not just because I now know to ask people to wait while I finish doing up straps, but because it made me realize that making mistakes, even the kind that we think are completely obvious, is part of being a parent. The vast, vast majority of the time, things work out anyway. The times that don’t are tough, and serve as reminders for the rest of us…but we also need to keep our compassionate selves in place for those families not as lucky. So my deepest sympathy to this family at this terrible time, and I will not be joining in speculation at the water cooler.
Stay safe this summer. We offer our our summer safety guide, including a board game your family can download and play.
This past week was one that no one in Southern Alberta could have prepared for. We were hit with one of the biggest floods ever, worse than any Albertan could remember.
My community of Bragg Creek, located about 40 kilometres west of Calgary, was one of the first hit, with the Elbow River swelling to at least three times its typical size, taking out trees, telephone poles and buildings in its wake.
By some miracle, our home stayed dry even as it suddenly became riverfront property and neighbours’ basements flooded around us. I had gone into Calgary earlier in the day and was turned away when I tried to return home. I was so worried about our dog, who was still at home. My husband wound up hiking 10km in sometimes waist-deep water to get to him. The things we do for our fur babies!
We wound up being evacuated for three days and on our first day home, still did not have power or water. And yet, we were one of the lucky ones. Many people, less than a block away from us, lost nearly everything. Their homes need to be gutted; their belongings washed away.
Amid all this destruction and sorrow, I was so touched to see how communities have banded together, how complete strangers offered up their homes and how so many volunteers have come to the aid of those most affected. And of course, the amazing emergency service workers who have worked tirelessly throughout this crisis.
It is such outpourings of kindness that affirms my faith in the human spirit. Sure, there’s been the odd looter and ignorant person ranting about why their kids’ end-of-year activities at school have been cancelled. (Hello, at least your kid still has a school, moron.) But the vast majority of people have been trying to figure out ways to help, and for their kids to help out too. If this isn’t a teaching moment for your kids, I don’t know what is.
A friend of mine helped organize a community talent show and raised nearly $2500 for relief efforts. Other kids have held bake sales or simply handed out bottled water and baked goods to volunteers. My husband had a teenage boy help him clear piles of debris from the river banks–heavy lifting in the rain with mosquitoes, and not once did he complain.
Many business owners are offering free food and services, while others encourage their staff to take part in the clean-up rather than show up for work. Even the Calgary Stampede, amid its own massive clean-up before it kicks off in 10 days, has launched a fundraising effort–t-shirts proclaiming, “Hell or High Water”.
This flood has shown us the worst, but it has also unveiled the best, too.
Donations to the relief effort may be made via the Red Cross.
Sometimes there is a story that causes me to wake my sleeping toddler up because I read it on the iPhone in bed in the morning and start saying: Yes! Yes! (What, your child doesn’t change beds in the night?)
This week, it was this one, from the Atlantic (but it’s got a serious Canadian twist in it):
The central conflict of domestic life right now is not men versus women, mothers versus fathers. It is family versus money. Domestic life today is like one of those behind-the-scenes TV series about show business. The main narrative tension is: “How the hell are we going to make this happen?” There are tears and laughs and little intrigues, but in the end, it’s just a miracle that the show goes on, that everyone is fed and clothed and out the door each day.
Read the whole article here, and tell us what you think.
(The first post about my family’s farm share/CSA experience is here.)
This week’s box held strawberries, rhubarb, asparagus, lettuce, green onions, a small amount of kale, and heirloom storage carrots. The carrots reminded me that one of the things I like about the CSA is that not only do you get heirloom varieties, sometimes you get the produce that isn’t as uniform – carrots that are all twisted up; giant sweet potatoes. I like that my kids are growing up seeing a bit more variety, especially as we now know purple vegetables may be nutritional rock stars.
What they ate:
Carrots are something my kids usually eat anyway, but we did have to talk my 2 year old through the colour situation. I think he was suspicious the lighter ones were parsnips, which he does not love (yet).
My elder child was pretty happy to take a purple carrot to school in his lunch. (Proving Andrea’s point from the last post: Raw can be best.) I also found out he has become a Rhubarb Coffee Cake dealer, as he asked me for extra pieces for his friends. My younger son’s teacher asked if we would send another cake for snack so…that is the runaway hit recipe of the month. (Ours was nut-free.)
I decided to get creative with the asparagus and tried this Asparagus Brunch Bread so that we could take it to the beach. My youngest pulled the asparagus out, but hey: portable asparagus! And it is just as pretty as the picture. As a bonus, we used some green onion in that recipe. More is slated for a quiche (“egg pie”) later this week.
For kale, it really was a small amount, so I chopped it very finely and served it in a stir fry with rice. Some kids won’t eat vegetables “jumbled up,” I know, but with my kids the make-it-tiny method’s worked for getting leafy vegetables into their diet. (Another option: Spinach or kale orzo; there’s a recipe for Spinach Orzo here.)
I wanted to make some kind of recipe with the strawberries, but nope, my kids ate them.
Some of our lettuce went to feed a colleague’s rabbit. The lettuce remained our biggest challenge and I had a head go bad in the fridge. At least we have a compost bin!
As soon as Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, announced her pregnancy those of us in the early years parenting trenches knew this moment was coming: “We NEED the Duchess of Cambridge to breastfeed.”
Do we — or British women — really need Kate Middleton to breastfeed?
I have breastfed both of my kids in line with the WHO recommended guidelines. With my first I had almost the full range of issues: supply problems, then oversupply, cracks, bleeding and two rounds of mastitis. Oh, and candida. And I kept going. So I promise that when I say this, I completely get why breastfeeding is valuable and I highly recommend considering it. That said:
You can be a fantastic mother, and choose formula feeding. Not only that, but it is a woman’s right to decide. And yes, I’ll extend that to Kate Middleton. There are some choices that I think we can ask our public figures to make as a part of their civic duties. Be decent human beings. Show up for the job for which you are paid. Do not neglect your children physically or emotionally.
And then there are choices to do with a woman’s body that are hers to make.
There are reasons “breast is best,” and I am all for breastfeeding-friendly hospitals, policies and direct help like the City of Toronto provides, our world-class Canadian maternity leave available to many working moms and other societal supports. That, plus information, is what women truly need. How you feed your baby is not a celebrity fad.
In the end, breastfeeding is just one parenting decision out of hundreds, if not thousands.
This decision is all Kate’s. Her baby and her breasts.
According to the UK Mirror, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s daughter’s name is Kaidence Donda West. I suppose one advantage of celebrity is that even if your name looks a little tough to spell it’ll be right in the Google drop-down menu:
I do pay attention to celebrity baby names, at least for long enough to pause to listen to the soundbite. I think it’s because it seems like celebrities have more room to choose: If they’re really wealthy, they probably don’t care what the name Apple (Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter) or Kal-El (Nicholas Cage’s son) is going to look like in the stack of job applications. So it’s kind of fun to see what they come up with.
I also liked Daily Grace’s list of things Kim & Kayne’s baby will be really good at (warning: a bit of foul language, mostly bleeped out):
When it comes to choosing baby names though (and things our kids will have to do when they grow up), I think it can be one of the hardest things about having a baby! Names precede us in email and on applications, and have power and meaning. Most parents I know are keenly aware that they are making a choice that will follow their child for life.
As a Jennifer whose kids have been named Emily, Noah and Liam (all in our top-ten lists; click through to see actual rankings and meanings) it’s pretty clear where I fall: I like first names that are pretty common, particularly as my married last name is not a common one. I always figured the bizarre nickname is where people can get creative. And actually, as someone who really hates her prior nickname (Jenny…what can I say, it was the 70s) part of my thought process around my kids’ names was to choose names that didn’t have common nicknames I hated.
What went into your baby name choices?
Update from the editor: People.com has revealed the Kimye official baby name is…North West! Thoughts?
“The days are long, but the years are short.” – Gretchen Rubin
Yesterday was my youngest child’s birthday.
We went to the park.
I watched as she organized a human pyramid with her friends.
I watched as she danced and sang with such confidence and grace.
I watched as she crossed the monkey bars with ease.
And I realized that she is quickly becoming a young lady.
She seemed so much older than her nine years.
It seems so cliché, I know, but honestly… how did this happen?
She’s the little one.
Always has been and always will be.
But really, how much longer can I say that?
She isn’t so little anymore.
And then I think of how…
She still counts down the hours until I get home from work.
She still sleeps surrounded by her stuffed animals under the soft glow of a nightlight.
She still longs for a cuddle before being tucked in and never lets me leave her room without saying “I love you all the way to the moon and back.”
And I smile as I realize she is still very much a little girl.
She’s baby number three.
The last one for me.
And now, more than ever, I am so very aware of how quickly she’s growing up.
Watching her teeter-totter from young girl to preteen is tough.
I’m looking forward to watching her grow up. I really am.
But I’m doing it while constantly looking over my shoulder at her past.