Blog

This blog is about life with a baby. It's not always what you expect and there is definitely no job description. Every baby is different and unique which is why motherhood can be so scary, fun, terrifying, exciting, and rewarding all at the same time.

Be sure to also check out our Travel Blog where you can share and read stories about travelling with the family.


We encourage you to share your experiences - by sharing your experiences and commenting on other posts, you may be helping other moms.


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  • Monday, November 23, 2020 1:23 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    We want first to acknowledge the inherent privilege built into Canada’s medical system and its administration by countless dedicated and knowledgeable healthcare workers and practitioners. It is not our intention to suggest maternal mental health isn’t a complex challenge, nor that its challenges are solvable through a single body of research. Canada is a country long focused on ensuring its citizens have access to the primary medical care we believe should be afforded to all. However, even within a beautiful system, there is room for improvement, innovation and growth. Rigorous introspection allows us to set a blueprint for continually striving to be better, more effective, and to have support and treatment pathways become accessible to more people. This act of introspection acted as the catalyst to commission this report.

    To answer the question posed at the beginning of this journey, whether Canada as a country is doing enough for maternal mental health support, in short, the answer is no. First, our healthcare system resources are not equally accessible, distributed or even available. What is standard in one province may be entirely unavailable in the next; resources may be abundant in one municipality, while less is offered just a few kilometres away.

    Based on the enclosed research, the sage advice, research and analysis of our partners and friends, and our experience as a peer support network, we believe a top-down, bottom-up strategic approach is necessary to improve maternal mental support across Canada. National attention and action, coupled with grassroots initiatives advanced by organizations, individuals, teams and groups, will mean a tangible progression in the right direction.

    A myriad of possibilities exists for how such an approach may work, and indeed, collaboration will be the path to improvement. Once and for all, we believe there needs to be a Federal focus on creating a national perinatal mental health strategy to address gaps in the framework and execution of maternal mental health prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and support. Ideally, the Federal Government then equips provinces with the mandate and funding to design a universal perinatal support strategy in their region. This action would trickle down to referral pathways, to the regional and municipal bodies whose responsibility includes first-contact and day-to-day patient care.

    Second, grassroots action fuels the bottom-up strategy. There are thousands of dedicated individuals, advocates, practitioners, organizations, hospitals and clinics, collaboratives, and coalitions whose sole reason is to support maternal mental health. By working in concert with those within and outside the province, we’ll increase our collective ability to close gaps in care and increase the number and access to referral pathways.

    We hope this report acts as a catalyst for all of us to work together to improve maternal mental health support in Canada.  

    Download your copy of the report here Maternal Mental Health Support in Canada_ A Review.pdf







  • Tuesday, October 06, 2020 11:54 AM | Mercedes (Administrator)


    A peek outside reveals a grey sky, a few raindrops. You think, "it's a perfect day to stay right here, with that book I've been neglecting. I'll make some hot…" A crash in the kitchen below jolts you back to reality. Oh yeah, you've got kids, and a rainy day means keeping boredom at bay and their hands out of each other's eyes. Look no further because we've collected 12 activities to keep kids and parents happy - right from the comfort of home. 

    Indoor Camping

    Whether you love to commune with nature or can't stand the outdoors, everyone can agree that indoor camping is tons o' fun. Anyone can create an indoor oasis to rival a campground setup. If you have a tent or sleeping bags, save them from the vacuum bag, and it's instant camp! If you don't have gear - great, you get to use your imaginations instead. Grab blankets and sheets to make into tents by draping over furniture or using household items to prop them up. Be generous with the ground cover with all the pillows, blankets and stuffed animals you can fit. Once you're set up, read stories by flashlight or watch a show or movie while snuggled under the covers. You can even go all the way by making some authentic campfire food - S' mores bake just as well in the oven! You're welcome.

    Baking Challenge

    Baking is a straight path to Zen. Plus, children love to get involved; we’re sure it has nothing to do with bowls full of sugary goodness, perfect for little fingers to sneak a taste. A rainy day is ideal for losing yourself in an activity that results in something delightful. Choose a recipe based on the age of your kids. Muffins and cookies are great for little ones, while you can get more creative with older kids. Add a little friendly competition to make it fun, with the best position being the judge (duh). 

    Dance Competition 

    Need we say more? Dancing is the ultimate kids activity! Throw on a playlist of your favourite tunes and take turns proving you could have been a Tina Turner backup dancer if you wanted to. It’s giggle-fit-inducing; it’s listening to glorious music, a.k.a, the automatic mood booster, and it’s excellent exercise. Win-win-win. 

    If you’re super-stuck, check out these 101 Fun Activities for Kids for guaranteed winners.

    Community Jigsaw Puzzle

    Here’s an experiment to try. Pull out a gigantic puzzle, the more challenging, the better. Leave it out in a common traffic area like the dining table. Let everyone know it’s there and challenge them to add at least two pieces every time they pass it. As the puzzle comes together, something magical happens - you’re working together toward a common goal and it’s hilarious. Plus, you may have a secret puzzle-solving phenom on your hands. 

    Scavenger Hunt 

    This idea takes a little planning, but it’s still easy! Scavenger hunts are never-ever NOT fun, especially when the treasures rock! Adjusted for age, hide a few items around your home. Trinkets or small toys, books, treats like candies or packaged snacks - throw in a few things you know your kids love. Quick tip: make sure you record where the items are because, um, you might forget. Once you’ve gathered everything, write out the ‘clues’ for the kids to follow to treasure. This is an excellent chance to sneak in a few teaching moments. Try adding math or language problems to the mix. For older children, make it so they have to Google and do a little research about a subject they’re not familiar with or are already covering in school. Add a few family history questions as a cool way to learn more about the family tree is. Now sit back and watch the theatrics while you sip on your favourite beverage from a “Best Parent Ever” mug.

    Pamper Party  

    Why not bring the spa to you? Create a relaxing atmosphere by trading a little pampering with your progeny. Facials and masks, massage, a mani/pedi, hairstyling (sans scissors!) - whatever makes you feel even a few moments of bliss - do it. You can either use the products you have or try making it! Many masks can be made with ingredients you have in the kitchen right now - honey, avocado and yogurt, just to name a few power players. You might have smudged nails at the end of this process, but since it’s a guaranteed good time, so we’re pretty sure you won’t mind. 

    Board Game Bonanza

    When’s the last time you flexed your game brain muscle? Break out the board games for an instant party. Commit to playing a couple rounds of each person’s pick. For an extra challenge, pull out a couple more obscure choices, you know, the one collecting dust, and see if you can figure it out once and for all - who knows, some games are sleeper hits!

    Lip Sync or Karaoke Battle 

    This is another choice that requires nothing but time! If you live in a house of real or wannabe songbirds, try a karaoke battle. Did you know that many cable and streaming services have a karaoke channel? Take a look through the catalogue and off to the stage! If you don't have access to voice-free music, its Lip Sync all the way! Adding costumes takes these from fun to fabulous and honestly, make dance moves mandatory - trust us. 

    Make a Meal together

    Instead of wandering into the kitchen alone to battle with the fridge and pantry, why not make a thing of it and bring the kids in to help? Find a recipe using ingredients you already have in the house, divvy up the tasks, pack a little patience and higher tolerance for mess, and have at it. Not does this activity result in a meal, the kids are more likely to actually eat it. As the final bonus, over time they'll have learned valuable skills they'll use forever. 

    Movie Marathon 

    Sure, you could just watch a movie, but what if you really went all out? Our advice is to go all in to create an experience as close to the real thing as possible. We're talking popcorn and candy in individual bowls (helps stave off fighting), throw pillows, and fuzzy blankets. Darken the windows, activate your surround sound speakers or choose the most dramatic setting on your TV sound options. It's just more fun when you make a thing of it. The best part? Cash in your pocket and extra snuggle time. 

    DIY Obstacle Course

    You've already got everything you need to create the most epic obstacle course your household has ever seen. Do you have toilet paper and rolls, pool toys, gym equipment, blankets and scarves lying around? String, boxes, furniture - listen, the possibilities with the stuff lying around your house right now are endless. They're just waiting to be used to their full potential in an obstacle course. Let the kids build it (automatic busy time), and when they're ready, you act as the course time official. Kids always surprise us with what they come up with for this activity, and the execution is a riot!

    Balloon Fun

    We finally found a way to use those leftover balloons from grandma's party last year. Little kids love balloons; all you have to do is present one to a toddler to watch joy unleashed. So, if you're stuck inside, pull out some balloons for an instant party (and a way to keep them occupied for a while!). Besides throwing it up in the air and having them try to catch it, things like balancing it on their foot or in the palm of their hands helps with hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills. Ask them to hold it on their heads as they walk the length of a hallway or kick it around the living room. Make sure you have your camera ready to capture those ear-to-ear smiles and giggles. 

    Go Outside

    Yup. When's the last time you sang or danced in the rain? Splashed in a puddle? If it's not too cold or miserable, a walk in the rain is a great time—nothing like some fresh air to make you ease the tension. Remember, when you have kids, you get to be one, so go ahead and make your inner Toddler proud. 

  • Tuesday, August 25, 2020 12:53 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    Breastfeeding. When I was pregnant, everyone said breastfeeding is going to be natural. It was kind of just assumed that I'd be good at it, I mean, it's the natural thing to do, right? Unfortunately for me, it didn't come naturally. I struggled. I struggled with the bleeding and sore nipples, the latch, the discomfort of it at first. Eventually, it got better once I saw a lactation consultant, but I still wasn't msaking enough and needed to increase my supply. 


    I needed a pump, but there were so many to choose from, my lactation consultant recommended Medela and a few moms had recommended the Pump In Style®. I liked it because it came with a cute travel bag for when I had to go for meetings. It made it easy to pump when I was out and the motor was powerful. I had previously used the hospital grade pump and I felt like the Pump In Style® had a similar feel to it. 


    Four years later, I had my son, and my Pump In Style® was still going strong. I changed the pumping parts and shields, which was easy to do since they sell the kits at most drugstores. 


    Fast forward 9 years and my friend recently had her first baby and having very similar challenges. She asked me what brand of pump, I think she should get, and because I used Medela and liked it, that's what came to mind. She tested out the new Freestyle Flex™, and these are what we loved about it. 


    • It's tiny but strong. 
    • It's quiet. 
    • The personal fit breast shields make pumping comfortable.
    • It's easy to bring around, even fitting in some pockets.
    • USB-chargeable battery means you can pump anywhere even from your computer while watching your fave show. 


    I checked out the new line of pumps, and they've come a long way. The reliable Pump In Style® is still around, now it's called Pump In Style® MaxFlow™. It looks like they've made it sleeker and quieter, too. 


    Even though it wasn't the easiest or the most natural, I'm glad that I was able to get the tools and resources that helped in my breastfeeding journey. 




  • Friday, June 05, 2020 10:39 AM | Claire (Administrator)
    This week has been exhausting. As we battle an invisible foe, something sinister has arisen again. The ‘something’ is racism, and it is always present, a daily reality for many of us. A fever pitch has ignited an outcry heard around the world following a vile display; a tragedy best described as a loss of humanity. Racism is, and has always been, something we insist on sweeping under the carpet, keeping it the dark where it festers. Here in Canada, we stand proudly on the premise, “at least we aren’t as bad as the U.S.” In many ways, that’s true. We are, in general, more protective of human rights, and much of our federal infrastructure help us sidestep some catalysts to inequality. But are we better? Since when is not being as bad good enough? Because we seem to struggle with coming to a consensus that racism even exists. Until you admit you have a problem, you’re hard-pressed to fix it.


    Our brand is one of looking the other way, using platitudes to ignore what is often happening right under our noses, and sometimes by our own hand. It’s part preservation, part ignorance, part performance, part cowardice. For many Indigenous and POCs, this is a more mentally taxing brand of racism because navigating it is like walking through a dark room. You cannot see the walls, though they are there, you can’t see where there are holes in the ground, though they are there, and you cannot see if you’re about to walk off the ledge, though it is there. Over a lifetime, it chips away at mental health, emotional well-being, confidence and light. It leaves a desolate climate for the hope that better days are possible.

    It’s long past time for a change. When the swell quiets again, it will be the time for the actual work to begin. To give our children, all of our children, a future better than the present, we must start now. We ask you today to reject the notion a problem isn’t real because it does not affect you personally. Resist the urge to gaslight or play ‘devil’s advocate’ when a person tells you about their experiences. Reject the reflex that allows you to view someone as ‘other’ and label as not belonging in spaces you deem as yours. Expel the idea that to stand up for the rights of someone else, somehow weakens yours.

    A commentary released this week  described racism like air. The moment we are born, we gulp it in. It is around us, within us, built into the systems we all use, but do not enjoy the same level of access and protection. Empathy, self-awareness and reflection are the first steps. Action is the next, and it is an ongoing journey. It is relentless, sometimes uncomfortable, often thankless, lonely and fundamental if things are to ever change. No one left behind means we do not forge forward until we can all come along. So, take the first step today. It may be small, but the path will lead to a better place for all. We are already proud Canadians, we love our country and its people. You can love something and still agree that it could be better. Let’s make it so, together.


    Watch and Listen

    The Social: #ShareYourChair Edition 

    Trevor Noah

    Tracy Moore

    Heather McGhee TED Talk “Racism has a cost for Everyone”

    Baratunde Thurston TED Talk “How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time”



    Read

    Letters to America from Black Canadians

    Anti-Racism 101

    Guide to Allyship

    A Summer Reading List for Those Looking to Educate Themselves on the BLM Movement

    10 Books About Race Non-Black People Should Be Reading Right Now

    These 17 books, docs and podcasts will help you educate yourself on race issues


    Anti-Racism Resources for Parents and Kids

    Anti-Racism Books for Children and Teens

    31 Children's books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance

    Talking to Kids About Racism, Early and Often. These books can help start the conversation


    Act

    How to talk to kids about race, and why you should start now

    15 Classroom Resources for Discussing Racism, Policing, and Protest

    How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism


    Resources for Ending Anti-Black Racism

    How to build an actively anti-racist company








  • Sunday, May 10, 2020 4:17 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    Motherhood is an action, a thing you can see and feel. If a child is part of your life, in the glow of your love, on your mind, in your care or heart, you have mothered. She is a shoulder to cry on or the hug you didn’t know you needed. She is a trusted ear, or a co conspirator of laughter to whisk troubles away. To the grandmothers, aunts and women who step up regardless of bloodline, we thank you. You show us a mother’s love is broader than genes and wider than geography. Sometimes it is them who raise us, stepping into the role again, out of love. To those of you making the journey alone, shouldering dual roles, we surround and honour you. Even when our mothers are no longer here, the imprint on our hearts is forever, because there’s no forgetting profound love. 



    Mother. Mommy. Mama. Mère. Ina. 母亲. Ahm. Maji. Madar. Mai. Mae. Ema. Madre. 어머니  Whatever way you say ‘mother,’ the definition is love. 

    Today, I hope that you’ll add yourself to that extensive list of people you care so deeply for and love to the moon and back. You know, the one where you’ve listed the needs of your family, friends, job or career, and community. Add yourself to the top spot. The physical and emotional labour of motherhood is real, and just as muscles require rest and treatment to replenish, so your soul does too.


    This Mother’s Day, and every day, I wish you contentment, peace, wisdom, patience, strength, resolve and, most of all, love. 


    Sincerely,

    Claire

    💝 Thank you moms, for holding it down, all day, every day. 


    Treat Yourself like the Queen you are 

    (or, yes, put down the laundry basket or laptop and do one of these things instead)


    👑 Have your favourite meal or treat delivered. When kids are very young...or let’s face it...even when older, it can be a pipe dream challenge to get a great meal that you didn’t have to make or supervise.  And since we can’t go to restaurants for the time being, just go on ahead and get what you want, already made, delivered to the door. And we said to get what YOU want, in case others have suggestions. 😉


    👑 Treat yourself to a virtual wine tasting or watch party. For the tasting, just use whatever wines or spirits (or juice!) you have on hand, schedule a call with your mom or your friends and let the fun commence! For the watch party, try Netflix Party  or Facebook for super easy setups. Pick a movie you all love (or love to hate), and watch in harmony. 


    👑 From the hilarious to the sublime, here are 11 books that should be on every mom’s bookshelf


    👑 Since we can’t travel right now, Airbnb is offering one-of-a-kind virtual experiences. From cocktail-making classes to cooking with a family on the other side of the world, you can have a unique experience right from the couch or kitchen counter. With many reasonably priced options, you can gift this to yourself sans guilt. 


    👑 Get an early Spring fix by taking a virtual tour through the world’s most beautiful gardens:


    👑 Have a virtual bingo night using MyFreeBingoCards.com. Bonus experience points for combining this with that wine-tasting. 


    Virtual events

    We’ve created a hub for all online events! Go to lifewithababy.com/online to find the list of upcoming events and links to past videos. 









    New Webinar! 

    Pregnant? Questions about your health? Dr. Cecilia is back Wednesday, May 13 to chat and answer questions about: 


    • What naturopathic medicine is and how to access it

    • What foods to eat and avoid 

    • Key vitamins and minerals

    • Blood test markers to look out for

    • Midwifery vs OB care

    • Acupressure points & homeopathic remedies for labour induction and pain

    • C-section preparation and healing

    • Things to consider for your birth plan


    Register Today!



    Our friend Adrian Drew of Investors Group Wealth Management is making a special series of COVID-19 related financial seminars available to Life With A Baby members. 


    Check out the schedule below, and register for as many as you like here. Be sure to list Adrian Dew in the “IG Advisor” field on the form! (It’s how we say thanks!)


    Register Today!


    Just for You 


    Connect With Us!

     

     




  • Tuesday, May 05, 2020 4:14 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    Talk of making the journey back to 'normal' has us all thinking - what's normal anyway? Will life ever look like it once did? Do we want it to? What would I keep from this time versus what I hope we leave behind? 


    I think we understand that no, things couldn't possibly go back to the way they were, not exactly anyway. We are all dreaming about what our new world will look like, what we'll do first, and how we want to move forward when it's all behind us. 


    There hasn't been much time for reflection, what, between homeschooling, working (from home or out because you're essential), strategic trips to get essentials, and trying to get a little fresh air. But, I'm trying to give myself permission to dream. I'm taking those few moments of quiet to file what I loved and what I'll leave. I am trying my best to register these thoughts to draw from when the hustle and bustle returns. 


    What about you? Maybe no one has asked you what you want recently, so I am. Think about what you'll do differently, if possible, what you want to cherish or implement, and what truly matters most. What if it's this process or reordering and reframing that becomes the one silver lining in an otherwise not-so-great time? I think, if we can do that, we will have all won. 


    Sincerely,

    Claire

    🧡 To the teachers, helping us to teach our kids, sometimes while still teaching and caring for yours - we thank you. 


    New Giveaway! 


    Enter for your chance to win an indoor/outdoor play tent with a ball pit*!


    To enter, follow us on Instagram @lifewithababy and our friends @inventivekidz. Next, find and like this post and comment with the first outside activity you'll do once distancing is over! Contest starts May 4, 2020 and closes May 18, 2020 at Midnight; winner announced May 19, 2020. Go for it! 


    *prizing provided by Inventive Minds Child, Youth and Family Support Centre


    Virtual events

    We’ve created a hub for all online events! Go to lifewithababy.com/online to find the list of upcoming events and links to past videos.


    Missed a virtual event? 

    Here are links to past videos: 


    Parent S.O.S


    • As we are being required to wear masks more and more in public, here’s a great how-to video on handling your masks

    • We’re all hesitant to use resources we formerly took for granted - like going to the dentist for something other than an emergency or routine maintenance. While dental offices remain closed, you can still get help. If you have questions or concerns about your family's dental health, visit hellodent.com where, you can find a dentist near you and book an online appointment for questions, assessments and referrals. 

    • Wellness Together Canada provides free online resources, tools, apps and connections to trained volunteers and qualified mental health professionals when needed. Click here to get started


    • Between the enchanting sounds and the visual of their incredible coordination, this virtual concert by the Metropolitan Opera is everything you need right now. 




    This One’s For the Kids 


    • Fun + Math = abcya.com! Find fun math games for learning through play! Our fav is Multiplication Space Race, but with all the choices - you’ll find your fav in no time ;) 

    • If you’re looking for learning resources outside of your child’s online curriculum (or perhaps just alternatives), check out Amazing Educational Resources. It’s an incredible database of free courses, worksheets and more on subjects of all kinds from Preschool to Adult, including resources for learning challenges and enriched learning. 
    • Keeping the kids interested, learning and practicing their school instrument might be harder than baking your first sourdough. Make Music Fun has assembled a list of free online music lessons to keep your young musician engaged. 

    • Since the kids can’t play with neighbourhood kids or see their friends at school, many are without playmates (besides their parents). Even kids with siblings in a different age group can feel the same as being an ‘only’ right now. Here are some games and activities that are perfect for one! (and you can join in too :) )


    Just for Fun 


    Connect With Us!

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    LinkedIn

     

     

     




  • Tuesday, April 28, 2020 4:10 PM | Claire (Administrator)

     Checking in on how our families and we are doing is now a natural and regular occurrence. I’m finding staying strong is our fresh challenge. I think the entire world is asking: can we stay the course and persevere? One of the hardest things to do is carry on when you can’t see how the story ends. 

    We’re discovering the power of quiet strength. Showing strength isn’t as much about grand feats of force or might, but in the small, sometimes imperceptible actions that show stamina, courage and resilience. There is strength in kindness, patience, tenderness, empathy and understanding. Vulnerability and seeking the help we need is powerful. There is strength in letting go. 


    Flexing those physical and mental muscles feels good. They also need to rest and recover, especially when they’ve been firing on full blast. Give yourself permission to let others be strong for you, too. You are strong. You’ll be even stronger tomorrow.


    Sincerely,

    Claire

    🧡 To the grocery, delivery, and food service workers - we thank you for keeping us all going. 


    Virtual events


    Business Owners In Canada: Navigating Covid-19 Economic Volatility & Government Relief Programs  ONTARIO ONLY Wednesday, April 29 7PM EDT and Thursday, April 30 2PM EDT

    At this webinar, IG Wealth Management will discuss foundational investment principles that are important to your long-term financial well-being, both as a business owner and personally. They will also share deeper context into the Federal Government’s recently announced economic support measures for individuals and businesses.Register here 


    Mobile Meetup Friday, May 1 at 3:30PM EDT
    Are you feeling Isolated? Join us for an online chat. Think of it as a coffee date, but from the comfort of your own home, or comfortable space. Grab a cup of tea or coffee, and log in to the video chat with other parents in a casual atmosphere. Register here 


    Weekly Parent Connection Online Thursday, May 7 11AM EDT

    Calling all parents. Join Heather Boyd, for weekly online meetings to discuss parenting, discipline, child development and attachment in these novel times.  This is very kid-friendly! If you need to tune in with your children you can - we will love seeing them! Register here

    Mommy & Me Fitness Online ONGOING

    It doesn't matter if you are 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years postpartum - this workout is for you! Register here


    Missed a virtual event? 

    Here are links to past videos: 


    Parent S.O.S

    • Physical strength is vital, mental fortitude is too. Taking some time to strengthen our mental muscles can help it to kick when you need it most. Psychology Today has put together a few mental strength exercises you can do in just 5 minutes

    • You’ve probably tried to work out on your own only to have the kids arrive right at the point when you’re halfway into a set of burpees. As they say, if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em. Here at 12 At-Home Workouts to Do With Your Kids

    • Maintaining some sense of normalcy as you work from home is tough, right? Finding a balance between all-day PJs and wearing a suit and tie is a daily internal fight. The mental tax of figuring out an overall balance is even higher. Try these psychological tricks to help

    • Clearly, we’re all using any and all platforms as sources of much-needed entertainment. However, these can strain our wallets. Here’s a listing of free streaming services to try. As a bonus, many feature some old classics you can fall in love with all over again! 

    This One’s For the Kids 


    • LEGO is hosting weekly live shows Tuesdays at 11am ET / 4pm GMT where kids can create alongside a Master Model Builder! Head over to their Instagram page @lego to catch the show and find lots of other fun stuff too. 

    • The Built By Kids tagline is “empowering our kids who will build our future.” Sounds like a plan! The site has a range of DIY projects that teach necessary skills. They’ve got projects such as fixing toys and equipment like a scooter, simple cooking tasks, and useful crafts and general problem-solving knowledge like “how to pick the best campsite for your family” (very handy for when isolation is over). Now sit back and wait to be helped at every turn by your very efficient children! 

    • As always, public libraries are here to save us all. Nearly every municipal library system has implemented weekly or daily online programming for kids. From storytimes, to circle times, to sing-alongs, to book lists, to scavenger hunts, our beloved librarians have us covered. Visit your local library's website to find information and schedules. 

    • Have a budding creative on your hands? Try these 50 crafts and activities. The next challenge will be finding the space to display the new masterpieces : ) 


    Just for Fun 

    This might make you cry a bit but with pure joy ; ) Click here or on the pic to watch the video.


    Connect With Us!

    Facebook

    Twitter

    LinkedIn

     

     

     




  • Tuesday, April 21, 2020 4:04 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    There are plenty of reasons to cry. They don’t need to be listed because you already know, plus, they’re different for everyone.  

    But sometimes these days, you just have to laugh. 

    You may laugh at the absurdity of it all. Catch a glimpse of your ‘interesting’ work-from-home outfit in the mirror. Maybe, thanks to an ill-timed pass, your coworkers now know what your spouse looks like in their robe. It could be because your grocery cart is 50% potato chips. Perhaps, it’s the aggressive quest by your grey hairs to be respected at last. Or, it could be because you’ve been immortalized as a potato, like our friend on the left. Legendary.


    We don’t have the answers, and we certainly don’t know what to do much of the time, especially when hit with more bad news. Despite it, I invite you to look for reasons to laugh. Laugh until you cry and back again. Laugh big, often and from your gut because laughter has the power to heal like nothing else. 


    Sincerely,

    Claire

    🧡 To our healthcare workers, for your tireless efforts and sacrifice, thank you. 


    CONTEST ALERT!


    🌟Enter to W I N🌟

    No movie theatre, no problem! Our friends at Inventive Minds Child, Youth and Family Support Centre are giving away a Vankyo Multimedia Portable Projector Prize Pack to recreate family movie night at home! 


    The prize pack includes: 

    ⭐ Multimedia Projector

    ⭐ Handy carrying case

    ⭐ YLife 120 inch Projector Screen 

    ⭐ Mounting materials


    Here’s how to enter for your chance to win: 


    🎈Head over to Instagram and follow @inventivekidz

    💙Like this post 

    💬Comment on the post with your favourite at-home Family Night activity

     @  Tag a friend


    🌟Bonus: Score an extra entry by repeating the steps on the Inventive Minds Child, Youth and Family Support Centre Facebook page! 


    The winner will be drawn at random and announced on April 30th, 2020 - so you’ve got until April 29th at midnight to enter! Good luck🤞


    Virtual events


    Weekly Parent Connection Online Thursday, April 23 11AM EDT

    Calling all parents. Join Heather Boyd, for weekly online meetings to discuss parenting, discipline, child development and attachment in these novel times.  This is very kid-friendly! If you need to tune in with your children you can - we will love seeing them! Register here 


    Mobile Meetup Friday, April 24 at 3:30PM EDT
    Are you feeling Isolated? Join us for an online chat. Think of it as a coffee date, but from the comfort of your own home, or comfortable space. Grab a cup of tea or coffee, and log in to the video chat with other parents in a casual atmosphere. Register here 


    Mommy & Me Fitness Online ONGOING

    It doesn't matter if you are 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years postpartum - this workout is for you! Register here


    Missed a virtual event? 

    Here are links to past videos: 


    Parent S.O.S

    • Getting through the work week is…..a challenge. TED Talks of course always has great informative and motivational videos available and they’ve created a playlist to help us all manage both now, and later. Check it out

    • You’ve probably seen the rash of videos showing many ways to make your own facemask. Many of you are already adept sewers and are doing amazing custom designs! If you struggle in this area (like us), here’s a method using just an old t-shirt and hair elastics. No sewing required. You're welcome. 


    • Though they may have been thinking about it, some preteens and teens have really just started asking questions or expressing feelings about what’s going on, out loud. Some younger children are now beginning to show some signs of worry, fear or sadness. For tips for talking about those feelings, Very Well Mind this great article: How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus (COVID-19).


    • A few tips we picked up this week: 

      • Have you checked your local municipality website lately? Most have created pages or micro-sites with up-to-date info on guidelines, bylaws, social support services, advice and recommendations to help navigate daily life in your area. 

      • Many car insurance companies have created options for relief as we all #stayhome. Check the website or give them a call to ask what they have available to help you manage costs.


    • Wish you could get a refresher on subjects now that you’re a teacher? Lucky for all of us, Crash Course has hundreds of quick and easy videos to give you just the brush up you need to teach history by this afternoon. We won’t tell. Oh, and you can use these with or for the kids too. 

    This One’s For the Kids 


    • Get those wiggles out!Go Noodle is a free service providing movement and mindfulness video games. 

    • If the kids (or you) are getting tired of the same old rudimentary colouring pages, visit Open Culture for access to hundreds of free downloadable colouring pages and books from world-class libraries and museums. 

    • The International Children's Digital Library provides free access to an enormous collection of books for ages 3 to 13. Titles come from around the world in many languages, including Dutch, Farsi, English, Arabic and many more! Start browsing here.  

    • Daily Hive has put together a fun video: “8 Fun Toddler Activities During Self Isolation”. It is useful, and adorable.


    Just for Fun 



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  • Tuesday, April 14, 2020 4:00 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    This. Sure, we miss going to the mall, sporting events, getting a massage. We miss running to the market to satisfy a craving, stopping for hot chocolate, or a tasty dinner with a side of laughter with friends. We miss all of those not-so-little things a lot. What we miss most, though, is each other. Human touch, affection and embrace just….feels so good. As we cuddle those we can touch a little tighter and longer, we long for the touch of those we can’t. 


    The challenge now is to create as close to that feeling as we can, virtually. Is it a mid-day text or call? A compliment on the fly? A donation of funds or good to a cause you believe in? Having a meal delivered to someone? Sharing a skillset, knowledge or resource? We all have something to give. It doesn’t matter the size, type, or delivery. You make the world a better place just by being in it, so let ‘em have it. 


    Sincerely,

    Claire

    🧡 Thank you frontline workers


    Virtual events

    Webinar: A Natural Approach to Your Baby’s Health with naturopathic doctor Cecilia de MartinoThursday, April 16 @ 11AM EDT

    We should always be thinking about optimizing our health because it is our biggest asset. It has become especially important while we navigate our lives during this pandemic. 


    In this talk you’ll learn:

    • What naturopathic medicine is and how to access it
    • Nutrition for mom and baby

    • Health Boosting Activities

    • Supplements for mom and baby

    • Dealing with an ill baby (fever, middle ear infection, allergies) 

    Register here


    Weekly Parent Connection Online Thursday, April 16 11AM EDT

    Calling all parents. Join Heather Boyd, for weekly online meetings to discuss parenting, discipline, child development and attachment in these novel times.  This is very kid-friendly! If you need to tune in with your children you can - we will love seeing them! Register here 


    Mobile Meetup Friday, April 17 at 3:30PM EDT
    Are you feeling Isolated? Join us along with Emily Pollak and other parents for an online chat. Think of it as a coffee date, but from the comfort of your own home, or comfortable space. Grab a cup of tea or coffee, and log in to the video chat with other parents in a casual atmosphere. Register here 


    Mommy & Me Fitness Online ONGOING

    It doesn't matter if you are 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years postpartum - this workout is for you! Register here



    Missed a virtual event? 

    Here are links to last week’s videos: 


    Parent S.O.S

    • There may be a few things you don’t miss, but one thing we all miss is human contact. We’ll never take a warm embrace  with our family and friends for granted again. This article by Ishani Nath shares some wonderful tips for ways to compensate in a healthy way. 


    • While we’re on the subject, even in a full house, we can experience loneliness. VeryWellMind.com has put together a comprehensive read about why that is, and how to cope. Some highlights we love: 

      • Do something meaningful such as using your skills to volunteer or enrolling in a course

      • You can’t play or watch the professionals right now so sign up for online sports like a Fantasy Football League or join an online forum for a subject or activity you’re interested in or want to learn more about

      • Create something. Whether it’s journaling, colouring, drawing, writing short stories, or redecorating a room by moving around what’s already there, this can be a welcome distraction that results in something you will enjoy for years to come

      • Practice self-compassion

      • Read the article here


    • You’re probably video-conferenced out, with many of us participating in multiple calls per day. And, we know you’re likely using video to talk to your parents, grandparents and siblings too, which is excellent. Have you tried doing it with your friends? Some of our staff and community managers tried it this week - and let us tell you - you can’t go wrong with this. If you can take a 30-minute break to talk with your friends - to just talk about everything and nothing, it can do wonders for your soul. 


    This One’s For the Kids 


    • The James Dyson Foundation (Yes, that Dyson) has assembled some very cool engineering challenges for kids of all ages to keep those brains engaged while they’re busy having fun. Check it out. 



    • Outsource bedtime stories a few nights a week to your fav celebrities. With a wide range of beloved stories read by the likes of Betty White, James Earl Jones and Wanda Sykes, we may just curl up and listen too. Storyline Online


    • Did you know that YouTube has a curated library of kid-friendly educational videos? Who knew it wasn’t just video game tutorials. The range of subjects and sources is dizzying, and there’s something for toddlers to young adults. Start here



    Just for Fun 


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  • Tuesday, April 07, 2020 10:14 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    We've had access to the wisdom and advice of the fantastic practitioners who’ve joined us online this week. I recall a moment of clarity when one articulated what it is we're experiencing. Grief. We have suffered a collective loss on many levels, and the whole world is feeling the stages of grief. We each miss our usual way of life, and we miss each other. What we're feeling is ok. It's ok to be sad, afraid, nostalgic, angry, confused, and even happy. There's no blueprint for this. 


    By now, you may have reached the final stage of grief, which is acceptance. Understanding that this is the way of life for the next while, figuring out what works for you and your family, and even finding silver linings in unexpected places. Through the awkward homeschooling, endless cooking and cleaning (seriously, what is up with that?), and the hilarity of finding 'balance' right now, I have begun to find beauty in imperfection. So, I challenge you to try the same. We won't manage it every day, and you may not be there yet, but even the tiniest move in a positive direction is a big win. Celebrate those wins often and don't hold back, you deserve it. 


    Sincerely,

    Claire

    P.S. We’re sending a special ‘thank-you’ to all of our frontline healthcare workers and researchers, and to those making it possible for us to have the supplies and resources we need to take care of our families. The world is a better place because of you, and we are eternally grateful for your sacrifice. 



    Virtual events

    This week’s Webinar with Health Nexus: 

    Join us for an informative webinar and learn how to work with your children at home and/or find some time to get your own work done.

    Margaret Boersma, from Creative Education in Action, works as a teacher trainer, speaker and educational consultant in a number of countries. She will be a guest on Setting up a Positive Home Learning Environment to give you insights and practical ideas to support your children in their learning while at home. She will also announce some practical help coming soon to directly support you and your children on-line.


    WHEN: Wednesday 1:00 – 1:45 PM EDT

    REGISTER: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1425578804066433550


    WHY:

    Parents need support; children need to learn.

    • Destressing when work, parenting and teaching is all on you

    • How children learn

    • Setting up positive learning environments

    • Learning through the arts is fun

    • Social and emotional learning – taking care of self and contributing to others


    Weekly Parent Connection Online Thursday, April 9th 11AM EDT

    Calling all parents. Join Heather Boyd, for weekly online meetings to discuss parenting, discipline, child development and attachment in these novel times.  This is very kid-friendly! If you need to tune in with your children you can - we will love seeing them! Register here 


    Mobile Meetup Friday, April 3rd at 3:30AM EDT
    Are you feeling Isolated? Join us along with Emily Pollak and other parents for an online chat. Think of it as a coffee date, but from the comfort of your own home, or comfortable space. Grab a cup of tea or coffee, and log in to the video chat with other parents in a casual atmosphere. Register here 


    Mommy & Me Fitness Online ONGOING

    It doesn't matter if you are 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years postpartum - this workout is for you! Register here


    Missed a virtual event? See last week’s videos below


    Why Focusing on Your Sleep During COVID-19 is Important with Alanna McGinn: Watch the video here


    Understanding the COVID-19 Stimulus package with Adrian Drew: Watch the video here


    Parenting Through the Storm with Ann Douglas: Watch the video here


    Managing Anxiety: Watch the video here

    Having a Baby during COVID-19 - What to expect: Watch the video here


    Parent S.O.S

    You’ve probably either settled into some kind of routine or decided to abandon all normalcy.  There is a third option which lands somewhere in between. Either way, we’re pretty sure finding ways to relax, unwind, or regain some semblance of me-time is a top need. This week, we searched for ways to help you do just that. 


    • If you maybe it feels like you’re not doing enough, we’re just gonna slide this NY Times article ‘Stop Trying to be Productive’ across the proverbial table. Worth the read. 



    • Meditation is a skill you can learn, and having help makes it much easier to avoid thinking about your grocery list instead. UCLA Health has a series of free mindfulness meditation exercises you can do on your own. Find links here, or download the UCLA Mindfulness App on itunes or Google Play. 


    • This is technically for the kids, but also totally for you. Audible has made all children’s books free to stream as long as schools are closed. Enjoy them together or let them enjoy while you enjoy something….else.


    This One’s For the Kids 



    • We gave you the wrong link last week , so let’s try this again! - Math, but make it fun! Cool Math Games disguises math learning for every age and stage with truly fun video games! 


    • Lunch Lady’s Jarrett J. Krosoczka hosts ‘Draw Everyday with JJK’, a basic illustration lesson every weekday at 2pm EST on YouTube. These are a bit more nitty gritty, as JJK, the kid who loved to draw and grew up to be an artist, shares practical tips on penciling, inking, and drawing faces. Bonus - JJK is the author and illustrator of the Star Wars Jedi Academy series, so get ready to perfect your Yoda. Find the full playlist of video lessons here


    • For children dependent on specialized routines, the complete change in our daily schedules is especially difficult to navigate. Autism Speaks! Canada has put together resources to help those caring for a child or adult with autism during this disruptive time. 


    Just for Fun 



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