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.

  • Thursday, February 09, 2023 12:49 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    "Black people don't camp."  It's almost comedic how many times I heard that statement said to my face. I'm Black, and having camped for years, It's sad how prevalent this stereotype is.

    My love for camping bloomed during my teenage years, thanks to a school program that introduced me to the beauty of nature. However, I understand entirely the hesitations some may have about camping, especially fearing being the only minority in what is perceived as a predominantly white space. In response, I authored a blog post for Ontario Parks in 2022, addressing the issue and promoting inclusivity in outdoor recreation.

    The feedback was overwhelming, with many expressing a similar experience and sharing with me community groups that are taking steps to change the narrative. After sharing my article in the Black Moms Connection group and the number of people sharing their stories, I decided to write and update because I  want the next generation of parents raising kids to help remove this stigma. 

    A 2021 report from Nature Canada shows non-white ethnocultural populations have lower rates of participation in sports and recreational activities. The report suggests that these lower participation rates among racialized populations stem from various barriers, including physical, economic, cultural, and linguistic factors.

    The good news is that despite these challenges, numerous community resources are dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in outdoor recreation. Organizations like the Outdoor Project (ODP), Brown Girl Outdoor World (BGOW), and Colour the Trails actively work to provide safe and inclusive outdoor experiences for BIPOC individuals. These initiatives aim to dismantle stereotypes and barriers while fostering a sense of belonging in outdoor spaces.

    The Outdoor Project (ODP) is an initiative by Women of Color Remake Wellness, with the aim of fostering connections and providing safe and inclusive outdoor experiences for the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community, particularly women.

    Brown Girl Outdoor World (BGOW) is committed to changing the narratives assigned to the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) community and our place in outdoor adventure and recreation. As an organization, they are focused on moving the conversation away from what we do not do but work instead to provide tangible solutions to diversifying outdoor recreation.

    Colour the Trails is a national Black woman-owned business focused on improving access to outdoor activities for BIPoC (including those who lay within the intersection of BIPoC and 2SLGBTQAI+ community) adventurers. Through their programming and initiatives, they aim to build awareness, dismantle barriers and create accessible opportunities for participation in outdoor recreation.

    I do not want my kids growing up hearing the same stereotypes I did.  I'm thrilled to share these resources available to help get more BIPOC parents and kids outdoors. By challenging stereotypes and embracing inclusivity, we can all enjoy the beauty and benefits of nature. 

    Cheers to getting outdoors!

  • Monday, January 23, 2023 9:54 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    Wednesday, January 25th is Bell Let's Talk day and every single social media post that includes both the #BellLetsTalk and #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth hashtags matters!  

    Why does this matter? 1 in 5 moms will experience a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, including postpartum depression and anxiety, and maternal suicide is a leading cause of death in postpartum women. The more we talk, the more women know they are not alone. Please lend your voice to bringing awareness to the need for a national strategy for mothers in Canada. Read my story on the Bell Let’s Talk page here.

    Not sure what to say? Below we’ve put together some sample tweets and social media messages, as well as some key messages and facts for you to use:

    @lifewithababy has joined forces with #BellLetsTalk to highlight the fight to support maternal mental health. Use #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth to show you care!

    Today on #BellLetsTalk Day, we embrace those navigating Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. We’re in this together.  

    Check in on a new or expecting mom today. Just hearing your voice can make a difference to someone dealing with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders including depression, insolation, or anxiety.  
    #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    1 in 5 women will experience Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Some won’t even know it. Let’s change that. @lifewithababy offers resources, events and activities near you. 
    #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Know a new parent? They might be dealing with more than sleepless nights. A call, a meal, an invite for coffee or a walk, or to watch the baby for an hour can go a long way to help. 

    It takes a village to raise great kids - and it starts with supporting parents. Check in, follow-up, offer help. We’re in this together. 

    What does maternal mental health mean to you? Have a story or advice to share? 

    1 in 5 women will experience Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders but may be too afraid to ask for help. Let’s change that.  

    Research shows peer support reduces social isolation. New parents often struggle with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders in silence. Let’s change that. Check in, follow-up, offer help. 

    Key Messages

    Research by @CindyLee_Dennis shows peer support can PREVENT #PostpartumDepression by 50%! Peer support works #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Find online resources for #PMADs here: #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    We compiled a list of resources for Manitoba if you know of others please add it in the comments #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources available in Ontario. If you know of more please add in the comments #BellLetstalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in British Columbia. Please share and add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Saskatchewan. Please share and add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Nova Scotia. Please share & add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Yukon. Please share and add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Newfoundland. Please share & add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in PEI. Please share & add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in New Brunswick. Please share & add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in the Northwest Territories. Please share & add more #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Nunavut. Please share & add more #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Alberta. Please share & add more to list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Quebec. Please share and add more to the list #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Thank you for joining in the conversation your voice will make a difference

    Claire & the LWAB Team 

  • Tuesday, January 17, 2023 1:49 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    One of our favourite family outings my kids and I did last year, was to experience the TSO Young People's Concert, perfect for ages 5-12 and the young at heart. GREAT NEWS...

    They're back next month with Family-filled fun at Roy Thomson Hall!

    These concerts are geared to delight and engage children, they're shorter than a normal concert and they're fidget friendly if your child wants to stand up /sit down/stand up.....

    The iconic Canadian children’s book The Hockey Sweater is brought to life through the music of Abigail Richardson-Schulte performed by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

    Enjoy a charming winter tale, narrated by author Roch Carrier, that will appeal to all budding hockey fans.

    Plus, arrive early to take in pre-concert lobby activities as detailed below!

    Save $5 per ticket when you buy online with promo code SWEATER.

    Pro-parenting tip: This is a perfect outing for grandma and grandpa to enjoy with their grand kids (and they probably grew up on this story!)

    Learn More & Buy Tickets HERE


    GET READY for some hockey-themed fun! Dress in your sports jerseys and come an hour early to:

    • Meet a mascot!
    • See a famous hockey sweater from the Hockey Hall of Fame.
    • “Try out” for Team Strings or Team Winds/Brass/Percussion by playing instruments at the Long & McQuade Instrument Discovery Zone.
    • Buy a copy of The Hockey Sweater book or CD, and get it signed by the author and composer themselves!

    Plus, don’t miss The Hitmen Entertainment Drumline’s pulse-pounding performance starting in the lobby at 1:00pm and 3:30pm.

  • Monday, November 28, 2022 10:10 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    This post was originally made in November 2022. 

    Here is an update from May 2024 - after Connie completed her practicum! 

    Doing my practicum placement at Life with a Baby was an experience like none other. I feel truly humbled and blessed to have had the opportunity to work with such an amazing demographic of members. 

    When I started my journey, I thought I would be exclusively working in the maternal mental health space; however I was pleasantly surprised to deal with such a variety of community mental health support topics 

    From homelessness to food insecurity, domestic violence, divorce, and separation, Neurodiversity, coparenting , agoraphobia, anxiety, stress, depression, personality disorders and more - I really did get a genuine thorough taste of lots of different ways I could go with my practice. 

    If you are a student looking to complete your hours, I cannot speak higher of the Life with a Baby opportunity.  I finished my practicum with more than enough hours to fulfil the minimum requirement, and I left with a set of skills and experience that really set me up for success as I ventured off into my private practice and group practice.

    Today, one year post practicum, I am successfully running my private practice as well as part of a group practice, which focusses on maternal mental health and support supporting families of children with special needs children, and I couldn’t be happier

    Thank you to the life of the team for this amazing opportunity.  Pro bono community mental health will always hold a special place in my heart.


    Original Content:
    In 2010, following the birth of my firstborn son, I decided to attend a Life With A Baby preparing new parents program that I had read about at my local earlyOn centre. At the time, the founder and Director, Claire Zlobin was the facilitator from Life With A Baby. I remember how much I enjoyed the program connecting with other moms and meeting some new friends. The information was valuable, but the connections I made and the normalization of the postpartum period Were really what I needed.

    Following that program, I started my own playgroup called the Newmarket Goober gang. It was a co-op style playgroup where moms and babies took turns hosting play dates in their community or at their homes. The concept of the playgroup blew up very quickly, and I was featured in the local paper. We very quickly outgrew our at-home play date model.

    Claire later approached me at Life With A Baby about assisting with the launch of the Life With A Baby York Region north chapter in my community. As a professional event planner by trade, this was totally up my alley and in alignment with my goal of continuing to service my community and connect with other moms.

    Now 12 years later and the mother of a preteen I have been with Life With A Baby for my entire journey through parenthood. I have met some of my best friends to date as a result of the work I have done through this organization and grew in my business as a result of the connections made. I was proud to take on the community development manager role a few years ago when we launched all of our Simcoe region chapters, and I continue to volunteer regularly. Most importantly, I have been able to create that village in my community with other fellow moms.

    Recently with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to take the leap and go back to school to complete my master's degree and do something near and dear to me. I am proud to say that I am now a licensed psychotherapist (qualifying) in the province of Ontario.

    I look forward to continuing to service the Life With A Baby community through therapy programs, including helping keep our HOPE Group for parents diagnosed with mild to moderate PPD going and offering affordable mental health services for families in need.

    A special thank you to Claire and Life With A Baby for this amazing opportunity.

  • Wednesday, November 16, 2022 11:14 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    I often get asked about flight deals, and for the most part, I use Google flights and track prices to snag a good price on tickets.

    When it comes to booking flights, everyone has their own preferences and budget considerations. For my family, I tend to choose Air Canada. I book in advance to get the best deal. Sometimes even though cheaper options are available, I'll still go with Air Canada because of the ease of changing flights and fewer disruptions. There a lot of consider when booking a flight. Who are you travelling with, do you have a tight connection? Are you OK with losing a couple of days of the trip if there is a flight cancellation?

    A few of the things I tend to book with Air Canada

    Same-day standby option: I love this when I'm travelling for work and have the flexibility to return a little earlier. I like that there are no extra fees or rebooking necessary - we can just make the change on the day of travel.

    No Extra Fees: Another thing I appreciate is that we don't have to worry about extra charges for things like carry-on baggage. With some other airlines, you might think you're getting a good deal on the ticket price, only to find out that you have to pay extra for every little thing.

    Fewer Disruptions: I've had very few disruptions over the last 15 years of travelling with Air Canada, and that's impressive. When travelling with little ones, I like the comfort of not worrying about last-minute cancellations and whether or not there will be another flight if ours gets cancelled. A few years ago, we decided to go with a budget airline from Buffalo, and while the price was amazing, we had a delay of over 11 hours, and that experience made us hesitant to try that route again. Recently my brother was coming for a visit; he booked the first leg of the trip with a budget carrier which was cancelled, and he ended up unable to visit and then also lost the funds for the second part of the trip. We've all heard the nightmare stories.

    Yes, Low Prices too: The best part? If you book well in advance, you can get the price of a discount carrier without disruptions. So, it comes down to a little bit of planning and using services like the Google flights tracking app to find the dates with the best price. And if you plan to travel in high season, be sure to book well in advance.

    I like that Air Canada also has the Rouge option with less expensive flights, and yes, less of the comforts, but the same flexibility and fewer disruptions simply because of the number of flights going in and out; there are more options available, and I like that peace of mind.

    While Air Canada may not always have the absolute lowest ticket prices, the benefits they offer - same-day standby, no hidden fees, and fewer disruptions - make it worth it for me.

  • Tuesday, November 01, 2022 10:48 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    Winnipeg is a hidden gem in Canada; if you want to have all the amenities of the big city but have your dollars go further, consider Winnipeg, Manitoba, a short 2.5 flight from Toronto. Immerse yourself in its diverse and vibrant culture, with a strong Indigenous presence and a thriving arts scene. The city is home to a number of museums, galleries, cultural institutions, and festivals. Winnipeg is an excellent spot for a couples' getaway with award-winning spas and one of the best food scenes in Canada.

    Where to stay:

    The Fort Gary Hotel and Spa, a luxurious castle-style hotel, is a former Grand Trunk Railway hotel and a National Historic Site. It sits in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, minutes away from all the major attractions. 

    For the couples who want to stay in:       

    Their romance package includes a bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries in your room upon arrival. For an unforgettable dining experience, visit the Oval Room Brasserie, a 108-year-old lounge recently restored to its 1913 appearance. As Winnipeg's only brasserie and the only hotel with a wine list curated by world-renowned sommelier Christopher Sprague, the Oval Room is a must-try. 

    For ultimate relaxation, spend a day at Ten Spa on the hotel's top floor, offering a range of beauty and wellness treatments. The spa features saunas and steam rooms, as well as a variety of massage and beauty treatments. Ten Spa is known for its Hamman ritual, a traditional Turkish bathing experience designed to relax the mind and body. Ten Spa also offers a range of packages and special events, such as couples massages. Ten Spa prides itself on delivering a "perfect ten" experience to each customer, with treatments developed after years of research from around the world and performed with a focus on traditional techniques. 

    For couples who want to explore:

    If you're looking for a romantic and adventurous activity, consider visiting The Forks in Winnipeg and trying out fat biking or skating along the river. Kendrick's Outdoor Adventures, located on the waterfront at the beginning of the trail, offers fat bike rentals and snowshoes in the winter. They also team up with the skate rental nearby to enhance the skating experience on the river. Whether you're an experienced fat biker or new to the sport, Kendrick's has options for everyone.

    Thermea is a luxurious spa in Winnipeg that is perfect for couples looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. The Spa offers a range of thermal baths, saunas, steam rooms, and massage and beauty treatments, all in a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. Thermea also has packages and special events specifically designed for couples, such as couples' massages and romantic dinners. 

    Whether you're seeking a romantic escape or want to relax and unwind with your partner, Thermea is a perfect choice. Located just 8 km from downtown Winnipeg, the spa is easily accessible and offers a range of facilities, including baths, saunas, exfoliation rooms, and indoor and outdoor relaxation areas. There is no time limit on your visit, so you can enjoy the spa's facilities and amenities the whole day. The spa also has a restaurant on-site, so you can enjoy a meal without leaving the property. Experience the unique beauty of nature and a therapeutic reprieve at Thermea.

    FortWhyte Alive is a nature center and environmental education facility dedicated to promoting understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the natural world through experiential learning and outdoor recreation. The center is on 640 acres of protected land and includes a variety of habitats, including forests, wetlands, grasslands, and lakes.

    FortWhyte Alive offers a range of educational programs, workshops, and events, including guided nature hikes, birdwatching tours, workshops, and special events such as concerts and festivals. The center also has a variety of outdoor recreational activities available, including hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.


    The Canadian Museum of Human Rights and Qaumajuq at Winnipeg Art Gallery are two must-visit destinations for anyone looking to learn and reflect on important issues. The Winnipeg Art Gallery is one of Canada's premier art museums. It features the world's largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art and extensive collections of fine art, decorative art, and photography. 

    The Canadian Museum of Human Rights(CMHR) is the only museum in the world dedicated to human rights education and awareness. It offers a range of interactive exhibits and programming that explore the history and significance of human rights, both in Canada and around the world. Both institutions are excellent places to learn, reflect, and engage with important issues and are well worth a visit for anyone interested in art, culture, and human rights.

    Where To Eat:

    Winnipeg is known for its delicious culinary offerings, and The Forks and Hargrave Food Market are two must-visit destinations. Hargrave Food Market is a newly opened food hall that brings together some of the city's best chefs and ingredients, offering innovative menus and local favourites. It's also a popular spot for pre-game or event gatherings at the Canada Life Centre, so if you're in town when the Jets are playing, arrive early to secure a spot. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the delicious options at Hargrave Food Market while in Winnipeg.

    The Forks is Manitoba's number one tourist destination, attracting more than four million visitors annually and steeped in 6,000 years of history. The 56-acre site offers year-round shopping at The Forks Market and Johnston Terminal, along with a variety of dining experiences, including organic bakery goods, ethnic cuisine, casual restaurants, fine dining, and a food hall that includes craft beer and wine.


    Winnipeg has a diverse and inclusive food scene, with many options for people with food sensitivities, including vegan and gluten-free options. Some favourites include Modern Electric Lunch, a locally owned shop with delicious food and coffee, and Corrientes, an Argentine restaurant with empanadas and unique pizzas topped with ingredients like shaved Angus ribeye, corn, and smoked salmon. The staff at Corrientes are friendly and welcoming, and the restaurant also offers a range of gluten-free and dairy-free desserts. 

    Looking for more ideas of things to do? Here are ten things to do in Winnipeg in Winter:

    1. Go ice skating at The Forks or the outdoor rink at the Manitoba Legislative Building.
    2. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the snow-covered streets of the historic Exchange District.
    3. Visit the festive holiday lights at The Forks or in the Exchange District.
    4. Head to the Royal Canadian Mint to see the holiday light display and tour the facility. Can you lift a solid block of gold?
    5. Take a romantic walk through the snowy trails of Assiniboine Park. This large park features a variety of gardens, playgrounds, sporting facilities, and a zoo with over 200 species of animals.
    6. Attend a holiday concert or show at the Centennial Concert Hall or the Burton Cummings Theatre.
    7. Savour a warm drink and share a cozy meal at a romantic restaurant, such as The Velvet Glove at the Fairmont Winnipeg or 529 Wellington.
    8. Go on a snowshoeing or cross-country skiing adventure in the nearby countryside.
    9. Warm up with a couples massage at a luxurious spa, such as Thermea or Ten Spa.
    10. Test your skills and limits with indoor rock climbing at The Hive.

    Winnipeg has something for everyone, whether you're interested in trying out unique restaurants, relaxing at a spa, catching a Jet's game, or staying in a historic hotel. The city offers a range of dining options, from casual cafes to fine dining restaurants, and has several spas providing a variety of relaxation and wellness treatments. So no matter what you're looking for, you'll be able to find it in Winnipeg.

  • Tuesday, October 04, 2022 5:28 PM | Mercedes (Administrator)

    By Contributor: Jonsaba Jabbi

    One of the everyday experiences an expectant mother may experience during pregnancy is the dreaded "morning sickness." 

    Morning sickness typically shows up between the sixth week and the second month of pregnancy. Despite the name, morning sickness doesn't just happen in the morning. For some women, it's all day long.  

    But don't fret! Rest assured, we've gathered the best tips for combatting morning, noon and night sickness during the first few weeks of pregnancy.

    Tip #1: Know what you're dealing with!

    So what is morning sickness anyway? According to, morning sickness is nausea and vomiting that occurs when a woman is pregnant. 3 in 4 pregnant women will experience morning sickness, so expect to deal with this. Morning sickness typically shows up between the sixth week and the second month of pregnancy. Some women don't experience it all, while it can be severe and debilitating for others.

    Tip #2: Don't be afraid to ask for help

    If it's your first pregnancy, chances are you are still trying to figure it all out. But you don't need to do it alone. Ask your doctor or midwife all the questions you have. Remember, they are here to help you and make your pregnancy as smooth and manageable as possible.

    Tip #3: Make use of remedies you have at home

    Treat your morning sickness with things you can find in your kitchen cabinet. According to the book Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss, Spearmint and Red Raspberry teas are excellent for relieving nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness. You can actually drink Red Raspberry Tea throughout your pregnancy as it's an aid for labour. In addition to some household remedies, don't forget to eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables such as grapes, beets, lettuce, figs, apples, and spinach. Choose your favourites!   

    Tip #4: Take a bath….a sitz bath, that is!

    A sitz bath, also known as a half bath, is one of the most practical self-care activities to incorporate while pregnant, especially during morning sickness. Sitz baths are known to relieve many pregnancy symptoms and ailments and keep your blood flow in good circulation. All you have to do is fill up your bathtub, washtub or basin up to your abdomen (or fill it up with 3-4 inches of water) with warm water and then soak for 15-30 mins. Although unnecessary, you can also add some Epsom salt for added benefits. You can use a washtub, a large basin or even a sitz bath seat you can put on top of your toilet seat. But your bathtub will do just fine if you don't have any of these things! Do this at least 2-3 times a week. Plus–sitz baths are an excellent way to manage lower-body soreness (hint, hint) after your baby arrives! 

    Tip #5: Take it easy and get some rest

    Pregnancy is one of the most life-changing experiences because it also taxes the human body. So make sure you take it easy and get some rest while your body adjusts to the neverending changes during this exciting time in your life. Reduce or slow down your schedule where you can, and ask family and friends for help with physical tasks. Try to get to bed early and create spaces that encourage calm, relaxation and peace–whatever that looks like for you.  

    Contributor Jonsaba Jabbi is a writer, community archivist & historian and co-founder of Building A Black Archive, a grassroots community archive dedicated to building Black archives in Canada. She is a communications professional who has worked in the nonprofit sector for the last decade with organizations specializing in environmental justice, community arts, youth homelessness and the heritage sector. 

  • Thursday, September 29, 2022 9:03 PM | Allison (Administrator)

    PsychCentral has a great resource from Annabella Hagen, about “What’s on your plate? Stress Management Strategies” from 2016.

    It is no longer available on their website, but they have lots of other great resources. I am summarizing some here as a mom who experienced anxiety, who went through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as a patient, and a LWAB HOPE Peer.

    Our jobs, home life and other activities of managing your life with a baby (or child, or teen) can get overwhelming. How can you take stuff off of your plate to make it more manageable?

    Pay attention to your body

    A first suggestion is to recognize your body signals. Our bodies get to a point where our brain cannot process any more, and we develop psychosomatic symptoms. These can include tummy aches, headaches, and problems with sleep.

    All-Or-Nothing Thinking 

    Using the metaphor of a full plate, individuals with perfectionism tend to have overcrowded plates. This can include a set of negative beliefs, which can distort the expectations they have of themselves and others. This can sometimes look like a person saying yes to doing something they may not have the capacity to do, in order to not upset someone. This is an all-or-nothing type of thinking.

    Don’t Should On Yourself 

    When you get down time, do you also feel like you “should” be doing something else? My therapist would often say to “Not Should On Yourself”. Becoming aware of your thinking patterns is a way you can work to combat your negative thoughts.

    A great way to help yourself is to give something up. This can be difficult to do for multiple reasons, but ultimately it is about finding a balance of tasks that work for you and your family, so you can be there fully for them.


    No. It is a complete sentence and answer to a request. You can also say not right now. With my work in mental health, I have started to try to ask people if they have the capacity or time to do something. If I ask that way, I would be ok with getting a no (even if I don’t ask that way). You can choose what you take on. It is impossible to please everyone, and sometimes even if you say yes, and you fail to be able to do the task, it would be worse than if you had said no at the start. You can also say “yes, but…” and put restrictions on your time, or your skills – that is, you can ask for help with parts of the task, and allow you to focus on the component that is best in your skills and abilities.

    Self-Care is whatever works for you. 

    You need to prioritize your time, focusing on what it is that you care about the most. This is related to your values and standards. Finding the right balance for you is a priority part of this mental health journey. Within this time, find a balance between your work, love, and play activities. Make sure you find activities for you, not only your children. I am loving doing online Zumba! It gets me physical activity, online, with colleagues. Often, my daughter will join me in dancing but it is an activity for me, and just a bonus that she loves it too. Other times, my self-care is watching TV and playing games on my phone. 

    Taking the time to love yourself, to focus on YOUR emotional, physical, and mental well-being is so vital. When your plate is feeling full, take time to play with your children, friends, and family. Only keep on what is really needed, and it will help to allow you to focus on the other things you need to do. 


    If you are feeling concerned about your mental health, please reach out to someone. It can be a therapist who specializes in maternal mental health, or various online resources such as MomsOverMatter

  • Monday, September 26, 2022 10:59 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    The cheapest birthday gift idea that your kid and their friends will love.

    I learned about the Owlkids magazines at the Library, and Ethan has been hooked ever since. He loves getting mail with his name on it, and anything that encourages him to read more is a big win. It was $29 for a whole year of magazines which is $2.17 per month!

    After seeing his reaction, I've decided to start giving out the OWLkids magazines as a birthday gift for his friends because it's so much better than another gift card that they'll end up losing anyway.

    If you are getting it for your kids, then all you have to do is choose the magazine that is right for their age range. 

    Chirp is for kids ages 3-6, ChickaDEE for ages 6-9, and OWL for ages 9-12

    If you are getting it for your child's friend,

    First, check with your child's friend's parent to find out if they already have a magazine subscription.

    Second, make sure you put the child's name as the recipient, so it's their name on the package (they absolutely love receiving mail with their name on it). The novelty has worn off for me since mine are just usually bills ;)

    Third, get their mailing address. I accidentally put my address on the one I sent to my nephew by accident. It was an easy fix through their customer service.

    Finally, relax in the comfort that your $29 gift continues to give ALL year long instead of another gift card. If you are thinking ahead, this also makes a great holiday gift. 

  • Saturday, August 06, 2022 10:05 AM | Krista (Administrator)

    We recently travelled to Vermont to the Jay Peak Resort – what an amazing summer trip!!

    Our trip started out in Cambridge, Ontario and we decided that with an 8+ hour drive ahead of us we would spilt the drive over two days, so we left right after work on a Wednesday and drove as far as Brockville that evening. The resort is very close to the Quebec/Vermont border, however we opted to cross at Cornwall, ON so we had more opportunity for shopping on the way. This was by far the smallest and fastest border crossing I’ve ever been to! What a nice change from the busy ones we would normally cross around Niagara! The drive from the border to the resort was mostly along secondary highways with very little traffic. As we crossed from New York State into Vermont you could start to see the mountains, it was beautiful!

    We had a reservation in one of the Timberline Condos. Check-in at the main hotel was a breeze and the front desk staff was very friendly and helpful. We received our room keys, resort map, attraction/restaurant schedules and waterpark passes (plastic wristbands). We found our condo easily with the map provided - they are in row style houses with some units on the main floor, some on the second level and some in the basement (walkout units). The accommodations were amazing!! Our condo included

    ·       Two bedrooms, each with a King bed that could be converted to 2 twins on request.
    ·       Lots of drawers and closet space for our stuff.
    ·       A large ensuite bathroom plus a second full bath in the hall gave everyone lots of room (and no waiting for the shower!)
    ·       A large family room with seating for 6 around the fireplace and tv – a perfect place to relax at the end of each day!
    ·       A huge kitchen with a breakfast bar and a dining table with 6 chairs. Tons of cupboard space. Dishes, cutlery, cups, pots and pans. Plus a fridge/freezer, toaster, coffee maker, microwave and stove/oven. And yes, there was a dishwasher, because who wants to do dishes when they are on vacation?!
    ·       A private deck off the dining room, with 2 chairs and a little table, perfect for your morning coffee.
    ·       The in-suite laundry was a nice bonus.
    ·       There was also a mudroom at the entry with tons of hooks for hats, jackets etc. With the door I imagine this would be ideal for the winter vacations where you don’t want to let too much cold air inside.
    ·       Plus great views from all the windows!

    When we checked in they gave us a schedule that included the hours of operations for all their food and beverage locations. The schedule was nicely laid out with each location and the hours by day, as some change depending on the day of the week.

    We checked the resort schedule for dining options and found the Clubhouse Grille was our only option the first evening. We took the quick drive over to the restaurant and were helped right away. Thursday night at the Clubhouse Grille had a beanbag toss game and wings on special, we has missed the tournament but the boards were still out so the kids played with that while we waited for our food.

    The food was great - we opted for some wings, a salad, and Lobster roll (so good and worth the market price!!) and the kids had chicken fingers.

    We noticed Friday nights they had Wood-Fired Pizza so we made sure to go back the following evening for that, however we opted to do takeout this time and eat in the room. The pizza was delicious!

    I ate at the Foundry one night as well, along with the other moms in our group, it was quite a busy place, but the service was good and food was tasty, and company was great!

    We did have a full kitchen in the condo so we had stopped for a few groceries before we arrived, but we definitely missed some things (butter, salt and pepper, foil/parchment paper) luckily the Provisions General Store had these things (and more) available for purchase. The store was fully stocked with fresh and frozen food, sundries, snacks, drinks and prepared foods. Our condo seemed to be missing cereal bowls, so we improvised with a small mixing bowl, and there were not any ‘dish cloth and towels’ so we just face cloths, but otherwise we had what we needed.

    We rode the Tram up the mountain a couple times to enjoy the views from the top of Jay Peak – what a view!

    The tram leaves every 30 minutes and takes just under 10 minutes. The kid’s favourite part was when we passed by the towers and the tram got a bit of a swing LOL.

    Once at the top you can just enjoy the view from the windowed area outside the loading area, do little climbing to see the views from the very top, or even hike back down (or up and catch the tram down). We didn’t brave the hike, but some friends did, said it took them around 2 hours with their kids in tow. We took the tram a second time at the end of the day with the other families we came with and the driver even gave us a peek into the Ski Patrol’s room!

    We spent most of our time at the Pumphouse Water Park. Wow! There was so much to do here, the kids were in heaven!

    Our group has use of a cabana so we were able to keep our bags and things in there while we played. It had a stock of towels, with more available at the surf shop if needed. It also had a small fridge that included several bottles of water. There were 6 or 7 cabanas around the waterpark, ours was a bit of a walk from “action” but was just beside the bottom of the tube slides so perfect viewing of the kids going up and down the slides. Our cabana was just down from the snack bar so we did grab lunch there one day, standards like burgers, hot dogs, fries, nachos and salads were available, plus ice cream.

    There were 4 slides – 2 tube slides (blue and green) with single and double tubes, and 2 body slides (orange and red – the red had a weight requirement, and went straight down, so the kids didn’t get on that one, but dad thought it was fun – and fast!). The waterpark was big and even though there were lots of people there it didn’t feel crowded and there were virtually no lines for the slides (which meant lots and lots of trips up and down). The kids raced on the blue and green so many times! When I asked them which was their favourite, they just couldn’t decide, they said they were all so fun!

    The slides end in a 3ish foot deep pool that connects to a lazy river. The river wasn’t open when we were there as summer is their ‘off season’ and they don’t have the staff for it, but it would be great to just come off the slides and then float around the river before going back up.

    While we did spend most of our time on the slides there was another pool with a climbing wall on one side and basketball net on the other (we spent a lot of time here as well), plus a little kids area (think splash pad with a tipping bucket), hot tubs and a wave rider (I couldn’t work up the courage to try it, but everyone who tried it looked like they were having a blast!).

    When we came back the next day we also checked out the outdoor pool and outdoor hot tub. There is definitely enough pool space for everyone!

    There are mountain bike trails at the resort as well, with bikes available for rental through The Mountain Shop. My hubby brought his bike from home and took a ride one morning while we went to the waterpark.  He was given a map with a number of mountain bike trails marked out.  Unfortunately early in the season much of the trails are too wet to ride.  Around the base of the resort there are a number of kilometers of gravel based double track, and the service road up the mountain offers a challenging climb with great views and a fun ride down.  Overall he was able to get in a good 10km ride.

    One morning we all went on a short hike, there were 3 different trails to pick from, but we just went on the shortest loop as we didn’t come prepared with water. It wasn’t too long and we passed through some trees, saw a little creek, the snow making pond, as well as a wedding ceremony set up – what a beautiful place to get married!


    The resort has many other attractions like that unfortunately were not open during our stay, but would be open during their peak winter season – indoor rock climbing for kids, movie theatre, as well as some that were available but we didn’t make use of this time – golf, disc golf, a spa, indoor ice rink. I am not a skier, but I would definitely come back to Jay Peak in the winter just for all the other activities they offer!


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