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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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  • Saturday, February 01, 2020 10:18 AM | Chelsea (Administrator)

    Looking for an inexpensive family trip that is close to home? Look no further!

    Last week, my husband and I decided to take the kids for a visit to Americana Waterpark in Niagara (on the Canadian side, so no passports needed). Each year they have a BOGO deal in January and February where you can stay 2 nights for the price of 1! The offer is valid Sunday - Thursday for a few weeks in the winter months and is definitely worth it. Altogether our stay for 2 nights and 3 days including all our water park passes was $215! For a family of 5!


    The waterpark has a great variety of activities geared at different age groups. There is a shallow wading pool equipped with baby swings, and small waterslides for the toddlers and babies. This is where we spent most of our time, and my oldest who is 4 would have been totally content to just hang out here the whole time. There is also a small wave pool for babes in arms or kids approximately 6+ to be able to touch the bottom on their own. Then of course there is a large wave pool with huge waves that get progressively deeper the farther you go, so even my 4-year-old was able to enjoy this pool with the assistance of a puddle jumper (and Dad close by of course). There is also a playground looking structure equipped with small tunnel water slides, and of course a huge bucket constantly filling with water ready to dump on unsuspecting guest as they walk by. Then, there are the giant water slides, some of which are totally enclosed (and pitch black inside) that even go outside! These ones were great for older kids/teens and of course my husband. Kids who are brave enough could also go on these with a parent if they are tall enough.

    Overall, this waterpark is great for families of all ages and stages, but I found it particularly enjoyable having small children because unlike some of the larger waterparks, it was easy to keep them contained and in view at all times (which is usually extremely difficult with 3 kids 4 and under).

    Now that I have outlined the perks of our stay, I just want to give some pro-tips that I learned during our first visit:

    1.      Bring flip flops: we walked to and from the waterpark with our bathing suits and winter boots on – not the best look. We could have just used the family change rooms there, but our room was so close to the waterpark that it just made sense to go already dressed. Next time, we will definitely be bringing sandals/flip flops.

    2.      Wristbands: you will receive a wrist band for the waterpark for each member of your family when you check-in. If your child does not want to wear the wrist band, you can wear it for them. If at any point your wrist band becomes damaged (or your kid is screaming because they want it off even though they told you repeatedly that they wanted to wear it – which is what happened to us) you can go to the front desk and get a replacement as long as you give them the old one.

    3.      Bring cash: there is an arcade that you have to walk through to get to the waterpark, and inevitably your children are going to want to play the games; and who are we kidding, you will too. I was mesmerized by the ski-ball machine – took me right back to the 90s.

    4.      Bedtime: we have 3 children, and our 18m old goes to bed at 6pm. What worked for us was that Mom or Dad brought the two bigger boys to the arcade to play while the other parent stayed in the room to get the little one to bed. We also brought a white noise machine, which I highly recommend. Since it is impossible to get excited children to be quiet as they run through the hallways, there was some extra noise, but with the noise machine it didn’t disturb us or the children at all.


    5.      Food: breakfast is not included in your package. They have a buffet breakfast that looks delicious, but it is quite expensive. What we did was bring all of our own food and store it in the fridge in the room. For breakfast, we made breakfast sandwiches using eggs already scrambled and in a carton – just pour some in a ramekin and microwave for 1 minute and voila! Egg bites! I ate them as is, and my husband put them on croissants with microwave bacon to make our own in-room breakfast sandwiches. We also brought instant oatmeal which was the perfect breakfast for the kids. The coffee in the room is not great, but there is a Tim Hortons super close to the hotel.  There is also a Fresh Co. literally right next door for if you need more groceries, or you forget cutlery and dishes like I did. There is also a Boston Pizza in the hotel.


    6.      Parking: you do have to pay for parking (I believe it’s $20 per night). If you get a room on the first floor, you can pull your car up to the sliding doors of your room for easy unloading and packing up of all of your stuff, since let’s face it – you’ve got a lot of stuff if you are travelling with kids.

    7.     The chlorine: one thing I wasn’t prepared for was the level of chlorine that is in the water. They state on their signage that they have higher than usual levels of chlorine in the water due to the volume of people coming in and out of the water park (and probably because of all of the kids). I have very sensitive skin, and so my skin was very irritated after we had been in the water for a while. Thankfully, my kids and husband were just fine and nobody else had any irritation. We had showers immediately after leaving the waterpark each time, I would just bring a body balm next time to use as a barrier before, and lotion to use after.

    So, there you have it - our first trip to Americana was a success, and I definitely feel more prepared with all of this knowledge that we acquired for the next time. Hopefully this information benefits you as well, and we see you there next year!


  • Tuesday, January 28, 2020 9:43 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    Wednesday, January 29th 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.  
    #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    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. 
    #BellLetsTalk 
    #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    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. 
    #BellLetsTalk 
    #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

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

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

    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. 
    #BellLetsTalk 
    #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth



    Key Messages


    Today is #BellLetsTalkDay and we need to talk but we also need to do more for new moms. Maternal Mental Health is linked to positive child health outcomes. #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Postpartum depression doesn't discriminate. It can happen to anyone but there is help. Thank you @serenawilliams for sharing your #PPD storyhttps://bit.ly/2tUU8RI @voguemagazine #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

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

    We compiled a list of resources for Manitoba. If you know of others please add it in the comments: https://bit.ly/2GrIQXJ 

    #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Find online resources for #PMADs here: https://bit.ly/2RUNmn2 #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources are available in Ontario. If you know of more please add in the comments https://bit.ly/2O5fZNf 

    #BellLetstalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in British Columbia. Please share and add more to the list https://bit.ly/2GufAja #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Saskatchewan. Please share and add more to the list https://bit.ly/2O5bJgz #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Quebec. Please share and add more to the list https://bit.ly/36AxwmB #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Nova Scotia. Please share & add more to the list https://bit.ly/36CxXgA #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Yukon. Please share and add more to the list https://bit.ly/36zGvEK #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Newfoundland. Please share & add more to the list https://bit.ly/38Usu6n #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in PEI. Please share & add more to the list https://bit.ly/38Bi4Z4 #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in New Brunswick. Please share & add more to the list https://bit.ly/38DdWro #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in the Northwest Territories. Please share & add more https://bit.ly/2tLWd2t #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Nunavut. Please share & add more https://bit.ly/2Gq6fJ6 #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PMAD resources in Alberta. Please share & add more to list https://bit.ly/2RvHYaP #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    #PostpartumDepression can happen to anyone @Adele experienced it too https://bit.ly/2vrKoii #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    When we share we break down the stigma and help another mom. Thank you @chrissyteigen for sharing your story @glamourmag https://bit.ly/2t7yJ7y #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth

    Life With A Baby (LWAB) is a peer support system whose goal is to provide ongoing practical & emotional peer-based support for parents of children up to the age of six. For more information click here: http://bit.ly/2DS78eI #BellLetsTalk #BellLetsTalkMaternalMentalHealth


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


    Claire & the LWAB Team 



  • Monday, January 20, 2020 1:43 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    Since my son started school he's had some difficulty adjusting but nothing significant. His kindergarten teacher said he was "still immature for his age and seems very chilled but should grow out of it"

    He had difficulty with things like tying his shoe laces, he walked into things sometimes and didn't always seem to pay attention to his surroundings.  But nothing that would signal an issue.

    In Grade 1 we took him to a clinic for ADHD testing because he was showing inattention in school, was having difficulty with recalling things he learned and wasn't at the same level academically as some of his peers but not too far off either, again not a significant issue.

    He managed well, had a great vocabulary, and is overall adaptable and social.  He was also in French immersion at the time so we thought that was the reason for the delay.  We switch him to the English program.

    Grade 2 happened and while he could memorize an entire book and you'd be convinced he as reading it, if the words appeared out of context or in another book that he hadn't seen before he wouldn't know what the word was. This was a concern.  We didn't understand why this was happening. Was it dyslexia, a learning disorder?   At this time we had done a ton of tests and assessments. Nothing ever came back as an issue.  

    And then just to rule it out. We did a Vision Therapy Assessment and what we found out changed everything.  While I'm not yet ready to share all aspects of it - It's quite emotional sometimes and I'll share as I go, after three months of therapy we are seeing HUGE improvements in all the various academic issues but most importantly in his brain eye connection.

    I've highlighted some of my Facebook posts about the journey below.

    October 1st.  We got the news about his neuro-vision challenges, which was a surprise because we have been going for regular eye checks for both kids since they were 3 years old. 

    October 15.  Oculomotor dysfunction and why it's near impossible to perform well in school if you have it.  It is recommended that ALL school age children get an in dept vision screening for this.

    November: His first A+ on a test EVER but most importantly after 5 weeks of therapy we see a huge difference

    January : After three months of therapy we can see the difference in his eyes. I share for the first time what the before was. I'm beyond thrilled that his eyes are communicating well with his brain and his follow up evaluation I'm laughing and bawling because I'm so happy we found the solution to his difficulties. 

    It's difficult to share something so personal but if there is anyone else out there who might have a child who is struggling in school, they might be in the 25% of kids in the classroom affected by a neuro-vision deficit. 

    AND even if your child is doing well in school it is still recommend to get their eyes tested because vision is so much more than sight and you want to make sure both eyes are healthy.   For kids in JK there is a program through the government where the test and accompanying glasses if needed would be at no cost to parents. It's called Eye See I Learn.


  • Monday, December 23, 2019 11:52 AM | Connie (Administrator)

    What to do with a new baby in York North (Newmarket, Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina)

    So you just brought home your new little bundle of joy.  Your world has been turned upside down and you’re probably still finding your bearings as a new parent.  You’re likely home on mat leave now for the better part of 6 months to 1 ½ years and wondering what the heck you’re going to do with yourself.  

    Note: If you’re not feeling quite ready to venture out with your little one, please know that this is very normal and that everyone has their own time and pace for when they feel like leaving their home with baby; however if that boredom has set in and you’re ready for making some new mommy friends and to tackle all that Life With A Baby & your local community has to offer, check out these suggestions!

    1.       Join a play group
    Well… of course we are going to recommend ours 😊 www.lifewithababy.com/join

    Ours is FREE and local.  No membership fees.  All events are either FREE or heavily subsidized.   You will also find some local FEE BASED play groups locally as well.


    2.       Check out the EarlyOn Centre

    These are FREE government provided facilities available in most communities.   They offer free workshops, programs and free play times for parent and baby.   Check out your local EarlyOn Centre for their upcoming program calendar.   Note: EarlyOn Centres can be extremely busy in many communities and sometimes have long wait lists for programs.  Be sure to stay on top of registration dates and times to get on those program lists!    When EarlyOn Centres are filled, Life With A Baby is a great alternative and offers many of the same programs.

    3.       Hit the mall!

    Malls are a great place to stroller walk and meet other mommy friends!   Upper Canada Mall has their weekly Stroller Mates program for parent and baby to walk the mall with a fitness instructor.  The moms generally meet for coffee afterwards.  Life With A Baby also has their own regular mall walk.  These are lead by local mom volunteers and are a great mix of social time and light fitness for mom and baby.

    4.       Hit the coffee shop

    Going out for lunch or coffee is a casual and great way to get out with baby.  Life With A Baby offers many FREE coffee meet ups, brunch and lunch dates in various communities.  Check out the upcoming ones in your region for a great way to connect more intimately with other moms.

    5.       Take A music class

    If you’re a first time parent you may need a little brush up on your nursery rhymes and baby songs 😊 These are going to come in handy for interacting with your baby and for some of those long soothing nights of restless sleep.    Check out Kindermusik, Little Moverz and other local Mom & Baby music classes in your community!   Life With A Baby offers these regularly as discounted rates for members!  They are a fun and interactive way to build your music roster of knowledge while connecting with other parents and your little one.   Your local library may other offer a “Mother Goose” program.

    6.       Take an infant massage class

    Hands-on infant massage classes are an excellent way to learn some techniques for soothing and bonding with baby.   Life With A Baby offers these classes regularly for members with licensed professionals on a regular basis and materials are provided.   

    7.       Sign up for some fitness classes

    Your post-baby bod will thank you for taking on some light to intense exercise!    Life with a baby offer a variety of fitness options for members which range in intensity from gentle yoga, to barre classes, stroller fitness, Pilates / pelvic floor, bootcamps and more!  Our programs are geared towards being affordable and are for parent and baby to participate in together.


    If you have any questions or other ideas to add, please share them!


    Looking forward to seeing you at a local event!


    Connie Butera

    LWAB York North Community Manager

    connie@lifewithababy.com

  • Monday, December 09, 2019 2:38 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    Before I had my kids, I was warned that the days are long but the years are short. It turns out that all those people were right. I have a daughter in grade 7! It doesn't feel like 9 years of school have already gone by.   


    Our first child started JK when our second was only 2 months old. When the first school pictures came home, I filed the form away, telling myself that I’d order online. Then the year went by and I didn’t order.  


    The second year, I forgot to do her hair on picture day and so I didn't get that one either because I didn’t like the picture at the time.  The third year, grade 1, I told myself, “this is the year I'm going to get the pictures”. I don't know WHY I didn’t get them but I didn't. Either there was something I didn't like about the picture or I simply forgot to send in the order.  After that, I just gave up on school pictures. Since I didn’t do the earlier ones I thought there’s no point in starting now. And so it went on.


    Then, earlier this year, I found the file with the pictures - the ones they sent home from school - and I couldn't believe how much my baby had changed over the years and how much I absolutely wanted all those school pictures. It's not because we don't have some great pictures of each kid but the school pictures, the funny ones, the perfect ones, the silly smiles - they’re different from the ones we take at home. When they are older I know it will mean something to them, too. I still have my school pictures and when I go home and see the ones of us in my parents’ house, it just brings back so many great memories of school days. 


    I thought why not check online and see if they are still there and YES!!!! they were. I was able to access 9 years of school for Katelyn and all of Ethan's as well. I was so happy! I ordered them all and can't wait to put them up! I also ordered some for their grandparents who pretty much said "it's about time"! I loved the fact that Edge Imaging has the capability and the willingness to securely archive these photos. I’m sure I’m not the only parent who has non-buyer’s regret when it comes to their kids’ school pictures! 

     

    Another thing I love about Edge Imaging was how vibrant and lifelike the colours in the photos were. I have often heard parents complain about either school or professional portrait pictures being a bit muted but that couldn’t be further from the truth with Edge Imaging! They have developed their own colour management system that results in colours as lifelike as anything I’ve seen in a print. 

     

    I did a little research and found out that Edge Imaging takes their data security very seriously. Their archived images are all stored on servers located in Canada instead of on the cloud. This gives parents like me the peace of mind that nobody else is able to get to their kids’ photos. 

    I'm sharing this with you because I know I'm not the only one who either procrastinated too long or just plain forgot to order school photos.  So whether you missed one year and thought you couldn't get them or you missed 9 years like I did, if your school uses Edge Imaging, you’re covered. 




  • Monday, December 02, 2019 9:14 AM | Jill (Administrator)

    I recently returned from an all-inclusive vacation at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen in Mexico. I have two young girls (3.5 years and 22 months old) and the thought of going anywhere with them (even to the grocery store) can seem daunting! But, as foreign as the concept may seem, Paradisus Playa Del Carmen made travelling with my girls not only enjoyable, but a vacation we will never forget (in a good way)!! Here are my top 7 tips for travelling with young kids and actually enjoy it!


    Tip #1: Kids Club!!!

    I am expecting this tip to stir up some mixed reviews, but for me and my husband finding a resort with a kids club is a must! Don’t get me wrong, I love building sand castles, splashing in the pool and exploring the resort with my kids, but I also like, and need, adult time in order to truly feel like I am on vacation.

    If your kids are under the age of 4 it can be difficult to find a place that offers childcare. Paradisus Playa Del Carmen offers daycare services in a separate room for children 12 months to 4 years old. I love that my girls were together during the times we dropped them off at the kids club. My younger one napped there every day for 2.5 – 3 hours too!!! The older one even asked to go to the kids club almost every day instead of the activity we ad planned for them.


    Tip #2: Staying Active

    Staying active while travelling is important to me. It’s not so much about my size or concern about losing my fitness, but more about the time for me. With 2 young kids, exercise allows me to put my headphones in and just zone out. Even when we are on vacation, travelling with young kids is not very relaxing so I make sure to sneak away, usually during nap time, to get a workout in and regroup. I loved the facility at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen as there was ample pieces of cardio machines and strength training equipment and they also offered group training classes such as spinning, bootcamp and yoga. Everything was kept very clean and inviting.


    Tip #3: Meal times

    Meal times at home are tough so one of the things I was really looking forward to on vacation was not having to cook different dishes at every meal time to try and please everyone. Well… meal times on vacation were just as chaotic, if not more so at times, than at home. BUT, again, one of the best things about this resort was that the kids club was open until 9:30 pm. About half of the time we would bring the kids to the buffet to eat, drop them off, then my husband and I had nice relaxing dinners at the various restaurants they had to offer. The food was incredible, but I think the Indian restaurant, Vento, was my favourite.


    Tip #4: Relaxation

    Finding time to relax is an absolute must. It’s really the only thing that allows me to come back from vacation feeling like it was an enjoyable experience rather than just parenting in a different location.

    There are different ways to relax like lying on the beach chairs while the kids play in the sand, taking turns with hubby to sit by the adult pool for 30 min to get some kid-free time, or like mentioned above – drop the kids off at the kids club!!

    But, my ultimate favourite was taking advantage of the Yhi Spa! Paradisus Playa Del Carmen offers exquisite spa services and the facility is top notch!


    Tip #5: Sleep

    Any time we travel sleep is always disrupted. Whether it be the kids going to bed later, nap routine is out of whack or someone’s snoring wakes everyone else up, it is almost to be expected that sleep will be a challenge.

    Some of the key points I like to share with other parents when they are planning to get away with their little ones is to expect poor sleep and do your best to plan accordingly.

    If you can, I always suggest booking a hotel with a separate bedroom. Paradisus Playa Del Carmen offers a variety of rooms where you can have one bedroom closed off from the living area to a two unit suite. We chose the one bedroom suite and it certainly made sleeping arrangements easier for everyone.

    By getting a room with a separate bedroom, not only will you have a little more privacy, but it allows for the parents to have a separate place to go once the kids go to bed. It also helps to keep a similar bedtime routine as home where the kids go to bed in one area and they parents kiss them good night and see them in the morning (in a perfect world maybe).

    We take this one step farther… Our youngest daughter is still in a crib so we find some area in the room where we can put the crib and hang sheets around it so it feels like she has her own room apart from the older one. Anything you can do to make it resemble sleeping at home will help!


    Tip #6: Size Matters

    It’s true ladies… when it comes to resort size that is. The Paradisus Playa Del Carmen was the perfect size (IMO). Everything on the resort was within a reasonable walking distance with our young kids. We did bring a stroller, but we only used it when we were walking around with the youngest one every morning at 6 am in order not to wake the older one. They even had stroller parking outside of the restaurants so there was never over crowding.

    If you have ever been to an all-inclusive resort before then you probably know the feeling of waking up a an ungodly hour just to reserve a spot by the pool. This was never the case at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen! The curvy shape of the pools allowed for ample chairs by the pool and whether we switch from beach to pool and back, there was never an issue with getting a prime spot no matter what time of day it was.

    Another factor that I would never have considered was that the resort building were only 4 floors high. This allowed for quick elevator rides, easy stair walking and it didn’t take away from the beauty within and surrounding the resort by super tall buildings.

    Whether you wanted to go to the fantastic beach, one of the many pools, the water park or any of the awesome restaurants, everything was just a short walk away!


    Tip #7: Family Concierge Upgrade 

    If you have some expendable funds then I would HIGHLY suggest opting in for the Family Concierge Upgrade!! This upgrade truly made our vacation wonderful! We were assigned our own personal butler who made reservations for us every night at one of the incredible al a carte restaurants (otherwise it is difficult to get a reservation), he set up a special surprise for the kids in our room every day (balloon animals, treasure hunt, bubble bath) and ensured that our stay was everything we could wish for and more. There is a whole separate area of the resort just for concierge clients which included an exclusive lobby, a separate pool and area on the beach and a restaurant for breakfast and lunch. We were absolutely spoiled and it’ll be hard to vacation any other way!!


    I can't say enough about how great Paradisus Playa Del Carmen was for my family and I am looking forward to returning next year!!!

    Jill Franks

    Life With a Baby Community Manager

    Wholesome Habits Health and Fitness Coach

  • Saturday, October 26, 2019 10:06 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    Swimming! A fun, healthy, active, and inclusive activity that anyone can take part in.  The welcoming touch of water can bring back sweet memories of sunshine, family, warm sand beneath your feet, and the freedom of a holiday. Swimming raises our spirits and helps keep our bodies in good shape. 

    When we introduce it to our little ones early on, it opens up a world of possibilities for them: a fun way to exercise for life, a great way to meet new friends, and a feeling of comfort and safety that will allow them to enjoy so many fun recreational activities (among others).

    So why hesitate to introduce our babies to this fantastic activity? 

    Here are the 4 Ultimate Benefits of swimming with Water Babies that will make you want to jump into the pool with your little one today!



    Safety

    Safety is at the heart of what we do. We know that there is nothing more important than having peace of mind that your little one has the ability to keep themselves safe. 

    That is why safety skills form a key part of every lesson. Right from day one, you and your baby will start learning how to enter and exit the pool safely. We will continue to develop our safety skills the whole way through, learning to hold on to the poolside, how to float, and eventually even pool rules and jumping in! 

    With Water Babies, safety flourishes from play.


    Our Teachers 

    Water Babies teachers are not only certified swim instructors, but also highly specialized professionals. They go through the equivalent of full college courses getting 20-25 times more training on teaching our youngest swimmers than your typical instructor.

    But the most important thing is that our teachers love what they do, and are passionate about improving the lives of all our families, one class at a time.

    At Water Babies, we will give you the best trained, most passionate swim teachers to guide you and your baby on this wonderful journey of swimming discovery!


    Child Development

    Our programs are designed to help kids develop physically, emotionally and intellectually the whole way through.

    The magic of buoyancy allows your child to do things in the water they aren’t strong enough to do on land, helping them build core strength and muscle tone and stimulating cognitive development and hand-eye coordination.

    Our activities are also tied to development milestones, so you can rest well knowing our classes have been well thought out and planned with the underlying science in mind. 

    Your child’s development and success are our focus. And nothing makes us happier than seeing one of our swimmers reach a new milestone.


    Bonding

    Family moments are precious. 

    In our classes, you’ll get focused time in the water. There are no distractions and interruptions, just you and your little swimmer. Your baby can smell you, feel your heartbeat, hear your breathing, which helps you both relax and be in the moment.

    Your bond will grow as you hold your child close and have that all-important skin-to-skin contact in the comforting warmth of the water, cherishing every second of the time spent together.

    At Water Babies, we teach you to teach your little one to swim so that you can practice your new-found skills away from the lesson so that you can have time for just two of you, anytime.

    As you can see, there are so many wide-ranging benefits of baby swimming. Body and soul, physical and cognitive - every aspect of a young life improves and blossoms when Water Babies comes into the picture.

    Are you ready to start an incredible journey full of joy, development, and love for water with your baby?

    Water Babies Canada is here to guide you on this fascinating adventure!

    Hit the link or go to waterbabies.ca to find a swimming class near you!



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  • Thursday, September 19, 2019 1:42 PM | Allison (Administrator)

    This is a recipe for a lactation cookie that helped to fill me up when I was so hungry in those first few days after birth!  They have lots of ingredients that some people say can help milk supply, like oats, brewers yeast and flax. I would purchase these items from a bulk store.

    I modified a recipe from Dr Momma. The original recipe has sugar and brown sugar, and I worked to replace that with maple syrup.  http://www.drmomma.org/2010/08/lactation-cookies-recipe-increasing.html

     As with most of my baking, I mix in my food processor. I mix in liquid ingredients. Over the top of these, I place some of the flour, and the baking soda, and mix those together using a spoon (without disturbing the liquid ingredients). The food processor then does the rest of the work!

     As in the original post, these are great for the whole family. My toddler loved them and as I knew exactly what was in the recipe, I was comfortable sharing with him. I modified the original recipe to have maple syrup instead of sugar. I also change the order the items are posted to make it easier to recreate during the exhausting early days of having a new born! You could also make them before the baby arrives. I would freeze them as balls, and heat in my toaster oven for a warm cookie during the day!

    I hope you enjoy them as well!

    Allison- Community Manager, Life with a Baby Niagara

    Lactation Cookies

     3/4 c. nut butter (almond or peanut)
    1/2 c. butter, softened
    1/2 c. maple syrup (or more as needed)
    2 tsp vanilla
    1/3 c. water
    1 c. flax (ground)
    3 T brewer's yeast
    2 large eggs

     1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
    1 tsp baking soda

    2 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp salt
    1 3/4 c. oats
    2 c. (12oz) dark chocolate chips
    1 c. chopped nuts of your choice (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

    Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
    In a large bowl, beat almond butter, butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and water until creamy. Add flax and brewers yeast and beat well.
    Mix in eggs.
    Gradually beat in flour mixture.
    Add oats slowly, mixing along the way.

    Mix in chocolate chips and nuts.

    Place balls of dough onto greased baking sheets

    Press down each ball lightly with a fork.
    Bake 12 minutes.

  • Monday, August 05, 2019 8:00 AM | Chelsea (Administrator)

    Let me start by stating that my family of 5 has never been on a family trip together. My husband and I have 3 sons aged 4, 2.5 and 1 (and my youngest JUST turned one the day that we arrived). When we were presented with the idea of visiting Sudbury, I thought this would be perfect. Only a 2 hour and 45-minute drive from our home in Severn Ontario, so if we needed to abort mission due to inconsolable children, it wouldn’t be too far of a trek. Well I have to say, I underestimated us. This trip was one of the best experiences I have had with my family thus far. Experiencing all these great attractions for the first time together as a family was truly a special experience. 

    Attractions

    When I told my friends and family that we were visiting Sudbury, almost everyone told me that we must go see Science North and Dynamic Earth. So first on the list was Science North, which had a ton of great features for our little ones. First, we walked into the Body Works exhibit that was all about the human body.

    The boys loved the simulator that made their skeleton dance however they moved on the screen. They also loved learning about all of the different bones, and one of the staff there let them play a game where they guess where each organ goes in the body.

    Next, it was on to the Toddler’s Treehouse area for some play time. This spot was especially great for my youngest, as he was able to stretch his legs and crawl around after being in the stroller for a while. There was a mini pirate ship, complete with windows to pretend to fish out of.

    After this was the butterfly exhibit. This was a highlight for me especially. The butterflies were so beautiful, and I loved seeing the look on my kids faces when the butterflies almost landed on them.

    The boys also got to meet Maple the porcupine and Kash and beaver in their habitats upstairs. My oldest learned the lifecycle of a butterfly, and the height predictor guessed that my guys are going to be giants!

          


    Dynamic Earth was also mesmerizing for my guys. The big nickel was such a highlight for them, and they were so excited to compare it to a regular sized nickel, and get their stamps on their hand for admission.

    We didn’t get to do the underground mining tour because someone (the baby) wouldn’t keep a hard hat on, but we had a blast seeing the educational exhibits inside. The boys favourite part by far was the outdoor play area that they had, complete with a kid sized big nickel and giant iron dinosaur.

    My favourite attraction that we saw when we were in Sudbury was actually not on our itinerary at all. We had arrived early to Science North before it opened (that never happens with 3 kids), and so we went across the way to the Honourable James Jerome Sports Complex. The kids got to get some energy out at the park, and then we took a beautiful nature walk along the boardwalk.

    Another highlight for all of us was Northern Exotics, which seems like a normal pet shop when you walk in, but they’ve got an awesome exotic animal exhibit in the back! We weren’t aware of this until we arrived, but most of their exhibits are animal drop-offs, rescues, and animals otherwise in need of a home. Their goal is to educate and create change so that animals such as these aren’t in need of rescue in the future. My kids were amazed by all the amazing reptiles and mammals there! We each held a huge snake (against my better judgement), and my boys learned what the difference between an alligator and a crocodile is. My middle guy was obsessed with the Chinese chicken that they had there, and he was able to pet it and hold it as well!

    Now, we are frequent visitors of local play places in Barrie and Orillia, but I must say that Kids Ultimate Play Centre (or KUPP) in Sudbury was a whole other level. Not only did they have all the best play place attractions including a baby area, climbing structure, small trampoline and rock wall; the size of their slide was mesmerizing to my 4-year-old. We didn’t get a chance to do their laser tag, but next time when the boys are a bit older we will definitely be checking it out!

    We were also able to visit Bell Park and Boardwalk for a twilight stroll before bedtime. The scenery was beautiful with a perfect backdrop for family photos and a photo of our Life With a Baby crew. My kids were very impressed with the size of the park, and my husband and I even shared a few romantic moments while the sun was setting (well…as romantic as you can get with three boys tagging along).

    The Food

    I have to say, I was more than impressed with the food options in Sudbury. Our favourite place to eat while we were in Sudbury was M.I.C. Canadian Eatery & Whisky Pub. We didn’t have the dine-in experience because we have three rambunctious children, so takeout is much easier. The Mac & Cheese balls were a huge hit with the kids. I ordered the Chicken Asiago Marsala (which is making my mouth water just typing it), and my husband got the biggest burger I’ve ever seen called the Moose Jaw Burger. There was so much great tasting food for such a great price that we actually ate the leftovers for dinner the following day!

         

    Another highlight was when we visited Flurples which features non-dairy ice cream and other treats. The kids were so excited to be able to get their very own chocolate ice cream cone made with coconut milk and dark chocolate, and my husband and I got these beautiful milkshakes that tasted even greater than they looked!

    The Hotel

    My children’s favourite part of the entire trip had to be the hotel. The beautiful Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Sudbury was nestled in this eccentric plaza featuring a toy shop, sports store, and modern looking coffee shop. When we walked in the sliding doors we were greeted by the message “Welcome to Sudbury”. The staff were extremely courteous and polite, and our kids were super impressed with the orange infused water in the lobby. So much that we spent a lot of time there throughout our stay sipping water and chatting about what our favourite experiences were. The breakfast was fantastic as well, and included in our stay. Fresh fruit, bakery items, and even hot breakfast items (including unlimited bacon!). Even now, about a month after returning from our trip, the boys ask me almost every day if we can go back to “the hotel”.


    Final Thoughts

    Overall, our trip to Sudbury was a fantastic time had for all. I have been to Sudbury before, but never with an itinerary quite like this. I would definitely suggest a family choose this spot as their next vacation, and we will most certainly be returning next summer.

  • Monday, July 22, 2019 12:00 PM | Denise (Administrator)

    When I was told that we would be going to Sudbury, I was not so excited about it.  I checked the website and it looks like I could easily find similar activities in Toronto.  Anyway, We’ve picked some activities and mapped out our schedule, mostly age appropriate for our 13 years old.  Since my sister's family would be in town, I invited them to go together.

    We arrived the Hampton Inn in the afternoon after a 4 hours drive. Staff were very friendly and helpful.  They provided us some brief information about the complimentary breakfast as well as the free coffee/tea/chocolate station.  As soon as we entered the room, we found that there is a complimentary welcome package: 2 bottles of water and 2 snacks.  Also, a welcome card with my name on it.  What a good gesture to show hospitality.  The only thing is that my daughter has peanut allergy and both snack contain nuts……  I also love the little note in the washroom reminding us that they would provide some toiletry if we forget to bring ours.  This looks like something minor but it put me at ease as I forgot to bring shower cap.


    We went to Imax for the SuperPower Dog show.  I thought it’s something for kids but it actually is a 3D documentary about rescue dogs and their training.  It is very informative and yet entertaining.  What a good choice!!!


    By the time we finished watching the show, it’s dinner time.  We decided to try the local Italian restaurant Di Gusto.  From the outside, the restaurant looks a bit dated.  As soon as we walked in, it’s totally different.  We were greeted by friendly faces.  Interior is causal yet cozy. And it looks very clean and comfortable.  From the menu, we learned that all the pasta and pizza are made in-house. Hmmm, lt looked very promising.  We ordered a Caesar Salad and a calamari to share.  My husband ordered the Spicy sausage linguini, my daughter ordered their signature lasagne and I had the Yellow fin tuna.  I have to say the calamari is excellent!  So was the other dishes!  The texture of the linguini is chewy and oh, my goodness!  Every dish tastes so good!!!  Price is very reasonable.  This is the restaurant that I will go back again and again if there’s one near home!!!


    The next morning, we had a very delicious breakfast at the hotel, then headed to Kivi Park for biking and hiking.  It was a cloudy day so it’s perfect for outdoor activities.  I was amazed that there is such a big park around with different biking/hiking trails.  The level of difficulties is determined by the color.  Whether you do biking or hiking, it's the same trail. My hubby and brother-in-law took the girls to do biking while my sister and I picked a hiking trail.  The trail is wide and easy to walk.  There are 2 parks for younger children.  But to me, I like it that the park is huge and quiet.  It feels so relaxing to stroll around. 


    After a quick lunch (we picked up pizza from Di Gusto.  That’s how much we love the food there), we headed out to Dynamic Earth, the big nickel.  While the underground tour is the main attraction, there are so many interactive educational games we could explore.  The ground floor has exhibits of different stones/gems with many information. The lower level has a lot of interactive games for younger children.  The playground at the back of the building is a pleasant surprise.  My daughter paired up with her cousin to participate in the quiz and they both won some gem stones.  I learned that Canada is actually onf of the top 5 diamond-producing countries. Wow!!! 

    The underground guided tour is slightly over an hour long.  It took us back to 1800 up to the modern and post modern mining in the region.  It is very informative.  Everyone has to wear hamlet and they have size for all ages, including babies.  We have already known that the underground temperature is around 13C, therefore, we brought a light jacket.   


    We stopped by the Bell Park at the evening where it hosted the Northern Light Festival during our visit. We went there to just meet our other families from our group and didn’t spend too much time there as my daughter and niece wanted to go back to the Imax for the Marvel movie.  My accountant sister requested us to drive to Revenue Canada office to take a picture while the girls were at the movie. 


    Before we headed back home, we spent our morning at Science North.   Science North offers a lot of hands on experience.  There are 4 levels.  There are many educational 3D shows on the ground level which unfortunately we have to skip due to our limited time.  We didn't stop at the 2nd floor as it's for toddlers.  We stopped at the 3rd floor to check out the different types of insects.  The staff were very knowledgeable and patience.  They showed us different types of live insects and not just offered but encouraged us to hold them, touch them.  We spent quite a while at the butterfly gallery trying to take a picture of the blue butterflies even it is very warm inside.  We failed as the butterflies were flying very fast. Then the girls ran up to 4th floor and vanished, not really, but they were busy in trying different things: racetrack, fitness lab, human gyroscope...... It is our best experience at a science centre.


    How can we conclude our trip without a sweet treat?  We ventured to Tuscos Tacos for a vegan lunch, then hopped across to pick up some vegan cookies at Beards Coffee Bar and Bakery, lined up for vegan ice cream next door at Fluples.

    The weekend at Sudbury is amazingly eventful!  Sudbury offers more than what I expected.  There are activities for all ages.  It is also a very relaxing place.  We also love the location of the Hampton Inn.  Everywhere we go is just about 10 to 15 minutes drive.   Surely it will be one of our memorable trip!

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