Choosing Activities For Your Kids

kyle hiphop

Registration just opened up for spring/summer recreational activities that are run through the City of Ottawa.  It’s always difficult finding programs that the kids are interested in, are affordable and convenient both time and location wise.

For our family, we decided a long time ago that the kids would do no more than 2 activities per session. In the winter they will do a skating class and can choose another activity that interests them (hip hop, cooking, gymnastics and indoor soccer are some of the ones so far); In the spring they can choose one activity, the summer they do swimming and Mr. J plays soccer and in the fall they can choose one activity and sometimes we enroll them in swimming as well. There are a few reasons behind this decision:

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How Valentine’s Day Has Changed Over the Years

Unless you are living under a rock, you likely know that today is Valentine’s Day! You know, the day of love! Or more like, the day where all the stores tell you that you should buy this stuffed animal, or that box of chocolates, spend $100 on flowers that are likely to be dried up in a weeks’ time. The holiday of love that is crazily over commercialized!

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a Valentine’s Day hater, quite the opposite! I love all holidays! I just don’t buy into the commercialism of this holiday by any means.

My husband and I have been together for 15 years. When we first started dating, I was only 16 and I wanted very much to receive the jewelry, flowers, chocolates and gifts! Battle the crowds and go out for dinner, all to be able to say what I got and what I did and feel ‘loved.’ We actually got engaged on Valentine’s Day, so cliché but true!

Now that we have children and our lives have changed drastically from those first years together celebrating Valentine’s Day, this holiday has changed for me and the meaning of it too.

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Giving Back

December can be a crazy month – both time wise and monetary.  Sometimes it is easier to “forget” that there are others that have less, or nothing at all, and focus on ourselves and our family.  However, the need doesn’t go away.

To help out others at this time of year (although it really is something that needs to be done ALL year) there are many ways that it can be done – and some don’t cost any money.
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The Reason I am Dreading Back to School

I have to admit, being a stay at home – work at home Mom, I am kind of looking forward to my daughter heading back to school. I enjoy the ease of no real routine during the summer – waking up when we want for the most part, staying in our jammies if we feel like, staying up later in the evening to watch a movie, etc. But it will be nice to go back to less screaming and fighting between my 2 kids! It will also make it a little easier for me to run errands with 1 child versus 2. All that said, my daughter is really helpful and I do enjoy having her home. Plus I know my son will really, really miss her when she goes back this year!

So while I am for sure ‘pro-going-back-to-school,’ there is one thing about my daughter going back that I am not looking forward to. Like, at all. Not one bit.

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Single Moms: How to Bond With Your Daughters

When I first became a single Mother in 2002, I was terrified. Growing up, I was surrounded with messages of how incapable I was of supporting myself and a family. At least, that is how my growing mind interpreted statements such as, “I hope you marry someone rich someday, you’ll need him to pay for your expensive tastes.” Another one was, “I hope you find a good husband to take care of you.”  When my childrens’ Father moved out, these statements echoed and I was crippled with fear. My oldest daughter was 3 1/2 and my baby girl was 4 months old. My post partum depression and anxiety was in overdrive. I dropped to about 85 pounds as the stress was just melting me away. The only clothes I could find to fit were size 14 kids. I was a mess.

My inspiration and what helped keep me going toward becoming mentally and physically healthy again was my love for my baby girls. They were watching my every move. For them to grow strong, I had to grow stronger.

My Mother passed away when I was four months old.  I was her only child. I still day dream of what she would be like. I still make up stories where she reappears, just like in the movies, after leaving her life as a top secret spy. She was my idol, my mentor, my Mother who I never knew. Yet there was an anger inside. An anger over being left behind. Every time I saw little girls bonding with their Mothers, doing fun family things, I felt angry and sorry for myself.

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My Cheo Story

Hi there, my name is Chris Read and I run the blog Canadian Dad. I was asked by the wonderful people at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario if I would be willing to contribute to their brand new parenting blog and I gladly jumped at the opportunity!

I’m guessing you’ll be seeing a lot of me around these parts as I share my tales of fatherhood with you all. With my first post, I wanted to share my CHEO story with you so I could try to explain why I love this hospital so much.

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