Blog

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

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


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


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

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

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


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


    Sincerely,

    Claire

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


    Virtual events


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

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


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


    Weekly Parent Connection Online Thursday, May 7 11AM EDT

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

    Mommy & Me Fitness Online ONGOING

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


    Missed a virtual event? 

    Here are links to past videos: 


    Parent S.O.S

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

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

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

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

    This One’s For the Kids 


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

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

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

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


    Just for Fun 

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


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

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

    But sometimes these days, you just have to laugh. 

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


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


    Sincerely,

    Claire

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


    CONTEST ALERT!


    🌟Enter to W I N🌟

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


    The prize pack includes: 

    ⭐ Multimedia Projector

    ⭐ Handy carrying case

    ⭐ YLife 120 inch Projector Screen 

    ⭐ Mounting materials


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


    🎈Head over to Instagram and follow @inventivekidz

    💙Like this post 

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

     @  Tag a friend


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


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


    Virtual events


    Weekly Parent Connection Online Thursday, April 23 11AM EDT

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


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


    Mommy & Me Fitness Online ONGOING

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


    Missed a virtual event? 

    Here are links to past videos: 


    Parent S.O.S

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

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


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


    • A few tips we picked up this week: 

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

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


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

    This One’s For the Kids 


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

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

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

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


    Just for Fun 



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

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


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


    Sincerely,

    Claire

    🧡 Thank you frontline workers


    Virtual events

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

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


    In this talk you’ll learn:

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

    • Health Boosting Activities

    • Supplements for mom and baby

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

    Register here


    Weekly Parent Connection Online Thursday, April 16 11AM EDT

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


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


    Mommy & Me Fitness Online ONGOING

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



    Missed a virtual event? 

    Here are links to last week’s videos: 


    Parent S.O.S

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


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

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

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

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

      • Practice self-compassion

      • Read the article here


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


    This One’s For the Kids 


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



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


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



    Just for Fun 


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

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


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


    Sincerely,

    Claire

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



    Virtual events

    This week’s Webinar with Health Nexus: 

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

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


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

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


    WHY:

    Parents need support; children need to learn.

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

    • How children learn

    • Setting up positive learning environments

    • Learning through the arts is fun

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


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

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


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


    Mommy & Me Fitness Online ONGOING

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


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


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


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


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


    Managing Anxiety: Watch the video here

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


    Parent S.O.S

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


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



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


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


    This One’s For the Kids 



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


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


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


    Just for Fun 



  • Monday, March 30, 2020 9:20 AM | Claire (Administrator)

    I think we’re finally coming to terms. Across the country, we’re all trying to do our part because we get it - we can’t do this alone. We’re in it together for the next while, and we’re learning fast. 


    This upcoming week, you’re probably preparing to fully take on the teacher role for your own kids. Even if you’re a teacher by day, this is different. Remember, this is simply the next step in your journey to learning how strong and adaptable you and your family are. Even so, go easy on yourself. We’re all being asked to do a lot, at the same time, very suddenly. Practice speaking to yourself as positively as you would if a friend reached out for reassurance. Go easy on others too, some are having a harder time adjusting. You can help by sharing your own tips for making this work as best you can. 


    On our end, we’ll continue to pull out the stops, calling on experts and pooling resources to assemble a dream team of support. Check out our listing below of virtual events happening this week and new resources.   Last week we held a webinar on managing anxiety. You can see the video here 


    This is the village, and together, we’ll make it through. 


    Sincerely,

    Claire



    Virtual events

    Why Focusing on Your Sleep During COVID-19 is Important, Monday, August 30th at 1pm

    Sleep is such a critical element when it comes to good overall health. Unfortunately, disrupted sleep, lack of sleep and sleep disorders can put our safety at risk, affect our mental health, and can weaken our immune system at every age. Any doctor or professional will tell you the best way to stay healthy during this time is by getting the right amount of sleep and eating well. Alanna McGinn will discuss 5 ways to help your family sleep well during the COVID-19 Pandemic and answer your sleep questions. Register here https://www.lifewithababy.com/event-3802689  


    Understanding the COVID-19 Stimulus package Tuesday, March 31 at 1PM EDT

    Besides concerns about health and safety, COVID-19 has left us with questions about the economy, our personal finances, and what our government has in place to help. Join Adrian Drew, Senior Consultant, Investors Group Financial Services Inc., as he walks us through the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, including tax benefits and financial support for individuals and businesses. Register here


    This week’s Webinar with Health Nexus: Being Pregnant and Having a Baby during the COVID-19 Pandemic - Wednesday, April 1 at 1PM EDT
    A midwife and lactation consultant will discuss current information and tips on how to navigate pregnancy, birth, newborn care and breastfeeding during this time. Register here

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

    Infant Massage Workshop, Thursday, April 2nd at 1pm
    Did you know Infant Massage helps to increase communication and bonding between caregiver and baby? It also helps to promote regular sleeping patterns and to relieve colic and gas. Join us as we walk you through Infant Massage techniques, learning your babies cues and having a great time relaxing together.  Register here 

     

    Coffee & Chat Friday, April 3rd at 3:30am PM
    Join us along with Emily Pollak and other parents for an online chat. Think of it as a coffee date, but from the comfort of your own home, or comfortable space. Grab a cup of tea or coffee, and log in to the video chat with other parents in a casual atmosphere. Register here

     

    HOPE: A Group For mothers experiencing a Postpartum Mood or Anxiety Disorder:

    Online PMAD Support Group -  Facilitated by a social worker and LWAB mom Friday, April 3 11-11:45 AM EDT 

    This group will give you the opportunity to connect with other women and get support and education regarding postpartum mood, strategies for coping, resources and referrals. 

    Register here

    Mommy & Me Fitness Online - ONGOING

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


    Last week:
    Managing Anxiety Webinar with Health Nexus  Watch the video HERE
    We’ve teamed up with Best Start by Health Nexus to provide you with some resources, and information on managing anxiety while social distancing.  We’ll also have a session specifically for dads by Brian Russell from Dads Today on helping new moms at home as they navigate this period after giving birth.


    Parent S.O.S

    Finally we have a proper school curriculum! Of course, there are still a few leftover hours in the day no curriculum can cover. Here are this week’s tools and resources to help keep the kids off of your video conference call:


    • Our friends at Best Start create a number of resources to help manage emotional and mental health and in particular for expectant and new mothers. If you are expecting or a new parent, the Managing Depression: Self Help Skills Workbook is a great resource to help navigate this confusing and uncertain time. 


    • If your feelings of stress or anxiousness is becoming too much to manage, Bounce Back may be able to help. They provide virtual Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sessions, workshops and tools for youth 15-18 and adults 19+. 


    • Is it just us or are the kids eating All. The. Time? No time like the present to get them learning how to fix their own meals and snacks. Tasty has you covered with these 52 (!) kid-friendly options. These are also great with zero kid involvement (we won’t tell). 


    • You’ve probably gotten your share of work from home tips, from the sensible to the silly. Charity Village has been virtual since its start in 1995. Save to say they really know how to make work-from-home, well, work. Check out these best practice tips



    This One’s For the Kids 


    • The YMCA of Greater Toronto has put together a daily schedule of fun activities for the whole family! Visit their Facebook Page to catch the daily Live broadcast 

    • Math, but make it fun! Cool Math Games disguises math learning for every age and stage with truly fun video games! 


    • Beloved author and animator Mo Willems is hosting a daily doodle class! Follow his Instagram page for info and find the daily lunchtime lessons here


    • Finally, a podcast for kids, by kids answering the top question of all time - “Why”? Look for “But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids” on your platform of choice. The podcast and the accompanying site are full of great info and should hold them for at least long enough for you to make another sandwich. 



    Just for Fun 



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  • Tuesday, March 24, 2020 9:21 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    How many months in a week? 

    Top question of the year - or is it just me?! We are officially all with the new normal. This week, we had the pleasure of having author and speaker Ann Douglas lead a conversation on Facebook about parenting through difficult times. In her book Parenting Through the Storm, she outlines how her family made it through a tough period and made it out to the other side. She includes terrific tips on how to do so in your own life, and in an easy-to-understand way. If ever this was relevant, it’s now. Head over to our Facebook page to watch the video


    Let me say this, you’re doing a fantastic job. You’ve been thrown a whammy and kept moving, and for that, you ought to be proud. We’ve seen a growing swell of kindness and community that makes even the most stoic tear up. What a beautiful lesson for our children to learn in real-time. I appreciate this chance to spend higher-quality time with my kids and watch them discover new things about themselves, including how resilient they are in the process. 

    Let this be our common theme this week - be kind to yourself and to each other



    We know the importance of the village and while we cannot be with each other in person, yet. We have some great upcoming events and ways for us to connect online. 


    Coffee Chat & Selfcare Wednesday, March 25th at 10:30am
    Join us along with Emily Pollak and other parents for an online chat. Think of it as a coffee date, but from the comfort of your own home, or comfortable space. 

    Grab a cup of tea or coffee, and log in to the video chat with other parents in a casual atmosphere.  Register at https://www.lifewithababy.com/event-3793820



    Managing Anxiety Webinar with Health Nexus
    We’ve teamed up with Best Start by Health Nexus to provide you with some resources, and information on managing anxiety while social distancing.  We’ll also have a session specifically for dads by Brian Russell from Dad Central Ontario on helping new moms at home as they navigate this period after giving birth. Tomorrow  Mar 25, at 1:00 PM to 1:45PM EST.  We will record this webinar and share for those who cannot make it live.   Register here https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2897729215925164045

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

     

    Online PMAD Support Group HOPE: A Group For mothers experiencing a Postpartum Mood or Anxiety Disorder  : Online Support Group Confidential group - register and then details on how to participate will be emailed out for privacy of everyone https://www.lifewithababy.com/event-3799569



    Understanding the COVID-19 Stimulus package

    Besides concerns about health and safety, COVID-19 has left us with questions about the economy, our personal finances, and what our government has in place to help. Join Adrian Drew, Senior Consultant, Investors Group Financial Services Inc., as he walks us through the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, including tax benefits and financial support for individuals and businesses. Register here https://www.lifewithababy.com/event-3799581



    Parent S.O.S

    A week in, you’re probably slowly getting better at knowing what you and your family need to manage every day. Give yourself a pat on the back because that’s no easy feat. Be kind and patient with yourself, your partner, your parents, your kids. You’ve got this. Check out this week’s tips you can put into practice today: 



    This One’s For the Kids 

    Avoid the “I’m bored” mantra and help kids work through their own feelings with these great resources:


    • Right now it’s tough for kids to navigate their feelings too. The #FromFeartoHope Workbook is a wonderful guide about how to help them work through the feelings a crisis can bring - and it’s free to download

    • ...and check out this resource from Kids Help Phone for help with pre/teens and mental health resources

    • The Toronto Songwriting School has generously created a listing of musicians and schools offering free online sing-alongs, livestream concerts, and impromptu performances to keep the joy of music flowing. Check back often! 

    • Check this GREAT video for kids about social distancing and hand-washing from TVO Kids

    • Stuck for arts and crafts ideas? Check out this free resource for easy step-by-step videos



    Just for Fun for all of us working from home while also homeschooling our kids and pretending this is all A-OK! 


    With SO much love from all of us at LWAB. This too shall pass. With lots of love from our families to yours. 



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  • Monday, March 16, 2020 3:59 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    We are officially in strange times. While we’re now required to be closer than ever to ourselves and our families, we are also more physically isolated than ever from each other. But that doesn’t mean we’re in this alone.



    We‘ve got our village, and we’re here to make sure we all make it through this as best we can. So every week, we’ll share this special newsletter full of tips, information, resources and fun. Stay tuned on our Facebook pages and Managing the Motherload group to stay connected to each other. Let’s make sure the kids (and everyone else) are all right. We’re in it together! 


    Sincerely, 

    Claire


    Parent S.O.S

    To say this is a stressful or anxiety-inducing time is an understatement. The good thing is there are great resources to help manage these genuine feelings. Check out the below for tips you can put into practice today: 



    This One’s For the Kids 

    March Break, Summer break and even family vacation never required this level of sustained togetherness! We are in unusual times. Extraordinary times call for exceptional measures. Check out these free resources to keep the kids busy (and out of your hair - for a bit anyway). 



    Just for Fun 


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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.

    If you are in the GTA and want to get a vision therapy assessment, check out Minds Eye Neuro-visual Optometry 


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