This blog is about life with a baby. It's not always you 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.

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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  • Wednesday, April 19, 2017 3:54 PM | claire (Administrator)

    The Leafs are doing great! The Leafs are doing great!!!  If you live in Toronto you can't help but get caught up in the excitement. If you know me, you already know I'm a Sens fan first, Leafs fan second and because of that, I'm glad that it's not the usual battle of Ontario where two of my favourite teams are battling it out, and most of the country is disappointed either way. This year BOTH the Sens & the Leafs are doing well, and it's exciting!

    Toronto, what better way for the biggest and littlest Leafs fan to share their excitement than with these ADORABLE bodysuits. For a limited time, Carter’s | OshKosh and the Toronto Maple Leafs are offering a FREE Limited Edition Lil’ Leafs Bodysuit to celebrate the Leafs and Canada's 150th year. This fun collector's item is available exclusively to Torontonians and families in the GTA until April 30, 2017.



    How do you get one? It's super easy!

    1. Register online at Mapleleafs.com/hockeydreams to redeem a FREE bodysuit at supporting GTA Carter's | OshKosh stores.

    2. Take the coupon to the nearest Carter’s | OshKosh  participating store and pick up your item. Easy.

    The bodysuit is a fun gifting idea to celebrate newborns and hockey fans alike (because of course, if you are a fan…they will be too, right?) It also aligns with both the Leafs and Canada’s 150th year, so what better way to say Happy Birthday than with Canada’s favorite sport.

    Don't have a little one in your family THIS year? Well, there is always next year, and as collector's item, it's definitely a great gift idea. It's unisex, so it makes a great baby shower or new baby gift.

    Get yours before they are gone. They are only here until April 30th.


  • Wednesday, April 19, 2017 11:34 AM | claire (Administrator)

    Guest Post from Ann Douglas

    My kids inherited a whole bunch of different things from me: blue eyes, brown hair, an edgy sense of humor, and an increased likelihood that they will experience an episode of mental illness at some point in their lives.

    While I was immediately okay with the first three pieces of the genetic puzzle (blue eyes, brown hair, and a typically underappreciated sense of humor aren’t the worst things you could pass along to a kid), it took me a long time to come to terms with that final piece of the puzzle—the mental health piece.

    Perhaps you’ve been grappling with some of these issues yourself, as a result of your own mental health struggles. After all, it isn’t easy to accept the fact that your child faces an elevated risk of struggling with anxiety and depression simply by virtue of being part of your family. Whether it’s an issue of nature (genetics) or nurture (family environment) or, more likely, a little of both (what scientists refer to as epigenetics—that multigenerational cocktail of genetic and environmental factors), growing up with a parent who has struggled with anxiety or depression or both does increase the likelihood that a child will experience a similar struggle.



    I have seen this play out in my own family tree, repeatedly.

    Not only am I the daughter of a mother who struggled with bipolar disorder and who experienced a devastating episode of postpartum depression following the birth of her youngest child. I also happen to be someone who lives with bipolar disorder. And I am the mother of four children who have been diagnosed with a variety of mental health, neurodevelopmental, and behavioral challenges (experiences I write about in my most recent book, Parenting Through the Storm).


    No one wants to see their child experience these types of difficulties, let alone someone like you or me who has experienced it firsthand. We know how difficult and painful it can be to struggle with mental illness because we’ve been there and lived through that. It’s only natural for us to want to protect our children from those very same struggles—and so we yearn for some sort of epigenetic magic wand that would make our kids’ increased vulnerability to mental illness magically disappear….

    Of course, medical science has yet to produce that kind of magic wand, so we’ll have to settle for the next best thing in the meantime: making peace with our families’ genetic legacy. Accepting that reality while also committing to doing everything in my power to help my kids have the happiest, healthiest lives possible is what ultimately allowed me to flip my mindset from feeling sad and guilty to feeling hopeful and optimistic instead. Here’s my best advice to other parents who are trying to work through these very issues, too.

    Treat yourself with self-compassion. You didn’t choose to develop a mood disorder, so stop beating yourself up for developing an illness that was beyond your control. Think about the kind and supportive things you would say to a friend who was feeling badly about the fact that diabetes or heart disease runs in her family—what this might mean for her kids. Then say those very same kind words to yourself.

    Spot the silver lining. Think about how much you would have to offer your child, if she were to end up struggling with a mental illness—and recognize that this would be because of your earlier struggles. You’d be kind and empathetic. You’d be able to suggest practical strategies for living well with a mental illness. You’d be a built-in mentor, guide, and cheerleader, in other words.

    Be prepared. Know how to recognize the early warning signs of mental health difficulties in children and adolescents. Then figure out ahead of time where you could turn for diagnosis and treatment services in your community, if the situation warranted it. You’ll feel less hopeless and less scared if you have a game plan in place. And, of course, you can continue to hope that you never actually need that game plan.

    Tap into support from other parents. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to support that parent. So don’t be afraid to turn to your parenting village for support. Reach out to friends and family members who are dealing with with these very same issues or join a parent support group (either in your community or online). You don’t have to face this on your own.

     


    Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about parenting including, most recently, Parenting Through the Storm. She is also the mother of four children who struggled with a variety of mental health, neurodevelopmental, and behavioral challenges during their growing up years and who are currently thriving as young adults. In this guest post, she talks about how she came to terms with the fact that mental illness runs in her family—and what that means for her children.



  • Monday, April 03, 2017 11:50 AM | claire (Administrator)

    I recently visited the Intergrated Kindergarten Program at Bloorview School Authority. The program was created by Dr. Eric Jackman Laboratory School (University of Toronto) and Bloorview School Authority more than 20 years ago.

    The IKP program is unique in that it's made up of a class of typically developing JK/SK students enrolled in the Jackman Institute of Child Study and a class of JK/SK students with disabilities from Bloorview Integrated Education and Therapy Program.

    The goals of this program are to promote confidence, self-esteem, and self-advocacy, to address inclusion, stereotyping and discriminatory behaviour, and to prepare students with physical disabilities for successful integration.

    This program is focused on helping children to advocate for themselves, to be inclusive, and an early immersion in understanding people who are different from them.



    Even though, I only spent 2 hours in the classroom, I could see that this program is fulfilling their goals. I love that the school offers a real play based learning but was still equipped with some of the latest technologies like smart boards and iPads. The day I visited the kids were performing a play. They had been fully immersed in what goes on with a play, from putting together the set, learning lines, helping with the costumes. The week before was the Dino Fair where the classroom was turned into an excavation site, and the children could be scientists exploring all things dinosaurs.

    I absolutely LOVED how this program lives and breathes inclusivity. The program is teaching children how to see the difference and embrace it. From an early age the program teaches children that regardless of our abilities and our differences we can all take part in a project, or a game, or society. While the focus of the program is on how to be inclusive of children with difference abilities, in the long run, these will be the same children who are inclusive of different race, ethnicity, culture, gender. These kids will grow up into adults with the traits that we want out future generations to hold.



    "The IKP classroom has been a transforming experience for my son Gabriel, who has cerebral palsy. All learning is hands on, and through play, he is building self-confidence. The uniqueness of the program is the integration of typically developing children, who learn from a very young age to respect the differences and experience true inclusion. This program has been creating human beings who are compassionate and able to truly make a difference in our communities" Said Fabiana Bacchini, parent

    My kids are too old for this program, but I wished I had known about it earlier. While it's not free to participate, it's is a lower fee that most private schools. You can find out more about this incredible program here. And check out the feature on Global News Making A Difference show


  • Monday, April 03, 2017 9:28 AM | claire (Administrator)

    You may have seen the news!!! Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is keeping his campaign promise of extending parenting leave to 18 months! That means if you qualify and can afford to stay home with your little one for 18 months your job will be secured and your benefits will be allocated over 18 months instead of 12. This will not be effective right away; there still needs to be some changes to the Employment Insurance Act. Unless something drastically changes, you should see the changes in about a year.

    Here are the key points.

    Parental leave (yes, applies to dads) is now 18 months instead of 12. Maternity leave can start 12 weeks before the baby is born instead of 8 weeks.

    What to expect for payment? Whereas with the 12-month plan you would be eligible for 55% of your income up to $543 per week. The new plan will be lower. The first 15 weeks, you will still receive the 55%, but after that, it will be reduced to 33%.

    Which begs the question, will parents be able to choose to do 12 months and have the regular top up?

    Qualification requirements still stay the same. You must have worked at least 600 hours in the last year. To qualify, you need to have worked at least 600 hours in the last year.

    What does this mean for you? Could you afford to stay home for 18 months? Will you want to?


  • Thursday, March 16, 2017 5:03 PM | claire (Administrator)

    When it comes down to hosting play-dates and meet ups most mom’s can be a little apprehensive about taking it on. I think the thoughts of food planning, spending money and having to clean your house are what keep us from jumping at the opportunity to be the hostess.

    I know when I am planning a play-date I am one of those who over-think it all and end up going a little above and beyond the usual duties. At the end of it all, sure it’s nice to have my place smell like fresh baked cookies and for my shelves to be well dusted, but I know the other mum’s could care less about the ‘staging’ and more about socializing, getting to know other mom’s, and having the opportunity to get out of the house and have their kid’s interact with others.

    Joining Life With a Baby has helped me and other moms do just that. LWAB encourages their members to meet up for various activities such as stroller walks, park dates, activity centers, coffee chats, home dates, ect ect without the added pressures of worrying about providing food or spotlessly clean homes. Since more and more moms are creating play groups and meet up’s through LWAB we wanted to make sure everyone knew how easy it was to be what we are now calling a Mommy Greeter!

    A Mommy Greeter is someone who loves to get out there and meet other moms, and kids; someone who is welcoming and enjoys striking up conversations about everything from teething to date night.

    All a mommy greeter needs to do is show up at the meeting spot of the play-date/meet up, at the scheduled time, and welcome all the moms and kids who show up to join in on the fun! It’s that easy!

    Being a new mom can be a lonely and isolating experience at times, but by being a mommy greeter you can get out, meet other moms, exchange tips, and advice and start some wonderful friendships that can last a lifetime.

    If you are interested in being one of our mommy greeters, please email bhavishree@lifewithababy.com

    If you would like to arrange your own meet up with moms and connect with other members in your area, visit http://www.lifewithababy.com/Member_Meetups

    Written by : Madeline Soleil Alaouze 

  • Wednesday, March 15, 2017 9:01 PM | claire (Administrator)

    Stigma is a real and debilitating problem affecting new mothers. I had Postpartum Anxiety & Depression more than 8 years ago and then had a second child without experiencing any depressive symptoms.  Since then, I’ve created a charitable organization that supports other new parents through education and support.  BUT the stigma is always there in the back of my mind.  Every time that I share my story, or discuss the challenges I know that PPD is linked with my name and if I wonder will this affect my career prospects?  What will people think of me?


    It’s true that, thanks to the media and others who are ignorant about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs), people believe mothers with PPD think of harming their babies or will harm their babies or children.  I’m baffled that we continue to talk about PPD ONLY after a tragedy occurs, and I know this only helps to reinforce the idea that moms with PPD hurt their kids.


    Because of a recent tragedy, I’ve had many moms contact me with severe anxiety, worried that they could “harm their child” because they have PPD. They’ve seen media articles saying that this behavior is normal, or common with PPD.  I’m seeing firsthand how when we speak about this only after a tragedy we increase the stigma and create fear.


    I think it’s important to provide credible, evidence based, supportive information about PMADs and clearly establish the difference between depression and psychosis.   I understand the need to ”normalize” parenting challenges and postpartum depression – I get it, I’ve been there.  Even so, I think this a very important topic and we NEED professionals who research or work directly with parents or who suffer from PPD to join the conversation.  The fact is: postpartum psychosis is rare and serious condition and should be treated as such.


    “It’s easy to feel, when you hear of a tragedy, that you are capable of terrible things. The truth is that the vast, VAST majority of mothers with perinatal mood or anxiety disorders never do anything to harm their children. Not ever.  “The fact that you have PPD or postpartum anxiety does not make you a dangerous person, just a person with an illness. It is also true, though, that mothers with postpartum psychosis or postpartum depression that has become so severe that it has psychotic features have the potential of harming their child. Notice I didn’t say they will harm because most do not and would not. They simply have the potential to harm, usually due to delusions and hallucinations that make a mom believe she needs to do something dangerous to protect her children or others, NOT because she is a bad or evil person. This is why if you’re having delusions or hallucinations or other symptoms of psychosis you need to call a doctor right away, for your own health and safety. If you’d like to see our list of symptoms, check here: http://www.postpartumprogress.com/the-symptoms-of-postpartum-psychosis-in-plain-mama-english.


    All moms who suspect they have a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder should reach out for professional help, not because they’re dangerous but because they deserve to feel like a healthy mom who is able to function as she would like. Additionally, your children need you to be as healthy as possible. Getting help is a gift to your family. You deserve to be well.


    Meantime, know that perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are very common and all the women who have them are regular, everyday, good people, just like you and me. It’s just an illness and is temporary and treatable with professional help.”


    I also reached out to Hiltrud Dawson, a health promotion consultant with the Best Start Maternal Newborn Resource Centre in Canada who provided the following:

    “Some parents experience irrational thoughts and may see repetitive pictures of harm in their minds eye, even without any other symptoms of a postpartum mood disorder. Apparently this happens to about 40% of new parents (dads included) mostly during the last trimester of pregnancy and the first few weeks or months postpartum.


    The theoretical thinking behind this is that parents need to adapt their protective system to protecting themselves only to now being responsible for a little life as well. A lot of things can happen and these thought flash into their minds. Sometimes it is linked to common tasks or circumstances (what if I dropped my baby in the bath, what if I dropped my baby when I am carrying her/him downstairs?) Sometimes the thoughts get more irrational, for example while cutting vegetables for supper, they may see a knife hurting the baby.


    Often the more they struggle against these thoughts, the more often they appear seemingly unprovoked and out of nowhere. How do we know it is a “normal” parenting response? I don’t think we can ever be completely complacent. A good assessment by a skilled professional would be very helpful here.


    In the meantime, getting someone to talk about these thoughts and images is very powerful. It does a couple of things.

    1) It makes the parent realize that the thought, picture is irrational and they often confirm that they would never act on this.

    2) It makes the parent realize that this happens to others as well. It has been shown that after parents talk about these thoughts and images there experience of them will lessen.

    If you have scary and unwanted thoughts and images or other symptoms of PPMD, talk to your healthcare provider. Get  a good assessment by a skilled professional and reach out for support from knowledgeable professionals and mothers who have been there. ”

    If you are living in Canada visit www.lifewithnewbaby.ca for me information on the signs, symptoms and where to get help.


    Raising a baby is a wonderful experience, but it is can also be a challenge… If you are a new parent (mom or dad) and want to connect with peers to learn more about parenting, connect with others, and have fun with your little one(s) join us at www.lifewithababy.com.  Our unique approach will help you overcome some of the challenges you face as a new mom so that you can enjoy your new baby and maintain a happy, healthy family dynamic.

    -Claire

     

    About the Authors:

    Claire Kerr-Zlobin is the Executive Director of Healthy Start, Healthy Future and Founder of the Life With A Baby program.   Life With A Baby is a three-tiered peer support system for parents.  It offers local, community-based social events to build relationships, online support, and multi-lingual parenting programs.  Claire founded Life With A Baby after her own struggles with social isolation and depression.  Life With A Baby serves over 5000 members across the province of Ontario. Claire is involved in innovative initiatives and partnerships focused on peer support, parenting, newcomer supports, parent engagement, and financial literacy.  She is passionate about supporting parents, developing collaborations, reducing social isolation, and building healthy and strong parent-child relationships.


    Hiltrud Dawson has extensive experience in the maternal newborn field as a nurse, midwife, and lactation consultant. She had been a health promotion consultant with the Best Start Resource Centre/Health Nexus for over seven years. Hiltrud provides training and consultations to health and social service providers on perinatal mood disorders and has been the project lead in the development of a number of resources for both parents and service providers such as the “Life with a New Baby” video, brochure and website. Hiltrud is also an active member of several associations and networks.


  • Wednesday, March 08, 2017 8:07 AM | claire (Administrator)

    So, the snow is back with a ferocity and you and wondering what to do with for Spring vacation. Should you go south to the sunshine? Should you explore some unique places not too far from the GTA?

    Well, with the rising exchange rate you may want to explore some places in your own backyard.

    These are my top 5 places to consider spending Spring vacation this year. Why these places? These are places where you can go on a vacation without feeling like you are stuck with your kids.



    Blue Mountain Resort

    From the picturesque village to the slopes, to Plunge! This is a great place about 2 hours drive from the GTA where the whole family can explore. Don't ski? There is Iwa Spa for relaxation including yoga classes. Have little ones? There is tons of activities and places to explore like Crock A Doodle, Glama Gal Tween Spa, lots of family friendly restaurant and my favourite. Snow School! You may not want to be on the slopes, but I guarantee you that your kids will want to be out playing in the snow.


    Kingston, ON

    I used to live in Ottawa and do the drive from Toronto to Ottawa about four times a year to see family and friend and I never knew what I was missing in Kingston. We had a chance to explore this city, and it is glorious! If you love food, who doesn't? You will be happy to hear that Kingston has the most restaurants per capita in Canada. Honestly, there is a new and wonderful place ever few feet. From the eclectic to the historic, you will love exploring this city with your family.

    There really is so much to do including a visit to the theatre, a visit to Lumina Borealis - which is a MUST! Go, you will not be disappointed.


    Fern Resort

    They had me at all inclusive. Pack the kids up and go for a relaxing trip to Fern Resort for Spring Break. The list of activities that are available with their daily programing is impressive. What I love most about Fern is their children programming. My kids always want to go which leaves me with some guilt-free time to enjoy the adult programming. Whether that is Yoga, painting, snowmobiling, or enjoying a visit to the spa.

    This is a truly a place where you can have a relaxing family vacation. With tons of activities, you can do together including dogsledding, bingo, ice fishing, indoor pool, curling, really the list does go on. Find our more about their programming here.



    Mont-Tremblant Resort

    This is ski lovers paradise! Similar to Blue Mountain resort, the village is very picturesque, they are lots of things to do with the family. The kids will love Aqua Club. The snow school is honestly one of the best I've seen so far. Both my kids stayed outside all day in -20 weather and even saw me on the slopes and didn't ask to go in or stay with me. My kids are 9 & 5.

    What I love the most about Tremblant is the Nansen run on the south side. It is the longest run on the mountain (around 6k) but also the easiest green run. This means that if you are not a strong skier and you want to practice getting those turns and improving your skiing, you have lots of turns before you get to the bottom.

    Ottawa, ON

    Canada's capital city is a must to visit in winter. Whether it's walking the Byward market, exploring the many museums, cross-country skiing in Gatineau Park. 2017 is a particularly great year to visit Ottawa because it is the home of the Canada 150 celebrations. Whatever month you go, there will be something unique and exciting happening for you to explore. Many of these events during the Canada 150 celebrations are free.


  • Sunday, February 26, 2017 1:14 PM | LWAB (Administrator)

    Continued from our post about RIU Montego Baby

    Again, as is the standard with RIU Hotels and Resorts, we were greeted with a cold and refreshing glass of fruit punch and lemonade upon or arrival at the front desk for check in which again went as smoothly as before.  Once our suitcases were brought to our Deluxe room with a magnificent pool facing/ocean facing view, we prepared for dinner at one the 5 a-la-carte restaurants at this location.  Tonight, we decided to experience Japanese cuisine complete with sushi, sashimi, tempura, and a teriyaki steak entrée.  The evenings’ entertainment consisted of live music, followed by a performance that chronicled the history of Jamaican music from merengue to dancehall and everything in between.  After that, the dancefloor opened up and the more adventurous and energetic of us (namely our 22 year old adult daughter) spent the night at club, our 16 year old stayed in the room with the younger children giving us a chance to try our luck at the on site Casino.



    The next day began early with a full breakfast on the patio to replenish our energy, followed by an excursion through the Jamaican countryside to visit the Bob Marley Mausoleum in 9 Miles which is the birthplace and final resting place of the late great Reggae Music icon.  It was quite a fascinating place to learn about the early family life of the Robert Nesta Marley whose family maintains and curates the mausoleum.



    On our final day, we took the time to say goodbye to our home away from home for the duration of our trip, the fabulous RIU Ocho Rios.  We had just about enough time for one final excursion and ventured to the famous Duns River Falls where we got the chance to climb the falls and traverse the rocks, the rushing waters as it makes it way from higher elevations to the mouth of the river as it returns to the sea.  It was the experience of a lifetime which we all thoroughly enjoyed. 



    We bid Jamaica a fond adieu as our vacation had come to an end; however what I think we’ll miss most is our luxury 5 star accommodations provided by the RIU Montego Bay and the RIU Ocho Rios.  I can truly say that the staff of the RIU Hotels and Resorts took excellent care of our family and I thank them for going above and beyond in making sure our family trip to Jamaica was a joyous and memorable experience all round.  One day hopefully (and without the kids) we would love to experience the RIU Negril which we hear is fabulous.


    Written by Roger Grubb. Husband, and father of four kids. 

  • Sunday, February 26, 2017 1:07 PM | LWAB (Administrator)

    Our family (all 6 of us) embarked on a whirlwind trip to Jamaica for a 6 day getaway over the winter break.  Granted 6 days is hardly enough time to take in the many varied sights, sounds, tastes and thrills of this tropical paradise, but given the fact that we had to plan our activities to coincide with the winter school break as many parents with school aged children have to, we did our utmost to make sure we incorporated as many experiences as possible in the short amount of time we had. 

    Our family consists of my wife and myself, our adult daughter who is 22 years old, our teenage son who is 16 years old, our 9 year old daughter and our 7 year old son.  In planning what may be our last trip where we all travel together, we wanted to make sure that we found a resort that not only offered A-1 accommodations, but amenities and activates on the property that is engaging, enjoyable and entertaining for ALL of us.

    We had the opportunity to stay at the RIU Hotels and Resorts and boy, what an experience it was!  We split our time between the RIU in Montego Bay and the RIU in Ocho Rios and we received first class service at BOTH properties.



    Upon our arrival at the RIU Montego Bay on January 02, 2017, we were welcomed with a cold refreshing glass of fruit punch and lemonade while engaging with the attendant at the front desk who helped make the process a breeze.  The staff was knowledgeable, courteous and was willing to accommodate our request.  We arrived several hours earlier than the regular check-in time and no problem.  Our luggage was marked and brought up to our room once it was ready.  In the interim, we made our way to the Mobae Café where we enjoyed a lunch and started to unwind enjoy the scenery and the beautiful weather from the 2nd floor patio.  I was especially fond of the Red Strip on tap.

    After lunch and when our suitcase arrived, we changed and hit the beach, which was a mere 50 feet across a white sandy beach from the building housing our double room (again, family of 6) for a dip in the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.

    Although (or maybe because) we were in the section of the property designated for families, there was plenty to do.  From the kids club which entertained the younger ones in the clubhouse with crafts, activities, games and water fun in the shallow pool and poolside games.  Adjacent to the shallow pool, was the deeper pool with the customary swim up bar; which helped lift everyone’s spirits.  If lounging poolside soaking up the rays of the Jamaican golden sun is not to your taste, then how about poolside entertainment presented by the RIU staff or a relaxing massage at the Renova Spa?  Work up a sweat with an aerobic workout in a RIU Fit class or a game of beach volleyball? If you’re into watersports then there are activities galore from paddle boats, to wind surfing, to SCUBA diving (there is a certification course that’s offered to help to get you familiar with breathing with the equipment before you can be taken out into the ocean).  There are also Catamarans tours that takes you further out into to waters of the Caribbean Sea where it stops and the adventurous have opportunity to go snorkeling and see up close, the many and varied species of fish and coral that inhabit the waters of the Caribbean up close.



    The activities don’t end there, in addition to the Café’s, Grills, and Bars abound, the space is transformed at night for a-la-carte dining where depending on your taste (Steak, Chinese and Italian), you can enjoy fine dining before adjourning to the main stage and for nightly entertainment consisting of dancing, bands, choreography and more artfully presented by the entrainment staff of the RIU on a rotating basis to keep things fresh.  The entertainment team goes all out to make sure that the energy level is high and the guest truly enjoy themselves.  If that wasn’t enough, the dancefloor opens up and the resident DJ spins the latest hits until the wee hours of the night/morning to help you dance the night away.

    On this trip, we were able to take advantage of much of the properties on site amenities; however, we also wanted to venture out and experience more of the local culture.  Thanks to the on-site travel consultant, we were able to arrange several outside excursions effortlessly.  From the RIU Montego Bay we arranged an excursion to Montpelier in the hills of St. James parish where we engaged in a thrilling Zip Lining adventure through the trees and about 3,000 feet about sea level.  Wow….what a rush!



    From the resort, we arranged for a taxi (Neville was our driver) who took us to local open air seaside restaurant in nearby Hopewell where we enjoyed the most delicious and mouthwatering Escovitch fish dinner.  We selected the fish (a Red Snapper) which was freshly caught and it was cooked to perfection on the spot with locally grown herbs and spices to bring out the flavor and tasted in a word, delectable.

    Our stay at the RIU Montego Bay came to an end on January 4th, 2017 but resumed at the RIU Ocho Rios later that day.  As we drove onto the property in Ocho Rios with it majestic palm trees lining the long drive to the main building from the gate on both sides, we know we were entering into a world of tranquility.  The grounds, full of lush greenery, and meticulously manicured lawns and gardens was quite stunning by day but by night it is illuminated for romantic walks and picturesque backgrounds straight from a postcard.  


    Written By Roger Grubb, Husband and Father of 4.

  • Wednesday, February 22, 2017 9:13 AM | claire (Administrator)

    So your little one is still not nighttime potty trained and it's causing you some stress. Well, the important thing to think about here is that Kids Have Stress Too. And unless there is a medical concern, you should not be stressing out about this AT ALL!

    Consider this: Did you know that 15% of kids aged five years old experience nighttime wetting?

    While you may be feeling some stress because you think your child "should" be nighttime trained, know that the best thing you can do is to be supportive and let go of any pressure. Your little ones can feel your anxiety about it which may prolong the issue.

    Here are some things you can do manage the situation.

    1. Talk to your child's doctor. If your doctor is not concerned, you shouldn't be either, until the child is at least eight years old.

    2. Manage the situation. Your child needs to be dry and comfy at night to sleep well. You need them to sleep well so that you sleep well too. No reason for you both to be waking up throughout the night when your child's body is not yet ready

    3. Understand some of the stressors that may be affecting your child's bedwetting. If your child who was trained at night is suddenly wetting the bed again, it can be due to some change to routine. Did they recently start school, did you move, was there a significant change at home?

    Here are some tips from GoodNites to help you and your little one manage. 


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