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.

We encourage you to share your experiences - by sharing your experiences and commenting on other posts, you may be helping other moms.
  • Monday, August 20, 2018 11:34 PM | Debbi (Administrator)

    We got to Fern late Friday afternoon and checked in, which was fast and easy. Once we settled into our room we met up with friends and wondered around the resort for a little while until it was time for the kid’s dinner. The kid’s buffet was amazing and had everything that our very picky bunch would eat. They loved choosing whatever they wanted and I loved not having to cook. Win Win!

    One of the perks of Fern is that it’s got a kids club. This is something that we were a little apprehensive about at first, as this was our first time using anything like it. I’m usually really nervous about leaving the kids with anyone new. You know how it is...between the mom guilt and the worry that if you’re not with your kids something terrible might happen. It’s taken me almost 6 years to get up the nerve to hire a babysitter so that we can go out on a date night (which maybe only happens once a month at best).

    I sometimes feel annoyed at myself with how much fear or guilt I allow into my thoughts. I have to remind myself that it’s ok to want some time without them, but I felt guilty wanting them to go to kids club so that I could eat a meal in peace, read a book or go for a walk with my husband. I wasn’t going to let all that stop me so I brushed off those feelings, prepped the kids and off they would go. No Fear! No Guilt!

    As expected our 6 year old went without issue. She was excited and ready to run right in with her friends! Our 4 year old was hesitant but with a little coaxing and his sisters hand, off he went. Then came the baby (14 months) - she cried, but I expected that and it was only a little bit of tears. So off she went. I’ll admit that I kept checking my phone and made sure my ringer was all the way up just in case. When we picked them up they were excited to see us but not because they wanted to leave, but because they had so much to talk about in the 2 hours they spent in the kids club.

    In the morning they were pumped to go back. I've never seen my kids eat a meal so fast! It usually takes a lot of pleading and maybe some bribing but not at Fern. They gobbled down breakfast and were off to play.

    It seemed like there was a new activity every 15 minutes and the kids couldn't have been happier. Between pony rides, driving jeeps, jungle gym, sandbox, wagon rides and really I'm not sure what else, but needless to say the kids were in a rush after every meal to get back. Our baby didn't cry after the first day, but she insisted on bringing her lovey along (once a white unicorn but now its a funny shade of grey even after being washed). She also loved playing a game where she would toss her now grey unicorn into the sandy water and make the lovely girls caring for her pick it up. She thought this was hilarious! Even though she can walk, she prefered to be held most of the time and the wonderful staff was happy to oblige. The amount of staff they had on hand to take care of all the kids was amazing. There was no shortage of help and you always got the sense that the staff was happy to be there with all the kids. This really allowed my husband and I to enjoy some of the adult activities, things like boating, axe throwing, swimming, batting cages, zip lining etc!

    The kids loved every minute of our weekend at Fern Resort and we as parents loved how easy everything was. When friends and family ask us “how was your weekend”, the first thing that we tell them about is the kids club. We think it's one of the best reasons to go to Fern and was our favourite part. They have such a great setup for families and for someone like me that tends to worry about stuff like that, it quickly put my mind at ease allowing me to enjoy some time without them. The resort has lots of wonderful features, but the kids club is what made it great for us!


    This picture is so cute and also makes me laugh, because anyone that knows me knows how much I loathe sand. The kids came back everyday with shoes and pockets full. And that’s totally okay since they were having fun and I didn't need to see it happening.

     

    Lots of shade to play in.

     

    The pony rides were a huge hit.

      

    The basketball courts were a lot of fun for the kids and hubby. 




    The dinner crew. The waiting highchair with clean bib and cup were such a nice touch. I really appreciated not having to think about bringing that stuff with me.






    The grounds at Fern Resort are so beautiful it makes for the perfect spot for family pictures.








    The gorgeous sunsets from the beach. Is there anything better than sitting by the water and watching the sun set?!

    Thank you Fern Resort and Life With A Baby for having us we made some wonderful memories and can’t wait to return! #summeratfern


  • Friday, August 17, 2018 8:36 AM | Cassandra (Administrator)

    When I heard that our LWAB training retreat was headed back to Fern Resort I was THRILLED. Last year was our first experience at Fern and my kids had been talking about it ever since. We actually live in Oro-Medonte so it only takes about 15 minutes to get to Fern and that's just the best thing ever when you have 3 kids who all hate being in the car! 

    The ease of our trip began with booking, we just let them know of all our family's needs and they had it taken care of when we arrived. Our room had bed rails as requested, we had a booster seat waiting at our table for dinner, right down to already having a sippy cup ready for Lucas - it was perfect! From check-in to check-out we were met with courteous, helpful staff, and every need was met. Can't say enough good things about the service! 


    On the Friday of our stay we spent most of our time in the pools. I love that there are multiple swimming areas so you never feel crowded. The water slide was a huge hit, I loved going down multiple times myself! We also checked out the mini-golf, basketball courts, trampolines, and of course Play Village for the kids! Dinner was a special treat because the kids had their meal from the kid's buffet and then we dropped them off at Play Village so that we could go back and have an easy meal with no one hanging off of us, whining, or rushing us! Doesn't happen often! Friday evening I was able to meet up with the other LWAB ladies while my hubby took the kids to a magic show and they LOVED it! 

     

    Saturday was training day for the LWAB Community Managers and I was so impressed with the conference space allotted to us by Fern Resort again this year. The room was comfortable and spacious, the mini fridge was fully stocked with juice and pop and there was a Keurig for all those who wanted fresh coffee. I liked that the conference area was in a quiet area of the building so there were no interruptions but still beside the main building so checking in on the rest of my family was quick and easy and, most importantly, getting to lunch was no problem! 

    While I was in training my husband had no problem keeping the kids busy without me. They spent a lot of time in the pool and then he took them to Play Village where they had their faces painted and they even got to ride ponies and go for a motorized jeep ride! The activities are endless at Fern! 

     

    After dinner Saturday night we headed back to the pool for some swimming before getting ready for the evening show. The juggling show was so fun - the kids were completely amazed and paid attention through the whole show. It was so nice to have some family entertainment before bedtime and it made getting everyone to sleep a breeze - they were exhausted after a full day of activities! Sleeping in a hotel room with 3 kids is usually a huge pain and I typically get about 5 minutes of sleep the whole night but there's just so many activities at Fern that by the time everyone's head hit their pillows, they were out for the whole night and momma actually got to sleep too! I'd give a 5 star review just for that to be honest!! 


    Sunday morning we decided to fit in a whole bunch of activities - swimming of course and then back to mini-golf, trampolines, and then my 2 older boys got to try fishing for the first time. They had such a great time and the staff have endless patience for the amount of times they have to put new worms on the hooks for the kids (yay for me not having to do that too!). 

     

    I thought we fit so much into our weekend away and then I saw photos of all the fun things that the rest of the LWAB crew had gotten to do and I realized that we hadn't even done half of the activities that were available! And yet we were SO BUSY and loving every minute of it! I really can't wait to go back next year to cross off some more of the activities from their list! Water skiing perhaps? Axe throwing? Our 2019 #summeratFern can't come soon enough! 


     


  • Wednesday, August 08, 2018 10:48 AM | Debbi (Administrator)

    Ever since our first time at Fern Resort the boys have asked to go back each summer. We are extremely privileged to be invited again a third year in a row for the Life With A Baby training and retreat weekend. When they heard that we were returning to Fern they were so happy that we were able to bribe them with doing anything before the first day of arrival ;)

    It’s All About Family!

    For a family of five, it is often challenging to get a room that has enough space and beds for us. Since Fern is a family-friendly resort, some of their rooms are already equipped with in-room bedding. The pull-out loveseat in our room (still closed at the back corner in the photo) transformed into a single bed that accommodated us without having to bring in an extra cot or bed. How convenient!

    Variety of Foods Available

    Unlike most parents, we like to torture ourselves and insist that the kids eat and stay with us. Plus, every time I merely suggest that they eat first and go to the camps afterwards they freak out. I guess I should treasure these times when they still want to spend time with us. I know sooner than later they’re going to ditch us for their friends :)

    Parents who want to have a relaxing dinner can feed their kids first at the “early bird” kids buffet starting at 5:30 PM and then drop them off at the daycare or camps for various ages. Then they can enjoy their meal in peace and harmony with the adults.

    Keeping You Informed

    As a planner of all things, I love that Fern has newsletters for the young and old. I love that they provide so much information so that you are able to do whatever fits your family.


    Conference Facilities

    If you are thinking of treating your staff for a family getaway along with training, Fern Resort is a great choice. They provided meeting facilities for our group. While the moms had their training and meeting in the conference room, the kids could either go to camps or spend time with their dads. Fern Resort did go the extra mile to make our group feel special. They even put the Life With A Baby logo on the conference package they provided for us.

    Continuing to be the Best for the Guests

    I must say I was very impressed with all the new touches made this year: colourful newsletters, a personalized conference package, in room wine glasses and corker, and a large variety of menu items. (Our family does not have any allergy or dietary restrictions but I was very impressed that they added so many different options for families who do.) I believe they take all the comments from guests to heart and make their resort better and better each visit!

    Last but not least, it’s the staff that makes our stay so enjoyable every year. From the staff at the front desk to the dining room, every interaction has been pleasant and delightful. They have been friendly and helpful as always with my family and with our Life With A Baby group. Our family cannot wait to go back again soon!

    Read our family’s first experience at Fern Resort - The Ultimate Family Resort!

    About the Author:

    Winnie Ng is the Special Events Manager for Life With A Baby. She’s a busy mom of three who loves to plan events and cook. You can check out her website at www.gatherconnectinspire.com and food blog at www.memorabledishes.com.


  • Tuesday, July 31, 2018 1:55 PM | Christine (Administrator)

    My family and I recently visited Fern Resort for the first time for our annual Life with a Baby retreat. It was full of pleasant surprises! It was our first weekend away as a family of 5 so I wasn't sure what to expect.

    Upon arrival and a very quick check in process, we were happy to see our room was all ready for us. Complete with a playpen that we had requested, two large beds, seating area with pull out sofa, extra blankets and pillows and a fully stocked bathroom with lots of face cloths and towels. It was so nice not needing to request more towels. There was also a spacious front closet which came in handy for our many bags, shoes and lifejackets. We had a great view of the pool area from our balcony.

     
     

    Nice to have some extra space in the room with 3 kids

    Pool view from our balcony 

    Meal times are a bit chaotic in my household but Fern made it easy even with our 3 kids! We were assigned to a table for our entire stay so we could just head to the dining room and be seated, no waiting or looking for some where to sit. A high chair and face cloth were waiting for our 1 year old every meal, this made it so easy to seat and feed him. The kids buffet is the best idea ever. As soon as we arrived we could order for the adults off of a more extensive menu, then head to the kids buffet for all of their favourites. Breakfast kids buffet had so many choices: fruit, toast, bacon, sausages, eggs, pancakes, hash browns and more. The kids ate way more then they do at home. All of the wait staff were so accommodating to everyone's needs, filling drinks, extra napkins, and anything else that you needed. We also enjoyed a barbeque lunch outside by the pool that had lots of options for everyone. My oldest was so excited to see tacos and corn on the cob were on the menu. They had high chairs outside as well, and a great view of the lake as we enjoyed our lunch.

     

    The kids buffet kept everyone happy 

     

    Shaded lunch with a view 

     

    We had a first at Fern Resort when leaving our 1 year old at the play village nursery for a few hours. I get nervous leaving him with someone he doesn't know, but the staff really did reassure us they would call our cell phones if needed. Of course he was fine, playing with toys and even had a nap, must have felt comfortable there! My 3 and 7 year old loved the play structure, ball pit and got to watch a science show with experiments and a colouring keepsake. They had a large staff available to watch all of the kids ages 0-7 and a gated entry and exit so I had peace of mind that they would be safe and have fun. It was amazing to have some time to spend together relaxing on the beach while the kids were having a blast. Adult time and family time, you can have the best of both worlds at Fern!

    This resort is really the ultimate place for a family getaway. They have so much to do and all the amenities to make your stay relaxing and enjoyable for the whole family. We can hardly wait for next summer to return to Fern Resort!


     

     

  • Monday, July 23, 2018 12:54 PM | Debbi (Administrator)

    We were so excited to return to Fern Resort near Orillia for a third year with the Life With A Baby team. My 6 and 9 year old girls were beyond thrilled when we told them we were once again spending a weekend there.

    Fern Resort has the distinctive honour of being where we took our first vacation as a family of five. Our youngest was just 10 months old on that first visit, and we were of course nervous, not knowing what to expect. The 90 minute drive for us was ideal for a family road trip, and we were thrilled to discover this gem of a family-friendly all-inclusive resort. They have thought of everything - from step stools in the bathrooms and public washrooms, high chairs and boosters ready at the tables, easy sleeping arrangements, an early kids' buffet, the various kids' clubs for all age groups, evening group babysitting - ALL included.

    This year, Fern Resort did not disappoint - as we had been twice before, we wasted no time on arrival and headed straight to the boat dock to go fishing, explore the docks and go out on to the lake on a pedal boat, before heading in for dinner.


    The next day was "work" for me with the LWAB Community Managers' training, whilst hubby spent the day with the kids at the pool. He was able to squeeze in some down-time when sending them to PlayVillage where they enjoyed the splash zone, sandbox, ride-on cars, pony rides, crafts and general play time.


    For our second evening, we lined up all of our favourite activities from our previous visits. Right after dinner, we went on the Sunset cruise around Lake Couchiching. There is a small fee per person, but well worth the hour-long trip to see what the lake has to offer. The highlight was "bird poop island" - an island where the birds all go to poop, so no plant life can survive. Just saying the name had my kids bursting into giggles, firmly making it the 'highlight' of the cruise and forever cementing it in their childhood memories.


    Each year the evening entertainment is highly anticipated. The shows are, of course, family friendly and the entertainers keep the audience of all ages engaged for the full hour. This year, the comedic juggler had us in tears with his antics. After the evening's show we gathered around the fire pit. We came prepared this time and brought along a bag of giant marshmallows and all the fixings for s'mores. My kids were in heaven!

    It was a short weekend getaway but loaded with so many activities for everyone, we had such an amazing time - thank you Fern Resort for hosting the LWAB team again.


  • Thursday, July 19, 2018 10:23 AM | Allison (Administrator)

    We recently had the experience to go to Fern Resort as part of a conference for Life with Baby. This was our second trip. We loved everything about it! We were there for a weekend, returned home, then went car camping the next day – Fern was so much easier than camping! While I enjoyed the camping trip, my Fern trip was so relaxing in comparison! 

    Activities

    FERN: There was so much for the kids to do at Fern Resort. As part of the conference, I spent one day in a meeting. My kids were with my husband, and they went on a free pony ride (there were multiple sized ponies, so each child went on a different horse!!), they played at the kids club – climbing the climber and sliding into the ball pit! There was a splash zone, and many different toys. My children wanted my husband to stay with them, but others were there under the staff supervision.


    Once the conference was done, I went swimming with the kids, then had dinner, and took my son on a kayak ride in their bay. It is great that it is all included in the package!


    For the bonfire, it was started each night at 8:30. We were able to enjoy it as a group on the Friday, then some of our families enjoyed it on the Saturday night, and one friend brought marshmallows for us.

    My kids, being 5 & 3, had never seen a juggler – I wasn’t sure what to expect – but my 5 year old was laughing so hard at the antics of juggler dad Craig Douglas! He did a great performance that kids of all ages were able to enjoy and understand!

    CAMPING: While there was lots to do for children at the campgrounds, most of it involved us generating entertainment for them, by having scooters, wagons, and toys available. None of this was needed to pack for Fern.  

    FERN: They went swimming in two of the three pools – they were mostly in the “deep” pool with my husband, but they spent some time in the children’s pool. The children’s pool is also where they have the adorable lounge chairs!

                    Each of the three pools was a slightly different temperature – so when we got too cold in the “deep” pool (closest to the lake) then we moved to the middle pool! Then, we got out, got a drink, and the kids played in the children’s pool! The children’s pool is only a few feet deep and very gradual, so they could walk in, jump in and play on their own.

                    CAMPING: While we were camping, the lake was very rough in the afternoon – causing waves and undertow that were knocking over adults. My son had fun splashing in the waves, but my younger daughter did not. When we went to the lake in the morning, it was calm for everyone to swim in.

                    FERN: The kids also went fishing. We brought their fishing rods, but sticks and strings are available at the boat dock. Live worms are also available which we used on our kids rods (bonus – the staff put the worms on the hooks for the kids!). My son caught a fish on his first cast! It was just a little fish, but my kids were so happy that they didn’t care! My husband was very busy pulling fish off hooks for the next hour!

    CAMPING: We tried fishing while camping, and there were no signs of fish, other than a dead one on the beach.

     

    FOOD!!

    FERN: As others have discussed, the food at Fern was great. To have a buffet with each meal, we would order our food off the menu, then get food from the buffet for the kids. This meant that they were not hungry and waiting for us. It would be my only complaint with Fern that food took a long time. For example, for breakfast they had an omelet, but can only cook a few omelets at a time. Thankfully, as the place is very kid friendly, once my kids were done they were able to squirm around and play around our table! There are extras that you can buy, such as popcorn for the comedian, and blender drinks by the pool!

    CAMPING: Thankfully, my mother-in-law provided most of the food for our camping trip. However, it wasn’t eggs benedict with fresh fruit each morning! My in-laws camp out of a pop up trailer, so they had all the serving ware, but it was so much easier at Fern! We also didn’t need to lug water from the communal tap and wash our own dishes.

    Packing

    FERN: For Fern resort, we packed clothes, and puddle jumpers. We packed a few books, and tablets for the kids in the room.

    CAMPING: We had to pack everything for camping! Linens, towels, tent, beds, pillows, in addition to our clothes. After Fern, I had one load of laundry. After camping, it took me days to finish all the blankets and extras we had packed! Even just going to the beach required a wagon full of stuff, where as at Fern, we just needed our swimsuits and puddle jumpers – we could get our towels at the front desk on the way!

     

    So while I had a great time at both vacations, the trip to Fern was FAR more relaxing and even though I didn’t get any spa treatments done, I felt very pampered! I will certainly go camping again – we have two more camping weekends booked this summer, I will be wishing I was at Fern!

  • Monday, July 16, 2018 11:01 AM | Debbi (Administrator)

    Here is a little video review by Scarborough Community Manager Alison with a couple of highlights from the trip. 

    What a beautiful weekend at Fern Resort! We had a blast. If you are thinking of booking here please do! Don’t forget to let them know Life With A Baby sent you 😀. Enjoy! #LWABfern2018 #fernresort#ontarioallinclusive #familyresort #summeratfern


  • Wednesday, June 27, 2018 2:10 PM | Julie (Administrator)

    It is the last week of school. THE LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL!

    No more routines, structure, pick ups, drop offs, lunch making (ooooh I loathe lunch making) and while that reads as amazing, it can actually be quite terrifying too. Like most big families we thrive on structure and consistency. With a shift working husband, 2 home business' and activity schedules for three kids, we need structure to make our wheels turn.  Our kids do well with knowing whats coming, whats expected of them and the standard ebb and flow of the day. So in  typical Type A fashion I am already 10 steps ahead of it.

    Organizing for summer may seem controlling and less spontaneous but anyone with a busy life knows that a little extra work now means a lot more rest later. Rest? Yup, restful enjoyment of the summer and of your family. Enjoying the ice cream, the backyard shenanigans, park dates, swim time, day trips etc. Being able to be in the moment versus planning for the next one. Organizing a little now can make or break how we as parents experience activities and extended time together.

    So, here are our top tips for an organized, happy and less anxious summer.

    A Constant State Of Packed Up 

    My family and I take several day trips, weekend trips or cottage visits throughout the summer. We have family and friends out of town from about a one hour drive to a three hour drive. We also like to check out various sites and activities within Ontario or the US. So to combat the time consuming process of packing and unpacking I maintain a certain level of "packed" at all times.  I keep a pouch for a variety of categories packed and ready to throw into a bag. It might mean purchasing 2 of  things so that you have them at home and away but trust me you will use them both and time is money right?  One pouch contains toiletries for the whole family; body wash, shampoo, conditioner, nail clippers, hair brush, toothbrushes and toothpaste (child and adult), face wash and moisturizer for mom (Mama needs her skin care routine!) and a small tube of body cream. Each product is safe for all members of the family to use and thus avoids multiples of everything.            The second pouch is medical items. Tylenol, Advil, Benadryl, After Bite, Polysporin, Band Aids, adult and child allergy pills, sunscreen, Bactin, Gravol, Epi pen and my sons medicated skin cream. Everything the family needs in almost all situations. I actually carry this bag with me on all outings whether they are local or overnight.  We also keep a reusable shopping bag packed with rain coats and boots for the family and another with towels, swim suits and shirts, goggles and flotation needs for swimming. These two bags live in our front closet for easy access and because they often need washing and repacking after use.

    When a day trip or weekend trip comes up whether planned or not I simply grab a few outfits, diapers, wipes, sleeping buddies, the pre packed bags and away we go. We usually travel with a booster high chair in our car for our daughter at all times anyway.

    Dollar Store Dollar Store Dollar Store

    Summer outdoor toys and activities need not be  complicated or expensive. Kids are happy with the simplest of things to jump start their imaginations. Before school ends, like many moms, I turn to Guru Google and ask "what are easy outdoor games/crafts/activities" or if I'm honest it actually reads "how to kill time and save my sanity" and within 2 seconds Guru Google has generated a huge list of random ideas that some genius person has curated on the perfect Pinterest board and who is most certainly not anyone I know, but bless them! I make a list of supplies that almost always includes markers, stickers, craft caddies, paint brushes, glue, sidewalk paint, bug boxes, kites, tennis balls, bird houses, paper airplanes, flash cards, play doh, bug nets, water squirters, water balloons, bubbles etc.  The environmentalist in me cringes at the plastic, excess packaging and waste but the realistic side of me accepts that I can save the planet in other ways for two months of the year. No straws kids!   I store these things in storage caddies or in bins on a shelf in a main level closet so that I can grab them quickly or my oldest son can help gather what he needs when he has an idea. Certain items I hoard for a tough day and then Voila! a surprise to get them through a tough time.  I don't often use pre-assembled kits because the time spent getting that kit ready or helping them do it isn't worth the few minutes they actually spend engaged with it.  Rather, I give them some supplies and say go find things outside from nature to paint, glue, build etc. Last year the kids spent 3 hours building, decorating and playing in a beaver damn they build. Thank you dollar store!

    Enough Food To Feed An Army

    It's been said for generations, millions of times, by parents of all walks of life simply because  its the truth - my children eat me out of house and home! We cannot keep our pantry or fridge full for very long. While it can be expensive to maintain our feeling is that the more healthy food they eat the more fuel they have to learn and grow. When school is in I can spend time baking, batch cooking and freezing quick meals and snacks once a week to keep us on track. With summer I batch and bake the last week of school to fill our freezer. Muffins, biscuits, loaves, quiche, egg muffins, meatballs, pre portioned smoothie ingredient bags etc. Do not mistake this idea as "my children do not eat packaged foods" because of course they do! I also stock up on jumbo size boxes of granola bars, crackers, gummies, apple sauce, trail mix, cheese strings, squeeze pouches, yogurt drinks - you name it. Its all about balance but more importantly its all about easy access. I store "anytime of day" snacks in bowls on the counter and containers  in the fridge or our snack drawer within reach of the children. Our "sometimes" snacks are still within arms reach but in a separate drawer. I make a menu each week and post it on the fridge so that we can take food from the freezer in the morning and prep it during nap time.  90% of our dinner is made during nap time when the toddler is sleeping and the other two are having a break from the sun. Having dinner made makes the 430-530 freak out easier to manage. Who doesn't have a witching hour with hangry, whiney children?

    Forget About Cleaning

    Ok, not completely but just let some things go longer then you normally would.  I clean because well I am not a slob and I am pretty sure I read somewhere that dirt and mold were bad for kids. But, I refuse to do it alone or all the time. When school ends we sit with the kids and we talk about what they can do everyday and things they can do sometimes to help around the house. We make a list ranging from pick up toys to pull weeds. The kids chime in and we decorate it. We hang it somewhere and every time we hear "I'm bored" or "Mama, can I help you?" (that one is rare) we refer to the chart. Some items are to do everyday (ie make beds, pick up dirty laundry) and others are  in red and are rewarded with money in their savings jar because it is bigger and more difficult. The kids love earning money and using it for something when we do go on an outing to a new place. We also pick one morning a week where we do major cleaning as parents. Bathrooms, laundry, etc. before anything else. The kids love this because it usually means a movie and popcorn. We would rather spend our time not cleaning then cleaning so some things get a longer time in between cleanings. But, life!

    A Summer Of Nothing

    While the above strategies make us sound super organized, on top of it, wonder parents - the reality is the opposite. These few things keep us organized for about 3 weeks and then the "survival" mode kicks in. Our plan for this year is to keep things simple. To manage our expectations and keep our plans minimal. Other then a few pre planned activities and jaunts to visit family we will stay home. We will do nothing. I repeat, nothing. The kids will need to be kids and ride bikes, play in the backyard, call on their friends, swim in the neighborhood pools, walk to the park, play in a splash pad, watch netflix (say whaaaaaat?) color, read on a blanket under a tree, fight, argue, make a mess - those last three on repeat I promise.. Not running around to outings and paid activities will make our mornings less stressful and minimize the witching hour hustle. It will help us to keep our rose colored glasses version of summer realistic. Eliminating frustration or disappointment when the perfect photo op, mind blowing learning moment, deep family bonding experience doesn't exactly happen so perfectly.

    Summer is so short.  The super helpful internet memes tell us that we only have 18 of them with our kids. So don't over schedule the summer, over complicate your experiences or spend your time on household tasks that can be managed ahead of time. Focus your energy on enjoying the  little things versus the mundane tasks that actually take away from your family and make life stressful when you have tired, sun scorched, sticky kids.  Those moments you dreamt of will happen and you might actually feel it the way you wanted to. With a smile, a glass of wine and an amazing insta-story!

    Or so we hope!

     

    Cheers,

    Julie

    **want to read more? check out my blog https://builtwithjoy.wordpress.com


  • Wednesday, June 06, 2018 10:07 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    I'm partnering with www.locallove.ca to share ways to give back in your local community when even when you are a busy mom and don't have a lot of time. I thought i'd round up a few organizations that support different demographics from infant to seniors.  Whether it's donating your time, donating funds or collecting items for the families in need.  You can give back to communities across York Region through these four organizations.

    Rose of Sharon

    Since 1985, Rose of Sharon have given young mothers the opportunity to work towards their goals in a supportive, learning-centered environment while parenting their young children.

    At Rose of Sharon clients participate in parenting courses and counseling while they are surrounded by other young women in similar circumstances. Our clients learn about motherhood, work towards their goals, and have life-changing shifts in perspective about their futures and about the possibilities that lay ahead.

    You can learn more and volunteer at Rose of Sharon https://www.roseofsharon.com/

    Yellow Brick House

    Right now, and every single day, there are families there rebuilding their lives. Every woman’s story with Yellow Brick House begins with the courage to leave a dangerous—even deadly—home. They share stories of terror, despair, and tears. But the real story of Yellow Brick House is about empowering women and children to rebuild their lives and we give a voice to the untold stories of violence in our community, raising awareness about the need for change, and moving our community forward to end of violence against women and kids.

    Life With A Baby York Region North is proud to support Yellow Brick House by providing necessary items to families for our Holiday drive. You can learn more and volunteer at http://www.yellowbrickhouse.org/

    Big Brothers and Big Sisters - York Region

    Many children and youth in Canada struggle with societal barriers and face adversities in their lives like detrimental living conditions, family violence, risk factors for mental health, school issues and identity challenges.

    These circumstances have nothing to do with the value of who they are or who they can become, but because of these situations, children and youth risk not having the opportunity to live up to their full potential.

    Even worse is the possibility of continuing cycles of poverty and crime or developing mental health issues.

    This comes at a cost to the young person, and to society.

    With the guidance and support of a mentor, these risks can be reduced or even avoided, and youth are reminded they can be anything they dream of being.

    You can learn more about how to get involved here https://york.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/


    CHATS : Home Care & Community Support For Older Adults

    CHATS offers a full range of home care and community programs that meet the changing needs of more than 8,100 York Region and South Simcoe seniors and caregivers each year.

    Under the strong experience and knowledge of more than 450 volunteers, a Board of Directors, and 340 staff, CHATS embraces professional best practices with compassionate dedication.

    Their Vision is that Older adults can live independently, safely, and well at home.

    Learn more about how to get involved here https://www.chats.on.ca/who-we-are


  • Tuesday, May 29, 2018 6:35 PM | Claire (Administrator)

    Maternal Mental Health Awareness – What are Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders?

    May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month and the first Wednesday of May has been designated as “World Maternal Mental Health Day”. This is noteworthy as in several countries, 1 in 5 new mothers experience a form of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (“PMADs”). As with mental illness in general (where no one is immune, despite their circumstances), PMADs can affect women of all ages, income levels, cultures etc. Maternal Mental Health Day is important because it is meant to reduce the stigma of maternal mental illness.



    What are perinatal mood and anxiety disorders?

    Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders refer to mood and anxiety symptoms that occur during pregnancy or up to one-year post-partum (after pregnancy). According to UNC School of Medicine’s Center for Women’s Mood Disorders, there are many different types of PMADs including:


    Depression During Pregnancy/Perinatal Depression: This refers to depression that occurs during pregnancy or within a year after delivery of the baby.

    • It is thought that while “mild mood changes” during pregnancy are common, mood symptoms can sometimes become severe enough to require treatment and depression and anxiety during pregnancy can worsen and continue into the postpartum period.
    • Factors that increase the probability of perinatal depression include if a woman has a previous history of depression or history of substance abuse, family history of mental illness, lack of support, marital or financial problems, anxiety, previous pregnancy issues.
    • Symptoms include feeling sad, depressed, crying, diminished interest in becoming a mother, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, feeling restless or irritable, strong anxiety or tension concerning the baby, difficulties sleeping, suicidal ideation, low energy, weight changes.

      Pregnancy Loss: This refers to miscarriage, which can occur at any point in pregnancy and cause physical and emotional pain and grief. Loss of pregnancy can lead to sadness, anger, guilt and depression

      Postpartum Depression: A variety of mood symptoms can occur after the delivery takes place.
    • Postpartum depression is more severe than what is commonly termed, “Baby Blues” which lasts for a short period of time (i.e. 1-3 weeks post-delivery).
    •  Postpartum depression has a longer duration of symptoms and can occur at any point after delivery.
    •  Symptoms include increased crying, feelings of sadness, depression, intense anxiety, obsessions, loss of interest, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, fatigue, irritability, disturbed sleep, appetite changes, poor concentration, excessive worry, suicidal thoughts.

      Postpartum Anxiety Disorders: These can include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.
    • Postpartum anxiety disorders might be as common as postpartum depression and can overlap with depression.
    •  Anxiety symptoms can include panic attacks, excessive worry, restless sleep, hyperventilation, and repeated thoughts or images of frightening things happening to the baby.

      Postpartum Psychosis: This is seen most often in women with mood disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder.  
    • Symptoms of psychosis include delusions, hallucinations and disorganized thinking.
    • Symptoms of depression and mania might also be experienced.
    • This is seen most often in mothers who are having a severe episode of a mood disorder, for example a severe manic episode.

    Can someone with a Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder apply for Long-Term Disability Benefits?

    Employees make applications for long-term disability benefits for a variety of reasons. When applying for any type of disability claim, it is always important to provide supportive medical evidence.

    In terms of maternal health issues, one example would be if a woman who has experienced a miscarriage was unable to return to work due to the severity of her symptoms and how they affect her daily functioning, she might decide to apply for long-term disability benefits. 

    In terms of long-term disability benefits and parental leaves, a long-term disability insurer will only cover the health-related portion of a maternity or parental leave. The insurance company determines which part of the leave is voluntary and which part is health-related.

    What does an insurance company mean by the term, “health-related”?  For a maternity leave, this refers to the period in which a woman is unable to work for health reasons specifically related to childbirth or recovery from childbirth. For example, due to post-partum depression or another type of perinatal mood and anxiety disorder. This must be substantiated with appropriate medical evidence.

    What would appropriate medical evidence consist of? With any claim for a mental illness, aside from listing your symptoms, it is important to show evidence that you are seeking treatment, be it from a social worker, psychotherapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, hospital day program etc. If you are prescribed medication, the insurance company would be interested in knowing how your medication dosages have changed over time.

    What if my claim is denied?

    Many claims are denied because the insurance company feels that a person is not seeking appropriate treatment or medical care and a denial letter may say that your claim is denied due to “lack of objective medical evidence” and that there is no medical evidence to support your reported limitations and/or restrictions. A denial letter may also say that you are past the typical “recovery period” for your illness.

    With any type of claim it is important to have your illness properly documented and to show you are attending regular doctor’s appointments and seeking reasonable and appropriate treatment. The insurance company is looking to see that you are making an effort to recover from your illness. When you seek regular medical attention, you can report your symptoms regularly and your treating physicians can document all new or worsening symptoms, how treatments are working or aren’t working and side effects of treatments. This information can be used to support your claim.

    If your claim is denied, you can fight the insurance company’s decision. You should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible so that you understand what limitation period applies (so you know how long you have to start a lawsuit) and to know what your rights and obligations are as an insured person.

    The lawyers at Aaron Waxman and Associates can help you fight your insurance company’s decision to deny your claim. If your long-term disability claim has been denied for any reason, contact our office for a free initial consultation with a licensed lawyer. A consultation can be arranged at a date and time that is convenient for you.

    Sources:

    Disclaimer:

    Please note, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not represent legal advice or create a lawyer-client relationship. Information from sources listed does not reflect the opinions of Aaron Waxman and Associates.






 

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