Yearly Archives: 2015

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The first day of school can be stressful for both you and your child. Ease the pressure by doing your homework before the big day.

Next is negotiating the back-to-school supply list. As tempting as it may be to stock up on school supplies the minute they hit store shelves, it’s important to wait until your child receives their supply list from the teacher. Teachers can be very specific about the colours of the binders and the quantity of 2HB lead pencils each child must have. However, Carolyn does recommend you start checking items off the school supply list the minute you receive it, as stores can sell out of popular items at the beginning of the school year.

And before you know it, exams will be right around the corner!

To read more click here

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Nothing says summer like a night in a tent and a meal cooked by a campfire. Here’s how to introduce your family to camping. Camping may be more affordable than many other vacations, but there are more reasons to try it than saving money. Many families – parents and kids alike – find camping allows them to spend unique, quality time together.

Just ask Goldie Silverman. The Seattle grandmother still regularly hikes, backpacks and camps with her entire extended family. She wrote her first book on the subject, Backpacking with Babies and Small Children, in 1975.

To read more click here

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Tips for massaging your baby

Follow your baby’s cues. She has a large vocabulary in her body language and in the sounds she makes.

Talk to your baby. Communicating through words, and the tone of your voice develops your baby’s listening skills. And, of course, smile!

Stay encouraged. Even when your baby is not “attuned to interact and massage” at this particular time, try again later that day, or another day.

Create the right atmosphere. You need a warm area and a calm surrounding. Have a baby-friendly oil at hand.

Ask permission. Making small circles around the head or a suitable touch, warm up a little oil in your palms. You can say something like, “Hi Sweetie, are you ready for a massage?”

To read more click here

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How to make grocery shopping with kids, dare we say, fun.

Lianne & Andrea’s Top 5 Grocery Shopping Tips

1. Schedule, people. You know when your kids are happiest… and when they’re nastiest. So don’t think you can whip into the supermarket right before nap time to pick up a few ingredients. Plan to go after the nap, in early morning, or on a full stomach. Whenever you know she’s at her best.

2. Make it snappy! If you’ve done your homework and prepared a list, you won’t be chasing your tail once you get to the store. Make the excursion short and sweet.

3. Get kids involved. We know…

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We know how much kids are supposed to get each day, but in many cases, it’s easier said than done.

Show us a parent who brags their kid will eat everything, and we’ll show you a parent who is, well, not 100% acquainted with the truth. The reality is all children go through a variety of eating phases over time. Whether it’s the growth spurt of an infant, the assertion of independence of a toddler or the insatiable appetite of a teenager, our kids’ young growing bodies and minds can wreak havoc with mom’s menu planning.

We’ve both had our struggles with one or more of our children at different times. One of the most baffling and frustrating challenges as a parent can be having a good eater who suddenly switches her eating habits for no apparent reason.

To read more click here

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From the simple days of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey to lavish car-racing and princess “spa” themes, kids’ birthday parties have swelled to become fodder for reality television. Perhaps because of these tough economic times, or a desire to trim the excess, parents seem to be reverting back to the homespun birthday parties of our youth.

Personally, we are happy to scale back. Not only does it mean less pressure and less expense for us, it means putting everything in perspective for our kids. Do they really need to be king or queen for a day? It can be hard to come back down to earth after.

To read more click here

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Do you spend too much time chasing your tail?

These organizational tips will help you save time and stress. Does this sound familiar? “Mom, where’s my sock/guitar/soccer ball?” or “I have three lunches to make and the school bus will be here in five minutes!” With the school year underway, now is the perfect time to bring some order into your home and keep needless stress-producers at bay.

What’s the biggest time waster and stress producer? For us, it’s looking for stuff. Stuff we need and stuff our kids need. Right now. For advice on how to stay on top of the gear and paperwork of parenting, we turned to professional organizer Kerri Lewin of Clutterbug.ca, a company that provides organizing solutions for every area of the home or office by helping families establish systems that can reduce stress and save time.

To read more click here

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How do I know if my kid has lice?

First, you have to know what to look for.

  • You’ll either see the incessant itching from your child, or you’ll get a notice from the school or daycare that your child was checked and lice was found. If you are uncertain, confi rm the identifi cation from a doctor or a free diagnosis kit through licesquad.com.
  • Check places where lice like to congregate, such as hot spots around the ears, nape and crown of the head.
  • Lice are sesame seed-shaped, about 1-4 mm in size; they are grey, red, dark brown or black in colour but not white.
  • Lice do not fl y or hop. They crawl.
  • Lice eggs (nits) are tiny clear sacs when empty and brown when they are unhatched, or viable. They cling to the base of the hair shaft and cannot be flicked off.

To read full article click here

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An RESP stands for a Registered Education Savings Plan, it is an account that is designated towards helping families and friends save for a child’s post-secondary education.

Education - Formulas on a blackboard.

Mistake #1 – An RESP is too risky of an investment for me

An RESP is not an investment, it is merely an account designated by the government as a plan to provide financial assistance to children attending post-secondary education. An RESP has several features which include additional contributions made by the government and tax efficient withdrawals.

Mistake #2 – There is no flexibility when it comes to making payments and choosing an investment

If you want full flexibility in controlling how much can be put into the account, and changing your level of payments over the years, you should stay away from “Group” RESPs and opt for a “Family” or “Individual” RESP. Family or Individual RESPs allow the contributor to control how often, and how much money is put into the RESP account. They also allow for a wide variety of investment types to be held in the account such as mutual funds, stocks or interest paying investments.

Mistake #3 – There’s a chance my child won’t pursue post-secondary education, I don’t want to lose all the money I put in.

Through an Individual or Family RESP Plan, you have the option of withdrawing the money contributed by you. Any money put in by the government will have to be returned back to the government. Contributors can choose to roll over the full amount remaining in the account to their RRSP without any penalty. If contributors wish to withdraw the money as cash, they will be subject to income tax on all withdrawals.

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What's New, What's Different?

Andrea Howick and Lianne Castelio sure know how to appeal to the mothers of newborns. That’s the target audience of their highly informative video Bringing Baby Home. Maybe it’s because these mompreneurs have five children between them. They saw a need for a video that addressed the multitude of concerns mothers have about their newborns. The video tackles the most common questions, touching on everything from breastfeeding to the umbilical cord to sleep patterns, colds, fever, colic and vaccinations. Health care professionals led by Dr. Denis Leduc of the Canadian Paediatric Society provide the core information. Also available in French.