Family

Kinder Moments – Celebrate to Win a Digital Camera

Kinder Surprise 2012

Kinder Surprise 2012

I’ve had the pleasure of writing about and getting to know Kinder Surprise over the last few months as a Kinder Mom. And today, as always, I get to write about yet another way Kinder is helping families celebrate the big and small moments.

CELEBRATING SHARED MOMENTS

This month on the Kinder Canada Facebook page, you can register to create your own My KINDER® Moments album.

My KINDER® Moments is a tool created to help you frame special moments of joy in themed frames. It’s not just about the big days like Thanksgiving, birthdays and Christmas but the small things too like a beautiful fall day or a visit from the tooth fairy. And there’s an added bonus. Each time you create a themed frame, you will be entered to win a compact digital camera valued at $500.

CREATING YOUR THEMED FRAME

It’s super easy to do. Visit the own My KINDER® Moments page and click on the Let’s Get Started button.

From there you can view the different frames available like the Halloween frame, the Happy Birthday frame and the Everyday frame. Upload your image and you’re done. You can even share your creation on your profile page.

1. Select the moment you want to celebrate:

2. Upload your image (from your PC or your FB profile)

3. Save & Share!


Enjoy celebrating with My KINDER Moments and good luck in the contest.

Disclosure: I’m part of the KINDER® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

City Mom

Making Time for Play – Part II

Kinder Surprise 2012

Kinder Surprise 2012

Now that school is back in session and we’re back to our normal, everyday lives, making time for play is more important than ever.

My favourite thing to do on any given day is to spend time with my daughter and my husband as a family doing fun stuff. Unfortunately I`m not able to spend most of my time doing this. I’ve got my career, household chores like cooking, grocery shopping etc. and my own personal endeavors like blogging, exercising etc.

Including my daughter in as much of my must-do’s as possible is a win-win scenario. Not only do I get to spend more quality time with her, but I also get to knock a few things off my To-Do list. Here’s one creative way I ‘play’ with my daughter while completing a family necessity.

CITY MOM’S COOKING SHOW

Did you know that I have my own cooking show? It’s true I do. A few times a week the cameras start rolling in my kitchen as my daughter and I, a.k.a. Chef Kellé and Chef Kate, create healthy and fun meals.

We pretend there are cameras following our every move in the kitchen. We provide commentary on our actions as we prepare our meal and instruct our viewers on how to follow along.

I’m not exactly sure how we created this game but I think it came from my secret desire to be on TV and perhaps hers too. Little S has always loved to help me in the kitchen but now we’ve made a game out of it and it’s one she truly looks forward to. As soon as she hears that clatter and clang of the pots and pans in the kitchen, she comes running, ready for another day of taping. We love this time together and it achieves so many positive things.

Kinder Surprise 2012

LET KIDS BE KIDS WITH KINDER® CANADA

Children learn through play and while it may appear as just play to an adult, this is actually kids at work. Letting kids be kids is the most important gift we can give to our children and KINDER® believes in this philosophy whole-heartedly, and continues to strive to create moments of joy for families across Canada.

Right now on the Kinder Canada Facebook page 10 Lucky community members are going to win a KINDER® gift basket full of goodies worth $200 to be drawn on Oct. 12.  And this is just the first of many exciting promotions and contests being offered on their Facebook page. If you aren’t already, head over to the Kinder Canada Facebook page to get in on all the fun and enter the contest.

So how do you balance your busy family life with play? Share your tips!

Disclosure: I’m part of the KINDER® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

City Mom

All the World’s a Stage


A friend of mine, who became a Mom 10 months before me, has always been there to give me advice and lend an ear when it comes to the ups and downs of motherhood. I often use her son as a measuring stick to what I can expect with little S in the near future. One of her pearls of wisdom is that everything with young children comes and goes in stages.

This little phrase has come in handy in two ways:

  1. It reminds me to cherish and appreciate the blissful stages
  2. It reminds me to cherish and appreciate the blissful stages

That’s not a typo. When we are in one of the more likeable stages with little S, we are on cloud nine. But when we are in a tough stage it becomes hard to see the light and to ever picture an end.

Today you’ve got me in the midst of a tough stage. I can’t recall when this one started and the blissful one before it, ended. More importantly, I have no idea when this one will stop. So far I see no sign of a cease-fire.

We’re at the bossy-moody-not listening stage. She’s now telling us what to do and if you tell her to sit down, she’ll stand up. If you tell her the sky is blue, you’ll quickly learn that it’s not! This girl has a mind of her own.

I appreciate the qualities she demonstrates. The harder these qualities are to deal with as parents, the better they will serve her as an adult. For example, she often questions everything:

Me: “S, please don’t jump on the couch.”
S (still jumping): “Why can’t I jump on the couch?”
Me: “Because I don’t want you to fall off and get hurt.”
S (still jumping): “Why don’t you want me to get hurt?”
Me: “Because I love you and I don’t want to see you in pain.”
S (still jumping): “Why don’t you want to see me in pain?”

And you can imagine how the rest goes.

This little dialogue is something that I like to think of her doing at the age of 18. Not asking why and not wanting to know more can lead to trouble. No garden path for this girl.

The worst part of the stage we’re in is the blatant ignoring and not listening. We tell her one thing and she does another. We get down to her level and explain our feelings. She says she understands but runs off and does the opposite to what we explained. It’s like she’s a child! Oh wait…she is!

So what gets me through these hair pulling times; my friend’s advice. This is just a stage and it too shall pass! The silver lining is that what follows will be heart-melting, laugh-your-butt-off, happy-tear-instigating, wonderfully beautiful. And when I get to kiss those cheeks and feel those small arms around my neck, I am quickly reminded how worth it this all is.

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net. Photographed by nuttakit.

Will You Be Working on That This Weekend?

“No!  I will be spending time with my family;  my amazing little girl, whom I only see 3.5 hours a day, and my husband,  with whom I get about half that amount of quality time.”  This was my desired response when asked this question from a colleague at work.  My actual response was a simple “No, I won’t be.” 
This question left me buzzing, antsy fingers and all, with the only possible remedy coming in the form of a good workout on the keyboard.  I wanted, and needed, to dig into this. 

Can a parent be successful and at the top of his/her game in all facets of life?

Let’s look at the main aspects of a typical person’s life:

  1. Family (children, partner)
  2. Extended Family (parents, siblings etc.)
  3. Career (hours at the office, overtime, networking etc.)
  4. Social
  5. Health & Wellness (exercise, nutrition, personal hygiene, hobbies)
  6. Sleep

This list is not presented in any particular order but the items do jump out at me as the six main components of one’s life.  Is it possible to perform the best you possibly can in all six areas or is it inevitable that one or more will suffer?  Do we need to dilute our performance, spreading out our energy and focus or can we achieve top results in all areas?

Am I expected to work on a project over the weekend?  Will I get ahead faster? Will my career suffer if I choose not to?  I don’t think you have to be a rocket scientist to know the answer to these questions is a big bold Yes!  So where to hone in?  This is obviously a choice made on a very individual level and personally my family comes first…but what area of my life is losing out because of that?

The words ‘balance’, ‘prioritization’ and ‘time-management’ seem to be key in answering these questions but first we need to find time, energy and focus to explore those areas to put our skills to the best possible use; and all this is making me dizzy.

What are your thoughts?  How are you finding harmony in your life?  Share your tips, ideas and thoughts and have a relaxing weekend!

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net photographed by Stefano Valle.

City Mom

The First Day of School

Though the last day of summer is not until September 21st, today marks the day that we make the mental switch from summer to fall.  The forecast indicates that we are still to receive warm, summer-like weather but we have our symbolic sweaters and scarves at the front of our closets for today is the first day of school.  

What is it about the first day of school that has that undeniable feeling?  Whether you are a student, the parent of a student or neither of these, today has a certain meaning to us all.  It’s the smell in the air, the energy flowing about and the influx of activity in the city.  Backpacks, lunch pails and the crisp sound of fall leaves under our feet makes this season the more, if not the most, impactful one.   

The first day of school brings change almost in unison with the cool weather and changing colours we see on the trees.  For our family there is a big change this September as little S makes her way in a new school.  She has now moved on to the next level of her education and is no longer a toddler in the eyes of her school.  Luckily she was able to spend the last couple of weeks in August phasing into her new location and she will continue to see some familiar faces, but change is change, and there is always a transition period to be expected, not only for her, but for us as her parents.   

Nothing feels good about dropping your child off at school and having her cling to you for dear life begging you to stay with her.  We try to avoid pain and upset for our children at all costs yet when September comes we seemingly throw them to the proverbial wolves.  Dramatic?  Yes!  And so I should be.  This day not only marks the beginning of a new school year but also the inevitable fact that time moves so quickly and when it comes to your child growing up, that is always a bitter-sweet truth to realize.   

One thing that will stay the same – location:  she is only moving one block north; still within walking distance from our condo and work, so our routine will hold consistent for the most part.  New friends, new teachers and new experiences are all a welcomed part of life and nothing stays the same forever.  

I suspect that if each of you  dug through your old boxes and memorabilia you would find at least one of those faded pictures of yourself [and your siblings] dressed in your first-day-of-school outfits holding your Holly Hobby or G.I. Joe lunch pail and your brand-spanking new knapsack that is not yet worn in with perfectly square edges.  Missing teeth and pig-tails, clean white shoes and pencil cases filled with freshly sharpened pencil crayons and that look on your face of excitement for what is to come.  Who will your teacher be this year and whom of your friends will be in your class?   

So get your cameras out Moms & Dads and capture this moment as it won’t last forever.  To all the kids experiencing their ‘first day’ today, enjoy!  And to the parents who are having  a bit of a hard time with it, I’m there with you!  

My First Day of School 1983

My Husband the Superhero

My Husband the Superhero

Image credit: SFerdon/shutterstock.com

He doesn’t wear a cape, he can’t fly and he doesn’t have superhuman strength, but in the eyes of my little girl, her Daddy is a superhero! The term ‘daddy’s girl’ is an understatement in reference to Little S. It all begins and ends with Daddy; and for good reason. My husband is a hero…to us at least.

Their kindred relationship blossomed right from the start. I remember the first day we brought Little S home from the hospital; I was having a very difficult time with breastfeeding, S wouldn’t latch and I was taking it personally. You carry a child for nine months; scrutinize everything that goes into your body; take your prenatal vitamins; deliver your child through a grueling labour, look your little miracle in the eye, fall in love and then you begin to breastfeed.

It’s as easy and natural as that…or is it? For most of us I don’t believe it is. I was heart-broken that everything I had envisioned was not going as planned. So there I was, devastated and crying while my child was rejecting me (or so it felt) and making it clear by using those tiny, tiny lungs to expel every bit of energy she could to muster up a scream. Naturally I pass my helpless child to my husband and she stops. A coincidence? It appears not because the two and half years that have followed have fallen in line with this same theme.

Recently, while we were at the park, Little S witnessed a little girl (who was alone) crying and she asked me if the child was crying because she was missing her Daddy, not her Mommy, but her Daddy. It’s Daddy Little S wants to comfort her when she is scared and who she runs to when she gets hurt. It’s Daddy who she desires to read bedtime stories and to brush her teeth. When we walk in the front door and Daddy is not home Little S will smother his image in our family photo that sits on our console table with kisses when all I got when I picked her up was hug.

Though some days this hurts my ego, most days I am thankful for their special bond, and while I am not exaggerating this story, I am leaving out the love and affection I also receive from our not so little bundle of joy. Though most days little S does show a favouritism for my husband, I know she loves us both the same in her own way.

I believe that the relationship a father and daughter have is a very important one; I feel that a strong, healthy relationship of this sort will help to establish standards for my daughter and create the measuring stick to which she will make her judgement and choices by. We are our children’s first role models after all. There’s no job more difficult or important.

Perhaps my husband hides his mask and cape under our bed and there is a strong  possibility that he knows where the Bat Cave really is because recently I learned something about him;  he really is a superhero…and after all these years I only just figured it out!

City Mom

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