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Gift ideas for Mom/Grandma

Sometimes getting gifts for my parents can be challenging. For instance, if there is something out there that my mother wants, at this point in her life she has likely already gone out and gotten it. So, in the spirit of my last post about getting ready for Christmas early (let's hear it for avoiding stress, the zoo in the stores and the over-spending that can happen when you're feeling frantic!), here are a few ideas I thought I'd throw out … [Read more...]

Ho! ho! ho! ribbit! ribbit! ribbit!


*** at the bottom of this post you can vote for which children's charity will receive a LeapFrog donation of toys -- please voice your suggestion! *** It's time to get serious about Christmas! Like many things I used to scoff at, shopping early for Christmas is something I now do. I used to think that people who shopped early for Christmas were either too organized for their own good or just plain liked shopping far too much. Now I know … [Read more...]

The things I didn’t know when I was 15


When I was 15, I didn't have an inkling of what my future would be like. In fact, I don't ever really recall envisioning it at all. I never dreamed of a future marriage, a life as a mother, or a particular career.  And it was at this time that I met a girl named Jackie. I had signed up for a drama class. You might think that a girl with the biggest hair known to man might stand out, but not in this class. Jackie blended in nicely with all … [Read more...]

My daughter, the scientist

How a future scientist views the experience of vomiting: Stella:  That was the first time I've ever thrown up. Me:  Yes, I think you're right. You haven't been sick much in your life. Stella:  The difficult part is that when the throw-up is coming up your throat, it blocks your breathing. Me: It does feel like that. But, don't worry, people throw up all the time and their breathing always comes back. Stella: The interesting part … [Read more...]

Crib recall

An important note for all readers with children still in cribs: There's been a recall of a crib sold in popular stores such as Walmart, Sears and Babiesrus. The brand name is Stork Craft drop-side crib and Stork Craft drop-side crib with Fisher Price logo. I feel sick to my stomach thinking about this because four infants in the United States have died from suffocation, while other incidents involved falls from the crib. On this press … [Read more...]

Winner of Disney on Ice tickets

As promised in my Disney on Ice post, I used on Friday to select a name from those who commented and expressed an interest in this 4-pack of tickets to Disney on Ice. And the winner of these opening night tickets is ..... Kelly! Congrats Kelly! I will email you directly to let you know how you can collect your tickets. I'm sure you and your "princess" will have a ball! If anyone else is still interested in this show, you are … [Read more...]

Lovin’ the Lego


One of the absolute best things about living in Ottawa, particularly if you are a parent, is our museums. It's something a lot of us take for granted, but they really are fantastic and make entertaining kids sooooo easy. Yesterday we did a long-overdue family trip out to the Canada Science and Technology Museum. This museum is a perennial favourite at any time, but until January 4th, Ottawa is host to the Wheels, Wings and Waves - A LEGO … [Read more...]

Want more info on H1N1?

My last post on H1N1 was October 30th. That post was an effort to put the latest bits of info all into one spot for readers. I'd like to do that again today as part of a "blog tour" with Mom Central*. (I'd also like to add my usual disclaimer here that -- and, I don't think this comes as a surprise -- I'm no scientist; I'm no doctor. I'm simply pointing people to information sources that I think are helpful and making my own personal commentary … [Read more...]

Pokemon Room: The Big Reveal

real sheets

Mother finally came through with the Pokemon room! I am super-mom, hear me roar! Well, at least that's how I feel. We're not big on decorating around here. And, decorating according to the theme of a Nintendo character? Yikes. Don't tell anyone, okay? You might recall that when I made this promise, the room was to be completed for the end of October. Stella had entirely given up on her mother and her mother's ability to fulfill promises. … [Read more...]

Wild & Crazy.

As I rolled my enormous suitcase along the corridor of the conference centre, a security guard stopped me. "Can I help you?" "No, I'm fine. I think the room I'm looking for is just down this way." "You're with the knitting group, then?" he asked. Knitting? Hah. Imagine a group of middle-aged women spending an entire weekend congregated together. And knitting. Sounds like a wild and crazy weekend of glam times, doesn't it? I turned … [Read more...]

Disney on Ice (4-pack ticket giveaway)

Do you have a daughter? Did you look into her face as a newborn babe and imagine all the things you would share together in the future ... chick flicks, shopping, perhaps even doing each other's hair? A lot of my friends have daughters. I see their girls wearing pink, experimenting with makeup and nail polish, enjoying dress-up games and taking an interest in toys like dolls, ponies or classic Disney movies that involve a princess or … [Read more...]

Things the blogosphere taught me this week

In an effort to avoid all the things that I "should" be doing today, I've been taking a little tour around the blogosphere. It's amazing what you can learn. Here's few items off my list: Infant formula companies are not supposed to advertise their products in Canada From PhD in Parenting, I learned that Canada is a signatory to the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes and that in 2007 the Canadian Food Inspection … [Read more...]

Toys for all ages

will word

As my daughter started to grow out of her toys, I would give them to friends or donate them to charities. I only kept a few toys -- ones that were of high quality or particularly popular -- on the chance that we'd have another child. Now we have a 7-year-old girl and a 16-month-old boy. With a six-year age gap, you would think that these two would never share the same toys. And yet, when I recently dug out Stella's old Word Whammer and put it … [Read more...]

Linky love

I've been working on updating my links -- see down toward the bottom of right hand column -- in categories. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or if you'd like to have your blog added! I'm here to please. :) … [Read more...]

4 Ingredients — episode 5

fish sheet

Looking for an easy recipe that requires hardly any ingredients and prep time? Look no further than my 4 Ingredients episodes*! Looking to see how Julie expands her cooking repertoire and amazes her family with new tastes? Er, uh ... I have to admit that this is a bit of a cheater episode. For a few reasons. One of which is that this recipe has more than 4 ingredients. I thought the ingredients looked pretty basic, and the prep time was … [Read more...]

The tuna argument smells fishy

small tuna

"The amount in flu vaccines is much less than the daily limit recommended – for example a can of tuna fish has more mercury than the thimerosal in the H1N1 flu vaccine." -- Public Health Agency of Canada website page In an effort to reduce public fear related to thimerosal in the H1N1 vaccine, some Canadian government authorities have been using what I call the "tuna argument." An example of this is above. I've given it its own little … [Read more...]

And now, a little comedic interlude

If you're still feeling a little charbroiled, how about a little comedic interlude courtesy of David Sedaris? And yes, I am like a dog with a bone when I find an author I like (witness those Eric Bogosian posts I put you through a while back). I already swept through Chapters the other day between dispensing Tylenol to sick people and picked up one of his other collections. It was a tough choice, but I decided upon Dress Your Family in … [Read more...]