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Just sing!

My toddler Max is a funny little fellow. Lately he walks around all day humming songs out loud. I guess he is actually singing, but to us it sounds like humming because he doesn't actually use real words. He just loves -- LOVES -- songs. So, if he is feeling a bit grouchy, or if you are changing his diaper and he is not impressed about having to lay still, all you need to do is start singing a song. Immediately, he is captivated. So last … [Read more...]

Sharing stories

There's been a great deal of interesting and intelligent debate -- as well as some yelling, screaming and posturing of course -- about woman and blogs as of late. In one situation, some "mommy" bloggers were put under the academic microscope, while in others, the mainstream media snickered at mothers and their interest in blogging and, strangely, pronounced that women didn't blog, only men. People I know who don't read my blog often ask me … [Read more...]

I’m still thinking about hyper-parenting

Hyper-parenting. You might remember that a little while back, I wrote a post sparked by the CBC documentary Hyper Parents and Coddled Kids. And I'm still thinking about it. The whole concept of hyper-parenting is never really far from my mind, actually. It's something that I consciously, actively want to avoid doing to my children. And yet, it seems we live in a world where hyper-parenting is almost becoming the norm. Or at least that's how I … [Read more...]

The March Break Highlight

rsz_peak

So, all the Ontario kidlets are now back to school. I hope most of you were able to enjoy some March Break relaxation. Things here have been busy for me (as I'm sure it is for other Ottawa local readers since government fiscal year-end = lots to do and all on by an immovable deadline of March 31st). Wouldn't it be great if the kids' spring break started on April 1st? My 7-year-old, Stella, and hubby, however took some time off for quality … [Read more...]

Ottawa’s NAC & staying relevant

We're about the same age, the  National Arts Centre (NAC) and I. It would seem that, like most of us, the NAC's biggest fans are its parents -- the generation that created and brought this centre to life. But there's no doubt about it, its biggest fans are getting older. The people who are their most loyal subscribers will soon be retiring from their seats in the audience. Fresh bottoms will be needed to fill these seats. Bottoms like … [Read more...]

Only one more sleep …

rsz_bg_xmas_brunch-5

...until I get to put my arms around my baby sister again! She's coming back home for a short holiday, and I can't wait! (To learn more about her life in Korea, you can visit Letter from South Korea: Part 1 and Letter from South Korea: Part 2.) … [Read more...]

Need to getaway? Make a break for Montreal.

rsz_rainforest

If one day at home with the little cherubs on March Break has you swilling wine tonight, it's time to consider a getaway. In all seriousness, I do find it hard to feel like I've had a "break" if I don't leave home, don't you? And I often think children must feel that way too. I've got a getaway idea for you that won't break the bank: Montreal. When I brought my daughter to this city, she really did feel like she'd travelled to … [Read more...]

Winner of the NAC tickets!

Thanks to everyone who came to visit and enter their name into the draw for 2 tickets to see Mysterioso: Music and Magic opening at the NAC this Thursday! I just entered all of your names into random.org and the winner is KELLI! Congrats Kelli - I will contact you directly with the details. … [Read more...]

Magical mystery tour (ticket giveaway for Ottawa’s NAC)

Magic shows make me think of a Ken-doll look-a-like man, a Barbie-esque assistant, and tacky costumes with too much skin. And velvet -- lots and lots of velvet. But I've never actually seen a live magic show though, have you?  Well here's your chance: Joseph Gabriel will be performing a magic act in concert with the National Arts Centre orchestra. The show is called "Mysterioso: Music and Magic." I'll admit it does sound a bit cheesy and I've … [Read more...]

If you were an Algonquin College Advertising student

I'm going to be stopping in to Algonquin College as a guest speaker tomorrow. I'll be speaking with students in the Advertising Program and the particular course is Professional Practice, which is described like this: Attitude, communication, and human relations are the key to surviving in the ever-changing world of advertising. This course helps you prepare for workplace success by providing practical expectations and useful tools to make a … [Read more...]

This is normal, right?

Over the breakfast table this morning. Me: So, Stella. Anything in particular you want to get up to on March Break? Stella: Yes. I want to smash a toilet! Me: [blank stare] Hubby: I told her I'd make it happen. Me: [more blank staring] Stella: Yeah, it's going to be great! … [Read more...]

Winner of the GCTC tickets!

I was so pleased to see the interest in blood.claat -- a unique and fabulously performed piece -- playing at the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC)! I entered everyone's name into random.org to come up with a winner's name (and no, Kaitlin, you weren't too late!) and the winner is: STEPHAN. Congrats! I am sure you'll have a wonderful night out. I will be in touch with you directly to organize the details. If you are still planning on … [Read more...]

The Winter Resolution series: Bush party! (shhhh … pass it on)

Keogan cabin, Gatineau Park

When I was a teenager, every so often word would spread that a "bush party" was going to take place on the weekend. Unlike the "house party" which took place at some poor unsuspecting parent's home while they were away, a "bush party" involved no house, just a location in the woods somewhere. The two types of parties still shared some commonalities -- no parents, underage drinking and police showing up. The last item on the list being why the … [Read more...]

Extra! Extra! Read all about it …

Good morning! If you don't normally buy an Ottawa Citizen newspaper, pick one up today to support not only your local paper but this caffeine-needy writer! In today's Travel Section, I have two articles for your morning coffee: #1: What a woman wants: how hotels can cater better to women business travellers and a list of hotels going all out to do so. Women entrepreneurs interviewed for this piece are Penelope Trunk of Brazen Careerist, … [Read more...]

Destructive cycles (+ ticket giveaway to blood.claat, a play @ Ottawa’s GCTC)

She's a 15 year-old kid in a school uniform. And she's just given birth to a baby conceived through violence.  That is her story. But it's also the story of her mother. And her grandmother before that. This is a cycle that's fairly common in Jamaica, according to a 2006 Unicef report: Approximately 20% of births are given by adolescents. In other words a child gives birth to a child in one out of 5 births. Had all teenage pregnancies been … [Read more...]

Excuse me, but you’re stepping on my Canadian pride

An open letter to Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney: I don't ever remember a time when I did not feel proud to be a Canadian. It's similar in fierceness to the pride I've always felt for my family. It runs right to the core. I drink my Double-double's at Timmys, I buy my backpack from MEC and I bite my nails to the quick when Canada's hockey team is in the Olympic finals. But these are just outward expressions of … [Read more...]

Maybe a puppy wasn’t such a bad idea, after all?

Last year, we lost Riley. Riley was our family dog. The puppy my husband and I adopted the summer we moved into our first home together. We had Riley for five years before any children came along. And in total, we had Riley in our lives for a decade. For anyone who’s had a pet, you know what kind of grief I’m talking about here. And my seven-year-old daughter Stella took it hard. She grieved. And then her grieving turned into a guilt-inducing … [Read more...]

The Winter Resolution series: I did it!

rsz_in_the_trees

The last item on my winter resolution list was: "Go on winter hike in the Adirondack mountain range." It certainly seemed a lofty goal for a book-worm gal like me, but hey, I put it out there in writing on my blog and while I don't mind being a private wimp, I don't like being a public wimp. So off we went to Lake Placid this weekend! I'd had the weekend booked with the grandparents for months but somehow it crept up on me. Friday was a … [Read more...]

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