The summer boredom had set in, and the kids were driving me batty. “Can we have screens? Mama, can you take us to X,Y, or Z? Can I do something dangerous?” And then the Vex arrived. Hexbugs have always been a hit in our house, and now the company has innovated for older kids (and parents!). Exclusively from HEXBUG comes the VEX Robotic Arm – a completely functional construction kit inspired by real industrial robot arms.
Attention padawan learners and Rey fans everywhere! Fancy seeing more Star Wars on Netflix? Members in Canada are now able to stream Star Wars: The Force Awakens along with the last days of the Galactic Republic with the entire Clone Wars series and feature film. Because it is summer vacation, after all, and there are many, many lessons in Star Wars. (You may want to watch it a few times…).
It’s true. On the surface, I do look very much like your typical crunchy-granola attachment parent. I breastfeed, make my own baby food, buy organic, wear the babies, redirect rather than punish (or try, at least), and even do a little bed sharing. Letting my baby cry it out would be the last thing a mom like me would do.
You might assume I’d be one of those moms who pops up in your Facebook newsfeed, all sanctimommy in my choice of shares, doling out judgment and unsolicited advice—but you’d be wrong. You won’t find me mom-shaming anywhere. My philosophy is ‘we’re all in this together.’ And try as I might, living with my headstrong 3 ½ year old daughter leads to considerably more yelling and empty threats than I ever thought would be in my mommy wheelhouse.
Camping with the kids can be a beautiful experience; sleeping close to your babies under the velvet sky and bright moon, wrapped in the warm summer air. Or, it can be a tough night out in the rough embrace of the wild. You never know how a child will handle a new situation until they’ve experienced it, so planning a camping trip with children without a test run could equal disaster. That’s where a backyard camping trip comes into play.
A backyard campout will give you all the joys of camping—including sleeping in a tent and roasting marshmallows over a campfire—all within a few steps of home in case one of your littles doesn’t quite feel the whole “sleeping under the stars” thing.
So you’re thinking about starting a family. And you’re trying to start a family. And trying. And trying. And you’re at the point where, if one more person tells you to “relax” so “it will just happen”, you might lose your S@#* completely.
You’re thinking about seeing a doctor, or you’ve seen one, or three. The idea of IVF has come up. Or maybe it’s come up for your sister, or your best friend. You have questions, but you have no one to ask. You’re scared it won’t work, you can’t afford it, that it’s going ‘too far’. You hate needles. You’ve begun to wonder if there’s a deeper, cosmic reason you can’t have a baby. There are countless reasons why it’s impossible to even try. And then you suddenly start to feel like you’re just done with it all.
How do you react to stressful situations? I will be the first to admit that my anxiety is clearly linked to my inability to effectively manage my emotions during stress. I am famous for catastrophizing and overreacting. Growing up, I was always known as the one who would freak out all the time. Today, I know that I just needed to develop my emotional intelligence. It doesn’t come naturally and it’s something I will continue to work on throughout my life, but if I can give my children these tools much earlier on in life, I hope that they won’t have to freak out as much as I did.
We had a ‘family movie night’ today. It’s really an excuse to eat while watching a film, snuggle together on the sofa and glance at each other over jokes and sad bits. Some of the closest moments I have exchanged with the kids were during these fun nights, and as we flicked through the offerings today – Disney Planes on Netflix was a unanimous YES!!
Planes centres on Dusty the crop duster, who dreams of flying in a race around the world. But in order to qualify, he has to overcome his fear of heights.
We’re in a restaurant and my toddler is screaming. I feel your eyes on us, but I make no move to leave. When I return your stare, I see you look away quickly; not so fast, though, that I don’t catch your eye-roll. I can feel your annoyance coming at me in waves. And you know what? I could not care less. And we’re not moving.
“Wait for me!” yelled my 4 year old daughter, Dari. My 8 year old son, Phineas and his older buddy had already raced out of our yard. They were half way up the street by the time my daughter got to our backyard gate. She couldn’t reach the latch and burst into tears.
“You can’t go with them, honey,” I told her. “You’re too young.”
I have been passionate about food and drink my entire life. I have been a culinary broadcaster and writer for over 20 years. Long ago, I became weary of fads and gimmicks in the food world passing as new “essentials”. So when I am delighted by a new product, it usually is accompanied by an element of surprise reminding me of what I still love about food and food people. Barilla Pronto Pasta delighted and happily surprised me when I dared it to star in my traditional, Boston inspired, Fourth of July celebration.
We look forward to summer break at our house. It is a time when we cut down on activities and well… just, “be.” It never seems to fail though, a week after school lets out, the kids are complaining about being bored. My co-author and her kids came up with a list of ideas to do at their house. This isn’t a list of intricate crafts, projects or extravagant destinations—it’s a simple list. In fact, it’s a list of things that quite often, I forget are an option.
Checking off a couple of her list items, I realized that it’s easy to do fun things with kids, because all they want is our time. If we are there, present, in the moment and playing with them, they’re happy. So I decided to make a second simple list of some of the greatest things that you might consider doing with your kids this summer.
“Your child’s success or lack of success in sports does not indicate what kind of parent you are. But, having an athlete that is coachable, respectful, a great teammate, mentally tough, resilient, and who tries their best is a direct reflection of your parenting.”
Oh, just shut up. Really.
I’ve seen this sign crop up more than a few times in my Facebook feed, and every single time I think: listen, you sanctimonious super-parent-slash-sign-maker—you are wrong, and you’re not helping anyone.
Let’s think about it, for a moment. Kids come in all shapes and sizes, and are blessed with all manner of abilities and personalities. No two children are alike, and yet, if for some reason your child is not quite coachable, respectful, mentally tough….the list goes on, then you have failed?
That’s what this sign is telling me.
I call bullshit.