Browsing Tag

childcare

New Year’s Eve With Kids!!

EAT, FAM, holidays, kids By December 31, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

new years eve with kidsYou’ve got the most fabulous dress.  And the shoes.  And the champagne.  And…  whoops.  The kids.  A  babysitter is pretty much impossible, or prohibitively expensive on New Year’s Eve.  If you ask family the guilt will consume you all night.  Let’s think outside the box, shall we – without compromising your attachment to the kids, or our hip and savvy selves?  UrbanMommies has a few ideas about how you can celebrate New YEar’s Eve with kids – and still make the evening special..

1.  Dress well (even if you are exhausted).  Put the baby down, and make a romantic dinner together.  You could choose cuisine from a beloved country or new food that you’ve never attempted and experience something special together.  Eat by candlelight and try to stay awake until the ball drops.

2.  Sit down as a family and look at photo albums from the past – relate birth stories, marriage memories and the ups and downs of the past year.  Top it off with a frozen pizza ‘picnic’ on the floor complete with an extra-special bottle of wine and shirley temples.

3.  The whole family can go to Value Village and find the most sparkly, shiny outfits possible.  Blow up enough balloons to fill a room and drink milk, oj and champagne out of your best glasses.

4.  If you must venture out, swap with another couple so you can watch each others’ kids every second year.

5.  Have another couple and their children for a sleep-over.  The kids can do art in an empty bathtub and can be allowed to paint themselves and the tiles for the only time all year.  Everyone can then have a bath and pick from a huge pile of mismatched jammies for bedtime.  Once the wee ones are fast asleep, an adult dinner and fine music can complete the evening.

6.  Italian family eating/potluck with movies for kids and crafts, then chocolate Fondue, champagne and board games for adults when the babes are in bed. Everyone stays over and we cook pancakes in the morning.  (compliments of @Babe_chilla via Twitter).

7.  ‘Family Planning’: list the top 10 books, movies and music you want to experience this coming year.  Chart a plan for activities for the kids.  Talk a bit about budget.  (See our article for help).  Then drink champagne and start saving tomorrow.

8. Bowling with the family is always fun at midnight, they give out hats and horns!  (from @LollyBopBaby via Twitter)

9. Sit with kids and illustrate with markers and paper your new year’s resolutions and share (from @kiddictionary via Twitter).

10. Celebrate New Year’s in another time zone other than your own so the kids can celebrate too. (from @tykethreads via Twitter).

Please let us know about your plans and ideas, and we will post them as they come (or just comment below).

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

Deciding to be a Stay-at-home Dad

FAM, self By July 2, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , 1 Comment

Stay at Home DadFollowing the tragedy of September 11, 2001, a busy executive decides life is too short not to be a Stay-at-home Dad for a spell.

Kelly Milroy, AVP of Investor Relations TD Bank is one of TD’s hardest-working dads – after a six-month leave to spend time with his son, Ethan, he transitioned back into his work responsibilities, his Oakville-Toronto commute, and balancing quality time with his family.

TD’s proactive support is essential for a satisfying employee experience.  They encourage health in all areas of life, starting with your family.  TD’s approach towards flexible work hours comes from the value in the quality of work delivered, instead of the face-time hours.  For Kelly, the partnership with his employer is as established as the one with his wife, Martha. 

1.  How do you manage the commute to and from Oakville with three children and their activities?

It is critical to have both a supportive “home” partner (my wife Martha) and a flexible “work” partner (TD). Our daily routine has me doing drop-off at school, as Martha goes in to her job at TD Waterhouse for 7 a.m. Martha leaves the office between 4 and 430PM to pick up the kids at school and I come home after. We are regular users of the GO Train.

2.  What made you take a break from your high-profile job at TD to be a stay-at-home Dad?

Our son Ethan was born in June 2001 and the Twin Towers went down in September. That was a seminal event for me (as for many people) and the catalyst to making a few important changes in my life. Being close to my children is not an option for me, it is a requirement. That horrible event showed me you have to do the things that are important while you have the chance to because you don’t get time back.

3.  There is so much support for Moms these days.  How did you find a support group and activities as a dad at home with the kids?

I actually did not utilize any support groups as a stay-at-home Dad. Like the stereotypical man who refuses to ask for directions, I went at it on my own and called Martha for help when necessary. I suppose I got a little lost along the way but that made the journey that much more adventurous!

4.  Women who go back to work after time away to raise children often complain that leaving the corporate world for a few years harmed their career.  Do you feel the same way?

I can’t speak to other people’s experience, but for me, I feel I have been quite successful with my career after coming back. In the years following my Parental Leave I have been promoted a few times and am currently an AVP in Investor Relations.

5.  Now that you are back to work in the office – an hour from Oakville – how do you handle sick children, extra daytime events at the school and PD Days?

Again, it is critical to have both a supportive “home” partner (my wife Martha) and a flexible “work” partner (TD). Martha and I work together to make sure we take care of the family and decide who is more able, for any given situation, to stay at home. TD works with us by providing both Martha and I with remote access to the work network. This is a huge plus for us as it allows a tremendous amount of flexibility and not just for impromptu sick days. With remote access we can get work done from home “after family hours” which means after the kids go to bed. TD understands it is about the quality of your work and the seamless nature of the flexibility. As long as the work gets done to the same professional standard, and you can communicate in real-time with your colleagues, partners and clients, then it is a win for everybody.

6.  What advice do you have for dads who make the choice to stay home?

Making the choice to stay at home is probably the hardest part of the whole process because, in my mind anyway, one of the biggest obstacles facing working fathers today is actually self-imposed. It is the perception by some fathers that it is somehow unmanly to be at home with children. I am so happy whenever a male colleague at TD approaches me to ask about my experience. That single action says to me “That man is considering doing this fantastic thing, a real life changer, and that I can help them see how positive an experience it was for me – and can be for them.” After that hard part is done, I would say just embrace the moments you have with your child. This is time we never get back so make the most out of every minute you have.

 

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

Tips for Treating Head Lice

FAM, health By May 18, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Tips for Treating Head LiceThis is one topic that most of us aren’t pontificating over at a cocktail party, but most parents will need a few tips for treating head lice in their bag of tricks.  Lice (the plural of louse in case you’re a grammar nut) are a very common problem, especially for kids ages 3 years to 12 years.  Girls are affected more often than boys.  Lice aren’t dangerous and they don’t spread disease, but they are highly contagious and can affect the self esteem of the most secure child. As the lice bite a child’s scalp, itchiness and inflammation occur.

Signs of Head Lice

Lice eggs are called nits. These look like tiny yellow, tan, or brown dots before they hatch. Nits look sort of like dandruff, only they can’t be removed by brushing or shaking them off. You may be able to see the lice or nits by parting your child’s hair into small sections and checking for lice and nits with a fine-tooth comb on the scalp, behind the ears, and around the nape of the neck.

Treatment of Head Lice

1.  We’ve heard great reports about Lice Squad.  They use pesticide free products, and carefully removes the lice with a solution and comb.  It takes 1-2 hours and is done in your home.  You can try medicated shampoos and removal combs yourself as well.

2.  Saturate their hair in baby oil and go through it with a detangler comb then lice come.  When you are confident you have most of the bugs, mix vinegar in with their shampoo and let them sit for an hour.

3.  Soak your hair with mouthwash and then put on a shower cap. You may need to put a towel around your neck to stop some of the dripping. Let it sit in your hair for 2 hours. After that rinse out the mouthwash and then rinse your hair with vinegar to loosen the glue on the nits. After you rinse out the vinegar, use some conditioner as a final step.

4.  Mix lemon juice with baking soda. The mixture will foam up as you stir.  Apply to hair. Leave on for a few hours and wash hair.

Good luck and be sure to share which method worked best for you!

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

10 Ways Moms Can Use Uniiverse in Their Community

FAM, self By April 9, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

UniiverseIt totally takes a village.  But sometimes our family units and communities aren’t quite set up the way we need them to be in order to create that supportive environment.  Enter: Uniiverse.  There are many people and resources around us moms in our local communities.  A new site I discovered, www.uniiverse.com , helps moms connect with what’s going on around them, right in their own neighbourhood.  Uniiverse is a new social marketplace website for people to offer and discover authentic activities and services within their local community. It’s a fantastic way for moms to connect and meet in real life, build a strong community, and make life easier and better.

Here’s a video that explains more about Uniiverse:

What’s more, you can use Uniiverse in two ways: as a seller or a buyer.  You can offer your own skills and time for others to book, or you can look around you in your neighborhood, and book someone else’s listing.  It’s all about sharing experiences without the focus being just on  buying or selling.  Think of it like a Craigslist for experiences, but more trustworthy because other moms you know are using it too.

 

Here are 10 great ways that Moms can use Uniiverse:

1. Find or organize fun activities for play dates or toddler groups

2. Find babysitters in a safe and trustworthy way

3. Find affordable family photographers

4. Hire some cleaning help

5. Find a dog walker or pet sitter

6. Have your groceries delivered to you

7. Find or organize fitness activities

8.  Enjoy a new hobby

9. Lend your baby and kid items that you may not currently need – help other parents save money

10. Offer advice to expecting moms/parents – become a “Mompreneur

The only catch?  You might just get so excited about all that is offered, you forget that you have kids…

 

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:
Nanny Mary Poppins Responsibilities

The Nanny – Her Role and Responsibilities

LIVE, rest By December 27, 2011 Tags: , , , , , 1 Comment

Being a nanny is a career choice created in a grey zone. In Canada the role has been blurred significantly with the introduction of the “Live In Caregiver Program.”  Expectations on both the part of Employers and Nannies alike vary greatly. This miscommunication is the main cause for the high rate of disgruntled Nannies, disappointed employers and abandoned childcare contracts.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

Is Your Nanny an Employee or Independent Contractor?

Uncategorized By October 3, 2010 Tags: , , 3 Comments

After searching for the perfect nanny, how are you going to pay her?  In determining the nanny’s status as an employee or as an independent contractor, the Canada Revenue Agency does the following tests:

1.    Control: Are you specifying the work to be done? Are you specifying the working hours and are you reviewing the work that was done?

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

How to Work with a Nanny Agency

baby, FAM By October 3, 2010 Tags: , , 2 Comments

Hiring a nanny agency should help to make the hiring process much more streamlined than searching on your own. That said there is still an abundance of information that you should sort through before choosing an agency. When you start you search ask the agencies that you are calling the following questions:

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

What Do I do if I need a Nanny at the Last Minute?

LIVE, nourish, play By January 17, 2010 Tags: , , , No Comments

A: Nannies on Call is Canada’s premier childcare agency serving Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto and the Okanagan. We have been offering exceptional on call nanny services since 2001. You can put your mind at ease knowing that all of our nannies have been carefully screened – we ensure that our nannies are highly experienced, educated women with a passion for childcare.  Whether you require last minute, long-term help, or simply a night on the town, Nannies on Call will help you find the perfect solution for your family. Our nannies are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to care for your children. Simply contact us to let us know your needs!

Michelle Kelsey is the founder of Nannies On Call. In 2001, Michelle launched a small nanny referral service with one pager, five nannies and a determination to never find herself without reliable childcare. Nannies on Call now counts over 250 nannies, with offices in 4 cities. www.nanniesoncall.com

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

Screening a Nanny

FAM, kids By January 17, 2010 Tags: , , No Comments

When screening a nanny, we look for lots of things.  All parents have a gut feeling when interviewing nannies. She could look great on paper and then you meet her and something just doesn’t sit right. You should listen to your voice. It’s the best place to start. You want to find out more about the nanny. You want to find out if she was a good nanny and what kind of duties she preformed for the family. 

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share:

Q: What is a Typical Nanny Salary?

FAM, kids By January 17, 2010 Tags: , , , No Comments

A: Hiring a nanny can be affordable. You just need to be aware what the factors are involved in a nannies salary. Here are some of the costs to think about. Where you live in the country will affect the base rate. ($8 – $15 per hour)

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

Share: