Wednesday, October 19, 2011

You Deserve A Break Today :)

Well, it has been a crazy day and I am frantically trying to get everything done including blog #28 before I have to run and pick up my son. At this point I am feeling stressed to the max and while I don't have time to meditate or exercise I have found a new way to relieve the stress in my life,namely a fun game of scrabble with a random player over my ipod. I love this app so much as it gives me a little break throughout the day to forget all my troubles. Everyone should have some way to alleviate stress on a daily basis, because, as I have mentioned in other can really wreak havoc on your health!!!

So here is a short article I wrote awhile back, with a few tips on what you can do to help yourself

Stress is a natural part of our day-to-day lifestyle. It is our body’s defense system. When we sense a danger –such as a vicious dog ready to attack our bodies will release adrenaline and other chemicals that make us alert, increase our strength and stamina, raise our blood pressure and speed up our reaction time. This is its positive affect and it can be utilized for short-term goals. For instance people that usually procrastinate seem to be able to get projects completed much easier when time is of the essence and they are under the gun.
On the negative side if stress is prolonged it can result in feelings of frustration and anger, which may lead to depression. There are also a myriad of health problems that can develop such as ulcers, high blood pressure, insomnia, and on the much more serious side, heart disease and stroke.
The plan is not to totally eliminate stress but learn how to manage it and use it to motivate, without overwhelming our lives.
Here are some possible solutions that you can use as a parent to help manage your stress. So even if the average day for you starts at the crack of dawn and doesn’t end until the 11 PM, you can still incorporate these tips into your daily life to help you cope with stress better, so it doesn’t get the better of you ;
· Exercise- it may seem like the idea of a 30-minute jog or walk is just added stress but in truth it is one of the best stress relievers around. Set your alarm a half hour earlier and make it a daily routine just for you.
· Learn to say no- If you are feeling like you are juggling too many things at the moment and someone asks something of you that you really don’t have the time or inclination to do, say no. If you have trouble doing that without feeling guilty, remember practice makes perfect.
· Delegate-Have your older teenager get supper started such as making a salad or get the little ones to set the table. It is really OK to ask for help you don’t have to be Super Mom or Dad.
· Make sure you get some “ME” time on a regular basis. Do something you enjoy such as a weekly massage or lunch with your best friend.

Give yourself a break today and everyday, even if it is for only a few minutes. Take this time for yourself and everyone in your family will benefit.

Happy Stress-free days,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Protect your hearing!

Did you know that even everyday sounds like the lawn mower, blender, vacuum cleaner etc., could be damaging your hearing? Sound pressure is measured in decibels and anything over 85 decibels damages the little hairs in your inner ear that relay sound. A good way to tell if a sound could be damaging is if you have trouble carrying on a normal conversation without having to raise your voice.

Here is a chart showing the decibels

Decibels (db)
Very faint, rustling leaves
Typical speech
Washing machine
Busy city traffic
Hair dryer
Leaf blower, rock concert, chainsaw
Ambulance, jack hammer
Jet plane from 100 feet
Fireworks, gunshot
12-gauge shotgun

This chart really got me thinking about the everyday sounds our kids are hearing and the damage that could be occurring. From now on I am going to make sure my son wears ear protection when he mows the lawn. The chart also gives me sound evidence (no pun intended) to show him when I ask him to turn down his music or video game.

Kind of makes you want to keep a set of ear plugs handy when you make your smoothies doesn't it? I seriously cringe when I think of the amount of decibels a smoke detector going off has, must be off the chart :0

Happy Hearing,


Monday, October 17, 2011

Just a quickie

I missed blogging yesterday due to a health issue and today I still feel like I am a bit under the weather. I am just finding that one of the symptoms of whatever my body is trying to fight off, is a major case of brain fog so I am really struggling with my writing today and figured I would post a quick hi and bye and call it a day. I am hoping I will be back on track tomorrow and I can write a proper blog again.

Not even close to thirty minutes but I will give myself marks for at least attempting. I felt quite guilty about not writing yesterday, but what is the point. I have still been a lot more consistent with the posts than I ever have and will give myself credit for that.

Sometimes we have to give ourselves a bit of wiggle room when it comes to goals - hey nobody is perfect!

Happy Monday,


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Blog for the sake of a blog :))

I am really late today and need to get this over with so I am going to talk about absolutely nothing just to do my half hour for the day. I have my niece visiting and we are having a blast catching up and getting to know each other. What would we do without family? The beauty of family is that they love us warts and all it is part of relative contract they have no choice!! It is not necessarily that way for others except maybe really good friends. Speaking of good friends - never take them for granted! I lost my best friend suddenly in December of 2010 and I am still trying to come to grips with it.

Anyway my sister just showed up for a visit so the house is full of company and I am going to make this very short and end this blog.

Hopefully I can get back to a proper blog tomorrow and will be able to come up with a topic that is worth reading . Too many distraction and must go.

Happy Saturday night,


Friday, October 14, 2011

The Greatest Gift :))

I am really running behind today, so I am going to cheat a bit with the blog and have cut and paste an old article that has yet to be published. I have company coming so needed to do a quick clean up of the house and run 0ut and get a few supplies before they arrive.
So I will just make this short and hope you enjoy the article about the greatest gift you can give your children. Speaking of kids I have to run and pick up my little guy shortly so with that I will close and wish everyone a lovely weekend. Stay safe and I will see you in tomorrows post.
Of course we all want the best for our children, to make them happy and to give them all the material things that we never had. These are all good intentions; but when you really get down to it the greatest gifts that you can give your children do not have to cost you a dime.
Give them your time. Next time you are busy doing something and your child comes to you and asks a question, stop everything, look him straight in the eye and give him your undivided attention. No more “Just give me a minute,” or “After my program is over,” or all the other excuses that come so easy to us. Make your child your priority at that moment when he truly needs you.
Hug your children more. According to family therapist Virginia Satir, we need four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs for maintenance and a minimum of twelve hugs a day to thrive. Scientists have even proven that hugging generates "oxytocin", the feel-good hormone that is involved in social recognition and bonding, and might even be responsible for trust between people.
Play with your children. Show your children that you actually enjoy their company and do things that they like to do whether it be playing a video game, working on a puzzle, or even building a snowman in the backyard.
Read to your children. Even if your kids already know how to read, they still love to snuggle up with you and be read to no matter how old they are. It is also great way for you and them to wind down after a hectic day.
Tell your children you love them. You may think they know you love them; but it is important that you tell them every chance you get. Children never tire of hearing it and that goes for boys as well as girls.
The gift of self-esteem is the greatest gift of all that you can give to your children. Parents must realize that they more than anyone else can promote their children’s self- confidence. By your words and actions you are having a HUGE impact on how your children feel about themselves. As the famous writer Toni Morrison once asked, “Do your children see your eyes light up when they walk into the room?” Maybe THAT is the question we should all be asking ourselves.
Happy Parenting,

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Healthy Ways to Deal With Stress

In yesterday's blog I talked about how detrimental stress can be to your health and today I am going to give you a few healthy ways to alleviate the stress in your life...

OK today is officially blog twenty-two and apparently twenty-one days is all the time needed to establish a habit, so as of yesterday my blogging habit is now firmly established. :) Good news for me! I still do feel a bit of stress each morning when I think about the blog, but it is a good kind of stress and once I sit down and get serious about my writing it usually passes pretty quickly. That unfortunately is not the same for chronic stress and that is why it is so detrimental that we all find "healthy" ways to alleviate it before it wreaks havoc on our health. Kids also experience stress in their day to day life and it is important that you check in with your children from time to time to see how they are dealing with it. Teens are especially prone to stress and too much stress can lead to depression which is something that needs to be tackled professionally before it gets out of hand.

I find nothing squelches my stress like physical activity. It has to be more than a gentle walk and has to be at least thirty minutes before I start to feel the benefits. I find a very brisk walk on the treadmill, interspersed with lots of inclines, really gets my heart pumping. I sometimes run, but I find that a little jarring on my knees. Choose an activity that gets your heart rate up, but you are still able to carry on a conversation if you had to, but would not be able to sing. That is the gauge I use to see if I am working out hard enough. As you get fitter you will find you need to up the ante a bit in order to get the same benefit. In order to get the best results from exercise you have to be consistent, so try for every second day or 3-4 times a week minimum for no less than thirty minutes.

Meditation is also a tool I use when things get to be a bit too much! There are lots of good guided meditations you can use to get you started. Check out the reviews on Amazon to get a good idea which ones are recommended. Yoga is also supposed to be a good stress buster- my youngest sister swears by her daily hot yoga class - I have yet to give it a go

Other things to try:

They say that problems shared are halved. so find a close friend or family member and talk about how your are feeling. Sometimes just getting it off your chest can help immensely.

Choose nutritionally sound meal and snacks. Stay awake from fatty food and sweets. This is a no-brainer as a healthy body helps you deal with stress more efficiently. Eliminate coffee and other highly caffeinated beverages, or if you can't do that at least cut back a bit or choose tea which has less caffeine.

Get proper rest at least 8 hours a night if possible.Try to turn off all electronics things like computers, television, at least an hour before you plan to retire for the night. Make sure your room is completely dark and free from distraction.

Just remember stress will always be a part of our life but it doesn't have to get the best of us.

Happy Stress-free day :)


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stress 101

My day started off a bit stressful as I did not have the greatest sleep last night. I woke up feeling groggy and found it really hard to get out of bed. I was extremely klutzy and seemed to be dropping everything and even managed to knock the glass coffee carafe off the counter and it broke into hundreds of pieces :( Now I have to find a new one that will fit my coffee maker - I CANNOT go a day without my cup of joe! So far I am not having the best of days, but I am intending that it will improve from here on in.

As promised the topic for today's blog will be Healthy Stress Management for you and the kiddies. Before I get to the management part of it I thought it would be a good idea to talk about how detrimental stress can be to you and your children's health.

While a little bit of stress is OK, prolonged stress or chronic stress can be detrimental to our health, physically and mentally. When we are in peril, stress triggers the body's fight or flight response which leads to the release of the hormones adrenalin and cortisol. These hormones cause your heart beat to speed up, slows the digestion process and brings the blood flow to all your major muscles. This comes in handy when you are dealing with danger, but once the threat passes the body should return back to normal and no harm is done. With chronic stress the body does not return back to normal enough, which over time, has a negative impact on our health.

Chronic stress can cause headaches and body aches, make you more susceptible to colds, insomnia, obesity,, and extremely serious conditions like depression, heart disease, diabetes, ulcers, hyperthyroidism and even god forbid, the dreaded "C" word!!

This is why it is so crucial to find healthy ways to alleviate chronic stress. We also need to remember that our children may also be dealing with stress on a daily basis and it may be impacting their lives negatively. In tomorrows blog I will discuss "healthy" ways to help alleviate the stress in our lives as well as the lives of our children.

Happy stress-free day,


Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Official Turkey Day!

Yesterday's Thanksgiving dinner was a success and everyone enjoyed the turkey and trimmings, which is a good thing because tonight's menu will be a repeat performance :) I found enough to eat and stayed true to my vegetarian lifestyle - the mainstay of my meal consisted mostly of yams, mashed potatoes and various veggies. I skipped the protein part of it and had two pieces of pumpkin pie with whipped cream in its place. I have been avoiding sweets, but on this special occasion decided to indulge a bit. I am back on track today and even added a half hour workout for good measure.

Speaking of workouts, I really need to start being more consistent with mine. A bout with a rather stubborn and nasty UTI that eventually went into my kidneys, has me convinced that regular workouts are a priority if I want to safeguard my health. Having an illness makes you realize how valuable good health really is, and while nothing is a given, proper nutrition and regular physical activity can give you a bit of an edge in staying that way. Now there is more and more evidence backing this up. According to a recent "New Science" article, healthy living consisting of proper nutrition, regular exercise and stress management can actually turn off the cancer gene. This is good news and something we should all take heed of not just for ourselves but also for our children.

Children learn by example so do what you can to teach your kids the importance of healthy eating, regular exercise and positive ways to deal with stress. After all, we want the best for our children and good health will help to ensure them of a brighter future. In Tuesday's blog I will discuss the importance of stress management for parents as well as well as children.

Happy Monday,


Sunday, October 09, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Monday here in Canada, but the majority of Canadians tend to have their dinners on a Sunday, maybe because it is still the weekend and a lot of people have the day off. Luckily, most of the shops stay open for people like myself who have to run out and pick up whipped cream for the pumpkin pies or some last minute item they may have forgotten on their last trip to the grocery store. Anyway... I have the bird in the oven and have just started on my vegetarian stuffing. I am thinking there will be slim pickins for me to eat being the only vegetarian as I do not have the time nor the inclination to make up a batch of seiten or what others call 'wheat meat"

I am starting to feel a bit like a hypocrite because of my choice to not eat anything with a face and just recently anything with a Mother, but I am still condoning it by being the one to cook the things I have forbidden for myself. Oh well, I still have a way to go as I am debating on if that includes unfertilized eggs and I am struggling with dairy - coffee is NOT coffee without the cream. I know there are a myriad of non dairy alternatives out there, but having tried a lot of them and I have to say nothing comes close to the real thing. However, I have sworn off of any kind of meat, poultry or fish and I am at the point where even the idea of eating it sickens me. Once in awhile the smell of bacon cooking or a nice roast chicken will make me salivate, but I am strong enough to say NO!!!

In other news, my son did pretty well last night as mascot for our local hockey team. He said he realized that he needs to drink more water before he even gets into the suit because it gets so hot and he is sweating so much he is losing fluids. He found that by the second period he was feeling like he had very little energy and his legs were feeling like rubber. After a bit of a break and lots of water he was feeling much better. Next week will be a real challenge,
as he has a game Wednesday, and then back to back games Saturday and Sunday. Luckily this doesn't happen too often.

I know this is supposed to be more of a parenting blog, but I am at a loss for a topic so will keep it short today. I guess the bottom line is support your kids in their endeavors. You have no idea how much this matters to them. They constantly need to hear how proud you are of them and you can never say it too much. Oh yeah, hugs and I love you's are also important - they can never get enough of those : )

Happy Thanksgiving,


Saturday, October 08, 2011

This that and the other

I read somewhere that it takes twenty-one days for a habit to be formed. Today is day eighteen of my blogging challenge, so I am only a few days from developing a "blogging habit" which is good to know. On most days I struggle to come up with something interesting enough to say, so if someone stumbles on my blog they may find it worth reading. Isn't that the intention of all bloggers? While it would be nice to know someone is reading my posts, it is not the reason I have decided to blog on a daily basis. It is more like a challenge to myself to see how long I can continue to write daily for a minimum of thirty minutes. I also read that in order to become a better writer, one should make it a habit to write every day. It doesn't have to be anything profound, but it should be daily.

Speaking of writing, I have to start thinking about the next article for the October Kidsgoals newsletter, as we are getting close to the middle of the month and I really want to try and get it out around the fifteenth of the month if possible. I was thinking of some kind of Halloween theme for the recipe and crafts section, but I am stymied about a topic for the issue. Even though it is frustrating at times the newsletter is a labour of love and I especially enjoy putting it all together once I have all of the sections completed. It gives me great personal satisfaction to send it off and I know Cassie would be so proud of me. It is still so hard to believe she is gone and not a day goes by when she is not in my thoughts - I so miss her : ( sigh....

Anyway, in a few hours my son will be off to the arena so I should make sure he gets his things together, so he is not running around at the last minute trying to find this or that. I can tell he is a little nervous, but nothing like the first day - maybe he is starting to relax a bit now that he knows what it all entails? I think it is the unknown part of something that scares us the most when we make an attempt to do something we have never tried before. We tend to make up these scenarios in our mind and they are usually negative. Most of the time it turns out that none of things we imagined happening ever come to pass. I find that really interesting and I think it is some kind of built in protection device from our caveman ancestors to protect us from doing something that may have turned out to be detrimental to our health. It is not like we have to worry about sabertooth tigers jumping out of the bushes when we go for a walk, so not sure why most of us have not evolved enough to be able to look at a situation for what it is and not build it up into something it is not. Anyway more of my meanderings and so will close this blog for now before I get too far out there : )

Happy Saturday,


Friday, October 07, 2011

Post Seventeen

I am running a bit behind on writing the blog, as I was out and about picking up things for Thanksgiving dinner which in Canada is this weekend. Although I am a vegetarian I will be the one in charge of the turkey and all the trimmings, even though I cannot partake in most of it. I have yet to find a good vegetarian meat alternative in the stores, although homemade seiten (wheat meat) comes close. I am hoping with the proper seasonings I can make a reasonable facsimile of a turkey, well in texture anyway. I am making the stuffing vegetarian though - love my stuffing!!!

This is also the weekend that my son dons his gorilla costume and entertains the masses. I am watching him carefully for signs of nerves, but so far so good. I am hoping that in time it will just become a routine and he will start looking forward to going. He was quite hot last time and said he had never sweated so much in his life! Doesn't sound like much fun, but he is willing to persevere because of the cash incentive. He wants to buy a new gaming computer as his laptop is hanging on by a thread. That is the beauty of setting a goal such as saving up for a computer, a car, a vacation, or anything else you truly want. You can look at the object of your desire in your minds eye and then then see what steps are needed to bring it to fruition.

One more thing to bear in mind is that when something is given to us with no effort on our part, we tend to take it for granted, but if you have to really work for something it becomes very valuable to you and you are more likely to take care of it.

Well, must get dinner on so will close this blog for now and hopefully will come up with a much more interesting topic tomorrow. I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself after all the point of the whole experiment was to write consistently for thirty minutes minimum and I have done that.

Happy Weekend,


Thursday, October 06, 2011

If at first...

I just realized today, that when I complete today's post I will have blogged for sixteen days straight! Not too shabby! It proves that when you set your mind to do something you really want to do, anything is possible! I know this is just a small goal, but the beauty of accomplishing the smaller goals is that you gain the willpower to try something even more ambitious. Your confidence is boosted and you start to believe in yourself again and in your capabilities.

That is why goal setting is so important for children. I always stress the younger the better and there is a good reason for this, as how a child perceives himself starts very early in life. Each new mile stone, such as learning to roll over or crawl teaches a child about their own capabilities. They may fall over but they try again and again and then one day they actually succeed, but without acknowledgement from others for their persistence it really doesn't mean a lot. Research has shown that even if a child is pleased with his achievement, if he doesn't feel loved and appreciated for his efforts, he may still end up with low self esteem.

As adults we like to be acknowledged by the boss for our hard work or by our spouse if we stick to our diet and lose a few pounds, so why wouldn't a child need the same kind of adulation - something to think about!

Happy Parenting,


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

More Meanderings : )

After another abysmal sleep I am once again having an energy deficit, that even my morning cup of joe could not remedy. No matter, I decided that enough is enough and finally saw my Doc about my insomnia. I am sleep deprived and I am feeling it big time!!! I have lived with this far too long and thought eventually it would just work itself out...NOT!! I have written so many articles on the importance of sleep for our children, but if we as parents and caregivers are not getting enough precious zzzzzzs than that is going to affect how we parent our children big time! We will not have the patience to deal with them and may say things without thinking or even worse - not good. Being a parent is stressful at the best of times, but trying to parent without adequate rest is a disaster waiting to happen.

So anyway my Doctor has prescribed a limited amount of sleeping tablets to help me get a few nights of adequate sleep, so I can have enough energy to start a regular exercise routine which may be just the ticket to get me back on track. As it is now I barely have the energy to get through the day let alone go for a walk or jump on the treadmill. Everything is such a flipping effort!!!! So with that said I am going to call it a day with the blog as I have once again fulfilled my writing quota and blogged for thirty minutes as planned.

I believe once I get my sleep back on track I will be able to come up with some better topics and hopefully my writing will also improve. For now it is what it is!

I am off to pick up my son from school and grin and bear it through the rest of the day, until I can pop a pill and hopefully experience a full nights sleep - so looking forward to feeling human again.

Happy sleep ahhhhhhh,


Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

I picked up my mac book from the shop today and it is once again alive and well and ready to kick some blogging butt :)

Since I love reading I am always looking for the next "must have" book to add to my reading repertoire and came upon a book by Susan Jeffers called "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. The gist of this self help book is how Jeffers faced her own crippling fears and became empowered and how you too can put fear in the backseat and take the wheel once and for all. The book has been out for awhile so decided to give it a miss, but it got me thinking about my own fears and how amazing it would be to be able to overcome a few of them. One that comes to mind is my fear of public speaking and a quick Google search quickly confirmed that a lot of people suffer from this phobia - glad to know I am not alone :)

So I have decided since I have a good handle on my daily writing and my willpower is getting stronger with every blog, maybe it is time to throw something else in the mix. Now, I am not going to write this in stone but maybe, just maybe I will look into "Toastmasters" and see what it all entails.I mean it can't hurt to ask a few questions right? So while I am not quite ready to join up, I am going to take the first step and do a bit of research to see what this "Toastmasters" is all about. I know - not exactly stepping out of my comfort zone, but who knows where it will lead!
I will keep you posted.

I am tired and it is late and I haven't had my dinner yet, so will leave it at that. The aim is to write daily and it doesn't have to be brilliant - just consistent. This is a very good topic, so you can bet I will be blogging about it again soon. After all, overcoming any fear whether real or imagined is a huge confidence booster and who couldn't use more confidence. It might be a good idea to talk to your kids about what they fear.

Happy overcoming your fears,


Monday, October 03, 2011

Everything in Moderation

I am really late with my blog today. My computer crashed and I had to take it in to get the hard drive replaced and now when I go to boot it up it isn't recognizing the new hard drive so back to the shop it goes tomorrow. Sometimes computers can be so frustrating!!!! Anyway back to the blog...

I happened to catch the latest episode of the Doctors on the TV this morning and two of the hosts were arguing about whether kids should be allowed to eat fast food. One of the hosts was adamantly against kids EVER having fast food and the other one said it was OK once in awhile. The one who said kids should never have fast food talked about how young kids are being prescribed statins to control their cholesterol and this was from having too many fast food hamburgers and french fries, so they should be avoided at all cost! The other host said that sometimes parents are so busy rushing home after work so they can get their kids to soccer and dance lessons and other activities, that there just wasn't time to cook a healthy meal - on the odd occasion a cheeseburger and fries would have to suffice.

I happen to think that it is OK for kids to have fast food and junk food once in awhile. I believe in the 80/20 principle. If you can eat healthy 80% of the time it won't be the end of the world if you have the odd candy bar, fast food burger or french fries. Having raised four children I know that if you tell your kids NOT to do something, you can pretty much bet that the first chance they get they will do exactly that thing you prohibited them from doing. When they see their peers joyously partaking in bag of natcho chips or a greasy cheeseburger - they will want it even more.

I find with kids there has got to be some kind of compromise or else you will have to be watching them 24/7 to make sure they don't succumb to temptation - that is just not an option. Instead, teach your kids about nutrition and show them how to read labels. My youngest daughter is a serious label reader because of her Asperger's she needs to stay on a casein and gluten free diet to avoid gastrointestinal problems - she just feels better when she adheres to this type of a diet. She still has the odd slip up but it is of her choosing. The point I am trying to make is by explaining how important it is to eat a healthy diet to your children you are helping them to make better choices.

Fast food restaurants are not all bad. Show your kids how they can still have a cheese burger, but maybe instead of having french fries with it, they could have a salad. If they just have to have the french fries maybe a grilled chicken or turkey burger would be a healthier option.

You can also get your kids on the nutritional bandwagon by letting them help you decide on the menu for the week, have them accompany you while you grocery shop and even help with the meal preparations.

Happy Nutrition,


Saturday, October 01, 2011

Reading for the joy of it!

I have always been a voracious reader. As a kid I would hide under the covers reading with a flashlight late into the night, unbeknownst to my Mother, who thought I was fast asleep. My youngest son seems to share my passion and likes to read before bed. He has just discovered the author Terry Pratchett and is eagerly awaiting his next book delivery from Amazon.

I believe one of the best ways to get your child to enjoy reading is to read to them when they are small - the younger the better. It helps them to relax and will make the idea of bedtime hassle-free and they won't argue when you tell them to brush their teeth and put on their pajamas. Less stress at bedtime is always a good thing for us harried Moms and Dads.

Once your child is able to read on their own they can help with the nightly story time or they can read to you, which is also very enjoyable. You can also take weekly trips to the library together to see what new reading treasures are waiting on the shelves.

So take the time to read to your children. It is a wonderful opportunity to bond with your child and studies have shown that children who are read to at a young age tend to score higher academically.

Happy Reading,


Thursday, September 29, 2011

What Doesn't Kill You...

First of all I have to say once again, I am soooooo proud of my son!!!! He did it! As nervous and scared as he was he donned that great big gorilla suit and went out there and gave it his all. I sat at home on pins and needles and sent him all the love and support I could muster, albeit telekinetically. I also found that by going to the hockey teams website I could listen to the game online which was a little frustrating because I knew with every pause in the play it would be that much longer for my son to stay in the suit. Finally feeling stressed to the limit I figured a good workout was in order and jumped on the treadmill for half an hour.

Long story short he came home exhausted but elated! Who would have thunk it? As miserable as it was wearing the costume and hardly being able to see he actually had a good time and wants to do it again next Saturday. He said it seemed really surreal, and while he was in costume he could look at this as if he was an actor in a play. So for 2.5 hours he was"Kong," mascot of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks hockey team. Sometimes it was a little annoying as some of the younger kids tried to jump into his arms or hang from him for a photo op and he had to pretty much grin and bear it. He also said he had never been so hot in his life and his gym shorts and t-shirt were soaked through and through as evidence.

This morning he was no worse for wear and I even noticed a subtle change in his demeanor -he walked a little taller and was in really good spirits. He even said he slept like a rock!

I so hoped that this would turn out to be a positive experience for him and from what I can see it was that and more. He proved something to himself and I truly believe seeds of confidence have been planted. I am so looking forward to watching his self-esteem grow in leaps and bounds as the hockey season progresses.

Happy Parenting,


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Supporting Your Children

Another day and another blog to write. I know that consistency is the key to writing and like anything else the more you practice the better you get at it. Speaking of practice, I was also tinkering (no pun intended) with the idea to start taking piano lessons. It has always been something I have wanted to do and even attempted to take lessons about ten years ago, but that lasted all of six months and I really didn't get very far. Now apparently there are much easier ways for adults to learn and the lady at the music store said in a few months I will be shocked at how well I could play. That sounds good to me as I am not getting any younger.

Today is also the first day for my son as a mascot for our hockey team. Our neighbor dropped the suit off for him last night and he had so much homework he didn't get a chance to try it on, but that didn't stop me from giving it a go :) I wanted to know just exactly how it would feel wearing that big gorilla suit, especially the head part. So, I tried it on and walked around a bit. At first it was really hard to see which concerned me. After a bit I realized that if I looked with both of my eyes through one of the apes eyes it was not too bad - not great, but doable. Suffice to say it was very hot and stuffy. There is a battery operated cooling fan that hopefully will make the head part cooler but we haven't hooked it up yet. The part I did like were the feet part of the costume, as they are just like HUGE furry black ape slipper feet - would be nice to keep the footsies warm in the winter.

I am pretty sure my son is feeling some nerves about tonight. It will be a crowd of about six hundred expected and he said it was about as many people that went to his middle school, so I guess he was trying to put it into perspective. I know I will be watching the clock and sending him support from here as he is adamant about his family not coming to any of the games until he feel more sure of himself. I tried to get him to read some information I had found online about mascots, but he just glanced at it and didn't say much.

I think the most important thing that we can do as parents is support our children in their endeavors. Sometimes support means just letting them fend for themselves as hard as that can be sometimes. Just like when they were learning to ride a bicycle; we couldn't ride it for them, but we were there to cheer them on and put Band-Aids on the boo boos if need be.

Happy Parenting,


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More on Goal Setting

Day six of the challenge and after copious cups of coffee I am fired up enough to attempt the blog this morning. Not much sleep last night so my energy is a little low, but hopefully the coffee will fire up my neurons enough to complete the task at hand.

This writing challenge is not the loftiest goal I have ever set for myself, but I want to make sure that I have a handle on this one before I tackle something even more challenging. The book I read on willpower suggests not taking on too much too soon, as it can deplete your willpower. For instance if you want to stop smoking it is not a good idea to start a diet or exercise program at the same time. If you tax your willpower too much you can wear it out and then all your good intentions will go out the window.

In yesterday's blog I talked about how with children it is a good idea to start with small easily attainable goals or they could get disheartened and want to give up. Apparently with adults this may not be the case according to an article I read, "Those who set more ambitious goals tend to be happier." Here is the link so you can read the article in its entirety. Anyway, I hope you find it informative - it sure gave me some food for thought :))

Well that is my blog for the day and will add the link for the goal setting worksheet to help you get your kids started on goal setting.

Happy Parenting,


Monday, September 26, 2011

Goal Setting

Day five of my blogging challenge, and the topic for today is "goal setting." I read this awesome book on willpower and it inspired me to set a goal of my own; which is to improve my writing by blogging on a daily basis for a minimum of thirty minutes. By following a few of the suggestions in the book, such as setting aside an allotted time to work on whichever goal you choose. In that allotted time you don't have to work on your goal, but you can't do anything else. You can sit there and twiddle your thumbs or look off into space but that is about the extent of it. Another suggestion is to hold yourself accountable by telling someone close to you of your intentions. That way they can check up on you from time to time to see if you are following through and give you gentle nudge if you start dragging your butt : ) Willpower is just like a muscle and if you start using it on a regular basis it will get stronger - the caveat being; like a muscle if you use it too much you can burn it out - so start slow in the beginning.

You can help your child to set small attainable goals, but nothing too lofty or they could get discouraged. As they start realizing the smaller goals they will gain confidence and be able to set even bigger goals. Speaking of bigger goals I read an article yesterday about the importance of not setting your goals too small, but that is only when it comes to goal setting grown ups. I will tell you what that is all about in tomorrows blog. So until we meet again...

To help get your little ones started on their goals I am including this link to our kidsgoals goal setting ladder.

Happy Parenting and Goal Setting,


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Those Parenting "AHA" Moments

Quick update on my son's first night as mascot for our local hockey team the Silverbacks. First off, I am soooo proud of him for not letting his fears get the best of him. I guess we as parents and caregivers would love to shelter our children from anything that can cause them harm physically or mentally, whether real or not. But... by being too protective we are not doing them any favours. I saw how nervous my son was and I knew inside he was counting the hours as the time to leave for the arena was drawing closer. I suggested a good run on the treadmill to alleviate some of the stress he was feeling and he agreed that was a good idea and it really helped lower his stress level. To make a long story short - it all worked out just fine. Unfortunately, the teams previous mascot didn't show up so my son was not able to shadow him as planned. It looks like we are back to square one, and he will have a bit of training on Wednesday night when the arena won't be as packed. That way when the weekend comes he will be prepared for the larger crowds and have a better idea of what they expect from him.

I also want to blog a bit about the aha moment I had with my daughter yesterday. I had asked her to do something for me and she basically told me to do it myself! Now normally I would have told her to have some respect and would list all the things that I do on a daily basis for her without asking, but something inside me told me to be quiet and bite my tongue, so that is what I did. So although I felt a little hurt I carried on with what I was doing and within about ten minutes my daughter came to me and apologized and asked me what it was I wanted her to do and she did it without grumbling. My goodness!! I was shocked to say the least and couldn't wait till my husband came home to tell him. You see my daughter has Asperger's, which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder and she sometimes has fits of rage and it doesn't take much. She knows how to push my husband's buttons big time and more times than not something trivial will turn into a shouting match. My aha moment was realizing that by taking that extra time and not reacting too quickly my daughter came to her senses - no harm done. As her Mother I always struggle to find the best way to parent my daughter, after all she is twenty so she is considered an adult, but sometimes she acts so young and it makes me realize and there are so many things that she still needs to learn about life, but that I will leave for a later blog.

Sometimes all we need to do is take a deep breath before we react to our children when they are being belligerent or rebellious. I am not saying you should let your children get away with being mouthy or refusing to do something you ask them; rather, let them have a bit of time to cool off and then you can sit down and talk about it when cooler heads prevail. You may be surprised by the difference that will make in your relationship with your child.

Happy Parenting,


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ahhhhh Sleep

Well, it is day four of the blogging challenge and as I promised myself and a few other people, I am here fulfilling that promise - so far so good! The problem with writing a daily blog is coming up with a topic that is relevant to kidsgoals and interesting enough to anyone else who may stumble upon my blog whilst surfing the web. That is kind of what I am struggling with now as I write this. I will usually hear something on the telly that gives me a bit of food for thought or discuss an article I had recently read, but alas, nothing comes to mind. I guess I could talk about how happy I am to get the newsletter out on time. I was struggling with it a bit as my energy was quite low due to a bout of insomnia that has been plaguing me for about two weeks now. I was still bound and determined to get it out on time but as I go over it this morning I realize I missed a few blatant typos! Oh well, I can blame it on my sleep deficit and try to do better next time.

Fortunately, I had a much better sleep last night and can feel a big difference today in my clarity of thought, my mental outlook and even feel like I might have enough energy for a workout - another area in my life that has been sorely lacking lately. What a change from the last few days, where I was starting to feel like there was this big, black cloud hanging over me. How can a few more hours of zzzzz's make such a difference? This makes me think about the importance of sleep for our children and if they getting enough to be able to function properly in school.

According to a recent article I read on Web MD children age 3-6 need 10-12 hours a day, age 7-12 need 10-11 hours a day and 12-18 need 9 hours a day. I don't know about you, but I can pretty much guarantee that my fourteen-year-old son (even with my persistent nagging) is lucky to get 7 hours!! How can we expect our children to thrive when they don't get the optimal amount? I know full well how horrible I felt and how day to day activities became really difficult. For instance it took me five tries to put my cheque in the instant teller and because I was in such a brain fog, I filled my tank up and left the station with my gas cap off, wide open and drove away. Makes me wonder if I should have even been driving in the first place!

Have a look at how many hours of sleep your kids are getting and you may find they need a bit more in order to feel and be at their best. I know some kids can function perfectly well with a little less sleep but this will give you a general guideline if you are concerned your child may not be getting enough restorative sleep.

Happy Parenting,


Friday, September 23, 2011

September issue on its way!

photo courtesy of

It is the first day of fall and the perfect time to send out the next issue of the kidsgoals newsletter. I have a good start on the September issue and I am gearing towards having it sent out before the end of the day. I am really proud of this months newsletter! It deals with children's self esteem and what you as parents and caregivers can do to help ensure your children develop a healthy amount. My dearest friend Cassie wanted parents to realize the huge role they played in this and it is why she created the kidsgoals website. I am dedicating this issue to her. There will also be a link to another article on "Positive Reinforcement" that I received a lot of positive feedback on.

Off topic for a bit...I have been a vegetarian since April 2011 and while the rest of my family have not quite jumped on the vegetarian bandwagon, they are at least willing to eat meat-free meals most of the week. When I find a vegetarian recipe that gets the thumbs up from the family I am over the moon happy :)) Check out the kid's recipe section where I will share with you a hummus recipe that my son and I have perfected. Hummus is a totally vegan snack the whole family loves - if you haven't tried it, I suggest you do. It packs a nutritional punch, has loads of fiber, is easy to make and bonus, it tastes absolutely delish!!

So... on that note I wish you all a safe and happy weekend! Look for September's issue of the newsletter in your inbox shortly. Please note - only subscribers to the Kidsgoal's newsletter will receive a copy, so if you haven't subscribed yet, what are you waiting for?? It is totally free and only takes a few seconds of your time.

Happy Parenting,


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Taking Chances

Day two of my writing challenge and as I write this I am trying to come up with a topic. I find that there is usually something going on in my own family that I can draw from, so the topic today is fear and regret.

My youngest son was given the opportunity of a lifetime! He was asked by our neighbor if he would like to become the mascot for our local hockey team. It would be about once a week for the next 30 weeks or so and always on a Saturday so it would not interfere in case he had a homework assignment. The job paid forty dollars for about two and a half hours work and since he was saving up for a new gaming computer the money would definitely come in handy. With all those pluses you would think he would jump at the chance, but he told our neighbor he needed time to think about it.

The fellow who asked him to take this on told him he would have to decide before the weekend, because if my son didn't want the job he would have to have enough time to ask someone else. This huge opportunity was sitting in my son's lap and he was looking at all the reasons not to do it. Now I totally understand his concerns as this was a big unknown to him, but in his mind he was thinking about all the negatives such as having to perform in front of people, which being a bit on the shy side was not something he was familiar with. As it got closer and closer to the end of the week I kept asking him if he had made a decision and he kept saying he didn't want to talk about it. Finally, a day before he was supposed to let our neighbor know one way or the other, I decided to take matters into my own hands and cornered him. I told him that even if he didn't take the job I would not be disappointed in him. I told him I understand this is really scary for you and if you really feel like you cannot do it I understand, but... if there is any chance in your mind that you will regret it if you don't do it, then I suggest you do it. He was quiet for quite awhile and then he suddenly said out of the blue, " I am going to do it!"

I am so proud of him, as I know full well how nervous he is about this, but he let his fears take a back seat for a minute before they could get the better of him and took a huge leap of faith. I told him I am going to take a page from your book and the next time that I am scared to try something new, I will think about how brave you are.

He starts his new job this Saturday and will shadow the former mascot before he attempts going on his own. He doesn't want any of us to go to the game as he feels he would be too self conscious if his family were there, which I totally understand. I am hoping this opportunity will help him to not only overcome some of his fears, but also help build his confidence, as sometimes I don't think he realizes how amazing he really is!

Anyway, that is my blog for the day and hopefully it will give you some food for thought if like my son, you are talking yourself out of doing something you truly want to do out of fear, ask yourself is there any chance that if you don't do it you will live to regret it? If the answer is yes, take a deep breath and go for it!!
"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is the regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable."~Sydney Smith

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Here Comes Summer

Hello All!
It is getting close to the first day of summer and time once again for the next issue of the Kidsgoals newsletter. With summer comes summer holidays and of course that means school will soon be out.

The June issue of the newsletter focused  on how to keep your kids busy during the summer, as well as a bonus article on Bike Safety for Children. I am taking the lazy way out and using two brilliant articles that were submitted by Kidsgoals subscribers. Please feel free to submit articles anytime. Just go to the "Write for Us" link on the Kidsgoals website home page. If the content suits Kidsgoals and we use it for the website, we will allow one link to your business or cause within the article.

Have a great week and Happy Parenting :))


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Checking In

photo courtesy of Darren Hester

Time to Check in :))

Hello, to whoever happens to find me :) I don't promote the blog enough in kidsgoals newsletter so I need to make sure to do that in the next issue. Hopefully that will keep me more consistent with my blogging.

Wow! It has been ages since I have blogged so figured it was about time to check in. I have been pretty consistent with newsletter since January and have updated the website a bit, but I am sorely lacking in the blogging department. So without further ado...

Since this is an update I have to tell you that I am doing much better emotionally, but there are days when it is still too real and I need to just go with the myriad of emotions that come up. It is a process and still early days as far as grieving goes. I have been seeing a counsellor on a regular basis for a few months and he has really helped me to deal with my loss. He is more of a holistic counsellor so one of his suggestions was to try meditation, which has made a huge difference in my life - I highly recommend it.

Some of the benefits of meditation are reduced stress, better concentration, lowered blood pressure, helps depression etc. It will even help you with your parenting skills, because you will be so relaxed nothing your kids can do will upset you. So do yourself a favour and give it a go. According to a Psychology Today article all you need is ten minutes - who can't spare ten minutes if it will change all aspects of their lives for the better.

There are many great guided meditations you can purchase online or just try googling the word meditation and you will find everything you need to get started at no cost.

Happy parenting,


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Goals & Due Dates

Hello to readers of the kidsgoals blog:

It has been a few weeks since I have blogged and March is almost over so figured it was about time.:))

I finally got my act together and sent out the March newsletter. I was dragging my heels a bit because the article I chose for the newsletter while relevant, was sadly the last article Cassie wrote for kidsgoals. It all just seemed so final, and made it difficult to go forward. I decided to give myself a bit of a nudge and a deadline and made it a goal to get it out before the weekend. I was going to give myself two days, but once I got started I could not stop and finished it in a few hours. Funny how that works sometimes.

I have been really bad about procrastinating lately as much as that goes against the grain of what kidsgoals is all about. How can I tell my readers the importance of goal setting, when I can't seem to follow my own advice. Remember kids learn by example and I have not been setting a very good example!

I believe I am back on track now and for the April newsletter I am going to give myself a deadline with very little wiggle room. I find that once I write down a deadline I have a better chance of following through with the work involved in bringing the goal to fruition. Remember it isn't a goal until you give it a due date!

Happy Parenting,


Saturday, March 12, 2011


Hello All,

It has been awhile since I have blogged so I figured it was about time, so here goes...

Wow! Can you believe it is almost the middle of March and of course you know what that means. Yep, time for the next newsletter. I decided to clean up my readers list and give anyone a chance that didn't really want the newsletter in the first place, to opt out before I send out the next campaign. According to Mail Chimp, (the nice people who send my letter out for me) mail lists get stale very quickly. Some people even forget they signed up in the first place. So please if you really don't want it, don't send it to SPAM because it then becomes an abuse complaint and I am sent a compliance letter from Mail Chimp. So if you don't want it you know what to do, just click on the unsubscribe button and I will take you off the list. But on to other matters.

Spring is in the air, and maybe even thoughts of love for your tween or teen. The March issue is about kids crushes and what you as a parent can do to help your child if they develop a crush on that certain someone.
We have all been there, but for your child this can be a very traumatic time and it is crucial that you do not treat the crush as a trivial matter, but rather offer lots of love and support - especially if the crush isn't reciprocated :( I think you will find the article very informative.

Anyway hope you have a great weekend!!

Happy Parenting,


Monday, February 28, 2011

Kind of Down Day

Hello Readers

I am having a kind of a down day today as I wait to receive feedback on the newsletter I sent out Friday night. It is nothing even close to what Cassie would have come up with and so will have to get my act together and do a lot more studying on how to present it in a way that you, the reader will appreciate. There is so much involved in formatting and using the right html code, java script stuff and I am just a newbie.

I have to stop writing on how hard things are for me and concentrate on the topic at hand which is giving you the tools to help your children with goal setting, which will in turn lead to more confidence and higher self esteem, as well as give them a skill they can use for life - the foundation of kidsgoals.

So without further ado I will stop lamenting and continue bringing fresh content to this parenting blog for anyone who happens to stumble upon it. :))

Happy Parenting,


Saturday, February 26, 2011

I did it!!

Dear readers, I finally did it! I sent out the first kidsgoals newsletter. It was difficult writing the word from the editor as I had to let our subscribers know about Cassie. I have to tell you it was touch and go there a few times as I am so unskilled in the area of code and I wanted the newsletter to look nice. I persevered and the first attempt was sent out just before 2 AM in the morning and now I am waiting to hear any feed back from the readers.

I was unable to use any photos in the newsletter - I just couldn't figure out how to size them properly. I am hoping to have that remedied soon as I want a pic of Cassie and myself on the front. Cassie was a huge part of kidsgoals and she will continue to be a huge part of kidsgoals!

So bear with me folks as I muddle through the next few months. I have much to learn and I am very eager - a good combination I would say!!

Hope you all have a great weekend and I will try and blog as much as possible.

Happy Parenting,


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I am really starting to feel like I am being tested. I was just starting to move forward after the sudden death of my best friend Cassie at the end of December, and now I am dealing with the sudden loss of my Father on February 6th 2011. It was like the grieving never stopped - just amped up up quite a bit after the news of his demise. Now the funeral is over and he has been laid to rest, and I am trying to get myself back on track again.

I have so many things that I need to do and so many people that depend on me, but how to get that motivation and drive back again is the big question? We all are given challenges - some big and some small. The thing is not to let the challenge overwhelm you for in each challenge there is a lesson to be gleaned. I have yet to discover what my lessons are, but I am positive that in time they will be revealed to me. There is a saying, that what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, and I am discovering that through all of this, that I was stronger than I even knew - who would have thunk it. I am usually the one that falls apart when the going gets rough, but somehow I found a quiet strength in myself that I never knew existed.

So no matter what you are dealing with in your life at this time you can, no you WILL, get through it. Be kind to yourself and don't do more than you are ready to do, but do one small positive thing each day no matter what. As I have said many times, being able to run the kidsgoals website and newsletter by myself is a huge part of my healing and helps to keep me moving forward. I know Cassie would have been so proud of me for facing all of this - she always believed in me. Now, I am learning to believe in myself - I shall persevere!!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Moving Forward

It has been a little over a month now since my wonderful friend Cassie passed and I miss her terribly. Grief is a journey, but one you shouldn't travel alone. If you are experiencing a loss it is imperative that you have support from family and friends and perhaps even seek professional help. I have been seeing a grief counselor and it has helped me to deal with the myriad of emotions that are part and parcel of the grieving process. She told me it is very common to feel guilt for not having done enough when that person was alive, and of course if your loved one was taken suddenly you also want answers as to why it had to be that way - answers you may never get.

All of this is a natural, normal and important part of the healing process. I have been told by others who have experienced a tragic loss, that one day it will all feel different. You will still be sad for something very precious has been taken from your life, but it will not be the overwhelming, debilitating sadness that you may be experiencing right now. In time, and please bear in mind it is different for everyone, but in time you will be able to accept that this person is no longer in your life, but you will forever carry the love they gave you in your heart, and the memories of your loved ones will bring you joy not pain.

My counselor told me not to wait until I feel better to do more she said, "Do more and you will feel better." For some just getting out of bed may be a tall order so keep in mind It doesn't have to be anything monumental, just one small thing that keeps you moving forward. Part of my healing is to continue with the Kidsgoals website and newsletter. My goal is to have the next issue out before Valentines day. It gives me something to occupy my mind and I know it is something that my dear friend would have wanted.

Wishing you all love and support on your own healing journey,


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Healing Journey

It has been a little over two weeks since my best friend Cassie passed away and I am still in shock. She was only thirty-six with so much of her life ahead of her. I miss her more than words can say, but I am slowly but surely starting to get my bearings.

Grief is a journey, and for everyone it will be different. There are no rules and no way to get through it quickly. I am finding that keeping busy has kept me going, but that may not be for everyone - some may find they don't even want to get out of bed in the morning. The important thing to remember is to look after yourself as best as you can. Let people help if they offer. I also really recommend talking to someone. I have been seeing a grief counselor and it has really helped in my own healing journey. There are also local support groups and online bereavement forums, where you can get help from people who have been down the same road and are very willing to offer love and support in your time of need. Also, there are many good books out there to help you get a better understanding of the grieving process.

There are still many more tears that will be shed and much sadness, but I am trying to move forward as best as I can. I know Cassie would have wanted me to be happy and to continue with the website and newsletter, so that is what I am going to do. Please bear with me as I am going have to learn everything by trial and error. Cassie was brilliant at all the techy stuff and I am starting at square one. I just always thought she would be here to handle that side of it. Big life lesson, NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING and also cherish your loved ones, for in a blink of an eye they can be taken from you - so sad, but unfortunately so true!

I will blog as much as I can and also try and get the next newsletter out soon - most likely near the end of January. I have also decided to volunteer for the Family Resource Centre in my town - another part of the healing process for me. Only do what you can do, but by the same token I was given advice by my counselor to not wait until you feel better to do more, she said, do more and you will feel better. For some this may seem like an impossible feat, but it doesn't have to be much more, just a tiny bit more than you did yesterday.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

With Much Sadness :((

Hello Readers of the kidsgoals newsletter, visitors to the site and any kidsgoals blog readers. It is with much sadness that I am informing you of the sudden passing of my dearest friend and my partner in kidsgoals, my darling Cassie. She passed away suddenly at the end of December 2010, and I miss her terribly. I will however continue with the website and the newsletter in her memory as I truly believe she would have wanted that.

Please bear with me as I muddle through with the newsletter. It will be late January before I will be able to send it out. I have to learn all the technical stuff on my own - Cassie was without a doubt the technical wizard in this partnership.

That is about all I am able to say for now.

RIP my sweet angel you are loved and missed beyond measure.