Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Soup Trick

Here's one of those "Mom Tricks" that will leave you thinking, "Why didn't I think of that?" (Of maybe you already did and I'm the one slow on the draw!)  Toddler Cup o' soup.  My daughter loves soup.  Absolutely.  But she's at that age of wanting to do it herself when it comes to feeding, and let's face it, a toddler with a bowl of soup is a mess waiting to happen.  So comes my brilliant idea of using the sippy cup for her own variation of cup o' soup.  Works like a charm!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Seventh Generation - Second Wave - Hestia House

I had a fantastic opportunity this week to visit a place I have never been to before. Hestia House in Saint John, NB, Canada is an unassuming place. I've driven by it many times and never knew it was there. I knew of it's existence, but not the location. The location is purposefully hidden. Hestia House is a safe place, a shelter and support for women and children in crisis. This year marks 30 years of Hestia House. It's a bittersweet marker. I'm glad it's there, but I'm saddened that it is needed.
The purpose of Hestia house is to provide safe housing for women and children who need to leave an abusive home environment. They are looking for a way out and looking to plan for a better future. It accommodates 24 women and children, complete with a playroom and a secure backyard. The home is staffed around the clock. They provide counseling, referrals to appropriate agencies and support groups for emotional, medical, legal, employment and housing needs. There is a 24 hour hotline as well. Though it mostly serves women in the Saint John area, any woman is welcome there who needs the support.
As I learned more about what Hestia House does, I was really impressed with a partnership program that they have. The Animal Rescue League of Saint John offers a temporary home for pets of the women who turn to Hestia House. It is just one more way to encourage women to leave an abusive situation. As you can well imagine, it takes a lot of courage for these women to leave their situations and turn to a place like Hestia House for help. It's not an easy decision to make and often they leave with just the clothes on their back. That's why Hestia House welcomes donations of all sorts. People can help out with monetary gifts, gift cards, or practical items such as toiletries, clothing and toys. During my visit to Hestia House I was able to donate a box of diapers for them to use whenever they are needed in the future. The diapers are part of Seventh Generation's Second Wave Diaper Donation Program. During this past month, many Mom bloggers around the country were approached by Seventh Generation and Mom Central Canada to take part in this campaign. Their aim was aiming to reach their goal of giving away up to 240,000 diapers to 40 shelters in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Additionally, they asked Mom bloggers to donate diapers to a charity of their choice. Hestia House was the organization that jumped out to me as a place that needed to be blessed in this way. And it was a very moving experience for me. I can only imagine the stories that lie in those walls.
There are ways that you can be involved in this great act of love yourself. You can "Buy One Give One" - Seventh Generation Diapers to an organization you know could use them. To learn more about Seventh Generation and the shelters that they have supported this fall check out
To learn more about Hestia House, visit
If you or someone you know is living in distress, please call (506)-634-7570.
To make a donation to Hestia House contact: Hestia House Inc. P.O. Box 22080 57 Landsdowne Ave Saint John, NB E2K 4T7
Disclosure – I am participating in the Seventh Generation program by Mom Central Canada. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Do Something Little, Help Something Big

I have a mom admission to make.  I turn the radio down when the news comes on and my kids are with me in the car.  It's not to pretend these things don't happen, it's just to filter them from it for a while.  I don't want them to become jaded, where the headlines that should shock and horrify just become part of their every day life.  And that really is what has happened to us.  The headlines roll off our backs, and set into the background while we get on with our day.  We shrug things off and think, well what can we possibly do about it?  Exactly, what can we do?
Maybe it isn't something big, maybe it's something little.  There is so much negativity in our world that it seems incurable.  So why not start small?
Remember that old commercial, if I tell 10 friends, and they tell 10 friends and so on and so on.  Well, that's how I'm thinking these days.  If I show some kindness to our world and teach my kids to do the same, how will that impact their lives?  How can that little ripple effect our world?
We have a couple of story books that show that idea off to our kids quite well, the first is The Grumpy Morning by Pamela Duncan Edwards and the second is Have You Filled Your Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud .  

I think they are great starters to get your kids thinking about how what we do and how our attitudes can have an effect not just on themselves but on others.
The other way I can teach my kids this concept is by living it out myself.  That's why I was excited to be asked to join the Energizer Blog tour "Do Something Little, Help Something Big".  They are pledging to donate $100 000 to Evergreen to make cities more liveable.  For each person that visits their site and makes a pledge of what they will do to help this world out in any sort of act of kindness, they will donate a dollar.  As I write this the pledge counter stands at 35 808 - so there is a ways to go yet.  I'd love to see them max out.
For my part, I am pledging 5 things.  5 simple acts of Kindness.
1. Donate what I'm not using - clothing, outgrown toys, books on pregnancy/babies - all of that can go to someone who currently needs it.
2. Turn out the lights when we aren't in that room - my 4 year old has really picked up on this one and has become the 'light police' in our house
3. Hold open more doors - you know what it's like when you are pushing a stroller around and the person in front of you lets the door shut just as you are getting there - so frustrating!  I'm trying to be more aware of who is around me when I'm out and about so I can help them out.
4. Smile and manners towards service people.  I honestly would hate to have their job because people can be so rude to store clerks, serving staff and cashiers.  I'm trying to put myself in their shoes, and remember that they are people doing their job.  A kind word and a smile can really make their day and their shift a little bit easier.
5.  Take charge of our recycling.  We don't have curbside pickup where we currently live so I'm making a point to drive it in to a recycling depot when I go to work.
That's it.  5 little things that can make a difference.  What 5 things do you think you can do too? 
To take part in Energizer and Evergreen's initiative visit

Disclosure – I am participating in the Energizer Canada & Evergreen “Do Something Little, Help Something Big” program by Mom Central Canada on behalf of Energizer Canada & Evergreen. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hockey Mom

It's that time of year again! My son's first practice is tomorrow and it's an early one (of course). This is year 3 of hockey season for our family and the last one with just one player on the ice. Our 2nd son wants to play next year when he's 5 (they don't start them earlier than that where we live). We are starting this season a little bit differently than before. My husband happens to be out of town this week, meaning I'm the one to make sure he has all of his equipment ready and sized properly. Thank goodness only the gloves need upsizing, they are still okay for tomorrow's practice, but we'll be hitting the sporting goods store shortly after that.
One thing I quickly realized is that the new stick needs to be sized and taped. In my head I was thinking, under the chin if he's on his skates, at his nose if he's not wearing them. But then I thought, well, is it if the blade is down? or, up on the toe? Thank goodness for Google. It is up on the toe. And yes, that was me in the carport with a hacksaw cutting the stick down.
Next on my list was taping the stick. Another hockey parent job my husband has always done. And again, thank you Google! I found a very helpful site complete with a video demo of what to do and what all the differences in taping a stick meant for the player.
I found the stick length guide at
The How to Tape a Hockey Stick videos were at 
Both sites look great.  They are clear in their pictures and directions.  I'm sure they have many more resources in there.
I've also realized that this is the first year that our son doesn't need help with his equipment (with the possible exception of making sure his skates are tight enough) - he can do it all himself now.  So fantastic when I think on the 5 year old he was a couple of seasons ago who wobbled out onto the ice.
One more place I want to direct all of you hockey moms too (if you haven't yet found it) is Hockey Mom in Canada (  That's a great online community of Moms just like you.  I'm part of their Facebook community as well.  They often have good articles, blog posts and discussions on the go.   It's a great way to connect with other hockey moms and issues around the sport.
I hope you all have a great season!  See you on the ice :)



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