With thanks to the Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation for our wonderful stay in Port Stanley.
We stopped to watch Ontario’s oldest draw bridge lift up at the mouth of Kettle Creek, allowing a few sail boats to set off into Lake Erie for the day. We trailed behind the boats on foot, enjoying the picturesque Port Stanley harbour on our way to the beach.
And, man, was that beach ever the loveliest. I can’t get enough of those Lake Erie sandy beaches with beautiful water you can wade out in forever. You can actually RELAX while your kids play in the water and make sandcastles and dream about uprooting your life and moving here forever because it’s like a little slice of heaven right here in Ontario.
We rolled into a campsite outside St. Thomas, Ontario just after 4pm. I’d picked this particular campground solely for it’s proximity to Port Stanley, Ontario where we had a full slate of family fun scheduled for the next day. (Stay tune for a full recap of that adventure in a day or two.)
So we pull up to the campsite I booked online a mere six hours later than we’d planned. Though, if I’m going to be completely honest, I knew that the 6am getaway time was pure fantasy from the moment I dreamed it up and declared it “the plan.” This meant we had just enough time to set up our campsite, make a fire and eat dinner before sunset and no time whatsoever for family nature hikes, swimming or other camping activities. (Uh? Capture the flag? Help me out here.)
1. Buy a tent.
Get a tent that’s big enough to fit your entire family plus your gear and that’s reasonably easy to put up. (Vintage is great for dining chairs and statement hats, not so great for tents.) Cost: at least $200
2. Buy sleeping bags.
Now you CAN probably borrow the 25-year-old sleeping bags that live in your in-laws basement as long as it doesn’t get too cold at night. I mean, who needs zippers anyway? All the better for your children to crawl in with you just as soon as you finally get to drift off. But you decide that it’s probably a good investment for you to own your own sleeping bags at this point. So you buy the cheapest, crappiest sleeping bags you can find. Cost: $100 – $200. [Read more...]
I kept close tabs on what I was feeding my infant son eight years ago. We all did; it was doctor’s orders. Allergies were on the rise and we needed to carefully watch every new food. The most common allergens were to be avoided altogether for at least the first year. It was a large-scale experiment, really, to see if delaying the introduction to allergens would make some difference, some dent, in the relentlessly rising allergy rates. It didn’t. So now parents are back to feeding their babies pretty much whatever they want.
I guess I should probably get over that time my husband accidentally bought the baby cereal with powdered milk already added. Cow’s milk! The horror! I’ll consider it. [Read more...]
We went out for dinner last week and because I’m a seasoned and experienced mom of three, I brought exactly nothing to keep my kids occupied while we waited for our food. The number one tip I give to people going out for dinner with young children is to bring an activity for the kids; books, crayons and paper, small toys or games, that kind of thing. In actual practice, I’m never organized enough to grab that stuff.
But I also don’t like handing over my phone because of my high parenting ideals. Hahahaha. No, it’ s because my phone is an expensive piece of very nice technology and it’s pretty much the only thing I have that’s off limits. Besides, they’ve already smashed two of them. And they’d fight over it. [Read more...]
I’m not an eco-nut by any stretch. I live in a world constrained by budgets and time and the fragile limits of my sanity. So I do use paper plates for kiddie birthday parties and disposable plastic freezer bags, and I don’t make my own soap.
The good news is that I don’t have to make my own soap to do the right thing by mother nature. Seventh Generation makes plant-based, environmentally responsible cleaning products that are free from toxins and safe for your family. They’re the real deal, guys. You can trust these products.
The case of Debra Harrell, the South Carolina mom who was arrested for letting her nine-year-old play at the park while she worked at McDonald’s, has been widely discussed as a free-range-children issue. Shouldn’t a nine-year-old be allowed to play in the park, free-range advocates ask. Has our bubble-wrapped society gone too far?
But, guess what? It’s not a free-range issue. This is a class issue. This story is all about class and social welfare and feminism. It’s an example of how society fails to provide basic protections for women and children and then turns around and paints mothers as criminals. [Read more...]
It’s Saturday! Who ever posts anything on a Saturday? Well, apparently I do now because this blog is the one thing in my life I can make work according to my own warped sense of time.
I’d like to put the garbage out but, oh wait, that was yesterday. I forgot. And now I get to wait another two weeks before I have the chance to put out the garbage. This every-other-week garbage and recycling pick up is all fine and dandy until you miss a day and then, BAM, you’ve got a month’s worth of garbage festering in the July heat, piled up above the rim as you make a sport out of doing handstands on top of it in order to please fit just one more bag of assorted landfill.
I’d also like to bring the two older kids to the arts and crafts class I registered them for at Michael’s. But that was yesterday too. They sat around watching TV instead while I spent the morning opening emails and then peeling a two-year-old off my lap every three minutes. The class is only $2 a piece and they’re offering them all summer but I just feel so defeated. I’d have to go back there in person and figure out another day that works and then — let’s be real — I’ll probably forget about it again.
I blame the summer. I do. When the kids aren’t in school or camp, there’s really no discernible difference between the days around here. I mean, usually I can keep track because I know that Cosmo TV is rerunning Girls on Tuesday nights and Last Comic Standing is on Thursdays, but I haven’t even been watching TV this week. You guessed it, because of summer.
Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Wait! I’m not even talking about diagnosing terminal illnesses, magical weight-loss tips, conspiracy theories or anything that aims to debunk established scientific truths. We already know that stuff is crazy.
I’m talking about those lists of helpful tips you see everywhere: 18 Ways To Save Time In the Kitchen; 23 Easy Hacks to Change Your Life; or, my favourite, 48 Tricks Every Parent Should Know. And I should know better! I mean, I already wrote 13 Parenting Tips That Can Bite Me and the so-called useful advice that has come out since then has been crying out for a sequel. Have you seen the baby sleeper with the built-in mop?! Yes, let’s clothe our infants in mops to maximize the amount of dust and dirt that will cling to them when they crawl across the floor. That’s brilliant.