Thursday, January 19, 2017

Diapers oh diapers & more diapers

Disclosure: The author of this blog has no direct nor indirect business, financial, personal affiliation, nor has any relationship that could be interpreted or perceived as a relationship for financial gain with the companies or product manufacturers mentioned within this article:

My children (I have four) went through many of the major brands of diapers, we had to switch constantly as some diapers caused agitation on their bum, and some caused chafing from rubbing against their skin, and a few simply didn’t fit well. So I cannot emphasize more on how important it is to try several brands before you commit, as almost all of them are made differently.

A baby uses a diaper around 6 times a day, now lets do the math:

A box 192 Diapers (Econ. Plus Pack) is $42.97 (on sale)

42.97 / 192 = 22.38 = 22.40¢  each

6 x 0.23 a day = 1.38$ for poop and pee per day for 32 days (192/6 = 32 days)

Do yourself a favor pick-up the phone and/or email the customer service departments of the diaper companies and request samples directly, they should be happy to send you some FREE samples as you will be buying boxes a month at a price between 25-45$ for three years, -Its in their best interest to connect. Also, most of the major brands offer online coupons in exchange for your personal information. I made an email account just for diaper coupons and other savings, consider doing the same.

We found our children’s brand at a wholesale store; the store was using one of the top three manufacturers and labeling the diapers with their own generic store brand.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

OMS North America Strollers of the Year! (maybe of the decade)

Disclosure: The author of this blog has no direct nor indirect business, financial, personal affiliation, nor has any relationship that could be interpreted or perceived as a relationship for financial gain with the companies or product manufacturers mentioned within this article:

So when my wife did not accept my solution of using a shopping cart for hauling the kids around, I dived into the world of assessing and comparing strollers. And wow –there are a lot on the market, it is like buying a car, and costs almost as much as a used car ranging in prices from 120$ – 3,000$ and in Canada and South Asian it is significantly more.

I considered several factors for my evaluations; durability was the first  -nothing is worse than taking the kids out, and something happens to the stroller. Consider what you do in your off-season, if you go to the beach, it should push through the packed sand easily, and be high enough, so your little one will not be soaked when a wave comes in a while pushing the stroller on the beach.

If you enjoy the trails  (this was a huge factor as we live in a region with national parks and long trails) so the stroller had to be able to cruise over the rough ground like a mini jeep, -only a few do.

Exercising, if you run or jog be confident that the stroller spins smoothly, correctly and locks into a straight direction, (this is also important when pushing through the sand.)

The Sherpa factor, you should be able to be store everything you need in or on your stroller. I know of some mums that love carrying their diaper bag and pushing their classic, hipster, nostalgic stroller – yet don’t forget mums, that you may have a male pushing that nostalgic stroller, consider how happy he will be carrying a diaper bag and be pushing the stroller, make it is easy for him, and he will enjoy pushing the stroller.

Occupancy, and maneuverability –If your planning on having more than one child, then try and consider how they will sit in the stroller together, and factor in what you do daily. It is daunting to maneuver in small areas like grocery aisles, checkouts and even propping a side-by-side double occupancy stroller onto escalating stairs at the mall. I had almost no problems with the top-and-bottom occupancy stroller as the width was standard.

Price – surprised I did not put this first, well if you look at the cost from a replacement value, you want to be certain that if you buy that 350$ stroller, it lasts. Otherwise, you will be buying another one, and another one. So ideally you should spend what you can afford and get the best value for your dollar.

Ask yourself this simple question: “will my child be safe, comfortable and will it break my back to push it through the sand…” Remember that our expert in residence wrote an article on the importance of having a proper car seat and stroller.

It is no surprise that this year’s top TWO of the highest ranking strollers are:

For durability, cost, and easiness: The BOB –

This stroller is built like an off-road vehicle, the large tires, with air (not plastic wheels), allows this stroller to cruise through trails, sand, snow and rain with ease. With the ability to lock the front wheel and ease of the spin, it was also ideal for jogging.

The BoB has good storage capacity, and you can add generic accessories to hold your coffee, bottle,  phone, diaper bag and other things. Traveling with the BoB was easy, it collapses easy and quickly and the wheels come off, I carried a bungee cord to wrap around the stroller to keep it snug for flights and on top of the van.

Bonus – the BoB is very masculine, and as a father, I loved pushing it, ladies, there are a variety of colours to select from.

For double occupancy, storage and maneuverability = The City Select

When you have more than one child and if they are both too young to walk for long periods, then you must invest in a stroller that can carry both of them.

The BoB double occupancy stroller was difficult to maneuver in tight places, and some places I could not even enter, collapsing the stroller felt like doing bicep curls at the gym.

The City Select is a tad more on the pricier side starting at around 400$, plus you have to buy the accessions and the second seat had to be purchased separately. We purchased our in Utah where large families are the norm, and they sold out as soon as they were put on the shelves for sale. I enjoy the ability that you can switch the seating arrangements constantly and if you have three children and one is older, that child can stand on the glider.  As a parent, your child’s stroller should be as easy to use, and as convenient as your mobile phone, and the City Select was.

The First Two Years Of Parenthood

When you enter the world of parenthood, the most overwhelming and life altering time is the first two years of your child’s life. It changes you as a person. Not only your day to day priorities or your house being filled with more children’s items than “Toys ‘r’ us” and not to mention your self-grooming limited to a three-minute shower (if you’re lucky). But this time also changes your relationship dynamic with your partner and what’s important in life.

No one see’s this change coming, it’s like a gust of wind when you’re wearing a flowy skirt (unexpected and hard to deal with). And it’s definitely not spoken about enough during pregnancy. Everyone talks about how lovely having a newborn is and all the nice elements, but in reality we should be educating parents on the challenging aspects that lay ahead so they can be aware and know that it’s not just them going through it, we all are or have been there.

There is nothing worse than looking at your partner in the midst of a crying baby and no sleep, feeling like you are both failing because society has created this white picket fence idea of how life is after becoming parents. It’s going to be challenging and you will have to work extra hard at having time to yourself and giving attention to your relationship (because believe me this is vital to maintaining sanity and romance).

For a woman the first two years are overtaken by “mummy mode” both mentally and physically, so much so that we often lose ourselves and who we are because our minds are consumed twenty-four hours a day with our child and what they need. I am a mother to twin girls aged two and a half years(trust me the half counts) and it’s only recently that I have rediscovered myself and who I am.

I’ve realised that’s I’m not just a mother, that Mimi still exists and that I need her to feel whole. And that’s ok. It’s important to have time to yourself, for your career or to socialise, because after all taking care of your well being ultimately makes you a better parent. You come out of this whirlwind of babyhood and enter into a new chapter of your child’s life, they are able to do more for themselves, to communicate and are probably enrolled in a nursery. It’s an exciting time for them, and for you as parents also.

So if you’re reading this and you’re experiencing the first few years with your little wonder, or are about to embark into parenthood. Know that whatever happens in those first years, you will make it through. You will be wiser, more fulfilled and happy – just keep realistic expectations.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Onion Lake First Nation Dental Clinic

He completed his undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University (BYU), in Provo, Utah; Then finished his doctorate degree from one of the top dental schools at that time in the United States, University of Washington. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation created a documentary on the importance of the Crowfoot family and their historical history within Alberta and the prairies, including the Dr. Crowfoot, and what the Crowfoot family is doing today.[2] Upon graduation Dr. Crowfoot realised his goal was to protect and care for the oral health of others and increase a persons happiness by enhancing their self-esteem, self-worth and confidence by creating beautiful smiles for those that may not receive any medical attention at all. He undertook this initiative by relocating to Tuscon, Arizona to further his training then returned to Alberta, Canada and opened a clinic on the Siksika Nation Reserve. IN Support of Dr. Crowfoot, the Siksika health centre constructed a state-of-the-art dental clinic,[3] after building smiles in Siksika, Dr. Crowfoot enhanced the dental clinics of three more clinics in Onion lake, Maskwacis and Saddle lake. Dr Crowfoots lives the entrepreneurial spirit, at an early age; while attending dental school he started his own business in painting houses to support his family and costs incurred for his education. Then after graduating and success of his clinics While practicing dentistry at the Maskwacis Health Centre, he started a medical device manufacturing company, not only did he stimulate the local economy by creating employment opportunities, he also provided orthotics for those whom suffer from the side effects from diabetes, neglect, and illness that impair healthy feet.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Duties of the 2016 D.A.D

We are finally in an era where gender equality is recognized, understood and accepted (by most), allowing men to undertake household chores without being emasculated. IN my own personal opinion, the role of a father has changed dramatically, -for the better. We no-longer live in the fa├žade of the “Mad Men era,” we live a society that requires most parents to provide dual incomes, and try to contribute to the housework almost equally.

The following is a list compiled from the help of some fathers across North America, on things a father should be able to do (or learn how to) :

1. Plan meals for the week, and be able to cook them..
2. Make kids lunches for school

3. Be able to sort out laundry and try to fold

4. Teach the kids how to wash and dry dishes by hand

5. Understand the difference between socks and “onesie baby legs”

6. Put kids to bed

7. Teach the kids (5+) when and where is it okay to pass gas

8. Hug the children before they go to school, or remind them to have a good day, the night before if your working

9. Take them to soccer, and cheer loud, don’t correct, but CHEER

10. Teach kids literacy – (this was given to me from my 8yr old…)

11. Know how to cook hotdogs

12. Help kids when they fall, yet also know when to teach them to shake it off and get back up

13. Teach them manners at the dinner table

14. Help the kids turn on Netflix

15. Read to kids constantly, don’t worry, you can make up the stories

16. Be able to tie a pony tail, and if you can make a bun

17. Wiping the proper direction for kids

18. Know not to dry clothes in the microwave

19. How to tie a tie, balloon, shoe lace, skates, and cleats

20. Teach them how to polish shoes on their own

21. How to start a fire

22. Setup new video game systems

23. Put air in to bikes, balls and balloons

24. Set up and connect to Wifi

25. Drive while being distracted

26. Set up a tent

27. How to kill monsters and wasps (if they attack)

28. How to participate in a tea party

29. How to play with dolls

30. Show respect to elders, and class/etiquette to women

31. Prepare a bottle

32. Change a diaper, and put the diaper where its supposed to go!

33. Know the size and brand of the diapers the children use

34. Put a car seat in properly

35. How to clean counters

36. Teach the kids on how to make a bowl of cereal

37. Show your son how to pee standing up

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Teachers Havent Changed – Parents Have

I have witnessed the interactions between students with their teachers and students with their parents and how parents are now interacting with educators – and it’s a seismic shift.

I reflect back to the days when I was attending elementary school, (early 1980’s) when the norm was playing dodge-ball, messing around with first generation Macs; and back then whatever the teacher said was taken as gospel…literally.


This was reaffirmed at parent-teacher meetings; my mom would sit and listen without interrupting, allowing the teacher to state every positive and negative aspect in my ability to learn., including how I would get so excited about knowing the answer, that I would simply blurt it out.

This was reaffirmed at parent-teacher meetings; my mom would sit and listen without interrupting, allowing the teacher to state every positive and negative aspect in my ability to learn., including how I would get so excited about knowing the answer, that I would simply blurt it out.

After the parent-teacher meeting my mom would simply say “stop interrupting class, I don’t care if you know the answer, you MUST put up your hand..” she wouldn’t even acknowledge nor entertain my side, she did not care what I had to say – the teacher had spoken, that was it.

Now in 2016, it is not unusual for a teacher to be confronted by a parent, and the parent is expecting an explanation of the conduct in the classroom, and are shocked when the teacher informs the parent or guardian on behavioral issues. “Oh no, my daughter would never say that…” or “ son told me that you yelled at the class to be quiet..” Now the teacher must explain to the parent, “…of course, I used a stern tone -they were acting wild including your daughter…” and then the parent states “…well my daughter never causes issues, and that frightened her….” And reports the teacher to the administration.

I reside in a community that has more than a handful of educators on one street, one of the teachers, who radiates happiness, patience and tolerance had a student in her class misbehave, not pay attention and constantly distract others, then the student would approach the teacher and ask “what are we doing…” the teacher developed a method to help the student learn about the value of listening.
The teacher provided the student with three popsicle sticks, each time the student needed to approach the teacher (after the teacher explained the activity) to ask a question on what they are doing; the student would have to give one popsicle stick.

The teacher explained an exercise and the student wasn’t paying attention, so she approached the teacher and asked: “what do we do….” The teacher replies, “…are you sure you want to use a popsicle stick for this question because the steps are right there on the whiteboard.” The student said no, and scurried off and tended to her task, knowing the value of her questions.

The next day, the teacher explains a new activity to the entire class, the student again is not paying attention (this child does not have any learning disabilities or cogitative delay, or any impairment) after the teacher advises the class on the tasks, the student approaches the teacher and asks “….umm what are we doing…” the teacher replies “we are doing this…… and that will be one popsicle stick..” the student replies, they are in the garbage; my mom and dad said that I don’t need to be doing that.

My jaw dropped when I was listening to this event, and I am still startled, this teacher not only was teaching the student on the value of listening, thinking about what questions should be asked and so many other skills that are needed for success.

Once a child attends school full-time, the educators are the individuals that spend the most time with your children. Teachers are installed with the duty to provide your child with an education and guide them to learn more; with an objective of the child becoming a positive influence in our society.

I am aware that the odds of having a mediocre teacher are high, yet you should instill your confidence in them. You enable confidence in other professionals, including doctors. Have you ever asked your doctor to see their university transcript on classes they passed and failed… heck you might have a C- doctor, but you still go to them, and the reason is justifiable -you trust them, you must do this with your child’s teacher.

As a father of three elementary school children and a postsecondary lecturer that is married to an elementary school teacher and a brother to a Professor of Education, in my opinion, if you want leaders, allow your children to be lead on a proper path for success. Help teachers, help you, help our children and let’s build a prosperous future – support them. Visit NOW!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Tiss the season NOT to be Stressed – Santa Treats Everyone Equally

Parents do you remember the 1996 blockbuster hit “Jingle All the Way” starring Sindbad and Arnold Schwarzenegger? Don’t worry if you missed it, it wasn’t a “must see” movie, and far from being a blockbuster, it was simply about two fathers, one was a stressed-out workaholic, and the other was an overworked postal worker; each has a son, and both of them promised their sons the cool new toy for Christmas. However, both fathers waited until Christmas Eve to buy it.

This box office disappointment does reflect some real-life scenarios that more than a few parents face this time in the year. A large percentage of the population are middle-class parents requiring dual household incomes, with many parents working more than one job to stay afloat.

IN the holiday season prices of almost everything goes up, forcing more parents to work longer hours, and not having time to shop, and when they do attempt to buy overpriced gifts, they must fall mercy to the corporate brands and chaotic, hellish environment.

However we can buy online and not worry, it’s a simple click and pay – or is it?
Well its not that simple if the toy is not available or sold-out. The toys industry has several advantages compared to other manufacturing and distributing sectors. They can control the market, and not be publicly scrutinized (As a pharmaceutical company would be.) To prevent flat sales, months or weeks before the Christmas holiday, the toy industry simply increases their marketing with commercials and excels manufacturing and flood the market with the cool new toy, making it available everywhere.

Then at Christmas, the toy manufacturer slows production down, therefore causing an increased demand and making parents frantic; because they promised their child the “cool new toy,” forcing the parent to buy a different and more often expensive alternative.

Good news parents, after Christmas is over, and you bought the more expensive toy to make up for the inability and letdown you caused because you couldn’t give the “cool new toy” to your child; the manufacturers will release mass quantities of that toy so you can buy it! Helping you and their post-Christmas financial figures, assuring that they are stabilized.

What can a parent do so they are not guilted, pressured and extorted into buying toys that are costly because they were intentionally shorted on the market?

With the spirit of Christmas, it can be an excellent opportunity to teach our children about the value of appreciation and equality. We live in a very diverse socially economic country, with drastic ranges in household incomes. We as parents are aware that our children compare gifts they receive from Santa, causing some children to wonder why the other kid got the expensive toy, and they did not.

So why not have Santa bring the toy that doesn’t cost a small fortune. Let it be something with significant meaning. And not the toy that will make “Johnny” at school feel like he got short sticked by Santa. Teach our children that Santa treats everyone equal.

Leave that expensive, cool new toy that’s has been swept off the shelves to come from you.
This will allow parents an opportunity to give their children a written promissory note; with a dedicated day to shop for that toy –After Christmas (it could even be on sale saving you some extra money.)

This will allow your child an opportunity to understand that you worked hard to get this present for them; and who knows your child may want something entirely different when the promised shopping day comes along.
Authored by an eVillage Parent of four children