Tag: Kids

The World Should Act Like Our Kids!

Guest Post By: Jeff Wood

With all that is going on in the world today with racism and hate, have you ever stopped and wondered what it would look like if us as adults acted like our kids. I’m not talking tantrums and pooping our pants but how they view people and act upon that.

Right now is Black History Month and in Alberta it’s finally recognized but we are only the 4th province to do so. All the hate getting thrown at muslims in the world is horrible and to top it off the United States has a right-wing president leading their country. People use words and phrases to put down others without even thinking. Slander towards gay rights and religion became part of how people talk and has been that way as long as I can remember. I know I have caught myself doing the exact same thing from time to time without asking myself why.

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I will never forget the life lesson my younger daughter gave me at 5 years old when I was upset and used words I shouldn’t have towards someone, because of something they did while driving. She looked at me and said “My friend is from there and I love playing with her!” Holly shit, what a wake up call for me. Not even realizing that what I was saying not only made zero sense to what had happened but also that my little girl was there listening to what I was saying. I asked myself that day, why are you saying these things? Do I really want my kids thinking like this because of my words when I am just speaking out of my ass?

From that day on I realized that words you use when angry about something or someone have dire effects on those around you and even if you don’t truly believe what you say out of anger, using such hurtful and hate filled words to get a point across only adds to the bigger problem. The world will never change when you add fuel to the fire.

As time has gone on I’m still not perfect by any means. I say things when angry that I shouldn’t but slander towards a group of people is not part of that. It’s easy to get caught up in the hysteria going on in the world and speak in a way that is disrespectful and hurtful to others just to show your frustration but it shouldn’t be that way.

This is where us as adults should be like our kids. No matter what race you are, religious beliefs, sex, or sexual orientation kids see people as people. They have the “I’ll play with you if your nice, if your mean I won’t” attitude that we can all live by. It doesn’t matter to my kids where you come from or what you believe they just want to have fun and be loved.

Why can’t us as adults all think this way. The world would be a much better place if we acted like our kids on this matter. No more worrying about race, religion or any other unique trait we have and using that against those that upset us. We should just be happy, talk to the people we like and share our love to others, celebrate what makes us different. If we have a problem with someone, leave it with them and not where they are from or what they believe. Society would have less problems if we acted like our kids.

I still to this day thank my little girl for that life lesson many years ago. I love how all 3 of my kids think and act and speak in a kind manner, and how they taught me to do the same. I hope they never lose that mentality and I as a dad will do my part so they never change. People learn this behavior from others including parents, not one person in the world is born with prejudice. I know I am happier as a person looking at the world through my kids eyes, they remind me everyday that people are people – end of story!

 

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The Cherry Story on Pet Ownership

Many people are very familiar with Don Cherry especially in the hockey world. Mr. Cherry is known as an ice hockey commentator for CBC Television and co-host of “Coach’s Corner.” He also has had a very successful career as a hockey player and NHL coach. You can always expect his candid commentary and very unique suits that he wears. However, there is much more to this extraordinary person and that is his love and passion for animals.

With this passion, it is no surprise that he and his daughter, Cindy, started the Don Cherry’s Pet Rescue Foundation with the mission to provide financial assistance to registered pet rescue organizations and educate the public on animal welfare across Canada.

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I have a special place in my heart for animals too especially with the love we had for our beloved Lily who we lost this past January so I wanted to get to know this foundation a little more and offer some insight to parents on pet ownership. I had the honor and pleasure of connecting with Cindy Cherry, President of Don Cherry’s Pet Rescue Foundation and daughter of Don Cherry.

Cindy provided me with a special, honest and beautiful look at her upbringing and the impact of pet ownership in her life.  

“As you may know, my father and I decided to start up Don Cherry’s Pet Rescue Foundation last year. There were many reasons why, but I’ll describe one major point for the interest of this article. That being, how, when a child owns a pet, it could shape the way they handle future responsibilities. That is one of the mandates of the Foundation which is to educate the public on social responsibility towards pet ownership. I will tell you firsthand how it has affected my life.

I look back now on how I was raised in regards to looking after my pets and how my father used it as a tool for preparing me for the real world. I believe responsible pet ownership is a good indication on how you were raised.

In all honesty, it was my father who was the driving force in me having the desire for pets. Since my mother saw how he led me down the garden path of getting rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, budgie birds, fish, and of course dogs, she left it in his capable hands of enforcing the rules of taking care of them. Not only that, but also having the difficult task of having conversations about their death. This brought out a logical attitude in dealing in life and facing reality. It is these tough conversations that I believe many parents today don’t like having and thus raise children in this perfect world that they want their children to believe exists.

I believe, it is a duty of a parent to get their child prepared for the outside world and not be their problem solver. Though their intentions may be viewed as a form of love, you are not doing them any favors. My father was forever checking out my rabbits’ water bowl and if it was empty, look out. You think you see Don Cherry’s wrath on TV, well folks, think of a kid getting a lecture brought down on you about not taking care of a pet. It all came down to tough love. I must admit looking back now over the water and food issue, it was not about the suffering animal (all of one day without water, cause it knocked over its water bowl) but facing my dad’s anger and his disappointment in me.

This is where parents can extrapolate (my favorite word of all time) on backing up what they say. This kind of follow through can be applied to many things that kids get themselves into. The point being, a pet is a commitment. How you handle that commitment at a young age is determined by your parents. When you are taught what a commitment is and what comes with it, you learn to weigh your options a lot better.

When they become adults, they can extrapolate weighing options about their career, marriage, mortgage payments, I could go on and on. The point is this, make your kids realize how much of a “commitment” a pet is. So they want a cute bunny at Easter? My dad’s favorite saying to me, when he thought I wasn’t playing with my rabbits enough was, “oh…I get it, the novelty has worn off.” When he said those words, I realized the next thing I wanted, whether it be a new bike, stereo, whatever, he would be waiting in the wings to bring up my shortcomings of not taking care of what I already had. I knew the games he played, and I believed I learned from the best. I think I use these skills to this day, and yes, this “game playing” is a skill.

Life is a game. People that say they don’t like playing games, usually don’t have the skills to play. I know some people won’t like that statement. That’s fine, but don’t forget to teach your kids that there are a lot of people out there that are looking for angles, so teach them some life’s skills.

Don’t forget you can start by not buying them a pet, but, adopting one that needs a home. Think of it as one of the many opportunities you will have to teach them about the world and its games, or better put…the challenges they will be facing.”

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Pet ownership has taught Cindy many skills that has helped her become the accomplished woman and mom she is today. The lessons learned has empowered her to pay it forward by creating the Don Cherry Pet Rescue Foundation to help others give a second chance to these beloved animals who have not been able to find a caring and forever home. That is a life skill that not many have acquired so my hat goes off to the Cherry family for instilling the importance of pet ownership. 

It has been an honor for me to share this personal story with all of you and I want to give a special thank you to Cindy for her time in giving us the father side of Mr. Cherry who I must say did an amazing job at raising one amazing person!

Make sure to follow Don Cherry Pet Rescue Foundation on Facebook, and Twitter to see all the amazing work that they are doing for our animals in our communities. 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

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Ezpz Just Got Even Better…Is it Possible?!

A few months ago, my family and I were introduced to The Happy Mat made by ezpz and it has been a beloved product in our home ever since. If you missed our review, please feel free to check it out here. In my review I noted that we would be seeing much more exciting things from them and I was right!

So what more could this amazing company have to offer to parents and children everywhere? What other innovative solutions could they possibly offer to create family mealtimes healthy and happy? How can they promote creativity, healthy eating, and a stress free mealtime?

All these answers can be found in one book and not just any book, but the first ezpz book titled, Making Mealtime ezpz: Fun Ways to Fill the Happy Mat.

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This colorful, beautiful and detailed book takes you into a whole new world of making food fun and creative for children.

The book’s focus is on one to three year olds and making mealtime creations for the Happy Mat. It provides parents a resource to recreate nutritious snacks and meals that children are more willing to try by adding a dash of creativity. There are “ezpz” recipes and food art samples for parents to make. There is also other content and tips such as serving sizes; list of superstar foods; the benefits of playing with food; clean eating facts; tips for picky eaters; and creative ways to include kids in the kitchen. Ezpz has truly thought of it all when putting this great book together!

The Crazy Cat by ezpz
The Crazy Cat by ezpz

We were so inspired by the book that we started to create some food art ourselves. I have to admit that it is fun to make and Nikki’s eyes light up every time I introduce her meal character. For instance we had “Pooh Bear” and the “Breakfast Monster.” I think our favourite ezpz recipe in the book so far is the “Crazy Cat.” Nikki just loves cats and it uses all of her favourite ingredients so it is “meow-errific” on Nikki’s toddler list!

Our Breakfast Monster created by Momma Braga
Our Breakfast Monster created by Momma Braga

We also love the tips on little kitchen helpers in this book as it is so important to get children involved and encourages healthy eating habits. We have fully embraced this in our home and Nikki loves to help me in the kitchen. Of course the activities that I allow her to do are age appropriate and safe. By allowing Nikki to participate, she becomes more eager to learn and eat. Thank you ezpz!

Nikki helping prepare her favorite, broccoli. Yup! You read that right! ;)
Nikki helping prepare her favorite, broccoli. Yup! You read that right! 😉

Nikki and I give this book 5 happy smiles out of 5. This book has been a great addition to our Happy Mat as it provides us with creative ideas for healthy meals for our growing toddler! We can’t wait to try all the recipes in this book so make sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram to see what we make next! 😉

Make sure to also follow ezpz on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. They are making an impact with ezpz solutions for the every day parent so you don’t want to miss a thing!

Also want to take this opportunity to send the ezpz team a heartfelt congratulations on officially securing the utility patent on their invention! AMAZING!

To purchase this great book, click here.

Until next time…..Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga
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3 Big Baby Steps to Taking a Vacation Break from your Babies

By Michele Giacomini

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You love your kids. No one would ever dispute that. You work hard to provide for them and care for them, and there’s pretty much nothing you wouldn’t do for your sweet cherubs. You’re a Power Parent, pure and simple. You do it all, you do it well and you do it 24/7/ But let’s face it, being a parent can be exhausting!

Many parents find it hard to take a break from taking care of their children (We’re talking full-on vacation here!). Whether it be the cost, the time, or the unsurity of leaving your babies behind, the arguments for taking a vacation sans kiddos are countless. BUT YOU SHOULD!

Much like weekend break from the work week, parenting is a tough job that moms and dads alike need to put on a temporary hold occasionally, so they can continue to care for their children with gusto. So if a traditional vacation is not in your near future, why not try for a mini-vacay!

Here are some pointers for parents needing to press the pause button on parenting.

Try some of these solutions to some of the top excuses, and you’ll find yourself taking a relaxing break before you know it.

Baby Step 1 Tip – Funding a Flop

Pinching those pennies pays off. While it would be nice to make an escape for a week or two, the reality is, it can be expensive to be gone so long. Here’s a great compromise, Casinos!

Now I know what you are thinking, but I am NOT advocating that you go hit the tables to help fund your next vacation getaway. What I am sharing is that one doting mom I know signed up at her local Indian Casino to be a “member.” When she shared this with me I was surprised, because she’s not a gambler. She explained that she gets great overnight deals that include drastically reduced accommodations, discounts for the restaurants, and full access to the pool and fitness center. She says it’s like her own “mini resort getaway” right down the road.

For about $100 US she sometimes gets a one or two night stay, and dinner out. Most importantly, her pocketbook hasn’t been hit too hard, and she looks forward to going home to her kids, refreshed and renewed.

You can also check with other larger hotel chains that allow you to sign up for deal notifications.

Another parent friend shared her “recycling” tip. She saves recycling money in a jar, and when the jar fills up, it’s BREAK TIME. Her kids know it too, and they look forward to her overnight escape as they generally get to go to their grandma’s house for a proper spoiling. WIN-WIN!

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Baby Step 2 Tip – Not Enough Time in the Day

Less is more. If time is an issue, plan to carve out what you can. If that means instituting Date Night or Date Day once a month, do what you need to in order to make that happen! We all know that dates don’t have to be extravagant and expensive in order to be incredible! So pack a Sunset picnic, or grab some bikes and hit the trails, or maybe go take a scenic hike. The down time will be well worth the effort. Plus, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be ready for weekend getaways in no time!

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Baby Step 3 Tip – Nobody does it Better

Nobody’s perfect, and that’s okay. We know that when it comes to parenting, you do it best. But your babies need a break from you too, so call in The B Team. Hey! If the professional sports teams can do it, you can too!

Who could be your B Team Players? Trusted adults, of course! Try trusted relatives or trusted friends. Some mom groups set up weekend swaps, so that they can watch each other’s children while couples and single parents alike can get a well-deserved break (and some of those breaks end up being “staycations”).

Regardless if you take a two day break, a one day break or just half a day, the benefits of the recharge not only benefit you and your partner, but they benefit your children too. Remember, baby steps, baby steps, baby steps. Cuz when mama’s happy, everyone’s happy.

 

Michele “Miss OMG” Giacomini is a Lifestyles Writer and the author of Looking for B.O.B. (Brightsides of Bull$#!+). She writes about everything chocolate, wine, food, travel and shoes…for everything else, she just makes fun of it. You may follow her on her blog at DayTripperMag.com or Twitter: @DayTripperMag1

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