Tag Archives: Parenting

The Ultimate Guide to Travelling with Children

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So first I must thank my wonderful friend Lauren for telling me to put all my information stored in my head up on a post

First step to ease your mind about travelling with children is what form of safety and travel gear will you take? Car seats, Strollers, play pens oh My! Well if you are travelling to specific cities you may be in luck, because you can rent gear from two very reputable companies, and get this, they DELIVER the gear to your destination! Hotel, home, or airport! Whaaaat?!

This is important for people who are concerned when they rent carseats from car rental places, i mean they usually have the cheapest of the cheap, and lowest safety rated carseats. These two companies below, allow you to Choose the same britax you have at home or the city mini jogger if that is your stroller, allowing kids to feel comfortable too!

Their sites are: http://www.weetravel.ca (so reasonably priced) and http://www.coast2coastbabies.com (they only work in select US cities)

So that’s check one off of your list.

Next step is the Stroller you want to take (especially if the companies above don’t service your area). I think the city select is the best stroller of all time.It maneuvers with one hand and can go into any handicap washroom stall, folds easily and is a general lifesaver. When we had two small kids they would face each other and entertain each other. When they were tired it fully reclined, while keeping the canopies closed. It was as if they were in their own business class pods! It is a pricey stroller if you don’t have it but you can easily find them second hand online in great condition! The configurations available on this are just too good to be true. Now that my oldest is 6, he rides the boogie board on the city select and his brother is in the seat, and trust me for connecting flights it is a saviour to not have to run holding a child who cannot run as fast as you, when you can literally just push and run (i recently had to do this in the Vancouver airport at 4am, it was as if I got a bootcamp workout in!) I have no doubt I will be using this stroller for at least two more years especially for travel, which will mean that I’ve had it for 9 years!

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What to pack for the flight?

I have a simple rules for packing a carryon bag. I pack for a worst case scenario. I take a Carryon (wheelie suitcase) and my giant TokiDoki Juju Be soft bag (Starlet or Super Be which can later be used at my destination as a beach bag and a stroller bag.

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For a baby in diapers: 3 outfit changes, 1 diaper per hours in transit, a travel pack of wipes, (not a small one but the decent size ones in case of a poop explosion) 3 snacks (milk and water if they are not eating solids) per hour of flight, and a way to wear baby and a swaddle blanket for them to cover their eyes like a sleep mask, while rocking them to sleep. My kids sleep with white noise and in the dark so if i cover their eyes on a plane its like the ideal sleep situation for them. Multiple pacifiers if they take them, and in case you lose them!!! No judgement if you don’t.

For a toddler: 3 outfit changes (i usually let them travel in pjs), 1 diaper per hours in transit, 4 snacks per hour (because chewing is good for their ears, especially if in pain). For entertainment purposes, their favourite digital movies downloaded on their ipads or portable DVD player, their headphones, and a little kid neck pillow. Also their favourite Stuffed toy. I also buy like a bunch of mess free colouring books from dollarama, and let them go to town!

For Mom: It’s probably wrong if I say little alcohol bottles, especially as my first item right? well it isn’t too bad, I have done it and will do it again, just to calm my nerves. In all seriousness; 1 change of clothes, ear buds, gum, and basically anything you need to look human and feel like a human and not just a walking Mom zombie! I take my makeup bag, and a headband and hair-tie. My favourtie thing I just found out about was wearing a giant cotton scarf (if you are still wearing baby they have nice baby wearing scarves that you can pull over yourself if you are feeling a chill.

For liquids, medicine, and easy access: I usually take two giant ziplock bags and keep one in my diaper bag. I take tylenol for the kids (who I wake up early, and let stay up late, and they almost always sleep on the flight) I give them tylenol and gravol, 20 mins apart with the last dose 20 mins before take off. I will justify this once, and only once. The tylenol is usually for the pain in their ears, I know by trail and error that this helps, because every time I’ve travelled with my children if one of them refuses the tylenol he is the child that screams their head off on the plane, because he cannot handle the pain in his ears! I also give them a dose of gravol, because they do get tummy aches, and motion sickeness in the car on a regular basis, and after one flight where both of them were screaming that they wanted to throw up every 30 mins, I will always keep liquid gravol ready to go and now it even comes in chewables so you can take chewables for the tylenol and gravol now and not have to worry about the liquid rules.

I also take extra strength tylenol, advil, and sinutab (if you get congested on a flight) for myself in my ziplock medicine bag and benedryl in case of a random allergic reaction. I also keep all the liquids and meds in that are in the ziplock in a Jujube fuel cell, along with two small spoons, forks, and medicine dispensers 2 of them in case one is sick you cant have them sharing (this has happened to me, I shit you not it almost killed me the stress)

Fuel Cell

When you have a baby or child you need to have a little wristlet like the JuJu Be Be Quick that I keep in the outside pocket of the diaper bag with the change bag. In it i have 2 diapers, baby wipes & disinfectant wipes (to wipe down all the seat handles and tray tables and anything your kids can touch because those things are nasty, and the last thing you want is to be sick from some random airplane bug at your destination) When you have the wristlet you can just grab it and the change pad and hands free go to the washroom.

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beQuick

Sometimes I used a second Be Quick for passports and a pen and any travel documents so that everything is in one place and I wear it until I’m on the plane, and then put it inside my diaper bag in a zipped up pocket.

One very important thing you need to pack: Confidence, that you can do it, and even if you don’t who cares, no one else on that flight paid for a private plane so they should know that babies will be babies, and if they don’t give them a death-stare! It isn’t easy travelling with small children but it is doable and can be fun, once you get the hang of it!

CHECKLIST: (you can screenshot and print this list)

  1. Call the travel rental gear places to set up the framework of your travel.
  2. Pick a stroller that will work for your family
  3. 3 outfits per child and one change of clothes for yourself.
  4. diapers per hour in transit depending on child (see above) _____________________
  5. 3 snacks per child and adult per hour
  6. quick grab wristlet (BeQuick) for diapers wipes and change pad
  7. Have a fuel cell handy with small cutlery (sporks) and medicine dispensers 1 per child, and all blister pills or bottles in a separate ziplock bag incase of a leak. You can also store baby bottles in this and it can clip around any diaper bag so that you are hands free.
  8. Be Quick (wristlet) with a pen, and passports and travel documents in it
  9. little backpack for toddler or small child with their headphones, tablet, stuffed animal and crayons and colouring in it so that they have it and they feel like a big kid. If your toddler is travelling with a paid seat they are entitled to their own carry-on take advantage of it. It will give them a feeling of independence, which you may be able to use against them, by saying; “Remember lets all be big boys and girls and use our manners and be thoughtful towards others on the plane” it’s worth a shot!
  10. Also in case of an accident you will need some good plastic bags to shove any soiled clothing into and then tie shut so the rest of your stuff doesn’t smell.
  11. for the above reason I also keep in that liquids ziplock bag in my carryon a little bottle of gain laundry detergent that i pour onto any soiled clothes
  12. One final tip, and this is for any traveller, I vacuum seal all of my carry-on suitcase items, and get a little hand vacuum pump. it saves on room, and I keep all of our clothes in them sealed when travelling to prevent ticks or bedbugs hopping a ride home with me. I know this works because they will die without the oxygen, because I’ve seen a dead tick fall out of a bag when doing laundry after vacation…because sometimes you forget to close the bag, but those suckers can survive the plane right home with after being vacuum sealed!

 

Hope this helps you. If you like it please feel free to share! Please also share any tips that you would like to share!! I’m always open for more advice in my storage of information.

 

I Get why you Hate my kid’s allergies

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So as parents prepare to send their children back to school, the dreaded list of allergic children and what allergies are present in your kid’s classroom will be sent home.

Here is one thing I want you to know, I GET WHY YOU HATE MY KID’S ALLERGIES! I Really, Really do! As a teacher I remember having to keep track of all the kids in my class and make sure there wasn’t any cross contamination, because I certainly didn’t want to have to use an epi-Pen on anyone (I have had to on many students in the past) it is a terrible and scary situation, especially in a class of 30+ kids. As a teacher I worried non-stop, and shook for the rest of the day, after having administered one, this was prior to having children with allergies myself, so maybe, it was a little easier for me to accept, when not one, but both of my children with diagnosed with severe allergies, requiring me to carry an Epi-Pen at all times.

I have suffered with allergies all my life, I’m allergic to the standard seasonal crap, but I also have food allergies. My food allergies have been with me forever! They aren’t something I developed, but my parents didn’t know I had allergies and instead labeled me as a picky eater, who was a hypochondriac. It was really hard to deal with that as a child, no one believing you, when you said you didn’t like a food because it made your tummy hurt. The thing is, people are still just as ignorant today. When I have to explain to people, that my child cannot eat their kid’s birthday cake or ask too many questions about what is in the food that they are offering me or worse if I feed my kids before we go somewhere, I get my favourite ignorant response: “Well back in my day we didn’t have all this allergy stuff, people are just so sensitive.” These are usually the same people who say things like “Oh well we didn’t have carseats back when I was small and I survived.” Not everyone is this ridiculous, I’ve been around so many really cool and understanding family and friends and I cannot tell you how much relief I feel because of this. To you I say thank you with all my heart.

Here is some information I would like to pass on to you, if you are one of these judgemental or super annoyed parent, when it comes to my child’s allergies:

1. PLEASE don’t shove food in my child’s face and say have a bite.

My older son is 5 and he knows now not to eat food unless he asks me first, mostly because he’s had quite a few reactions and he has seen the Epi-Pen is a needle and doesn’t want it. My younger son, is a foodie, and he will not say no to your food, if you shove it in his face, but when he Projectile Vomit’s on top of you and everyone else at your party, I will be sure to say, I told you so!

2. Please don’t say, well what am I supposed to make my child for lunch?!

This is a call of the selfish, and lazy parent. So you want to send your child to school with an allergen such as peanut butter, at the expense of the LIFE of another child, because you a) don’t want to buy a nut butter alternative, and b) too lazy to make a lunch that simply doesn’t require a spread? Wow, you my friend as the worst kind of person. As a parent of a kid with an allergy, why not go on pintrest, or google nut free or egg free school lunches? The possibilities are TRULY ENDLESS! My child’s favourite lunch sandwich is cream cheese and jelly, they are still spreadable, and easy, and taste like a freaking danish for lunch if you choose the right bread! There are also Vietnamese rice paper wraps that you can literally shove any leftover food into and it tastes divine. If you want Protien, make burritos, bean spread or whole, with sauce, cheese and sour cream or greek yogurt to dip. I mean it isn’t that hard. It isn’t Hard, but it is VERY considerate that you are taking some stress off of me, because I don’t have to worry that I’m going to get that call at home that my child is in hospital because someone’s kid shared their lunch with my kid, or didn’t wash their hands and sat at his desk…he could literally DIE because of your child’s lunch…would it be worth it to you?

3. Please don’t say we didn’t have all this stuff back in my day.

Just because you didn’t see it, it didn’t mean that it wasn’t there. I’m over 30, and I’ve had allergies all my life, so it was there back in your day, you sound like an ignorant troglodyte when you say crap like that. I mean how conscious were you anyway when you were say, 7-17 years old? my guess is, not so much! Also did you never watch the Movie My Girl, where Macaulay Culkin dies from a bee sting trying to save Vada? It Very much was around during your day!

The other reason that people don’t seem to realize is that there are so many more preservatives, pollution, chemicals, and pesticides in food now than there were back in your day. Most of my allergies come from tree sap, due to pesticides being absorbed more into the fruit and nuts that trees produce.

4. Do you give your kids take out?

I do give my kids take out, but from very few places, and sparingly so. I’ve had to learn the hard way, that everything that says Nut-Free etc., isn’t actually nut free. I will give  you an example, my son used to get the McFlurry, when they used to be made with Smarties, because they are the Canadian version of m&ms which aren’t nut free. When mcdonald’s recently switched, I also had to switch, and I started letting them only have an ice cream plain in a cup, because the cones don’t guarantee being nut-free, and i know that the soft serve machine doesn’t actually come into contact with any allergens. These are all things I had to go in and check and ask the employees about, as that annoying customer. So imagine, how ever much you hate my kid’s allergies, I probably hate them more, because I am the one who has to do all this stuff, instead of just being that carefree parent who says, “ya kid, go have some of that junk food, enjoy yourself, you only live once.” Nope, not me, I’m the parent who says “hold on let me check and ask first what is in it.” Sometimes they get happily surprised and sometimes they don’t. Even my 2 year old now seems to understand that there are certain foods he cannot eat, and to me that is sad.

5. Shaking your head and calling me too overprotective.

This simply makes me want to punch you. THEY ARE MY CHILDREN, THAT I CARRIED FOR 9 MONTHS A PIECE, I WILL ALWAYS BE THEIR PROTECTOR AND CHAMPION, ESPECIALLY IN THE FACE OF IGNORANCE!

I’ve changed my whole way of life in order to protect them at home, they feel safe to eat that anything that I give them, to know that I will Never ignore the cry of their tummy hurting due to something not agreeing with them, is my job.

When I was pregnant people used to tell me to eat a lot of this allergen or that, so that my child got used to it in the womb, I ate as much as I could and it didn’t work.

My job is to get them to adulthood, with the tools that they need to survive and that goes for their allergies too, along with morals and values. I always am very clear when ordering food, in restaurants etc. I am even attempting to get my children used to small quantities of the things that they are allergic too, slowly, so that they are safer in the case of accidental ingestion. But it is my Choice to do it in a CONTROLLED environment, when I am prepared to take them to hospital if the need arises. It shouldn’t be because someone just wasn’t careful, it shouldn’t be his teacher’s job to give him an Epi-Pen shot because you as a parent gave Zero Fucks about the life of a child, so that your life could be easier.

 

Have you been faced with Allergy Intolerance (as I like to call it) ?

 

 

Never Say Never

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To all you new Mothers & Moms to be, I see you. I see you saying all this judgemental stuff, saying I would Never do this or let my children do that. I have been you. I get it. Let me say this that eating crow was the Hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do!

Don’t judge the mom with one kid, when you have none.

Don’t judge the mom with two kids when you have one.

Don’t judge the mom with three kids until you have three, etc etc because until you have walked a mile in that Woman’s (or Man’s) shoes, you Really and truly have no clue! Like none, really and truly, being a parent is like the Hardest Job in the world, and you have to do it for the most part on little to no sleep, and you are trying to take care of this living, breathing piece of you, that has his/her own ideas and personality that sometimes refuses to be tamed.

Many parents don’t even agree on taming young children so that their true personalities can come through. It’s such a crazy thought to me personally, let me make my child like everyone else so that they are more pleasing to other people. Really? No Thank you!

Damned if you Do, Damned if you Don’t…part 5 I think?!

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Damned if you Do, Damned if you Don’t…part 5 I think?!

This post is about the insane mothers that I have seen this week, or month and the pure confusion in my mind. This damned if you do, is about how to respond to atrocious behaviour by parents.

I have basically been on 24/7 patrol since March 14th, it is now April 10th and literally the sicknesses have been running a muck on my household as if they all just woke up from hibernation from our ridiculously long winter, just to see how much one mother can take alone.

But during the few times that I have been out I have encountered some strange parents, first I will discuss

 

The Entitled Mother:

Do you ever wonder when your child comes home sick for the millionth time, how? How?!? Your child’s school has a no sick kids policy, yet, still viruses come home. I will tell you friends, it is due to the Entitled mother!

I will tell you how it all began…the week we were supposed to go on vacation, I decided to send my older son for swimming lessons during the March Break. The very first day of classes this lady walks in to pick up her child from the previous class, with her other smaller, feverish, cranky, runny nosed, uncomfortable child walking in right behind her. Seriously this baby was sick, but still she insisted on letting him run around the viewing area crying and screaming, all I could do was watch and keep track of the things that he was touching and before I knew it, he had literally touched or some part of his bodily fluids had touched every,EVERY surface of that waiting area. Oh I forgot to mention, the lady also walked in with her mother, who was just running behind the very upset child, just letting him spread the virus. As the child was running around and grandma was watching she was talking to the owner of the swim school and myself and all the other moms, about how she was so concerned for her small son, because he just kept running this high fever for days and that she took him to Sick Children’s hospital because she didn’t trust any other hospital. Here is what kills me, ,she was so concerned, yet, she was willing to spread the virus to anyone and everyone when she could have clearly been a little bit, just a tiny bit considerate, either kept the small child home and resting for the 15 minutes it would take to pick up her older child, with her mother, or she could have made the child stay in the car with grandma (I saw the car, it had a dvd player in the back) the child could have watched a movie or continued sleeping (which is what she said he was doing before she brought him in and this was the real reason for his crankiness). Seriously what the fuck! Why?! I attempted to avoid all the zones that child touched, but it didn’t work. I got sick. Unless I missed something, please tell me, but Why the hell would she have done this? Why?!? how do you point out to someone that they are complaining about something that they will so obviously be passing on to EVERYONE that they are complaining to?! Like I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs at this woman, are you an idiot?!? do you not see that you are now putting me in your situation? do you just want us all to be miserable? Fuck! Please my friends tell me how I should have responded.

The Disgusting Dad:

I encountered this man on vacation in the kiddy pool. Any parent who used to jet set or travel knows that once you go on vacation you no longer get to spend your time chilling by the side of the pool with the swim up bar or just chill in the water, you MUST go to the kiddy pool at least once, so that your child can play with the other children on the resort, otherwise you feel as if you are the wicked witch of their childhood. We went, where we met Bill and my son, became friends with his son Vincent. So while our boys played Bill decided to pretend to be a sea monster, and then proceeded to gulp water into his mouth and spit it out at his son and mine…YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He then proceeded to do this so many times that I saw my son, go take a gulp of water into his mouth, and I lost it, I called him by his full name and Yelled through gritted teeth; “Don’t EVEN THINK about it! Spit that water out or we leave now and you will not enter a pool for the rest of the trip!”

The father Bill apologized when I guess he realized how disgusting it was, I mean for fucks sake it is the kiddy pool, how many germs are in it, and pee for that matter! Yuck, YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!! and sure enough my older boy got sick, on vacation, in paradise, throwing up and not sleeping and then passing it on to his little brother so that all of us were dehydrated when it came time to go home.

What do you think did I handle this correctly? I probably could have been nicer? I hate hurting people’s feelings but damn this was just too gross for me to hold back, my husband said he saw Bill’s look on his face when I scolded my kid and it was as if I scolded him…

In my defense each time these are just a taste of some of the images that went through my head, also I’m not a germaphobe, I know kids get sick, in both the cases above it was preventable, if others were considerate:

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The Get more flies with Piss mother and father:

I’m not sure if this time of mother exists outside of my suburban community, but there are so many here, and yes you read that title correctly. This is the type of parent that goes out of their way to be a high-strung bitch, man or woman. I get my son’s hair cut at a place called great clips, and for children the haircut can be as little as 8 bucks, but my son and his dad can get their hair cut at the same time by the same woman and get the same haircut, so it works perfect for us. This mother that went before us, was just constantly correcting the hairdresser as if she was the expert. This hairdresser God bless her, she just took the verbal abuse, to the point where the mother took the comb and spray bottle from the hairdresser and proceeded to shout at her about how she didn’t cut it right and that the child’s hair doesn’t sit properly, and then in the same breath just said forget it. She pushed her child off of the chair and proceeded to just say mumble under her breath and pay for the haircut, while she was paying she kept making eye contact with me and rolling her eyes, as if to say “Can you believe this shit?” I gave her the most confused WTF? face I could muster, because I didn’t agree with her even a little. Then she made contact with another mother who I guess was Italian, and proceeded to have a full conversation with her in Italian about how bad this place was. I didn’t understand all of it, but I have been around enough Italian conversations to get the jist of it. NEWSFLASH people when you switch from speaking English to another language in public when you are upset, WE ALL KNOW that you are saying something that you are too big of a Pussy to outright say!! If you are so fucking brave to complain, then fucking complain so people whom you are talking about can respond to you, don’t fucking speak in another language, that’s just bullshit, and you know it! I gave that hairdresser a 8 dollar tip, she deserved it!

I’ve seen father’s do this, and it grosses me out equally as much, if not more when I see the verbal abuse that some father’s lay out on to customer service reps or front line workers like the clerks at winners etc.

The Snickering Bitch Parents, in their cliques:

I’m writing this one last because it angers me the most! It wasn’t even my own experience, it was one of my friend’s. She also had been home all week with her children and decided to take them out to the McDonalds playground by her home. Her eldest son, has Autism, and although I’m not familiar with too many of the details she said that he broke free from her and when she found him he was eating someone’s chicken nuggets. She apologized, profusely and offered to pay for new nuggets. (Keep in mind she has three boys under 5, and she is such a good mother) But instead of being a fellow understanding mother, these women said “Oh we were wondering where his mother was!” as condescending as possible. Seriously?!? I have had random children come up to me in department stores looking for their parents, and once after an hour looking for the parents as annoyed as I was, I just told the parents that their child was outside, and that she was cute and someone could have taken her, even though I wanted so badly to punch these parents in the face! (they didn’t even thank me)

The only seat my friend could find in the play area was in front of these women, and they just continued to snicker about her. If I had the chance I probably wouldn’t have been so understanding, I most likely would have turned around Exorcist style and thrown some nuggets at them and reminded them that this wasn’t the fucking Ritz Carlton they were at for lunch but instead the McDonalds playground!

I don’t understand, how grown men and women can act like children. My questions to them are along the lines of did they grow up in barns? Are they just mean spirited bitches? They couldn’t have been having a bad day and just be lashing out, because they were outright snickering?! What kind of people still do that? I am so perplexed! How can we judge other parents so harshly? How can we lack so much Empathy, for our fellow human beings? Not just Empathy for parents, but the elderly, special needs, and just your neighbour in general? How?!?

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Autism

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My last gripe is about the lack of empathy lately that I hear for parents of young children. Since I was pregnant with my first child, in 2010 they introduced priority parking spaces for Pregnant women, and parents with small children, they are next to the handicapped spots, in most commercial parking lots. Recently on April Fools some news station played a joke on twitter about an able-bodied person being upset that they had to walk so far because all the pregnant women got priority. People on social media went off, and lambasted parents for saying that the parking spaces weren’t for them but their children. I can personally attest to having used these spots during the DEAD of winter at -35 or colder and taking both of my children out of the car, setting up their stroller, getting them both in, and hoping their don’t freeze their fingers off. Also I guess I missed the memo that as an able-bodied member of society, I can sacrifice a parking spot further away, so that a baby (not necessarily the parents) won’t be out in the cold for too long. Fuck, seriously when did people become so bloody judgmental and entitled?   I used to always park my car at the end of parking lots when I had not kids and still do when I don’t have the kids with me or during nice weather. A little walk never killed anyone I agree but a little baby finds it very hard to keep their fingers inside a stroller at all times and if it is -35 degrees outside but feels like -45, a child could get frostbite, you try explaining that to a 1 year old. oh and for all you old school mothers that haven’t had children for the last 10 years, shut your mouth about how you survived with your children. way back when you barely needed car seats, let alone had to deal with babies mixed with the polar vortex!

I think I’m just feeling a little bit like this girl today, mixed with Anger!

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Please people open your eyes a little bit today and just have some empathy towards others, parent or not, you never really know what someone is going through. The strongest people usually are silent about their gripes and hardships because they don’t want to be perceived as weak, but it doesn’t mean that they couldn’t appreciate others showing them that they understand.

now i must go back to my sicky poos..

Think about Empathy bear when you are out in the world today:

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