Jun 27 2011

Canadian Restroom Locator

This will change how families travel!

by: Caroline Fernandez

I wish I had known about The Cross-Canada Powder Room on my last family road trip.  It maps approx. 800 public restrooms across Canada – and just coming off a pregnancy where my bladder was reduced to the size of a walnut – knowing restroom locations is a travel-saver!  For me…and the kids…
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Our last road trip was driving from Toronto to Detroit.  The kids wanted us to stop.  I wanted us to stop (those darn Kegels haven’t kicked in yet).  We kept saying “we’ll stop at the next rest room”.  And we drove. And we drove.  And we drove.  We drove until we were all doing the pee dance in our seats.  It was agony and anxiety both at the same time.

Which is why I’m bookmarking (and sharing with you, dear readers) www.powderroom.ca. Initially developed to support those with an overactive bladder, The Powder Room’s map locates restrooms across Canada in English (et disponible en français aussi!).  

Aside, on that Detroit road trip, we stopped at a big chain restaurant only to find there was no change table in either men’s or women’s restrooms. And I couldn’t change the babe in his stroller because it couldn’t fit in the restroom!  The comment section at The Powder Room allows for people to share information like facilities, accessibility, cleanliness, lineups and more. I would have noted a #FAIL for that big chain’s lack of baby changing facilities and accessibility.

Everyone has to pee.  There’s the "overactive bladder pee".  The "misjudged how much the kids drank before they got in the car pee".  The "laughed too hard pee".  The "coughing pee".  (On that road trip, we had the "Mommy, I think its coming pee").  In my last trimester, I did actually limit travel just because I didn’t think my bladder could take the journey (oh the places we could have gone…)

Next road trip, I’ll be mapping our pit stops with The Cross-Canada Powder Room Map (and now that there is a mobile friendly version – I can do it en route!). 

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The Powder Room wants to help Canadian families “fuel” their next road trip with a contest to win free gas.  You are invited to share your own restroom experiences; telling Canadians why your family road-trip deserves to be “fueled” by The Powder Room. So get the contest details now and while you’re entering you can map out your next trip!

 

This blog is proudly sponsored by the Powder Room

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Jun 27 2011

The Summer Fun Project - Camps

Keep Them Busy This Summer

by: Caroline Fernandez

\"\"Are your kids ready for camp?  Are you?  Whether it's day camp, overnight camp or camp Mom - you've got to be ready by now right? *waiting* *waiting* does that silence = a gasp of not being ready.  Yah, me too.  Welcome to my Summer Fun Project...Camp edition.

My Summer Fun Project: each week of this wonderful, long, hazy, dazy, crazy summer, I promise to share a "fun activity" theme in which work-in-the-world parents or stay-home-parents can build on for summer fun (because having 2 kids at home all summer + a baby is just not enough of a challenge for me #masochist).

So week 1 = Camp

Camp can be awesome or it can be armageddon.  Depends on your kid.  And you.  Day camp? Overnight camp?  Specialty camp?  How do you choose?

\"\" Get the kids involved.  Ask them what types of activities they want to do this summer.  Do they want to build on existing talents or try something new?  Are they comfortable sleeping in a tent or do they prefer to come home to their own beds at the end of the day?

\"\" Keep camp easy.  Is the drop off/pick up location in your 'hood?  Do they offer bus service?  Is there before/after care available? 

\"\" Your bullet points.  What are your bullet points in a camp?  Safety?  Activity? Staff:Camper ratio?

And it important to note that kids of all abilities can attend camp: there are some fantastic camps for kids living with autism, cancer, diabetes and more. 

I have signed my bigger kids up for a week of day camp (tip: check for sibling and membership discounts for camps).  I have one child eager to go and a reluctant one wishing to stay home.  Murphy's Law.

My strategy for the reluctant one: focus on the positives. 

And the rest of the summer?  It's camp Mom.  And we're building a little calendar of stuff to do (free and not free) - for half-days and full days to help organize camp Mom a bit better.  (Tip: check local libraries for book clubs, craft days & library bingo).

If you have any Summer Fun Projects to share: e-mail me and I'll include them in the weekly posts caroline@yummymummyclub.ca

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Jun 23 2011

Bad Teachers

Are you Happy to be Saying Goodbye to One This Year?

by: Caroline Fernandez

\"\"Is there such a thing as a bad teacher?  The out-to-lunch-lady who "educates" your kids?  The teacher who prefers to talk sports more than teach math?  A teacher who just doesn't give an "F"?

I think there is a "bad" in every profession - from doctoring to teaching.  Bad happens. What can you do?

So why does it get so itchy-under-the-skin when you get a bad teacher? 

Perhaps, because as grownups, we know that certain school fundamentals become life skills.  And kids need to know these skills.  Like reading, writing, multiplication (and I point out - I didn't have strong math teachers growing up thus I'm a multiplication #Fail...and don't ask me to divide, I'd have to find the calculator on my blackberry).

As a parent, I've heard of some teachers who don't correct stories for spelling or grammar because it breaks the creativity of the child.  Bah humbug.  A child needs to know how to spell - if only to correct spell check - otherwise their "things" can become "thongs" without their intention.

I had a high school law teacher that read the newspaper everyday in class.  And the students just chit-chatted away the year.  Come exam time - he taught to the exams - writing the answers on the board and telling us exactly what to memorize before finals. 

Another teacher singled out this poor boy - always using him as an example of what not to do/how not to say something in French class.  Now this was before bully-awareness...but looking back...that teacher bullied that poor boy. 

With it being the end of the school year, perhaps some of you are giving a silent WOOT at saying adieu to a bad teacher...just remember your kids can learn something from every experience and activity...good and bad. 

And as a take-away: everyone should give an "F" about education.

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