Aug 22 2011

What the Hell is Wrong With Soccer Moms?

What Happened to Good Sportsmanship?

by: Caroline Fernandez

\"\"For the love of Pete, if you are so passionate about soccer...sign yourself up...otherwise leave the poor 8 year olds on the field alone.  I have heard parents yell, bribe, bully and side-line coach.  And someone needs to stop the madness.  Really, what the hell is wrong with soccer Moms?

And Dads...Dads, some of you are just plain "Le Nuts" for yelling out at 13-year old referees for what you think is a "stupid" call.  The 13-year old is doing a part time summer job.  This is not World Cup action here.  Leave him alone. 

When I wrote Kids' Sports: Activity or Armageddon? I wondered what happened to good sportsmanship in kids' sports...from the parents' side.  Whatever happened to playing for fun?  For exercise?  For the love of the game?  Now, I just hear soccer parents calling out "wake up", "that was YOURS" and "c'mon Ref - are you blind?!!" - is this sportsmanship?

This week, I saw a girl break into tears and run off the field.  Not because she missed the ball but because her parents (on the far sideline) called her out about missing the ball.  Gosh - I would run off crying too if someone embarrassed and put me down in such a public way.  Is this building character or breaking childhood?

I know one Dad (who I was embarrassed to sit beside because of all his yelling) that told me his child didn't want him to come to the games anymore.  Geez, I wonder why?! 

Passionate team sports parents need to ease up...or join a sport themselves.

Aug 14 2011

5 Tips For Surviving a Road Trip With a Baby

Advice for Keeping Your Sanity on Your Next Vacation

by: Caroline Fernandez

\"\"We just got back from a looonnggg road trip (and I swear, they should make a special express lane for people driving with crying babies!). This column comes from the "been there, done that" file of mommy-hood...bookmark these 5 tips for surviving a road trip with a baby.

\"\" Try to drive when baby usually sleeps. We left on our 5 hour road trip at 7pm on a Friday night (not the most favourite time to drive after a day's work) but baby was bathed, fed and a few lullaby's away from sleep. Perfect driving time. Just take coffee. Lots of coffee.

\"\" Sit next to the baby. If you have a passenger, urge implore impel invite them to sit next to baby. That way, they can communicate to the driver, the baby-needs-of-the-moment like he needs a drink, he needs to sleep, he needs to have his diaper changed because it smells like elephant farts back here.

\"\" Toys. Lots of toys. Sitting next to the baby helps with this tip and you can pass and pick up aforementioned baby toys. I brought a small bag of toys with various textures, sizes and shapes for baby. His favourite toy? An empty Tim Horton's cup he bashed against his infant car seat. I should remember simple is always best.

\"\" Snacks. Snacks for you. Snacks for baby. Snacks are a good activity.

\"\" Sanity breaks - er I mean pit stops. Don't think that pulling into a service station as adding time to your drive...think of it as a sanity break. Sometimes a crying baby just needs to be held, hugged, or have his position changed. Break the driving up by taking a 15 minute break at a service station to stretch, play and breathe (deeply).

We made it to Detroit a bit after midnight, however our little bundle of joy didn't go to sleep until 2am and then woke up at 6...I took it as preparation for a future column "5 tips on surviving the teen years".

Aug 8 2011

The Summer Fun Project - Cool Science Activities

Your Kids Will Love These Experiments As Much As Mine Did!

by: Caroline Fernandez

science experiments

"I'm going to do this with MY kids!" my daughter said after we did the pepper experiment.  With ingredients from your kitchen and only minutes of can do these cool science activities with your kids.  Great for a summer science week theme or just if you have some time to kill between camp and dinner...

Scare the Pepper! Science Experiment

You'll Need:

Cereal bowl
Dish soap
A finger or two


  Fill the cereal bowl with water (about 1/3 cup).  Dash in some pepper.  LOOK at it floating on the surface.  WRITE-DOWN what you see. 

  Then, put a smudge of dish soap at the tip of child's finger.  Have child strike finger down to the bottom of the milk bowl. 

  WHAT HAPPENS?  The pepper all runs away to the side of the bowl.


Tie-Die Milk Science Experiment

(This was the one my kids loved most)

You'll Need:

Cereal bowl
4 different colours of food colouring
Dish soap


  Fill 1/3 cup of milk in cereal bowl.  Have kids drop 2 drops of food colouring in the four corners (don't let the colours touch).  WARNING: food colouring stains so maybe have kids put on old t-shirts or art smocks).

  Put a drop of dish soap on the end of the toothpicks.  Have kids strike toothpick into CENTRE of milk bowl.  LOOK at what happens.  WRITE-DOWN what you see.

  WHAT HAPPENS? The milk become tie-died as the food & milk colouring reacts with the dish soap.  The milk seems to move through the food colouring making ripples.

*No, you can't drink the water or milk afterwards*

Both of these activities took minutes but entertained the kids greatly.  And they don't know it yet, but later this week we are going to see what happens when you mix Mentos and Coke.  Stay tuned!


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