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From The Editor


he best time to hunker down with a good book is when the cold weather hits, isn’t it? There’s nothing better than to curl up under a blanket with a cup of hot tea in one hand and a gripping read in the other. One of our friends started a motherdaughter book club a few years ago, and my kids and I participated for the better part of a year before all of our lives eventually got in the way and we disbanded. It was a really positive experience and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to read and talk about books in a social setting. Our book club was pretty simple, and very low stress. Book club members had one kid-friendly book to read every month. Discussion questions were distributed via email beforehand, and, at the appointed time, everyone congregated at the someone’s home to drink tea, eat cookies, and chat about that month’s book. The discussion questions were pretty much the same for every book we read. Sometimes they reminded me of my sixth grade English classes, but for the most part they gave us a good starting point for our chat. We often talked about plot points, our favourite characters, what we liked about the books and so on. I considered our book club a welcome opportunity to read something new, something we may not have necessarily chosen for ourselves. The experience of talking about the books, however, was an extra special treat that surpassed all of my expectations. The best part of book club (cookies aside of course) was listening to the kids and their insights into the books we read. It totally knocked my socks off. The kids in our book club were amazingly smart and perceptive, and our monthly gathering seemed to give them a real chance to shine.

Andrea Tomkins

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Some of the books we read included: • Savvy, by Ingrid Law (interested readers might also want to pick up the second book called Scumble) • Holes, by Louis Sachar • When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead • The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex • Zorgamazoo, by Robert Paul Weston Zorgamazoo was my youngest daughter’s choice and it was one of my favourites that year. It’s a pleasure for anyone who appreciates language and sounds, and it makes a great read-aloud book too. Here’s a snippet: “Are You a Believer in Fanciful Things? In Pirates and Dragons and Creatures and Kings? Then sit yourself down in a comfortable seat, with maybe some cocoa and something to eat, and I’ll spin you the tale of Katrina Katrell, a girl full of courage (and daring, as well!), who down in the subway, under the ground, saw something fantastical roaming around...” In order to make our book choices completely democratic, the kids took turns recommending the next month’s book. Letting the youngest members choose the books made our discussions a little richer and more interesting for us all. The adults made sure the books were available at the local library and at the school library as well, so there was never a cost associated with participation. Book clubs are a fantastic way for parents and children to bond over books and enjoy some special time together, and I believe that it helps cultivate a lifelong interest in reading, literacy skills, and speaking skills as well. Are you in a book club with your kids? Is it something you’d consider? I’d love to hear about it if you are. You can reach me at, or on Twitter @capitalparent.

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ll children have moments when they do not get along with their brother or sister. This is a normal part of their relationship. It is called sibling rivalry and even if this is stressful for parents, it is actually helpful to a child’s development. So why do children quarrel? Let’s examine some of the popular reasons. Siblings spend a lot of time together, which makes competition common, and they will often compare their traits, which may lead to feelings of jealousy. It’s important to keep in mind that many siblings are really just trying to get their parents’ attention too. They are discovering their individual personalities and trying to find their place in the family, and many have a difficult time understanding parents can love more than one child. Children might also be more argumentative if they are feeling stressed, tired, hungry, ill, or insecure too. How does this behaviour help your child? Believe it or not, there are some positive things that can come out of sibling rivalry, such as giving children opportunities to practice social skills and learn life skills such as communication, respect and cooperation. Children also learn how to solve and talk out their problems, share, cooperate and be fair. They begin to respect differences, and disagreements help children learn to stand up for themselves in a healthy way and test limits in a safe environment. Through sibling rivalry, children learn about feelings and develop a sense of belonging. What can parents do? First and foremost, try to ignore minor arguments. However, it’s important to teach children how to problem solve and find solutions. Show children how to co-operate with each other by setting the rules together. Work with them to set clear, reasonable rules and give them frequent reminders. As much as possible, let children try to work out conflicts on their own and step in only when there is a danger of someone becoming physically or emotionally hurt. One way to deal with a heated argument between siblings is to separate them and send each one for quiet time in different rooms. They will eventually learn to think before they act. Remember as well, children copy what they see. It is important

for your child to know they always have a choice. This starts by giving children choices when they are faced with a hard situation. It’s not always easy. You will probably need to use consequences to deal with bad behaviour, but you can also try introducing humour to lower tension. This may help you stay calmer and make better parenting decisions. When children are showing good behaviour, don’t forget to give positive feedback by letting them know when they are getting along well. Some other helpful tips: • When dealing with setting consequences, remember to accept all your child’s feelings, but not all their behaviours. • You can help children recognize the feelings of others by modeling active listening skills. • Listen to your children without judging and make an effort not to take sides. • Encourage them to respect each other. • Value each child’s personality without comparing them, otherwise they may feel pressured or inadequate. • Participate in activities with each individual sibling. By doing something special with each child regularly, you can help reinforce his or her individuality. The next time you see your children fighting, think of it as a chance to teach them new skills that will help them now and later in life. Is this easy to do? Not always! Remember that your role is to help your children be the best they can be. Talking with other parents can help you see that arguing and fighting is a common and normal part of children’s lives. If you need more information, check out the Ottawa Public Health blog at, follow on Twitter @ottawahealth, or call the Ottawa Public Health information line at 613-580-6744.

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Fun for the whole family in Almonte BY ANDREA TOMKINS


f you’re looking for a new place to visit in the Ottawa Valley, you should know that Almonte is a wonderful destination for a wee day trip. There’s lots to love about this little town. It has many good things going for it: • It’s a relatively short drive from Ottawa • there is fabulous shopping to be found • … and it’s very scenic. Here’s a game plan in case you’re planning your own visit. First, you must obtain fuel in the form of coffee. Equator Coffee ( is located in a small stripmall right beside the highway before you get to old Almonte. It is really worth the stop. Not only do they brew a mean latte, but they also roast their own fair-trade beans. Pick up some coffee to bring home for later while you’re there. Your next stop should be the Mill of Kintail ( It’s a gorgeous little gem and a history lesson as well, all rolled into one. It’s one of Almonte’s biggest claims to fame. The Mill is where you’ll find a small exhibit about Dr. James Naismith, the father of basketball, who was born in Almonte. The Mill of Kintail is a pretty cool building with a rich history. It’s a fairly quick stop and admission is by donation. To get to the Mill, just follow the signs as you approach Almonte. You will drive by the site of his boyhood home along the way. Pull over and snap a photo if you’re looking for an extra dose of local history. Once you get to the Mill, park in the lot closest to the road. (Bring change as parking costs $5.00) There are a few different ways of walking to the Mill. Take the trail by the river for the full effect. It’s only about a 5-10 minute walk and worth every second. The Naismith exhibit contains numerous photographs and biographical information about Naismith and the history of basketball. For opening hours and more info go to The rest of the building is a neat little slice of history too, being the former summer home of Robert Tait McKenzie, an artist and sculptor. Don’t forget to peek at some of his work upstairs! Once you’re back outside, follow the trail along the river towards the bridge and you’ll be rewarded with more pretty views of the woods. If you walk for another few minutes you’ll find a small river study area which includes some nets with which you can catch things in the water if you are so inclined. You may spot a snapping turtle and lots of cool bugs in the water. If it’s warm enough, stop for a picnic lunch on one of the park benches. It is a really peaceful spot. Once you’re rested up, head back to the car and drive to the village of Almonte. Street parking is free and plentiful here. Park on one end of the village and take some time to explore the main drag. There are a lot of very cool little shops in historic downtown Almonte. Standouts include Doree’s Habit for trend-setting fashions and the Tin Barn Market ( for unique 4 OCTOBER 2013 | c a p i t a l p a r e n t . c a |

home décor. Pick up some cookies from Baker Bob’s next door while you’re there. Hello Yellow ( is one of the newest additions to the Mill Street strip and it’s become a new favourite. Don’t miss it! It’s truly a one-of-a kind shop, full of charming products for you and your home. Not to be forgotten from our list of favourite destinations in Almonte is the Gilligallou Bird Store. If you love birds you must pay Bob and Louise a visit and pick up some of their special bird seed blends for your avian friends. If all of this shopping is wearing you down it must be time to fuel up again. There’s no shortage of places to eat in Almonte. For family friendly eats, check out The Superior (a.k.a The Supe) for traditional diner fare and ambiance to match. But if finer dining is more your style, check out The Heirloom Café Bistro ( If it’s not too chilly you will need to burn off that lunch before you hop back in the car. Check out the Almonte Riverwalk before you go. It’s a short walk that starts near Mill and Main Street. It’s yet another easy stroll, one that will reward you with lovely views of the river and some great photos too.

The Mill of Kintail is a heritage building and a conservation site near Almonte.

Planning a road trip of your own? Flip to page 9 for a list of car games and fun distractions.

Almonte is famous for its annual puppet festival. This puppet version of Dr. James Naismith is at the Naismith Museum located in the Mill of Kintail.

The Heirloom Café Bistro is located in the historic Victoria Woolen Mill. | @

Café Postino is located in Almonte’s former post office. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the doctor himself. The almost life-sized statue of Dr. James Naismith poses with a ball and peach basket, the precursor of the basketball net we know today.

Don’t skip past the antique shops in Almonte. They are full of undiscovered treasures! You never know what you’ll find there.

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A diner’s delight! Pea soup at The Supe.




icture this: You wake up in a cozy bed of white linen in a lovely, modernized cottage. The curtains billow at the window with soft breezes as the sound of ocean waves gently rouse you from the dream you were having of accepting your first Oscar while wearing a stunning Prada gown. Downstairs, your children chatter happily as they prepare for another fantastic day at the beach. Your skin has the healthy glow of a light tan; your hair looks fabulous. Not pictured: the 12-hour drive from hell required to get there. We took over 4000 kilometers of road trips this summer. My husband drives, I ride shotgun (“DIBS!”), and we have making good time down to a science. I’m the Thelma to his Louise, the Harold to his Kumar, the Sally to his Lightning McQueen. We load the car the night before – the back of the van a tightly packed block of colour-coded bins like the world’s biggest game of Tetris. In the morning, the Cannonball Run begins. Showering? Not allowed. Coffee? We’ll grab some on the road. Gas? Filling up before the warning light comes on is for the weak. Time to hit the road, Bandit.

I like to think of myself as Cruise Director using only your instincts and directions from a Mommy, passing things forward and back with donut-selling teenager! Good times. the skill of a young Peyton Manning. Would At least all of our three easy riders are toilet Mademoiselle care for a colouring book? Would trained – although, their complete failure to Monsieur care for a Ninja Turtle video? Would get their bladders in sync usually results in me Tout Le Monde like to indulge in yet another getting much more familiar than I ever would podcast of CBC’s The Debaters and its occasion- have liked with the Gas Stations of the Highways ally mildly suggestive content, featuring your Of Canada (pictorial fungus guide coming host Steve Patterson? soon). When they were Votes from the backwe’d travel with a “I like to think of myself as little seat will not be counted. training potty in the back Meanwhile, the iPad goes of the car – pull over, Cruise Director Mommy, to the first person who pop the hatch, sit the kid passing things forward calls it (chorus of three down, and BAM, business and back with the skill of young voices: “DIBS!”). taken care of. Although, On the road, there a young Peyton Manning. that did lead to an escalatare the usual activities: ing series of false alarms, Would Mademoiselle care license plate bingo, I Spy, raised frantically by bored seeing who can get the for a colouring book? Would preschoolers who thought closest to poking their 18-wheelers Monsieur care for a Ninja watching sibling while still mainwhiz by at top speed while Turtle video?” taining the slimmest of an they sat pantless in front “I wasn’t touching her!” of pleading, rain-soaked gap. There’s the time-honoured tradition of parents was delightfully entertaining. Maybe attempting to explain to kids on a Timbit-high what we should do is add a bucket to the backthat their fiftieth retelling of the same knock- seat for future trips (Me: “Who wants to pee in knock joke is just not as screamingly hilarious as the bucket?” Chorus of kid voices: “DIBS!”). they think. For the grown-ups, we’ve even creBy the time we arrive, the van looks like it’s ated a little game called The GPS Died. Navigate, been the site of a frosh week frat party. Juice

boxes, granola bar wrappers, and pink plastic Barbie shoes litter the backseat floor; used tissues that no one claims fill every nook and crevice. Despite the fact that we have yet to see a beach, sand has ground its way into the creases of every seat. Spilled coffee mixed with discarded socks mixed with wet towels from the motel pool make quite the interesting olfactory soup when simmered in a hot car on a summer’s day. Throw in a kid who gets carsick, and that’s just the Elwood to your Joliet Jake Blues. Pro tip: bring a large Tupperware container with you, with a lid. Trust me, travelling around with a sealed box of barf is much less offensive than being on your knees in the back of the van, highway passers-by getting a full view of your swaying buttocks as you try to mop up vomit with a handful of fast food napkins. Pretty sure I didn’t call dibs on that one. When we finally stagger from the car – smelly, frazzled, and oddly exhausted from all those difficult hours of just sitting – all we want to do is get away from each other and nap. Luckily, it only takes a day or so to settle happily into the vacation-y parts, and, like childbirth, to forget the pain of the family road trip. That’s a very good thing, because before we know it, it’s time to repack, reload, and refocus for the drive home. What’s that – everyone wants a different radio station? “DIBS!”

OCTOBER 2013 5

Parenting blogs we love: Cartoon Coloured Glasses BY LYNN JATANIA


he best tool for getting through this parenting gig is a good sense of humour. For those days when you’re exhausted from dealing with kids who want to “help,” or frustrated from trying to get two siblings to want to do the same thing at the same time, turn the tragic into comic with a visit to Janet Lalonde’s adorably funny blog, Cartoon Coloured Glasses ( Janet has a real way with both words and pictures. She can tell a charming story about her life as a mom – trying to understand the appeal of toy cars, for example, or discovering that bananas no longer fit her kids’ internal image of a phone shape – that will have you nodding your head with empathy. Her warm tone is like a balm at the end of a hard day of caring for the tots – she can always find the sweetness and light in the parenting struggles we all share. But what makes her tales really shine are the drawings that illustrate these little moments. Janet manages to capture herself and her sons in a few simple strokes – the expressions on their faces alone are enough to have you chuckling in complete and total understanding. From classic comic strips to one-panel gags, her posts are elevated to laugh-out-loud funny by the images that perfectly capture what it’s like to be a parent, to be a big brother, or to be a little brother, just figuring it all out. It’s as if her family is your family, too. It’s seeing this reflection of yourself in her

work that makes you realize that just as her family is in it together – so are all we parents, in this thing together, and it’s a wonderful experience we share. Life sparkles at Janet’s blog; bring a little smile to your day by checking out her entire archives.

Noteable Quotes I’m happy to say that Big Bro has seemingly also quite taken to his little brother in recent months, and I assure those with new second babies to hang in there as well. With lots of one-on-one time and important “Big Bro” jobs, he has come to see this new addition as a good thing (or maybe he just forgets that Little Bro didn’t exist before Christmas time). Here’s how I know things are looking up:


He has started to interact with him. This includes showing him various items around the house. And of course you know I mean by “showing” I mean “putting it virtually into his eyeball.”


He brings Little Bro’s toys to him. All of them. Every toy he owns is piled up on top of him, each delicately balanced on the last. Thankfully, Big Bro leaves him a breathing hole.


He is considerate of his little brother. He [loudly] ensures everyone is aware of when Little Bro needs to sleep.

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Geocaching: modern-day treasure hunting with your smart phone BY VIVIAN CHENG


s a parent, I’m always encouraging my son to go outside to play, and like most of life’s lessons, it’s better to lead by example. This year, geocaching has been one of our family’s most popular activities. WHAT IS GEOCACHING?

Geocaching is essentially a high-tech treasure hunt that relies on a Global Positioning System (GPS) to help you locate the treasure you seek (a.k.a. the geocache). Now that every smart phone comes with fairly accurate GPS navigation, geocaching is more accessible than ever since you don’t need a dedicated GPS receiver anymore.

Once you’re set up you’ll want to check the geocaching map on the phone or the website to see where you can start looking for caches. You might be surprised by just how many geocaches are in the Ottawa area. There are hundreds. You probably walk by a bunch of them every day and don’t even know it. HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR FIRST GEOCACHE

The mission with any geocache is to find it, and log your find. A few criteria make some geocaches easier to find than others, so choose wisely! These are the things you need to look at before you decide where to go:


Type of cache – There are several different types of caches but the most common ones around the Ottawa area are:

• Traditional caches, which are hidden at the posted co-ordinates • Mystery caches, which can only be found after solving a puzzle • Multi-caches, which require finding multiple checkpoints before logging the find If you’re new to geocaching you may want to start with traditional caches.

2 3

Difficulty – Each cache is rated out of five. The higher the number, the more difficult it is to find it, but keep in mind that difficulty is a subjective kind of thing. Terrain – This is also rated out of five. A 1-star rating is handicapped-accessible, 2-star is suitable for small children, and 3-star is not suitable for small children, and so on. Some caches may also be more “wild” than others, even ones that are right in the heart of the city. Be aware that on many Ottawa trails and even bike paths, there are permanent signs warning of poison ivy or poison oak – heed them! If there’s bushwhacking involved, long sleeves and pants can save you from scratches and bug bites. HOW TO GET STARTED

The first thing you need to do is head over to and create a profile. It’s free, but you can also opt for a premium account costing $9.99 for 3 months or $29.99 a year. I recommend starting with a free account to see if this is an activity that’s right for you and your family.  When you sign up for an account you’ll need to choose a username, which is how you’ll track your geocaching journey and log your caches. You can have a bit of fun with this and choose a username that reflects your family (“TheKennedysinKanata”), but keep in mind that other geocachers will see your username. Next, you’ll need to get your smart phone receiver set up. You can download the  official geocaching app for $9.99 (you can find it at www. but you can also start with the free introductory version of the app. There are other apps you can use too. We use c:geo on our Android device and it’s been great so far.


Cache size – Most of the caches hidden within city boundaries are small or even micro-sized, which according to the rules of geocaching is defined as a container that holds less than 100ml. If your cache has been described as a small one, it might be a 35mm film canister or a tiny storage box typically containing only a logbook or a logsheet. Keep in mind that smaller caches may be harder to locate, but just because a cache is bigger doesn’t mean it’ll be easier to find as it may be better camouflaged. Or even half-buried!


The geocache’s description, hints and logbook - always read the descriptions! Some caches have more detailed entries than others, and some even come with extra hints. You’ll also want to note when the geocache was last found. Each geocache has a log that can be viewed online, and if the geocache has a number of recent “did not find” entries, then you might want to avoid that cache since there’s a good chance that it’s gone missing or “muggled.” (A muggle is someone who

Eric Jean-Louis, Vivian Cheng, and Jack Jean-Louis (7) love to go geocaching.

knows nothing about magic and/or geocaching.) Once you’re down with the lingo and finally outside hunting for your treasure, make sure you get the whole family involved. Different eye levels between adults and kids can add some much-needed perspective, and younger eagle eyes can often spy a hard-to-spot container. You will be surprised! When you do finally find the cache, sign the logbook, swap out your treasures, and log your find online at We always make sure to do an obligatory geocaching selfie to help remember specific caches too. Vivian Cheng is an Ottawa-area jewelry designer and nutrition blogger who geocaches with her family under the handle ejlouis. OCTOBER 2013 7




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OCTOBER 2013 9


Combine your Sunday drive with these amazing foodie destinations BY PAULA ROY/PHOTOS BY MARK HOLLERON


here’s a lot more to enjoy about autumn road tripping than just slanting sunshine, crisp air and showy foliage. The best part – especially if you have hungry young travellers along on your excursions – is finding a cozy little eatery for a relaxed lunch or dinner. Here are several popular spots within a short drive of Ottawa where you can enjoy a memorable meal in the countryside. BLACKBIRD CAFÉ – BURNSTOWN

There are many charming villages throughout the Ottawa Valley, but possibly none more welcoming than Burnstown, located just 15 minutes from Calabogie Peaks or less than an hour from central Ottawa. Home to artists’ studios, shops and galleries it also boasts the well-known Blackbird Café (pictured right). Housed in a gorgeous heritage building with a spacious front porch, the Blackbird draws locals as well as visitors from hundreds of kilometres away, thanks to its nostalgic atmosphere made all the more appealing by top-notch food. Known for its friendly service and generous portions, some of the Blackbird’s most popular offerings include quesadillas, vegetarian wraps, burgers and

homemade soup’s although there are daily specials as well. Salads are also a big hit with the many regulars, particularly the Greek salad. Those with a sweet tooth are sure to enjoy the desserts, including a decadent chocolate and banana cake.

The Blackbird’s service hours change with the season but throughout autumn it’s open seven days a week. When you visit, be sure to allow a little extra time to soak up the Blackbird’s charming décor including the antique-laden shelves which hold scores of whimsical treasures and might prompt a fun “what was it used for” guessing game with kids. CAFE SOUP’HERBE – CHELSEA

If your preference is to head north, you’re sure to love a visit to Chelsea, Quebec, only 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa. Home to the Gatineau Park Visitors’ Centre and innumerable sporting trails, Chelsea also boasts some great food. One hot spot is Café Soup’Herbe, with a vegetarian menu that routinely makes converts out of meat eaters. “I am very proud that a visit to Soup’Herbe can change someone’s impression of vegetarian food,” says owner Josée Lafrenière. “We occasionally have people come in who seem to think they will not feel satisfied by our food. Their reaction is always

the same – they are pleasantly surprised and impressed by the robust, homemade food.” Soup’herbe always has vegan and gluten-free options on its menu which features over forty items including starters, sandwiches and wraps, pastas, pizzas, salads and children’s options. Don’t leave without trying at least one dessert; the maple praline cheesecake is particularly delightful. Throughout the autumn months, the Café’s huge deck offers ample seating and is an ideal location to soak up the atmosphere of one of the finest outdoor areas in Canada. THE BRANCH RESTAURANT AND TEXAS GRILL – KEMPTVILLE

To the south, why not head to lovely Kemptville, home of The Branch Restaurant? Only 40 minutes from downtown Ottawa, Kemptville boasts numerous tourist attractions including the Rideau River Provincial Park, several golf courses and abundant hiking and biking trails. It’s also a popular stopping point for visitors on their way to Upper Canada Village. Billed as one of the region’s finest establishments for organic and local foods, The Branch is an omnivore’s delight. Chef and co-owner’s Bruce Enloes serves up tasty vegetarian dishes along with gourmet burgers and other family

Blackbird Café

Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary Grades Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary Grades Before & after school supervisionElementary Grades To register or arrange a school Preschool, Kindergarten, BeforeFrench & after school supervision Extended program tour, please call or emailTo register or arrang Before & after school supervision Independent, school Extendednon-profit Frenchco-ed program Extended French program tour, please call or e Extracurricular programs including: skating, gymnastics, dance, science, jiu jitsu & violin co-ed school Independent, non-profit Extracurricular programs including: skating, gymnastics, Low student-to-teacher ratio Extracurricular programs including: skating, gymnastics, dance, science, jiu jitsu & violin Advanced preschool literacy program dance, science, jiu jitsu & violin Diverse international student community Low student-to-teacher ratio principal@fernhillo Low student-to-teacher 50 Vaughan Street, Flexible full & half day programsratio Advanced preschool literacy program Ottawa, ON K1M 1X1www.fernhillott Enriched curriculum: Music,literacy Art, IT, French, Spanish Advanced preschool program



Diverse international student community Diverse international student community Flexible full & half day programs Flexible full & half day programs Enrichedcurriculum: curriculum: Music, Art, IT, French, Enriched Music, Art, IT, French, SpanishSpanish

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50 Vaughan Stree Ottawa, ON K1M

Select spaces available at the Grade School level for the 2013-2014 schoolGrades year. Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary

To register or arrange a school tour, please call or email

Before & after school supervision

To register arrange a school 50 Vaughan Street, Ottawa,orON K1M 1X1 | @

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tour, please call or email

friendly fare, with the core menu revolving around Texas-inspired comfort food. While there is a kids’ menu, they happily provide a reduced portion of most regular items for pint-sized diners. Open for dinner five nights a week, the service is casual but professional and the space is warm and welcoming. The Branch is also a haven to those looking for artistic sustenance, given that the restaurant serves as a gallery and, on the weekends, a musical venue as well. Not to be missed is Sunday’s Rubber Boots Buffet from 2 – 8 pm. Diners under 12 pay their age for this flavourful tribute to the locals, labourers and farmers that help make The Branch possible. THE YELLOW CANOE CAFE – MERRICKVILLE

Susan Moizer is the proprietor of the Yellow Canoe

Café, a lunchtime eatery where all the food is freshly made in house, using local ingredients wherever possible. Just 15 minutes southwest of Kemptville – or 55 minutes from Ottawa – the menu features excellent soups, scones, frittatas and tasty sandwiches on bread baked by Susan’s husband Andrew, including a heavenly soft herbed focaccia. Also on offer are scrumptious desserts such as Susan’s renowned pies, chocolate-raspberry coffee cake, carrot cake and more. Perhaps a picnic is more to your liking? All the food at the Yellow Canoe is available for takeout and if there’s something special you’d like, you can call ahead and preorder. This includes Susan’s specialty treats like chocolate truffle cake as well as a range of gluten-free desserts. It’s not just the food that garners great praise for the Yellow Canoe – it was a great patio with a view of the Merrickville locks and the Rideau River. Offering a nice mix of sun and shade, perfect for those gorgeous fall days, part of the patio is covered so even on a day with light rain, it’s still pleasant to be outdoors, enjoy a meal and listen to the rain on the tin roof.

Cafe Soup’herbe

OCTOBER 2013 11


Goblin teeth! Witches warts! Ghost poop!


ooking for a fun and inexpensive way to share some Halloween treats with classmates and neighbours?


Buy some candy corn (goblin teeth), chocolatecovered raisins (witches warts), and mini-marshmallows (ghost poop) at the grocery or bulk store.

2 3

Fill up a bunch of small clear sandwich bags.

Print off a few handy Halloween templates from then fold, cut and staple them onto the proper baggies.


That’s it!

Goblin teeth are ready for distribution! Find this template and more at

Making mummies


his is one of the easiest – and most fun - Halloweenthemed dinners.

You will need:

One can of Pillsbury crescent roll dough A package of hot dogs Dried currants, raisins, or pumpkin seeds (optional) Mustard and ketchup (optional)


Unroll the dough. Using a sharp knife, slice each section into long thin strips, connecting shorter pieces with longer ones if necessary. (These are the mummy’s bandages, so don’t worry if they’re not perfect.)


Wrap each strip of dough around each hot dog, leaving a bit of space for the face. Don’t overlap the layers too much.


Place the wrapped hot dogs on a cookie sheet and bake according to package instructions. (About 17-19 minutes.)


Make the eyes using dots of mustard or dried currants, raisins, or pumpkin seeds.


Decorate the plate with ketchup or mustard, if desired.

Serve the mummies with raw veggies and a healthy serving of blood soup (a.k.a. tomato) to round out your ghoulish dinner.

s! e i t r a p y a d h t r i b We do

West African Drum & Movement classes for Children and Youth

Ages 7-12, 12-18

Directed by Kathy Armstrong Community Arts since 1995•613-729-0987•

12 OCTOBER 2013 | c a p i t a l p a r e n t . c a | | @

613-482-4029 capitalparent |


Tricks and treats!

CP top toy picks



alloween is just around the corner, a favourite celebration of children and dentists everywhere! We turned to Facebook to see how Capital Parents deal with the onslaught of sweet stuff on this special day. Do they set limits or do the kids eat what they want? This is what they told us: Jenn Brownrigg: “My oldest son can’t have food dye, so we trade with him. He gives us most of his loot and we give him organic lollipops, or another similar treat.” Linda Berthelet: “Halloween night they are allowed to have as many treats as they want. After Halloween I limit their treats to one a night as a dessert. I don’t send the treats to school.” Elise Clow: “The night of they can have anything they want... and then after that it is rationed out over time. That’s how I was raised and I feel it was fair, fun, and worked well.” Maranda Carvell: “I check packages for safety, etc. as soon as we get home. Then we remove everything with gluten (all four kids are GF) and make sure there’s nothing my daughter is allergic to in her pile. While they are still in awe of all the loot they have, I have them take out everything they don’t like or that we don’t eat and we put that in a bag for the food bin. It’s easy to part with the less-than-desirable candy when all the good stuff is still there. I estimate we get rid of at least 25% right off the bat, maybe more. From what is left they can have a few pieces a day until it is gone, but not for school snacks. The little two (4 and 6 this year) only go trick or treating for a few blocks, so they don’t collect too much candy. The older two (14 and 11 this year) go out longer and bring in more, but that’s ok because they’re older/bigger and can handle more treats.” Karen Humphrey: “We used to check everything as soon as it was brought in the door. Then, we’d get Kev to divide it in half. He’d keep what he really wanted, and put the other half in a bag on the back porch. Sometime in the evening we’d have a visit from the Halloween witch, who would magically turn that candy into a toy. Then we’d either toss the candy he gave up or add it back to the bowl to give away.”

Becky Stanisic: “We check everything when it comes home and part of the fun is dumping their loot into a pile. We take away any candy that we don’t want them to have (really hard candies, anything questionable, gum etc). They get to eat whatever they want for a bit that night, usually one or two chips, a couple chocolates and sweets. Then each day after they get a few more pieces. Eventually the junkie stuff goes. Meanwhile, I eat a bunch while they aren’t looking. The biggest rule? The house takes a 30% cut of the loot! Ok, that’s not an official stat, but that’s what we tell them. Plus, any adult who is visiting aunts, uncles etc - who want something get to have it so sharing is a must!”


ach year, children from across Ottawa play with newly released toys as part of the Canadian Toy Testing Council’s mission of Learning Through Play. Parents observe their kids at play and report on the toy’s design, safety, durability, and play value. Based on this feedback, the Council produces the annual toy report, with star ratings and tester insights. Symphony in B, for ages 3+, is one of the toys to be featured in the upcoming Toy Report 2014.

This colourful, musical toy received top 3-star approval from toy testers. Kids enjoyed choosing from 13 instruments (including woodwinds, brass, percussions, keyboards and strings) to build their own orchestra and they loved the clear, professional sounds of each instrument. For more information about becoming a toy testing family, visit



Mimi Golding: “I let the kids go out after they’ve had a supper and usually they’re back after an hour or an hour and a half. They’re allowed to pick through stuff that night after it has been checked and sorted (by their preference, their grandpa’s preference, stuff they’re NOT allowed to have) and from then on, we’ll put a piece of chocolate usually, in their lunch box for a week. In past years a member of our tribe would have his birthday party just after Halloween (his birthday IS Halloween) and we’d donate the candy for piñata stuffing.”


Natalie Robichaud: “We check and monitor candy consumption on a regular basis, Halloween or not. Our 9-year old asks us permission to have candy. We often let her take some to school and allow her a few treats if she wants them.” Lindsay Ballinger: “We check it over for safety and for the fun of going through it all. Then we keep it in a bag in the kitchen... She asks if she wants some but usually forgets about it after a few weeks and it just all goes stale.”

Did you know that Capital Parent is on Facebook? Follow us at for lots of sweet things including family friendly events, recipes, and parenting news.

What is your family’s favourite place to go pumpkin picking? Let us know where you like to go! Send your favourite destinations to

St. Martin‛s Nursery School Ottawa Region Branch

PRIVATE MUSIC LESSONS Qualified Teachers All Subjects

Find a teacher at • 631 266-6768

Established 1964

2120 Prince Charles Road

1 Block North of Carlingwood Shopping Centre

 ECE or Equivalent teachers  Stimulating spacious educational environment  Enriched variety of learning centres integrating Music, Art and Gym  2, 3 and 5 morning programs and 3 afternoon programs for children 2 1/2 to 5  Kindergarten Program for 4 year olds

Register now for 2013/2014 School Year For information call (613) 722-7500 OCTOBER 2013 13

We’d like to stay in touch with you

Book Your Party Today

Check party dates, details & availability online!

Dovercourt Recreation Centre

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New this Fall: Floral Design Workshop for all ages


here are lots of new arrivals at the Ottawa Public Library this month! Elizabeth Thornley from the Main branch, shares some of her new favourites.

Dinosaur Zoom! by Penny Dale (Ages 3-6)

20 1

3 –2 0 1 4 S E A S ON


Alain Trudel, Principal Youth and Family Conductor

a. b. Illustrations : Rocket 57 Illustration & Animation c. Illustration: From The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier, illustrated by Sheldon Cohen.Illustration Copyright © 1984 Sheldon Cohen. Reprinted by permission of Tundra Books.


It’s free!


For 5 ages 5! 0 1 o t

top 5 books

See Me Run, by Paul Meisel (Ages 5-7)

Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery Classical Kids

November 16, 2013


The Hockey Sweater Roch Carrier, narrator Ken Dryden, co-host c.

Peter and the Wolf Magic Circle Mime Company

February 8, 2014


Roald Dahl’s Dandi Productions




et ds g Ki

Bilingual concerts Saturday afternoons in Southam Hall, 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.



NACOtron presented in association with Rogers TV. | @

Featuring photographs that show alphabet sightings out in the neighbourhood, this is one of my favourite kind of picture book. Hmmm - that door handle looks like a letter “C”. And that bicycle rack looks like a letter “M”. Watch out – soon you will be seeing the alphabet everywhere!

Myths Busted! Just when you thought you knew what you knew, by Emily Krieger (Ages 8-12)

Subscribe today! • 613 947-7000 x620


14 OCTOBER 2013 | c a p i t a l p a r e n t . c a |

Delia describes the previous day and just how “same old” it was. The pictures show a different story though – kids will have fun picking out all the crazy not-so-boring things that Delia missed during her so-called “boring” day.

Alphabet Everywhere, by Elliott Kaufman (Ages 4-8)

May 31, 2014

con for

Hey – Meisel rhymes with Geisel – and this book was a 2012 honour book for the (Theodore Seuss) Geisel Award for beginning readers. There’s lots of rhyming, popular sight words, context from pictures and a funny surprise ending!

Delia’s Dull Day: an incredibly boring story, by Andy Myer (Ages 5-8)

January 11, 2014


Dinosaur books and vehicle books are some of the most popular at the Ottawa Public Library – so when you find one book that contains dinosaurs and race cars and trucks and a crane, and great sound effects, you know it’s a good day! (And it has a birthday cake – read it!)

capitalparent |

So, you think that porcupines throw their quills or that one dog year equals seven human years? Nope – this book busts these and other myths by explaining their origins and telling readers the scientific truth. (Okay – but chewing gum does take seven years to digest – right?? Read this book and find out!)




Leanne and Jim (9), live in central Ottawa. They love to spend time outdoors. They are often found hanging out together at their neighborhood playground or working on the construction of their new backyard fort. One of Jim’s favourite things to do is fish in Ottawa’s rivers.

We’d like to see your best family photos! Submit your favourites and you might see one or two in a future issue. For more details go to

family snaps

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. - Thomas Edison

Our family calendar Frogs – A Chorus of Colours Begins September 25 This is a great opportunity to discover a “rainbow” of live frogs from around the world at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Get eyeball to eyeball with delightful tree frogs, fat bullfrogs, bizarre horned frogs, toads, dart poison frogs, and many other intriguing species. If you’ve never thought of frogs as beautiful, this exhibition may just change your mind. Go to for more information.

Carp Fair September 26-29 One of the best little fairs in the Ottawa Valley is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and there’s a lot going on! There are agricultural displays (biggest pumpkin is always a crowd favourite), live entertainment, livestock shows, and of course, the midway. Look over the schedule online at to make sure you’re timing your visit with the shows you want to see, such as the President’s Choice SuperDogs. Don’t miss the




















editor ’s


Heavy Horse Show (or the beignets) while you’re there either!

Oktoberfest Ottawa September 27-29 A whole bunch of kid-friendly entertainment has been added to this year’s Oktoberfest schedule. Sunday has been dubbed the official “family fun day” with acts like Junkyard Symphony, Brothers Dubé, and Little Ray’s Reptiles on hand to entertain the young ones. It’s worth noting that admission is free for all kids under 16 too. Cheers! (

Tim Horton’s Cleaning up the Capital September 27 to 29 is Capital Cleanup Weekend (Registration ends October 15) Cleaning up the Capital is celebrating its 20th anniversary! Every year, thousands of people come together to help make Ottawa a better – and cleaner – place to live. In fact it’s estimated

that 1.48 million kilograms of waste have been removed from our public spaces in that time. That’s a lot of litter! Participating is easy. Gather up a team and pick your project site. It could be your local park, a bus stop, ravine, or pathway. There are prizes to be won! Register your team online and fill out a cleanup report by the submission deadline for a chance to win one of several prizes. You can also request Cleanup Starter Kits on the City of Ottawa website at

Pirates of Penzance October 19 and 20 Opera Lyra will be performing an adaptation of the Pirates of Penzance with performances at 1:00 p.m and 3:30 p.m at the Arts Court Theatre. This 45-minute English-language version of the witty Gilbert and Sullivan operetta is a perfect introduction to the joy of opera for children and adults alike (as well as modern Major Generals). For tickets and information go to

Halloweek at Saunders Farm October 28-31 Whether you prefer your Halloween entertainment bright and cheery or dark and scary, there’s something for just about everyone at Saunders Farm. We’re big fans of the daytime hayrides, the mazes, the pedal carts, and the jumping pillows. New this year is the Farmer’s Table, a walk-up restaurant that serves fresh local foods. Go to the Saunders Farm website at for hours and ticket information. Kids two and under are free and there are group rates available as well.

We want to hear from you! Do you know of an event that Capital Parents would like to hear about? Submit your information to: OCTOBER 2013 15


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Capital Parent October 2013  
Capital Parent October 2013  

Ottawa Parenting Newspaper