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Enjoyable Vacations Start With Compromise Friendship Fun In The Sun
Facebook Fears Strong Roots Make Flowers Bloom
Five Money Saving Vactaion Tips Throwing Caution Into The Campfire
Volume 1, Issue 2
editorial fun Summer is here!! So much fun and exciting things to explore and do. Bev and I feel so blessed to live in the Okanagan as there are endless amounts of activities and fun for all our children. It is one of the best reasons for living in a resort community surrounded by lakes and hiking trails, boats, camping and festivals. We try to explore some of the “to do’s” with the article “Friendship in the Sun” or how about going on a backyard “Bug Safari”. Camping is always a fun family activity for all ages, but its not without its challenges within all the familial relationships from spouses to siblings as Bev and I are fully aware as we prepare to venture out with our families comprising of 6 children of varying ages. However we all feel the payoff is great, as I watch my 4 children run, jump, swim and explore!!! In our Business Spotlight we highlight a Penticton B & B which Bev and her husband of 20 years, Andy, got to enjoy away from their 2 boys. It is important for couples to enjoy some pampering and spoiling time as well and celebrate such amazing milestones!! Summer, we wait for it all year and it always seems to fly by, so we have to remember to enjoy every minute we have with our little people. As Bev and I watch our oldest boys approaching the end of their high school years we know to sit back reflect and enjoy as the time goes much too fast. Its summer and we are still so busy with BBQ’s, family reunions, parties, and visiting company, so please just remember to sit on the beach, slather on the sunscreen and enjoy the sun!!!
4 Friendship Fun In The Sun 5 Go On A Bug Safari In Your Backyard 7 Let’s Do Lunch 8 Celery For Summer Meals 10 Summer Volunteering With Children Grows Charitable Adults 12 Business Spotlight - Lakeshore House B&B 13 Five Money Saving Vacation Tips 14 Throwing Caution Into The Campfire 16 Enjoyable Vacations Start With Compromise 18 Facebook Fears 22 Strong Roots Make Flowers Bloom
Cover photo courtesy of
Sandi Haustein Laura Lane Meagan Ruffing Ashley Talmadge Laura Reagan-Porras Andy Tiel Carol J. Alexander Laurie Zottmann Gayla Grace Kimberly Carlson Pam Molnar
3 Editor’s Note
20 Resource Directory
Editor-in-Chief: Creative Director:
Kerri Milton Bev Tiel
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Summer 2013 l
Friendship Fun In The Sun by Sandi Haustein With the days long and kids out of school, summer is the perfect time to grow a friendship or to start a new one. Often, all it takes is a simple invitation to join your family for some summer-time fun. Need some ideas? This list will get you started. Outside Take a picnic to your favorite park. Visit a U-pick farm and gather juicy strawberries or blueberries. Take a hike on a nature trail. Check out the animals at the zoo. Meet up at a splash park to let the kids cool off and play. Catch salamanders or crawdads in a creek. Host a backyard barbecue. Set up a sprinkler, a kiddie pool, or a Slip n’ Slide in your backyard for hours of water fun for the kids. Cook hotdogs and roast marshmallows on an overnight camping trip. Organize a huge game of soccer or kickball with families from your neighborhood.
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Indoors Meet a friend early in the morning for a stroller walk around the mall before the stores open.
at the farm
Draw up a bracket and challenge another family to a Wii or Xbox tournament. Plan a pita pizza playdate. Put out pita bread, pizza sauce, Mozzarella cheese, and toppings, and let each parent and child make their own. Invite some kids over for popcorn and a movie while the parents visit in the kitchen. Take a day-trip. Explore a museum, a nearby town, a state park, or an amusement park. Dust off your board games and host a Game Night. Create your own ice cream sundae bar. Provide several flavors of ice cream, and ask your guests to bring hot fudge, fruit sauces, and candy toppings. Whether it’s beautiful outside or too hot to handle, you and your kids will enjoy creating new memories with friends. What are you waiting for? Call someone up and make some plans for some summer fun! Sandi Haustein is a freelance journalist and mom of three boys. She loves meeting up with friends and their kids for fun activities around town. www.okanaganchild.com
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Go On A Bug Safari In Your Backard by Laura Lane When my son was three years old he loved playing in mud and digging for worms. My daughter preferred chasing butterflies in our backyard. Young children are naturally curious and usually fascinated by insects lurking under rocks, sipping nectar from flowers or buzzing through the air. Often grown-ups give insects a bad rap. I’m embarrassed to admit the number of times www.okanaganchild.com
I’ve said to my children, “Yuck! Stay away from that bug!” or simply squashed one with my tennis shoe. Insects, however, play a number of very important roles in nature, including pollinating flowers, keeping pest insects in check, and recycling nutrients in the soil. (continued on page 6) Summer 2013 l
(continued from page 5) “Think,” says Judy Burris, co-author of The Secret Lives of Backyard Bugs. “Did you know that around eighty percent of the plant-based foods that we eat require pollination by bees, butterflies, flies, beetles, moths or other creatures? Without pollinators, we risk having no fruits, nuts or even chocolate!” In addition, ladybugs, spiders, lacewings, praying mantises and other predators control pest insects, and earthworms enrich and turn over the soil allowing plant roots to breathe and absorb nutrients. Animals such as frogs, toads, lizards, birds, and bats also rely on an insect diet, Burris added. Summer is the perfect time to get outside and take your child on a bug safari in your backyard. Here’s how: Gather Your Tools For your backyard adventure, bring a magnifying glass, a clear plastic container with a lid, a small paint brush, and a camera. Burris does not recommend letting children use a net to capture flying insects. “The nets manufactured for children tend to be much too short as far as the actual net is concerned,” she says. “Also, butterflies and moths have tiny hooks on their legs that tend to get caught in the mesh of lower-quality nets and can easily cause them to break off their legs as they struggle. And, since butterflies, bees and spiders may all be utilizing the same flowers and plants, it is possible to catch more than a child bargained for in a net-sweep and risk getting stung or bit.” Pick a Place Your lawn itself is like a desert when it comes to spotting insects, says Phil Pellitteri, an extension entomologist at the University of WisconsinMadison. Better places to find insects include under rocks, in the soil, in leaf litter, on logs, trees, and flowers. Be on the lookout for ants, centipedes, worms, flies, grasshoppers, lady bugs, spiders, butterflies and moths.
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Observe and Collect Have your child use a magnifying glass to watch insects without disturbing them. Talk with your child about the insect’s colors and markings. Does the insect use camouflage to blend in with its environment? Or is it brightly colored like a lady bug? Insects are brightly colored to attract a mate or to keep predators away. Predators associate brightly colored insects with tasting or smelling bad, Pellitteri says. Young children often find it fun to collect insects. Pellitteri suggests having your child use a small paint brush to gently sweep the insect into a collecting container. Your child can keep the insect in the container for a few hours before releasing it back outside. Be sure to keep the container out of direct sunlight, so as not to overheat and kill the insect. Take Pictures Young children love to snap pictures, so why not combine both their love of bugs with picture taking? Print out the photos and have your child use them to draw, color, or paint their own versions of the insects. Going on a bug safari allows your child to glimpse insects up close and learn about the big role these tiny creatures play in our natural world. “Taking just an hour each day to explore your own backyard will reveal amazing insects. You may also discover mushrooms, birds, chipmunks and tiny wildflowers,” Burris says. Check out these books to help your child identify and learn more about backyard bugs: The Secret Lives of Backyard Bugs by Judy Burris and Wayne Richards Don’t Squash That Bug! The Curious Kid’s Guide to Insects by Natalie Rompella Everything Bug: What Kids Really Want to Know About Insects and Spiders by Cherie Winner As a freelance writer and mother of two, Laura Lane enjoys writing about ways parents and kids can explore nature together. www.okanaganchild.com
Let’s Do Lunch! by Meagan Ruffing
9 Fun Ideas for a Simple Picnic with Your Kids Summer is just around the corner and the kids are itching to be outside all. day. long. Why not pack a lunch and head to the park for a simple but splendid picnic with your family? Whether you’re an on-a-schedule type mom or the fly-by-the-seat of your pants mom, picnics are an excellent way to get some fresh air. Check out these 9 picnic-pleasing tips for your next outing with the family. 1. Picnic Basket – Get yourself a cute picnic basket that’s big enough for the entire family. Be sure to buy one that has a separate compartment for cold drinks and enough pockets for all of those yummy snacks. 2. Snacks – Grab snacks that are easy to pack such as carrot sticks, crackers, cheese cubes and raisins. Kids like finger foods that can be easily eaten without the mess. Pack each snack in individual snack bags or small containers to keep them from getting jumbled together. 3. Drinks – Individual juice boxes or sippy cups filled with your kids’ favorite drinks are perfect for keeping your kids hydrated outside. Put ice packs on top of the drinks to keep them nice and cold until you reach your destination. 4. Lunch – This is the best part about the picnic! Kids love simple sandwiches like peanut butter and jelly, turkey and cheese or cucumber and mayonnaise. Get creative and use a character themed sandwich cutter to shape your child’s sandwich into their favorite cartoon friend. It will be a great surprise to your little one when you hand over his lunch. 5. Dessert – Okay, this is the best part. Let’s be real. Chocolate chip cookies or anything chocolate can get pretty messy under the sun. It’s better to keep it simple and pack desserts that your kids can eat with no fuss involved. Think teddy grahams, fruit snacks or fresh fruit. www.okanaganchild.com
6. Play-Up on S’mores – Julie Wages, mother of two grown children, remembers when, “We would take our little ones from church on a picnic and we would cheat and use chocolate graham crackers and marshmallow cream instead of s’mores. Just put the cream in a Dixie cup and give them the sticks of graham crackers to dip! A lot less mess!” 7. Games – What’s a picnic without some fun? Think simple. Bubbles, kites and books are great things to bring along for an after lunch activity. 8. Always Bring Extra – When Theresa Jones, mother of two, goes on a picnic with friends, she says she always packs extra snacks. “If we are meeting friends – kids always want what the other has.” She also plays it safe by asking if anyone has allergies. “Our son’s friend has a nut allergy so we don’t do peanut butter and jelly.” 9. Wrap It Up – Bring a fun, comfy blanket to set up shop. Take it up a notch and think recycling. Use reusable sandwich bags and sippy cups from home. Roll up the blanket when you’re all done and stow it in your basket for an easy transport back to the car. Don’t forget the baby wipes. No matter what age your kids are, wipes are and always will be ‘mom’s best friend’. Meagan Ruffing is a stay-at-home mom to Dylan (4) and Hannah (20 months). She is a parenting freelance writer who looks forward to countless picnics this summer with her family.
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Celery: For Summer Meals It Simply Satisfies by Ashley Talmadge
It’s the complementary crunch in a chicken salad. Or the savory supplement in a stew. The fact is, most of us use celery merely as an accessory in a tasty recipe. But good- tasting, good-for-you celery is a veggie that has no problem holding its own. While the ancient Greeks touted its medicinal properties, this versatile member of the parsley family is now used as a nutritious food source worldwide. Jonny Bowden, PhD (aka “The Rogue Nutritionist”) includes celery in The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. All parts of the celery plant—leaves, stalks, heart, and root—may be eaten. Here are 5 reasons your family should sing the praises of celery: Lowers blood pressure and stress levels. Celery contains phthalides which naturally relax blood vessels. Skylor Powell, certified health coach and founder of Sprout Health, says this “creates more space within the vessels for blood to flow…[and] pressure decreases.” Powell adds that phthalides also work to decrease stress hormone levels. This “helps to decrease blood pressure, but more importantly helps to lower stress!” Fosters healthy bones. Celery is rich in Vitamin K, and studies have found this nutrient to be important in both the development and maintenance of healthy bones. Just one cup of raw chopped celery (three 7-inch stalks) provides almost 40% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin K. Aids in weight loss. Celery has often been cited as a “negative calorie food,” meaning that more calories are supposedly burned in digesting it than are actually contained in the food. While experts may not agree as to whether this concept is valid, there’s no question that celery is a good weight 8 l Summer 2013
loss tool. At just 18 calories per cup, and with its high water and insoluble fiber content, celery can help you shed the pounds. Conquers colds. Celery leaves are rich in flavonoid antioxidants and vitamins A and C. These nutrients help boost the immune system (and may protect against cancer too). Vitamin A is also necessary for maintaining healthy mucous membranes and good vision. Harmonizes happily. Celery is easily integrated into a wide range of specialized diets, from diabetic to caveman, and vegan to gluten-free. In Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone Deborah Madison notes, “The clean taste of celery is a surprise to those who have never eaten it cooked. It’s so readily available and easy to work with, I urge you to try it.”
Go for the greens. Although often thrown into the stockpot as an afterthought, celery leaves shouldn’t be overlooked as a vibrant accompaniment. Use them in combination with other leafy greens in salads, as a substitute for parsley or cilantro, or even as the base for a pesto or dip. Make it kid-friendly. Think outside the basic “bugs on a log” snack. Powell suggests, “Put celery in a smoothie with a cup of frozen mango, a banana, a cup of blueberries and 1 teaspoon of honey.” Or, she adds, you can finely chop the celery and spread it in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Grow it. Don’t discard the base! Your kids will love this simple gardening project. After you’ve cut it from the stalk, set the base in a shallow dish of water for about a week. When you notice that the new yellowish inner leaves have started to turn green, you can transfer it to a planter. Cover the whole base with dirt, except for the emerging green leaves. Water it well, let it flourish, and maybe you’ll be buying a lot less celery!
Store it properly. Trim the base and cut off any blemished leaves. Rinse with water, and dry well. Wrap the celery in foil, being sure to cover the bunch completely by folding the foil over the ends. Properly stored celery can last up to four weeks. Crown it “Queen of the Meal.” Use celery as a major component in a dish, rather than as a sidekick. Make a snappy slaw with lots of finely chopped celery, some raisins, and your favorite mayo or vinegar-based dressing. Or slice several stalks, and toss with whole grain pasta, fresh tomatoes, feta, and olive oil. www.okanaganchild.com
It is alleged that the Romans wore wreaths of celery to protect against hangovers. (So that stalk of celery in a Bloody Caesar may be more than a stirring device.) The “holy trinity” (or “mirepoix”) in French cuisine, consists of celery, onions, and carrots. Just one ounce of celery seeds is needed to produce one acre of celery plants. Ashley Talmadge is a freelance writer and mother of two young boys. Learning to eat celery in new ways has been an adventure for the whole family.
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• Planting a garden with native plants to encourage backyard habitat for birds, insects and small animals.
With Children Grows Charitable Adults
• Older children can write letters to soldiers thanking them for their service.
by Laura Reagan-Porras
Working together as a family for others not only strengthens communities by helping the cause of your choice, but also models good character and strengthens family bonds.
• Holding a penny drive to buy extra school supplies for children who cannot afford them or use the pennies to buy dog and cat food for your local animal shelter and then delivering the bags of food. www.okanaganchild.com
ark • Sports & er P & Wat
• Collecting new or like new books for the children’s wing of the hospital and delivering the books to the hospital auxiliary to distribute.
s • Aquatics
• Walking dogs at the local humane society shelter.
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Children may come up with their own ideas about service projects that have special meaning to them. Older children may work together to sell candy or crafts at a profit to purchase items for less fortunate families such as children’s coats. Service learning studies show that children who serve are more likely to grow into charitable adults.
(This may involve several pieces, announcing the food drive at various classrooms, making posters, decorating the collection boxes and finally taking the cans to the food pantry or food bank.)
& Cultur e Arts
Children can be encouraged to give a stuffed animal of their own that is in good shape or earn the money by doing household chores to make a purchase themselves. Children can also travel to the shelter to drop off the stuffed animals so that the “giving” is concrete.
• Organizing and conducting a canned food drive at your child’s school together.
ps • Cooki n
Teaching service is most effective when children give something meaningful to them. An example of an age appropriate, meaningful service project for first and second graders is a teddy bear drive for abused children of domestic violence in shelters or hospitals.
• Mowing and raking an elderly neighbor’s yard.
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education, public welfare, health, public safety or the environment. Families can volunteer together and reap all the benefits of service learning while making a memory.
According to the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, service learning is a teaching strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection. Service learning also builds character and teaches civic responsibility as youth participate in service projects in
Volunteering can be done as a family are:
Sally was nine years old and her sister Emily was seven years old when they began volunteering at their local food bank with their family. Volunteering included sorting boxes and cans of food into different groups and then packing family boxes for the low income families that the food bank serves. The first time Sally and Emily volunteered, they asked lots of questions and enjoyed the can conveyer belt tremendously. The food bank volunteer manager had things well organized so the kids were engaged the entire time. Their mom pointed out the families waiting in the lobby who were to receive the boxes of food they had packed in order to make it a purposeful experience. As they were leaving the food bank, the volunteer manager heard Sally say, “This was one of the best days of my life!” Her sister, Emily piped in and said, “That was fun!”
Laura Reagan Porras is a parenting journalist, child advocate and sociologist. She is the mother of two daughters.
GET ACTIVE • STAY ACTIVE
Volunteering or donating items is something often reserved for the Thanksgiving, Christmas holidays; however, using summertime for service learning can build character in children that lasts a lifetime. Volunteering as a family can make lasting memories.
The Summer Activity & Program Guide is online starting May 27. Registration starts June 4.
kelowna.ca/recreation Summer 2013 l
Five Money Saving Vacation Tips
by Andy Tiel
May 1st was a pretty big day for Bev & I as we just reached the 20 year milestone!! I wanted to surprise her a bit with a really nice afternoon/evening out.... so thought what better way to do it than exploring our own downtown Penticton.
We then checked into the Lakeshore House B&B with Carole Scott as our host. The Lakeshore added so many thoughtful little touches from the incredible chocolate dipped strawberries to the discussion starter cards. The room was fantastic with a great view across the street to the Okanagan Lake and the room has its own ensuite - a very nice touch. The backyard is a hidden oasis with a very nice pool & hot tub - so relaxing. Breakfast was truly a feast - thank you for a great stay Carole! Downtown Penticton did not disappoint for a great 20th Anniversary and here’s to 20 more!
The afternoon started with as being spoiled rotten at Melt Day Spa - which included premium chocolates from Accent Chocolates, nice glass of champagne and followed by 2 hours of fabulous side by side massage treatments.
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Often, when times are tight, the first thing to go is the family vacation. With food and fuel prices rising like a hot air balloon, many families are forgoing this yearly ritual and banking the money instead. But by implementing a few unconventional ideas, you can enjoy a time of holiday without going into debt or spending all your savings. Change your attitude Many folks have the attitude that vacationing means spending. Often families do things and buy things they never would otherwise just because they are on vacation. Overcoming this attitude is the first step to time away on the cheap. Forgo the expensive restaurants, or restaurants altogether, if that is what you would do any other time of the year. If you normally carry your own water bottle on outings, don’t succumb to paying $2 a bottle just because you are on vacation. Remain cheerful about this restraint and pass this cheerfulness on to your children so that they do not feel deprived. Go in the Off-Season Travelling in the off-season can save you a great deal of money. Airlines, hotels, campgrounds, and resorts offer prices a fraction of what they charge during peak season. However, you need to know what their peak season is. If you want to travel to Florida, or some other warm climate, their busy time is in the winter months. Appalachian camping sports a peak during the summer months. Know what the busy season is for the places you want to go and plan ahead. If school is an issue, discuss the possibility of travel with your children’s teachers ahead of time. Most are willing to arrange for assignments to be done in advance, made up, or even skipped entirely. Enjoy a Staycation Who says you have to travel outside of your local area to enjoy time off? The new buzz-word is “staycation.” I’m typing this story from a blanket on the side of a mountain lake while my family enjoys canoeing and fishing. We are only 20 miles from home. We packed coolers full of food and drink, brought changes of clothes, all the fishing www.okanaganchild.com
by Carol J. Alexander gear we would need and left for the day. We are having a marvelous time for less money than having supper at McDonald’s would cost us. Put your thinking caps on and come up with things to do in your own neck of the woods. Do things that you enjoy but generally don’t get to do as a family because everyone is going in different directions. Here are a few ideas: • Take in a few museums • Go bowling, roller skating, hiking, or biking • Have company over and roast hot dogs over a bonfire • Visit a nearby theme park • Anything else you would enjoy doing but do not normally get to enjoy Take your own food Finding a place to stay with the means to cook your own food is easier than you think. Cabins and some motels come with kitchens and most hotels offer refrigerators and microwaves. Cook casseroles and soups the week before your vacation, freeze, and take along in a cooler. Also keep in mind that a lot of hotels allow children to stay for free and offer a complimentary breakfast. Just ask before you make your reservations. Ask for discounts Last year I travelled to a distant city for a conference and needed to stay in a hotel. I simply asked the person taking my reservations if they had any discounts. Sometimes you qualify for a senior or AAA discount. I didn’t; but the woman was gracious enough to give me the same price cut because it was January and business was slow. Don’t forgo your family vacation this year. Implement a few of these tips and cherish the time together while your family is still at home to enjoy. Freelance writer Carol J. Alexander frequently enjoys “staycations” with her family in Virginia. Summer 2013 l
How Tenting With My Baby
Into The Campfire :
Soothed My Sleepless Suffering
by Laurie Zottmann “This is going to be a challenge!”
The next day, we soaked up some sun and robin song, and approached bedtime a little wiser. I tucked my Sweet One straight into my bag and she comforted herself to sleep. Eventually, she rolled away from me and I dozed a few hours.
I could have been talking about adjusting to new parenthood or teaching a clingy baby to sleep on her own… but I was referring to our plans for our baby’s first camping trip. In golden days past, tenting road trips were my favorite kind of travel. My husband and I had perfected a completely indulgent version of these cheap, refreshing getaways. We filled up our senses with starlit nights and gorgeous hikes and splurged on treats and dinners in town, all the more heavenly to our fresh-air-fueled appetites. This time, however, would be our first crack at camping with a baby. Our darling was ten months old at the time, and although she was healthy, gorgeous and the absolute light of our lives, she did not make family camping seem like a fun idea. She was “not much of a sleeper,” meaning that she slept no longer than 45 minutes at a time, day or night, for her first six months. By that ten month mark, I think we had achieved the miracle of our first two- and three-hour slumbers. I was supremely sleep-deprived, frustrated, and a little kooky, and deep down I felt that a week-long coma would suit me better than trying to manage the “fun” we had in store. Despite believing it would be a nasty new form of torture, I went ahead robotically and planned the camping trip. I spent a month reading web forums and grilling all of my 14 l Summer 2013
outdoorsy friends, two weeks narrowing down my packing list, and eight hours the night before we left editing and reworking my pile of essentials until it could fit in the portion of the trunk allotted for baby stuff. I lay down exhausted while the cruel morning light squeaked in around the curtains, knowing that in a few hours, we’d be off on our great adventure, either to sink or swim. At first, we sank. Since our Sprouting Bean had just learned to sleep in her own room, I thought she’d be tickled to sleep beside us again in our “special tent room”. Tickled, she was not. She cried while I tried every soothing trick I could think of (singing, reading, leaving the tent, covering her playpen, pretending to sleep beside her, and praying) until I finally gave in and tucked her into my sleeping bag to nurse her to sleep. She fell into a fitful doze but caught me every time I tried to unlatch her, so that first night I lay there uncomfortable and awake. www.okanaganchild.com
By the third day, the joys of slow, sunny walks and watching the baby discover simple delights (like chasing water bottles over swishy sleeping bags) were soaking right into our bones. At bedtime, I started early with lots of books and songs, and nursed my Little Miracle down to sleep. I breathed in wonder as her chubby hands relaxed, and she rolled over immediately into a peaceful slumber.
There were a couple more nights at the end of that trip, but I honestly don’t remember them. It was like the first three days were a fairy tale quest, and once we achieved our transformation, everything shifted to a different plane. The baby got used to the camping routine, we had a wonderful holiday, and I learned that even ten months of sleepless suffering could not kill the fun in me. Laurie is a freelance writer who is itching to discover more camping joys with her toddler this summer. She hopes to inspire other worn-out parents to take the leap of faith and go find their family happy place.
Like a convict on the lam, I summoned all my patience to unzip the door in slow motion. “Don’t blow it!” I thought, but I needn’t have worried; she was out. I emerged from the tent into the sunset light, and the mountain air tasted just like freedom to me. I sat at the picnic table with my husband, we chatted for a minute, then he revealed a surprise; a hilarious little single-serving tetra pak of red wine he found at the convenience store. We shared it out into our plastic mugs, set out a couple of those wax-covered snack cheeses and some grapes, and sat back to watch the daylight fade and the stars blink coquettishly alive. I breathed deeply for the first time in almost a year. It was beautiful. I was present, enjoying it, and suddenly remembered what fun was like. www.okanaganchild.com
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As you discuss your next vacation, consider the differences of your mate. Talk about what accommodations need to be made to create an enjoyable vacation for both of you. Stepmom Jan Gull recognizes her need for separation from her teenage stepson after extended hours together. She and her husband agree to stay in two hotel rooms at night with her husband and stepson in a separate room to give her time away from the tension her stepson creates. Although it might appear to be a radical compromise, for this stepfamily in its early years of bonding, it’s a necessary one.
Enjoyable Vacations Start With Compromise by Gayla Grace “The qualities that drew me to my husband are the same ones that eventually began to drive me crazy,” my sister, Marilyn, remarked of her 30-year marriage to her husband, Chris. “Chris is very different than I am--his qualities of fun and light-heartedness in the beginning began to look like irresponsibility and shallowness. However, I need Chris’ spirit of fun to balance my need to plan and schedule life--particularly on vacation. I wish I had realized sooner the value of our differentness.”
differences in most married couples. Some theorists believe we are attracted to those who represent our underdeveloped side of self, balancing out the qualities we lack. But the ironic part comes when we try to change that person to function as we do. We want well-developed plans for vacation while our spouse prefers spontaneity. We like order in the cabin and nag our partner’s messiness. We can’t relate to our spouse’s punctuality since we don’t mind being late. The list goes on. We’re confronted with a choice: Will we allow the time together on vacation to help teach us how to appreciate personality strengths and negotiate through differences, or will we spend our time trying to mold our spouse into a person more like us, creating inevitable tension while sabotaging the efforts of an enjoyable vacation?
Vacation can bring out the worst in a married couple. Extended time together in cramped spaces with expectations of a glorious period of rest and relaxation can spell disaster for any family. If we don’t relate well to the differentness of our spouse, we can’t escape the tension. But working through differences with compromise can create an enjoyable vacation. We’ve all heard the old adage “opposites attract.” It isn’t hard to find extreme 16 l Summer 2013
When opposites attract, we need good communication with one another to learn how to accept each other’s uniqueness. Vacation needs require compromise for partners to get along with one another while making decisions on where to go or how to spend money while travelling. It may involve acceptance of something we don’t necessarily like, but will tolerate for the sake of our mate’s creative or artistic side. Or it could include going separate ways one afternoon, with each one choosing different outings. www.okanaganchild.com
But if we find ourselves trying to control every detail of the vacation or constantly manipulating our partner’s personality to get our way, we need to evaluate our motives and talk about our differences. My husband, Randy, and I have differences that initially brought us together, but turned difficult to manage as a married couple-particularly on vacation. Randy loves spending every waking hour with people as an extreme extrovert. Although I appreciate his strong people skills, I need time alone to recharge and reflect with my introverted disposition. Vacations became disastrous as I tried to keep up with his energy level that is recharged by people, finding myself exhausted at the end of the day due to my need for time alone. Surrounded by our children exacerbated my need to find a corner to myself. After frustrating vacation stints because of misunderstood judgments of each other, we began to understand and accept our differentness. We learned how to change our expectations of one another on vacation and adjust our plans as needed. www.okanaganchild.com
Your family has unique differences that dictate what accommodations need to be made. As you recognize and verbalize your needs with your mate, you’re more likely to find solutions in the midst of differences. Enjoyable vacations are created as you learn to appreciate one another’s uniqueness and seek compromising solutions when personalities collide. Don’t give up if you’ve had a bumpy vacation. Learn from your challenges and head out again-- you might find smooth sailing at the next dock! Gayla Grace is a freelance journalist, wife, and mom to five children who seeks to create an enjoyable vacation with compromise.
For pregnant & nursing women who love clothes www.hautemama.ca
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internet. Pixels have replaced people and somehow that has translated into a severe lack of mentalto-verbal filters. People are more than willing to tell you the very first thing that comes to their mind, regardless of tact and even relevance.
Facebook Fears: Fact Or Fiction? by Kimberly Carlson
How to communicate with your child about social media There are many questions we as parents are thrown nowadays that our parents never had to answer. Most of them revolve around social media. What once was viewed as a ‘distraction’ or merely another way to ‘waste brain cells’ has now evolved into the mainstream source of information and communication for everyone under 30 and most of us between 31 and 65. It is especially appealing for the iY Generation (those born after 1990). This generation has never known a world without constant streaming, consistent connectivity and electronic attachments (iPods, laptops, iPads, computers and phones). When my son was ten his best friend moved to the other side of the U.S. Knowing that it is hard for my son to connect well with his peers, I felt it was important for them to stay in touch. After learning his best friend had a Facebook account, I begrudgingly agreed to let my son have one too. Now, before everyone starts sending me hatemail and “but don’t you know…” allow me to also stress that I firmly believe that we as parents of the iY Generation need to embrace new ways of communicating with our children. This doesn’t mean giving them free reign, but rather a safe, positive social experience using these important points:
Facebook Fears: Fact or Fiction? Facebook works because it appeals to every demographic: teens use it to post pictures about themselves, post where they are, or send invites. The twenty-somethings tend to use it to share their opinions and new blogs, pics and posts. The 30- to 40-somethings are connecting with friends they’ve lost touch with since getting married and having children. They also use it to swap advice and recipes and brag about their children. Incessantly bragging about their children. Which is great for the grandparents’ group: they use it to stay in touch with their grandchildren (via mom, usually) and to share endless amounts of political cartoons and terribly-presented but well-meaning quotes. While none of this poses a threat on its own, commercialism is rearing its ugly head and forging through Facebook like a bull in a china shop. Businesses see endless amounts of opportunity and are attempting to disguise themselves as innocuous pages to “like”. I should know: I manage six Facebook pages as part of my job as a Social Media Manager. The goal is to get something posted that others will share and drive traffic a certain way for the most exposure. Which is great if your Aunt Suzanne “likes” a page called “I Love Horses” and shares their posts. But it’s not
so great when “I Love Horses” suddenly shares a post from a more, well, adult page and that post accidently shows up in Aunt Suzanne’s feed, and your 14 year old sees it. Become Facebook Friends If your son or daughter wants to be on Facebook, friend them! (I’m going to take an educated guess here and assume you have a Facebook account.) For your younger child, it’s a good way of keeping tabs on who is following them – while making sure you stress the importance of only friending people you both know – and who they are following. Check in every once in a while on their friends and the pages they’ve liked. Most pages are harmless and heavily regulated, but every once in a while more adult-themed pages get created and spread before Facebook shuts them down. If your older teenager wants to be on Facebook, you’re going to have to make a decision: on the one hand you will want to respect their privacy. On the other, you will want to make sure they are safe from internet predators and potentially harmful interactions. Only you can decide whether to be your teenager’s “friend” or “acquaintance” based on the level of trust you both have. If they are going to want to post something that mom and dad shouldn’t see, perhaps they shouldn’t post it at all. Trust should be earned, but it also has to be maintained. If you find your daughter talking to a stranger who goes only by “Bob the Man” you may want to ask a few pointed questions.
Explain Expressions and Opinions This doesn’t mean you have to censor everything. Part of growing up is learning from mistakes. Don’t stifle your child’s opinion altogether. Instead, teach them how to adequately express themselves. This goes both ways: remind them not to get too upset about someone else’s post or another teen’s comment. For all the emoticons and symbols out there, sarcasm still doesn’t always translate well through the internet. There are those who can do it and those that just can’t. Fun with Facebook No matter how you choose to navigate the social media scene with your child, remember the most important part about it: to have fun! My son has kept in great contact with his best friend even though they are on opposite sides of the country. I stay in touch with his best friend’s father, too. We make sure our tweens are having fun, communicating well by articulating themselves in a positive way. Kimberly Carlson is a freelance writer, creative consultant and social media manager. She is also the mother of a tween that loves Facebook and an almost-tween that (thankfully) prefers to read to her cat.
Facebook Etiquette With this new form of communication there is also a new set of socially acceptable (and non-acceptable) rules of etiquette. Share a continuous, streaming conversation about your child’s etiquette. I personally feel there is an incredible lack of respect for individuals on the 18 l Summer 2013
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Resource Directory Attractions, Recreation Babies in Bloom www.babiesinbloom.net The Okanagan Baby Fair March 16 & 17 Okanagan College Centre for Learning Bricks 4 Kidz www.bricks4kidz.com South Okanagan: 778.516.1505 Salmon Arm/Vernon 250.558.5437 After school programs, preschool classes, birthday parties, in-school field trips, day camps City of Kelowna - Recreation www.kelowna.ca/recreation City of Kelowna, Recreation and Cultural Services offers programs and activities for individuals of all ages and abilities in neighbourhoods throughout Kelowna, including swimming, dance, karate, sports, Mom & Baby programs and more. Create & Paint 101-284 Main Street Penticton, BC 250.460.1077 www.createandpaint.ca facebook.com/createandpaint Craft Studio for families using a variety of mediums, Green Screen Photography, baby feet/hand wax castings Birthday Parties Creator’s Arts Centre www.creatorsarts.com Ages 3-23 Spring Break Dance Intensive Davison Orchards Country Village www.davisonorchards.ca Open everyday until October 31 250.549.3266 Summerland Community Arts Council www.summerlandarts.com email@example.com 250.494.4494 Let your child explore the wonderful ways of the arts through music, art and drama using imagination and creativity. Year Round Programs for Children
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YMCA-YWCA of the Central Okanagan www.ymca-ywca.com The YMCA-YWCA is a trusted charity committed to building strong kids, strong families, and strong communities. The Y proudly operates the Kelowna Family Y, the H20 Adventure and Fitness Centre, 3 out of school care centres, a childcare and preschool, and the Y Career Contact Centre for Youth. The Okanagan Regional Library www.orl.bc.ca Parent & Tot Storytimes The ORL is your most economical, sustainable and relevant source for information and entertainment in the BC Southern Interior. Visit us at one of our 29 branches or at www.orl.bc.ca We Teach Swimming We Teach Soccer www.weteachswimming.com 250.470.7496 Private swim lessons, private soccer school for children ages 4-12 with small class sizes Breastfeeding Clinics / Support Okanagan Breastfeeding Coalition 330 Ellis St., Penticton, BC www.okanaganbreastfeeding.org Child Care - preschools, daycares, nannies, Out of School Care International Nannies and Homecare Make your life easier with a nanny. 250.862.4949 www.internationalnannies.com Kelowna Waldorf School - Main School 429 Collett Road Kelowna, BC, Canada V1W 1K6 Phone: 250.764.4130 Fax: 250.764.4139 firstname.lastname@example.org Little Owl Academy www.littleowlacademy.ca 250.764.0122 email@example.com Infant/Toddler Care, Daycare, Preschool, Out of School Care
Resource Directory Okanagan Montessori www.okmontessori.com We provide a prepared environment where children are guided through activities by trained Montessori teachers. Children learn as they experiment with and actively participate in activities. Prairie Valley Preschool at the Summerland Montessori School 10317 Prairie Valley Road Summerland B.C. 250.494.7266 SMSOffice@shaw.ca www.summerlandmontessori.com Childcare Resource & Referral Penticton Child Care Resource & Referral 330 Ellis St., Penticton, BC 250.492.2926 Vernon Child Care Resource & Referral 3300- 37th Avenue, Vernon, BC 250.542.3121 Cloth Diapering New & Green Baby Co. 1.888.373.5566 www.newandgreen.com
Education School is Easy Tutoring www.schooliseasy.com/okanagan 1.877.ITS.EASY One on one tutoring for Grad 1-12 in the comfort of your own home Summerland Montessori School 10317 Prairie Valley Road Summerland B.C. V0H 1Z5 250.494.7266 SMSOffice@shaw.ca www.summerlandmontessori.com
Midwives and doulas Doula Services Association, BC 604.515.5588 www.bcdoulas.org Midwives Asscoation of BC 604.736.5976 www.bcmidwives.com OnLine Parenting Sites Kelowna New Parent www.kelownanewparent.com Kelowna New Parent is Kelowna’s best resource for all things baby! Check out information on activities, play groups, dining, daycares and much more. Photography & Portraits
Aviva Studios www.avivastudios.com 250.317.4395 3rd Edition of “Children of the Okanagan” kicks off to raise funds for the Emergency Ward at the Kelowna General Hospital Bobbi Sloan Photography www.bobbisloanphotography.com 250.689.2475 Public Health Services/Nurses Kelowna Health Unit 1340 Ellis Street 250.868.7700 Penticton Health Unit 740 Carmi Avenue 250.770.3434 Rutland Health Unit 155 Gray Road 250.980.4825 Summerland Health Unit 12815 Atkinson Road 250.404.8050
West Kelowna Health Unit 160 – 2300 Carrington Road 250.980.5150 Vernon Health Unit 1440 – 14th Avenue 250.549.5700 Salmon Arm Health Unit 851-16th Street NE Salmon Arm BC 250.833.4100 Sicamous Health Unit #10 1133 Eaglepass Way Sicamous BC 250.836.4835 Revelstoke Health Unit 1200 Newlands Rd Revelstoke BC 250.814.2244 Armstrong Health Unit 3800 Patten Drive Retail Chicken Little 4407 - 29th Street, Vernon BC www.chickenlittle.ca Chicken Little is a great place to shop for your kids, grandkids, family and friends. For shopping 24 hrs/day, visit us online at www.chickenlittle.ca Felt Fantasia www.feltfantasia.com Decorate your little one’s nursery with fantastic felt wall art or canvas art. hautemama www.hautemama.ca 1.866.615.3800 For pregnant & nursing women who love clothes lalabee bathworks www.lalabeebathworks.com 250.508.8495 100% natural skincare for Mommy & Baby Support Services Aboriginal Infant Development Program 442 Leon Ave , Kelowna, BC 250.763.4905
ACHIEVE BC Toll Free: 1.800.514.0554 Website: www.AchieveBC.ca Advice on prenatal care, nutrition and developmental guides. Parenting tips and information on stimulating your child’s mind and body through reading and play. Learn more about the services offered through the Government of British Columbia by calling the toll free number or visiting the website. Association for the Benefit of Children with Disabilities 250.763.4663 BC 24- HOUR Nurse Line Call: 8-1-1 Website: www.bchealthguide.com BC Nurseline gives you 24 hour, 7 day toll-free access to registered nursed specially trained to provide confidential help on the telephone. Available to answer medical enquiries free of charge - carecard required BC Council for Families 204-2590 Granville St, Vancouver, BC 1.800.663.5638 The BC Council for Families works to help create healthy families in a healthy society. Our goal is to empower families. We provide educational resources on topics such as parenting, childhood development, parentteen relationships, work-life balance, suicide awareness and more. BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities 250.763.0899 Big Brothers and Sisters - Okanagan 151 Commercial Dr, Kelowna, BC www.bigs.bc.ca Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Okanagan provides children and youth ages 7 - 12 (‘Littles’) with volunteer adult mentors (‘Bigs’) who provide a positive influence in their lives. Welcome Wagon 1.866.856.8442 www.welcomewagon.ca It’s time to call your Welcome Wagon representative. She will bring new congratulations and gifts for the new baby and family. Summer 2013 l
Strong Roots Make Flowers Bloom: by Pam Molnar
Spend the day with Grandma
It is no surprise to hear that families today are busier than the generations before them. After work and school, soccer and dance class, we don’t have very much free time. Even our time to visit with Grandma is limited these days. As a result, our children are missing out on the family stories and traditions of the generations before them. I often tell my kids to live in the moment. Life is full of moments and opportunities to make new memories, but at our current pace, we often miss them. It is the moments in our lives that help us to make connections and strengthen our relationships. Don’t wait for another moment to pass. Cancel your plans, gather your kids and head over to Grandma’s house. Make the effort to restore the lost the art of just spending time together. Pass Down a Tradition – Ask Grandma to share something from her childhood with your children. Whether it is a game, recipe or song, sharing with the next generation rekindles Grandma’s memories and creates new ones for your kids today. When my grandmother was a child her family made homemade raviolis every year before the holidays. Sharing that tradition with her children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren has allowed us to bond as we rolled, filled and had the occasional flour fight. Get to know each other better – Make a list of questions that you may not know about each other and write it down in a journal. Try asking each person to share a memory from a common time in their lives. Start with the age of the 22 l Summer 2013
youngest child in the house and move up to the next age until the only one sharing is Grandma. For example, if the youngest is 6, start with a memory from the age of 6. If the next youngest is 10, then have everyone 10 and older share a memory from that time in their life. Don’t forget to bring the video camera to capture this wonderful moment. Shake up your family tree – Ask Grandma to tell you the names of her parents, grandparents and siblings. You may discover family names that have been passed down for generations. Find out what part of the world your family comes from and when they arrived in this part of the country. If Grandma speaks another language, ask her to teach you a few words. Does your family have any traditional clothes or music that has been hiding in the attic? Pull them out and tell their story.
play Just Dance on the Wii or Minecraft on Xbox. Explain what emojis are and send her a few via text. The technology of today, while part of our kids’ every day, is mind blowing to our parents and grandparents. Take silly pictures – End the day on a high note. Set up a back drop with a sheet and decorative lights. Print out photo booth prop templates like eyeglasses, hats and mustaches or use some items from a box of dress up clothes. Take multiple pictures of your family being silly for the day. Preserve today’s memories by framing those pictures and displaying them in a special spot in your home. Every time you pass you will be reminded that fun can be shared by family of all ages if we just take the time. Pam Molnar is a freelance journalist and mother of three. Her children are blessed to be able to spend time with both their grandmother and their greatgrandmother.
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Your family in pictures – Let Grandma be the tour guide down memory lane. Pop some popcorn and pull out the family movies. Dig to the back of the closet and dust off the photo albums. Your kids will love to see the house you grew up in and your childhood pets. Let them laugh at the crazy clothes you wore and the hairstyles of the day. Don’t forget to take out the baby pictures of each child and show them how much they have changed in just a few years. Bring Grandma into this century – Ok, kids, it’s your turn. Bring Grandma a Tiger Beat magazine and gush with her over One Direction. Introduce her to Instagram. Show her how to www.okanaganchild.com
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