Monday, April 29, 2013

CDMN Canada 3.0 2013

As a blogger, there are many conferences available to attend.  Some are in the US, and some in Canada. I have not had the opportunity to attend any myself, but as a Canadian, we are lucky that there are some great ones here.

Coming up in May, CDMN presents Canada's only National Media Conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Center on May 14 & 15, 2013.  The conference focuses on the commercialization of innovation, and will feature a wide range of programming and world class speakers.  Some of the speakers recently added are Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Steve Irvin Group Director of Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook. Others include Jason Townsend, NASA's Social Media Manager (appearing via video conference); Chris Anderson, best-selling author and former Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine; and Jane McGonigal, game designer, futurist and best-selling author.
The program will inspire excellence, showcasing Canadian innovation success stories and providing companies with tools to successfully commercialize their digital media products. There will be 65+ mentoring roundtables within five topic streams that include: productivity; connectivity; access to capital; access to talent; and the mobilization of digital content.
 To keep up with Canada 3.0 2013 programming updates, registration details, partnership and sponsorship opportunities will be posted to Follow @can3_0and @cdmn on Twitter, like the Canada30Forum page on Facebook and join the LinkedIn Canada30Forum Group for updates.

This post contains sponsored content

Monday Giveaway Linky

Welcome to Tales of Mommyhood's Monday Giveaway Linky; link up any open giveaways you have, but please remember to list which countries they are open to. Sharing the linky is not mandatory, but would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, April 26, 2013

My Kid Ate a Penny

x-ray of penny in belly
The x-ray of Mr. K and his penny

Just like the title of the post says, my kid ate a penny.  Last night we were sitting in the family room, and I started to hear what sounded like metal clinking. I looked around, it stopped.  I then heard it again, and as I looked at Mr. K - his hand was in his mouth and he had a really weird look on his face, and then he made a huge gulping/swallow sound - I asked if he was ok and he said "I ate money".

His breathing was fine, he was talking to me so I wasn't worried about an obstruction. I asked what colour it was, he said brown.  I had taken a penny away from Mr. J earlier in the day and put it in my pocket.  I asked Mr. K to show me where he got the money, and it was from the couch (where I normally sit)

I didn't panic (not my style) but I thought maybe I should call telehealth.  After going through all their questions, she said that because I wasn't 100% sure it was a penny (because I hadn't actually seen it) I should have him assessed within 24 hours.

Off to the walk-in we went this morning, the doc said that he needed an x-ray (again, because I wasn't 100% sure it was a penny) and that since it was Friday, she was sending us to emerg to have it done.

I called my MIL to come with me (not fun being stuck in emerg with a kid - much easier to have someone with you - then you can at least go to the bathroom alone!)

The wait before getting an x-ray wasn't actually all that long - about 45 minutes from the time we walked in the door, waited to be triaged, then waited to be moved from that waiting room, to another room and then to xray. The longest part was after the x-ray - 2hrs45 minutes.

We saw the doctor, she showed us the x-ray and felt his belly; told us that it will pass on it's own and what to look out for in case it doesn't pass.

The BEST part - she told me I DON'T have to check his diaper for it~!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Speech Therapy - a little rant

ODS has speech issues; he had a severe speech delay which led to problems with articulation.   When we started speech therapy he was diagnosed with verbal apraxia.

We found a fantastic SLP, privately and just love her.  We see her weekly (mostly, sometimes due to schedules a few weeks happen between appointments, but not normally). We started to notice improvements immediately and he has come SO far since we started seeing her 18 months ago.

Anyone who has a child with speech issues knows that speech therapy is great, but is NOT an overnight fix.  It takes a long time to teach/train the brain/mouth/tongue what you want it to do.  It can be a very frustrating process for children (and sometimes for parents also)  It is very easy for us to forget that they don't know HOW to say it properly.  I find myself getting frustrated sometimes (never at him, ever - just inside to myself) that he is saying the same word (which I KNOW he can say properly, but reverting back to his "old" way because it is easier)

Something that really bugs me - is how the funding is allocated to medical. I get that it is medical - and that is fine. BUT - kids with speech issues end up (often) falling behind in learning.  Reading especially. How can you learn properly when you can't communicate?  I REALLY wish that funding could also be added to education so that kids could receive the therapy they need at school.

Mr. J has a speech therapist (through CCAC) come into the school every 2 weeks, and while it is great, if we were not going the private route I can only imagine how much further behind he would be. The SLP that comes through CCAC only works on speech, not language. Our private SLP has started to go the language route because he is REALLY behind in it (when I say language, I don't mean vocabulary - but getting confused with she/her he/him, they/them etc)

Vent is over - but I would love to know if you have dealt with speech therapy with your kids - was it a long process?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring Cash Giveaway #win

Spring has sprung - are you as glad as I am? To help celebrate the arrival of Spring, I have joined with a great group of Canadian bloggers to bring you this Spring Cash Giveaway - winner will receive $115.00 USD! What would you do with an extra $100.00? Leave me a comment and let me know.

To enter, complete the Rafflecopter form below - open WW to anyone with a paypal account.

Special Thank You to Tales of a Ranting Ginger and This Lil Piglet for organizing this great giveaway!

Monday Giveaway Linky

Welcome to Tales of Mommyhood's Monday Giveaway Linky; link up any open giveaways you have, but please remember to list which countries they are open to. Sharing the linky is not mandatory, but would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

#EarthDay - 5 tips to help you be earth friendly and a linky!

April 22 marks Earth Day.  I decided to list a few ideas that can help you to be more earth friendly in your daily life

1) Reduce waste as much as possible. Don't buy individually packaged products; instead, portion them out into reusable containers yourself at home.

2) Recycle as much as possible

3) Take advantage of your city's green bin program (if they have one) or compost yourself in your backyard.  I started using our green bin at the end of last summer and it really is not that difficult. It may add 5 minutes of time to my entire day.

4) Use natural cleaning products instead of harmful chemicals. I switched to Norwex products last year, and not only do I no longer have a need for chemical cleaning products, I have radically reduced the amount of paper towels we go through

5) Make a litter-less lunch! Not only is it more cost effective than buying your lunch, it will reduce the amount of waste. Using reusable snack bags or containers - no wrappers to throw out!

Do you have an #EarthDay post - or any environmentally friendly/green post - feel free to link it up here!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Angry Bird Cake

Mr. J's school holds a cake/goodie raffle every year as a fundraiser. Last year I made a caterpillar out of cupcakes, and this year he decided he wanted an angry bird cake to take.

I searched and searched and found some great ideas, but in the end this is the one he wanted - I am beyond thrilled with how it turned out. It is by far one of my favorites out of all the cakes I have made

red angry bird cake

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition Available on Blu-ray October 1

The Little Mermaid is one my absolute favorite Disney movies; I am so excited to share it with the boys, and will be making sure I get a copy on October 1 when it is released.

Here is a sneak peak of the cover!

Celebrate #EarthDay with @DKCanada

DK Books sent me 2 great books to help in celebration of Earth Day.  I have recently started to grow my own herbs, and am hoping to plant a small garden this summer for the boys to help me grow some vegetables.  When I saw that the book "Kitchen Gardening For Beginners" was available, I knew that I needed it.

I had a read through it when it arrived and immediately started to get excited for what we could do! Hubby then read through it as it has guides for building your gardens and different options for pest control (the construction of the garden is up to him!)

Next up was Where On Earth?

This is a geography book - however it is not like any other geography book I have seen before.  It has large maps, with pictures showing different things about the areas.  For instance, it has a scaled map of the world and then has pictures and descriptions of different whales and where they live; another one for predators.

It's a little old for my boys now (geared for 7-12 year olds), but as Mr. J gets a little older and starts wanting to learn more about the World - it will definitely come in handy.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How to Make your own Iced Tea

One of my favorite drinks is Iced Tea (the Canadian version, not the American version - I need some sweetness!). Nothing better than a glass of refreshing iced tea on a hot day.  While I love it, it is expensive to buy (when you are drinking it frequently) and not to mention FULL of sugar.

I was on the search for a great do it yourself iced tea, and after trying a few recipes I found online, this is what I ended up with.

2 tea bags
1/4 cup of sugar *add as much/little as you like
2 cups boiling water

Boil water in your kettle and then add it to a mug; let the tea steep for approx. 1 minute (more if you like a stronger flavour)
In a large jug, pour in the tea and add your sugar, let it dissolve. Add in a handful of ice, and enough water to fill your jug.
Add in lemon slices
Place in fridge and allow to cool


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pregnancy and your body

Growing up I had a not so great self image.  My face broke out when I was young, and didn't clear up until I was in my 20's.  I hit puberty somewhat early (earlier than any of my friends anyways) and with that came body changes that can be difficult to accept at first - especially when it seems that no one else is going through them with you.

Fast forward to pregnancy and things started changing - again.  Hormones caused my face to break out again and things started shifting. I was a little nervous about how I would react emotionally to these changes, but I embraced them.  As your body starts to shift and grow to accommodate the growing baby - it can make some women self conscious, especially before it is obvious it is due to pregnancy.

I was fairly lucky, my body went pretty much back to normal immediately after my boys were born. Some women do not have the same experience, and can be quite self conscious about the belly fat that seems stubborn and doesn't shrink.

I look at my stretch marks and think about how it felt to feel my children moving inside me; knowing that my body looks the way it does because of carrying my 2 boys and birthing them, makes me smile.  I have come to accept the changes being a mom has made to me.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday Giveaway Linky

Monday Giveaway Linky - ensure to list who is eligible to enter; tweeting or sharing this linky somehow will help gain exposure for everyone - not required, but it is appreciated.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Savings check in

A few months ago I posted about a neat way to build up your savings account. Since we are saving for Disney next year (hopefully) It was a great way for me to increase our savings (I am using this strategy in ADDITION to what we normally save)

I was looking at the account I have set up for this, and I am so happy to see that I am actually AHEAD of where I should be (interest played a SMALL part in that) but I also wanted to have an even number in my account, so I added a little extra one week.  Today marks the end of week 15 and the account is sitting at $732 (it should be at $675, so I am over by $57)

In addition to this, I have my regular savings account and hubby has his - so as long as nothing comes up that we need to dip into those accounts, and we can still continue to add to them like we normally do, we should be good to go.

How are you doing with your savings goal?

Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning

With winter melting away, thoughts turn to warm weather and all that goes with it, including swimming, boating, and other water sports.

If you spend time near water (or know someone who does) then you need to check out this article: Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning. A friend sent me the link on facebook, thinking I may want to post it here - and he was right.  I had not seen this article before, but it was definitely worth a read - and more importantly - a share. PLEASE pass this onto friends/family.  What the author says makes complete sense, but not something with my limited experience ever would have thought.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bummis Potty Pant - review and giveaway

Having been through potty training once already, I knew the biggest key was to wait until they are ready. However, when it comes to Mr. K he had his own mind made up. He woke up one day and decided that he was ready to get rid of diapers.

Unfortunately, he really WASN'T ready to get rid of diapers. I tried to find some reusable training pants, but all the ones I found were quite bulky and seemed uncomfortable.

I was in contact with Bummis and they gave me the opportunity to test out a new product they had come out with, the Potty Pant.  I am super happy with the Potty Pant we were sent.  It is very slim, but still absorbent for when the little ones have accidents - and with the waterproof outside, any accidents are contained. I was really happy that they did not leave any marks around the legs (from past experience with other brands, this was an issue for us) The inside is super soft and feels nice against the skin. Also, they are manufactured in Montreal - so it is a Canadian made product!

The Potty Pant is available in 3 colours: white, denim dot and pistachio dot.  We were given the choice, and while I would have preferred the denim dot for Mr. K, it wasn't available so we went with the pistachio dot (he loved that there were pink dots on it!) They are available in 4 sizes: small starts at 18 lbs and X-large is for 35lbs and up.

I would highly recommend The Potty Pant if you have a little one that is (or will be soon) potty training. Want to win one? Use the rafflecopter form below for your chance!  The winner (Canada or US) will have the choice of size, and may choose either white or pistachio dot!

Family Channel's Freaky Freakend

My oldest has just recently started to watch The Family Channel; we are excited for this weekend as the Freaky Freakend is premiering starting Friday evening!

Freaky Freakend

Tips to Help Organize Your Spring Cleaning

This post brought to you by Insurance Hunter. All opinions are 100% mine.
The snow has melted (well, most of it anyways) and it's now time to think about spring cleaning. If you are anything like me, this is a task that you dread.  While I really like the feeling AFTER it is done, it's something taht I tend to put off doing - as it is such a BIG project. Insurance Hunter is a great source for auto insurance quotes; they have published an article  Tips for getting your spring cleaning chores organized.
The article has steps to help ensure that you complete all your tasks; start with a to do list and make sure to organize it by priority - decide which are the most imporant.  Seperate the chores into categories (indoor/outdoor, room by room etc) and assign tasks to those who will be helping with the chores. One thing that I like to do is wash all of my windows (inside and out) I use my Norwex enviro cloth and polishing cloth to get this task done (I like to clean without harmful chemicals - this also lets me get my kids involved, as all they are using is a microfiber cloth and water)
If you create a timeline, it will give you a goal to work towards (an incentive can help too - maybe a special bbq meal on your patio furniture once all your chores are done and the backyard is completely set up!)  Hubby and I LOVE to relax on our deck in the summer, and having all the spring cleaning done is something to celebrate! We bbq steak or chicken, pair it with rice and a greek salad and it's a great welcome to spring meal!
What are your spring cleaning tips? Do you love to spring clean, or dread it?
Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Reading with my Boys - DK Canada

I love to read. I almost always have a book on the go, and spending an hour ALONE to read is something I try and do a few nights a week.  I really hope that my boys follow me in my love for reading and books as they get older.

I recently was sent a great package of books for the boys from DK Canada.  Included in the pack was a book on Sharks, Frogs, Snakes/Reptiles, Dinosaurs and The Big Books of Things to Make. Mr. J and Mr. K both loved checking out the books - we have read them over and over. Mr. K loved all the pictures and Mr. J really enjoyed learning about the different species and their habitats - he especially loved reading about Sharks (he takes after his dad).

The Big Book of things to Make is definitely going to be a hit. Mr. J and I sat down together to go through it and see what kind of ideas were in it.  I have put it away for now, and plan to bring it out this summer - we will try one of the activities each week.

A big thank you to DK books for sending us this great package! Feel free to check them out on Twitter and Facebook and say hello!

Helping children grieve

taken at my fathers grave when Mr. K was a newborn
Anyone who reads my blog, knows that I am no stranger to death.  I lost my father when I was a teenager, but that wasn't my first experience with loss.

Given that my mother is from a large family, death was always a part of my life. The first time I REALLY remember being affected by a death was when I was around 8 years old. My great-aunt died, and it was very upsetting. I remember being at the wake and the funeral with my cousins, we sat right up near the front of the church.

I remember FEELING her loss - and my parents understood that my brother and I were grieving also. They allowed us the opportunity to say goodbye and to learn about the feelings that come with death.

The next experience wasn't far behind either. Family friends of ours lost their father/grandfather. We were close enough to the family that my brother and I actually called him papa harry. To this day I remember going to visit him and his wife on their farm in Perth. I remember the crazy straws that she had for us to drink out of; the ducks in the pond - and I remember how I felt when he died. Again, we were given the opportunity to say goodbye and to grieve.

These experiences weren't my first exposure to death, just the first ones that had an impact on me. My parents brought us to wakes and funerals from the time we were young. Death is a part of life - it is natural, and I think sometimes adults don't give children enough credit.  Kids DESERVE the chance to say goodbye, just like we do. They DESERVE the chance to grieve, just like we do.

Wakes and funerals are a VERY important part of the process. I think parents feel that they need to shelter their children from death, or they feel that the kids don't understand what is happening so they don't need to be involved.....and this reminds me of my fathers death.

My father was involved in a ball league, and many of the men on the team had young children....the kids knew my father, but wouldn't be really impacted by his death....but they brought them to the wake. It was a GREAT time for them to be exposed and learn about death. BEFORE they had to experience a close loss.

My aunt and uncle's kids were relatively young (9, 6, 3, and almost 1) having them at the wake was nice; the youth and innocence was a great distraction.  One of my absolute favorite memories from my fathers funeral (and yes, a little odd to have a favorite memory from a funeral) was of my 3 yr old cousin. Throughout the service she kept asking where uncle Rick was....out of curiosity - she knew that the funeral was to say goodbye to him, but she couldn't figure out where he was....after a few times of voicing the question, her older sister turned to her and said "he's dead" and that was it.... her question was answered.

When explaining death to children, it can be difficult...especially if you are grieving at the same time. I think that as adults, explaining things often gets complicated, but it doesn't need to be. Giving children short, simple answers and allowing them to ask questions can make it easier. Telling them that the person was old or sick, not always the best solution because depending on the child, they may interpret that to mean that ANY sickness or ANY old person will die.

Because my father died long before my children were born, it was really a no-brainer for me. Papa Rick has always been dead; he is in heaven. Anytime there has been a death, we have just explained simply that person has now gone to Heaven with Papa Rick.  They have been to his grave countless times, and I have brought them to wakes and funerals also.  When Mr. J was 10 months old, hubby's grandmother died. Not once did it occur to me to NOT have him with us at the wake/funeral. I did ensure that there was someone (my mom) around to help look after him....and during the funeral, he saw her and he crawled down the aisle from me to her....everyone had a quick chuckle over it.

If you are wondering when a good time to talk to your children about death is, before they experience a loss that will affect them.  (it doesn't even need to be about people, you can start off with trees and flowers and what not)  There are a number of books available that can help you figure out how to talk to your kids. Kids are smart - they can pick up that something is going on, they just don't know WHAT is going on.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday Giveaway Linky

List any open giveaways! Be sure to include what country they are open to Tweeting or sharing the linky is appreciated.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The house can wait

I am not a neat, organized person.  My house is almost always in chaos; there are crumbs on the floor, toys scattered throughout most of the rooms and the kids leave a trail of clothes from one end of the house to the other (why they feel the need to take off items of clothing as they walk through the house, I have no idea).

We always have food to eat, we always have clean clothes (although, admittedly - often they are in a heap on the floor outside of the dryer) and there is always lots of laughter to be heard.

We play cars and trains, we dance and read books. We watch movies and bake together.  We build forts in the kitchen, and we make memories that will last a lifetime.  We have good days (like our fort building or tobogganing days) and we have not so good days (where the kids are rangy from being cooped up in the house and I have NO energy, or an incredibly sore foot and just want to lock myself in the bathroom or run from the house screaming)

I know that the house could be cleaner, but I also know that would be taking away time that I have with my kids (no, I don't spend ALL of my waking moments doing the above; I steal away and answer emails, check up on the blog and look in on my facebook and twitter accounts and I make sure to take some time for ME - a hot bubble bath and book in the evening when hubby is home, so he can have time alone with the boys). My mother was able to balance house and family (but she did that by sacrificing her sleep, which is NOT something I am willing to do)

So, I will continue to make memories with my children while the dust bunnies multiply and multiply.  After all, the dust and clutter will still be there when the kids are all grown up, making memories with THEIR families.  Why would I want to give up this precious time when they are young, for something that can wait?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Growing your own Herbs Indoors

When I cook, I love to use fresh herbs.  I find though, that they don't last very long and so I end up using dried anyways.

I saw some grow your own kits last year, but didn't think about buying one. This year I decided to give it a go.  I purchased a kit that has 2 different types of Basil and Parsley.

I am really excited to see how this goes, and will hopefully be able to transfer them outside at some point if it is a success!

Wish me luck - do you grow your own herbs or veggies?

Friday, April 5, 2013

How to Make an Indoor Sandbox

The kids and I were outside a lot last weekend. One afternoon, we ended up at the neighbours and the kids were all playing together. Well, except for Mr. K because he is just too young to play with the other 3 (5, 10 and 12)  The boys are awesome because they always include Mr. J, and as you can see there is quite an age gap - but they never seem to mind.

She and I were chatting, and she pulled out this little home made sandbox for Mr. K to play with while the older boys were playing together.  All it consisted of was a rubbermaid container, sand and a bunch of little trinkets (rocks, shells, army men, little cars etc)  there were some leaves and other tiny items in it also.

This sand box (or sensory bin) kept Mr. K busy for a very long time, and I knew I needed to make one.

We headed to walmart to pick up a bin and sand.  Check out our final product below!

What you need:

Plastic storage bin of desired size (something not too deep)
Sand (enough for at least a 3 inch layer, but more if you like)
Trinkets for them to play with
Plastic tablecloth to lay underneath the play area

How to put it together:

Place your bin in desired area, and then remove lid

Get your sand ready:

Pour sand into bin and add your trinkets (sensory items)

Let them have fun:

This kept Mr. K busy for an hour; then we went to pick up Mr. J from the school bus and they BOTH played with it for another hour. I managed to get the main floor tidied up a bit, and dinner made all while they were busy playing together!

I think it will be a great activity for a rainy day - if it is warm, we could move it to the garage.  I do think I will need to get another one though, as it's not QUITE big enough for them to play together, and there were some squabbles.

Some of the items I placed inside were: plastic easter eggs left from our egg hunt, little cars, an old measuring cup, a sand shovel and some other plastic pieces left around that don't belong to anything!

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ulitmate Blog Party 2013 #UBP13

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

Welcome to the Ultimate Blog Party 2013.  This is the 3rd year I have participated, and I am so excited - I look forward to this event all year long! (UBP'11 and UBP'12)

My name is Ashley - I am a stay at home mom to 2 rambunctious little boys - they definitely keep me on my toes! I am a Disney lover (we honeymooned at the Grand Floridian in 2006 and enjoyed a family vacation at Bay Lake Towers in 2011) My hubby and I have been married for 7 years; in addition to staying at home with my boys, I blog here at Tales of Mommyhood, at CHEO Moms and Dads, and I am an Independent Norwex Consultant.

I am looking forward to doing some major blog hopping over the next few days - and hope to get to know some of you. I would love for you to leave me a comment and tell me a little about yourself.
As a blogger, I am always on the lookout for guest posts, so if you have something you would like to contribute, feel free to send me an email, or DM on twitter or facebook. You don't need to be a blogger, if you have an interest in baking, cooking or crafting - I would love to have you write something (original content only please)

I am not a huge party goer, but my PERFECT party would include the following things:

my family, friends, good food, cake or cupcakes, music and laughing - what about you? what would be a MUST HAVE at your perfect party?

Grab a slice of cake and settle in for some great fun, neat blogs and new friends!

Now - how about some giveaways? I have 2 great giveaways going on for the UBP '13.  (one for Canadians and one for Americans) Use the Rafflecopter forms below to enter; (please read the terms/conditions before hand)

Have a great party!

I have teamed up with TWO great sponsors for the UBP13! Baby Banz (check out one of my past posts for more information on Baby Banz) and Giovanni Cosmetics - a family owned company based in LA; they have over 100 products for hair care, body care and most recently for skin care.

US only - Bucket Hat and Baby Banz Combo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Canada Only - Giovanni Cosmetics Hair Care Package (Eco-Chic Ultra-Moisture Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Mask)

Target Canada Coupon Policy

Our local Zellers recently closed, and is slated to be turned into a Target.  I am a fan of Target in the states, and only hope that the Canadian ones will have the same great deals.

If you are a regular reader of Tales of Mommyhood, then you will know that I love to use coupons.  I just came across the Target Coupon policy in a facebook group I am a part of, and thought I would share it here for you.  They are very clear in the policy on how coupons can be used and accepted at Target Canada locations!

Speech and Language Therapy - our experience

When Mr. J was 11 months old, he said his first word - "bye".  He came out with a few more words over the next few months, and by the time he was 2 years old, he had about 15-20 words.  I wasn't overly concerned, kids learn and develop at their own pace. Even though he had these "words" they were not clear. "B" = ball, "Buh" = bus, "pu" = puppy etc.

At 2.5, he had his first word explosion, I credit it to nursery school and being surrounded by the other children. At 3, he had his next word explosion. Great, right. He is talking, everything should be awesome. However, for us it was not.  His vocabulary was there, he had many, many words (and lots of words you wouldn't expect a 3 year old to have - hydrated being one of them!) However, most of his speech was un-intelligible to outsiders.

Even my husband had a difficult time making out the words. Most likely because he was away from him all day. Again, we knew he had been slightly delayed  with his words, so figured that the proper sounds would come in time.

Fast forward to Junior Kindergarten and we were told that he should be screened through the First Words clinic (it is a provincially funded program for speech and language issues). We went to a screening clinic and it was recommended he be placed on the list for therapy.

Great - we were getting the ball rolling. In no time, he would be good to go. WRONG - the wait list JUST for the parent information night was 6-8 months long.  We were put on the list in October, and didn't get a call for the night until March.  Once there, we were told that they only see children until they are 5 years old, and then the care gets transferred to CCAC, and is done through the school (although still OHIP funded). So, we were fast tracked through to an assessment because of his age, and then once the assessment was done he was put on the transfer of care list to CCAC and began his speech therapy with them in November of this year. 13 months AFTER being put on the list.

We, however are very lucky and have private coverage, so we were able to seek speech therapy for him with a private licensed speech and language pathologist.  He has been seeing her since October of 2011, and has come such a long way.

Of course, speech delays can lead to other issues, and now we are faced with him having difficulty in the reading department.  Another area that SLP's work on.  One of the tools which she uses in her practice is an IPAD. It is amazing the apps that are available to help with speech and language.

They are, however expensive. We were saving for one, but hadn't been able to put much of a dent into the cost (with me at home, living off of hubby's income we manage to make our bills every month, but there isn't a lot left over for extra's)  We do have wonderful family though, and hubby's parents were able to get an IPAD for Mr. J, and we have started using it at home with him.  We haven't had it for very long, but I have already noticed that he is interested in working with me using the app's. He knows he is working on his speech, but it's like playing a fun game for him.

If you have any app recommendations for me, I would love to hear them.  Right now we are using the free ones, I don't want to spend money on one when I am not sure what the outcome of it will be.

It is really difficult having a child with speech issues.  Not only was it difficult for us to understand him, but to think how frustrated HE must have been not being able to communicate.  Always having people ask him to repeat things and saying they didn't understand, then looking to us for an explanation.

As he has grown, he became very sensitive to it.  Often shutting down if asked to repeat something.  In the fall of this year, he started getting tummy aches.  He didn't want to go to school, but he would never tell me why.  I didn't want to push too hard, so I would ask every so often if things were ok at school, if he had a fight with a friend etc.  I made sure he knew he could tell me if something was bother him.

One day (a few months later), pretty much out of nowhere he told me that a little boy on the bus had been teasing him. I asked why, and he said because of the way he talked.  It absolutely broke my heart.  He hadn't wanted to go to school because of this little boy on the bus.

I delved a little deeper and found out that Mr. J couldn't say this little boys name.  I still am unsure whether or not the boy was teasing him because of the way he talks, or if he was just upset that his name was pronounced wrong (we all know that it's annoying when people call us the wrong name, even as adults it is a pet peeve for a lot of people).

I sent a note to the teacher, and she called me.  She had spoken to the little boy and made him aware that Mr. J knew that he couldn't pronounce the sounds correctly, and that he was working on it.  That it is not nice or kind to point out things that people can't do properly.  She also mentioned that she was going to have a general talk to the kids about being kind, not teasing etc.
I also worked with him at home on learning the boys name (I couldn't even get what it was when Mr. J was saying it) and now he can say it properly.

When I spoke with Mr. J to tell him, the look of relief on his face was instantaneous.  The tummy aches stopped, and he loved going to school again. As far as I know, things have been good since then.

I try so hard to teach the kids to be nice, to be kind and considerate of others.  I am still unsure (as are the teachers) whether or not this little boy meant to be hurtful or not.  We all can relate I am sure to kids not having a filter, and just blurting things out.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Little Ray's Reptile Zoo - Giveaway!

I am co-hosting this great giveaway - keep reading to see what Sandy (Canadian Blog House) has to say about it!

Welcome to the "Let's Go To The Zoo!" Giveaway

Hosted By: Canadian Blog House

Co-Hosted By: Ottawa Mommy Club, Journeys Of The Zoo,

Shannon's View From Here and Tales of Mommyhood

Enter to WIN 1 of 2 Family Passes to Little Ray's Reptile Zoo

Each Family Pass has a value of $54 - OTTAWA LOCATION

Little Ray's Reptile Zoo, located in Ottawa, Ontario, is a privately run zoo and animal rescue. Little Ray's runs the largest and most diverse animal education and outreach program in Canada. Never had the chance to experience Little Ray's Reptile Zoo? If you love creatures of all kinds, you really need to check them out!

Little Ray's offers:

  • A fun and educational Reptile Zoo (complete with "feeding shows"). On exhibit right now through April 25th "Nature's Ninja's".

  • Birthday Parties ~ At the Zoo or at home

  • School Shows

  • Radical Science Workshops

  • Traveling Shows ~ Don't live in the Ottawa area? Keep your eyes peeled ~ Coming soon to Moncton, NB and Hamilton, ON

  • You can also see one of Little Ray's exhibits at a satellite location near you (see website for details).


I love Little Ray's Reptile Zoo. I have visited their Ottawa location four times in the last year or so. My boyfriend introduced me to Little Ray's Reptile Zoo for the first time when we took his son there to see all the critters and creatures. I always have a great time checking out the animals at the zoo. During our most recent visit in March, we got to see alligators and "Winky" the one-eyed African Bull Frog being fed. We even got to check out a pair of Lynx and a pair of Bald Eagles that had recently been taken in by the zoo. That's something I love about Little Ray's Reptile Zoo ~ you just never know what you are going to see during your next visit to the zoo!

My most memorable visit to Little Ray's Reptile Zoo? That was the time that I actually held a tarantula (EEK!) in my hand. As someone who is terrified of spiders, I was proud of myself for facing one of my biggest fears. You know what? I have to say...that tarantula was kind of...GULP...cute!


Here's your chance for you and your family to visit Little Ray's Reptile Zoo at their Ottawa location. Paul Goulet, aka "Little Ray", has generously offered up 2 Family Passes for this giveaway.

Enter here to win 1 of 2 Family Passes to Little Ray's Reptile Zoo:

***A "like" on our Facebook Pages would be appreciated, but not necessary to enter the giveaway***

Canadian Blog House Ottawa Mommy Club Journeys Of The Zoo Shannon's View From Here Tales Of Mommyhood Little Ray's Reptile Zoo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next time you are at Little Ray's Reptile Zoo, be sure to say hello to Paul if he is there. He's super friendly and can answer any questions you may have about the animals in his care. Tell him that Sandy from Canadian Blog House sent you!

***Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation for posting this giveaway. Sponsor is responsible for providing the prize to the winners. All opinions expressed here are my own and are in no way influenced by Little Ray's Reptile Zoo.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

From Pea to Pumpkin - A Pregnancy Journal

When I first became pregnant, I was obsessed with tracking everything. I had found a website online that I could journal in, add pictures etc.  It was a great way for me to keep track of the little things that go along with pregnancy.

After Mr. J was born, I stopped visiting the website and I eventually forgot the name of it - and therefore have none of that information.

I recently was approached to review From Pea to Pumpkin - A Pregnancy Journal (Geralyn Broder Murray) and I am so glad that I did.  I wish that I had this when I was pregnant with both of my boys.

pregnancy journal

The book is broken down into Trimesters, and then it has a weekly page.  It gives a checklist for symptoms and then it has a few leading questions that you can answer, and blank lines to write down whatever info you want.

There are spaces for pictures (ultrasound and belly pics) and it gives you a guide for how big your baby is, in comparison to different foods.

About the Author
Geralyn Broder Murray is the mother of two, a former “mommy blogger” for and currently blogs for Save Mart Supermarkets. She’s the author of THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE DIAPER PAIL (2008, Villard Books). When not writing about motherhood, she’s talking about it on TV or developing new products for parents as an advertising copywriter and creative director who has handled campaigns for Princess Cruises, Lucky Supermarkets, Mervyn's and Beech-Nut Baby Food. For more information, visit

*I was sent the above product in exchange for a review; all opinions stated belong to Tales of Mommyhood, your opinion and experience may vary*

My Little Pony: Adventures in the Crystal Empire and Pinkie Pie Party - giveaway (canada only)

My boys enjoy watching My Little Pony, and we were all happy to find out that My Little Pony: Adventures in the Crystal Empire and My Little Pony: Pinkie Pie Party would be released on DVD this month!

Do you have any My Little Pony fans in your house? Enter below for your chance to win a copy of BOTH
Available April 16, 2013

Available April 2, 2013
This is open to Canadian residents only

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fools Day pranks

Growing up, I loved April Fools Day. I was not very creative though. Pretty much every year I would switch out the sugar for salt, and get my dad with his morning coffee. What I didn't realize at the time though, was that of course he KNEW what I was doing and just played along with me.

What about you? Do you participate in April Fools Day pranks? What are some of your past jokes, or what jokes have been played on you?

Monday Giveaway Linky

Please list any open giveaways you have, ensuring to add which country (ies) they are open to. Not required, but tweeting or sharing the linky would be appreciated.