The Mother of Adventure

Movie review: Mr. Peabody & Sherman (Today’s Parent)

Mr. PeabodyIt’s not every Tuesday that I get to take my six-year-old daughter to a movie. With it being March break this week, however, I decided to spend a bit of one-on-one time with her and take her to Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which she’s been counting the days to see. To make it extra special, we even went to an evening show – meaning she got to stay up late (this is super-cool in her eyes).

I really had no expectations going in to this one – and no background on the history of Mr. Peabody & Sherman, either. I was very pleasantly surprised by the movie – and I detailed my impressions in a little movie review for Today’s Parent.

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Talking to kids about death (Today’s Parent)

Rocky was affectionately known as 'The Little One.'

Rocky was affectionately known as ‘The Little One.’

After 14 years, my girlfriend lost her beloved canine companion, Rocky, this week. We talked about how it all happened over coffee, and discussed how she and her kids were handling it.

The whole thing got me thinking about our own family pet and how my girls might respond when Buster meets his inevitable end. I blogged about it in my latest post for Today’s Parent.

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Back to school: A transition for moms, too (Today’s Parent)

School signThe idea of transitions – and the emotions that come along with it – have been a bit of a theme for me this month, based on everything going on in our own household.

Today, I wrote a post for the Today’s Parent web site about how the back-to-school season brings along adjustments for moms, too.

How has your family’s ‘back-to-reality’ month been going so far?

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Should you let your girls play with princess stuff? (Today’s Parent – print & online)

TiaraA few months ago, the fantastic editorial team at Today’s Parent asked my husband and I if we would go head-to-head in a written debate for the September 2013 issue. We excitedly agreed and the assigned topic turned out to be, ‘Should you let your girls play with princess stuff?’

Ian and I decided that he would write the ‘Yes’ side and I would author the ‘No’ side. I was thinking the assignment would be a total walk in the park, but it turned out to be a very interesting challenge for a number of reasons. First of all, it was *tough* to summarize my thoughts in just 375 words! Most of my blog posts are (at least) 500 words, and it was amazing what a difference it made to have to be that much more concise.

It was also a challenge because truthfully, princess stuff is really not something that I’ve had to deal with – despite the fact that I have two little girls. While I have never once attempted to sway my kids “for” or “against” princesses, the reality is that neither one of them has ever shown any interest. While other three-year-old girls were putting on puffy, pink dresses, my eldest daughter was busy memorizing the names of dinosaurs. Now nine years old, Elissa continues to be much more interested in animals and science than dressing up. My youngest shows more stereotypical gender tendencies in her play, though the emphasis tends to be more on fashion – for herself and her stuffed animals – than princesses per se.

The assignment got me reflecting on the many social influences that kids are now exposed to. I don’t think that the whole world of princess stuff is inherently bad, but I do sometimes question the stereotypical gender messages it sends to little girls. The debate seemed to generate some good discussion on a common issue; read the full debate here and let me know what you think!

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‘Roll’ Reversal (Today’s Parent)

RollerskatingIn this blog post for Today’s Parent, I explain how my oldest daughter, Elissa, gave me a (pleasant) surprise at a playzone recently. More importantly, she caused me to reflect on how I perceive my kids. You can link to my blog post here.

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When you know your family is complete (Today’s Parent)

Chocolate WorldWith the 2012-2013 hockey season finally over, the girls and I are thrilled to have Ian back from his seemingly endless work travel. Even better, we officially kicked off our summer vacation with a trip for the whole family – to Hersheypark in Hershey, PA.

I snagged the fun job of blogging about it in Ian’s weekly spot for Today’s Parent – you can link to my post here.

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The gift of sight: A little girl’s new perspective (Today’s Parent)

Emma-Rose Gibson2Earlier this month, our family had the honour of meeting eight-year-old Emma-Rose Gibson and her parents. This beautiful, bright-spirited little girl hit it off with our own two daughters in about 30 seconds flat (at the one-minute mark they had already formed a three-kid Conga line!).

I wrote a blog post for Today’s Parent about Emma-Rose and the unique journey she’s taking through life, as well as the amazing perspective she brings to all of us. If you’re in Ottawa, consider joining Emma-Rose and her family for a special fundraising event at the Merivale Bowling Centre this Sunday, March 24.

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Would you buy your little kid a teen magazine? (Today’s Parent)

Teen magazineWhile my husband, Ian Mendes, was busy covering Sens vs. Leafs, I had an opportunity to fill in for his weekly blog with Today’s Parent.

In my latest blog post, I wrote about my eight-year-old daughter’s recent interest in celebrity teen magazines, and my response to it.

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