Monthly Archives: April 2019

Mother’s Day Recognition

Guest Blog by Jasmin Shannon on behalf of WestHills Towne Centre and Country Hills Village Shopping Centre

RECOGNITION. It was the buzz word when I was completing my Human Resources degree. You know… intrinsic vs extrinsic rewards, motivators and drivers, yadda yadda yadda? I learned that some employees are driven by money, bonuses, and other tangible rewards. While others are driven by the people they work with, encouraging emails, or a simple pat on the back. These textbooks taught me how to provide (or find) a job with benefits that really matter, and how to be a boss that really understands motivators and drivers so their people don’t burn out.

Years have passed since sticking my nose into a textbook, and now I’m left wondering, why do they not make textbooks for Moms?! If only it were that simple… Wouldn’t it be nice to have a parenting manual that was Universally celebrated and agreed upon? And then I thought, can I apply the same principles to my life as a Mom?

I have two bosses now, and they are 1 and 3 years old. They don’t give me bonuses at Christmastime nor do I get an engraved glass plaque with my name on it. Instead, I work for free 24/7, 365 and, if I’m on my best behaviour, I might get an “I love you, Mama”. My work will pay off eventually, I know that. I’m holding out for that big promotion, aka, when I die a happy woman knowing that I raised kind humans. And if they happen to be educated and super rich, that’s pretty great too.

So, in the meantime, I find what motivates me to be the best Mom possible. Which is a difficult thing to do when you’re in the thick of it all. I was in a major funk the other day. I was short with my family and irritated by the smallest things. I realized then, that I had not left the house for three days, I hadn’t taken any time for myself and was completely run down. Had I even showered? I honestly couldn’t remember. We’ve all had similar experiences, but what gets you out of your rut? For me, it’s treating myself to something. Anything! It can be a walk, a dessert, a bath, just anything to acknowledge myself. But you know what can be even better? When others around you recognize you. A simple thank you, a handful of freshly picked weeds out of the back garden, it doesn’t matter! Any act of kindness to convey that you are appreciated and recognized as Mom is the simplest most powerful thing those around us can do.

I know I’m not alone when I say that my kids have changed my perspective on just about every aspect of life. They are grateful for the tiniest little things – be it a heart-shaped strawberry or a puddle of water they can splash in. Gratitude is everywhere for these little humans and that’s the biggest lesson they’ve taught me. I’ve also learned that I am being recognized by my kids in their own special way, and for that, I’m so grateful. Recognition comes in the form of your kids asking you to play with them or comfort them. It’s in the “I love you, Mama” moments or when they eat their entire plate of dinner. It’s a whole other heart-warming, fuzzy-feeling-inducing, good-vibes-only kind of level.

Mother’s Day is coming up quickly on May 12th. Some might think it’s a silly made up holiday, and they’re likely not Moms. So for the rest of us, it’s a reminder to husbands, kids, and friends, that Moms need a little bit of recognition all throughout the year. Just a hint of recognition or acknowledgment goes a long way. We’d be forever grateful… until next year.

I’m heading to WestHills Towne Centre on Saturday, May 11th to get my fill of Mama recognition. I love heading there year round for just about everything because it’s so convenient and I love the variety of stores they have. Read all about my love affair with WestHills Towne Centre.

The reason I’m going there specifically on Saturday May 11th from 11am – 1pm is because WestHills Towne Centre will be providing Mother’s Day giveaways and handing out treats! If you live in the NW, the event will be taking place at Country Hills Village Shopping Centre at the same time. They will have roving ambassadors on the lookout for Moms like me to surprise with a little bit of recognition. Plus they’ll have a grand prize that all families can enter to win, full of wonderful prizes from retailers. Mother’s Day is all about love, recognition and spending time with the ones you love. And WestHills and Country Hills Village totally get it.

I’ll be bringing the kids down for some Mother’s Day fun and I hope you can join us too!

Love, peace & happy Mother’s Day

Are our kids overdoing it?

Provided by Parenting Power

In a recent article, Dr. Tim Elmore shared insights about the rise in anxiety, depression and panic attacks in teens today. He suggests that many teens today live,

“Sedentary lifestyles: there are hundreds of hormones, enzymes, proteins, and chemical reactions happening while the body is physically active. It enables them to be mentally fit and emotionally stable.When kids are sedentary, these hormones are unable to do their work. In short, we are made to move—and we naturally struggle when sedentary.

Solitary lifestyles: students today are actually spending more time alone than past generations of youth.The portable device has overtaken the personal conversation. Screen to screen has overtaken face to face. Psychologist Jean Twenge concludes that the more students spend time in genuine conversations in the presence of people, anxiety levels drop.

and Stimulated lifestyles: teens today consume thousands of messages a day on social media, email, live interactions and other media outlets. Our brains were not meant to digest this much information. Consider this comparison: the average person today consumes as much information reading the Sunday New York Times as a person consumed during an entire year in the 19th century.”

While these are generalized observations, they are worth considering. Dr Elmore sums it up by saying that,

“Sedentary lifestyles leave them overweight.
Solitary lifestyles leave them over-indulged.
Saturated lifestyles leave them overwhelmed.
We must get them moving. A good rule of thumb is to match the hours they have in front of a screen with that many hours in physical activity.

We must get them face-to-face with people and off their phones. One good rule is to match the hours they have on a screen with the same hours socializing in-person.

We must offer them free time to play and control their time. One good rule could be to insure they limit social media time to two hours or less daily.”

And let’s go one step further to look at what our parental behaviour is modeling for our children.

This week, ask yourself these questions:

Are we sedentary? How often are members of our family moving?
Are we solitary? Are we having face-to-face conversations regularly?
Are we involved in screen-free free time?

Learn more from Julie and Gail at parentingpower.ca!

Easter Events Around Town

Have a ‘hoppy’ Easter (yeah, we went there) with these family-friendly events!

Easter at the Calgary Farmers’ Market
Put a Little Spring in Your Step! Join in the Easter festivities from 10am to 2pm on April 18 to 20! Hop on over to the stage and get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny and decorate an Easter cookie, too (while supplies last). The Calgary Farmers’ Market will be accepting cash or food donations for the Calgary Food Bank to snap a bunny photo and to ensure no one goes hungry this Easter (recommended $5 donation). And remember, the Market is open all Easter weekend, Thursday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm! Website.

Easter Eggstravaganza at the Calgary Zoo
Easter Eggstravaganza at the Calgary Zoo, proudly sponsored in part by Calgary’s Child Magazine, takes place April 19 & 20, 9am to 2pm. Hop on down to the zoo where kids of all ages can play, explore, create, and learn. This year, once again, there will be 4 activity zones (creative, play, sweet, and enviro) for your family to spring through. In each zone, you’ll meet the local partners who have brought activities, prize draws, and tasty treats! Kids 12 and under can visit the 4 treat stations for a free treat. What a sweet way to celebrate! Easter Eggstravanganza is included with regular admission to the Zoo. To purchase your admission tickets now, visit the website.

National Service Dogs Easter Egg Hunt for Dogs (and Their Humans)
Friday Apr 19 at 10am to 12pm. Join for a fun-filled morning as your dog(s) hunt for treat-filled eggs on the beautiful south lawn of Calaway Park. All funds raised go to supporting National Service Dogs work. Visit the website to sign up and start collecting pledges! This is an outdoor event, so dress for the weather!

Easter Petting Zoo at Westbrook Mall
Meet the Easter Bunny and make some furry friends! On April 19, Westbrook Mall is hosting an Easter petting zoo for the whole family to enjoy. Join Westbrook Mall and give your kids an opportunity to interact with friendly farm animals or get your photo taken with the Easter bunny from Noon to 5pm and receive a free 4 x 6 photo! Website.

Easter Eggstravaganza! at Trico Centre for Family Wellness
Saturday Apr 20, 10am to 12pm. Join Trico Centre for an eggstravagant morning of fun! There will be face painting, crafts, games, and more! This holiday event is free for members. Website.

Easter Fun at Marlborough Mall
Saturday Apr 20, 10am to 6pm. Visit Marlborough Mall for some egg-citing Easter activities! Stop by from 12 to 6pm and get a free 4 x 6 picture with the Easter Bunny. While you are there, participate in the Easter Egg Hunt and interact with some adorable barnyard animals (from 10am to 6 pm) at the Petting Zoo located by the Family Park. Website.

Looking for exciting summer camps? Try something different.

Provided by the City of Calgary

Have you ever heard, “Hey Mom watch this!”? That is your child taking pride in showing off a new accomplishment. It is important for kids to try new things as they grow up. New experiences broaden their imagination and decrease their discomfort with things unknown. Children develop confidence and independence as they develop new skills.

The City of Calgary’s 186 affordable day camps at 18 locations throughout Calgary offer fun ways to spark new interests and uncover hidden talents. Do your kids enjoy being creative? Art, dance or performing camps are a safe bet. Are your children into sports and games? We have a wide variety of sports camps, from Explore Sports and gymnastics to skateboarding and hockey. Kids love nature and being outdoors? They’re sure to enjoy Nature Discovery camp or Outdoor Adventure camp where they will learn to kayak or canoe. The City of Calgary has a perfect camp for every kid.

For parents, flexibility is just as important. You might need a place to send your kids for just a few hours in the morning or afternoon, or a way to keep your kids active and entertained for a full week. The City has half-day camp options – you can even mix and match. Try Arts Combo camp in the morning and Cartoons & Comics in the afternoon.

Daily camps are ideal if you’re looking for a camp that’s just a day or two during the week to send your children. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, you might want to try one of our two-week sailing camps – a tremendous value when compared to similar camps.

“I just wanted to send out a huge THANK YOU to you and the staff for making sure Dana’s needs are always met at camp. You guys are awesome, and we love being a part of the camp and atmosphere there.”  Cheryl Claridge, parent – Kudos to Southland Leisure Centre day camps

Start planning your kids’ summer early to find the right combination of activities, location and friends.

The City of Calgary day camp staff are selected based on experience, ability to relate to children and leadership skills. Leaders create a friendly, safe and fun environment for campers. Staff receive training and are certified in Standard First Aid and CPR as well as High Five® Principles of Healthy Child Development.

We welcome and include all children. Please make us aware of any disabilities or behavioural needs that may affect your child’s participation. While our goal is inclusive participation, there are times when a child requires more support than our current ratios can provide.

With so many affordable camp options available close to your home or work, we’d bet there is one that’s perfect for your kids. Find that camp online at calgary.ca/daycamps.