Time for an Egg-stravaganza!

easter egg huntWe’ve all had plenty of time to get our ducks – or perhaps chicks – in a row this year as Easter is late coming!  We’re all having to wait until mid April to crack open those eggs. Whenever Easter falls we always take a family trip to Papa and Grammas’ house to celebrate with the Aunties and Cousins. It’s a big family affair and Papa always puts on a big Easter Egg hunt that keeps the kids occupied for hours.

Somehow the Easter Bunny always knows to go to Papa’s house instead of our house. This might have something to do with the kids writing said bunny of Easter a lengthy and pointed letter each year to remind him of our Spring vacation plans and the change of venue. Adding to the excitement are special touches like Mr. Bunny leaving a foot print trail around the house so the kids absolutely know that he’s been there. You try crinkling up your foot into the shape of a bunny paw…sheesh, the things we do to keep traditions alive. I am a bit concerned that my husband seems to be as shocked as the kids on the paw print trail and I may have to have a heart-to-heart discussion with him over the viability of human sized magical rabbits.

Another great tradition for us is to wake up on Easter morning to little hollow plastic eggs with secret notes inside scattered around the homestead. Open the egg and read a rhyme that tells you where to look for some seasonal presents.  The presents can be hidden anywhere from inside the dryer to outside in the backseat of the car. The adventure is more in the finding than the little trinkets that make up the booty.  A pack of Easter stickers or a bag of Kinder Mini Eggs is always a favorite. To cap the day, decorating eggs is always a fun activity for the whole family.

egg hunt basketThis year our hunt will be helped along by the fantastic package we KinderMoms received from Kinder® containing everything we need to create an egg hunt. You could win one of these packages too – visit the Kinder® Canada Facebook page on April 8, 10 and 12 where a basket will be up for grabs.

Kinder® has partnered with Children’s Miracle Network and will be providing 12 of these baskets to CMN hospitals.  As well, Kinder® will be donating another $25,000 to help support this non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals across North America.

Disclosure: I’m part of the Kinder® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.


Share The Joy This Season

imagesEvery year as I begin my Christmas shopping for my children I reflect on how lucky they are to have as much as they do. For me it’s important to remember  that there many people in the world with very little, including a number of local families that struggle during the holiday season.

I believe that it’s very important for my kids to understand how lucky they are and to “share their joy” with others.  That’s why I always volunteer at my children’s elementary school for the Stocking Program.  It’s a great program where each grade at the school joins together to fill a huge stocking, or cardboard box that is decorated like a stocking, with presents for a family in need.  The presents can be anything from winter clothes to toys to grocery store gift cards that can be used for meals over the holidays.  As a school we always fill about 8 or 9 stockings.  As a family we always give generously to at least one family.

I make sure that my children are very much a part of the giving process. We talk about the ages of the kids that we are buying for and what they might like and need.   Then my children and I carve out a day to go shopping for relevant and fun items for each family member.  We always help to decorate the stocking (box) and we actually deliver the stocking right to the school that the family belongs to.

The whole process is designed to be as valuable to the volunteers as it is to helping out a local family that may not have the means as others do in providing a wonderful Christmas for their family.  For my kids it’s a great way to understand the meaning of giving back to the community and the true spirit of the holidays.

397719_518717761494344_51720000_aSimilar to my local efforts, and as a KINDER Mom, I like to share with you another great holiday kindness program that KINDER® has on right now.  For the second year in a row, KINDER® has partnered with Children’s Miracle Network with the “A Joy To Share” program.  The “A Joy to Share” program is one of the ways KINDER® is helping bring joy to families this holiday season.  As families come together this holiday, it is a wonderful opportunity to teach our little ones (and loved ones) about what it means to help others.  This isn’t just a donation – but a call to action for Canadian moms and children to create a greeting card as a means to share some holiday joy to  children and their families at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals this holiday season.

Starting Friday November 22nd, for each greeting card that is created, KINDER® will donate $1 to the Children’s Miracle Network.

Have fun creating your greeting card and remember to Share The Joy this holiday season!

Disclosure: I’m part of the KINDER® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

Hot Wheels vs. Barbie

Blue is my FAVOURITE and Elena’s favourite is pink” states Bowser as he studies his picture book while sitting on his potty. He’s quite distressed when I agree that blue is my favourite colour too: “But you’re a girl!” and therefore not allowed to like blue apparently.

This little conversation more or less sums up the stereotypical gender preferences of my kids. Granted, I haven’t discouraged their way of thinking and given that we’ve decorated Pickle’s room in pink (her choice) while Bowser’s is blue, I guess you could say if anything we’re encouraging it. But it’s amazing to me how; on the whole, it seems to be in their nature. Yet they both had the same baby toys – Pickle’s toys were wiped over and became Bowser’s toys and all our baby gear was unisex – hoping we’d need them again for a second child we carefully considered our bankroll when buying car seats, highchairs, swinging chairs, blankies, nursery decor, bedding etc.

imagesPickle seemed innately drawn to pink. I’ve never been a girly girl or a great fan of pink so I never particularly chose it for Pickle’s baby clothes. Of course she had some baby clothes in pink, but as soon as she had a choice in the matter it was pink all the way: pink clothes; pink hair accessories (as soon as there was enough hair to warrant an accessory); pink cups; pink plates; and hence her choice of “Sorbet” for her bedroom walls. She similarly gravitated towards princesses, fairies, ballet, Barbie and anything frilly, fluffy, floaty. She loves drawing and crafts. Her sporting ability leaves a lot to be desired.

Bowser on the other hand loves cars: zooming, racing, crashing cars. He likes balls, kicking, hitting, jumping, whacking, climbing. He loves sports. His drawing is woeful.

u10553617Talking to other moms it sounds like it’s the same in most households – the majority of the time the girls are playing bossy games involving dressing up as princesses to have dollies’ tea parties with a Barbie tea set. Meanwhile the toddler boys favour Thomas the Tank Engine and cars; are likely to sporadically whack you with something and soon progress to play fighting and turning anything remotely gun-like into a gun, even if their parents have not particularly allowed them to be exposed to guns.

So why is it that “Boys will be boys”? I looked it up, but although research has been going on for over 100 years most articles on the subject suggest ‘more research needs to be done in this area’. They do admit ‘there is a difference’ between a boy’s brain and a girl’s brain. The line I found that best summed it up was “girls have the brain that boys would have if theirs weren’t reshaped by testosterone.” A baby boy starts life with a ‘female brain’ before a testosterone bath in the early weeks in utero promotes growth in areas that govern sex and aggression, while stunting development in the areas governing communication. Apparently a baby boy is born with as much testosterone as a 25 year old man! Meanwhile oestrogen doesn’t affect the development of the brain. As a result a baby girl is more observant of faces and girls are naturally more interested in communicating and nurture games. Meanwhile baby boys are easily distracted and focus more on mechanical objects than faces. Boys are prone to running around, rough and tumble, aggressive and impulsive behaviour and more interested in mechanical stuff. Boys’ gross motor skills tend to develop slightly faster hence a leaning towards physical activities. The girls’ fine motor skills improve first so they lead the boys in arts and crafts and writing.  And of course some of the behaviour is learned.

I’m not suggesting all little girls are rubbish at sports and all little boys are bad artists; just that on average they display typical gender defined preferences and skills. There are occasions when Bowser puts a baby in a pram and takes it for a stroll round the garden and he likes to participate in the odd tea party.

barbie-braceletPickle will be tickled pink to discover that Kinder Canada are taking into account the gender preferences with the launch of their new KINDER® SURPRISE® eggs for girls introduced by none other than Barbie.  Meanwhile Bowser will be extremely excited to find limited edition Hot Wheels™ toys inside some of the classic KINDER® SURPRISE® eggs. It couldn’t be more perfect…but since the contents of a Kinder Egg are a surprise I can envisage a lot of swapsies going on.

hw-greenTo kick off this amazing launch, KINDER® Canada are giving away 40 KINDER® Barbie™ Hot Wheels™ Prize Packs including Barbie™ and Hot Wheels™ toys as well as a pack of 24 KINDER® SURPRISE® eggs.  Simply pop to the Kinder Canada facebook page, become a fan and enter your details on the contest page.

What are little boys made of? Snips and snails and puppy-dog tails.
What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice.

Disclosure: I’m part of the KINDER® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Madagascar 3 and Kinder Eggs: What a Combo!

There’s been lergy in our house: a nasty stomach flu (is there any other sort?) has been raging through us leaving no man, woman or child standing. So of course there has been lots of TV viewing. Once every recorded progamme had been viewed, the family favourite DVDs have come out for an airing. While I’m a bit sick (no pun intended) of Scooby Doo after the 10th episode, I’m happy to snuggle up on the couch and be entertained by one of our fave movies like Madagascar.

But here’s some news to cheer us up. While we were chained to our sick beds last week a new Madagascar movie was released! When we’re finally all better we’ll be off to the cinema to catch the madcap crew of Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria back in Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted!

As a huge bonus our friends at KINDER® have teamed up with DreamWorks® and in the new batches of Kinder Eggs you’ll find 9 original Madagascar 3 circus train toys.

If you visit Kinder Canada’s facebook page between now and June 17th you have the chance to instantly win 1 of 120 Cineplex® Family Passes to go see the movie. Each family pass is valued at around $75 and includes two adult general admissions with two soft drinks, and one popcorn, PLUS two children’s admissions (ages 13 & under) with two kids’ tray combos (drink, popcorn, treat).

Madagascar 3 and Kinder Eggs: What a Combo 🙂

Disclosure: I’m part of the Kinder® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.