Monday, July 28, 2008

Book Club "The Golden Compass" Trilogy & "The Secret Life of Bees"

Another opportunity to chat about this lovely book...please join us on Wednesday August 6th to enjoy a comfortable chat about this grand story and fantastic author.

Or we have been enjoying the Golden Compass Trilogy...or have we...? Having just complete the final 20 pages last night, I am left with a sense of curiosity and relief. Curiosity about what it detailed and relief that I can now move onto a lighter book...

What did you think?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Time For Bed"

by Guest Blogger Andriana Mantas of Collaborative Minds

"Brush your teeth", "Read a book or two", "Take a bath" What do these snippets of conversation have in common? These tasks are all part of a cycle which we call the "bedtime routine". Sleep is a vital part of a child's growth and development, the proper amount of sleep gauges your child's overall happiness for the day. Children who do not get enough sleep often become irritable and may have temper tantrums. When a child is lacking sleep, they may find it difficult to interact with others and participate in their daily activities. Some children may view sleeping as an activity without any fun or purpose and will often feel like they are missing out.
The following are guidelines that can be tailored to meet the needs of your child and family: create a specific routine to follow every naptime and bedtime; follow your child's lead in creating bedtime routines, some children like a story and massage, whereas another child may prefer a story and lullaby; consistently follow the bedtime routines established with clear communication; develop simple, reasonable consequences if your child doesn't stick to the routine, for instance, we will read only one story instead of two; create a calming atmosphere prior to bedtime, eliminate distractions, and keep things low key once in bed; and let them have a favourite blanket, pillow, stuffed animal or doll as this may provide them with a feeling of security and assist to self soothe.

There has been much controversy around the issue of bedtime, including parents feeling guilty and inadequate. So it's 2:00 am and you have gone to comfort your child for the third time due to a nightmare. What do you do?
We begin to look for 'quick fixes' so that we can get back to our much needed sleep. Whether you decide to have your child join you in your bed or if you're jumping in to their bed, be prepared to follow through on many more nights after that as your child will expect this quite regularly. If possible, soothe your child without taking the next step of sleeping in each other's bed.

Exceptions to sleep routines should be rare even during the summer. Many changes to routines are occurring, school has ended, camp is starting, vacations will take place, trips to the cottage, family reunions and so on. You may ask yourself, how do we adhere to our bedtime routine? Keep it consistent, your children will appreciate it!

For more information, contact Collaborative Minds at 416-803-5321 or

This article was composed for the Gingerbread Lane July Newsletter "Pass Me An Issue" Column to which Andriana is a in house contributor. To receive future Ginger Mail Newsletter, please forward your request to

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Baby Bookworms FREE Storytime STOPs

Baby Bookworms, is a gorgeous children's book shop located in Streetsville Mississauga that offers FREE Storytime STOPS every Thursday night at 7pm. It's a BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket) event and offers grand stories, beautiful atmosphere and fun for everyone.

Gingerbread Lane is proud to support such a wonderful event and keenly support the shops proprietors Jane Parent and Marilyn Panton in their pursuit of literacy and family reading. Well done gals - we'll see you Thursday!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Joys of Being a Kid In the Summer

The Joys of Being a Kid In The Summer
Guest Blogger - Sharon Devellis

Every year as summer approaches, I am hopeful and enthusiastic. What fun we'll have! I'll take the boys to the zoo, to the beach, to the museums. We'll play at parks and have picnics. Oh, the memories we'll create. They'll remember this summer as the Greatest! Summer! Ever!

But by about mid-July, having to entertain two young, energetic boys while enduring hot, humid weather meant to be found only in the Amazon jungles and removing sand imbedded in crevices that were clearly intended to be sand-free, my enthusiasm has waned and I'm left yearning for the good old days when doctors handed out valium like candy. There have been summertime days when I would ahve given my left arm for a visit from someone in the Pan family: Cousin Clonazepan, Auntie Lorazepan, Uncle Diazepan.

Last summer was one of the hottest summers on record, making it a challenge to take the boys places where they could: (a) have fun, (b) run around and burn off enough energy to drop into bed by 8:00pm, not to awaken until the next morning, and (c) not shrivel up to the size of a raisin from dehydration.

I woke one morning and was running through my head what I could do with the kids. We were on Day 17 of humidex advisories and the park was about as appealing as driving a nail through my forehead. The splash pad was out of the question simply because they don't like to get splashed. They will, in fact, complain if they happen to get "splashed" at the "splash pad" and since they haven't learned irony or sarcasm (are these kids really mine?), they don't quite appreicate my witty response to their dilemna. Hmmmph!

Why I ever thought the lemonade stand would be a good idea I'll never know. Take this opportunity to learn from my lesson. Lemonade stand with one boy, age 5 - good. Lemonade stand with two boys, age 5 and 2-1/2 - bad.

The three of us sit down at the kitchen table and start making signs which takes up 45 minutes (hooray!). Yeah, yeah, I know - I'm supposed to be enjoying this time with my kids. Yadda yadda. I'm on my sixth summer with tow boys whose idea of fun is farting on each other. Go ask any mother and she'll tell you that summer is all about wasting time and 45 minutes is a big chunk-o-time wasted. Score one for Mummy!

We get the table set up outside, tape on the signs, get out the charis, cups, lemonade and bowl of change. Within two minutes, things start to go downhill. A steep hill. With a slalom course. And me crashing into all the flags. It's 35 degrees with the humidity and very windy - sort of like selling lemonade in a furnace or, perhaps, hell. Which, I think, is actually where I am. This is hell. Hell is a lemonade stand with two boys in 35 degree weather. Anyway - back to the stand.

Liams' hat keeps blowing off and both of them are drinking all the lemonade. To stop the lemonade drinking, I offer them their very own bottled water! (note the exclamation point as I try to make the bottled water sound as exciting as possible). They aren't buying it. One car stops and buys some lemonade - even overpaying because it's for charity. Adam is ecstatic, Liam could care less - he's pissed off that he can't have any more lemonade and has proceeded to dump his bottled water all over the ground and crush it with his foot. Even though there is a water ban where we live, I send Liam to the backyard to fill up the small swimming pool Some people will think this is wrong but if the Water People knew Liam, they would indeed understand the urgency of the situation and agree it was the right thing to do.

Liam runs off happy as a clam and starts filling the pool. Adam is happily selling lemonade to our neighbours and everything is running smoothly. I love my life! I'm such a great mother! I should have some sort of award for being such a great mother! I'm going to write a book on good mothering. I'll be on Oprah! I'll -

Oh crap. At some point during my Oprah fantasy, Liam finished filling the pool and spotted the bowl of change. I watch in horror as he runs over to the table and grabs it. Adam FREAKS out and tries to grab the bowl of change
back while yelling "LIAM - THAT'S MINE!". Liam retaliates by pulling harder and screaming "IT'S MINE TOOPID ADAM". This would be the point where the bowl of change containing over $12.00 including 85 pennies goes flying into the air.

Which brings me back to my yearning for the good old days when Valium was handed out like candy.

Happy Summer Vacation!

Note: The author would like you to know that she has had many a successful outings with her two boys and she does actually enjoy spending time with them in the summer, even when they are farting on her.