Labels for Back to School help keep the things my kids lose — discount for you!

August 27, 2009

Lovable Labels Bear_withTAG_8 (120x120)There are only 11 more days until the kids go back to school (and yes, I’m counting every one!), so I was thrilled when Loveable Labels asked me to review their Back to School Mega Pack of labels.

My kids seem to lose half the stuff they take to school. Lunch containers go missing, sweatshirts almost never make it home, and somehow even shoes don’t always come back. Our school has a huge bin of lost and found, but since all the moms buy the same three items of clothing at Please Mum for every boy (not the greatest selection for boys in clothes anywhere!), once it’s lost it can be hard to get back. Unless it’s labeled.

So we label everything. Years ago I sat with a permanent marker writing their initials on all the stuff they left at daycare, but these labels make it so much easier and much more likely things will get returned.

My Back-To-School pack came with a variety of labels for every application. It included:

lovable labels BTS pack contents* 15 Sticker Labels
* 60 Slimline Labels
* 48 Press ‘N Stick Clothing Dots
* 16 Shoe Labels
* 2 Mini Metal Tags
* 5 Book/Binder Stickers

With two boys, this is just barely enough labels. I admit, I cheated and put both their names on the labels so I could use it for either one (given how quickly clothes get passed down, this is a useful strategy). The boys picked out their own icon (a skateboard of course!), and were thrilled to get them.

I loved how easy it was to order the labels online, and the variety of icons and colours available. The quality of the labels is great. I’ve ordered from another lable company before and found Loveable Labels as good as others, but I like that they’re Canadian. And the variety of labels is great. I can stick them on lunch containers, backpacks, clothes, shoes, school supplies, water bottles — well, just about everything. I’ve even stuck them on sunglasses, toothbrushes (sleepovers!) and baseball mitts (have just located older son’s second lost mitt of the summer today!).

Lovable Labels BTS-ad

The Back to School Mega Pack that I got retails for $44.95, but they’re offering you, my blog readers, a 10% discount. Just quote “movies4mommies” when placing your order. This discount is valid for the next two weeks only.

And don’t forget to label jackets too. Those almost always go missing first.


Daycare waiting lists force parents to craft action plans early

August 24, 2009

New Picture

My kids are both in school, or at least they’ll be back in school in 13 days (but who’s counting!!!!), but that doesn’t mean my daycare worries have ended.

Every parent in British Columbia knows about daycare waiting lists. Those of us who work, either by choice or necessity, have to have some kind of child care, and while family care or nanny care is an option for some, it never was much of one for me. I had some part-time nanny help when my boys were under 18 months, but from that point on, both my kids were in group daycare.

I was lucky. Someone told me to get on waiting lists when my oldest was just under six months. I thought I was being pro-active, getting on lists a full year before I needed care. What a joke. I was back of the line for every daycare I checked out, and a couple months before I really needed a place, was looking at not having one at all anywhere. But then one centre, a good 15 minute drive from home but still close enough, said they’ll have a space for us. Seems with my son being born in April, we lucked out with the back-to-school thing. You might not thing back-to-school matters when you’re talking year-round care, but when five year olds leave their centre to go to kindergarten, it opens up spaces for the 3 year old to move up from toddler care, which opens up spots in the toddler centre. So we were lucky that we needed the spot in September or October. And weeks before he was due to start at the only centre that offered us a spot, we got offered another spot in a centre closer to home. So we got in, and the second kid got in automatically on the sibling policy.

Of course, once the older one was due to start kindergarten, and I’d sorted out the lottery for french immersion (that’s a whole other blog post!), I then needed kindercare (to cover the rest of the workday that the 2 1/2 hours of classroom time doesn’t) and aftercare. This time luck had nothing to do with it. I researched centres the fall before he would start school, found out the exact date when waiting lists started, and called that very morning at 9:03 am — and still I was third on the list.

I write all this not just to spill my guts, but to remind all mommies and daddies out there that it is never too early to put your name on daycare waiting lists. I knew a woman who put her second child on waiting lists — before she was even pregnant. And remember, it’s not just large centres that have waiting lists. Local family daycares have them too.

Some of the best daycare information for the Lower Mainland can be found at WestCoast Child Care Resource Centre.


Movies for Mommies is moving, and for sale

August 18, 2009

Have you heard all my news yet? Here’s what I put in the e-mail newsletter last Friday:

MOVIES FOR MOMMIES IS MOVING TO THE RIO THEATRE IN OCTOBER.

mfm_logo

Yup, the Ridge will no longer be available to us after September, so I went looking for a new home, and The Rio Theatre has offered us a great place to continue our programming. This is a gorgeous, grand old theatre that has been redone and revived. It shows first run, mainstream films, it’s air conditioned, it has a super concession, and best of all is the location. It’s right at Commercial and Broadway.

Now I know parking isn’t perfect in that area, but there is street parking on many nearby streets. But the location is ideal for public transit. Not only do a bunch of bus routes, including the express 99 stop right there, but it’s right down from the Commercial/Broadway Skytrain stations, which means getting to and from downtown, Burnaby, Surrey and other eastern ‘burbs is now a piece of cake for mommies! And to beat the rush hour crunch of parking limits, schools and commuters, we’re going to start films a half hour earlier. Doors will open at 12 noon and films will start at 12:30 pm. Commercial Drive is a hotbed of great infant-friendly restaurants and coffee shops, so you can spend the day down there with baby every other Wednesday.

We’ll have our pick of their first-run films, and will also continue to bring in other films, just like we have done at the Ridge.

All this will happen as of the beginning of October, since the Ridge gave me until the end of September. So three more screenings at the Ridge remain, then the big move. I hope you’re excited about this. I know I am.

But I do have some more news, if you can stand just one more bit. I’ve been running Movies for Mommies in Vancouver since 2002, and the time has come for me to find a successor. If you’re looking for a part-time business that is fun, baby-friendly, easy to run and part of a great national network, why not buy MFM Vancouver from me? You’d be surprised how economical it is, and how with your enthusiasm, you can grow the business. Feel free to email me with any questions about the business, and please spread the word that I’m looking for a buyer.

So that’s the news. I’ve had a few mommies enquiring about buying the business, so I’m optimistic that someone will take over and keep MFM ticking along. I really am excited about the move to the Rio, and will start making big press noise next month.

Got questions? Feel free to comment and ask.


Race me, mommy

August 6, 2009

You know that feeling of absolute frustration when you’re trying to get the kids moving so you can get out the door, and they just aren’t motivated to stop playing and get ready? My favourite response to that situation is to challenge them to a race. And after eight years of that trick, they still fall for it.

My kids are old enough to get themselves dressed, brush their teeth, slather on sunscreen and pull together what they need for a day at camp. But they’re lazy, and most mornings it’s a struggle to get them to move. But for the last two mornings in a row, I challenged them to get ready faster than me, and they bought it.

Let’s face it, I don’t care if they’re fast, just that they do it. I let them win every time. I just can’t beleive they’re still suckers for that old, “let’s race” game. But they are, and it still works. They hurry to get ready, I can go back to a normal pace, and then we’re all ready on time.

Of course, the key here is to have them race me, not each other. Because I don’t mind losing, but boy, do they ever have a fit if one of them should lose to the other!