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.

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!

Are my kids Generation Z?

July 27, 2009

I read Douglas Copeland‘s novel Generation X when I was in my 20s, and it really put a fine point on all the angst, anger and alienation I’d been feeling my whole life living in the shadow of the boomers. It defined my generation for me, and gave me such clarity about my life.

Now that I’m a middle aged, parenting Gen Xer, I observe subsequent generations with a more detached view. I know now that not everyone is defined as easily as I felt Generation X defined me. Still,  I do find generational definitions have some merit. Like the way Generation Y is defined as having strong egos and an endless supply of self-esteem.

My favourite example of this was an episode of American Idol (which someone of course pointed me to on youtube back when) when a really bad singer had her tryout on one of the early episodes. The judges told her she couldn’t carry a tune and should stop trying to force her singing on anyone. She left the room head held high and told the camera “I don’t care what they say. My parents always encouraged me to believe in myself. I know I’m good” or something to that effect. Gen Y grew up with their boomer parents constantly feeding them positive self esteem to the point that these kids had their cups running over with it.

Anyhow, that’s old news now. Gen Y has grown up, and they’re becoming parents now too. They are learning humility to go along with esteem, just like we Gen Xers learned humility to along with the chips on our shoulders.

But whither Generation Z? That apparently is the moniker given to the next group of kids, which according to some demographers includes my kids, born in the early 2000s.

I read a column today by one of my favourite bloggers, Penelope Trunk, called What Generation Z will be like at work. She says that Gen Z kids will not be team players (that’s my youngest!), will be more self-directed (my youngest again), will process information at lightning speed (my oldest for sure and possibly my youngest) and will be smarter (both my kids, but of course I say that, they’re my kids!) than Gen Y. So perhaps my boys are smack in the definition for Generation Z. I hope they won’t grow up bitter like my Gen X gang, nor self-absorbed like some Gen Ys tend to be (Please don’t flame me. You know it’s true!).  Of course, considering the back talk my older one has been exhibiting the last couple weeks, maybe he’s still in the Gen Y cohort. Or not.

Are your kids heading towards the definition (so far) of Generation Z? Or is it too soon to predict what our kids will be like as adults. Discuss.

My little league games

May 31, 2009

This is my third year coaching little league, but the last two were in T-ball, so this year in Minor B ,things really stepped up a notch competitively. My team is very good, but keeps having heartbreaking moments that cost them the win. One missed pitch after three foul balls. A pop fly catch that is caught but falls out of the mitt. An amazing hit by my team that the other team luckily catches in the air. Or like today, when we played an awesome game, were winning 7-1 going into the last inning, got two outs right away, then a couple teeny errors and the other time somehow scores seven runs to win the game.
OK, it’s my son’s team, but this year, I’m really feeling that these are my plays, my wins or my losses. I’m probably too invovled, and taking it all too personally. I spent a bit of extra time with my son before the last game working on his hitting. And when he hit a double, an amazing line drive right past the right fielder, I felt proud. Like it was my hit. Well, it was kind of, wasn’t it?

I think because the level of play is so stepped up this year, all us coaches are feeling this. But everytime my heart rises and falls with a win or loss, I think perhaps I ought to detach myself. And I will. Just as soon as the playoffs are over.