Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween is my favorite time of year. I love when all the little ghouls and goblins escape their homes pretending to be their favorite character or imaginary being ringing doorbells and show off their awesomeness.
When it comes to our own children trick-or-treating there is no escape from the sugar high that lasts for days to come. Despite no safety from that, there are a few things we can do to keep them safe when they're (hopefully) impressing the neighbors with their manners and general cuteness.
1.       Adult Supervision.  Accompany your kids. If they are old enough to trick-or-treat without an adult, tell the kids to stay in a group and make sure they have a way of getting a hold of you in case of an emergency.
2.       Map a Plan.  Designate a route before your kids begin trick-or-treating, and make sure they stick to it. Have your kids stay in areas where there are a lot of people around and avoTid taking short-cuts through alleys and parking lots.
3.       Trick-or-Treat-Friendly Homes. Ensure your kids only visit houses with lights on. Remind them to NEVER enter someone’s home. Wait outside for candy or leave.
4.       Say "NO" to Strangers.  Tell your kids to never accept a ride or go anywhere with a stranger. Encourage them to keep at least arms reach from them.
5.       Remain Visible.  Dress your kids in a bright costume so others can see them. Light up shoes might be fun. If their costume is dark, have your kids wear reflective strips or carry a glow stick or flashlight.
6.       Appropriate Clothing.  Goes without saying but just in case you forget, ensure your kids’ costumes aren’t so long that they can trip over them. Pay attention to the weather to be sure your children will not be cold or overheat. Consider appropriate footwear for the long walk and terrain.
7.       Watch for Obstacles.  If your child is wearing a mask, be sure it is not restricting his/her view. Do not cut across driveways or yards because there may be obstacles which are less visible at night.
8.       Quality-Check Treats.  Check your kids’ candy before they eat it. Throw out any candy that is not in its original wrapper or looks like it has been tampered with. Remind your kids that no candy can be eaten until your check is complete.
9.       Obey the Law.  Encourage your kids to follow all the regular rules for walking around. That includes looking both ways before crossing, and using cross walks and crossing lights where available.
10.   Have a Spooktacular Time!  Finally, make sure your kids have tons of fun and get lots and lots of candy.
Take Care, D
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

I was unaware that October was National Bullying Month until I found this on a fellow blogger’s post.  Definitely something we, as parents and community citizens, need to be aware of.  Check out this link to get a few pointers on how we can protect and hopefully prevent this from happening to our children.

Take Care, D

National Bullying Awareness Month

via Jen's Blog of Random Thoughts by Jennie Yuen on 10/17/11
October is National Bullying Awareness Month and parents are looking for ways to protect their children from cyberbullying, the online pandemic that is causing severe emotional and psychological pain to children across the nation. More and more parents are resorting to the use of computer monitoring software to find out if their child is the victim of cyber bullying (or the actual bully)

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Monday, October 17, 2011

It’s that time of year again.  When all the extra-curricular and school activities are looking for funding for their new year of expenses.  Although I understand the necessity of fundraising and appreciate that things are not priced any higher than they are to cover costs – I still am having trouble getting the funds together for fundraising.  It seems the last couple weeks, all we’ve been doing is bugging our close friends, family and neighbors to buy or fund something.

We just completed the Terry Fox Run pledges and now we are starting Unicef.  As an accompaniment the school and Parent Council has completed one fundraiser last week, and this week we begin the next.  Then there’s the other groups we’re with who are fundraising as well.  Of course, for safety sake, we are not recommended to go door-to-door and only approach friends and family.  Most of our friends have their children in the same school and in similar extra-curricular activities so they aren’t buying from us and our family doesn’t live nearby.  I feel bad because I see the value in fundraising – but I’m tapped out.
Any ideas?  Suggesstions?  Do you experience this?

Take Care,
D

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Monday, October 10, 2011

I am so behind in doing my book reviews but I just keep getting distracted by all the great books that have been released lately.  Here are some of the books are being released this month and I can’t wait to lay my eyes on them.  I’m currently reading “Lord of the Vampires” by Gena Showalter.  This is the first book in the “Royal House of Shadows” series being written by 4 different authors.  I’m only on the fourth chapter so I can’t really give a review but I can say that it’s been fantastic so far.  Here are some more books I’m looking forward to this month.
September Books I mistakenly thought were October Releases:



October Releases:



What books are you excited about right now or eager for its release?

Take Care,
D

Disclaimer: This is not intended to be a complete listing of New Releases for this month, simply New Releases I am eager to read – usually in the Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction, or Paranormal Romance genre.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It’s that time of year again.  The temperatures are dropping and some mornings I’m scraping the windshield of our vehicle.  Doing a few things around the house and yard can prevent a lot of issues from Winter leaving you out in the cold.  Here is a checklist I have put together for my home.

1.  Furnace Inspection
Call a professional to come in and inspect your furnace and have your ducts cleaned out.  In our province Atco Gas is our Natural Gas provider and schedules a free appointment for inspection of all your Natural Gas appliances.  Be sure to keep the area around your furnace and hot water tank clear (don’t forget to change your furnace filters each month).
2.  Inspect for Air Leaks
Move the back of your hand around the edges of all doors and windows and framing.  The back of your hand is more sensitive and will feel any drafts.  Repair any worn or missing weather-stripping around doors and caulk any leaks around windows.
3.  Clean and Inspect Roof, Gutters, and Downspouts
Remove debris from your gutters and ensure your downspouts are clear and free-flowing.  Do a visual inspection of your roof for missing shingles and areas where moisture can enter the home.  Now is the time to fix any leaks you may have.  A little caulking can go a long way on those leaky gutters.
4.  Yard work
Clean up all trash from the yard.  Rake debris edible vegetation from the foundation.  Seal up entry points to keep critters from crawling under or into the house (mice can slip through spaces as thin as a dime).
5.  Prepare and Check Equipment and Supplies
Drain gas from lawnmowers.  Have your snow blower serviced.  Replace worn snow shovels, sharpen ice choppers, and buy ice-melt.  Clean, dry, and store gardening equipment.  Seal driveways and decks.  This might also be a good time to lubricate your garage door.  Spray the wheels, springs and chain to prevent it from getting stuck on a cold day.
6.  Winterize Plumbing
Drain all garden hoses.  We like to use our compressor to ensure the hoses are dried before we store for winter.  If you have an exterior water shut-off valve in your home, turn it off and drain remaining water from taps, leave taps open.  Replace missing insulation on exposed exterior plumbing pipes.
7.  Prepare Air Conditioner
Drain the AC pipes.  If your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.  Clean away all debris from the fan as well as around the unit.  Cover for the winter.
8.  Safety
Trim branches of trees that are too close to the house.  Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, then test.  Inspect and replace extinguishers based on manufacturer’s specifications.  Review your family's emergency plan.  Prepare an Emergency Kit (add diapers if you have babies, wipes for personal hygiene as well as candles, a lighter and blankets for warmth).
Plummeting temperatures are not always fun but if your home is prepared, the risk of winter disaster is minimized and you can focus your creativity on finding family fun!

Take Care,
D

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