Author Archives: Somekindofmom

Flashback: Ray Friel Summer camps

As my 3 kids (and Joel too!) are taking part in City camps again (though not at Ray Friel) this summer this post seemed like a great one to bring back (they’re heading to Calypso on Thursday, Kiernan is over the moon excited!). This year my 3 year old twins are taking part in the half day camps offered by the city! ~lara

By Vicky

My son Joel just completed a week at Camp Central, a city of Ottawa day camp offered at the Ray Friel Rec Centre for kids ages 4-7.

The description said, [kids will] take a walk on the wild side, with weekly themes and some of the wackiest games and activities ever! I wasn’t sure what to think, with this somewhat vague description, but this camp definitely did not disappoint!

Every day, the kids did a craft, went swimming, AND skating, and had a special activity at the end of the day. If they preferred not to swim or skate, there were other options for them, so they never felt pressured to do something they weren’t comfortable with. They went to a nearby park, watched a movie, and even had a field trip to the Papanack Zoo!

Every morning we’d arrive for the morning wake-up, which was a bit overwhelming for a 4 year old. There was a room full of kids of all ages, and camp counsellors, shouting cheers and songs at the top of their lungs. Boy did it bring back memories! I wanted to join right in when they started “A booma chicka booma chicka rocka chicka boom!” (Tell me I’m not the only one who remembers that one!)

I can’t say enough about the camp counselors. These kids are responsible, well trained, and genuinely love what they are doing. They doted on Joel, gave him lots of attention and I could tell that he really bonded with them by the end of the week.

If you live in the East end and are looking for a camp for your kids, I’d recommend Camp Central! You can register on the City of Ottawa’s 123 Go registration page by searching for ‘Camp Central’. It is offered until the week of August 8-12, 2011 for a cost of $150.50.

Vicky is the mom to 4.5 year old son named Joel and 2 year old daughter named Mieka. You can read her blog at blog Some Kind of Mom. She also is a Peekaboo Beans Independent Stylist, visit her on Facebook to find out more!

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Being prepared for a visit to the CHEO ER

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Vicky

I’m writing this post praying that you never, ever have to use the Emergency Room at CHEO. But if you find yourself in a time when you do need to make a trip, as I did twice in one week recently, I hope you’ll find some of these tips useful.

My 5 year old son Joel suffers from asthma, and we’ve made a few trips to CHEO since he was born. When the temperature spiked to 43 degrees with the humidex recently, he was struggling so much to breathe. I watched him an hour in the morning, and seeing that his breathing was not improving with his inhaler, it was off to CHEO we went.

In our situation, I had time to gather a few things to take with me, and to drop off my daughter at the sitter’s. If you do have time to grab a few things, here’s what I recommend you stuff your purse with as you head out the door:

– cell phone and/or ipad (and chargers!)
– bottle of water/juice box
-snacks (for you and your child)
-colouring book, crayons, note paper
-small cars, teddy bear or other toy to keep them distracted
-candy or suckers if you have any
-your child’s health card
-toonies and loonies if you have any

Tip #1 – Take your parking ticket with you, and put it in your wallet.
If you are in the waiting room for a long time, you will be pulling things out of your bag and it could get lost in the shuffle.

Tip #2 – When you first arrive, have your health card in your hand. You will be greeted by very friendly nurses in triage who will assess your child and send you to registration. We were moved into our own room very quickly because of the severity of Joel’s asthma. Every nurse and health care professional we saw were exceptionaly friendly and amazing with Joel.

Tip #3 – You can order food for your child from your room. Joel was kept in observation for 6 hours while we waited for the medication to take effect. We were in our room through lunch and dinner. You can ask for a menu for your child, and they can choose anything they want from it. Joel had spaghetti and jello for lunch, and a few snacks later on in the afternoon.

Tip #4 – The main cafeteria closes at 1:00pm. There is a smaller shop that sells pizza, subs and coffee that is open later. However, if you are alone with your child, as I was, unless they feel comfortable being left alone for a few minutes while you run down the hall, then you’ll be hungry. There are vending machines in the main waiting room that take only toonies and loonies.

Tip #5 – Keep your child calm and entertained with play
I cannot say enough good things about the Child Life service at CHEO. Child life specialists are professionals trained in areas of child development, play and the psychosocial needs of children and families. Aside from preparing and support children and youth during medical tests and procedures, they also have toys, activities for children to play with as well as DVDs to keep them distracted during their stay. Joel played for a long time with a 20 questions toy, stickers and some colouring books.

Tip #6 – Play is a great distraction
There are lots of learning and play opportunities in an emergency room. Joel kept himself busy with post it notes, stickers, toy cars, rubber gloves, medical masks and even those little black things the doctor uses to check our ears! He pretended to be Dr. Joel giving me a check up.

After 6 hours, Joel’s asthma was under control and we were on our way back home. He’s doing great now!

We are so fortunate to have access to such a great facility in Ottawa. I am so thankful for CHEO and the amazing care they provided to my son. Go show your support and give them a shoutout on Twitter and follow them on Facebook!

Vicky is mom to a 5 year old named Joel and 3 year old daughter named Mieka. She is also a Play Stylist with Peekaboo Beans and an occasional teacher. To find out more visit her site at .

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Flashback : Snow painting

We have so many wonderful posts with great ideas we like to bring some back now and then.  Here is a fun idea to go out and enjoy the snow that finally fell this year :)

by Vicky

Here’s a fun little activity to do outside with your kids. Simply fill a some water bottles with water and a few drops of food colouring, and head outside to paint on the snow. Spray bottles and sippy cups also work really well!

You can experiment with different colours and painting techniques – try shaking a sippy cup upside down, or even swirling the water in the air before it lands on the snow.

Now since you can’t frame your masterpiece, make sure to take a picture of it instead!

Vicky is the mom to 4 year old son named Joel and 18 month old daughter named Mieka. You can read her blog at blog Some Kind of Mom.