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Parents in the Capital: Meet Josee

Ottawa has some wonderful bloggers and we are lucky that many of them are Kids in the Capital contributors and readers! We want to share some of our favorite Ottawa parent bloggers on a more regular basis so we are introducing a series of posts called Parents in the Capital. Say hello to Josee!

Tell us about yourself and your family.   I'm an engineer and work full-time for the public service. I have two beautiful kids. My daughter "B.G.", is four and my son, "Bonhomme" is two. My wonderful hubby is a teacher for the Ottawa Carleton District School Board.  I knew absolutely nothing about building and maintaining a website and nothing about blogging before I started Frugal Fun Ottawa, and though a friend initially helped me set it up I've since redone the website using CSS, which I taught myself. 

What is your favourite activity to do with your kid(s) in Ottawa?  We love taking the kids for walks downtown, especially in the summer when there are always festivals and activities going on at Parliament Hill.  We love to go see the Changing of the Guard, and every year we take in Fortissimo, the annual massed pipe band performance on the Hill.  I also love taking the kids to the NAC's Kinderconcerts.  They are really well done - I hope that my kids will develop the same love of music and of the orchestra that I have.

What is your favourite at home activity to do with your kid(s)?  My kids love to play hide-and-seek right now! Even though my son doesn't quite understand the concept yet, he gets a big kick out of telling the "seeker" where the "hider" is, and my daughter doesn't seem to mind. They both love the game right now.

What was the biggest surprise that parenthood has brought into your life? Like many new parents I don't think I was really prepared for how much time being a parent takes.  There is no pause button; it doesn't matter what you want to do, it's about what you have to do at any given moment.  It can be pretty relentless; sometimes you have to lock yourself in the bathroom just to get a minute to yourself.  On the other hand, I wouldn't trade my kids' hugs for all the sleep in the world.

What parenting tips/advice do you wish you'd known when you first became a parent? I wish someone had told me "Whatever your kids are doing, it's perfectly normal!"   It seems that every few months, at least between the ages of 2 and 4, they start exhibiting some new behaviour that makes you wonder whether or not you should be concerned, but when you compare notes with other moms it turns out that their children are doing the same thing too. For example my daughter would walk right up to perfect strangers in the park and just stop and stare.  It was a bit embarassing, but then my friend told me her son, who's the same age as my daughter, was doing it too. 

Tell us about your blog and how you discovered blogging. I started Frugal Fun Ottawa because I was having trouble finding these great, free activities that I knew were out there, and I do research for a living.  I figured that if I was having trouble, others were too.  I was pretty sure that if I put all the free and frugal activities and events together on a website, people would find it useful and would visit it.  I started frugalfish, the Frugal Fun Ottawa blog, so that I could have more interaction with visitors to the site, and to give me a bit more of a creative outlet.

What do you love best about being a parent in Ottawa? I love that there is always something going on in Ottawa; there's always something to do.  If you have kids, it's the best combination of big city activities and small town feel you can find.

Thanks Josee!