Tag Archives: Ottawa

Are you ready for back to school?

Some of us have already gone through back to school and the rest are coming up to it quickly.  I’m on my fifth year of back to school and I thought I’d share a few thoughts.  Please add any other ideas and tips to the comments below!

Clothing

  • What still fits?  We go through a fashion show and get all the kids to try on all their clothing and depending on the kid, clothing gets moved to their younger sibling, or it gets put into donation or consignment piles (the older the kids get, the smaller the consignment pile gets ;)  It’s a great time to purge all the stuff that doesn’t fit any more or that has been destroyed.
  • When possible, I try to get my kids’ clothing used.  There are lots of great ways to do that in Ottawa, including great consignment sales (the Hot Tots is September 6 and the MBFA sale is on September 13) and there are all kinds of Facebook groups where people sell clothing, toys, etc, not to mention sites like Used Ottawa.  Leave a comment telling us what your favourite place to get used clothing is!
  • Another great option is to have a clothing swap with your friends.  Kids go through clothing so quickly as kids and they play so hard in them, I’m all for keeping it as affordable as possible!

Making memories

I’m not always a super organized mom but the one thing I’ve always done is take first day of school photos.  I love seeing how the kids change over the years!  Make a point to take a shot on the first day of school.  We take ours in the same spot every year outside our front door.  The bricks really show how much they’ve grown from year to year.  Unfortunately this means we can’t move until they’re all done school now ;)  If you’re worried your skills aren’t going to capture the moment as well as you’d like, there are lots of photographers now offering back to school sessions too :)

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Being mentally prepared

A lot of the hardest part of back to school is being mentally prepared.  Just remember:

  • Breathe.  :)
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.   (For all the planning I tried to do with clothing my daughter wore one of the most ridiculous outfits ever on the 3rd day of school.  If it isn’t inappropriate weather wise, I just go with the flow )

Extra stuff

I asked people to share their back to school tips with us on Facebook.  Come add yours (or put them in the comments here!)

Want to share your back to school photos with us?  Do that on this Facebook post!

Bit of Momsense shares so great tips on back to school shopping and lunch ideas.

Happy back to school everyone!!

Visiting a Fire Station

One of the highlights for our girls this summer was visiting a fire station.  We visited Ottawa Fire Station 23 (Carling & Kirkwood) because my husband knows the Platoon Chief. But you can visit any station in the city and they will give you a tour as part of Ottawa’s Fire Safety Program.  If you are interested in going for a tour call the fire education department of the city to set up a time (click here to find a fire station near you.

Fire Station 4

Our tour started in the Platoon Office where the staffing of all 29 fire stations is controlled. Next we were led through the station to the garage to meet our guide (a nice rookie who was great with kids) to see the fire trucks.  Station 23 has two main pumper trucks and one ladder truck.  Our guide explained how trucks are dispatched when a call come in and that some stations don’t have enough staff to operate all the equipment at any particular time.

Fire Station 2

The girls got to sit in the truck and see and touch the equipment that firefighters use when they are fighting a fire.  The parents also got to pick up and carry bags of equipment to feel how heavy they are.  The firefighters need to carry these bags of equipment up countless flights of stairs.

Fire Station 1

The kids were a little nervous about all of the big equipment so our very nice rookie took us to the kitchen to see where they prepared and ate all their meals.  Firefighters are on duty for 24 hour shifts (yes, they sleep and eat at the station) and they have to be ready to go to a call anytime.  This is why you often see firetrucks at the grocery store.  One time they got a call when they were grocery shopping and had a full cart of groceries!

Fire Station 3

Station 23 is one of the older stations in Ottawa and even has a fire pole.  Newer stations are only one floor and no longer have fire poles.

Fire Station 6

The end of the tour led us back to the garage where the girls got a chance to help wash the fire truck.  They were happily scrubbing away when a call came in over the speakers.  We moved to the back of the garage and got to see all the fire fighters get suited up, get into the trucks and drive out onto Carling Ave with sirens blaring.

 fire station 5

Calypso Theme Waterpark – Fun for the whole family!

I had heard the ads on the radio. I knew that there was a waterpark not far from Ottawa, but I had definitely never been, until about a month ago when I got the opportunity to take my family to Calypso for the day.

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If you’ve been, you know this already, but I have to say that the park is HUGE! Big gates at the entrance open to a promenade area with lockers on one side and life jacket rental on the other. (Rentals are free by the way.) Then there is the gift shop and restaurants leading the way to the attractions. Attractions.. rides.. I’m not quite sure what to call them. Some were just big slides, but others were truly amazing.

Calypso has 35 slides and more than 100 games. There’s a lazy river suitable for kids, and a huge wave pool. The biggest draw, according to the people at Calypso, is the lazy river, the Kongo Expedition. It takes 15-20 minutes to meander along the river, past elephants and alligators, through water features that spray and soak, with animal sounds the entire way.

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The pools are all heated which is great because Calypso is open in all weather during the summer months, though the slides are closed during thunderstorms. There is one area suitable for even the youngest kids, with a gentle walk-in pool and small slides, and a spot for bigger kids right next to it.

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There are grassy, shaded areas near all the rides with lots of picnic tables. You can bring your lunch or eat at one of the many restaurants in the park.

Now that I’ve been and experienced Calypso with my kids, I’d love to go back with just my husband and go on all the big rides. Or go with a group so that we could trade off and do some rides while the kids play. Either way, Calypso was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to go back!