Walk, Run and Roll for Roger's House

by Barbara Did you catch a little running fever over Ottawa Race Weekend? My family sure did and I think that there are a few others out there who decided that they wanted to tackle a race and for them – and you – I have a nice two-kilometre run for families to do together. I'm hoping more than a few Kids in the Capital friends will come out.

On Sunday, June 19th, start Father's Day off with the Scotiabank Walk, Run and Roll for Roger's House, which is taking place at Scotiabank Place in Kanata.  Roger's house is “a comprehensive pediatric respite and palliative care program with elements of outreach, residential hospice, pain and symptom management, grief & bereavement counseling and research.”

Two kilometres might seem like a long distance for a person with short legs but your kids will amaze you! They take off fast and run hard. Then, usually, they have to walk for a bit but that is okay, as long as they keep moving. They'll want to run again soon enough and, in this way, you'll cover 2 kilometres. It's an accomplishment that is all the more special if you share it.

There will be a full morning of activities, from registration at 8 am and Welcoming Remarks at 9:00, through the Spartacat stretch at 9:30 to the main event – the run – at 9:45. Following the run, the Family Fun Zone will be open until noon.

Participants four and over must pay a $20 registration fee. There is no fee for the three-and-under set. The registration fee covers refreshments prior to the start of the event, access to the Family Fun Zone and a barbecue lunch (with choice of hamburger, hotdog or veggie burger) and a commemorative t-shirt.

Participants are encouraged to seek pledges to support Roger's House and prizes are available according to the amount of money raised. Pledge form may be downloaded (PDF) or you can raise money through the personal fundraising page that will be created when you register. There is no need to feel obligated to raise a certain amount of money.

If you're interested in joining the Kids in the Capital team, and I really hope you are, please register as a  new participant and then choose the “Team Member” option and search for Kids in the Capital. If you'd rather make a donation, that's an option, too. Let us know in the comments if you'll be able to join us. Barbara is mom to Reid, a girl who is 6 and ¾ (and takes the fractions seriously). A public servant by day she nurtures her love of writing through social media. She blogs at Tales of Life with a Girl on the Goand Losing it in Ottawa and offers shorter thoughts as @OttMomGo.

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Never underestimate the entertainment value of Pooh Sticks

by Shawna With the days heating up (I am sticking my fingers in my ears at mention of nighttime near-freezing temperatures this coming week - lalala, I can't hear you!),  my family is itching to get outside.  Yes, there are lots of fabulousknown parks we can target, but just as appealing is going for a walk or throwing helmets on the kids' little melons and stuffing them in our usedottawa.com-purchased bike trailer to explore.  After all, playgrounds might offer the kids a chance to run around, but the most activity I usually get there is pushing swings, or helicoptering around my almost-two-year-old to make sure he doesn't plummet through a gap in the play structure rails enroute to the slide.

We're new to our Barrhaven neighbourhood (as is everyone around us: we live in a brand-new development) so so far our forays have had us exploring close to home.  We have a path that loops around the water containment pond that's almost across the street.  If we're smart, we head to the left when we get there and branch out about halfway around.  We only return to the path do the second half when we know we're done with the walk.  You see, there's a bridge on that half, and we have learned that throwing pebbles into the water is an inexhaustible source of entertainment when you're a half-pint.  And throwing sticks on the upstream side and waiting for them to appear on the other?  You cannot imagine the suspense!  Especially because the current is extremely sluggish once the spring run-off has happened.  (Where did my stick go?  Why isn't it here yet?  Did it get stuck on something?  I'll get more rocks to throw while I'm waiting... Did I miss my stick while I was getting the rocks? Where is my stick? THERE IT IS!  LOOK MUMMA, LOOK!)  This game, by the way, was "invented" by Winnie the Pooh, hence the name "Pooh Sticks" (no, it's not a scatalogical reference).

Announcements that it is time to go home - or even just move on - are usually greeted with shrill screeches of displeasure, so it's often better to a) hit the bridge on the way home and mentally budget some time for lingering there, and b) have an activity at home which they want to do to lure them away.  My kids, for example, are big fans of the bath, so that's often how I transform their anger to eager acceptance of leaving.

When the decision has been made to go for a bike ride, my husband and I tow our wee mites around (okay, he tows, I just bike along unencumbered with him) until we've been going for a while and see a likely little spot, then we hop out and release our mini-Krakens.  Any small play structure or inviting path to explore will do.   Then the kids get free rein until it's time to pop them back in the trailer and head home.  Since they're usually getting cranky at this point, we quickly learned to proffer a supply of liquids and finger-food snacks to placate them on the way home.

Man, does it feel good to be doing something active for entertainment again.  For the kids, it's about the destination; for the adults it's about the journey, and this sort of activity covers both bases.  Win!

Shawna is mom to 4-year-old Sage and almost-2-year-old Harris.  She has  been writing online since 2003, and her latest project is a fledgling photography blog.  As a delicate hothouse flower, she is not winter's biggest fan and is expansively happy that spring is here!