Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Health Canada Warns Canadians Safety Risks of Baby Nests

Health Canada is informing consumers of the suffocation risk associated with baby nests, also called baby pods.

A baby nest is a small, portable bed for an infant that has soft, padded sides. Many baby nests are advertised as multi-functional products that can be used as a sleep surface, changing mat and tummy time mat. Some baby nests are also promoted as being suitable for bed sharing, which involves placing the product in the caregiver's bed. A baby nest's soft, padded sides pose a suffocation risk.

What You Should Do
Babies should never be left unattended in baby nests, nor should the nests be placed inside another product, such as a crib, cradle, bassinet or playpen.

Baby nests should never be placed on standard beds, water beds, air mattresses, couches, futons or armchairs. Placing a baby nest on these soft and uneven surfaces can further increase the suffocation risk.

The safest place for a baby to sleep is on his or her back, alone in a crib, cradle or bassinet that meets current Canadian regulations.

When buying a product for a baby to sleep in, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • A baby's sleep surface should be firm and flat.
  • Products with soft surfaces or padding should be avoided.
  • Products with attached cords, strings or ribbons pose a strangulation risk.
  • Large openings or gaps in a baby's crib or other sleep environment are unsafe.

Health Canada does not recommend bed sharing or products that are intended to be placed in the adult bed, or attached to the adult bed, because of the risk of suffocation and entrapment. Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada recommend room sharing, using a crib, cradle or bassinet next to your bed, as a safe alternative to bed sharing. Research has shown that it is beneficial for babies to share a room with one or more caregivers, as it may reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Report Health or Safety Concerns
If you experience a health or safety problem with any product that you use, report it to Health Canada and to the manufacturer or the retailer where it was bought.

Media enquiries
Health Canada
(613) 957-2983

Public enquiries
(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709

What Health Canada is Doing
In Canada, products that are intended to provide sleeping accommodation for a baby are regulated by the Cribs, Cradles and Bassinets Regulations issued under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. This includes baby nests. If a crib, cradle or bassinet is found to be non-compliant with these regulations, Health Canada will take the necessary enforcement action.

Health Canada is reviewing the safety of baby nests and taking appropriate enforcement action with responsible companies. Health Canada is continuing to monitor new and emerging hazards with products related to a baby's sleeping environment.

Monday, August 28, 2017

UBT Book Review: They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel

For today’s review I chose a title that reminds me of the arrival of one of our furry family members.

“They all saw a cat” by Brendan Wenzel is a funny, thoughtful and smart story about how perspective shapes what we see. Beautifully illustrated and imaginative, this picture book shows kids and adults that even when things stay the same, they can look very different depending on your point of view or the circumstances surrounding it.

In the story the cat arrives, just like ours did:

“The cat walked through the world with its whiskers, ears, and paws...”, a familiar sentence that is repeated throughout the book, designed to keep kids engaged.

Our cat “Marvelo” came to us unexpectedly and under very funny circumstances. Nobody really expected him, nobody was prepared to have a cat in our house.

Each family member perceived and welcomed him in their own unique way.

My daughter showed her disappointment right away. She had dreamed of having a tiny kitten and not a giant four year old Maine Coon who reminded her of a raccoon more than her cherished vision of a playful and adorable fluff ball.

My son was in a state of shock and awe, continuously shaking his head in disbelief that I had spontaneously decided to open my heart to another furry friend in the house.

Then their was my husband. The cat took note of his territorial stance and classic male competitive streak and promptly hid from him.

Our dog was...

Questioning my loyalty?

“They all saw a cat" is thought provoking and a great conversation starter to talk to kids about their feelings but even more than that, it opens up a conversation about how they feel they are seen by others.

In this book many animals perceive the cat and in the end, the reader is left with an open ended question, a self reflection of the cat. It’s just a cat. Perceived differently by each animal in the story.

For older children I would go as far as using the book as a conflict resolution idea. Haven’t we all heard from a teary eyed kid: "X...said, she/he doesn’t want to be my friend anymore.” We’ve probably all asked our kids, “What happened?” and then learned about the different perspectives in their story.

If you want to dive even a little deeper then you’ll find that this story is also about science. You can discuss animals’ living environments, a bee’s eye sight, the food chain, senses…or train your memory by matching the animals and their feelings according to the story (listening skills!).

This story is a celebration of observation, self reflection, curiosity, empathy and imagination. It’s an appreciation of everyone and their contribution to a community.

Here are four conversation sparking questions that can create greater awareness around the concept of perception for your child:

How does your mom see you?
What about your teacher?
Has your behavior changed the way your friends look at you?
Why do you think this person acted a certain way?

Title: “They all saw a cat”
Author: Brendan Wenzel
Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 30, 2016)
Recommended for children ages 3 to 9
Hardcover: $23.99, available at
Categories: self awareness, perception, animal lover, science, listening skills, communication

Anne Uebbing is an Early Childhood Educator and a Kids’ Yoga Teacher living in Port Moody with her husband, two kids ages 9 and 11, a big black dog and one green eyed cat named Marvolo.
In 2011, Anne founded Kinder Books, a traveling children’s book store specializing in stories that reflect people's lives, fostering connection and empowerment. Anne supports authors and artists who create beautiful, challenging and encouraging messages with their work. Aside from her online store, you can find her at various community events where she likes to share her passion for unique children’s books with everyone.

Friday, August 18, 2017

It's the Coming: Fun at the PNE

The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) kicks off August 19th, 2017. The Fair is a fun way to spend your fleeting summer days. This event has always been a family must for as long as I can remember, and I am so excited to once again be able to share it with my ever-growing kiddo!

Dates & Times
The PNE runs from Saturday, August 19th through to Monday, September 4th, 2017
Open daily from 11:00 a.m. -11:00 p.m. Click here for the daily schedule and times

Lots of Ways to SaveThe price of enjoyment can quickly rise. Between, gate entrance, ride passes, and the ever delicious carnival food that, let’s be honest, is the real reason why we attend, it’s inevitable that you will leave with a lighter wallet. Click here for PNE promotions

Here are some ways to save at this year’s fair:

  • August 19th-20th:Show up between 11:00 – 1:00 showing some Canada 150 pride and enter the park for just $1.50! Proudly wear red, or a maple leaf to take advantage of this discounted admission. (Must be visible). The PNE is thanking our RCMP, Police Officers, Paramedics, Firefighters, and Military Personnel by offering free admission to them and a guest. Must present a valid First Responders service card at the gates.
  • August 22nd-29th: Gain free admission to the fair between 11:00 - 1:00. Please be advised, guests are allowed a hand stamp for later day re-entry after 1:00.
  • August 23rd: Receive $5 off admission with a valid BC library card
  • August 23rd & 30th: Love rides? Take advantage of Wild Ride Wednesdays with a ride pass BOGO. Promotion is only available on site on the applicable day.  

Planning on going after work? Get in for just $5 every night after 9:00. After 5:00, save on ride passes Tuesday-Thursday. As always, save on admission and ride passes by purchasing online or in select stores.

In addition to existing rides like the Coaster, Atmosphere, and the Musical Express, Playland has added three new rides: Flutterbye, Dizzy Drop, and Bug Whirled.

There are very few rides your child can go on if they are below 36 inches. To each their own to decide whether a ride pass or tickets will be worth it, I was recently at Playland with my 2 year old (37 inches) and although we were limited to the same ten or so rides, she absolutely LOVED it! She rode the Cool Cruzer at least 10 times, and loved the Honeybee Express as well as the new Flutterbye ride.

To simplify your experience, first head over to Guest Services to have your child measured. They will receive a colored wristband to know which rides they are able to go on, and will save time having to get measured at each one. Click here for listing of rides

What is the PNE without obnoxiously amazing carnival food! This year looks like the vendors have stepped up their game to bring some truly delicious looking creations. Of course there will be classics from Mini Donuts to Hunky Bill’s Pirogues to Poutine galore. As always there will be deep-fried everything, but the biggest trend difference from last year is the addition of BUGS! Why not tickle your taste buds with a Roasted BBQ Cricket Burger, or a Cricket Fries? Click here for listing of food vendors

One thing I am looking forward to tasting is a Prague Cone! It’s a delicious pastry that is served on the streets of Prague with some yummy looking ice cream. A rule when we go is that no one is allowed to order the same thing as someone else. That way we get to try a little bit of everything!

For the Kids 
In addition to the rides, the PNE offers fun activities and entertainment to enjoy with your family. Over in Rollerland, experience Toytopia! This interactive exhibit is home to some of the world’s favorite toys and arcade games. In addition to multiple play zones, you’ll get to see the world’s largest Etch A Sketch; however, if that’s not enough to grab your attention, I have one word for you: LEGO. Yup, Toytopia in addition to multiple play zones there will be displays, trains, and a LEGO building wall.

The 4H club will once again be hosting events inside the barn, as well as the always enjoyable farm life and animal interactions. In addition, kids will get to experience farm life at the Kids Discovery Farm exhibit.

Keeping in time with the bug theme is the Xtreme Bugs exhibit. Similar to last year’s Dinosaurs Alive, this interactive and educational experience will entice you with 19 animatronic models and 110 static bugs!

A Show for Everyone

Pacific Coliseum

My favorite Fair tradition is watching the President’s Choice Super Dogs. This year they are hosting Canada’s birthday celebration with Canadogs performing Canamazing tricks to some iCanic music! Daily show times at 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.

Be sure to also step into a world of magic and illusions at the UNBELIEVABLE Marquee Show. Admission is free, but if you want a seat closer to the magic, you are welcome to purchase a premium seat online or in person through the Pacific Coliseum box office. Nightly shows at 7:30 p.m. Click here for listing of live shows

Festival Park
In celebration of Canada 150 there will be a daily Kaleidoscope Parade beginning at 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. & 6 p.m. Nightly at 10:15 p.m., watch as the skies above the Park are illuminated in a Northern Lights display. This one is especially intriguing, as the sky will be lit using innovative drone technology.

Witness a royal Coronation first hand at this fun, musical family show. Come one, come all to the Princess Jubilation with shows beginning daily at 12:00 p.m.m, 3:30 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.

For the little adventurer, be sure to join Safari Adventure with Action Austin as he searches the safari to find the missing pink star diamond. This musical show begins at 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. daily.

Summer Night Concerts
While I’ll admit I am more into the Super Dogs, there are some pretty great acts scheduled this year.
Acts begin at 8:30 every night and there is a $20 option to purchase tickets. Click here for concert info.

August 19th – Mother Mother
August 20th – Billy Currington
August 22nd – The Pointer Sisters
August 23rd – High Valley
August 24th – ZZ Top
August 25th - Chicago
August 26th – Colin James
August 27th – Huey Lewis and the News
August 29th – Tom Cochrane with Red Rider
August 30th – The B-52s
August 31st – The Doobie Brothers
September 1st – Rick Springfield

September 2nd The Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo. iHeartRadio Beach Ball begins at 2:00 p.m. on September 3rd and 4th. Check online for ticket prices and to order.

Celebrate the end of summer with the Fair at the PNE. Win a house or a car, indulge in some amazing food, experience the thrill of the rides, dance under the stars, and have some good ole family fun!

Andrea, is teacher turned stay-at-home mom to a sassy, tiny tyrant. She resides in Port Moody and shares on her blog her passion for motherhood, marriage, food, health, kids and her home through humor, love and empowerment.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Bounce Safety: Trampoline and Bounce Castle Tips

Use of trampolines and bouncy castles (inflatable play structures) are becoming increasingly popular at people's homes. While children enjoy playing on these products, using them incorrectly can cause injuries.

Health Risks
Injuries from trampolines and bouncy castles range from bruises, sprains, and broken bones, to more serious injuries such as skull fractures. Most of the injuries result from improper or unsupervised use.

Injuries Can Occur When:

  • Colliding with another person
  • Bouncing or doing stunts
  • Falling or jumping off
  • Falling onto the trampoline's springs or frame

Tips for Safer Play

  • Always supervise children when they are using a trampoline or bouncy castle
  • Discourage children from performing somersaults and other stunts
  • Install trampolines or bouncy castles on level ground, away from structures, trees, and dangerous areas
  • Read and follow all manufacturer safety warnings

Bouncy Castles

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding the number of children allowed at one time
  • Install and anchor the castle according to the manufacturer's instructions so it doesn't move or turn over during play
  • These structures should not be used in high winds


  • Do not allow children under 6 years old on trampolines
  • Allow only one person on the trampoline at a time
  • Install a safety net or enclosure around the trampoline
Information provided by: Government of Canada

Monday, August 7, 2017

UBT Book Review: I'm dreaming of...written by Musqueam Coast Salish

For this week’s children’s book review, I chose a goodnight story perfect for our youngest readers. This title has a special place in my own heart as it reminds me of the days when I carried my daughter through the house saying goodnight to everything that was important to her, do you do that with your children?

We walked around noticing the treasures of our home, big and small, from the trees in our backyard, to Max, the goldfish, photos of grandparents hanging on the wall, the stars, even spiders showing up in our 100 year old house by the woods…As a family, we savoured this ritual of deep appreciation and connection for the things our family needed and the things that needed us.

I'm dreaming of...written by Musqueam, Coast Salish author and artist Melaney Gleeson-Lyall, is a celebration of connection and an ode to the world we live in. The language in the story is rich and poetic, the illustrations by various First Nation and Native artists are calming and beautiful.

This is a bedtime story but it is much more than that. It is an expression of gratitude towards all living things, a story to re-connect you and your loved ones after a busy day.

It is at this time of the day when our thoughts slow down and we can experience surroundings and feelings more deeply. The time when the flowers seem to impress with their most intense smells, the time when we listen to the wind dancing in the leaves, the time when we are grateful for another day on earth and for everything we are sharing it with.

On the cover a bear is resting in a tree, a feather is silently falling, the moon and the stars are brightening up the dark sky signaling the beginning of quiet time. In the distance we see houses where we live.

The book is dense and rich with the beauty and power of nature. In it your child will meet jumping salmon enjoying the rushing waters as their playground, soaring eagles, running deer in lush forests, robins singing a lullaby, rivers glowing like stars, ravens chatting about their day, whales swimming in the oceans with city lights in the distance, floating otters, moose walking through water in a fall like scene.

This is how we live.
This is our place.
A symbiosis of humans and nature as it is perceived by a child.

The final picture appears like fireworks celebrating the joy of life brought to the reader by a special messenger - the hummingbird alongside a big, calm moon announcing the end of the day.

Time to turn off the last light in town.

Often I hear from people that the art of storytelling seems to disappear in the hustle and bustle of life. First Nation storytellers like Melaney are keeping this tradition alive and it is a gift I truly appreciate it for myself and my children.

I remember the day I met Melaney Gleeson-Lyall at a First Nations conference. I actually didn’t meet her at first, I heard her singing the most beautiful song in a language I didn’t understand.

But I felt it.
I closed my eyes for a moment in this busy conference environment and suddenly I heard eagle sounds so real, I imagined a soaring eagle above us. What I learned from this experience was to just stop and listen sometimes.

As a teacher of Early Childhood Education I highly value that the publisher of this book, Native Northwest, supports Aboriginal Early Childhood Development programs with partial proceeds of this book.

I'm dreaming Melaney Gleeson-Lyall, Native Northwest Vancouver, 2017. Retail Price $10.00, board book, recommended for ages 0-4

Get your copy at:
Anne Uebbing is an Early Childhood Educator and a Kids’ Yoga Teacher living in Port Moody with her husband, two kids ages 9 and 11, a big black dog and one green eyed cat named Marvolo.
In 2011, Anne founded Kinder Books, a traveling children’s book store specializing in stories that reflect people's lives, fostering connection and empowerment. Anne supports authors and artists who create beautiful, challenging and encouraging messages with their work. Aside from her online store, you can find her at various community events where she likes to share her passion for unique children’s books with everyone.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Potty Training On-the-Go Tips

A family vacation can be a cause for concern for potty training parents – but it doesn’t have to be!
I’m currently in the midst of potty training, and as a travel and lifestyle blogger, my family spends its fair share of time on the road. Luckily, through some trial and error, and with help from the Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership, (#pottypartnership) I’ve learned some simple tips and tricks to better manage potty training on-the-go.

Stay consistent
The biggest mistake you can make is postponing or “taking a break” from potty training during travel.
It makes it much more difficult to reinforce commitment and consistency by switching back into
diapers out of convenience. So, no matter how far you’re traveling, keep at it.

Know and share your potty plan
Before you head out on the road, explain to all adults in the vehicle or on the trip what the plan will be
if you hear your child say “I have to go!” If you try to figure it out in the moment, you waste valuable
seconds/minutes which increases potential for an accident.

Consider extra protection
No matter how you’re traveling – plane, train or car – it’s so hard to plan for unexpected situations
like traffic, construction, turbulence or your child falling asleep. Using Pull-Ups® training pants during
travel will help keep your child comfortable and protected. They’re also ideal for on-the-go accidents
because they are the only training pant with easy open sides help reduce the mess (and you don’t need
to find somewhere to lie the child down to change him/her).

”Travel size” your potty
There are a lot of different travel potty options – you can even find seats that fold-up to fit into a
carry-on bag. No matter where you take washroom breaks with your child, you’ll want to have
something on hand that they can use comfortably.

Pack a potty-on-the-go package with your child
Get your child involved in this packing process. Pack the potty training essentials, including Pull-Ups®
Training Pants, toilet paper, wipes, bum spray (or a small water spray bottle) and a portable potty or
potty seat. When your child sees all of this coming together before the trip, it will remind them that
you’re all still committed to the process.

Communicate with your child
Before you leave, make sure you explain to your child that you’re still ready to support them in any way
if they need to use the potty. Show him/her your road trip supplies and continue to remind him/her to
speak up if they feel the urge.

Plan for extra stops and delays
When travelling by car, you’ll likely make quite a few more stops so your child can potty – sometimes
they’ll go and other times it might be a false alarm. Same goes for long travel days spent in airports. Be
sure to add on extra time to your travel day so there’s no pressure or rush.

Pack extra clothes and plastic bags
When travelling, opportunities for potty time might be out of your control, so accidents are more
likely to occur. I’ve run out of clothes before on flights when my child had an accident and it’s not fun.
Extra clothes (and plastic bags to store wet clothes) will ensure the travel experience is comfortable
for everyone.

Continue to celebrate each potty achievement with your child
If potty training stops being exciting for your child during travel, there’s potential for them to regress.
Pack stickers, snacks and other favorite rewards that are set aside specifically for potty training. Check
out for a wealth of incentive and rewards ideas along with on-the-go resources.

Angie Campanelli of Family Travel Guide, has partnered with Pull-ups to share her personal potty training on-the-go tips and advice, as well as some helpful resources available online. Checkout her blog at

Happy Summer Potty Training! Win a Pull-Ups® prize package value at $150.00. Enter to win at Good Luck!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Honda Celebration of Lights with the Kids

The time has come for one of Vancouver’s true signs of summer: Honda’s Celebration of Lights. Yup, it’s already that time of year when our sky is illuminated by a stunning display of fireworks timed perfectly with music. This past Saturday, Japan created a beautiful display, but don’t worry, there is more brilliance to come with the United Kingdom (Wednesday, August 2nd), and Canada celebrating 150 years on (Saturday, August 5th). Check out the Festival Guide for more info.

Some Things to Know

This 27th annual crowd-pleasing 25 minute event starts at 10:00 pm each night. Watch as fireworks explode off the barges in English Bay to make the skies come alive. You will want to keep tuned in to the accompanying music on LG 104.3 FM as this year holds a special musical treat for the ears.

In honor of Canada’s 150th birthday, each team’s display will incorporate an iconic Canadian song. Vancouverites were able to vote on the song options, which included classics from Leonard Cohen, Celine Dion, and the Tragically Hip as well as current chart toppers from Michael Buble, The Weeknd, and Justin Beiber to decide which hits would be featured.

After watching, don’t forget to vote for your favourite through the Honda Celebration of Light mobile app!

Where to Watch
English Bay Beach offers the best and most unobstructed view of the fireworks. Easily the busiest location to watch from, there are patios and ticketed areas available for reservations.

Despite the partially obstructed view, Second Beach offers a little more in the way of pre-event entertainment. The Park Stage will feature a line up of BC talent throughout the day. RE/MAX is offering a Family Zone open from 2:00pm-9:00pm. A great place to spend the day with family and friends before heading to the beach for the night lights.

My favorite place to enjoy the fireworks has always been Kitsilano Beach. It is a great way to spend the day as a family. You might enjoy swimming in the always fun Kits pool, or dipping your toes in the sea before sitting down to an unobstructed view of the night art.

Other places to watch the event include: Stanley Park Seawall (Facing English Bay of course), Burrard Bridge, Third Beach, Cypress Mountain, and Sunset Beach.

How to Get There

1. Public Transit: One of the preferred modes of transportation, event nights are scheduled to have more frequent Skytrain, Canada Line and bus services.

2. Biking: Many of the viewing spots can be easily accessed via bike lanes.

3. Driving: Though more convenient in theory, driving is the least recommended mode of transportation to these events. If you do plan on driving, be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to find parking as lots can fill up quickly. Also when leaving, remember to keep that blood pressure down. Remember to relax, be calm, be courteous, and most importantly be safe!

What to Bring

You don’t need anything but your eyes to enjoy this event; however, as the fireworks are timed to music, it is recommended to bring some type of device to tune in on.

A blanket to claim your spot, water to hydrate and sunscreen are great things to consider. Many of the locations will find a food truck or two, so bring money if you are likely to be tempted by whatever delicious creation is being delivered on four wheels!

When I go I like to pack a picnic, build some sand castles, laugh as someone gets buried to their shoulders. Bring a card game (my current favorite is Monopoly Deal), fly a kite, have a water relay. Blow up a beach ball and invite other families to join you in a game of volleyball. Also, it can get chilly by the water so you may want to consider wearing layers or a jacket depending on the forecast.

Remember, the Honda Celebration of Lights is just that—a celebration! Make it a day filled with memories, laughter and family fun in the sun! For information click here