Encourage Your Camper’s Sense of Wonder at STEM Camp!

This Summer, STEM Camp provides learning experiences through fun and engaging programming that encourages campers to explore their sense of wonder. They have been running camps in our community for seven years, and have impacted the lives of over 20,000 youth across Ontario.

Children aged 5 to 13 are introduced to hands-on STEM activities that promote discovery, reward curiosity, and leave children amazed at what they can do!

STEM is based on four areas: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, but it is more than that. STEM is a way to inspire and encourage critical thinking skills. It is the process of figuring out solutions to problems. It can be a simple (or complex) paper plane!

Minecraft, Star Wars, Transformers & Superheroes are all coming back by popular demand this Summer.  It will be an amazing journey with loads of fun and learning.

Save 10% off all STEM Camps with the promo code: STEMmom

Register online at www.stemcamp.ca or call them at 519-475-6600.

Meet a Mom: Meet Simone

Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates and recognizes all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Our new “Meet a Mom” series continues, and this month we meet Simone.

MEET A MOM: MEET SIMONE

Hello, Simone! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. Can you tell us how many children you have, and their ages?
One son, and he is five months old.

Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?
I have a bachelor degree in business but I’ve always worked in sales in the industrial sector. I’ve been working with the welding industry for quite a while now, which is a sector dominated by males. Currently I’m the Manager of Marketing, Products and Sales Operations for the aluminum division of a worldwide welding company.

What do you like best about what you do?
I love fixing processes and delivering a perfect customer experience. I also enjoy developing new products.

What is your favourite part about being a mom?
So far it’s having this little human being looking at me with that smiling “I love you face”.

What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
The lack of sleep is tough in the beginning but I found the unpredictability of my day the worst. I like planning my days/weeks but this has caused some frustrations because I’m not able to do what I’ve planned, therefore, I had to let it go and play by ear.

Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
Running and watching TV.

Current fav show on Netflix?
Black Mirror.

You joined Mommy Connections in spring 2019: What did you enjoy most about the program?
I enjoyed the entire thing. It was very helpful to learn more about the subjects presented. The bonus was to make new friends that are going through the same situation.

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
Be active! Participate in events in your community. You are still a woman, not only a mom, and need to socialize to feel like you’re part of the world again.

Kids love Creative Summer Camps!

Get creative this summer! Try something new and register your little one for a Creative Summer Camp with The City of Mississauga – there are even camps for youth and teens, too!

The City of Mississauga offers a variety of fantastic creative programming within Digital Arts, Performing Arts, Visual and Literary Arts, and promotes a safe environment to create, build new skills, meet new friends and most importantly, have fun! With affordable camps taking place at your local Community Centres, Libraries, Meadowvale Theatre and Museums across the city, it’s super easy to pick the camp that’s convenient for you.

Children can learn to express themselves through the arts in half day and full day camps. Extended hours are available.

Hurry, spots are filling up quickly and Creative Camps start July 2nd.

Visit ActiveMississauga.ca to enroll your child in a Creative Camp today.

Meet a Mom: Meet Hughene

In the lead up to Mother’s Day, Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Over the past few days we have been sharing the stories of five amazing moms who recently participated in our Mom & Baby programs—Binny, Derrilynn, Amy, Asha and Hughene—as part of our new ongoing series, “Meet a Mom.”

Today is the final post in our Mother’s Day series.

MEET A MOM: MEET HUGHENE

Morning, Hughene. Thanks for chatting with us! Can you tell us how many children do you have, and their ages?
Georgia, age seven-months.

Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?
I have always had my own art appraisal business. For life my husband and I loved travelling, hosting dinner parties and enjoying time with friends and family.

What do you like best about what you do?
The freedom and flexibility and the constant challenge to make it all happen.

What is your favourite part about being a mom?
I love seeing my daughter grow and develop, and in particular laugh! She is really into swinging at the playground these days, which is super fun.

What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
Hmmm… that is tough! Everything. Your whole world is thrown upside down. I would say motherhood is like two steps forward and five back. Just when you “think” you have figured it out your baby changes. For me I would say having my own business and trying to maintain that while trying to be there for Georgia has been very difficult. Throw in extreme sleep deprivation and never getting a real break (especially if you are nursing) and there you have the whole struggle of balance!

Favourite thing to do in your downtime? (i.e. hobby, activity, etc.)
I am often working when I am not looking after Georgia, or trying to sleep, but my husband and I love playing Scrabble. I also love to read in the bath!

Current fav show on Netflix?
Chef’s Table, always. I love it!

You joined Mommy Connections in winter 2018: What did you enjoy most about the program?
I enjoyed listening to the different experts and learning from them, and also learning from the other moms. Motherhood is like a whole new career so you have to talk to as many moms as possible as you really can do a lot of “information gathering”!

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
Everyone finds motherhood really hard, probably the hardest thing I have ever done by a mile. It helps to keep it real and be honest with other women!

Meet a Mom: Meet Asha

In the lead up to Mother’s Day, Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Over the next few days we’ll be sharing the stories of five amazing moms who recently participated in our Mom & Baby programs—Binny, Derrilynn, Amy, Asha and Hughene—as part of our new ongoing series, “Meet a Mom.”

MEET A MOM: MEET ASHA

Hi Asha! We’d love to hear your thoughts about life after baby. How many kids do you have, and their ages?

I have one son. His name is Theo! He is five-months old.



Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?

Before becoming a mom, my full-time job was working with children with Autism. I am a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, and work as a Senior Autism Consultant at ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development.



I absolutely LOVE my job, and am so honoured to be able to work with these amazing children and families! In my role, we help to support children gain various different skills using Applied Behavioural Analysis based on their individual needs. These skills can include communication skills, social skills, daily-living skills or behaviour management. We work closely with families to determine what skills will be most beneficial for their child and their family, and work as a team to help achieve those goals. The outcomes are remarkable, and watching these children and families flourish is extremely rewarding! 



What do you like best about what you do?

For me, the best part about my job is seeing the incredible gains and achievements each child and family makes. It’s the little things, but those little things can make such a huge impact on the functioning of a family!



For example with one family, the child was completely non-verbal and had no communication system/method in place when he began with us. We were able to progress him to a communication system using an iPad, which allowed him to type out sentences and have the iPad read it out for him. 

One day at drop off, his dad pulled me aside to share a story. With tears in his eyes, he said that the night before his son had grabbed the iPad, came up to him, typed out a phrase and played it for him. The phrase said “Daddy I want a hug, I love you.” His dad said he had never been able to say anything like that before. But by teaching him and providing him with those communication tools, this little guy was able to express some pretty great things with his family! I definitely shed a tear when his dad shared this story.

It’s successes like these that make each and every day so rewarding, and keep me going back for more!

What is your favourite part about being a mom?
How do I pick just one thing!! I’d have to say right now, one of my favourite parts is watching Theo learn and develop. His curiosity is so intriguing to me, and seeing him change day-to-day is so incredible! I love that I am able to help foster that growth and development. I also absolutely LOVE the adoring looks he gives me and my husband – they melt my heart!



What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?

The thing that I have found the most challenging since becoming a mom is the lack of “me time.” I love spending every minute that I can with Theo, but I know I also need time to recharge so I can be the best mom possible for him! Knowing that I sometimes need to take a little step back, even if it’s just for 15 mins to go and have a shower, pop out to the grocery store, or even just scroll through Instagram (!) is really important, and I feel so much better when I take those quick little breaks. My husband and I work so well as a team, and really work hard at making sure neither of us are feeling burnt out or overwhelmed. You can’t pour from an empty cup! So really taking the time to identify that, and allowing myself to have those breaks has been huge.

Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
My favourite thing to do in my downtime is to bake or cook! Now that I have Theo, it can be a little more challenging to make those more elaborate meals or treats. When I do have the downtime, I find myself really enjoying diving back into that world and creating some really delicious meals! I even find myself trying out new recipes that I wouldn’t necessarily have tried out before; it’s some fun “me time” as well!

Current fav show on Netflix?
This is a tricky one! I have a few favourites on the go right now. I just finished binge watching Queer Eye! I love this show – literally cried during every episode! I love how they really help each individual during the episode become their true self. I am also really loving Our Planet. I’ve always been a fan of Planet Earth, Blue Planet, really anything narrated by David Attenborough! It’s such a beautifully shot documentary, and really puts into perspective the impact of climate change and what we can do to help preserve our planet.

You joined Mommy Connections in winter 2019: What did you enjoy most about the program?
What I enjoyed most was the opportunity to meet a group of really amazing moms that are all at roughly the same stage in motherhood that I was in. It can sometimes feel pretty isolating, and it definitely doesn’t help seeing only positive posts on social media (which can cause you to go down a rabbit hole of “why doesn’t my baby do that?” or “how is it possible that they have their life together so well?!”). Having this wonderful group of ladies was really grounding for me, and it was amazing being able to come to the classes each week and chat with the other moms about what was going on in our lives. 



Theo went through a pretty rough stage where he was waking up 8-10 times a night, and I felt like a zombie! I also found it easy to get down on myself, as I would see other people posting about how wonderfully their babies were sleeping. Being able to come to the Mommy Connections class and talk to the other moms about his sleep, know that Theo wasn’t the only one going through that phase, and getting some really amazing tips and advice was so incredible helpful. I wish the classes were longer than the eight-week block! That being said, we all still keep in touch, and meet up for lunches and play dates!

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
One thing that has been absolutely invaluable throughout my motherhood journey so far, is having that “mom tribe.” Finding other women that are going through what you are, and who understand where you are coming from is so helpful and validating. It can definitely become easy to spiral or let your thoughts run wild, but having that group of moms can keep you grounded. They are a great sounding board for ideas, thoughts, or just for venting! And the amazing thing is that they get it. By joining Mommy Connections, I was able to expand my “mom tribe” and now have more people that I can lean on and reach out to for support. Definitely, definitely, definitely find your tribe!

Meet a Mom: Meet Amy

In the lead up to Mother’s Day, Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Over the next few days we’ll be sharing the stories of five amazing moms who recently participated in our Mom & Baby programs—Binny, Derrilynn, Amy, Asha and Hughene—as part of our new ongoing series, “Meet a Mom.”

MEET A MOM: MEET AMY

Thanks for speaking with us today, Amy! Can you tell us how many kids you have, and their ages?
I have two children, the oldest is 4.5-years-old and the youngest is 5-months.

Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work? 
It’s hard to think about life before being a mom. I was a workaholic, spent a few summers travelling for work and spent any free time with friends.

I’ve been working for MLSE for the better part of the last nine years (save for time on mat leave). I started as an associate producer for live broadcast and worked on content for Leafs and TFC games. Part of my work with TFC was being on the road for a few seasons and helping broadcast road games. I’ve been to parts of the USA I never would have gone to otherwise and worked with some great people, so it was fun while it lasted.

I moved into the creative services department three years later as creative producer which transitioned to working on commercial and promotional content that could be seen in-arena, online and some TV commercial spots. Now, our broadcast and creative teams have joined forces and I help to oversee scheduling, timelines and budgets for the video production group.

What do you like best about what you do?  
We have marketing days and they’re notoriously my favourite days of the year. It’s a day where all players for a team are made available to us and it’s our best opportunity to get video and photo content ahead of a season starting. The content is used company-wide for multiple purposes. In some instances, it’s months of planning, working with various people to settle all of the details and a pretty big undertaking. I lose sleep the night before, but when it all comes together and runs smoothly it’s such a great day and environment to be in.

What is your favourite part about being a mom?  
My favourite part is really just watching them grow up, become people and learn so many new things. Something as simple as the baby learning to sit on her own makes me cheer for her, or when my four-year-old finally reads a new word without our help. I’m their biggest cheerleader and it makes me so proud of them every day they become more independent.

What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
Finding balance with work was a big challenge at first. That whole workaholic thing was difficult to acknowledge and let go of, but over time things levelled out and I let go of more work and held onto more family time.

Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
Play baseball in summer and catch up on some TV shows when baby naps.

Current fav show on Netflix?  
I’m a Riverdale fan.

You joined Mommy Connections in winter 2019: What did you enjoy most about the program? 
I loved meeting other moms. We still meet up or go to some programs together. I also found it really helpful talking to some of the guests about feeding, sleeping and health in general.

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
Ask for, and take, help when you need it. Parenting is HARD at every stage. If you have family or friends who are offering you a break, take it. Even if it’s just for an hour, kid free. It’s so easy to believe that you can do this without an army to help you, but the sense of relief, of being re-energized, of feeling supported, is something we all need and may not even realize. The best thing I did for myself was join Mommy Connections because I needed an army, and I needed support, and I didn’t know how to ask for it.

Meet a Mom: Meet Derrilynn

In the lead up to Mother’s Day, Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Over the next few days we’ll be sharing the stories of five amazing moms who recently participated in our Mom & Baby programs—Binny, Derrilynn, Amy, Asha and Hughene—as part of our new ongoing series, “Meet a Mom.”

MEET A MOM: MEET DERRILYNN

Hello, Derrilynn! Tell us about your family—how many children do you have, and their ages?
Two birth—Madison, 19, and Carter, 5-months—and two step-kids—Holli, who’s 21, and Jordyn who is also 19.

Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?
I started as a legal assistant in 1998 before Madison was born, then became a law clerk in 2007, and have been working in securities law since 2002.

What do you like best about what you do?
It’s always changing, both the laws and the requirements for filing.

What is your favourite part about being a mom?
The cuddles! Watching them grow into themselves, developing their own personalities and become independent.

What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
Definitely the lack of sleep this time round. At 20, I thought I was invincible. I now know I am not!

Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
Reading or baking.

Current fav show on Netflix?
Santa Clarita Diet.

You joined Mommy Connections in winter 2019: What did you enjoy most about the program?
I joined the program with a friend who’s son is 10 weeks older because she’d done the program with her daughter previously. I loved everything about this program, from the people who came in to chat, to the camaraderie with the other moms, all from different walks of life. Our facilitator, Jen, was amazing, with our meet-up questions each time, the ability to relate to other people in similar situations or with similar experiences, and the empathy for experiences of other moms stories (including my friend, whose own story I only knew half of).

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
Trust your gut… ask for support if you need it. Laugh as often as possible. Cry when you need to. Spend time alone when you can. Stay in touch with friends, new and old! Most of all, enjoy every day because they grow up faster than you think.

Oh, and they WILL crash your car when they’re older!

Meet a Mom: Meet Binny

In the lead up to Mother’s Day, Mommy Connections Mississauga celebrates all the moms in our community, the ones who are tirelessly raising the next gen of Canadians to be compassionate, smart, and fearless individuals.

Over the next few days we’ll be sharing the stories of five amazing moms who recently participated in our Mom & Baby programs—Binny, Derrilynn, Amy, Asha and Hughene—as part of our new ongoing series, “Meet a Mom.”

MEET A MOM: MEET BINNY

Hi Binny! Thanks for chatting with us today! Can you tell us how many children you have, and what are their ages?
One daughter who is eight-months-old.

Before becoming a mom, what did you do for life/work?
I worked in Social Services within local government, as a Project Manager.

What do you like best about what you do?
I enjoy delivering policy and projects within multidisciplinary groups and communities to directly impact the very folks for whom they are designed.

What is your favourite part about being a mom?
Seeing my daughter learn and try new things.

What have you found to be the biggest challenge since becoming a mom?
Definitely the lack of “me time” and the identity shift. I keep reminding myself that everything is a phase, the good times and the not so good times, which does help me get through the days. I have only now truly realized the sacrifices my parents made for me – and through my own parenting experience, how deeply they love me.

Favourite thing to do in your downtime?
I’ve been making an effort to read more books, and downloading them onto my phone in order to spend 15-20 minutes here and there reading, instead of scrolling social media!

Current fav show on Netflix?
Patriot Act

You joined Mommy Connections in spring 2019: What did you enjoy most about the program?
The range of topics we’ve covered and activities each week. I have enjoyed hearing from a variety of speakers and doing fun things that I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise, like salsa dancing with baby.

Anything else you’d like to share with other moms in our community?
I think connecting with other moms and giving/receiving support is vital throughout our motherhood journeys, particularly as this experience can be isolating. Being a part of Mommy Connections not only gets me out of the house weekly, but I’ve met an amazing group of moms from whom I’ve learned a lot. Whatever your outlet, get out of your home, and connect with real moms (and not just those on social media)—laugh, cry, commiserate and support one another throughout this journey.

Get Outside! Our Favourite Mississauga Parks to Take the Kids

Jack Darling Memorial Park – photo courtesy of Mississauga.ca

Spring has arrived, Easter and Earth Day are behind us, and the sun is shining! I just love this time of year, when the whole summer stretches ahead, filled with endless opportunities to spend more time outside. Where better to enjoy the outdoors than in one of the many glorious public parks to be found in the Mississauga area? We’re fortunate to be surrounded by so many nearby parks, making for an easy escape from the hustle-and-bustle of work- and home-life.

Mommy Connections Mississauga has rounded up our list of the top parks for families to explore in the months ahead. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

  • Jack Darling Memorial Park
    • No list of great Mississauga parks would be complete without this gem. From multiple spacious and well-equipped playgrounds, to the waterfront trail meandering along the lake, a splash pad, and the sand beaches dotting the shore, this is an all-time favourite lakeside destination for Mississauga families. A great off-leash park means you can bring the family dog, too.
  • Erindale Park
    • Erindale Park is massive–in fact, it’s the city’s largest park at 222 acres, located on Dundas St. near Mississauga Rd. The park is a popular destination for cycling, group picnics, and hiking, with many trails along the Credit River. While the playground is a little outdated, the spaciousness, river-side setting and great facilities more than make up for it.
  • Rattray Marsh Conservation Area
    • Every time I visit Rattray Marsh I feel like I’ve been transported from Mississauga to Muskoka. This park literally is a hidden gem, accessible only via Jack Darling Park in the east or on foot via residential neighbourhood side streets in the west. The park is a superb spot to teach children about wildlife, with birds, deer, and more calling the marsh home. A real highlight is the lovely raised boardwalk through the marsh and along Lake Ontario.
  • Meadowvale Conservation Area
    • This lovely conservation area in the north-end of the city offers picnic areas with BBQs, nature trails for hiking and cycling, and bird-watching. Bring some rods and let the little one’s try their hand at fishing.
  • The Riverwood Conservancy
    • Located in central Mississauga alongside the Credit River, Riverwood is a unique all-season destination of woodlands, meadows, ravines and wetlands. Stunning gardens, woodland trails, wildlife spotting, on-site heritage buildings, and gorgeous views will keep the little ones entertained.
  • Kariya Park
    • A peaceful haven in the middle of the city centre–literally, a stone’s throw away from Square One and the Civic Centre–Kariya Park was created to honour Mississauga’s twin-city relationship with Kariya, Japan. Families will love taking a trip to Japan for the day; the Japanese-inspired architecture, pond, zen-like gardens, and spring-time cherry blossoms will delight.
  • Lakefront Promenade Park
    • This park is amazing for families! A giant splash pad, playground and sandbox are highlights, and other amenities include a protected harbour with marinas, outdoor licensed patio and grill, boardwalks, picnic shelters, a beach area, cycling paths, and concession facilities.

Baby Sleep: Expert Tips for How to Manage “Spring Forward”

By Christine Pham and Akira Seuradge

When our clocks spring forward this Sunday, March 10 we can enjoy an extra hour of daylight. Most people require up to one week adjusting to the change in time and children are no exception. Try not to expect too much from children as they are adjusting to the new time.

The following tips may help children adjust faster, or at least help to facilitate the transition. Because we are losing an hour, this can be favourable for parents with little ones that are currently waking early.

How do you handle it?

  • For the first three days of the time adjustment, push naps and bedtime forward by 1/2 hour (i.e. if your child naps at 9:00 AM, then push the nap to 9:30 AM. If bedtime is at 7 pm, push it to 7:30 pm)
  • After three days return to the normal schedule

Realizing that your baby, infant or child might have sleeping issues that go beyond adjusting to time changes? Check out https://www.wee-sleep.com/programs/ for more information, or connect with us personally and get the conversation going on healthy sleep.

WeeSleep Consultants Christine Pham and Akira Seuradge service the Mississauga region for all Infant and Toddler Sleep needs. They provide customized sleep programs to help your family reach its sleep goals. Their methods are gentle and compassionate; and not only do they go the extra mile to ensure working with them is affordable, but they provide a holistic approach to sleep health to accommodate your parenting style. 


 

WeeSleep – Christine Pham (Mississauga South)
Email: christine.pham@wee-sleep.com
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/WeeSleepChristine/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/weesleep_christine

 

WeeSleep – Akira Seuradge (Mississauga North)
Email: akira.seuradge@wee-sleep.com
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/weesleepakira/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/weesleep_akira