My mom and dad took me to Science World

My mom and dad took me to science world. I lerned how baby’s grow. They start super tiny and get bigger and bigger. By the 36th week the baby is big enuf.

We saw a lemer moove. Lemers live in Madagascar. They are in truble. Because peopl birne their forests.
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I climbed a wall. A rock wall that moved a lot.
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I played Mindball wif my Dad. We used our brains to move a ball.
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I made electrisity in a ball go on my hand.
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I pulled a rope wif my wate. I went to the top!
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I went in a bevers den and I saw a dead bever in the den. I saw a dinosor skeletin. I put on antlers.
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I had lots of fun there!
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This post was written entirely by Q about our family fun day at Science World.

Dairy Farmers of Canada show milk’s health benefits in a captivating way

Milk and milk products like yogurt and cheese are things that most of us have been eating all of our lives. I have always known that it was good for me – my grandparents were lifelong dairy farmers, after all, but I never really thought about how, beyond the benefits of calcium for bones. Now that I’m a mum, I’m trying to learn about the additional benefits that foods have for our bodies to make sure that I am giving my boy what he needs for his growing body.

Dairy Farmers of Canada wanted to highlight all the surprising ways milk benefits health – like how it could help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

So they made this beautiful and unexpected video to promote the benefits of milk and their free Get Enough Helper App. The video – which features a stunning interplay between aerialists on long silk ribbons – embodies the ways that milk can help untangle the blue ribbon of colorectal cancer. The App helps people track what they eat based on Canada’s Food Guide, and each day someone uses the App, Dairy Farmers of Canada donates $1 on their behalf to the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada, as well as other worthy causes.

There’s intensity and strength and a bit of drama. It’s all metaphorical, of course. But the video is striking and does a great job of showing us that there’s a lot more to milk than we realize.

Check it out!

As a former aerialist, I love the representation with the silks. I think there is such beauty in this art and it can be used to represent so many different things. As someone who lost her dad only a few months ago to a form of colorectal cancer, I think that it is fantastic that can help you and your family keep track what you eat, and at the same time help raise money for the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. I am a yogurt and cheese girl, myself, but really, I love it all. What is your favourite kind of dairy?

All Mascara is not created equal – a review and giveaway!!!

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Nowadays, there are tons of books filled with inspirational messages, ways to improve yourself and your outlook, and how to be happy. It can be hard to decide which book is right for you. If you are anything like me, your reading time can be limited to a few minutes here or there during the day, maybe in the bathroom or while you are waiting for someone to finish something. I always like to try and find a bit of time before bed too, to let my mind focus on something positive or happy, and just allow myself that chill time before bed.

All Mascara is not created equal” is great book filled with little tips and tricks that the author, Jessica Lamdmon has learned along the way. Here is a little excerpt from the introduction of the book:

“Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media are sending mixed messages about the way we, as women, are to live our lives. Catch phrases like “YOLO” and “swag” are distorting the ideals that we should strive for. Women have more to contribute to society than being sexy, and we certainly shouldn’t attach our worth to how many likes we get on a selfie. As a mother to a tween daughter and a teenage son, I have learned a few things about life along the way. This book is full of valuable tips or bits of wisdom that I have learned, or heard from my parents, while growing up. Some of them are quite spiritual and have helped me through some difficult times. Some of them are practical and certainly would have helped me to avoid some major overreactions to the silliest of things. Some are just plain amusing. They stem from those eureka moments where I was like “That is so true!” Like, who knew that the thread count of sheets really does make a difference? This is not just another book where a mother and her daughter walk hand-in-hand in the garden as the mom passes along life lessons. This book is more of a woman-to-woman guidebook for life.

Now about mascara…how many of you look at celebrities and are like, there is no way their lashes can be that full! You’ve tried to layer coat after coat with your mascara and wonder why your lashes still look like, well, your lashes. You think, am I applying this wrong? Maybe I need a special brush? No. All mascara is NOT created equal! This was news to me. I don’t care how much your current mascara costs, it still might not be good. There ARE mascaras that are superior to others. You just need to find the right one.

So, as you read through the pages of this book, grab a cup of tea, and let these tips sink in. Don’t get distracted by what society is trying to tell you to become; walk in the plan God has for you. You are God’s beautiful creation, and He has a wonderful plan for your life.”

I will be honest and say that when I was first offered the chance to review this book, I hesitated. I consider myself to be spiritual, but am not religious in the sense that I don’t attend a church at the moment and I wondered if the book would speak to me. I figured that I could always use what connected and discard the rest, so I decided to be a part of the blog tour.

I actually really enjoyed the book. It had so many great tips, things I wish I had thought of first, and a few that made me say “woah, that is awesome!” The book is written in bite-sized pieces, if you will, so is perfect to pick up for a minute or two in between other activities, or to just flip through to find something that grabs at you in that second. It would be a great gift to give a friend just because, or someone you know could use a wee pick me up.

A few of my favourite quotes from the book:
“You should have one sweatpants day a week.”
“Big girls do cry. This doesn’t show weakness, it just shows that you are human.”
“Don’t be a heartbreaker. Remember that is someone’s baby boy.”
“Don’t post anything on social media you don’t want seen on the front page of Yahoo”
“You are responsible for how people treat you. How you react to being treated poorly will determine if this will be a repeat event.”
“It’s okay to be different. Just think how popular the nightly specials are.”
“Being curvy is not a bad thing despite what Hollywood says.”
“Sorry with a “but” isn’t a real apology.”
“Don’t let the world define who you are.”

This book would be amazing as a gift for anyone in your life, from teenagers to seniors. God and religion are prominent themes in many of the quotes but if you aren’t religious, you can simply choose to skip over them and find the ones that you like. That is the beauty of this format. I would love to share more quotes with you, but I want to keep some of the magic for you to find too.

Since we could all use some fun, I am really excited to be able to give away a copy of this book for one lucky reader. With Easter and grad time coming up, it would make a great gift for someone in your life, or an awesome gift to you from you. If you want to get a copy of the book now, you can find it on Amazon or at Jessica’s website now.

To enter, you just need to leave me a comment with your best tidbit of life advice. Then click on the Rafflecopter form to let me know that you did it, and to get some bonus entries. If you have any problems, let me know and I will try to help you out. The giveaway is open to readers in both the US and Canada

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Fun with reptiles

We are part way through the first week of Spring Break here and it’s been going quite well, I’d say. Today Q and I headed off for an adventure with reptiles along with his friend Obz, her little brother Coen and her mom A.

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A few weeks ago at the Pet Lovers show, Q and I had visited the booth of Mike the Reptile Guy. He had a big tortoise, some snakes and a few lizards. Q got to touch a snake and a lizard and was quite interested in them. He loves learning about animals and reptiles, and was especially fascinated by the monitor lizard.

We had visited the Reptile Guy centre a couple of years ago with Q and he quite liked it, but it had sort of slipped to the back of my mind as a place to go. When my friend A mentioned that she had bought a groupon for the Reptile Guy centre, and would we like to join them, we jumped at the chance.

We arrived shortly after it opened and there were already enough people to form two tour groups. Our group sat on the bench in front of the turtle pond and started off learning about snakes. All told, I think we learned about probably 8 or so different kinds of snakes, from the US, Australia and Africa. There were pied pythons, boa constrictors, a sand snake and even a mimic snake. We learned that if “red touches black, you’re ok Jack, but if red touches yellow, you’re a dead fellow.” We learned about their habitats, what they eat, and where they live. Each time a new snake was brought out, the kids were given a chance to hold or touch them. I wondered if Q would want to hold them, and he surprised me by holding or touching each one that was brought out. I was really proud of him.

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Obz didn’t want to have anything to do with the snakes (check out the first picture above!), aside from looking at them in their terrariums. She did like holding the hedgehog though!

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A held one, and although Coen wasn’t quite sure about it, he didn’t get too scared either.

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I even surprised myself by holding one! Actually, Q volunteered me and I I didn’t want to look like a chicken, so I took it. But shhhhhh, don’t tell.

Next up were the turtles. Q was very excited to get to hold a couple of different ones.
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Did you know that the red and yellow eared slider turtles that you used to be able to get from the pet stores are actually a really invasive species and are a huge threat to our own native turtles? People would buy them when they were small and cute and when they got too big, would just release them into a nearby pond. They are illegal now, and are a serious problem. There are also a number of other different kinds of turtles to see, including a snapping turtle, a large tortoise, an alligator turtle and a soft shelled turtle to name a few.

Do you know how to tell if a turtle is a male or female? Male turtles have long claws and females have short stubby ones. Did you know that chameleons cannot actually change colours like they often depict on TV? They actually change their shade to be darker or lighter depending on their surroundings. They also have crazy eyes. File those ones away for your next trivia night.

There are some lizards there that were rescued from people who couldn’t or wouldn’t care for them properly. Some have amputated legs or health conditions which were not treated appropriately, leaving the animal with a permanent condition. They have all been nursed back to health by Mike and his team and are now well cared for. We got to hold a little chameleon who had a twisted leg from a bone disease but is still able to get around, just not quite as quick as he would have before.

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Most of the animals there are rescued or surrendered and without help would likely have suffered or died. So many of these reptiles have sad stories of mistreatment or neglect before they arrived at the Reptile Guy facility, and I, for one, am thankful that there is a place for them like this.

Personally, I believe that it is hard to feel connected to or passionate about something that you only see on the screen of a computer or on TV or in the pages of a book. Having the opportunity to see and feel and hold these creatures gives you a sense of what they really are, and gives you an opportunity to get a better understanding of why they are important. I will be honest and say that I’m not a huge fan of the snake, but having the opportunity to hold and touch some for myself has helped to break some of the stereotypes that I may have held about them in my head. A kid who has had the chance to hold a snake is going to be a lot more aware of how to behave if they ever encounter one in the wild, and is a lot less likely to be that kid who throws rocks at them, tries to squash them with a rock or tries to poke it with a stick.

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There are more creatures to see and touch, although we didn’t get the chance to see them before we left. Our tour guide seemed a bit disappointed that we left before we got to see the animals in the “dark room” which include a tarantula and scorpion, among others. I guess that will have to wait until the next time we visit. I feel like even though we were there for over an hour, there is still much to see and learn about.

If you are looking for something different, but still fun and educational, I would recommend checking out The Reptile guy facility. It’s certainly an affordable outing for a family, with a family pass for 4 being around $25. If you are interested in helping out with the conservation efforts of the team, they are always looking for donations and have an reptile adoption program like you find in many zoos and aquariums where for a set donation amount, you can get a certificate or picture of your chosen reptile. The staff there are very friendly and knowledgable and the facility is open most days. Check the website for more hours and information.

If you do go, I’d love to see your pictures! I challenge you to hold or touch something you wouldn’t normally, and let me know how it goes. You just might surprise yourself!

You can find the Reptile Guy facility at Unit #7 – 34366 Forrest Terrace,
Abbotsford BC.

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The power of touch

I have known for a really long time how the power of touch can affect people, how a hug or a bit of contact can soothe, or calm, or provide comfort. Few things are more healing than the touch of someone you care about.

When Q was born, he was extremely tiny. He weighed less than 5 lbs and was in a special NICU incubator for 10 days. I wasn’t able to hold him until the day after he was born, but his dad was able to put an arm through and let Q grasp his finger with his tiny hand.
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Once I was able to hold him, the nurses encouraged me to do kangaroo care with him. They handed me this tiny babe, smaller than anyone I’d ever seen, attached to monitors and tubes and an IV, wrapped in a blanket and showed me how to give him the skin to skin contact that is so vital to preemies. We would sit and rock, and nurse and cuddle, holding him close to my chest, feeling my heartbeat and strengthening our bond.

As a baby and toddler, we would do baby massage before bed, just a bit of soothing touch to calm him and ground me, a few moments to reconnect. As he has grown, that need for closeness and touch has remained and he is an affectionate kid who will often rub my back, stroke my hair, or cuddle up with his head on my chest. Research has shown that touch and massage are extremely important for growth, development and learning in babies. I would take that a step further and say that it plays an important part for children, teens and adults as well.

This video demonstrates just how critical touch can be, and what kind of a difference it can make. Be warned, though, you may want to have some tissues handy, I wished I had!

The Johnson’s brand believes that all babies can benefit from the power of touch, and I wholeheartedly agree. For more stories and pictures, you can find them on Instagram and Facebook.

I was compensated for sharing this video with you, but it is something that I feel strongly about and feel is an important message to share. I also truly believe that it is of intetest, or I wouldn’t share it with you. The story shared in the post and opinions are mine, though.