Author Archives: Lara

About Lara

I help business owners understand how to use digital marketing effectively to reach their goals and make more money online. www.larawellman.com

We’ve moved!

Kids in the Capital has a new home! We are officially hosted at www.kidsinthecapital.com now!

Come over and see us and admire our new shiny look!  And make sure to change your RSS readers, your bookmarks, and your blog buttons to reflect the change to www.kidsinthecapital.com!

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September recap – what you might have missed

How is September already over?! I am certain we can only be halfway through and yet… here we are!  A lot did happen here in September, here’s what we talked about, in case you missed any of it!

Attractions for kids

We went all over the city, from the cottage right in our backyard at Mud Lake and exploring new corners of the city while trying out geocaching, to the Lumiere Festival, karters corners, and going on family bike rides.

We also found out why Chapters is a great place to take your kids, heard about the ruins at MacKenzie King Estate, visited the ByWard Market, an exhibition at the National Gallery and heard about putting your girls in hockey.

Books

We visited the Sunnyside library and also heard about getting your kids their own library cards.

Cooking

One mom told us all about how to make an amazing Thomas birthday cake and a trip to the apple orchard has people making apple crisp and apple sauce.

Fairs

Fall fair season is upon us.  We visited the Richmond and Spencerville Fairs.

Meetups

We are heading out to MacKenzie King Estate this Saturday morning – will you join us?

Out of town activities

We visited the Granby zoo and it sounds amazing!

Parenting Tips

This month we talked about the importance of being aware of kids with allergies and how to make it easier for them when you host an event.  We also talked about getting fussy babies to sleep, cutting your kids’ hair, and using cloth diapers.

Products

Figuring out what kind of lunchbox to buy isn’t an easy decision – here’s some help.

Social Media Mondays

We launched a new series called Social Media Mondays – here is the intro post.

Sponsors and Giveaways

This month we welcomed Inspired Photography to our list of sponsors and had giveaways from Spoiled Sugar and Inspired Photography (giveaway open until the end of the day Oct 1)

Services

There are so many great services in the city that cater to kids.  Take your kids to Two Monkeys Coffee and Tea House, glamping, to yoga, babynastics or throw them the perfect princess party!

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Social Media Monday – An introduction

by Lara

We don’t all find our way to social media in the same way or for the same reasons.  I like to think social media was invented for people like me, or maybe it was BY people like me.

I’ve been online since… before the internet.  I used to dial in to BBSes (Bulletin Board Systems) via modem to chat with other equally geeky people. I was online dating in 1993. I’ve still got my icq number memorized (anyone else remember the good ol’ “uh oh” days?) and I started my first blog in 2006.  I logged in to twitter for the first time in 2007 (I think) but it took me until 2009 to REALLY get involved there and I think I could only find 3-4 people I knew on Facebook when I first created my account.  Living my life online has always come quite naturally to me – I love it here.

Brie came to the game a bit later. Stumbling upon a giveaway blog one day in early 2009, she entered to win an Ergo baby carrier. (She lost) Realizing that she could get extra entries in giveaways if she had a blog of her own, she surprised herself and started Capital Mom. Even more surprising was how much she loved blogging. It was cheap therapy as she muddled through her days at home with a baby and two year old.  It also provided her with a community of other mothers who were muddling through their days just like she was. A reluctant blogger writing anonymously eventually became a blogging advocate who tries to convince every mother she knows to start her own blog as a sanity savor and record of her life.

True to her skeptical nature, Brie tried resisting Twitter. Afraid that she wouldn’t understand it, but worrying about all the fun she was missing, she finally joined in August 2009. Many tweets about potty training, children not listening to her entirely reasonable requests and her trips to the park followed. For some reason people found them interesting and started to follow her back. Brie may be a late adopter, but once she joins, she’s in.

Social media has a million and one uses. For business, for promotional purposes and for building friendships, to name but a few. For new parents it can be an amazing way to find support and community in what can be a lonely, discouraging and isolating time. For parents with kids of any age it can be a great way of feeling less alone when your kids does (insert thing you don’t want them to do here).

Brie and I found each other through social media. We read each other’s blogs and followed each other on Twitter until we met at a tweetup (twitter speak for a meetup). Within months, we were launching Kids in the Capital.

We believe social media has made an enormous difference in our parenting experience and we know there are many others out there who might be interested in taking part but would never know where to start.  As a result, we’ve decided to start a new series on Kids in the Capital called Social Media Mondays. We plan to walk you through Twitter, blogs, vlogs, etc – including the what, the how and the WHY.

We hope you’ll follow along and if you haven’t already, try out some of what we suggest. Let us know what you most want to hear about, because this is all about helping you to join the world of social media.  And if you are already a part of the social media world, we’d love to hear what a difference it’s made for you, the experiences you’ve had because of it, and what you think we should make sure to include!

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Driving around in my automobile

by Lara

I have a friend whose baby slept through the night – 7pm to 7am – from the time he was 6 weeks old. And he was all happy all the time during the day. I hated her.

Ok, I didn’t, but I was a wee bit jealous seeing as how I have had three babies and none of them slept more than about 1.5 hours at a time for the first three months and did A LOT of crying and not sleeping during the days too.

I had to come up with a lot of strategies to not lose my mind and to make sure my babies got some sleep.

Obviously every baby is different but I thought I would share some of what I did :

1) Baby wear.

This was more difficult to do with twins (although I did it and still do it a lot when they are fussy).  I have many types of carriers.  I really liked my long stretchywrap when they were little, and as they got older I really liked my mei teis.  I have a Kozy and a more structured carrier that I found easier to use to get babies up onto my back on my own called a Beco. I HIGHLY recommend just putting your baby on and bouncing around the house (or go for a walk) when they won’t sleep. SO effective!

Lara & Kiernan

2. White noise

White noise reminds babies of being in the womb. It calms them, it seemingly drugs them into a state of calm.  It was my saviour.

Some people use the kitchen fan, some the bathroom fan, some the vacuum – I used my hairdryer. For about a year both times, my hairdryer lived on the floor in the nursery set on cold.  In really trying moments it would be run on full blast and babies almost always calmed right down, often falling asleep. For us, only REALLY powerful hairdryers worked so it can’t be a cheapo low voltage one.

We still have a white noise machine going almost constantly in my daughter’s room.  Graco makes  a great one that is also a nightlight and you can plug an MP3 player into for other uses.

3. The car

Do you get drowsy in the car? I know that if I’m not driving I almost always start to pass out on long car rides. I think my parents programmed me for it, and I’m FINE with that.  I have attempted to do the same with my kids 🙂

When my babies wouldn’t sleep I often would say “fine, let’s go for a drive!” – with Kiernan it was often one of the few ways I could get a decent length nap.  Not eco-friendly, I know, but driving up and down the highway for an hour sometimes gave me the break we both so desperately needed.

With the twins, I explored back country roads and my husband and I are still known, on occasion, to take a REALLY fussy baby for a drive at night to get them to sleep when nothing else will work.

And I’ve seen a lot of the city and countryside during my drives!
90 : 365
32 : 365
25 : 365

Oh, and also a lot of this:

Tim Horton's

What do you do to get through the fussy crying periods?

Lara is mom to 3.5 year old Kiernan and 1 year old twins Quinn and Juliette. You can read her blog at Gliding Through Motherhood.

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Filed under infants, Parenting tips

Kids in the Capital meetup at MacKenzie King Estate

Looking forward to seeing everyone in the morning!  Let’s meet at 10am in the parking lot.  If you get there a bit late and we’ve gone in – we’ll start at the abbey ruins.  See you there!

What says Fall in the Capital like heading up into the Gatineau Hills to admire the Fall foliage? nothing! 😉

Given my successful outing to MacKenzie King Estate a few weeks ago, I know there is lots to do for kids, climbing around on the “ruins” and exploring the forest paths. Come join us for a fall meetup just as Fall Rhapsody begins.

Where: MacKenzie King Estate (expect it to take about 20 minutes from downtown to get there)

When: October 2, 10am

What: We’ll explore the ruins, maybe go for a walk in the woods, and have a picnic lunch on the grounds.

Will you join us?

Oh, and in case you didn’t see it, Brie and I were on the ATV morning show yesterday talking about Kids in the Capital – check out our spot! 🙂

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MacKenzie King Estate

by Lara

I have a friend whose parents have a photo on their wall that was taken when she was just wee… probably taken in the late 70s or early 80s.  It’s taken in this circular window with her and her brother’s face peeking on through.

I think that was my first introduction to the MacKenzie King Estate, and everyone who knows me knows that a great photo op will push a potential activity way up the list in my books!

I’ve been meaning to head out there for eons and this year I managed to convince Sara that we should haul the kids up into the Gatineau Hills on an impromptu trip to the Estate.

(Tip 1 – the map on their site makes it appear closer than it is.  It isn’t THAT far, but expect about half an hour from Ottawa)

The Estate was William Lyon Mackenzie King’s home and he donated the land to the government when he died. It is a fabulous place to go for high tea and to walk around the beautiful gardens. (you know, if you’re into that kind of thing 😉

We thought it was far more fun to explore  the ruins. The ruins? That’s right. MacKenzie King built ruins on his property, because he thought they would be a relaxing place to go and read and relax. Pretty nice eh?

And the ruins are where the photo ops begin. Or more accurately, where the climbing begins!

This monkey in training was fairly certain he could follow the experienced monkey up the wall

Those were all taken in the ruins of the “old abbey”.  There is also a fake Arc de Triomphe and a variety of other interesting features on the grounds.

Arc de Triomphe (mini)

Not sure what this was meant to be - we called it the juice bar. WAITERS, I'll have some apple juice please!

We decided we would then take a hike in the woods towards a waterfall. It’s a beautiful walk, but hilly and definitely good exercise for two mamas pushing double strollers!

(Tip 2: you can’t make it all the way down to the waterfall with a double stroller. Also, we hear it’s more of a trickle than a waterfall, at least at this time of year)

That being said, the boys had a blast running around in the forest, looking for streams and wild animals!

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A huge porcupine!
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This tunnel was “scary” so we had them pose looking scared before we went back in 🙂
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It was a great excursion and we can’t wait to go back when the Fall colours are in full swing. (Playdate? Saturday October 2? Who’s in?)

And that circular window? I didn’t get any fabulous photos in it I’m afraid because Kiernan was a bit too afraid to sit back there by himself.

But Sara got one I’m pretty smitten with 🙂

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(Tip 3 : Signage leaving the Estate is not clear – look at a map before you leave instead of relying on instinct. Or you might, you know, end up in Aylmer instead of downtown 🙂

(photos by both Sara and I)

Lara is mom to 3.5 year old Kiernan and 1 year old twins Quinn and Juliette. You can read her blog at Gliding Through Motherhood.

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Filed under Activities for kids

Inspired Photography

We have another fabulous sponsor to introduce to you!

Inspired photography logo

Inspired Photography is another great mom-run business.  Julie, mom of two,  is “inspired by my children, by photographs of my own childhood, by rosy cheeks, dimples, baby toes, and long eyelashes; by new beginnings, belly laughs, and hand holding; by bumblebees, sunsets, the wind, and wild flowers; and by lots more”.

I think Julie’s work speaks for itself in her ability to capture those fleeting moments and provide timeless memories.


I have been lucky enough to have been having Julie taking photos of my kids since they were first born and I can tell you from first hand experience that Julie does an excellent job. She puts you at ease and brings out the best in you and your family.

Kiernan and I - Christmas 2007

Quinn - 8 days old. (May 2009)

Julie specializes in maternity, newborn, children and family portraits and does sessions either in her home or on location in the Ottawa area.  She is very affordable and offers that extra personal touch that makes a photo shoot a pleasurable experience.

She is offering Kids in the Capital a special discount!  Mention that you heard about her from the site and get 25% off her sitting fee.  Head on over and check out her site now!

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