Posts Categorized: Julie Cole

How to Light up your Backyard Party

Every year, we host a big Victoria Day fireworks party. For my American friends – this means that yes, we celebrate the birthday of a long dead English Queen, but we’ll take our holidays where we can get them. This past Victoria Day we hosted one hundred of our closest friends and neighbours (an annual event at our place) and even managed to relax and enjoy it ourselves!
With July just around the corner and firework celebrations preparing to light up the sky once again, I thought I’d share a few tips on how to host an easy (and epic) stress-free, fireworks party at your home.

Fireworks Party, Fireworks party ideas, How to put on a fireworks show, Firework celebrations

things that go BOOM in the night

Here are some tips on how to plan and enjoy the day:

1) Put a sign on your front door that says “go around to the back”. That way, you don’t have to clean. No one is going to walk through your house to get to the backyard. A party you don’t have to clean for is the best kind of party.

2) Have a few glasses of wine, because the first point is a bit of a lie. The time will come in the evening where there will be people in every single room of your house. But if you’ve had a couple of glasses of wine, you won’t care that they see that you actually have a very messy house.

3) Tell people to bring ONE firework with them, but theirs is the one to finish the show. That way everyone brings the most amazing firework they can find and the entire show is fantastic. No little junky disappointing fireworks at my party!

4) Tell people to bring a bag of chips. Then, make chips the only food you serve. The party is at night. Everyone has had dinner. Keep it simple.

5) Delegate to a dad. We’ve got a dad in the neighbourhood who is a bit of an amateur DJ. He puts together a playlist, brings his fancy speakers, and suddenly our backyard show becomes a “symphony of fire”.

6) Don’t clean up. I let the local raccoons take care of any food that is left out. I’m a bit like Cinderella that way. The next morning put your kids and any neighbourhood kids still hanging around on the job. They can clear up drink cans and perform a general yard tidy up. The kids had loads of friends over, and part of hosting a party is cleaning up after your guests.

Do you plan on blowing things up with firework celebrations in your backyard in July? Be sure to do it safely, and if you follow these simple tips, you’ll enjoy hosting a fun and stress-free event.

Making the Cut: Children Dealing with Disappointment

Making the Cut: Children Dealing with Disappointment

With such a big family, I’ve always told my kids that they can’t be on travelling sports teams. When my children have asked to try out for such teams, my response has consistently been, “There are enough kids in your own city that are good enough to play with you.”

But, I have this one kid who loves hockey and wants to play all the time. She noticed that her friends who play on “rep” teams get to be on the ice a lot more than she and her house league pals. Her perfect day would include no less than three games of hockey.

She began her campaign to get me to change my mind, and presented a plan that detailed how we could manage her hockey schedule if she was on a rep team. My wise kid had already recruited her aunt, who committed to be the “hockey parent”. My little hockey player even told us how she planned to contribute financially to offset the extra costs. She won. I allowed her to try out. Basically, she’s a really good kid who can be crafty at getting her way.

But when she got cut from the team I realized just how awesome she really is.

I had gone to one of the try-outs and it was pretty clear to me that everyone there was bigger, faster and stronger. She’s only been playing proper hockey for two years. She was on the ice with girls who were older and had several years of rep hockey under their belts.

The coach had told the girls he was looking for hard working hockey players. Since no one works harder out there than my kid, she figured it would earn her a spot on the team.

When the e-mail came saying she was cut from the team, she told me she’d just have to practice more for next year. I didn’t see tears, I didn’t hear, “it’s not fair,” and I certainly didn’t hear her say, “but I’m better than so-and-so.” She just wants to practice more.

So, I’m proud of my daughter for getting cut from the hockey team. Her actions tell me that no matter what happens, on or off the ice, that she is confident and resilient. Nothing she can do in a hockey game can make me more proud of how she responded to that disappointing news.

How has your child responded to disappointment? Have you had to deal with a similar situation in your house?

Tough Transitions

I’ve often heard parents talk about difficulties their kids have with transitions. Sometimes it’s a change in routine, a change in wardrobe or a change in living situations. I’ve never had big issues with my kids and transitions. Even my child with autism didn’t struggle too much in this department.

I used to think parents dealing with normal transitional stuff were exaggerating the difficulty of it. Until now. My youngest is one of these tough “transitioners.”

It’s not so much a change in routine that gets to him- it seems to be mostly about clothing. This makes seasonal changes quite dramatic. Now that spring is upon us, you would think he’d happily put away his bulky snow pants. No such luck. My little guy runs around outside all day on Sunday in shorts and a t-shirt. Come Monday morning, he’s searching for his snow pants. Then there is his favourite winter hat. He would rather have his ears amputated due to frost bite than wear a different hat. This made for some tricky situations if that special hat got misplaced on very cold days.

The funniest quirk has to do with his school uniform. He loves his school uniform and happily wears it every day. However, if they have a special day when they can wear regular clothes, he refuses to participate. On Valentine’s Day, there was a school wide competition to see which class wore the most red clothing. This is how the day played out:

- He refused to wear red and went to school in his uniform;
- He came home and reported that he was the only child not wearing red;
- He was furious that his class didn’t win the contest for wearing the most red.

Yes, he was the reason his class didn’t win, and yet it angered him.

This weekend, my little tough transitioner turned five. He happily accepted a party and presents, but was not happy about giving up the age of four. My little man appeared to have an acute case of “Peter Pan Syndrome”. When people ask him his age, his response is “still four” and we were only allowed to put four candles on his birthday cake. I figure by the time he gets used to being five- years -old, he’ll be six.

Have you had a child who had difficulty with transitions? What ways have you found to help your child deal with change? Was it something that was outgrown?

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