Posts Categorized: Julie Cole

Tips for Hockey Moms: Surviving Hockey Season with Kids

Last winter I had five of my six kids playing hockey. Madness, I know.

Many have asked how I survive the driving, the expense, the equipment and – let’s face it – the hockey smell that consumes my home.

Other than using a lot of Febreze, here are my hockey season survival tips for busy moms and families:

1)      Put kids close in age on the same hockey team. I had one daughter play in a boy’s league and another daughter play up a league. This meant I had five kids in hockey but only on three teams. There are only so many hours one mother can spend in a cold arena.

2)      Play with a friend. My son was on the same team as his cousin, who happens to also be our neighbor. My sister also has half as many kids as me, so she was quite generous when it came to driving.

3)      Buy a mini-van. I know, I know. Some of you with only a couple of kids are hesitant to drive around in a mini-van, but it’s your ticket to effective car-pooling. You can fit in loads of team-mates and hockey bags. Sharing the driving is a sanity saver for busy families.

4)      Think twice about rep hockey. My kids are good hockey players but I have no NHL or Olympic hockey aspirations for them. They are well suited to play against kids in our very own town. Rep is fun, but it’s also expensive and takes families out of town for most weekends. If you go into it, have your eyes wide open. Hockey will be the number one priority for your family.

5)      Do a price analysis on kids hockey equipment. Looking at mid-range gear including sticks and skates, you’re looking at about $700.00. With so many kids playing hockey, it’s essential that we not lose equipment so I can hand it down to the next kid in line. I’m proud to say I’ve only bought one set of hockey gear a year and have not lost any equipment to date. My six year-old is wearing the same gear his 4 older siblings did when they were his size.

I don’t want you losing expensive hockey equipment either. So we’re giving away a set of our NEW Hockey Equipment Labels to one lucky person! Leave a comment letting us know what sports your kiddos are going to be participating in this fall season for a chance to win!

***Thanks for all your comments! This giveaway is now closed! Stay tuned for more!***

About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six. Back to school is around the corner – have you got your school labels yet? The Ultimate Back-to-School Combo is here! – See more at: http://blog.mabelslabels.com/index.php/author/julie-cole/#sthash.VycsD2HR.dpuf

Forget Christmas. Back-to-school season is truly the most wonderful time of the year!

Find our Handy-Dandy Back-to-School Checklists at your local Walmart Canada!

Don’t get me wrong – the slowed down pace of summer coupled with not having to pack school lunches makes summer pure joy. But, it’s been eight weeks now and it’s time to outsource the bickering siblings to our kind government for six hours a day. Like any change of pace, summer was refreshing but I welcome the routine and structure that the school year offers.

Back to school also makes me feel nostalgic. As I prep my six kids heading off to elementary school, memories of this season come flooding back. Without question, the very BEST part of back-to-school season is all those shiny new school supplies. We head off to the shops with our school supply lists in hand, eagerly filling our shopping cart.

Nothing says “fresh start” like crisp white paper, clean colourful binders, sharp pencils and backpacks that don’t have a squashed banana at the bottom. To me, new school supplies bring hope and promise. Hope for academic success in the next grade. And the promise of a more organized school year.

Having a good list is key. My kids range in age from Junior Kindergarten to Gr. 8, so there are very different supplies required. While everyone needs paper, pencils and erasers – when do calculators and geometry sets enter the scene? It’s best to have an understanding of what each kid needs before heading off into the mayhem of the shopping centers to face the other back-to-school shoppers.

In my many years of back-to-school planning, I’ve learned a thing or two. And now I love to share my tips and advice with other parents about the topic. So, although the long weekend is known as Labour Day, here at Mabel’s Labels, we celebrate “Label Day Weekend”. There’s a lot going on, including a Facebook & Twitter event on September 2nd, from 9pm-11pm where I’ll be chatting with other parents about back to school. (There might even be some giveaways…) Hope you can make it!

What memories do you have from your back to school days? Did you like the feeling of fresh paper under your fingertips, or was having a sniff of the liquid paper more your thing?

We have amazing prizing from Mabel’s Labels and Hilroy up for grabs during Label Day Weekend! Join us for the fun on Facebook, Twitter @mabelhood and Instagram @mabelslabels!

 

About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six. Back to school is around the corner – have you got your school labels yet? The Ultimate Back-to-School Combo is here!

Roughing it in the Bush

My family and I just had our annual week at the cottage. Now that my kids are getting older, cottage life has gotten easier. No longer do I wish for a baby gate around the lake and gone are the days of me following toddlers around the entire week.

But we certainly don’t have this safety thing all wrapped up just because they’re older. Older kids are more independent and mine like to go off exploring and visiting little friends around the lake. This year I felt like I had to keep an eye on my headcount. The thought of one of them getting lost in the woods makes me shudder.

So, I set up a few simple rules & tools that helped keep my stress levels down and my kiddos all accounted for:

  • If going exploring, don’t go alone. Always bring a sibling and if you happen to get lost, you STAY TOGETHER.
  • I reminded them of the “Hug a Tree” program. When a child is lost in the woods, they tend to wander, bringing them further away from home.  I advised my kids that the moment they feel lost, they find a comfortable tree and stay with it. Chances are, they are not far from the cottage and it’s easier to find a non-moving target!
  • My kids don’t have cell phones, but even if they did, we are so far in the bush that there’s no reception. We use walkie talkies, which are both fun and a great way to stay connected if there is a problem.
  • When you hear the bell, you head home. We have a big dinner bell that echoes through the lake. When I feel like I have not seen a child for a while, I ring the bell and they wander back. I count six little heads and send them back off to their adventures.
  • If a kid is going off exploring, have them wear a whistle around their neck. It’s a great way to locate them if they go off track, and whistles are good for scaring off the bears as well.

In the end, we survived the week and I managed to bring home the same six kids I left with.

Are you a family that camps or cottages? What measures do you put in place to ensure their safety in the bush?

 

About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six. Back to school is around the corner – have you got your school labels yet? The Ultimate Back-to-School Combo is here!

 

 

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