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May 27, 2011

Parent Club Profiles | Sharon DeVellis

Name please.
Sharon. Or mummy. Sometimes honey. Also, Hey You! There was this one time I accidentally cut someone off and they yelled a name at me but I couldn’t really hear it because his window was closed. I’ll answer to all of them except whatever the window yeller said.

Your Website?
I have two! I’m Editor of and have a blog there called The Inside Scoop which has nothing to do with hysterectomies at all and another blog called Speed Skating Mom. That one’s simpler to figure out.
What's your specialty? (work-wise - you're probably pretty special at a lot of things)
If you asked my kids, they would say I specialize in being the meanest mom in the world but you can’t ask them because they’re both in a time out for not cleaning their rooms, so I would say writing. And editing. I’m really good at editing other people’s work. Mine? Not so much. There’s probably a typo in my answers somewhere. I blame it on my keyboard, the keys tend to stick because of all the salsa I’ve dripped on it. For awhile I couldn’t type Z’s which didn’t really affect me until I tried to write an article on Vajazzaling which *raises eyebrows and shakes head* you don’t even want to know. Whatever you do don’t google it. No, seriously, don’t do it.

Alright…don’t say I didn’t warn you.
What's your shameless plug? (books, blogs, bling, etc.)
I’m not even sure why you would think my hair isn’t real.
Best thing about your work:
I get to work from home and eat nachos and salsa. Plus every afternoon I have a dance party in my living room. I used to drink coffee but found this to be a much more effective way of perking myself up when I was hitting the mid-afternoon slump. I don’t understand why corporate environments frown on dance parties. I bet employee productivity would go up 700% if they were allowed to bust a move for a few minutes every day.

Also the potential for viral videos.

Parent or not a parent?
I didn’t know I got a choice. Was there some return policy I’m unaware of?
Share a typical Tuesday (really we want to hear how you "do it all")
My husband’s day off is Tuesday so I’m going to choose Wednesday because Tuesday is when I lay around in a robe all day while he feeds me peeled grapes. It’s also the day I take hallucinogens.
Typical Day: I want you to close your eyes and picture a hamster running on a wheel. Running, running, running, running but never actually getting anywhere. That’s pretty much it, only also add kids needing to be fed, school volunteering and rushing to do laundry when I realize there is no clean underwear for anyone.

And for the record, I never “do it all” – I prioritize and have learned to let go of the stuff that doesn’t really matter. If you ever come over to my house, don’t look at my baseboards.

Do you blog? (include your blog address)
Do you tweet?
Link to a post/portfolio/recipe piece you think shows your most supreme skills:
Seriously….I don’t think I have something that shows my supreme skills. I’m always working on improving my writing and I could go back and re-write everything I’ve ever written. If I ever hit a place where I think I’m supreme, I’ll stop trying so I’ll just stay at this place where I feel I suck and work my ass off to be better every day.
Wallflower or social butterfly?
Okay….Imma gonna break the news here. I’m a butterfly who’s ridiculously awkward in social situations. Like last week I was at this tweet-up and I walked over to someone, hugged him and told him how good it was to see him again, then continued to talk to him for the next 5 or 10 minutes until I finally realized he wasn’t the person I thought he was.

True story. This is why I drink.
Name 3 people you would like to meet-in-person from Twitter (add why so we can follow them too)

This is difficult because I’ve already met so many awesome people that I tweet with but I’d have to say:

@ApoloOhno: This is purely professional. My meeting him would have to do with learning tips and skills for speed skating and nothing to do with touching his rock hard thighs.

@eatingarainbow – Kia is funny, vibrant and is trying to teach people how to get their kids eat more fruits and vegetables. Plus she DMs me all the time telling me how great I am. Although she hasn’t been lately. You should follow her anyway.

@JNReynolds – Technically I’ve ‘met’ her in real life due to my ability to wear someone down until they finally say “OKAY! I’ll meet with you. Just please stop with the emails.” But I’d like to chat with her more – she’s brilliant, strong (I mean mentally – I haven’t challenged her to a wrestling match….yet) and funny.
Also, she never actually said for me to stop emailing her. She’s way too polite for that.

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May 26, 2011

Parent Club Review: Bayer's DIDGET


THE WHY: the first and only blood glucose meter for kids with diabetes that connects directly to Nintendo DSand DS Lite gaming systems. Bayer’s DIDGET meter adds an element of fun to the routine of checking blood glucose

Motivates – Kids with diabetes to test their blood glucose frequently and meet personalized glucose targets by rewarding them with points to unlock game levels.

Tracks – Trends and patterns in blood glucose levels over time, using Bayer’s trusted CONTOUR® meter platform, allowing for more consistent disease management


This is an awesome idea for a Nintendo game put out by Bayer. It gets kids to keep their blood glucose levels in check and encourages them to establish consistent daily habits. If they are having difficulty checking their blood glucose level they have the option to set up their didget meter to remind them to check their blood glucose levels thus accumulating points. The points they earn from testing can be used to unlock mini games and characters. It’s an incentive for kids to keep on a daily schedule and to become aware of the importance of maintaining an optimum blood glucose level. Although, points are awarded regardless and extra points are given if you are within your optimal range which if you are having a bad day is a great idea.

The Bayer Didget meter connects right to the Nintenedo DS. The blood glucose level is checked and points are awarded. Unfortunately, for younger kids and those new to Diabetes, the number is not transmitted and displayed on the Nintendo screen and therefore there is nothing said about the blood glucose number like good job or nice try, which might give kids a little extra boost of encouragement.

tweeks they could create something a little less gender specific.

Thanks Bayer for a great idea!

(Hands-on review by Parent Club reader w. a diabetic child)

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May 25, 2011

Champions for Healthy Kids | Life Made Delicious

This is a PC-PIA (Parent Club - Parent Information Announcement) that might be good to file away for your next charity committee meeting (trivia: I'm a long-time volunteer at a Children's Centre).

Champions for Healthy Kids is an initiative launched by General Mills with the goal of the providing a grants program to encourage communities across Canada to improve the eating and physical activity patterns of young people ages 2 - 20.
So far, twenty-five grants of up to $5000.00 have been awarded in Canada each year. 2011 is no exception. If you know someone who may want to be considered for a grant you can get more information here ->
Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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May 22, 2011

Funny Mummy | I Have My Eye On You

The Japanese have introduced a technological “advance” with the invention of the Lunchbox Communicator, a modified “Bento Box” which includes a video camera and screen, embedded in the box’s lid. The idea here is that the child can watch Mom preparing his/her lunch, just before digging in, and Mom can in return watch Junior eating it. As riveting as video footage of lunch making can be – quite surprised there isn’t a reality show called “Extreme Lunch Boxes” – and as appealing as it is to watch a child eat lunch, it begs the question: Why? Why? Why?

Making the decision as to what you will eat out of your school lunch is a major part of learning and growing as a child. Do you go for the apple Mom packed, or try to trade it for your best friend’s cupcake? Is that homemade chocolate chip cookie really worth two fruit roll ups? It’s sort of like a food version of “Let’s Make a Deal”, and the bartering and bargaining learned here can build a foundation for negotiating skills most kids will require later on in life (particularly if they become parents themselves). And with most schools now having supervisors watching for kids throwing out healthy food, trying to sneak it into a garbage can is a risky option compared to the good old trade.

But with every move being monitored by the video camera’s watchful eye, these poor children will likely be forced to eat what their Mama gave ‘em…and where’s the fun in that?

On the other side of the lens, I’m not sure why there’s thinking that kids would want to watch their parents prepare their lunches. Kids don’t want to watch their mothers do anything; particularly something as pedestrian as providing them with a basic life necessity. Do the manufacturers really think that the kids will appreciate the effort that Mom (or Dad) has put into the preparation of this meal? If anything, they’re more likely to be turned off when they realize that there are “raw” ingredients that go into making a sandwich, salad, or cooked entrée. “There’s cheese in my macaroni? I never knew that. You know I hate cheese Mom.” No, I think this new innovation has disaster written all over it. I don’t know about you, but watching my children eat breakfast and dinner at home is enough “food bonding” time for me. Also, I’m not entirely convinced my children wouldn’t capture an inappropriate body part on the camera, just for my viewing pleasure.

I mean, what’s next? Do we want to have two way video cameras on our children for other moments during their school day? Not sure I need to see how uncoordinated they are at gym, or that the pencil they use for homework is also an effective scratching implement for places that scratching shouldn’t be done in public. Let’s leave some things in the realm of the unknown, and unwatched, shall we?

Kathy Buckworth is an award winning humour writer, and feature writer for in their parenting, travel, and auto sites Visit and follow Kathy on Twitter @KathyBuckworth

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