Issuu on Google+

Mothe BIRTH•OF•A

CANADA’S ECO FAMILY & LIFESTYLE GUIDE • DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

TOP TOYS m 2 0 1 1m

mGifts that Give Back mFamily Friendly Hot Spots! mHealthy Twist- Holiday Recipes mHoliday’s Best Music


18

Mothe BIRTH•OF•A

www.advancedmri.ca Relax... We encourage your family to be with you for your procedure.

7

FRESH FINDS The Coolest Eco-Product EVER!

8

Southern Alberta Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine

•The entire family is brought in from the beginning of the exam to view the scan. •There are patient viewing monitors in each room.

We are committed to providing excellent diagnostic

• We provide the most detailed

ultrasound service for women. Our clinical team

ultrasound of your baby while still

delivers high quality health care with professionalism

including time for show and tell with

TIS THE SEASON for Getting .. Or, Is it Giving?? Clare’s take on her personal

and sensitivity.

pictures available for purchase. • EFW Radiology operates the only Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinics in Calgary, with on site perinatologists and nurses.

2 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

Christmas tribulations!

18

39

HOLIDAY FAMILY FASHION Everything from cozy Christmas

HOLIDAY’S BEST MUSIC In our humble option - these are

EARLY CHILDHOOD TOOTH morning wear to fancy and frilly! DECAY Straight from the Pediatric Dentists’ mouth - how to keep your children 23 COME FLY AWAY! healthy from top to bottom. Fun & Family Friendly trips from

8

TOP TOYS 2011 Find out what we list as our Top

36

12

14

28

gifts for 2011 Christmas!

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS With a Healthy Twist- recipes that our Dietician has tweaked and tuned.

GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK Want local gift ideas with a little more heart & thought?

CONTENTS

great CD’s!

WestJet!

26

23

15 REASONS TO be Thankful your are pregnant this Holiday Season A tongue-in-cheek perspective on Pregnancy by Dear Doula!

BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

3


EDITOR’S LETTER

BIRTH OF A MOTHER® is published bi-monthly by bo bébé fine baby products Ltd. and is printed in Calgary, AB. Birth of a Mother chooses to represent many angles of many controversial topics and by no means should any article be misconstrued as the sole beliefs of the magazine and it’s affiliates. We are probreastfeeding, but understand some mothers cannot nurse for health or personal reasons. Therefore, when options in the form of supplements and formula are required, we willingly provide such information to our readers. Birth Of A Mother receives unsolicited letters, materials, articles and promotional items from time to time. We may choose to reproduce, store, archive or publish these items in whole or in part without remuneration or compensation of any sort. Non-remuneration does not pertain to staff writers, contributors or freelance workers. Birth of a Mother cannot take responsibility for the loss of any photos, articles, or materials during the submission process.

Xxxxxxxxx ...

LEAH CHEVALLIER (Photo: right-husband Yannick Chevallier)

Water is definitely a hot topic these days, whether about drying sources, forms of conservation, not to mention the bottled water controversy. When we stop to think about how much water we use on a daily, weekly, monthly basis; it is shocking and a relief to know there are so many organizations and non-profits out there working hard to educate the mass market about “wise water use”. As a family with 3 busy kids and avid foodie in the kitchen (that’s me!), we do consume more than our fair share for sure. But over the years we have tried to teach ourselves to consume wisely and not wastefully. Yes, there are times when the teenager has to be reminded not to take 20 minute shower (and that is not purely for consumption; it is because there is a lineup of other people waiting for hot water!) and thankfully, stainless water bottles have become a standard norm and make for a “healthier-than-juice” alternative in the lunch kits. It took awhile for the kids to get used to the switch but know they don’t know any different; and our diet is healthier for not being overconsumers of sugary juice boxes! We also took it one step further and installed rain barrels in our yard about 4 years ago. In the spring and summer, we use these as water sources for hand watering the flowers, potted plants and our raised vegetable garden in the backyard. In fact my 8 year old gets a kick out of checking to see if “we need it to rain” when they start to run a bit dry.

4 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

In the kitchen, we have a large pitcher near the sink that sits there day in and day out as a “catch basin” for unused water. After meals, if we have had water at the table, instead of pouring it mindlessly in the sink, it goes into the pitcher. Then it gets used for filling the dogs water dishes or watering the indoor house plants and window sill herb garden.

Birth Of A Mother 86 Crowfoot Tce NW Calgary, AB T3G 4J8 Email: coolstuff@birthofamother.com Fax: 1-403-518-4505 SLEEP_BofMAD7.025x4.#74B22B.pdf

Are we the image of a perfect green family? Not at all! But we are doing what we can little by little. Each time we add a new planet friendly habit, we make sure it sticks before adding a new one.

EDITOR Leah Chevallier DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Tracy B. Loeppky PUBLISHER bo bébé lifestyle®, a division of bo bébé fine baby products Ltd., Calgary. AB. DESIGN/LAYOUT T.&B. Loeppky ARTICLE EDITS Andrea Wheaton PHOTOGRAPHY LifePhoto Studios (studio work) Heather Ward Photography (on site) SALES INQUIRIES CORPORATE & NATIONAL: sales@birthofamother.com SALES REP: tracy@birthofamother.com

10/28/11

We proudly offer free advertising for all non-profit organizations, please 11:08:39 AM the Sales Rep in your area for contact more information.

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

Birth Of A Mother is an eco-focused, family magazine geared at educating new and expectant families as they navigate pregnancy, birth, parenthood and beyond. We aim to encourage self-expression, learning and positive parenting through choices, options & local resources; as well as planet friendly products! www.birthofamother.com

So as you read our water article, stop and think of ways you can teach your kids to conserve this precious, natural resource that we all take completely for granted in this country!

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

5


THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS

CLARE ADAMS {THE LIGHTER SIDE} Clare Adams likes to celebrate the lighter side of family life while facing the same trials and tribulations as other parents (picky eaters, sleep deprivation, poop, etc). Seeing the humour in day-to-day life with kids and being a good parent is mainly about enjoying your kids and all the adventures that come with them. Originally from the UK, she now works from home running her own media & Pr Company, Bigger Bubbles Marketing, and writing for various publications. She is also a ‘hands-on’ board member of the gaby davis foundation, raising funds to provide financial assistance to families affected by childhood cancer.

FRESH FINDS

AW ES A OM L E R E T

ECO-PRODUCT

ORIGINAL FOOD STORAGE w w w. a b e e g o . c a JANET DUCOMMUN {DEAR DOULA} Janet Ducommun is a wife, mommy to 4 children, DONA certified birth doula, Lamaze trained Child Birth Educator, student midwife and Normal Birth Advocate. A woman of strong faith, she believes becoming a midwife is her life’s calling. When she is not studying or greeting a new baby she enjoys camping and hiking with her family.

SARAH REMMER {DIET & NUTRITION} Sarah Remmer is a Registered Dietitian and proud owner of Nutrio Nutrition and Wellness Consulting in Calgary, Alberta. Her favourite areas to counsel in are Women’s Health and prenatal nutrition. She has a true passion for nutrition, wellness, and fitness and feels very fortunate to be able to share her passion and knowledge with her clients and the public. She believes in achieving overall health realistically through a balanced lifestyle.

Created in Victoria, B.C. by fellow Canadian Toni Desrosiers, Abeego is natural, reusable, ecoconscious food packaging created using hemp/cotton fabric infused with a blend of beeswax and plant extracts. The fluid-resistant coating keeps food fresh Simply hand wash Abeego in COLD, soapy long life of this plastic free, durable product. styles, the Abeego Wrap, the Abeego Snack

and is easy to clean. water and enjoy the Choose from our three and the Abeego Flats.

This amazing Eco-Product is focused on providing a versatile material that can be used multiple times, many ways, for varying degrees of food storage, that can be used multiple times, many ways, for varying degrees of food storage, that you can feel good about; whole-heartedly. You can feel good about; whole-heartedly.

TRACY LOEPPKY {DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS} Tracy was born and raised in Calgary and has been everything from a hairstylist, to a truck driver to a graphic designer. Her love for media, administrative and the baby industry led her to Birth of a Mother - and it was a perfect fit! Her goal is to assist Leah and the magnificent team of ladies at BOAM to grow & reach out to all the parents and grandparents of Calgary in a fun, unique and informative way. You can find her (more often than not) plugging away at her office in rural Alberta, just north of Calgary, where she now lives with her husband and two boys .

6 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

7


with a

Healthy Twist

Instructions: Remove the sausage from its casing, cut meat into small pieces and sauté over medium heat until fully cooked (~10 minutes). Remove from hear, drain any fat and set aside to let cool. Sauté mushrooms with 1 tbsp oil for approx. 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool Add all other ingredients together to a large bowl along with the cooled sausage meat and mushrooms and mix Add as much chicken broth as you like to reach your desired

consistency - some people like a drier dressing - some wet and moist. 3-4 cups is a good amount if you’re unsure. If you choose to stuff your turkey, make sure that your turkey has been rinsed and dried inside and out. Make sure you stuff both ends and don’t overstuff. If you have leftovers or would rather cook your dressing separately, place in a casserole dish that is lightly greased or sprayed and cook at 325 for 30-40 minutes.

BY: SARAH REMMER, RD, CDE WWW.SARAHREMMER.COM

I

have to admit, I LOVE traditional holiday foods and baked goods, made just the way they’re meant to be made- with lots of butter, sugar and salt! But what I love even more is enjoying these foods guilt-free, knowing that they are more nutritious and made healthier, but still taste great- maybe even better! To boost the nutrition and taste of your recipes, use organic, local ingredients when you can and focus on using heart healthy fats such as vegetable oils, as well as garlic, ginger, and fresh herbs for flavor. Here are some easy ways to tweak your favorite holiday foods to give them a nutritious twist.

Holiday Breakfast Delight- Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day by far, but Christmas morning breakfast tops them all. You may be accustomed to having a rich breakfast such as Eggs Benedict, which (don’t get me wrong) is deelish. But if you’re looking for something just as yummy, but a bit healthier, try this amazing breakfast. It’s super easy, quick and great for a crowd! My healthier version of the Best of Bridge recipe “ Scotty’s Nest Eggs” Ingredients: 12 large eggs (I use Omega 3 enriched eggs) 12 slices of nitrate/nitrite free black forest ham ½ cup grated parmesan cheese or any other type of cheese (feta is a good one too) 1/3 cup half and half cream 2 finely chopped tomatoes (with seeds removed) 12 whole grain English muffins Dried basil Fresh salsa

Instructions: Lightly spray/grease a muffin tin Line each muffin tin with one slice of ham to make a “cup” for the egg Carefully crack an egg into each ham “cup” Pour 1 tsp of half and half cream into each Top with a few pieces of tomato, sprinkle a pinch of basil on each and top with about ½ to 1 tbsp of grated cheese Cook in the oven at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until the egg is done how you like it. Serve on top of half of a toasted English muffin and top with fresh salsa if desired Serve with fruit salad for a balanced meal

Veggie Side Dish - This dish is one of my faves at Christmas dinner. In fact, I think it’s second to turkey! It’s very delicious, but also extremely nutritious. This vegetable dish is not dowsed with cheese or a creamy sauce, which is often the case with vegetable dishes during the holidays. Instead, you can rest assured that you are getting a good dose of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well as heart healthy fats, without sacrificing any taste Roasted Root and Winter Vegetables: Pre-heat oven to 400 Recipe: For 6-8

1 large winter squash cut into small chunks 1 cup mushrooms cut into slices 1 red pepper cut into strips 1 head of broccoli cut into florets

Ingredients: Vegetables: 1 large bulb Fennel (cut fennel stocks off and use bulb only) cut up into bite size pieces 4 cups Brussel Sprouts cut in half 3 parsnips cut into bite size pieces 3 large carrots cut into bite size pieces

Vinaigrette dressing ¼ cup Olive Oil 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 tsp fresh rosemary 1 tsp fresh oregano 2 tsp fresh thyme 4 cloves crushed garlic

Coarse salt to taste Freshly ground pepper to taste Instructions: Whisk vinaigrette dressing ingredient together in large bowl Add squash, fennel, brussel sprouts, parsnips, and carrots to mixture and toss gently until coated. Lay on a baking sheet Bake for about 20 minutes Add Red pepper, mushrooms, and broccoli. As you add them, toss all vegetables and then put back in oven for 10-15 minutes. Put in large serving dish If desired, sprinkle more fresh herbs on top (optional). Add freshly grated parmesan over top (optional). Enjoy!

Turkey Stuffing -This is the stuffing that I’ve enjoyed year after year, made by my Mom. I had no idea how healthy it really was until I asked her! It’s a moist, flavorful, delicious dressing. I did some research and most dressings call for either ¾ cup or more of butter, OR some sort of saturated fat-filled pork sausage to give it flavor and moisture. Not needed. Try this instead- you won’t be disappointed: Diana’s Delicious Savory Turkey Dressing Ingredients: 2 loaves of day old whole grain bread - you just slice it into quarters and pulse it in a food processor (it will probably take 3 times to do all of the bread) until it is the consistency you like - I like it chunky. 3 chicken or turkey Spolumbo’s sausages (or other nitrate/nitrite free lean chicken or turkey sausage) 1 medium white onion chopped finely 6 stalks of celery chopped finely 8 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

2 cups raw mushrooms 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage or 1 tbsp. dry sage, 1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme or 1 tbsp. dry thyme,   zest of 1 lemon 3 -4 crushed garlic cloves sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

continued ... BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

9


Festive Sweets -Holiday desserts are the best- comforting, sweet and delicious. They sure pack and punch when it comes to sugar, fat and calories though (not that I’m opposed to that during the holidays!). But here’s a great recipe for a festive dessert that tastes delicious, but is a healthier alternative to some traditional holiday desserts. Holiday Fruit and Ginger Cobbler adapted from a recipe Gingered Cranberry-Pear Cobbler in www.eatingwell.com Ingredients: 1/3 cup 100% apple juice 1 tbsp lemon juice 8 slightly ripe pears or apples cut into small chunks or thin slices 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 2 tablespoon(s) Birds custard powder or cornstarch The zest of 1 lemon 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger 2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen and thawed), coarsely chopped 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/3 cup plain yogurt or reduced-fat sour cream 1 tbsp lemon juice (separate from lemon juice above) ¾ cup all purpose flour (some for dusting) 2/3 cup whole wheat flour 2 tbsp sugar, divided 1/2 tsp salt

T

PATRICIA HORT

1/4 tsp baking soda 1/4 cup(s) canola oil Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large glass baking dish (about 3 quart) with cooking spray. Filling: Combine apple juice and lemon juice in a large bowl. Toss pears or apples with the juice. Whisk brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and ginger in a Dutch oven or pot until combined. Pour the liquid from the pears/apples into this mixture and stir until well blended. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring, just until it begins to boil, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the pears (or apples) and cranberries and cook, stirring, until the mixture is steaming, about 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Spread the fruit in an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Crust: Combine yogurt/sour cream and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add flour (both all-purpose and whole wheat), 1 tbsp sugar, salt and baking soda in a food processor fitted with a dough hook or chopping blade; process to combine. Drizzle in oil and process in quick pulses until the mixture resembles very fine crumbs, stopping and scraping the bottom and sides several times. Add the yogurt/sour cream mixture; process in quick pulses just until incorporated and the mixture holds together when pressed between the fingers; do not over-process. If the mixture seems dry, gradually add a little cold water, a teaspoon at a time, and pulse briefly several times just until the mixture is moistened and holds together. Lightly dust a 14-inch-long piece of parchment paper with flour. Turn the dough out onto the paper and let rest for 5 minutes. Knead briefly until the dough just comes together. Lightly flour the top and cover with a second sheet of parchment paper. Roll or press the dough into the same shape as your baking dish, just slightly smaller. Discard the top sheet of paper. Invert the dough, centered, over the fruit. Discard the paper. Using a greased sharp paring knife, cut large decorative slashes in the dough to vent steam. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the remaining 1 tbsp sugar. Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any overflowing juices). Bake the cobbler until the top is golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature

unique styles in unique sizes Shop instore: 102A 1409 Edmonton Trail NE Shop online: www.bratopia.ca Follow us: facebook/bratopia

Relax, you’re in good hands. We have been providing expert radiology services for over 50 years. • Free ultrasound DVD Chiropractic Massage Therapy Infant massage training Physio Therapy Acupuncture Reeexology Holistic nutrition Breech support/treatment Pelvic oor treatment programs Pediatric care Torticollis and Plagiocephaly/ Head shape treatment Resources /Refferals Complimentary childcare

• Professional technologists • State-of-the-art technology • Relaxing environment

he holidays are a time to enjoy traditional, home-cooked foods with family and friends. Try not to feel guilty about indulging in your favorite savory and sweet treats this year- this is all part of the holiday experience. To switch things up a little though, try adding a few healthier alternatives to your holiday feast (such as the ideas above) to help create a healthy but tasty balance. Happy Holidays!

Sarah

10 convenient locations across Calgary To book an appointment call

403.777.3000

www.radiology.ca

10 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

Specializ ing in Maternit y & Nurs ing Bras & S wimwea r

7:00 am – 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Saturday

BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

11


G ifts T hat G ive B ack

Isabel Marant for (GAP)RED French designer creates exclusive t-shirt to commemorate World AIDS Printed on Gap’s classic heather grey v-neck tee in a boyish over-sized style, the playfully colourful print and slouchy silhouette epitomize the under-stated easy style of Isabel’s collection. Strictly limited edition, the t-shirt will be sold from November 28th in select Canadian Gap stores across Canada. www.gapcanada.ca www.joinred.com

Partylite Canada Cares www.partylite.ca Looking for a way to thank your Customers for their support? Present them with our EXCLUSIVE Canada Cares Jar Candle featuring one of our most popular fragrances – Iced Snowberries™. Its red colour represents our love and commitment to children across Canada and our Canadian athletes. PartyLite will donate $1 from the sale of each jar directly to the Community Matters campaign in support of Children’s Miracle Network® and the Canadian Luge Association. Round-Up from the Heart® 2011 Trivet www.pamperedchef.ca Display this beautiful copper-plated trivet as a decorative accent or use it to stylishly protect tables and countertops. The durable cast iron design provides sturdy support, while a copper finish adds a touch of elegance. Synthetic rubber feet protect surfaces from scratches. For each trivet purchased, we donate $2 to Food Banks Canada and their associated food banks to provide meals through the National Food Sharing System.

Globe Filled Candlepot Benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® There’s more than one way to brighten the holidays. For every mercury-glass votive benefiting St. Jude sold, we’ll donate 50% of the purchase price directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, helping to support research and treatment for pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. These great gifts combine the shine of double-walled silvered glass with brass banding, and bring light to kids everywhere. Learn more about our partnership with St. Jude and how you can help. www.potterybarn.com

Ten Thousand Villages - Crowchild Tr. www.TenThousandVillages.ca Hackey Sac - are crocheted in a wonderful array of Mayan colors and designs. The Artisan Group: Creaciones Chonita located on the coast of Lake Atitlan, today the family-run business employs about 100 widows and young women from 15 workshops to make beaded jewelry and crocheted hackey sacs.

Ten Thousand Villages - Wooden Top made of Shesham and rosewood. The Artisan Group: Asha Handicrafts Association.

These gifts you are purchasing are Fair Trade Products that help ensure: safe working conditions, money is available for improvements, with priority given to safe drinking water, safe electrical wiring, and clean air for stone cutters and woodworkers. Benefits to artisans include marketing, design consultants, product development, advances, interest free loans, savings programs, medical care, and educational scholarships, uniforms, & books for children. Training is also given at the local level on such issues as AIDS. 12 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

Ten Thousand Villages - Hand carved Shesham Recorder: a member of the Rosewood family, is a fast growing deciduous tree that can grow up to 100 feet tall. The Artisan Group: Asha Handicrafts Association. Asha which means ‘hope’ in Sanskrit was started in 1975 by Christian professionals responding to the abject poverty of Indian artisans - the exploitative middle man being the problem. Today Asha works with over 6,500 artisans in 19 towns and villages in 10 states of India.

Foundation Bracelet Stella & Dot www.stelladot.com Dyed jade beads in an array of turquoise or pink gradients. Each comes with gold or silver plated Stella & Dot Foundation coin with signature heart imprinted on the back of the coin. These bracelets have helped build 2 Stella & Dot Foundation School in Nicaragua. All net proceeds will go to Accion USA, BuildOn & girls inc.

Nutrition Coaching for Expectant & New Moms • • • •

Sarah Remmer, Bsc. Nutrition, RD, CDE Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator

Book your appointment today!

sarah@sarahremmer.com www.sarahremmer.com 403.389.3284

Individual Nutrition Counseling Phone and Online Nutrition Coaching Helpful Tools for Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping Consulting for the Food Industry

Reasons to see a dietitian during the beginning stages of mommyhood Difficulties conceiving due to weight-related issues or a medical condition, nutrition for a healthy pregnancy, gestational diabetes, nutrition to support breastfeeding, post-natal weight loss, starting solids, picky eating, family meal planning. BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

Registered Dietitian services are often covered. Ask your benefits provider.

13


EARLY CHILDHOOD CARIES (DECAY)... BY DR. LEONARD B SMITH DDS,MSC,FRCD(C ) FICD DENTAL CARE FOR CHILDREN 403-278-8000

THE ROLE OF THE PRIMARY (BABY) TEETH

“THE MOUTH IS THE GATEWAY TO THEIR BODY AND IF IT IS NOT IN GOOD SHAPE, THE REST OF THEIR BODY WILL NOT BE IN GOOD SHAPE EITHER.”

1. The teeth help your baby to bite off and chew their food. This is a critical first step in the digestive process. 2. The teeth aid in the development of speech and articulation 3. The teeth support their lips and contribute to their great smile 4. A healthy smile contributes to their self esteem 5. The teeth help maintain the physical space and act as guides for the developing permanent teeth

The primary teeth are not all gone until a child is 13 years of age. PREVENTION OF DENTAL DISEASE

Y

our child’s primary teeth begin to develop between weeks 7-10 of your pregnancy. At this stage each tooth develops its basic outline. The next stage in their development is from weeks 15-19. This is the period during which the hardening or mineralization begins. This process continues up until the time the individual tooth appears in your baby’s mouth. This process then is completed if the tooth is totally clean and is bathed in the calcium and phosphate rich saliva. There are normally 20 primary teeth: 4 incisors in both the upper (maxillary) jaw and lower (mandibular) jaw. These are the first ones to erupt between 6-9 months of age. Next to appear around 12 months of age are the 4 -1st primary molars- These are followed by the 4 cuspids (eye) teeth around 18 months of age and finally the 4-2nd primary molars that erupt between 34-30 months of age. The individual lower teeth usually appear before the corresponding upper tooth. 14 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

Prevention of dental disease should begin immediately after your baby’s first feeding. Using a wash cloth or a finger cloth and water, the baby’s gum pads should be gently wiped to remove milk residue. The prevention of tooth decay continues every day for the rest of the The Perfect Smile! child’s life. Once the teeth begin to erupt each surface of each tooth needs to be thoroughly cleaned. If the teeth are touching each other, then you need to floss those surfaces that are touching—yes, even at 6 months of age! Minimal amounts-a tiny drop of toothpaste can be used but is not necessary. No fluoride toothpastes should be used until your child is old enough to spit it out rather than swallow it. In communities where there is no fluoride in the water, it is recommended that a fluoride supplement be given. You need to check with your oral health care provider to determine the correct dosage. MILD Decay

YOUR CHILD’S FIRST DENTAL VISIT It is the current recommendation of the Canadian Dental Association and the Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentists that a child’s first dental visit occur before their first birthday. No child is too young for a visit to the dentist and if your family dentist is not comfortable seeing infants then they can refer you to a pediatric dentist in your community or to a

general dentist who does. DENTAL DECAY Dental decay in children under five years of age, also known as early childhood caries, holds the sad distinction of being the most common, chronic, progressive, infectious disease in North America. It can and does begin in children as young as 10 months of age. It is caused by having the teeth (usually the top [maxillary] four incisors|) exposed to a sugar containing fluid for long periods of time such as a bottle propped up in the crib while the baby sleeps or a soother dipped in sugar or honey. It even can occur in those children who are nursed and have access to the breast while both mom and baby sleep. (I support nursing as being the best source of nutrients for babies). Cavities are formed when there are cavity producing bacteria present, when their food supply is present –sugar-, when little saliva is present and of course when a tooth is present. The bacteria use the sugar as a food source. They MODERATE Decay digest this sugar and produce a waste product called lactic acid which when left in contact with the tooth, causes it to decalcify. The bacteria then multiply, invade into the tooth and the decay process continues. If the cavities are not fixed, your baby can develop a tooth ache as young as 15 months. It is imperative that parents understand that these children need to have their teeth restored and get rid of the idea that they are only baby teeth and will fall out so why fix them? Untreated, these children who develop tooth ache and tooth abscesses suffer from varying degrees of malnutrition sleep deprivation, chronic pain and infection. It is important to remember that while the teeth are erupting, other parts of the body are developing. It is known that children who suffer from chronic pain and infection for long periods of time also BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

15


experience architectural changes in their brains and these can have serious, lifetime, irreversible impacts on the child. PREVENTION IS THE BEST TREATMENT ...and it is inexpensive!

EARLY CHILDHOOD CARIES (DECAY)... IS ABOUT MORE THAN JUST BABY TEETH

Dr. Carol Berkovitz, a past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics states; “As a Doctor, I see the impact of poor oral health on a child’s health and well being. If their teeth are decayed and their mouths hurt, it will affect their ability to eat

and if they do not eat properly then they don’t grow, their brain doesn’t grow, they don’t develop; they don’t gain weight and are more susceptible to infections-even colds and flu. ~

SEVERE Decay

EARLY CHILDHOOD CARIES (DECAY): BOTTLE Decay aka “Bottle Mouth”

SYMPTOMS: Toothache for months or years, sleep deprivation, infection, malnutrition.

Bobs & LoLo’s NEW CD

Connecting the Dots

NOW IN STORES! Read Lorraine's thoughts (aka LoLo) , as a rst time mommy in the Continuing Musical Adventures into Motherhood feature in this issue of Birth of a Mother!

www.bobsandlolo.com 16 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

17


H FF

oliday

Old Navy $32.94 Satin Tie Shoulder Tank, $32.94 Ruffle tie front waist tank, & $16.94 Wool Cloche Hat

amily ashion

Old Navy $32.94 Velvet Tulle Rosette Dress for Baby Girl

GapKids $54.95 Tiered Ribbon Dress

All fashion, photos and accessories thanks to GAP, Old Navy & Banana Republic Canada. 18 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

&

B right Sassy Old Navy $42.94 Softest Cropped Sweater

GapKids $64.95 Tulle Rose Garden Party Dress

Gap & GapKids www.gapcanada.ca 1.800.GAPSTYLE Old Navy www.oldnavy.ca 1.800.OLDNAVY Banana Republ ic BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011 19


FASHION

Banana Republic Double Tear Drop Earrings $50 Feather Barrette $32

&

Banana Republic Feather Headband $45 Spotted Feather Headband $19.95 Fur Earmuffs $24.95 (Opposite Page) Lg. Fur Collar $44.95

SGilverold

Gap Fold Over Zip Boot $84.95 Banana Republic Zoe Gathered Bottie $180 Banana Republic Quilted Cross Body Gold Clutch $44.95 Black Bow Clutch $44.95

20 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

AW

Banana Republic $85 Faux Fur Scarf Leopard Collar Old Navy$22.94 Baby Girl Leopard Print Cardi & Old Navy $22 Faux Shearling Gloves

ccessories

ith ttitude

A

BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

21


C Fly Away! ome

CMhristmas orning

We weigh in with WestJet to find out where their Top 5 Winter Getaways are!

Varadero, Cuba

Varadero, Cuba One flight weekly, every Saturday between Nov 5, 2011 andl Apr 28, 2012

WS 2390 YYC VRA 10:15am – 05:35pm WS 2393 VRA YYC 01:10pm – 05:30pm If you are looking to relax and leave your worries behind, Varadero is a great family destination. The ocean is particularly calm and perfect for swimming! Varadero is extremely safe and while your kids are busy playing on the beach, you can enjoy a refreshing mojito or lose yourself in a book.

L to R Clockwise: Old Navy $16.94 Toddler Boy Performance Fleece Graphic Sleeper, ON $10.94 Penguin Bodysuit, ON $22.94 Girls Printed Sleep Set, ON $14.94 Printed Micro Performance Fleece One-Pieces, ON $16.94 Bird Graphic Bodysuit Pant Set, ON $16.94 Red Fair Isle Slipper, ON $24.94 Faux Suede Moccasin Red & Beige, ON $9 Faux Leather Animal Bootie, ON $5 Cozy Socks, ON $24.94 Tall Bootie Stars 22 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

Varadero offers several resorts that cater particularly to families with small children. Certain resorts offer nurseries for babies from four months old, along with kids’ clubs up to 12 years of age, all while keeping your children entertained with a variety of suitable and supervised activities. Activities range from swimming in the pool or the ocean, playing tennis, volleyball, giant chess, ping-pong, board games, or simply building sandcastles and playing in the sand. Some resorts

have added waterslides in their pool area. At night, most resorts offer baby-sitting for a minimal fee with professionally trained nannies. Off-resort activities include horseback riding, jungle tours, jet-ski adventures, swimming with dolphins and dolphin shows. Iberostar Laguna Azul: Iberostar Laguna Azul is part of the Iberostar Premium collection. Beginning December 15, 2011, these premium hotels offer water parks with pools and water slides for kids. Iberostar Laguna boasts an amazing kids’ club where supervised activities take place. Baby-sitting is available at night should you want to plan a romantic dinner. Iberostar has it all! Sol Palmeras: Sol Palmeras hotel and bungalow complex is ideal for family vacations. Located alongside Varadero beach, the property offers guests refreshing swimming pools surrounded by tropical gardens, breezy terraces and exciting theme restaurants, fun-filled recreation programs for children, playgrounds and entertainment for all members of the family.

BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

23


Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament and character dining experiences. Don’t miss the spectacular World of Color, located at Disney California Adventure, where throughout the show you’ll find yourself singing along with your favorite movie characters. Between the California sunshine and charming palm trees, Anaheim provides a magical experience for the entire family.

Dole Plantation, Oahu, Hawaii

Hawaii Featuring Direct Calgary to Honolulu and Maui

Service from

Calgary to Maui – 3 flights weekly Dec 15/11-Apr 21/12 Calgary to Honolulu –1 flight per week Dec 16/11-Apr 20/12 Family destination – culture, natural beauty and hundreds of wonderful beaches make Hawaii the perfect destination for all types of families. Parents and children young and old learn about the Hawaiian way of life through activities that are unique to the destination including hula dancing, lei making, surfing, ukulele lessons as well as a respect and appreciation of nature and the abundant sea life, especially whales and turtles. Accommodation options include hotel rooms, luxury resorts and one to three-bedroom condos fully equipped with all the conveniences of home. Oahu – Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa. This brand new beachfront resort on Oahu was designed by Walt Disney Imagineers and provides guests with a perfect mix of Hawaiian culture and Disney magic. Along with Aunty’s Beach House (the fabulous kids’ club), the seven-acre water playground complete with slides and a lazy river, the story-telling fire pit, the teen spa, the Menehune Adventure Trail and activity programs for kids, tweens and teens, Mickey Mouse, Stitch and Chip and Dale are on hand daily for meet and greets.

Anaheim Calgary – Los Angeles-

23km from Disneyland Resort - daily from Oct. 30, 2011 – Apr. 28, 2012 Calgary – Orange County (via Vancouver) – 23km from Disneyland Resort daily from Oct. 30, 2011 – Apr. 28, 2012 The perfect starting point for you and your family’s ultimate California adventure. Families will be entertained by including some of the must-do’s such as the Disneyland parks, Knott’s Berry Farm, Catalina Express, Hollywood Universal Studios, 24 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel – Three Star Conveniently located across the street from Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park and Downtown Disney, this hotel is popular choice for Canadian families. Featuring modern amenities, lush landscaping and Castaway Cove, the pirate-themed water play area, this hotel provides the perfect getaway to experience all the fun Anaheim has to offer. Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort – Four Star A Family favorite, located one block from Disneyland Resort, this resort offers exceptional service, contemporary guest rooms, a tropically landscaped pool and several on-site dining options. Stay more than two nights and you’ll be rewarded with free nights and dining credits.

Orlando Calgary – Orlando three times per week Tues, Thur, & Sat from Nov. 1, –

2011-Apr. 28, 2012

kitchens, living areas and separate bedrooms. Families will appreciate enjoying the extra space in addition to the on-site dining options, heated outdoor swimming pools, and even their own 18-hole miniature golf course. Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Azul Fives in the Mayan Riviera Westjet makes it easy to travel directly to Cancun from Calgary with eight flights a week (daily plus twice on Saturday).

Family Friendly Destination: There is lots to do in the area with popular tours like Xcaret where the family can spend the day exploring and experiencing the wonder of this park like underground rivers, coral reef aquarium, bat caves, butterfly pavilion, manatee, sharks and stingray lagoon plus MUCH more! Azul Fives Hotel - Ideally located 10 minutes from Playa del Carmen, this 360-suite resort is an ideal size and nestled on an incredible white sand beach. Each suite is modern, wellappointed and has kitchenettes or full kitchens which makes it ideal when travelling with little ones. This resort has truly thought of everything -- no need for parents to bring anything but clothes for the baby as this resort loans baby monitors, strollers, bottle warmer and gourmet Gerber baby food. They have teamed with Fisher Price and My Gym so parents can choose from an in-room menu and choose toys for the week for their child. In addition the restaurants have toys to entertain the children during the meal. The Azulito’s Kids’ Club offers supervised care for children aged six months to 12 years with toys, equipment and programs designed by FisherPrice and My Gym. There is also a kid’s pool, playground and beach games. With three restaurants, five bars and great amenities, this is truly an ideal escape for the entire family.

Azul Fives Resort, Mayan Riviera

Orlando is home to some of the world’s most amazing theme parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom; Island of Adventure, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando, all come together with more than 90 other attractions to create one larger-thanlife destination. With so many exciting diversions to choose from, no matter where you stay in Orlando, you will find more entertainment options than anywhere else on earth. Disney’s Pop Century Resort As one of Disney’s Value Resorts it offers the magic, service and benefits to staying on-site at a Disney Resort Hotel. From jukeboxes, bowling pins, Howard Johnson’s 8-track tapes, and catch Castaway Cove phrases that defined the 1950s-1990s, each building at this resort is a largerthan-life time capsule of pop culture. The family-friendly atmosphere provides fun, whimsical décor, cool pools and informal food court dining. Sheraton Vistana Resort – 3.5 star Just minutes away from Walt Disney World, this resort is surrounded by the area’s most popular tourist attractions. Resting upon 135 acres featuring waterfalls, fountains and tropical landscaping, these fully furnished one and twobedroom villas include washers and dryers, fully equipped BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

25


DEAR DOULA

4. Designated Driver – Take one for the team! Since you

15 Reasons to be Thankful you are Pregnant this Christmas…

A TONGUE-IN-CHEEK OBSERVATION.

should be avoiding alcohol during pregnancy, this is a great time to stock up time as the designated driver. Think of all the friends you can call on after, to do their turn. Don’t worry, you can still enjoy the party, drunken people can be rather funny to watch from the sober side.

3. Pregnant brain – the rest of us have to search for

lame excuses for missing appointments, loosing keys and

generally being silly however a pregnant mom simply needs to say “Pregnant brain” and everyone just nods and smiles. This phrase is a fantastic bandage excuse for almost any awkward social moment.

2. Incredible Journey – excitement and joy should be all

around you as you are about to walk out a path with a brand new human being, their life will be forever impacted by the fact that you gave them life.

1. You are Pregnant – 7 to 9% of Canadians are infertile and are not able to conceive

a baby through traditional or assisted means. Women endeavouring to become pregnant via IVF will spend tens of thousands of dollars for treatments that may or not be successful. These treatments are NOT covered in any province in Canada (limited exceptions in Quebec). Many women are traveling out of their province and possibly out of country for the care they are looking for. If you are; be thankful that you are pregnant.

BY JANET DUCOMMUN

15. No period – enjoy weekends with no “un-welcomed” guests, go away on holidays and not have to worry about packing pads just in case. Go swimming or bath anytime, the list goes on and on about this reason to be thankful, alone. Make holiday crafts with unused female paper products, find ideas at http://tamponcrafts.com/

14. Limited wardrobe – makes it easy to decide what

9. Sex is an Adventure – necessity is the mother of

invention. As pregnancy progresses and libido returns, you have to be a bit creative, experimenting with new positions. You will find that elasticity of the skin and muscles can lead to certain activities being more enjoyable during pregnancy. Experiment, have fun, enjoy your body during this special time.

to wear to work when you only have two pair of dress pants that fit and one pair is in the laundry. Life is simpler with less choice. If you need to find more maternity clothes there are consignment stores dedicated to maternity and new baby and Kijiji is a great resource for inexpensive gently used clothes. Keep your choices versatile and season appropriate. You won’t need them long.

8. Vivid Dreams – the cocktail of hormones coursing

13. Only a woman – although movies have been made

are guaranteed. You have the right to take up to a year off from your job and know that you can come back to it. Our neighbours to the south have to return to work in a very short period of time to ensure that positions and tenure are not lost. You may also qualify for EI, you will get $100 for childcare until your child is 6 and you may get child tax benefit. All great perks of being living north of the 49th parallel.

about the concept of a man having a baby, only women can naturally conceive and carry a baby to term. There are very few things that are absolutely gender specific, this is one of them. You are joining a sisterhood of mothers.

12. Glow of Pregnancy – pregnancy gives most women a

fantastic natural glow with no make-up needed. You will run into someone you have not seen in a few months and they will invariably tell you how fantastic you look. You may not feel like it but they are sincere, you look marvellous darling!

11. Personal Touch – in a world starved for human

contact, a pregnant woman frequently gets asked if people can touch her belly. It makes them feel better, gives them hope for future and a little bit of love is transferred in a simple touch. Hugging a pregnant woman gets an even better effect and everyone could use more hugs. Enjoy the love, as love is never invested without a fantastic return.

10. No Birth Control – for the duration of your pregnancy

through your body will tend to increase the frequency and your ability to remember dreams. Wright them down, analyze them share them with your partner, see if they have a deeper meaning to you or if they are just your brain taking hormone induced trips.

This holiday season, be truly thankful you are pregnant and you have so many blessings. If you are feeling blue, start a list of the things you are thankful for. If you can’t think of where to start; start with the fact that you have a warm place to sleep at night, you have food in your belly and you live in a free nation. That is more than a good portion of the world’s population can say. Have a blessed Christmas, Chanukah or whatever you may celebrate and a fantastically happy new year.

Janet Ducommun

7. You are Canadian – as such you have rights that

6. You are Albertan – Midwifery services are 100%

covered by Alberta Health, if you can not see a midwife, your care in a hospital is also covered by our health plan. You may qualify for an Alberta Family Tax Credit in July and January. If you are a stay at home parent, there is an allowance for approved day cares and preschools and there are many other wonderful perks for residing in our wonderful province.

5. Eat what you want – It’s the holidays when most of

us have to avoid that extra bon bon, but you can enjoy one more for the rest of us. Although it is not a good idea to overindulge too much, enjoy this special time.

(and for some, months before), you do not have to worry about broken condoms, missed pills, dislodged IUDs and forgotten rings. Spontaneity becomes king and afternoon delight takes on a whole new meaning. 26 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

27


INFANTS The Award Winning SleepSheep produces 4 soothing sounds from Mother’s calming heartbeat to the gentle sounds of nature. Relax as the soothing sounds of ocean waves, spring showers, and harmonious whale songs create a tranquil environment ideal for helping children of all ages fall asleep. Available at Bo Bébé Lifestyle www.sleepsheepandfriends. com

TOP TOYS m2011 m Lamaze Bend & Squeak Panda /Penguin Lamaze Mortimer the Moose

Available at Bo Bébé Lifestyle

Chan Pie and Gnon: They are

loveable and amusing and even make a happy sound when squeezed. (A squeaker sound). Babies especially love their bumpy heads to soothe their teething gums Available at Bo Bébé Lifestyle

Sophie the Giraffe: Made of 100% natural rubber and food based paint. Sophie the Giraffe Plush available in boxed Gift Set. Available at Bo Bébé Lifestyle

Discovery Toys Try-Angle The mirror and colours will attract baby’s attention, and as they grow you may position it like a table over their laps or on a stroller/ carseat! When folded, magnets hold the toy in place- use it around the grocery cart bar for distraction, helps with exploration, thinking skills and motor skills!

28 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

Amanda Hang amanda.hang@hotmail.com website: www.discoverytoyslink.com/amandahang

BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

29


TODDLERS

Baby Stella: Delightfully detailed,

from her lifelike toes, belly button, and plump tummy to her soft fleece hair and embroidered features. She includes a removable diaper, a super-soft dress, and a pacifier that attaches magnetically to her mouth.

Baby Stella Soft & Sleepy Snuggler

Baby Stella’s Soft and Sleepy Snuggler is a super soft 2-piece lounger for playtime and bedtime. This outfit is tailor made for lounging and is the perfect addition to Baby Stella’s wardrobe. Available at Bo Bébé Lifestyle

The Kid-Tough See Yourself Camera features easy, child-friendly controls including a rotating lens so children can easily take pictures or video of themselves. Rotate the lens back to see yourself or rotate forward to take pictures or video like a traditional camera. This kid appropriate camera is built to survive, drop after drop after drop™.

Available at Toys R Us & Walmart

WEEBLES Turn ‘N Time Home Playset Wobblin’ mom and wobblin’ dad Havin’ the most fun they’ve ever had! They tumble and spin in their special way. This home is their favorite place to play! Watch your child laugh, play and learn with this TURN ’N TUMBLE HOME playset for WEEBLES figures! Available at Toys R Us & Walmart

Rock Star Mickey : Kids can jam

along with Rock Star Mickey from Fisher-Price and Disney as he lights up the stage with his jammin’ guitar and rockin’ moves! Kids can learn how to rock along with Mickey in the “You’re a Rock Star!” Available at Toys R Us & Walmart

Twilight Turtle projects a complete starry night sky onto the walls and ceiling of any room to create magical, tranquil environments that are ideal for helping children of all ages ease into a restful sleep. Parents can also sit with their children and identify 8 major constellations within Twilight’s star pattern using the wonderfully illustrated Star Guide. Available at Bo Bébé Lifestyle www.sleepsheepandfriends.com

30 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

Discovery Toys Castle Marbleworks From

9 months and up! Your toddler will have fun creating new ways to build this fun toy watching the balls zig-zag their way down the multicolored track. Helps with thinking skills, exploration and motor skills. amanda.hang@hotmail.com website: www.discoverytoyslink.com/amandahang BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011 31


GeoTrax DC Super Friends The Batcave RC Set offers all of the classic

BIG KIDS

GeoTrax play combined with the excitement of Batman and the Riddler! Kids can act out the adventures of Batman with exciting chases and so much to do. Drive the RC Batmobile up the ramp and into the Batcave where Batman can do vehicle repairs, put the bad guys in jail, or watch over Gotham City on his computer monitors. Available at Toys R Us & Walmart

Transformers Rescue Bots Playskool Heroes Fire Station Prime

Disaster strikes and FIRE STATION PRIME springs into action! The RESCUE BOTS roll out ready for any rescue adventure that may come their way. The station’s super-advanced computer allows OPTIMUS PRIME to command the RESCUE BOTS from the farthest reaches of the galaxy! Available at Toys R Us & Walmart

Stylin’

STRAWBERRY

SHORTCAKE

loves a new hairdo! Whether you’re getting her ready for fashion or adventure, you can create new styles every time you play! Meet everybody’s best friend, Strawberry Shortcake! She’s always stirring up friend-filled fun that’s full of sweet surprises. Available at Toys R Us & Walmart

TONKA CHUCK & FRIENDS FLIP The Bounce Back Racer

This FLIP THE BOUNCE BACK RACER remote control vehicle drives on both sides for double the speed-racing action! Drive your race car with the included controller as fast as it will go. Then, when you’re ready, flip the car to the other side. Now it’s a stunt truck and you can race it some more! Available at Toys R Us & Walmart

Angry Birds Shoulder Bag

Stay Cool and Show No Mercy To These Evil Piggies!! • • • •

Adjustable Straps for a Personalized Fit 2 Main Compartments, Zip Closure Authentic licensed product Size: 17.5in * 11.9in * 2in / 45cm * 30cm * 5cm

Discovery Toys - Motor Works

This junior mechanic set has a working power tool and a shop full of parts to build a motor cycle, prop place and race car. Take apart these 3-D puzzles using the provided screwdriver or their fingers as opposed to always using the power tool saving the power tool as a reward! Great for fine motor skill development, thinking skills and exploration! amanda.hang@hotmail.com website: www.discoverytoyslink.com/amandahang

32 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

Angry Birds Backpack - Black Bomber

Pack your birds into your own Angry Birds backpack and get ready for the piggy hunt! Both items available where licences Angry Birds merchandise is sold or www.angrybirdspot.com

BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

33


Plant YOUR BUSINESS here & watch it grow!

Scan with your smart phone for more details!

FAMILY MONOPOLY Electronic Banking

Make your millions with MONOPOLY Electronic Banking! Keep your finances at your fingertips with MONOPOLY Electronic Banking and 6 cool bank cards! So it’s your birthday? Collect gifts from your generous opponents with the swipe of a card! Pick up your hard-earned salary at the touch of a button!

Scrabble Flash!

Got a minute? That’s about all you need to play this addictive, fast-paced version of SCRABBLE. Just line up the letter tiles, then shuffle and slide them to find words fast and beat the clock!

34 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

Locally Owned, Fa mi ly Ru n.

BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

35


T

THE LIGHTER SIDE

he Season of Getting ...

BY CLARE ADAMS

O

r, is it Giving??

G

ood old Santa with his iconic “HO HO HO”!!! Why do I sometimes feel that perhaps he is laughing at me? Rather than an affable Christmas cheer, is it just me that sometimes hears more of a deep gut-wrenching belly laugh, especially the nearer we get to December 25th? Well luckily, I’m ready to laugh along because while I haven’t yet written one Christmas card, hung any decorations (last year’s lights still being up doesn’t count) or ordered my turkey, I do have the most important element of the season tucked in my back pocket and I think I’m going to be relying on my sense of humour heavily once again this year. Daughter has already been explaining to Son this year that “It’s OK, you can ask for anything because Santa is magic” - a tried and tested fact as far as Daughter is concerned. Three years ago Christmas Eve consisted of 6 adults at our kitchen table desperately trying to fashion an ‘Ariel flashing bracelet’ to deliver a completely non-existent gift that Daughter had put #1 on her Christmas list. We were certainly laughing although we could just have been high on the fumes from the hot glue, nail polish and soldering iron we were using to cobble-together this bangle of beauty. We still have the treasured piece and I can’t wait for the day to be able to share with her the love, sweat and tears that went into that thing. I’m sure it will give her a laugh.

is therefore something which has been pined after for maybe 4-6 weeks if I’m lucky. It doesn’t exactly make it a treasured and valued possession when it ‘finally’ arrives on Christmas Day. This also means that I tend to hold-off and get the kids to re-write their Christmas list several times over to look for consistency in any requests. The idea is that then I will avoid purchasing gifts that subsequently drop off the list or get overtaken by another, more desperately needed item and save myself both money and stress. This strategy doesn’t always work. Last year saw me paying an obscene amount in shipping fees to deliver a doll which we really hadn’t been sure that Daughter was that keen on, until of course it was almost too late to get at all. It wasn’t available in retail stores and so had to be ordered online and, with a week to go before the big day, couriered. Honestly, I think this guy in a red suit has a lot to answer for when it comes to encouraging unrealistic expectations and parental anxiety. This year there’s going to be some serious talk about the time required for elves to make said gifts and a deadline for FINAL wish lists! Of course the sheer thought of more toys (or crafts or books or clothes...) coming in to our house fills me with terror anyway. Like most young products of our overly-commercial world, my kids have what I would consider to be an obscene amount of possessions and I could quite roll about the floor laughing at the thought that they could possibly need more. They certainly don’t seem to be short of ideas for the Christmas lists and despite their annual toy clear-out for less-fortunate children before Christmas, we still seem to end up with an ever-increasing amount of ‘stuff’.

“Good old Santa with his iconic “HO HO HO”!!! Why do I sometimes feel that perhaps he is laughing at me?”

One of my big bug-bears about Christmas is the way that the toy manufacturers wait until November to release all new products just in time for Christmas and then advertise during every waking minute. Anything my child is asking for on their Christmas list 36 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

37


I should note that I was quite impressed with the generosity of my kids when it came to letting go of some of their toys last December, but then when you have 10+ Barbies and Polly Pockets and Zoobles and Littlest Pet Shop critters, giving away 5 or 6 isn’t really such a stretch. This year I’m hoping to sit Daughter down to watch “The Story of Stuff” in the hope that it will help to instill a more humanity-conscious and eco-friendly approach to Christmas (and hope that I can still see some carpet in the playroom come January), but I dare say that I could be facing a challenge unless I can convince Daughter that ‘magic’ is a finite resource and the Elves are facing burn-out with the amount of work they have and the reindeer are somehow polluting our skies with sleighdust. Once gifts are purchased comes the other completely stressy part of the Santa job – the joy of keeping them hidden until Christmas Day (admittedly one advantage of having a gift couriered a couple of days before Christmas was not having to hide it). I mean seriously, how did my parents pull this off? I don’t recall ever finding my Christmas gifts, but am constantly vigilant of Daughter accidentally finding a small toy store set-up in the back of one of our cupboards. Incidentally, while she may find them easily with some effort on her part, my own Mommy brain often seems to confound me and I can easily spend an hour on Christmas Eve trying to remember exactly where I managed to bury that Thomas the Tank Engine book that I had proudly bought ahead in October.

smell of the season we were going for. It wasn’t quite the Christmas dinner we’d planned either... with all the trimmings, including chicken nuggets. The afternoon last year didn’t improve. We were just getting ready to visit friends when, as I tied up Daughter’s hair in a pretty elastic, I noticed we already had friends that had come to visit us and they were not the kind we would have invited. Rather than impose hair lice on our friends’ children, we did the responsible thing and spent the afternoon in front of a movie, slowly and systematically picking our way through our children’s hair. HO HO HO!!! It’s a Christmas that my sister won’t forget. Strange that she’s not flying over to join us for the fun this year.

“My own Mommy brain often seems to confound me and I can easily spend an hour on Christmas Eve trying to remember exactly where I managed to bury that Thomas the Tank Engine book that I had proudly bought ahead in October...”

Aside from the minefield of gifts, there’s plenty else to test the sense of humour too. Last year I left it too late to try to track down brussel sprouts for my sister (over from the UK) and undertook a full-scale tour of all the local grocery stores two days before Christmas to no avail. I felt good though that I had ordered a fresh chicken from my local butcher and picked that up a couple of days ahead. However Christmas morning my sister and I were examining the bulging packaging with suspicion when the bubble was literally burst and we were stuck with the rancid smell of decidedly ‘off’ meat in the kitchen all morning. Not quite the delicious

38 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

While last year was a particularly good year for humour, much like 2006 was a good year for BC wines, I don’t doubt that this year will still produce. With a now 7yr old daughter known for her dramatic flair and a 4yr old son who, on his birthday recently, took one look at his new bike, lowered his head and declared “I didn’t want that” there’s bound to be at least a few classic moments ahead of us. Christmas lists aren’t just for kids, but my own seem to be full of all the things I need to do and the items only get crossed off once I have achieved them, rather than somebody else delivering. Right now they are looking a little longer than I might like with a few weeks to go, but no matter what I have planned, organized, thought out , put in place or have best of intentions for, I know that the true spirit of Christmas will shine through, wreak chaos and have me laughing before I can say “Seasons Greetings”. I have mentioned to a few friends that I’m considering de-bunking Santa and I am looking forward to the day when my kids can enjoy Christmas for what it really is – a crazy, commercial holiday that can provide some of the best laughs of the year. So next time you’re in the mall and hear jolly Santa calling “HO HO HO!!!” think about how you can find some humour in your holidays and maybe give a little “HEE HEE HEE!!!” back.

The Best

Holiday Music of 2011

CHRISTMAS WITH by BONEY M Classic 70’s Holiday disco - you cannot go wrong mixing in a little BoneyM harmony with your background music this Christmas!

HEAVENLY CHRISTMAS by JACKIE EVANCHO Etherial vocals by this young powerhouse will surely leave chills, and strike the true Christmas spirit into even the most Scrooge-like!

VERY SHE & HIM CHRISTMAS by SHE & HIM (Zooey Deschanel & Jim Keltner) A delightful cross between 60’s girl band vocals and David Lynch-esque guitar riffs, a must to round out your Holiday collection.

CHRISTMAS ALBUM & CHRISTMAS ALBUM V2 by GLEE The cast of Glee continue their musical perfection with these two recordings!

CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS : REMASTERED: DIGI by VINCE GUARALDI This Jazzy classic from the original TV show is an absolute MUST have. Timely, classic and just good music.

CHRISTMAS by MICHAEL BUBLE Bringing the newest sound to the Old Crooners, Michael Buble will become a family tradition for your family.

ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS by KENNY ROGERS, FT. Dolly Parton Fun, light and nostalgic, these two were made for the Holiday Music genre. The kids will sing along and request this CD in the car - no doubt!

BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011

39


Strollers on the brain? Come visit bo bébé

Not sure where to start?? SIGN UP for our at participating stores!

Westhills or Crowfoot for our

HUGE stroller selection! • • • • • •

travel systems 3 wheelers lightweight joggers convertibles and more!!

come take advantage of calgary’s BEST stroller selection & helpful classes!

FREE bo bebe brand Bunting!  with purchase of any stroller &  car seat! bo bébé Westhills bo bébé Crowfoot bo bébé Market Mall bo bébé South Center Mall see stores for details or scan our coupon code with your smart phone! Offer

40 BIRTH OF A MOTHER DEC/HOLIDAY 2011 or while quantities last, coupon must be shown! not retroactive! valid til nov.1/11 www.bobebe.com

Sign up for On the go classes here! Use your smart phone & scan above code! learn all about the different types of strollers, car seats and baby carriers in one class! www.bobebe.com/classes


Birth of a Mother Holiday 2011 Archive