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Issue NÂş

blushmom.com

for the modern mother

Hot mama! Day-to-night makeup tricks

Baby’s nontoxic

nursery

5 steps to a

flatter tummy

Healthy

between-meal

nibbles

inspiring moms

share parenting stories


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contents Issue Nº 2

{ you } 16 Sharing parenting stories How motherhood has transformed and inspired four moms.

20 Friends forever?

28 Day to night

Transform your look from daytime glow to nighttime glam—in no time at all.

32 Escape from the everyday

New moms need me time to maintain before-baby friendships.

Fashion finds that allow every mom to express her individuality.

25 The truth about mommy guilt

36 Time squeeze

It’s time to stop beating yourself up!

35

Not enough time in a day? The key to your sanity is scheduling.

mommy guilt

25-27

{ your little one } 41 Raising healthy, happy children

Moms know best—tips for pregnancy, infancy, and childhood.

46 Hopping aboard the potty train

Getting to the bottom of toilet training.

50 Solutions for bed wetting in this issue

11 editor’s letter 13 ask Karlene 48 what we’re cooing over 81 you and your little one 82 last word

How to help your child have a dry night’s sleep.

52 When baby comes home Introducing siblings to a new brother or sister.

54 Toy box affluenza

Curb your consumer impulses—invest in a child’s future instead.

blushmom.com | 3


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contents Issue Nº 2

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{ your life } 59 Pregnant women need muscles!

Develop yours with blush’s prenatal strength training routine.

62 Flat tummies

68 Family time

Simple, inexpensive ways to play together.

72 Got snacks?

for mommies

Healthy ways to tide your little one over between meals.

Five steps to winning the battle of the post-pregnancy bulge.

78 Baby’s nontoxic

66 Moms on the move Got stroller, will exercise!

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Publisher  Ryan Benn Associate Publisher  Rick Kroetsch EDITORIAL editor in chief  Terry-Lynn Stone Managing editor  Gail Johnson Senior editors  Sandi Gauvin, Stuart Harries Editor  Ellen Niemer Assistant editor  Amanda Lee editorial intern  Kim Van Haren creative services Art director  Ivan A. de Lorenzana Lead Graphic designer & Illustrator Keri Piechnik Graphic designers Natalina Percival, Melissa Proulx Contributing photographers  Renat Touichev, Scott Yavis,

Shawn Taylor, Carmen Schmid production

Production manager  Elaine Mavritsakis desktop publisher  Vince Yim Circulation Coordinator  Victoria Chan Publishing coordinator  Emily Beecher shipping & receiving  Rafael Rivera SALES & MARKETING Advertising account managers Katharine Herringer, ext 627, Karla Gursche, ext 621, Noorani Ramji, ext 622, Jessica Malach, ext 647 Marketing Manager  Alex Karch Marketing coordinator  Erin Coulter Brand coordinator  Bronwyn Logan

blush is published quarterly by

Contact information

Alive Publishing Group Inc. 100-12751 Vulcan Way, Richmond, BC V6V 3C8 Phone: 604-295-9333 Toll Free: 1-800-663-6580 EDITORIAL NOTE The information provided in this magazine is for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified and licensed practitioner or health care provider. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Teldon Media or its affiliates. Different views may appear in future articles or publications. Articles in blush are copyrighted and must not be reprinted, duplicated, or transmitted without permission.

6 | blush FALL 2009


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Contributors Lisa Bendall has been fascinated with the written word her whole life. Her writing now appears in many of Canada’s top magazines and newspapers as well as in books on parenting. Lisa lives in Toronto with her husband, their 10-year-old daughter, and an ambitious perennial garden.

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Full-time writer and single mom Lola Augustine Brown lives in Halifax. Her freelance articles have appeared in dozens of magazines, including Fashion, Allure, Cosmopolitan, Canadian Family, and Pregnancy. Lola’s two-year-old daughter Perdida is a dream of a kid and doesn’t mind being the subject of her mom’s writing at all.

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Julie Van Rosendaal is a food writer, cookbook author, and the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One. She co-hosts the TV program It’s Just Food and writes a popular food blog, DinnerwithJulie.com, documenting home life with her husband, dog, and three-year-old son.

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Melanie Osmack is the founder of Fit 4 Two and a certified pre- and postnatal fitness specialist. As an industry expert, she is often invited to present at conferences and write articles for publications like blush. Melanie is also the proud mom of two energetic children.


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editor' s letter

Community of

kinship

When we started taking swimming lessons earlier this year—my three-and-a-half-year-old donning goggles with his giggles and my littlest, then 18 months, clinging first to my neck and then to a noodle—I learned a lot more than ways to help my kids build confidence in the water. I discovered, once again, the instant kinship that exists among moms. Following our first class, it was obvious that I was new to the scene: there I stood in my drenched, functional onepiece in the middle of the change room with a shivering, hungry toddler waiting for me to warm him up and a squirming, soaking-wet baby in my arms (who, as you can see from the photo, likes to hold on tight). It hadn’t even occurred to me that there were serious logistics to be considered: the need for a clear strategy in order to dry and change all three of us without anyone slipping on the icky, wet floors. I must have looked just as clueless as I felt, because, after about a nanosecond, six other moms came over to give me a hand. It doesn’t matter if you’re at a park or in a parking lot, if there’s another mom nearby, you have an immediate ally. I’m constantly amazed and heartened by the way moms go out of their way to help other moms, the manner in which women are willing to do whatever it takes to make life a little bit easier for fellow parents. Strangers become fast friends, if only for a moment. Moms routinely share more than a spare hand, of course. They also willingly give up diapers, baby wipes, food, BandAids, sunscreen, socks—whatever the situation calls for—to a mom in need. But best of all, they offer advice, reassurance, comfort, friendship, and support. Moms just get it: for all the beautiful chaos that is parenthood, it’s sometimes as challenging as it is rewarding, as frustrating as it is entertaining. What a relief it is to know that there are people out there who can relate, and, on those

days when—let’s face it—all you really want is to be able to pee in peace, you’re not alone. The unshakeable sense of community that accompanies motherhood is what drives blush. Consider this magazine a welcoming hub for moms of all ages and at all stages. Whether you cosleep with your child or let your child cry it out, whether your kids go to daycare or you stay at home, whether you picked Montessori or French immersion, or whether your little ones watch some “educational programming” or none at all, we’re here to cheer you on. As moms, we’re all finding our way, and everyone’s choices are different. No matter what decisions you feel are best for you and your family, we can all learn from each other and help each other thrive. We’ve been thrilled by the response to blush so far, and we will continue to be a place you can turn to for information and inspiration. Check out our website (blushmom.com), where we have a forum, recipes, fitness articles, pregnancy tips, blogs, and more. There, you can also sign up for our newsletter and enter great contests. And please contact us with suggestions, story ideas, and feedback. Your input is invaluable. It’s an honour for all of us here at blush to be a part of your motherhood journey—and community. b

Gail Johnson Managing Editor

read gail's blog, sign up for our monthly newsletter, and more at blushmom.com

blushmom.com | 11


ask

karlene

Karlene Karst, RD, is a nutritional educator, author, spokesperson, and mom to 18-month-old Luca.

Q: Q:

I’d like to start introducing solid food to my baby; how and when do I start this process?

Introducing solid foods to your baby is a big

milestone. As parents, you are responsible for the quality and type of food introduced—an extremely important role in creating healthy eating habits. Current recommendations suggest breast milk or formula exclusively until four to six months of age. After this, milk or formula alone will not provide adequate nutrients, especially iron. Iron-fortified cereals are the first food group to introduce to your child, beginning with rice, followed by barley and oats. Pureed fruits such as bananas and apples and veggies such as sweet potatoes, squash, and peas are recommended following cereal. These should be introduced one at a time, waiting one week between each new food offered. At eight months the introduction of protein foods is important to provide additional iron, along with full-fat dairy foods such as yogourt and cheese. When introducing solids to your infant, you should continue with breast milk or formula in order to provide the nutrition that he or she needs. Cows’ milk should not be introduced until 12 months and older. Get ready to enjoy the smiles, frowns, spills, and special moments that come with this new milestone in your baby’s life.

Ever since my second trimester, I’ve been suffering from terrible night cramps. What can I do?

Many pregnant women suffer from leg cramps,

especially at night. They may be caused by increased pressure of the uterus on certain nerves in the pelvis, too little exercise, or because of dietary deficiencies—including calcium, magnesium (both involved with contracting and relaxing the muscles), and potassium. Here are some guidelines to help ensure you are getting enough of these valuable nutrients in your diet.

Nutrient Minimum daily intake

Sources

Calcium 1,200 mg

milk, yogourt, cheese, dark greens such as turnip greens, bok choy, and broccoli

Magnesium 360 to 400 mg

unrefined grains, nuts and seeds, dark green vegetables such as spinach and kale

Potassium 2,000 mg

citrus fruits, melons, bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, whole grains

Consider adding a calcium and magnesium supplement in a 2:1 ratio to meet the increased nutritional demands of pregnancy. When you get a cramp simply straighten your leg—heel first—and slowly flex your ankle and toes, while massaging the area until the pain subsides. Although they are uncomfortable, leg cramps are nothing to worry about—they are temporary and disappear once baby arrives. b

blushmom.com | 13


{ you }

Before, during, and after pregnancy: the pure, safe, and natural source for the omega-3s you and your baby need. 14 | blush FALL 2009

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29.3

is the average age that women give birth in Canada. Women are definitely delaying starting a family. Moms aged 35 and up are having babies at four times the rates they were in the late 1970s.

{ you } moms’ stories · relationships · mommy guilt · makeup · fashion · scheduling

blushmom.com | 15


{ you }

Sharing

parenting stories

Meet these inspiring moms Lisa Bendall

No matter who you are, becoming a mom transforms you. Your priorities, your outlook, and your beliefs all shift, often dramatically. Meet four moms who share their stories about how children have changed them.

Mothering from a seat

Ing Wong-Ward delights in seeing her one-year-old daughter, Zhenmei, do a joyful dance in the Jolly Jumper or take a tentative cruise around their Toronto apartment. “She’s a very happy kid,” she says. “I can’t imagine my life without her.” Wong-Ward didn’t always plan on having children. She has spinal muscular atrophy, a neuromuscular disorder that affects her arms and legs, and has used a wheelchair her whole life. But it wasn’t her disability that held her back. “We really enjoyed our child-free lifestyle,” she admits. “We travelled, we ate at nice restaurants, we could go

16 | blush FALL 2009

see a movie when we wanted to.” Now the fun she’s having with Zhenmei far outweighs anything she and husband Tim have given up. Like so many moms, Wong-Ward struggled with self-doubt at first. As a CBC radio producer suddenly caring for a newborn, she’d think, how is it that I can pick up the phone and confidently call a cabinet minister’s office, and I have no clue what to do with this baby? But Zhenmei was connected to her from the start. “If she was crying,” Wong-Ward recalls, “I’d ask her to be given to me, and she settled right down.” Wong-Ward’s disability means she can’t change her baby’s diapers or pick her up, but she’s long made peace with that. “The physical caregiving is for a brief amount of time. Parenting is more about the emotional and lasts

a lifetime,” she says. Even when her attendant is helping with physical tasks, Wong-Ward calls the shots. “At the end of the day, I’m still her mom. No more Cheerios means no more Cheerios.” What does Wong-Ward look forward to most? Seeing her family after work. “I come in the door and Zhenmei will get excited. She giggles and squeals,” she says. “That’s the best part of the day.”

Spinning parenthood into profit For mompreneurs such as Sharon Chai and Naomi Goldapple, starting a family changed their careers. Both women are running businesses because of their babies. “A lot of my inspiration comes from my children,” says Chai, who lives in Vancouver. She’s the designer behind Bamboobino, a line of baby products that includes wraps


Sharon Chai

»

Designer of Bamboobino, a line of baby products made from soft, absorbant bamboo fabric.

Naomi Goldapple

»

Owner of Maman, Bébé, et Café, a Montreal hot spot where mothers can relax with their children, enjoy coffee, take exercise classes, or have spa treatments.

Ing Wong-Ward

»

CBC radio producer who found the joys of having a daughter far outweigh anything she and her husband have given up.

Christa MacKinnon

»

Mother of five, including a set of quadruplets through in vitro fertilization. She uses her "obscene" organizing skills to manage the entire family in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

blushmom.com | 17


{ you }

and hats made from soft, absorbent bamboo fabric. Chai grew up in Malaysia and England, came to Canada for university, and did a stint volunteering in Guyana. Now she’s teaching her kids, four-year-old Indah and sevenyear-old Elyjah, to open their minds. “I bring my own diverse cultural background to my children.” Chai’s had a lifelong passion for design but worked in the banking industry for years before having children. She has no regrets. “I feel like it’s all come together,” she says. “The perfect marriage of all my skills has contributed to running this business.” Today Bamboobino is carried in more than 70 North American stores, and Chai loves the flexibility

The physical caregiving is for a brief amount of time. Parenting is more about the emotional and lasts a lifetime. of working from home. “I hope my children will learn that they can achieve their dreams, no matter where they came from or who they are.”

Women can-do-ing

The sentiment is echoed by Goldapple, owner of a Montreal hot spot catering to new moms called Maman, Bébé, et Café. Here, mothers can relax with a coffee, play with their babies, take an exercise class, or get a spa treatment. “My entire place is run by women,” says Goldapple, noting that this sends

a can-do message to her three girls: Cassandre, one, Chloé, five, and Amélie, six. Goldapple knows she wouldn’t have opened the café if she hadn’t had kids of her own. “I had no clue there was a need for this.” She had her first child in November, took a leave from a corporate job, and recalls the experience as being “really, really isolating.” Now she’s rewarded by the difference she makes for other parents. She never tires of the sight of an exhausted new mom perking up after meeting other

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6.75”

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parents in a mommy-baby salsa class. “Every day, you can see the people whose lives you’ve really touched,” she says.

Love multiplied

What perks up Christa MacKinnon are giggles. She’s been living in a whirlwind since the birth of her quadruplets in January 2008. But she’s almost always smiling. “We couldn’t be happier,” she says. Five years ago doctors told MacKinnon and her husband, Joe, that they couldn’t have children. In vitro fertilization helped the Greenwood, Nova Scotia, couple conceive Matthew, now four. But when two fertilized embryos were implanted for a second pregnancy, both took and split into identical twins. It was extremely

rare—and terrifying at first. Would the babies even survive? Happily, the high-risk pregnancy had the best possible outcome. Today the four—Julia and Morah, Ben and Alex—are thriving. “They’re really easygoing babies because they know they’re so loved,” says MacKinnon. She describes herself as “obscenely” organized. Daily life is scheduled to the minute. The MacKinnons also rely on the help of family and friends. Mom says she wants to give her quadruplets all the same experiences Matthew had, so she’ll make a point of carting her young family to the park or the zoo. “We don’t shy away from going places just because there’s so many babies and so much work to get started.” Although MacKinnon sometimes still can’t believe she’s the mother of five

small children, she loves every minute of it. “This is not all roses. It takes a lot of work,” she concedes. “But it’s so worth it. You get five times the laughs, hugs, and kisses. “You can’t buy that kind of happiness. I’m so thrilled that they’re mine.” b

Lisa Bendall is a freelance writer, author of Raising a Kid with Special Needs, and contributor to Between Interruptions: 30 Women Tell the Truth about Motherhood (Key Porter Books, 2008 and 2009 respectively).

Have a story to share about your own mothering experience? Tell us at blushmom.com

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{ you }

Friends

forever? Maintaining relationships after kids

Gail Johnson

Like so many women, Heather Lochner never anticipated how profoundly her life would change after she had kids. Oh, the mother of two was prepared for the enormous responsibility involved in parenthood, not to mention the endless diaper changes, heaps of laundry, and lack of sleep that go with the territory. What she didn’t see coming was how the demands of her new role would impact her friendships. Gone—at least temporarily—were the days of spontaneously meeting a girlfriend for a drink or attending hours-long dinner parties with lifelong pals. Lochner frequently found herself having to reschedule plans, whether it was because her baby was sick, she was exhausted, or she simply didn’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done. This jarring new reality took its toll, especially on relationships with people who didn’t have children themselves. “I certainly saw less of my good friends who didn’t have kids,” says

20 | blush FALL 2009

Lochner, who has a three-year-old boy and one-year-old girl. “With some, there was a lot of pressure to see me. “But quite often I’d have to cancel at the last minute because I was so sleepdeprived, or I wanted to go somewhere close to home so I could get back to the kids quickly if I needed to. But the level of understanding just wasn’t there. Some just didn’t understand why I needed them to be flexible.” “With one friend I felt very pressured to see her, and it caused a rift between us,” Lochner adds.

Friendships change

Babies do have a way of turning a woman’s world upside down. Although plenty of moms foresee and even plan for the potential strain on their marriage—hence the allimportant date nights—fewer expect their friendships to be affected or, worse, jeopardized.

Ironically, just as so many moms discover that they don’t see their old friends nearly as often as they used to, they also suddenly find themselves surrounded by a new social circle: their mommy friends. Fellow parents can relate to cracked nipples, cradle cap, and sleepless nights, and there’s an instant sense of sisterhood to be found at baby-andmom drop-ins and library story times. Some moms end up finding lasting friends. For others, the connection is short-lived. “You meet a lot of people easily by simply saying ‘How old is your baby?’” says Stacey Jackson, a mother of two boys. “As an adult, it’s harder to make new friends unless there’s a work or working-out connection, such as Pilates class. “Babies make it easy to expand your circle of friends: because you go through 18 months with a little person


blushmom.com | 21


{ you }

who can’t make conversation, to preserve your sanity you chit-chat with anyone nearby. Sadly, though, many of the friendships are just that superficial. After the pottytraining conversations are over, you soon find out that the only thing you had in common was gym class.” Granted, it’s not easy for those who’ve never had to get up to breastfeed every two hours through the night for weeks on end to comprehend just how taxing those early days can be. But no one wants to feel as if they suddenly don’t matter once a baby comes bouncing into the world. Take Laura Clancy, a happily childless school teacher. She says that as soon as some of her friends started having kids, they disappeared off her radar—or rather she disappeared off theirs. “I don’t see them at all anymore; it’s terrible,” Clancy says. “I don’t have kids, so it’s like I’m not part of the club. I don’t exist in that world; I don’t want to sit down and talk about diapers and preschool. I’m not interested in that at all.” She says she’s willing to meet her friends with their kids in tow, but concedes that even this is not a perfect scenario. It’s one thing to have a heart-to-heart chat when baby is sleeping quietly in her bassinet, but quite another when one or more toddlers are squirming and screaming in a coffee shop.

22 | blush FALL 2009

“It’s frustrating,” Clancy says. “It would be nice to schedule time without the kids. There has to be a balance, or else those friendships will fizzle out.”

Don’t be a baby bore

Parenting expert Alyson Schäfer, author of Honey, I Wrecked the Kids and Breaking the Good Mom Myth, (Wiley, 2009 and 2006) encourages moms to try an “exercise in empathy.” “If you knew someone who only ever talked about the stock market, you’d be really bored,” the Toronto-based psychotherapist explains. “If you just want to talk about bowel movements and spit-up colours, it’s not going to be interesting for other people. You need to find common ground.” Avoiding the pitfalls of becoming a baby bore has other benefits: it’s intellectually and emotionally stimulating for women to take a break from all things baby.

Mommy time out

A night with the girls allows moms to relax, not to mention rant, giggle, gossip, and swear. It’s a reality check too—a reminder that there’s a big, wide world out there that doesn’t involve baby wipes and sippy cups. Like spouses, siblings, and parents, friends remind us who we are and act as anchors to our true selves. As a result, having a healthy balance can enrich all your relationships, even your marriage.


Making time for friends Try these approaches if you’re looking for ways to have quality time with your friends and fit everything in. » Go grocery shopping with a friend, then have a coffee or bite to eat afterward. » Go for a run, hike, or walk with a friend; you’ll have time to catch up—and get some exercise.

» Spend an afternoon cooking

together; you can visit while preparing a week’s worth of meals.

» Help a girlfriend with a project she’s been putting off: decluttering her house, planting a garden, or even cleaning. Reconnect over dust bunnies—then get her to do the same for you. » Get a sitter—it’s worth the cost, or schedule a friend date when you know dad will be home with the kids.

“I want friends that don’t even ask me about my kids,” Lochner admits. “With my mom friends, very little of ‘you’ comes up; it’s all about your kids. “You lose your identity,” she adds. “My mommy friends don’t know me as me.” Lochner has found creative ways to maintain her friendships: she has a standing date with one of her pals to go grocery shopping together once her kids are in bed, then have a cup of tea afterward. “If we didn’t do that, I wouldn’t see her at all.” There’s another simple yet often overlooked benefit of maintaining friendships: a good time. “A lot of moms need to have more fun,” Schäfer says. “Don’t get together with kids underfoot when you’re going to be distracted by them. Make it a girls’ night out; go see a romantic comedy, then go for a glass of wine. Moms will live, eat, and breathe parenthood; moms need to be pushed out of parenthood too.” “Self-care is not selfish,” she adds. “Maintaining friendships falls into that. The kids always come first, but women need time to be themselves too.”b

Gail Johnson, managing editor of blush, is also a journalist, fitness trainer, and mother of two who has made a vow to see her friends more often.


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{ you }

the

about truth mommy

guilt How to let go Lola Augustine Brown

As new moms we share some common concerns. One of these may be the feeling that there are no simple decisions, that every choice we make could somehow be monumental and have the potential to screw

up our children, our relationships, our finances, or ourselves.

blushmom.com | 25


{ you }

Motherhood and guilt have always gone hand-in-hand. When we second-guess every choice we make, guilt is an inevitable consequence. Jennifer Coté, Toronto mother to Sabina (aged four) and Nico (aged nine months), always feels guilty. “I feel totally inadequate because there are never enough hours in the day. If I want any time for myself I feel especially guilty because that means putting the kids second,” says Coté. “Guilt is mommyversal,” says Michelle La Rowe, nanny extraordinaire and author of Working Moms 411 (Regal, 2009). “It doesn’t matter whether you are married or single, working or a stay-at-home mom, all moms experience guilt.”

Chasing perfect

Since today’s moms seem to have so much more on their plate than in previous generations, one might be tempted to think that mommy guilt is a modern problem. Edmontonbased registered psychologist Jeanne Williams, who works with children and families, thinks motherhood and guilt have always gone hand-in-hand. These days, however, the problem is exacerbated by the media’s tendency to portray people as perfect. “This puts a lot of pressure on moms who can’t compete with TV moms or celebrities,” says Williams. The pressure to be perfect affects Winnipeg mom Carly Walsh, whose son Jack is two years old. “I feel guilty that I don’t have Jack enrolled in the same activities that other moms take their kids to, and sometimes I just don’t know what to do with him—I feel like I must be the most boring mom in the world,” says Walsh. “I also feel guilty that I’m a terrible cook and that Jack and my husband eat a lot of the same foods over and over. I listen

26 | blush FALL 2009

to other moms talk about their recipes and homemade meals and I feel so inadequate,” adds Walsh.

Ditching the guilt

While it’s unlikely that any of us can entirely shake off mommy guilt, there are things we can do to diminish its hold over us. For a start, it’s important to realize that you aren’t alone in feeling this way and to develop a network of sympathetic friends. Williams says talking to others really is the best thing we can do to alleviate mommy guilt. “Being in some kind of mom’s group gives you a chance to discover that you aren’t alone in having these feelings, or that your kid isn’t the only one that acts a certain way,” she says. “A support group can give working moms ideas on how to juggle work and home life and can help stay-at-home moms feel validated in a world that doesn’t put a lot of importance on full-time parenting.” Williams says you don’t need to find a formal mom’s group—you can also find support in other places. You can take your kids to the park and strike up conversations with other parents there, or join a club or religious group. Corrine de Réland connects with other mom friends through an online forum they set up through a social networking site—some moms debrief via their blogs and others just pick up the phone. Tanya Rubbink, in Hagersville, Ontario, has four kids and gets through her feelings of mommy guilt by sharing them with another mom friend. “We speak every day and it really helps,” says Rubbink, “but then I’ll get off the phone and feel guilty for spending so much time chatting!”


Creating room to breathe

Getting worked up about all the things we aren’t doing right will only lead to more guilt, so it’s important to try and give ourselves a bit of a break. La Rowe advises that we redefine our expectations as a way of gaining control over our guilty feelings, and get some stuff off our plates in order to lighten the load. “Delegate tasks by getting the family to pitch in or by outsourcing things that need to get done around the house while you take some time for yourself,” says La Rowe. Outsourcing tasks is a really good idea, but if hiring a cleaner is out of sync with your budget you might want to consider asking a neighbourhood teen to do some of the chores that eat into your precious time (dog walking, ironing, or whatever you would love to give up). Taking time off is vital. Ottawa mom de Réland does volunteer work that gets her out of the house but still allows her to do something constructive, and it helps her feel more balanced. Even if it’s just reading a book after the kids are in bed, or going on a date with your hubby once in a while, every mom needs a non-kid related outlet to stay sane.

“Talking to others really is the best thing we can do to alleviate mommy guilt.” For Toronto mom Brandie Weikle, dealing with the guilt she carries for being a working mom is tough, but she copes by ensuring that she has a lot of fun with her two young boys in the evenings. “I try to be in the moment with them as much as possible, providing the kind of lighthearted fun they love, such as picnics in the living room,” says Weikle. Whichever way you deal with the guilt you have, keeping things in perspective is vital. “Being a perfect mom, even if that was possible, isn’t what is going to be most helpful to our kids. It’s how we deal with and respond to obstacles and imperfections that will teach them to deal with their own,” says Williams. “As we try to do the best we can, while being gracious and forgiving of ourselves [and others], we will teach our children to do the same thing in their own lives, which is really what we want for them.” b Lola Augustine Brown, a freelance writer living in Halifax, NS, always feels guilty about checking email when she should be playing with her kid, but does it anyway.

blushmom.com | 27


{ you }

Dayto

night

Easy makeup for busy moms Christina Dennis Photos by Renat Touichev Makeup by Jon Hennessey for NOBASURA

Are you a busy mom with no time for a fussy makeup routine? Want to look naturally beautiful during the day and effortlessly glamorous at night? Try these simple tips for a quick and easy day-to-night makeup fix.

28 | blush FALL 2009


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Although there’s little time for a mommy to

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The look: “I always look this naturally beautiful and awake.” The trick: Use multipurpose, shimmery cosmetics.

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» Using a multi-purpose bronzing brick (such as Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Bronzer, Blush & Eye Shadow), sweep a large blush-brush over all colours and lightly dust face where the sun would naturally kiss (apples of cheeks, forehead, and tip of nose). Time: 15 seconds » Using the same bronzing brick, apply a medium-toned shade to eyelids and a light-toned shade just beneath the brow and along inside corners of eyes. Time: 20 seconds » Dab a dual-purpose lip and cheek stain (such as The Body Shop’s Lip and Cheek Stain) onto apples of the cheeks and lips. Blend well with fingertips. Time: 20 seconds » Curl lashes to look instantly more awake. Time: 25 seconds

Our Complete Line of Natural Children’s Remedies. Feel confident in using our Kids 0-9™ products. They will make your child feel better without the worry of side effects. We have been providing only the best in homeopathic and natural products since 1987 and will continue to do so.

Quality Manufacturing Since 1987. Call us today toll free 1-800-556-0824. blushmom.com | 29


{ you }

Night:

Hot mama The look: “Kids? What kids?” The trick: Add more colour and intensity to your eyes for instant glam.

Here’s how:

» Sweep over eye area with a cotton pad dabbed with makeup remover (make sure to use an oil-free kind so that you can apply evening eye makeup easily in step 5) to take off daytime eye makeup. Time: 15 seconds » Apply a stick concealer to problem areas on face (red areas or blemishes). Time: 20 seconds » Reapply a small amount of tinted moisturizer on face if needed. If skin looks overly shiny, dab on some mattifying lotion, blending in with fingertips. Time: 20 seconds » Reapply lip/cheek stain to lips and cheeks as needed. Time: 15 seconds » Highlight your eyes by choosing an eyeshadow that contrasts your natural eye colour. Don’t know which colour to choose? Look for an eyeshadow compact with colours that are meant to play up your eyes (such as Almay’s Intense i-color powder shadow). Apply a medium shade to the lid, a dark shade to the crease, and a light shade just beneath the brow and on inside corners of eyes. Time: 25 seconds » Apply a thin line of black liquid eyeliner close to the base of your upper lashes. Time: 25 seconds » Apply a coat of black mascara. Time: 20 seconds

30 | blush FALL 2009

When you’re lucky enough to enlist a sitter to watch the little one(s) for a night on the town with your man, it’s easy to change your day face to a more dramatic evening look. You’ll feel so glamorous that you may even forget you have kids at home! All you’ll need is a hubby willing to watch baby while you make the transformation.

Being a busy mother can sometimes be tough, but looking good from morning to night is simple. Whether you want a natural glow for getting groceries, or a glam look for nighttime, all you need is a few minutes. b Christina Dennis knows first-hand how important it is for moms to simplify their makeup routine—she gave birth to her daughter, Cadence, in January. thediymommy.com


{ you }

Escape

from the everyday Being a mom doesn’t mean you have to give up your individual style. Express your creativity in your own unique way with these fall fashion finds brought to you by blush.

cardigan, GAP; dress, BP 56 FRP 11 from Holt Renfrew; boots, Christian Dior from Holt Renfrew; Coral necklace , Irit Sorokin Designs from Jeweliette; earrings and cuff, both Jeweliette

Flight of fancy Let your love of beauty unleash your imagination as you indulge in a moment of well-deserved relaxation.

32 | blush FALL 2009

Photos by Renat Touichev; clothing stylist Leila Bani for THEYrep.com; prop stylist TJ Constable for LIZBELL


blouse, Joe Fresh Style; trench, GAP; Skirt,

Garden of delights

American Retro from Violet Boutique; belt, Motif from Holt Renfrew; boots, Ilse Jacobsen

Whether you’re nurturing your child or your garden, stay warm and dry in style.

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blushmom.com for more details.

blushmom.com | 33


{ you }

blazer, Madame a Paris from Violet Boutique; blouse , Joe Fresh Style; jeans, Rag

& Bone from Gravity Pope Tailored Goods; necklace, Elie Tahari from Holt Renfrew; ring, Jeweliette; flats, Joe Fresh Style; bag, Valentino from Holt Renfrew

Recipe for comfort The kitchen’s the most comfortable place to hang out, and what piece of clothing provides more comfort than your favourite pair of jeans? See something you like? Turn to page 81 for full product descriptions.

34 | blush FALL 2009


Pulling it all

together

2

mom

dress, Pink Tartan from Wear Else; cardigan, Joe Fresh Style; gloves, Paul Smith from Gravity Pope Tailored Goods; rain boots, Stuart Weitzman from Wear Else; Hat, Holt Renfrew private Label; clutch, Ben Sherman

tot

dress, Tea Collection; cardigan, Blu by blue; gumboots, Morgan + Milo

Photos by Scott Yavis

all from Dandelion Kids

These outfits and accessories pull together each of our three blush looks— from the fanciful to the practical—for you and your little one. mom

1

blazer, Smythe from Holt Renfrew; top, Comme Des

Garcons PLAY from Gravity Pope Tailored Goods; jeans, Joe Fresh; shoes, Prada from Holt Renfrew; cuff, Elsa Corsi from Jeweliette; bag, Francesco

Biasia from Wear Else

tot

3

polo shirt, Wild Mango from Dandelion Kids; shorts, Molo; shoes, Sweet Shoes; owl, Big

Ocean Little Fish from Little Earth

mom

dress, Elie Tahari from Wear Else; Boots, Dries Van Noten from Holt Renfrew; necklace, and hair pin, both Jeweliette

tot

Dress, Whimsy Ranch; leggings, Little Earth; shoes, Baby Bloch from Hip Baby; bow barrette, Dandelion Kids

blushmom.com | 35


{ you }

Scheduling a busy family Kim Van Haren

Let’s face it: today’s families are busy—including the children. Most often it’s mom who’s left to organize everyone’s day-to-day schedule. Whether you’re a full-time mom, run a home-based business, or work outside the home, creating a schedule that is healthy and manageable for you and your family is important. Planning with a new baby

Your beautiful baby has arrived and with this life-changing event comes joy— with underlying levels of uncertainty. What is certain is that your little one sleeps, eats, and cries a lot, without the courtesy of advance notice. One of the strategies new moms can employ to manage this uncertainty, according to Andrea Welling, Certified Lifestyle and MomCoach, is to “Make sure you’ve got someone to talk to; build in the support for yourself as soon as you can early on, so that you don’t get overwhelmed.” With this support system in place, “You’ll feel grounded and better able to look after the needs of your child,” adds Welling. Over time you’ll become an expert on your baby, establishing a consistent and daily routine.

more crucial to stick to a schedule that works for your family. How do other busy moms manage? “Lots of planning,” says Beth Heras, mom to three kids, ages four and under. “I make sure they’re well fed, and when someone needs a nap, that becomes a priority.” Planning is especially important when it comes to children’s extracurricular activities. Heras often finds herself tempted by the abundance of activities available to her children but reminds herself that being too busy isn’t always good for her kids. Moms need to think of a schedule as a much-needed friend. This friend helps you organize your day so that the time you have works to your advantage. You’ll feel more relaxed—and happier around your kids. b

Planning with more than one

When the stork brings new bundles and your family expands, life becomes exponentially busier. It becomes even

36 | blush FALL 2009

Kim Van Haren is a Vancouver writer and mom to relatively well-scheduled boys. Everything is on her family calendar—now if only she could read her writing!

Scheduling mom time 1. U se services that deliver, such

as groceries and milk. You can order your groceries online and schedule deliveries within a specific time frame, allowing you to plan your day.

2. P ick certain times of the week

to accomplish things that need to be done, such as organizing paperwork or paying bills. “Try and do it all at once instead of a little bit at a time,” suggests Welling.

3. U se your time strategically while

kids are at soccer practice or dance rehearsal—have that manicure you’ve been putting off.

4. A sk someone you trust to watch

your kids after a particularly hectic period, so you can spend some quality time with yourself. Arrange to return the favour.


Be aware of your children’s moods and whether their organized activities are being enjoyed—or not. Scheduling kids’ time 1. C reate a calendar that includes

everyone’s schedule—with monthly and weekly entries. This offers a visual glimpse into possible overscheduling. Highlight in a different colour each family member’s schedule entries.

2. K eep your child’s extracurricular activities to one or two things at a time, especially if he or she

attends school. This alleviates the stress that your child may feel if overcommitted.

3. B e aware of your children’s moods and whether their organized activities are being enjoyed— or not.

4. Y our kids still need time to have

fun outside of organized activities. “Reserve time for free play,” says Welling. “Allowing your child to be spontaneous is important.”

5. Include routines that your child

comes to appreciate in the day. “From 4 to 5 pm,” says Heras, “I usually let my kids watch TV while I make dinner. That seems to re-energize them enough to get through the rest of the day.”

6. A bedtime routine including bath

and story time can also help a child relax and prepare for a restful slumber.

blushmom.com | 37


Visit mom.com, the online source for today’s modern mom. for mom

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Go online to keep up-to-date with the latest mom trends, fitness tips, kid-friendly recipes, and enter to win tons of prizes! Mommy Bloggers For Mom

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Little One

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For those rainy days, here are some great printable pages for your child to colour.

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The best products for you and your little one, from soaps and shampoos to makeup and moisturizers, we’ve got you covered.

Anecdotes from a Modern Mom

Managing Editor, Gail Johnson, shares her experiences of working and raising two young boys.

Emily's Great Expectations

First-time mom-to-be, Emily Beecher, shares her experience of preparing for her little one-to-be—the good, bad, and the unexpected!

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Products we love that will make your life easier and your kid’s playtime even more exciting–all available to be won!

tot of the month

Enter your little one to be the next blush Tot of the Month!


7,000

is the number of diaper changes parents can expect to make by the time their baby turns two! Coincidentally, parents can also expect to spend $7,000 on baby-related items before baby turns one.

{ your little one } well-being · potty training · toys · bed wetting · siblings · finances

blushmom.com | 39


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{ your little one }

Raising

healthy, happy children Moms share their wisdom Laina Shulman

Margot was eight months pregnant and feeling wonderful. She took steps to ensure she had a healthy pregnancy and was eager to learn everything she could about the healthiest choices for her baby throughout early childhood. }

blushmom.com | 41


{ your little one }

Margot phoned her sister Laura who was very conscientious about making healthy choices for her own three children. Laura’s friends also made their children’s health a priority, and she offered to invite them over to share their experience and advice with Margot. After all, what are sisters for?

Healthy food choices

The moms all got together for lunch, and Laura served salmon, mixed green salad, whole grain buns, and berries for dessert. It was no coincidence that the meal contained fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein—a perfect meal to eat when breastfeeding or to feed your children once they’re eating solids. Laura explained that she specifically chose salmon because of its high levels of DHA, an omega-3 essential fat. She told her sister that studies show that when mothers consume fish oils, they significantly increase the amount of omega-3s in breast milk. Omega-3s are crucial for the optimal development of the brain and eyes, and higher levels taken by breastfeeding mothers have been linked to less interrupted sleep in their babies. The other mothers smiled, knowing the importance of consistent sleep, not only for the baby, but for the entire family.

Ongoing supplementation

Laura reminded Margot to continue taking her prenatal vitamins after her baby was born, as they would contribute to the health of her breast milk. She pointed out that

folic acid is important to a growing baby. One of Laura’s friends mentioned that because she was vegan she always ensured that her supplement contained adequate B12, which is critical for the development of the child’s nervous system and to prevent anemia. She was planning to raise her children vegan and was therefore going to give them B12 supplements throughout childhood. Margot mentioned that she was planning to breastfeed for one year, as recommended. She knew that if breastfeeding was going well, her baby would require no other food or drink until four to six months of age. She had recently learned that breast milk is over 90 percent water so healthy breastfed babies don’t require extra water until they begin solid food, even in the summer. They discussed feeding children a variety of healthy foods and the role of vitamins and mineral supplements for children. While getting much-needed nutrients from food is always best, the moms agreed that sometimes adding a supplement to a child's diet ensures they get what their growing bodies need and reduces the risk of certain deficiencies and illnesses.

Eating can be fun

While all of the mothers were very motivated to feed their children optimally, they reminded Margot that she will decide what healthy foods to offer, but her child will decide which foods to eat. One woman who had a picky eater made figures out of her children’s fruits and vegetables once they were old enough to appreciate them. }

“Mothers who had a picky eater made figures out of their children’s fruits and vegetables once they were old enough to appreciate them.”

42 | blush FALL 2009


Average sleep requirements for infants Age

1 week 1 month 3 months 6 months 9 months 12 months

Total hours of sleep in a 24-hour period 16 15.5 15 14 14 14

“Breast milk is over 90 percent water so healthy breastfed babies don’t require extra water until they begin solid food.” blushmom.com | 43


{ your little one }

Recommended daily allowance (RDA) for infants and children Nutrients

0 to 6 months

7 to 12 months

1 to 3 years

4 to 5 years

vitamin A

400 mcg

500 mcg

300 mcg

400 mcg

vitamin C

40 mg

50 mg

15 mg

25 mg

vitamin D*

5 mcg

5 mcg

5 mcg

5 mcg

vitamin E

4 mg

5 mg

6 mg

7 mg

vitamin K

2 mcg

2.5 mcg

30 mcg

55 mcg

vitamin B1 thiamin

0.2 mg

0.3 mg

0.5 mg

0.6 mg

vitamin B2 riboflavin

0.3 mg

0.4 mg

0.5 mg

0.6 mg

vitamin B3 - niacin

2 mg

4 mg

6 mg

8 mg

vitamin B5 pantothenic acid

1.7 mg

1.8 mg

2 mg

3 mg

vitamin B6

0.1 mg

0.3 mg

0.5 mg

0.6 mg

vitamin B12

0.4 mcg

0.5 mcg

0.9 mcg

1.2 mcg

folic acid

65 mcg

80 mcg

150 mcg

200 mcg

* Note: vitamin D should be taken in cholecalciferal form (1 mcg cholecalciferol = 40 IU vitamin D).

44 | blush FALL 2009


“Every night after dinner their family had a dance party and her daughter picked the music.” “I often ask them if they would like a puppy or a clown. This not only gives them the opportunity to choose, it makes it easier for me to say, ‘Now let’s eat the clown’s ears!’ The ears may be cucumbers, red peppers, or even broccoli,” she says. “The children often request new animals and shapes. It’s quick to do and we have fun creating the plates together.”

The family that plays together

The topic then turned to making activity a regular, playful part of the day. Some of the mothers enrolled their children in parent/tot gymnastics or swimming while other mothers kept activity less structured. One mother said that every night after dinner their family had a dance party and her daughter picked the music. To keep it fresh, sometimes they played “freeze” with everyone freezing when the music stops. Other times they played follow the leader and copied the leader’s dance steps. One of Laura’s friends mentioned that her son enjoyed structure and competition, even at age three. They often worked together to create simple obstacle courses that included things such as running to the tree and around it three times, or doing four jumping jacks while yelling out his favourite foods, and then high-fiving her on the way by. She made the obstacle courses as long or short as her child could handle. Her son often enjoyed it when she timed him, doing the course repeatedly in order to try to beat his record. No matter what activity the family chose, the mothers agreed that planning over dinner was half the fun. The games

they played as a family provided them all an opportunity to be silly and let the stresses of the day dissipate, setting another healthy example for their children.

Quiet time

After playtime many of the mothers implemented a family quiet time to wind down before bed and read bedtime stories. Depending on a child’s temperament, this usually began at age two to three and lasted anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. Everyone in the family met in the living room with a quiet activity. The parents usually brought their own book to read as a model for their children. Some of the children looked at picture books, drew pictures, or did puzzles. This routine helped their children wind down before bed, making regular bedtime routines easier and allowing their children to fall asleep more quickly. Studies show that children who do not get enough sleep can be irritable, aggressive, and may have trouble getting along well with other children. Margot received some invaluable advice over lunch that day and realized that the best way to ensure that her children developed healthy habits was to make them a priority for the entire family. b

Laina Shulman, co-founder of Pure-Health, is a chiropractor, consultant, and speaker residing in London, Ontario. pure-health.com

blushmom.com | 45


{ your little one }

Hopping aboard the potty train Putting your child at the controls Josie Padro

As parents, we revel in our child’s milestones ... the first smile, the first tooth, those first steps. Potty training, though, is the first milestone that seems to demand our direct participation—and that can be a frightening thought. 46 | blush FALL 2009


Toilet training is nothing to dread. While it takes patience and perseverance, making the experience stress-free and positive for the child is really the goal—whether it takes a day or a few months. Experts tell us not to worry about the age at which our child is potty trained; instead they suggest we watch for indications of readiness which can begin at 18 to 24 months of age. Some of those signs include the ability to stay dry for at least two hours at a time, the ability to follow simple instructions, the ability to let you know he or she needs to use the toilet, and an interest in using the toilet or watching others use it.

Who’s training whom?

It’s important to keep in mind that it is our children who are in control. In fact, they can often be one little potty step ahead of us, as Racquel Foran discovered when she used Smarties as an incentive. After noticing her little girl’s trips to the toilet were becoming increasingly frequent, Foran got wise. “I quickly figured out she had learned to control her pee so that she could get more Smarties,” says Foran.

Bare basics

Dr. Jill M. Lekovic, author of Diaper-Free Before 3 (Crown, 2006) and bona fide potty training evangelist suggests allowing little ones to spend time in cloth training pants or even bare-bottomed, if possible. Trudy Vong used this approach with each of her three boys. Taking advantage of her three-week summer holiday at her mother’s house, Vong refrained from putting diapers on her boys and instead put them in underwear and shorts. At regular intervals she took them to the bathroom and let them give it a try. “There would be times,” says Vong, “when they would do their business or get away from me, half naked, running around, enjoying the freedom. I would chase after them with a plastic container hoping no little accident would happen, which was why the hardwood floor at Mom’s was a godsend. After three weeks, they were trained—no diapers during the day, only at night when they were sleeping.” No matter the approach, there are a few strategies to keep in mind: · Once you start toilet training, plan on staying close to home for the first while. · Incorporate regular toileting times into your day—even if your child is showing no interest in using the potty, it will become part of his or her routine.

Diaper freedom A new approach to toileting takes its cue from cultures that have traditionally managed without diapers. In her book The Diaper-Free Baby (HarperCollins, 2006), Christine Gross-Loh describes a toileting approach in which parents tune into their baby’s natural elimination schedule. While the diaper-free method may seem revolutionary, it saves parents the cost of disposable or cloth diapers and is much easier on the environment. Another attractive aspect of this method is children often transition to toilet independence much sooner. For more information pick up the book or go to diaperfreebaby.org.

“Making the experience stress-free and positive for the child is the goal.” · Talk to your child about using the potty; read stories about it; sing songs. · Refrain from judgemental words such as “naughty” or “bad” when the child makes a mistake. · When your child does have an accident, be sympathetic. · Empty diaper solids into the toilet. As unpleasant as this may sound, it demonstrates where those diaper contents should go. · Stay flexible. You may have to put off toilet training if your child is feeling unwell or experiencing other stresses such as the birth of a new sibling. With toilet training, as with so many aspects of parenting, we must choose an approach that works for us and for our children. The result is not only a confident child who can be proud of his or her independence, but it can also result in a gold mine of family mythology that points to how clever a wee potty trainer can be. b

Josie Padro is a writer and mother of two boys. She wishes she knew of a method for training them to keep their rooms tidy.

blushmom.com | 47


{ your little one } ENTER AT blushmom.com to win this and other great products from

blush!

Eames Kids Fibreglass Rocker nood.ca $279 Children appreciate good design too! This modern rocking chair is constructed of a fibreglass shell and features stainless steel legs and a solid walnut rocking base. In an assortment of colours, this rocking chair will go with any décor.

Color Me Fun

Color Me House and Color Me Rocket colormehouse.com $39.95 and $49.95 Color Me House and Color Me Rocket will invite creativity and set children’s imaginations to play as they colour, paint, and create the fort of their dreams. Imagine the fun! Eco-friendly and made in the USA.

48 | blush FALL 2009

Mini Mioche Blanket and Bliss Bib minimioche.com $64 and $14

Cuddle blanket: Our very favourite oversized sweatshirt blanket. Super soft, super cozy fleece fabric - made from 100% organic cotton. Bliss bib: The ideal basic bib - no graphics, no prints so it doesn’t clash with baby’s outfits! Double snap closure for zero irritation to baby’s neck and adjusts for baby’s growth.

Wooden Arabian Rocking Horse - Plan Toys pebblebaby.com $120 This rocking horse has a great modern design, while being made with environmentally friendly processes. Great for your little one to learn balance and develop their strength, all while playing. Ideal for children aged 3 to 5, the Arabian Rocking Horse looks great in any room, while developing your kids' coordination and motor skills.

Design Dazzle Crib Sheet Sets designdazzle.com; designdazzle.blogspot.com $200 Shades of blue, brown, and cream polka dots and plaid make this an excellent choice for your baby boy's nursery. The Go Car Go bedding set includes quilt, bumper, crib skirt, and sheet.

Pink Paisley Splash is an adorable and fun set for a little girl's nursery. Make a colourful splash with this fresh combination of paisley, stripes, and polka dots. The Pink Paisley Splash set includes quilt, bumper, crib skirt, and sheet.

Design Dazzle is offering a 20% discount on all crib bedding to blush readers. Type design dazzle in voucher/coupon box. Offer ends October 15, 2009.


Books

Adventures in Fairyopolis

The Gruffalo

By Cicely Mary Barker Penguin, 2009, 160 pages, $18.50 ISBN: 978-0-723-26389-0

By Julia Donaldson Macmillan Children’s Books, 2009, 40 pages, $9.99 ISBN: 978-0-330-50741-7

A wonderful treasury featuring five engaging Flower Fairies stories! Taken from the popular Flower Fairies chapter book series, this treasury of tales is illustrated throughout in black and white using Cicely Mary Barker’s artwork. Every story opener has a full-colour illustration that shows the Flower Fairies in their magical surroundings. Perfect for all fairy fans!

The special 10th anniversary edition of The Gruffalo comes rewrapped in a golden cover and includes anniversary letters from both the book’s author, Julia Donaldson, and its illustrator, Axel Scheffler. Of course the story is still a classic and follows the adventures of a little mouse as he boldly makes his way through the deep, dark woods. A delightful tale that the whole family will love!

A fantastic little library of six chunky In the Night Garden board books in their very own little slipcase! The new In the Night Garden Little Library is the perfect gift for your Igglepiggle and Makka Pakka mad toddler.

Honey, I Wrecked the Kids

Lightning Bug Literacy Kit

The Diaper-Free Baby

By Christine Gross-Loh Harper Collins, 2009, 210 pages, $19.99 ISBN: 978-0-06-122970-1

Christine Gross-Loh reveals in The DiaperFree Baby that infants are born with the ability to communicate their need to “go,” just as naturally as they express hunger or sleepiness. The Diaper-Free Baby provides easy to understand information for caregivers interested in an effective alternative to conventional toilet training. This enlightening book offers motivational stories of parents’ experiences to encourage and support those new to the technique. The Diaper-Free Baby offers the potential for happier babies and parents—what could be better than that?

By Alyson Schafer Wiley, 2009, 247 pages, $19.95 ISBN: 978-0-470-15603-2

TV host and psychotherapist Alyson Schafer helps rescue parents at the end of their rope with Honey, I Wrecked the Kids.  This book explains why children today, because of their resistance to traditional parenting methods, need a new model that works. Honey, I Wrecked the Kids is full of real-life examples of kids’ misbehaviour and helps parents understand their role in creating it. This much needed book offers tangible, good-humoured advice that will make parenting both manageable and rewarding.

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{ your little one }

Solutions for bed wetting From embarrassment to resolution

Joey Shulman DC, RNCP

Bedwetting, or nocturnal enuresis, is a common problem that affects many children while they sleep. Though it can be frustrating for the child and the parents, it’s a problem that (except in very rare cases) improves with age. It is estimated that 15 percent of five-year-olds wet the bed, while the incidence declines to 6 to 8 percent for eight-year-olds, and 2 percent for 15-year-olds.

What causes it?

There are several possible causes for bedwetting, including: · being a deep sleeper · having a small bladder · suffering from chronic constipation (which presses on the bladder) · tolerating food allergies Bedwetting often runs in families with the odds dramatically increasing if both parents wet the bed when they were children. Although the situation may be stress-provoking for both child and adult, parents should rest assured that, in most cases, bedwetting is not a sign of deeper emotional issues.

What can you do?

While most children will outgrow the behaviour, parents often feel helpless and start searching for solutions. Currently, there are several treatments that offer varying degrees of success depending on the child.

Medication A prescription medication, desmopressin acetate (or DDAVP), is

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sometimes used to treat bedwetting. Studies show that this medication, taken orally, helps the child’s body eliminate less water in the urine and decreases the pressure exerted on the contents of the bladder. Typically this approach is used for special situations such as sleepovers. DDAVP can have mild side effects, including headaches or stomach pain.

Bedwetting alarms Worn around the child’s waist, a bedwetting alarm goes off when he or she starts to urinate. The alarm helps the child learn to wake up when his or her bladder is full. Though effective when used systematically over several months, the downside to these alarms is that they also wake others in the house and are impractical for sleepovers or camping.

Sticker chart While some experts recommend using a sticker chart for motivational purposes, I am not an advocate. Bedwetting is an involuntary behaviour that occurs in an unconscious state. Attempting to use a sticker chart with rewards for dry nights may only make your child feel worse about a situation that is out of their control.

Other helpful approaches

Limit your child’s fluid at night; he or she should drink more during the day. Remind your child to go to the bathroom one final time before going to bed. Limit the amount of caffeine your child consumes (chocolate, tea, cola); it can irritate the bladder. Wake your child in the middle of the night to empty his or her bladder. Make sure your child can easily get to the bathroom at night; use a night light to guide the way.

Should my child wear absorbent underpants?

If your child is not ready to stop bedwetting, putting him or her in a night protection undergarment is a wise idea to limit the laundry you do. It also ensures your child has a good night’s sleep. In order to preserve self-esteem, use age-appropriate nighttime protection: diapers are suitable for toddlers, and discrete nighttime undergarments that mimic absorbent underwear can be used for older children. Once your child has a stretch of dry nights in absorbent underpants, you’ll know that he or she is on the way to outgrowing nighttime bedwetting.


Take-home point

Bedwetting is not a long-lasting behaviour and will eventually be outgrown. However, providing emotional support and reassurance along the way can help your child feel better about himself until it stops. Never punish or spank your child for wetting his bed or make a big deal of the situation. Reassure through hugs, love, and comfort and with the knowledge that you can all look forward to dry nights ahead. b Joey Shulman, DC, RNCP, is the author of several best-selling books and the founder of The Shulman Weight Loss Clinic. drjoey.com

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{ your little one }

When baby comes home Introducing new siblings

Kathy Buckworth

“Fish and visitors smell in three days,” said Benjamin Franklin, and if the visitor is a newborn baby it won’t take long for big brother or sister to figure out that this baby stinks, and it’s not going anywhere. Preparing siblings for the arrival (and continued presence) of a new baby can be stressful.

Open communication

Alyson Schafer, psychotherapist and author of Honey, I Wrecked the Kids (Wiley, 2009) suggests open communication. “Mention you’re having a baby and that you are excited, answer any questions, but also expect to repeat and add information over the weeks and months ahead as the reality of the situation becomes more apparent.” Maureen Dennis, founder of a popular Canadian website for new moms, agrees. “While expecting our third child, we were concerned about the reactions from our son (five) and

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our daughter (three). We waited to tell them about the baby until our first ultrasound. We took them with us and had them look at the screen to see the baby.” Engaging the children in the process can help them to bond before baby comes, but kids may still experience negative feelings as their lives are impacted. The best way to deal with the momentous change the older child is going through is to emphasize what is the same. “Stick to routines as much as possible,” says Schafer.

Jealous confusion

Schafer also advises that it is a mistake to dismiss jealous feelings. “Parents need to be careful to validate these negative feelings rather than

telling them that what they feel is wrong. For example, don’t say ‘there is nothing to feel jealous about.’ Instead, try mirroring their emotions back to them: ‘I understand that things won’t be the same for you around here. We need to work on dealing with that.’” Sarah Gunn, expecting her second child, received sage advice from a friend on handling her 23-monthold’s reaction. “She said having a new sibling introduced to our home would feel the same to [our first son as it would to me] if my husband brought home another wife. He may say, I love you both equally and I will still be here for you, but it would not sit well!” Gunn worries about how her toddler will react to the shift in attention.


“Engaging your children in the pregnancy process can help them to bond before baby comes.” “He is used to having mommy all to himself, all day, every day.” Schafer has heard this concern. “Sibling relationships have so many benefits I can’t believe how many people pity their children for having another baby,” she says.

Logistical concerns

Making room emotionally is only part of it—logistics need to be considered. Preparing the nursery early can help to de-emphasize the feeling of displacement for a child, if they need to be moved. Do it well in advance of

baby’s arrival, and try to make the two events unrelated. Schafer also advises against an apology present for older children (from the baby, for instance), as it re-emphasizes that they have been dethroned. Likewise, telling them they are no longer the baby, “you’re a big sister now” or “you’re so big that you can drink from a cup but the baby can’t” is not always a positive. Kids don’t want to be big when being little is gaining all the attention.” Advising them on appropriate behaviour for their age is more effective.

Remember above all, “You are bringing the gift of a sibling, not depriving a child of parental attention,” Schafer says. It’s a perfect piece of advice to keep in mind when you’re grappling with the needs of your new baby and the desires of your older children. b

Kathy Buckworth’s newest book, The BlackBerry Diaries: Adventures in Modern Motherhood (Key Porter Books, 2009) is available at bookstores everywhere. kathybuckworth.com

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{ your little one }

Toy box aff luenza Too much of a good thing can sour the joy of toys Renee Blackstone

Gift giving is usually a happy event, a loving gesture that says, “I care for you.” But in this age of “affluenza,” (affluence and influenza combined to indicate rampant consumerism) giving children too many gifts can lead to materialistic impulses, demands for instant gratification, and feelings of entitlement.

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You see this in the eager faces and hear it in the whiny voices whenever you visit a store that carries toys. I recently watched a mom try to steer her young daughter away from a toy display in a large supermarket. The child wouldn’t take no for an answer and began to cry. It’s moments like this that are leading parents to rethink the bottomless toy box.

Changing expectations

One stumbling block to change is the legion of loving relatives and friends, each of whom adores the child and has brought just the perfect gift for him or her. It’s nearly impossible to change the gift-giving impulse in some of these people. They get enormous pleasure from choosing something special for the child. But there are many others who want to help downsize the consumer impulse that is, to a large extent, at the heart of our current economic doldrums. Maybe Auntie Judy or Grandma has dropped hints that they’d like to find an alternative to giving another toy. Can you bring up the subject of money—cold hard cash— without seeming greedy? Yes, but carefully and only when asked, say the etiquette experts, because a gift is always optional.

Financial futures

So what to suggest when the subject of money comes up? One of the best things is to invest in the child’s

educational future with contributions to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), says Nick Milau, an investment advisor at RBC Dominion Securities. Anyone can contribute to a child’s plan, and the government will match 20 percent a year, or up to $500 when a total of $2,500 is put in the plan for that year. If a cheque alone seems too cold to the giver, suggest an educational toy or experience to go with it; perhaps a book, or a class or workshop that matches the child’s interest.

that a third will go into each bank. The spending is obvious. She can do what she wants with that money. The sharing part is a brilliant way to cultivate the giving instinct. Let her choose a cause or charity—animal welfare, child poverty, or the environment—to donate to. The third, the savings, is for something bigger, be it a bike, a trip, or something else that is costly. The lessons are clear. Money is there to spend, but it is also a tool for bettering the world as well as something to put aside for future gratification.

“If a cheque seems too cold, consider an educational toy or experience that matches the child’s interest.” “I always tell [my daughter] that her [annual acting] workshop is a birthday present,” says Lynn Easton, a BCbased mother of two girls aged 12 and 14, and an early childhood advocate and writer on early childhood issues.

Spend, share, save

Another suggestion made by Milau, father of two-and-a-half-year-old Noah and two-month-old Liam, involves both money and lifelong lessons. It’s called the “spend, share, save” concept and requires three piggy banks. Give the child the banks and money, be it $30 or $300, and tell them

Altruistic options

Even if money is something that is too prickly to discuss, there are gift options that do not involve toys. Kids can adopt an animal through the World Wildlife Fund and help save endangered animals from around the world—while supporting conservation efforts to preserve natural habitats. They can sponsor a child and watch his or her progress with photos and letters through agencies such as Compassion International, World Vision, or Save the Children. Whatever you decide to do, remember that the surplus of toys your child already has may be used to brighten someone else’s life. There are many kids who don’t have any toys and would love to have the ones your child has outgrown or has no interest in. Check with your local child charities. b Renee Blackstone is a freelance writer and editor who is Oma to two adorable little girls with way too many toys. But now she’s on to some options.

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{ your life } Fitness: pregnancy, new baby, toddler · family · food · paint

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{ your life }

Pregnant women need muscles! Get lifting safely Melanie Osmack

Photos by Carmen Schmid

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada recommends that women with uncomplicated pregnancies strength train two to three times a week. Women who strength train throughout their pregnancies are more likely to enjoy an energetic and comfortable pregnancy than those who don’t. They’re less likely to suffer from common complaints such as lower back pain. Active women are also better able to cope psychologically with the physical changes of pregnancy. It’s easy to see why so many moms-to-be are choosing to develop a strong body for pregnancy, labour, and parenthood. “There is nothing more powerful than knowing that I am going into labour as a strong woman,” says Callie Camp, a pre- and postnatal fitness instructor. After a smooth first pregnancy and birth, Camp’s second pregnancy was altogether different, and she ended up having a Caesarean section. “I am so thankful for the strength I maintained throughout my pregnancy. When I was ready to ease back into fitness, I was pleased to find that I was still strong,” says Camp.

Low row: squeeze your shoulder blades together.

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{ your life } Strength training routine for pregnancy Before beginning the following exercise routine, all pregnant women should complete a PARmed-X for Pregnancy and have it signed by their doctor or midwife. This form (available at fit4two.ca) is required by most fitness facilities and gives your doctor’s or midwife’s assurance that you can safely exercise.

Equipment needed: + resistance band + yoga mat + water bottle

Superwoman:

extend opposite arm and leg as you hug your baby to your spine and squeeze your gluteal muscles.

Squat: imagine you’re sitting down on a chair. Don’t let your knees protrude over your toes.

Lunge: stand tall. Use a long stride so your front knee doesn’t protrude over your toes.

Triceps kickback: keep

your elbows close to your body. Engage your core muscles as you extend your arms.

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Core tip

Biceps curl: keep your elbows close to your body and your knees soft.

Engage your deep core muscles during each exercise by lifting your vaginal muscles (do a Kegel) and hugging your baby into your spine.

Chest press:

Do this routine two to three days a week. When you’re ready, try adding a second set.

· 10-minute power walk warmup (50 to 60 percent effort) · 10 squats · 10 narrow leg squats · 10 low rows with a band · 10 chest presses with a band · 10 right leg forward lunges

engage your deep core muscles by hugging your baby toward your spine before you press your arms forward.

·1  0 left leg forward lunges ·1  0 biceps curls with bands ·1  0 triceps kickbacks with band ·5  -minute cool-down walk (40 percent effort) ·1  0 cat pose ·1  0 superwoman ·S  tretch all major muscle groups

Cat: lift your pelvic floor by doing a Kegel and hug your baby into your spine as you go into cat position.

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{ your life }

flat tummies mommies

Work off that muffin top

for

Ask any new mom which part of her body she’d like to tone up, and she’ll tell you it’s her stomach. We’ve even created a special lexicon to describe our postpregnancy bellies: the “mommy muffin top.” Many women are surprised to learn that one of the best ways to achieve a flatter tummy is to do Kegels. When you activate your pelvic floor, it kicks your transversus abdominis (tummy-flattening muscle) into gear. End result? Strong, deep core muscles and a flatter tummy.

Abdominal Separation Almost 50 percent of new moms have abdominal separation (diastasis recti) caused by pregnancy or birth. The left and right sides of the diastasis recti muscle (the six-pack muscle) separate along the body’s midline. Be sure to have your health care practitioner assess your core muscles before beginning an exercise program. If you have a separation, ask for a referral to a physiotherapist.

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Melanie Osmack

Photos by Carmen Schmid

5 steps to a flatter tummy 1. E  at a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. This will improve digestion and reduce bloating. 2. F  ind your pelvic floor. To get a flat tummy, you need to find your Kegel muscles. Not every cue works for every woman, so here are a few to try: » squeeze and lift your pelvic floor » squeeze and lift the muscles of your vagina » draw your tailbone to your pubic bone » imagine you are stopping the flow of urine 3. E  ngage your deep core muscles during all of your exercises. For example, lift your pelvic floor and draw your navel into your spine before you do an abdominal curl. 4. S  et aside 10 minutes every day to prioritize your core. Make it the same time each day, and let your family know that you will need their support to make it happen. 5. C  hallenge yourself. Choose exercises that make you sweat. Just make sure you can still activate your deep core muscles as you’re performing the exercises.


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Side Plank with a Kegel

Lie on your side. Balancing on your knees and on one elbow placed directly under your shoulder, lift your body toward the sky. Extend your top arm up to increase the intensity. Breathe. While you are up there, do 10 Kegels. Add 2 to 5 more Kegels every week until you can stay in this position for 30 Kegels.

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{ your life }

3.

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2.

Mindful Curls

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Fold your arms across your chest. Inhale. As you exhale, activate your pelvic floor, draw your navel into your spine, and then raise your shoulders off the ground. Repeat 10 to 20 times.

Heel Drops

Lie on your back with your feet off the floor and your knees over your hips. Rest your arms at your sides. Inhale. As you exhale, activate your pelvic floor, draw your navel into your spine, and then lower one heel toward the ground. Alternate heels while keeping your back and hips on the ground. Repeat 10 to 20 times.


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{ your life }

move

Moms on the

The Toddler Years Melanie Osmack

Photo by Scott Yavis

When our babies take their first steps, we are so proud. But reality soon sets in: our wee ones can walk away! These little wonders, who up until now conveniently sat on the mat while mommy exercised, are wandering off in search of adventure. Is this the end of your regular fitness regime? It doesn’t have to be. Here are some great options:

Rolling with it

Many toddlers enjoy stroller fitness. A well-designed class will have just the right balance of stop-and-go so that your child will remain content for a full hour workout. A seasoned instructor will also add some songs, chants, and kid-inclusive activities. Classes usually take place outdoors, but many continue inside throughout the winter.

Taking turns

Teach your toddler about turn taking. Set up a workout schedule with your partner so that you each get two to three opportunities to be active each week. If you’re both exercising regularly, you’ll have more energy for each other and for your children.

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Childminding

Many fitness facilities offer childminding. Please note that childminding is not the same as child care. You should expect your child to be looked after in a safe and social environment, but don’t expect developmental activities or individualized attention. If you’re joining a gym mainly for the childminding, ask for a one-week trial to see how it goes. It’s also a good idea to have a clause in the contract saying that you can terminate your membership without penalty if the facility ceases to offer suitable childminding services.

Here’s an example: Sandy walks her daughter to preschool while pushing her toddler in the stroller. (She burns 20 percent more calories when pushing a stroller as opposed to simply walking). After dropping her toddler off, she does 20 walking lunges while pushing her stroller behind the school. She stops to do two sets of 15 push-ups on the park bench. As she carries on with her morning, she tries to fit in an exercise for every major muscle group. When she picks up her daughter from preschool, they do some yoga together in the park. b

Multitasking

Are you reading this article while brushing your teeth? If so, multitasking is the fitness option for you. Many busy moms find it works best to fit exercise into their daily routine.

Melanie Osmack founded Fit 4 Two. As a certified pre- and postnatal fitness specialist, she teaches fitness classes for new moms and momsto-be in Vancouver, BC. She has two children.


“W hen she picks up her daughter from preschool, they do some yoga together in the park.�

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{ your life }

Family time Rethinking our priorities

Melissa Galea, MA

Most of us say that family is our top priority. Yet how often does family time get bumped because of other commitments? Work, errands, and exhaustion might thwart your best efforts to spend time with your family, but finding that time might be easier than you think. If you’re finding less and less time to spend with family members, you’re not alone. Family time has been declining for decades as we work longer hours and enjoy less leisure time. If a long working day or simply having too much on your plate is preventing you from spending quality time with your family, here are some reasons to rethink your priorities.

Why is family time important? There are plenty of

reasons to put family time first. Parent-child activities can be educational and can help children develop social skills. A positive family environment can also prevent behavioural problems, keeping kids out of trouble. Your children will definitely thank you down the road—but the benefits of family time are reciprocal. Adults who put their families first cope more easily with other responsibilities and are happier in their jobs. A satisfying family life can even buffer stress at work. Above all, family time is mutually satisfying, and spending sufficient time together fosters family strength and well-being.

Quality time: the little things count. Allocating time with family is no easy task. Even more difficult is ensuring we spend quality time together. But what exactly does this mean? Quality family time suggests setting aside activities that are somehow memorable or rewarding. But an emphasis

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on isolated blocks of quality time can undermine the spontaneous moments that we share—the few minutes tying your son’s shoelace in the morning, bathing your baby at night, or sharing a cuddle with your child before bed. These moments are valuable quality time.

Start your day together. Family meals are the perfect

opportunity for conversation and bonding. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not enjoy it with the most important people in your life? Set your alarm a half hour early once a week, and sit down for a stack of pancakes with the family before starting your day.

Get everyone involved. Instead of “spending” time with family, focus on enjoying time together. Each family is unique, and time together should reflect shared interests and values. Pool your ideas when planning activities, and find things to do that will keep everybody happy. Picnic in the park. A picnic doesn’t have to mean more work for mom. Instead invite family members—aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and friends—to a potluck picnic. Let kids help pack their sandwiches and favourite snacks. Bring along some outdoor toys such as balls, badminton sets, bocce balls, and lawn croquet so adults and little ones alike can enjoy themselves and get some exercise in the fresh air.


“Family meals are the perfect opportunity for conversation and bonding.�

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{ your life }

“A picnic doesn’t have to mean more work for mom. Instead invite family members to a potluck picnic.”

Blaze a trail. Many towns and cities have trails and

walking paths that are fun to explore. Walking and hiking provides the opportunity to teach your little one about the local flora and fauna and foster an appreciation of the great outdoors.

Explore your own town. Instead of booking a family vacation, be a tourist in your own town. There are many fun activities that cost families little to enjoy together. Plan a weekend family outing to the local zoo or game farm where your children can learn about animals firsthand. Older toddlers will enjoy visiting a science museum. Remember to schedule family activities around your baby’s or toddler’s nap times and limit excursions to your youngest family member’s attention span. Fun in your own backyard. If you’re considering taking your little one on a camping trip but feel daunted by the necessary preparations, pitch a tent in your own backyard and have an at-home campout. Grill hotdogs, tell stories, and look up at the stars.

Family activity night. Set aside one night a week

for family time and take turns planning how to spend the evening: play a favourite game, watch a movie, go swimming, or take a family walk or bike ride around the neighbourhood. Another activity that children enjoy is visiting the library. Many libraries have story hours during the afternoon, but if that isn’t convenient, some offer evening story hours for working parents and their tots. With commitment and a little imagination, time can easily be found to enjoy the simple pleasures of life and each other.

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Extended family. Finding time for our immediate families is not that difficult, but with our busy schedules, finding time to spend with our extended families can feel like a guilt-wracked chore. Parents today rely less on help from extended family to raise their kids, and opportunities to bond with grandparents, relatives, and close family friends can be infrequent, especially if they live far away. Still, if you are struggling to coordinate time with your extended family, these expectations can create feelings of guilt and pressure. Don’t be afraid to decline an invitation to visit far-off family and friends. Rather than stressing over the cost and hassle of travel demands, break with tradition and build new ones. Let your family know that you are spending the holidays at home with your immediate family.

“Each family is unique, and time together should reflect shared interests and values.” If you have the room and the energy, invite family to visit you for special occasions. To ease the pressure, suggest guests take turns preparing dinner or doing dishes if mom is doing the cooking. Alternatively, invite relatives to children’s sporting events, school plays, and extracurricular activities. With a little planning and imagination, you can turn even short periods of time into quality family time. b Melissa Galea, MA, is a freelance writer in Windsor, Ontario, who loves a challenging game of Scrabble after dinner with her family.


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{ your life }

Got snacks? A fresh look at urban grazing

Julie Van Rosendaal

Photos by Shawn Taylor, Styling by Irene McGuinness

No matter how old your kids are, if you’re still responsible for their care and feeding, you know how important it is to deflect crankiness with a steady supply of snacks. Between-meal nibbles are more than just filler; they account for almost a third of kids’ total caloric intake. So nutritionally, they should count. Grazing isn’t just for cows anymore; children have smaller digestive systems and high energy requirements which make snacking throughout the day a natural eating pattern for them. The trick is to broaden your horizons beyond yogourt tubes and string cheese. Munchies that are marketed as snack foods are often perfectly nutritious but can get a little boring.

Mini meals

It’s easier and more fitting to think of snacks as mini meals rather than something to merely bridge the gaps

between breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Ideally, each snack should contain some protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This balance is easy to achieve with foods on hand—in a pinch it could be as simple as a glass of milk and a banana. Cook up a little extra at mealtimes; a bowl of leftover pasta, diced meatloaf, or chicken and brown rice can be an ideal snack any time of the day. Kids don’t have the same food prejudices we adults tend to have and are often perfectly happy munching on a slab of cold pizza at 10 in the morning.

Good for baby too

Many moms with toddlers also have babies in tow. Lots of snacks can do double duty for both toddlers and their younger siblings. Try the following snack ideas: Fruit blends Purée berries or mango with a banana in the blender or food processor for your infant; add plain yogourt, a few ice cubes, and a

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drizzle of honey to whip up a smoothie for your toddler (never give honey to a child under 12 months of age). Avocado Soft, ripe avocado makes ideal baby food spooned straight from its skin, and leftovers can be mashed with a fork (add a bit of crushed garlic, pinch of salt, and squeeze of lemon) to make guacamole for you and your toddler to scoop up with baked tortilla chips or whole wheat pitas. Yogourt Good quality plain, full-fat yogourt makes a nutritious snack for infants over six months, delivering calcium, protein, and B vitamins, and can be made into layered parfaits with berries and granola for preschoolers. Or make a bowl of muesli to keep in the fridge and dip into all week. Simply combine equal amounts of yogourt and uncooked oatmeal or barley flakes, add some grated apple and a handful of dried fruit and nuts, and refrigerate overnight; the grains will absorb the moisture from the yogourt and fruit, making them nice and thick.

Grab-and-go snacks

Pancakes are a great way to get your kids to eat whole grains and are easy


Homemade Granola Made from whole grains, this granola will boost fibre intake and deliver antioxidants and vitamins B and E. Granola is easily customizable, according to your tastes, and conveniently transported in small containers or snack bags. 6 cups (1.5 L) old-fashioned (large flake) oats, or a combination of oats and barley flakes 2 cups (500 mL) chopped nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, pecans, green pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or a combination) 1/2 cup (125 mL) honey 1/2 cup (125 mL) maple syrup or brown rice syrup 1/4 cup (60 mL) ground flaxseed (optional) Pinch each of cinnamon and salt 1 cup (250 mL) chopped dried fruit

Preheat oven to 300 F (150 C). Spray large bowl with nonstick spray, and stir everything together except dried fruit. Spread mixture on large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is golden. Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit. Cool completely before storing in airtight containers. Makes about 8 cups (2 L).

Each serving contains: 270 calories; 7.4 g protein; 7.2 g total fat (0.8 sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 46.6 g carbohydrates; 5.2 g fibre; 40 mg sodium

Sweeten yogourt at home Yogourt is a great snack for kids, but be aware that many commercially prepared flavoured yogourts often contain high quantities of sugar—some leading brands have between 35 and 42 grams of sugar per cup. To compare, a regularsized Kit Kat bar contains 22 grams of sugar; a can of Coke contains 42, so make sure you read the label. Try plain yogourt sweetened at home with a teaspoon of apple sauce, jam, or maple syrup.

Granola Parfait blushmom.com | 73


{ your life }

“Ideally, each snack should contain some protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.�

Simple Ham and Pea Wrap

74 | blush FALL 2009


for toddlers and older babies to hold and eat, either whole or cut into strips. Cold leftovers can be toasted or spread with peanut, pea, or almond butter and wrapped around a banana. Dried fruit makes a sweet, chewy snack for kids of all ages; expand your repertoire beyond raisins and apricots to dried pears, cherries, and figs, which are good sources of potassium and iron. Homemade trail mixes, cookies, and granola bars can be great grabbable snacks. If nuts aren’t allowed at school or daycare, try adding green pumpkin seeds to these snacks; pumpkin seeds are lower in fat than most nuts and seeds but very high in fibre and protein. Another snack staple to have on hand that is packed with nutrition is hummus. This versatile chickpea dip is a great inexpensive source of protein and fibre and also provides iron, folate, and vitamins C and B6. For an added vitamin boost, try whirling extras such as spinach, fresh parsley, roasted red peppers, leftover cooked vegetables, or a spoonful of canned pumpkin into the hummus. Canned lentils can be substituted for chickpeas for a different twist on the traditional recipe. Happy grazing!

Green Pea Hummus

Green Pea Hummus Most kids love dips—they’re a good way to encourage them to eat raw veggies. This nutritious hummus, made with green peas, makes a fun dip for little ones. Optional variations include adding spinach, fresh parsley, roasted red peppers, leftover cooked vegetables, or a spoonful of canned pumpkin.. Each serving contains: 134 calories; 5.3 g protein; 6.4 g total fat (0.9 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 14.9 g carbohydrates; 2.3 g fibre; 84 mg sodium

1 - 19 oz (540 mL) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained 1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas, thawed 2 Tbsp (30 mL) tahini (sesame seed paste) or peanut butter 2 garlic cloves, peeled Juice of 1 lemon (2 to 3 Tbsp/30 to 45 mL) 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cumin Salt to taste 2 to 4 Tbsp (30 mL to 60 mL) olive or canola oil 1/4 cup (60 mL) plain yogourt

Put everything but oil and yogourt into bowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined. With the motor running, drizzle in oil gradually until mixture is smooth, then add yogourt. Adjust seasonings to taste; if hummus is too thick, thin with a little extra yogourt, oil, or water. Serve with fresh or toasted whole wheat pitas and/or fresh vegetables. Keep refrigerated for up to a week. Makes about 2 cups (500 mL).

blushmom.com | 75


{ your life } Bump up the fibre If your kids are fans of oats, try adding barley flakes to their oatmeal in the morning or to homemade granola and cookies. Rolled barley flakes look and taste just like oats and take the same time to cook as old-fashioned (large flake) oats but contain about twice the fibre.

Granola Monster Cookies

Trail Blazing Granola Bars & Granola Power Balls

76 | blush FALL 2009


Serve simple snacks with hummus Hummus works well as a dip for veggies or pita bread but is also delicious as a spread or sandwich filler. Try these tasty, on-the-go snack options for your little ones: · spread hummus on a tortilla, top with grated carrot, and roll up · spread hummus on top of halved cherry tomatoes · spread hummus inside mini pita pockets stuffed with shredded lettuce or beets · take the cooked yolk out of devilled eggs (save to crumble over salads) and fill egg with hummus · spread hummus on celery and top with sliced olives · serve hummus with falafels or meatballs for dipping b

Find these recipes and more at blushmom.com

Grilled Hummus Panini

Julie Van Rosendaal wrote One Smart Cookie (Whitecap, 2007) and Grazing (Whitecap, 2009). She is the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One in Calgary.

blushmom.com | 77


{ your life }

Baby’s

nontoxic

nursery

Preparing a healthy space for your newborn

Antoine Giraud

If you’re expecting a new arrival, you probably can’t wait to start converting that old guest room into baby’s new bedroom. But before you start splashing pink paint on the walls and ripping out the carpet, you may want to question how safe your new nursery décor really is. Suddenly charged with the responsibility for a new life, moms and dads may start to see hazards everywhere. When it comes to decorating, though, there are many ways to create a nontoxic, natural environment for baby and to put even the most paranoid parent’s mind at ease.

Baby-safe paint

Most paints contain solvents such as benzene, styrene, and formaldehyde, which are known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds are released into the air and have been linked to health problems. Bear in mind that babies are far more susceptible to the ill effects of VOCs partly because their nervous systems are still developing. They also spend much of their time inside, so poor indoor air quality can affect their development. Be sure to paint your baby’s room a few months before she arrives. Choose zero-VOC water-soluble latex or acrylic paints. They’re durable, washable, fast

78 | blush FALL 2009

drying, low odour, and can be mixed in any shade. Look for products that meet strict environmental standards. Alternatively, choose a vinyl-free wallpaper that features funky prints. Look for wallpaper that is mildewresistant and coated with a nontoxic, water-based glaze that’s easy to clean. If you live in an older home, be aware that paint made before the late 1970s contains lead, which is poisonous if ingested or inhaled. Avoid sanding lead-based paints, because this will coat the room in toxic dust. It’s safe to paint over it, unless the wall is cracked and peeling, in which case you should call a professional painter.

Toxin-free flooring

Reconsider that plush bedroom carpet. Most synthetic carpeting contains carcinogenic chemicals that could be especially hazardous when your baby starts to crawl. Old carpeting can also trap dust, bacteria, and mold. Go instead with a true linoleum (made from natural materials such

as sawdust, linseed oils, pigments, and a jute backing). Cork, bamboo, or hardwood are other safe options. If you opt for hardwood though, make sure the wood is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (whose certification system is supported by the World Wildlife Fund Canada, the Sierra Club of Canada, and the National Aboriginal Forestry Association) and is treated with a zero-VOC finish. Give some warmth to the room by adding a natural wool rug. Finish off your new infant haven with other artful, child-safe touches. As a general rule, accessories and products that are eco-friendly are also baby-friendly. Focus in particular on baby’s sleeping area to ensure a fumefree slumber. Ready to dive in and have some fun? Go ahead and start splashing that pink milk paint on the walls. b

Antoine Giraud is a Vancouver-based writer and editor.


The finishing touches Here are some baby-safe items to complete your toxin-free nursery: » green crib—made with formaldehyde-free adhesives and sustainably harvested wood » organic cotton bedding—free from pesticides so baby can sleep soundly » organic mattress—made with organic cotton, hemp, linen, natural rubber latex, or wool

Green your cleanup

Painting is a messy business, and when it comes to cleanup, pouring paint down the drain can negatively impact the environment. Avoid this waste by using a nonstick painting tray (suitable for latex paint). The slippery, nonstick surface allows wet paint to run off easily so you can pour excess back into the paint can. Then wait for the paint on the tray to dry, peel it off, and throw it away. Not only does this eliminate the need for disposable plastic inserts, but it also keeps paint out of our waterways.

» natural cotton stuffed toys—dyed with safe plant extracts for when baby starts to chew on everything » air filtration system—designed to clear the air of dust, pollen, animal dander, and odours » houseplants—naturally remove toxins from the air, but keep them out of baby’s reach

“Babies spend much of their time inside, so poor indoor air quality can affect their development.” blushmom.com | 79


© 2009 Benjamin Moore & Co., Limited. Benjamin Moore, Benjamin Moore Natura and the triangle “M”symbol are registered trademarks and Green Promise is a trademark licensed to Benjamin Moore & Co., Limited.

Spent over 18 hours choosing the crib she’ll use for about 3 years Spent under 3 minutes choosing the paint that will surround her for about 18 years

HOW SAFE IS YOUR PAINT? Introducing Benjamin Moore Natura™, the new standard in paint safety and quality. Even after tinting it has zero VOCs, virtually no odour and the lowest emissions of any paint on the market. And because it’s from Benjamin Moore, it is unsurpassed in product performance and available in any colour. Benjamin Moore Natura. Part of our Green Promise family of products. To learn more about our environmentally safe, premium quality paints go to naturapaint.com.

Exclusively at select Benjamin Moore retailers.


taking care

of You and Your Little One When it comes to taking care of you and your baby, the options are almost unlimited! We love these all-natural products that really stand out from the pack. HEIKO Natural Lip Therapy This great lip balm is 100% natural and contains soya oil and shea butter to moisturize and rehydrate, with just a hint of peppermint for freshness. Natural goodness for your lips, this will help keep them plump and perfect. $6.99, heiko.ca

Stonyfield Farm YoBaby Yogurt Yobaby Certified Organic Yogurt: everything you want and nothing you don’t! Specially designed for your little ones with Organic whole milk and delicious fruit puree so your toddlers can grow as strong and healthy as nature intended, on a planet that thrives. $5.99, 8x100g, yobaby.ca

HEEL Vibrucol Vibrucol Baby Pure is formulated especially for children up to 12 years of age. With all-natural ingredients, it provides great temporary relief for infections, hyperactivity, colic, flu, teething, and restlessness. Check out the different formats to see what will work best for your kids. $13.50, heel.ca

WELEDA - Calendula Shampoo & Body Wash Wrap your little one in a layer of warmth and protection with this great, and natural, product. This Calendula shampoo and body wash contains powerful healing abilities, yet is as gentle on the skin as a flower. Try this with your little ones to see their hair and skin truly glow. $14.99, usa.weleda.com

Credits Day to night (pages 28 to 30) Hair by Tania Becker at Moods for NOBASURA Escape from the everyday (pages 32 to 35) Makeup and Hair by LucyAnne for LIZBELL Page 32 IKEA: Stockholm rug $450, ikea.ca The Cross: bird jewel box $95; mirabelle and lemon lily mini candlepot, Opulence $15 each; designer's guild tancredi fushia pillow $300; designer's guild brocade pillow $150; silk stripe pillow $80; pitcher

aqua/opal $60; floral votive (blue and pink) $29 each; bohemian hurricane votive yellow/orange moroccan $35; fish vase medium $19; resca pink herringbone throw $135 thecrossdesign.com Benjamin Moore: Natura zero VOC paint #2029-20, baby fern, naturapaint.com Page 33 Home Depot: bamboo area rug $34.97; red watering can $16.99, homedepot.ca Green Toys recycling truck $40, greentoys.com Sprig Toys Front Loader $20, sprigtoys.com

Page 34 Pebble Baby: Plushies monkey-robot (red/blue) $41.00; Plan Toys pull-along snail $30; Plan Toys fruit & veggies play set $25, pebblebaby.com Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair $330, crocodilebaby.com pregnant women need muscles! (pages 59 to 61), flat tummies for mommies (pages 62 to 64), Moms on the move (pages 66 to 67) Makeup and Hair by LucyAnne for LIZBELL Styling by Katie Mogan

blushmom.com | 81


The last word Your baby, your body, your birth

Ever wonder, as a mom, if someone else has the same concerns you do? Turn to our blush moms’ blogs for their unique takes on motherhood:

Emily's great expectations

Emily Beecher

Ever since I became pregnant, I've often been told to think of pregnancy and labour as a marathon. I’m in it for the long haul and the last few miles (the labour) are the hardest of them all. It seems like a good analogy, but what happens after the race? Will I collapse on the floor, stretch, and then head out for a huge meal

involving multiple margaritas and the greasiest burger and fries I can find? (Okay, I'll probably do that!) But what about after the recovery meal? Life goes back to normal? I'm not so sure that's ever going to happen—especially with a newborn infant. So instead, I'm trying to think of this pregnancy as my training program, my practice runs before the biggest race of all—motherhood. You never know which of the practice runs are going to be the hardest—sometimes 5 k can kick your butt and other days you can run

20 k without breaking a sweat. It’s all about getting used to the demands on my body and mind which are exactly the same as pregnancy. As my pregnancy journey progresses to its natural end, it’s time to pony on up to the starting line for the ultimate test of motherhood. I hope you'll join me as I navigate the obstacle course of helicopter parenting, vaccinations, cosleeping, breast feeding, attachment parenting, and percentiles whilst trying to maintain some sort of sense of myself.

Anecdotes from a modern mom Gail Johnson

It seems I’ve gotten myself into a pickle. My littlest, who just turned two, has always had this crazy habit of wanting to get up at 4:30 in the morning. Instead of being a hard-core sleep trainer (we tried, and failed, at Ferber), I’ve always just brought him into bed with me at that hour, plopped him on my breast, and let him nurse and doze off again.

82 | blush FALL 2009

This is, of course, entirely selfishly motivated; I want to get more sleep and having him feed takes far less effort than teaching him to go back down on his own. But did I mention he recently turned two? I’m not exactly sure how or when I’m going to break this habit, but I have a feeling it’s going to be tough. My husband in particular is not at all pleased about our crowded sleeping quarters. He regularly asks when we’re going to get the little guy to sleep on his own, to which I usually offer some kind of pat answer like, “Don’t worry, it’ll all work out.” Granted, I love having my baby cuddled up to me, and knowing

that he feels content, secure, and loved is one of those heart-swellingly glorious sentiments that only moms can relate to. But I do wonder how on earth I’ll get out of this daily pattern. I guess we could get up with the birds. Just think of how much I’d get accomplished by breakfast!

To follow our blush moms’ journeys, visit blushmom.com.


All the iron you need, without the heavy metal.

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Prevent iron deficiency effectively without constipation. For copies of our clinical trials please visit our website www.martinandpleasance.com Available from Health Food Stores and selected Pharmacies including Loblaws, Fortinos, Zehrs, and Shopper’s Drug Mart. 1. McKenna et al. Clinical and laboratory haematology 2003, 25 99-103. A randomized trial investigating an iron-rich natural mineral water as a prophylaxis against iron deficiency in pregnancy.

blushmom.com | 83


Blush #2 - fall 2009  

Second issue of blush magazine, from Alive Publishing Group (www.alive.com), published Fall 2009.

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