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Celebrity Mom: The Social’s

Melissa Grelo Having a Baby:

Prenatal

Special Feature

The Big Transition:

From Crib to Bed Healthy Eating:

Grab-and-Go Snack Ideas UrbanGuide:

2014 Car Seat Guide

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CONNECTING YOUNG FAMILIES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

FALL 2014 • PRICELESS


FALL 2014

volume 12 • issue 3

E dit or’s L e t t e r

i n t h i s i ssue

Many of us brace ourselves as the pace picks up with back-to-school shopping followed by inevitable – those “crazy busy” routines. We are really excited about our line-up of articles and features in this edition of Urbanbaby & Toddler.

feature: From Mommy to Latte Lovin’ Mom: Where Did the Time Go?................ 4 prenatal UrbanBaby: Having a Baby: Prenatal Special....................................... 6 celebrity mom: Mellissa Grelo............................................................................ 8 in the city: Choosing a Preschool..................................................................... 10 nutrition: Healthy Eating: Grab-and-Go Snack Ideas......................................... 13 parenting: Making Bedtime Less Exhausting..................................................... 14 ages & stages: The Big Transition: From Crib to Bed........................................ 15 learning: In Rhythm: Raising a Musical Child..................................................... 16 relationships: The Baby and the Bedroom....................................................... 18 UrbanMarket: Products & Promotions............................................................. 20 education: The New Hybrid: Bridging Learning and Playing.............................. 22 ceo mom: Double Duty: Build Your Wardrobe to Work for You.......................... 24 Great Goods: Back-to-School and Baby On Board........................................... 26 UrbanGuide: 2014 Car Seat Guide.................................................................. 28 UrbanKid: Getting Homework Done................................................................. 30 on the town: Fall Family Fun.............................................................................. 31 spotlight: UrbanMom: Katherine and Aviana..................................................... 31

Read our UBT interview with the dynamic Melissa Grelo, one of four hosts on The Social on page 8-9. If you are expecting a new baby, discover “everything baby” in our Prenatal Guide sponsored by Active Baby. Our 2014 Car Seat Guide can help you sort through options and choices for your little one. I encourage all parents to refer to page 14 for the great article on making bedtime an easier process. For tips on transitioning your toddler from the crib to bed, check the article on page 15. As for the back-to-school theme, we have it covered! See page 11 for our kindergarten-ready checklist. Find grab-and-go snack ideas on page 13 and helpful shoe-fitting tips on page 17. As always we value your feedback. Send your emails to the editor at editor@urbanbaby.ca Editor

On the cover: Billy, 3 years old Location: Bopomo Pictures Studio Clothing: WHEAT Photo Credit: Bopomo Pictures

EDITOR/AD SALES Lara Leontowich

DESIGN/PRODUCTION Shannon Brownlee

CONTRIBUTORS Victoria O’Dea, Julie Romanowski, Tracey Ruiz, Heidi McCurdy, Daniella Ginta, Natacha V. Biem, Joyce Lau, Chelene Knight SUBSCRIPTION urbanbaby & toddler magazine is available for $25.00 per year (includes GST). Published four times per year by Local Kids Media, reaching 68,000 readers per issue.

Material appearing herein may not be reproduced in print or electronically without written permission of the publisher, and without proper credit. Editorial opinions and viewpoints may not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.

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our contact info: (mailing only) Suite 378 - 255 Newport Dr., Port Moody, BC V3H 5H1 Canada Tel: 604.908.8835 Email: info@urbanbaby.ca

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Bellies to Babies Celebration™ Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Don’t miss out on the Fall Bellies to Babies Celebration™. BC’s best and original tradeshow for new and expectant parents. Whether you’re a rookie or becoming a mom for the second or third time, this day is just for you! Dads and Grandparents welcome too! See everything from stylish baby and children’s clothing; unique, baby gear; skin care; to postnatal classes and green baby products. It’s all at one show - under one roof. Moms-to-be can participate in educational workshops. Rookie Dads can take part in our Daddy Diapering Contest. Varied support groups will also be on hand to answer questions for new and expectant parents. Bellies to Babies Celebration™ will feature a wide variety of exhibitors and sponsors, with over $3000 in door prizes. The first 100 Moms in attendance receive a complimentary diaper bag. One lucky winner will win $1000 in prizes from Raspberry Kids. Enter your baby into our Cutest Baby Cover Photo Contest. Your little one could win the opportunity to be featured in an issue of Urbanbaby & Toddler magazine plus win some fantastic prizes. Photos taken on site. Bellies to Babies Celebration™ takes place on Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at the Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive from 11am – 4pm. Admission is by donation

to Vancouver Food Bank Basics for Babies Program. Donations include baby food, formula, diapers and baby wipes. Monetary donations also appreciated. Drop off your old or expired car seats at the tradeshow for recycling and help keep car seats out of the landfill. Bellies to Babies Celebration™ supports “Breastfeeding is Best” and provides a breastfeeding-friendly environment for all. Sponsored by: Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine, JRFM, Raspberry Kids, Z 95.3FM, Lussobaby, Shop n’ Stroll Fitness, Vancouver 24 Hrs, Yoyomama, Movies for Mommies.

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fe a t u re

| by Victoria O’Dea

From Mommy to Latte-Lovin’ Mom: Where Did the Time Go? Last September, a week after our children were back to school, I had an emotional meltdown in bed one night. Between sobs and a mountain of tissues, I incoherently tried to explain to my husband Mark how I was feeling. He listened to me explain the crushing sadness and sense of loss as I realized that by the following autumn all three of our children would be in school full-time. He rubbed my back and read his emails. Clearly, he was concerned too. I was becoming irrelevant and obsolete. I had been a full-time stay-at-home mommy for ten years. The kids were becoming more independent and needing me less each day. I wasn’t going to be “Mommy” for much longer. I was becoming “Mom” while I was still mourning the loss of “Mama”. Before long I would probably be called “Dude”. Adding to my stress was that Logan was not thrilled about this new journey. He stated he was not going to Kindergarten. In fact, he professed to hate Kindergarten, the school, the teachers, the playground and all the kids. He insisted he would not be leaving Mommy. See how smart he is? Who needs Kindergarten? Mark assured me Logan would go to school like a man. (A man who can’t tie his shoes and wears a cape). This was an opportunity for me to explore some new interests, like ironing. Or maybe I could get more creative in the kitchen and make something that didn’t involve noodles and Panko. He might have said something about working out too, but it was hard to hear him with the pillow over his face. By the time winter arrived, Logan’s outlook had shifted slightly. He became mildly curious about Kindergarten. Rumors of hot dogs at lunch had won him over. By Spring, he was borderline excited. It is amazing what a brand new shark lunch box can do for one’s attitude.

My own attitude adjusted too. Maybe six hours of kid-free time wouldn’t be so lonely. I wouldn’t have to pick a grocery store because it had mini shopping carts or a free cookie. I could pick a grocery store because of its proximity to Starbucks. Maybe I would get a pedicure. I began to think of school as liberating. A chance to discover myself again. I could go shopping for clothes at a store that does also sell produce and winter tires. As our enthusiasm grew over the summer, I decided to ask the children what I should do with my new freedom. I knew better than to ask Mark again. Holly, age 8, suggested I do some laundry, cooking, cleaning and vaccuuming. I informed her I already did all those things. She raised her eyebrows a few times and said, “Yeah, but now you can do them…naked!” Interesting, but no. I would like to keep my home-delivered postal service as long as possible. Lily, age 10, was more creative and self-interested. “You can do yoga, sew, write, buy me a phone, help out at school, and hike.” Wait, what was that? You asked for a phone? Of course, I quickly reminded her of our family policy on mobile phones and kids. We would buy her a phone as a wedding gift if we were allowed to pick her spouse. Logan looked at me with his enormous blue eyes and said, “I know what you can do Mommy. You can miss me!” To which, I responded, “Oh, I definitely will Baby Boy. I will miss you the entire time I am at the spa getting my pedicure”. Back to school is going to be amazing this year. Bring on the hot dogs. And the lattes. • Victoria is a stay-at-home mom to her three young children. She resides in Deep Cove. She enjoys her days avoiding laundry, indulging in pedicures and sharing a good laugh with her family.

4 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2014


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| by UB&T and Active Baby

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ce l e b r i t y m o m

| by Urbanbaby & Toddler

The Social’s Melissa Grelo The multi-talented Melissa Grelo is at the top of her game. She quickly gained fame as one of four co-hosts on the increasingly popular, nationally-televised show The Social. She is also a news anchor and co-host of a Toronto News breakfast show. On top of all that, she has now coveted the title of “new mom”. The social media-savvy host and her husband welcomed their baby girl, Marguesa, in early March. It was gift she is truly grateful for after their struggle with infertility for more than two years. Now as she returns to work after a three-month maternity leave, she shares her views on motherhood, including finding her footing as a new mom and figuring out how to balance her high profile professional career with her cherished maternal role. UBT: Your infertility journey had its setbacks. Our readers would like to know more about your challenges and triumphs. MG: We finally got pregnant after two and a half years of trying to get pregnant. You start to get a little annoyed when things are not working out like you expect. I said to my husband maybe we should be pro-active and get checked out. Frankly, I was just

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impatient. Most fertility clinics say they won’t even talk to you unless you have been trying for a year, so they sent us away. After a year with no pregnancy we decided to go back. At that point they did numerous tests. They didn’t find anything medically wrong with either one of us. We were advised we could keep trying on our own but they cautioned us that the stress could start kicking in. We continued for another six months with no success. While this was going on, simultaneously I had been pitching for The Social. I told myself “Ok, I am just going to focus on my career and go for it 110%.” So I went ahead and pitched the show to network executives. All of a sudden, I get a phone call on Christmas vacation. One of the executives and told me “Alright we are doing your show!” I told my husband that it had to be a sign that we needed to stop this baby-making thing. You reach that point in the fertility journey when you feel disappointed, frustrated and sad. Within six months of that big phone call, we were prepping for the show. Within two weeks of changing my morning show schedule because of rehearsals, I got pregnant. Imagine someone who is all career, now thinking “Wholly crap, I am launching my dream show”. Mentally I had put the baby thing on hold. For me, it was a combination of jubilation and total panic. UBT: You have taken a short maternity leave, deciding to be off work for only three months. You ended up finishing work on a Friday and having your daughter on Saturday. What was the transition like for you trying to balance work and family? MG: My motto in life is: fail to plan and plan to fail. I knew that having a baby was, in itself, quite the adventure. I wanted to give myself all the freedom to go through all those changes of being a new mother. I had a really great network set up. One of the big decisions that my husband and I made, was moving to my parents at the horse farm in Caledon where I grew up because that was going to allow my mother to be there with me. That was going to help us on all levels. My mother was going to be, and is, the primary caregiver for my daughter when I am at work. UBT: What has been the hardest part of being a mom? MG: It was at the beginning, which I think is quite natural, when just for a few moments I said, “I can’t do this”. Being a mom for

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the first time you are still trying to figure out this little person and going through so much physically, emotionally and hormonally. There is this little being who is looking up at you and needs you. You hear the cries and you have no idea what this baby needs. You really start to doubt yourself. It was a really shocker for me. UBT: What is the best part of being a mom? MG: Our daughter, now four months, is starting to come into her own and showing a personality. Marguesa is laughing and smiling now. She is just starting to figure out who is a stranger and who isn’t. That is so cool because I realize that this is a whole new level of discovery for her. •

You can catch Melissa Grelo along with her other co-hosts on CTV’s The Social weekdays at 1 p.m.


i n t h e ci t y

| by Urbanbaby & Toddler

Choosing a Preschool Preschool is the first step into a lifetime of learning and can influence how your child views school and learning. The key to choosing the right preschool is going into the process prepared. Determining what you want your child to gain from the preschool experience will help you in your decision making. The best way to keep from becoming overwhelmed by the process is to think about how the preschool will fit into your daily life. Here are some questions to consider:

1. Is it important for the preschool to be near my home? 2. Is it important for the preschool to be near my workplace? 3. Is it important for the preschool to offer childcare services in the morning, afternoon, or both?

Narrowing down the general location and type of setting you need will help make the process of comparing preschools easier to manage and more efficient.

Choosing the Type of Preschool

For many parents, the most confusing part about choosing preschools is trying to make sense of learning style. Educators have different views and approaches, and each option offers unique benefits for your child’s development.

The Montessori Method

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This approach was developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori. It is characterized by an emphasis on children learning at their own pace and not measured against their peers.

The Waldorf Approach www.waldorf.ca

This approach was based on the educational philosophy of the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner. It places an emphasis on imagination in learning and providing students with opportunities to explore their world through the senses, participation and analytical thought.

The Reggio Emilia Approach www.reggioalliance.org

This approach was developed by teacher Loris Malaguzzi, and the parents in the villages of Reggio Emilia, Italy. It focuses on providing opportunities for problem solving through creative thinking and exploration.

The High/Scope Approach www.highscope.org

This approach focuses on letting children be in charge of their own learning. It offers a balance of activities planned by children (e.g., playing with toys, games) and those planned by adults (e.g., group time, field trips, special events). •

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nutrition

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p a re n t i n g

| by Julie Romanowski

Making Bedtime Less Exhausting After a long day, getting your child off to bed easily and happily would be a dream-come-true for most parents. The last thing parents want after a long day is to struggle putting their child to bed. It is one of the most exhausting issues for parents; however, there is a way to help get children off to bed easier. A “super-strategy” is the combination of explaining what to do combined with why it works. The double-whammy approach helps parents understand what is really going on behind the behaviour, enabling them to find a solution that actually works.

Knowing what will happen takes dispels most of the anxiety and confusion which are the common reasons why children act out. When things are clear and visually laid out, they know what to expect. This is why children thrive so well on structure.

This proactive approach of planning a bedtime routine, promotes a more positive outcome with greater success. Reacting negatively and punishing children when they do not listen well, is less effective and misses out on a positive learning experience which can create more anxiety around bedtimes.

Children demonstrate that they have reached the prediction point when they start to do parts of the routine all on their own.

Super-Strategy: How Does it Work?

Encourage children to start winding-down before the bedtime routine even starts. Decrease distractors such as TV, screentime and stimulating activities. Increase quiet activities such as reading, gentle activities or light conversations.

Having a child go off to sleep feeling safe and secure can really help promote a sense of well-being and peace. It can also help young children fall asleep, stay asleep and get their required amount of sleep on a more consistent basis. Smooth-running bedtime routines help parents get their much-needed sleep too (without all the evening drama). Sweet Dreams! •

For best results, help your child to feel as successful as possible by doing it with them or offering guidance and a helping hand. Adapt the routine as needed for the age and development of the child.

Bedtime Routine Checklist • Introduce and discuss what will be happening • Write it down on paper and add visuals • Post the routine near the bedroom • Use it every day consistently • Update routine as needed

Super-Strategy: Why it Works

Julie is a mom, an Early Childhood Consultant and owner of Miss

When children are clear on what the expectations are and learn to repeat specific actions, bedtime rituals are uneventful and with less effort from their parents.

Behaviour: parenting coach and consulting services. Learn more through her tips and blogs. www.missbehaviour.ca

Common Bedtime Routines • Bath time

• Milk/water

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• Scheduled Time for Bed

14 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2014


a g es & s t a g es

| by Tracey Ruiz

The Big Transition: From Crib to Bed For parents and children alike, the transition from crib to bed is a big milestone. Your days of tucking your wee one to sleep and knowing he or she will stay in bed are gone.

Make it a Big Deal

Moving from a crib to a bed is an important step. Before making the transfer, talk to your toddler about how exciting it is that they are old enough to sleep in a “big kid’s bed”. Have them be a part of the adventure by taking them shopping and allowing them choose new bedding.

Make Safety Paramount

Now that your toddler has new freedom you will need to take certain steps to ensure their room is safe and minimize the areas they can explore. Anchor dressers and large furniture. Limit access to drawers and closets as well as creams and lotions. Before we started the first night in the crib, I would sit on the floor of the room to get a “toddler’s view” to figure out what might be intriguing.

Maintain Your Usual Bedtime Routine

Even though your child is sleeping in a different bed, your child will adjust better if you keep the similar bedtime routine he or she had when sleeping in a crib.

Prepare for Negotiations

Anticipate your toddler’s needs before they even ask. This way you can show them that they have everything they need including sippy cup of water, pacifier, teddy and tissue. Your child might ask you to cuddle for just a few more minutes.

Stay Firm and Be Patient

Your child will use the newly-acquired freedom to test the limits by not staying in bed for the first few nights. Gently walk them back to their new bed. Be stern that it is bedtime and time to sleep but be patient; this is an exciting time for them.

Add Creature Comforts

Having a special night light, white noise machine, or a special stuffed “bed friend” can help make the adjustment easier for your toddler. At first the transition may seem hopeless, but be assured that in time your toddler will soon adjust to sleeping in a toddler bed. Keep in mind that praising goes a long way in reinforcing your child’s big milestones. •

Tracey is a Sleep Doula who works with parents from all over Canada helping them get some well-deserved rest. www.sleepdoula.com

Find more parenting articles at www.urbanbaby.ca

fall 2014 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 15


learning

| by Heidi McCurdy

In Rhythm: Raising a Musical Child Music is a universal human gift. Cultures all over the world have their own ways of creating music. Music helps us connect with each other, express our emotions, define our experiences and mark important events. The first sound we ever hear is musical – the rhythm of our mother’s heartbeat is the soundtrack of our beginning. And yet, many people feel that the ability to make music is reserved for a select few – the “musicians” of the world. Many believe that only some are born with natural talent. In fact, all children are musical. We are all born with the wiring needed to develop musical skills (barring a disability that limits movement or sound production). These natural abilities need to be nurtured over time, ideally before age six. Given the right learning opportunities, almost all children can learn to sing in tune and keep a steady beat. You don’t have to think of yourself as a “musician” to raise a musical child. Children learn the most from the modeling of their loved ones – seeing you be musical is the ultimate inspiration. And they learn through play (not “practice”), so the most important thing is to have fun. Here are some simple ways you can support your child’s musical development, regardless of your own experience:

Sing With Your Child

Your child loves the sound of your voice, even if you don’t sing in tune. When you sing, it shows your child that singing is normal, and that people of all ages can sing just for fun. Sing pop songs, lullabies, funny stories, nursery rhymes. Make up songs about your world. Invest in a collection of age-appropriate music (kids’ songs) that you enjoy as well.

Dance With Your Child

In order to learn about rhythm, children need to move, and they need to see you move. Take time to dance to your favourite songs – with your child; and for your child. Clap your hands. Step to the beat. Make up silly actions.

Provide a Variety of Musical Experiences

Take your child to concerts and festivals. Keep a basket of child-friendly instruments handy for family jam sessions. Drum on plastic tubs or pots and pans, or make shakers from empty plastic bottles filled with rice. Listen to fast songs, slow songs, and music from around the world.

Join a Music Class

Early childhood music classes can be a wonderful source of inspiration, fun and community. If the songs and activities are age-appropriate and the teacher is knowledgeable, a class can provide a rich learning environment for your musical family to grow together.

Know That it’s Important

When you provide your child ample opportunities to develop his musical abilities, you help him develop confidence and selfesteem. He will not be embarrassed to sing “Happy Birthday,” and he will be much more successful at learning an instrument at school. He will have an early start at literacy and math skills. Perhaps most importantly, music-making promotes family bonding, happiness and wellness. Even if the memories fade, the positive feelings associated with music will live on. • Heidi is an Early Childhood Music Specialist, voice coach, author and Expressive Arts Therapist. She is also a singer and songwriter who has raised a musical child of her own. She runs Music Together classes for 0 – 5 years at various locations throughout the Lower Mainland. www.harmonyexpressivearts.com

Acknowledge Your Child’s Musical Behaviours

When you notice your child engaging in music, whether she’s sustaining a single sound, bouncing her torso, or picking up part of a song, join in. Repeat her sound back to her. Bounce around while you sing. This mirroring reinforces her behavior and shows encouragement. Sometimes your child might want space to experiment on her own, so be aware of her signals. Never criticize or tease a child (or adult!) about his or her growing musical abilities.

16 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2014

Laurel Behaviour Support Services Educating children with Autism Spectrum Disorder & other developmental disabilities. Optimize your child’s potential with an Early Intensive Behaviour Intervention (EIBI) program based on the science of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). ABA is a proven teaching method used to develop individualized programs for reducing challenging behaviours and teaching new skills in all areas of development: academics, language, social skills, self-care and more. Programs are home-based, Please call 778-945-1430 available across BC and eligible or email laurel@posAbilities.ca for government funding. Visit www.laurelbc.ca Ask us about our free Triple PTM posAbilities - Positive Parenting Program!


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Finding The Right Shoes For Your Child

To ensure the perfect fit for children over 3, check the following six points:

Become a shoe-fitting pro with these tips from Gino Stinziani, Vice President of GEOX Canada.

• The spacing on top of the foot: Check for any excess pressure from the top of the shoe.

When fitting shoes for a child between the ages of 0 – 3, check the following five points:

• The width: There should be no pressure on either side of the foot. Check for this while the child is standing.

• Look for softness and flexibility: Since a newborn’s foot has no bones, only cartilage, it’s important that a newborn’s shoe is made of materials that are soft and extremely flexible. Avoid synthetics like vinyl and plastic as they stimulate perspiration.

• The length: Light pressure should be applied to the toes to determine the length of the foot.

• Be prepared: Babies’ feet grow on average half a size every three months. When fitting a shoe, you should allow a 1 cm from the tip of the toes to the end of the shoe. This creates space for growth without compromising fit. • Ensure a proper fit: If your child has began to stand but not yet walked, their feet should be measured in a seated position while applying slight pressure with the hand to help uncurl and spread toes.

• The heel: Look for proper positioning without applying any pressure to the side of the foot or the ankle bone.

• Flex points: Ensure that the shoe is flexible in the right places and that the heel remains in its proper position. Check for this while the child is walking. • Removable insoles: Leather removable insoles will not only allow the foot to breathe (thanks to the natural breathability of leather), but will also allow you to dry out the shoe if it becomes wet. You can also refresh shoes with a new pair of insoles if the originals have seen better days.

• Support is key: Ankle support is crucial for when your baby begins to walk. The shoe should be reinforced yet flexible enough to aid in movement balance. By age two, the foot muscles and ligaments have developed and the arch has begun to take shape. Advanced walkers at this stage require a shoe that has excellent arch support and flexible soles. • Check the fit: By age three, growth of the foot slows down and grows half a size every six months on average. Look for shoes with removable insoles that extend the life of your child’s footwear.

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re l a t i o n s h i ps

| by Daniela Ginta

The Baby and the Bedroom: Making Time for Intimacy

One of the big questions many expectant couples have is whether sex is still possible during pregnancy and if there is any risk of it harming the baby. The answer is more complex than yes or no. Laura Smith * and her partner had a flourishing relationship before getting pregnant. As soon as their child was born, finding time to be with each other became increasingly difficult. “It’s all about finding the balance and learning as you go,” says Smith, now a mother of two living in Vancouver. “We made our relationship a priority even after our children were born,” Smith explains, “while also being flexible and ready to reprioritize as needed.” According to the medical experts at Mayo Clinic, sex during pregnancy presents no risks as long as your pregnancy progresses normally. Address any concerns with your doctor for added reassurance. The first trimester often comes with nausea, fatigue, and breast tenderness, so sex may be put on the back burner. The second trimester is, for many moms-to-be, the best in terms of physical comfort and energy levels, hence many couples reconsider their first trimester embargo. The third trimester comes with both joys and challenges. Fatigues returns. Along with an expansive mid-section, there is an increased downward pressure as the baby descends. If not restricted by any health condition, sex is a matter of preference. If you have questions, discuss them with your doctor during checkups. The good news is that though sex may be out the window in some cases, intimacy should never follow the same route. Intimacy is more than sex. It could be snuggling, sharing a cup of tea as you wrap up the day; a back rub; and, most importantly communicating needs, worries and concerns. In other words, “being there for each other”.

Once the baby arrives everything changes. From unpredictable sleep routines to occasional colic nights and hormonal changes (yes, again), there will be little is any room for intimacy. Or so it seems. “We try to wake up early just to have a few moments together over a cup of coffee,” Smith says. As every parent knows, even a few moments of adult time - be it talking, or snuggling can make the day run smoother. Once the baby is old enough to be babysat for an hour or two, reinstate some version of date night. If that’s not possible, find other ways to connect such as taking a nap together. Make time for hugs. Research has showed time and time again that hugs are beneficial to growing (in children) and a great catalyst for emotional well-being (for people all ages). Here are a few suggestions to encourage connection with your partner: • Make time for a date, ideally once a week. Stuck inside? Be creative: cook together; bring out candles and some organic sparkling grape juice served in wine glasses. • Sneak in a loving phone call or text; or better yet, arrange to meet for coffee, tea or lunch. • Give each other back massages (refrain from using any essential oils unless you consult with a herbalist beforehand) Sex is not the only way to be intimate. Intimacy starts in the morning when you wake up and involves everything from doing chores together; talking openly about challenges and worries, but mostly sharing the joy of the most transforming experience as a couple: having a baby. • *Name changed by request.

“We always kiss before leaving in the morning and when we reunite at the end of the day,” says Smith. “We know when it’s time to sit down and look at our goals as a family,” she adds, emphasizing that though many things have changed since their second baby was born. “Our time together is a precious commodity”.

18 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2014

Daniela MSc lives in Kamloops with her family, where they learn what the word balance means. Her best understanding of the concept so far is that if you put a lot of love into it all, things are bound to work just fine.


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e d uca t i o n

| by Natacha V. Beim

The New Hybrid: Bridging Learning and Playing

Many parents struggle with whether or not to enroll their children in activities and courses before kindergarten, or to simply let children be children. On one hand, pushing your child to succeed academically before kindergarten can seem unnecessary, and even unhealthy at times. However when you see other parents focused on preparing their children for kindergarten, you can’t help but wonder if your child will be left behind. Fear of falling behind is NOT a good reason to send your child to school early. With that said, leaving your child at home to allow him or her plenty of time to play, is not necessarily the best option either.

The reason why parents and teachers feel forced to choose between learning and play is because they are not aware that doing one doesn’t necessarily mean ignoring the other. Many parents and early learning centers have focused solely on free play or strict school-like lessons. The reality is, you can choose a hybrid of both. By this I don’t mean a few strict lessons intertwined with free play. I mean creating an environment (whether it be at home or school) in which children can play, discover, make friends, laugh and express themselves, while receiving the stimulation they need to develop their brains to the fullest potential. Children rarely reach their fullest potential playing alone. By creating a play environment rich in language and allowing your child interactions with teachers and other children, you are nurturing your child’s natural curiosity and stimulating their brain development at a critical age. Research shows that a child’s brain is in its most formative years before the age of six. This is a prime time for a child to learn as the impact is thought to be greater than all the years of elementary education combined. For this reason, I always recommend that parents expose their children to as much learning as possible before the age of six. Choose a program that is respectful of your child’s interests and needs. If keeping your child at home is your best option, remember that children benefit tremendously from socializing with other children. Provide social experiences in an environment which allows your child to develop various reasoning and experimenting skills as well as reading, art and everything in between.

Children also need plenty of idle time. One of the biggest misconceptions in our society is that children must be busy all the time. I caution parents not to over-book their child with activities. Parents who enroll their children in various activities each and every day may actually be depriving them of one essential component: the freedom to think independently. Always having to follow a teacher’s instructions, limits your child’s critical thinking skills. Allow your child to spend longer amounts of time with friends as opposed to always enrolling them in highlystructured music or dance classes. Let them play what they want to play. Too many activities and social settings for your child can cause unnecessary stress.

22 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2014


Children need to take their time, spend time alone; and become involved in nothing in particular. This is how they develop their imaginations and actually learn from their environment.

The best thing to spend on your child is time. - Louise Hart

An ideal early learning program should respect a child’s interest and desire to participate (or not) in a variety of activities. Thankfully for Canadian parents, there are wonderful programs available for young children varying in frequency, from a few days a week to several times a week. To enhance your child’s daily learning at home, try taking your time before, during and after scheduled activities. Next time you walk to the park, notice how many things your child stops to explore, from a tiny bug to a colourful sign. Adults are more goal-oriented and want to get from point A to point B as fast as possible. Remember, for a child, everything is new. They may never have seen an insect climbing a leaf in a garden. They are learning so much about the way it moves, eats, and lives. Children learn by exploring the world around them and then classifying and interpreting that knowledge. You may think the park is fun for them, but absorbing their surroundings on the way there is just as interesting for young children. All you have to do to provide these learning experiences is leave home with plenty of time so your child is not rushed and can explore at ease. Similarly, when you go to the supermarket, take time to chat about the fruits and vegetables. Explore the different shapes, colours, and textures.

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When a parent routinely combines learning and playing in a stimulating environment, a young child can reap the benefits of both worlds. Make the learning fun and enjoy wonderful experiences together. • Natacha is an early years and parenting expert, a writer, a

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ce o m o m

| by Joyce Lau

Double Duty:

Build Your Wardrobe to Work for You You’re a time-crunched mom. Not only are you full-time at the office, it’s full-time at home too. More often than not, you neglect yourself while preparing dinners; rushing to pick up the kids and keeping the laundry under control. The last thing you think about is your closet. All too often you find yourself stressed out about what to wear. So what do you do when rushed for time? Like many time-pressured moms, you settle for anything that’s clean; fits and doesn’t need ironing. Occasionally you will notice another mom who always seems to look so effortlessly polished. You are convinced that she has a live-in nanny (or two) plus a hair and makeup team. You think to yourself, “How else could she look so put together with three kids?” The truth is YOU can always be at the top of your game too. And you don’t need an entourage to help you get there. When you take control of your closet, you can make your wardrobe serve double duty – just like you.

Just like preparing meals, wardrobe planning takes organizing and prepping. You are constantly thinking about your family schedule to routinely meal-plan; prepare your grocery list, and stock your fridge with essentials. Wardrobe planning works in a similar way. Start by getting to know your body type and getting re-familiar with the dress code at work. Set aside a clothing budget then stock your closet full of wardrobe essentials. To look stylish consistently - even when you are crazy busy - you need some basic and some not-so-basic items in your closet.

Think Layering

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authority at your next meeting armed with a blazer. Leave one at the office because you never know who’ll pop in. Whether the AC’s turned up at work or not, a cardigan aids in doubling your wardrobe potential by creating an entirely new look, when layered. It is one of those essentials that works well all year long — especially as you transition into the Fall season.

Select Three to Five Versatile Tops

Choose a top in a luxurious fabric to show elegance and taste. A little sheen under a blazer creates that polished look. If you are an executive mom or Mompreneur, a sleeveless top in a soft fabric says you are approachable. Look accomplished with a touch of femininity, while you relate on a personal level with your clients. After your workday is done, you can pair that top with jeans and cute wedges for a Mom’s Night Out. A classic shirt is a fool-proof way to look professional at your next networking event. The look is simple, understated and distinctly unforgettable.

Add Two or Three Bottoms

If you have an inverted triangle shape, opt for a pencil skirt to create more balance in your lower half. An interesting print and side detail fits the bill. Forget the boring black or gray skirt. Why not do both with colour-blocking? Working moms should have at least two to three pairs of pants in their wardrobe essentials. If you are all hips, stick with a classic design and a wider-cut leg. Try cigarette pants if you are boy-shaped.

Find Comfortably Chic Shoes

Be prepared for any presentation in a pair of kitten heels. Wear them with a skirt or trousers. Low heels offer a comfy way to look work-appropriate and credible. When schedules get hectic, rotate your outfits with a pair of flats. Those comfy alternatives will serve double and triple duty taking you from work to back-to-school shopping and running errands.

Invest in Accessories

Your handbag needs to speak professionalism and attention to detail. Choose one that is large enough for all your essentials yet stylish enough to help you achieve your corporate goals. Add your personal style and showcase your creativity with the right jewellery. Keep those statement pieces small and make sure they are not distracting when you make that sales pitch. Choose attractive studs to complement your outfits without overdoing the bling.Tie your hair up for a sophisticated, fresh look on those hectic days. No one needs to know you didn’t get a chance to wash your hair! • Joyce is the Founder and CEO of Yummy Mummy Makeovers. As a mom to an adventurous little boy, she is all too familiar with the dreaded post-baby body, multi-tasking and sleepless nights. Her team at Yummy Mummy Makeovers help everyday moms build perfect wardrobes while saving them precious time and money. www.mummymakeovers.ca

fall 2014 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 25


GREAT GOODS: BACK-TO-SCHOOL Emily Press Write Your Own Labels are easy to use. Simply write on labels with a permanent marker, then press and seal in your text. Waterproof labels are dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe. Ideal for baby bottles, sippy cups, water bottles and school lunch boxes.

ONLINE: www.raspberrykids.com www.emilypress.com

WHEAT Clothing WHEAT is a clothing line for babies and children combining comfort with beautiful Scandinavian designs. For ages 0-14 years old.

ONLINE: www.wheatcanada.ca

Crocs Footwear Get your child’s feet ready for back to school. New Fall collection of crocs shoes feature Croslite™ material. Each pair of shoes provides soft, comfortable, lightweight and odor-resistant qualities that little Crocs fans know and love. Available in styles for boys and girls.

IN-STORE: Scallyways, Vancouver ONLINE: www.crocs.ca

2fish kids My Weeks Scheduling and communication all on one board! Highly visual, this magnetic, dry-erase calendar helps your learner plan and anticipate activities for the week. 58 magnets teach seasons, weather and holidays. Everyone will enjoy this new and fun routine. Sticks to fridges and even a cookie sheet. 100% Canadian company.

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U•Konserve & Silikids U•Konserve stainless steel container is BPA-free and leak-proof — ideal for fruit, pasta and cut veggies. Silikids “big kid” cup is a glass encased in a silicone protective sleeve. The silicone sleeve makes the glass easier to hold and grip for little hands.

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GREAT GOODS: BABY ON BOARD HALO BassiNest New for 2014! BassiNest Swivel Sleeper is the only infant bassinet that moves. Now baby can sleep next to the bed — and still sleep safely in their own separate space.

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Béaba Babycook Pro 2X Make baby food like a “pro” with Babycook Pro 2X. The easy one-handed operation and two large capacity bowls prepare twice as many delicious and nutritious meals for your baby in only 15 minutes.

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Skip Hop Diaper Clutch This sleek mini diaper clutch is made for moms on the go, perfect for essentials like diapers, ointment and wipes. Laminated fabric resists spills and dirt. Includes three interior pockets, a case for wipes, changing pad and adjustable strap.

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Baby 1st Block Book Combining books and blocks featuring high-contrast colors, eye-catching shapes, and colorful patterns. These mini books are designed to entice infants to focus and develop their visual acuity.

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B kids Duck Spout Ready for splashy, imaginative fun in the tub! This toy includes two brightly-coloured scooping cups with sprinkler hole designs. A great bath time toy for children one year and older.

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UrbanGuide: Car Seat Guide 2014

Britax • Parkway SG Booster Seat The Britax Parkway SG belt-positioning booster seat offers premium safety, comfort and convenience for your big kid.

Maxi-Cosi • Micro AP

Diono • Radian RXT

Infant Car Seat

Convertible Car Seat

Happy travels are ahead with the MaxiCosi Mico AP infant car seat that makes each journey with baby easier and safer.

The RadianRXT is a highly versatile car seat that could be the only seat you’ll ever need.

Type: Infant

Type: Convertible

Brand Range: $149.99 - $399.99

Price: $359.99

Child Weight: 40 to 120 lbs

Brand Range: $179.95 - $359.99

Child Height: 38 to 63”

Child Weight: Rear-facing: 4 to 45 lbs, Forward-facing: 20 to 80 lbs

Booster: Converts to backless booster

Price: $229.99 Brand Range: $199.99 - $229.99 Child Weight: 5 to 22 lbs Child Height: 19 to 29” Booster: No Child Safety: 5-point safety harness Specialty: The Mico AP infant car seat is the lightest infant car seat in its class Stroller Compatibility: Bugaboo and Quinny strollers Colors: Devoted Black, White Shell and Devoted Black, Envious Red, Reliant Blue Features: • Includes a convenient stay-in-car adjustable base • Premium fabrics and padding for a comfy ride • Includes Cozi-Dozi infant support for smaller babies • Integrated canopy, always on hand and easy to store • Flip-out visor on canopy for extra protection when needed

28 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2014

Child Height: 57” Booster: Up to 120 lbs Child Safety: 5-point safety harness Specialty: The only car seat rated for LATCH use for child up to 80 lbs (age 9-10 years old) Colors: Shadow, Daytona, Storm, Plum, Rugby, Colbalt Features: • Steel alloy frame and aluminum reinforced sides • Energy-absorbing EPS foam panels on all sides • Fits 3 car seats across in a mid-size vehicle. • Adjustable headrest, shoulder, buckle, height and recline positions • Folds flat for travel and storage • Add up to 4 cup holders, 1 included

Type: Booster Price: $149.99

Child Safety: Base with Safecell Technology and True Side Impact Protection Specialty: This booster seat incorporates Britax’s leading safety innovations, including one of Britax’s head safety technologies, a base engineered with Safecells. Colors: Confetti, Gridline, Knight Features: • Quick-adjust head restraint easily adjusts the head restraint from the front of the seat for a more comfortable fit and enhanced safety • Easy remove cover allows easy cleaning • Coloured-coded vehicle belt guides provide clear indication of the positioning of the vehicle lap and shoulder belt • Armrests provide a natural and comfortable place to rest arms • Retractable cup holders are designed to hold children’s cups and snacks


Car Seat 101: Know the Type You Need Infant Car Seats: Infant Car Seats are designed for babies from birth to 20

lbs. They help support your baby’s head and make it easier for them to breathe, while keeping them in the safest rear-facing position at all times. These smaller infant car seats are compatible with a variety of strollers.

Convertible Car Seats:

Convertible car seats are practical and allow the same seat to be used for rear-facing and forward-facing stages. Babies 5 to 45 lbs are seated in rear-facing position and adjusted to forward-facing position when they reach 22 to 65 lbs, depending on the car seat make and model.

Booster Car Seats: Booster car seats are designed for forward-facing position

Diono • Monterey Booster

for children 40 lbs and at least nine years old (depending on child’s weight and height). If your current car seat does not convert, you’ll need a Booster car seat. All Booster seats are forward-facing position, as either high-back or low-back. High-back Boosters provide extra support and protection for your child’s upper body. Low-back Boosters, also known as backless booster seats, are the last stage of a car seat for a child who does not yet meet the height and weight requirements for using a seatbelt alone. Backless booster seats provide extra height for your child, along with arm rest support.

Booster Seat

Why Rear-Facing?

The Monterey Booster is one of the highest ranked on the market! Lets you make an easy transition from a car seat to a booster seat. Type: Booster Price: $179.95 Brand Range: $179.95 - $359.99 Child Weight: 40 to 120 lbs Child Height: 38 to 63” Booster: Converts to backless booster Child Safety: Deep, protective sidewalls that are reinforced and lined with energy absorbing EPS foam Specialty: Energy absorbing AirTek foam provides superior cushioning and comfort Colors: Grey, Purple, Shadow, Blue Features: • Extra deep, reinforced sides • Angled, reinforced seat bottom prevents submarining • Adjustable width: unique expandable seat back width fits shoulders up to 50.8 cm (20”) • Adjustable height: 11 position headrest, adjusts up to 16.5 cm (6.5”) with one hand • 2-in-1 booster seat: can also be used as a backless booster • 2 recline positions for comfort and to fit all vehicle seat shapes • Retractable cup holders are extra deep to keep drinks upright • Packs flat for travel and storage

Rear-facing car seats support and protect the child’s head and spine in the event of a car accident. This is the safest position and it is recommended to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible, until they reach the maximum weight and height. A rear-facing position must never be used in a front passenger seat that has an active air bag. Death or serious injuries can occur if the air bag inflates.

British Columbia Car Seat Guidelines: Birth to 1 year and 20 lbs – Infant Car Seat, Rear-facing position *Over 1 year and over 20 lbs – Infant Car Seat, Forward-facing position Under 9 years old and over 40 lbs – Booster Seat, Forward-facing position 9 years+ and at least 4’9 ft tall – Seat belt, back seat of car is the safest *A child may remain rear-facing until they outgrow the rear-facing weight and height limits of your car seat make and model. Check car seat manual for requirements and restrictions.

For Use in Canada:

Car seats purchased in other countries are not legal for use in Canada. All car seats made for use in Canada have a National Safety Label. Non-Canadian certified car seats are not covered by insurance companies in the event of a car accident.

Car Seats and Booster Seats: How Long are They Safe? All car seats sold in Canada have an expiry or useful life date indicated in the car seat manual. Parents should not use an expired car seat and should discard it rather than donating to a charity or giving to a friend. Average useful life of a car seat is between 6-8 years. Recycle your old and expired infant car seat and booster seat at the Fall Bellies to Babies Celebration Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at the Croatian Cultural Centre

See page 3 for more tradeshow information

fall 2014 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 29


UrbanKid

| by Chelene Knight

Getting Homework Done: Best Habits Start Early

Helping your child develop good homework habits guides them in the right direction. Some children get right down to work without much encouragement. Other children need assistance making the transition from playing to a homework frame-of-mind. Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine had the opportunity for a Q&A with David Proctor, Grade 6/7 Teacher at Captain James Cook Elementary School in Vancouver UBT: What are some tips for developing superior homework habits? DP: The secret is focusing on something each day after school such as reading, art, writing or music. Children need to develop and maintain effective habits. The best students complete work as it is assigned. That way they have more time to polish projects. It can be very helpful to break assignments into chunks. Your child needs time allotted for developing topics; editing; preparing presentations and studying. Parents can help by providing a space designated for homework and talking to their children about each project. If a child is focused, it is incredible how much they can accomplish in 15-20 minutes. As a teacher, I am cautious not to assign too much when it comes to homework. According to author and speaker Alfie Kohn, recent research indicates that increased homework/ assignments are not linked to better results and that children who get lots of homework may have a less positive attitude towards learning. He recommends integrating learning with cooking, gardening, reading or drawing. Let your children’s interests be the guide. UBT: In your view, what are the consequences of technology rapidly changing? DP: I think technology is here whether we like it or not and it is changing at a faster rate than ever before. At a recent workshop I attended, the presenter urged us to think about what technology will be like in 2024, twenty years after Facebook came on the scene. Technology is incredibly powerful and in my opinion, as important as reading, writing and math. I think students need to be exposed to various types of technology so that they become versatile and confident learning new applications. There is also a dark side to the Internet so students need to be guided on how to use it safely.

30 | www.urbanbaby.ca | fall 2014

The Internet and all the countless devices have changed the way we do business and will continue to do so. For children growing up, over consumption remains a concern. Television and video games can take too much time from other more productive, rewarding and healthy activities such as exercise, reading and spending quality time with family and friends. UBT: What do good study habits look like? DP: Good study habits start with stay organized; studying in chunks of time; effective note-taking; completing homework and then reviewing concepts. One of my best friends in high school became a surgeon. I think of him as one of the best students I have ever encountered. He studied relentlessly and had an A+ posted on his bedroom door. His approach was to study everything ahead of time and then go back and review as it got closer to test time. Some parents decide to go back to school or take night classes. Consequently their children will have opportunity to observe their parent’s habits in handling school assignments. Other parents bring office work home; work from home or handle household details such as paying bills or making grocery lists. In each scenario, children witness the approach their parents take in getting things done and chances are, they will naturally do the same. Proper study habits are important for success in school. As parents, we can serve as role models by setting the standard for prioritizing and organizing other aspects of our lives. •

Homework Tips • Setup a homework-friendly area • Schedule regular study time • Keep distraction to a minimum • Praise their work and effort Chelene is a Vancouver Freelance Writer and published Poet. Chelene and her 12-year old daughter Desiraye try to find new and creative ways to work together on school and writing projects.


o n t h e t ow n

|

Fall Family Fun!

August 2014

October 2014

Aug 16 – Sept 1 The Fair at the PNE Pacific National Exhibition Kiddy rides, live entertainment, food and musical guests. pne.ca/thefair

Oct 5, 11am – 4pm Bellies to Babies Celebration Croatian Cultural Centre, Van A one-of-a-kind event, for trendy baby fashions, décor and more. Community resources and support services on hand. Admission by donation to Basics for Babies. Over $3000.00 in door prizes. Register to attend: 604-908-8835

August 1 – Sept 1 Dinotown Live Cloverdale Fairgrounds One-of-a-kind experience featuring dancing dinosaurs. dinotown.com

September 2014 Sept 1 – 14 Summer Night Market 12631 Vulcan Way, Richmond Shopping, food vendors, and buskers. Free admission summernightmarket.com Sept 23, 6pm – 9pm Busy Bump Baby Shower Heritage Hall, Van Fun, interactive and educational evening. Product displays, giveaways, mingling and appetizers. Covering pregnancy and parenting-related topics. busybumpbabyshower.ca Sept 24, 10am – 6pm Raise a Reader Day Support this local charity by purchasing a copy of the Vancouver Sun newspaper. All funds raised will go to the literacy. abclifeliteracy.ca

belliestobabiescelebration.com

Oct 10 – Nov 1, 11am – 5pm Stanley Park Ghost Train Stanley Park Miniature Train Activities for the kids. Vancouver.ca/parks/events

Oct 10 – 31, 10am – 4:45pm: Children’s Halloween Fair & Train Bear Creek Park Train, Surrey Train ride through Halloween display, crafts, games and pumpkins. bctrains.com/halloween

Oct 18 – 19, 11am – 4pm UBC Apple Festival UBC Botanical Gardens, Van Apple tasting, entertainment, children’s area, crafts, face painting, games and storytelling. Admission: $4 per adult; kids under 12, free

burnabyvillagemuseum.ca

Ongoing Events Zumba for Mom & Baby Every Friday, 10:00am Dance Class for Mom & Baby/ Toddler. Sponsored by Lougheed Town Centre Free to Attend Registration required runnersandbootiesfitness.com

Shop ‘n Stroll Fitness Various Weekdays Mom & Baby Fitness Class Sponsored by your local Shopping Centre Free to Attend Registration required

runnersandbootiesfitness.com

Movies For Mommies Weekly Shows of New Releases. Grab bags and special guests. Stroller friendly, diaper change area. moviesformommies.com

Please check websites to confirm event details

botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/ apple-festival

Opens September 28th Pumpkin Patch, Aldor Arces 24990 – 84th Ave, Langley 604-888-0788 aldoracresfamilyfarm.ca

Opens October 4th Laity Pumpkin Patch 21145 128 St. Maple Ridge 604-467-4302 laitypumpkinpatch.com

Please check websites to confirm event details

Katherine • North Delta, BC Ariana, 14 months old

1. What is the best part about being a mom? Waking up each day and not knowing what your child will do to amaze you. 2. What is your favourite activity to do with your daughter? We both enjoy our outdoor walks and I love taking Ariana swimming. 3. What is your favorite television show? Live! With Kelly & Michael. It’s such an upbeat way to get the day started. 4. What was the last book you’ve read? 50 Shades of Grey. Once I got started, it didn’t take me long to read it. 5. What is one product or service you can’t live without? My laptop. I use it for work; looking up recipes; parenting advice, and for connecting with everyone. On my blog, The Pampered Baby, I love supporting local Moms and businesses. 6. How do you find some “Mommy Time”? My husband helps me and I am really lucky that our parents help out too. My time is all about having a bubble bath with a glass of wine and a book; or going shopping with girlfriends. As a Mom, sometimes the simplest things are the most satisfying.

PUMPKIN PATCHES Opens October 2nd Pete’s Pumpkin Patch 9423 Gibson Rd, Chilliwack pumpkinpatchesandmore.org

UrbanMom

Oct 23 – 26, 6pm – 9pm Haunted Village Burnaby Village Museum Come have fun with monsters, vampires, mummies and the magic of Halloween

Find more community events at www.urbanbaby.ca

Opens August 16th Applebarn Pumpkin Farm 333 Gladwin Rd, Abby 604-853-3108 tavesfamilyfarms.com

SPOTLIGHT

Opens October 5th Pumpkin Patch at Richmond Farms 12900 Steveston Hwy, Rmd 604-274-0522 countryfarms.ca

fall 2014 | www.urbanbaby.ca | 31

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2699 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3H4 604.736.0648

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Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine - Fall 2014  

Our Fall 2014 issue is available on shelves, online and in-stores. Our annual back-to-school / early learning magazine featuring The Social'...

Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine - Fall 2014  

Our Fall 2014 issue is available on shelves, online and in-stores. Our annual back-to-school / early learning magazine featuring The Social'...

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