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Karen Khunkhun

The Local Guide for Active Urban Families

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Display until Fall 2018




september/october 2017 fall fun | families at home

Inside our 18th Annual Baby Guide: special offers, resource features and cool finds s, expectant and new for moms & dads


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Active Urban Families

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• fall fun • families at home • back to school

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Parents and students everywhere are celebrating Back to School, and the arrival of fall! Instagram: @westcoastfamilies


Fall Fun Activities & Events

Families at Home Living the West Coast Lifestyle

Back to School Over-scheduling Kids

Back to School Empowerment





WCF Feature Women in Leadership

Families at Home City to Suburbs



19 mom westcoast

from the editor 6 7 8 13 20 22

From Our Family to Yours Contests WestCoast Finds WCF News Community Calendar Last Look Raised on Kale

Karen Khunkhun

next issue nov/dec • holiday gift guide • winter family fun • family photography

September/October 2017


from our family to yours

families westcoast


ummer is winding down, and although many parents are doing a little happy dance for back to school, mine is a bit more subdued. I must admit, I love the dog days of summer… no hard-line bedtimes, pajama days, camping, freedom—and no lunch packing! But the fall comes with its fun too. On the West Coast, the good weather usually hangs in for September and we’ve got lots of park days and camping weekends to go yet. It’s a great time to refocus, do some planning for the seasons ahead, and reorganize, and that always feels good.

We’re super excited at WestCoast Families to be doing a little refocusing ourselves. Although we’re always committed to being the most valuable family resource, loaded with original, local, relevant content… we also want to reflect more of who we are at the magazine. We LOVE the West Coast lifestyle and everything it represents: healthy living, outdoors, mindfulness, empowerment, and adventure. Earlier this summer, we looked around the Lower Mainland to connect with local professionals who were the best in their fields in all of these areas, to bring them on board and share their expertise with our readers. We feel so fortunate to be surrounded by amazing people and organizations who have now joined our team, and will be contributing each issue. Michele Kambolis is a 20-year veteran child and family therapist, acclaimed author, and parenting expert with a focus on mind-body medicine. Her passion for kids’ and families well-being is second to none. In this issue, Michelle talks about not only recognizing stress and anxiety, but how to empower kids and parents in the face of it. Powerful stuff. Claire Newell is the founder of Travel Best Bets and Jubilee Travel, and an internationally sought after travel expert and author. She’s travelled the world with her own family, and is always encouraging families to take their own adventures. This issue she talks about travelling with baby, and what gear is actually worth investing in. Alyssa Schottland-Bauman is a holistic nutritionist and health consultant who lives what she teaches. She’s raising three amazing girls in Vancouver, in a healthy active way, and she loves to share with other families to help make it easy for everyone to do the same. This issue, Alyssa shows us how to incorporate healthy foods into your every day and get the kids involved, and shares a recipe too. Jen Murtagh is the tireless CEO of the Minerva Foundation, working to promote value-based leadership and supporting women and girls throughout BC to get the confidence and skills they need to reach their potential. This issue, Courtney Daws, alumna of Minerva, talks about how we can use change to grow and develop. This issue of WestCoast Families also includes the 18th Annual Baby Guide! Filled with more local original information, and pages of valuable resources too. Enjoy reading WestCoast Families and the Baby Guide in print, and online too. Happy Fall!

Managing Editor Andrea Vance Assistant Editor Bianca Bujan Contributing Editor Jodi Iverson Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso Administration Jennifer Bruyns Accounts Receivable & Payable Jennifer Brule Advertising 604.249.2866 Published by National Families Network Publisher: Andrea Vance For distribution inquiries, please email For submissions to our community calendars, please email To share your feedback, please email Contributors Alyssa Schottland-Bauman, Jennifer Bruyns, Bianca Bujan, Leah Garrad-Cole, Courtney Daws, Erin Ellis, Jodi Iverson, Michele Kambolis, Nic Enright-Morin, Claire Newell, Ada Slivinski All contents copyrighted ©. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families Mailing address: 1215-C56 St. Box 18057 Delta, BC V4L 2M4 T 604 249 2866 | F 604 676 2802

Publisher & Managing Editor


resource guide 6

WestCoast Families is proud to present the FIRST annual Family Resource Guide, coming January, 2018! For a full year of exposure, call or email now to book your ad spot!


Visit us online for new contests every issue!

Win a Family 4-Pack To Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart! Follow your heart straight to adventure at Disney On Ice! Just keep swimming with Dory and new pal Hank from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory as they set out to find her parents and discover the devotion of family. Cheer with Joy, Sadness, and the rest of the Emotions from Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out as they work together to boost Riley’s spirit and win the big hockey game. Venture to wintery Arendelle where Olaf and Kristoff help reunite royal sisters Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen and learn love is the most powerful magic of all. See Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel and the Disney Princesses make their dreams possible through virtues of bravery, kindness and perseverance. And celebrate true friendship with Buzz Lightyear, Woody and the Toy Story gang. Make unforgettable memories with Mickey, Minnie and all your Disney friends when Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart skates into Vancouver! Performances run from November 22 – November 26 at the Pacific Coliseum at the PNE. Enter for a chance to win one of two family 4-packs to see this incredible performance on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 at 7pm. Deadline to enter: November 1, 2017. Enter at

September/October 2017


westcoast finds Knixwear Underwear A lot of blood, sweat, and tears goes into being a woman. Luckily, Knixwear has created a line of underwear that is moisture absorbent, odour killing, and leak proof. Thanks to this Canadian, ethically-made brand, women of all sizes can not only look good in their skivvies, but they can feel good too. | Bra $55

WIllLand Backpacks Back to school and back to work means more weight on your backs! Lighten the load with WillLand Backpacks, offering unique features like built-in laptop sleeves, padded back support, and magnetic closures, to create the perfect staple to ensure that you are always equipped for wherever life takes you. Luminosa Backpack $88


Nanoleaf Aurora Lighting Panels Lighting doesn’t have to be a boring part of your home decor. With Nanoleaf’s innovative modular LED light panel system, you can create a variety of wallmounted light fixtures using an endless combination of patterns, colours and speeds to create lighting for your room that suits your unique style. Nanoleaf will truly light up your life. | Starter Kit $200

Pemberley Emma Dress Wouldn’t it be nice if every piece of your clothing was made specifically to fit your body? Recognizing a need, the duo behind Pemberley decided to create made-to-order dresses for girls. Their cute, quality, custom pieces are made with care, and it shows. The fabric is thick and soft, and the fit is perfect - every time. Now if only they’d make their dresses in adult sizes... | $80

fall fun

Fall is officially here and for some, this is something to celebrate between Halloween, falling leaves crunching underfoot, and chillier temperatures. But in the Lower Mainland, autumn often brings rain too, which can make us want to retreat indoors. But don’t fear! WestCoast Families has rounded up some of the latest fall fun activities to keep your whole family busy, no matter the weather. So bust out a map and pencil and check off these fun activities from your To Do list!

Hallowe’en Skate & Costume Party in Delta Wear your costume and take part in a ghostly skate & party at the Delta arenas! Regular admission rates apply. October 25, 6:15-7:30pm, South Delta Recreation Centre

Frog Hollow Pumpkin Patch in the City Saturday October 21, 10am-4pm Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House, 2131 Renfrew Street, Vancouver Art exhibits, face painting, crafts, haunted house, games, bouncy castle, cake walk, story time, pumpkins, food & entertainment. Whew! So much fun.

Hallowe’en Family Dance in Surrey Music, crafts for the kids, and prizes for the best costumes. Dress up and gather your friends and family for some festive fun. Register in advance to book your spot! October 20, 6-9pm, Don Christian Recreation Centre $3.50 October 27, 6-8:30pm, Fleetwood Community Centre $5 includes dinner!

October 26, 6:45-7:45pm, Sungod Recreation Centre October 28, 6:15-7:30pm, Ladner Leisure Centre October 29, 3-4:30pm, North Delta Recreation Centre

Hazelmere Pumpkin Patch Weekends September 30-October 31, 10am-5pm Weekdays October 11-30, 3-5:30pm

Hallowe’en Concert and Costume Contest October 31, 5-8pm 734 Marine Drive, North Vancouver

18507 20th Ave, Surrey Pumpkins, hayrides, petting zoo, firetruck, mini corn maze, play areas, and more! Don’t forget the pumpkin carving festival on October 7 with face painting, games and prizes.

Join in the fun for trick or treating, and ghoulish tunes. This is Ava Music’s annual Hallowe’en concert! Enter the costume contest for a chance to win tickets to Disney on Ice.

Admission only $5, children 2 & under free. (sorry, no debit or credit)

Visit Hazelmere Pumpkin Patch on Facebook.

CLIP the ad in this issue of WestCoast Families to get ONE FREE admission per family.

September/October 2017


families at home

Living the West Coast Lifestyle Take A Day Trip To Wesbrook Village by Andrea Vance and Jodi Iverson


s Vancouver becomes an internationally-desired city, and grows in population - resulting in amenities for families often playing catch-up in newer residential areas, it’s a breath of fresh air to see the addition of a new, fullyplanned family community to the thriving city. WestCoast Families has been a partner of Wesbrook Village for a few years now - participating in events like the Wesbrook Festival, where thousands of families enjoy a free BBQ, live entertainment, and kid-friendly activities each September. We decided it was finally time to dig deeper into this very cool area and check out all that it has to offer for local families – for a day trip, or for a full move of house and home. We had always thought of the UBC area as “out there” - far away from the other areas of Vancouver. But when you drive out from the city’s centre, it takes only 10-15 minutes until you pass through the gates of UBC and it feels like you’ve entered an entirely new place. The connection to nature in this area is undeniable, with Pacific Spirit Park, beaches, an ecological reserve, UBC Botanical Garden, and multiple gardens and parks - all within walking distance.


It is a rare opportunity for an entire community to be built from the ground up, with a mixed-use plan that includes places to live, work and play. But what we’re interested in most is how this area is a good fit for families from Vancouver and around the Lower Mainland. Our family adventure started with free (yes, free!) parking on the street. Coming from the city and other areas, this made us happy. As we strolled, and the kids ran and played alongside, we were thrilled to discover Nobel Park and its public garden.


Residents in the area can rent a plot to grow their own produce and flowers right close to home - perfect for condo or townhouse living nearby. The playground here is built for all ages - from the boulders in the sand, to the climbing nets and the softball diamond. We could have spent all day there, but there was so much more to explore!

into the shade and all the kids loved being up high walking through the treed forest. It’s a spectacular experience.

Kids get hungry quickly after a play at the park, and in the main centre of Wesbrook we found the most amazing goods at Dough Girls, located on Shrum Lane. Fresh preserves from local produce, muffins, pastries, and some amazing coffee are just some of the goodies that they have to offer. A little to-go pack, and we were off to Michael Smith Park, found just around the corner, which features swings, slides, and lots of sand. We loved the number of parks that were available in and around the area!

If this is ever an area to consider living, there is even more to add. The community centres, the indoor and outdoor aquatic centres, arenas, golf, top-notch elementary and high schools, child care, art galleries, and SO much more. Pile on the yoga and fitness facilities, grocery stores, restaurants, parks and salons, and you’d never have to leave the neighbourhood.  

As we walked and played, it was the overall feel of the area that struck us. It’s clean and well planned out, and it felt like we could stroll and linger for a long time. There are all the amenities we would need for a day trip, including a healthy Freshii fix that gives “fast food” a whole new meaning. Wraps, smoothies, juices, bowls, and frozen yogurt and fruit for dessert - the perfect spot to keep us going! Venturing around Wesbrook Village, we had a tough time deciding where to explore next. The TreeWalk at UBC Botanical Gardens was perfect to get us

This place could keep us coming back over and over. Next time it might be a hike or bike ride through Pacific Spirit Park, jumping the bridges and fountains at Norman MacKenzie Square, or a visit to the UBC Farm.

The goal of Wesbrook Village is to ensure that it is sustainable economically and environmentally. Ideas like connected water features to manage stormwater runoff, and natural play spaces for kids of all ages, means the residents will make a minimal impact on the surrounding environment. There are currently approximately 4,800 residents in the rented and owned 1, 2, or 3 bedroom units, and the plan is to grow this number to 12,000 within the next 5-8 years. They are looking to families, UBC faculty, and young adults to make Wesbrook Village a truly vibrant and sustainable community like no other. For more information on Wesbrook Village go to


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Coquitlam Pediatrics: 604.945.8978 Orthodontics: 604.945.9978 September/October 2017


wcf advertising partners We appreciate our advertising partners very much! They help to make it possible to provide WestCoast Families magazine free of charge to our readers, and provide all this amazing local content. Please visit these businesses, and let them know you saw them in WestCoast Families! After3 Tutoring at Fraser Academy

Green Apple Art Centre

Private School Expo

Ava Music & Art Ctr

Hazelmere Pumpkin Patch

Polar Express

BC Girl Guides

Imagine Children’s Museum


Brandi Mollica Photography

Jump Gymnastics

Southpointe Academy

Brockton School

Kid Approved

Studio 202

Burnaby Neighbourhood House

Langley Twin Rinks (Canlan)

Tom Lee Music


Living Magic


Disney On Ice

Mabel’s Labels

Vancouver Learners Network

Europa Language School


Vancouver Baby & Family Fair

Fraser Academy

Millennium Learning

Wonder of Learning

Frog Hollow

PDG Pediatric Dental Group

wcf presents

Word Vancouver

September 24 Library Square, Vancouver Western Canada’s largest celebration of literacy and reading.

Wesbrook Festival

September 9, 11am-4pm Wesbrook Village, 3378 Wesbrook Mall, UBC Free BBQ, entertainment, Kids Zone, beer garden and more!

Touch the Truck

September 9, 11am-3pm Abbotsford Centre, 33800 King Road Vehicles and interactive displays from Jack’s Towing, Recycling Abbotsford, Quiring Towing, Eagle West Cranes, and more. Proceeds and donations going to Basics for Baby.

Vancouver Baby & Family Fair

October 28, 10am-5pm, October 29, 10am-4pm Vancouver Convention Centre, East Facility Hall C A two-day consumer event for the whole family, including shopping, expert advice, kids activities, live entertainment, gift bags, and more.


Display until Fall 2018

2017-18 Inside our 18th Annual Baby Guide: special offers, resources, features and cool finds for expectant and new moms & dads

Brought to you by

The Local Guide for Active Urban Families

Presented by

families westcoast

on our cover...

2 month old Rylan sleeps soundly as the moon wraps him in warmth. Newborn photography by Allyfotografy Media Co.

Wow! Hard to believe 18 years have gone by since the Baby Guide was first launched by WestCoast Families. Since then, we’ve seen so many changes: social media, smart phones, blogs and websites, online shopping, and digital photography have changed the world for new and expecting moms. Information and cool products are literally at our fingertips. But it’s sometimes a difficult world to navigate and understand. We still have a crucial need for human connection, especially with and for our kids. Magazines have a way of connecting people, ideas, and products, in a personal intimate way… so hopefully you can take a few minutes each day, and enjoy the original local content and valuable resources we have put together for you here in the 18th annual Baby Guide.

Publisher & Managing Editor Managing Editor, Andrea Vance Assistant Editor, Bianca Bujan Contributing Editor , Jodi Iverson Art Director, Krysta Furioso Administration, Jennifer Bruyns Accounts Receivable & Payable, Jennifer Brule Advertising,

4 8 11

Cool Finds Find that special one of a kind item for baby

Families Without Filters Stifled by Super Moms on Social Media?

Baby Guide Annual Resource Listings

6 10

Travelling with Baby 14 essential Items to bring on your trip

Feeding Baby Tips for making feeding go smoothly Instagram: @westcoastfamilies

baby guide


cool finds Summer Infant Wide View Video Monitor Stop doing the ninja roll in and out of your baby’s room to make sure they’re still breathing at night, and rest assured your baby is safe with the Summer Infant Wide View Video Monitor. With features like a built-in soft glow night light, remote zoom camera, talk back to baby capabilities and more, you can keep an eye on your baby without getting off the couch. | $130

Baba Slings Baby wearing has many great benefits - for both parents and babies, but how do you find a sling that’s comfortable and easy to wear? The Baba Sling is not only simple to secure, but it’s versatile. It allows you to carry your baby in 5 different positions, and is great for breastfeeding while on the go. It’s effortless to put on and take off, fully adjustable, adaptable to your needs, and super durable. The best part? You can unclip and lay down your sleeping baby - without waking them up. | $90

Book: It All Begins With Food It’s one thing to make healthy meals for your kids, and quite another to create dishes that they’ll actually enjoy eating. Brought to you by the founder of popular baby food brand Love Child Organics, It All Begins with Food is packed with over 120 easy-to-make recipes created with kids’ picky palates in mind. From baby’s first foods, to wholesome meals for the whole family, the delicious recipes will have your kids eating their veggies and begging for more. This will quickly become your go-to guide to cooking at home. | $25

The First Year Book (AMK Design Shop) The first year will fly by! Capture every moment and document your child’s first year before you blink and they’re off to college. This beautiful, 58-page album features poems, hand and foot print pages, memorable milestones, and more all tucked between a black-and-white cover that allows you to create an album that is as unique as your precious new baby. The first year may be short, but the memories will last forever. | First Year Book $29


baby guide

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baby guide


Travelling With Baby 14 essential items to bring on your trip by Claire Newell, Travel Best Bets


ravelling with a baby may seem like a daunting task but it really doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. All it takes is a little planning and the right travel gear to keep you organized and your little one happy. Here are some of my favourite products for travelling with a baby:

ThinkBaby Sunscreen SPF50+ 3oz This sunscreen comes in a 3oz container which is perfect for taking in your carry-on. It falls into the highest category of water resistance and has a SPF 50+ rating. Plus, the formula is nice and gentle for your baby’s sensitive skin. | $20 Phil & Teds Travel Cot This is a great bed/playpen for travelling with your baby. It’s lightweight and easy to assemble and the mesh sides allow you to see your baby. It comes with a comfy self-expanding mattress, carry bag, and fitted sheet. | $200 JL Childress Gate Check Air Travel Bag Use this handy, compact travel bag when gate-checking a standard or double stroller to protect it in the plane’s cargo hold. The bright red colour and large graphics make it easy to identify your item later. It’s nice and compact so won’t weigh you down while it’s not in use. | $25 My Little Seat Infant Travel High Chair This high chair is great for babies who can sit unassisted. It straps onto any standard dining chair and your baby is secured with a 5-point harness. Trust me, they will love sitting with you at the table like a big kid. | $25 Summer® Keep Me Clean™ Disposable Bibs This 20 pack of disposable bibs is great for travel and cuts down on laundry while you’re on the road. They come equipped with a crumb catcher pocket and adhesive strip to make the bib easy to strap on. | $5 NorthShore™ Premium Disposable Baby Changing Pads This 25 pack of baby changing pads is excellent for when you are in transit. The soft pad has a quick-drying top sheet that wicks moisture away from your little one. | $8 Star Kids Snack n’ Play Travel Tray This is a must for your next family road trip! The Snack & Play Travel Tray provides a table-like surface for snacks and toys. It buckles around your child’s seat and has two large mesh side pockets to store more bottles, toys, and more. | $30


baby guide

BenBat Travel Friends Baby Head/Neck Support This ergonomic head support is the ideal companion for your baby in the car, plane, or stroller. The handy velcro strap works great as a pacifier holder. | $25 The KidCo® BouncePod This lightweight portable travel bouncer sets up in an instant for a convenient place to put your baby. The cushioned headrest is adjustable and the machine washable padded seat cover has a net backing that provides added comfort for your baby. | $55 Safety 1st Health Care Kit This 11-Piece kit combines all the essentials of infant health care items neatly in a zippered travel case. It includes a digital thermometer, nasal aspirator, medicine dropper, soft grip toothbrush, alcohol wipes and emergency contact card. This kit is a must-have for families with children. | $15 3 Sprouts Backseat Organizer You need this for your family vehicle. It keeps all of your little one’s travel essentials within easy reach and off the car floor. With six pockets there is a place for everything and because it’s made of nylon, it wipes clean easily. Its universal design fits most cars and will protect the back of your seat from little shoes. | $20 UPPAbaby G-Luxe Stroller This lightweight stroller is perfect for travel. It weighs just 11 pounds making it one of the lightest strollers on the market. It reclines nicely for naps and folds up to a convenient compact size in a snap. | $340 Fisher-Price® Deluxe FastFinder™ Backpack Diaper Bag In my opinion this is the best diaper bag on the market. Its convenient 16 pockets hold everything you could possibly need including an insulated compartment for bottles and sippy cups. I love the fact that you can wear it as a backpack to keep your hands free. | $45 Oxo Tot Formula Dispenser Feeding your formula-fed baby away from home is a breeze with this compartmentalized formula dispenser. Each section holds enough powdered formula for a 9-ounce bottle. It’s also great for rice cereal or snacks for munching on the go. | $9 Claire Newell is a travel expert, author, travel consultant on Global BC and president of Travel Best Bets by Jubilee Tours and Travel. baby guide


Focus on Families Without Filters Stifled By The “Super Moms” On Social Media? by Erin Ellis


hether it’s a Facebook post about a baby who gurgled and napped through a 15-hour flight to Australia, or Instagram photos of blissful breastfeeding, it can be tough to measure up to the gloss of social media.

“I definitely feel like social media can have a severe negative impact on new parents,” says Andrea Paterson, a Metro Vancouver stay-at-home mum, blogger and photographer. “When you’re struggling with breastfeeding or postpartum depression or whatever it is, you’re looking at this idealized version of everyone else’s life,” she says. “It can really send you into a tailspin.” Parenting brings on pangs of inadequacy at the best of times and new mothers routinely feel overwhelmed. Focusing on social media — whether it’s the happy families on Facebook or staged celebrity mum photos on Instagram — can fuel worries about not doing enough. Nichole Fairbrother, a psychologist and researcher at the University of Victoria who specializes in postpartum anxiety, says women have to remember that perfection does not reflect reality. “Celebrities create an image of themselves and their families that is curated, polished and airbrushed,” says Fairbrother. “A better way to know what life looks like for an average new mum is to go for a walk to a local park on a rainy day in November. You’ll see an ocean of women with unwashed hair, wearing something similar to pyjamas, clinging desperately to a caffeinated beverage and doing their best to put on a brave face as their toddler rolls in the mud.” Sheila Duffy, director of Burnaby-based Pacific Post Partum Support Society, says parents need to make careful choices about what they follow online.


baby guide

“There are ways of using it that can be supportive and not perpetuate the myth that everything’s great and everything’s fine,” says Duffy. “It’s really important for people to check in with themselves. When I go on these sites, do I feel worse or do I feel supported?” Academic research into parental attitudes has found new, young, middleclass mothers in particular are likely to seek information on how to improve their mothering skills. While 1950s housewives turned to a well-thumbed copy of Dr. Benjamin Spock’s Baby and Child Care, today’s parents find endless advice on the Web. Some of it is just plain wrong — the anti-vaccine movement, for example — or, in the case of social media, a stream of parental accomplishments. Since part of self-improvement typically involves comparing yourself to others, if you think you’re doing better than your neighbour, it may give you a boost. But if you don’t measure up to your friend who made jam from organic strawberries hand-picked that morning, self-criticism follows.   “Everybody’s new at it, everybody has a certain amount of insecurity,” says Duffy. “It comes out in comparing and trying to decide that you’re good enough. It’s quite sad because we should be getting support from other mums and women and instead it ends up being this strange competitive, judgemental thing.” Both Duffy and Fairbrother recommend finding blogs, Facebook groups or websites that provide encouragement instead. Pacific Post Partum’s site hosts videos and stories from women who learned how to improve their mental health after a setback. Paterson says the best use she’s found for social media is to get together with other women in her community. “I feel that the only positive social media experience is to use it in a way that allows you to make real-world connections,” says Paterson. “People will say, “Me and my kids are going to the park for a picnic. Will you join us?” It’s not about making a masquerade of our lives. It’s an opportunity to make real social connections.” Fairbrother says it’s important to recognize the difference between the normal self-doubt of most new parents and more severe symptoms of anxiety which her research has found is more common than postpartum depression. An estimated one in six women experience postpartum anxiety or depression in a way that affects their ability to cope with daily life. Both can be treated with cognitive behavioural therapy or medication. She also says the unattainable ideal of   the ‘perfect mother’— that slim, impeccably groomed, professional with a perfectly behaved cherub in tow — is taking a few hits in popular culture. “I’ve seen a lot of push-back, a lot of humour directed at those images.” Articles and videos on the New York-based website Scary Mommy, for instance, shoot down questionable health tips and blatant sales pitches on actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s “lifestyle site” Goop and offer common sense advice from an actual medical doctor on how a vagina should look and smell. And The Good Mother Project is a Metro Vancouver creation dedicated to portraying families without filters — or the help of a personal stylist and trainer.

baby guide


Feeding Baby Tips for Making Baby Feeding Go Safely and Smoothly by Leah Garrad-Cole, Founder of Love Child Organics


tarting solids with your baby is such an exciting time! It can also be one that for many new parents is fraught with uncertainty and worry. It doesn’t help that there is a vast array of advice out there on this topic and much of it is conflicting.

Now let me just say that if there was one right way of doing things, everyone would be doing it! Don’t stress yourself out too much by thinking that if you don’t get this stage exactly “right” you are going to do some harm to your baby. After all, it’s just food, and babies all over the world have been starting their food journeys in different ways for generations. Trust that as long as you use common sense by slowly offering your baby a variety of healthy foods starting near the 6 month mark, and consider safety as you are doing so, all will be well. In my book, It All Begins with Food, I go into great detail about starting solids with your baby and give you all the information you could need, so if you’d like to learn more, I encourage you to pick up a copy. In the meantime, here are some of my best tips: Ensure your little one is well rested when beginning solids. Offering a new eater a meal when she is ready for a nap probably won’t work out as well as you’d hope! Make sure your baby is in the right position for feeding. Ensure your baby is sitting supported and upright while eating to reduce the chance of choking, and supervise your baby at all times. Test the temperature. If serving warm food always double check the temperature, being extra careful to feel for hot spots. Take it one at a time. Remember to introduce new foods one at a time, and watch for any reactions. Equip your baby with feeding tools. If you are feeding your baby purees, and she’s distracted by the spoon, give her one of her own to hold and let her feed herself with it while you sneak in some bites with your spoon too. Yes, it will be messy, but that’s OK. Be patient and try not to lose your sense of humour! Serve finger foods in small portions. If serving your baby finger food, don’t overwhelm him by giving too much at once. Just give a couple pieces at a time allowing him to finish what is on his tray before you offer more. Opt for sticky bowls and plates. If you’re using bowls and plates, invest in ones that stick to your baby’s tray. It will be so worth it when it comes to reducing waste and mess. Eat as a family. Pull up your baby’s highchair right to the table so that she gets used to the social side of mealtime, and has regular opportunity to enjoy some baby-friendly foods that are being served at the family table. Add a little flavour to their food. It is a myth that babies enjoy bland food. Don’t be afraid to feed them bold and interesting flavours. Just make sure the ingredients are as clean as possible. No processed food for babies is always the best plan. Keep the mess off the floor. If you’re worried about mess on the floor, put a washable mat under your baby’s chair - that way you can simply pick it up after, brush it off, and give it a rinse.

10 baby guide

Sometimes convenience is key. It’s ok to use store-bought baby food when you need to. Don’t feel guilty! Every parent needs some convenience so feel good about that organic pouch you threw in your diaper bag for that trip to the park. Make it in bulk. When making homemade baby food, do so in good sized batches, and freeze it in small containers or ice cube trays so that you always have a supply of food ready to go. Here’s a quick and easy baby food recipe to get you started:

Minty Apple, Greens, and Quinoa makes approx. 2 cups • prep time: 15 min • cook time 15 min This is one of my favourite puree recipes of all time and it has been a really popular post on the Love Child Blog. It pretty much ticks all the nutrient boxes you could hope for, and the lone mint leaf really pumps up the flavor. Plus, it’s green, and I think it’s a good strategy to expose little ones to delicious green food early on so they come to associate green vegetables with pleasant food experiences. Ingredients • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa • 3 large apples, peeled and diced (Galas work well because they are a nice balance of tart and sweet) • 1/2 cup baby spinach, leaves only • 1/2 cup kale, stems discarded • 1/2 ripe avocado • 1/2 banana • 1 mint leaf Directions 1. Place the quinoa in a pot with 3/4 cup water and put the diced apples on top. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn down to low, cover, and simmer for 14 minutes. Add the spinach and kale to the pot, cover, and simmer for an additional 1 minute. 2. Pour the quinoa, apple, and any leftover water into a blender. Add the avocado, banana, and mint leaf. Blend to the desired consistency, adding water, breast milk, or formula to thin if needed. This puree can be frozen in ice cube trays or special containers for freezing baby foods. (See page 66.) Freeze leftovers straight away so the avocado doesn’t brown. Excerpted from It All Begins with Food by Leah Garrad-Cole. Copyright © 2017 Leah Garrad-Cole. Photography copyright © 2017 Janis Nicolay. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Annual Resource Listings

Go to for full resource listings!


Krause Berry Farms

Childcare Choices Online Resource

Vancouver Baby & Family Fair One-stop community event to showcase the best resources and products for parents and kids

Living Magic

Spare Time Child Care Society

Hazelmere Pumpkin Patch Opens end of September for great family fun and pumpkin picking.

Maplewood Farm

UBC Child Care Services


Vancouver Society of Children’s Centres

Richmond Country Farms

Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre

Rocky Mountain Flatbread

YMCA of Greater Vancouver

Royal BC Museum


Imagine Children’s Museum Interactive exhibits and activities to encourage kids and families to role play, experiment, splash, think, wander, and create together. Kid Approved Featuring family-friendly businesses in Surrey, Delta, and White Rock that are fun, educational, and promote a healthy lifestyle. BC Ferries Bard on the Beach Bill Reid Art Gallery Burnaby Village Museum Britannia Mine Museum Castle Fun Park Disney on Ice Greater Vancouver Zoo Grouse Mountain Gulf of Georgia Cannery Healthy Family Expo Heart-Mind Conference Kidtropolos

Science World Taves Family Farms Vancouver Aquarium Vancouver Symphony Orchestra West Coast Railway

• BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT BC Lactation Consultant Association BC Women’s Hospital Breastfeeding Clinic Breastfeeding Online Bright Future Lactation Resource Centre Ltd La Leche League Canada Vancouver Breastfeeding Centre

• CHILD CARE Appleseed Children’s Playhouse Child Care Resource and Referral

Burnaby Neighbourhood House Where families and individuals can come to get support and services, linking cultures and generations to create a stronger community. Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House Empowering local residents in Hastings-Sunrise area to improve our community together, providing ongoing programs, services and support. posAbilities Providing a broad range of services to persons with developmental disabilities and their families. Adoptive Families Association of BC Association of Neighbourhood Houses BC Baby Go Round BC Association of Family Resource Programs BC Council for Families BC Housing Canadian Paediatric Society Canucks Autism Network Collingwood Neighbourhood House

baby guide


Communitas Supportive Care Society

Baby Footprint

Saucy Bottoms

Community Centres Check your local municipality website

Bumbini Cloth Diaper Company

Sunbaby Diapers Canada

Communitas Supportive Care Society



Family Services of Greater Vancouver

Cozy Bums Diapers

Mother Me Vancouver’s premiere postpartum doula agency.

Fussy Baby

Gorgeous Baby Modern & Organic Cloth Diapers

All About Birth Boutique

Langley Children

Green Bum Company

Maxxine Wright Early Care and Learning Centre

Happy Baby Cheeks

BC Women’s Hospital Pregnancy Birth & Newborns Clinic

The Minerva Foundation

Happy Nappy

Play 2 Learn 4 Life

KaWaii Baby Diapers

Provincial Government education and family programs

Lagoon Baby

Surrey Early Childhood


12 baby guide

Little Monkey Store New & Green Baby Co Real Diaper Circle

Bloom Community Midwives Childbearing Society Midwives in Vancouver DONA International Doula Association Doula Services Association of BC Midwifery Care North Shore

Annual Resource Listings

Go to for full resource listings!

Midwives Association of BC

Europa Language School

Yoga Buttons

The Midwifery Group

Evergreen Cultural Centre


Pacific Midwifery Practice

Fraser Academy

Oyaco Products Innovative solutions for today’s parents

Pomegranate Midwives


Vancouver Doula Collective

Jewish Community Centre Preschool

Westside Midwives

Kumon Math & Reading

Vancouver Midwives at UBC

Millennium Learning Advantage


North Star Montessori

Elite Montessori Academy Developing children’s full academic potential and building their character through Montessori curriculum and enrichment programs. Montessori Mes Petits A safe nurturing environment that promotes physical, social, emotional, cognitive and creative development for the very young ones. Reach for the Stars Montessori Inspiring, educating, and forming active leaders who will positively transform the world of tomorrow. CEFA Core Education & Fine Arts After3 Tutoring at Fraser Academy Brightpath Kids Brockton School Burnaby French Language Preschool Collingwood School Daedalos Enrichment Programs Developmental Disabilities Association

Our Kids Private School Expo Peregrine House Southpointe Academy Vancouver Learners Network Westside Montessori Academy Westside Montessori School Wonder of Learning

• FITNESS Bare Fit and Pregnant Fit 4 Two Inhabit Training Academy (Ugi) Mommies In Motion Mommy Moves Studio 202

Runners Bike – You In Focus Products Good quality balance bikes for toddlers with an awesome design for a reasonable price Mia’s Moccs Quality moccasins and boots at affordable prices for baby. Active Baby Beansprouts Buttercups Children’s Boutique Crocodile Baby Dandelion Kids Frog Hollow Children’s Boutique Hip Baby Kids Market, Granville Island Little and Lively Loveys Lusso Baby Mabel’s Labels Nest Designs Once Upon a Child: Kids’ Resale Parade Organics

baby guide 13

Room for 2

Healthy Canadians online resource

Vancouver Coastal Health resource

Snuggle Bugz

HealthLinkBC – Health information by phone or web

Vancouver Pediatric and Allergy Centre

Sweet Charlie

Kids Physio

Vancouver Pediatric and Family Wellness


Kids Teeth Pediatric Dentistry

Vancouver Pediatric Dental

West Coast Kids

Leap Clinic

Vitalia Healthcare Naturopath

West Coast Baby

Little Smiles Dental Centre


Yaya Baby

Logan Creek Counselling and Consulting


Michele Kambolis


North Van Pediatric Dentistry

Olive Fertility Clinic Complete fertility care, to help you create your family. AARM Dental Infant Circumcision and Vasectomy The BC Pediatric Society Bonn Chiropractic Coquitlam Children’s Dentistry Continuum Medical Care Dial-A-Dietician Fairmont Pediatrics Fraser Health resource Harbourside Family Counselling Centre

14 baby guide

Nourished with Alyssa Bauman, Health Consulting Pacific West Dental Peace Arch Maternity Clinic Pediatric Dental Group PDG

Hazel & Jools Bellies in Bloom Ella Bella Happily Ever After Maternity Haute Mama Luna Maternity Motherhood Maternity

Playtime Pediatric Dentistry

Noppies Maternity

Pollock Clinics

Room for 2 Maternity & Baby

Smiletown Dentistry

Thyme Maternity

South Community Birth Program

With Child

Springs Eternal Natural Health Clinic Tam Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry Tot 2 Teen Dental UC Baby Ultrasound

• PRENATAL EDUCATION Adar Birth Services Belly to Baby Birthing from Within

Annual Resource Listings

Go to for full resource listings!

Dancing Star Birth

Phoenix Gymnastics

Helen Sands

Healthiest Babies Possible

Place des Arts


Lamaze International

Richmond Aquatics

Little Dreamers Consulting

Lower Mainland Childbearing Society

Royal Soccer

Sleep Dreams

The Birth Place

Spotlight Dance Centre

Sleep Stars Consulting


The Stage

Sleepy Miracles

Jump Gymnastics A unique child-focused facility teaching fundamental skills for an active life

Tom Lee Music


Tumbletown A unique, custom built facility offering a variety of specialized movement programs for children aged 6 months to 8 years. VSO School of Music Offering one-of-a-kind experiences, learning and making music for all ages and abilities. Arts Umbrella A&T Equestrian Ava Music and Art Centre BC Girl Guides Canlan Ice Sports Circus West The Cutting Room Gabriela’s Movement Studio Imagination Project Music for Young Children

West Point Grey Community Centre

Brandi Mollica Photography Specializing in photographing newborn and babies up to 12 months, in black and white and colour.


Allyson Matos Newborn photography, creating imagery and video for social media business clients.

• SAFETY Babysafe – St. John Ambulance

Eclipse Photography Award winning, accredited photographer with over 26 years experience, specializing in maternity and newborn.

Baby Proofit Baby Secure BCAA: Infant/Child Care Seat Information Line 1-877-247-5551 Safety Station at BC Children’s Hospital Safety Superstore

Jenn DiSpirito Creating meaningful portraits and gallery walls for home. Nadine Inkster Photography

Vancouver Baby Proofers

• SLEEP CONSULTING Sleeping Child A Kiss Goodnight Cheeky Chops

Go to for even more resources and valuable links!

baby guide 15



For an appointment call 604-559-9950 or email O L I V E F E RT I L I T Y.C O M

wcf news

>> ivivva and PBTeen Launch Home Decor Line For Teen Girls Active girls swoon over the fashion apparel brand ivivva - little sister to Vancouver’s infamous lululemon. Not only can they count on ivivva to provide high-quality clothing that’s perfect for dance, tennis, skating, hockey, and soccer, but girls love the message of self-confidence and girl power that oozes from the brand’s initiatives. Thanks to a partnership with the youth-oriented arm of Pottery Barn - PBTeen, girls can now express their own unique style through decor pieces designed for their favourite room - their bedroom! From bright fluffy throw pillows with inspiring quotes stitched on the surface, to cozy comforters covered in ivivva’s geometric shapes, prints and colours, to crescent-shaped floor pillows that are perfect for teens to create a comfy place to sit and chat with friends, or just sit back and chill, this decor line is sure to dazzle your daughters.

>> The 14th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival Returns This Fall The Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival is returning this Fall! This annual cultural and heritage event serves as a bridge-building force to give voices to the low income residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside - its cultural communities and neighbourhoods. The mandate of this flagship festival is to promote, present and facilitate the development of artists, art forms, cultural traditions, history, activism, people, and the great stories behind Vancouver’s most misunderstood neighbourhood. This year’s 2017 Festival features an array of artists over twelve days of music, stories, songs, poetry, cultural celebrations, films, theatre, dance, processions, spoken word, forums, workshops, discussions, gallery exhibits, mixed media, art talks, history talks, history walks, and more.

Check out the more than 40 pieces included in this newly-launched line, available online at and, as well as in PBteen stores nationwide in the U.S. and at select ivivva stores in both the U.S. and Canada.

The theme of the 2017 Festival, Honouring Women of the Downtown Eastside, pays tribute to women from all walks of life that live in and around the area. The festival is brought to you by the Vancouver Moving Theatre in association with Carnegie Community Centre & the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians, and is happening from Wednesday, October 25th to Sunday November 5th.

>> The VSO Introduces a New Early Years Music Program The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) has recently launched a new arm of musical programming designed for talented tots looking to fine tune their musical skills in a fun and educational environment. From Parent & Baby Musical Yoga, to Colourstrings music and movement classes (designed for kids aged 3 months to 7 years old), to a Sounds of the Symphony class, this new set of programming has it all for kids who love to move to music. The Early Years Music Programs were spearheaded by Gillian Hunter-Gibbs, who brings the highest level of training, experience, creative professionalism and a love of children and community engagement to her role as the VSO School of Music’s Early Years Department Director. On Sunday, September 10th, the VSO is hosting an Instrument Petting Zoo event, happening from 2-4pm at Pyatt Hall, where students can enjoy a hands-on experience with many of the instruments available to the students of VSO. Visitors can enjoy musical games, meet instructors, and explore the instruments on site - a great way to discover their area of interest. September/October 2017 13

back to school

Over-scheduling Kids How Much Is Too Much? by Nicola Enright-Morin


occer, hockey, piano, gymnastics, and extra tutoring. Come September, kids’ schedules will fill up faster than a corporate CEO’s calendar.

Nowadays there are so many activities for kids to choose from, and we want them to try them all! So we sign them up for everything that turns their crank - until we end up feeling like an Uber driver - stuck in a vehicle that smells like a food truck, with kids on the verge of a mammoth meltdown because they are beyond frazzled. So, what’s the solution? Scheduling kids’ activities is a minefield, and it doesn’t help that parenting experts can’t seem to agree if today’s kids are over or under scheduled. If they can’t decide, how is the average parent supposed to figure it out? How can you tell if your child has too much on their plate? This is a difficult one to give a hard and fast rule for, because no two kids are alike. While several activities a week might seem like overload for some children, for others it’s not enough. The good news is, no one knows your child better than you. Take your cues from them. If they’re grumpy when it’s time for their favourite activity, or you have no room for downtime or spontaneous fun, or if school’s suffering and regular family meals are a distant memory, then it might be time to make some cuts. All too often kids get signed up for a myriad of activities because we feel peer pressure from other parents; panicked that if we don’t sign up for the stuff all the other kids are doing, ours will miss out. We worry that if we don’t sign our kids up at an early age – for physical activities especially, they’ll miss the window of opportunity to be the next Gretzky or dance sensation, all because we dropped the ball back when they were three. It’s time to let that peer pressure from other parents and coaches go. Studies show that kids who are pressured less at a younger age are way more likely

to enjoy themselves and in turn excel later and longer in their chosen activity, compared to kids drilled to compete from early on. It’s also important to remember that kids develop at different rates. No two are alike and no one shines at everything. It’s way better to play to your kid’s strengths and pick one or two things they enjoy. Then they are way more likely to stick with it – and that’s important, because studies show that by the time overscheduled kids hit their teens, they are more likely to rebel and drop everything, because they’ve had enough. What if you sign them up and it turns out they don’t like an activity? So be it. Try something else. If you’re worried about wasting money, a good way to get around that is to try activities at a local community centre. They often have classes that last six to ten weeks, and for a reasonable price - perfect for your kids to sample something new without making a year-long commitment and without you feeling the added pressure of a wasted financial commitment. Another important factor to ask yourself is who are the activities really for? Often kids get over scheduled because we want to give our children the chances we never had. But just because you always wanted to play the violin, doesn’t mean your kid wants to. Get their input. Children need to feel like they have a say and what floats their boat might be way off from what you had in mind. Don’t be scared that trimming the timetable means they’ll start whining, “I’m bored”– well, they might - and that’s OK - just don’t lob a screen at them to get them to pipe down. It’s OK for kids to be bored – heck, it’s even good for them. Studies show that kids who have a chance to be bored learn how to think for themselves, figure out activity ideas on their own and stimulate their creativity far more than when every activity is designed and scheduled for them. And when kids aren’t overscheduled, it leaves more time for spontaneity: a ride around the block on a bike, playing catch, skipping rope, playing with the neighbourhood kids – the stuff you really remember from childhood. Here’s what some parents had to say about overscheduling kids: “Observe your child and if they show talent and desire in an area, that’s the activity you pick. Our son chose music and he learned the same team building skills as he would of playing team sports, only he had a lot more fun.” - Wong Wing-Sui, Vancouver “I just said ‘No way! That’s enough. Riley is not playing hockey this summer.’ I went against the peer pressure from the coaches and other parents and gave him the freedom to take the summer to be a kid. Best decision I made.” - Tammy, Burnaby “Don’t compare yourself to other families and don’t compare your kid to other people’s. Once I got that and we did what worked for us, life became way less stressful.” - Petra, Coquitlam “Don’t let the schedule rule your life. Take the time to be with your kids – try and get outside and go for a walk together. You will connect so much more and be happier too.” - Emily, Maple Ridge


back to school

Empowerment Empowering Children in the Face of Stress by Michele Kambolis


t’s a very real fact that our children are facing levels of stress and anxiety like never before. While there are plenty of warnings about the far reaching implications of chronic stress on the wellbeing of our children, parents are eager to change the conversation from anxiety to empowerment.  With every research study highlighting the negative impact of chronic stress on our mind-body system, another is showing the kinds of choices that lead us to our highest potential. The mirror effect.  Is my child more stressed because I’m stressed?  According to neuroscientists the answer is a resounding yes!  Research by the American Psychological Association tells us that 80 percent of kids say that what stresses them the most is their parents’ stress.  Our kids are hard-wired to mirror our emotional states – it’s their core instinct, a survival mechanism to tap into our psychological reality.  So, take an inventory of your stress levels and create the kind of daily practice of self-care that allows both you and your child to thrive. Mindfulness is the new medicine. There are thousands of studies that show that mindfulness meditation calms kids, helps them focus, decreases symptoms of ADHD, lowers depression, decreases aggression and even improves math scores.  One study from the University of North Carolina showed that after only two weeks of mindfulness training, preschoolers showed improvements in attention, self-awareness, and gratitude and happiness levels.  Imagine children as young as three learning the life-long skill of quietly observing their internal experience.  The beautiful bottom line: a child that meditates is a child that thrives.  So, tap into one of the childfocused mindfulness programs in your child’s school or community.  The Mind Up Program is available in most Lower Mainland schools and teachers are often eager to cultivate mindful classrooms.  Also, hop onto the MindBody Online app to find your closest Chi School.  Chi School is a play-based mindfulness program popping up in yoga studios and community centres throughout British Columbia.  The fun-filled classes will give your child the tools they need to clear away stress, turn distraction into calm, and strengthen their optimistic mind! Change your stress attitude.  Is all stress bad?  It’s one of the first questions I’m asked by parents.   I love this question, because stress has somehow become this misunderstood human phenomenon that we all seem to fear – including our kids!  Our stress response is a brilliant and essential part of being a human being.  In fact, acute stress is one of the greatest survival tools we have; but too much stress interferes with the balance within the mind-body.   So, change the conversation you’re having with your kids about stress, reminding them that the sensations of their beating heart and heightened feelings can motivate, protect and help them perform when the stakes are highest.  

Check your 6 pillars of mind-body health. Under the right circumstances, our child’s body is a perfect, self-healing ecosystem.  With a balanced combination of play, exercise, nutrition, connection, down time, and sleep, the effect of chronic stress is less likely to loom.  Researchers have found each of these lifestyle factors to be highly associated with mind-body health; ignore even one, and you are running the risk of neurobiological imbalance.  But we humans like to overthink things; so keep in mind, it’s the small daily changes that lead to radical shifts.  Simply returning to the basics can do wonders.   Start by eating nutrient-dense foods, sharing meals together, getting out in nature, showing up in a playful, connected state and putting gadgets away often and well before bedtime.   Understand the signs of anxiety.  Deeply rooted in the internal, anxiety is an elusive cluster of symptoms that can leave children feeling out of control and held hostage emotionally.  Unlike the benefits of short-term stress, longterm stress wreaks havoc on the mind-body system and the symptoms are virtually undetectable to the outside world; the cascade of stress hormones make it difficult for our children to just think straight, crippling their capacity to learn and cope.  Subtler signs of anxiety like stomach aches, headaches and sleep problems are often overlooked, but can equally impact a child’s ability to manage – these are enormous red flags that something is out of balance. Anxiety is left untreated in 2 out of 3 children, and the average time a person waits to look for help is 10 years.  At the same time, anxiety is highly treatable, with over 85 percent of people showing improvement with approaches like cognitive behavioural therapy.  You were born with great parenting instincts, so trust your internal cues and don’t wait to take action.   Michele Kambolis is a 20-year veteran child and family therapist, acclaimed author, and parenting expert. A MA/PhD (Cand.) in mind-body medicine, Michele combines her knowledge and passion for integrative healing to support parents and children through their challenges.

September/October 2017 15

wcf feature

Women In Leadership Growing Through Change

by Courtney Daws, Alumna of the Minerva Foundation Women Leading the Way Program


ome people thrive on change and – If I am being honest - I have always been a bit jealous of those people. As the saying goes: “The only constant is change,”and through these constant changes, I wish I felt more like I was riding the wave rather than being pounded by the surf.

It is not that I dislike change, I just have a tendency to want to be in control and that often means that I lean towards nestling into predictability. However, as much as I like control and order, I despise monotony so I have learned to not only accept change but to embrace it and see it for the opportunities that exist therein. As a professional and mother of two young children, I have experienced a lot of change, whether I was prepared for it or not. While it often feels like a struggle, I have always muscled through and, for the most part, emerged stronger on the other side. Two instances stick out in my mind when change absolutely terrified me and shook me to my core: when I became a mother for the first time, and when I found myself at a significant crossroads in my career.

Change as a reality Nothing - and I mean nothing - prepared me for what it would be like to become a mother for the first time. Of course, I knew that having a child would change

my life, but I was not prepared for how having a child would change every single aspect of my life. I recall one night almost having a panic attack over how I felt like nothing would ever be the same. While I was excited about my new life as a mother (and the pure, unparalleled love and joy that comes with it), I felt like I had to figure out how to just exist as this new person. It’s not like before having a baby I was particularly adventurous (I wasn’t climbing the Himalayas or playing in a rock band), but it was a part of me – it was a living, breathing thing that I had to let go. I had to take the time to mourn my old self before I moved on. Once I came to this realization (a lot later than I care to admit), I went through transformation towards accepting the new me and my new reality. In fact, I used my desire for control to my advantage and mindfully engaged in the process of transitioning through the change so that I could fully enjoy my new life. Having gone through the profound change of becoming a mother, I felt like I would be well-prepared for whatever other substantial changes may come my way, that was until I found myself at the end of a work contract and at a crossroads in my career without a clear path in front of me.


As someone who likes control and is a self-professed planner, I felt completely lost. I always had a plan and then a backup plan in case the first plan didn’t work, but now there was no blueprint - the possibilities were endless and I was terrified. This time the realization that I needed to go through the process of letting go of the past came quicker to me. I made the conscious decision to take the opportunity that this change had given me to focus inward and figure out who I was and what I wanted.

Change as a process Looking back at my experience through these transformative moments in my life, and with the help of some great training through Minerva BC’s Women Leading the Way advanced leadership program, I realized that there was a pattern to how I transitioned from just coping with the changes to thriving because of them: Step 1:Understanding that change will inevitably result in saying goodbye. You have to go through the process of letting go of aspects of your reality that existed before the change occurred and getting closure with your past. Step 2: The period of ambiguity. You will end up going through a period of uncertainty before figuring out how to accept change. Here is where the questions, and sometimes self-doubt, occur: “What is going to happen?”, “Will I ever be ok?”, “What does this mean?”. There is fear, there is confusion, but there will also be feelings of excitement and opportunity. Sometimes there is an urge to rush through this time, especially if you are like me and not a huge fan of chaos, but it is important to take the time and opportunity to reflect and refocus on what is essential for your personal growth. It is during this time that you visualize how to move on and embrace change. Step 3: Thriving. After navigating the period of ambiguity, you begin to embrace  your new life and the new reality that came about as a result of the changes that you have just gone through.

Change as a gift Looking back, I recognize that my mindset was holding me back from enjoying all of the benefits that come with change. I could not stop the change that was happening to me, but instead of allowing the change to steer me, I began to take control of my reaction to it. It is so important to take a different perspective and change your frame of mind to look at change not as a hurdle to overcome, but rather as a gift to be explored and embraced.

Women Leading the Way™ is Minerva BC’s interactive, part-time training program for established and emerging leaders. Grounded in the principles of values-based leadership, the program has transformed the careers of hundreds of women with its unique approach: First understanding your purpose and values in order to become an authentic and successful leader. Over the course of six months, participants delve into a variety of tools to explore their personal leadership style and strengths, enhance communication and presentation skills, and gain the confidence to take on new challenges and opportunities. Invest in yourself by learning more at

September/October 2017 17

families at home

City To Suburbs Squeezed out of Vancouver real estate? There’s Hope! by Ada Slivinski


s a family of four living in a two-bedroom North Vancouver condo, we were definitely starting to feel the squeeze. The condo was the first home we had purchased and though it was within our budget, we quickly realized that moving up in the same neighbourhood would mean almost doubling our mortgage payments.

For a high school teacher and media gal that would mean stretching beyond our means. Home prices almost double when you make the move from a two-bedroom to a three-bedroom place. Begrudgingly, we started looking further out of the city. First we looked in South Surrey, then Langley, and finally Chilliwack, where we think we may have found our forever home. When we were initially looking, our condition was that the home had to be within 45 minutes of the city, but once we got a bit more flexible with the commute, so many more possibilities opened up for us. For $30,000 less than the price of our condo, we were able to buy a four-bedroom character home on a double lot. Almost as soon as we stepped onto the herringbone hardwood floors, my husband and I were sold. A few months later, our longtime realtor Steve Croner also moved his family to the area. “We decided on the Cultus Lake area because we found the community to be very similar to the Deep Cove community where we used to live in North Vancouver,” he said. Croner told me he was seeing a change in the demographics of the area. “In the past 5 years there has definitely been a trend of young families moving to the Fraser Valley.” He told me he had helped at least 20 families sell their homes in the Lower Mainland and then purchase homes in the Valley. Why? “For people who want to up-size and want a bigger home or actual land, the Fraser Valley offers more choices.” According to the most recent Census statistics, the Fraser Valley population grew by 6.6 per cent between 2011 and 2016 while the total population growth for the province was 5.6 per cent. Robyn Adamanche, principal of

market analysis at the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, told an Urban Development Institute lunch panel that 8,510 new households were expected to form in the Fraser Valley each year, including nearly 3,000 a year in Surrey, more than 1,300 in Langley and more than 1,000 a year in South Surrey/White Rock. With that kind of population growth comes trendy new shops, restaurants and cultural programs. To be honest, we moved to Chilliwack because we fell in love with the house, but we have been so blown away by the community. We have lakes and mountains within 15 minutes of our door, there’s always something for the kids to do, and there are so many young families just like ours. The summers are a bit hotter, traffic is lighter, and we’ve actually gotten to know our neighbours. Vancouverites can be snobby when it comes to the surrounding suburbs. So many people in North Vancouver or the West End say they will never leave. We used to think like that too but the reality is that for most middle class families that’s just not affordable. The MLS composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,019,400. It’s the reason we saw housing protests and the #donthaveonemillion hashtag trend last year, and so many of those double income doctor and lawyer families move away. Finding a three-bedroom place for less than $700,000 is near impossible. We bought our home for $439,000 and coming from North Vancouver we really felt like we were stealing it. Yes, we’re an hour’s drive from downtown Vancouver, but if you leave at the wrong time it can take you over an hour to get from the North Shore to downtown. If we had to do a daily commute the move might have been tougher, but I have quite flexible work hours and my husband was able to find a job closer to home. As more young Vancouverites are able to telecommute, I wouldn’t be surprised if more of them make the move further out. For our family, one of the biggest benefits is feeling like we’re able to jump out of the rat race for a bit. We always used to worry about how we could provide for our growing family without sacrificing a family vacation or the odd coffee or dinner out. The next step felt so unattainable and it was getting us down. As it turned out, all we had to do was follow the signs to Hope.




Karen Khunkhun

Not Just The Femme On The Fox by Bianca Bujan


By Kelly S. Thompson | Photo by Dylan Doubt

t takes a special kind of talent to be able to wake up at 3am and talk to a live audience with the energy and enthusiasm to keep listeners engaged, and then return home and be fully on as a parent. Karen Khunkhun has perfected that skill, thanks to a long and successful career in broadcast journalism, a true love for her line of work, and a family-first mentality.

Karen’s passion for radio put her on the right path early on in her career, landing an on-air gig with CFOX before she even completed her schooling at BCIT. Born and raised in Richmond, Karen grew up listening to Larry and Willy Vancouver’s rock n’ roll radio veterans. When Karen received a call to audition for a role on their show, she was so shocked, she thought it was a prank. “When the show director called me, I thought it was one of my friends punking me,” she recalls, laughing at how shocked she was to receive the call. She walked into her interview not only as a potential candidate for the on-air show, but as a long-time fan of the popular radio pair. A quick chat led to a job offer, and she stuck with the show for years, eventually working as the show’s producer. Larry and Willy eventually moved over to Jack FM and Karen was slated to join them, until City TV reached out with an opportunity she couldn’t refuse. Conflicted, she went to Larry and Willy for advice. “Willy said, “Karen, you have to do it. Come back with us when you’re done, but go and pursue that, that’ll be such a great opportunity for you.” This the kind of guys they are, they’re amazing people.” Karen gushes remembering the conversation. She took the offer and transitioned to live TV with ease, joining Mike and Fiona on their morning show. Transitioning from radio to TV was eye opening for Karen. Suddenly people were paying attention to how she looked, what she was wearing and how she was presenting herself on camera. It was before social media, but online criticism was still emanant. Karen remembers browsing through the station’s blog comments online. “Viewers would be like, “Your hair was out of place” and I’m out there in the pouring rain reporting, and obviously my hair is out of place, I looked like a hot mess! I had never had anyone do that -  pick apart what I looked like, and I was just in shock that people could be so mean - and that was just the beginning of it.” Karen did her best to ignore the comments, but sometimes they got the best of her. “It really gets inside of your head - you don’t want people to affect you like that, but it sort of does,” she notes. Karen loved the rush of live TV, so when she was offered another radio hosting gig, she decided to take on both roles. “I was doing the afternoon show at CFOX and the morning show at Breakfast TV, so I was burning out big time. My mornings would start at 3am and then I’d be working until at least 7pm - and then we’d have so many events with the radio station,” Karen remembers of trying to juggle both jobs. She did that for 2 years, and then decided it was time to make a choice. She went back to CFOX and moved into the morning show - and she hasn’t looked back.

photo by Janis Nicolay When Karen became a mom, she was going to take a full year off to enjoy her new, and most important role. Her boss came over to visit the baby one day, and asked if she could return to work a bit earlier. Torn between work and family, Karen decided to return to work after 6 months, but the transition back was difficult at first. Soon after her return, Karen was sent on a 3-day work trip to host listeners. She was excited to enjoy a few nights of rest, but she remembers missing her baby. “I’m running to the hotel room to go and pump because I’m dying - I didn’t even realize the pain, and then I’m in the hotel room pumping and crying because I miss her. I remember thinking, “Why did I go back this early, this is terrible,” she recalls. Karen is so thankful for her flexible work schedule, and appreciates working for a team who understands that family is her first priority. “There’s those ups and downs that you have as a mom. I appreciate so much that I can be there at 3pm for school pick up, and if something comes up they’ll let me run. No question, flexibility helps.” She also credits her success to the unwavering support of her husband and the helping hands of her parents and 3 siblings (two older sisters and a younger brother) who have been so supportive on her journey through both journalism and motherhood. On prioritizing, Karen says, “I’m trying to get better at not being such a yes person - I say yes so much that I get to the point where I feel depleted - I have to stop doing that.” When she’s not on air, Karen’s auditioning for TV roles, volunteering her time for charity, and working on her video series for the Vancouver Sun - Letters To A Younger Me, an advice series that began as a passion project she created with her daughter Maya in mind. She hopes to eventually turn the series into a book. Karen strives to set a positive example for her daughter as she continues to make waves on the airways and on camera. Her contagious enthusiasm for both her family and her work will no doubt pave the way to more successful projects for this westcoast mom. Catch Karen on the world famous CFOX (99.3FM) weekday mornings from 6am10am, and Saturdays from 6am-8am, and watch out for her appearance on Supernatural, where she plays the role of a newscaster. For more on Karen, visit September/October 2017 19

community CHI Kids Classes Yoga Buttons Studio, Vancouver Sept 14 - Nov 16, 4:30pm-5:30pm Artspace Children’s Art Centre, Burnaby Sept 16 - Dec 2, 1pm-2pm During each 60-75 minute CHI Kids class, your child will learn how to master scientifically supported tools and skills for a stronger, more flexible mind and body. Each class incorporates mindfulness exercises, yoga flows, relaxing imagery, empowering group activities, gratitude practice and much more - all in the language of play! CHI Kids Parent and Teacher Training Granville Island Hotel, Vancouver Level 1: Oct 20, 9am-4pm Level II: Oct 21, 9am-4pm Chi School is a scientifically supported mind-body practice to empower youth and parents to optimize their highest potential. Chi Kids Parent and Teacher Training will take your work with children to new depths of creativity, purpose and unshakable empowerment – a life-changing experience. Miniature Trains at Burnaby Central Railway Confederation Park, Burnaby Ongoing until October 9, 11am-5pm With over 2kms of track and 70+ switchbacks, every ride you take could be different! Each ride is  $3.50 per person (kids under 3 are FREE). Enjoy a 10-minute train ride through the beautiful park or get 10 rides for only $30. Home Depot Kids’ Workshop Various Home Depot Stores 2nd Saturday of every month, 10am-2pm Each month there is a new woodworking project for kids to create for free!  The children will use both glue and hammers.  Visit the Home Depot site to find out each month’s project, and pre-register your child. Kids must be between the ages of 4-12 years, and parents must participate. Open House at Ava Music September 9, 6-8pm 734 Marine Drive, North Vancouver Stop by to meet instructors and discover your artistic potential over a cup of coffee or tea and a yummy dessert. First 50 people to register for year-round lessons will receive two FREE tickets to Disney on Ice. Wesbrook Village Festival 2017 Wesbrook Village, 3378 Wesbrook Mall, UBC September 9, 11am - 4pm Join us for the 7th annual Wesbrook Village Festival. Enjoy a day full of fun for everyone; from students to seniors, friends to families, and residents to visitors. If you’ve been to the Wesbrook Village Festival before, you know exactly what you’re in for - an afternoon of fun activities and great food. Be prepared for a free BBQ, live music, kid’s zone, entertainers, goodies for sale by local artisans. WestCoast Families will be there too! Free.


Luminary Festival Sunstone Park, North Delta September 9, 6-10pm It’s a special, sparkling, end-of-summer festival—illuminate yourself with costume and lights, and create a lantern to light the way! The annual Luminary Festival features a Parade of Lights, Concert in the Park, children’s activities, entertainment and food vendors. Day at the Farm 2017 Westham Island Herb Farm, Ladner September 9, 10am-4pm Come and see all that your local farming community has to offer, including hay wagon farm tours, BC fresh potato digs, Wildlife Conservation displays, Vancouver food trucks, and fresh local produce for sale. Don’t miss the Musical Talent Show featuring Delta youth at 11:45 am, or prepare your best signature dish using a local ingredient and enter to win the homemade food contest at noon! Admission is free or by donation to the food bank. Touch a Truck Abbotsford Centre September 9, 11am-3pm This is a fun, hands-on, free educational event for the whole family. Vehicles and interactive displays from many companies will be on site and available for photo opportunities. Machine operators will also be on hand to talk to children about the machines and to answer questions! Come Try Ringette! Moody Park Arena, New Westminster September 9 & 16, 3:15-4:45pm Come join members of the Burnaby New West Ringette Association and learn how to play this FUN sport! This free event is open to children between the ages of 4-14 who want to try Ringette. Beginner skaters are welcome! Scotiabank and BC SPCA Paws for a Cause Various locations September 10 This is a great way to get out with your family and furry friend (on a leash!) and help raise money for animals in need.  Activities include a kids zone, interactive vendors, a BBQ and more! Country Celebration Campbell Valley Regional Park, Langley September 16-17, 10am-4pm This award-winning event highlights the park’s natural wonders, its heritage and local community. Celebrate conservation and sustainable living while enjoying live performances and interactive nature displays. Free. Southlands Country Fair Southlands Riding Club, Vancouver September 17, 10am-5pm This is a community event featuring pony rides, a petting farm, games, equestrian equipment, silent auction, arts and crafts market and much more! www.southlands

Word Vancouver Various locations throughout Vancouver September 19-24 Be a part of this festival with a multitude of free reading and writing activities that will take place at various locations and are all part of the Word Vancouver festival. The big festival day happens on September 24th in and around the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library. Take in free readings, panel discussions, writing workshops, site performers, family activities, and more. WestCoast Families will be there too! Free. Vancouver Kids Fashion Week September 23-24 This is a two-day fashion event dedicated to children’s fashion lines and creativity. A few of the highlights for this event will feature a recovered patient of the BC Children’s Hospital strutting the catwalk as a model, and singing and dance performances by talented kids of all ages. Open House! 108 Year Anniversary of Mackin House Mackin House, Coquitlam September 24, 12noon-3pm Coquitlam Heritage will be offering tours of the Fraser Mills Train Station and of Mackin House during this familyfriendly event! Join in for crafts, tours, free snacks, and more! See the quilt project that features drawings from children and members of the community on what Canada means to them! Vancouver Baby & Family Fair September 28: 10am-5pm, September 29: 10am-4pm Vancouver Convention Centre, East Facility Hall C A two-day consumer event for the whole family, with an opportunity to shop for products for your entire family under one roof. Speak with professionals and enjoy live entertainment too. First 100 people through the door on Saturday receive extra awesome goodie bags! $15-$18 (kids 12 & under free) Heritage Apple Day Derby Reach Regional Park, Langley September 30, 11am-2pm Try your hand at old-fashioned chores and enjoy fiddlers, artists and historians. Sample a variety of apples. Drop in, admission is free! Family Day at PdA Place des Arts, Coquitlam October 1, 1:30-3:30pm Start with a tour of the three exhibitions, and then get creative with five exhibition-related workshops! Admission is free, register online.

calendar Fred Penner VSO Kids Koncert Orpheum Theatre October 8 This concert is a great opportunity to successfully introduce children (aged 4–11 years) to the world of classical music. The concert is 45 minutes in length, and features the entire Vancouver Symphony Orchestra playing alongside childhood favourite, Fred Penner. Flashlight Mysteries Surrey Bend Regional Park October 14, 6-9pm Be wily like a coyote and wise as an owl to solve the nocturnal mystery on a lantern-lit trail walk. Park at Pacific Academy (10238 – 10300 168 St) and take a free shuttle bus to the day use area to start your journey. Buses start running at 5:30pm, and the last bus leaves the park at 9:30pm. Limited parking is available. This is a free event for all ages.

O.W.L. Gala Fundraiser October 21 Help raise awareness and cover expenses for the work done in the community. Due to the growing number of patients in their care, food costs, medical and surgical costs, enclosure updates, and rescue/transport fees have all increased. Pacific Pet Expo Cloverdale Rodeo Fairgrounds October 21-22 A family-friendly event featuring anything and everything related to animals! Doggie costume contests, pony rides, pet calendar contests, demos, seminars and more! Salmon Come Home Hoy Creek Linear Park, Coquitlam October 22, 11am-3pm This is a special event because the salmon return to the creek where they were spawned, after living most of their adult lives at sea. This event will happen rain or shine.

Leading Moms 2017 Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre, Olympic Village, Vancouver Oct 27, 9:30am-2:30pm On October 27th, Crisp Media (producer of VancouverMom. ca) will be hosting the 6th annual Leading Moms event, where talented and accomplished women will share their stories of leadership and motherhood, focusing on the theme of change. Immerse yourself, fill your heart, and treat yourself to a day of inspiring and intimate talks delivered straight from the heart. Speakers include Lotte Davis - CEO & Founder, One Girl Can Society, Tess Sloan - Director of Talent, Earls Restaurants & Co-Founder of Talent Lab, Dr. Lara Boyd Neurologist, UBC Professor & TedX Speaker, and more, plus an exciting lineup of creative performances.

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last look Raised on Kale

Creating Healthy Eaters 101 by Alyssa Schottland-Bauman of

have to do the whole transition at once, but small changes can give you big results: more open-minded kids at meal times.

Feeding kids can be a challenge, but it’s all in the mindset. Instead of thinking of cooking ‘for’ the kids, try cooking with the kids. With picky eaters and fierce aversions to veggies, it can definitely be difficult. My 9-year-old virtually ate nothing when she was a toddler. Now she eats anything—almost. Change the way you think about cooking and you will already instill healthier habits in both yourself and your children.

Kid-Friendly Foods Aren’t Good for Kids. It’s crazy what society deems as kid-friendly - more like kid-deadly. Hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries, nuggets, fruit snacks—all are loaded with sugar, artificial colours and flavours, preservatives, and all types of nasty things that affect their physical health and behaviour. Kids don’t need “special” foods. They need time to adjust to what you’re eating, and that may take a little coaxing and a few tricks along the way. The transition to a new way of eating isn’t always easy for anyone, but it’s so worth it.

Cook One Meal. When kids see what we eat, they naturally want to try it. Start with this now. I have seen so many moms stressing out, making two or three dinners a night. STOP. We are not short-order chefs. I know this may seem draconian, but I promise you, they won’t starve. If there are no alternatives offered they will eventually eat. That being said,  super hot, spicy and overly powerful flavours aren’t the best ways to win over fresh palates. Get Kids Involved. Let them stir, wash, strain, dump, crack, pour, measure, juice, squeeze, etc. Yes, two year olds can play in the kitchen. Clearly ageappropriate jobs work best.  When kids get to help prepare the meal, they’re more likely to not only try different foods, but also to eat their creations. It’s all about control. Let them think they are in control and they will eat. Presentation is Key. Kids respond well to extra effort. Kids will even eat kale. Have you tried chopping it up in tiny pieces and putting it out on the table as kale fairy dust? My 3-year old sprinkles it on everything. I have clients in utter shock thanking me that their kids are asking for kale dust. Try layering fruits in a glass to make rainbows, or cut up veggies in a smiley face. Junk-Free House. If junk foods aren’t available in the home, then they won’t be consumed and won’t be asked for. My response to ‘I’m hungry’ is to offer them whole food snacks instead of packaged foods loaded with refined sugars or far too much sodium that will have them flying, thirsty, cranky and irritable. Try these healthy snacks instead: • • • • • • • • •

Organic edamame Organic cheese Raw veggies Homemade muffins or bars, or power bites Hummus Sliced fruit with nut butters Kale chips Trail mix or granola to avoid added sugar, peanuts, chocolate chips Sweet potato fries

Have Food on Hand. Never leave home unarmed. Pack one or two of the snacks above so you can always avoid a meltdown, have a distraction, and never have to rely on store bought items that are packed with sugar, salts and unhealthy fats. Start Now If your kids are already pre-teens or even preschoolers, their habits may be challenging to break. But if you start now, consistency and effort will pay off. After a couple of weeks you will be loving your new healthier habits. Incorporate Your Guidelines into Kids’ Food. I do this all the time. I give everything the Nourished makeover. If kids want pasta, make it whole grain and top it with sauce made from fresh tomatoes or pesto. Do they feel like having a smoothie on a hot day? Throw some greens into the mix! You don’t


Recipe: Mac and Cheese, Nourished Up We still use a bit of dairy, but half the cheese by incorporating nutritional yeast into the recipe. Nutritional yeast is packed with B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein, and is gluten-free (check specific brands for certification), and contains no added sugars or preservatives. And is it ever tasty, cheesy and savoury. So this dish is bursting with flavour, phyto-nutrients and nutrition with half the saturated fat as the traditional dish. Ingredients • • • • • • • • • • • • •

12 ounces multigrain elbow pasta 1 head cauliflower, finely chopped 2 cups brown rice crumbs 2 Tblsp ground chia 1/2 cup parsley, chopped 3 Tblsp olive oil 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (I like the Red Star brand) 1 onion, chopped 1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar 1/2 cup nonfat greek Yogurt or Plain unsweetened Almond Milk yogurt 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard Salt and pepper

Instructions Heat oven to 400° F. Cook the pasta according to the package. Add cauliflower for last 3 minutes of cooking; drain and set aside. Mix brown rice crumbs/chai mix with parsley, 2 tablespoons of the oil, salt and pepper. Return pasta pot to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, salt and pepper until soft, 3 minutes. Mix in the pasta and cauliflower and the cheese, nutritional yeast, yogurt, almond milk and mustard. Transfer to a shallow 3-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the crumb mixture, and bake until golden brown - about 12 to 15 minutes. Certified Holistic nutritionist and health consultant, Alyssa Bauman, founded Nourished {A Health Consulting Firm} six years ago when she was constantly being asked for healthy living advice. It’s not as difficult as it seems, that’s where Alyssa comes in and guides you through whatever your nutritional needs may be. When she isn’t upgrading food choices, she will be playing in the park with with her most treasured muses—her three daughters.

WestCoast Families - Baby Guide Sep|Oct 2017  

The September|October Fall 2017 issue of WestCoast Families, featuring Fall Fun, Back to School, Families at Home, and the 18th Annual Baby...

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