Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Parenting Re-soul-utions

It must be the end of the year and my brain must be tired, because everyone else seems to have such great ideas. Instead of racking my brain for something creative, I am sharing the...

2011 UrbanMommies parenting resolutions. (my edits, but with a link at the end).

1. I will say no to other people when I cannot stretch my family any further. And, when appropriate, I will say no to my child even if it means a big tantrum will happen.

2. I will sit cross-legged on the floor every day and play blocks, have a tea party, read books or just talk to my kids.

3. I’ll use the time driving in the car to ask my kids questions.

4. We’ll play different music every once in a while and I’ll do a Google search on Beethoven, Country Music or Gregorian Chants as we listen so I can explain the music to my child.

5. We’ll sit around the table as a family for at least one meal per day.

6. Medical, dental records and our emergency contact list will all be organized.

7. We’ll look at our family budget.

8. I will watch the news for 10 minutes daily even if they protest that Dora must stay on the TV. Even though I’m a busy parent, I need to be connected.

9. I’ll identify the 3 reasons why I am a great parent.

10. Even though they are picky eaters, I’ll still try to slip in quinoa, veggies and wheat germ where I can to enhance their diet. When I shop I’ll add good things to my healthy pantry.

11. I’ll try to remember that unstructured days in your PJ’s can be just as important as scheduled activities.

12. I’ll try to ask for what I need – from my partner, friends, family and my kids.

13. I’ll show through example that charity is important.

14. We’ll do a few more things in a greener way – use more baking soda for cleaning, plant some seeds, or start a compost.

15. Every person in the family will try to unclutter.

Even incorporating a couple of these into your weekly routine could help you, the kids and the planet.

So... I first read this and thought, "Wow! I should do all of these!". The list does have some wonderful ideas on how to be a better parent. Then my real brain kicks in. When did it become such a "job" to raise a family? When did we start thinking of the effort that we should be putting in, instead of this being a natural part of our life? Why do we act like raising a family should come with a set of instructions, and we are either doing things right or wrong? And do we really think that raising our kids is isolated from the rest of our life?

Yes I should broaden my views, but I shouldn't be listening to different types of music solely for the benefit of my child. Of course, music, and various forms of it, should be a part of our life, but if we include it just to check it off the list, haven't we missed the point?

Do I have to tell myself to sit on the floor and play? If I want to engage with my child, isn't that something I would automatically do?

I like to garden, so the compost and planting seeds is something we always do. And Scarlett likes it too. But, if this was something I despised doing, would going through the actions for her benefit, have a positive benefit?

Won't our child see how we get excited to do things that we feel passionate about and learn from that?

I did like the mis-print in the title (intentional or not). That was the first time that I thought of re-soul-utions as returning to our soul.

Happy Parenting (and parenting choices) in 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Belly Grows

I have faced the fact that I love pregnant bellies. I loved my own when I was pregnant with Scarlett, and I still love seeing them. They are fun to watch grow, and shift and change. Plus it is fun to see how much more positive and happy people act around a baby belly. (Please tell me you have seen this!)

Here's a cute video that I saw on Facebook today that I thought was fun. It's a series of still photographs, pieced together and then put to music. The information is on the site:


I did take the title from their title, "Magic-A Belly Grows". And the mom in the picture is the one in the video.

Can I include this as a motivating factor to have another baby? I wish I could look as cute in front of the camera as this mom. Would it take much convincing to talk Scott into taking photos like this?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve at Elan

All three of us have been spending the day together today. Perhaps unconventionally. All three of us went to work this morning.

Originally Scott was going to work, I was going to be off. Then our new massage therapist was going to work. Then I realized that I should probably be there to help her. Then I started to book some clients here and there, around Scarlett, and the massage schedule. Before I knew it, the morning was busy, and we're all at the office 4 hours today!

We packed up Scarlett's new magnetic "paper dolls"-an early Christmas gift.

We packed up Frosty the tree ornament, the Easter bunny, and a stuffed baby elephant.

We packed a snack, and other essentials.

And off we went.

Today was the day of movies and games on the iPad, painting on the Buddha Board, playing with mega blocks, stamping, stickering, playing chase around the tables, playing on the computer and phone, and learning that the phones page each other. And of course seeing a few familiar faces and a few new ones. It sounds like it could be a typical day at home, doesn't it?

We're looking forward to our quiet Christmas at home this year. I hope our daughter doesn't look back on this one day and think, "you took me to the office on Christmas Eve?!?!".

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Solstice

Tomorrow is the day! One winter solstice, one full moon, and one lunar eclipse. Wow! What are you planning to mark the day?

I am blogging a day early because I am reminding myself to keep my mind smiling and my intentions positive, since this is a very powerful time of year for manifesting what you want in your life.

At the very least I will be continually reminding myself, "Thank you for my health, thank you for my family and their health, thank you for my house, thank you for Elan and all the people that visit us there..." You get the idea. Plus I hope to devote some time to what I would like to create in my life in 2011.

One year Scott built a huge wheel for the Winter Solstice and we attached our intentions to it, and then set it on fire. So fun! We haven't planned anything so dramatic for this year, but I will still mark the day.

Happy Solstice and Intention Day!

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Love Homeopathics

I love Scarlett's homeopathics.

She's teething. I assume that is what the hand in the mouth, full tilt screeching noise, and general irritability is. I would also love to adjust her but she won't let me near her spine. I can't say which comes first but teething and upper cervical (neck) irritation seem to go hand in hand.

Off to Bowness Health Food Store we went. At 6:30 pm 2 nights ago. I thought I was doing a quick run by myself, but Scarlett put on her boots so both of us went. It was probably a good idea that she came because do you ever find that kids should pick this type of thing out for her (him) self? For instance-I will hold up 2 remedies which both seem to fit her symptoms, and which ever one she picks is the winner. Its very scientific. So we came home with the Camilia blend by Boiron and Calcarea Phosphorous pellets. If you haven't shopped at this store before, they are always so helpful, and they are a landmark in Bowness.

The Camilia blend is winning so far. One little doseage and Scarlett calmed down within 5 minutes. It is amazing. A couple times we've had to use 2 doses, but so far it hasn't failed.

Have you tried homeopathics yet?

I will say that this is the generic usage of homepathics. Our naturopath is on maternity leave and we have yet to see a homeopathic doctor. A constitutional remedy would probably be much more effective, but I'm still pretty happy with our results.

If you're scratching your head and asking what homeopathics are-what is the easiest description? They are a natural "medicine" of very diluted quantities; I think they work energetically, but please feel free to correct me. I feel a million times better about giving my daughter homeopathics than resorting to any pain or teething medicine. I'm hoping that one day Scarlett will one day think of them for all of her bumps and owies. And yes, even offering her Arnica seems to somehow soothe her spirits.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Absence does make the heart grow fonder. My brain and fingers have been itching to write something, anything!

I wish I could say it was just the holidays that have kept us busy. Picking out our tree, decorating it, going to Christmas parties and Open Houses, baking, shopping, wrapping, mailing... We have been doing that & yesterday I even hauled out every tacky ornament that I own.


Scarlett's new constant companions are the Santa salt and pepper shakers, and candle holders, and any general ornament that wouldn't hang from the tree.

We decorated the tree the equivalent of two times-most of the ornaments within reach were removed by Scarlett, and re-hung.

Aside from Christmas, we've been busy with work. Seeing clients of course, but we've also been interviewing, trying to juggle the schedule for the new year, celebrating our birthday, working on the website, and even adding a facebook page. (Welcome to this millennium). You can check out my new projects here:

Our new massage therapist Sandra, offering Pregnancy and Post-natal massage and reflexology;

My new Elan Facebook page:!/pages/Elan-Family-Wellness-Centre/155310474515559

They may seem like small feats, but they sure take the time. It was definitely memorable doing an interview with Scarlett in tow. (You have kids? You don't mind do you?).

I'm wondering if the last 3 weeks of this year will continue to hold this much activity? Is there some down time ahead? (Or maybe I used up that time by travelling to Italy?).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Six Year Old Baby

I thought that I became a mother when Scarlett was born. (Or conceived-is that when you start feeling maternal?) However, now that my first baby has its birthday today, I'm realizing that I've felt like a mom for longer than that. As odd as it may sound, our little business does feel like part of our family. Its so odd, and why am I writing that?

Our Six Year Old Baby (officially 6 years old TODAY) is Elan Family Wellness Centre. I guess she's a girl, and Sagittarius apparently.

We've worried about her at night. (Mainly after Elan was broken in to.). We've made special trips back to make sure she's OK. (Yes, I'm a little OCD). I try to bring nice people to her to visit. We remind her to be patient and polite and have manners with everyone who comes, even if we sometimes don't feel like it. We've had many meals with Elan, and many, many, many snacks. We bring her plants to keep the air nice and try to keep her at a comfortable temperature. We decorate for some seasons or holidays, and have even done the Christmas decorating this year. I think she generally looks "pretty".

We've had fun with Elan, and frustrations. Like every kid and business, growing pains were part of the journey. She can run us off our feet, or have times with complete laziness and time to drink tea or coffee. Or to fret about her future. (Will she grow up to be a BIG office one day?)

Elan even survived us leaving her a few times in trusted hands-for holidays, including a few times with replacements for me. We had the big event when Scarlett arrived, when she was left alone for months (well, 2 months) and only got tiny bits of attention since. Is that what happens to older children? They get a little bit ignored when the baby arrives?

I'm happy to say that Elan has survived and thrived to the ripe old age of 6! I don't aspire for Elan to be "bigger" as we like her just as she is. We appreciate her welcoming and warm personality. It has been nice to have Elan as part of the family for these past several years.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Secret

We have the movie The Secret running in the background at our house. Scott has watched it the last 2 mornings and I watched most of it last week (Scarlett does cry for cartoons if the TV is on!). It will be on most of the weekend, I hope. I try to catch pieces of it here and there. It's a movie we've been watching for years-since the big release and groups would hold "premiere" nights. It was a very exciting time when it was first released, and I'm trying to re-capture that excitement!

Have you watched it?

It's my secret for keeping my attitude in a positive place. For focusing on gratitude, the potential in certain situations, and to keep my mood up.

And if someone complains to me too long, I'll ask if they've watched it. Or heard of it. Or watched it recently.

If you haven't watched the movie, The Secret is about the Law of Attraction. How what we focus on is what we bring into our life. Being responsible for what we have created, and how to use that to create what we want in our life.

What do you want to create in your life? What will you do this weekend to bring that one step closer to you?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Innate Wisdom

Indulge me while I share yet another story about Scarlett.

She is all about labeling things these days. All females are mommies. Males are daddies. Little creatures are babies (this includes toys, animals in pictures, humans, etc.) with the big creatures being parents and either mommies or daddies. We have talked about mommies are females, and daddies are males but she still calls them mommies and daddies.

Hopefully you are following this so far.

This morning while sitting on my lap, she starting to call her left foot mommy, over and over again. I finally thought I'd play along, and said, "Your left foot is mommy?". Nods yes. Then she starts to point at her right foot and says "daddy". And goes back and forth pointing at her left foot, saying mommy, right foot, daddy.

Which may seem odd, but then I told Scott as it started to dawn on me.

The left side of our body is commonly associated with our feminine; our right side with our masculine. Our left side (right brain) is creativity, nurturing, intuition; our right side (left brain)our warrior, rational and analytical thought.

Coincidence? Just ask your kid which is the male and which is the female.

Friday, November 26, 2010


We just got back from our Friday night in Bowness (and yes, I'm writing this at precisely 7:45 pm).

Fortunately, Scarlett and I also had our hair done this afternoon, so we were ready for our big night out. (First hair cut for Scarlett!)

We decided to go for dinner at the Dell cafe-if it was open. We've been meaning to go for a few years now, but always try to go there on Sunday when it's closed. We loaded ourselves into the car and drove the block and a half to the cafe. We took the car just in case it was already closed and we need to drive to Angels.

It was open! Until 7:30 that is, so we had enough time to order and eat, with time to spare.
I had a bacon cheeseburger with soup, and Scott had Chinese-sweet and sour chicken and pork with noodles and rice. Good food.

It was fun and it is a diner-the TV was on, loads of photos on the wall, and tables and chairs circa 1970's. (plus or minus the decade). And yes, Canadian and Chinese food in case you can't decide. There is a breakfast menu on the wall, but who doesn't love that to the cynical critic I read online when I was searching for the hours. Customers actually talk to each other; or some sit alone and drink their coffee or eat their soup or fries; and the family/staff were very friendly.
To add to the evening, the staff/family/owners all sat down and ate their dinners at the table beside us. While in my head I reminisced on my one summer waitressing when we would do the same.

Then the owner appeared with this little doll and gave it to Scarlett. I swear we can't take her anywhere without her getting little gifts. (Ok, that was just in Italy.) He said it was from the Hillhurst Flea Market. Isn't she pretty? We have named her Della.
Then he came back and asked us if we were from Bowness. Of course! And he took our picture on his camera. We're not really sure why, except he made mention of the customers at the table in the corner that are writing a book on the history of Bowness.

That's our evening. Why did it take us until now to actually make it there? I've lived in Bowness since 2001.

To sum, I would recommend the Dell Cafe. If you want to meet me there, let me know. I'm just around the corner and could walk over there. If you don't know where it is-its by the Esso on Bowness Road, which is by the Bownesian Grocer, which is in the same parking lot as the Boys and Girls club, the video store, the bakery, the dollar store... See you there!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Photos of our Winner from Eons ago.

Remember the blog give-away that I did months and months ago? We drew for a photo shoot with It took a while to get the photos done, but Jenny and her family, and Scott were out this weekend and snapped some family photos.

Here they are!

They're a brave bunch for enduring the -18 degree weather that we had. I think they look pretty good!

Dinner Happens

What is the quote? "Life happens when we are making other plans."?

I just realized that in our house, dinner happens while I am making... dinner?

Scarlett is a snacker-when I can get her to eat real food that is. Her afternoon snacks seems to meld into pre-dinner time dinner, until I suddenly realize that she's eaten dinner before I've even finished cooking. Such as the "meal" above. One half eaten pear that she worked on for close to an hour. Then kidney beans and sausage. By the time dinner rolled around, she just ate the rice to complete her meal.

Is this why parents sometimes feed the kids around 5 pm at night? (And not the 6:30 to 7 pm in our household.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Switch to Gratitude

Sorry to complain about the weather, but it is another of those days. Today was one dead car battery, 2 trips to and from work by 1 pm, a treck across the parking lot with a really heavy, new car battery, and -20 weather (plus wind chill of course). Gotta love it. My car is resisting the car weather. Just like its owner.

I was complaining in my head when I realized I had better change my attitude or I'd have worse to complain about. So, yes, I am grateful I have a car to drive; that I'm warm in this weather; and that we are all healthy. The house is fine with the cold weather; the office is good. I covered the basics there.

Then I let Scarlett play outside until her face was only mildly red. (And my non-snowpanted legs were just starting to cry out). It seemed to help her burn off some toddler steam.

Then we got mail! Scarlett had a late birthday present from her Auntie. I'm dying to take pictures of the book because it has the most beautiful illustrations-the book is called Red Sings From Treetops by Joyce Sidman and Pamela Zagarenski.

I tried to take photos but there is one camera with a battery that's dead, and one camera with the settings too complicated to work. (Thanks photographic husband!). So, the pictures will come later. The book and the snazzy sparkly sneakers and hair clips for Scarlett made me smile.

Today was a little reminder that things do get better when we come from a place of gratitude. Thanks for the gentle reminder and only gentle reminders please!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Snow Day

I feel suspiciously absent from my blog and I was thinking about why.

The snow is very pretty when I look out my window. Scarlett and Raven looked so cute playing in the backyard (especially Scarlett in her brand new, purple, 2 sizes too big, marshmallow snowsuit), and it does feel a little like Christmas. I even shovelled a little bit without complaining.

But an hour commute to get to work? Really? I should have declared it a snow day and let everyone who was booked in to see me, off the hook. I was anxious about driving to work in my freshly home from the auto body shop, new paint and all-car-and Scott said to just drive slowly. But 5 km/hour? I hope he didn't mean that. The winter tires will be on the car soon; we're just a little delayed by the hail repairs and our trip. (By the way, I wasn't the reason, and there appeared to be no reason aside from snow, for the 5 km/hr drive.)

I'm a little grumpy about the weather, although I like the excuse to hibernate for the moment. Until Scarlett's class in the morning, and my afternoon of work tomorrow.

Does anyone else have a hard time finishing the holiday and getting back to real life? Our jet lag is done, we've faced the weather, work is back to usual, Christmas feels like its coming soon. Maybe I need some more reminiscing about the trip still, or to help Scott with his upcoming photo book! Maybe I'll need to discover (or rediscover) the charms of this frozen city.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Reality of Travel with a Toddler

I thought you may enjoy seeing some real photos of what it's like to travel with a 2 year old.

They don't cooperate for photos. Or understand why they can't explore.

They will still make shy. Even if moments before they were begging to see Pinocchio.

They run.

Dogs, puddles, and pigeons are more exciting than cathedrals or things like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

They tantrum.

And they eat all of your gelato.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, November 12, 2010

The places I have nursed

A rare photo of me breastfeeding.

Travelling expanded my breastfeeding experience. I have now nursed Scarlett in many more places than I ever expected:

  • In Airports
  • On Airplanes. And on Airplanes with Scarlett belted into her seat and me belted into mine.
  • On Trains. With a stranger at my elbow.
  • On a boat? (I actually can't remember if I needed to breastfeed on the vaporetto or not. Scott?).
  • In the car of course. That one wasn't new.
  • On the grounds of the Vatican.
  • Outside churches and Cathedrals.
  • In squares, piazzas, steps, and on benches.
  • At mealtime. Most memorably at dinner in Rome, at a sidewalk cafe.

Maybe that's all. And I kept watching, but I never saw any other mother nursing in public. Until I reached my seminar in Como, and another mom who was from the UK was nursing her baby.

Does that mean that they don't breastfeed or that they only breastfeed behind closed doors?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Little Worried

Is it a bad thing when your 2 year old is napping at 10:30 in the morning? (After no morning nap since spring or so?). And I meant to nap with her too, to help get through this jet lag, but I can't possibly nap this early in the day. Maybe she'll nap into the afternoon?

I've been waking up at 5:30/6 am and finding that I'm getting a lot done in the mornings. It makes me consider that I should try to keep it up after the jet lag is gone. Unfortunately, I don't think I could maintain this for long. And who can really go to bed by 9pm anyways?

Our transition home is going very smoothly. The plane brought us home on time; we both had 2 days of work and Scott is now on Day 3; laundry is mostly done; we have groceries in the house; Scarlett has diapers; I almost cleaned up my mail and email. We've even looked at the almost 2000 photos that Scott shot. And we're mainly unpacked.

I am missing my car, which appears to be held hostage at the auto body shop. We were supposed to have it back the day we arrived home, but I'm still waiting. Just a little hiccup before we're back to life as usual.

Now it looks like we should be getting ready for Christmas. The immersion into the Christmas spirit is a bit of a shock after the void of Christmas commercialism in Italy. I'll try wrapping my brain around generating some seasonal joy!

We're sad to have left Italy, but it's always nice to come home. All 5 of us are together again (that includes Sabrina and Raven who had their own holidays) muddling around and trying to find our routines again. And I'm planning more posts and photos from our trip, to come!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sweet Tooth

If you have a sweet tooth, Italy is your place. Unless you're trying to curb the addiction. I have almost sworn off gelato, except I have a tiny fear I may never experience such perfection again!

May I list all of this foods I either loved, or wish I had more of?

Meringues. Brioches. Chocolate croissants. Pasteries with jam or with icing sugar sprinkled on top.

Espresso that requires a packet of sugar. And you should see the size of the bowl of sugar packages that I saw today at lunch-it was like a punch bowl of sugar! Scarlett has taken to dipping her finger into the half empty sugar pack, which will end tomorrow.

Candies at my seminar, fruit candies at the B&B. Cake for breakfast. Pie for breakfast. Cookies for breakfast.

Desserts. Always offered at every meal, and definitely eaten the past 5 days in Como-tiramassu, cakes, panna cotta, I can't spell any of them and no, my Italian hasn't improved.

Windows of pastry shops and chocolate or candy stores. On every other block, in addition to the bars and cafes. Of course they all look very pretty with the perfectly wrapped candy baskets, or displays of baked goods.

What happens when I leave all of this indulgence? Will I bake? Shop at our local bakery? Cut the sugar out?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Photos from Italy

We're currently en route to Como (I'm now 5 days past starting this post.) which is the last leg of our journey. Didn't I plan to write and post photos more often? Of course, but despite my best intentions, holidays and a toddler intervened!

The last few days we were in Lucca, Tuscany. We stayed in a little bed and breakfast called Casa Alba-53 steps up from the main street!

Here's the view from our room-yes, rain!

Here we are in Florence in Piazza Duomo. We did a day trip to Florence-we took the train in for about 5 euros each (so cheap!) and saw David and the Uffizi.

We also took a quick drive over to Pisa-which was fun and campy. Seeing the leaning tower for the first time is quite impressive.

Can I get any more touristy that this? I'm getting eager to see all of our photos-not just the iPhone ones...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We've only seen a couple of indicators of Halloween in Italy. A few displays in shop windows, a few costumes for sale, and that's all. Apparently the Italians have started to celebrate it and some kids may trick or treat, but it is only a "commercial" holiday.

The closest thing, which really had nothing to do with the holiday, was the pan handlers dressed up- as angels, a pharaoh, and Pinocchio. We saw them outside the Verona Arena. Scarlett wanted to see them up close, until they moved and scared her.

Tomorrow is All Saints Day, which is a celebrated holiday here in Italy, and then November 2nd is The Day of the Dead.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Travelling Boots

Ok, It's a funny photo of me, but when in Rome...

Actually, we're in Venice on check out day, just outside of our apartment. I've been calling these my traveling boots because they're too big for my suitcase, so I wear them everyday we travel between cities.

And I had to buy boots because everyone woman in Rome was wearing a pair and I think these were the only boots in Italy in my size (41) that were under 100 euro. I bought them from a great market in Testaccio-just across the river from where we stayed in Rome.

Happy travels!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Italians do love their babies. And our daughter.

There are a lot of babies here. Mainly in strollers (up to about 3 years old it seems). They usually seem sleepy, docile, sucking on a soother. Or running around a park. And there are lots of baby and children's stores.

With all of that, Scarlett has been on the receiving end of a lot of attention.

The Bakery women have given her bread sticks and sweet buns.

The street vendor forcibly gave Scott a rubber toy (quickly discarded).

A lady on our vaporetto to Murano played peek-a-boo and games with Scarlett for 20 minutes, before giving her a "chuppa chuppa" key chain.

She kept saying "Bella" to Scarlett and saying she either had a beautiful smile or teeth?!

Scarlett was given a balloon-good marketing ploy-of course we bought a sweater from the guy.

Many random seniors have patted her head, squeezed her leg or foot, etc...

At our latest B&B, the stuffed animals and animal mug have appeared.

They either treat their children well, or our daughter is being spoiled by the Italians.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Time Warp 2

Not that we weren't confused enough by time, but we just had a time change last night. We managed to double set our time back, and thought we were getting up on time, but were almost late for our pre-arranged breakfast time. (It was only for 9 am- you'd think we could manage that!).

So, is it now a 7 hour time difference from home? Or 8 hour? Or 9?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Time Warp

We have no Internet, no TV, and no Clocks.

We dry our laundry on a line or on a rack.

We can listen to tapes like Harry Belafonte, Huey Lewis, or Barbara Streisand. Yes, I said tapes.

No cars, no scooters, no buses.

I brought a map that must be from the 50's. And it's accurate.

Scott's GPS thinks we are still in Rome. (We're in Venice.)

Our apartment is full of antiques and dark wood furniture, and a huge wardrobe. Marble stairs on the entrance way up.

We love it like this, and it feels so authentic. But I'm not certain if all of Venice is like this, or if it is unique to this apartment. The only thing I can tell for sure is that everyone does their laundry this way. I'm secretly convinced that the tourism board pays the locals to hang their prettiest and most colorful laundry to amuse people like me. Tourists.

Truthfully, there is Internet in our apartment but we can't access it without having a wireless router. These new fangled devices. At least the iPhone tells time.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sleepless in Serenissima

Or, Sleepless in Rome, Jet Lag, Sleep Schedules, Sleep(less) Schedules.

As I'm writing this, it is magical day 8, which means an end to the jet lag. If you follow the theory of one day per hour of time change. My hopes aren't too high, but we'll see if it gets better.

Fortunately, we are distracted from the jet lag by all of the amazing sights. It is impossible to look in any direction in Venice and not be in awe. Yesterday alone was San Marco square, too many churches to list, fish stands, fruit stands, bakeries, pigeons, dogs, restaurants, and of course, canals and water everywhere.

But to address the sleep schedule, because if I know parents, we talk about sleep on a daily basis, whether traveling or not. Let us say, we must be flexible.

Last night was Scarlett's best sleep- from 8 pm to 6 am with only light awakenings. But now it is 11 am and she's back asleep and we didn't even leave the apartment.

Last night was the first without a party and meal somewhere between 1 am to 5 am. (By meal, I mean yogurt, juice, etc.). Typically sleep can happen in 2-4 hour increments.

Scarlett has woken up as early as 5 am, or as late as 9:30/10. Which means we leave the house as early as 8 am or as late as noon. She'll usually nap-again as early as 11 am, or late in the afternoon. Or skip her nap, like yesterday. Somedays we have had long naps (over 3 hours) followed by a nap in the Ergo. We usually try to be "home" around lunchtime.

That means we usually manage a destination/tour/adventure in the morning, and then head out again in the late afternoon.

And bedtime- she's fallen asleep as early as 6 pm, once at 8 pm during dinner at a patio restaurant, or up until midnight!

Any routine there? Add to it all the fact that Scott and I are also jet lagged and wide awake at odd hours, and you have our sleep schedule! We have been using melatonin, and super EFA's to try to balance things out.

Maybe we'll cut out the after dinner espresso next...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Scarlett's Traveling Tips and Tidbits

Our daughter is traveling like a pro-we've only had a few mishaps so far, and none major!

I'm sure I'll post in more detail later on, but so far some of the things revolving around traveling with a toddler are:

Getting a leg trapped in the Calgary airport passenger waiting seats. (oops. We thought we may have to call the fire department but Scarlett escaped with only two monster bruises on her knee). TIP-pack the arnica in your carry-on, not in your checked luggage, as I did!

Drinking so much juice, water, and milk between the hours of 6 pm to 12 am on the first day of travels, that roughly equalled the normal amount consumed in a 48 hour period, and then eventually flooding out of the diaper, through her pants, onto the plane seat.

Getting fast tracked in Heathrow. Guess there are bonuses to flying with a little one! And the ergo was definitely a happy purchase once we had to boogie through that airport.

Being stuck on the tarmac in Heathrow for over 2 extra hours while they fixed our plane-what toddler wouldn't love that? Then once she fell asleep, the airline attendant made me move her into her own seat even though she's under 2 and was strapped to me with the seat belt! Scarlett screamed about that, and I was none too pleased with the attendant. Eventually her new dollar store magna doodle type toy, distracted her.

TIP - pack lots of new and cheap toys when traveling with a toddler. Ones that we can lose and won't be upset, but will distract her for hours. And again, our iPad was a pretty good distraction. And snacks.

We've been welcomed to Italy-waved into the country by customs and security in fact. Scarlett's sunny smile is earning her extra attention by some. Like fellow tour participants at the Vatican, the deli man offering her prosciutto, strangers playing peek-a-boo.

What else happened? Second diaper flood on the second flight, although I no longer had a spare change of clothes. Jet lag of course, both up until midnight and then with two 4:30 am wake-ups. Scarlett is faring better than us with the time change. She has danced around our table when we ate out at our local pizzeria. Played with the locals at a children's playground, and endured a 3 hour tour of the Vatican, ended with sleeping in the carrier in St. Peter's Basilica. And ate gelato-both nutella and strawberry flavors.

Needless to say we are enjoying Rome. We've been exploring our little neighborhood, Trastavere, exposed ourselves to the craziness of the Vatican today, and look forward to more food and sights and ruins in the next couple of days. As I said earlier, hopefully more details to come!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, October 15, 2010

Carrier Addiction

I've heard it can happen-if you baby wear, you may end up addicted to baby carriers-wraps, slings, carriers, etc. It has happened to me and I'm not even a die-hard baby wearer. I don't even have a baby any more-she's a big girl! However, with our upcoming trip, I broke down and bought an Ergo today, in hopes that it may restrain her in airports, museums, and train stations.

I had just nicely gotten home and unpacked from our shopping trip and was about to try on my standard, burgundy ergo, when I checked my email and found one from the seller of an unused black organic with embroidery ergo, selling for the same price. Ooops.

You know you have a problem when you start to think about buying the second one and running around town to do so, and making up excuses for why you should be able to return an item that is "final sale". I decided to be rational and not buy the beautiful black one.

Now we have a new ergo and when we got around to putting it on, Scarlett refused to go in it. I'll try again after her nap. She sat in it so nicely when we tried it on in the store.

I've heard that people love their ergos (and beco's even more), so I hope we develop that relationship over the next several weeks. I feel a little like I'm betraying my old wraps since I have left them behind. Maybe there is one true love for every stage of babyhood.

For instance, we bought our soft and stretchy Baby Buddha wrap when Scarlett was only days old. And loved that one until Scarlett was around 6-9 months old. I'm sure that we used it daily, for naps, walks, chores, cranky time, non-cranky time, everything. Then came the Hotsling, which I've seen used from newborns up, but I loved it for the hip carry stage. Finally we had a true wrap-an Ellaroo. Admittedly the least used of them all, but still helpful when I could strap her on my back, until she figured out how to wriggle out. We used it most around the one year mark and up to about a year and a half. If I had used it more, I would probably feel more comfortable with the tying and wrapping.

That's all we own. So maybe I'm not too bad because I have heard of some moms that own in excess of a dozen. We will either have many options of how to carry any future babies, or a few items to sell on Kijiji! (I've heard they keep their value-thank goodness!).

Wish me luck getting my big girl into her new carrier!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

One More Book, please!

Leaving the office these days feels almost like a drawn out bedtime routine.

One more book. (Repeated 4-5 times)

Another drink of water.

Color a little.

Gather the guys (stuffed animals, miniature animals, dolls...)

Play with the toys.

Help a little behind the desk.

Grab a facecloth, climb onto a table.

Climb up on the chair and Draw on the Buddha board.

Hug Daddy good bye.

Another book, please.

Wave good bye to everybody. And finally, run down the hallway to push the elevator button.

I thought our work transition would take 10-15 minutes; instead we just hang out at the office for 30-45 minutes extra. I guess the toys at the office must be super exciting! And lots of good books.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Planning Italy-Trains, Cars, and Museums

Happy Thanksgiving and 10-10-10 day. We are in between company and still squeezing in as much holiday planning as we can. Tomorrow will be our thanksgiving!

In case I haven't lost you with my planning, I thought I'd share some great sites. We've finished booking our accommodations and have moved onto transportation and excursions...

We booked a train from Rome to Venice and look forward to seeing the countryside at 250km/hr! The main website to book trains is:

With some really useful tips on:

We had no problem booking with my credit card, although the seat 61 site makes reference to many problems with different cards. Just no Amex, and it did keep switching me from English to Italian. It is worth booking ahead, as we just saved 30% by booking at least 15 days in advance. (or you can save 15% by booking 7 days in advance). The train system in Italy sounds pretty self-serve, from buying tickets to validating them, to finding your own seat. We have assigned seats and hope it all goes smoothly.

Our trip will be half car-less, and half with car. Scott's gearing up for some crazy driving. Train travel is highly recommended in Italy, but we have too many pieces to connect, and have opted for a car for the second half.

For tours/excursions, we're trying to keep our days relatively unscheduled since we have a toddler and are unsure how the travels will go. However, we have booked some essential tours and booked them directly through the sites:

We decided that we must tour the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peters. We are going with a guided tour, booked at Rumor has it, booking in advance may help to save some time waiting in lines.

We also booked our museum tickets for when we day trip to Florence. The site let us book tickets for both the Uffizi and Accademia. If you've been to Florence, you may think it's a shame that this is all we will be seeing, but we've decided to limit Florence to a day. I originally thought the lines would be too much to endure, and now I'm thinking that these 2 sites will be more than enough. Plus, a nice walk through town of course.

That's all we've planned to do so far! We've checked out expedia, and tours available through our travel agent, and may find some last minutes ones to do when we are there. Otherwise, we expect to spend our days relatively self directed.

Since a good chunk of our positive experience of our trip will be the anticipation of it, I'll try to squeeze as much anticipation as possible into the days leading up to our departure!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nature Abhors a Vacuum

I expanded my hours at work. I am now at the office an extra 4-6 hours per week. My intention is that I will see clients in this time, but at the moment it is still very lightly booked and as a result, I have all this new time available to me. I am plugging through a few things that I've needed to get done, and generally really liking this space that I have. For the moment. Because it is like time that has just been handed to me as a gift.

I keep thinking of the silly idiom, Nature Abhors a Vacuum. Of course my vacuum consisting of this wonderful time in my schedule will soon be filled, so I am trying to enjoy it.

I remember the first time someone handed this advice to me- to be cautious of the nature of our universe to fill the void. It was in the form of relationship advice. 'Tis better to be single until you recover & heal, and to learn the lessons that you need to, then to let nature fill the vacuum that was left behind from the past relationship. (I paraphrase). Or you can learn the lessons on the next time around!

I will say that it is good to be aware that this is how the universe works. It can also be used to your benefit-if there is something you want or are missing in your life, just make the space for it and believe it will appear, and poof! There it should be. (Now if I could only make that work on demand).

I have momentarily created some space for myself, and it has been good for my sanity. I am taking note and trying to learn my lesson. When this time becomes filled, then I will probably need to carve out some more "me-time" without disguising it as work! Whether we are stay at home, or work out of the home parents, we all need to carve out some personal time and space. Doesn't that sound so simple?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Heading to Halloween

A spooky day at Calaway Park. Here's Scott and Scarlett. We even made it through the haunted house!

However, Scarlett is not too sure what to make of the train ride.
We haven't thought about Halloween costumes for this year. Or even if we should dress up since we'll be away.
What about you? Who's dressing up for the 31st? Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Italy Planning 2

We turned over the calendar yesterday to our new month, and I had a day of panic. Now I can see the days that we're on holiday. I'm scrambling to accomplish some more planning, before we wind up boarding the plane!

When I last blogged about Italy, we had only our Rome accommodation booked. In case anybody wants to copy what we're planning to do, here's our plan, and some resources.

We plan to travel from Rome to Venice by train, and then get on a boat and head to Venice. I've still been using VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) and found our Venetian rental on this site. (Again, very efficient email replies, smooth booking process.) I don't know what happens between train, getting onto a boat and discovering Venice. Still need to figure that out.

In Venice, we have decided to stay in an area called Castello. If I've read the travel books and website correctly, it is a little off the beaten tourist path, sound familiar? It has some green space/parks, which are both rare on Venice, and hopefully a space in which we can turn Scarlett loose. We're close to the vaporetto-it sounds so exciting-and markets, but still close enough to the tourist sites that we should be fine on foot. I'm looking forward to hanging out our laundry on the line to dry.

Venice sounds dark and moody, and I've read that it is best to discover in the middle of the night. We will wait and see how the sleeping habits and naps go, and perhaps we will be roaming and lost in Venice at 3 am.

Next my travel plans turn a little foggy. I've booked Como at the end of our trip-entirely work related-but now we have 5 days left between Venice and Como, and about 2 weeks worth of things we want to see. I want to go to Verona and urged on by everyone who's been to Italy, we decide to include Tuscany. Plus Pisa, Florence, Cinque Terre... I've picked Lucca to act as a base in Tuscany, and that's where my frustrations begin. No replies to emails. I'm scared to pick up the phone because my Italian will rely entirely on body language. So there's been a lot of reading and internet searching. And I must embrace La Dolce Vita, si?

I have found the site, which has been very useful, especially for B&B type places. And I'm back to contacting places recommended in my preferred travel book (Italy spend less see more) and shockingly, it's working.

I just booked 2 nights in Verona at a small B&B and all that's left is the last 3 days in Lucca. Or somewhere else if it doesn't work. I am a budget traveller and I hope that means when I sit in my room, I know I'm in Italy. Or that I'm staying with some friendly Italians in their 3 room hotel... I also hope that my budget accommodations still come with a private bath, and enough quiet that Scarlett can sleep in the middle of the day. I shall report later on how it all turns out!

As for now, the siesta has ended and the sun is inviting us outside. Italy planning will have to wait for now.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall Friday

A bit of an odd Friday for us, but it was complete with a long play in the sunny backyard amongst the leaves. Raking leaves. Piling leaves. Jumping in leaves. Getting buried in leaves. Finding leaves in a diaper hours later.

Watch out for those pokey sticks protruding from the fire pit! (If you think Fisher Price is dangerous, you should check out our backyard).

Enjoy the warm and sunny weekend!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Siesta

We will soon be heading to the land of the siesta-long lazy lunches, naps optional. (I heard they watch lots of western movies in Italy during their siesta time-is that true?)

Does the siesta sound familiar? Sort of like having a toddler in the house. Slow picky eating lunches. Huge nap after lunch. We're going to fit right in, when we go to Italy. I rarely try to accomplish anything outside of the house between 1-4 pm.

Inside the house is an entirely different matter. Some days when I'm tired, I think about lying down for a nap as well, except my brain seems to get very active at that time of day. Truth is, it is my most productive time of day-aside from client time of course.

What do I do? You may be able to tell by my frequency of writing, it's a good time to write.

But when the writing gets pushed aside, I also find it is a good time to book-keep. (Which, I am proud to say, I am almost caught on-something I didn't expect with a toddler in the house).

Or when the bookkeeping gets pushed aside, right now, at least, I'm researching where to go in Italy-where to stay, what to see, maybe I'll get around to learning some of the language? The planning has come into conflict with La Dolce Vita-my patience is being challenged at the moment. (But still enjoyable).

If Italy planning gets pushed aside, it may be because I'm trying really hard to get paperwork done that I brought home from the office.

I sometimes squeeze in Oprah-but so far it was only her first episode back (and that was 10 days ago). I sometimes squeeze in a little laundry folding. Or dinner prep. Which makes me start to wonder, if the men are at home watching the westerns, are the women beside them on the couch, or are they continuing on their day as usual?

I need to stretch this siesta time, without tricking my daughter into thinking day is night and night is day-which is something she may already believe. And one day, I may have to siesta myself.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Calgary Corn Maze

We couldn't think of a better fall activity, than heading out to the Calgary Corn Maze. It was a bit of a hike for us traveling from the NW, to this location east on 22x. They are located on 284022 Township Road 224, Rockview. Just head east on 22x and watch for the signs. The hours are varible-two afternoons during the week, and then full days Friday to Sunday-go to their website! The drive was worth it as we spent the better part of the morning/afternoon.

There is a petting zoo, with goats, a donkey, and chickens. There are pigs, sheep, and bunnies to look at, too. We missed the pig races, which happened just when we were arriving.

Of course, we went through one of the corn mazes. We only went through the little maze, which took us about 20 minutes. For those so inclined, there are activities that you can participate in, through the maze. The corn is over 6 feet tall! The big maze can take around an hour to complete, and we weren't convinced that Scarlett would last that long. In the middle there is a viewpoint that we'd occasionally see groups climb up to.

There are many activities for all ages. Scarlett enjoyed the mini-hay mazes and the kids playground. We had lots of fun on the bouncy pillows (think bouncy castle without the walls) and on the train ride.

We even posed for a few photos, with the cut-outs for faces, of farm animals, and corn cobs. (Gee, too bad that those file sizes of the photos were too big to upload...)

Later in the season, they will also have a pumpkin patch. Pack some rubber boots because it was muddy! You can also pack a picnic, or buy food from the concession stand.

Enjoy your day at the Calgary Corn Maze!

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Friday, September 24, 2010


I was laughing so hard, I was crying, watching the following youtube video:

What happened to the good old days of parenting? You know, the main goal was to keep the kid alive, maybe have some polite manners, graduate from school. I remember my mom taking me to WI meetings (that's Women's Institute meetings) and as long as I was quiet, everything was fine and I was generally ignored. They fed me, but I was to fend for my own entertainment. Shocking.

Today, the kids are in the spotlight. I may be an example of this: We have our work schedule arranged around the precious one, I devote hours to scrap booking her life, I sit online so I get get her into classes, we spend time taking her to classes (OK-two a week is my limit), Scarlett has nicer clothes than either of us-and in more abundance, we make the dog tolerate her, she has more play dates than either of us... and yes, the thought of where to send her to school has crossed my mind unfortunately. (or to home school?) The list is endless.

And this parenting thing has turned into a competitive sport. How soon can the kid start a new activity and how many activities can they do at once? How quickly can they master jumping into the pool at swim lessons? Learning the color of the crayon? Learning the alphabet?

Are they getting enough activity each day? Eating the right foods? Supplementing properly? Enough sleep? Are they pooping enough? Are we reading enough? Are they the right books? Are they watching too much TV? Is it quality TV? Are we providing her a good role model?

And not just those questions, but how many kids are you successfully raising at one time? Because if you think you've got your hands full with just one, you can't imagine what it's like with three (or less or more). Or you should just try balancing life with my 50 hour a week work schedule. (No, I don't work that many, I'm trying to exaggerate).


I need to watch the video daily for a while so I can see the absurdity in it all. It really all shouldn't matter. And yet, didn't it all start at day -360 or so-the day of conception? I worried about conceiving, about what I ate, the health care provider I had, having the perfect birth, and doing it all right from that day forward. Breastfeeding, vaccines, co-sleeping, toy choices, clothing choices, activities, etc... It's one thing to worry about my own choice, but I really shouldn't care how the other mothers are doing things.

I do shake my head when I look at the situation. Some days I remember she's just supposed to be learning how to play and have fun and learn about her world and develop relationships primarily with us, then with family and friends. So my only job is to facilitate that, and keep her healthy. I want her to enjoy her life. I don't care if she excels at school, if she goes to post-secondary school, she can pick any life direction she wants, I just want her to keep the joy that she radiates today. Because, if we've done parenting "well" so far, that is our greatest success-our child reminds me of joy. She is a happy girl. I will try to resist measuring her happiness, because then I'll just be feeding into the competition thing again.

I predict that I'll probably be the parent encouraging her to take the adventures- take the year off and travel, because isn't that what I wish I had done. I'll be the one to encourage her to have kids as soon as she wants, because wasn't having and raising children way more amazing than going to school for close to a decade and then pursuing a "profession". (Don't get me wrong, I chose a great profession, but I think the family beats it out by a long shot). So, yes, I'm the mom saying no to university, but please travel somewhere cool and have a baby while you're at it.

I will try to be a mom without the competitive part thrown in. You will know I have cracked if I withdraw her from all activities, and let her just dig in the garden all day, or torment her puppy, because those may be her favorite activities at the moment. I'll try to gauge how much joy the other activities bring.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Have you heard of 5-2-1-0?

I hadn't until I picked up the most recent copy of Alive magazine. 5-2-1-0 is a recommendation by the Childhood Obesity Foundation (COF). Now I know nothing about the COF, but did you know that 26% of Canadian kids are overweight or obese? That accounts for 1.6 million kids, and in most cases is caused by poor eating habits and lack of regular exercise. (And no, I don't believe a virus has caused this all). That can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, respiratory problems, bone and joint disease, and on the list goes. Not to mention the social and psychological problems such as poor self-esteem and bullying. Obesity is something that may follow a kid into their adult life, and lead to life long concerns.

So what do we do? 5-2-1-0.

Everyday, children should have:

  • 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.
  • 2 hours (or less) of screen time (TV, computer, video games)
  • 1 hour of physical activity
  • 0 sugar sweetened beverages.

It does sound simple. But then, as a parent, do you also follow this and set a good example for your children? I know I can easily spend more than 2 hours in front of the computer, some days I have to include my work to get my hour of activity, and I tend to like my fruit but not always my veggies. I don't "sugar" my drinks, but I do have a sweet tooth. So there will always be room for improvement. This simple recommendation is a nice refresher on a few things I need to include or eliminate.

Happy 5-2-1-0'ing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Posted by PicasaI always enjoy finding new blogs. This week I happened upon The blog belongs to Eden Hertzog, the Toronto entrepreneur behind New Moon Kitchen and maker and baker of cookies! She's about to have her first baby, and I bet she'll also take her baby to work one day too! I look forward to seeing what she'll blog about. She did have one yummy recipe posted, and I decided to give it a go. Hopefully she won't mind me re-posting it since I told you where it's from. Here's the recipe for her Spelt Berry Scones:
Preheat over to 375 degrees F
Stir together:
1 1/2 c. spelt flour
1/2 c. wheat germ
3 tbsp. milled flax seed
1/2 c. quick oats
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Add the following & Stir again until it becomes a batter:
1/3 c. coconut oil
1/3 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Add 1/2 c. berries & Stir again. (Don't be like me and try to add a cup of berries-too crumbly!)
Drop scone-shapes (any shape, I figure) onto greased baking sheet. Bake approx. 15 minutes. Mine were done at about 12 minutes, so check at the end!
Enjoy these yummy scones! They were husband, toddler, and mom approved in our household.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Bounty

I would like to say that my garden produces enough veggies to replace buying produce for a couple of months in the summer. (Or could you imagine enough to feed you for the year!?). Sadly, mine didn't qualify this year. As the end of summer is greeted by a few flakes of the white stuff, I'm quickly bringing in the last of the garden.

Here's an example of the bounty:

Count them! That's 17 tomatoes for the year! (I've never had so few that I could worry about counting them). And only 4 are the real size; and all green of course. I had a total of 5 baby zucchini, and just found some frozen in my deep freeze from last summer. I had lots of greens-kale and beets, and green beens and peas. My carrots and beets are also babies, and mostly still in the ground. And a prolific year for lettuce. And slugs.

Here's one of my pests. Is there a purpose for the slug? They may very well be my least favorite of the bugs. Despite all the advice for crushed egg shells, pepper, and I don't know what else, we just had fun sprinkling them with salt. (Sorry to you slug lovers).
It was not the most abundant year for our garden. My usual technique of compost, seed, weed and ignore wasn't enough of a match for our short and wet summer. I'm scared to consider if I spent more money planting my garden than the produce I got off of it. And I'm considering if we should dig up some more lawn to convert into a garden for next summer. Or wait and see what next summer brings?
Fortunately, I like watching the garden grow over the summer, and having Scarlett see where food comes from. If that is the main benefit to gardening this year, I will have to say it was still a gardening success.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spinning Babies

This is the name of the fabulous website, one of my new "old favorites", all about helping baby's position in-utero, and learning about baby mapping. Today is all about breech babies (or transverse, or posterior) and some general tips about what to do if you find yourself with a breech baby. With a chiropractic slant, since that is what I do.

I would like to say before I start that this information is not to be construed as medical advice, so please ask your doctor or health care professional if this is appropriate for you, and of course, every one's health situation is different. But I will say a little on the subject because I hear so much about this on a daily or weekly basis. This will not include everything out there, but touch on the areas that I am most familiar with.

In my office I see moms who are pregnant. Most babies naturally tend to move into a head down position (ideally occiput anterior) somewhere around 28-32 weeks (I'm sure this can vary). However, since we offer a technique called the Webster Technique, I also see moms who are carrying breech babies. The Webster technique can help to align the sacrum and balance the soft tissues in the lower abdomen, and may help to provide the room for breech babies to move into a more ideal position. The most current research shows that about 69% of moms who are carrying breech, will have success with the Webster Technique. (Some research of this technique shows around 82% success rate). I believe that most pregnant moms should be under chiropractic care-to help Mom's comfort level, to remove restriction in the lower back/pelvis that may lead to strain on the uterus, to help provide optimum nerve supply and information to baby and to hopefully help mom and baby have an easier, less stressful birth . (please see for more information and to find a qualified practitioner). So, please get adjusted if this situation applies to you! (well, please get adjusted, period).

The positions that mom is in during the day are very important. Walking is excellent, and the upright position helps to reinforce the head down position (the heaviest part is the head, therefore - in theory- it should be the lowest...) When sitting, sit on your sit bones (not your sacrum). If you feel tired and want to lie down, instead of leaning back into the couch, lie on your side. No leg crossing when sitting and try to avoid carrying things (or toddlers perhaps) on your hip. I encourage moms to spend lots of time in the "hands and knee" position, again to help the position of baby.

And then again, visit spinning babies! There are inversion positions to try-from handstands in water to climbing down stairs hands first, to using the iron board tilt. The exercises are well described on their website. And then repeat as described.

A mom who is carrying breech does have a number of other health care options to try. We refer to acupuncture or acupressure to assist in helping breech babies turn. I like to share my personal experience with acupuncture. I was under care through my pregnancy and baby was head down by the time the third trimester started. I went for an acupuncture session, and after the treatment, I had a bit of a panic as it felt as though baby pushed herself up and then proceeded to lie transverse for the rest of the day. So I spent the better part of my day on my hands and knees, keeping my belly forward, etc, and eventually baby settled back into head down position again. Probably in a better position than we had started.

Not to scare anyone, but if a well positioned baby felt the need to reposition like that and was influenced by acupuncture to do so, can you imagine the possible effect on a breech baby?

Homeopathics can also be beneficial in helping baby's position. Your best option would be to speak to a homeopath or other health practitioner trained in this specifically, as they may suggest a constitutional remedy. However, one common remedy that you will find by searching online is to use pulsatilla, which may help to address asymmetry in the uterine walls (consult your practitioner for dosage or if its appropriate for you).

What else? Relaxation and visualizing baby moving into the head down position, being very specific in your visualizations. ie. If you are lying in an inversion position, imagine that baby is floating up out of your pelvis towards your head, then as you slowly get up, baby tucks her head and somersaults forward and down into your pelvis. Whatever works for you!

I like to encourage moms to explore their options and do their research. Whichever technique or combination of techniques you use, it is important to be consistent and give them the time to work. Whether baby "flips" or not, you will know that you did everything you could to help your baby find his/her best and safest way to enter the world.

Good luck!

Monday, September 13, 2010

6 for 6

This was first going to be titled, 3 for 3, then 4 for 4... And then suddenly I realized today that Scarlett was 6 for 6 for days at work that I worked. Three of those were for the full shift (about 2-3 hours) and the other days were for shorter- a half hour to an hour.

Why? For one, we're training an new office receptionist for the afternoon and evening. And second, Scott and I suddenly have clients that are seeing us both one after the other. Which means Scarlett has been coming to work with us, again.

What's been happening?

People missed Scarlett, and have been happy to see our big, little girl. Or finally meet her, for the new patients.

Scarlett has a chance to "shadow" Mommy. Literally. I've turned around too quickly a few times and tripped on my shadow. She's been pretty quiet in the office but occasionally must stay near. Very near.

She's sat on a few laps. Read a few books.

Watched a few movies on the iPad. Ignored a few kids.

She's colored and played.

She's helped pass receipts to clients.

Is that about it? Sat with Daddy lots. Had a few snacks, healthy and not. Clomped around in her big boots, on the laminate floor, before we remembered to take them off.

It has been a pleasure to have her around, but I'm ready to break the run soon. We've been a little too lucky with naps working out perfectly, and tempers being patient. Hopefully 9 for 9 or 10 for 10 will be the end for a while.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day Project

Don't you love IKEA?

We decided that our books needed a home, so we returned from IKEA with 2 new bookcases. (And napkins and cups. And after we ate dinner and yogurt ice cream.) We figured that we could move the living room around, assemble the shelves, and put the living room back together over the weekend. It all worked according to plan, and we even managed to keep Scarlett occupied throughout.

She loved playing on the boxes that we had stored in the hallway. The packing paper made for excellent coloring paper. (She looks grumpy here but I think she enjoyed the day.)

Scarlett and Raven and the stuffies played for a long time inside the big box. Raven wasn't quite so impressed, but did nap in the box. (Pardon my toes). See? Scarlett is happier. Clothes make the mood.
When the shelves were finally assembled, it was hard to keep Scarlett off of them, but we convinced her that the shelves were for books only, not little girls.
And I'll spare you the shots of all of our books, but we did get the shelves partly organized over the weekend. Job well done!
Kids don't like change, do they? Even this little change caused some slight anxiety in Scarlett. Maybe it was because the TV was gone for most of the day. Or we took the rug away from the living room. Or all the vacuuming that kept happening. Whatever it was, we're all settled back now and are much more comfortable with our little living room.
Just as an aside, it has been interesting to finally see our books in one place. We seem to have some themes that keep reoccurring. We have our fiction. Margaret Atwood to Chuck Palahniuk. Then the classics-Jane Eyre and Little Women and such. My birth and pregnancy books. Scott's energy work. My garden/crafts/travel. Photography. Business and financial planning. Self help and New Age. And now kids books too.
And as another aside...the change in shelves has uprooted many wine glasses that have been following us around lately that are beyond our storage capacity. Wine glasses, anyone?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Last Peach

It finally dawned on me that summer is ending. Or ended, perhaps. And it wasn't because school was starting for everybody else, or holidays were over, or Labor Day had arrived. But I realized it was over when I ate the last peach:

It's not just any peach. This is the last peach of the case of peaches that I had hauled back from Salmon Arm in mid August. Every year, and every trip back to Salmon Arm, we haul fruit and veggies, but my favorite by far are the peaches. Sometimes it is 2-3 cases in a season, but this year it was just one. And some crazy brand like Jimmy Frank or something (forget the Havens).

This peach is not only from the best place that grows peaches (the Okanagan) but it was also purchased from a place of high nostalgia to me-Pedro's Fruit Stand, where I worked for a couple of summers. And not only did I work at the Fruit Stand, but I also worked for the family many years prior-in their orchards picking cherries and thinning apples, and before that, babysitting their boys. Except now when I go back to the fruit stand, the boys that I used to babysit are now running the place. Which makes me feel old of course.

My last peach of the season is gone-as of Sunday, September 5th. Almost labor day. I am always sad when this day comes. I will buy more peaches this season, but they won't compare to the last 30 pounds that we just ate. Can you believe we ate 30 lbs of peaches?!?! Only one peach crisp and the rest we just ate.

I will try to be not just sad, but also grateful for all the lovely peaches that we had this year. Thank you! We have enjoyed you and I look forward to seeing you again next summer.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Monkeys for the Monkey

Someone in our house is going through a phase, and hopefully that phase is short lived.

Our little princess will accept wearing a shirt decorated with monkeys swinging from trees.

Or the dress with a Moo-cow.

Or the t-shirt with the cat wearing a diamond necklace, or the pajamas with the puppy. The puppy is also glow-in-the dark, which is not a good recipe for sleep.

She likes her socks with the giraffes, her tank top with a Teddy bear and the t-shirt that has a monkey eating a banana. (No, not all together.)

But that's the end of the animal wardrobe. When we run out of animals, I can't guarantee that my daughter will be dressed. As summer turns to fall and the wardrobe changes, I think the animal clothes may need to be packed away. We may have a princess with no clothes on.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I used to be an avid walker.

Some of my favorite memories of places I have lived revolve around the areas I used to walk in. My favorite was the Mt Pleasant Cemetary in Toronto. It was so quiet and peaceful with the occasional jogger or visitor. I miss it! Although I do not miss Toronto. And I loved the walks along Lakeshore and the beaches in Kelowna. Complete with an optional swim in the lake if I wanted.

I have walked for exercise, to get places, to get out of the house, to walk the dog, for peace of mind, to see the neighborhoods, and to see the changes in nature.

I walked a lot when I was pregnant, waiting for a baby, and then to get myself and Scarlett out of the house. She walked with me carried in a sling, in a stroller, until suddenly earlier this summer, it all ended. The stroller meets with screams, the sling she wiggles out of, so she must walk. Either very slowly, or full tilt chaos to who knows where. So we sometimes go for walks- to the park, in malls, in dog walk areas, but I'm still pretty leery to walk along sidewalks with my toddler who usually won't hold my hand. Not to mention that Scarlett loves to walk the dog and they usually wind up tangled around each other and me.

This has led to not so many walks lately.

Then I realized that I can go by myself once Scott is home with Scarlett. I went for a walk last night, with the dog, and it felt ridiculously liberating.

And what did I see? The sun. (A marvel these days). New houses for sale in the neighborhood. A church for sale-who knew? Houses with new paint, new fences. Families with kids that I have never seen before. (It is a small neighborhood). The flowers were all different than when I was last out in July. The leaves were changing color. Work on a park near the river.

That's it. Scarlett was upset she didn't get to come and she had wanted to walk the dog. But that probably lasted 30 seconds until I was out of site. And I felt better. A little exercise, fresh air and a fresh mind. I had missed my walks.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Italy Planning

We're going on a trip this fall-we will be taking our baby to Italy! And we're so excited about it and very busy planning. I said the other day that I took on a full time job-as my own travel agent. We have been using an agent for some things, like our plane tickets and possibly tours and transportation, but I've been looking on my own for accommodation and what to see and do.

Since we're looking for apartments to stay in, two of the favorite sites that we've used so far include: (Vacation Rental by Owner) (Rome Accom)

We liked these two because they can tell you if the dates you want are available, there are photos to look at, and you can search by area of town and price range. (And even include recommendations). Some of the other web sites that rent apartments do not show availability and once I think about emailing the owner (or rental coordinator), and wait for a reply, I forget what apartment I was even looking at. I've found that everyone I have dealt with through email has been quick to reply and very courteous.

We search online for everything but I added one new book because nothing compares to having everything in the palm of your hand. (Plus Scarlet goes nuts when she sees the iPad out, so the book helps us to avoid that). There are dozens of options, but the one I chose was Pauline Frommer's Italy, spend less see more. Now if I just had some more time to read it!

We've picked our Rome neighborhood. We will be staying in Trastevere, which is supposedly not in the most touristy area, but close enough to walk to all of the sites. I've heard that it is as "authentic" as we will get in Rome and also good for kids-lots of markets, restaurants, squares... I'm sold. The shots from google earth are pretty cool.

Speaking of travelling to Italy with kids... At first, we were worried, and were asked numerous times, "Are you sure you want to travel with Scarlett?". Yes, it will involve coordinating car seats, naps, different types of accommodation and a really long flight for a toddler. But the more I read, it sounds like the Italians embrace having children around, so I hope that is true. I'm expecting she can run around some piazzas, and will enjoy eating the pasta, pizza and gelato. What kid wouldn't love that?

There's likely to be a few more posts as we continue planning our trip. And we love advice on what to see and do. Will I be adventurous enough to write while we are traveling?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Domestic Day

As much as I love being able to take our babe to work with us (occasionally) this week was a little odd and she made four appearances at the office. Not for the full stretch, just a half hour here and there. And that means that for four days, we didn't have the perfect naps, or perfect mealtimes, because you know those are perfect on the other days.

Today was a glorious day off for Scarlett and me, and we have yet to leave the house.

I baked my sourdough bread. (My science experiment is still going strong)

I started on the piles of laundry.

We picked peas from the garden. Did I mention my laissez faire garden this year? Please feel free to correct my french but it is the best way to describe my garden where the slugs and weeds are winning. But I can still boast that it is pesticide free and it is producing some things this year. Just not the zucchini and tomatoes I was looking forward to.

Evidence of my garden

We watered the flower gardens. It has been so wet this year that this is a job that is still a novelty.

Scarlett ran around barefoot and then watered herself too. Fortunately, it was sunny and warm and we have a closet full of clothes.

She's currently napping on a freshly made bed.

I'll hopefully get around to making dinner sometime.

I even took the garbage out and brought the garbage can back to its home.

I feel like I've done enough today that I get a little break for a while.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Death by Kisses

Our 21 month old daughter is going through a phase of extreme affection. It is quite lovely. Huge bear hugs with her little arms wrapped around our necks. Lasting long enough that I think about moving and she's wrapped so tightly that she hangs on. Hugs to our legs. Horsey-back rides with her clinging to our back. Many times the hugs are preceded by a full tilt run across the room. It is so sweet.

And then there are the kisses. Occasionally she will give a chaste puckered up kiss when I head out the door. That type is rare. Usually it is a full on, open mouth kiss of multiple second duration.

It usually starts with her two little hands on either side of my face. (or Daddy's, but fortunately no one else yet). She holds my head very firmly, and completely face on to her. Then she lunges in while holding everything in place.

One big slobbery kiss, sometimes with teeth mashing into my face, and I'm not sure how, but I can't breathe. A little bit of panic stirs in me. Her little body is suctioned to me and if her hands aren't holding my face in place, her arms are wrapped around my neck. Or she's lying flat on me and maybe 25 pounds sounds light, but I can't breathe.

So I pull her off of me, and we start the process again. Over and over again.

And I wouldn't think the thought would ever cross my mind, but then I start to think of death by kisses. Does a child ever love a parent so much that he/ she could smother or suffocate the parent with kisses? Yes, the parent in this case is strong enough to tell the story, but could it happen?

It wouldn't be the worse way to go; knowing at the end that someone loved you so much that they wanted to show you over and over again, how much. And how did you die? Why, death by kisses, of course.

I am enjoying the affection that is being bestowed on me these days. We usually end up gasping for air between laughing and the wrestling match that the kisses turn into. We will one day try to communicate with Scarlett that perhaps the kisses need to be a little gentler. And closed mouth of course.