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.

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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