Over on my facebook page I’m hosting a Virtual Christmas Cookie Swap. Please stop by and share your favourite Christmas cookie recipe. I’ll bring all the recipes together here on my blog for a Christmas Cookie Roundup.
Here is my contribution to the swap:
Cranberry Shortbread Thumb Cookies
I’m so very excited to announce this!
Join the 30 Day Peaceful Parenting Challenge today and find your peace!
Each week participants will have access to a recorded webinar to learn about Peaceful Parenting. You will learn important new tools and skills each week and then have time to practice them before moving on to the next webinar.
Participants will be added to a facebook group for the challenge – providing access to:
Because this is a web based challenge you can join from any where in the world. And because the webinars will be recorded, you’ll be able to watch them on your own time, when it’s convenient for you. You will also have access to the instructor and be able to ask questions as they come up.
As you start thinking about your New Years resolutions, consider how becoming a more peaceful parent can impact your life and your children’s lives.
ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE?
Join now, there are only a limited number of early bird tickets available.
December 2nd, 2013 · No Comments
This article originally appeared on VancouverMom.ca
When you become parents your relationship changes. For some couples, the quality improves. But for two thirds of parents a dramatic decrease in relationship satisfaction occurs according to Dr. John Gottman of the Relationship Research Institute. I think we can all agree that our focus shifts when we become parents. Often our relationship with our partner takes the back burner and our children become our number one concern. In the Bringing Baby Home Program designed by Gottman, we teach parents why this is not in the best interest of your family. Today I’d like to share some tips from the program for shifting that focus back where it belongs.
The Importance of a Healthy Relationship
Research shows that the parental relationship plays a significant role in our children’s future success. Children thrive in households where the couple’s relationship is functioning well, where both partners feel supported and where the relationship is getting the attention it requires. In such settings, kids demonstrate greater success in school, have less physical illness and show a greater emotional connection with both parents.
As parents it can be difficult to find the time to focus on our relationship, to really talk and connect. Sometimes we let it go so long that we don’t know what to say. Becoming a parent brings so many changes; within ourselves, our roles as both parent and as partner, our values, our priorities, and our dreams. So it’s important to get to know each other all over again. Take the time to ask questions and discover the people you have become.
Here are three easy ways you can improve your relationship for your whole family’s benefit:
The Bringing Baby Home Series is for Pregnant Couples and Parents of Infants and Toddlers. Please visit my Bringing Baby Home Page for more information about the program and upcoming dates/locations.
November 20th, 2013 · No Comments
(Guest post written by Kami Fasan of Full Moon Mothering)
Most moms often feel like they are playing a constant game of catch up; add a toddler or two to the mix and arriving anywhere on time becomes a thing of the past! Claire is currently going through a very independent phase, and while I do want to encourage it….sometimes I just wish she would get dressed so we can get out the door! I recently decided to start trying to teach her about the importance of doing things on time, so we can get to places on time. Now if you have ever tried to teach a toddler a sense of “time” you will have realized (like I did) that its like trying to grab a fist full of water. Good luck with that.
I recently attended a Positive Discipline Workshop as taught by Sarah Joseph of Prenatal to Parenting, and one of the simplest things I learned is that toddlers DO NOT have a sense of time. How can they? For them life is a series of moments, interactions, activities….not governed by the hands on clock. Around the time of this workshop Claire was in her first ballet class series, and one morning she just would not get ready. So I left her clothes beside her and told her when she was ready to get dressed, I was there to help her, but if she didn’t get dressed soon we would not make it to ballet class. Not wanting to fight with her I went to go finish my coffee in peace and take a few deep breaths. Well it worked great in that we both calmed down without getting into a battle of wills, but of course we didn’t make it to ballet on time.
So with a clear day ahead of us we went to Michaels and I bought some poster board and a big book of stickers with the theme of “my day”. When Claire was in bed that night I created our very first Routine Chart. A routine chart is an interactive way to help gently guide your child through the activities of the day, helping provide them with a rough sense of time and what to expect. A child who knows what comes next is less likely to rebel against it.
Our chart is highly visual, with a dark background so the colors are in contrast and really stand out for Claire. It walks her through waking up, getting dressed, having breakfast, our activity for the day, quite time…all the way to bath and bed. She gets to close each one as we complete it. Seeing the progression of closed flaps with less and less remaining to do is what provides her with a sense of time, and accomplishment! It has made our days much easier, and it universally translates so easily to all her care providers; so Daddy gets it and even the babysitter gets it.
How would a routine chart for your toddler look? What activities would you put on it? How could it help make your day easier?
Need ideas on how to make one, try Pinterest!
November 18th, 2013 · No Comments
Toddlerfest & Expo, presented by South Surrey Smiles, is a day focused around raising a 1-4year old in our Community. This is the first ever event of its kind! Amazing expert speakers are lined up to educate you on the topics that matter the most, and an expo-fair will have numerous vendors and service providers from your area all geared towards tots. Toddlerhood is challenging, but also magical!. This fun event will introduce you to fabulous local businesses that offer classes, services and products for your tot too, we will be there…will you join us?
As a special treat for you all please feel free to use coupon code FRIEND for $5 off admission
November 18th, 2013 · No Comments
The letter of the week this week at Parker’s preschool is ‘I’. We have started a little tradition here at home and we choose a word of the week that begins with that letter. This week’s word is “Ice”. Which led us to talking about ice; how it is made, fun things to do with it, modes of transportation on ice, people that live in icy environments, etc.
I had seen some great Arctic Sensory Bins on pinterest and asked Parker if he would be interested in creating one together. We both got rather excited about creating one together. We gathered everything we needed and got to work. Parker was so excited he kept checking the freezer to see if the ice had formed yet. We let it set overnight and then added the rest of the materials to complete our Arctic Sensory Bin. Which again opened up a discussion about where each of the animals lived, how the people live and get around and how they stay warm.
Here’s what we did:
Things you’ll need:
November 7th, 2013 · No Comments
Last year I attended the Mom Inc. Movement Conference. It was a day filled with networking, connecting with moms, learning and getting inspired to take my business to the next level…not to mention how to find balance between my work and my family. I’m super excited to attend this year’s event, it looks even more amazing than last – if that’s even possible!
I attended five workshops where I learned valuable information about social media, branding, public speaking, and how to do what I love while spending more time with the ones I love. In one of Shannon Ward’s workshops we were given the challenge to create a Personal Master Plan with goals and steps for the next few years. The challenge really put into perspective what I wanted for my business, myself and my family and has had an incredible impact on my life.
I’m excited to share that I have reached several of my 1 year goals:
1 Year Goal:
Have office space that is separate from living space
Have scheduled work times and scheduled non-work times
Classes booked 3-4 times a week
New processes for efficiency, productively and quality assurance
Personal & Family –
Run the Sun Run
Buy Second Vehicle
Have more weekends off
Kids in care 2-3 times a week
Go camping more than once a year
I feel very proud of these accomplishments. Off course I have a few goals that I haven’t quite reached yet but I’m still working towards those ones! I’m so very excited to attend this year’s conference. To network, learn, get inspired and see where this next year can take me. Will you join me?
The M-summit is a wonderful event FULL of information for the working mom, from finding balance, to fashion and finance and some fabulous new brands and products that you must have. Numerous workshops run throughout the day, with a wide variety of topics sure to inspire you. Treat yourself and take a day for MOM!
October 20th, 2013 · No Comments
When we talk about discipline many people think about the practice of training children to obey rules and using punishment to correct disobedience. This is not what Positive Discipline is about. In Positive Discipline there is:
No pampering (rescuing or fixing)
No punitive time-outs
No taking away privileges as punishment
No humiliation, blame, shame or pain
Usually at this point parents ask me “what’s left? What can we do?” I will get to that but first I’d like to point out the consequences to this practice. Children that obey may do so because they have learned that their voice, ideas, feelings, and objections don’t matter. They may have learned that it is useless to speak up for themselves and this can result in a life time of being taken advantage of.
Secondly, punishment has a way of making everyone, parent and child, feel bad. I’m not sure why we think that in order to make children do better, first we have to make them feel worse. Do you feel like being more cooperative after being criticized, berated or put down? Not likely and I’m not sure why we think our children would.
Discipline is more than simply getting your child to behave the way you want him to or stopping her from behaving in a way you don’t want. It’s about teaching social and life skills. The goal of discipline is to teach children self-discipline and to guide children to be responsible and cooperative. Discipline isn’t something we use only when a child misbehaves. We use discipline to teach children through positive instruction how to make good decisions and correct their mistakes when bad choices are made.
As you can see discipline isn’t synonymous with punishment. In fact punishment has no place in discipline. Punishment based discipline like yelling, spanking, threatening or taking things away are often the least effective form of discipline because it teaches kids what not to do rather than what to do. Positive Discipline focuses on teaching children what to do because they have been invited to think through the situation using the simple guidelines of respect and helpfulness to find a solution. In this way they become active participants in the process, not passive (and often resistant) receivers.
Are kind, firm and respectful
Take time to train
Focus on solutions
Recognize mistakes as learning opportunities
Positive Discipline is not a single act or statement. It’s a process, one that takes time to learn and to learn from. Positive Discipline is a combination of parental instruction and correction that teaches children how to live according to family values and rules. Children respect family values and rules because they have been welcomed to voice their objections and assist with finding solutions to problems when they arise. Children respect parents because they have been respected.
Positive Discipline is a very effective way to teach valuable social and life skills for good character, allow children to discover how capable they are and to use their power constructively. It is effective long-term and allows parents to ease hassles, and enjoy parenting more.
The next Positive Discipline Workshop is coming up on October 26th at the Sandman hotel in Surrey, email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to register
October 17th, 2013 · No Comments
In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day I wanted to share my own experience with pregnancy loss.
Between Parker & Zola we had a pregnancy that ended in miscarriage at 10 weeks. It was devastating and heartbreaking.
I was thankful a D&C wasn’t required but having to pass the remains of my baby alone at home and flush them down the toilet was extremely traumatic and felt terribly wrong. Recently I took a workshop on supporting families through pregnancy and infant loss and heard about collecting the remains in a basin so parents could have them. I feel that this could have been much less traumatic on me – to honor that little life with a burial or even to take it to the hospital. I remember thinking “my baby isn’t a fish” and walking away unable to actually flush but returning thinking “I’m her mama; this is my job”.
Finding out that 1 in 4 women have a miscarriage or hearing from others “that it was probably for the best” or “just not meant to be” wasn’t helpful.
What I was grateful for was my friend Michelle who was pregnant at the same time and somehow found the strength to walk along side me during my loss. She asked me the tough questions and really allowed me to cry and talk about it. I later attended Michelle’s birth as her Doula and found the experience incredibly healing.
Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, a day to remember all the babies who left us too early, a day to break the silence and offer love and support to those grieving in silence. So today share your experience with pregnancy or infant loss, give those you know who have experienced a hug and tell them that you have lit a candle for their baby and help to alleviate some of the pain and stigma that sounds it.
Love & Light,
October 15th, 2013 · No Comments
These leaf creatures look funny or spooky and they are fun to make.
First you’ll need some leaves. We took a trip to the park and while we were there we gathered some leaves up. We tried to find different shaped and coloured leaves so we would have some variety. Dry them out before you start the craft.
You’ll also need:
Just clue your leaf onto a large piece of paper or cardboard, stick wobbly eyes onto the leaf and then draw some lines for legs and arms. Now you can let your imagination go wild and use any other craft supplies you have on hand to create your leaf creatures.
Make more leaf creatures using different kids of leaves. Make funny faces, like one eyed creatures with curly antennae, three eyed spiky teeth creatures, or feather skirt wearing creatures. It’s completely up to you.
October 9th, 2013 · No Comments