Placenta Curious | Your Place or Mine?

Doctor offices, dental clinics, hospitals, and restaurants – what do they have in common?

Regulations. 
Each of these facilities are held to third party regulations which help to ensure their code of practice, safety regulations, and sanitary process are met.
With regular inspections, health inspectors can locate potential health risks and notify the public. While the chances of contracting a blood-borne disease from unsanitary equipment are rare, having inspectors give the facilities high standards to follow, and the public peace of mind.
When it comes to placenta encapsulation in Canada, there are no health inspections. There is no regulatory board to ensure safe and sanitary methods are being upheld.

Your home or mine?

When you picture where your placenta is going to be processed, you may be imagining a lab or restaurant style kitchen. With no regulations in place, most placenta encapsulators process your placenta in their home. 

You are the inspector.

When your placenta is done in your home, you can feel confident in knowing that your placenta is prepared in a place you are comfortable preparing food in. If there are food allergies within your home, you know that there will be no accidental cross contamination of gluten, dairy, or peanuts.

Your bacteria or mine?

In recent years, more evidence has arisen on the microbiome within your home being beneficial. It is believed that there are many benefits to how the microbiome is colonizing for the mother and the baby.
During dehydration, bacteria within the air is absorbed into the placenta. While the bacteria in your home will not have negative effects on your body, the bacteria in your placenta encapsulator’s home might. Your body may need to fight harder to ensure you and your baby do not get ill.
Your Postpartum Placenta Specialist spends two hours on two consecutive days in your home. The first thirty minutes of each day is spent sanitizing and preparing your kitchen. Once the first day of processing is complete, the only thing that is left in your home is the dehydrator. Between 12 and 24 hours later, your placenta specialist returns to your home to finish the encapsulation process. At the end of both days, your kitchen is left cleaner than the conditions it was found it in.

The Ick Factor

Postpartum placenta specialists in Edmonton understand that not everyone is comfortable with the idea of having a placenta processed in their home. A postpartum placenta specialist works discretely as you take the time to cuddle your baby and catch up on some Netflix originals or dive into a book.
During encapsulation, if you are curious, your postpartum placenta specialist can answer any questions, while you snap some photos and learn more.
Your placenta is something that cannot be duplicated, and you deserve to know that your placenta pills are made in a facility which you approve of, with no doubts of the sanitary conditions it was processed in, and confident that the placenta capsules are created with your placenta.


By Terra Landmark

Landmark Doulas is your source of compassionate care during pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. Terra and her team provide childbirth education, professional birth services, placenta encapsulation, as well as postpartum and infant care to the families in Edmonton and surrounding areas.

YEG INSPIRED LOOK BOOK!

One of the highlights of creating a magazine has been collaborating and working alongside local designers. In our first fashion feature we partnered up with several talented creators
Portage & Main
From Harper
Mistura Canada
Kroc n Dial
House of Koopslie
Baby Bird Creations (head band accessories) 
Rust and Pine Co & their family! 
Lorrine Marie

Photography provided by Lorraine Marie , Styling by Zoe McRorie , Hair products :Rust and Pine Co. 

Designers, Creators interested in being featured, please contact our creative team to discuss collaborations, include images of products. From time to time we will highlight new products and designers, items may be sent in for reviews and features, but are not guaranteed it should be noted, products will not be shipped back. 

Farm Fresh to Table, Your Handy List of Edmonton's Farmers Markets

One of the great things I love about our city is our farmers markets we have access to. When we lived in Sherwood Park, it became part of our weekly routine, walking over to the market at Festival Place, buying cookies for the kids, Kimchi for me, fresh veggies, a bag of popcorn, oh and my favourite hummus! So good! Not much has changed since we've moved into Edmonton, we routinely incorporate a trip to the SW Edmonton Farmers Market, where we can enjoy the food trucks and I can grab my fresh veggies. 

Have you found a favourite market in the city? We would love to hear. If you're not sure which days they run, we've made a guide starting with Tuesday that take place around the city. Double check on the links for summer/winter season and operating times, as some of the markets may have alternate locations in the winter months.

Happy Local Shopping! 


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TUESDAY 


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WEDNESDAY 


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THURSDAY

   


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SATURDAY

 

 

  


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SUNDAY 


Visit to the London Tea Bar

I'm a huge fan of local, and when Shannon reached out to me a couple of months ago to come to her opening, I was really excited to connect with her (I'm a huge tea junkie) and then shortly after that, she invited me again to a Tea Tasting. The London Tea Bar has definitely, become one of my favourite stops when I'm shopping on Whyte Ave, located at 8116 Gateway Blvd.  The Tea Bar has become a great spot for pop up shops as well, currently she is hosting a clothing designer in the back portion of the shop, she's hosted local artist's there as well, like Amy Dixon who paints the most gorgeous landscapes! But, I do highly recommend getting connected with what's happening at the Tea Bar through their social media links or check the websites for the latest events.

A key feature and one of the things I love about the London Tea Bar, is that the owner, Shannon, brings in the freshest of teas, with no artificial colours, sweeteners or enhancers added. Of course, you can add a bit of honey or sugar to your likening but that's up to you. For our Tea tasting, we were able to go through and choose a wide variety of teas, Alora and I picked out ten or twelve teas to taste selecting a mix of five or six of the white, herbal and green teas, and then another five or six of the black teas for a total of about 12 teas. Shannon talked about the different flavours arranging our choices from the lightest taste (white teas) to the stronger more robust full-bodied teas. This way, the flavours wouldn't overtake our palates, sipping water in between to help cleanse our taste buds. The tea tasting was very much like a wine tasting.. but no spitting into a bucket required!  During our tasting, we sipped and talked about the hints of lavender, or the sweet raspberry fruit teas, discussing which ones would be wonderful for a cozy night at home or which would be perfect for making a pitcher of iced teas (my favourite is the Ginger Snap.. P.S. Revolution Icecream makes some tea ice cream from this selection, it's heavenly!). By the way, you can set up at tasting for yourself,  just email the shop for times and availability HERE.

I've listed our favourite teas from our tasting, if you go let me know what you liked, if you have a favourite tea or was there one that your family really likes? Teas have become my new replacement for juices with little ones, especially the Strawberry Kiwi!! 

Enjoy,
Lorraine

Tea's Sampled
Strawberry Kiwi
Spa Day
Lemongrass Reset
Orange Blossom Oolong
Rasberry Green Tea
Apple Spiced Green Tea
Berry Mate
Earl Grey Lavender
Ginger Snap
and Lady Londonderry

For our advertising inquiries, contact our Sales and Marketing Team

The Ultimate Kids Guide to Break the Summer Boredom Blues!

Trying to figure out activities and what to do this summer in Edmonton to avoid "Boredom Blues", we've created a handy list of 75 activities to do with kids of all ages  (download your PDF version here!) and follow the link to our Pinterest board for ideas and inspiration. 

  1. Grab the sheets or old blankets and some pool noodles to create a wacky summer fort in the backyard
  2. Go to the Alberta Legislative Grounds and play in the pools
  3. Once they've had their fill of the pool, go hunting for Pokemon 
  4. Stop into your local supermarket, and grab some fresh eats from the deli for a summer picnic 
  5. Collect rocks to paint 
  6. Movie night outside in the backyard
  7. Learn to throw a Yo-Yo
  8. Go down to the river to watch the dragon boat races
  9. Jump on the Trolley and go over the High-Level Bridge
  10. Go Bowling (don't forget the kid's bowl free program
  11. Head to the Art Gallery of Alberta
  12. Cool off at the spray parks
  13. Go tubing down the Pembina River 
  14. Kids eat free at Love Pizza on Sunday Nights!  
  15. Wander through Whitmud Ravine and feed the birds 
  16. Visit the U of A Botanic Gardens (formerly the Devonian) 
  17. Find a hill and roll down it 
  18. Create stop action movies 
  19. Choose your adventures ( print out the list and add them to a "Bored Jar" pick 3 things, go do them ) 
  20. Run in the rain, no rain.. turn on the sprinkler! 
  21. Create a scavenger hunt of Edmonton's Icon.. visit the Oil Derrick, find Alexandra Circle, Stop a the Mac store's for Screamers, my favourite is Orange Crush & Vanilla!!!
  22. Marshmallow wars with home made PVC guns 
  23. Valley Zoo 
  24. Sign up for summer camps, check out your local churches as they may be hosting Vacation Bible School, often they have a full week of fun activities for the kids or sign up for one through the U of A Summer Kids Camps! 
  25. Pick the Daisies.. or the Dandelions, make flower crowns or press a bunch of your favourite summer flowers. 
  26. Go camping
  27. Visit one of Edmonton's Favourite Toddler Parks, a full list is available on Just Another Edmonton Mommies Blog
  28. Visit the  Alberta Mama's for awesome Alberta Destinations to celebrate Canada's 150th
  29. If it's August, go watch the sky show for meteor shower!
  30. K Day's Parade
  31. Host a neighbourhood bbq, close the street down (check the City of Edmonton for their regulations)
  32. Arrange a visit with one of the local senior centres, (our son used to love to play chess with an elderly man we connected with at the retirement residence.)
  33. Sidewalk art! Create a masterpiece! 
  34. Lemonade Stand! 
  35. Create a dinosaur dig! 
  36. Bury Treasure in the park and give clues to find (use a small rubbermaid bin to hid the treasure in!
  37. Go Geocaching! 
  38. Sign up for an Art Class, check 4 Cats, The Alberta Gallery of Art, Creative Space 
  39. Create pinwheels for the garden
  40. Pudding Paintings!!! Buy some new kids paintbrushes, vanilla pudding and add food colouring! Let the littles paint to their hearts content!
  41. Give the kids $5 and go garage sailing for board games
  42. Make Popsicles out of your favourite herbal teas!! 
  43. Sign up for a kids workshop through one of the local hardware stores
  44. Make your own playdough 
  45. Random Acts of Kindness, help out a neighbour, walk their dogs, bake a friend some cookies, 
  46. Sign up for a walk/marathon 
  47. Tie Die T-Shirts in the backyard, try making some to support your local sports teams! 
  48. Try out Edmonton's Newest Ropes Course at Snow Valley Aeriel Park
  49. Take a Mini Day trip to Devon, Calmar, Millet, Thorsby  check out the local shops
  50. Visit Prairie Gardens, they have activities all summer long! 
  51. Visit the EGG in Vegreville 
  52. Make Fruit Loop Necklaces and Bracelets
  53. Sign up for the Northern Lights email alerts
  54. Make a time capsule (buy a plain wood box from the craft store, decorate it.. after you fill it with summer momento's, seal it up and open it up in 10years!
  55. Take a 30Second Video Clip each day during the summer to create a fun summer memory!
  56. Windy Days, fly a kite
  57. Yard Yahtzee 
  58. Head to the Lake, Buy ice cream, build sandcastle creations
  59. Make Airplanes
  60. Float your boats, use milk cartons, make a sail and have a boat race with friends in Millcreek Ravine
  61. Head to an outdoor pool
  62. Yarn Art with sticks or popsicle sticks (search Pinterest for God's Eye or Yarn Dolls)
  63. Make Friendship Bracelets 
  64. Make Ring Toss from poodle noodles!
  65. Glue Popsicle sticks together to create a canvas, paint the sticks 
  66. Create a summer reading guide or Check the Edmonton Public Library for summer favourites 
  67. Make some Dragon Eggs and hide them in amongst the garden
  68. Take Cardboard, draw & Cut out large funky letters, wrap with yarn to decorate kids doors or room.
  69. Blow paint monster art on canvas 
  70. Plant a garden, help out on a farm 
  71. Make your own Freezer Felt holder 
  72. Make Large Size Yard Games like Jenga, paint them in fun colours! 
  73. Picture a day, print out Square Prints & pin to a wall or use Fun Washi Tape
  74. Go on a Bug Hunt 
  75. Grab a blanket and Lay under the stars, make a wish if you see any falling stars!!

Have the best summer ever, create some wonderful memories, start some new summer traditions, play, laugh, stay up late and eat s'mores.
Bonus Tip: For a fun Boredom Buster, Write down all the ideas on popsicles sticks and put them in a jar. Each day, pull out an idea to create a week of adventures. 

Enjoy Life to the Fullest! 
Lorraine

Tips and Tricks for Potty Training

Have you finally reached that time where you’re working towards getting your toddler out of diapers? These simple tips and tricks will keep you focused and hopefully make the process stress free for everyone.

Is Everybody Ready? 

First things first, has your child shown interest in the potty? Show interest can be simply sitting on the potty sometimes, or indicating that they have to go potty or that they have done so already in their diaper. 

Are you ready? If you’re not able to commit to this 110%, now is not the time to start. Potty training requires attention and consistency, so beginning before you and your child are ready is a recipe for disaster and will just leave you both angry and discouraged, which in the long run could make the process even harder and longer! 

Pull-ups or Underwear? 

Start the process with going to pick out the pull-ups or underwear. Letting your child pick their own character or design creates that excitement and anticipation for starting. But it doesn’t stop there, when you get home have them help with opening the package and organizing them wherever you choose to keep them. Help her to take control of the potty training process.

Accessibility

Whether you are using a potty or the toilet with a potty seat, it needs to be accessible at all times so your child can feel free to go whenever they need to.  For clothes, stay away from buttons, snaps, and zippers – your toddler’s pants must be easy to pull up and down for those have to go right now emergencies. 

Stay Home

During the first couple of days, especially, staying home is key. You’re going to want to be close to the potty at all times and staying home is the best way to guarantee it.

Potty Training Incentives

Whether you’re using instant rewards like candy or prizes that they earn to put towards something bigger (stamps, stickers, or pompoms), the rewards have to be designated to potty training exlusively! No sneaking that jelly bean or using a sticker just because. Remember to celebrate even the smallest little tinkle in the potty, especially at the beginning, because it’s a big deal. As potty training progresses you can decrease the rewards.

Keep Your Toddler Hydrated

Make sure his sippy cup or water bottle is always full and encourage him to take lots of drinks, this will create the urge to go potty more often and will help him to recognize the feeling. 

Don’t Ask, Just Do

Over the first day or so, your child may be super excited to go on the potty, but the reality is that at some point it stops being fun. Asking your child, “Do you have to go Potty?” gives her the chance to say no. Instead, say, “It’s time to go Potty.”

Consistency  

Set a timer to go every 45-60 minutes, even if they don’t have to go. Going to the potty on a consistent basis helps to create that bathroom routine as well as familiarity for children.  Going before bedtimes and naps is also a must! 

Patience

Potty training can be stressful. What works for one child may not work for the next. If it’s not working right away, it’s okay to stop and try again a few weeks later. Accidents may happen a little or a lot, but knowing this going in will help during those times that you feel discouraged. 

Sooner or later it will click and you’ll soon say goodbye to changing diapers! 

Christine Bruckmann is the local Edmonton writer and Blogger for Just Another Edmonton Mommy & Alberta Mama's. She was born and raised in Edmonton with a background in social work. As a trusted voice for many families and passionate about supporting her local community, Christine writes about things to see and do in Edmonton as a family, local events, DIYs, food, and more. 

Images Provided by Lorraine Marie 
Originally Published in the YEG INSPIRED TODDLER ISSUE

Sensory Activities in Nature, Providing Sensory Input to Help Busy Children Stay Grounded

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It took me a while to figure it out, but I get it now and fully embrace it.  My youngest is a heavy duty sensory seeker and just wants to take it all in! But there's also a fine line where all the stuff becomes too much and overwhelmed meltdowns occur. Too many options at home with toys or too many kids on a playground making it loud can take her from happy to upset in minutes.

The best thing we have found so far that helps ground her, as well as her sister and I, is exploring in nature.  The calm and quiet help slow down her naturally busy body. But with so much to see, smell, touch and do, it keeps her seeking nature occupied and interested and helps regulate her for the rest of the day.

With so many wonderful parks and trails in and around Edmonton, and the fact that we homeschool and have more daytime availability to get out and explore, we try to get out on a nature walk 2-3 times a week.

Here are some of our favorite ways that we incorporate nature into my daughter's sensory diet.

Water Play - Baths are one of my daughter's favorite activities, but once outside, she gravitates to puddles, streams and lakes. Sensory kids love jumping to get the proprioceptive input (input received through joints and muscles) they crave. Add the splash from a puddle, and it is irresistible!  Wading barefoot in streams and lakes will help ground them while they enjoy squishing their toes in the sand and feeling the water splash on them.

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Balancing on Logs - Sensory kids tend to appear clumsier that others, due to issues with their vestibular receptors (senses related to movement, balance and coordination). Hyposensitive children love spinning in circles or could spend hours on the swing, and hypersensitive children are the opposite and are fearful of climbing, heights, or activities where they have to close their eyes.  Out in nature, walking across logs can help improve balance and their vestibular senses, plus they love the accomplishment of making it across! 

Climbing Trees - Full body strengthening and coordination are two important areas sensory kids need to work on. In therapy sessions and at home, they are often given heavy work (activities that push or pull against the body - climbing on playground equipment, carrying grocery bags, crab walking) to help give the body the input it craves.  Climbing trees creates the same input with pulling yourself up or hanging from a limb. Plus coordination and problem solving come into play when they need to decide their next step and figure out how to get down!

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See, Smell, Touch - Sensory bins are very popular with toddlers, preschoolers and sensory kids.  Nature is the ultimate sensory bin, with beautiful scenery and insects and animals to observe, flowers to smell, and rocks, leaves, moss and so much more to touch. My daughters love digging around in the dirt, feeling the needles and leaves on the trees and looking for the perfect walking stick to hold on to for the walk.  

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So take a break from the busy, sometimes chaotic city life and explore nature with your children.  They will appreciate the calm and still have fun exploring and getting the sensory input they crave.

Amber is a local home educator, blogger for Pitter Patter Constant Chatter, you can connect with Amber to follow her daily adventures on Instagram

Images Provided by Lorraine-Marie ,Edmonton's Storyteller Photographer 

The ABC’s of Baby Coming Home

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All throughout pregnancy, you prepare for welcoming your baby into the world. From childbirth education classes and Google, to chatting with friends and scrolling through the pregnancy social media forums, there are endless ways to prepare for the birth of your newborn.
As the kicks begin to get stronger, and you can feel their feet within your ribcage, you begin to read reviews on the latest baby products such as the DockATot, the Stokke crib, and the 4moms mamaRoo.
Yet, as parents walk out the front doors of the hospital, everything that they believe they prepared for seems wrong and incomplete.
Being a parent to a newborn comes with many different obstacles that requires lots of on the job learning, but there are a few things you can do to prepare your postpartum and infant care plans.

Plan the Food

Planning on Breastfeeding?

Though breastfeeding is considered a natural feeding method, there is nothing natural about it. It can be hard, painful, and emotionally draining. By attending local breastfeeding groups, and meeting with a lactation consultant during pregnancy, you can begin to learn more about feeding positions, and how much milk your baby needs.
You can also join online forums such as The Leaky Boob Community Facebook group, and check out Dr. Jack Newman YouTube videos to learn more.

Pro Tip: Breastfeeding Made Simple  is a great book to read, and hiring an infant care support team during the first days home can make the world of a difference.

Planning on Formula Feeding?

One of the first steps is choosing if you will be using a powdered, concentrated, or ready made formula. Once you have chosen which type of formula you would like to use, the next step is choosing a bottle. There are many different bottles on the market, and each has unique characteristics. There is no wrong choice when it comes to the type of bottle you choose, and make sure you have a size 0 nipple. It will have the slowest flow.

Pro Tip: Move up a nipple size when your baby’s cheeks begin to look like they are making a fish face while sucking.

Planning to Eat?

It surprises a lot of first time parents, how little time they have for cooking their favorite meals when there is a newborn in the house. Creating a Postpartum Meal Plan and stocking up on some freezer meals and snacks, or mason jar meals before your baby comes home can be a life saver.

Pro Tip: Buy yourself gift cards to your favorite restaurants so you can have a bunch of guilt free meals to order in when you don’t have time to cook. (This is also a great thing to ask for on your baby registry)
 

Plan the Sleep

Planning on Co-sleeping?

There are two different types of ways to cosleep. One way is sleeping with the baby in the parent’s bed, this is called bed sharing. The other way is sleeping with the baby in the same room, but on a separate sleep surface. This is called room-sharing.
Room sharing is recommended by Health Canada for the first 6 months.
Pro Tip: Have diapers, wipes, and an extra set of clothes on the nightstand to have less time out of bed during those middle of the night feeds.

Planning on a Nursery?

Walking into a baby boutique brings isles of accessories for decorating a nursery in the latest trends. Have fun and get creative!

Pro Tip: Have a ‘too big’ and ‘too small’ laundry basket to switch out clothes as babies quickly move between sizes.

There are three different products used for safe sleep in Canada.

Choosing a Crib:

Cribs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Choose your favorite and enjoy seeing it every time you lay your baby down.

Pro Tip: Bumper pads come in most crib sets, and they are an extreme suffocation hazard for your baby. Health Canada advises against the use of bumper pads.

Choosing a Bassinet:

Bassinets are used during the first 0-5 months of a baby’s life. They are smaller than a crib, which makes them easier to move around when they are placed next to the parents bed, and can be moved from one room to another.

Choosing a Baby Box:

The Baby Box Company – Canada provides adorable, free boxes that are equipped with a mattress, and approved by CPSC and Health Canada. They are surprisingly bigger than expected, light weight and easy to move upstairs and downstairs. They also make the perfect room storage box for when your newborn outgrows it.

Plan your Sleep

Taking time for self care, and making sure you are getting a good amount of sleep is equally as important as taking care of your newborn. Having a solid support system of friends and family, and/or hiring a postpartum and infant care doula can help to ensure you receive the rest you deserve.
 

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Plan the Transportation

Bringing your baby home is an excitingly terrifying time. Find a car seat clinic or a local car seat technician CSRT to ensure proper installation of your car seat base. Having a professional double check your install and give you valuable pointers is a great way to decrease the risk of unsafe travel. 

Pro Tip: Aftermarket items that are placed on the straps or behind your baby compromise your baby’s safety. Learn about how to safely bundle your baby for our cold Alberta winters.

Bringing your baby home can be an exciting yet intimidating time. You will be a great parent, and find empowerment in the little moments of raising your little bundle!

By Terra Landmark
Landmark Doulas  is your source of compassionate care during pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. Terra and her team provide childbirth education, professional birth services, placenta encapsulation, as well as postpartum and infant care to the families in Edmonton and surrounding areas. 

Dads Doing Their Part

Jeff Woods

I am a father of three kids, two daughters (18 and 10) and a son (8). My role as a father has been the most rewarding thing in life, besides falling in love with their mom. I am a working dad and my wife is a stay at home mom. There have been times where work kept me away from home for lengths of time. That was hard on everyone. Things have progressed over time to where we are now, living in Edmonton and a better work/life balance.

Image supplied by Lorraine Marie

Image supplied by Lorraine Marie

I may have worked lots and spent time out-of-town, but one thing that has always stayed true for me is being a great husband and father. I have always viewed parenting as an equal role. Where moms and dads support each other, share equal responsibilities in the house all to make life easy for ourselves. In return to better support our kids.

Back when my kids were babies, I was there every step of the way. Feedings, changings, bath time, bedtime and so on. Taking the night-time wake ups, even though I had to work early just so mom could get some much-needed sleep. That role has never changed for me. I still have a very active role in my kids lives. I am proud to cook and clean, do laundry and grocery shop. The way mom and dad act in the house were no role is gender based and we both help each other is how my kids learn. Our daughters will grow up strong women and our son will be quite the gentleman. 

Image Supplied by Jeff Woods

Image Supplied by Jeff Woods

Fatherhood is changing direction. This can’t come soon enough. No more dads sitting back, leaving everything to mom. For the longest time I have been on the outside so to speak. The butt of jokes at work for showing my love and support for my wife and kids. This is changing!
I will always be very proud to be there for my family. That my kids don’t solely have to rely on mom for everything. That my wife isn’t dealing with day-to-day things all on her own. My kids know dad is there to help in any way possible. Homework help, trouble with friends, bed times, suppers, this list is long. Attending school events whether it’s parent teacher night, a performance or a sporting event means so much to me as well as my kids. Taking them to the doctors or dentist is also rewarding. They know dad is there to help when not feeling well or are scared while getting a filling done at the dentist, for example. Being the dad I am only helps them grow to become the future self they want. My wife and I have such a strong relationship as well given that life isn’t left to just one of us. Equally we both take care of our kids and our home. Stepping up when the other is sick or having an off day.

Image Supplied by Jeff Woods

Image Supplied by Jeff Woods

Dads, we need to keep this change going. We need to keep up the great parenting and stop leaving life in moms hands alone. Our children are the ones who will see the benefit from this and that is what parenting is all about.

~jeff woods, author


5 Tips for Travelling with Toddlers

by Donna McGougan 

 You’ve picked your destination and planned what you’ll do when you get there. But, first you need to get yourself and your toddler there in one piece! While travelling with a busy little one who loves to explore may seem overwhelming especially when it’s the first time, it doesn’t have to be.

1. Prepare them for the journey explain to your toddler what’s going to happen on your trip. Like adults, it’s nice for them to prepare mentally for being away from the safety and familiarity of home. Let them know you may be waiting in lines (especially if you’re flying) and be prepared with games or books to keep them entertained while waiting. If they’re old enough, there are some great videos online that show kids what it’s like to go through security. Pack one of your child’s favourite toys or blankets in their carryon so they’ll have something familiar to comfort them when they feel tired or overwhelmed.

2. Pack lightly It’s no secret that toddlers need a lot of “stuff”- highchairs, Pack’n Plays, cribs, monitors, just to name a few. A general rule of thumb is to only take what you’ll need and to leave behind what you can rent at your destination. The less you have to carry, the less you’ll be distracted or stressed. If you do take it all, consider using a porter at the airport to help with your luggage. You won’t have to worry about keeping an eye on your luggage and can focus on keeping track of your toddler.

3. Be an “Early Bird” When Flying Pre-book your seats whenever possible. The extra cost is worth the peace of mind knowing your family will be sitting together. Check in online so the airline knows you will be on the flight, decreasing your chance of being bumped from an overbooked departure. Get to the airport early to give yourself extra time to get through long baggage and security lines. Kids pick up on our stress and if we can stay calm and relaxed chances are they will too!

4. On the Flight When travelling with a toddler for long flights, be prepared with food your toddler will eat since airline food isn’t always toddler friendly. A drink can come in handy during take-off and landing to help your little one’s sensitive ears equalize. Remember to finish any fresh fruit and vegetables before you leave the plane as they will not be allowed into your point of arrival. Be sure to check the CASTA website so you follow the guidelines for liquids and gels and check the rules for your destination since security regulations may differ. Don’t forget to pack extra diapers and an extra set of clothes for both yourself and your child. Storms or mechanical issues can mean a longer than anticipated wait on the tarmac and no one wants to run out of diapers on an airplane! A “busy bag” full of stickers, a journal, a small toy, and new book is also a must have for the plane, as well as during any unforeseen delays. Pull the new items out one at a time to prolong the entertainment value. And, with the abundance of kid friendly apps, you should be able to find one or two to download onto your device.

5. Have fun! Travel days can be long and stressful for parents, but if you are organized and prepared, it will decrease your stress. Try and see everything from your kid’s perspective and have fun. Take the moving sidewalks or the shuttle carts. Watch the planes landing and taking off. Window shop in all the stores. Have a ridiculously priced treat at the airport - It’s all part of the journey so take your time, have fun and enjoy it.

Image supplied by Donna McGougan

Image supplied by Donna McGougan


Edmonton mom and traveller, Donna McGougan is a Certified Travel Consultant, of Connections Family Travel  who launched her business out of her experiences travelling with her two busy boys. 

Interview with the Rad Dads Edmonton Chapter

Image SUPPLIED BY Dynamic Imaging Studios 

Image SUPPLIED BY Dynamic Imaging Studios 

I chatted with Rad Dad's local Edmonton chapter leader, Kristian Basaraba, about Edmonton's new group that supports local dads, about why he started the movement and what events are taking place.

YEG INSPIRED : Can you tell me why you started Rad Dad's ?
RAD DADS : Oh man people ask me that all the time, I got the idea from a group in Vancouver (Vancouver Rad Dads) and reached out to them (Dave). he suggested I give it a go in Edmonton.  So I did. 

YEG INSPIRED: Is there any particular reason why ?
RAD DADS : I have a few reasons I'm doing this.  One is that I believe in being part of and building community and what better way then to do a dads group - something I have some (limited) experience in.  Based on the response there is a definite need in this city for one - I had 80 dads show up at our first "dads-only" meeting in February (and I expected 20).  I think "dads" don't really have anyone to talk to and what better way than a room full of dads drinking beer and talking about their experiences. 

YEG INSPIRED:  How often does Rad Dad's meet up?

RAD DADS : The goal is to have 4 "dad-only" meetings a year each with a different theme, our first meeting was on "Building Community"  or next meet up scheduled for end of May will have a music theme, the August meeting will be a sports theme and looking at science theme for Novembers meeting. 

IMAGE SUPPLIED BY DYANMIC IMAGING STUDIOS

IMAGE SUPPLIED BY DYANMIC IMAGING STUDIOS

Each meeting will hopefully have a feature dad guest speaker centered around the theme, a local craft brewery supplying the suds and an opportunity to meet new dads.  We may also incorporate some sort of food aspect to them as well.  Any money raised  will be donated to a chosen charity related to the meeting theme through the sale of T-shirts. Kraft Kits I've designed and any other merch we decide (and can afford to create for dads).

YEG INSPIRED: You have some other events going on as well for the kids?

RAD DADS : Yes, Between each meeting I plan on having a "Kool Kid" event.  Something centered around the "dads-only" meeting theme.  Hence the "Build & Bond" Lego party this upcoming Sunday, we'll be hosting the "Build and Bond" event this Sunday April 9th from 1-3pm at 99ten Event Space, at  9910B 109 Street NW , located just below the Common. This event will feature buckets of Lego provided by the NALUG for an afternoon with kids of all ages to build whatever their imagination can envision. We plan on also having a balloon animal artist and a photographer on site, everyone is welcome, moms, dads and kids of all ages. 

build and bond rad dads event

 The 2nd Kool Kid event is going to be a family-friendly "rock concert" with some live music from bands I know.  The sports event is yet to be decided but we're looking at hosting a street hockey tournament and finally the 4th event will be a science-inspired party of sorts (having kids doing fun science things).  I'm a high school science teacher so this is my "jam" of sorts.  Which I guess brings me to another reason to do this.  All the "Kool Kids" events are things I like to do and want to do with my son.  Science, Rock & Roll, Lego and Hockey, so maybe a selfish reason?? 

YEG INSPIRED: I think it's a pretty darn good reason!  You have another event as well coming up, the Hangouts?  

RAD DADS:  The Whiskey tasting was initiated by Have Mercy and I've been calling these Rad Dads Hangouts.  Have Mercy reached out to our group and this provides another opportunity to meet up and get together. The Whiskey Tasting is taking place on April 18 at Have Mercy Southern Table & Bar from 8-10pm. The Cost is $25 for food, booze and a whiskey education from the people at Wildturkey. Spaces are limited so you'll want to get on the list by emailing kristian.basaraba AT gmail dot com to reserve your space. 

RAD DAD's graphics and promotional material is designed by the talented,  Nigel Hood

RAD DAD's graphics and promotional material is designed by the talented,  Nigel Hood

YEG INSPIRED : I love that you've started this group and brought it to the Edmonton scene. Why is it important for you

RAD DADS : It's important for dads to get support in the "trials and tribulations" in this parenting game.  I want to erase the whole "deadbeat dad" attitude that is still prevalent out there today.  There are many dads that are highly involved in the lives of their kids and sometimes I don't think they have a voice or opportunity to share their experiences, this group provides that avenue.  

YEG INSPIRED: Thanks for taking the time to email and chat with the YEG Inspired Community. It's fantastic to see a group like yours come to the city to change peoples thinking and encourage support, something that YEG Inspired believes in strongly! 

To connect with the local chapter of RAD DAD's, or to join an upcoming event follow them on social media at Facebook, Instagram, and on Twitter

 

Preparing for a Connected Portrait Session | Edmonton Photographer

We have all been there. You're lined up, standing awkwardly with your family, and then the photographer says the cringe-inducing phrase, “Everyone, look at me and say Cheese!”. Most photographers (myself included!) have been guilty of using this technique at some point in their career.  If a photographer doesn't go into a session with the priority of capturing genuine interaction and connections, it's almost impossible for the result to be images that have authentic emotion.

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Over the last several years, my style of photography has shifted. The way I approach a session now is fundamentally different.  I will always take a few images with everyone looking at the camera, but my real goal is to capture those true, intimate moments. In my experience, the more comfortable my clients are, the more likely the final images will be a true expression of their family.  I invest time before the session to get to know them: all of my sessions include a complimentary pre-session consultation where I chat with my clients about their children, learn their likes and dislikes, and hear about their unique personalities. When I pick up the camera to photograph their sessions, I usually feel like we're old friends.  My clients love the whole experience too and often say things like, "We had so much fun!", and "That was so natural feeling!". When I, as the photographer, am relaxed and having a good time photographing my clients, they're having a good time too and those natural interactions with their loves are achieved so much more easily.

There are a lot of great tips that I could give you about getting ready for a portrait session that just focus on timing and preparation... Like, Maternity Sessions are best scheduled between 28-34 weeks.  This will vary for every mama, depending on how you are carrying. Ideal timing is when you still feel great and your belly is round and prominent, and before you get too heavy and uncomfortable.  And, Newborn sessions are ideally scheduled between 5-10 days old, when your baby is still sleepy and squishy and curling up like they were in the womb.  Babies older than two weeks will not curl up the same way that they do when they're brand new, but you can still get great images if you've missed the "newborn" window. Older babies will start to show personality, give great eye contact and often will have started to fill out with sweet chunkiness and adorable baby rolls. These are important things to know and take into consideration while you are planning for your session, but won't help you achieve those intimate connections.

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The number one thing that I can tell you that will result in connected images with your family is to just relax. You may think this is obvious, but it's really, really hard to put into practice. I think as mothers, we all want our children to be perfect, and look perfect, and behave in a perfect way at all times, but that is just not reality.  I want to capture that unique personality - the pouting 2 year old, the melting down three year old, and the goofy eight year old.  Don't tell your children to look at the camera and smile.  When they are misbehaving, pouting and crying don't yell at them, or try and bribe them. Create moments. Talk to them. Cuddle them. Tell them secrets. Share a joke. Lift them over your head. Let them run. These are your imperfectly perfect children. These are the memories that you need to have.

For more tips to create organic portraits and connections in your session, download my free guide, "Creating Organic Portraits and Connected Images"

I am Jamie and redwagon photography is my boutique, cozy home based studio in Edmonton, Alberta. Organic, natural light portraits that showcase connection and emotion are my specialty.

RED WAGON PHOTOGRAPHY SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS

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What the BLEEP am I doing?

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I don’t know. Is that the baby monitor or my alarm clock? It is 3 am and I would JUST really like to go back to sleep. That baby monitor gives me so much anxiety. He is breathing, so I should fall back asleep but I can’t. I mute the baby monitor, but can’t help feeling guilty.

When I see scissors or a knife, morbid thoughts appear. What am I doing? Am I being a bad mother for having thoughts that I don’t seem to have any control of? Maybe my family is better off without me if I’m that crazy. Self-loathing and more intrusive self-harming thoughts ensue, which perpetually feeds the anxiety. I scored poorly on the postnatal depression survey, and was referred to Managing Motherhood. It wasn’t, however, until I started seeking cognitive behavioural therapy (through AHS) that I could co-exist with such thoughts by not giving anxiety any power.

Parenting without a reliable village is isolating and difficult. Other than my husband, no one else can help with the night waking. Post a photo of my smiling baby, it gathers 75 likes on social media. Nobody knows what I’m going through on a daily basis: feeling guilty or judged, inadequate, alone, and exhausted.

Our parenting journey has not been perfect. Our birth plans did not go accordingly. My anxiety began when we didn’t know if Art was going to live (it took over 20 minutes to resuscitate him in the delivery room). I gave him a quick kiss on his left cheek before he was whisked away to a ventilation machine in a different room. I lost a lot of blood and could not breastfeed properly. Not only was recovery hard, but trying to nurse Art enough was also challenging. He just barely missed having the feeding tube re-inserted during his 8-day stay in NICU.

As a new parent, it was hard not to let any advice or old wives’ tales impact my confidence and self-esteem. Reading parenting books just caused more anxiety, not less. But there is a reason why there are so many parenting books being sold – there is no right or wrong when it comes to parenting. It finally hit home when I was attending the “I Am a Parent” seminar hosted by Southwest Early Year that I have been struggling with naming my own emotions. I cried in my seat at the seminar. I grew up in a dismissive and authoritative parenting environment where I was not allowed to express any feelings. I hid them. I often don’t know what I am doing and it isn’t healthy if I do not have any coping strategies when I feel overwhelmed. It is only through recent therapy that I am starting to acknowledge every feeling (including doubt) while knowing that it is okay to have these feelings, that I am okay. 

If you can relate with my experience, please know that you are not alone. Visit your nearest Parent Link Centre (PLC) to register for resources they provide. The PLC at Jasper Place hosts empathy coaching (contact Pam) and Family Futures in Milhurst and Westbrook host Managing Motherhood (contact Lori).

If you are experiencing a crisis and need immediate help, there is the 24/7 Crisis Response Team (780-342-7777). Dropinyeg.ca provides free drop-in counselling services. Alberta Mental Health Services is also a no-fee self-referral program: 780-342-7700.

 

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 Born and raised in Brunei, where co-sleeping is a cultural norm, Cynthia Priest is a cloth-diapering and baby-wearing first time mother, who loves to cook and bake. Cynthia plays and teaches piano, develops recipes, maintains a food blog, Cynful Kitchen, and aspires to write a cookbook in the near future.
Photography: Lorraine Marie Fotography

 

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of the publisher. Yeg Inspired welcomes your opinions and comments, individuals leaving comments are responsible for their own actions, abusive, degrading , racist comments will be deleted and removed without notification. 

It’s Time to Feel Good About Feeding by Rachel Jones

As a first-time mom, feeding my baby was a constant source of concern, but I’m realizing that, after fifteen months, it didn’t have to be. While pregnant, I had read and heard unfamiliar terms like lactation, let-down, latch, supply, top-up, formula, donor milk, colostrum, mastitis, expressing, engorgement, pumping, bottle-feeding, solids, purees, infant cereal, and baby-lead weaning. Feeding seemed to be a big topic, but nothing I couldn’t handle. 

Once my baby was born, and breastfeeding began, I started to experience what some of these words meant. I felt overwhelmed. I wanted to give up. I sobbed to my mom, telling her I didn’t have the strength to keep it up for much longer. I wondered if I should be nursing on a set schedule, if I was producing enough milk, or if I was eating something that upset caused my baby. I thought my son would miraculously sleep through the night if I fed him formula, but I felt guilty if I gave it to him; it was a time-consuming (and sometimes embarrassing) process to get my boob out; trying to bottle-feed felt like more effort than pumping; and my boy has a tongue and lip tie, so we had to work at getting him to latch properly. It felt like an endless struggle. 

Once I’d met other moms who had difficulties, my perspective changed. Some of my friends were unable to breastfeed due to post-partum depression and anxiety, physical pain, or an anatomical inability to express milk. Some babies couldn’t latch. Some babies were fed formula or donor milk from their first day of life. Some mothers pumped exclusively just to bottle-feed breastmilk. I wasn’t the only one who felt overwhelmed, guilty, or concerned about feeding my baby. I started to feel better – because it was tough for everyone.

After three months, my baby and I had a routine down. At five months, he was trying solids. But then the worry crept back again – this time, about food variety. I would buy one of every vegetable, making a puree for each. It was time consuming and sometimes frustrating to have my baby reject it. But, I kept at it. And it got better and better. Six, nine, twelve, and now fifteen months have gone by, and guess what? We are still breastfeeding, imagine that!

I wish I could rewind the clock and tell myself to keep it simple. I’d tell myself to trust my instinct and mute the opinions of others unless they were positive. I’d be more confident in my choices and adapt when I felt the need. I would reach out for more support and I’d try to feel good about my choices from the beginning, for myself and for my baby. 

 
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Rachel Jones is an up-and-coming local blogger and new mother, who recently left the desk job of her dreams to parent full-time. She is a talker, connector, planner and community enthusiast, who enjoys living in the heart of Downtown Edmonton with her young family. Learning as she goes, Rachel is writing about important places, news, events, and resources for new parents and centralizing it all on her blog, Edmomton. 

 

RESOURCE LISTING 

HOSPITAL

Grey Nuns: 780.735.7346

Misericordia Hospital: 780.735.2577 

Royal Alexandra: 780.735.4605


INDEPENDENT LACTATION CONSULTANTS    

Lactopia Lactation Services: lee-ann@lactopialactation.ca / 780.278.2662

Roots Family Services: kim@rootsfamilyservices.com / 780.490.8902

Fiona Lang-Sharpe: fionalangsharpe@gmail.com / 780.886.6818


LA LECHE LEAGUE

La Leche League facilities offer free group and one-on-one breastfeeding support in your community. Meetings are held by volunteers and are listed online. Go to www.lllc.ca and search your area for information on the meeting date, time, and location. Call 1.800.665.4324 if you have questions. 

Notes: IBCLC means International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.


*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of the publisher. Yeg Inspired welcomes your opinions and comments, individuals leaving comments are responsible for their own actions, abusive, degrading , racist comments will be deleted and removed without notification. 

Top Three Travel Perks from the Edmonton International Airport

This is the legalese to let you know that this post is sponsored by the the fine folks of the Edmonton International Airport, all opinions are my own. 

Edmonton International Airport (EIA) invited me to take a tour of the airport with some local bloggers, do a little airport shopping and introduce us to some of their amazing services they offer local travellers. Here's my list of top 3 travel perks when you're travelling through YEG! 

1. TRAVEL PERKS

Most people have the idea that shopping or dining at the EIA can be overpriced, it's surprisingly not. In fact, if you know you'll be flying this season, I'd recommend their EIA Rewards Program. It's free and you'll save money with exclusive discounts, you'll enjoy free premium unlimited Wi-Fi in the terminal and save 25% off the Plaza Premium Lounge and 30% on parking fees, bonus! 
They also have Valet Parking, helping you unload luggage to get you on your way! Their valet and concierge also offers complimentary coat check, a perk if you don't want to bring your winter coat on your travels, the upside is instead of leaving it in the car, it'll be warm on your arrival home! 

The Plaza Premium Lounge, offers comfortable seating while you wait for your flight and no age restrictions. 

The Plaza Premium Lounge, offers comfortable seating while you wait for your flight and no age restrictions. 

The Plaza Premium lounge, may not be on your radar but the lounge is a great way to kick off your holiday or if you're travelling solo for a mom's getaway, it offers exceptional value and should be added to your itinerary. For $40 for 2 hrs per person, you'll be able to enjoy comfortable seating, enjoy a meal (yes, it's included) and enjoy a drink. In fact you can enjoy 4 alcoholic beverages making this an amazing deal. If you have the EIA rewards, you'll save even more! 
The lounge is open from 4:30 am to midnight daily
 

2. SHOPPING

Shopping at the EIA I came across some great deals and found a couple of gift ideas and last minute purchases for friends and family. Here's a list of my favourites while shopping with our guides and fellow bloggers.

 Cookies by George
A tin of cookies for a hostess gift is great way to start off the trip and let your host/ess know how much you appreciate them. A small tin of six cookies starts at 17.95 and includes cellophane wrap, making it a cute gift on the go! 
Tip: You can call them in advance for a cookie order (link above) and it'll be ready for pick up once you go through security!

Chapters & Indigo

I won't hide the fact that Chapters is one of my favourite places to shop and having a location in the airport is an added bonus! They have a great kids section with products from Melissa & Doug and a fantastic assortment of holiday books for the kids, plus you can always grab a trade paperback or journal and treat yourself! 

The dynamic duo of bloggers featured above, Lil'Bean, The UnDad & Mrs.Undad! 

The dynamic duo of bloggers featured above, Lil'Bean, The UnDad & Mrs.Undad! 

HBC Trading Post

Like a smaller version of the Bay, I found the exclusive HBC Limited Edition Barbie (retails for $59.99, same price as listed in store) It's a great gift for any Barbie collector on your Christmas list! The HBC store also carries their signature sweaters in a variety of sizes, sleepers for little ones, knit teddy bears, and my favourite, latte mugs for $15 a piece! Yes, I did pick up two! 

Discover Alberta
This store carries not only Canadian favourites like classic maple syrup but Edmonton favourites as well, including sports tees of your favourite teams, military tees and travel bags, plus they carry one of my favourite personal care products from The Rocky Mountain Soap company., like the butter sticks and their line of heavenly smelling bar soaps.

Tech on the Go
For all the tech junkies on your list, this shop carries head phones, speakers, portable chargers for your electronics and if you forget any cords, they more than likely have it! 

3. ANXIETY FREE TRAVEL 

I love to fly but I get anxious and little stressed making sure we have everything we need for our trips but while shopping with EIA, my fellow bloggers and I were introduced to a new program from the Pet Therapy Society where they are doing a trial helping anxious passengers to calm their nerves before a flight by enjoying a visit with one of their friendly pooches! From what I hear, they also have cats and rabbits so keep your eyes peeled as they roam the airport with their guides.

Image by Lorraine-Marie

One last little perk and travel tip, and this one is a bonus, if you or your kids play Pokemon Go, you'll be interested to know that the EIA is home to a bunch of Wild Pokemon. Let the EIA know via social media and they may even drop a couple of lures for you!  

To connect with EIA or find more information on their services you can visit FLY EIA

Article by: Lorraine Stephanyshyn, Images provided by Lorraine-Marie

 

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of the publisher. Yeg Inspired welcomes your opinions and comments, individuals leaving comments are responsible for their own actions, abusive, degrading , racist comments will be deleted and removed without notification. 

Edmonton Magazine Launches at the Valley Zoo

Welcome to YEG Inspired! 

On Wednesday October 26th, we celebrated the launch of our Baby Issue with a local event sponsored by Quikcard & hosted at the Valley Zoo in their Otter Room where we revealed YEG Inspired's new look, with a small trade show featuring three local businesses that have helped us on our journey: Park City Doula's, Hot Mama Fitness & House of Posie

Box Social Event Planning brought along a wonderful winter themed sensory bin for the kids, with halloween bags and colouring activities sponsored by Lorraine Marie Fotography

With 65 in attendance each guest received a swag bag of goodies including a copy of the magazine with door prizes sponsored by local businesses including Portage & Main, Park City Doula's, Ruby Thursday Collective and Hot Mama Fitness
 

On behalf of Athena Raypold (YEG Inspired's editor) & Lorraine Stephanyshyn (YEG Inspired's Founder & Publisher) we wish to thank everyone that has supported us along the way. To both our families, thank you for your support and encouragement, to each advertiser that invested in the magazine we could not have done this without you and wish you the greatest success! YEG Inspired is a free magazine, your support has made this all possible! THANK YOU! 

One final note, we would like to thank each person who brought a donation to the launch party in support of Basically Babies. A local organization that helps to provide families in extreme need in the greater Edmonton area by outfitting families with a year supply of baby clothing. I (Lorraine), was reminded of this wonderful organization by Edmonton blogger, Rachel Jones of Edmomton. Rachel, organized a volunteer night for several of us moms where we sorted through donations and took a tour of the facility learning about some of Basically Babies greatest needs. We rallied together to put a call out for boys sleepers on behalf of the organization and our tally from our launch party event is 57 sleepers plus an assortment of bibs, onesies, boys outfits, sleep sacks and a pair of brand new shoes.