Monday, April 28, 2014

I'll break it down for you.

Attachment Parenting. Gasp! This is one simple concept that, in my opinion, has been blown way out of proportion. Over the past year it's been made apparent to me that when I utter the word "attachment parenting' it comes out as a whisper, a mumble or a rushed acronym. Often I avoid eye contact, because for some reason, using the term 'attachment parenting' can be considered controversial or even confrontational. It's ridiculous, and I'll tell you why: attachment parenting is nothing to be afraid of. It's kind and it's gentle, by nature. So, I'm holding my head up high, I'm making eye contact and I'm announcing it - I believe in attachment parenting.

What is attachment parenting?
Attachment parenting is the basic belief that the relationship between child and parent is the most important facet of parenting (of life!). According to Attachment Parenting International, there are 8 principals that provide the foundation for attachment parenting:

1. Prepare for pregnancy, birth and parenting
2. Feed with love and respect
3. Respond with sensitivity
4. Use nurturing touch
5. Ensure safe sleep, physically and emotionally
6. Provide consistent and loving care
7. Practice positive discipline
8. Strive for balance in your personal and family life.

Sounds terrifying, doesn't it? I joke, but AP has developed quite a stigma. Due to the misconceptions surrounding AP, many people have written it off, or are only aware of highly publicized AP parents and their personal parenting choices.

These 8 principals are far from groundbreaking. They may even come off as no-brainers, something all parents do without a second thought. Unfortunately, many of these principals are challenged by mainstream parenting beliefs that run the risk of stifling or damaging the connection between parent and child. Most of this is intuition, precious intuition that's been lost. AP parents use baby wearing, breastfeeding and co-sleeping to address many of the principals and to develop a strong bond in the early days of baby's life. As their child grows, AP parents strengthen their relationship through positive discipline practices. I could go further into detail, but I won't!

The funny thing about attachment parenting is that it is nothing new. Past civilizations and present cultures have been practicing AP for thousands of years. AP is rooted in legitimate research and historical truths as well as biological and evolutionary data. In other words, it's the way child-rearing used to be...the way it should be. I look at some of the front page concerns for modern day youth and I can't help but wonder if attachment parenting could save the world. Crazy? Maybe, but one can dream.

As a counselor, I've always been fascinated by the study of attachment. As a parent, I have been forever changed by the power of attachment. If any of this information struck a chord with you, let me know!

Interested? Here are a few more links:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


We had 2 consecutive days of beautiful weather last weekend, so we decided to take the leap and transfer our seedlings to the greenhouse. I can't take much credit, Ty has done all of the work - he's attended gardening classes, read books, draws maps and keeps a journal of his progress. I felt proud of myself for planting some herbs and flowers and for breaking a sweat while digging up our rhubarb plant. I swear I heard it say "Feed me, Seymour!" Everett ate more handfuls of dirt than I'm willing to admit, and Junior lounged around the yard, chasing the sunny spots. Last year was a crash course in gardening for us, and we were surprised when our raised boxes yielded a summers worth of lettuce, zucchini and broccoli. This year we're hoping to harvest beans, peppers, tomatoes and corn. I'm sure there's lots more, but I have limited access to Ty's master plan. Of course, Ty and I have been taking advantage of the satisfying ritual of enjoying a post-gardening beer...or three!

Monday, April 21, 2014

The ride

This week Everett learned how to catch a piggyback ride. Too fun! I love bounding around the house with him on my back, stopping to watch his delighted face in each mirror and window we pass. Lately I've found myself feeling wistful, thinking of how quickly Everett is transitioning from baby to toddler. Little things like this remind me of all that's to come as our family continues to grow.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Holding tight

Calgary was rocked by a tragedy this week. My gentle city is still reeling from the news of the violent murder of 5 university students at the hand of another student. Facts and details about the event are beginning to surface - nothing seems to make sense. One thing is certain, Calgarians have been holding their loved ones a bit tighter this week. It's unfortunate that it takes something like this to bring us back to the present, to be mindful of the fragility of life and the precious gifts we take for granted. As I upload these images I'm reminded of all the beauty in my life. Hold tight to your loved ones always and remember to respond with love, even when it seems impossible.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Nothing like a new pair of shoes!

Excuse the blurry photos. I only had my phone with me and I couldn't for the life of me get a shot of Everett standing still. He had a blast on his first trip to the shoe store! Now that Ev is walking, and summer is right around the corner, we decided it was time to get him a proper pair of shoes. We love our Padraig booties, but they're not suitable for mud, puddles and parks!
Upon several recommendations from friends, we decided to visit Little Footprints. Little Footprints is a local, family owned business aimed specifically at meeting the needs of small walkers. I was immediately impressed by the undivided attention we were given by Jasmine, one of the owners. Jasmine measured Ev's feet and then observed him walking in his bare feet and explained to me what she was looking for. She evaluated Ev's gait, balance, strength and confidence as he walked around the store. Taking into account future growth spurts, Jasmine helped me decide the best size to purchase.
Based on her assessment she selected about 12 different pairs of shoes that would be suitable for Everett. Jasmine then told me to choose the ones that appealed to me aesthetically and then we would see how they worked. I love that we were given a broad selection - style is everything! Everett ended up trying on 4 different pairs of shoes. It really was amazing to see how differently he moved in each pair! We decided on the pair of Stride Rite's that Ev is wearing in the big picture.
The entire process was quick, educational and fun! Also, Jasmine shared the price of each shoe with me before Everett tried them on - any new mom can appreciate that! Little Footprints also has a rewards program and keeps a file of your little one's shoe size in order to track growth and make purchasing shoes in the future simple. Another great local business that I'm happy to share with you!

Monday, April 7, 2014

You did what with your what!?

Yes, folks. I did it. I ate my placenta. Calm down, it's not what you think. I didn't season it and grill it up with onions and potatoes. I had a lovely, local mom dehydrate it, pulverize it and distribute it into gelatin capsules. My placenta yielded 191 pills, a vial of tincture and a small tub of salve. Are you still grossed out? Get over it. We humans consume much worse. Why placenta encapsulation? Well, my decision was based solely on faith - faith that my body would not fail me as I recovered from the trauma of birth. You see, when women give birth, they not only birth a baby, but they also birth the organ that they created to build the baby. The placenta gets no recognition! The placenta is responsible for providing nutrition to the baby as well as hormones to both mom and babe. Sadly, following most deliveries, the placenta is thrown in the garbage. Gasp! Not my placenta. Placenta consumption is said to aid in postpartum healing, energy, mood and milk supply. As a first time mom, I wanted to stack the deck in my favour. Obviously, I have no control group to compare my experience with, but I felt great in the weeks after Everett's birth. I had tons of energy and was blissfully happy. Seriously. I'd love to take all the credit for that - but I'll give it some to my hardworking, under appreciated placenta.

Interested? Read more about placentophagy here:’-post-partum-health