Browsing Tag


Under Pressure: Mothering in The Age of Perfection

baby, FAM, self By April 9, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 5 Comments

There are more than a few reasons I am happy I waited until my mid-30’s to have a baby (and a few reasons I am not, but that’s for another post), and when I did give birth at 37 and decided to hit some of the mom-and-baby library groups, it became abundantly clear what exactly had made waiting right for me.

Being a people watcher and an armchair psychologist, I had a good look around. The moms were all younger than me; I wasn’t the oldest, thankfully, due to the grandmother unsuccessfully wrangling her grandchildren to the circle and the elderly librarian trying to grab their attention.

diagnosing autism

Diagnosing Autism

FAM, health By May 20, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , No Comments

The process of diagnosing Autism in a child can be a little bit difficult for parents at home since it involves a series of observations on a child’s behaviour. Specialists in this field agree that it is best to identify and treat this disorder in children at an early age. Parents are usually concerned about the warning signs to look out for in their babies for them to be concerned. There are particular signs that children who end up with this disorder start exhibiting at a tender age. There are standard Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) indicators which are very common to autistic children.

Indicators of Autism

These indicators include: inability to babble words, point or make a meaningful motion at least by the age of 1 year, inability to speak or pronounce at least a word by 16 months of age, inability to respond to name, loss of language and interactive ability, inability to maintain good eye contact, signs of hearing impairment, inability to play with toys lack or absence of smiles.

According to Autism Canada, all individuals with the diagnosis demonstrate some of the following:

  • Impairment in Social relationships
  • Deficits in communication/language
  • Perseveration on interests and activities
  • Dependence on routine
  • Abnormal responses to sensory stimulation
  • Behaviour problems
  • Variability of intellectual functioning
  • Uneven development profile
  • Difficulties in sleeping, toileting and eating
  • Immune irregularities
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Gastrointestinal problems

These signs are not in themselves a confirmation of autism in a child. The signs are meant to be warning signals which a parent should act on if they observe any of it in their child. The next thing to do when any of the indicators mentioned above is observed is to consult your paediatrician or family doctor. With the support of an occupational, speech and physical therapist a doctor will be able to appropriately diagnose the disorder in a child or confirm otherwise.

Strengths Exhibited by People with Autism

Although some areas of development in a child with autism are delayed, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often exhibit skills beyond their years in other areas. These intellectual strengths may overshadow the developmental problems experienced by your child. These strengths may include one or more of the following:

  • Non-verbal reasoning skills
  • Reading skills
  • Perceptual motor skills
  • Drawing skills
  • Computer interest and skills
  • Exceptional memory
  • Visual Spatial abilities
  • Music skills

For additional information, Autism Canada is a fabulous resource.

camping with kids

Tips for Camping with Kids and Babies

Canada, GEAR, holidays, kids, LIVE, ROAM, USA By July 31, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , 4 Comments

Pre-kids, you used to hoist a bunch of stuff onto your back, portage a canoe and enjoy a romantic long weekend in the woods.  Suddenly, there were three of you.  Or four.  Do camping and kids mix? Absolutely and we’ve got tips for camping with kids and babies so you don’t have to throw away your old life when you have children – you just have to adapt.  By integrating the things you love into your parenting approach, your kids will learn from your excitement, and you will be a happier person. We interviewed avid woods-Mom Carrie Roxburgh, a Canadian mom of boys who was a skilled camper pre-kids.  She’s helped us compile the UrbanMommies top 20 list of stuff you need to know when camping with children:
1.  Car Camping.  Drive in, leave the cooler in the car, and don’t even try to hike into a campsite with the amount of stuff you need.  There are lots of great fun, kid-friendly campsites.

2.  You’ll need a bigger tent, 6 x 6 x 6.  Mountain Equipment Co-op is always reasonable and great quality.  And grab a tarp while you’re there.

3.  Get a cooler on wheels.

4.  While a 7 oz camp stove used to suffice, you’ll need something a bit larger, like a Coleman 2-burner stove.

5.  Invest in a Kettle.

6.  One of the biggest differences post kids for Carrie was meal planning.  In considering nutrition for her kids, she realized that you can’t just eat hotdogs and freeze dried food (darn).  She pre-cuts veggies and loads up on tinfoil so that there are always healthy sides for the kids.

7.  Bring your old smaller tent and split up your children at bedtime to make getting them to sleep easier.  Transfer them into your own larger tent later.

8.  Make sure you bring a few comforts of home for the kids: teddy bears and pillows are great.

9.  Shopping for special new kids’ sleeping bags makes the experience all the more memorable.

10.  Don’t forget the toys! Trucks, sand toys, and sports stuff make outdoors fun, and board games can be played in the tent during rain.

11.  Speaking of which… don’t forget rain gear.

12.  A Wagon – that way the kids can help schlep stuff too.  (And it can make for some super-fun photo ops).

13.  Bug sprays are a must, but with kids, you have to be careful.  If Avon Skin so Soft isn’t your preference, you can try: Buzz Away, available at Lavish and Lime.

14.  Lifejackets: if you’re by a lake, save yourself a panic attack and make a rule that life jackets have to be worn at all times when near the water.

15.   Baby Wipes.  No explanation needed.

16.  Lots of warm clothes.

17.  Sunscreen: Badger and Green Beaver are great picks, available at Raspberry Kids

18. Buy milk in tetra packs that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

19.  Glow sticks (and flashlights with extra batteries).

20. First Aid Kit for the little boo-boos.  And while you’re at it, program emergency numbers and the number for the campground or park into your cell phone.

Fun Ideas:

–       Keep a journal
–       Talk about the birds and the bees.  No really.
–       Talk about bear awareness and maybe a game of charades would be fun at this point
–       Give each child a disposable camera

Kid-friendly Campgrounds across Canada:

Try the Canadian Tire Campsite Selector

British Columbia: You can book up to three months in advance of your arrival, online at Discover Camping, or call at 1-800-689-9025.

Alberta: 1-800-ALBERTA).


Prince Edward Island

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia


– Jill Amery would love to take the kids camping, particularly if it means that we don’t have to pick up Lego pieces.

breech baby

Can acupuncture help turn a breech baby?

FAM, pregnancy By December 16, 2008 Tags: , , , , No Comments

Between the weeks of 28 – 32 of your pregnancy, most babies turn into the head down position. Once they have turned, they usually stay in this position because their head is the heaviest part of their body. However, some babies want to be close to their mommy’s heart so we find them in the breech presentation. Can acupuncture help turn a breech baby?