<![CDATA[I Citizen Magazine - Articles]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 06:38:40 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[How Many Blueberries Can a Breastfeeding mom Pick?]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:30:00 GMThttp://icitizenmag.com/articles/how-many-blueberries-can-a-breastfeeding-mom-pickHow Many Blueberries Can a Breastfeeding mom Pick? The answer is not as many as she'd like to!
<![CDATA[Birch Bay Kite Fest 2017]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:30:00 GMThttp://icitizenmag.com/articles/birch-bay-kite-fest-2017
Birch Bay is a tiny beach side community and their Kite Fest is small town in the best way. It isn't just a bunch of over polished chances to spend money. I love the simple joy of watching my son run around to look at every kite and be amazed.

You can buy tasty bites to eat at the festival but I love to bring yummies with us like grapes and crackers. We mainly wander around and take everything in. This year my son went wild for the jump houses.
Bring your shovel and bucket so everyone can dig and play in the low tide sands while looking up at all the flying kites. 

Birch Bay has warm water in the summer and it's lovely to dip your feet in the warm bay waters.

This year's jump house was run by a very rude lady but we still had a blast. He all but tried to take a nap in there from fun exhaustion.
If you have a little one that loves the sights, sounds and colors of kites then bring them out to this fun, small festival with music and even rescue dogs you can pet and love up. 
I enjoy having the chance to relax and just be together as our little family. Be present and loving and your children will notice.

<![CDATA[5 great tips for your dating profile and Match Stories]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 03:29:33 GMThttp://icitizenmag.com/articles/5-great-tips-for-your-dating-profile-and-match-stories
<![CDATA[Summer Preschool for home schooling moms]]>Sat, 12 Aug 2017 17:30:00 GMThttp://icitizenmag.com/articles/summer-preschool-for-home-schooling-momsYou can have great fun homeschooling your preschooler during good weather. Here are some of my easy tips, suggestions and fun ideas.
<![CDATA[Hello August]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 17:30:00 GMThttp://icitizenmag.com/articles/hello-augustPicture
I love august, it’s always been a time when I slowed down work a bit and put effort into relaxing a tad more. When I first started I Citizen we’d take all of august off but now I'm working everyday on my projects. I know, it’s a lucky problem to have.  

A big check mark for August is finishing up my painting and refinishing on all my cabinets. I started in June and between motherhood, work, a cold and so much else it’s taken me a long time to finish. They are going from an old and yellow oak to crisp white that fits way better with my seaside local. 

This might sound small but I am so looking forwards to swimming more this month. My son loves swimming and this is the first year he can swim without me holding on to him at every moment. It’s been three years since I last got to swim and now I can safely swim around my son and relax a bit. 

Have you seen my blueberry video? If you have then you know I am so excited to be going blackberry picking this month. I readily admit that last winter was hard on both my son and I. We had moved from a very warm and sunny place to long nights and cold weather. One of the highlights for us was having a freezer full of berries we had picked in the summer to bake with and have fun eating. 

A huge happy point in August for me is being done with editing my book. I am so excited about Milkosaurus coming out September 28th; it has been such an effort of love and a desire to share valuable information for all moms. Being finished with editing and writing my book frees up a bit of daylight to play with my son and explore our lovely area.
What are you most excited for in August?

<![CDATA[How to really see people]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 17:30:00 GMThttp://icitizenmag.com/articles/how-to-really-see-people
A large part of my journey to understanding that my flaws are really some pretty great strengths has been to realize and internalize how much I have learned from not really seeing people for who they are. When someone tells you who they are watch and wait. When they show you who they are, pay attention.
What do people say? You would be amazed at how much people are willing to say about their true selves. We should all quiet our inner noise and listen to the people around us. If a friend tells they're moody and rude, listen. If someone you love says they need support, listen. If we really want to "see" the people around us for who they are then we need to listen as well as look. It can be easy to get distracted by all the busy hums we shroud ourselves in. We're busy, we're tired, we're focused on ourselves to exclusion of all other details. To be happy you have to understand who people really are and to do that you need to stop and pay attention.
Who has offered to help you in the last week? First you need to define what "help" means to you. It might be a phone call from a friend, it might be cleaning the kitchen from a spouse. If the people around you aren't offering help and real connections through being there for each other then you should reevaluate what they are doing in your life.
Do they ever do something for you that doesn't help them? Sometimes we will allow someone in our life that just isn't good for us. When we really take the time to see them we realize that they are just leeching off our energy and not giving anything back.
When was the last time you felt free around these people? The biggest gift we can give the people around us is to allow them the freedom to be themselves without judging or evaluating them. Look around and see who the folks nearest you really are.

4 ways to really see people

1. Believe what people say about themselves.

2. Understand the value of being yourself around someone.

3. Consider what the last kind thing they did for you was.

4. Why do you think they are good to be around?

<![CDATA[what’s in the diaper bag, crawling]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 17:30:00 GMThttp://icitizenmag.com/articles/whats-in-the-diaper-bag-crawlingPicture
When I was a new mom with a just barley crawling baby I had to figure out what the heck I was supposed to  put in my diaper bag. Suddenly my son was getting dirty, crawling to grab stuff off the floor with glee and his diaper bag needs changed.

What’s in the diaper bag, crawling:

1 diaper for every 2 hours you’re out (also always error on the side of too many). If you’re cloth diapering bring an extra shower cap style cover in case of poo-plosions. 

Extra pair of pants/ leggings. My son went through his oneises like lightening and I learned that a pair of leggings always worked great so I didn't have to change his shirt, just pants.

Bring all the toys; no, actually I discovered that a few lightweight toys were the key to a happy outing. Throw in the diaper bag three chewable toys, something that rattles and I love silicone big baking cups for a cheap toy that is food grade and easy for tiny hands to manipulate.

Teething tablets. As your baby learns to crawl they're often at the teething  age. While I'm still not sure they work, teething tablets are fun for baby to comp on.

Pack the basics: corn starch, diaper wipes and diaper cream. 

A portable changing pad is great for having to change at the park, beach or bathroom counter. Personally I’ve tried to edge off the cleanliness cliff by not spraying down the changing tables at every bathroom. Because  as a single mom I just have to let some things slide but you can make your own changing table cleaner. Mix, in a small spray bottle, equal parts cider vinegar and water. You can mist it over the surfaces and then wipe down. If baby touches the cleaning solution it is pretty natural will not cause the reactions some cleaners do. 

Be brave mommy, go out into the world with a well packed diaper bag and get out of the house.

<![CDATA[Powell River on the Sunshine Coast RV Trip]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 17:30:00 GMThttp://icitizenmag.com/articles/powell-river-on-the-sunshine-coast-rv-trip
On long drives, ferries are actually a godsend because we can unbuckle and walk around to break up the driving.
Powell river is a pretty neat place on the sunshine coast. Take time to drive around the historic buildings and stop at the playground for lots of fun.

Bring a towel for picnicking on the lawn and a shovel and bucket for digging in the sand.  
My son and I had a great time just mellowing out after driving all over. He was ready for a fun playground and saw it outside the RV window. In fact we had to turn around because he was so excited by the playground and splash park.
Pack shorts for frolicking  little ones in the splash park with its own little mini lighthouse. 

The campground is right on the playground and seaside. It was lovely and my second favorite place to stay on this RV trip.
PictureWatching all the Vancouver island ferries was so much fun. Keep your eyes peeled for a New TODDLER TUBE video on these awesome ferries.
You can only reach Powell River by ferries, in fact it took us two ferries to get there and was well worth it. 

Don't eat out, instead pick up food at one of the big grocery stores and take it to the park. You can lay in the sand and look out at the Vancouver island ferries.
I thought this area was just beautiful and was a great place to stay for a couple days of relaxing and playing.

My son loved the playground. He did not want to leave and there was even an ice cream stand right up the hill for soft ice cream cones.
Coming in on our 2nd ferry to get to Powell River was so much fun. We counted all the boats and ate snacks while on the ferry.
<![CDATA[I am not raising a gifted child]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 17:30:00 GMThttp://icitizenmag.com/articles/i-am-not-raising-a-gifted-child
I am not trying to raise a gifted, genius child. I am trying to be a guide as my son learns how to be happy. Focus on a kind child. Recently, I read about the statistics behind parents teaching their children to win. It was more important to most parents than happiness or kindness. When you take your focus with parenting off of your need to raise a gifted child you can refocus on helping your little one become kind. Kindness is vital to give ourselves a happy life. If we don't teach kids to be kind to themselves how can we teach them to have empathy and kindness to other people.

When your son cries tell him it is ok to cry, allow him to express his feelings to you and himself. Do not tell him to stop crying or that his feelings are not valid. Everyone, even little kids what to have their feelings validated. If you never allow your son to express his feelings he will never know how to understand everyone else's feelings.

Hug him and show him how to express affection and kindness. You are his first and most powerful person to mimic. If you're kind and giving and allow him to explore how to show kindness your son will be better ready for a life of kindness.

Do not dismiss his feelings. I see dads all the time dismissing their child's feelings, just as their feelings were dismissed out of hand. Moms often go along with this, unsure how to react. Tell your son it's okay, big feelings are normal and it doesn't make you weak or dumb to show them.

Smart and wise are different coins. I know a lot of moms who want a smart kid and push them to achieve without ever considering how to instill a little bit of wisdom. Focus on a wise toddler. I can see my son learning in front of my eyes. He is learning to pick up cues from everyone around him. I'm guiding him by using his observations to understand what is a wise decision. Should he stick a folk down my pants because dinner is taking too long? No, he should not.

Look at your own emotional support. What are you offering to your child? If all I did was show my son how to be what I wanted I would be a pretty bad mommy. Instead we focus together on what makes him gifted as a unique little person.

<![CDATA[What I learned dropping my son off for 'day-care' for the first time]]>Mon, 10 Jul 2017 16:30:00 GMThttp://icitizenmag.com/articles/what-i-learned-dropping-my-son-off-for-day-care-for-the-first-time

What I learned dropping my son off for 'day-care' for the first time

My son's life has always included me as his caregiver. I am always there to be mama for him and the longest we have ever been apart is an hour and forty-five minutes. This year we took a short cruise to get some warmth, sunshine and family time (toddler meltdowns at sea, yay!) and while on board I dropped him off at the day-care factuality on board. I had read good things, there were cameras everywhere I could watch and I got a special phone for direct calls. Truth be told, I thought it would be harder for me than for my two year old. After 12 minutes, half of which were spent watching him from the camera monitor I got a panicked but nice phone call that I needed to come get him as he was melting down. I found out that he had gotten so upset as soon as he realized I wasn't right around the corner that he vomited all over himself and the playroom.
I felt horrible for trying to drop him off but also relieved that we tested it out and I wasn't just being a cling-on mom who couldn't let him out of my sight. Most of the time I am a pretty laid-back mama. I just want to help my son navigate his way into a happy, kind and productive adulthood that will help him be proud of himself and loving towards good people. Trying to drop my son off taught me to continue to follow my mommy gut and believe that I really do know my son best of all. He is a sensitive and caring little terror of a monkey and needs the security of his mom.
As a breastfeeding advocate I often tell parents to believe in themselves and to toss society's rules out of the window of their life. Well, I want to offer support for mamas that know the best place for their babies is right by their side.

"Be Brave Enough to Know When All They Need Is Mom"

I have heard firsthand just how often everyone around us mamas want to tell us what to do with our little toddlers. It is almost impossible to go anywhere and not hear about cry it out, time outs, daycare and toughening up a boy. 
Sometimes the very best place for a child to be is with their mommy. Kids grow up so fast and these short, powerfully formative years are precious. Dropping my son off for a few minutes and seeing how he reacted when I returned taught me a lot. I had to carry him back to our room and cuddle him for hours. He had been so worried that I wasn't there. The idea of mom not being around is so foreign to so many kids and I don't think that is a bad thing.