MODERNISTA MAMA

http://www.mixhart.ca/blog

A Mindful Mother's Quest To Raise Happy Children

What's the best part of raising a family in Canada?

What's the biggest misconception people have about raising a family in Canada?

What do your kids love most about living in Canada?

How do you get back to your pre-baby body?

Mix Hart

I know it is difficult (I've given birth to 3 babies). #1 breast feed--the baby sucks all the fat away. Honestly, if you eat a healthy diet, low in simple carbs, you might just get too thin breast feeding. With 2 of my babies, I lost too much weight breast feeding and had to up my caloric intake. As for exercise, once given to OK by your doctor to start serious exercising, I recommend Zumba. As a Zumba instructor, I can honestly report that all of those booty shakes will give you the strongest and leanest abs around--a bonus is that the moves are super for the pelvic floor muscles! Do 3 1h classes a week minimum to see results. Also, wear armor (by this I mean a super-support sports bra if you are breast feeding) :) Accept though, that your stomach skin after 3 or more babies will always be a bit wrinkled and saggy. But I live with the stretched skin as I think plastic surgery is too big a health risk to take for a little loose skin on the belly.
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What kinds of questions should I ask a potential care provider?

Mix Hart

Here is a big one! It weeds out those who may be heavy handed. Ask a potential nanny what she/he thinks about using "tough love" on occasion. One potential nanny interpreted this as her cue to tell us spanking is necessary on occasion and washing kids mouths out with soap too.
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What's the best family vacation destination in Canada?

Mix Hart

I live in The Okanagan so you might think I am biased when I say The Okanagan! But in truth, I have lived all over Canada from St. John NB to Vancouver BC, as far north as the Arctic Circle in the Yukon and as far south as Toronto ON. So, I know a good vacation spot when I find one. The Okanagan has amazing winter skiing at Silver Star and Big White but also gorgeous beaches and hiking trails in the summer. I am in love with the region's arid landscapes--dotted with giant Ponderosa Pine trees. Also, the lush valleys are lined with orchards and vineyards--there truly is something for everyone in the beautiful, sunny and warm Okanagan Valley :)
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What's your favorite activity to do in the winter with your family?

Mix Hart

We like to Toboggan. I live on the top of a mountain in British Columbia. Our yard backs a wilderness park. We just walk out our back door and have private hills as our playground. It really is wonderful and inexpensive family fun. Our dog even likes to slide :)
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What's a great indoor activity for kids that doesn't make a huge mess?

Mix Hart

If your kids are like my kids, they can find a way to make a mess out of seemingly nothing. So. that being said, I am a ZumbAtomics and a ZUmba instructor in my spare time. In my ZumbAtomics classes, we play a dance game that everyone adores and it is easy to play at home: Dancing Statues. Put on some dancing tunes. Stop the music and have the kids freeze in position. The first statue buyer (from an exotic location) presses the nose of the statue she/he wishes to see dance. The statue comes to life and dances (turn back on music) until the buyer claps his/her hands and the statue freezes in place again (pause music). This continues until the buyer has viewed all of the dancing statues. The buyer then decides which one to take home to his/her exotic mansion. The statue that was purchased now becomes the next buyer.
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What's your go-to snack for your kids?

Mix Hart

I like to keep healthy baked snacks on hand. I make a lot of muffins. My kids are super picky eaters. I bake with spelt flour as it has less of an impact on insulin levels and most kids are very susceptible to sugar rushes. My peanut butter chocolate chip spelt muffins were a real hit. http://queenmjhart.blogspot.com/2011/10/peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-spelt.html
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Can you recommend a stylish bag that is big enough for all the stuff moms tote around? Please share a link if you can.

Mix Hart

Canadian satchel designer Theresa Hart creates unique one of a kind bags for busy mom's for a reasonable price. She'll make clients custom designs to suit their personality. My life-long (fun) hero is Pippi Longstocking so she created a bag especially for me. Love it! http://queenmjhart.blogspot.com/2009/11/bouchons-or-bust.html
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What is your favorite quick breakfast recipe?

Mix Hart

http://queenmjhart.blogspot.com/2012/01/mamas-banana-cakes.html Enjoy my healthy take on banana cake for breakfast. On a recent trip to the Perhentian Islands in the South China Sea, I would walk to an outdoor restaurant every morning and order banana cake for breakfast. I've made a delicious banana muffin recipe to duplicate the tropical dreamy experience of eating banana cake for breakfast--yum!
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When your child has a friend who is a bad influence, what can you do?

Mix Hart

http://queenmjhart.blogspot.com/ This has happened to my daughters. Don't panic. Usually your child will eventually drift away from the friend if that friend truly is bad news. The best advice I can give is to try to give your child a little space from the friend. This may mean requesting your child be in a different classroom than the friend the next year. The best thing I did for my daughter was to change schools. I didn't do this because of a "bad influence" friend, but because we had to: bus route changes. However, it worked out for the best because after she left her "best friend," I learned the "best friend" had been bullying her for years and was more of a frenemy. The two completely drifted apart after the school change.
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