Monday, 30 September 2013

How To Get Your Dog(s) Ready For A Baby

  1. Dogs are Pack Animals and see everyone else in their family as another pack member even babies and small children.
  2. An adult dog has no problems telling off a puppy for behaviour they do not approve of, however most children are not capable of taking the correction most dogs would use.
  3. If a dog lives in the house with you, you are starting to blur the lines of where the dog is in the Pack which makes following Pack Structure rules (see below) all that much more important.
  4. Aggression trainers with decades of experience all agree that you never trust any dog with a baby or small child.  This is unfortunate because they become such close family friends. It just goes to show how careful one has to be around a small baby or child with a dog.  My preference is to have the dogs off to the side while the baby is around. Begin teaching the dogs that the baby is going be higher in pack structure right from day one.
  5.  Dogs that are high in energy and very smart tend to climb the pack structure hierarchy with a family.  If you have a dog that is smart and energetic you need to follow pack structure rules even more carefully.

Have Pack Structure in Place:
This is extremely important in today’s society as many people have a tendency to humanize their dogs and they think that spoiling them is a good thing.  The most unhappy dogs are spoiled, the happiest dogs are ones that have clear leadership and are expected to follow rules and as a bonus have some kind of a job.  Treat training has become very popular and it does teach dogs behaviours very quickly, however if people only use treat training many dogs will learn that they only need to do as asked when they feel like it.  You need to have consequences behind not following through on commands to really proof up obedience.  It doesn’t have to be harsh or mean but a dog must always follow through on whatever command you give and never give a command that you can’t make the dog follow through on.
Here are the Pack Structure Rules and tips from Dog Squad trainer in Calgary:
  1. Eating – The Alpha/pack leader (you/the humans) is entitled to food first and before any other dog.  Sometimes having scheduled feeding times and making the dog sit and wait for their food can help them to understand.  However I often find dogs that are free fed often have the fewest problems with food around other dogs and children as it is a ready resource.  Some dogs cannot have this luxury as they would overeat.  In this case make sure they learn to sit back and let other dogs, people, cats, children etc. go near their food before they get to go for their food.  Do controlled exercises with your children around your dog and consult a dog training expert if you feel at all uncomfortable.  Otherwise ensure your dog’s feeding time is controlled.  I have dealt with dogs biting children near a dog’s food dish on many occasions so be careful.
  2. Possessions – The Alpha is in control of all possessions.  You may see a bunch of toys and a bunch of dogs and one dog hoards all of the toys.  They are saying that they are the boss and this is all theirs.  In a home ensure all toys and bones are picked up and out-of-the-way so the dog cannot get them whenever they want.  You can bring them out as often as you like but ask for a sit, down or trick first.  Then the dog earns the right to play with the toy and when they are done it gets picked up and put away again.  If you are to play tug or fetch with your dog, your tug and fetch toys are always yours and they only come out when you want to play and they go away when you are done.  If you leave the home and the dog is left alone you can leave toys out as they are next in charge.
  3. Attention – A higher ranking dog can always demand attention from a lower ranking dog but not the other way around.  You may see this as “humping” or demanding play etc.  In a human household this will be jumping, pawing, nudging, barking, whining, head on lap, jumping up on your lap etc.  Do not allow your dog to demand attention.  This is the rule that I find dogs place the highest value on and people give it out freely.  Stroking for hours at a time is a primate thing not a canine thing.  Keep attention to short amounts (10 seconds or less – if you want to pet something for hours I recommend getting a lazy tom cat).  Some dogs will butt in for attention when you are giving attention to another dog or person.  I never allow this and push that dog out-of-the-way.  As the Pack Leader I will give attention to whoever I want and I will not let another dog decide that.  This is often the thing that dogs will fight over the most is attention towards their human or other dogs.  When a baby comes home you are going to be giving a lot of attention to what a dog sees as a pack member that should be much lower ranking than they are.  This is why practicing “place” and self-control is a must.
  4. Greeting – The Alpha is the one that greets first and decides whether to accept or reject.  So if your dog is allowed to run to the door first when people come over they can think they are higher ranking.  The easiest way to start dealing with this is to tie them back away from the door (not baby gated) and if you have several dogs tie them away from each other so you can greet the calmest dog first and the others can’t butt in.  Practice this a lot in a few weeks.  Have multiple people come over daily and this will train greeting the quickest.  If you span it out once every few days your dog may never learn to greet properly.  Just imagine if you only practiced teaching your dog sit once every 4 days.
  5. Sleeping – The Alpha gets the highest and best resting positions.  In a house this will be beds and furniture.  I don’t recommend allowing dogs up on beds or furniture as this really blurs the lines of Pack Structure.  Some dogs can get away with it for years and never have problems usually because they are an “Omega” which just always wants to follow. If you have a high energy and smart dog, then definitely do not allow them up on furniture.  This is one clear way to show dogs that they are below children.  The problem with allowing a dog up on higher resting places is that it may never seem like a problem until one incident down the road.  Always remember that all of these dog attacks had multiple steps to lead up to that event.  The media may say it was unprovoked and one said it may have been the dog trying to nurture the child but I suspect this is highly unlikely.  The reason I want to point this out is that I don’t want people to think of it as a freak accident that is 1 in a million.  In every case there are often multiple things that could have been done to prevent this and the only way to do so is to inform yourself with good information and stick to the rules.  No parent knowingly does this so the more people learn the better.
  6. Walking – The Alpha walks up front and decides direction of travel. If your dog walks in front then they can definitely think they are the boss.  I train dogs to walk on the right hand side a half step behind you.  Traditionally it is the left side because of gun dogs.  Most people are right-handed so rifle on your right and dog on your left.  I can’t remember the last time I saw someone walking their dog with rifle in hand in the city.  Most dogs I work with are reactive and you greet most other dogs and people on pathways and they pass on your left.  Keeping a dog on your right keeps them protected, helps them to see you as the leader and trains them more quickly.  Once a dog learns to walk a half step behind you that is when I find they clearly see you as the leader.  You can follow all other rules but until you have walking under control you may have a struggle between you and your dog on who is pack leader.

How To Get Ready For A Baby With Your Dog(s)
1. Mimic your routine with a baby doll (changing diapers, breast-feeding, crying, putting to sleep, holding and talking to, crawling around, etc.) I went to Superstore and got a "Baby Alive" that cries, sucks, laughs and coos and brought it out around the dogs 2 months prior to babies arrival, holding it, talking to it petting it and making the sounds. At first the dogs were intrigued but then the novelty wore off.
2. Set up the baby equipment a month or two prior to babies arrival. Play pen, swing, high chair, stroller. Have all this equipment out so the dog(s) get used to seeing and smelling it. Use your doll with the equipment. Walk your dog with the stroller and the doll.
3. Get the dog(s) used to the baby's scent. Once baby is born bring one of babies items into the house first and allow the dog to sniff it. Before baby is born use baby powder and lotions to mimic some of the smells that will be new to your home. Place the diapers and wipes on the doll and/or around the baby equipment to get the dog(s) used to the smells.
4. If you are considering having children, ensure your dog is very much under control with obedience and self-control towards anything the dog desires ie. will wait for food, will watch other dogs run passed while sitting, doesn't rush the door or steal attention, etc.
5. Do things to your dog that a child might do such as poking, pulling tails, prodding, crawling up quickly to the dog, pulling hair etc.  I like to do more to a dog than a child ever would such as holding them upside down, pulling a leg, walking them around holding both back legs, rolling the dog on their back or side and laying on top of the dog.  If your dog struggles with any of this be careful as they are definitely not suited for being around children.  You should be able to do whatever you want and have your dog be calm and quiet with no backlash.  Dogs with high pain tolerance do much better around children. Dogs with low pain tolerance are not suited to be around children.
6. Teach and Practice a good solid “Place” command in which you can command your dog to go to their place and they will stay there until they are released.  Sometimes the baby will take precedence and you do not want your dog pestering you or the child. Have a place in the house that is strictly for the baby and dogs do not go and vice versa in case each needs their own time.

7. Plan out how you will exercise your dog.  Do you have enough time for the physical and mental needs of your dog when the baby comes?  Having both is a lot of work so be fair to everyone. Plan for a dog walker or child care to meet the needs of both.

Check out dog trainer Cesar Milan's tips for introducing baby to dog.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Nanny In The Clouds

If I find my self traveling alone with the twins I will be utilizing this service for sure!

Launched in 2011, Nanny in the Clouds was born after a mom took a flight from the West Coast to the East Coast with her very energetic 2 year old. "How do parents fly alone with more than one child?" she thought. Frazzled by flying with just one bouncy kid, she thought of how much easier it would be if she had an extra set of hands.

Looking around the airplane, somewhere over Texas, she saw many friendly faces; people she thought might be able to help her keep her child entertained and keep tears at bay. A lightbulb flashed! Aha! A Nanny service that provides parents flying alone or together the option of traveling with a Nanny. Prior to Nanny in the Clouds, if you wanted to travel with a Nanny, you would have to cover her plane ticket cost as well as her time. With our matching site, you are only responsible for the $10 matching fee as well as the cost of your Nanny's time.

You can sign up as a Parent looking for help on board or as a Babysitter looking to help out. Genius!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Red Lace Print Dress ~ Maternity Style

dress: Topshop from the Bay | jacket: Mackage | bag: Prada from Holt Renfrew |  boots: Nine West | scarf: Urban Outfitters | jewelry: Gucci, Tiffany, David Yurman bracelets, David Yurman ring

30 weeks pregnant with twins

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Routine Childhood Vaccines and Women’s Health Screening Presentation

I wanted to share with you a free presentation from Family Doctors about Routine Childhood Vaccines and Women’s Health Screening, put on by "health for all", a not-for-profit centered around , trying to do capacity-building overseas for educating physicians to work where they're needed most.  Check out  

One of their key goals is to provide "access to family doctors" everywhere.  Many people find that doctors in Alberta are too busy to adequately discuss their patients’ issues.  Some Albertan’s don't even have a family doctor, and can't engage at a walk-in clinic.

So, Global Generation Foundation is putting on "the Waiting Room Sessions", where four times each year physicians will talk about things that matter (with an opportunity for Q&A).  The first one is in Calgary’s Capitol Hill area tonight.  Topics are Routine Childhood Vaccines and Women's Health Screening... so it should prove to be lively!  It starts at 5:30 and is free / open to the public.  You can find out more here  
Details:      Free presentations from Family Doctors about Routine Childhood Vaccines     
                     and Women’s Health Screening
When:        This Thursday, April 25th at 5:30 PM
Where:       Capital Hill Community Hall, 1531 21 Avenue NW, Calgary
Register:    Here
Cost:           Free, no donation required

Friday, 22 March 2013

Maternity and Baby Photos ~ Shiphotography

I just did another photo session with Carla Shierman of Shiphotography check it out and book her for your next session of maternity, family or wedding photos!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Green Figs and Yam - Gourmet food home delivered

Do you need some extra help with meals at home as you focus on your new little bundle(s) of joy?
Look no further, - a personal chef in Calgary who delivers right to your home. Choose from weekly features emailed out and packages you can sign up for monthly. Including fresh and frozen foods focusing on quality, nutrition and flavour.

Nichole Flewitt
Green Figs and Yam
Your Home Chef
Cell: 403-797-0875

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Holly Maddison Pregnant Style

Holly Maddison former girlfriend of Playboy's Hugh Hefner, is now happily expecting a baby girl (any day now) with her boyfriend, party promoter Pasquale Rotella. Gone are the days of her bleach blonde hair, botox and tanning - Holly has really let her natural beauty shine through during her pregnancy.  She says "being pregnant has changed me as a person" I think the 33 year old looks better than ever with her maternal glow.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Sheenah Rogers ~ Pregnancy Style

Check out fashionista and Calgary PR guru, Sheenah Rogers of Anstice Communications, pregnancy style.

dress | Haute Hippie from shop bop, shoes | Brunello Cucinelli from Holts

Monday, 11 February 2013

A Letter to my Pregnant, Child-less Self - by "Scary Mom" Kelly

This post from fellow Mom blogger, "Scary Mom" Kelly, has been getting a lot of attention lately, so I thought I would share it with all of you incase you haven't seen it.

Dear Judgey McKnows-It-All,

Right now, your due date is approaching, and you’re hyper focusing on a lot of insignificant stuff. I wish you knew that none of what you are worrying about matters. What you need to do is go to bed now and sleep until the baby comes. It could be your last chance to sleep for a few uninterrupted hours for the rest of your life.

What’s that you say? You’re not sleeping well because the pregnancy is making you so uncomfortable? Think again my friend. Soon you will be lying awake at 3 am in a pool of baby vomit, but you won’t want to move a muscle for fear of waking your precious little bundle of “sleeps when held.”

While we are on the topic of useless shit (pun intended) that you are obsessing over, it seems as though you are sitting around wondering if you’ll poop on the table during delivery. Guess what? When the time actually comes, you won’t care if fecal matter ends up on the ceiling as long as they get that baby the hell out of you faster than a teenage boy gets off on the latest Victoria’s Secret catalog.

Oh, and that book you’re reading on natural birth? Quit wasting your time with it and pick up a copy of What the Fuck Do I Do with this Baby? because once you’re actually in labor, you’ll tap out at three centimeters and beg for curbside epidural service as you pull into the hospital. Besides, the delivery is only one day, and the baby will be here for a l-i-f-e-t-i-m-e. Your time would be better spent learning something about child rearing rather than practicing breathing techniques that will do nothing for the pain, although, they might come in handy for your first bowel movement post childbirth.

On another note, you seem to have a lot of opinions on parenting right now, but you will quickly realize that you have no idea what you’re doing which reminds me that I should warn you about the bitch that Karma is. For all of the judgments you make now about other people’s parenting techniques, you will be sentenced to a lifetime of mom guilt laden thoughts. So, keep judging your friend who leaves her kids at daycare an extra hour so she can shop or cook by herself. In just a few short months, you will find yourself wishing daycare was open on weekends too. And the woman you saw at the grocery store in the frozen foods aisle whose nipples were pointing in different directions? Nice job criticizing her to your husband. Karma is about to replace your tots with 2 National Geographic style tube socks each holding a teeny, tiny ping-pong ball.

So, have that extra slice of cheesecake now while you’re still delusional. You think you are all belly, but it’s going straight to your ass. And, by the way, you won’t be one of those lucky women who loses weight from breastfeeding. You will be the mom whose kid shows up everyday for preschool without his folder, mismatching clothes, and maybe even a little bit of food still on his face while you’re wearing a moo moo not fit for your grandmother. Memories of a daily shower will seem as magical as monkeys flying out of your ass and serving you mojitos on the white sands of Maui. Soon, going to the dentist will be the most relaxing thing you have time for. You will see.

After the baby is born, between caring for him, your new found realization of what a dipshit your husband can be, and your post partum hormones, you will be so overwhelmed that you’ll start popping birth control like skittles just to make sure you don’t have a second child. Then, one night over a box of Franzia’s finest, you’ll find yourself just loopy enough to do it again.

There is only one thing that will get you through the stretch marks, the puke stains, and the depression over your saggy post birth vagina – the love that, right now, you are unaware even exists.

So hold onto your mom jeans and try not to wet your pants while you still have some level of bladder control – this ride is just beginning. Stop being a judgmental bitch and start supporting other moms. You’re going to need them once you realize that you don’t have a fucking clue what you’re doing…

Love, Me

Kelly is a mom, wife, writer, smart-ass, recovering perfectionist, and blogger extraordinaire. She likes long walks at night with her crying baby, a tall bottle of Chardonnay with naptime, and peeing by herself on occasion. You can read more by her on her new blog, In The Mom Light.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Modern Karibou ~ Kids Room

I found a great Canadian home decor website that offers free shipping to most of Canada and has great prices and products for baby, kids and home - Modern Karibou
I have done a room inspiration with their canvas art, wall paper, fun seating and furniture.

Modern Karibou - Kids room


Thursday, 31 January 2013

grey. pink. cream. ~ Maternity Style

coat: Jessica Simpson from Winners | blouse: Topshop Maternity | leggings: Zara | bag: Louie Vuitton from Holt Renfrew |  boots: Frye from Holt Renfrew | jewelry: Gucci bracelet, Tiffany ring, handmade necklace

Watch for me on Breakfast Television tomorrow morning at 7:15 for Valentines gift ideas :)

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

New Maternity Store in Calgary ~ Destination Maternity

Destination Maternity has just opened it's doors in Calgary at the Kingsland Village retail development just south of Chinook Centre on Macleod Trail,  it's the first Destination Maternity®store in Canada!  The store will carry A Pea in the Pod® branded maternity apparel, Destination Maternity’s luxury maternity collection, which features maternity denim from designer brands including AG, J Brand and 7 For All Mankind. The store will also carry Motherhood Maternity® branded maternity apparel which is already available at 34 Motherhood Maternity stores throughout Canada and online at


Along with a compelling selection of maternity apparel from both brands and an expert assortment of accessories and nursing apparel— everything mom-to-be needs for pregnancy and beyond—the approximately 3,300 square-foot-space will house a relaxation area for family members and friends complete with plush chairs and a flat screen TV, along with a play area for children.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Sun. South Beach. Cirque Du Soleil.

While staying in Miami at the beautiful and trendy W Hotel South Beach on our babymoon

We took advantage of the many amazing restaurants that South Beach has to offer, Prime 112 being one them. We sat on the patio and enjoyed steak and seafood cooked to perfection watching the beautiful people come and go.

We followed dinner with a performance of Cirque du Soleil's Totem which was of course spectacular as most of their shows are!

This is what I wore for our fantastic evening.

dress: BCBG | shoes: Gap (last season) | clutch: Zara | jewelry: Kate Spade, Aldo, Stella & Dot, The Bay | ring: Adorn Boutique | 26 weeks pregnant

Friday, 18 January 2013

Claire Danes Pregnant Style

Claire Danes's pregnancy figure has blossomed as she is expecting her first child with her husband of 3+ years, 37-year-old actor, Hugh Dancy.
With an exciting personal life, the 33-year-old is also doing well professionally.
Claire recently took home an Emmy award for her role as CIA officer Carrie Mathison in the Showtime show Homeland.