Monday, October 31, 2011


Yes, today is Halloween and no, we did not take Reece “trick or treating”. In fact, Reece has never been trick or treating and we don’t intend to change that anytime soon.
There are many reasons we have made the decision to not participate in the usual Halloween festivities. We find it odd to allow Reece to knock on a stranger’s door and accept candy from them. It is strange to teach him not to do this all year long, but then make it okay for one night....
We also don’t eat candy, and Reece has never been exposed to it, except for Chocosol’s raw vanilla chocolate, so we don’t see a need to start the discussion as to why he can’t have it.
I personally am not a fan of the “holiday”. I find it kind of weird, morbid and me crazy, I know. Even as a child I was not fond of it. Justin on the other hand, never participated in the holiday as a child due to religious reasons.
Now don’t get me wrong, we are not complete party poopers. Instead of focusing on the one day of this wonderful season Mother Nature blesses us with, we choose to focus on the entire fall season.
We have enjoyed apple picking at an organic apple orchard, we have hit the pumpkin patch, carved pumpkins, roasted pumpkin seeds, collected fall leaves and made a fall wreath, played in the leaves and spent a lot of time on the hiking trails. We love this season and enjoy celebrating it. We just choose not to do Halloween in its typical form.

The Apple Orchard


The Pumpkin Patch

Fun in the Leaves

Our Fall Wreath

Reece has attended a dress up party hosted by one of the mom’s in our playgroup and we have been to a pumpkin carving contest hosted by his cousin’s school. He has enjoyed both events as well as the fall festivities we have participated in.

Dressed up as a Tree
I often get told that Reece is missing the experience of participating. I really don’t think so. He has no idea what trick or treating is and due to the lack of exposure, likely never will.  I also don’t think that if I were to dress him up and parade him from door to door it would be for his experience, it would really be for my experience, as he is unlikely to remember it.
And if the day does come when he asks to go trick or treating, his dad and I will discuss it with him and come up with the best solution for all of us.
Hoping you had a wonderful Halloween; however you and your family chose to celebrate it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Our Weekend

Costume party

Pumpkin carving contest





Lazy Sunday morning


Time together



Our Weekend

Friday, October 28, 2011

{This Moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soulemama.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Busy Week

It has been quite the week at the Oliver homestead. This mama has been a busy lady, out every morning without my little man in tow. I have had cooking classes to lead, meetings to attend, a corporate workshop and a speaking workshop at a mom’s! I am usually really great at keeping my daytime work commitments to a minimum, as my number one priority is Reece and being his mom. But somehow this week that did not happen and I found myself being pulled in a number of different directions.
Tonight as I sit here I am happy to think about the four days ahead. We have music class tomorrow morning and a dress up party in the afternoon. On Saturday, we are going to Reece’s cousin’s school in Oakville, where there is a pumpkin carving contest and a little dress up party. We will then enjoy some time together with my sister in law before we head to my aunt’s house in Mississauga for a visit. And then the best part, we have no plans, and I mean no plans, for Sunday or Monday. When I realized what a busy week I had ahead of me last weekend, I immediately booked off the two days to do nothing.
Sunday and Monday will be a chance for us to hang out, relax, reconnect and just be. We might go hiking, we might not. We might go out for a cup of tea one afternoon, we might not. We might sleep in....yes, I can guarantee we will do this one.  We have no plans, except to enjoy some quiet time together as a family.
Hoping you have planned some time to chill this weekend too! Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Do You Coax or Model?

Manners...this is always a bite your tongue scenario for me. I am going against the norm on this one and do not coax Reece to say “please”, “thank you” or “sorry”. 
It is a strange sensation to be in when you know someone is waiting for you to say “say hi Reece” or “don’t forget to say thank you Reece”, but I just can’t do it.  Every time I see this play out in real life with other children, I see a child say the words, but I often do not see a child mean the words or understand why he or she is saying them.  If there is no meaning, no feeling and no understanding of why the words are being said, do they really mean anything? I say no.
But you say how will our children learn their manners? How will our children know to say “please”, “thank you”, “I’m sorry” or “excuse me”. Well, pretty simply actually, as parents and as adults we should model the behaviour we expect from our children and in doing so our children are able to observe how the words are used, in what context and believe it or not, will one day use the words themselves. And when they do, it will because they mean it, not because they have been coaxed to say it.
In the last few months, after almost three years of modeling, Reece has been squeezing in “please”, “thank you” and even “you’re welcome” in conversation with us.  And I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart when he says these words.
As parents, we have made an effort to say please and thank you to each other and as much as we can to people we see outside of our home – the person who holds the door for us, the grocery store clerk, and the post lady who drops our mail off every day, and so on.  Reece has been witness to these behaviours from the start and is now gaining an understanding of what they mean and how to use them.
For the most part, at the moment, he uses these words at home only. He did say “thank you” to his nana for the first time a few weeks ago. I don’t think my mom noticed, but Justin and I sure did. When we got in the car to drive home, we asked Reece if he noticed how it made him feel and how he thought it made his nana feel. His response to both questions was “good”.
So, if you run into us somewhere, don’t expect Reece to say “hi” but know if he does, he really means it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


leaves drifting

winds blowing

seasons changing

fires burning

hearts warming

memory making

time passing...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Quiet Time

Quiet time...hmmm, what exactly is that? There isn’t much quiet time when you have a toddler, is there? Believe it or not, we do manage to squeeze some quiet time into most of our days.
Reece was never a big daytime sleeper, even as a newborn. He was a cat-napper, taking short 15 to 20 minute naps throughout the day, and in the early days, only in my arms...but I was cool with that.  Sometime around his first birthday, we actually managed to get a longer afternoon nap out of him; usually about 45 to 75 minutes...all of a sudden I had a bit of free time. But, it didn’t last for long. A few months after that, when Reece was about 14 months, those afternoon naps started occurring later in the day, and began to effect bedtime. So, I took away the afternoon nap. Yes, call me crazy, but at 14 months I had a toddler who did not nap.  And I have to say, I would do it again if the same scenario presented itself. 
As you can imagine, this is a pretty long day for a toddler. He was up around 8am, in bed by 7pm, but there was a lot of time in between.  Here’s where our quiet time came in. Reece instinctively became a little less playful and a little cuddlier mid afternoon – during what would have been nap time. He would nurse and cuddle, but didn’t fall asleep.  So, I followed his lead and each afternoon we would have quiet time.
Sometimes it would be a nursing session and some cuddles, other days it might include reading books and some giggles. It was enough to restore his energy and gave him (and me) time to chill.
Over time, our quiet time has included tea for two, music (our favourite is this CD from Stress Free Kids), books, puppets and just chilling together.
Today, I made it home from my cooking workshop just in time for quiet time. It was not just quiet time today, but also a time to reconnect with my little man.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Our Weekend

Mommy teaching
Daddy and son day
Quiet evenings
Lazy Sunday morning
Cleaning our home
Family hike
Playing outside
In-laws 47th wedding anniversary
Family dinner vegan style
Time together
Our weekend

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Day With Daddy

I work one, sometimes two, Saturday’s a month from September to May and on those Saturday’s Reece gets to spend the entire day with his dad.  I always leave a few suggestions of things for the two of them to do...the Oshawa Zoo, the park, the corn maze, hiking, raking leaves and carving pumpkins were all things I suggested for today. I also asked Justin to take the camera with him so I could have pictures for this post.
So, when I got home from work today Justin and Reece were sitting on the couch among a ton of stuffed animals and a new one, well new to Reece. Joining them was Andy; you remember Raggedy Anne and Andy, don’t you? Well, Justin had an Andy when he was a kid and had it hiding in his garage, so guess what the two of them dug out today after spending some time cutting wood and drilling screws, yup, Andy. Well, kind of, Reece calls him Sandy.
The suggestions I made for the day, not one of them was taken. Apparently Reece didn’t feel like leaving the house, so they hung out at home, playing in the workshop, outside and in the house.  All in all, Reece had a great day, and his dad...well, he is already asleep on the couch.

Friday, October 21, 2011

{This Moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soulemama.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


We all have them...people we can talk to, people we can go to when we need a hug, people who are there for us in the good times and the not so good times. Many of us call these people friends.  Reece has friends he can talk to, friends who share hugs and friends who are there when the times are good and when the times are not so good.
I often catch him conversing with his friends in a quiet space, chatting away and enjoying the time with his friends. He will also ask Justin or I to make his friends talk, so his friends can talk to him instead of just listen. He absolutely loves his friends.
They join us on car rides, trips to the grocery store, visits to friends and family...there are days when they even sit down to dinner with us.

His friend’s names are Zippy and Penguie.
He loves them, he shares with them, he plays with them and he never forgets where they are. 
Yes, I know his friends are puppets, but they are teaching him so much about relationships, sharing, communicating and loving. It totally amazes me each and every day to watch how the relationship between the three of them has is simply amazing.
I am pretty sure the three of them will be BFs for life.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Space

I have mentioned before, we live in an old schoolhouse, a one room schoolhouse to be exact, which was built in 1878. It has had a wall put up, and an extension added, both by the owner who originally brought the house from the school board back in the 1960's. 

A Summer View of Our Schoolhouse
Living in a one room schoolhouse, for us, is awesome, we really love it. It does require us to be very smart about space and how we use it. Before Reece came along and it was just the two of us, space really wasn't much of an issue, there seemed to be lots of it. Add in a baby, now a toddler, and well, we have gotten very creative.

In a one room schoolhouse a private home office was just not in the cards, actually an office of any kind was not in the cards.  Which lead to space.

My Space
My office was originally in the loft, as was our family space, before Reece. But when I was pregnant we decided the loft would become Reece's room (which by the way was never used...our room is his room). So, I came up with the great idea of opening up the space under the stairs to created my own little nook.

I love my little nook. It is my space. It is tiny, yes, but it is mine. Justin did all of the handy work, from reclaimed wood...big bonus! He even added the book shelf last year so I could stop piling my books up on the floor. And as you can see, I have already outgrown it.

I enjoy working in this space, love the feel of reclaimed materials and wouldn't want a private closed off office space if you offered it to me.  Yes, it means I usually don't work when Reece is up and about, but really why would I want to do that.  Work gets done when he goes to bed at night and sometimes in the morning, if I can manage to sneak out of bed without waking him up. 

We are currently doing some minor renovations in our home, to yet again make it more "spacious" for us.  This includes moving our bedroom to the loft, creating a bedroom and home school/playroom for Reece from our old bedroom, reconfiguring the living space (aka family room, dining room, main living space) and creating a little reading nook complete with big yoga pillows and lots of books. 

I look forward to sharing our little renovations with you over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Crafting

I love the season of fall. Actually, I like all of the seasons. Each has their own unique characteristics which bring new and different rhythms with them.  I think what I love the most about the seasons is the time between them, when we are changing from one to the next. There is a subtle unknown about what is to come and I find that kind of exciting and refreshing.
We have been enjoying the fall immensely around here...lots of hiking, cups of tea, reading, cuddling, playing in the leaves, crafting and adding a touch of the season to our home.  Yesterday morning I stepped out for the morning to do a little shopping, leaving Reece home with his dad.  I asked them both to head outside to gather some leaves, pine cones, branches and acorns so we could make a fall wreath in the afternoon.
This is what I came home to:
Such an awesome collection of fall finds was waiting for me on our dining room table.  Justin had created a wire ring for us and Reece and I got to work. 
First, I wrapped branches around the ring. I actually used the branches of the strangle weed we have growing all over the property.  It bends really easy and made this task manageable.  From there, I was on glue gun duty and Reece decided where everything would go.  The first fall find he placed on the wreath were the “ticklers” as he calls them. They are actually the tops of one of the tall grasses I have growing in my garden.  From there it was the pine cones and the red leaves.  And finally, the scarecrow and pumpkin were added; I picked these up at Michaels in the morning.  I added the yellow leaves and the orange ribbon for punch of colour.

We had a great time creating our fall nature wreath and the look of delight on Reece's face when we hung it on the door, well, that was priceless. We had lots of fall finds left over so we got to work creating a little fall centerpiece for our table.  

We finished up the afternoon with a few stories and then a hike. It was the perfect fall hiking day. 

And look what we found hiding in one of the branches of a pine tree.

A great day of family fall fun! What did you get up today?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Preparing for the Birth Day Celebrations

I am in full preparation little man, Reece, will be celebrating his birth day on November 6. I am still in shock at how fast three years has gone by...yikes!
My little man
I have been experimenting with some recipes, preparing the day’s activities and sewing. It has been a ton of fun and I am happy to say...I am ready for the big day.

My two sewing projects for Reece’s birthday this year were a birthday crown and a bunting banner...fairly easy projects for a novice sewer.
So here they are, finished with love.

Birthday crown and bunting banner

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Our Weekend

Lazy mornings

The Market





Family Time



Family Walks

Baby Shower





Our Weekend

Friday, October 14, 2011

{This Moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soulemama.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Finding Community

Mothering can be lonely.  
It is so important for us to find a community so our days as mom are not lonely.  The biggest issue I had finding community was most of the groups I went to choose a parenting style much different than my own.  This is not to say how they parented was was just different. And so I found a lot of the times I had very little in common with them and did not feel comfortable discussing the issues which were important to me (and believe me I tried a few times, but each time I became the two headed mom in the room and no other mom could understand where I was on my journey.)
So, I struggled for a few months, going to different groups, trying to find the community I was looking for.  I knew it was out there, or at least it was in my treasured magazine Mothering. Each month I would anxiously await the arrival of Mothering magazine...these mothers were the mothers I needed to connect with. Unfortunately, they were spread out across the US and Canada.  But, one day I found what I was looking for. I was searching online and found a Natural Parenting Meet Up group in my community.  Finally, a community of like minded moms to share with, learn from and give and get support.  This group did not last long as a Meet Up group, but the group of moms, now friends, I met has lasted. We have developed friendships, our kids still play together and we share many of the same parenting ideals. It took time, it took going to many different groups and it took me listening to my instinct to keep looking for what I needed as a mom – the community of like minded moms I could share my journey with.
Recently, I found another group, The Thoughtful Parent (doesn’t that name just give you the chills, it did to me the first time I heard it).  This group is lead by a homeopathic doctor and meets every two weeks for discussions on anything to do with natural, attachment, holistic parenting.  I went this morning for the second time and it was just amazing. To be in a room with moms and babies who understand me as a mother, well, I LOVE it!
The group meets in a yoga studio. We get the yoga mats and pillows out, we sprawl out on the floor, the kids play and we chat. We chat about the things which interest me the most as a mom – healthy eating, healthy kids, natural parenting, alternative health care, attachment parenting, baby wearing, breastfeeding, and so on.  There are experienced moms with older children and new moms with newborns and together we share, chat, learn and grow.
Finding community for me was a challenge, but a challenge I never gave up on. I knew it was out there, I just had to keep looking. Choosing to mother in a way which is different than the norm is not easy, I struggle often with comments, questions, looks and misunderstanding. Knowing I have a wonderful group of mom friends and a new group of like minded mamas at The Thoughtful Parent makes those misunderstood moments completely disappear.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Fun

Reece spent the entire day outside yesterday. Most of that time was spent playing in the leaves. He had a blast. Justin or I would rake up a pile of leaves and Reece would run, jump and throw the leaves.  It was a ton of fun for all of us.

I love everything about fall - the colours, pumpkins, cooler days, sweaters and scarves, hot tea and soup. It is such a joy to share it all with Reece and watch as he enjoys each moment of the season.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Amazing weather
The Riverview Zoo
The pumpkin patch
Playing in the leaves
Riding bikes
Time together

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Little About Me

My little man and I hiking on Thanksgiving weekend.

My name is Kim.

I am a holistic nutritionist, specializing in mom, baby and toddler.

I have been happily married to Justin for 16 years.

We live in the country in an old schoolhouse, which was built in 1867.

My little man, Reece, was born at home on November 6, 2008.

We cloth diaper.

We co-sleep.

We breastfeed.

We did not circumcise.

We do not vaccinate.

We "life school".

We have been judged by many for the choices we have made and are making. We choose not to judge those who choose differently than us.

We are informed.

We are a vegetarian real food family.

We grow a lot of our own food, and hope to grow enough next summer to feed our little family.

We have dreams of chickens and fresh eggs every morning. And I secretly have dreams of a bee hive or two (but please don’t tell my husband yet).

We are working towards our home, our life and in our journey as a family.

If you wish to follow along on my journey of Mothering with Mindfulness...welcome.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Welcome to Mothering with Mindfulness. This is my space...a space I will share with you as I learn, change and grow as a mother.
Mindful. Thoughtful. Respectful. Compassionate. Loving. These are the words I like to think describe the mother I am and continue to work to be.
I have never been one to follow the crowd; I have always done things differently. I have followed my heart and my gut for most of my life and mothering is no different. I mother with instinct. I mother with mindfulness. I mother with thought. I mother with compassion and respect. I mother with unconditional love.
This space is my journey....