Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I needed a place to shelve some posts - my group blog job is ending.

Enjoy, the second time around....


Sunday, April 4, 2010

I'll have some aspirin please, some body wash, and a vaccination

4319461386_a0d19e0860 Nova Scotia is freeing up some room in your doctor's waiting room.
Amendments to the Pharmacy Act now mean that pharmacists in Nova Scotia will be able to administer vaccinations and order some diagnostic tests.  Imagine! Getting both the shopping done and having your jabs done all at once! Health Minister Maureen MacDonald says the goal is to take advantage of a pool of qualified professionals in order to free up doctors to concentrate on other areas of health care. Although unable to put a dollar figure on any potential savings, Health Minister Maureen McDonald says the move will create efficiencies in the health system.  As more pharmacists graduate, more will begin helping out.It's hoped the program will begin some time this year.

While innovative, similar initiatives in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick have already been put in place, and are working well, according to all reports.
I'm not sure the supermarket druggist is ready, however, for my son and his ear-piercing screams when a needle is in sight. Is Loblaws or Sobeys planning to build small corrals privacy rooms? Or are they ready  to chase down my fleeing children? The doctor's office is a bit more private and not-so-escapable, if you see what I'm saying. While I applaud the use of medical personnel, I wonder how quickly people will agree to use this service - it all seems a bit public for me.
But then again, maybe I could use the extra time while the store hunts for my kids to shop alone. Humm.
This is an original Canada Moms Blog post. Jessica blogs at daysgoby and isn't sure that a mere grocery store can withstand the fury of her beserker duo.
Photo by paulswansen

Thursday, February 11, 2010


My five-year old - my bouncy, smiling, intense, smart five year old girl is troubling me.
She's had a bout with odd stomach pain lately - never a fever, never any problems with either end, happy to eat, happy to run about, nothing odd. Just these ever-present stomachaches and a quiet "Mama, my tummy hurts.'
I called the doctor's office after four days of her staying home from school and asked if there was any sort of virus going around. Assured there was, and that keeping her home wasn't going to be any different than sending her to school, I didn't feel bad sending her back, fortified with a few Tylenol and the knowledge that I would be home if she suddenly worsened.
The tummy trouble lingered. One week, two, three....never worsening, never getting any better. I was still convinced that this was nothing, that it would just go away....
But I thought I might talk to her doctor, just in case. I ran into him at the hospital and just casually asked about Rosey's tum.  He asked a few questions, (Where is the pain? Right in front of her bellybutton. Does it get worse? Sometimes, but not enough that I think we need to come in to see you. Is it constant? It seems so.) then stunned me by quietly saying ' It could be anxiety.'
Anxiety? In a five-year-old?

According to Health Canada, it's not so surprising. Mental health problems among Canadian children and youth are predicted to increase by 50% by the year 2020. As children enter school earlier and earlier, and our lives get more complicated, more kids need help with transitions and social skills.  The most common mental health problem among children and youth is anxiety. An estimated 6.5% (2009 figure) of all children in Canada struggle with anxious feelings, symptoms, and disorders. 
That's a lot of kids with stomach-aches. A lot of young people unsure how to handle events in their lives, how to use coping skills, how to work through new situations.
Including Rosey.
I'm gob-smacked. How do you teach a child who you've never noticed holding things in, who has never seemed maudlin or mopey or bothered by things - that it's okay to let go?
The report goes on to say that with the appropriate investments and access to treatment, it is estimated that 70% of childhood cases of mental health problems can be solved through early diagnosis and interventions.
Which is great news - really great! Awesome! But doesn't really help me, as I worry and second-guess myself and call conferences and wonder how on earth my intuition didn't tell me that this tummy ache was serious.
This is an original Canada Moms Blogs post. Jessica blogs at daysgoby and various other places.
 Photo by the author.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

something beautiful

4313096493_3a1c38bf1f My childrens' school is collecting money for Haiti - milk dimes, errant quarters, toonies and loonies and paper money shaken from piggy banks and caged in return for chores. It's a lovely thing that our kids are so concerned for other children so far away.
It's hard to know what is just-enough-and-not-too-much to tell my young'uns so that they'll grasp the situation and yet not be horrified into bad dreams. We've talked about how the people that were struck hardest by this disaster were the ones who really didn't have anything to begin with, how we, who have so much, can help these people that we'll never meet by sending a little money so they'll have things like fresh water. Or something to eat. Or maybe a pillow and a blanket.
My daughter's class is young and confused by how someone's house could just disappear. They've been drawing pictures to send to children in Haiti, full of rainbows and smiling faces and birds holding hands. So, she explained, they'll have something beautiful until this is all fixed. Until this all goes away.
(I wish rescue operations could run on her timetable!)
She has a valid point. Everyone should have something pretty. Something to remind them that even though life-changing events happen, that beauty lives on. That normalcy will, one day, return. And I think that works for people donating money to help as well - staring into the face of calamity, it's easy to think that your money is too little to help much - too easy to be mired in the enormity of the disaster, to forget that even a little helps a lot. It's hard to remember someday Haiti will be beautiful and whole again and not always a land of dust and broken dreams.
A Canadian-begun-but-quickly-international on-line auction, To Haiti with Love, is such a place where you could find a piece of such sustaining beauty to ease your soul. Art, photography, papercrafts, clothing, and creative goods, (and conference tickets and vacations and knitted sweaters and poetry and so many more wonderful things! Bird mobiles! Aah!) Auctions all run from February 1st to February 8th. All proceeds will be sent directly to the St. Joseph's Family of homes for children in Haiti.
The brain-child of visual artist René Joshi Sims of fruityfantastica and coordinated by author Kate Inglis of sweet | salty, this amazing auction will leave you with a stunning reminder of a time when you sought to help people less fortunate than yourself.
When you gave them hope for something beautiful.
photo by IFRC
This is an original Canada Moms post. Jessica blogs at daysgoby and tries not to cry too much at the news every night.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

operation hestia - haiti bound

Last April, CanaServer.npda's first female commanding officer took the helm of the HMCS Halifax. Josee Kurtz has had several months to get comfortable on the big ship, and now she's steaming full-speed ahead again....this time, to Haiti.
The HMCS Halifax and her sister ship, the Athabaskan, set sail for the wrecked shores of Haiti on the 14th of January, and are expected to make port sometime on the 20th.  They will be the second wave of Canadian humanitarian relief, and are loaded with tonnes of supplies and necessities.
 A Canadian Disaster Assistance Relief Team (DART) was sent as an advance team of 20 personnel in a CF-130 Hercules aircraft - comprised of medically trained professionals and experts in assessing needs for relief, communications equipment and personnel, infrastructure engineers and search-and-rescue equipment. It was the data reported from this team that outlined where the frigates will need to be stationed to accomplish the most.
The Canadian Forces have also announced that a  C-17 military transport aircraft carrying a Griffon helicopter and other equipment and personnel will be deployed. That aircraft can also be used for evacuation. 
The crew has been attending trainings since they left port, and have learned how to use rescue and engineering equipment like the Jaws Of Life, blow torches, and chain saws. Sailors who already have had specialized training, like Fire Fighters, Hull Technicians, or Bosuns, are training cooks, radar operators, and electricians so they can all become 'First Responders'. No one will just have one job during this operation - everyone will be doing whatever they can do.
Not content to just do their part, and heartsick over the images and reports that have been received,  some of the sailors organized a toy and clothing drive within the ship. Walmart donated $7000 worth of clothes, and between that and what the crew have brought in, they have an entire cabin stuffed full of donations.
The mood on board now grows somber as the ship draws nearer to Haiti. Many sailors have never been there or aren't sure what to expect, and the few that have tell of gangs and poverty. All the crew has been organized into work parties and security teams, and these last few hours will be spent checking and double-checking everything so they can help as soon as they get there.
They will be working in extreme conditions, but are confident that with their training,  the mental and physical health of each soldier will be protected. They cannot wait to begin providing tangible and meaningful relief to the affected people of Haiti.
Sail on, HCMS Halifax. Sior Gasgeil. Ever Brave.

This is an original Canada Moms Blog post by daysgoby. Jessica can also be found down at the harbour, watching the big ships sail along.

photo credit Canadian Forces Image Gallery

Friday, November 6, 2009

I get hives, thinking about those lights

Last weekend I cleaned up the rest of the Halloween things, chucking the cotton spiderwebs and folding the home-made 2095277327_3ae66f968cghosts and spooky things, the haunted house sign and the foam pumpkins carefully into a box.
When I was finished it went neatly into the pantry on one of the storage shelves. I was pleased. It fits nicely there.
Unlike the clump of boxes squatting evilly on the floor nearby, spilling green and red things at the slightest provocation.
It's the dreaded Christmas crap.

It doesn't bother me so much that I'm starting to hear Jingle Bells on the hardware store musak, or that the grocery store in town has two giant wreaths up in their vestibule, wired and ready to go on next weekend. Or that my childrens' school is already rehearsing for their Christmas concert - guaranteeing me almost two entire months of the same four carols, sung endlessly (okay, maybe a little bitter about that one) or that last night Rosey wanted to begin her Christmas list.

What hangs over my head like Damocles' sword is the Christmas decorations.
We have a pre-lit tree. I honestly thought that meant the end of tangled lights and much of the Christmas clutter. (I'll pause while you laugh yourself sick.) Yeah, that.  I'm not sure what I was thinking - but it definitely didn't factor in two Christmas geegaw loving small people who love to colour and draw and make stuff, or a stapler-gun toting spouse who'd outline every inch of the house if I didn't put an end to it.
My family likes decorating for Christmas. While I am of the Scrooge-ish opinion that we have enough.
But really, how many ornaments, tinsel, Christmas villages, reindeer, Santa Clauses, wreaths, strings of (tangled) lights, candy canes,  gift wrap, boxes of Christmas cards, advent calenders, music CDs, and lawn ornaments does one house need?
Last night my husband brought home a wooden reindeer for our front step. I shot him the look and he had the good sense to look a little sheepish, but feigned deafness when I pointed out we already had a front step decoration, a perfectly festive and gorgeous one from last year, and.....
I stopped talking when it became apparent he couldn't hear me over the squeals of delight from the kids.
Oh that's why I have too much Christmas stuff. I was too busy channeling Scrooge to remember. Something about the glow of colored lights on snow? And the feet under the Christmas tree? Faces lit up with wonder?
That's it.
But those tangled strings of lights still give me hives.

image credit: son of groucho
This is an original Canada Moms Blog post. Jessica blogs and studies and tries to resist the siren song of the Christmas cookies baking in the next room - sometimes successfully.

Monday, October 26, 2009

riding in cars

I've been thinking a lot about cars lately.
Now, as any340849699_a5cbcc37b4one who knows me can tell you, I'm blessed with one of those minds that can't tell cars apart (It was....white? With a....butt?) so to have me recognize a car on the road is no mean feat. 
(This is also part of the reason all the neighbors think I'm super-friendly. I wave at all the cars that pass.)
I'm not really going to go into how I can be counted upon to get into the wrong car at the grocery - who knew there were so many small red cars? Not me, obviously....
Or how I once followed who I thought was my husband home from the grocery only to have this very puzzled man pull to the stop at the head of his driveway.....My husband was following me. It all got sorted out. Whew.
Maybe it would be more correct to say I've been remembering cars that I've ridden in.
My grandmother took me on a trip across the country when I was fourteen. I still remember the smell of the leather interior and her Giorgio and how the flatlands of Kansas seemed to go on forever.  I curled up on the floor of the front, a sheet or something over myself to try and be in the shade, and dreamt of riding bareback through fields of grain. I woke running with sweat. When we stopped, we drank ginger-ale and I ate kiwi for the first time. I was just starting to come out of my shell then, discovering that maybe I didn't have to be shy all the time and I liked different things than everyone else.

My first serious boyfriend had a black Chevy Nova that was so battered it was a miracle it held together. It crouched at the end of the driveway when he'd pick me up, looking like a giant cockroach, setting my mothers' teeth on edge. But the front seats were good for necking, even if the car smelt of paint thinner and was littered with crunched cassette tape boxes.
When B and I married we had an ancient car, a real workhorse that ran us back and forth for years without complaining. When I was hugely pregnant with Rosey, we looked at the Eagle's tiny backseat and decided it was time to get a new car. Two kids, both in carseats? We needed the most room we could get.
So we bought an SUV. It was so big and foreign I wouldn't drive it for a few months, but soon I was used to it, and it became 'Mama's truck', hauling kids or whatever everywhere. I love that big carnow. The gas mileage sucks, but I know where everything is, and it fits me now, as a mom of two with all the assorted gear that brings.
B bought a new car last year, and all of a sudden my truck wasn't the shiny new mobile it'd been. Suddenly, it looked....big. And clunky. And the little new car was so speedy....
Today, when the kids and I were cleaning the SUV out, getting out the detritus of months of school projects, McDonald's wrappers, unidentifiable plastic toys and sticky things out from under the seats, I realized the new car smell is gone. There's not much joy about the Blazer anymore. It's ordinary now.
But I remember riding in it, bringing a new baby home, the rest of my family around me, back when the dash sparkled and the ride seemed smoother than possible. Back when having a family was new and the beginning of a grand adventure.....

Jessica blogs at daysgoby when she's not tooling around  and glancing sort-of-enviously at the newer cars on the road.....