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The latest tidbits on H1N1

I'm no scientist, but I know that a lot of parents are just as concerned and confused about a number of H1N1 issues as I am. Here, I've compiled some news for you all in one spot. But please remember -- this is just a compilation of news -- not medical advice. New information from WHO was released today. Its Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization has reviewed the current epidemiological situation of the pandemic … [Read more...]

When you are engulfed in flames

"Engulfed in flames" -- don't you love it? I think it sums up life pretty well these days. Between pulling very long hours at work and doing night shifts comforting sick children, I  have the luxury of worrying about H1N1; the vaccine conundrum; having to carry my 40lb baby down our steep back steps and through my neighbours' yards just to get out of my house due to the entire front street being dug up; getting the phone line ressurected after … [Read more...]

Used bed sheets

small note

I never thought I'd see the day where I would buy used bed sheets. Yes, you read that right -- used, as in second-hand. I'm trying to rationalize this act right now. I mean, any time I sleep in a hotel room, I'm sleeping on used sheets, right? I know what you're thinking. That in this day and age of Zellers, Winners and Walmart, there is really no reason for resorting to buying used sheets. A fancy designer stroller, sure. But sheets, … [Read more...]

Getting the H1N1 vaccine in Ottawa

If you're looking to get the vaccine, here's all the info: Clinic locations across Ottawa (City of Ottawa website) Wait times at clinics (City of Ottawa Twitter) H1N1 virus: questions & answers (Public Health Agency of Canada) … [Read more...]

What to do about the flu?

I've largely been deaf to all the media frenzy surrounding H1N1. But this week, the vaccines will be available to the public. This means I need to make a decision. Ugh, I don't like decisions. And there are just so many darn decisions related to H1N1. To school or not to school? The school has repeatedly asked parents not to send their children to school if they are sick. But how sick is sick? The most common symptoms of H1N1, according to … [Read more...]

Grown-up girls get to have sleepovers too


"When I first attended a slumber party some 25 years ago, we prided ourselves on avoiding sleep. Sprawled out on the floor of a friend's basement with pillows and sleeping bags, my companions and I would heartily fight any drooping eyelids by ingesting sugar and cola. Fast-forward to this morning, and slumber -- in lush, high-end bedding no less -- resumes its rightful place in the term "slumber party." Tip-toeing down the stairs to join me in … [Read more...]

4 Ingredients — episode 4


It's been a while since my last "cooking with Julie" episode, but I wanted to assure you that your advice and counsel have not got to waste. So, without further adieu, I shall present to you a (drum roll please ....) Oh, okay, I admit it! I did yet anotherchicken recipe! Yep, go ahead, call me a chicken in the kitchen! (That's right Ken, the self-proclaimed 'kitchen-bitch,' I can take it.) Bock. Booock. Cluckity cluck. Now that we got that … [Read more...]

Some housekeeping items

Thanks to all of you for following me here to this custom blog site! I've been working with Brendan to learn the in's and out's of some of the more technical aspects of blogging. (I'm still at the Sesame Street level, but he's really patient.) Some of my learnings include: 1. Techies do not like Internet Explorer. I had no clue that it was such a big issue, but I think Brendan has pulled out his hair on many an occasion as a result of … [Read more...]

How do you feel about Sigg now?

About a month and a half ago, I wrote this post "Sigg: not so super, after all?" I don't get attached to brands much, but somehow I had developed an affection for my Sigg. The news that Sigg's original liners had been made with BPA felt like a sneaky little trick had been played on me. Sure, I understand that the company says it never claimed its liners were not made of BPA, but rather that its liners didn't leach BPA. (I wanted to provide you … [Read more...]

Caffeinated MacGyver to the Rescue!


If you're of my vintage, you'll likely remember the MacGyver television series. If you've never heard of him or if your memory would simply like a little jog, each episode went like this: Cute-guy lead character (i.e. MacGyver) would face a huge crisis without breaking a sweat. He'd calmly concoct a solution such as a bomb de-fuser from a paperclip and a piece of gum stuck on the bottom of his shoe. In our family, we like to refer to my … [Read more...]

Spreading the joy

We're all sick here. Yucky, nose-dripping, achy-type annoying sick. Not the real serious, barfy, feverish, gonna-die sick. And as much I would like to wallow in it, there are deadlines, lunches to be made, and heads to be shampooed. In other words, life goes on. But it gets tricky when you really want to see a friend. Do I risk spreading my contagion to them? For instance, I haven't seen my best friend for weeks and we're scheduled to spend … [Read more...]

A passive aggressive package arrives


The mail doesn't actually come to our house. We need to go to our local post office and look in our box for mail. It's a quaint-little-village kind of thing to do, isn't it? I like going to check my mail, but for some reason I don't get around to doing it much. Kind of like my exercise regime, I guess. Anyhow, when I finally get there, it's overflowing and often jammed to the hilt. (I would imagine that our family's box is a pet peeve of the … [Read more...]

Spare me the “stranger danger”

I'm tired of hearing about "stranger danger," and I don't like the idea of teaching children the concept of "stranger danger." I mean, really. Is it really necessary to instill a fear in children about their fellow community members when the facts show that child abduction is an extremely rare occurence? My child already has her own self-instilled fear of aliens, does she need this one too?  So please, spare me the fear-mongering. Why? … [Read more...]

A Gobbly-good Thanksgiving giveaway!


    I just saw that my bloggy friend Dani is having an awesome giveaway and I thought you might not want to miss out! It's for an HP Photosmart A646 Compact Photo Printer. I'm sure it's an awesome printer, but I'm all about that cute little bag that comes with it. To enter the contest, click here. … [Read more...]

38 things

38 does sound old. And actually, I do feel old a lot. I look at my young children and I think "I'm too old for this!" I fall into bed exhausted at night and don't like to get out of it in the mornings. And yet, somehow, I still feel like I'm peering out at the world through a kid's eyes. Oh, what did you say? Did you ask if it was my birthday today? Awww, you are so sweet to remember! Yep. 38 years old today. Do you remember being younger … [Read more...]

It doesn’t take much to make me happy


My new socks make me happy. … [Read more...]

Looking for a good children’s book?

I like it when friends or family take the time to pick out a special book for one of my kids as a gift (and inscribe it with a personal note). And I like to do the same for my friends. Recently, I've come across three great resources that make finding good books a lot easier. (So no, I'm not going to give up on my daughter who is reading 4-inch Pokemon gamer guides and nothing else these days!) #1:  A Diamond in the Window My friend Brenda … [Read more...]

Wordstock rocked

In 1969, hippies travelled from far and wide to attend Woodstock. They came to appreciate the vibe and the amazing music. They drank lots, they drugged lots. It was a good time. It's 40 years later, in 2009. Writers travelled from far and wide to attend Wordstock, at Ryerson University. They came to appreciate the wisdom and experience of amazing traditional and new media journalists. They drank lots of coffee. It was a good time. So that's … [Read more...]

Me and Mr. Mozart

The Stage

My bloggy friend Andrea invited me out on a date to check out some Mozart. A night on the town is always welcome, but I was also really interested in this new orchestra performance format that the NAC has recently adopted. Produced by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, this  format is called "Beyond the Score: Classical Music Exposed." It's been extremely well received by Chicago audiences and naturally the NAC is looking to replicate some of … [Read more...]

Drum roll please …

Voila! A fresh new design, just for us! I really hope you like love it. Yes, I'm using the "l" word here. Too much? Okay, I'm pretty invested. But I really do hope you like it lots and lots. Check out these features designed to make the blog more friendly for you: Categories: Along the top are the categories of Living, Family, Travel and Media. This means that is you can't stand reading about diapers and kids' birthday parties (the … [Read more...]