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Today is World Osteoporosis Day: Should I Care?

I know, I know ... there are so many causes with "days" that it's hard to keep track. (And kind of makes you want to dismiss them altogether.) But I was sent some information on osteoporosis that peaked my interest and made me want to look into it a bit more.  Before I share it with you though, let's define osteoporosis. It's a condition that causes bones to become thin and porous, decreasing bone strength and leading to increased risk of … [Read more...]

Suicide prevention and the “It gets better” campaign

*** Important: If you are thinking about suicide or experiencing a crisis right now, don't wait: Call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. There are professionals available who can give you immediate help. *** I've been deeply moved by the recent movement "It gets better." In response to some recent high-profile teen suicides, Dan Savage, a well-known writer and openly gay man, sparked a tremendous viral video campaign in … [Read more...]

And my Canadian heart smiled


I received an email the today that made my Canadian heart smile. It was from a good friend who remembered my blog posting titled "Excuse me, but you're stepping on my Canadian pride." This post, from March 2010, was an open letter to Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. The guide for new citizens to Canadians had finally be given a re-haul (it had not been updated since 1995). But not only had this revised version of the … [Read more...]

Pelvic exam without my consent? No longer!

Photo credit: The Globe & Mail Back in January, I wrote a bit of a concerning post titled "A pelvic exam without my consent?" The concerning part is summed up quite well with this description from a Globe & Mail article: Imagine that you are undergoing a fairly routine surgery – say, removal of uterine fibroids or hysterectomy. During or right after the procedure, while you are still under anesthesia, a group of medical students … [Read more...]

Who wears short-shorts?


                                                                                                                                          Do you dare wear short-shorts? If you’re my age and can pull off short-shorts, all the power to you. If you’re a young woman with long tanned legs you want to show off, all the power to you. But please — let’s not dress our young girls in short-shorts. {click here to see why I'm such a prude about … [Read more...]

Extra! Extra! Read all about it …

Good morning! If you don't normally buy an Ottawa Citizen newspaper, pick one up today to support not only your local paper but this caffeine-needy writer! In today's Travel Section, I have two articles for your morning coffee: #1: What a woman wants: how hotels can cater better to women business travellers and a list of hotels going all out to do so. Women entrepreneurs interviewed for this piece are Penelope Trunk of Brazen Careerist, … [Read more...]

Excuse me, but you’re stepping on my Canadian pride

An open letter to Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney: I don't ever remember a time when I did not feel proud to be a Canadian. It's similar in fierceness to the pride I've always felt for my family. It runs right to the core. I drink my Double-double's at Timmys, I buy my backpack from MEC and I bite my nails to the quick when Canada's hockey team is in the Olympic finals. But these are just outward expressions of … [Read more...]

Olympic dreaming? Not a chance.

In a world where parents are increasingly beginning to question the benefits of overscheduling their children in organized activities, the Olympics reaches right into a parent’s heart and makes you want to fire up that mini-van and start signing cheques. Almost. {read more} … [Read more...]

That was kinda sucky, wasn’t it?

I hate to say it, for fear of sounding unpatriotic, but Canada's opening ceremonies for the Olympics was kinda, well, sucky. Starting with the snowboarder entry that was cheesy and far too long. In fact, most of it just seemed like it went on too long for its own good. So much so that when K.D. Lang launched into crooning her melancholy lyrics: Your faith was strong but you needed proof You saw her bathing on the roof Her beauty and the … [Read more...]

Hyper Parents & Coddled Kids

Did you catch this CBC documentary yesterday? I got a heads-up from Ann Douglas' blog at that it was coming and I was intrigued. In her review, Douglas concludes that this "hyper-parenting" phenomenon is largely a thing of the past: The documentary is worth watching, if only as a reminder of where we've been and how far we've come in rejecting the consumerist parenting style that views parents as manufacturers and kids as … [Read more...]

A pelvic exam without my consent?

As you know, I am now bopping around in Twitter checking it all out and making new friends, er, followers. Today I started to notice some tweets about women having pelvic exams done to them while they are unconscious in the hospital. Like many bits of way too information that I let into my day, I let it go into my line of sight and then right back out -- I easily dismissed it as something pulled from a trashy magazine or something. But the … [Read more...]

Want more info on H1N1?

My last post on H1N1 was October 30th. That post was an effort to put the latest bits of info all into one spot for readers. I'd like to do that again today as part of a "blog tour" with Mom Central*. (I'd also like to add my usual disclaimer here that -- and, I don't think this comes as a surprise -- I'm no scientist; I'm no doctor. I'm simply pointing people to information sources that I think are helpful and making my own personal commentary … [Read more...]

The tuna argument smells fishy

small tuna

"The amount in flu vaccines is much less than the daily limit recommended – for example a can of tuna fish has more mercury than the thimerosal in the H1N1 flu vaccine." -- Public Health Agency of Canada website page In an effort to reduce public fear related to thimerosal in the H1N1 vaccine, some Canadian government authorities have been using what I call the "tuna argument." An example of this is above. I've given it its own little … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

This was our 'dirty'


Looking back, I can see why my parents continued to fork over what was a considerable sum of money so that I could keep up with my dance classes. I still have no idea how they managed to afford it since I find two children's activities costly, and they had four. But they did. Somehow. Sure, they knew I loved it. And I begged to take as many classes as could humanly be squeezed into a highschooler's schedule. Only now, as a parent myself, do I … [Read more...]

SIGG: not so super, afterall?

We've been using Sigg bottles for ages. And that really says something, since we don't spend our money lightly on fads. We're talking $30 for a water bottle to put in a child's lunch box. When there's a plastic alternative that's less than $5, we've clearly drawn a line in the sand. Why? It's enviro-friendly not to be constantly purchasing plastic water bottles all the time. Sigg bottles are also extremely tough and survive even the worst … [Read more...]