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Perimenopause Is A Bloodsport
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Have You Seen This Video?
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Is Blogging Dead?
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Fatherly Funnies: The Corniest Dad Jokes Ever
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10 Offline Family Activities To Enjoy This Summer
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When A Stranger Has No Social Filter…
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Three Nurses Whose Secret Medicine Makes Them Exceptional
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I Have A Few Choice Words For That Judgemental Woman
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The Truth About Our Drinking Water and The Urgent State of Our Environment
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When Your Child With A Disability Is Told, “You Can’t Play With Us!”

Perimenopause Is A Bloodsport

My body is waging a war against perimenopause. In my mid-forties, I still consider myself to be young and virile. Isn’t it too early for this?!? And why didn’t anybody warn me? Or maybe they did but I tuned them out because they were just “old ladies” whinging about their messed up cycles. Perimenopause is essentially water drip torture. You know, the kind where water was dripped slowly onto the captive’s forehead, slowly driving them insane. Perimenopause runs on the same principle. Just little droplets at first. Nothing you can’t handle. A restless night here, one early or late period there. Nothing unmanageable. Drip drop drip. Then two nights of tossing and turning. And a hot flash. Or maybe not a hot flash? It might just be an especially humid day. You’re not totally sure.  Drip drip drip drop drop drop… And how are we THIS tired and still standing? Some nights it’s, “Go to bed three hours before the kids” tired.  Along with the inexplicable exhaustion, there are sudden spurts of anger for absolutely no reason. You’re the Incredible Hulk in guacamole stained yoga pants. Drip drip drip drip drip drop drop drop drop… Water trickles into your eyes, tickling[…]

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Have You Seen This Video?

  “What video?!” you ask. I said there would be a charming video here today, but there’s nothing but this empty video player.  Yes I announced with great confidence yesterday that I would be posting all sorts of video content going forward. So much video. I even went on Facebook just now and blabbed about the first of said videos and teased you with a link.  The link took you here. Sorry, just words. No video. But before you scold me for unfulfilled video promises (the video I started today wasn’t going to be very good anyway, so it’s actually a blessing) I want to explain why making videos is paralyzingly difficult for me. And maybe for you too? It’s not like I don’t have anything to talk about. Ask my friends and family—I rarely shut up. But when it comes to turning thoughts into actual watchable video content, there are some very real obstacles like: I can’t find the camera cord that connects my camera to my computer. I saw it somewhere but all the cords look alike!  I could use my iPhone to shoot the video but I need to charge it. I swear my phone is eternally at[…]

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Is Blogging Dead?

I used to have blogging in my back pocket but now I think blogging might be dead or at the very least, in a deep coma. I’ve been blogging (and vlogging on occasion) for years—ten to be exact. I love writing and sharing (*Edited by my husband to “over-sharing”) so when I discovered web-logging when I was home on mat leave with our second child I was like, “This was totally made for ME!” I had no clue about SEO or web design, but I had a story I wanted to share with other parents going through what we were.  In the early days when our daughter wasn’t acting the way “normal” babies do and doctors didn’t have any answers for us, I turned to the internet where I found some amazing blogs and support online. And once I got over the shock of you know, everything, I started a blog about our new reality as parents of a child with medical and developmental challenges. I shared all of it—the ugly moments, the scary thoughts, the fear, the anxiety and PTSD, the mistakes, and the grief. But I made sure to include the sweet stuff and the lessons learned too[…]

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Fatherly Funnies: The Corniest Dad Jokes Ever

Dads are funny. At least they think they are. My husband believes he’s hysterical. The kids and I don’t have the heart to tell him otherwise. He usually butchers the punchline by mixing it up with the ending of a completely different joke or by losing the plot altogether. Or he laughs so hard at himself that he can’t even get to the end. And THAT my friends, is hilarious. Speaking of hilarious, here are some hilarious “dad jokes” for you to share this FATHER’S Day.  Warning: The word ‘hilarious’ has been used loosely. Consider these groaners as a little payback for being subjected to awful dad jokes over the years. Not to mention being exposed to those hideous black socks and sandals.  TWELVE COMPLETELY CORNY DAD JOKES: 1. What did the daddy buffalo say to his boy when he dropped him off at school? Bison.   2. How do you make your dad’s handkerchief dance? Put your boogie in it.  3. Mom: “How do I look?” Dad: “With your eyes.” 4. My dad walked into a bar with a chunk of asphalt under his arm and said, “I’ll have a drink and take one for the road.” 5. Dad:[…]

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10 Offline Family Activities To Enjoy This Summer

I have a love/hate relationship with technology. Social media, cell phones, texting — we have instant access to each other 24 hours a day. We tend to log in and tune out. Canadians spend more time online than any other country. This can mean that every member of a family is online on their own device, even in the same room. I just emailed this shocking fact to my husband sitting across from me on the couch. Many parents have expressed concern about technology’s intrusion into their family time. I feel it. Do you? I grew up pre-internet, so I learned how to maintain a conversation and can easily make human contact without being digitally connected. But can I say the same about my children?  Even if we limit our kids’ screen time, their learning and social skills are still impacted by OUR screen time. Have you ever shushed your child so you could finish composing an email? Have you looked away during your child’s soccer game to post an Instagram photo? Have you texted from the dinner table in the middle of your son telling you about his French test? Not proud of it, but I’ve done all of these[…]

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When A Stranger Has No Social Filter…

When it comes to social graces, some people completely missed the boat. Were they born without a filter or did something happen to make them that way? I have no answers here, but I do have a story.  A few months ago I was at the grocery store with my daughter and the cashier criticized my parenting. No qualms, no mercy, she flat out tried and convicted me without knowing a thing about me or my daughter. You can read about how enjoyable that was HERE.  Turns out, this was the same cashier who a few years earlier (she’s a lifer at our local grocery store… lucky, lucky us) berated my friend in front of a long line of customers. She made a snap judgement about her parenting (she is a wonderful, loving parent by the way), and called her out for being what she deemed “a negligent parent.”  Seriously lady?! a) Who do you think you are? b) You had no idea what this mother was dealing with that day. c) Ever heard of customer service? d) If you don’t have any nice to say, zip it. e) Your conveyer belt is always sticky.  Yesterday my sister in law and[…]

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Three Nurses Whose Secret Medicine Makes Them Exceptional

Back in University the nursing students were cool AF. As I rotated between sociology and anthropology lectures (not cool as anything) I admired them. They were good at science and not afraid of blood, needles or germs. Other than nursing a few hangovers, and “Nightingaling” my kids over the years, a career in nursing was never in the cards for me. Though nurturing by nature hospital smells have been known to make me faint. Plus science is like, really hard.  Thank god for nurses—qualified, kind-hearted, non-fainting souls—who have cared for my family over the years. As the parent of a child with disabilities, I’ve had my share of interactions with nurses—mostly positive. There were a few Nurse Ratchets, but I get why they’d be snappy at the end of a long shift dealing with needy sick people.  There are three nurses in particular who have made a lasting impression on me. They are all skilled professionally, but their secret medicine, humour, makes them exceptional.  Maternity Mayhem Nurse No disrespect to doctors, doulas and midwives—you folks know your way around a dilated cervix. But huge props go out to the amazing nurse who looked after us after the rather horrific birth of our[…]

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I Have A Few Choice Words For That Judgemental Woman

My daughter is CHATTY. There’s rarely a moment of silence with her around unless— a) she has a mouthful of food. b) she’s sleeping (though she talks in her sleep a fair bit). c) I’m brushing her teeth but even then, she manages to hum. d) she’s absorbed in sending a text (which is essentially digital talking) or watching TV.  Her chattiness is amazing considering her “profound speech delay.” Perfectly formed sentences be dammed, if she makes an observation or has a question, you’re going to hear about it.  She might know what she wants to say, but finding the right words is a struggle. I’m having a similar issue at the moment. I’m forgetting the names of simple household items and stumbling over my words. Turns out this is a very real and very annoying side effect of peri-menopause. Oh hoorah, good times ahead.  Anyway, that’s to say, I get it. It’s incredibly frustrating to know what you want to say, but due to wonky wiring between the word bank in your head and your mouth, the words escape you.  As Avery’s family, we almost always know what she’s trying to say and we usually let her finish on her[…]

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The Truth About Our Drinking Water and The Urgent State of Our Environment

Some people idolize musicians and movie stars. And there are those whose hearts beat for environmental crusaders, like David Suzuki. I was invited to listen to Dr. Suzuki speak on World Water Day. I RSVPd yes faster than you can say, “The Nature of Things,” and asked if I could bring along my son who we (half) jokingly refer to as “The Next David Suzuki.” Inspired by the presentation, my son delivered an impassioned speech of his own this week at school on the topic of the urgent need for environmental rehabilitation. His words echoed that of his hero as he explained that the days of merely preserving nature are over. Alarmingly, many scientists believe that 90% of humans will be gone by the year 2100. This horrifying revelation is not science fiction, but based on scientific data related to overpopulation, environmental destruction, and climate change. Suzuki’s concern and underlying frustration was apparent, “Who needs nature in a city? We have Netflix,” he said. His tongue-in-cheek statement refers to our obsession with technology which has created a dangerous state of isolation. Shut off from the world around us, we’re too distracted to comprehend or even notice the gravity of our[…]

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When Your Child With A Disability Is Told, “You Can’t Play With Us!”

  My daughter loves playing at the park at the end of our street. She’d stay for hours if she could. But since she’s a child with a disability, she can’t go to the park by herself like her peers do—they can come and go as they please, but my kiddo has to drag her mother along. “Drag” makes me sound like an unwilling companion, but I’m usually content to supervise. Though some days, admittedly it’s inconvenient. And boring. After a few pumps on the swing and perhaps an (awkward) chin-up or two on the monkey bars, my thoughts quickly turn to, “I need to start dinner” or “I have to return that phone call by 5pm” or “I have to pee” or “I wish I brought more coffee” or “I really, really have to pee.”  But she’s a kid who needs fresh air, and climbing and swinging, and companionship, and your basic childhood fun, so I park myself at the park.  Yesterday was a beautiful spring afternoon so I was happy to spend some time warming the park bench.  Within a few minutes of arriving, the play structure filled with kids from Avery’s school. They quickly organized a game of[…]

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