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Tag: Mom

What You Should Not Put In The Microwave

The microwave saves us from many situations when we don’t know what to cook fast or when we come tired at home after a long day at work. The food at the microwave oven is fast and helps us to win precious time with the ones we love. However, don’t confuse the microwave oven with the stove, as you can’t prepare everything at the microwave.

No matter how much you love some foods and technology, don’t cook everything with the microwave. Here are some things that you can never cook with the microwave.

Eggs in shell put in the oven is a guaranteed disaster, as it will explode before being cooked and you will need a long time to clean it: walls, the door and the rotating support.

Chicken liver can be a disastrous failure if you try the microwave. At high temperatures, the chicken liver becomes sticky and might also explode. Instead of cooked liver, you will have to clean the oven and it is not a pleasant thing to do.

Don’t think about melting butter or fats inside the microwave. The melted solution will get out of the recipient and it might even leak out of the oven. Moreover, it is believed that melted butter in the microwave can also be toxic.

Popcorn is one of the most popular things to do with the microwave, but you will need to take some cautions also. Make sure to find the right temperature: if it is too big, the corn might burn and you will not be able to eat it. If the temperature or power is too low, you will have a lot of uncooked corn in the bag and you might even break your teeth.

Don’t try to warm liquids in porcelain vases with golden ornaments. If you try to heat your coffee into such a cup, you will assist to a real spectacle of fire and artifices in the oven, or even break it completely! It seems like you can put a metallic pan inside without worries, but any gold or silver part of a cup will create those sparkles.

Real disasters with the microwave

Some other foods could transform your microwave cooking experience in a disaster.

  1. Don’t heat food in plastic recipients – unless the recipient has the label ‘microwave safe’. These recipients are resistant at high temperatures, and it does not contain harmful substances that would be released through melting. However, the majority of plastic recipients would melt and mix with the food, making it toxic and unhealthy. If you are not sure about the recipient, move the food into a safer one made of glass or ceramic. Melted plastic cannot be removed from the oven, and you will eventually have to replace it.
  2. Don’t heat baby milk bottles in the oven. Such recipients might remain cold on the outside, while the inside is really hot. Always test the temperature of the milk on your skin before giving the milk to your child.

This is called unequal heating and it is a common problem with all the microwave ovens.

Christmas Cards (or, “My Damn Carpal Tunnel”)

Do you send Christmas cards each year? I do. I may be a little crazy by some standards, but I love giving and receiving actual cards. And I love the little notes and school pictures and family letters that often come with them. Even in this age of Facebook, there are family and friends from whom I just don’t hear enough, and I treasure this annual chance to catch up on each others’ lives.

 

Mom always sent cards. I remember her painstakingly writing out the addresses and little notes. And I remember that postage for Christmas cards was 15cents, while regular letters were 17 or 20 or something. A discount on Christmas postage! That was truly a different time.

Poinsettia flower Christmas cards - Woodland Trust Shop | Woodland ...

 

To make my cards a little easier, I typed in a set of “Christmas labels” a few years back. I can update the file each year if people move, or as I add new recipients. But all of the needed addresses are in one place and ready to go with a click of the print button and a couple sheets of Avery labels.

 

I also have a special storage box where I keep leftover cards, stamps, and pretty stickers. This way I don’t “misplace” them in the chaos that is my home.

 

Christmas stamps are a must. The envelopes don’t look right without them. I got burned about 4 years ago, when I waited til the first week of December to get stamps, and then had to go to 4 or 5 postal outlets before I could find festive ones. Now I stock up as soon as the stamps are released, then pop them in my storage box. (Thank heavens for permanent rate stamps!)

 

And of course there is our family letter. Yes it’s a form letter. But it’s an efficient and functional way to share our year with everyone. I still sign each card with a short personal note as well. I hope people like the update. I know I love getting these form letters from others!

 

Tonight I sit next to my stack of 40+ cards, stamped, addressed, sealed and ready to go. My wrist is hurting from the writing, and my mouth tastes like envelope glue, but I’m happy. I have two or three left to write. But I finally ran out of cards. My stash is empty, so I’ll hit the stores tomorrow and stock up again.

Health Information Goes Digital #digitalhealth

We were sitting at
the dinner table on a Friday evening. (It’s always on a Friday evening, isn’t
it?) Boo suddenly started scratching all over his torso. “What’s
wrong?” I ask. “I’m just really itchy, Mommy,” as he pulls up
his shirt and reveals a crazy red, raised rash. Holy cow! No fever, so I
suspected it was a generic viral rash, but sent a pic to my friend the
paediatric nurse, just in case. She agreed with me, but recommended getting it
checked out the next day anyway. And when a nurse tells you to see the doctor,
you go!

 

 

A great thing about
our family doctor is she’s part of a family health group with after-hours
clinics, so we always have someone we can see. The doctor that day confirmed
viral rash and suggested oatmeal baths and a pain medication. But the best part
(aside from knowing there was nothing serious going on) was that he was able to
type in all his notes on the visit and send them electronically to our own
doctor. Boom! Just like that she had them and could attach them to Boo’s
electronic file at her office. I was comforted knowing she had all the
information in an easily accessible way, making follow up and ongoing
monitoring that much easier.

WHO guideline recommendations on digital health

 

Being a techie gal
myself I appreciate the focus her office has on digital records and
communications. I can check out her current schedule on the office’s website,
send her an email, or book an appointment online. I even get appointment
reminders by email. And if I’m visiting her but have a question about Boo’s
health, or when he’s due for a vaccination or whatever, she just pulls up his
record on her computer and searches the answer. No need to have someone go
looking for a paper file that she then has to sort through to find what she
needs. It is so quick and convenient.

 

Across the country
more and more health care professionals are turning to electronic records and
secure digital sharing of patient data. Canada Health Infoway has launched a
public education campaign, BetterHealth Together,
designed to introduce us to this growing trend in health care. As digital
storage and access to health records expands, there may be some concerns about
security and personal privacy, and this campaign hopes to familiarise the
public with the safeguards in place and to educate on the benefits of digital
health records.

 

 

Does your doctor
receive lab results electronically? Mine does, and it means a quick, efficient
and secure delivery of my information, resulting in quick answers for me and
speedy treatment if necessary. Her office also provides printed lab
requisitions and prescriptions – so much easier and more complete than the old
hand-written notes. Plus, since the sheets print from the system, you are
assured that your file contains the exact same data.

 

If you are booking
medical appointments online, using a mobile app to log information on your and
your family’s health conditions, or if your doctor maintains electronic instead
of paper patient records, you are a part of the digital health movement. Do you
have a personal story on how these technologies are playing a role in your
health care? Canada Health Infoway encourages you to join them on Facebook and share your story, while
learning more about digital health in Canada. You can also find them on Twitter
at @Infoway.

 

 

 

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Canada Health Infoway, however
the images and opinions are my own. For more information please visit www.betterhealthtogether.ca.

Mother’s Day Gifts From Blurb.com

Mother’s Day is coming up soon, and you may still be looking for ideas of what to get for the woman who gave you everything. How about a collection of memories?

Mother's Day 2020 Wishes: How to greet 'Happy Mother's Day' in ...

Blurb Designer Instant book templates allow you to easily make a professional quality photo book filled with memories for mom. Scan and upload pictures from your childhood, or hers. Or send Grandma a photo book filled with beautiful images of her grandkids.

 

Instant Books are easy to create, take about an hour, and start at just $12.99. This is definitely a present she will leave on the coffee table for everyone to see each and every day! Start creating your Blurb Designer Instant Book today and save 20% with promo code LOVEYOUMOM, valid through 5/10/13!

Blurb Yearbooks – New Discount Code

My big 25% off code for Blurb Books expired yesterday, but you can still get 15% off all books until April 30 with the code APRIL15. Plus, there’s a special new discount code available to celebrate the launch of the Blurb Yearbooks.

Our Family Photo Yearbooks: Blurb Book Review » Everyday Little ...

Remember all of those special moments of the last year? (Your child graduating and moving onto a new school, your kids first soccer season or school field trip!) Now, you can remember them forever by creating a Blurb School Book! The best part about Blurb School Books is they are easy to create and a great fundraising tool for your school or class (there are discounts for bulk orders). Or, get together with other parents and create a wonderfully meaningful teacher’s gift for the end of the year.

Use the code MYSCHOOLBOOK to receive your 15% discount* on Blurb School and Yearbooks until 5/31/2013.

*Offer valid through May 31st, 11.59pm Local time. A 15% discount is applied towards product totals for books made by you. Maximum discount avail is USD $200, CAD/AUD $250 or EUR 160. This offer is not valid for GBP purchases. This offer is good for one time use only and may not be combined with any other offers, discounts, volume discounts, gift cards or used for adjustments on previous orders.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Blurb Books affiliate program through ShareASale.com

Don’t Forget To Look After You!!

The Heart and Stroke Foundation tells us that the following are all warning signs of a heart attack:
• Chest discomfort (uncomfortable chest pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness)
• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body (neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back)
• Shortness of breath
• Sweating
• Nausea
• Light-headedness”
Do you want to guess how many of these I experienced at work yesterday afternoon? Every. Single. One. Seriously. I was terrified.

Look After You (Look After You, #1) by Elena Matthews

And at the same time, part of my head was telling me, “Don’t be so silly! You are in an extremely low risk category (non-smoking, great cholesterol & blood pressure, no family history). You’re too busy to go to the hospital. What a waste of precious time. And who will pick up Little Boo from daycare?” Do any of these excuses sound familiar to you? Mom can’t go down. Period.

On the other hand, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has different advice. If you experience these symptoms? Call 9-1-1. Stop what you are doing, take an aspirin if you have the chest pain, and lie down. I was miserable, in pain, numb, short of breath, dizzy, scared.

So what did I eventually do, once the chest pain really kicked in? I walked two blocks to my preferred hospital. (I did at least take my assistant with me in case I collapsed on the sidewalk. I’m not a complete fool.) After a brief 90 minute wait (triage nurse clearly wasn’t worried by what she saw), I saw a doctor, had an ECG, and was assured that what I was really experiencing was just the worst anxiety attack I had ever encountered. The doctor took a quick history, including a run-down on the hellish week I’ve just come through, patted my hand and gave me a script for something to take when necessary. He also told me to go home and rest, take a couple of days off work. I am following those orders.
And I still made it to daycare in time to get Little Boo.

The bottom line, I decided to go with better safe than sorry. I have experienced panic attacks before, but this was unlike any other. What if I were wrong and this were a heart attack? Who would look after my family if something happened to me? So I called on my dear friends to arrange help with Little Boo. I called on my assistant (and friend) to help me to the hospital. And I called on the medical professionals to check me out and fix me if need be. I realised while in the Emergency waiting room, if any of my friends, family, or staff had reported these symptoms to me, I would have been the first to haul their butt in to a doctor.

The doctor I saw was wonderful. And he was very clear with me – I did the right thing by coming in. I want to share this story with you, my readers, to encourage you to listen to your bodies. If something doesn’t seem right, if something is scaring you, it is worth getting checked out. See your family doctor, or a walk-in, or go to emerg if necessary. Keep yourself well! Your friends and family are counting on it.

Please note: this post is in no way sponsored by or authorised by the Heart & Stroke Foundation. The opinions here are my own. The symptoms and actions listed above are from the Heart & Stroke website, as noted.

Empty Nests

I had intended to tell you a story tonight about my wonderful week. You see it’s been one of those weeks where my job really rocks. I’ve seen friends and movies, and friends at movies. I’ve had spa treatments and enjoyed cocktail parties and helped to launch charitable events. My work isn’t always this eventful or “in-person” social, so this week really stood out. And I’m now exhausted, but in a really good way.

Empty Nest Advice — Empty Nest Syndrome Tips and Solutions

But something not very awesome at all happened at some point Wednesday evening or overnight.

The baby robins are gone.

Hubs had chased away some crows earlier in the day who’d been showing a little too much interest in the nest. And then all seemed well. The parents were taking turns watching and feeding the babies. I got to see them lifting up their little beaks to accept the worms. I didn’t have time to grab the camera and take a picture, and told myself I’d get one another day. But it was not to be.

When I got home Wednesday evening, there was no parent at the nest. And no parent when I glanced out the window while making coffee. When I came back to pour my first cup, there was again/still no parent, so I went to investigate. And I found an empty nest.

I talked to Hubs and he commented that he didn’t see any robins when he got home the night before either, and had worried. It’s all very sad, but I guess it’s the circle of life, right? Crows and Common Grackles are known to be natural predators to robins and likely one or the other of these chased off the parents and grabbed the babies while we were away.

So now I feel guilty for being away for 7 or 8 hours. Like the babies were my responsibility, which I know they weren’t , but still.

I’ve read that robins build a new nest for each new clutch of eggs, plus I don’t think this was a great location for them anyway. The hanging basket kept the babies safe from squirrels and chipmunks, but there was no coverage to hide the nest from flying predators. So, I removed the nest, intact, and sent it in to school with Boo. His teacher said she will use it in the science curriculum. It is in awesome shape, since it didn’t fall out of a tree or anything. You can really see and appreciate the amount of work that went in to weaving the grasses and twigs and cementing it all with mud. The structure also includes some strings and ribbons momma found, and the nest is lined with really soft grasses. It is a thing of beauty.

I truly hope that momma and daddy robin have better luck with a second set of eggs, and that they find a more secret place to safely raise their family.

My Soda Stream, My Love!

I don’t usually drink a lot of pop, though I do love it. My boys, especially the Teen, would drink it constantly if I let them. So, when I heard about the Soda Stream company, I was intrigued. The concept of making our own pop at home, with our own tap water certainly appealed to me, both from a cost-saving and a convenience factor. Not to mention the environmental impact. With Soda Stream you re-use your bottles over and over again for up to 3 years, rather than creating masses of plastic bottles needing to go to recycling. And the Soda Stream bottles are BPA-free.

SODASTREAM Spirit Pink Blush - Soda Maker | Alzashop.com

 

But how does this all work? And, most importantly, how does the pop taste??

 

Soda Stream machines require no electricity or batteries. The fizz comes from a CO2 carbonating cylinder and a simple push (or pushes) of a button. More pushes = more carbonation, so you can choose how fizzy you’d like your drink to be. Also, because you add the flavour syrups yourself, you can choose how sweet and/or flavourful your drink will be. Because the machines require no electricity, they are very portable and would be a great option for a small kitchen with few outlets, and are easy to carry to a different room, on a picnic, etc.

 

As for taste, my family is impressed. When I introduced the Teen to the machine he was more excited than I’ve seen him in ages. Seriously, it was pretty awesome to see. We did a quick training session, and he crafted himself a bottle of orange pop. Which was devoured in minutes. We’ve tried a number of different sodamixes so far, and haven’t had a miss yet. Cola, Diet Cola, Orange, Ginger Ale, Lemon-Lime, and more all taste as you would expect them to. They taste like the name brand versions, not the discount or no-name labels. Even the root beer, which I was worried about, received the seal of approval from the Teen. He declared it excellent and likened it to the root beer of a rather well-known fast food/root beer establishment.

 

From a mom’s perspective, I like that I can be in charge of how much syrup is flavouring our pop now. And I appreciate that the mixes are sweetened with cane sugar rather than HFCS. This pop is lower in carbs and calories than store-bought pop, which definitely works for me. Here is a sample comparison from the Soda Stream website:

 

Prepared Size: 250 mL

Coca-Cola Cola
Calories 100 35
Fat/lipides 0 g 0 g g
Saturated/ saturés + Trans/ trans 0 g 0 g g
Sodium 30 mg 2 mg mg
Carbohydrate/ Glucides 27 g 7 g g
Fibre/ Fibres 0 g 0 g g
Sugars/ Sucres 27 g 7 g g
Protein/ Protéines 0 g 0 g g

Looks good to me! If we are going to drink pop, I would rather it look like the column on the right. The Teen is heading off to college in the fall, and I’ve decided that one of these machines will make a great addition to his dorm room. Let’s face it – I know there will be far too many nights of pizza and root beer. If he makes his own pop he’ll be saving money and drinking a little healthier.

 

Soda Stream systems, carbonators, and syrups can be purchased from a variety of retailers or online at their own website. I recommend purchasing one of their variety packs to start out, so you can sample a number of flavours at once. Each of the 500ml bottles of sodamix will make 12 litres of pop.

Disclosure: I received a Soda Stream Jet system starter pack and sodamix to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions on this blog remain my own.

Yet Another Post About Pee

 

I remember a few years back, when the Teen was maybe 8 years old. I was chatting with a colleague, a mom of a teenaged boy. And I asked her, in utter desperation, “Please tell me! WHEN will he start peeing IN the toilet instead of on it??” Or beside it, or behind it, or whatever.

Morning Pee: This Is Why You Have To Pee So Much In The Morning ...

She just laughed at me and walked away.

I can’t remember the last time my bathroom stayed clean for longer than a couple of hours. What is the issue? Why is aim so difficult?? I mean, I guess I can get a minor miss that splashes on the back of the toilet. But the floor?? What do boys do in there? What are they looking at to throw their aim off so?

“Lalalala … oh look over there! Soap!”

I used to swear the Teen must have been talking to the cat or something. (And maybe peeing on him.)

I’ll go to sit down in there, and I immediately smell it. Then I look and see the tell-tale sheen on the floor. What the ..??

Basically, my bathroom stinks.

My favourite cleaning tip for all you moms of boys? Disposable disinfecting wipes. I buy them in bulk. There’s a container beside each toilet in the house, and it makes it so easy to give a quick wipe for any little offerings my boys have left behind. (I have to admit, at this stage it’s really only the little one with a real problem.) I don’t know what I’d do without these things. And get a nice scented one. SO worth it.

Also? If you can convince your boys to sit down to pee, so much the better. There’s no real reason they need to stand after all. As long as they remember to hold it down, sitting is definitely the way to go.

Let me introduce myself …

So, I’m absolutely new to blogging – never done it before, and haven’t really even read a lot of other folks’ blogs. But, I’ve been thinking of starting ever since I found out I was pregnant last spring. There seems to be such a community of moms sharing their experiences online. I’ve been posting on message boards, but find sometimes I just want somewhere to brag or vent or process an experience, without anyone else feeling they need to respond or that I’m looking for a response. Know what I mean?

I'm working on myself, for myself, by myself. (With images ...

At any rate, we’ll see if I can find the time to keep this up, and hopefully even make it interesting! Now that my little guy is 6 months, I can grab a few mintues here and there while he entertains himself. I wish I’d started earlier, but then I’m not sure when I would have found the time to write anything in the first couple of months. And not sure anything coherent would have come out if I had. I may reminisce a little at first, since I’m still trying to process some of the earlier experiences. And trying to capture them before I forget what it was like to have a baby in the NICU or to have a tiny little infant attached to my breast almost constantly 24/7 for a month or more. We’ll see.

Please bear with me ??