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Tag: Nation

Hey Canada! A Trip Across Our Nation #HeyCanada

Just in time for Canada Day I am happy to be taking part in this fun blog tour, to tell all of you about this new book from Tundra Books. Hey Canada! is the story of a grandmother who takes her two grandchildren (cousins) and a mischievous pet hamster on a trip across our country, from coast to coast to coast. This is their opportunity to discover just how big and diverse and interesting Canada is.

 

Written by Vivien Bowers, and illustrated by Milan Pavlovic, the book utilizes poetry, prose, images, tweets, and comic strips to introduce us to Canada’s history and points of interest. Each chapter is its own province and includes a map, the provincial flower, bird, and capital. A large map of Canada and depictions of all provincial and territorial flags are included as well.

Canada - Wikipedia

 

Hey Canada! brings us from St. John`s, NL, across to Victoria, BC, and up through the Canadian north, with stops in all three territories. Each chapter gives a wealth of information and insights. There are even pronunciation guides for some more difficult words, or names in other languages than English. Little Boo enjoyed following along with “Find It” lists in each chapter, looking through all the pictures to find everything listed. It was a great game for him.

 

I think both Little Boo and I learned things from this book. I would have liked some more details on my home province, Newfoundland and Labrador, but that is probably only because it’s where I’m from and there are so many other events and sites I’d love to share with the rest of the country. You may find the same thing when you read the chapter for your neck of the woods, but this is not supposed to be an exhaustive reference guide. It is in fact a great introduction and an easily accessible non-fiction work for kids. There is even an index at the back so your kids can go back and check out specifics, like icebergs, Ogopogo, or Kensington Market, at a later date.

We enjoyed Hey Canada! as bed time reading – one or two chapters each night. The highest praise I can offer? Little Boo specifically requested it each night and let me know what province or territory we were to visit next. Clearly he loved it!

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.

Disney’s Frozen – Family Pass Giveaway

 

Walt Disney Animation Studios, the studio behind Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph, presents Frozen, a stunning big-screen comedy adventure. Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey – teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven – to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. “Frozen” hits theatres in 3D on November 27, 2013.

Conceal, Don't Feel: A Queer Reading of Disney's [Frozen] – Angel ...

A Giveaway

Disney’s Frozen may not officially open until November 27, but I have a special treat for two Raising My Boys readers. On November 9th, at 10:00am, Walt Disney Motion Pictures Canada will present a number of screenings of the new film in cities across Canada. I have family passes to give out for the GTA screenings, in Richmond Hill and Whitby. Can you attend? The screenings will be at the Silver City Richmond Hill and Empire Theatres Whitby. Each family pass provides admission for four people. I have one to give away for each location. Entries are via the Rafflecopter widget below and will be accepted until 12:00 midnight EST, November 4. Open to Canadian residents only, and the winners must be available to attend the screening in person on November 9. Best of luck!

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.

Educate Yourself #WorldMeningitisDay

Today, April 24th, is World Meningitis Day, and yesterday I participated in a webinar designed to share information about this devastating disease. The experts on the panel, Alyson Schafer, Dr. Dave Greenberg, and Furakh Mir, provided a wealth of information on prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes. Furakh, founder of Meningitis Relief Canada (MRC), shared her own story as the mother of a child who contracted meningitis at one week old.(He is now a happy and healthy toddler, but continues to be monitored for any possible developmental issues arising from his early illness.) You can read her son’s full story on the MRC website.

World Meningitis Day - What is Meningitis and How To Treat It

Meningitis has always scared me, but I really didn’t know too much about it. What I did know was that it is a potentially life-threatening disease, that presents much like a flu. This is scary, because the symptoms could so easily be dismissed, and by the time these symptoms are recognised for what they are, it could be too late. One important point that Furakh made in her talk, and that Dr. Dave really emphasised as well, is to trust your instincts on this one. You know your child better than anyone else. Your child may have a fever and still be able to play and essentially still act like themselves. But if you notice a marked change in behaviour, lethargy, etc., and your child doesn’t seem “right,” bring them to your doctor or the hospital. Be sure your physician understands the behaviour change, and advocate for further tests or care. (But don’t be rude!)

I encourage you to visit Meninfo.ca to learn more about this disease, its symptoms, prevention and more. Knowledge is power. Know what you’re looking for!

I’m going to share with you some myths and facts about this disease, which actually is a pretty good synopsis of key points from the webinar.

Meningitis Disease – Myths and Facts

There is only one type of meningitis. MYTH – Meningitis can be caused by different germs including viral, bacterial and fungal. A viral infection is less severe and can typically be treated at home. Bacterial meningitis occurs when bacteria enters the blood and migrates to the spinal area. Given the rapid progression and severity of meningitis, medical attention should be sought immediately if someone suspects meningitis.

Meningitis has flu like symptoms. FACT – Early symptoms of meningitis are similar to flu symptoms, including fever, headache, stiff neck and vomiting. Other symptoms can include confusion, light sensitivity and no interest in eating or drinking. If you notice these symptoms, seek medical attention.

Meningitis is easy to diagnose. MYTH – Because early symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses especially the flu, cases of meningitis can be overlooked and misdiagnosed initially. It’s important at the onset of symptoms to seek immediate treatment.

Meningitis will go away on its own. MYTH – Bacterial meningitis requires quick and aggressive treatment and can result in devastating consequences including varying degrees of blindness, deafness, paralysis and intellectual disabilities or death.

Canadian children and young adults are most susceptible to meningitis. FACT – Children under one year of age and adolescents (15-19 years old) are among the age groups with the highest incidence of meningitis.5 College and university students are also susceptible to contracting meningitis 6 because of their increased likelihood of sharing items such as drinks, utensils and cigarettes.

Meningitis can be contracted by casual contact. MYTH – Meningitis is spread through direct contact with an infected person through the droplet route by means of respiratory secretions when air or liquid secretions are shared.

All vaccines to prevent against meningococcal disease are the same. MYTH – Most meningococcal infections are caused by five different strains, A, C, Y, W-135, and B. Vaccines are currently available against four of the five strains, A, C, Y and W-135, 8 and a vaccine against the B strain is under review.

Canadian children who have received meningitis vaccines are protected against all strains. MYTH – Many Canadians feel that their children are protected against all meningococcal disease, however, this is a misconception. There is currently no protection available for meningitis B,9 however Health Canada is currently reviewing for approval and use for Canadians, the first meningitis B vaccine. This vaccine would be the final piece of the meningitis vaccination puzzle.

And here’s a video produced by Meninfo.ca and released for World Meningitis Day – please share to spread the word and raise awareness!

How Do You Search the Web?

My default search provider is Swagbucks. I get relevant search results, and earn rewards points while doing something I’d be doing anyway. In addition to receiving Swagbucks for everyday searches, you can also earn by completing surveys, answering polls, completing tasks, and more. There’s lots of bonus swag codes to be found as well. Your Swagbucks can then be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, charity donations, sweepstakes entries, etc.

A Web Developer Can Be Your Personal Assistant | Prednisonepill

 

Swagbucks has some big things in store for their 5th Birthday this year – they’re giving out five $1000 cash prizes and holding a HUGE Swag Code Extravaganza where you can earn 135 Swag Bucks worth of codes! There are also some huge games planned, and while the party doesn’t happen until February 25th, on Monday the 11th you’ll get more info, including how you can win one of those $1000 prizes!

Haven’t joined Swagbucks yet? Click here to join and use the Swag Code 5THBIRTHDAY during registration – you’ll start with 120 Swag Bucks instead of the usual 30. I’ve earned close to 4000 points from using Swagbucks so far. Once I hit 5000 I’ll be cashing in for $50 Paypal cash. woo hoo!

Dusty the Crop Duster at the Waterloo Air Show, June 1-2

Do you think your kids (or you!) would like to meet the star of Disney’s upcoming animated feature, “Planes”? Well, if you head out to the Waterloo Air Show this weekend (June 1-2), you’ll have the chance!

File:Dusty the Crop Duster.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

 

Dusty will be appearing at a number of air shows across North America this summer, in advance of the film’s release on August 9. He will show off his talents, communicate with the crowd and be accompanied by an exclusive and uplifting Disney musical score. Sounds like a great time for kids of all ages!

 

The owner and pilot of the aircraft tapped to play the role of Dusty in the air show performances is Texas-based aerial applicator Rusty Lindeman, who customized one of his own Air Tractor AT-301 airplanes to match Dusty’s paint scheme and features. Manufactured in Olney, Texas, Air Tractor aircraft are used for agricultural spraying, seeding and fertilizing, plus forestry protection, fire fighting and more in the U.S. and more than 30 countries around the world. “We’re happy to help bring Dusty to life for the performances and hope that the audience will have fun and learn a bit more about the importance of aerial application in modern agriculture,” said Air Tractor’s Kristin Edwards.

 

 

 

 

“‘Disney’s Planes’ is a great underdog story, said director and aviation enthusiast Klay Hall. “It has a lot of heart and a message we can all use: If we can believe in ourselves, step out of our comfort zones and get past whatever fear is holding us back, we’d be surprised with the results. And that’s exactly what happens to Dusty in this movie. He’s a crop duster who’s never flown above 1,000 feet, but he dreams of being the fastest air racer in the world. He has a lot of obstacles to overcome and needs to dig pretty deep to find the courage to become more than he was built for.”

 

David White, Co-Producer of the Waterloo Air Show added: “The Waterloo Air Show is a wonderful family event and we are absolutely thrilled to be a part of the ultimate family experience with this very special appearance of Dusty from ‘Disney’s Planes.’ We invite those of all ages to join us for this most unique event.”

 

 

About the Waterloo Air Show

The Waterloo Air Show will take place June 1st and 2nd, 2013, at the Region of Waterloo International Airport. It is a two-day family-friendly event that showcases some of the best skills and entertainment the aviation industry has to offer. With displays both in the air and on the ground, guests can enjoy amazing aerial demonstrations headlined by the world-famous Canadian Forces Snowbirds, while exploring exhibits, vendors, additional aircraft on the ground, kids activities, an Autograph Tent, Food Truck Alley and more.

Find Your New Best Friend – Mega Pet Adoption Weekend in Toronto June 5-7 #adoptlove

Just look at that face! How could I not fall in love at first sight! This is our precious pup, Maxi. Regular readers will know her well. We adopted her through the OSPCA 2 years ago, and she has become an integral member of our family. She is loving and playful, and sometimes a little skittish. She likes to visit the off-leash park to make friends with other pups, and she loves to sneak into the laundry room to eat the cat’s dinner. Like everyone, she has a mix of good and bad traits ??

101 Best Friend Quotes - Short Quotes About Best Friends

Maxi had been surrendered to the OSPCA because her owners could no longer care for her. We visited because we were looking to fill a hole in our family. It was a match made in heaven.

Pets have always been important to me, and I adore having my furry babies in my life. If you are in the GTA and ready to make the commitment to a new four-legged friend, I strongly encourage you to check out the Mega Pet Adoption Weekend happening Friday-Sunday this week at the CNE grounds.

In its second year, this event is hosted by the Toronto Humane Society and Toronto Animal Services, proudly sponsored by PetSmart Charities of Canada and PetSmart, and will involve a number of animal welfare agencies from across the GTA. For just $25 you can bring home a new family member who will be spayed or neutered and vaccinated. Standard pet licensing fees apply to City of Toronto residents.
“Each year more than 15,000 animals enter GTA shelters. During these three days we hope to find 600 of them new forever homes. Anyone who is considering adding a pet to their family should join us and see for themselves the amazing animals available for adoption,” said Barbara Steinhoff, Executive Director, Toronto Humane Society.

What: Mega Pet Adoption Weekend
Who: Adoptable pets from local animal
welfare organizations, including Toronto Humane Society and Toronto Animal
Services

Spokespeople from PetSmart
Charities of Canada and PetSmart will also be on-site

When: Friday, June 5 – Sunday, June 7,
2015

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Queen Elizabeth Building on the
grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition

 

“Adopting a new companion is a rewarding decision, one that will bring a lot of joy and create memories to last a lifetime,” said John DeFranco, President, PetSmart Charities of Canada. “Through partnerships, such as those with the Toronto Humane Society and Toronto Animal Services, we’re able to find forever homes for even more pets.”

 

So, are you ready? Your new best friend may just be waiting for you at the CNE grounds this weekend.

Mommy Mondays – New Beginnings

 

I’ve blogged here before about wanting to give up my day job, about how I’d much rather be home with Little Boo. Well, my day job is becoming increasingly stressful and bringing me a lot of angst and generally making me unhappy. Even aside from the Little Boo issue.

Mommy Mondays – LoLoboog44 | justaBXmom.com

So, I’ve decided to take a small first step to moving away from office work. I’ve taken on two new business projects in an effort to create alternatives to my monthly paycheque. With any luck, if things start to take off, maybe we can see our way clear to my eventual resignation.

Or maybe I can at least hire a cleaning lady and afford online grocery shopping to free up some mental health and family time. Or pay for my Blissdom Canada registration …

Nothing too earth shattering. I’ve decided to sell for two companies whose products I have used and loved for years – Avon and Pampered Chef. I am “my own boss” in both instances, as they like to say. So I can do as little or as much with it as I’d like. I figure I can start out slow-ish and build up. I spent a good few years in retail sales, and I love to talk and to meet people, so I think I can swing this.

My first Avon order went in tonight. Exciting! The products will arrive later this week and I will have my first experience of the sorting and invoicing and collecting. We’ll see how it goes. I am having a lot of fun reading and learning and browsing through the samples I can order. It’s like Christmas!

Pampered Chef officially starts next month. I have two shows booked already, and my “one-up” is encouraging me to try for 2 more in my first 30 days to get my momentum going.

I’m excited to be trying something different. I’ve talked about becoming a PC consultant for years, so I think it is definitely time to give it a shot. It feels good to be making a move and attempting to create positive change for me and for my family. I’m planning to set up a new blog (or two) for these businesses, and will create Twitter profiles as well. I mean, I am addicted to social media after all.

Wish me luck. And if you’re interested in browsing an Avon brochure or hosting or attending a Pampered Chef show, by all means let me know. That would be totally great. And fun!

Well thanks, sweetie

 

Driving today with Little Boo, we had one of our interesting car conversations. Not sure what it is about the car rides, but they certainly can be eye opening.

National Volunteer Week: Associations Say Thanks During a Strange ...

Today’s revelation was mildly painful, but I’m a big girl. I can handle it.

Little Boo, “Mommy, have I told you I like you better when you had long hair? You were much prettier when you were a young mother and had long hair and put on your make-up.”

WTH?! I was so close to bursting out laughing, but I controlled myself. I just said, “Oh. You like my hair long?” Totally ignored the make-up comment. I mean, what am I supposed to do with that?

Good thing I have a strong ego!