Sunday, May 31, 2009

W Is For Westgrove

The kids had a book launch at school last week of a book the students of Westgrove elementary (my kids' school) wrote, illustrated and published. It (the project) started seven months ago when they had a guest author showing the new book he'd written about Manitoba titled 'G Is For Golden Boy'. This sparked an idea with the librarian and away they went on starting there own project. I attended the launch and it was very interesting, they showed a powerpoint presentation of the various stages of production. Each class making an alphabet list about their school, each class was assigned certain letters to make a poem about the final choice of word for each letter, also for each letter they were assigned they had to make an oil-like painting. With help from various people in the community including the author & illustrator of the 'G Is For Goldenboy' book, their book was published. The cover drawing was done by my son's class. Here I've scanned the letters of the alphabet for Westgrove School:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Au Paris!

As promised here is our fun filled day to Paris. My wonderful kids took me to Paris on Mother's Day! :) It was a beautiful day, the weather was just right for a picnic lunch beside the Eiffel Tower. I can't wait till we go back again and see more of this beautiful city. Better bone up on my (our) French first...been a while since I've had to use it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

Too bad that when I "think about" writing on my blog it doesn't happen (telepathy ?). It's not that I haven't thought about writing on my blog but rather I just haven't had the time to spare to sit in front of my comp and henpeck on my keyboard. Up until just the last few days our weather has been unpredictable with snow and frost overnight and chilly days intermixed with some warmer days. Just the past couple of days I've been wearing shorts and sunscreen to avoid getting a sunburn as all I want to do is stay outside. Today I started planting my garden and Friday I'm looking forward to going to the greenhouses and getting my flowers. Needless to say I'm making my lists and checking them twice. :)

My kids are getting to the age wear I'm one of those moms I'd always hear about driving their kids everywhere. The bad thing is that only two of them are old enough for most activities...just I wait until it is all three!!.....I'm actually enjoying the fact that summer is approaching and so several things are winding up so I'm not out every night. Monday Wynn goes to Cubs, Tuesday Autumn has rhythmic gymnastics and Wynn soccer, Wed eves are now free :), Thurs Wynn has soccer and Friday all three kids have swimming lessons. This past Tuesday, rather than her regular gymnastics class Autumn had assessment as she is old enough to start competitive classes in the fall. She is WAYYY more flexible than I am or ever was...she can do (and enjoys) both side and middle splits.

This weekend we are going out to Cliff's parents place to visit them but also to visit our puppy that we are getting from a breeder out there. It is a Schitzu/ Bichon cross. The pups will be three weeks old this weekend. We will pick out our puppy and get to bring it home with us at the age of 7 weeks.....just before the end of school. It's hard to believe that the school year is almost over. June also holds many other exciting days - circus, church picnic, surprise birthday party for a friend, Autumn's Sparks sleepover... Hopefully I will get around to blogging about them. We have two weeks off in the summer and are trying to decide if when are going to drive out west the. Do you have any exciting plans now the warm weather is here?

Also as a note re exciting news....My Liam boy is wearing underpants and although he still has accidents, his doing VERY good about going pee & poop on the potty and even telling me when he has to go rather than mom trying to remember to take him to try every couple hours. He's quite proud of himself. I must admit I was getting worried as he'll be starting preschool in the fall and he was still in pull-ups.

Sorry not very exciting but I just wanted to let you know why I've been sluffing off here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

9 Years!

I won't say it's been 9 years of wedded bliss but we've made many memories, shared many moments, pursued many dreams, met challenges, and nutured our love. So I'd say we have much to celebrate and much more to look forward to. Well I finally found out the surprise my hubby has for me. He was going to make me wait until 12:01 to open it but, he gave it to me last night after the kids had gone to bed. It's beautiful (It may not look like it but it's real diamonds and rose gold):) :

And my neighbor who is a florist also gave us a card and some flowers. As soon as I saw them, I asked, "How did you know?!" Apparently she didn't know that these are my favorite color roses and are similar to the peach roses I had at my wedding. :)

Just as a late entry I've wanted to show you what the kids gave me for Mother's Day. Inside the card was a magnet to reflect mom's (my) mood. It's so cute.

There is a "frame"magnet and then the larger one with the various moods/faces.Depending on how you feel, you frame the appropriate face. The morning I took this pic I was apparently sleepy. I think tonight considering it is our anniversary and circumstances aren't favorable for us to go out...Mom feels like ordering in. :)

Oh, also on Mother's Day the kids took me to Paris. When we get the pics back I'll post a picture for you. ;)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

World Hypertension Day: May 17, 2009

I started this post 2 1/2 months ago when my husbund had a close call with his blood pressure. It was then that I found out about "Hypertension Day" and wanted to make sure other people were aware. Luckily it was just a "wake-up call" rather than a stroke. My husband has always known his blood pressure is borderline high and cardiac problems run in his family. He had pretty much accepted his daily migraines as a part of his daily schedule. But once he went to the dr with a blood pressure of 195/105 all that changed. After several visits to the dr, he was started on 3 cardiac medications, his blood pressure is now around 115/80 and I don't remember his last migraine headache. In addition to cutting down on his salt (sodium) intake, he's also drinking alot more water vs soda and atempting to be more active. Needless to say he's lost about 10 pounds and feeling great. Great as far as his blood pressure goes....

2009 Theme: Salt and High Blood Pressure. Two Silent Killers - Get Informed. Live Long

World Hypertension Day
World Hypertension Day has been established to highlight the preventable stroke, heart and kidney diseases caused by high blood pressure and to communicate to the public information on prevention, detection and treatment.
Each year, May 17th is designated World Hypertension Day. High Blood Pressure Is A Global Epidemic. Over 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from high blood pressure (or hypertension). Hypertension is the biggest risk factor for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
High blood pressure is the biggest single risk factor for death worldwide, causing strokes, heart attacks and kidney disease.
Salt Is A Major Factor In Raising Blood Pressure. High salt (sodium) consumption is the cause of hypertension in about 3 in 10 adults. Hypertension is the major risk factor in cardiovascular diseases, accounting for 64% of strokes and 49% of coronary heart disease. Reducing sodium
reduces blood pressure. Globally, 7 million die every year because of high blood pressure. Many of these deaths could be prevented by eating less sodium. Sodium is a part of table salt but up to
80% of the sodium we consume comes from processed or packaged food and food eaten at restaurants.

For More Information

STOP Cut Down On
Foods High In Sodium

Anchovies, bacon, cheese, chips
(if sodium added), coated chicken,
powdered sauces, noodle snacks, olives,
pickles, prawns, salami, salted nuts,
salted fish, sausages, smoked meat
and fish, soy sauce, stock cubes, table
sauces, canned meats.

Sodium More Than 400 Mg per Serving

YIELD Eat Fewer Servings
of Processed Foods.
Baked beans, cookies, breakfast cereals,
bread products, burgers, cakes, pastries,
cooking/table sauces, chips, stuffed/
canned pasta, meat pies, pasta sauces,
pizza, ready meals, soup, sandwiches

Sodium 200 - 400 Mg per Serving

GO Eat More Foods
Lower In Sodium
Some breakfast cereals, couscous,
eggs, fresh fish, meat and poultry, fresh
cheese, fruits and vegetables (dried,
fresh, frozen) homemade bread/sauces/
soup, mozzarella and ricotta cheese,
pasta, rice, unsalted nuts, plain cottage
cheese, plain popcorn, yogurt, peas,
beans, lentils, seeds.

Sodium Less Than 200 Mg per Serving

Other Helpful Actions:
• Don’t put the salt shaker on the table.
• Try using fresh herbs and dried spices instead of salt.
• Try making your own sauces with less or no salt.

What actions can countries take to reduce salt intake?
It Is Vital That All Countries Reduce
Their Salt Intake.
• The average daily salt intake in worlwide is
approximately 9-12 grams per person.
• The World Health organization
recommends not more than
1 tea spoon of salt (5-6 grams
per day. New evidence
recommends daily intake of
only half a tea spoon of salt
(2-3 grams) per day and even
less for children.
• National salt reduction is the least costly way to
prevent cardiovascular disease.
If salt intake is reduced by half,
it would save approximately
2.5 million deaths a year from strokes
and heart attacks worldwide.
Salt Reduction Strategies Around the World
Developed Countries:
Most salt in the diet comes from processed, packaged,
restaurant, or fast foods.
• Engage with the food industry to reduce salt in
the manufacturing process
• Encourage governments to set voluntary salt
reduction targets
• Develop food labeling with salt
• Education Educate the public
about the danger of salt
Other Countries:
Most of the salt is added during
cooking or comes from sauces.
• Assess major sources of
salt in the diet
• Educate health authorities
and Government
• Educate the public about
the dangers of salt

What action can the average person take to reduce salt intake?
Cut The Salt And Lower Your Risk!
People who eat too much salt are more
likely to have high blood pressure,
resulting in heart attacks, stroke and
kidney diseases. But, the salt shaker is
not the biggest culprit! About 80% of
the sodium you eat is from processed,
packaged, restaurant and fast foods.
Check Food Labels
Before You Buy
To reduce your sodium intake, check
food labels for sodium content.
Choose foods that are low in sodium,
sodium-reduced. Try to avoid food with
20% or more of sodium per serving.
1 gram of salt contains
400 milligrams (mg) of sodium or
1 gram of sodium = 2.5 grams of Salt.
The current average daily sodium intake
is well over the recommended level
of 1 teaspoon or of 2,300 mg.
Try to use only half a tea spoon
of salt a day.
Control Your Blood Pressure:
• Measure your blood pressure regularly
at home.
• If your blood pressure is high see a health
care provider to get an assessment.
• If you are on treatment make sure to take
your medications regularly.

Unfortunately, now my husband is off work again but this time due to a back injury. He's seeing a physiotherapist regularly and returns back to work on light duties in a week. Poor guy is calling himself "Brad Pittiful". Yes there is a story behind that....both my husband and I work as RN's at the same place so one day when I picked up a shift on is unit that he is off sick for, one of the HCA's said "oh look, it's Mrs. place of Mr. Smith who isn't here." My first thought was, "does that make me Angelina Jolie?!". I went home and called my husband "Brad Pitt"....thus his response :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Florence Nightengale's Birthday: May 12

Florence Nightingale lived a long and remarkable life. Although she is known as the founder of modern nursing and one of the most famous women in history, few people know that she spent the last half of her life confined to her home and often bedridden, suffering from an illness similar to what we now call ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).

She was born on May 12, 1820 to wealthy British parents travelling in Italy. Named for the city in which she was born, young Florence never quite fit the mold of a Victorian lady. She was well educated in literature, music, drawing and the domestic arts. A women of her social standing was expected to marry and devote her life to her family, entertaining, and cultural pursuits.

However, she felt an early calling to serve, and refused to marry. When she attempted to go to work as a nurse, her horrified family repeatedly opposed her. In those days, hospitals were often dirty and dark and nurses were untrained, sometimes drunken women. Finally, at age 33 she was able to obtain some minimal training and begin her career.

In 1854, the British press began reporting that soldiers wounded in the Crimean War were being poorly cared for in deplorable conditions. Nightingale recruited and equipped a group of nurses and went off to Turkey to help. Her arrival was not celebrated by the surgeons there, who resented the interference of a woman. Undaunted, she worked tirelessly to improve conditions in the hospital. Her changes revolutionized British military medical care, increasing standards for sanitation and nutrition and dramatically lowering mortality rates. While visiting the front lines, she became ill and never really recovered.

Although an invalid for the rest of her life, Nightingale continued to have an influence on standards of nursing care and training. In 1859 she helped to establish the first Visiting Nurse Association and in 1860, she established a school that became a model for modern nurses training. She was considered an expert on the scientific care of the sick and was asked by the United States for her advice on caring for the wounded soldiers of the Civil War. Through correspondence and reports, she continued her influence throughout her last years. She was the first women to receive the British Order of Merit. In 1907 the International Conference of Red Cross Societies listed her as a pioneer of the Red Cross Movement. She died in 1910 at the age of ninety.
Florence Nightingale was known by the British soldiers in the Crimea as the “lady with the lamp” because of the late hours that she worked tending to the sick and wounded. Today, she is remembered as a symbol of selfless caring and tireless service.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Nurses week May 11 - 17

Canada's National Nursing Week will be May 11-17, 2009. Use the week as opportunity to show appreciation for the vital role that nurses play in the health care system and in the life of every Canadian.
Nurses world-wide are recognized each year in May during Nurses Week. The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) has chosen as this year's national theme, Nursing: You can't live without it!
"National Nursing Week provides an opportunity to celebrate all nursing professions and recognize the diversity and complexity of the roles [nurses play]. It also gives the public an opportunity to understand and appreciate the contributions nurses make to people's health and well-being," notes Alberta RN magazine (April 2009, V65 N4, p. 20) Read more: "National Nursing Week 2009 in Canada: Nursing - You Can’t Live Without It! is Canadian Theme" -

Both my husband and I are nurses and between the two of us we have worked in a variety of nursing fields including Palliative Care, Geriatric Long-Term Care, Stroke Rehab, Acute Brain Injury Rehab, Special Needs, Alzheimer's Care, Community Health Nurse visiting new moms & babies. During these years of experience I must say that I admire my fellow nurses/mentors, especially those with years of experience. Watching them now and even looking back on my years as a Health Care Aide on the medical/surgical units I have to agree with a quote I recently read by a nursing historian, Joan Lynaugh, when she said, "Most people know they can't get into a hospital without a doctor. What they don't know is that they won't get out of one - atleadt not alive - without a nurse."

This week tell your local nurses just how much you appreciate them! Especially with the staff shortages these days, nursing can be a very stressful occupation (as I'm sure many are)...bring a smile to a nurse's face today.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What's With This Weather?!?

If I didn't see it with my own eyes, I wouldn't believe it. Actually, I pathetic is that...I do live in Manitoba after all! Just three days ago, the daytime high was +22*C, we were wearing shorts, and biking to school. Today, just three days later, IT'S SNOWING! and I had to bring my potted flowers inside. Thankfully it's not as much as Liam imagined when I said "It's snowing". He replied with glee, "I'm going to go make snow angels!" Hopefully you have to wait until next winter for that my boy, I want to see summer first!

This is what I saw when I looked out my window. Actually I'd already been up for about an hour and there isn't as much snow in these pics as I first saw when I woke up. This is a good thing I guess, means the temperature is warming up and melting the snow. :)

And to think that I scoffed at having to wait until the May long weekend to go to the greenhouse and start buying and planting flowers. The weather was so nice for a couple days I guess I had "spring fever". This is my reality check.

Here are our vehicles covered in snow. In the winter we keep the van in the garage but now the garage is full of bikes, spring toys and gardening stuff.....oops!
I don't think I posted a picture of our new car. The Echo beside the van, we purchased it in January of this year. So nice, I can't imagine how we did with only one vehicle or even how I did without a driver license for so long.
I hope you all are having a good spring!