Monday, June 8, 2009

Moved Already?

Yes, cos I'm decisive like that.
I'm now posting at:
Hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Unlikely Olympian

I'll grant you it's an unlikely dream for a child who seems destined for the AV-club. But our 6-year-old daughter -- who is frightened by crowds, has yet to master the athletic firsts of skipping, biking and swimming, and who has to be coaxed to continue with anything that she has not immediately mastered within the first five minutes -- wants to be an Olympian.

We're not exactly sure how this dream took root. To date it has not resulted in any feverish need to practice a particular sport, and instead can be seen plainly and simply in the clothes she wears. Have you seen those Olympic clothes sold at The Bay and Zellers? She NEEDS to wear these clothes. And every single day apparently. So that the teachers at her school don't think that I dress her in the same shirt every day, I have managed to acquire a different one of these shirts for each day of the week. She also has an Olympic winter hat, baseball hat and lunch box.

When we have explained that a future Olympian needs a sport, she looked at us with a "yeah, yeah, details," expression. When pressed further, she explained to us that she was going to be an Olympic cross-country skiier. Fair enough. She is quite good at the skiing. For someone with such a bird-like physique, weighing in at only 43lbs, she is very strong. Her father routinely takes her on mountain hikes as long as 8kms and on cross-country ski routes as long as 12kms.

So, perhaps a medal hanging around her neck might actually be a possibility? The experts aren't so optimistic. They say that the biggest indicator is genetics -- that your parents must be exceptional athletes if you have any hope at all. Let's just say that neither of her parents falls into this category.

But you know what? We're still gonna feed this dream.

Last week, a torch from the 1976 Olympics was lit and a running ceremony held at a local school. We wrangled a way to get her a chance to be part of this event. The look on her face as she crossed the finish line was spectacular.

We all need a dream, don't we?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Charity work for the time-starved

Looking for a way to pay if forward but one more thing literally can't be squeezed into your time-starved week? Short on cash this year and won't be able to donate as much to your favourite charities as you would like?

I've got the most efficient way to build up your karma bank: donate blood.

The return on your one-hour investment is phenomenal -- one donation saves three lives. Yes, three LIVES.

One of my facebook friends sent out a plea to ask us all to consider donating. She has a special young person in her life who needs blood regularly, as well as a bone marrow transplant.

Apparently on some days there is no blood to be had. Imagine being the parent of that child? The feeling of helplessness, of desperation, must be so great. And it must also be frustrating too because really, it's so easy to give blood, that there's no excuse not to.

I hadn't give blood since 1989. And a few failed attempts after that had me turned away for low iron. It wasn't until I received this heart-felt plea from my facebook friend that I gave donating much thought.

I called the Canadian Blood Services donate phone number (1-888-236-6283) yesterday afternoon and within minutes I had an appointment to donate blood at 8pm the same day, at a local community centre no more than a 10-minute drive away.

I gave one hour of my time; I saved lives. And the best part was that it was easy, there was no physical discomfort what so ever, and the Canadian Blood Services workers and volunteers were so kind and appreciative.

It was all good. And it felt right.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sugar-free Mama

This Mama never thought she'd see the day she'd go sugar-free. (Yeah, yeah, I know that some blonde former playboy model who miraculously cured her child from autism and snagged the funniest man alive already blogged about this. But who cares about her, when you can read about me?)

Three weeks ago now, I took the sugar-free plunge. Why would any sane woman give up chocolate? Well, first of all, it's a bit of a stretch for me to be classed in the "sane" category, and secondly, desperate times call for desperate measures. I've been just sooooo tired. Like, toothpicks-required-to-keep-the-eyes-open tired. And really, that kind of tired doesn't mix so well with a chatterbox 6-year-old and a newly mobile 11-month-old.

I've been to the doctors' offices and tried a bunch of stuff, and still, soooo tired. I needed more options, and I turned my trusty source for help: the self-help aisle of Chapters of course! I'm now following the advice written in the book, perfectly titled I might add, Tired - so tired! It's authored by William Crook, the doctor who kicked up a storm of controversy with his book The Yeast Connection.

My doctor practically guffawed when I showed him the book on my last visit. But guess what? This sugar-free life is really good. I do still mourn the loss of chocolate (and, mmm, licorice goodies), but they seem like a small sacrifice for the better good of my emotional and physical health. I have far more energy, don't get light-headed in between meals like I used to, and my stomach feels nicely satisfied.

I always thought it would be too hard to go sugar-free. And the first week was hard, but not anymore. In the interest of sharing how easy it can actually be, I'm going to list a typical day's food.


1 small bowl of Hemp hearts (most natural health food stores sell them) and Brown rice milk

Coffee (nope, couldn't give it up!) with some 5% cream

Morning Snack

2 brown rice cakes with tomato and onion slices

Handful of almonds


Usually left-overs from the night before

Sometimes a boiled egg with salad

Afternoon snack

Apple slices with macadamia nut butter


Lean meat like chicken breast cooked on the BBQ

Grilled veggies

Before this new sugar-free-diet thing, I was always looking for a snack after dinner. But I feel very satisfied and don't seem to crave one now. (Plus, I brush my teeth after dinner to discourage it.)

If you want to give it a try, I'd wholly encourage it. It could never hurt to cut out refined sugars from your diet and you might just grow to like it as I have.

Happy Birthday Mr. Dickinson!

I know the lawn needs mowing. Sure, the plants could use a water and your house could use a dust. But toss those meddlesome chores aside and keep yourself and the kids busy this weekend by heading south of Ottawa to Manotick village where its medley of villagers will be celebrating the birthday of its founder Moss Kent Dickinson.

The weekend-long birthday celebration kicks off tonight with an old-fashioned parade down Main Street. Saturday is traditionally the best day to show since there's the morning pancake breakfast, arts & crafts sale, kids' fishing derby, and a whole mess of pioneer demonstrations and local performance acts.

It's a great day out for the family. And it's free.

Free parking abounds, but the Manotick arena is probably your best bet.