March is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month! What? Are you scratching your head? If you are, please know that arthritis is a condition not exclusive to the elderly. More than 24,000 Canadian kids live with arthritis, and for young bodies in a constant state of growth and development, the condition can be debilitating. Can you imagine sitting out games, choosing not to climb the tree with the other kids, or giving up organized sports due to joint pain and inflammation when you are 10? While most people think of arthritis as an “old persons” disease, arthritis is actually one of the more common disorders resulting in chronic disability in children and teens in Canada.
We are living in a miraculous time. Life is complex, yet we are constantly able to accomplish more and more in the course of a day. Technology continually advances to allow instantly-scheduled meetings or automatic photo printing. Our homes have also become meccas of convenience and efficiency. Interior designers have analyzed life for real people, and our living spaces now reflect adaptations for our realities. For the elderly, this may mean electronic stair lifts and non-spherical door handles. For the modern family, kitchens include pull-out shelving solutions, smart home technology and laundry rooms that have relocated to a central floor.
As parents, we experience an abundance of “firsts” while raising our children. As new guardians especially, the “firsts” seem to pile on top of one another so quickly that it feels like you are collecting winning tokens in an exciting new casino game. The first sonogram. The first time hearing baby’s heartbeat, first kick, and eventually the first trip to the hospital. Every moment is a milestone to be cherished.
Eagerly awaiting the spring snow melt and joyous emergence of tulips, many parents are feeling taxed by the long school year, obligations and activities. We all may be ready for a vacation, but it is also a great time to evaluate the family’s goals set early in 2017. Ours included many ambitious health routines – but over the past weeks there has been a definite downward slide.
Dear Nate –
I know it seems weird to hear from me, your best friend’s mom. Even weirder than the time I sang “Watch Me Whip” in public or came to school in my Griffindor bathrobe. But something happened today, and I didn’t know where else to turn.
Today was a terrible day, Nate. I didn’t know this day would come so soon.
Today there was a hole in the world.
We’re living in mystical times, when news is deemed ‘fake’ and talking points go unverified. Thankfully, in Canada, there are many vital pieces of information that we can trust with certainty. Facts are facts. And in times like these, when we actually have 100% true, real information in front of us, it’s our duty to actually know how to understand and decipher that information.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bayer. You will want to read it, though, as I have done a ton of research into what women should look for in heart attacks, and this is info that you’ll want to tuck away into your knowledge bank.
The French have it right. Inspired cuisine, detail-rich architecture, and an appreciation of ‘amour’ that outlasts the February Valentine’s fad. We are embarking on a month where matters of the heart reign supreme. But while many of us search for the perfect lingerie or chocolate truffles, somebody we know is suffering from heart disease. Keeping ourselves and our loved ones around for as long as possible is a far better Valentine’s gift than love-handle inducing candy.
Not everyone understands intuitive eating.
Actually, I retract that. Almost no one understands intuitive eating. I can see it in the faces of people I try to explain it to. So, what, they’re thinking – you just eat whatever you want and stay fat forever? Awesome! Good luck with that! I can see it in the face of my husband, who pretty much refuses to understand intuitive eating. “So you just get fatter and fatter until you explode,” he said to me recently. Perhaps not the reaction I was hoping to get, in response to my first published post on the subject. But, there you have it.
I have a lot of friends who have opted to be pet parents instead of kid parents. While they know enough not to lambaste me on decisions about breastfeeding or screen time, they always seem to have criticism and advice about how I raise my beloved cat and purebred English Lab. Our dog Piper, in particular, has always been a going concern for the judgy-friend posse. Does she have fleas? She seems overweight. Does she look puffy to me? Am I exercising her properly? Are you reading the latest pet magazines to stay up to date? It is so ironic that I started UrbanMommies to combat the judgement and lack of solid information about pregnancy and parenting, and ten years later I’m in the same situation, but with my pets.
Today I decorated my 5th holiday tree. The neighbourhood kids and I made a gingerbread house decked out with bushels of candy, and I polished off the remainder of the online gift buying while they sipped rich hot chocolate and watched holiday films. I am one of the VERY lucky ones. As are my kids. Many, many others are not so lucky. Did you know that 1 in 7 (or 4.9 million) people in Canada live in poverty? Imagine sending a letter to Santa and being the only kid in your class whose wish goes unanswered. Imagine looking at a huge turkey dinner commercial on TV while you eat plain noodles for your entire holiday.
Most of us as parents have become pretty smart in terms of Christmas morning organization and Hanukkah gift openings. With screwdriver and batteries on hand, we watch them delightedly tear open the presents and promptly fall in love with the loudest one. After an hour, the batteries die. Wha? It’s at this point we realize that it was on ‘tester’ mode, and the company also put in crappy batteries. Duracell and mini screwdriver to the rescue!
I came across the idea for making crayon drawings into iron-on crayon transfer designs several years ago. But it wasn’t until I was looking for some way (other than the promise of cupcakes) to get my young children excited about attending their older cousin’s baby shower that I realized how beautifully this quick craft might transform into a handmade gift.