Friday, January 29, 2010


Howard Zinn 1922-2010:

“I'm worried that students will take their obedient place in society and look to become successful cogs in the wheel - let the wheel spin them around as it wants without taking a look at what they're doing. I'm concerned that students not become passive acceptors of the official doctrine that's handed down to them from the White House, the media, textbooks, teachers and preachers.”

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Ok, so I have to preface this post by saying that I never knew such a thing existed and I didn't know I had allergies really (I am sensitive to milk and have sensitive skin, but nothing anaphylactic).

All my life when I have done vigourous physical activity I break out in red, raised, itchy hives. I always thought it was the sizing in the clothes and made sure to wash them before wearing, but even that didn't seem to make a difference. I have avoided things that make me really sweat because of this... it is quite uncomfortable.

I have been trying hard to be more active, get more exercise and to just improve my overall health. I've been power-walking and break out in hives (usually on my chest, neck and legs), Jumped on the rebounder inside, hives, used the vibrational trainer, hives.

Last night I did 15 minutes of heavy activity and by the time I was done my arms, chest and neck were RED, itchy and my lips felt swollen.

I posted this on my facebook and a little while later thought to look it up (what would we do without google or Wikipedia?).

Exercise Urticaria

Exercise urticaria, sometimes mistaken as exercise allergy, itchy legs, itchy legs syndrome or itchy pants syndrome, is a form of urticaria that happens during exercise. It is characterized by itching, swelling or hives on the legs, arms, torso or neck during or after exercise.

Cholinergic urticaria is brought on by a physical stimulus. Although the physical stimulus might be considered to be sweat, the actual precipitating cause is increased body temperature. Lesions usually appear within a few minutes of sweating, and may last for 30 minutes to over an hour.
In extreme cases, the condition can progress to an anaphylactic reaction, causing the person to pass out or suffocate due to blocked airways. People suffering from cholinergic urticaria may carry an epinephrine autoinjector (such as an EpiPen) in case of anaphylaxis.

Exercise-induced anaphylaxis
A life-threatening drop in blood pressure that can be fatal in major allergic reactions. Seen commonly when a person allergic to certain foods or medications exercises immediately after ingesting them. Symptoms are:
Unusual warmth
Inflammation of the skin progressing to large hives
Collapse and unconsciousness
Swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing or choking
Treatments include:
A self-injectable epinephrine kit prescribed by a doctor
Avoiding the triggering food or medication at least a day before vigorous exercise.
Medical alert jewelry or ID tags describing the condition and sensitive substances.
Accompaniment by someone informed of condition able to contact emergency service, like with an emergency telephone number.

I was shocked to learn that this is an actual disorder!?

I have no idea what I could have eaten yesterday that might have caused this.

I took two antihistamines and went to bed.

Does this ever happen to YOU? Is this common? I couldn't find any more information out about it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

100th Post!/ Mompetition

Wow, I never really thought I would make it to 100 posts!

I don't think I realised how cathartic blogging would be for me. I have enjoyed sharing my life with all of you, and truly appreciate the replies I receive and the thoughts you share with me.

I've been thinking a lot, lately, about something that I've found really difficult about being a Mom - being real about what parenthood is really like and letting my guard down.

I think too many of us, especially me, are afraid that we'll be judged if we admit to other people that we aren't always perfect. I know I saw this a lot when Parker was first born... Alan called it a "Mompetition"... let's compete to see who has the most perfect house, hair, child, car, life...

It isn't a competition based on reality... it is a competition based on the image we project. For me, it is that I am always smiling... I even smile when I feel horrible, frustrated or sad.

I realise that keeping my reality hidden actually pushes me away from others because they can only relate to me when they are happy... and nobody is always happy.

Yesterday someone told me that another Mom (neither of which follow my blog) commented I was always happy and didn't think I'd be able to handle the honest reality of another group of Moms who routinely share their parenting frustrations.

I was surprised, at first, because I always think of myself as a pretty open person and I know that I can empathise with these other moms because I have plenty of parenting frustrations. What I didn't realise was that my constant forced happy demeanor was alienating me from a group of people with which I likely have a lot in common.

The more I thought about it, the more I realised that it isn't open, honest or helpful to only share your happiness with the people around you. Sometimes you need to let people see your sadness, your dissappointment or your anger/frustration.

I think when we share both our 'light' and 'dark' sides with people, allow ourselves a little vulnerability, we make it possible to take our relationships to a whole new level.

When we open ourselves up, others will do the same and we can relate to so much more of what they are experiencing, because we actually know what it is. Our 'sameness' brings us closer and our vulnerability too. Who doesn't want closer, more satisfying relationships with others? Who doesn't want to feel more understood?

I know I do.

So, I will start... I struggle with anxiety. I have only recently been able to put a label on the feeling... I always just thought I was just a worrier, but now I accept it is something more serious.

It has been a life-long problem and I struggle everyday not to worry about things that are totally out of my control. I lay awake in bed at night thinking about my kids and worrying about the future. I am not comfortable taking anxiety medication, so I am doing other things to try and cope.

There, I said it....

So, what do YOU think?? Have you ever felt like you couldn't be real with someone about what you're experiencing or feeling because they will judge you? Have you experienced 'Mompetition'? Do you have friends that you tell EVERYTHING to? Do you only project the positive?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Temper Tantrum...

Do your kids have temper tantrums? Mine get mad but very rarely do they feel the need to lose control and scream and cry...tonight was one of those rare occasions.
Liam slapped his brother for the umpteenth time. He is in a hitting stage and I have no idea how to end it. I asked him to sit still and think about it for a few minutes. He complained, and whined and I know he was tired, so I told him that it was bedtime... this set-off 45 minutes of hollering and crying and the "I hate yous".
I should have explained that Liam is the world's biggest Mama's boy. I nursed that little milk monkey until he was 2 and a half and he'd still be nursing if it were up to him. We have a close and very special relationship, so it stung a little to be told he hates me 25 times in 10 minutes.
He finally told me he wanted me to go away, so I said I love you and started to stand up and he shreiked "WHERE are you GOING!!!???". I told him I was going away because he told me to and he started to cry and everything turned around.
I tried hard, throughout the tantrum to give him alternative words to use to express his feelings... I told him it was ok to tell me that he HATES what I am doing, or what is happening and that I knew he was feeling very very angry and that it was alright to tell someone that... I stayed calm, but it still stung.
I spent the next 30 minutes laying on the top bunk, reading 'Rainbow Fish' and and taking Sarah MacLaughlin requests (my kids like Miss Sarah), I rubbed his back and made up a song about him sliding down a rainbow with his 'Lamby', tucked him in and told him I loved him. He smiled and rolled over, the tantrum forgotten.
All is well and right in the Jones house...
What do YOU do when your child loses control?

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'll take the little things...

Parker is loving his days at the blended program. Since returning from Christmas vacation he seems to have settled into a comfortable rhythm and his teachers say he is a joy to have in the classroom.

Yesterday when I picked him up after school the teacher took me aside to tell me a story.

Just before Christmas, Miss Mary was showing the children a Pysanka and left it on her desk when they moved on to their next class. The pysanka was broken and Miss Mary asked whoever was responsible to come forward. Nobody did.

Yesterday she found a small ceramic bird broken and told the class how dissappointed she was (she knew who'd broken it) and would appreciate if someone let her know. Nobody owned up to the bird, but she said on the way to gym class, Parker took her aside and told her that he was looking at her "amazing" pysanka before Christmas and he accidently dropped it. He told her how bad he felt and said he was so sorry.

She told me that it meant so much to her that Parker felt comfortable enough to come forward and tell her the truth.

We are looking online to find a new pysanka to replace her broken one. Parker told me that he would like to earn some extra money to buy it for her.
I am just so pleased that P came forward and fessed up. I had no idea about the egg and knowing that he made this decision on his own and followed through in an appropriate way tells me that he is growing up, that he feels comfortable and happy at his school and reminds me how much I like the person Parker is becoming!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


So, we read, a lot.

The boys and I are reading Roddy Doyle - The Rover Adventures

I am enjoying it as much as the boys and we just finished Rover saves Christmas today before nap time (yes, I have reinstituted naptime. Frankly, at my age, I need a nap sometimes...;). I am SO looking forward to the next story.

When I met Alan, I was a reader and he told me he wasn't. Turns out, he was wrong.

Alan likes to read nearly as much as I do. Guess what book awoke the reader within him (think back to 1999, what was big)? He is currently reading the new Stuart Mclean Book and, now tat I have finished it, is looking forward to reading one of the books my Mum bought him for Christmas - 'Superfreakenomics' (I highly recommend this book. It will make you laugh a LOT and then think... well, not neccesarily in that order).

I used to read Anne Rice and VC Andrews and other scary/depressing/twisted types of books (not that there is anything wrong with reading something twisted once in awhile), but lately I find myself drawn to lighter reading.

So, recently I've read SCADS of vampire/werewolf/immortal/psychic teen lit. I am not ashamed to admit it... I have been into fantasy/sci-fi since I was a preteen.

I am currently re-reading the last Harry Potter book and quite enjoying it... it amazes me how much I forget of a story after I finish it!

So, what are YOU reading right now?? What are your favourite books?? Your kid's favourite books??

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A New Year

What a wonderful feeling this new year has brought with it.

I was feeling quite flat toward the end of December, but as the end of the month drew closer, I found that the stress of Christmas faded.

We did not drive to Radium after all. The roads were bad and I am a basket case when the roads are so much as shiny. My Mum and Step-Dad came a day later. I did not bottle sangria. We did not soak in the hotsprings.

I thought I had everything planned out... dates and times, when I would shop... but, as they say about the best laid plans...

We spent Christmas with my Sister, her husband and inlaws. It was lovely.

The boys played wii for several hours (what a treat for them), very quietly. We visited, ate, opened gifts, ate some more and had a calm, relaxed, beautiful time.

It made me realise that sometimes the best plans are to have none at all.

Further, I did not go crazy, as I always have, making lists of cleaning and organizing... Alan was shocked that I didn't bark orders, or once get on my hands and knees to scrub floors.

I start this new year with a deep desire to focus on that which is most important to me... my boys, Alan, my home. I have set my business aside for now, focussing on healing from the accident and being home with those I love.

I feel deeply peaceful about it.

I am so happy.