Through loss we grow

My father-in-law recently died.

His diagnosis 4 years ago had hit me like a punch to the stomach. At that moment my mind jumped immediately to the end of his life and inside I panicked.

My very happy childhood had been peppered with the illnesses and deaths of family members and family friends. Our home was filled with pets whose life spans had varied in length. Each passing left me in despair. Everyone handles grief in their own way and my overwhelming instinct is to run away from it. Continue reading

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Granola bars more than a dressed up cookie?

There are many appealing things about store-bought granola bars; they’re convenient, portable, kid friendly and don’t require refrigeration. Perfect to compliment the lunch bag void, and for those grab-and-go moments. Sold, too easy right? But darn, sometimes “too easy” is for a reason. After chatting with our resident HaltonParents Registered Dietitian I am starting to re-think my buying habits.

Most prepackaged granola bars have evolved in a big way since their basic beginnings. Today’s store bought bars are often dipped in chocolate or yogurt-type coatings and include ingredients like chocolate chips and gooey marshmallows. Definitely delicious, but this snack evolution hasn’t happened in our favour, especially for a country that struggles with childhood obesity. Too much sugar, salt and fat can make these snacks no better than eating a store-bought cookie. Arghh! Continue reading

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How to help your child cope with vaccinations

It was time for booster shots (cue doomsday music).

My daughter was 5 years old and right at that age where many kids tend to have a well-established fear of needles. I remember learning in nursing school that kids of this age have a need to keep their bodies “intact” and the idea of a needle penetrating their skin can be terrifying, not to mention fear of pain.

Doctor vaccinating young girl who looks afraid. Continue reading

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How to make moving easier for the kids

So we are moving again.  It seems like every few years we get the itch to switch things up but this time we are moving to a new town.  I worry about how this move will affect my three children who are now twelve years old (twins) and fourteen years old.  I guess time will tell.  It’s hard for me to know how they will adjust because I never had to go through this as a kid; Both my husband and I grew up in one house.  No moving!

Family getting ready to move

My kids will finish the school year off at their current school and then we will make the move.  I ask myself: Will they be okay? Will they make new friends? Is this best for them? Continue reading

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“That was easy!” Reporting your child’s immunizations

My daughter got her booster shots recently, and it’s been on my mind, I’ve got to report these to the health department. Somewhere in the middle of laundry, groceries, working and, oh right, taking care of my kids, I need to figure out how to tell the Health Department – WHERE I WORK – that my daughter is up to date on her vaccinations.

Lucky for me, the Health Department has been promoting their new online reporting of immunizations, so I figured, let’s do this. I’ve got time right now.

Then I remembered I have the Halton Region app! (What do you mean you don’t? Go to your app store and get it for FREE!) Continue reading

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Questions about puberty? No need to panic!

Is there anyone out there who looks forward to talking to their kids about puberty? If so, I’d like to meet them. I’ve never wanted to talk about puberty, not when I was approaching it, going through it or finished it. I definitely did not look forward to discussing it as a parent.

I was working as a public health nurse in our school years program when I was asked to co-facilitate a grade 5 puberty class.


Little girl asking a question with her eyes closed Continue reading

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Look up! You may be surprised at what you see

I like to people watch.  Let’s face it, people are interesting and you just never know what you will see. When you think you have seen it all, boom there it is and in a flash you are sucked into moment and shot back out.  Personally, I think it’s much more entertaining than “reality” TV.

I’m lucky to have a clear view of the bike path behind our house.  It’s a busy paved path that bustles with movement from runners, walkers, cyclists, skateboarders, and everything in-between.  Something strange has happened on the path over the past 20 years.  It’s not a new phenomenon to our community, sadly this shift has happened all over the world. Today when I look at the path many people are looking down, not up, or even at each other. Continue reading

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