Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Looking for a Primary Care Provider for your Children or Teens?

Looking for a Primary Care Provider for your Children or Teens?

We are Accepting New Patients!

Nurse Practitioner Child and Youth Primary Care Clinic
Alissa Collingridge, NP (P)
Chantel Canessa, NP (F)
Susie McRae, NP (P)
Susan Shumay, NP (F)
Minna Miller, NP (F)

General Clinic Hours:
Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm

Appointments and General Inquiries:
Secretary 604.875.3039
Fax 604.875.2695
*No walk-ins, please call to book an appointment

Clinic Location:
BC Children's Hospital
Ambulatory Care Building, Clinic 7
(same building as Starbucks)
4480 Oak Street
Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4

What we do:

We provide ongoing comprehensive primary health care services to Children & Youth ages birth to 19 years.  

Services include: routine well baby & child exams, diagnosing and managing common pediatric & adolescent conditions, provide lifestyle counselling, and developmental screening.  No referral is required.

*We do not provide immunization in our clinic; please contact your nearest public health unit for an appointment.

Target Population:

- No primary Care Provider; has been using walk-in clinics recently moved from another province/country

- Child & Youth from the ages of birth to 19 years

 What is a Nurse Practitioner (NP)?

NPs in BC are independent practitioners able to diagnose most common medical conditions, prescribe most medications, order diagnostic tests, and will refer on to physician specialists and other health care professionals as required.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lovable Labels Ultimate Camp Packs are Back For a LIMITED Time Only! Get $5 + 10% off, or Enter to WIN!

I'm excited to let everyone know that Lovable Labels Ultimate Camp Packs are back for a LIMITED time only!  Right now you can get $5 off the regular price, plus an additional 10% off with the code MonikaWLB2.

The Ultimate Camp Pack Includes:

15 Sticker Labels
40 Slimline Labels
 12 Shoe Labels
72 Press n' Stick Clothing DOTS™
2 Mini-Metal Tag (two 4” silver ball chain incld)
12 Square Labels

You can choose from 21 designs / Colors and 45 Icons

I've written on here about Lovable Labels quite a few times, and that's because I truly love them. They are probably the baby/toddler item I've use the most, literally daily, second only to diapers, since becoming a parent.

These labels are the ULTIMATE gift to get any kid that already has everything; durable stickers that they can put on their precious belongings!

Remember, Lovable Labels are waterproof, dishwasher safe, washer and dryer safe, sun safe, bleach safe, sunscreen safe and temperature safe. Pretty incredible, right?

I've done a lot of blog reviews. Lovable Labels is by far my favourite product I've ever reviewed, and this is why I've continuously featured them on here.

I received my Ultimate Camp Pack and decided to get Azriel's name printed on them.  I think they are his first labels, which feels sort of special, seeing as Aias has a ton of them!  I chose a new print called "What a Hoot!":

I think they look adorable:

***Remember, you can also use my code MonikaWLB2 to get an additional 10% off your order!***

Enter below for your chance to win an Ultimate Camp Pack:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Writing Your Name

Aias has been going to preschool for 1.5 years, and he's the only kid who refuses to write his name on the sign in sheet when he gets to school.  He doesn't like to do things if he doesn't know he will do them perfectly, so in those cases he chooses not to do them at all.  We're really working on this.

He knows how to read his name, spell his name out loud, and knows how to type his name, but I'm still not sure if he knows how to write it.  Knowing him, there's a 50% chance he knows how to write it and just refuses, and a 50% chance he just doesn't know how to write it. 

Today I heard someone mention an entire program called "Handwriting Without Tears," so presumably he's not the only child who isn't thrilled about learning how to write.

I figured we better get on this before kindergarten starts in t-minus 6 months, so I've talked with Aias about setting the goal of him being able to write his name by the time it starts.  Google led me to a free program called Amazing Handwriting Worksheets where you can make your own handwriting sheets just like the ones we had in school as kids. The website itself doesn't have very flashy or impressive technology, but it created an awesome worksheet. I figured I'd share it here so you guys can use it too.

Here's Aias's sheet below:

I'm sort of in love with it.  It doesn't get much cooler than a handwriting worksheet generator :P Ok, maybe it does.  But this is just where I am in my parenting life at this point.

Now it's just a matter of encouraging, but not pressuring him, to practice it.  Wish me luck!

P.S. This is my 600th blog post! 

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

You'll Never Believe What This Woman Found Under Her Couch...

OK fine. It's not that unbelievable.  But you clicked so you may as well stay a while.

I didn't clean under my couch the entire time I was pregnant, because I sure as hell wasn't going to get down on the floor with only a 50% chance of ever getting up again.

Here's a photographic play-by-play:

The view from the floor.  Try not to look too closely at how filthy my leather couch is, also.  Looks like it's time to buy some leather wipes.

All this crap was under there. I'm not even kidding.  I bent over backwards looking for that little wooden cross piece that goes with another toy, too.  I think the empty seaweed snack container is what pushes this whole experience from messy to filthy.  FML.

These are all the balls that were under my couch.  The dog is to blame. 

And back to square one.
What's under your couch?  Better go check. 

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The Time I Was a Bully

Tomorrow, February 26th 2014, is Pink Shirt Day.  Pink Shirt Day is a day where we attempt to raise awareness of Bullying  in our schools, workplaces, homes, and over the Internet.

I wasn't particular tormented as a child, at least not consistently, but I had the occasional run in with bullying.  I'll never forget being in the 6th grade when a girl named Angela Baker decided she hated and "wanted to kill" me.  I had only spoken to her a few times so I had no idea why I was being targeted.  She called my house and threatened me, and somehow my mom and dad took care of it and the problem disappeared.

Another time, in 10th grade, my ex-boyfriend and his friends made a rude AOL homepage about me.  Another thing my mom and dad took care of. The police were actually involved in this one, and he had to write me an apology letter (which I'm sure my mom still has) and we decided not to press charges. 

In honour of Pink Shirt Day I want to share my own personal bullying story, except in this story, the bully is me. 

When I was in 5th grade, my best friend was a girl named Michelle.  When I say we were best friends, I mean we were the best friends EVER.  We were in the same class at school and we did absolutely everything together.  All day at school we hung out every second we could, and the minute we got home from school we talked on the phone for as late as we could.  On the weekends we tried to hang out every day, and we tried to have sleepovers as often as possible.  We played Power Rangers and recorded ourselves singing songs from The Lion King and sent them to Disney.  We were nerds and we were inseparable. We even told people we were sisters.

Then 6th grade came along, and we found out we weren't in the same class.  My world completely collapsed.

Summer went by and we were both devastated about the class situation.  By the time September rolled around we were both certain that we would die being in separate classes.  We even had the horrendous and traumatizing experience of signing up for the same camp and ending up in different camp groups, which was a miserable taste of what was to come.

The first day of school was hell.  Being in separate classes was definitely as bad as I thought it would be, and I actually had something of a mental breakdown by lunch and I think I spent much of the afternoon in the counsellors office.

Parents were called.  It was determined that we should stay in separate classes, which was devastating to both of us.  Of course, looking back, I'm sure our parents wanted us in separate classes because our friendship was too intense and we weren't making any other friends.  This is easy to understand from an adult/parent perspective, but it doesn't matter much when you are 11.

Of course, there was always recess. 

Days went by and life did get easier.  Well, unfortunately it got easier for Michelle a lot sooner than it did for me.  Within a week she started hanging out with another girl from her class, and she wanted this girl to hang out with us at recess.  Words do not describe how upset this made me.  I felt so sad, so replaced, and so alone.  I did not want to hang out with this new friend, I wanted to hang out with my best friend. I felt completely screwed out of the time we could be spending together during class and recess was all we had.  Having a third wheel around was not going to fly with me.

I tolerated the friend for the sake of Michelle, but then I decided I was going to get my own new friend, too.  This new friend was Julie.  She wasn't actually a new friend, she was a friend I had from 4th grade who I had largely neglected during 5th grade because of my intense bond with Michelle.

One thing led to another, and Michelle and I started to grow apart.  I think it was largely in part due to the simple fact that we couldn't be together all the time, but also because of jealousy we both had of each others new friends.  My jealousy and pain turned to anger and pain, and I was very hurt that our friendship had taken such a sad turn, so Julie and I started being mean to Michelle. I guess it was easier to try and hate her than it was to accept and mourn the changing friendship.

I can't remember specifically what we did, but we weren't very nice to her.  We teased her about her appearance, her clothes, everything.  While we never tried to physically harm her, I'm sure we did a number on her emotionally.  One thing I remember very clearly was making her a really mean Christmas card.  I can still see the card in my head, and I feel just terrible about it to this day.  There was no sense to any of it, and it never made me feel good, so I don't know why we persisted in this way.  I actually really adored Michelle, and there was absolutely no logic to my unacceptable behaviour.

The teasing and bullying went on for a few months, and then our parents put a stop to it.  And that was that. There was no discussion on why it was happening, or any attempt to work through our feelings.  No one ever asked me why I was being terrible to Michelle when we had been such good friends before, we were just told enough is enough, and we weren't to talk anymore. 

I never bullied another person after that. As for Michelle and I, we went to school together through 12th grade, and even had a few classes together, but I don't know if we ever spoke.

When I was a young adult in my early 20s, I remember coming home from University in the summers and watching Maury Povich with my dad and sisters, and there would always be an episode where adults would confront their childhood bullies.  I made a mental note to never be on the Maury Povich show if anyone had a "surprise" for me, just in case it was Michelle.  Part of me knew I could never endure from Michelle what she had endured from me.

To this day, I feel absolutely awful about how I treated Michelle.  It's now 19 years later, and I still feel as though it was yesterday.  I wish it had gone down differently. I wish we had worked through our feelings in a more constructive and loving way.

Years ago I found Michelle on Facebook.  She's an artist now, super talented, and it actually looks like we'd get along really well.  I was very tempted to message her and apologize, but I was scared of what would happen. Maybe she would be angry, maybe she would try and retaliate.  Maybe she would be unable to forgive me, and I would be too sad about it.  I felt (and feel) so undeserving of her compassion, and wouldn't expect any, but I think was too scared to put myself in the position she was in, way back when.  How awful to think I put someone in a position I'd never want to be in myself.

One day I took the plunge, sent Michelle an apology, and I never heard back.  I can't say I blame her.

I hope Aias and Azriel never have to experience what I made Michelle experience, and I will be mortified if they ever put someone through it themselves.  I'm so glad we have something like Pink Shirt Day to bring awareness to bullying so that we can encourage an open dialogue about it, and rather than creating a Bully (Evil) Vs. Bullied (Good) dichotomy, we can try to encourage and remember what makes us all human and how we can be nurturing and loving in all that we do. 
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