Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thank you, Zellers!!!

I am sure everyone is hearing about the dangers associated with a certain type of plastic that many containers are made from.

Health Canada Press Release

Health Canada has recently designated this type of plastic as dangerous and stores have pulled baby products made from this type of plastic off shelves. I am not going to rehash the news for you here. I am going to tell you that I fed my first two kiddos from bottles more than likely made from this plastic and also fed Matthew with bottles made from this plastic as well. Baby bottles are expensive. When stores started pulling merchandise off the shelves and recommending that you toss containers and buy new ones I chose to ignore the scary stories. I followed Health Canada's recommendations on how to minimize the dangers of these bottles and continued to feed Matthew from them. (Don't heat liquid in bottles, don't put liquid in hot bottles.)

This changed yesterday when I got a phone call from a friend. It turns out Zeller's, Walmart and Toys R Us are taking back bottles that contain BPA and offering store credit. I gathered up my bottles, took them in and am now the proud owner of some Avent sippy cups that take baby bottle nipples and do not contain BPA. I could not have easiy afforded to do this without help from Zellers.

Now I am helping spread the word. If you are reading this from Canada and were wanting to change your bottles but not sure you could afford to, this makes it a lot easier.

Get a BPA-free Playtex bottle

List of BPA-free bottles and sippy cups

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Facebook Detox

I deactivated my Facebook account yesterday.

It seemed so innocent at first. Sign on, look up old friends, trade emails and brag about your kids. Find out what happened to the ex boyfriend.

After that, things started going downhill. It all started with the apps. A few games here, a group there. I got lazy about keeping in touch with friends.Why call someone when you can just turn on the computer and check their status?

Then things got positively sinister. Funwall where a certain friend kept posting pictures of fat naked people in undignified poses. Endless invitations to join groups, play games. I found out I was *bought* by someone even though I don't ever remember adding an app to my profile where I get to prostitute myself. I found out that strangers can look at your pictures even if you have privacy settings to maximum. Then I realized I was stalking my friends instead of actually reaching out to them.

I started rethink what I was doing there. I spent way too much time reading message boards, looking a pictures, playing with the apps, ignoring my kids. I am embarassed to admit I was addicted.

I started the detox process. Funwall was first to go. I stopped spamming my friends with apps. Next to go were the friends I added to my list and then never, ever contacted (poking didn't count). Next I deleted the useless apps and left most of my groups. One day a friend told me that someone was posting kiddy pr0n on parenting message boards. I can't confirm the validity of the rumor, but it was enough to turn me off for good. My photo albums were deleted, then I contacted the friends I wanted to stay in touch with and turned my account off.

Some of my friends couldn't believe I would leave FB. I didn't leave the continent! I didn't cut my internet connection! (That would be awful!!!) I just left a place I didn't feel safe anymore. my kids are much better behaved because of it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Left Frontal Arachnoid Cyst

This thing in Emm's brain has a name. I saw the pictures on Wednesday in an exam room in Children's Hospital in The Bigger City. Behind Emm's left eye, where there should be a frontal lobe, there is a pocket of cerebral spinal fluid. The doctor explained that sometime while his brain was developing (probably while he was still a passenger in my belly) the arachnoid layer of his brain formed this pocket and it stopped his brain from developing in this spot. It is bigger than his eyeball, probably the size of a smaller apricot. To me, this is big. To the surgeon, this is average. He has seen kids with much bigger cysts live very normally.

Here is what I know so far:
  • The neurologist said the cyst is in the speech center of his brain. (or rather is there instead of a speech center) She thinks this may be contributing to his speech delay. It will give him an increased risk of having a seizure and could contribute to learning difficulties in school.
  • The neurosurgeon said that lots of kids with bigger cysts in the left frontal lobe speak just fine. The brain has an amazing capacity to re-route neural pathways and adapt. Emmett has never had this part of his brain, so it may very well not miss it much.
  • We are not going to operate at this point. Emm is not having seizures or pain so the risks of surgery outweigh any possible benefit draining may have. We will go for a follow up MRI in a year and re-assess.
  • The geneticist took blood and a family history and examined Emmett. He wants us to come back in a few months after he gets the test results back and can study the MRI films. He has a positive outlook so far.
The good news:
  • Emmett has always developed along his own, slower path. Always moving forward. He has never attained milestones to later lose them. This is important. The fact that he is slowly getting better means that we are probably not dealing with a degenerative disease. His brain is adapting.
  • Emmett now says Mom, Yes, No, I want and More. Yesterday while watching Dora the Explorer he yelled out "Map!" He can do up buttons and zippers and dress himself. He is 90% potty trained. All of this in a matter of around a month.
  • The neurologist agreed with his preschool teachers (Yay for me for tucking his report card into my purse) and will be writing us a letter to recommend Emmett has a support worker in school in the fall. She was very, very helpful and also is recommending I step up my own learning of Sign Language to teach Emmett. Since she is writing this letter this means I may not have to pay for an expensive course.
The puzzling news:
  • The neurologist was very thorough in her exam. So thorough she found something new for us to worry about. Emmett has always walked on his tiptoes. He is kind of clumsy and falls sometimes. I thought it was because of the tiptoe walking. I guess I have never really analyzed his gait (I am also not a neurologist!) She pointed out to us that he toes inward with his left foot and that foot has decreased range of motion. She asked if Emmett is right or left handed. He is very right handed. She thinks there may be some issues with co-ordination and strength on his left side. This has absolutely nothing to do with the cyst. The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and vice versa. If his cyst was going to give him problems with co-ordination it would be on his right side.
    This means we get a new referral to physiotherapy.
All in all our trip was really good. The doctors and staff at the Children's Hospital were fantastic with him. Kind, gentle and never in a hurry. The neurosurgeon's nurse had donuts. (This is a big plus when you are four years old and scared and everything is unfamiliar except the box from Tim Horton's.) The geneticist had the dubious honour of being our last appointment of the morning. Emmett was tired and stressed out, but the doctor was so nice to him and made everything a game. Emmett co-operated admirably. We found out the song about legs from Monty Python is a great tension breaker, especially when Dad sings it quietly in his little boy's ear.

We also found out Charlotte has a superhuman ability to eat gelati.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Emmett is potty trained.

I have waited a week and a half to make this post lest I jinx myself.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Charlotte: A Primer

Charlotte says the funniest things. I am going to record a few Charlotte-isms here for posterity and to embarrass her later on in life.

Baby Nana: Baby Einstein

Blammon: banana

Blinkey: bracelet or necklace

Cerder: bowl of cereal (this used to be bowlcis)

Chickenfries: Chicken nugget Happy Meal

"Watchee DoraBoots looka booka in?": I would like to watch my Dora the Explorer movie, please. It is in the DVD binder on the shelf.

Klankey: tissue

Ogo: yogurt

"Take dress." : to get dressed

Washychine: washing machine. As in " I put dirty shirt in the washychine."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mammal moms are all the same.

I took the kids to The Fair today. As we walked through the petting zoo I came across a mama pig and her piglets. Some were hanging off her teats, some were curled up napping, some were jumping on her head. She looked so tired.

I felt a kinship with that poor tired momma. A lot of my days are spent much the same way. The only difference is I sit on a couch watching Dora the Explorer while a baby hangs off my teat and another one jumps on my head. That momma pig wasn't thinking about the mountain of laundry that needed folding while her kids were frolicking around her.

We human mammals have a lot in common with our inter species sisters in parenthood.

This could be the part of the story where I say I swear of meat and get on a soapbox. I'm not. I like bacon too much for that. I just felt like we were kindred spirits.

Am I going crazy???