Author Archives: Terynn

About Terynn

I am a Canadian in love with an American and the proud mother of three daughters. I hope to be able to achieve my goal of making a career from writing at home before the end of 2013. I better get to work!

Flu Shot Non-Fiasco 2013

Flu Shot Non-Fiasco 2013

Just an update on our flu shot adventure from yesterday…

Everything went well. There were still some tears and a tiny bit of screaming near the end, but all in all it was a typical flu shot adventure. Here are some pictures taken of my daughters in the doctor’s office while they anticipated his arrival…and the arrival of the needles.

Three awaiting flu shots

Awaiting flu shots…youngest daughter tried to be positive by pretending she was happy to get a flu shot.

 

Middle daughter showing what she thinks about getting a flu shot

Middle daughter showing what she thinks about getting a flu shot

 

Youngest daughter showing what she thinks about getting a flu shot

Youngest daughter showing what she thinks about getting a flu shot

Eldest daughter showing what she thinks about getting a flu shot

Eldest daughter showing what she thinks about getting a flu shot

For the shots, we went with the pre-determined order:

Youngest daughter
Eldest daughter
Me
Middle daughter

It seemed to work well. While youngest daughter got her needle, middle daughter and eldest daughter huddled together, covered their eyes and eldest daughter sang in middle daughter’s ear to try to block out youngest daughter’s crying.

Next up was eldest daughter who did start to repeat “I don’t want it” again, but much more calmly this year and all the while, presenting her left arm to the doctor. She barely even flinched when the needle pierced her skin. Middle daughter kept her eyes covered.

Next up was me. Middle daughter wanted me to go before her because she knew I would not cry and seeing me get the needle without crying made her feel braver. In order to get the desired effect, middle daughter said she needed to watch me get the needle to SEE me not cry. Unfortunately the moment she saw the needle “poke my skin” was when she lost it. Her eyes grew to only twice their normal size and she started to cry and say no. If she could have run out of the room she most likely would have. But her two sisters and I were there for her and she bravely and reluctantly got her flu shot.

And then it was over…for this flu season anyway. Unfortunately if we decide to get our flu shots at the beginning of the next flu season we will be getting flu shots again later this year. I have not informed my daughters of this reality yet. For now I am enjoying a successful round of influenza vaccinations. I am not sure it could ever be worse than it was in 2008.

 

Flut Shot Fiasco of 2008

Flut Shot Fiasco of 2008

My daughters months before the Flu Shot Fiasco of 2008

Today my daughters and I are getting our flu shots. This is the latest we have ever received one but I guess the old adage “better late than never” can apply to us in this case. That being said, I go to this appointment today fearing a repeat of the 2008 flu shot fiasco. It was November of 2008 and my oldest daughter had just turned 6, my middle daughter had just turned 4 and my youngest daughter was 2. Always striving to be a good role model to her younger sisters, my oldest volunteered to get her flu shot first to show them “that it doesn’t hurt that bad.” Her father and I were very impressed and hoped this would alleviate any fears left residing in her sisters. 2 sets of eyes watched her every move. They could practically feel her braveness as she sat down in the chair, rolled up her sleeve and presented her arm to the doctor. Even when the doctor wiped a spot on her arm with the alcohol swab, my oldest daughter had everything under control. I remember thinking this could not be going any better. And then she saw the needle…

She started screaming “I don’t want it! I don’t want it” over and over at the top of her lungs. She broke her arm free of my gentle grasp and continued screaming. Her father and I tried to reason with her to calm her down. ”It’s okay sweetheart. You are doing so well.” “It is just a quick pinch and then it is all over.” “You need to get this needle because we don’t want you to get really sick with the flu.” Her response to everything we said was a loud, terrified – “I don’t want it!”

Meanwhile, her 4 year-old sister’s eyes were open so wide they were three times their normal size. To say she looked horrified is an understatement – she was absolutely petrified, frozen in terror, her eyes growing wider with each passing minute. She did not seem to have the capacity to move until I asked our oldest if she would like one of her sisters to go first instead. I had no sooner finished the question when I saw my 4 year-old dive under a chair on the opposite side of the room. She wrapped her arms around the leg of that chair and held on for dear life, her eyes now five times their normal size.

My 2 year-old daughter, who I am sure still did not understand why we were there or what the screaming was all about, was thrust into survival mode. Although blessed with free will, humans are still animals and my youngest daughter’s fight or flight response kicked in. She ran to the farthest corner of the room and curled up in the fetal position.

They were now all crying.

The particulars from this point on evade me but I do know that all three of my daughters received their flu shot. I do remember that the screaming and crying continued. And I do remember the smiles and understanding looks of the adults in the waiting room as we exited the doctor’s office.

This morning we reminisced, as we do every year, about the flu shot fiasco of 2008. My oldest daughter, who is now 10, asked if she could go first this year, prefacing with “I know the answer will probably be no.”  My youngest daughter, who is now 6 said she wanted to go first. My middle daughter, who is now 8, said she wanted to go before the oldest but after me. In the end, they decided the order would go as follows:

6 year-old
Me
8 year-old
10 year-old

Here’s to happier memories for “Flu shots 2013″.

Weekly Weather Outlook – February 5 – February 11, 2013

Weekly Weather Outlook – February 5 – February 11, 2013

Yesterday was a snow day for my children. We had two weather systems come through on Sunday, February 3 into Monday, February 4. The first one dumped 20 – 25 cm (8-10 inches) of snow on us Sunday morning into the afternoon. A lot of the main roads were clear enough for driving by that evening - far from perfect, but clear enough. That is when the second system hit us. Sunday evening and overnight it was mostly rain but sometime in the early morning (like 5 or 6am) the temperature dropped, freezing everything that was wet. The exterior of my van had a nice sheet of ice all over it, freezing the sliding doors shut. And then came more snow/freezing rain – about 6 centimetres of it (2 inches). So that is why school was cancelled and my children enjoyed a long weekend. Unfortunately it was not enough to delay the opening of my workplace so I reported to work on time.

As I was walking to my van after work, I was talking to Heidi on the phone and she said she was going to pick her daughter up so they could go for a drive together. It was a beautiful, sunny day. One of those days where it is a little nippy when you are walking outside but when the sun shines on you inside the car, you are instantly warmed up enough to wear just a t-shirt. That is what Heidi and her daughter did yesterday.

Let’s see what is in store for me here in Cole Harbour and Heidi in Wichita this week weather wise.

Weekly Weather February 5 - 11, 2013 chart

As you can see, Wichita is getting temperatures we in Cole Harbour usually experience in spring, while we here in Cole Harbour are experiencing typical winter temperatures.

Halifax forecast February 5 - 11, 2013

Halifax forecast February 5 – 11, 2013 as per Environment Canada

Wichita forecast February 5 - 11, 2013

Wichita forecast February 5 – 11, 2013 as per Kake.com

Help stop sexism in media during the Super Bowl by joining the #NotBuyingIt movement on Twitter!

Help stop sexism in media during the Super Bowl by joining the #NotBuyingIt movement on Twitter!

This post was originally published on my other blog site deardaughters.ca.

Tonight, Sunday, February 3, 2013, it is the Baltimore Ravens versus the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl. According to Miss Representation, the Super Bowl is the most watched television event in the Us and 50% of Super Bowl viewers are women or girls. Visit MissRepresentation.org to join the #NotBuyingIt movement to call out media during the Super Bowl that misrepresents or degrades women and girls! Use hashtag #NotBuyingIt on Twitter to call out the commercials in real time! What you will be looking for is “commercials that sexually objectify women and/or present limiting or harmful representations of gender“.

What is sexual objectification?

As per MissRepresentation.org, sexual objectification is when a person is treated not as an individual but as an instrument of sexual pleasure. Usually the person’s personality, feelings and intelligence is ignored and their worth is reduced to something that will bring the viewer pleasure.”

What are limited or harmful representations of gender?

As per MissRepresentation.org, these include gender stereotyping, dismissing the opinions/voices of women , or marginalizing a woman (depicting her as a subservant to men, weaker, less important, less valuable). These types of ads typically feature limiting portrayals of men as well, conveying the sense that they are sex-crazed brutes, unfeeling or unintelligent beings incapable of understanding women.

See the Miss Representation #NotBuyingIt You Tube video and share it with your friends. And download the official #NotBuyingIt Super Bowl Tool Kit to find out exactly what to look for and how to participate in the #NotBuyingIt movement to stop sexism in the Super Bowl ads. This tool kit provides specific examples of sexual objectification and limiting/harmful representations of gender in advertising, as well Twitter handles for all of the Super Bowl advertisers.

So join the movement now and tweet #NotBuyingIt everytime you see a sexist commerical during the SuperBowl in real time!

MissRepresentation.org reports that “last year our #NotBuyingIt Super Bowl activities caught national attention and briefly became a trending topic on Twitter.” This year “We’re hoping to engage over a million people with the hashtag #NotBuyingIt – challenging the advertising industry to give us better representations of women and men.”

Note: I will be participating although I realize that the commercials shown here in Canada are often different than those shown in the US.

Weekly Weather Outlook – January 30, 2013 – February 5, 2013

Weekly Weather Outlook – January 30, 2013 – February 5, 2013

I cannot believe January is almost over! With only 28 days in February I guess it will be March before we know it!

Heidi said it snowed in Wichita Tuesday night. I asked her to take a picture to share but none accumulated on the ground. It does snow in Kansas though :) That was quite a change from the weather on Sunday when Heidi was wearing shorts and a t-shirt!

The weather here in Cole Harbour has warmed up considerably – I have not seen sea smoke since the last post. Apparently today we have set a temperature record. Back on January 31, 1974 it was 8.3 Celsius (46.94 Farenheit). Today it is supposed to be 11 Celsius (51.8 Farenheit)!

Heidi suggested we change up the format of the weekly weather by providing an easy comparison table, along with one weather graphic for Cole Harbour in Celsius and one for Wichita in Farenheit.

Weekly Weather January 30 - February 5, 2013

Halifax forecast January 30 - February 5, 2013

 

Wichita forecast January 30 - February 5, 2013

Easiest Chicken Recipe Ever!

Easiest Chicken Recipe Ever!

I love eating. I dislike cooking. My current income does not allow me to hire the personal chef I desire, nor does it allow me to dine out every single day for every single meal. This leaves me no choice but to cook. Last night I made myself some Sweet N’ Saucy Chicken and besides frozen chicken nuggets, this is the easiest chicken recipe ever! Heidi introduced me to it in 2011 and it quickly became one of my favourites – to cook and to eat! I just have to share it with you because if I do not mind cooking it, chances are you won’t either.

Ingredients:

boneless skinless chicken (breast or thighs)
Apricot jam
Catalina salad dressing
Onion soup mix

sweetnsaucyingredients

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 farenheit.

2. Place chicken in oven safe dish.

3. Mix together equal parts catalina dressing and apricot jam and your desired amount of onion soup mix. For 5 chicken thighs I used about 3/4 of a cup of catalina and apricot jam because I love the sauce so much!  I also used about half a package of onion soup mix. It is a personal preference but this much allows me to have enough sauce left over to mix into my rice and my chicken is completely covered in sauce as well.

4. Cover chicken in sauce.

5. Cook at 375 for about 45 minutes, uncovered.

sweetnsaucyreadyfortheoven

Sweet N Saucy ready for the oven (I was lazy and mixed my sauce together in the casserole dish)

About ten minutes before it is due to come out of the oven I make myself some minute rice. Last night I also made myself some mushrooms, onions and red peppers too. My meal was delicious and I had enough chicken and rice for a couple of days worth of leftovers!

sweetnsaucyontheplate

Sweet N Saucy Chicken on the plate and ready to eat!

Where there is sea smoke there is…Jack Frost nipping at every exposed body part!

Where there is sea smoke there is…Jack Frost nipping at every exposed body part!

It is cold this morning! So cold that while taking this post’s picture, my fingers froze in the short time it took me to swipe my phone’s screen a couple of times and click the picture. Note to self: buy the new gloves that allow you to swipe a touch screen while wearing them. There is a cold front currently sweeping over the eastern United States and Canada and it is not going unnoticed! This morning was actually warmer than yesterday. Yesterday we enjoyed a wind chill of -30 celsius (-22 farenheit) and today one of -29 celsius (-20.2 farenheit). Word on the street is that this increase in temperature is as predicted – next week is supposed to be warmer with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark.

But that is then, this is now. I tell you, there is nothing quite like walking beside a body of water with wind chills of -29/-30 celsius. As I walked by the Halifax Harbour this morning, I could feel the water in my eyeballs beginning to freeze . And through my thin layer of eyeball ice, I could see something you don’t see everyday (thank goodness) – sea smoke. Rest assured, there was sea smoke on the Harbour yesterday morning too, but the difference is that today I stopped to take this picture for you:

Sea Smoke on the Halifax Harbour January 25, 2013

Sea Smoke on the Halifax Harbour January 25, 2013

According to Wikipedia: “Sea smoke, or arctic steam fog, is a cloud over the sea, which could otherwise be called fog, and is usually formed when very cold air moves over warmer water.

Key word in that definition is the word very as in very cold air, not just cold air. The fact that the air that is currently blowing on me and my daughters is colder than a body of water that is cold to swim in on a scorching summer’s day, says a lot! So as I cover every piece of skin that I can just to walk from my car to the entrance of my children’s school, I think of the temperature that Heidi is enjoying today - almost 12 celsius (53 farenheit) – and know that is not far off for me. Come spring, that will be the norm.

I enjoy living in a place that has four very distinct seasons. There are positives and negatives to each and every one of them. One negative to the winter is obviously the bone chilling cold. Several positives are hockey season, ringette season, skating, sledding, snow figures, white Christmases and the fact there are NO bugs!

So for now I will enjoy the fact that I can barbecue a steak without swatting mosquitoes that are trying to find a nice juicy spot on me in which to sink their proboscis – I will just enjoy that fact with my sandals replaced with warm winter boots, and my ball cap replaced by a toque.

 

Weekly Weather Outlook January 21 – 27, 2013

Weekly Weather Outlook January 21 – 27, 2013

So as you can see below this is another week where it is warmer in Wichita than it is in Cole Harbour. That is fairly typical for this time of the year and not surprising since Cole Harbour is much farther north than Wichita. Cole Harbour had lots of snow last week and we are expecting another 10-20 centimetres (which is 4 – 8 inches) tomorrow and a little bit more on the weekend. Of course my daughters are hoping for a snow day tomorrow so they can stay home from school and play in the snow.

Today is cold and windy (chilling wind) but sunny day in Cole Harbour. Heidi reports from Wichita that it is a “bright, bright sunshiny day. It is crisp and cold but no wind. A beautiful day.” She also notes that it is an extreme change from the weather in Wichita yesterday when she and her family were wearing short-sleeve t-shirts! We each took a picture for you today :)

Wichita weather Jan 21, 2013 - look at all those Canada Geese...in Wichita!

Wichita weather Jan 21, 2013 – look at all those Canada Geese…in Wichita!

One of the first things I noticed during my first ever visit to Wichita in January of 2011 was all of the Canada Geese! They were everywhere! But I guess that only makes sense since they do fly south for the winter…and Wichita is south. I swear I see more Canada Geese in Wichita than I ever do in Nova Scotia though! Look at them all!

Pictured in my snapshot is the A. Murray MacKay suspension bridge that connects the Halifax Peninsula to Dartmouth, spanning the Halifax Harbour. It is referred to by locals as the “new bridge” even though it was opened 42 years ago on July 10, 1970. The “old” bridge is the Angus L. MacDonald bridge which opened on April 2, 1955.

Weather in Dartmouth January 21, 2013. Pictured is the A. Murray MacKay Bridge

Weather in Dartmouth January 21, 2013. Pictured is the A. Murray MacKay Bridge

Wichita forecast January 21 - 27, 2013 (in celsuis for the Canadians) from kake.com

Wichita forecast January 21 – 27, 2013 (in celsuis for the Canadians) from kake.com

Halifax forecast January 21 - 27, 2013 (in celsius for the Canadians) from Environment Canada

Halifax forecast January 21 – 27, 2013 (in celsius for the Canadians) from Environment Canada

Wichita forecast January 21 - 27, 2013 (in farenheit for the Americans) from kake.com

Wichita forecast January 21 – 27, 2013 (in farenheit for the Americans) from kake.com

Halifax forecast January 21 - 27, 2013 (in farenheit for the Americans) from Environment Canada

Halifax forecast January 21 – 27, 2013 (in farenheit for the Americans) from Environment Canada

 

Blow! Just blow! Or at least breathe through your mouth!

Blow! Just blow! Or at least breathe through your mouth!

I know all parents can relate to this…

You are sleeping soundly when you are awoken by one of two sounds:

1. The piercing, frustrated cry of your little one, followed by incessant sniffing OR

2. Incessant sniffing followed by more incessant sniffing

I was awoken at 2am last Wednesday night by the piercing and obviously frustrated cry of my six-year-old, causing me to immediately sit up in bed. Before my feet touched the ground to go to her, I could hear the sniffing. After two powerful sniffs failed to clear her nose, I heard her cry in frustration again.

I have been through this with my two older daughters, not that long ago either. I cannot remember the exact age at which they “outgrew” this “need” to breathe through their nose and only their nose while sleeping, but I cannot wait for my six-year old to outgrow it. And it must be coming soon. Her sisters are only eight and ten.

I went into the room that she shares with her two older sisters – by choice – with some tissues and the promising news that I would return with some Vics Vapo Rub. Had I been able to locate the miracle nasal-clearing cream I may have been able to return to bed almost immediately. As luck would have it, it was not in “its spot” and I still cannot find it five days later! Might have to pick some more up given the frequency of stuffy noses in our house so far this winter. And all you parents know, the day I buy more Vics Vapo Rub is the day I will find the one I was looking for. But anyway…back to that night…

I told my desperate daughter that I could not find the Vics, which made her cry with disappointment, stuffing up her nose even more. Great! This required more tissue. Another problem with young, stuffy-nosed children is that at first they do not know how to blow their nose at all! And then, even when they do, they are not all that effective. My daughter is at the “I get the concept but my nose blowing is barely effective” stage. And so the next half hour went something like this:

Sniff – Sniff – Cry – Sniff – “try breathing through your mouth” – Blow – “I don’t know how” – attempt at mouth-breathing – Cry – Sniff – Sniff – Cry – Sniff – Sniff – “Just like this” demonstrates mouth breathing – Sniff – attempts mouth breathing again – Sniff – Sniff – Cry – Blow – Blow – Sniff – Sniff – Cry – “how about sleeping propped up on pillows” – Sniff – Sniff – weak “okay” followed by cry while reaching for tissue – leave the room to get pillows but can hear more sniffing and crying and blowing – pillow propping occurs – Sniff – Sniff – Cry – angrily reaching for tissue to blow – “remember try breathing through your mouth” – reattempts mouth breathing while laying down – “ahhhhh” followed by crying – Blow – Blow – look of excitement creeps across daughter’s face “Mommy I got it” followed by two sniffs with extremely limited air movement.

And with that, my youngest, congested, non-mouth-breathing-while-she-sleeps daughter, closed her eyes and with mouth firmly shut, drifted off to sleep.

Peacefully sleeping

Peacefully sleeping

Happy Birthday Heidi!

Happy Birthday Heidi!

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday Dear Heidi,
Happy Birthday to you!

Heidi is 42 years old today and I am very disappointed to not be able to be with her on her special day. An obvious disadvantage to a long distance relationship is not being together when you want to be most. But we have a very healthy relationship and despite being in different countries, we are celebrating Heidi together today! I am so glad she was born :)

One thing Heidi and I enjoy doing is reading about the personalities of our respective astrological signs. Heidi is a Capricorn and I am a Scorpio, which is said to be a very good match. And so far we would agree that is true :) In celebration of Heidi’s birthday, I searched specifically for personality traits of Capricorns born today, January 16, and this is what I found on CafeAstrology.

If You Were Born Today, January 16
You are playful yet ambitious. While security is extremely important to you, so is personal freedom and you have a very determined, self-centered streak. You are smart, a little defiant at times, and very convincing and persuasive. There is certainly a bit of an entertainer in you, even those of you who are on the shy side. While you are a real thinker and dreamer, you are also a doer. You are spiritual and always aware that life is about something much more than the mundane. Famous people born today: Ethel Merman, Laura Schlessinger, Dizzy Dean, Sade, Kate Moss, Gabrielle Reece, Aaliyah.

That is definitely Heidi!

Happy birthday baby! And since I cannot bake you a cake today, how about I post a picture of last year’s cake that I made for you :)

Heidi's 2011 birthday cake

Heidi’s 2011 birthday cake