Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!


The kids have been so excited this year. Jenna is dressing up as a Queen (NOT a princess) and Evan is a knight (although a black cat was in the mix until just before he went out - he settled for a black cat bag).
Jenna started the week by going to a Brownie Halloween party. Yesterday we got together with friends for a Samhain / Halloween party so the kids got to dress up again. They had their first ever candy apple (Thanks Jaime) and loved it - yum!
For lunch today we ate "mummy dogs" (I know - Pat was shocked that I bought hot dogs too) and then we carved a fairy pumpkin and a cat on the moon pumpkin. They turned out pretty well.
It was a little cold and windy tonight - but no snow so all is well!!
Jenna was hoping for a record year of candy so she got the biggest candy bag available - nothing like setting goals. Unfortunately she got cold and came in earlier than she might have hoped.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Some advice for Flu prevention

It seems like every time I turn around someone is talking about getting the H1N1 Flu vaccine, worried about not getting the vaccine or just worried about H1N1 in general. Personally I really feel like H1N1 has been blown way out of proportion. In a world where Iatrogenic causes of death are equivalent to something like a jumbo jet crashing and killing everyone on board, every single day, it seems a little crazy to be worried about this particular Flu (where there is ~ 4000 deaths world wide attributed to it - and even with those we don't know for sure if it was H1N1 or something with a similar symptom profile). While I don't want to diminish the importance of even one death, when we contrast this with the 1 million deaths per year with Malaria it doesn't seem that big - hardly a pandemic at all. It makes you wonder why so much hysteria has been built up. The cynic in me wants to say it is because there are vaccine stockpiled and they need to sell them.

I don't know this guy, but in a world full of misinformation and fear this advice actually sounds good.

Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS,DRM,DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid specialist) having clinical experience of over 20 years. He has worked in institutions like Hinduja Hospital , Bombay Hospital , Saifee Hospital , Tata Memorial etc. Presently, he is heading our Nuclear Medicine Department and Thyroid clinic at Riddhivinayak Cardiac and Critical Centre, Malad

The following message was given by him .

The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing.

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face
(unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other
citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

Getting Ready for Halloween

Jenna and I went off to our Brownie Halloween party tonight. The light were dimmed and lots of games and treats were to be had. It was a great way to start the countdown to Halloween. We are excited about going to Emma's Samhain party on Friday and of course to be going Trick-or-Treating on Saturday,
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shadow Puppets

Jenna used some shadow puppets to retell the story of The Wise Goat and the Wolves today. We made a puppet theater from a pizza box and some velum paper. Now the kids are busy making different kinds of figures to go with their stories.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Brownie Chef Badge


Jenna worked very hard on preparing a meal for all of us (Grandma and Grandpa were our special guests) tonight. She prepared Chicken Pot Pie - with no pie shell as she doesn't like that part.
She did almost all of the chopping of veggies - I did the chicken. She has decided she does not like the way onions make you cry.
Also on the menu was a green salad with cucumber and red pepper. She also kept it all low sodium for grandma!
She planned this all a couple of days ago. She made the grocery list and went shopping for the ingredients.
Way to go Jenna! Now if this could only happen more often and not just for badge work ;)
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 16, 2009


One of my favourite poems was on tap for this week. "The Months". Jenna decided to copy this out but not in her MLB. She also reviewed the abbreviations for each month. We will do days of the week next week.

We had two great stories this week. "Try Try Again" and "The Hungry Fox". We reviewed the definition for nouns and basically juts went around finding a lot of them. We did get into proper and common nouns as well.
Jenna picked a page from a fairy book to copy and then she underlined all the nounds she could find. We will save it and do the same for pronouns, verbs and adjectives in the coming weeks.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Getting ready for the Snow!

We took inventory today and tried on mitts etc. There was a blowing snow sighting :) The kids were excited - at least for now.
Mom - not so much. I really need a hat that will keep my noggin warm. I have decided that I am one of those people that is just not happy if I am cold. Off to get a hat!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sir Evan

My lovely friend Emma made this costume for Evan for his birthday this year. Sometimes Jenna even lets him wear it! Ev is going through a don't take my picture phase so this has been one of the only times he has let me take his picture with the costume on. Isn't it great!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pony Riding

Here is Evan on Special (that's the pony) with Jenna leading.
We got a chance to go to Sundance ranch with friends today. Kendra and Shannon are also home schooling. They were learning about horses lately so we tagged along for the final "field trip".
Jenna did some horse related reading yesterday to catch up.
Sundance, the man who owns the ranch, was very helpful He and his daughter showed the kids how to groom the ponies as well as showed us what they ate.
We took several turns on Special and Merry Legs. The kids really enjoyed that part!
We even came home with a couple of farm fresh eggs :) Does it get any better than this?
Jenna said this was one of the best days in her life!

Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 5, 2009

Autumn Dispay

The kids and I were working on setting up our Autumn colours this week.
We had some corn we picked from the corn maze (from our apple picking trip). We brought the corn home for Chippy - who has been enjoying it immensely. However, today we had some new friends that also were enjoying the corn. Two Blue Jays. They yelled at us whenever we tried to go in our out of the house.
They are making very quick work of the corn and not leaving much for Chippy at all :)
Posted by Picasa