November 4, 2009
Green Bins

Our green bin arrived today, to Elizabeth's intense interest.  We already compost during the summer, so this isn't the big innovation city council thinks it is.  I'm extremely doubtful that the green bin will reduce our garbage by anywhere close to 40%.  


The new bin does apparently take table scraps (including meat) which we don't currently compost in our backyard for fear of the giant racoons.  Not to mention fear of maggots, which the green bin information booklet brightly told us was a possibility.  We'll have to see how long it takes our racoons to eat through the lid...





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November 1, 2009
Mmm blueberries
Mmm blueberries...
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October 30, 2009
Helping Mommy
Elizabeth made her first carrot cake (with help from mommy) last Saturday.  Her favourite part was softening the cream cheese....
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October 28, 2009
Eight Months Old

Elizabeth is eight months old today!  At eight months, she is a very, very busy girl.  She now holds her hands up when she wants "up" or "out" (of the exersaucer) and spends a significant amount of time climbing on things. 


She's very frustrated by her inability to stand unassisted, but is practising at every chance she gets.  Unfortunately this means we have to be quite vigilant in watching her because she'll stand up, let go of whatever it is she used to pull herself up and then gravity takes over...


No longer can we let her crawl around the bathroom by herself during our own showers as she tries to join in.  After an unfortunate toilet seat licking incident, mom and dad daren't let her prop herself up against the toilet...


Preparing meals is more difficult too.  When she's not propelling herself towards the shiny metal strip that edges the step in the kitchen, she's eating your slippers or grabbing your leg.  We do have a playpen in the kitchen, but for some reason Elizabeth screams and screams when placed there.

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October 27, 2009
H1N1 Flu suggestions

If you've read the news today, you may have gotten the impression that the slow lines are caused by a lack of nurses or maybe pesky flu shot receivers who ask too many questions.  After my first-hand experience getting the H1N1 flu shot at Tom Brown Arena yesterday, I think that while more nurses will certainly help, the real culprit is a total lack of organizational planning and/or ability.


They did improve how they worked as they went along yesterday (getting people to pull numbers, allowing them to fill out the form in advance) and it sounds like they have made some improvements since yesterday (Tom Brown arena has a shelter setup and they've hired more nurses), but the speed through the line could be further increased with some simple improvements.  I wonder how many people got sick from all the standing around in the cold!


1) Publish the information printed on the back of the form on the City of Ottawa website.  Better yet, get people to download the form and fill it out at home before they come.  That would also give the city an idea of how many people to expect.  Updated: the City is doing this now! Download the form here

2) Put the complete list of questions the nurses ask on the form so that people are ready for them.  The list should be consistent.  We weren't sure whether they were asking the same question in different words because they were trying to trick us or because they were disorganized...  A number of people commented that they were taken aback by being asked whether they were allergic to formaldehyde, not ever having thought about the question before. 

3) If people have to wait outside in the cold, bump the obviously "medically fragile" to the front of the line. 

4) Have a nurse available to field general questions, so that the nurse giving the shot can focus on doing just that.

5) Increase the number of staff registering names.  I observed numerous nurses waiting around with their hands in the air.

6) Once people are registered, have them remove their sweaters and be ready for the shot before their name is called.

7) Have a nurse available in the registered waiting area to run the questions by the people waiting, so that the nurse giving the shot either doesn't have to ask any questions.

8) If the program in use has a search function, the nurses need training on how to use it, as it would be more efficient than having nurses look for a name on the screen.  Ideally, the nurses should be given patients in order so that they aren't having to search or hunt at all though!


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