February 9, 2014
Crystal Gardens

Since Angie and Auntie Janice had already seen the ice sculptures, and raved about all the coolest ones, Elizabeth and I decided that skating home after church would be the perfect way to stop in and see them this year! It was too cold for Matthew, though, so Daddy took him home while Angie started to pack up.

Elizabeth found the crocodile ice sculpture scary, but loved doing the interactive ice sculpture activity. Apparently they used chalk to colour the ice blocks, which was pretty cool, and we'll have to try it ourselves at some point! It was hard to get close to a lot of the sculptures because of the long line-ups, but I did have a chance to see Auntie Janice's favourite from afar: a Lancaster (airplane) that had crashed into a coral reef.

Then skated all the way from Rideau to Fifth avenue (about half the canal), took the Sno-Bus home to Dow's Lake, and then walked home. Very impressive since Elizabeth didn't need any carrying or sleds and barely even held my hand! Definitely the longest she's skated so far.

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February 8, 2014
NAC and Snowflake Kingdom

A busy day!

First Brendan and Elizabeth went to French class, while Janice and Angie headed to visit the Crystal Gardens.

Then Brendan and Elizabeth picked me up and off the three of us went to the NAC for the long anticipated performance of Peter and the Wolf. This is one of Elizabeth's favourite stories to listen to in the car! Predictably, she was MOST impressed by the wolf, though she couldn't help clutching my arm during the scary parts. She loved the duck (especially the way it waddled).

When we came home, we picked up Angie and Matthew and headed to the sno bus stop. The plan was to go visit the Snowflake Kingdom (ICE SLIDES!!!) but when we got there, we realized that we would get stranded in Quebec with no way home because the interprovincial portion of the snobus stops running before the rest of the bus routes. Of course they had listed the later time on their website - grr!

In any case, Daddy selflessly decided to stay home and promised to come and rescue us in the car. He had a little basement project he wanted to work on in any case...

We had a great time going down the slides - Angie and I took it in turns to stand in line with Elizabeth or hold Matthew at the bottom. We went kicksledding and discovered that Elizabeth is strong enough to push the sled around by herself now! Elizabeth got to sit in a bobsled from the Vancouver Olympics. She was much less impressed than I was about this.

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February 7, 2014

I'm sure we're not the only parents who decided that the Olympics would be a good excuse for a unit study on various sports and different countries!

Elizabeth's school had a "dress like a boy (or dress like a girl for the boys) day" theme, but we thought that was ridiculous on so many levels. So I asked Auntie Janice if she could do an Olympic hairdo for Elizabeth instead which I gather was a great hit. I thought it was cool anyway!

Angie, Janice and Brendan were happy to lick the icing spoons from my Olympic themed cupcakes that I sent to the Saturday French class Elizabeth and Brendan were participating in. The cupcakes might not have been the only Olympic themed food...

Then we all went to Swiss Chalet with Angie. Matthew mostly behaved...

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February 6, 2014
Skating with Angie

I finally had a chance to get back on the canal. I am certainly ready for our family to stay healthy for a long while! Angie and I didn't skate far due to time constraints (and in any case it was pretty cold with the wind.)


After our skate I headed to my eye appointment at the Riverside. There was a lot of hemming and hawing and double-checking but three medical students and two ophthalmologists later the bottom line is that my eyes are fine. A great relief!

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February 5, 2014
Eye see

I walked down the stairs this morning and my right eye started "shimmering". It looked like I'd put on a pair of goggles and submersed half of it under heavily chlorinated pool water. The water had a flow to it, and there was light bouncing off the ripples. It was very beautiful, but it didn't go away. After about fifteen minutes I decided I'd better call my ophthalmologist and verify if this is what he meant about "flashing" (a sign of bad things happening with your retinas).


He was closed for the day. So long story short I ended up spending my morning at emerg. I was not impressed by how long it took me to be triaged (43 minutes) - What if I were dying?!? I thought the point behind triage was that they are supposed to evaluate that quickly.


I'd been referred by Telehealth Ontario and at the end of the call they wanted to know which ER I was headed to. "We'll fax over our report", the nice nurse I spoke to said.


But the triage nurse at the Civic laughed when I told her about the alleged fax. "We get thousands of faxes every day", she said. "I don't have time to look for faxes. And anyway, I'm probably going to ask some different questions."


Really? First of all, basic triage questions should be fairly standard. If a patient comes in pre-triaged, that should save some time, no? If the hospital is just going to ignore faxes, maybe they shouldn't accept them in the first place. She was right though - the Civic triage was quite a bit less thorough than the Telehealth Ontario version.


I was supposedly "yellow listed" - "you'll have a shorter wait than some, dear" said triage nurse, and I did move into the next area quickly. But two and a half hours later I was still waiting.


While I was there, a 94 year old woman came in to have IV antibiotics. She'd been scheduled to have them to treat a skin condition, which we all heard about because her entire treatment took place in the hall. In the ER, while surrounded with a whole pile of people with flu, stomach flu and suspected broken limbs (Why don't we have a place to get basic stitches and xrays that isn't the ER, anyway??).


 Finally someone called my name. I was put into the eye exam room. A man showed up. "I'm supposed to test your visual acuity, but I don't know how to use the fancy equipment in this room", he said. "So let's go use the eye chart on the wall". By this point the shimmer had stopped. Eye chart had been printed out from the internet (there was a URL clearly visible on the top). Visual acuity test complete, an actual doctor showed up and checked my eye. She wanted to check the pressure too, but couldn't locate the instrument. Cue doctor and other staff looking all over the ER area for the missing equipment. After a while they decided it had been an ocular migraine and sent me home.


Doc decided to give me a referral to the eye clinic outpatient. "Don't be surprised if it takes a few months to fit you in", she said. Eye clinic called half an hour later with an appointment for the following day.


In the end, I did actually receive pretty amazing care. But the ER portion was not so good...

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