Quote of the Month

It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself. ~Joyce Maynard


Monday, November 3, 2014

The #BeforeIam30Ja Challenge

A little off our regular programming, but being a momma is preceded by being a person. The adventurous bit in me prompted this post and the affiliated challenge. Do note, this challenge in no way erases the need for more solid and serious life plans, but this is my very fun on the way  to 30 challenge-S. Coombs

Ages and ages and ages ago, I believed I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve by the time I was 30. I scribbled constantly in my notepad and did 5 year revisions ever so often and yet 30 seemed like a lonnnng way off. Fast forward and now I'm almost there!! Yayy or Nayy? Definately Yayy

Most persons when doing the "By the time I am 30 plan" seem to focus on some common 'things': House, kid (s), car, dream job, financial security, educational goals etc.  Mostly smart I'd say, but for us mamas, if the kids dare arrive before many of the other 'things' were in place, that #BeforeIam30 plan may very well boil down to 2 things: 1. Keep my child emotionally, physically and financially secure and 2. survive life after all the child related expenses :-). Can I get an amen?

Being the adventurer I think I am, I started looking at lots of things to do before you are 30.  The internet brought up several searches but I was particularly intrigued by the AllWomen'sTalk listing as it shared some more fabulous ideas. It spoke to me as a woman and I could in fact check off a few of the things (Paris remains on my Things to do List)

Now, with just a few days to go my mamacitas and my many 19-mid-80's babies who are rounding off 28, 29 and 30, I give to thee a challenge. If you are 28, you still have some time. If you are rounding out at 29, you can get it done ahead of time and if you have just a few more days or until the end of the year to get to 30, enjoy the adrenaline rush and just do it!!

So let's go on mission #BeforeIam30Ja (why didn't I think of this earlier in the year hmmm) I would've taken on the All Women's talk version, but realize that if I substitute Parishes for States for example, most would have already been done. For my challenge (and I implore you to make your own), #BeforeIam30Ja I plan to have loads of fun!!: << Note PLAN (I have a very active toddler, a too active papa :-) and work and everything in between), but still, I plan to:

1. Test Drive your Dream Car (I've never been car fancy and frankly have never thought of what would've been an 'ideal' or 'dream' car but hey this should be fun, so which top sales rep to call? Team BMW? Team Benz or Team Audi?) #BeforeIam30Ja

2. Go Fishing- The hubster goes every chance he gets, we have a blow up boat, too many rods and baits that look and feel too real, so its about time I go, if just to sit and take filtered pics for IG :-) and if I catch a fish, it will be bonus for daysss. 

3. Eat something that makes you squirm- I still did not swallow a single oyster from that batch of 6 so i'll revisit that mission. 

4. Learn a New Dance: I could ask a certain Lifestyle reporter/big time dancer  to help me there and there's also the option to learn new moves from the UN's Brazilian and Sweden based interns. 

5. Do a new adrenaline pumping activity: The UN does karate classes, so I really should stop and kick azz. Alternately, I could go water skiing on my birthday getaway. 

6. Go Skinny Dipping (At night)- A private pool counts right?

7. Write a Book (I promised my daughter i'd chronicle our adventures with her stuffed moose in a series called Where is Moosie today, Now may be a good time to do so, worse case, i'll write a poem :-D

8. Sing at a karaoke: (Can you believe I have never? or have I? hmmm Well if I find one, I can do it)

9. Pretend to be someone else for a night: Ha ha ha I'm already rolling on the floor at the thought of someone seeing me out and saying Hey and I look at them with a totally blank face and ask "Do I know you? as I proceed to speak in a faux french mixed with British accent and a name that duly showcases international fusion.  

10. Learn a Rap song from start to finish: This should be fun.  The sole rap song I knew line for line was Eminem's Cleaning out my closet << Don't ask as this was the most so unlike me song I should ever know, but I was boss on all those lines word for word!! 

11. Go to church: I do go to church but in this instance I mean my family's church-where I sang on the choir, led youth programmes and all that good stuff- that should be a very good trip.

12. As a bonus and I think typing that going to church line, I'm adding Forgive someone. I forgive daily I'm sure, but I will REALLY think back to see if I harbour any hard feelings and decide that #BeforeIam30 I will just let it all go!

So, it's a mere 9 days to go before my birthday!! Take a wild guess if I fall in the NEAR #BeforeIam30Ja bracket or the VERY NEAR #BeforeIam30Ja bracket. 

In any case, the lead up should be awesome, I look forward to completing this mission and I will provide proof each time a mission is completed. 

As an extra padded bonus, suggest some #BeforeIam30Ja challenges below.  If it is something I have never done before and the time frame allows, who knows I am in a grand mood and may actually take it on. Have you ever done a #BeforeIam30 (25, 40, 50 whatever age) challenge? Do you want to start one now? Let's do it! and when this is done and when I finally hit 30 (with God's grace) I will issue myself a more 'grown and focused' #NowThatIam30Ja challenge. 

Let the #BeforeIam30Ja Challenge begin!!


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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Protecting your family against the Chikungunya Virus

Many moons ago, in late August I believe, I started this blog post on protecting your family against the Chikungunya Virus.  This coincided with a time when I also became an anti-mosquito ninja.  I knew from the newscasts and word on every street that the disease was supposedly transmitted via mosquito bites and I went on a mission to clear my home of the dreaded terror.  Every door boasted a snap shut door mesh; windows remained closed (and JPS enjoyed the light bill increase); our house was sprayed with aerosol anti insect spray in the morning before heading to work and again in the evenings.  I stacked up on lemon grass based mosquito body sprays and felt all was in order to safeguard my family from the dreaded Chik V. 

It was quite surprising then when my 5 year old started exhibiting symptoms-weak legs, severe pains and a body rash. Almost simultaneously I broke out into a case of extreme swollen nodes while my husband also suffered from pain and the like... My Facebook post at the time details the excruciating ordeal...

It was true, I experienced the most severe of pains (and I say this as a mother who gave birth naturally). But more importantly, the episode with my entire household being affected got me thinking, what more did I need to know? How could I have possibly prevented this? and it also had me questioning wheter mosquitoes could really be behind such complex and diverse symptons. 

Fortunately, I was among a group of United Nations Staff/Consultants who participated in a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) / World Health Organization (WHO) session on Chikungunya and Ebola back in early October. This session therefore presented the opportunity to get a bit more information on Chikungunya and how to safeguard one's family. 

It should be noted that a major question was why now? and why the sudden outbreak. Both Drs. Malcom and Mung who facilitated the sessions spoke about the extended drought period and the recent onset of rain as a contributing factor.

Note well too that the first incidence of Chinkungunya in the caribbean dated back to December 2013 with Jamaica's first episode being noted in July 2014.

The presentation (from which snippets have been shared below) was enlightening as it was easy to understand and so I share with you my mamas, so you can know some of the best steps to protect your families against Chik V.  I particularly loved the graphic presentation of how one contracts the virus and the slide showing potential mosquito breeding habitats around the home. 

All credits due to: Dr. Taraleen Malcolm-Morgan, Adviser Sustainable Development & Environmental Health with the regional office of the World Health Organization. Credits also due to Dr. Kam Mung, Advisor - Disease Prevention and Control PAHO/WHO; Jamaica, Bermuda, Cayman Islands. 
View presentation in full screen or use pdf viewer below

Now that you know what needs to be done- go and action it! Seek out the potential breeding spots and make a concerted effort to protect your family. 


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Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's World Food Day: Let's celebrate our Jamaican farmers

Last year we blogged about World Food Day and because Food is so important to all our lives, well we just had to do it again!!

This year World Food Day is being celebrated under the theme: Family Farmers: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth and so appropriate too right? as this theme plays up the dual role of farmers as providers and protectors of the Earth's Natural Resources. The theme also ties in with the United Nations' declaration of 2014 as the International Year of Family Farmers (IYFF) as the Organization especially through its Food and Agriculture arm aims to raise awareness around the challenges that are faced by family farmers, even as they contribute so much to feeding several nations.

Wow, Imagine where we'd be without our many farmers? and I say this as I gleefully chow down on a slightly ripened, mostly green june plum that has been peeled and rubbed in just the right amount of salt! Than you my farmers!!

On a more significant note though, United Nations statistics show that well over 576 million farms in the world of which over 500 million are family owned.  These family farmers are responsible for over 56% of agricultural production. (Let's raise a salute to our foodie heroes). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Infographic below also gives some pretty impressive data . Just check out the percentage of family farmers in North and Central America!!

But who are Family Farmers really?
According to the United Nations FAO Jamaica Representation, Family Farmers are often referred to as small or subsistence farmers who do small scale production of crops, livestock, forestry, fishery and aquaculture and have the following features:
  1. Produce small quantities using limited resources
Limited access to land, capital resources and services
Predominant use of family labour
Farm or fishing activity is main source of family income

 Sounds like a whole lot of challenges to contend with, all for the love of feeding the world right?

In Jamaica alone, there there are an estimated 228,683 farmers with 78.7% (or 179,999) of them producing on under 1 hectare or 2.5 acres.  At the end of 2013, there were 23, 323 registered fishers and 6300 registered boats An impressive feat really given the many challenges our farmers face.

So the next time you enjoy that delectable bite of steamed fish with crackers and okra or a tall order of carrot-beetroot juice or even a creamy serving of Ice cream, remember our many farmers and how their challenges and outcomes help to feed us day by day.

Have you lifted a hat off as yet? I have!!!  So use this World Food Day to focus on those behind much of what is delivered from farm to fork ...Indeed our often Silent Heroes.

While you're at it, you can join the World Food Day Celebrations by viewing and sharing the brief World Food Day Video which puts into perspective the very important role of our farmers!!

Want to know more about World Food Day? visit the World Food Day Web Page

Oh PS. There is a world Food Day Poster Competition for Kids & we will share details in another post so stay tuned!!!


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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

#IheartBoobs Jamaican Male celebs show support for Breast Cancer Awareness

Over here, we love our boobs!!! After all, who knows better how functional and well ahmmm ever other al boobies can be than mommies who have had to bless the earth with their boobily functions and then in a snap we revert to boobies as solace, home and fort for our partners? :-) So believe us when we say We love boobs and we believe our men when they say #IHeartBoobs.

Indeed, Jamaican Mommies so loves and support all efforts to drive Breast cancer awareness that we have done several previous posts on same, including: Mommies Need their boobies in tact and the Save Lids to Save Lives campaign

and so we were more than happy to add this video that is quirky as it is funny yet with decidedly serious message.

Friends in the fight against breast cancer: Dr. Michael Abrahams and friends - Ity & Fancy Cat, Bambino, Dr Shane Alexis, Michael Anthony Cuffe Jr, Yohan Blake and Ron Burke - unite with the Jamaica Cancer Society for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Jamaica - October, 2014.


Do remember to share and use the hashtag #IHeartBoobs

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A little cultural Infusion: Confucius Institute Day Celebrations in Jamaica

As far as cultures go, the Chinese culture is colourful as it is interesting. Admittedly, much of this culture has been experienced through my toddler's eyes via the many episodes of Nai Hao Kai-Lan that she often pulls me on the couch to view with her. But even from those, I have learnt a lot about very many Chinese customs and celebrations.

I am muy excited then to discover that the Confucius Institute at the UWI Mona Campus will be staging Confucius Institute Day 2014 on September 27. Confucius Institute Day  being a day to celebrate the birth of Confucius;  the 10 year anniversary of Confucius Institutes globally and to encourage cultural exchange while highlighting the services of the Confucius Institute that teaches mandarin, calligraphy, tai chi and offers translating services.

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