Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Hotel review: Hillview Terrace Suites, St. John's, NL

We stayed two nights at the Hillview Terrace Suites in St. John's this past weekend, and we liked it. 
(king bed with the old-school bedding) 

(living room and kitchen area. decent) 

(small and newly renovated bathroom)

Price: $150 including tax per night. Basically the best deal in St. John's. 
Bathroom: small and builder basic and clean. 
Pool: Nope
Breakfast: Nope. But Tim Horton's is right across the street. And there was a full kitchen
Wifi: Yes, good. 
TV: Good. We watched cartoons. Dude loved it. 
Location: The location is not bad at all if you are driving. In a car, everything is really close, including downtown and the mall. But if you want to be downtown, this hotel is not for you. 
Parking: Good, free. 

- This place was clearly recently renovated with the most builder basic finishes possible. It actually reminded me of our house, which is exactly like every house on my street. Totally fine
- Jon and I have stayed at so many hotels in St. John's, and with a toddler, this hotel is definitely winning. We will be back here for sure. 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

On the weekend (St. John's with our 2.5 year old)

We just spent two amazing nights in town (aka St. John's), and it was the best. We definitely need our little trips once in a while to get away, and traveling just keeps getting easier as the dude gets older. He gets better and better at eating at restaurants, driving a lot, sleeping in strange hotel rooms, and being patient when we are in line at a store. 

(breakfast at the Sheraton hotel. We eat there for the view of the ships) 

(my people) 

(checking out the Geo Centre) 

(a statue near Signal hill)

Some things we did in town that satisfied our 2.5 year old:

- We went straight to Avalon mall where they have this creepy Christmas tree that talks to the kids. He says the kid's name and everything. Dude liked it for half a second. Lots of other Christmas decorations and a santa sighting made him pretty happy. Free. 
- As usual, we spent a nice bit of time at the Chapters with the train set that the kids can all play with. And Starbucks for Jon and I. $10 for coffee and an embarrassing amount on books. J and I are bad for buying tons of books. 
- The YMCA pool is so good. The kiddy pool is pretty warm, and Cohen can walk around with his head above water. Also, there is a family change room, which is so great. And the pool has lots of toy boats and buckets and stuff. $15 well spent. 
- The Geo Centre!! I had the lowest expectations. I had no idea. We were there for 2.5 hours, and Cohen was so entertained the whole time. We definitely could have spent longer there. The exhibits are all touchable and interactive, even for a toddler. And they have a little play area for little kids that has lego and a slide and toys. And there is a 3-D theatre inside that is included in your admission. They were showing Despicable Me when we were there, but we didn't take advantage. Worth every penny of $24. In the future we would plan to spend the whole afternoon there, watch a movie, and bring our own snacks.
- We ate at Eastside Mario's, mostly due to proximity to our hotel, but I was so impressed with their gluten-free options. They are all over gluten-free in a way that NO restaurants are in our area. Dude was able to have a choice of a bunch of meals, which never ever happens. We usually have to order him multiple hamburger patties (it sounds sad, but he loves it) plus or minus fries (because they are sometimes coated in flour). But at Eastside's, he could have pizza, pasta, chicken, whatever. He even had dessert. 
- We also ate at Cora's, as usual, because they also have tons of options for Cohen since they have so much fruit on their menu. 
- We had breakfast at the Sheraton hotel even though we didn't stay there, because of the sweet views, and also because there is a little waterfall off the lobby and elevators. Cohen gets a big thrill from any body of water he can throw coins into, and elevators, of course. 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A few recent pics

(he got to pick out his own snow boots this year. loves them) 

(graduated to the big swing) 

(he asked me to take a picture of him and his christmas cactus)

Friday, 6 November 2015

I am a dentist and I am a girl

So the other day a patient who I had never seen came in because a bridge that a dentist had placed years ago was getting loose. Before I got in to see him, he asked my assistant if I was male or female. When she said I was female, he said he was told he was going to be seeing a man, and he would prefer that. My assistant said, "Dr. Jess knows what she's at, don't worry." And the man said that he just wanted someone with more experience. My assistant informed him that Dr. Jess and Dr. Jon graduated at the same time so have the exact same amount of experience. So he said he just though a man would know more about bridges is all.

I didn't hear this conversation, and when I came in, the patient explained to me that he had a loose bridge, that his previous dentist was the best, and asked me if I thought I could fix it. Ummm, yeah, I guess I can fix your old beat up bridge. He proceeded to tell me how to do my job. He said I should make sure things were dry. That is the key. And then the second thing is to make sure that the bite is right. You really need to be able to bite right, and then the bridge will be good, he said. That is seriously like telling a cook that the key to cooking a good chicken is to turn the oven on.

Days later, I go in with a patient who had severe dental anxiety when she first started seeing me 6 months ago. She heard about me from a friend, started seeing me for minor fillings, and has now had lots of dental work by me. This particular day we were doing an extraction. The tooth was totally bombed and was definitely going to be tough to get out. Anyway, she asked me if I was up for this extraction. I was like, yes, of course. She was like, it just doesn't seem like you are strong enough to take this tooth out. I laugh. Haha. She asked if there was someone who I could go get if I need backup. I laugh again. Hahahaha. She was like, no seriously, I just don't really want you to have to put your knee on my chest to get this tooth out because you aren't strong enough. Oh my.

I have written about this before. I am really not upset about this kind of thing. But I think it's worth sharing experiences and maybe, maybe, these two particular patients will feel more confident that a woman can be a dentist.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Pics from the weekend

(our little superman with some Halloween gifts from his babysitter) 

(ice cream after allergy testing) 

(helping his dad at the gym) 

(handing out sugar free lollipops and toothbrushes at the mall)

At 2.5 years old, Cohen was really excited about the whole trick-or-treating thing this Halloween. He knocked on a few doors and got a few treats. I'm sure I'll change my mind next year, but this year, I was feeling very strongly that I did not want to buy a junky Walmart costume for Cohen that would just end up in the garbage. So he wore his superman pajamas that were hand-me-downs, and I made a cape from one of his old t-shirts. He seemed pretty happy. 

Monday, 2 November 2015

An allergy update

We went for Cohen's third allergy test the other day. Our allergy doctor recommends we go every year, and we were keen to do it before the holidays/bad weather since we have to drive a few hours to the specialist. 

This test was way harder this time in that Cohen definitely knew what was going on, and was fighting me and crying the whole time they were doing the testing. Jon and I had to restrain his arms so he wouldn't move and mess up the test and at the same time try to distract him with videos from my phone. I think Jon and I are really used to dealing with upset kids at work, so it really didn't bother us, but still, we were all exhausted after.  The nurse was awesome and gave him lots of bandaids after, which he loves.

His little back after the test. There were four major positive spots, though the doctor pointed out that he does just have really sensitive skin, because pretty much every single dot was red after.

We were not surprised to see that he is still severely allergic to wheat and peanuts. And we knew avoid all nuts, so almonds are no biggie for us. But the coconut. That one really surprised me. I use a ton of coconut. I let Cohen eat coconut oil straight out of the jar. I probably go through a big jar of coconut oil every other week. We also use a ton of coconut cream and milk in our cooking, and our smoothies, baking, etc. And we eat coconut chips. And drink coconut water. Not to mention coconut butter that I smother Cohen's gluten-free toast with lots of mornings.

The doctor was like, one of you guys must also be allergic to something. And Jon and I both are sure we are not allergic to anything. The doctor said that still he would like to test us sometime because allergies are almost always genetic. He also said again that Cohen's red cheeks are definitely allergies. We are curious what eliminating coconut will do for the cheeks.

Also, the doctor surprised us by saying that when Cohen is older (maybe eight years old or so), we will be able to totally get rid of his allergies permanently. It will be costly and take time, but I guess they have these new therapies that eradicate allergies. That seems so far away. We are just happy to know what his allergies are right now.

PS: The beginning of our allergy saga here. Our second trip to the ER here. His first allergy test here. His second allergy test here. And more about it all here.

Also, I read all about some other toddler's allergies here. Interesting only to parents of allergic toddlers.
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