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Monday, March 30, 2009

young girl still missing from Tracy, CA

I saw this posted over at one of my favorite blogs to read The Mommy Blog and I hate seeing this. This little girl is still missing and now over 100 volunteers, along with 40 law enforcement officers have banned together with the hopes in finding the missing girl who has been missing since Friday afternoon.

I live in British Columbia, Canada so no the girl did not go missing from here and some might think then why post about it? I'm a mom. It's that simple. I remember when Michael Dunahee went missing. I try not to think of my own children when news like this is around.

No Amber alert has been issued because the police apparently need proof she was abducted. Okay not sure I agree with that one. The girl has been missing over 48 hours. Abducted, run away, lost, issue the damn alert!

If you have stopped by here and you recognize the girl or want more information please go the website here.

I am sending a prayer that the girl is found safe. I pray for her family and friends to be strong during this horrible time. My thoughts are with you.

Now I'm going to cuddle my boys and hold on tight while lay dreaming snug in their beds and pray nothing like this ever ever happens to me and that nothing ever ever happens to them. Like Corky says: Live today, live free, peace love and harmony...

I'm out...
Continue reading...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

damn cat...damn...rain... five o'clock wake up!

So I'm lying in bed (downstairs) of course because DH and I don't sleep in the same room anymore. Oh not because we fight or anything... don't worry. Apparently I snore loud enough to wake people in the next province... though I'm still waiting for proof of this.

Pickle boy is lying next to me sleeping soundly. He had a bad dream and needed a snuggle to feel safe... ahhh to be three. When all of a sudden



I pop an eye open. When did the damn cat get out?

Annoyed I sit up in the pull out queen sofa bed. Thomas is lying at my feet snoring which is what I think DH is actually hearing at night and not me though I go along with the fact he thinks it's me that snores.

Where is Eddie? And who left the tap running? I hear the racing thump thump thump across the floor upstairs.

Eddie is upstairs chasing something, probably his shadow. I know this because I hear the thud of the shampoo. He often jumps in tub, knocking all the hair products over with a loud bang.

*scratch scratch scratch*

This time the noise is followed by the smallest and softest girlie meow I think I've ever heard and immediately Thomas jumps off the bed from my feet and to the back door.

It's so nice I raised such a polite kitty as he goes to greet the bothersome creature seeking shelter. And I realize it's not a faucet I'm hearing but the rain coming down in droves outside.

Coastal weather sucks!

So much for the kids playing outside tomorrow, dammit!

Pushing back the curtains and Thomas. He announces his displeasure at me shooing him aside with a hiss. Fuck you too, I think. I see a black n white female (kitten) staring at me, paws up on the glass with a look that only be described as a person caught in an avalanche with no shovel to help dig themselves out.j

It's my next door neighbors cat. She never goes outside.

Corey comes downstairs to see what all the fuss is. His eyes sleepy as it's only five in the morning and dawn is just barely breaking. Thomas immediatly pleads with him (boy to boy) to open the door for the new female. DH doesn't move.

"She'll go away." He tells me when I explain that she's been prancing around outside, clawing the screen, pressing her face against the glass. It's pathetic and sad. DH doesn't care. He bangs on the window, like that is going to make her wander back out into the trenches!

She's female... I think not.

DH picks the sir of fur up into his arm, Thomas and tells me he will take the brat upstairs so he won't be bothered by the friendly morning visitor and to go back to sleep and leave her outside. I'm now plotting ways to ruin his morning coffee for being such a heartless toad.

Perhaps because I'm a cat owner myself. I love cats and I can't with good conscious allow this young pretty to wail outside in the storm of the century that is howling and blowing all the crap in my backyard all around.

mental note: must clean yard.

I open the door.

"Mama what u doing? You going to spank the kitty?" Pickle boy says half asleep.

Yes. Mama is going to beat the kitty. First with a broom and then I thought I'd throw rocks at her to make her understand the rudeness of waking people from their sleep. I'm not your father!

I tell him it's okay and to go back to sleep.

The moment the door opens she jumps into my arms. Great! Now I'm soaked, covered in fur and dander. Wet sandpaper licks my chin and her eyes tell me how grateful she is at having been rescued. At least I think she is grateful. It's hard to tell with the sharpies (claws) glued like thorn into my left boob as she hangs onto me for dear life.

"Alright, you're safe." I cradle her against me, grabbing my crackberry.

It rings with no answer. A foul bit of english escapes me. I try again. Again no answer. My annoyance now building. WTF do I do now?

I can't keep little miss with me, she's not fixed. And there is no way I'm going to watch Thomas and Eddie take pleasures with a queen in the house. EWWWWW. I instead open the front door and step outside in my pj's, tip toe barefoot the two doors down to where the young furry resident lives and I bang on the door.

I know my friend Jen is most likely buried up to her eyeballs in pillows and warmth, since she works in the morning and has two kids to get up and out the door early with no help from a significant other.

God I'm glad I'm married.

I curse emphatically under my breath swearing that if she doesn't open the damn door on the tenth knock the damn cat is going through the mail slot! But to my surprise the door opens and Jen stares at me as sleepy as a baby in a cradle.

"What is it? What is wrong?" Her voice holds a note of concern but more annoyance. Ahhh did I wake you? Good! My mean streak thinks.

What's wrong? What's wrong is your damn cat was out in the damn rain and gave me a five o'clock wake up from dream land that's what is wrong. Now take your nail digging miss priss into your own house and don't call me tomorrow!

Of course I did not speak my brain.

I learned a long time ago never, especially when tired, allow the men in my head to have a go at the mic when in the state of strangling those who wake me.

"Here I have something that belongs to you."

Horror strikes Jen face and the apologies come flying.

"I'm so sorry about this," she says for the tenth time but whose counting?

Hey, no problem. I'm rescuing the dog out of the dumpster from unit 18 and the bird belonging to unit 6 stuck up the tube slide at the park next. It's no skin off my back!

The joys of friendship with furry animals. It could have been worse. She could've owned a horse.
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Friday, March 27, 2009

dear pickle boy: stop growing up.

I know you have no idea what I'm talking about. You are a kid. How could you possibly understand the engorged lump in my throat as I realize all you've been through.

You have have graduated from bottles and hopefully soon diapers, into a walking and talking little rascal with a spirit so free a mustang would be proud.

I watch as you play cars up and down the hall, listening as you speak to hockey dude (your brother) about your day, now fully understanding every little word you say, and I cannot help but feel the swagger of emotion drilling through me. That's when it hits me hard.

My baby is gone.

When did this happen?

How did this happen?

It was just yesterday we were at the hospital with you, praying to the big man above for your health and safety as we watched you struggling to breathe. Every milestone you've reached (so late) but you've reached and with a confidence that burns me up with pride - all the while giving me those encouraging hugs and kisses - instead of the much used ... "I can do it myself mama!" I am hearing so frequently now.

Your birthday has come and gone. Another year has passed. Your party was a big success and you and all your friends (mostly cousins) had so much fun bouncing on the bouncy castle, decorating party bags and playing musical chairs. You with the biggest smile on your face all the while as the kids all laughed and played.

I realize what an achievement this is for you and how much effort, paitence and love has gone into you these past three years. I'm so deeply impressed with the road you've travelled, no matter what boulders stood in your way - you found a way around them.

But I'm still sad.

I can't help it. I'm your mother after all.

And it's a job I greatly adore and cherish. And even though I know you cannot stay a little rascal forever. There would be no fun in that. I just wish you would slow down. I wish for those snuggles we used to share. I wish for those butterfly kisses you used to shower me with and that cute little way you'd reach out for me to grab hold.

Now you push me away.

You demand everything.

You cry when you can't have your way.

You even yell at me... *pause to wipe my tears* - that one hurts.

Ahhh but I also know you are you, or rather becoming the you that you are going to be and there will be no stopping you from going down that road. No matter how much I wish for it that star has drifted away.

So I will say this.

I love you.

No matter what age you are.

No matter what direction life is taking you.

All those milestones, those obstacles you will face, decisions you will have to make.

I will be there.

Even if it's only as a spectator to jump up and cheer you on or as a teacher to give you lessons to learn to help you on your way.

I will be there.

That at least will never change. That is something I can count on. I can't change what has happened nor can I ask time to stop because time won't listen. But I can rely on how I love you and keep loving you.

Forever and always

- mom
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

american idol: what the h... e... double L...

Okay I don't get it. I really don't. I am so ticked off right now I just want to smother jam all over Simon's perfectly white t-shirt and wipe the smug grin off his face.

Michael Sarver - roughneck is going home?

I have to say I wasn't surprised by the bottom three with one exception. That Blondie with the tatoos (megan joy) wasn't nominated for it. I don't know about you but I don't think she can sing - Megan Joy. Boy no Joy I say.

But I'm Canadian and can't vote. So needless to say it ended up being Michael which is sad because I really liked him.

Next week will be interesting for sure. I can't wait to see everyone sing. Michael you are amazing and you should keep following your dreams. You have the potential to be a great country music artist. Don't give up!
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american idol: allison irahata rocked motown week!

Okay yesterday's show was amazing I have to say. First of all because I love Smokey Robinson, and secondly because most of the performances were better than last week THANK GOD!

I thought everyone did pretty well this go round. The bottom three won't be hard to pick though, not for me at least. I'm choosing Michael whom I really like but I had agree with the judges. His performance was good but not good enough. I don't think he has the gusto to win. I think though he could be an amazing country recording artist and I would buy his album if he ever made one.

Second to go down-town has to be Megan who just so takes the JOY out of this competition with her damn squeaky voice and one armed tattoo. I don't like her. I haven't since the beginning. I still can't believe they sent Jasmine home and kept her. I hope she goes home.

Third person to go to the chair I think is going to be our blind piano man, though I really like Scott. I think he's sweet and thought the judges were way harsh on him, especially Simon.

It pisses me off because every week they give different advice. Sing slow, don't sing slow, show us your voice, stop screaming!, don't wear that outfit, wear that outfit, don't use your instrument, use your instrument... .

My head hurts listening to them as I'm sure do the remaining singers left via for the top spot in this years race. I know I wouldn't be able to take all the advice when it is constantly changing that way.

Tonight I really enjoyed Kris's performance, Danny rocked singing GET READY, Adam just blew me away with his sweet and sexy sound. Did you guys all see his suit? No black nails or punked out hair. I was totally shocked.

But who really made me clap my hands and scream at the TV (something I do often during Idol) shut up! I mean be quiet please or I'll punch you in the nose... was Allison.

She is only 16 years old and man Cara said it right... you can't teach that.

The way she sounds. I'd love to hear her sing BETTY DAVIS EYES by Kim Carnes. But she did one better with PAPA IS A ROLLING STONE and took the night for me.

If she ends up in the bottom three I swear I'll be pissed upset lol. Guess I will have to wait and see.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Who loves to party?

I know I do, though it's hard to do with a toddler running around and an almost ten year old nagging at me to change the channel when Biggest Loser is on and he should be sleeping...


Still even if the only partying I get to do is online. That's better than nothing, and this year I've discovered a great party to go to. It's the Ultimate Blog Party 2009 from 5 minutes for mom. which I'm so excited to be a part of.

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Now if I understand correctly, this being my first year and all participating in this event. You post your link on the site and then you get the grand opportunity to visit other peoples blogs to read what they are writing.

It's a totally cool way to network when you are a blogger, drive more traffic to your site and make new friends. There are also prizes which many people contributed which is also fantastic. The party runs from March 20th - 27th.

Now I'll share a little bit about me. I'm new to blogging, especially about my life. I'm a published writer (chicken soup for the soul, newspaper articles, short stories) and I'm currently working on my career.

Between the kids and hubby; I try to find time to write every day. I grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia and I'm a proud Canadian. I married my best friend; met DH (Dear Hubby) online and a year later we got hitched. Another year later we had (Pickle-boy) Trace who just turned three. He was born with Cerebral Palsy (very mild) and he's doing amazing! We also share the joy of (Hockey-dude) our 9 almost 10 year old son Jake.

Family is important to me. My blog is family friendly, though you might find a cuss word or two floating around as I often swear like a trucker with a six foot tongue when I'm mad, but I try to keep it kid friendly where the eyes are concerned.

So that's it for me. I'm going to party hard now that the kids are out, hubby has left me alone and I've said hello to you guys. Thanks for stopping by. Don't forget to leave me a comment with a link to your blog so we can follow one another (no stalking intended) and enjoy one another's company while we enjoy this ride.

See ya!
~ JP
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

picasso at work

So there I was sitting on my couch talking to my gf (Jen) after she had a long day at work, gabbing about the sale at the store she runs Above the Underground and how I missed it. Jake and Dav were upstairs playing video games. Trace and Aliyah were upstairs...

Or so I thought!

All of sudden Trace comes into the living room. "I sawwry mama, all yer colors are gone."

I turned my head and there before us were a couple of short people covered in enough black goop, they looked like they were getting ready to rob a bank.

"I drew guys fer you," he said with pride.


Now of course I was upset. They were quiet. I thought they were upstairs playing with their brothers. I looked at them and they were a mess. I could only imagine what they had done as I followed Trace to the main bathroom.

That's when I discovered Picasso had been at work and his partner in crime had helped.

They had gotten into my make-up, mascara all over their faces and all over the falls. All my make-up was scattered on the floor, inside the toilet and in pieces. Lipstick, eye-liner adorned my walls. It was such a beautiful site... NOT!

I told Trace he was wrong for touching my things. We don't color on the wall. We color on paper. My make-up bag wasn't out either in plain site for him to get into. It was hidden under the sink and he knew he shouldn't have touched it.

After cleaning them both up and talking to Trace about it and he apologized. He explained he drew a picture of the black guy and red guy passing the puck back and forth. I could actually see what he meant, thus the red and black marks all over the wall.

I gave each of them a cloth and told them to wash it. Trace immediately did as he was told. Aliyah hid her face when Jen told her WASH! Meanwhile Jen and I watched, trying not to laugh at the situation because it was quite funny.

My little man. He's such a budding artist. He loves to color. And now I have the pictures to show him if ever one day he takes his talents further...

Ahhh to be three!
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twilight craze: dvd launch

I love Stephenie Meyer's. Her Twilight series (I'm on book 2 New Moon) is incredible and I have to admit when I first learned about it, I thought (I'm not gonna read something a bunch of young girls are reading) I mean why would I?

But I dove in and boy am I glad I did. I'm a twi-mom apparently as I learned tonight. I have no daughters to share the experience with as today was THE day. It was the launch of Twilight on DVD, and out here in Abbotsford the girls were out in swarms.

Walmart decided to stay open late (usually closing at 11pm) but instead opted to keep themselves open until one in the morning. And to make things interesting a threat went out in t he form of a chain letter to all Walmart's across the US and Canada that three random women would get shot at a Walmart (of course not named) during tonight's Twilight unveiling.

I have to say (yeah) I was a bit on edge. I mean a threat is still a threat and I did keep my eyes on the door for 2 men in long trench coats carrying big guns. I scoped out the perimeter (although I know the layout) of my Walmart like the back of my hand, my mind figuring out where I would hide if such an ugly occurrence were to happen.

But mostly I just enjoyed the waiting in line, talking to others about the movie (which I haven't seen) and the book and learning how totally crazy people are for this blockbuster series. The girls came out in roves. Each of them wearing different shirts to represent their love for Edward (main character) and vampire of the story.
I heart guys that sparkle, Give blood and date a vampire, I only date vampires (sorry)

A display was set up in the front of the store at around eleven thirty the manager came out and called our attention. He stated we were going to be given numbers and we were to return back in the main area where our numbers were going to be called and we could take our pic of which movie we wanted, either the special edition 2 disc volume or the regular movie. I of course opted for the special edition.

For the next fifteen minutes I shopped. I had to pick up some milk (Trace drinks a ton) and I had to buy some make-up because of the little mishap (read here) that happened earlier in the night with Trace acting like Picasso on my bathroom wall.

Twelve o'clock hit and Twilight was brought into the main part of the store. I could hear the cheers and I immediately felt the electric spark that generated with the over thirty people waiting in line with tickets and the other thirty waiting to get some.

21965, I heard shouted out across the crowd. It was my ticket number. I said about a half dozen excuse me's as I made my way to the front where Alan was standing.

"Do you want blueray?" he whispered to me. I stared at him in shock.

They only had so many copies of blueray available. Immediately I nodded. I guess it pays to shop at Walmart as I practically live there, knowing many of the staff by first name and they know us. I clutched my copy like it was gold.

"You didn't scream," a woman said to me as I passed by.

In the spirit of the night I gave a whoop whoop! The next number was called and another young teen ran up, tears running down her face, screaming as her precious 2 copies were handed to her and a roar of applause erupted. It was pretty cool actually.

I got my copy. Smile on my face we left the store. The cost of my blueray copy? $17.00 plus tax, which is pretty great I think. As we were leaving a group of girls trailed behind us in the parking lot, each arm in arm, each clutching a bag when I stopped them and asked if they could take out their copies and pose for a shot.

The smiles on those girls faces are clear evidence to the happiness that I'm sure spread world wide during the official movie release onto dvd. I can only imagine what will happen when movie 2 comes out. I will have to wait to find out, but I'll be there as I was happy to be a part of it.

Congratulations Stephenie on the success of your books and your movie.

You deserve it!
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

natasha richardson died?

There's a question mark in the title because when I saw it on the news I almost fell over with sadness. Natasha Jane Richardson or (Tasha) to friends and family, actress in Hollywood, mother to her children and wife to actor (Liam Neeson) passed away suddenly on Wednesday March, 18th, 2009 after a fatal ski accident that sadly put the British born actress in a New York hospital with a severe brain injury to which she sadly never recovered from.

Richardson had an amazing career to which I followed. She starred in such roles as (Patty Hearst, Gothic, Nell with her husband Liam Neeson, The Parent Trap with Dennis Quaid, Blow Dry, Maid in Manhatten and The Handmaid's Tale).

Richardson comes from a long dynasty of Hollywood actors, directors and producers. Her father (Tony Richardson) actor, writer and director had a very long career and her mother is none other than Vanessa Redgrave (whom I love!) as well as sister (Joley Richardson.)

The actress was in Montreal, Canada after the accident in a hospital there when doctors claimed that her condition was critical. It was then her husband (Neeson) made the decision to move his beloved wife to the hospital in New York, so she could be closer to her friends and family. On Wednesday she was removed from life support where she died a few hours later due to her injuries.

I can't even imagine how devastated the family is, and my thoughts and prayers go out to them. It's sad because a brain injury can happen just like that. It makes me think of my husband who survived his after being in a coma for 18 days. I think what would have happened. He was so lucky.

Natasha is survived by her mother and sister, husband and their two sons.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

trust your own health

I went to the hospital early this morning which really sucked. The pain in my chest continued all day long and it was awful, just awful! I have never felt so bad in my life. I couldn't breathe, and to top it off nobody would believe what I was telling them. WTF is that about? I mean I know my own body. Who better to explain what is going on?


I didn't know if I was having a panic attack or I just had to fart pass gas or if it was truly my heart giving me signs to quit my damn nic sticks and get off my ass to exercise. I really didn't know. Honest!

Corey called the ambulance at like 3 am because the boys were sleeping and I didn't want to wake them. The guy was a real jerk, the one who looked me over. He looked at me like I was nuts and just needed to calm down. All because I was crying. I'm sorry but I was upset. I didn't want to go to the hospital but my fears and the symptoms I was having were beyond my ability to just remain calm. I know my body and I knew that something was wrong.

Several doctors came in all asking me questions. I told them the same answers. My jaw hurt. I had tingles everywhere. I had shortness of breath and it felt like a truck was sitting on my chest and so forth.

I had two EKG's ordered in the span of two hours. I had three blood tests done. Then it was time to wait. In the mean time the doctor wanted me to take some Ativan to calm my nerves. I refused, considering I had just gone off that medication because I didn't like how it made me feel. And if I was indeed having a panic attack due to my depression then I would have to either try another medication or learn to handle it.

Though deep down I knew it was something else.

Waiting at the hospital wasn't fun. Listening to the nurses gossip about me was even less fun. I could hear them whispering about how I was over-reacting to my "condition" they called it, how I'd come in all upset and now was resting and blah blah...

WTF (ever!)

The doctor came back and saw me three and half hours later when my blood tests and others came back in. He discharged me. So what was wrong you ask?

Apparently I have acid reflux!

When the gas gets trapped it causes extreme heart burn and other issues. My blood tests came back normal and my EKG was good. My blood pressure was also good, a little high when I was upset but it came down.

The doctor also said there is a problem with wall of my chest cavity which there isn't much they can do (until I actually have a heart attack) because I smoke. He understood how hard quitting is to do but gave me some ways to handle quitting if I choose, which let me tell you I am. He said to take Tylenol for it and he prescribed me a stomach pill very dull in side effects to help with the reflux.

So overall it WASN'T A PANIC ATTACK and there was actually SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME! I have to remain calm for the next few days and try to sleep. Take my pills on time and drink lots of water and exercise and stop smoking. All of which I'm going to work on, trust me.

As for the rest of today now that I'm home. Well it's my son's birthday. Trace turned 3 today and we are going to relax with a nice dinner of his favorite food (spaghetti) and open a few gifts and I'm going to just cuddle both my boys and Corey. Life is too short to do anything else but love them right now.

And when you feel ill or feel something is wrong with you. Tell someone and no matter what you hear or what they say, keep to what you feel because only you know what is wrong with your body. So listen when it speaks.
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

night scares

Okay so lately I haven't been sleeping well. I have been having trouble breathing. Not gasping for air kind of trouble, thank God, at least not yet.

No negative self talk, I know but it's hard. Both of my parents have had heart attacks, both are not even sixty, both smoke and there is a history of lung problems, diabetes, heart disease and an array of other health issues in my unforeseen future.

This is scaring the (sh)ite! right out of me though!

So much so that I'm telling all of you by blogging about it at 5:22 am because I'm scared to death to go back to sleep for fear I won't wake up.

It starts at night when I try to go to sleep. I try laying on my side, both sides if I need to and not my back because that just makes it worse. I suffer from depression and panic attacks and anxiety, but I don't know if that is what is causing this.

I woke Corey a half hour ago to come and sit with me in the tub and talk to me because I didn't want to be alone. He wasn't too worried which really pissed me off, typical guy attitude. Anything to do with health, doctors or possible hospital visits and he cringes. And okay I get it, I mean the small deal with the coma, him forgetting the first 20 or so years of his life and dealing with a (sh)ite load of doc's during that wasn't fun. But man show me some emotion dagnabbit!

I'm overweight and I smoke, two very bad things which I'm working on. I just wish I didn't feel this tightness in my chest and trouble breathing as regularly as it has been happening. Tomorrow Corey is going to take me to the walk in clinic.

I don't want to see my regular doctor because all he does is harp on my weight but never sends me for tests. He always chalks everything up to nothing, which bugs me. Sure I might be worrying for nothing but that is my prerogative and maybe it's not nothing.

Well for now I guess I will try to sleep. It helps talking about it and has calmed me down a bit so thanks for listening. It's hard when you feel alone, the kids are sleeping, DH is sleeping and right now my cat Thomas is looking at me LADY GO BACK TO SLEEP YOU'RE FINE...

Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow. For now I'm heading over to Facebook to check my messages and see my friends. Until next time...

~ Manic Mom
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Monday, March 9, 2009

pickle-boy makes up a new game

I got up this afternoon. Yes I said afternoon, because I was sooooo tired from the night before and this time change really affects me and my sleeping. I woke up and saw Trace and Daddy sitting on the sofa playing a game.

What were they playing you ask? They were playing toss the baby wipe. Yes I said baby wipe. It was a clean wipe of course (ewwwww) to the thought of it not being clean. No it was clean and Trace had decided that instead of tossing a ball, he'd toss a wipe instead.

It's funny how simply things make children laugh and keep them entertained. You can hear Trace laughing which is the best sound in the whole world.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

books for kids: congrats jake on your report card!

Okay so I had a proud manic mom moment today, not only because Spring Break started today and I'm so utterly glad Jake is home for two whole weeks (I know strange) but the kids got their report cards today and Jake's was awesome!

Jake improved his marks and he did better this term than last which makes both Corey and I very happy. His report card was so good I'm showing it here. He's only in grade four but we are very proud of him.

Check out how well Jake did.

We went to Costco to buy Jake a gift for doing so well second term. He still has to work on a few things, like accomplishing his tasks on time. He is also struggling in reading and writing, comprehension and so forth and I know that Costco is great for books to help on those areas.

We picked Jake up a grade four reading and math book to do assignments over spring break. We also bought him a math work book that is dry erase with a little timer stop clock to help time himself when doing multiplication and division (something he just started learning) this past term and is having a hard time with. He absolutely loved it.

As a reward I purchased two books for him to read. Jake is very much a sports freak; loves playing outside (hockey, baseball, basketball, tag, hide n' seek, soccer) you name it he wants to do it. He also skateboards, plays grounders and loves riding a bike. Reading is like at the bottom of his list.

I've discovered lately though it helps if kids have books they want to read. Being a writer and avid lover of books and remembering being in grade four. Choosing books for Jake was easy.

The first book Corey and I chose is called DIARY OF A WIMPY KID by Jeff Kinney. I opened this book and the first page grabbed me. "Omg, this is Jake!" I said to Corey. We spent ten minutes reading, each with our own copy in hand, and we've never laughed so damn hard.

Greg Heffley is a somewhat sarcastically funny, very articulate, say it like it is, no-nonsense kid whose just about to go to middle school. He reminds me of Jake in so many ways it's not even funny. Greg faces bullies, worries about what his friends think, worries about school but doesn't totally show his insecurities because he masks them with his flair for comedy and fantasy thoughts, which in the book are illustrated with stick type character drawings that made me laugh my ass off.

The New York Times bestseller was the perfect choice for Jake. By the time we left Costco Jake had already read eighteen pages and asked if he could go to bed and read more before lights out. I am so glad he's enjoying it right now.

The second book we got for Jake is a little different. It's called THE 39 CLUES by Rick Riordan and it's an adventure book. A brother and sister team (Amy & Dan) discover that their family is the most power family the world has ever know. They are offered millions of dollars to turn and walk away from the secrets of their family or reject the offer and go off in search of the 39 clues that could unlock the secrets to their families powers.

I knew Jake would love this book. He hasn't started reading it, but for any boy who collects cards (Pokemon, Chaotic, Yui-gi-oh) ect... this book rocks! Inside each book is a set of cards. You get to log online and create a name and go in search of clues as you read the book. The entire idea is a real thrill and it reminds me of those choose your own adventure books because you get to be in control.

Overall Jake was excited today. I really think his reading will improve having books he's interested in and wanting to read every day. These books are great and what is nice is they are part of a series, so Jake can read the first book and then decide if he wants to continue the story, and the price at Costco here in Abbotsford was too hard to pass up. Each book only cost $8.00 each. That's a steal.

Congrats on your report Jake. We love you very much and couldn't be prouder of you. I look forward to spending spring break with you and watching you have fun while exploring this new reading adventure you are on...

- mom n dad
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loving a person who has a TBI

Okay so today didn't go so well in the world of love and marriage. Fighting is never fun but it's something that does happen here in the Shaw household on occasion, especially when dealing with Corey's brain injury.

I mentioned before that my husband suffered a TBI Traumatic Brain Injury when he was 18, cracking his skull, leaving him without the ability to remember a lot of things.

So knowing that you must also know the things we deal with as a family on a day to day basis, loving each other the best we do, and yet coping with the reality of this disability.

"The brain is like a command station of a space ship. To understand brain injury, think about what would happen if the command station were hit by a meteorite. If a meteorite hits the command station, the command station may not be able to control the direction the ship travels or what the ship does.

The brain controls how the whole body works like the command station controls the ship. After the brain is hurt, it may send out the wrong signals to the body or send out no signals at all. A person with a brain injury may have trouble walking, talking, hearing, or seeing. They may even need a machine to help them breathe." -How to talk to Children about a Brain Injury article from

Corey forgets most of the conversations that happen the day before. He goes to sleep and wakes up and requires reminding the following morning of what was said, where we went or what happened.

He will yell at the kids for something that happened yesterday or a week ago, thinking it just happened because his brain hits a trigger reminding him with an image of the event, despite the fact the event took place in the past.

He has a difficult time relating to kids who are rude or don't listen to him. Sometimes it makes him feel stupid, almost as though he is beneath them and they know more. This happens when they remember things he doesn't and points those things out.

He forgets to say how he feels. With brain injury survivors, connecting to their emotions can become difficult. A lot times we know how we feel because of images, things that have happened. We remember how we felt doing something or how something tasted or smelled.

Strong feelings crop up based on images from the past, reminders of grandma's perfume when she tucked us in as kids, or a look dad gave when he was angry with us. For my husband this is difficult because he has no memories to draw from and due to that finding his feelings and connecting the emotion to the brain (which has no past reminders) can be so challenging he often feels lost.

Talking and explaining things makes him come off sounding like he is making excuses for things when he's not. A lot times when Core is explaining how he feels, because that is difficult to begin with, it sounds a though he is blaming. Many times he speaks the way a ten year old would when trying to describe how he feels.

"Why are you yelling?" I will ask.

He will reply, "because I'm frustrated Jake isn't listening."

He sounds hurt and upset about it, but the focus remains in a tone that sounds like Jake when he deals with his friends. I hit Ariel because he called me stupid. The mature logic of a parent isn't always there to see the situation without seeing it in tunnel vision.

Most parents can rise above their kids rudeness, examine and see their age, recognize their limits and why they are behaving badly and then deal with it accordingly. For parents who suffer from a TBI it's almost like watching siblings rival with one another.

Corey reacts emotionally to what the kids do, rather than stepping back and recognizing the age difference. He reacts as though they did or acted a certain way on purpose to bug him. Understanding his emotions and being able to stop and think isn't always easy for him because of his TBI.

These are just a few of the challenges we face. Living with a person who suffers from a TBI is hard. It's damn hard I'm not going to lie. Jake and Trace become angry when daddy forgets their birthday or that he was going to play hockey and now he's too tired because everything we do all day long requires brain power and his is used up and now he needs to nap. Or how come daddy can remember lyrics to a song but not that Jake has a judo at four o'clock? The brain remembers what it wants to remember, it's a mystery doctors are still trying to figure out.

Sometimes I get lonely. I married my best friend. But if I'm down or low or feeling upset, so is Corey. So much to the point he reacts just as angry or upset as I do and it's as if I'm not allowed to share those feelings with him, hiding them in the way I do the boys so they don't see mommy crying or upset or angry because kids need to be kids and they don't need the worry.

Sometimes with Corey it's the same. And then even when I do share my feelings, which we talk about everything, even though I know it will be forgotten the very next morning what I said. The loneliness becomes a blanket of hollowness inside of me. But because I love him I understand this is part of his TBI, I work through it, talk to friends about it and try to find ways to cope and help him because it's the disease that affects and causes Corey to do some of the things he does, not Corey himself.

Corey is a special person. One of the most special and unique people I've ever known. He's strong and confident (most days) and can handle things better than people realize.

He is loving and compassionate. He has a wonderful sense of humor and plays with the boys in a way most dads don't, becoming a child himself at times. He always hugs and kisses and says I love you when they do. He's open and honest in talking with both myself and the boys about his brain injury, answering any questions they have or tries to ease their fears he won't forget them.

Because Corey forgets each day together is a new day. There are no real grudges in our house. We live, love and forgive and start each day as new because it's new for daddy.

Yesterday is gone and he's taught both the boys and myself to cherish each morning sun as it rises and each moon that glows at night because tomorrow is another day and today is all we have. Here and now... that is what he says.

The boys understand it and love being able to live each day without carrying their past regrets with them like baggage.

Corey says what he feels without worrying about what others think. Many of us pause, lie, fudge the truth worried we may hurt someones feelings and we are so worried about tomorrow.

Because Corey forgets today and tomorrow is new; he's very honest with people about his feelings (respectfully) of course, but he doesn't worry how what he says will affect anyone. It sounds selfish I know but it's actually very freeing to live that way. The connection you make to others that way is very rewarding.

Besides, he can't help it. He speaks from his heart with the ability his brain allows. And for that I love him.

He finds humor in everything. Many people with disabilities cannot be made fun of. Corey is the opposite and has often been the butt of many jokes from our family and friends and even me (sorry babe) about his forgetfulness and how he is and the things he's done. He's a good sport about it.

Guess it helps he forgets the jabs the next day LOL.

The hardest part of living with someone who has a TBI is explaining to others. My parents, friends and family don't always understand.

"What do you mean he's sleeping, it's two in the afternoon!"...

"How could he forget to pick up Jake from school?"...

"Why is he so hard on the kids? They are just being kids."...

"Why does he make it sound like he knows stuff?"...

"How come he can't remember what I just asked him do?"...

I'm tired of explaining it. I'm tired of people frowning upon him because he feels too upset if too many kids are in the house and it causes his brain to hurt and he can't cope and they don't understand.

I'm tired of feeling alone and as if there is so much wrong with Corey because of comments people make, instead of what is really wrong, the inability of people to understand what living and loving someone with a TBI is truly like.

Corey I love you baby. I'm sorry we had a fight. I'm sorry I get upset because I think you should be like everyone else and just buck up and face things, deal with the kids like I do, face things like I do and God for being angry because you don't remember things like I do.

You are a good man. You are loving and kind and we will make it through the rough patches, together like we always have, you and me babe.

The boys love you. I love you. Don't blame yourself for what you don't remember or can't handle. It's who you are and we should all just shut up and understand that, especially me.

I love you cowboy. Tomorrow is a new day!

Links for my family and friends to help understand a TBI and what you can do to help. And please don't forget to watch the video in loving someone who has a TBI: Part 2 to help you understand Corey and others who suffer from this awful but spiritual disability.

How to talk to kids about a brain injury

What impact with Moderate or Severe TBI have on a person's life?

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loving someone who has a TBI: Part 2

To my family and friends, and other out there who know someone, a friend or relative who has suffered or is suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury. Please watch so that you can understand both Corey and how having a TBI can affect you and how it might be affecting your loved ones.
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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

wordless wednesday: canucks

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oh canucks! playoffs will be interesting

Well the trade deadline has come and as a Vancouver fan I can say I'm a bit perplexed but not disappointed because as a nucks fan disappointment comes with the territory that Mike Gillis made no trades for the Canucks during today's most important day of hockey, the trade deadline.

DH sat here staring at the ticket taper which seemed to have Calgary's name splashed across it, searching and waiting to see some sign of some move Vancouver had done or was going to do.

Nothing happened.

A few names popped up to my mind thinking toward the future. The Sedine twins haven't been signed yet and become unrestricted free agents this summer, though their agent J.P Perry is still working on banging something out for them.

Mattis Ohlund will also become a free agent. He has a no-trade contract but was even willing to waive that as the deadline approached as it seems he is unlikely to wear a Canucks walke jersey when this summer approaches.

Other names popped up as well including Taylor Pyatt, Shane O'Brien and even Bieske's name rolled around the loop a few times. One thing I knew they weren't going to do was give up a first round draft pick. But has acquiring Sundin which was done this past December enough to fill the voids we see on the ice?

Lou... Roberto Luongo seems to be getting back to form. But one player cannot carry a team. Just ask Gretzky. It's too much pressure, especially when the defencemen in front of the net have no problem sharing their puck with the other team. How nice of them! We struggle each game I watch. It's heartbreaking.

So why no trades?

Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Calgary all jumped into the loop as the trade deadline ran it's course. It's not even over yet and my feeling we missed the bus somewhere is digging deep in my heart.

I guess the playoffs will tell if Gillis made the right decision or not. I'm guessing not. But hey anything is possible. I keep yelling at the boys to shoot the puck at the net. When they do they score. So like I said anything is possible.

I miss the days of Pat Quinn and Brian Burke wheeling and dealing for us as every second counted during this significant day of switching players. It's hard to see nothing happen during the trade deadline when nothing is happening on the ice during the games and our boys keep struggling.

Our playoff hopes rest on Roberto Luongo, poor guy. He's just getting himself back to form after a huge layoff with an injury that leaves most goalies wincing (groin) and hard-pressed to find themselves back to the play they were before.

It just seems unfair. And as a fan it leaves me feeling somewhat as though the GM of our team just doesn't care about our future. It's a feeling I've had for many years as I've watched our playoff hopes disappear into the night quicker than a black cat searching for a shadow to hide behind.

No matter what happens as the day ends, I will forever be a Canuck fan, no matter how their coaches or GM's or even owners deal with the team. It's in my heart to do so. I've been watching hockey since I was a little girl with my dad, rooting the Canucks on and waiving my white towel. It's a feeling of pride even when they lose. They are my boys. I will support them. I just wish the staff hired to protect them and help build them up as a team felt the same way as I do. It's a shame they don't.
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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

spring break: fun things to do over the break

So spring break is coming up for the school aged kids. It's a time I look forward to, and one I really enjoy. I know some parents don't because they have to find daycare, sitters and other activities for their child or children to do while they are hard at work during the week. Us, we are lucky.

Both Corey and I get to stay home with the boys.

I love it when Jake is out of school. Most times during the week the time I get to spend with my oldest (very special) boy is limited because of how the schedule goes.

We get up, eat breakfast, make lunch, get ready and off he goes to school. The rest of the day is spent running errands, visiting doctors for Trace, occupational appointments or just having playtime at home with Trace.

Three o'clock rolls around and Jake is home. He does his homework and then he's out the door to play hockey with the boys outside or play in the backyard with Trace who waits impatiently all day for his brother to come home so they can have some one on one time. Dinner is made, we eat, spend time reading and before I know it, it's off to bed.

I love Holidays!

I love snuggling with Jake because we get to camp outs at night downstairs on the pull out. Trace, him and I stay up and watch Transformers or Star Wars, eating popcorn and laughing. We wake up late, eat pancakes and plan our day as a family without boundaries or schedules.

I think I look more forward to the holidays than the kids do. Just getting to spend that extra time with the kids (all of us together) as a family makes me feel incredible.

There is always fun things to do as well. Look online in your local community to see any events taking place over the holidays.

You will come across links you never even thought of. Like taking the kids to a fish hatchery nearby so they can learn a thing or two about our eco-system. Science World and the zoo, the aquarium, different parks and playgrounds, museums, corn mazes, farms to pick apples and more.

Family Fun Links For the Greater Vancouver Area
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Monday, March 2, 2009

terrible tantrums part 2

This is me on a regular day. Shit this is most of us manic moms. Busy cleaning, dealing with the kids, homework, house work, cooking supper, paying bills.

You name it I'm doing it.

But my mother will call sometimes at 3, or 4 or 5 in the evening and find me asleep.

"Why are you sleeping?" She will ask me to which I hold my tongue because swearing at her at that particular moment of waking up won't make my mood change.

I simply reply, "because I'm tired."

That is an understatement. Trace is almost three and lately seems as though him being difficult isn't normal. Or is it? I will tell you right now, I think I have a little OCD in me because I'm compulsive and tenacious when it comes to searching and doing research on the Internet about anything I want to know concerning Trace and his troubles.

I can't help it. I need answers.

Is this a normal way a toddler almost three acts?

Or is this a part of his disability? And if so then how can I cope and help him through it? Better still if it is normal now what do I do because I can't deal with it or the emotions I have inside.

These are the things that run through my brain daily. And talking to DH (Dear Hubby) is like talking to a door right now. He just refuses to listen to me when I tell him my attachment, or rather lack of attachment to our only child together doesn't feel right.

Don't get me wrong I love Trace. Of course I love him. I am his mother. But when I look at him... when I have to fight to get any hugs or kisses, fight to hold him, fight to get him to say he's sorry for bashing a large truck over his much older brothers head and see no regret in him.

When I have to keep giving him time-outs knowing they aren't working, or turn my back on him because I don't want to give the tantrum he's having any further power, despite the nagging urge to gouge my ear drums out with a ice pick just to make him stop screaming. I feel very--detached from baby boy.

And I hate it.

Dealing with Trace's disabilities isn't easy. They are mild and most people look at him and say "What's wrong with him? He looks normal."

See that is the problem.

Not that I want anything to be wrong with him. Shit I'd give my life to return his to one where hospital visits and tests, occupational therapists, speech therapists and so forth weren't a part of Trace's daily life. But I cannot.

No what bothers me is that I know there IS something wrong. Something wrong with the way he behaves, certain things he does and things he says. I can't explain it I just know. I am again-- his MOTHER and it's my job to know. And there is the main reason my anger is bursting at the seems from me whenever we get around someone that says:

"Oh don't worry he's a typical three year old and he'll grow out of it. There's nothing wrong with him. Look how far he's come and he's all caught up."


Trace hits and hurts everyone he plays with when things don't go his own way.
No amount of time outs or talking seem to help him understand we talk with our mouth not our hands.
He bits if a child goes up the stairs before he does. Bites their ankles, arm, back. He's drawn blood on three of his five cousins.
He has melt downs whenever about little things. He wants a toy and I say no toys at the table. He throws things, cries for it again and again. I repeat no. I tell him the consequences. I remove him and say you can eat with us when you have finished your tantrum. I even ask him if he's unhappy or sad or mad.
He doesn't respond.
He will grab my ears and twist them even when I tell him (please don't that hurts mommy) he replies (I want to) and tries again and again.
He punches in the private area of other children
He constantly touches my chest (I punch your boobies mommy) I tell him no we don't touch each others privates, please don't. He does it again and again and again until a time out is given.
If he wants a car another child is playing with he takes it. He will hurt that child to get it.
He tells us to shut up, says no I won't, screams at me yes over and over

The list goes on.

Yet everyone says yep welcome to being three. Yet how much is Trace being three, behind on his speech, delayed at birth, troubles since the beginning socializing? Or could his CP (Cerebral Palsy) be linked to other known disorders and diseases. Like Aspergers, Bipolar Disorder and more.

I will tell you what I know...
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terrible tantrums part 1

They say a picture says a thousands words. The one above certainly conveys how I feel about my (almost) three year old lately.

I don't know what it is. I must have been spoiled rotten with Jacob while raising him. Jacob never said "no" to me or threw tantrums when he didn't get things his own way.

He rarely whined. Not like now, he's nine and whines about everything lol, especially when we say no.

"No video games, no friends over tonight" minor things with minor whining against the decision made.

Pickle-boy however, that is a different story.

The constant whining grates on my nerves. I try really hard not to show it and to console him as he is discovering his emotions and figuring out how to and where to place them. But I have to tell you it's really hard.

Today while at T's (my girlfriends) house, PB asked for a drink. T went and got him one and as I was handing it to him I told him. "Now say thank you."

Well with the outpour of emotional torture that followed you'd think I asked him to salute her and sing O'Canada and do a variety of other things outside his capability.

I simply wanted some manners.

He kicked. He screamed. He cried and cried (sobbing wretchedly). All the while I hugged and told him I understood but he would get no drink without saying (thank you) first.

Each time he refused and screamed at me, hit me, or tried biting me. I put him down (gently of course) on the floor and told him to sit. I told him mommy isn't going to listen until we can behave nicely without yelling or hitting.

I'd heard about tantrums. I'd seen them before on television and in grocery stores where I used to look upon those parents of that evil child and chide them secretly for raising such little bastards to act such a way in public, embarrassing the shit out the parent and forcing them to leave the shop.

Well now I publicly declare my heart felt apologies for all those secret thoughts I had. My sympathies go out to you as parents of a difficult child. I'm sorry for judging you and thinking your parental upbringing of you child was wrong and that the fault lay with you and not the personality flow and challenges your child may have had.

Am I the mother of a difficult child?

Trace has always been a bit difficult. Since the day he was born; the birth the most difficult, amazing and frightening twenty five minutes of my life. I went into labor early. I was told to stay home, despite the fact I had miscarried a child (a girl) before having Trace. I was 33 years old and was sick throughout with troubles during my entire pregnancy.

I ignored the doctor and went to the hospital. I'm glad I did. By the time I arrived I was 10cm dialated even though my water hadn't broken yet. From that moment on it was a nightmare. The doctor didn't come right away. The nurses weren't allowed to break my water and the pain... The pain was so bad I actually passed out, several times.

Finally the doctor arrived. She broke my water and out my boy popped. He was blue and grey. He wasn't breathing. He was intubated as I watched in horror waiting for the sign every mother waits for, her child's cry. After several minutes I finally heard him cry slightly, before they carted him away to the nursery.

From then on the problems began...

Trace didn't grow properly right from the beginning. He was labeled a child not thriving and our journey with Children Hospital began. A year and half later of testing and dealing with Child Development, fears and heartache over trying to figure out why he wasn't walking, or how come he couldn't communicate. Trace is now almost three and has come so far.

He was diagnosed with mild Cerebral Palsy (affecting his legs). Sometimes he drool excessively and his speech still requires help, but he has the most amazing occupational therapist (Hi K) who works with him and loves him. Without their help I don't know where my sweet little boy would be. And sure he's still behind (just a little) and socially needs some help. But overall he's doing great.

Except for a few things...

He is sensitive to materials and wigs out. I mean literally wigs out. If he gets a drop of water on his shirt it has to come off or he throws a fit. If the kids rearrange his toys that he is playing with he freaks out on them (biting, hitting, throwing something) to hurt them. He always has to go first up the stairs, otherwise he sits on the stairs and screams and smacks his own head into the wall or cries and cries. When he cannot go outside with his brother to play (who is 9 years old) hockey with the bigger kids. He breaks down and repeats over and over again he wants to be with his boys.

No amount of consoling, explaining, holding and loving, ignoring, time-outs, spanking, nothing seems to be working. He doesn't understand, and yet he is so very bright with so many things. His feelings are genuinely hurt when he is told he cannot do something and explained why. Or he shows no feelings when he hurts someone because they have a toy he was playing with and hurt them to get it. He matter of factually states the person had it and took it, it's his and he wants it and ahhhhhhh I feel like I'm going crazy.

What am I doing wrong? How can I help him?
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another manic monday

So we had our family counseling today with (Dr. S) and it went pretty good. We talked about more ways to improve the communication at home, which has been great since we started this journey in dealing with parenting with a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).

Parenting for Corey hasn't always been easy. In fact the challenge of it has put some less than inviting pressures on our marriage. It's not easy to tell the man you love what he's remembering when he's giving the kids a hard time that it is wrong. Or rather not wrong but it happened a while ago.

Corey will get angry with Jake for silly things. Like leaning on the table at supper with his elbows. I have different views. We are at home, not in a restaurant. Manners are important yes but at home, kids should be allowed to be relaxed and eating should be such an event, not one where they are being picked on every few seconds.

We are also working on the relationship between Corey and Jake. Step-parenting isn't always easy, especially when Jake has issues with his own father whom he never sees. Dr. S has been a tremendous help.

Mondays are always manic for me though when we go. I feel so overwhelmed with my emotions. Not because Corey and I don't get along. In fact I don't know of many married couples who are home alone all day and all together for years and haven't killed one another yet, and whom don't fight often. Our marriage is good.

I feel overwhelmed because the problems we have we are facing, if that makes any sense. It always seems like there are struggles around each bend for our strange but unique family. Next week Jake meets with Dr. S for his session to which I am not going. I've decided it's best to stay home. That way Jake doesn't feel the need to hide his feelings because mommy is outside in the waiting room. He can be open and honest about his feelings, which is what I want for him to help him through his troubles while we work on ours.

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