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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

random tuesday thoughts: no sleep and canada day

Another week gone by and it's time for Random Tuesday Thoughts. If you post something random for the day, don't forget to head over to Keely at the (UNMOM) and post your link there. Leave a comment here too, for me as I love to read every one's randomness!

So lately I've been battling the no sleep syndrome with PB (Pickleboy) because I have created such a bad habit of allowing him to sleep with us when he was little. That now it's nearly impossible to get him to sleep in his own bed.

It doesn't help either that he has mild Asperger's which means he has sensitivity issues toward things. We've gone through five beds in 3 years for him.

His first bed was a Little Tike's wagon because he wouldn't sleep in anything else. He would cry and cry if put into his bassinet, crib or car seat. Yet when I took soft blankets and made a bed for him in the wagon; it was lights out!

I never thought anything of it because of course he was only a baby then. It wasn't until later after he was diagnosed with CP (Cerebral Palsy) then later as an Aspie kid that the things he did made sense.

He never did sleep in a crib. He just didn't like it. He moved on from the wagon to a playpen and slept in that until he was almost two; when he wasn't sleeping with us. Yes that is when I created (GAVE IN) to this merciless habit of allowing him the comfort to be close to us when sleeping.

It wasn't so bad when he was little; he didn't take up much room. But now -- now that he's three. There are arms and legs strewn across us, feet in our faces, snoring to contend with (OH WAIT THAT'S ME) ahem! But you get the picture.

We tried several beds only to have PB complain, too soft, too hard and unlike Goldilocks he has yet to find one JUST RIGHT that doesn't involve him snoozing between DH and I.

The latest bed victim was a cute loft bed with a slide. PB was so happy when he got it TO PLAY ON IT but when it came to sleeping... um yeah no. He wasn't thrilled with the idea of being up high.

The only other place he is comfortable is downstairs on the love seat. But there is a catch. I have to sleep downstairs with him and sleeping on the sofa hurts my back. So I guess I will just continue to plug along and hope that SOONER rather than LATER we can find something for him to sleep on that satisfies his needs and OURS.

I don't relish the idea of sleeping with my child until he's a grown up. That is just wrong! So for right now it's sleepless nights.


CANADA DAY! is just around the corner. Like it's tomorrow actually and DH and I are going to take the boys to the Rotary for the family fun going on there. I'll blog it later after we finish with the festivities and show you all the pics we plan to take. Every year it's a blast to go.

Then we are heading over to Ad's place; he's having a Canada Day BBQ which should be fun. We don't know many of the peeps going but I've never really had a problem with getting to know people, just feeling comfortable doing it has changed as I've gotten older. Ad is the brother of my BFF shoeless mommy and she invited us. We said we'd go so I am hoping it turns out fun.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

couples counseling finished for the summer

Ya we're done!

At least for now that is.

Corky and I have been going to couples counseling for the past year and today was our last day before summer break, and really I'm relieved.

It's not that it's not helping. I mean our marriage is strong and we don't argue or disagree about much. We don't fight about money or what movie we should watch. We don't argue about who is going to do the dishes or who did or didn't fold the laundry (neither of us ahem) lol.

We are going to counseling because parenting with a brain injury isn't always easy for DH or our oldest son Hockeydude and counseling is helping us find tools we can use to stop the power struggles and frustrations that are occurring between father and son with mom in the middle (that's me yep!)

A our therapist is fantastic! He always listens to us (important) I must say, and he truly understands DH's brain injury and how his lack of memory plays into his parenting skills. What we all know as parents mostly stems from our upbringing and experiences through life to which we've all gone through.

Now imagine parenting your children with no experiences to draw from and no recollection of your childhood to use as a map of wisdom?

It would suck!

Well that is what DH goes through each day. He has a hard time relating to the kids because he doesn't remember being a kid himself. Not like me. I remember being a kid. I remember playing one parent against the other. I remember acting out because I couldn't control my anger or emotions but not meaning to hurt anyone's feelings. I remember feeling self conscious when I began liking boys and worried about my friends, and pushing my parents buttons to get what I wanted (though it didn't work).

DH doesn't remember and so he automatically expects the kids to behave like the adults he deals with. When they don't listen (because that's what kids do) turn off their ears. He gets emotional and frustrated. He's not sure how to get through to Jay and so they argue A LOT but still love one another, despite the struggles and we continue to talk as a family to make sure the lines of communication stay open.

I'm glad it's over though. Sometimes it can be draining and all I want to do is concentrate on the boys and enjoying our summer as a family. We have plans to go camping, taking the boys places they've never been and sharing some quality time without televisions, phones, computers and so forth. I can't wait!

We will start up again with A in August when we get back from PG. Until then we are finished and free!
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

small talk 6: if you had xray glasses what would you want to see?

This weeks small talk six: If you had xray glasses, what would you like to see with them?

This is a funny meme, so many things to make you go MMMMM.... that's why I love it. So here are my 6 for this week.

1.) See inside my kids brains and Corky's (DH's) brain so I could know what each of them was thinking. I'm live in Testosterone valley so this would definitely help!

2.) See inside all our bodies to make sure there are no problems, since going to the doctor's is useless! This way I could know who needs more iron, who might be sick, who might need a cat scan... you know the basics.

3.) See everything hidden in Hockeydude's room because I know he hides things in his room where he doesn't want me to find things. This will be useful as he gets much older. He's only ten.

4.) See behind Pickleboys pullups that way if he's got a poopie bum I can just ask DH to change him without him knowing lol.

5.) See inside an army base or government base to see what they are really up to so I can twitter it, then run for my life, hide out under ground and pray I don't get caught.

6.) See underground so I can pinpoint where those damn ants are coming from, since they swarm my kitchen every day no matter what I do or how clean it is.

What are your six?

Head on over to to post your six if you haven't already. It's fun.

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friday frustrations: mental depression cracks me up

So it's Friday which means I get to rant, right? right?

Well according to Conversations with Moms I do and since I follow them on Friday's I'm sticking to the game plan and the RANT BEGINS NOW...

Today was not a good day for me. By not a good day I mean I was emotional, unbalanced, irritated and moody one moment, and totally happy and bouncy ball the next.

I have chemical depression or rather a form of bipolar disorder to which I gleefully take magic happy pills that manage to keep me balanced throughout the year. That is until I...

A.) Either forget to take them.

B.) Take them too late at night and thus the effect just makes it so I can't sleep or

C.) Have to deal with the government because my pills ran out and red tape bullship means I have to wait to get them since the men behind that red tape pay for them.

Today was (C) and let me tell you it's not fun!

And the worst part is when Hockeydude, my loving and caring ten year old notices that mommy is not quite herself because she is sitting on the sofa blubbering and leaking uncontrollably over an episode of SVU she's already seen a million times, where a little girl gets killed by her own mother. To screaming at his brother for trying to put the cat in the dryer and threatening to take away his teeth brushing time (something Pickleboy loves) as a punishment!

Dude turns to me and says: "Mom do you need your happy pills?"

Okay I'm leaking again.

I hate feeling this way.

I hate having depression and mood swings.

I hate being on meds and the fact that taking the meds helps to control my condition.

And I most definitely hate that I have been dealing with this since I was a kid and realize it's not really going to get any better because there is just no cure for Bipolar Disorder or BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and that man truly SUCKS BIG DONKEY DUCKS!

I love my boys, more than breathing. Breathing is highly overrated anyhow. But I do -- love them so much and I hate it when I'm so tired (depressed) some days it's such a fight to even drag my ass bum out of bed to go downstairs to make them breakfast and be with them.

That in itself makes me sad enough to cry until I drown. It hurts me.

If it wasn't for DH and his ability to cope and understand with my disorder/mood swings/girlie moments where one moment I'm singing his praises and the next I'm telling him how unhappy he and the kids and the world makes me feel. I don't know what I would do.

You know most days I'm good. In fact I'm better than that -- I'm GREAT! I feel good inside and I'm happy and love being around my family and playing with my boys. The medication I'm on doesn't make me feel like a zombie or disconnected from my emotions in any way shape or form.

But other days, like today (when I don't have my pills) and I'm feeling down in the dirty dumps. It's so hard to even imagine being happy about anything and a struggle to crack a smile or feel in touch with myself.

I just want to feel NORMAL, you know?

Then Corky tells me: "Honey none of us are normal. Everyone is screwed up in one way or another. You get sad (depression). Dude can't sit still (mild ADD) Pickleboy can't always walk (Cerebral Palsy) and has a hard time with his social interactions (Asperger's) and I forget everything (Brain Injury).

Great! Leave it to DH to try to cheer me up by reminding me that both my boys have their own inner troubles and that he can't remember the last time he kissed me or said I love you (totally not his fault so no blame there).

Now I feel better.

I glance over at our cat (Thomas) sitting on the floor next to a plastic shopping bag. He isn't playing in the bag, pouncing on it or hiding inside it. No he's LICKING IT!

What can I say - We're a mixed bag of nuts.

Please leave me a comment if you are participating in Friday Frustrations or leave me a comment anyhow because I love reading them and then head over to CWM's and link your post.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

trashy thursday: be careful what you teach your kids

I love to shop at Walmart. It's one of my all time favorite stores to go to, mostly I think it's because I'm a lazy shopper and love going to a place where I can buy batteries and tampons, a cd of my favorite music and diapers all in the same spot.

Now I love taking the kids shopping with me. I am a total toy freak! I can't help it, but I am. And having boys means I get to collect things, like Disney cars, Cool Hot Wheels, Tech decks and more.

DH hates it because it is always the first place I go and it's usually the only place I allow the kids to touch things. I mean who isn't a ToysrUs kid, right?

Though I don't think it's so much that I look at the toys for hours on end as much as it's what I do with them after.

So today we were out shopping and I was browsing through the Transformer section in search for those little RPM cars. They look like Hot Wheels and Pickleboy loves playing with them because he doesn't have to actually transform them. Thank God, too, because all that does is cause tantrums to no end. With these little car he can just play with them like all his other cars and pretend he's a Transformer, like Prime or Bumblebee.

So there we are searching through the toys. The boys are helping me look, when I hear DH say to Pickleboy...

"Put that back where it belongs."

Pickleboy drops the toy he was holding and shakes his head with an infinitive "NO", refusing to put the toy back on the shelf.

Now here is where I am going to hell.

Because you see I'm a dropper shopper.

You know the kind of shopper who picks things up looks at them, even puts them in the cart, only to decide later I don't want it and I put it back on the nearest aisle I'm in for some poor clerk to put away later.

Ya that's me.

I know... I know... and I wish I could tell you that I feel some pent up guilt over doing this but I just can't. I've been doing it for years and despite working in the retail industry and customer service field for years. I still can't bring myself to run all the way back to the aisle I picked the item up from to return it to it's proper origin.

DH: "Honey we aren't teaching the boys anything by letting them do this. They should put things back after they look at them."

Okay he's right, but frankly it's eight o'clock and already past their bedtime and we are still shopping when they should be at home in bed. So now is not the time to squabble over parenting skills.

I told Pickleboy to just leave the toy where it was and we proceeded on our way, much to DH's disgust who snuck behind me to go back and put the toy back where it belonged. He's a little OCD that way and has to have things in order.

Anyhoo as our shopping trip continued; I watched as both my boys picked up things and then dropped them, much as I was doing. By the end of the evening I thought DH was going to have a heart attack; running all over the store to return all the items we'd dropped along the way. Shit, he should have had on a Walmart smock for all the work he'd done lol.

Me: "What is the matter with you?" I said to him when he returned to the check out, huffing and puffing.

DH: "Me? What is wrong with you?" He cried. "You are the one teaching them to drop stuff as we shop.

Me: "I'm a dropper shopper, honey."

He knew this when he married me and besides I did not see what the big deal was. They had a ton of people wandering through the store for just this job, to pick up the shit stuff I'd--uh (accidentally) put down somewhere else.

DH rolled his eyes at me, shaking his head. "Okay but this is going to come back and bite you in the ass butt," he warned.

Whatever... I waved my hand at him. I wasn't worried.

We got home just shortly after ten o'clock, wayyyyyyyyyyyy past the boys bed time. I scooted them in the house, after they helped carry stuff in, and I told them to go and brush their teeth and get their jammies on.

A few minutes later DH was downstairs when I'm sure he thought someone had bludgeoned me to death with the way I screamed. Girly and high pitched, you know the sound right?

He came running up the stairs to find me in our bedroom standing over our bed, turning into an anger ball at the sight of three buckets of toys dumped all over our bedspread.

"What is this?" I cried. "Look at this mess!"

Hockeydude, being the smart kid he was immediately left the scene to get into his own clean bed. A bed NOT filled with toys, since he hadn't really played with toys since he was eight.

The toys belonged to Pickleboy who just stood there before me perplexed as to what the trouble was to be causing his mother such horrific grief.

"Trace, honey. You have to put these away. These don't belong here." I said to him.

PB: "No I don't," he replied frankly.

Me: "Excuse me?" I asked him.

The nerve of this little monster to tell me he didn't have to fix this mess. DH said nothing at this moment. Though it was--one of those moments you just know are going to turn around on you and put egg on your face (whatever that means).

PB: "I'm a toy dropper mama!"

Then he turned and skipped out of the room like there was a rainbow waiting for him on the other side of the door with a pot of Gold.

I turned to DH, fuming. He still said nothing, but donned a thick "I told you so" smile upon his unshaven face that rang bells.

"Don't say it!" I told him with frustration and I began picking up the toys. It was my fault. I knew that. And my ass could feel the teeth marks setting in.

If you participate in Trashy Thursday which is a way to show off your 'not so' parenting moments which we all have whether we like to admit them or not. Then head on over to White Trash Mom and post your link there. Also please leave me a comment as I love to get them and will be your friend, at least for today!

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Farah Fawcett loses her battle with Cancer age 62

They are calling it "Celebrity Death Week" on Twitter. Tweeples are posting non-stop about the deaths of 3 icons, Farah, Michael and Ed have all passed away.

Farah Fawcett lost her battle with Cancer this morning at roughly 9:28 am pst at the St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica.

She was very brave according to sources and tweet friends, Marlee Matlin and many others who sent our their prayers for her last night on Twitter. It was sad to see them flash across the screen.

I best remember Farah for her portrayal of a wife beaten by her husband in the made for television movie "The Burning Bed" where she murders her spouse after years of abuse.

I was a victim of abuse and Farah did such a good job relating the pain and anguish a person can go through battling such demons. The lack of self esteem, anger and hurt that follows with it. I also have to say I was an avid Charlie's Angel Fan.

"Hi Bosley!" The famous catch phrase known to millions and this blond haired diva was one of the Angels. "The hot one!" according to my brother.

Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer back in 2006 and apparently received multiple treatments for the disease. Sadly though she passed away; her family was by her side including life partner Ryan O'Neal who told People Magazine:

She’s gone. She now belongs to the ages. She’s now with her mother and sister and her God. I loved her with all my heart. I will miss her so very, very much. She was in and out of consciousness. I talked to her all through the night. I told her how very much I loved her. She’s in a better place now.”
A Wing & A Prayer: Farah's fight for life was produced in 2008 and is a documentary chronicling the actresses battle with Cancer. She will be missed by many. Our hearts and prayers go out to her husband and family during this difficult time.

Watch part of Farah's Story HERE. It's amazing the strength and courage she had toward it all.

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michael jackson dead at 50

Breaking news: Michael Jackson died this afternoon inside his Holmby Hills home he rented, just a short distance from the UCLA Medical Center. He died of cardiac arrest according to a spokesperson for UCLA.

He was only 50 years old and it's very sad indeed this pop icon whose popularity in the 1980's took the world by storm passed away today.

Jackson, a bit of character known to media and fans was no stranger when it came to being on the wrong side of the media.

Dangling his baby outside a window, an array of apparent mental problems, financial struggles and child molestation allegations charged against him toward the children he shared his home with. Jackson was still a superstar!
Cover of "Thriller"Cover of Thriller

Michael Joseph Jackson was born August 29, 1958 and will always be remembered as a part of the Jackson Five (his family musical group) singing ABC when he was just a boy of eleven.

He was the KING OF POP and his albums grossed millions, topping the record charts with each that passed during his solo career which began in 1971.

My favorite album of his was Thriller (1982) when he showcased all his moves that used to cause me to scream out his name. I saw the Jackson's in concert and they were amazing! Bad (1987) Dangerous (1991) were among some of the best selling albums for each year.

Michael was one of the first African American performers to hit it big with Music Videos as well, such as Beat it and Billy Jean. Michael paved the way for other artists in using videos as a promotional industry tool to help push their popularity forward.

Some of Jackson's achievements include:

* One of the few inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame (twice)
* Guinness World Records - most successful entertainer of the year
* 13 Grammy Awards
* 13 Number one singles

Michael leaves behind 3 children and it's said his sister Latoya was in tears after learning of his passing when she reached the hospital. They worked to revive him but it was already too late.

In Memory of Michael Jackson Aug 29, 1958 - June 25 2009

Watch Thriller 25th Anniversary Here

Watch the Thriller Video Here on Youtube

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rubbermaid makes summer less thirsty

Everyone knows that drinking water is good for you, especially in the heat.

It helps to replenish the fluids we lose while doing our daily chores (cleaning the house, taking care of kids, vacuuming and cooking) you know all the fun stuff!

I have tried a variety of water bottles. Stainless steel to keep it colder. One's with spill proof straws that aren't really spill proof.

I have hated most water containers or bottles because either they aren't quite big enough me. I love putting ice in my water, luv it luv it! So the mouth is often too small for my ice or they taste like plastic no matter how many times you wash them out which just sucks! I hate that taste. It's like copper when you bite your lip and it bleeds. Oh come on you've done that don't lie!

So last week DH went out and bought me a new thirst container. The Rubbermaid Refill Reuse water bottle. I have to say I was impressed. I mean I know it's only a water bottle, but the size of it was my first joy.

32 ox. / 950ml is its capacity and with a motto like drink more waste less you can't go wrong.

It's durable and leak proof (yes it truly is leak proof) as I found out when Pickleboy threw it across the room thinking it would be funny and I freaked out thinking it was going to break open and spill all over the hardwood. It didn't. It also fits most cup holders, at least the ones in our minivan.

When we go to the beach I always make sure to bring at least five with me for the kids. I fill them part way and then freeze them to create a huge ice block and then add water and we go. I even went out and bought Hockeydude one for school. And the best part - it doesn't taste like plastic!

I bought mine at Price Mart for less than $5.00 but you can get them anywhere, Walmart, Stupidstore, Save on Foods etc...
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single parents can date online

Okay so with everyone Tweeting, Facebooking, Friend feeding... texting and chatting online. You name it and single folks are doing it.

Dating online has become one of the hottest and fastest ways for people to meet each other in the past ten years.


Why are sites like E-Harmony, Lava life, Plenty of Fish and countless others so popular? And is it safe to meet strangers you don't know with the hopes of finding your Mr. or Miss Right?

These sites and others are popular because they work. I know because I'm a success story. I know you are saying HUH? But JP you are married aren't you? Yes, but I wasn't always married. In fact after spending 12 years with my son's father and then five years as a single mom; I was the furthest thing from married you could say.

That is until I tried online dating.

What appealed to me about dating online was first and foremost - convenience. I was after all a single mother to a very rambunctious four year old. I hadn't dated in a long time, like over ten years, and the thought of going out night after night to meet different guys, trying to find one THE ONE that I might be compatible with....

Well let's just say I didn't have the time as a mom to do that, nor the patience with men (at the time). I tried traditional dating and went out with a few okay guys, but none that really rang any bells or whom I thought would be a good friend to my son, who at the time desperately wanted a father figure in his life.

But is it safe? What do I do if I want to meet someone? If I'm a parent should I let them come to the house and meet my kids?

These are all great questions. You should trust your own judgment of course. For me, I spent a month almost two chatting via email and online with DH before actually agreeing to meet him.

I was lucky, too.

He was a single parent as well and so he understood my needs as a mother came first and I had a rule about him meeting my son right away. So we met in a public place for coffee.

Now I won't lie. Magic happened for me. I met DH after dating online, had coffee, two months later we moved in together and within a year we got married. It happened very fast for us. But we both knew what we were looking for and we'd gone through online sites that matched us up perfectly. Meeting someone you are compatible with is important, someone with the same interests as you and knowing what you want in your future.

Here a Few Tips if you are Thinking about Dating Online

1.) Always meet in a public place, during the day with lots of people around.

2.) Never give out more information about yourself than you want to. Protect your home address, phone number and so forth unless you trust the person you are speaking with.

3.) Don't share more about your children than you need to. Don't tell someone you just started dating the name of the school your child goes to, teacher, grade, significant things that might give them information they can use until you know them better.

4.) Always tell a friend or loved one when you are going to meet a person you met online. Give them the time of the date, location, your cell phone or theirs, and even show them a picture of the person if you can.

5.) Trust yourself. We don't listen to ourselves enough when it comes to things. Our gut tells us good and bad things going on around us, so listen to it. I did and my situation turned out great. But I've been in bad situations where I should have listened and didn't and wish I had.

Good luck!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

win a bomb mom t-shirt from

Do you have it going on? Are you a bomb mom? If you are then you have to enter this WIN A FREE t-shirt contest offered on over from our gals at

These adorable little tees are just so cool and describe moms around the globe.

I have entered the contest (of course) because my boys constantly tell me "Mom you are the bomb!"

So I guess that makes me a bomb mom!

It's easy to enter and most of you already know the drill. Go to the bomb mom website and pick out the t-shirt style you want. This helps the company decide which t-shirts are more popular.

Then head over to and enter.

Tweet your little brain out and blog post this contest as it's great to let more people know about these great giveaways. And don't forget to post a comment when you're done.

So be A BOMB MOM and enter today to show your spirit.

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win a skype membership and notebook camera from

I love entering contests. I mean who doesn't. One of my all time favorite sites on the web is, not only because they have fantastic giveaways, contests and so forth. But because there is so much information, and I mean sooooooooooooo much my eyes bleed out from being there all day and not getting any writing done because of it... (thanks momdot) by the way lol.

Many of my friends use skype, and I'm a tad uneasy to admit I don't have an account or even know how to use the site, though it appears totally cool because you can make calls to both landlines and cell phones for free!

My girlfriend T uses it by allowing her daughter to speak to her dad who lives many miles away, giving them the ability to communicate and see one another for no charge has helped to improve their bond and relationship. What could be better than that?

The way to enter is to visit and read the instructions on the post which will tell you how you have a shot at winning a subscription to skype as well as a LOGITECH QUICK CAM PRO notebook camera to get you on your way.

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That's handy eh?

The next thing you do is blog about the giveaway like I'm doing now. Subscribe to feed here.

Follow them on Twitter here, making sure you don't miss any contests or great useful information on parenting and more.

And above all Tweet Tweet Tweet this contest to get extra entries.

And that's it! So jump on board and enter this fab giveaway before it's too late. And who knows maybe I'll see you on Skype.

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wordless wednesday: growing up


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jj's playzone now open: mission, bc

There are not that many places to take the kids to play in the Fraser Valley. And the ones that are close by are geared with so many extras, taking the kids would cost an arm and a leg.

We have Castle Fun Park which is a blast for the kids. Go-karts, video games, fun games for smaller children, entertainment, and you can easily spend $50.00 or more in less than an hour there.

The nearest Go Bananas is in Chilliwack which isn't too too far but who wants to drive there?

Not me.

So when I came across JJ's Playzone, I knew I had to blog about it to let other moms and dads who might or might not know about it's existence. It's in Mission and if you are like me, we just don't go there unless we have to.

Not that Mission is bad. In fact quite the opposite. Mission has some beautiful greenery, some great lakes for fishing and swimming. They have wonderful parks for the kids to play at and some killer restaurants. Not to mention it's the home to the closest Silver City and IMAX to us.

It's also the home to JJ's Playzone

Open Monday to Saturday 9:30 to 4:00pm (with birthday parties being held) at 4:30pm. They aren't open for long periods of time like many other places but I guess they were getting so booked with parties and having to close the play place. They have now revamped their party schedule to suit every one's needs.

I like the idea of having a private party after 4:30 and the place all to myself and the kids. You don't get that at many other places and usually have to mix in your guests with other people's children.

Their prices are also decent. All prices are unlimited play within play hours / with adult supervision.

* Children walking and up $7.50
* kids not walking $4.00 or free with sibling ticket
* 6months under (free) 10 and up (free) moms and dads (free)

All prices include tax and they often have specials and group rates. (5 kids or more) $6.00 each or $60 for membership (10 visits)

JJ's is specially designed for children 0 to 6 years old, so if you have older children they are welcome but most likely not to play. Jay is in school during the day so taking Pickleboy somewhere to play like this is fantastic!

Birthday Parties are for a 2 hours period only. You have to book in advance as well as they book pretty fast. But the price is fair. $75.00 for minimum 5 kids + birthday child. Each child over that is an extra $12. That's not bad for 2 hours of fun all to yourself. You supply the cake and food.

Located unit b-3 32081 Lougheed, Mission Gate Plaza.
For more information regarding JJ's Playzone please visit their WEBSITE or call 604-814-2707 or email them.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

random tuesday thoughts: helping your child deal with death


I got some news that my uncle's father passed away and immediately my heart began beating quickly and my palms grew sweaty. This is a typical reaction for me whenever the question of death surrounds me. Losing someone you love is never an easy situation to live through. And it got me thinking of ways to help prepare your child (my children) for the death of a loved one.

Death is a natural part of our life and children experience death and relate to it in many ways. So how can we prepare our kids for death?

How can we teach them to cope and understand?

The first step is not to be afraid to discuss death with your kids. Answer their questions openly and honestly (keeping their age in mind) as to how much information you give. Make sure the information is accurate and not misleading.

I remember when I was younger and my girlfriend's father passed away from Cancer. Her mother told her that her daddy was sick and God took him to heaven. We were seven at the time. My friend had nightmares for weeks thinking God was a bad person coming down and snatching people who got sick and taking them away. She was terrified to get a cold.

Be straightforward with your answers when dealing with death or illness and dying. Matter of fact is better. Daddy is sick and is going to die. Most children even from a young age experience death on some level will better cope and understand if you are honest with them.

Seeing a grasshopper get squashed. Losing a family pet. Or having someone they love no longer here anymore can affect children before you know it. Making sure your children are aware of death and what it means will lessen the fears they might have over their own demise or yours as parents.


Older kids can become fascinated with death. Not discussing it can lead to problems. When my husband and I lost our first child together, our son Jake was only seven at the time. He blamed himself because one day he wrestled with mommy and thought because of that he caused me to lose the baby.

Grief and guilt can surround kids along with their fears. Make sure to contact the school if your child has lost a loved one. One of the worst things is for a kid to go back to school with all these sad feelings and have nobody acknowledge their feelings. Keep up to date on their progress, making sure grades aren't slipping or fighting isn't happening. And counseling can also help if a child is grieving over the loss of a loved one.

What are some coping skills to help children in dealing with death?

Reading a book about death before it happens can help. Like the book below which is one of my favorites. It's sad and it's by Robert Munch called I love you Forever.


Books are a great way to experience together the emotional questions related to death with your kids. But there are also other ways to help kids cope.

When another girlfriend of mine husband passed away. She bought a bunch of balloons. She got her five year old and seven year old to draw pictures to daddy and write poems or letters. She filled the balloons with helium and attached the things the kids had done to communicate with their dad.

They went to the park and together they released the balloons sending them to their dad. This scenario is now repeated every year close to his birthday or when the kids miss him. It's a great way for the kids to say what they want so only their daddy can see.

My husband and I did the same thing with our son when we lost our child. Jake made a poem and wrote to the baby how sorry he was for not getting to know it. It was hard for me at the time as I was grieving badly.

But as a mother I forced myself to go along with it and actually wrote a poem to the baby myself. We released them in some old bottles we had, putting the notes and pictures inside and watching them float down the stream.

No matter what you do in helping your child cope with the loss or losing a loved one. Just remember each of us deals with death differently. Being honest and answering your kids questions will help put them at ease. Not showing any emotion might cause your child to think you don't care about the situation.

And the most important thing you can do for your child in dealing with death is teach them how to live, how to love and always respect the people important to them in their lives, because you never how long they might here for.

The books shown above can all be found at under their respective titles. You can also find more books at your local library, children schools or bookstore. If you partake in Random Tuesday Thoughts head on over to UN mom and post and post your link here as well in the comment section.
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ed mcmahon dies at age 86

A sad day. Ed McMahon, best known as Johnny Carson's side kick for the tonight show, died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in California this morning after an array of medical problems, including Cancer.

I first remember Ed as a kid watching Star Search, a famous TV show that paved the way for shows like American Idol, Canadian Idol, So you think you can Dance and Britain's Got Talent.

Ed's run on the show was from 1983 to 1995 and was later taken over by Arsenio Hall who watched American Idol runner up David Archuleta win.

Over the course of his career McMahon did a ton of commercials, his voice easily recognizable and enjoyed. He became the lead presenter for the American Family Publisher sweepstakes.

Toward the end of his life it is said that McMahon unable to work after injuring himself, his neck and unable to work found himself in financial trouble and looked to foreclosing his $5 million Beverly Hills home. Donald Trump apparently offered to buy the home and lease it back to Ed to "Help out an American Icon" and that is what Ed McMahon was, whether you got his jokes or not.

And Ed fan or not, everyone knows or can recall him as Johnny's partner on the Tonight Show and for the robust introduction that took place every night before Johnny hit the stage. "Heeeeeeeeeeere's Johnny!" became a legendary call out by Ed.

Ed served as a colonel in the United States Marines and ended up a fighter pilot. He served his country well before and after the war and with a smile that was infectious.

A game show host for Concentration, a tv show announcer, movie star and good friend to many. Ed's family say he settled his financial situation before his death and was at peace surrounded by those he loved when he passed.

It's a sad day for television and one of their greats. He will be missed by many. Goodbye Ed, I hope you are at peace and happier without suffering anymore.

Quotes from Ed McMahon over the course of his career

'Honesty is the most single most important factor having a direct bearing on the final success of an individual, corporation, or product.'
LAS VEGAS - SEPTEMBER 04:  (FILE PHOTO)  Ed Mc...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

- Ed McMahon

'Johnny once described our relationship by saying we were as close as two people could be without being married.'
- Ed McMahon

Ed McMahon on the topic of rebuilding New Orleans:
'This is a city that’s had a terrible tragedy, but there’s an opportunity to build it back and build it back better. It could become a city that integrates rather than isolates, a city that inspires, a city that celebrates history and diversity and culture'
- Ed McMahon

“You can't imagine hooking up with a guy like Carson,” Mr. McMahon said an interview in 1993. “There's the old phrase, hook your wagon to a star. I hitched my wagon to a great star.”

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jon & kate announce their separation on TLC

Well it is official. Jon & Kate from TLC's Jon and Kate plus 8 announced on their hit TV show Monday they have decided to separate.

I went to the TLC boards to read what others had to say about this because I don't watch the show anymore and I watched the short video clip.

Both Jon and Kate described why the break-up was happening. It's not good for their children to see them arguing and apparently they cannot be civil toward each other. Like anyone ending their ten year marriage would be when emotions are running hot.

I don't watch the show anymore because I don't agree with what TLC has done for this family, on that note I agree their greed has infectiously helped push this family apart, as many other readers feel the same.

What steams me more than that though is everyone and their opinions on the couple and the hateful words spreading through the Internet like a deep seeded virus hell bent on making them feel worse than they most likely already feel, and the gall people have in saying the things they do on a matter that doesn't concern them.

"It's easier to throw stones when you aren't the target!"

Here is what I posted on Kate's TLC blog about the issue...

None of us here, including myself have the right to judge you or Jon or anybody else for that matter.

I truly hope without the show and public eye watching you both of you will realize the love that brought you together to help create your wonderful children and no matter what anyone says you both know how much you love your kids. It's never easy being a parent, and being a parent on television is even harder. Many people keep saying poor kids, you guys are doing wrong by announcing your separation on live TV but it's what everyone wanted and why everyone tuned in so they could be a part of it like they have from the beginning.

Your children will give you both strength, and Kate I feel you are strong because part of being married is knowing and accepting you cannot change someone else's feelings and if Jon needs space then he does and you will go about what you do which is being a mother to your children and hopeful he will find his way back to you.

As for everyone else. Imagine your entire life on television for whatever reason, no one asks for pain or heart break to come to them, no one asks for media attention and none of us would know how we would react if we were living their lives in the spotlight, sure we can surmise and judge and throw stones or give support.

Truth is it doesn't matter. It's not our life. Perhaps the best thing everyone can do is turn the channel!

Posted by: JP Shaw @ Rants n' Rascals | 06/23/2009 at 03:26 AM

I feel sick inside, every web page I turn to has mocking, hate filled words, judgements on Kate as a mother or Jon as a husband. It's truly sad really that we as people cannot give this couple more support and wish them well, pray for them or hope they make it through.

It doesn't matter why they started the show on TLC. Shit if I had 8 kids, no money, a job I hated and was offered this amazing opportunity to give advice and information to other parents of twins and sextuplets then I would have probably jumped at the chance, too.

It doesn't matter why they continued doing the show, especially when as the years rolled by we saw more arguing, bitterness and frustration between both Jon and Kate and the children as well, whether it be contracts keeping them there, money to keep their house going or whatever the reason.

It doesn't matter they announced their separation on TLC for millions of people to see or that many of you feel they are bad parents for what they have done to their children by doing so on live television.

It also doesn't matter that Jon was happy about it while Kate wasn't. Shit if I were Jon I'd be thrilled to be getting my ass away from the show, out of the lime light. And if I were Kate I'd be sad about it for my kids, sad it fell apart and scared for things. They wouldn't be human if they didn't feel those things, whether we all agree or not.


Because it's NOT your life, my life or anyone else's

I wish them the best in life. I wish the kids a happy and healthy future. But let's face it as parents we all screw up from time to time, all our kids will most likely need therapy for one issue or another due to something we did or didn't do as parents ourselves. We are not infallible or perfect. It's an imperfect world.

So cut the Gosselin's some fucking slack!

Lord knows if it were me I'd beg for the same. So would you so don't lie!
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Monday, June 22, 2009

monday mumbers: camping checklist

It's Monday which means it's Mumbers time. Yep that is where I blog about a topic and numbers or mumbers on my brain.

This week I'm focused on camping because we are taking our boys (all three) my stepson included camping to Prince George, Barkerville in Quesnel and all down through Kamloops and Kelowna back home again.

It's the first time for us going as a full family. We've never had Colton overnight, let alone for a family vacation. I'm so excited!

Colton is turning seven this August and he's apparently just as excited as we are to spend time with his brothers, especially Jay who can't wait to see him.

It will be nice for Corky to spend some time with his son, and I will hopefully have a camera by then so I can capture the trip and scrapbook it for Corky to help him remember the good times we had together as his memory isn't doing so well these days.

22 pairs of socks we need to bring, since boys love to get their feet wet in creeks and streams.

87 bags of marshmellows to roast in front of the campfire. Who doesn't love roasting marshmellows?

6 extra blankets since it gets very cold at night when camping and although I don't mind being cold, the boys really hate it.

345 cans of bug spray because I'm allergic to mosquitos and so is pickleboy, I swell up like a balloon.

150 DVD's to bring to keep the boys busy watching movies at night if it happens to rain and we are stuck in the tent.

104,567,987 time outs I believe I will be giving to pickleboy if he doesn't start listening. You MUST listen when camping wild man!

4 bottles of spray on sunscreen since both pickleboy and DH are the whitest boys you've ever seen (translucent skin) and burn under 2 seconds if not covered properly.

567,876,945 pictures I will be taking of our trip provided I can either win or somehow scrape enough money together to buy a camera to help us enjoy the memories we are going to make.

1 fun filled and so excited I can't wait week we will be spending together as a family!

Visit Good Enough Mum for more Monday Mumber action.
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transformers 2 revenge of the fallen opens June 24th, 2009

Okay so everyone knows that Transformers 2 - revenge of the fallen is opening this week.

I cannot wait!

Yes I am a mom and I have boys so I guess it's only natural for me to excited about this movie, since my boys are just anxiously jumping out of their skins to go and see it.

But I am also a huge die-hard Trans fan and have been since I was a little girl.

I used to come home every day after school and watch the cartoons. Optimus and his gang of wheeling robots battling to save earth. It was way too cool back then. But now -- Now it's totally incredible as they are brought to life by Stephen Spielberg and Michael Bay.

Spielburg is known for his trilogy's like Indiana Jone, Back to the Future and has made more than two dozen films that have been labeled as critically acclaimed, many of which my boys have seen, like Monster House, Batteries not Included, E.T., Jurassic Park and so forth.

I went to Walmart and bought each of the boys Transformer 2 t-shirts to wear opening night and each of them has their favorite. Jay's is of course Optimus the leader of the Autobots, and Trace loves Bumblebee like his mom.

We have our tickets already to watch the matinee on Wednesday at 3:40 right after Jake gets out of school and we are taking my brother Shayne because he, too is a die hard Trans fan and cannot wait to see shit get blown up and watch as Sam and his family and friends along with Ratchet, Ironhide and others try to once again save earth from the Decepticons.

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a walk to remember: great movie!

Landon is a bad ass. He is the leader of his friends who cause trouble in their small town and run wild doing what they want, whenever they want.

One night they run into a fellow student and convince him to jump off a high platform and something terrible goes wrong. As part of his punishment he is forced to help tutor underprivileged kids at their sister school and that is where he begins to fall for the ministers daughter Jamie.

Jamie is unlike any girl Landon has ever met. They've known each other since kindergarden but didn't run in the same circles. Jamie doesn't care what people think of her. She doesn't care and only sees the good in people. But Jamie also has a secret.

A Walk to Remember is a very sweet and touching movie that shows first love at its best. The lead characters Mandy Moore and Shane West play off one another well and I was mesmerized in watching them as their relationship with each other grew. The movie shows how falling in love with someone, one special person can help us to be better than we are.

Landon's journey helps him overcome odds with his friends and a father he never sees. He learns from his past and with Jamie learns to accept his future.

The sweetest moments in the movie: When Landon asks his mother to teach him to dance so he can dance with Jamie. When he names a star after her and takes her to the state line so she can be in two places at once, something that was on her bucket list.

If you haven't seen this movie you should. It's a classic love story, touching and wonderful. Get your Kleenex ready -- you will need it lol.

Music by Mandy Moore
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

PR Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in Rants n' Rascals.  Since May of 2008 Rants n' Rascals has been a source for parents, moms and dads and others come to for the latest product reviews, information on parenting, articles on special needs and more.  Our readers consist of mainly moms, some dads too and even those who don't have children at all.  Our readers are in varying age groups with most having more than two children.  

We work hard in providing honest and valuable reviews on products and companies promoting their businesses for everyone reading us.  A product review and/or giveaway on Rants n' Rascals is an effective way to bring attention to your company, product or services.

Each number is a monthly statistic as my blog continues to grow and change and can vary month to month.  I work hard to reach my target audience through a variety of social media sites such as: Facebook, Twitter, Blogher, Mom Select, Mom Spark, Twitter Moms, Friendfeed, Modern Mom and more... 

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Read my other Press & Media Adventures Here

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Please submit all queries to  My email is checked daily and you can expect a reply back within 24-48 hours regarding my interest in reviewing your product, along with my shipping information for you to send the non-returnable item for review.

Please include any product information, pricing and web link info pertinent to the review.  I can not review items that my family and I are unable to test, so please look around this website and pick a suitable item to send with your press kit. 

I am a mother to 1 pre-teen boy, 1 young boy and have a husband who is always open and candid with anything I try out on him and my family, along with a variety of friends and other family members willing to try things out through this process.

I will complete a fair and honest evaluation of your product and feature an article which will appear on Rants n' Rascals ( website if it meets my standards for usability and quality. 

This is a great opportunity to spread the word about a new product or service.  Please include any contact information in the event that I have any questions or problems with the product.

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Rants n' Rascals would also be happy to host a giveaway for your products or services to our readers.  With giveaways, I submit each one to over a dozen Contest Submission sites that I am registered with, along with various social sites and networks to guarantee maximum exposure.

Site Giveaways typically run for seven days to two weeks to ensure maximum exposure and winners are typically chosen via comments left on the post using the Random Integer Generator at You will be provided with the winner's shipping info so you can ship the product won.  We are not responsible for shipping products out.

With my Site Giveaways, I always confer with the company I am working with to see what actions they would like my readers to take to qualify to win their products.  For example, some companies ask my readers to follow them on Twitter, a social networking site while others ask that my readers visit their company website and return to my site to leave a comment on a specific item or topic of interest from that site they love.  The choice is up to you.

Winner should receive their product within 14 days of being notified they won.  Any gift certificates or promo codes must cover the cost of the product won and shipping charges.

If you have any questions or requests regarding my Reviews and Giveaway policies, please contact me and I will be happy to assist you.

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I currently accept button and banner ads (no text ads).  Ads will be displayed on Rants n' Rascals sidebar under sponsors or elsewhere as I deem fit.  If you do not have a banner or button, one can be created for you (for an extra charge) between $5-$10.  You can view samples of my buttons here.

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