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April 23, 2009

Explaining Death to Kids

We are dealing with the circle of life issue this week. My prince's grandfather is - how do you say dying without is sounding so harsh? Going down quickly. Suffering. About to pass. *insert head tilt, sad face and shrugging shoulders here*. It's a sad time. Moreover, we have two kids who are listening, understanding to a point and asking questions.

There's a lot of "Is he going to die?", "What does heaven look like?", "Are angels real?" discussions going on at the dinner table.

I'll confess straight off - I am no authority on discussing death with children. I haven't read any books. No studies.

What I'm answering with is the truth but the truth opens whole other conversations.

Me: Yes, it is sad but Fito is going to die because he is sick.
Thing 2: Are you going to die?
Me: "um...I hope not today or tomorrow or anytime soon...but one day when I am an old Grandma...I will get sick and die too. Remember the book "I will love you forever"? it's like that book when the mom takes care of the baby and then grows older and he takes care of her."
Thing 1: Papa got sick in his blood but he didn't die
Me: Right, Papa was very sick and he's feeling much better now.
Thing 2: Do you turn into an angel when you die?
Me: I imagine you become an angel and follow the people you love so they aren't ever alone.
Thing 2: I think so too. 'cause when I'm alone I think of Fita and pray to her.
Me: That's a nice thing to do.
Thing 2: Can you put a chocolate kiss in my lunchbox today?

Is it wrong to support the angel myth? They believe in Santa and the toothfairy who watch over them - why not angels? Perhaps, it is because I don't think you turn into nothingness when you die - it's a personal and cultural choice I suppose. While on topic, I also don't think you come back as a tree.

Have you explained death to kids? Any advice?

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April 22, 2009

Disneynature EARTH - Earth Day 2009

Disneynature EARTH opens in theatres across Canada today - Earth Day.

Narrated by James Earl Jones,“EARTH” tells the remarkable story of three animal families and their amazing journeys across the planet we call home.

We had the chance to enjoy a sneak peak of the film and can, without hesitation, share...the cinematography is quite amazing! Directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield, the acclaimed creative team behind the award winning “Planet Earth,” have produced an epic film. In fact, if you have seen "Planet Earth" you will note some of the clips are the same in EARTH.

This is the trailer (thank you youtube)

Parent Club Tip: we recommend this film to ages 8+ years old because there are two chase scenes which could be viewed as "scary". We took along a child to see the film - and during the chase scenes the child was, in fact, scared and had to look away. However, parents rest well, as this is "Disney" - there is no actual killing or bloodshed shown. Other than the worrysome chase scenes, the child LOVED the film.

This is a great tween/teen/date night movie. If you liked "Planet Earth" then you will love Disneynature EARTH.

Disneynature has committed to plant a tree for everyone who sees this motion picture between April 22-28. Already, because of advance tickets sales 500,000 trees will be planted. Disney will oversee the planting of the trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, which is considered one of the most endangered rain forests in the world.

For more information about EARTH, ticket or theatre information please visit:

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April 21, 2009

PC Green - Make Earth Day an Earth Year

Admitted: I am a PC shopper - out of convenience and brand loyalty. When I was sent information about the new PC G.R.E.E.N. products (just in time for Earth Day!) I was completely on board to share.

President's Choice was been committed for more than 20 years of environmental sustainability. I have the PC reusable bags in my vehicle and at home*. Their bag reduction plan will divert 1 billion plastic bags from landfills by the end of 2009. This is a good thing.

Keep these in mind: PC G.R.E.E.N. Phosphate-free dishwasher detergent. PC G.R.E.E.N. Muli-Purpose Cleaning Putty, PC G.R.E.E.N. All-Purpose Cleaner (fragrance-free/dye-free). PC G.R.E.E.N. Active Oxygen Bleach. Why are these important? Because what we wash down our drains eventually go into our water systems affecting the environment and aquatic life. There are alternatives to phosphates and petroleum-based products. Fragrance is important to families with skin sensitivities and allergies; eliminating this element in products reduces the exposure to your family.

What else goes into my environmental shopping cart. Pick-a-size paper towels (whoever came up with this is must be a parent - we don't need a whole paper towel for little messes! Well, except when THIS happens). Also, unbleached coffee filters and double roll bathroom tissue (both environmentally friendly and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference from other not-PC brands).

I choose environmentally sustainable (yes, PC G.R.E.E.N. brand) products because it's my little consumer part to do something for the environment. What do you do?

    p.s. The folks at President's Choice/Loblaw has generously donated to Parent Club a package of PC G.R.E.E.N. Diapers which will be sent to (a non-profit Canadian children's charity).

    *Parent Club tip: the PC Green bins work really well as recycling bins for your paper & plastics. For some time, I have had one in my kitchen, where the kids pitch their plastics as needed.

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Sick Child - Tired Mom

I write this after a +24 hours of Poltergeist-esque-child-vomiting. It's the kind of experience which tires your out and shakes you up - both at the same time.

Thing 2 was really, violently, sick. I clocked the fever at 102F (is 102F considered a fever these days?...I seem to remember someone telling me a fever wasn't official until it hit 104F).

How do you evaluate a "fever" as a "fever"?

post script - Thing 2 is feeling much better. Sick enough to stay home another day but well enough to want me to play.

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April 20, 2009

Earth Day chez nous

Earth Day is fast approaching. As a parent, who enjoys "teachable moments" I am trying to come up with some activities/ideas for Earth Day. And why not? My kids are part of the tree-huggin', polar-bear-lovin', we've-got-to-do-somethin' generation. They have grown up with recycling programs and water conservation. At school, they create art projects using re-purposed materials. At home, they turn off lights when they leave a room so they don't use up energy. Saving the Earth isn't part of what they's is part of who they are! I wonder, do they really need more "teachable Earth moments"?!...

Continue reading "Earth Day chez nous"over at our BlogHers ACT Canada column»

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