A Restonic Mattress and the Importance of Sleep

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad   and Restonic Mattress for this promotion. As always, full editorial control stays with me. 

Just over seven years ago my life changed forever when I became the father of twin daughters. Before my kids were born I would go to bed at some point in the evening, usually about 10pm, and sleep through the night until I woke up to an alarm clock, usually around 6am.

After my kids were born that part of my life ended. I have not used an alarm clock since their birth. In fact for the first two years of their lives I rarely slept for more than an hour at any one time.

The fact that our kids were born significantly prematurely made my wife and I hyper-concerned about their well-being. Yes, we instilled in them poor sleeping habits and we continue to live with the consequences of our choices to this day.

Restonic Beds
The King of Rest

As a result of my inability to sleep at night, I learned strategies to get sleep where and when I needed it. For example, staff meetings were great places to catch a few winks. That was until my colleagues got tired of me snorting and snoring while they discussed important issues like where the microwave oven should be placed in the staff kitchen.

Restonic Beds
The King of Rest at Work

They elected me chair of the meetings – while I was sound asleep! No more sleeping at staff meetings. Coincidentally, at the next meeting which I chaired, we managed to decide where to place the microwave oven!

Restonic Beds
The King of Rest

Another place that I found to sleep was in my car. While driving home I would often pull into a parking spot and catch a few minutes of sleep. When I got home my wife would ask where I had been and why I was so late getting home; I would blame my late arrival on heavy traffic.

Restonic Beds
The King of Rest

My ability to sleep in bizarre places went from being hilarious to my friends, to being downright annoying to them. Who wants to invite someone to a sporting event when you know they will simply fall asleep and probably drool on your shoulder?

Being someone who needed some serious help with my sleep habits, how could I refuse when Restonic asked me to partner with them on a blog post about sleep? I couldn’t!

The reality is that I am not at my best when I do not get quality sleep in the night. Sleeping during meetings or on my way home was not meeting my sleep needs. So I started reading from the Restonic Sleep Blog to learn more about sleep and sleep habits.

Some of the key points I read hit close to home  

  • We can’t be nice to our kids or partners if we don’t get enough sleep. 
  • We can’t be good at our jobs if we don’t get enough sleep.
  • And we don’t have the energy to exercise, play with the kids, or make dinner – if we don’t get enough sleep.

That was me.

  • Me not being nice to be around.
  • Me not being productive at work; what was I contributing to my work environment when I was sleeping during meetings?
  • Me being too tired to get any exercise or to go to the park with my kids. 

While my kids’ poor sleep habits have had an impact on my sleep habits, that is only part of the reason why I don’t get enough restful sleep. The reality is that I sleep on a terrible mattress. A mattress that was purchased with the only consideration being how much it cost. That decision continues to cost me plenty.

If people have a good mattress, and thus get a good sleep their day to day lives will benefit from that. And that is why I am seriously considering a new Restonic mattress of my own.

If you are like me and are thinking seriously about your sleep and how rested you get after a night’s sleep, you need to check out Restonic’s Sleep Blog or follow them on Twitter to learn about how a quality mattress can improve the rest that you get each night.

You can also find a Restonic retailer near your home for when you want to visit a Restonic retailer.

If you are interested in winning a very lovely Restonic mattress, feel free to enter the Restonic giveaway – details and how to enter listed below.

GIVEAWAY

By entering below, anybody has the chance to win a queen sized HealthRest® Mattress from Restonic.  Invest in your health with one of Restonic’s HealthRest® Brio™ Mattresses. Layered with latex and TempaGel® by Restonic and supported with a Trucomfort core™, a healthy, supportive night’s sleep is yours for the taking.

 

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Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad   and Restonic Mattress for this promotion. As always, full editorial control stays with me. 

Lessons from the Fort McMurray Fire

Ironically, in light of the disastrous fire in the northern Alberta city of Fort McMurray, the first week of May is officially known as Emergency Preparedness Week.

The people of Fort McMurray are living a disaster right now as a massive wild fire consumes their homes and city.

There are two important lessons that I have been reminded of as a result of the Fort McMurray fire. The first is that it is important to have AT LEAST half a tank of gas in your car or truck at all times. Do NOT go home at night, no matter how tired you are, with an almost empty gas tank with the intention of “of, I will fill it up in the morning.”

Another thing that the Fort McMurray fire reminded me of is the importance of having a bag of “stuff” somewhere near an exit to your house that has even the bare minimum of stuff you might need in the event of an emergency exit from your home.

I have a bag packed and ready to go that sits near the exit from our garage door. The bag can be carried backpack style in case I am walking out. The bag is packed with toothbrushes, mouthwash, deodorant, socks and underwear. Of course I have other zombie slaying tools like knives and hand tools and medications in it as well but the fact is, it is ready to go at a moments notice.

Perhaps we can all learn a little lesson from the situation that the folks of Fort McMurray are facing.

Rhododendron Festival at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts

I stopped in to the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts at Deer Lake for the annual Rhododendron Festival. The best part of the festival was watching all the kids (and adults) flying the little plastic kites that they made there.

Rhododendren Festival
Kite Flying at Rhodo Festival

Another great part of the Rhododendron Festival was the Strawberry Tea service in the Ceperley House which is now home to the Burnaby Art Gallery.

A great day in the burbs.

Questions to Ask Before Committing

When people are dating and getting to the point when they’re serious about committing to a lifelong relationship they often begin to ask each other some important questions; it is only logical that they get an understanding of who they are committing to.

Sleeping in Full Make-up
Sleeping in Full Make-up

Sometimes people ask questions about who do you leave the toilet seat up, do you know how to get your dirty socks and underwear into the laundry basket, and other menial things like that.

Another important issue to be discussed is whether they want to have children. Of course that is an important understanding to have BEFORE you commit to marriage.

However, if the answer is “yes” to having children, there are a couple follow-up questions that should be considered.

For example, you should ask, and know the answer to the question; “do you believe that children should sit at a dining room table when they eat.”

This is a serious thing worth considering and knowing the answer to before you commit to a partner.

Along with that question, you may want to ask, “are you okay with letting kids watch television while they are eating.”

These are both important questions to know the answer to before committing to a partner. Of course there are other questions that you should know the answer to, but these are two of the big ones.

Are there any other really pressing questions that you think should be asked before committing to another person?

Poirier Community Centre Kid’s Swap Meet

Although the headline may lead you to believe that you can swap your kids at this meet, the reality is that you can only swap (buy and sell) stuff FOR your kids.

Poirier Community Centre
Random Odd Picture

If you are still interested in buying or selling the stuff your kids no longer use, the Poirier Community Centre is hosting a kid’s swap meet on May 1 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Centre is currently looking for vendors to swap and sell gently used kids’ clothes, books, toys and more. Only 30 tables remain! (there is no truth to the rumour that there are only 30 tables).

To book a table, please call 604-927-4386 or sign up online at www.coquitlam.ca/signmeup. Search “swap meet” to register.

Poirier Community Centre is located at 630 Poirier Street in Coquitlam.

The Porta-Potty Blues 

No matter what kind of educational and interesting places you take your kids, there are other things that children will always find significantly more intriguing.

For example, there is nothing more intriguing to a kid than a portable toilet.    

The upright blue coffins are essentially upright cesspools. I find them incredibly disgusting.

However even though you may have implored, pleaded and may be even begged your children to use the toilet before leaving home, as soon as you get to a place where there is a porta potty children they instantly need to urinate. Or worse, have a crap.

What do you do?

Bard on the Beach 2016

Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival begins its 27th season in Vanier Park on June 3, with an exciting lineup of plays, concerts and special events.

All tickets for Bard on the Beach went on sale April 6 for the 2016 season, which runs from June 3 to September 24.

The Festival’s summer-long celebration of Shakespeare starts with ROMEO AND JULIET on the BMO Mainstage, with Kim Collier (Hamlet, 2013) returning to Bard to direct this timeless romantic tragedy. It alternates with Bard’s Jessie Award-winning 2012 production of THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.

In Bard on the Beach tradition, This high-spirited comedy and live performance is full of classic 60s popular music with Johnna Wright back to direct, this time on the BMO Mainstage, along with many of the original actors.

On the Howard Family Stage, in the Douglas Campbell Theatre, two of Bard’s best-known and award-winning actors make their Bard directorial debuts.

Bob Frazer directs the tragedy OTHELLO, setting the play’s jealousy and manipulation amidst the racism and violence of the American Civil War.

Lois Anderson directs a mythical and exotic setting of PERICLES, Shakespeare’s adventurous tale of a hero’s quest to find love, family and the meaning of life.

Something new for Bard on the Beach this year is their Family Nights: Lively pre-show activities with family package pricing available on July 6, August 3 and August 31 @ 6pm.

For run dates and ticket pricing, you can check out the Bard on the Beach website.

About Bard on the Beach:

Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare festivals. Established in 1990, Bard is an annual summer festival with a mission to perform, explore and celebrate the genius of William Shakespeare, surrounded by the natural beauty of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Play performances run Tuesday through Sunday with matinees on selected weekends and weekdays and some special events on Monday evenings. All evening performances start at 7:30 pm.

A Day in the Country

In contrast to my last post, this time I am reflecting on a day in the country with one of my daughters.

As an aside, it was an amazing experience to travel, even for a couple of days with just one of my daughters. The dynamic between her and I was profoundly different than when both of my twin daughters are with me.

Big Horn Sheep
Big Horn Sheep

The first thing that was a marvel to my daughter was the wildlife we saw. It is pretty cool for a city kid to get so close to wildlife.

The Cabin
The Cabin

Of course the entire cabin experience was also really cool for her. She loves to go out for “hikes”. The reality is we just go for walks around the area. She loves it and sings about “a hiking we will go, a hiking we will go…” Good times.

Lego Maniac
Lego Maniac

As well as hiking, we also love our Lego time. When my daughters are together they feed off each other’s energy and have a tough time concentrating on things like Lego. Having just one of my daughters with me was so different!

She was focussed on the Lego and keenly followed the instructions. Of course when she did get stuck I was there to assist.

DInner
DInner

Of course no road trip is complete without food. Roasted cauliflower steaks, pork loins from my friends at Meat Craft Urban Butchery, and oven roasted potatoes and mushrooms was dinner one night.

A funny note about the trip – daughter was excited about going on the trip with me for ten days leading up to the day of departure. Then on the day of departure she got a little sombre about being away from her sister, and then after we left she cried for the first 45 minutes. After stopping for dinner at 293 Wallace Street Restaurant in Hope, she settled in and admitted that she was actually having a really good time.

The fact that we arrived at the cabin at 10:30 at night, an hour she has never been awake until previously, and sitting outside with me watching the clouds move across a bright moon-lit sky while eating potato chips at midnight – it all made for a magical experience for her.

As we were driving home, I asked her what part of our trip to the cabin she liked best. Her reply, “sleeping in a sleeping bag” because she had never done that before.

You’ve got to love a kid’s perspective.

A Day in the City

Today I spent the day with one of my daughters back in my old haunts of Kitsilano. It was a funny feeling to visit some of the places in the daylight as they were places I most often visited very late at night in the old days.

I started at Benny’s Bagels for a coffee and, of course, a bagel. Same vibe as when I visited there in the late 1980s or early 90s. And the food was great.

 Next stop was the Naam Restaurant over on 4th Ave a bit east of MacDonald. Once again, this is a place I would typically have visited after midnight. In the old days I may or may not have had a couple of cocktails in me before visiting The Naam. Today? I had just had a cup of coffee at Benny’s!
Today at The Naam my daughter had their grilled cheese sandwich. The bread was wonderful. Thick and hearty slices the way my mom and dad used to make it back home on the farm.

 We also had a bowl of their soup of the day – a coconut and sweet potato with lime soup. A little thin on flavour but still enjoyable.

Oddly enough, the service at the Naam today was top notch. Attentive and friendly. Is that because of the time of day I was visiting? Hmmm.
 Over to Granville Island where we stopped for a visit to Bon Macaron Patisserie. I chose a bacon flavoured macaron while my daughter had the Oreo. My bacon flavoured macaron was great. The Oreo one? I have no idea. While at Granville Island I stopped to chat with a couple of guys at an olive oil pop-up. Daughter and I sampled a few unique olive oils before settling on a small bottle of butter-flavoured olive oil.

My daughters favourite flavour was the Blood Orange infused olive oil. Admittedly, it was excellent.

After the olive oil sampling we popped over to Terra Breads and bought a small loaf of sourdough bread with pumpkin seeds.

We sat outside and ate a couple slices of bread with a drizzle of butter flavoured olive oil on it.

All in all, it was a beautiful day to be alive.