Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Royal We

Recently I told a co-worker about how I make Molly cry by chastising her every time she calls out her new favourite catch phrase, "Go away!"  She asked me if it was hard to stomach that I was making my daughter cry.  The short answer - no.  First of all, I am assuming that she picked up this annoying gem at daycare because it isn't something that Chris and I ever say.  I'm also fairly certain that colic has numbed me permanently for ITTS (Irrational Toddler Tears Syndrome).  The bottom line, she shouldn't say mean things, especially in the morning, before I've had my coffee when I'm trying to style her hair for daycare and have already spent an eternity negotiating the existential crisis of leggings versus jeans.  I told my colleague that one of the hardest things about dealing with toddler antics is to avoid laughing or smiling when they are doing something naughty, albeit highly entertaining.

toddler with sparkled feather crown

Chris and I often blame bad behaviour or annoying traits in our children on each other's genetics.  Any temper tantrums, outbursts of anger or tears Chris claims are passed on from my side, specifically me.  I blame Chris for any stubbornness or any obsessive compulsive behaviour.

Over the past few weeks Chris and I have witnessed a development in Molly and Jack's relationship: the beginning of no holds barred teasing.

Molly can be a little bit emotional.  She can also be a Bossy Bessie.  When people ask me if my daughter is a princess, I correct them: She's "The Queen" and not in a figurehead monarch kind of way, in an "Off with their heads!" way.

For the most part Jack quietly does what his sister says, for example her insistence on him wearing Mardi Gras beads whenever they play tea party.  The rest of the time he tries to ignore her abundance of demands.

A few days ago during dinner, Molly let us know that she was done her spaghetti and that she needed to wipe her hands and face.  She meticulously scrubbed off the sauce and sat back down beside her brother to drink her juice.  Jack dipped his hands into her bowl and rubbed sauce on her face.  She panicked, freaked out, cried a little bit, cleaned herself up and sat back down.  We told Jack not to rub sauce on his sister's face.  Two minutes later he dipped his hand back into her bowl and rubbed it all over her hands and shirt.  He looked at us with an anticipatory open mouthed smile, akin to the face Muppets make when they are trying to be funny.  Chris had to turn around and look out the window he was laughing so hard while I attempted to explain to Jack that he was not to put pasta sauce anywhere but inside his mouth, period.  Molly just wanted us all to "Go Away."  I'd say that teasing runs on the father's side, but I'm fairly certain my siblings would have a different perspective.

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Monday, 27 January 2014

Mellow Yellow

One of the most wonderful things about babies is how they are constantly learning and programmed to just keep trying.  Watching Molly and Jack learn to roll, crawl, walk and talk was really inspiring, mainly because of their unabashed sticktoitiveness.  If they failed, they'd just keep on trying until they got it.

DISCLAIMER: This post is about potty training, so if that type of thing is not of interest, feel free to read this post about my sister and my dad terrorizing me in the 1980s.

toddler girl with fake mustache and hat
Potty training isn't always a fiesta!

Molly is doing amazing in her potty training.  Last week she had two days in a row at daycare with no accidents, including nap time and she's been fairly successful at home and on weekends in "big girl underwear".*  We were told to bring in Pull-Up diapers this week and that the training wheels are almost ready to come off.

We've taken it slow and are using guidance from our ECE workers, and adopting a diaper free existence at Molly and Jack's pace.  We have a stack of children's books piled beside the toilet upstairs and a on the main floor for emergencies.

We've been regularly reading a couple of potty training story books to the minions that seem to be helping:

My Big Boy Potty seems to be both Molly and Jack's favourite. There is also a Big Girl Potty version if you prefer.

Yesterday, after nap, we set Molly diaper free and reminded her that she needed to let us know when she had to go.  Unfortunately, within 20 minutes we had gone through three outfits, had several unsuccessful trips to the potty, followed by immediate accidents.  Tears rolled down Molly's face as she said, "Daddy, I peed my pants, again." after the third incident.  We put her back into a diaper, told her we'd try with underwear again tomorrow.  We cuddled her and assured her that we were not angry with her, that everyone has accidents and that she could still go to the potty the rest of the day even though she was wearing a diaper.  For the rest of the day there was not a single accident.  We praised her and gave her stickers and hugs to congratulate her for her efforts and she was thrilled.

When we put her to bed I had a twinge of parental guilt.  Was saving a few pairs of pants worth switching back to diapers and essentially showing her that we didn't believe in her?  Was that the message we were sending, or was I over-reacting? At what point do you pack it in for the day and start the next with a clean slate?  Sure she was ripping through pants like they were Kleenex, yes I had to scrub urine out of the carpet in the nursery, but maybe we should have given her another chance.  Chris thought Molly needed a break because she was putting too much pressure on herself and getting upset when she did not succeed.  Maybe we are on track with the three strikes and you're out method of potty training for the day.  

To read more about our experiences in toilet training click here for a list of  5 things that we didn't know, but probably should have guessed, about the early stages of potty training.

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*Whenever I say that, my mind automatically goes to Bridget Jones and her granny panties.  I don't know why.  

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Hey Jealousy

When we decided we were going to have kids I had a somewhat idealised version of what parenthood would be.  Personally I blame the adorable photos people post on social media of their lives with family*, IKEA commercials about building forts out of couch cushions and the sickeningly sweet TGIF television line-up I was raised on as a child of the 1980s.

I did not get the product I was promised and some days, especially this week, I want my money back.

I have friends who had to attend marriage class through their church when they got engaged.  I never went to marriage class, but I really see the merit of it because it gets you talking about important things that aren't very romantic to talk about, but are really important when life happens.  It forces you to have conversations like: Who's in charge of balancing the books, how many children do you want to have, or how will you punish them when they throw a book about potty training at your head while you try to put them into their winter jacket**.  In a class room setting it's easier to take emotion out when compared with having been up all night and bickering because you're super tired and have lost all sanity.

sleeping girl with mom

Chris and I often engage in conversation about how we want to handle things as a team, but you can only be so proactive.

The other day Molly went on and on about how fun and funny her dad is.  How he's silly and she loves to play with him.  Both kids like to play with Chris, because he's a big kid and makes up really fun games, I get it.  He's my best friend too.  That doesn't mean it won't sting a little when no one wants to play ball with me because I'm "the mama".  I don't have a choice in who they want. It's like picking teams in grade five gym class all over again.  It's hard not to get your feelings hurt sometimes.

As parents and humans you face rejection sometimes.  Whether it's through your marital relationship, family, friend groups or otherwise.  Sometimes it's your child deciding that they don't want you to read them a bed time story or give them a hug, that they want someone else.  This is somehow harder than rejection from almost anyone else, mainly because you try to give your children so much.

Yesterday Jack was being temperamental.  This was extra frustrating because Molly is sick and needs extra one on one time.  At daycare he was hitting when he wasn't getting undivided attention from his favourite ECE worker and at home he expected kangaroo treatment from me (to be carried everywhere).  Overnight he woke up not once, but twice, determined that the only parent who could comfort him was me no matter how hard Chris tried to step in.  As he crawled over Chris to jump into my arms, sobbing, I saw a familiar look from Chris.  The one I make every time a child chooses Chris to read a story over me (he does have all the best funny voices after all) or serves him a four course tea party plastic food feast while I sit beside them ignored.

Sometimes you can't choose your parenting roles, your kids select them for you.  I just wish that mine involved a little more play time on the play mat and a little less cuddling at 1:30AM.

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*I now rank among these, but try to pepper in some tantrum photos to show people the real deal.  But let's face it, no one is going to post a photo of when their child projectile defecates all over the nursery without ending up on STFU Parents
**Yes, you are correct  - this is a real situation from our lives.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Forever in Bluejeans

When I was growing up, my mother was a huge Neil Diamond fan. When my parents first got their 200 multi-changer CD player in the mid nineties, they only owned about 25 CDs and eight of them were Neil Diamond.  That means at home a third of our listening was Mr. Diamond.  As a result I made it my mission for every birthday, holiday or festive occasion to purchase ABN (Anything but Neil) to balance out the ratio of Neil to non-Neil songs.

You would think that with my constant exposure to Neil I would know his lyrics by heart.  About ten years ago I was at a house party and I had a bonding experience with a friend of a friend when we both admitted that we thought the song Forever in Blue Jeans was actually called For Reverend Bluejeans, A spirited song about a spiritual man who related well to the people.  Upon further review of the of the lyrics the addition of holy man Bluejeans would make this song nonsensical.

toddler jeans

A while ago I asked my sister why I had so many pristine pairs of girls jeans passed on for Molly in sizes two to four.  She explained to me that during those years, both of her daughters hated jeans and refused to wear them, hence Molly's inheritance of a near-new denim collection.  I laughed arrogantly, Molly wore jeans all the time.

For several mornings last week Molly hated everything in her wardrobe, especially her jeans.  One morning in particular she screamed from the moment she woke up until she got into the doors at daycare because all of her leggings and jogging pants were dirty and she didn't want to wear her jeans.  She'd stop crying for a minute or two where she would repeat, "I don't like it!" ten times and then return to her tears over the evil villain denim that had captured her legs.  As we pulled up to the daycare, Chris turned to me and asked, "Remember when we couldn't wait for them to be able to talk to us, to tell us what was wrong?"  I nodded.  Apparently neither of us were anticipating the crazy-cray-cray that is toddler logic or how soul crushing bluejeans can be.

Wanting a piece of our morning sanity back, we went out this past weekend and purchased several pairs of leggings which Molly picked out herself (in pink, purple, turquoise and fuchsia).  Sunday evening she picked out her clothes for the next morning, we read a story and she went to bed.

Monday morning she switched up her game.  It turns out there is a new demon in town, his name is Leggings.  Molly screamed endlessly about how she needed to wear jeans, not leggings.  So I put her in jeans.  Then she changed her mind: more tears. Finally I stuffed her into a pair of pink jogging pants (not leggings or jeans) and left her to serenade Chris while he got them in coats and I shovelled the front walk.  As I worked in the cold, avoiding my crazy toddler I sang to myself softly:

Money talks
But it don't sing and dance
And it don't walk
And long as I can have you
Here with me, I'd much rather be
For Reverend Bluejeans

 I was nominated for VoiceBoks Top 50 Hilariously Funny Parent Bloggers - If you can please take the time to vote for my blog Just click and vote for me (Multiple Momstrosity)

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Monday, 20 January 2014

Welcome to the Jungle - An Indoor Playground Review

I don't think anyone who lives anywhere in the vicinity of South Western Ontario is going to disagree when I say that this winter has been brutal so far.  If we are to believe the weather reports, we're in for another stretch of weather in the minus teens this week, so we decided to go out to another Indoor Playground this weekend to work off some energy.

My park review disclaimer: If you don't live in the area I hope you enjoy the pics and can use some of the ideas to inspire and explore in your own city. If you have any recommendations for great playgrounds ideally some in Toronto proper (indoor or out or new criteria I haven't thought of) please post a comment on this post or email me:

Unfortunately this location is now closed.  If anyone has any other recommendations for indoor playgrounds or kid-focused/friendly coffee shops please add them in the comments.  

1070 St. Clair West, Toronto, ON (you can take the St. Clair Street Car or the 29 Dufferin Bus North to Dufferin and St. Clair)

There is street parking which is free in the morning on Sunday, but it could be tough to find a spot that isn't a bit of a distance from the playground.

Theme of Park:
Indoor jungle play with added elements of arts and crafts for mind and body development.

$8 per child.

Variety of Equipment for different ages:
This playground's activities and play are geared towards children aged 0-9.  There is a ball pit, climbing tunnels, a bridge and slides.

Best Part(s) of the Park:
The balance between active and creative play is key for keeping both Molly and Jack happy and it worked!  The playground has a costume centre, a kitchen play area, a cafeteria style "snack" centre (bring your own snacks) and books for story breaks.  The centre of the climbing structure has a giant monkey head that kids can climb into and play in - which Jack fell in love with.  I'm fairly certain a giant monkey head may be the only liveable solution possible to successfully transition Jack into a toddler bed.  

The washrooms were in the basement and there were only two.  This meant that by the time potty training Molly told me she had to go and waited 5 minutes for a washroom, it was too late.  For kids on the cusp of toilet training bring diapers, or a change of pants or both!  The playground hosts several private birthday parties so hours are limited. Weekends, they are open to the public from 9:30AM-11:30AM - so check the hours and plan your trip in advance.    

Overall Rating:
I rate this playground a 4/5 based on value of money and time - it was only a ten minute drive from our house and both kids were content to stay for an hour and a half.

To read my other indoor playground review click here

  I was nominated for VoiceBoks Top 50 Hilariously Funny Parent Bloggers - If you can please take the time to vote for my blog Just click and vote for me (Multiple Momstrosity)

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Friday, 17 January 2014

Honey Honey

Jack has been sick this week.  He has a bad cough...and since it's currently recommended that children don't take cough medicine until after they are old enough to physically drive to the drug store themselves, we are in a Robitussin/Buckley's free house where Jack's cough keeps him (and everyone else) up at night.

Thankfully, he's on the mend after some TLC from nana and poppa, Popsicles, a cold air vaporizer and some homeopathic cough medicine as recommended by our nurse practitioner.  From what I can surmise it's mostly honey.  Jack hates it, but it works so I've been wrestling him into the sleeper hold several times a day so I can syringe* it into his mouth.  Then I wait to see if he spits it into my face, passively opens his mouth and lets the syrup run down his chin or just accepts his fate: repeat.  I call this cough syrup roulette.

Enter the sketchy mascot on the homeopathic cough syrup. I don't believe that this koala went to medical school and his doctor light is as askew-ed.  Koala's don't even eat honey and I'm fairly certain there is no eucalyptus in this product.  His "crazy" bleary eyed face would have him failing any road side test.

Chris thinks he's cute...and that maybe Boiron's (the distributor) head office is in Australia.   It's not, it's in France.  The medicine seems to be working, so the kooky marsupial can hang around a little while longer.

For those of you also dealing with sick ones or for future reference, here are some ideas or "life hack solutions" for dealing in a land free of narcotic solutions that Cloudy With a Chance of Wine compiled: 20 tips & tricks for dealing with a sick child from moms I trust

  I was nominated for VoiceBoks Top 50 Hilariously Funny Parent Bloggers - If you can please take the time to vote for my blog Just click and vote for me (Multiple Momstrosity)

*I never thought I'd use the word syringe as a verb, but here we are.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Crying Over You

I fear that my daughter has been possessed by the Joker.  Yeah, that's right, Batman's nemesis.  For the past few days her mood swings, fits and tantrums would stand out as diabolically ridiculous, even inside the padded walls of Gotham's Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

Some time last year I stumbled upon the now viral blog Reasons My Son Is Crying which is truly hilarious and apparently going to become a book later this flag your Amazon wish lists.  I have found recently through experience that these tantrums are much more funny when they are happening on your computer screen and not when they are making you late for work.

Here are a select few of the triggers or events that have caused complete emotional meltdowns over the past few days:

What happened: While cleaning up toddler urine off of our couch I, calmly, softly and sweetly asked Molly to tell me when she had to go potty.
Proportional Response: Molly lay down on the floor and screamed, "I don't have to go potty!" - of course you don't, you just peed all over our couch.

What happened: Molly wanted to drink apple juice in front of an episode of The Backyardigans in a cup.  I told her she could have it in a sippy cup or could drink it without a lid while sitting on a chair in the kitchen.
Proportional Response: Crocodile tears and yelling, "Ma juice, Ma juice!" at the top of her lungs - although spilled apple juice might combat the stench of urine emanating from our couch.  I may have to revisit this decision.

What happened: I refused to hold Molly while I chopped up spinach and cooked dinner because everything I was doing was hot, sharp and dangerous.  So, I asked her to play with daddy instead.
Proportional Response: To thrash around on the kitchen floor and scream until Jack decided that it would be funny to imitate Molly, only with pauses to see if mom and dad are laughing at his wit* and giggle maniacally.   To escalate the situation further Molly accused her brother of hitting her. He was not.

What happened: Dad told Molly it was bath time.
Proportional Response: Crying.
What happened next: Dad brought you upstairs for bath.
Proportional Response: Crying and screaming, "NO BATH!" as if the water was filled with hungry piranhas.
What happened: I washed Molly's hair.
Proportional Response: Crying, followed by accusations that  Jack was hitting, again.  He was not.
What happened: Molly was told if she did not stop crying she would be taken out of the bath, tears continued, so Molly was removed from the bath.
Proportional Response: Tears, begging, pleading and bargaining to get back into the bath.

What happened: You know that scene from Cinderella when Anastasia and Drizella throw away their beads and sash because they don't want them any more, but tear Cinderella's dress to shreds because she used these discarded items?  Replace beads and sash with Nutrigrain bar and sippy cup filled with milk and make Cinderella Jack in this morning's incident
Proportional Response: Me yelling, "You'rr daddy's bleeping* problem now! Jack and I will meet you in the car."

  I was nominated for VoiceBoks Top 50 Hilariously Funny Parent Bloggers - If you can please take the time to vote for my blog Just click and vote for me (Multiple Momstrosity)

*Wocka, Wocka, Wocka!  Yeah we totally were.
**I didn't say bleep and am hoping that this colourful language doesn't make it into daycare.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Whiskey in the Jar

Chris and I have attempted to maintain "a life" after kids.  This means hiring a babysitter on a regular basis, but that can get expensive really fast and when you're working full time it takes away from time you want to spend with your kids.  Chris and I often take the children out in pursuit of having domesticated children who understand that activities aren't always all about them and hoping that they act a little less like Neanderthals each time they are in public.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Enjoying a day out at Safeco Field with the minions

After a recent afternoon outing to a local McPub* with the minions that ended in me walking home in Coors Light soaked jeans, I was reminded how much going out with children can be like college days drinking. Sometimes memories of your youthful nights from your early twenties can be eerily similar to going out "partying"** with your kids:

You pick a bar based on...
1) who has the cheapest drink specials and double fist beer on "last call for cheap alcohol".
2) who has the cheapest drink specials and who can bring the bill quickly and double fist when a toddler meltdown imminently occurs.

You have one drink...
1) too many and accidentally knock over someone's pint on the way to the washroom.
2) which you get half a sip out of before your child knocks it over in your lap while they attempt to steal a chicken finger off your plate.

You go home...
1) after last call, as they're locking the doors.
2) after lunch, because it's nap time.

The evening ends in tears when...
1) your friend who's been mainlining Irish Car Bombs drops their cell phone in the toilet.
2) your toddler accidentally drops your new cell phone in the toilet.

You can't get admission into the beer garden because...
1) the bouncer suspects you've already had enough, no matter how much you try to convince him otherwise.
2) the toddler strapped to your chest is nearly three and the bouncer doesn't care how much you "need this night out.``

You cut your hand on a broken glass...
1) after a roughhousing patron knocks a pint glass out of your hand and you attempt to help the waitress clean up the mess.
2) when you break up a fight over crayons and activity sheets.

You can't go back to that bar...
1) because you got banned after you threw up everywhere.
2) you're too embarrassed to go back after your toddler threw up everywhere.

  I was nominated for VoiceBoks Top 50 Hilariously Funny Parent Bloggers - If you can please take the time to vote for my blog Just click and vote for me (Multiple Momstrosity)

*A McPub is a chain or franchise bar and restaurant, representing the Starbucksification of bars.
**Partying like a parent can mean eating chicken wings and having a pint at noon.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Bear Necessities

Last week I received some wonderful news.  Someone, I have no idea who, kindly nominated me for an international funny parent blogger award - Top 50 Hilariously Funny Nominated Parent Bloggers – 2014. For the month of January I'm competing head to head against a bunch of very talented writers from around the world.  It's always extra exciting to know that this came from someone who wasn't in my immediate family.  Whoever you are, thank you so much for taking the time to put Multiple Momstrosity forward.  You have no idea how much this means to me.

I made a promise to myself a while ago that I would make a concerted effort to get better at promoting my blog.  I still find myself cringing and debating when I overhear someone say they have twins, or are expecting twins when I know I should be marching right over to them and telling them about how much misery loves company and they can/should read about how we're surviving life after twins.

"I'm hunting for bears!"
This is photographic evidence as to why you say no when your bestie and brother suggest you let them do a baby photo shoot for you, with costumes and props.  Chris thinks this is the photo that is most likely to get child services called. I feel somehow compelled to inform everyone that this is a toy gun and I don't know why Jack looks so smug.

 This is where I need your help as readers, friends, parents and bloggers!  The rules of this contest are fairly strict: 1 vote per IP address period and no "monkey" business to promote votes.  So in no way can I offer anyone gold stars, giant stuffed unicorns, babysitting services, good karma or send them an email chain letter forecasting 100 years of bad luck if they don't cast their vote.  But I can ask here it goes.

Any of the following five things would help me get closer to my personal goal of making the Top 10!

  1. Click Here Now and cast your vote for Multiple Momstrosity. (they are listed in alphabetical order so scroll to find me)
  2. Come back and vote when you're at another computer, cell phone or new IP address and vote again.
  3. Send an email to a few friends, fellow parents, relatives, people you think might enjoy reading about the minions and include this link: asking them to cast a vote for Multiple Momstrosity.
  4. Tweet, Post Facebook Updates, Google Plus things and share the word on the interwebs about how people should vote for Multiple Momstrosity:, but again please don't offer any gold stars to get me votes!
  5. Fellow Bloggers, if you could give me a shout out to get your readers to check me out and voting for for me...well that would be awesome sauce!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

I Want My Baby Back

Whenever I find myself asking the question, "Do you think I'm overreacting?" I generally know that the answer is Yes, totally and completely overreacting.  That being said, the people close to me know that there is absolutely no point in disputing what I'm about to say and that it's generally for the best to let me rage, rant, spin, like a top, because eventually I'll slow down, come to a halt, likely out of breath.

Recently we went clothes shopping for the minions.  Jack needed new (used) pants because he's hit a growth spurt and it isn't exactly warm enough for exposed ankles right now.  On a shopping mission like, this divide and conquer is usually the best technique.  Chris supervised Jack in the toys area while searching for "inspirational" potty training books* while Molly and I looked in the size 2 section for clothes.

Stroller Storm from last year, doing daycare pick-up

After we selected three pairs of pants, some sweatshirts that were on sale, a copy of Bunnicula and a book of potty training poems, I lined up while Molly joined Jack to play.

While I was at the cash register, Molly ran over to me pushing a dolly in a toy stroller.  I chatted with her while the cashier rang through my items.  Another employee walked over to ask if I was going to be purchasing the stroller.  I said no.  A grandmother in the periphery got a price check and said that she would take the stroller, which the employee told Molly she needed to see and took away, handing the dolly back to Molly.  Molly was confused, but fine.  I was going to ask her to put the dolly back and say good-bye to it in a moment anyway.  As I handed over my cash to pay for our items the grandmother turned to the employee and said, "I'll take the doll too." at which point the staff member took the baby away from Molly.

Molly turned to me, tears welling up in her eyes and began yelling, "Maaa baby, Maaa baby." The woman laughed maniacally and thunder bolts clapped within the store while Molly wept, at which point I called Chris and Jack and ushered everyone out of the store muttering to myself and speaking in tongues.  When Chris asked what was wrong I told her about the grandmother who was too impatient to wait for me to cash out and leave.  I know we weren't buying it, but come on!  You can't wait for me to finish my transaction and leave the store?  Are you late for your appointment tormenting children at the orphanage where you'll set the toy a blaze in the sick child ward?  I have a brilliant idea, why not let me be the bad guy instead of ripping the toy out of a toddler's hands and wait two minutes, 120 seconds.

I pointed her out to Chris in the parking lot.  She was easy to spot, she was the lady in the Dalmatian fur coat.

  I was nominated for VoiceBoks Top 50 Hilariously Funny Parent Bloggers - If you can please take the time to vote for my blog Just click and vote for me (Multiple Momstrosity)

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*If you had told me that this would be something I'd be actively pursuing five years ago I would have laughed at you.  Yes 30 year old Sara, this is your life now.  You'll be handing out stickers to toddlers when they go on the potty.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Blue Monday - The Indoor Playground Review

I don't think anyone who lives anywhere in the vicinity of South Western Ontario is going to protest when I say that this winter has been brutal so far.  Two major ice storms, cold weather advisories and a constant state of skating rink walking and driving conditions has made the past three weeks seem like Ground Hog Day in the worst possible way.  Today is also Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year.  We've been barely able to get the kids outside because it's been so nasty, so this weekend we decided it was time to try something new to keep the kids active and entertained.

Behold the winterized version of my playground review series, The Indoor Playground Review!  

My park review disclaimer: If you don't live in the area I hope you enjoy the pics and can use some of the ideas to inspire and explore in your own city. If you have any recommendations for great playgrounds ideally some in Toronto proper (indoor or out or new criteria I haven't thought of) please post a comment on this post or email me:

Playground Name:

3615 Laird Rd #15, Mississauga, ON (you need a car to get there, or to live close enough to walk)

There is a decent amount of parking in the lot.  The other businesses in the complex don't seem very busy on the weekend, but this could change during the week. 

Theme of Park:
Balls...of.....Fun.  Ball themed indoor playground.

$10 per child for kids 1-8 years old, kids under 1 are free when with a sibling.  (We used a coupon from the Toronto Entertainment Book that got us buy one get one free entrance).  Parents/Guardians/ Sitters (over 16) are free.  

Variety of Equipment for different ages:
This playground is open to kids aged six months to eight years old.  There is a toddler room for kids aged zero to three and the larger gym with ball pit, climbing tunnels and bigger slides geared towards older kids. The really large slides were for kids aged four and over.

Best Part(s) of the Park:
The toddler room and other equipment in the area for older kids have mini padded steps to help small ones climb.  There are bean bag chairs in the big gym (where the older kids play) for parents to supervise at a distance and unwind as well as tables with a food and drink area for nut-free snacking.  It's also a six minute drive away from Once Upon a Child Oakville if you need to stock up on any items for your little ones. 

Some of the older kids aged six to eight were bored and rough housing, throwing balls in the ball pit and racing around smaller kids in the climbing structures.  I understand that parents are there for a break, but it's not hard to see that your eight year old is whipping balls at other kids and stop them, just saying.  Another downfall would be that it would be difficult for one parent to supervise kids between the toddler and big kid gym.  

Overall Rating:
I rate this playground a 3.5/5 based on value of money and time. Molly was ready to go home after close to an hour, while Jack had a major meltdown because he didn't want to leave yet.  Maybe a section with some books or some crayons and colouring books could have kept us longer. That being said, Jack wore off a lot of energy and was able to get out and be active, which was exactly what we were all looking for.

  I was nominated for VoiceBoks Top 50 Hilariously Funny Parent Bloggers - If you can please take the time to vote for my blog Just click and vote for me (Multiple Momstrosity)

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Friday, 3 January 2014

At the End of the Day

On New Years Day 2013, I came across a great blog entry by the Bloggess where she tracked the strangest search results that led people to her blog.  After this I started keeping a closer eye on the random things that bring people to Multiple Momstrosity.  In 2013 I saw nearly 50,000 visitors and I'm so happy for the support and connection with many families proving the Mommy Wars (or parent wars) is just a bunch of bogus media hoopla.  I hope that many of you are regular visitors and enjoy my take on life with two plucky toddlers, although I still assume that many people stumble across this blog by accident in the search of other things (like porn) because Google can't predict everything we are searching for*.

Below in bold are the strangest search terms that have led people to my blog in the past six months.

Flute poems for mom - In  grade four and five students in my school were all made to learn the recorder.  The thing about the recorder is that even if you can play it well, it still sounds like it's being played by tone deaf gnomes who are hell bent on giving you a migraine.  I never learned to play the recorder beyond the most basic notes. I just mimed it in class, because even at age 10 I knew it was the worst.  The recitals we produced as a result of these is what my imagination comes up with when I think of flute poems for mom. Searchers were sent to my post on Terrible Mother's Day Cards I had sent to my mom as a child.

How to Emasculate a Man -  When I saw this search item the first time (it's shown up a few times), I thought about both the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and images an evil revenge plot to give someone their "comeuppance".   This led vigilantes to my post about the TV Show Modern Dads and people who don't respecting men taking paternity time.

Young Woman Sufficiently fat - Maybe someone was doing a paper on Rubenesque women, or perhaps they were trying to pull a Mean Girls on their own personal Regina George.  It took seekers to my post on BMI assessment report cards in schools.

My toddler popped a stress ball in his mouth - I can confidently say that anyone who typed this into their search engine got exactly what they were looking for on a gold platter.  Here I talk about what happens when Molly attempts to eat a stress ball (in the shape of a globe) while strapped into her car seat.

In addition, for my year end round up, below are three of my most popular posts:

A shopping list for life during your first week as a new parent.

Vampire Jack the biting king.

Exploring the Twin Connection.

I was nominated for VoiceBoks Top 50 Hilariously Funny Parent Bloggers - If you can please take the time to vote for my blog Just click and vote for me (Multiple Momstrosity)

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*An acquaintance of mine posts entertaining updates on Facebook and Twitter about Google Autocomplete and other targeted algorithm advertising failures and how these follies prove to him that robots are still a long way off from uprising and taking over the world.  For example: The tips I got on how to roll a joint from Google when I was looking to get a recipe on roasting pumpkin seeds further proves that Google doesn't know me.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

New Year's Day

Over the holidays we had a lot of time with the minions.  It was great, but challenging.  With really cold weather and the ice storm brewing, we were housebound and stir crazy from the lack of fresh air and caged pens.  Chris and I had all of these grandiose ideas of the things we'd check off our "To Do" lists over the holidays.  There were six items on the list, two of them got done.  Although I may curse it a little bit when our January weekends and evenings fill up with our Honey Do lists, I won't regret the extra, uninterrupted time we got with Molly and Jack.  On Christmas Eve day I read them nine books, back to back, because that is what they wanted to do.  We enjoyed waffles for breakfast, later bed times and them pushing the boundaries on nap time.*

I've never been big on resolutions, but being forced to slow down the past two weeks really got me thinking about some goals and how I want to spend my time with Molly and Jack in 2014 and beyond.  I thought I'd share.

  1. I want to read more stories to Molly and Jack.  We generally end up reading bed time stories five days a week.  We try for seven but rarely score a perfect week. Sometimes they get cut when we've been out, someone is melting down, no one is paying attention or mom and dad are exhausted.  I want to enjoy more story time with them any time, not just as a precursor to bedtime.
  2.  I spend a lot of time reading: for work, online courses for my post grad certificate, and researching the latest head scratcher of bizarre toddler behaviour, but not a lot of reading just for me.  I added it up and I read about 10 books last year.  I used to read at least a book a week BK (Before Kids) and even in my first year as a parent I managed to read two books a month.  I got a lot of great books for Christmas and my birthday that I haven't cracked the spines on yet**, so I'm going to make it a priority to read more for me, even if it's just for 15 minutes a day on the subway.  
  3. It's easy to complain about the lack of time you have as a couple once you have kids, it's harder and more rewarding to do something about it.  We've slacked and let life get in the way lately, but we're actually doing something about it.  Chris and I are determined to have more date nights in 2014, even if it's just re-activating our dinner and a movie date night at home some weeks.
  4. It bugs me how much Molly loves TV.  We get such little time with the kids when we're working that weeknights and weekends seem precious and I resent losing her attention to TV land.  We limit TV time to half an hour a day and allow for a little more on weekends.  Sometimes, on a rainy (or snowy) Saturday afternoon, all I feel like is curling up and watching a couple of movies. I should allow Molly the same pleasure, within reason.  When Chris and I discover a new TV series we love, we go into marathon mode. I need to lighten up a little and stop the double standard.   We can use the time she's watching TV to read, get chores done, or spend more one on one time with Jack.
  5. I am starting to book time for myself (I really focused on this more in the end of 2013), whether it's for a haircut, a coffee or walk with a friend. I'm going to be better about treating time I need to feel balanced more like regular appointments to avoid the martyr trap.
What are you doing to make 2014 a better year for your family?

I was nominated for VoiceBoks Top 50 Hilariously Funny Parent Bloggers - If you can please take the time to vote for my blog Just click and vote for me (Multiple Momstrosity)

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*Okay, no one but Molly and Jack were happy about the disruption to their nap routine.
**Someone gave me Coreyography that's right Corey Feldman's biography.  Sure, the life of Fel-dog isn't Shakespeare but biographies (both inspiring and trashy) are a guilty pleasure that I love.