Friday, 29 August 2014

Milk It

I am a "what ifer".  It's in my nature and it's one of my best and worst qualities.  People love it when they need help preparing for an interview, but it isn't so great when it's 3AM and I've been Googling a rash that Molly or Jack have recently sprouted.  My what ifs can get my imagination going and develop into a downward worst case scenario spiral more often than I'd like to admit.

Being a parent there are so many things that we worry, stress and what if about.  I remember the panic over the fact that Molly and Jack weren't walking yet and would they ever be able to transition from the infant room at daycare to the toddler room, the transition to solid food, whether or not Jack would ever be able to talk.  All of these things were such huge issues to me and looking back, both kids have met all of the milestones that I was panic stricken over, on their own time line, while I rushed for what's next.

One of the few things that I have allowed for Molly and Jack to do on their own time line was bottles.  I tried to ween them off of milk in a bottle around age two with little success.  Between age two and three we were able to get them to drink water, juice and everything else in a sippy or regular cup, but they both LOVED their bottles, particularly at bed time.  We slowly eliminated their nap time bottles and only gave them their one bottle at night time before bed - the one that had always been their favourite.

18 month old toddler with bottle
Jack and his bottle at 18 months.

I let them go at their own pace, yet I felt so ashamed about it.  I knew about tooth decay and other problems that can be caused from milk at night, but I knew they weren't ready.  I gave Chris crap when he gave our kids bottles publicly after age two because I didn't want to deal with commentary from passer bys.  I was acting as if giving my kids bottles was equivalent to a nightly diet of pixie sticks, gummy bears and whiskey.

As their third birthday approached, I panicked.  How were we going to do this?  Would it be nights and nights of crying?  I went to my mom, who eliminated our bottles on our third birthdays when I was a kid, worried that Molly and Jack weren't ready.  I envisioned crying, tantrums and bed time routines that would take forever.  My mom reminded me I had two children that I was raising at the same time and that I didn't need to work on anyone's pace but theirs.  One of the few times that I feel like things are easier for us as parents of multiples is the way we're given "permission" to do things that singleton parents are criticised for because of the perception of what life is like with multiples.

As bottles grew old and wear and tear increased we were presented with a choice: suck it up and buy more bottles or attempt the final bottle free transition at three.  We took them out and purchased them a whack load of new cups adorned with favourite characters and it was time.

About a week before the transition we warned Molly and Jack that they would be big kids soon and they wouldn't have bottles any more.  Then a few days after their third birthday we stopped giving them their nightly bottle, and nothing happened.  They accepted it, just like that.  On two or three nights they have asked for a bottle and I've offered a sippy cup of water instead and they've accepted it.  Last week when Jack asked for a bottle, Molly turned to him and said, "We're big kids now. We don't have bottles because we are three." He turned to her and said, "Okay Molly, I know."

I was so ashamed for putting off this transition, as if an extra few months with bottles would turn my kids into degenerates, but in the end it was easy because we waited until they were ready.  We are now two weeks bottle free and haven't looked back, if only I could get Jack toilet trained and Molly to stop sucking her thumb.

To read about my first bottle free attempts click here

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


I often find myself with mixed feelings surrounding animal amusement facilities.  I have seen movies like Blackfish and know that many of the attractions that feature wild animals provide spaces that are too confined for the way that nature intended animals to live.  I know that there are many animals whose population is threatened because of man, industry, nature and all the environmental themes that Tolkien so eloquently wrote into his books.  I am also a realist, an omnivore, a supporter of farms and scientific research.  One of the best excursions Chris and I have ever been on was a whale watching tour in the Bay of Fundy with marine biologists who fund their research by giving tours.  It was amazing.  I know that technology is there to help a number of species procreate (humans included) and I'm thankful for that. 

When I received an offer earlier this summer from African Lion Safari to bring the minions out to experience a day out there I completed a little bit of research before I accepted.  African Lion Safari has worked with its' vision of conservation and preservation of threatened and endangered species since they first opened 45 years ago.  In support of these goals they have been able to release animals bred and raised in captivitiy into the wild through reintroduction programs including Barn and Burrowing Owls, Trumpeter Swans, Ferruginous Hawks and a Bald Eagle.  They are recognized internationally for their breeding programmes with many ground breaking research projects in the fields of animal welfare, reproduction, behaviour, nutrition and conservation having been initiated at African Lion Safari. 

Since I know that Chris and I will never take the kids on a real safari, we accepted the invitation to go on an adventure with Molly and Jack on a hot summer afternoon.

9 Things I learned on my trip to African Lion Safari: 

  1. It is "the" place to see elephants in the greater Toronto area (especially since the elephants left the Toronto Zoo) and is home to the largest Asian elephant herd in any zoological facility in North America, maintains excellent genetic diversity with 14 calves  born originating from 5 different fathers and 6 different mothers. They have had more second generation births than any other facility in North America.  The park welcomed the first artificially inseminated elephant born in Canada in November 2009. Go Science, or for you Breaking Bad fans, "Science, Bitches!"  We arrived at noon, just in time for the elephant swim.

African Lion Safari Elephants

African Lion Safari Elephants

2. Weigh your options for how you travel through the reserve, if you take the bus you need to get tickets, wait in line and deal with any bad child behaviour in a public forum.  If you take your own car, monkeys may steal your windshield wipers....the choice is yours.

3.  If you opt to take the safari tour bus, book your tickets in advance to avoid waiting a long time with cranky toddlers who you can only amuse by feeding them cotton candy and other confections that will make it virtually impossible to stay still on the bus.  Good luck with that.

4.  Be prepared for your three year old son to be more excited about being on a bus than the animals he is seeing outside the bus. Singing of The Wheels on the Bus may ensue.

5. With the unique approach of exhibiting animals with the visitor caged in the car while animals roam in a 2 to 20 hectare (5 to 50 acre) reserves and giant gates, there will a lot of jokes about Jurassic Park.  

African Lion Safari Lions

6. The staff will remain pleasant, patient  but firm when they remind your son to stay seated on the bus, like 100 times over the course of the hour.  Mom and dad may not remain so calm, especially mom.

African Lion Safari Bus Tour
Jack after warning 44 to "please, remain seated on the bus"

7. There are two playgrounds (one regular and one splash pad) to help kids blow off some steam (aka energy, sugar, "can't help its") between shows and tours.  These are well worth scheduling into your day!

8. There are plenty of places for outdoor picnicking or indoor shade for hungry critters.

African Lion Safari

African Lion Safari

9. When you ask your daughter what her favourite animal in the park is, try to hide your disappointment when she tells you that it was the bunnies from the petting zoo.

African Lion Safari Rabbits, African Lion Safari Bunnies

To plan your trip to African Lion Safari click here  They are open daily until mid-October!

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Monday, 25 August 2014


Last week Chris and I had a lazy staycation day.  We didn't set any alarms, played with the minions in the morning, dropped them off at daycare late and picked them up early.  In our child free few hours we took a nap, went out to lunch at a local diner and hit the batting cages - a great date day.

We had never tried the diner before, but were anxious to try another greasy spoon.  When we sat down the only other customers were a pair of gentleman at the bar and a family eating their lunches.  Chris and I both found ourselves regularly distracted by the family sitting a few seats over from us.  The father was correcting his five year old son and berating him for not colouring within the lines in his colouring book, he told the son that he would be punished for not eating his meal - the boy kept complaining that his stomach hurt.  Finally when the boy did something (neither Chris or I could tell what the offence was from where we were sitting) the father yelled, "Don't make me slap you."  The family appeared to be regulars at the diner and no one batted an eye.

green megaphone
Image of a megaphone courtesy of Wikipedia.

It was a rather unenjoyable lunch (for a number of reasons that aren't worth going into) and we will not be returning to the establishment.  That being said, as we both got into the car and Chris asked me a really valid question, "What would you do if that man slapped his little boy?"  I didn't have an answer because I didn't know.  The man was intimidating and scary to me, a grown up, I could only imagine things from the perspective of a five year old child.  The way he said, "Don't make me slap you." made it quite apparent that he has in fact struck this child on more than one occasion.    Chris followed up, "Would you be mad at me if I did something?" My answer, No, of course not, but what could you do, other than instigate a fight with a man who clearly doesn't pick fair fights.  The dad had yelled with a force that would've made Molly cry out of fear.  Would I be more likely to react if my kids were there in some sort of mama bear defence to this?  That this isn't right?  Would it impact them more to watch Chris get punched out by a 350lb man?

For a few days now our incident with these strangers has really stuck with me.  What do you do in a situation like this? Can you call child services over an incident you witness at a restaurant even though the family will be long gone before anything can be done?   We all have bad days, where we lose our patience with our children and spouse and as a public we are too hard on ourselves as parents, but when has someone crossed the line and where do you intervene?

I am not that boy's teacher, or scout master or neighbour and I'll probably never see him again. I am not trained to know what qualifies as concern with Children's Aid, but I'm scared for him and ashamed of myself because I didn't know what to do, although if I had done something I suspect it may have gotten the boy an even worse punishment.

At what point do you step in?  What's the line between busybody and concerned citizen?  When do you call the police?

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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Wicked Garden

One of my favourite things to do, especially in summer and fall, is hiking.  We've hit a phase where the kids are too heavy, independent and rambunctious for a longer stretch in our hiking carriers and not quite endurance focused enough to tread along side us for a lengthy or complicated trail.  

We've been seeking out nearby parks and trails that are toddler friendly to help better prepare them (ahem) for "the roads ahead" and hopefully provide them with an appreciation of something that we can do together as a family.

Our first hike was at James Gardens in Toronto.  Most Torontonians know James Gardens as the wedding photo destination in the west end because of it's pretty flowers and convenient location.  James Gardens will always hold a special place in my heart because it's where I launched down a giant hill in roller blades in the 1990's, unaware that the breaks had been removed, when I fell and slid into a giant mud puddle.  Did I mention I was wearing overalls?  As I stomped through the grounds of the gardens (in bare feet because I wasn't smart enough to bring shoes) looking like Swamp Thing, I was way too busy blaming the events on my high school boyfriend to really enjoy James Gardens.

Below are some things that make James Gardens a great destination for hiking training for kids, general site seeing and working on biking skills before you hit the main streets with a novice cyclist.   (James Gardens is TTC accessible from Royal York station. Take the Royal York bus 73 to Royal York Road, walk east on Edenbridge Road.)  I'd say our trip was a success!

James Gardens Ducks Toronto
Plenty of ducks for feeding/ freaking out your children when they come a little too close for comfort.

James Gardens bridge Toronto
Scenic paths and bridges.

James Gardens Toronto
Open fields and many gravel paths beside the bike paths to ensure that little hikers don't get in the way of cyclists or out of control roller bladers.

James Gardens Toronto
Great picnic spots.  We managed to "hike" for about half an hour before it was time to jump on mom and dads shoulders.

James Gardens Toronto Giant Turtle Sculpture
A giant turtle sculpture for climbing.

To read about a baby wearing hiking adventure click here

Any suggestions for short/easy kid friendly trails around the city would be greatly appreciated as we build our hiking and nature appreciation skills.

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Monday, 18 August 2014

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

In Major League Baseball there is a rarity known as the "perfect game".  In order to achieve this anomaly a pitcher must last a minimum of nine innings without allowing any opposing batter to make it onto base (this includes walks or a hit player).  A perfect game has only been achieved 21 times in the modern era of baseball. 

There is a lot of superstition in baseball.  So much so that when players suspect their pitcher is on their way to a perfect game (or even a no hitter), they stop talking to him so as not to jinx them.  

In my three year stint in the major league of parenting I've learned a lot.  There aren't any umpires to call the shots, there isn't a rule book and really most of the time it's governed by Marshall law as we stumble our way through.  However, that doesn't mean that the territory comes without superstition.

For a while now I've realized that if I ever marvel at what wonderful sleepers the minions are, or even give the slightest bit of toddler sleep advice to anyone else that I will automatically jinx myself to sleepless nights. This self-imposed jinx comes in the form of a sleep regression that lasts anywhere from one night to two weeks.  I've learned the hard way and I try not to talk about it.

Last week while we were up at the cottage with family, in close quarters and a shared space with three other adults, Chris took it upon himself to brag that Molly and Jack never get up in the middle of the night any more.  Jinx.  Was I surprised when I was up at 1:00AM because Molly had fallen out of bed and needed to be comforted?  Not really, because my husband had already provided the kiss of death.  Did I elbow Chris to to take the next shift at 3:30AM when I (and everyone else in the cottage) heard a blood curdling scream from the boy?  Yes, because he talked to the pitcher during a no hitter and this was all his fault.  It turns out the birthday cake that Jack had shared with his cousins earlier that night didn't agree with him and he threw it up in three neat little piles all around the bases (all over his sheets and comforter).  Chris thumped back across the cottage to whip on the light and called in the reliever: me.  As I worked to I changed him into clean, significantly less barf covered uniform, Chris soaked the puke sheets in the bathtub and Molly gave us running, colour commentary loud enough for everyone in the cottage to hear.  We were finally all back in bed half an hour later.

reasons my toddler is crying, barbies in backpack
Defeated Molly after her no-hitter was ruined (AKA daddy put her Barbies into her backpack).

As I said to Chris the next morning, surely that was just a dream, because our kids NEVER get up in the middle of the night any more!  The next time Chris talks to the pitcher I'm dumping a cooler of Gatorade on his head.

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Beautiful Girls

There is this ad campaign for infertility awareness month that really hit home for me.  It  underlined the whole "walk a mile in someone else's shoes" and how truly blessed Chris and I are, having experienced spontaneous twins.  It really helped make me think of my post-pregnancy body in a new and more positive way.

campaign for infertility awareness
Campaign for infertility awareness 

A couple of weeks ago Tanis Jex-Blake, an Alberta mother of five, was sunbathing in her bikini and was publicly bullied and ridiculed by a group of adult passerbys about how gross her stretch marks and mom belly was. This was the first time she had worn a bikini since becoming a mom over a decade ago. The public reaction was immediate and for the most part women everywhere have come out and supported her and some quite literally marched and bared their bellies to show their solidarity

I think that by going public Jex-Blake has created some fantastic body positive messaging for moms everywhere, especially in the wake of What's Your Excuse Mom (Mary Kang) who has been accused of fat shaming her peers.  Is "What's Your Excuse Mom" a boastful fat-shaming B$%ch or is she just someone who worked hard and is trying to motivate people to choose fitness?  I have read some of her stuff and to sum it up, she is disliked for her firm stance on what is healthy with some very vocal criticisms on the fat acceptance movement. Kang is the type of advocate that we love to hate in the same way we cheer for Jex-Blake.  Only it's not nearly as black and white as it's being fed to us via the web and media.   I admire Jex-Blake's courage, however the fact that she felt the need to specify her current weight into her commentary showed me that we're further from mark than we need to be in a way strikingly similar to "What's Your Excuse Mom".  In Jex-Blake's social media post to her bullies she wrote, "
I’m sorry that my stomach isn’t flat and tight. I’m sorry that my belly is covered in stretch marks. I’m NOT sorry that my body has housed, grown, protected, birthed and nurtured FIVE fabulous, healthy, intelligent and wonderful human beings, I’m sorry if my 33 year old, 125 lb body offended you so much that you felt that pointing, laughing, and pretending to kick me (was acceptable)."  

Jex-Blake's statement of her own weight dilutes her intended body positive affirming message.  It's  presented like her body shaming is a bigger injustice because of what the scale says. Is being bullied at the beach any less justifiable at 125lbs than it is at 150lb, 175lbs or 200lbs? While I truly believe that Jex-Blake stands behind her cause the same way "What's Your Excuse Mom" does, I somehow feel that they're losing some of their messaging by inadvertently being so public about some of their own insecurities. Unfortunately, because of this, women are polarized.   We are making these women victims or heroes instead of focusing on the positive things they are trying to do.  

Most of us (myself included) could probably eat a little better or exercise a little bit more, but we should also be proud of what our bodies can do, what they've accomplished, whether it's carrying children, running your very first mile or fifteenth in a row.  These women are advocating for themselves and women everywhere, which is truly commendable, but have they let their own issues get in the way of what they want to accomplish? I have an audience that is more captive than the Internet.  They are two three year old kids and watch and listen to so many of the things I say and do.  I guess what I'm really trying to say is quite simply, w
e need to be kinder to each other and kinder to ourselves, period.  

what's your excuse mom Kang
The photo that started the controversy from Kang.

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Friday, 8 August 2014

I Don't Want to Grow Up - On Turning 3

Each year I've written a little bit about Molly and Jack on their birthdays.  Now that they're turning three, they're old enough to answer some questions themselves.  Along with their annual "night before birthday" photo, I'm also going to add this list of questions to the gambit of traditions we want to enjoy with the minions each year.

Here's what Molly had to say:
toddler in party dress
 Molly on her 2nd birthday

What is your favourite colour?

What is your favourite toy? 
Bunny/Blanket.  I like them both.

What is your favourite food?

What is your favourite song?
Once Upon a Dream - From Sleeping Beauty

What is your favourite movie? 
Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella

What is your favourite animal? 

What is your favourite book? 
My Little Pony Storybook Collection.

What is your favourite drink? 
Neither Chris or I are buying this response.

What do you sleep with at night?

What do you want to be when you grow up? 
A Doctor
I guess we better step up our RESP savings for Molly's education.

Here's What Jack had to say:
toddler boy second birthday
Jack on his 2nd birthday

What is your favourite colour?

What is your favourite toy? 

What is your favourite food?

What is your favourite song?
Let it Go - From Frozen

What is your favourite movie? 

What is your favourite animal? 
Cats, our cat Pan.
This one pretty much broke my heart, it's been two weeks since we lost Pan.

What is your favourite book? 
We Share Everything by Robert Munsch

What is your favourite drink? 
Again, neither Chris or I are buying this response.

What do you sleep with at night?
I know I've mentioned this before, but Jack has a series of lids, plugs, candles and rocks that he likes to carry around with him and put in the corner of his bed before he goes to sleep.  Chris has commented that Freud would have a field day with this current fixation.

What do you want to be when you grow up? 
I am fairly certain that the boy was pandering to me, but I'm just going to enjoy this one.

To read about Molly and Jack on their second birthday click here

To read about Molly and Jack on their first birthday click here

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Dirty Boots

Our daycare has a fee structure that dictates that if your child is potty trained when they are in the pre-school room your monthly cost goes down by around $200 a month.  When you have two children in daycare this is more than a big deal.  In the beginning of July we received the potty discount for Molly and crossed our fingers that Jack would get there shortly after - he did not.  After several conversations with other parents of boys one recommendation for getting Jack toilet trained kept on coming up: The Potty Training Weekend (AKA 3 Day Potty Training Boot camp).  Our goal: to have two day-time potty trained toddlers.

Essentially: you take off the "training wheels" or diapers and put them into underwear and pants as if they were potty trained, ask them if they have to go every hour or two and by the end of the weekend....they SHOULD be potty trained. Some people recommend having the child wear no pants all weekend, we did not go that route.  We put on diapers for nap and bed time, handed out stickers and a lot of congratulations for any successful trips to the potty.  We fed both kids a lot of water, watered down juice, freezies and watermelon to keep their bladders full and had purchased boys underwear in bulk from Target to ensure that we didn't run out.

Here's a summary of how it went:

Day 1
There have been nine costume changes today for Jack and three for mom because of what I like to call "pee and sit" which is when he pees and then sits in my lap.  There has been absolutely no success.  In fact, Molly, who is jealous of all the attention Jack is getting, has backslid and had three accidents today.  She hasn't had as many accidents as she's had this afternoon in ages.  This evening I will scour the internet to find out if this level of failure is normal, result: definitive yes, sometimes. Sigh.

Day 2
We now have a toilet or potty on each floor of our house including a Winnie the Pooh potty sitting on the tile floor of our front hallway.  In the morning we have a 50% success rate for Jack.  We hand out stickers to both Molly and Jack whenever anyone has any success on the potty.  As recommended we let the children carry their chamber pots to the toilet to flush.  In the afternoon Jack has three accidents at Nana and Papa's house.  By the time we leave he's wearing a skintight pair of Molly's purple floral leggings because we've run out of clothes for him.  At nap time we hear a commotion in the nursery.  I go upstairs to investigate and find both children completely buck naked.  The only thing that Jack is wearing is a pair of snow boots on the wrong feet.  Chris describes his look as, "Boba Fett, at a porno party" in his giant space aged snow boots.  Later, both minions are so excited about the front hall potty that they routinely run to the front of the house to pee and chat with our evening company while they drop trou.  Molly has no accidents.

Day 3
Jack has a 75% success rate this morning and tells me mid-poop that he has to poop.  Albeit incredibly disgusting I consider this a major victory.  This afternoon we head to an outdoor market in the distillery district where both children will be strapped to our chests.  We opt to utilize diapers for those few hours to avoid spreading E. Coli around the city and all over our torsos.  Nap time ends yet again with buck naked Jack parading around the nursery, only without the boots.  He has peed all over the "Quiet Town" road carpet and terrorized toys everywhere.  That evening we have a 50% success rate for Jack before we call it a day.

baby on city roads carpet
Quiet Town - Pre-flooding.

Jack is by no means potty trained and I will wholeheartedly admit that the weekend was exhausting, frustrating and pretty darn gross: but this is the most success we've seen from him in potty training to date.  Previously we'd be lucky to get one successful trip to the potty an evening with a handful during the day at daycare.  Last night he asked and successfully used the potty twice, with minimal coaxing from Chris or I.  As thrilled as I am about the temporary piece of furniture on the main floor of our house and two toddlers bent on carrying a little bucket of pee through the house to dump, It's going to stay in the front hall a while longer.  We are going to do some diaper free evenings and days in the coming weeks and put Jack in Pull Up diapers more often to help him with his Independence.  We will be providing a new meaning to the Labour Day Weekend as we embark on the Three day Potty Boot camp number two.  Stay Tuned...

To read about the early days of potty training last year click here

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Monday, 4 August 2014

The Whole World is Our Playground: Sherbourne Common

I came across the recommendation to visit this park/playground in the now defunct Grid Magazine's article Kid's A-Z Guide To Summer and decided to give it a try. I feel slightly betrayed with no real repercussions other than waiting until I run into former editor Edward Keenan in my neighbourhood and shaking my fist at him in rage. 

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 (or new criteria I haven't thought of) please post a comment on this post or email me.

Park Name:
Sherbourne Common - 61 Dockside Drive. 

 There is a variety of parking connected to the playground, Sugar Beach and George Brown College.  It will cost you a minimum of $3-4 per half hour to park there.  The parking lot also apparently doubles as a garbage dump as you can see by the photo below.  Alternately, you can take the Sherbourne bus there as it turns around right outside the playground.

Sherbourne Common Playground Toronto Reviews
Immaculate Parking Facility

Theme of Park:
Grid Magazine described it as, "an acclaimed four-year old park with modern aesthetic and curvaceous waterway that don't offer much in the way of a traditional playground, but the kids are still fans." I would call it a post-apocalyptic playground that has a Clockwork Orange / 1984 feel to it.  Be on the lookout for Zombies and/or Big Brother.

Sherbourne Common Playground Toronto Reviews
All by myself - the swing-set of solitude.

Sherbourne Common Playground Toronto Reviews
Climbing structure(ish)

Ground Coverage:
Concrete and large pits of gravel acting as moats around the play area making it near impossible to navigate with a stroller.  Absolutely no shade.

Variety of Equipment for different ages:
 This park has minimal equipment for the kids to play on.  The entire time we were there Molly asked me, "When are we going to the park?" There were no other kids at the park the entire time we were there.

Sherbourne Common Playground Toronto Reviews
Most honest advertisement ever...

Best Parts of the Park:
If you love modern art and garbage and hate children, this is the playground for you.  Molly and Jack enjoyed the modern spinner and splash/pad fountain minimally, but got bored quickly.

Sherbourne Common Playground Toronto Reviews

Sherbourne Common Playground Toronto Reviews

 This is a playground designed by someone who knows nothing about children.  There are no fences anywhere around the "playground equipment" and it would be really easy to rush onto the road - this is particularly dangerous with the bus loop nearby.

Sherbourne Common Playground Toronto Reviews

Overall Rating:
This is a prime example of how disappointing Toronto's waterfront can be. I can only imagine the amount of money that was put into building this playground and the "playable art".  I actually apologized to my children for taking them there. I rate this park 0.5/5.

To read my review of Charles G. Williams park click here

To read my review of Jean Sibelius Square click here

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Friday, 1 August 2014

License to ill

My friend KM was one of the first people I knew to have kids.  She lives outside of the city and for a couple of years it seemed that every time she'd visit us in Toronto, before she could do anything else, she was cleaning chocolate milk vomit out of the back of the car because of an "incident" with her toddler/pre-school aged daughter.

I don't know exactly how many times she fed her daughter chocolate milk on the road before she banned it in the car alltogether - but it sticks out in my mind as a fairly regular occurrence that I found pretty funny at the time.

Eight years later the shoe is on the other foot and there is chocolate milk everywhere.

The first time Molly got car sick was last summer when we were on our way to an anniversary party at Chudleigh's Farm.  As we pulled off of the highway and onto the gravel road Molly turned green.  She threw up all over her party dress and we used baby wipes to clean her off and had to convince her why she had to change out of her pretty party dress.  We thought it was a one off.  We were wrong.

This past week we retired the Sexfire (it wasn't going to pass it's emissions test) and bought ourselves a new (to us) vehicle, a Kia Rondo station wagon, that Chris has named "Rondo Calrissian".

This summer Molly has gotten car sick several times and as much fun as it is to pull off the highway to clean up a mess, we are all hoping that we can prevent our new car from smelling like old milk and stinky feet (which roughly takes two weeks to fully get rid of every time Molly ralphs in the car).

So, I have compiled some research that I hope will help everyone, including our dear friend Rondo from a deal that's "Getting worse all the time!" 

Don't forget to bring a towel, Towelie
Towlie, the towel - South Park

9 Car Sick Prevention Tricks for Your Road Trips

  1. Know the triggers so you can act accordingly.You can almost set a watch to Molly's car sickness: 30-40 minutes into highway driving. Being from Toronto she favours throwing up in Mississauga-Milton, Barrie and Ajax.  Molly says her tummy hurts, burps and then you have about 30 seconds until splat....have a sick bag ready!
  2. Feed healthy food during the trip.
    Sticky sweets (or chocolate milk) may seem like a treat for kids during a road trip, but anything greasy or low in nutrition can induce motion sickness.  Same can be said for an empty stomach.
  3. The things that worked for morning sickness during pregnancy may help here.
    Saltine crackers, ginger candies and peppermints can do wonders.
  4. Act like a sailor, try some sea bands.
    These pressure point bracelets may help.
  5. Fresh air.
    As a travelling parent trust me, I know you want to get there quickly.  Stopping for a walk or even opening a window for some fresh air will help prevent some of the symptoms and sometimes an incident.
  6. Don't forget to bring a towel!
    Towlie was right...bring spare clothes, air freshners (I know the commerical content I'm pitching to Fabreze) baby wipes and a towel for quick clean up.  
  7. Avoid Over stimulation
    Books, video games and movies are a great distraction....but can cause over stimulation and nausea.  If your kid is feeling sick encourage them to look outside of the car, close their eyes or sing a song with you.
  8. Try medication
    You can try medication, but some kids will get sick from the medication too - talk to your doctor.
  9. They'll outgrow it, probably, eventually.
    Car sickness is most common in kids aged 2-12, so buckle in it's going to be around for a while, but they will eventually outgrow it.
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