Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The End of the Century - 2014 New Year Resolution Year End

In the beginning of 2014 I set out with a series of resolutions, now that the year is nearly over I thought I'd reflect on how I did.  To take a look at my official resolution list click here.

camping crib with babies
Photo from camping 2013 courtesy of A.W.

Here's my progress from the last bit of 2014.

Read More Stories to Molly and Jack
Reading becomes a bigger part of Molly and Jack's lives every day which both Chris and I find really exciting.  On weekend days when Jack wakes up earlier than Molly I find myself on the couch with him reading two or three books and taking our time examining little bits of the story and pictures together - it's some of the best one on one time I get with my Jackie Bear.  Each night we get to two or three stories and over the holidays, particularly since Jack's been feeling under the weather, we've had two or three story times a day.  Favourite books right now are Pinkalicious, The Pigeon Needs a Bath and The Duckling Gets a Cookie.

Read More Books For Me
I like to think that the looming December deadline for my Public Relations final thesis was the main culprit behind my lack of extracurricular reading the past few months, except I haven't picked up a book over the holidays either.  With the three (plus) books I read over the past few months I read 20 books this year doubling 2013's 10 which I consider a big win.  Here's what I read recently.

Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me: The Pursuit of Happiness One Celebrity at a Time by Rachel Bertsche - This is a one year journey of self-help where guinea pig Rachel takes on one celebrity at a time where she tries to be fit like Jennifer, a superstar supermom chef like Gwyneth and a stylish fashionista like Sarah-Jessica.  An interesting story with great narrative, but I would have really liked some pictures about the journey and some highlights of what she learned including what habits stuck post-project.

Fan Girl By Rainbow Rowell-  The Queen of Teen showcases a relationship of identical twins in their first year of college.  Moments of brilliance include incorporating an S.E. Hinton's Outsiders reference and some tender real moments between the main characters. It was a solid read, but the ending really felt like a non-ending to me and left me a little underwhelmed.

Adulting, How to become an Adult in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown  - A nice easy quick read with some items I already knew and forgot and some great tips on not sweating the small stuff, like "Will I care about this in six months, In a year".  I felt about ten years too old to have read this book, but enjoyed it all the same.

My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me by Hilary Winston - I really wanted to like this book, but after three solid attempts at it and it sitting in my purse for nearly two months I tapped out.  I just couldn't get into her writing style and expected a lot more humour in this than I got.

Have More Dates With Chris
We've managed a couple of dinners out over the past few months.  Something as simple as an hour or two at a record shop followed by a coffee shop or pub for some great conversation can reconnect us and remind me that we still like each other and why we're together.  It can be hard to remember these things when you're surrounded by two little ones all the time.

Book More "Me" Time
I have been good with getting more "me" time, but it's a tough balance when you also want time with your kids and your spouse.  This will continue to be a priority moving forward.  I have come to the realization that "me" time doesn't always have to occur at a yoga studio, coffee shop or spa, it can be as simple as trying out a new recipe and blasting Adele on a Thursday night, which is something I'm excited to focus on more next year.

I've begun the resolution list for 2015 and will share it in the next few days.  While there are going to be healthful items like "drink more water" I doubt I'll report on that publicly  In 2015 I plan to focus on promoting and publishing my writing elsewhere and putting myself out there.  I also want to use my writing as an inspiration to drive more memories and activities with my family.  This is the first year I've stayed connected with my resolved changes, even when I haven't been so successful and it was an awesome exercise.  What is the best resolution you ever had?  Do you have any planned for 2015?

To view my three month check in click here.

To view my six month check in click here\.

To view my nine month check in click here.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Yule Shoot Your Eye Out

Annual photo diary of our Christmas festivities.  

What Santa and his reindeer ate.

Jack inspecting the missing snack.

My Christmas Flowers

Molly insisting on wearing ALL OF THE CLIPS in her hair.

A new holiday tradition, Christmas Bowling.

Backyard hockey, while mom and dad (finally) put away the lawn furniture.

Hide and Seek.

Happy Holidays, I hope each of you get to enjoy some extra time with the people who mean the most to you, I know we're really enjoying our time with Molly and Jack!

To view last year's Christmas photo diary click here

Tuesday, 23 December 2014


Molly and Jack are changing every day, growing up and becoming fiercely independent.  Although we record so many moments in my writing and in photographs there are many things that we forget about as they slowly outgrow them.  Chris wants us to focus a bit of time making sure we get some video and audio recordings of the kids voices, the way they play and Jack's infectious, gruff little giggle.

As a child of the 1980s I grew up watching programs like America's Funniest Home Videos and Kids say the Darnedest Things and even as a kid I thought they were pretty cheesy.  That being said, Molly and Jack have been bursting with funny sayings and antics lately that I don't want to forget as they outgrow them and I thought I'd share below.

Wrong Words

Molly's second favourite type of fruit is "Honey Dude Melon".

Jack's favourite cookies are, "Budgeeos" more commonly known as Fudgeos.

When Molly asks you for "Hayden Crackers" she means Wheat Thins....we still don't understand this one.

toddler in time-out

Toddler Logic

Jack has three green monsters.  One is named "Aap" and the other two are both named Green Monster, naturally.

Molly gets really angry if you tell her that she is a human or person or that humans are animals.

Jack has a black plug that belongs to some sort of toy sink.  The plug's name is "Bammo!" and Bammo is constantly upset and getting scrapes and injuries.  Jack needs to comfort him, sing to him, kiss him and rub baby powder on his scrapes.  Bammo also likes to dance.

Rude things that it's hard to keep a straight face over

This past weekend while we were watching Elf on TV, Molly turned to Chris and repeatedly asked, "Daddy, are you a bitch?" We pretended we didn't know what she was talking about and it seems to have passed.

When I was trying to help Jack climb up onto a slippery piece of playground equipment he became frustrated and wanted to do it himself, but I wouldn't let him because it was dangerous.  He turned to me and yelled, "Scwam Wabbit (Scram Rabbit)" in my face.  When I put him in time out for being rude, I had to turn the other way so he couldn't see me laughing.

What are your most memorable toddler moments, mistakes and mishaps?

To read about the Truth Bombs I want to lay on my toddlers click here

Thursday, 18 December 2014

I Want to Be a Bear

Chris often calls me "Mama Bear" particularly when I get overly protective of him, Molly, Jack or anyone who's made my inner circle.  Normally this title is something that I take as a compliment, like how the minions call Tigress from Kung Foo Panda "Mama Tiger".  She's strong, loyal, protective (albeit a little bit bitchy), but I take the association of strength and motherhood as a sign that I'm doing something right...most of the time.

The other day we went holiday shopping with my folks and the minions.  After Molly and Jack had picked out their Christmas gifts from Nana and Papa we went out to Swiss Chalet together for dinner. About half way through our meal a young man, about 15 or 16 years old approached our table.  He was wearing a white button down shirt and a pair of black pants and I assumed that he was a junior staff member or busboy.  He asked me if I was I was the mom, to which I said yes.  Next he asked me how old the minions were, what Molly and Jack's names were and then how to spell them.  I suspected this was for their dessert or something that came with their kids meal.  Next he turned to me and said, "Does he have a syndrome?  Because he really looks like he has a syndrome."

baby and giant stuffed teddy bear
Jack poses with Barney the Bear at Grandma and Grandpas.

"Mama Bear" came with her claws out and paws a swinging.  I very curtly, and loudly, said no and asked him, "Could you please leave our table right now?".  I was incensed, I was furious.  He said okay and walked back to his table where his mom was sitting, he was holding a doll, that I hadn't seen previously.  It was then clear to me that he did not work there and that perhaps the a-hole had been me.  His mom had either not noticed "the incident" or was pretending that she had not noticed.

My parents turned to me, asked me what was wrong with me, told me to lighten up and calm down. Although everyone else at the table had also assumed the boy was restaurant staff, they figured out that he was a person with a learning disability around the same time that I got angry.  It finally dawned on me after I had asked the boy to leave,  that he sought Jack out and was trying to connect with him because he thought they had something in common and I had shut him down because of my own insecurities about Jack and his language and social development. Jack was unphased and continued eating his chicken and fries and my family continued to "poke the bear" asking me why I am so mean.  I debated going over to the table to apologize, but the boy seemed unbothered by my response so I decided to just let it lie.

Almost every time I fill out a form for Jack about his speech therapy and our new learning goals I have to fill out a question about what concerns me most.  Lately I've been putting in things like, Jack being left out, Jack not being included with other kids, Jack not being able to relate to other kids.  Basically, I want him to make friends, be happy and feel included.  I'm coming to realize that while Jack definitely needs speech therapy  to increase his social skills and better interact with his peers, the person who's most stressed out over his inclusion in "all the reindeer games" is me, not Jack.  These are my issues, not his.

One evening a few months ago Molly kept on saying that Jack was dumb and calling him dummy.  I tore a strip off her, big time, in a way that was probably over the top - because of my own "Mama Bear" fears that others will call him names.  Logically I know that Jack is a smart little guy and that, as his sister, it's Molly's given right to give him a hard time.  If my mom went all Grizzly Bear on us every time we teased or called each other names, she'd have spent a heck of a lot of time disciplining us.

I didn't want to write this post, but then Chris talked to me about why it's important for me to share this sort of thing.  Parenting can be an exercise in getting over your own insecurities and even though there are a number of things that I won't and don't share, avoiding this would be inauthentic.

I think I've found my first New Year's resolution: To take a deep breath, assess the situation and keep in mind that most of the time people mean well, no matter how much what they are saying upsets me before I go Kodiak on someone.  That's not to say that "Mama Bear" is in hibernation mode.  Don't mess with her cubs!

To read about some of the important things I've learned in our journey with Jack surrounding speech and language therapy click here.

To read about our first language assessment click here.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Market Town

One of our December traditions started just a few years ago: The Distillery Christmas Market.  We took the minions there this past weekend and it did not disappoint (and it's open until December 21st) if you want to go.

Here are the 10 best things about the 2014 Christmas Market that add to a great day out with your family!

distillery district toronto Christmas Market

  1. You can buy tasty hot apple toddy that you can carry around with you while you shop. Cinnamon stick included.  If you need something else, Mill Street Brewery is just a stumble away.
    1. If the hot toddy isn't enough all of the decorations, art and the upside down Christmas tree display will get rid of all of your bah humbugs.

      distillery district toronto Christmas Market
      Hot Toddy Booth.  I used my cinnamon stick as a straw....just saying.
    2. They have a carousel.  (Cost to ride is $4.50 per turn - kids under three feet tall can have their parents accompany them.
    3. If you're over three feet tall you can also ride on the Ferris Wheel.
    4. This market has been coined as the closest that you'll get to a "real" European Christmas Market with fresh baked goods, ornaments and treats and gifts for sale (we don't leave the continent much any more, ha, so we'll take everyone's word about the European feel).
    5. There is art work everywhere...Including some items that the kids can climb.

      distillery district toronto Christmas Market
      Molly and Jack enjoying the climbable artwork.
    6. You can visit Santa and take your own photos, and the cost is an optional donation.
    7. There are warming stations with heat lamps and some indoor artists spaces where you can shop and take a break from the cold if you need to.
    8. Hot corn beef sandwiches on pretzel buns...We spent the majority of our time in line waiting to see Santa removing excess mustard from Jack's face, hands and winter coat.
    9. The Kinder Smile booth...where you can get free chocolate.
    distillery district toronto Christmas Market, distillery district santa
    Molly and Jack get ready for their visit with Santa.

    distillery district toronto Christmas Market, distillery district snowman
    The lovable snowman!

    To read about the naughty Christmas Goose click here

    To read about a healthy holiday tradition click here

    Tuesday, 16 December 2014


    People talk about the nesting instinct during pregnancy, but they don't talk much about the nesting instinct of children and their growing need to make a space their own.  While Molly and Jack aren't organizing shelves or actively participating in spring cleaning they most certainly want some input on the world around them, particularly their room.

    When I was eight years old my mom involved me in the re-decoration of my bedroom.  The result was me designing a bedroom that looked like pastel rainbows threw up everywhere.  Years later, when I was 15, I covered up Cloud Cuckoo land with two walls of posters and magazine clippings of everything Grunge.... and wrote what my family coined as "emotional poetry" on my bed spread in a laundry marker (It was actually mostly lyrics from Pearl Jam's Black, which I can't claim as my own work) .  My mom applauded my creativity through gritted teeth as she knew that any criticism of my room decoration would elongate the winter of my discontent.

    The nursery has been in an endless state of decoration rotation this year.  Several months ago Jack asked me to take down the "Boys Don't Cry" poster that was hung in the nursery because it was scaring him and it occurred to me that the space that I had created during pregnancy nesting no longer belonged to me.  It belonged to my two little minions and they had a different vision for their room than I did with my storybook theme.  The Jack and the Bean Stalk print that hung above Jack's bed has also been removed from the wall because it was scaring him.  We bought Molly and Jack a Frozen poster for their birthdays which they enjoyed for a number of months until Chris was asked to take this down because, Jack informed us that "it's bugging me".  The Princess Bride print above Molly's bed was broken one afternoon (during an attempt at a nap) when Molly tried to "make monkey fly into the sun" - this is partially our fault since we installed an IKEA light fixture that is designed to look like the sun.  Monkey just couldn't handle the heat, but don't worry Monkey's okay...I wish Wesley and Buttercup could say the same.

    skeleton sock monkeys
    It was Pink Monkey (aka Icarus) who tried to fly too close to the sun.

    I wanted to keep decorative control over the nursery for as long as I could, but I now know I'm fighting a losing battle.  Kids have such little control over their own schedules, meals and everything else in their lives that it's nice to give them some space that is designed by them, for them.

    Last month we bought Jack a print of Mickey Mouse camping that we found at Good Will and Molly selected a painting from our hallway, which my grandmother Alice painted for us as a wedding gift, that we hung above her bed because it reminds her of Cinderella.  We had to rearrange the nursery a few weeks ago because a plug outlet that was close to Molly's bed was scaring her.  The following week we had to reconfigure the room again when Jack used the new layout of the room to climb up onto their wardrobe and rain down all of the "stuffies" (stuffed animals) onto the bedroom floor during nap time.

    Jack chillin on the nursery floor.

    In the summer when we move them from toddler beds to bunk beds we will have them pick out their own twin sized bed spreads - it's going to be interesting to see what they select.  Hopefully it will be a few more years before they write emotional song lyrics on them.

    Monday, 15 December 2014

    Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

    When we were expecting Molly and Jack, and even when they were our two sweet infants, Chris and I smugly spoke about the things that we would never do as parents.  One thing that sticks out in my mind is when parents say, "I love you, but I certainly don't like you right now."  Chris and I scoffed that we would never utter those words to our little ones....and we haven't, yet.  But this weekend was the closest I've ever come to saying something like this to one of the kids.

    We've been trying to allow the minions to go free-range when, in public. The minions free-range status is based on a three strike system.  This weekend at the grocery store Miss Molly insisted that she wanted to walk and help us shop and for the first ten minutes of our trip she was great, then things started to unravel.  First she asked me if I would carry her, which in my experience is the launch code towards detonation of "the Molly Bomb" and you have roughly five to ten minutes to deactivate or evacuate.  I suggested that she jump into the shopping cart with her brother, but she wasn't having it. Next she started running ahead of me and bumping into other people and their carts like a demented pinball.   I asked her to stop, so she rolled around on the floor.  Then when I asked her to stand up, she started crawling and informed me that she was a horse.  I gave her another warning and she then started licking products on the shelf.  Finally her dad and I picked her up and strapped her into the grocery cart beside her brother who was calmly playing with Chris' car keys at this point "the Molly bomb" went off.

    She started thrashing, screaming and crying uncontrollably for over ten minutes.  Chris suggested I disengage.  He manned the cart while I started running and grabbing the remaining items on our list. In line she upped her game.  She began yelling and screaming about how no one in the family loved her.  ABSOLUTELY NO ONE HAS EVER UTTERED ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE TO THESE WORDS TO HER, ever and she was screaming this, loudly, over and over again while we stood in line captive to her tantrum.

    I was embarrassed, I was hurt, I was mortified and I felt completely helpless in the wake of "the Molly bomb".  After spending so much time as parents encouraging our kids to talk to us, to tell us what's wrong when they're upset, it's problematic that the entire time I stood in line at the grocery store it took a ton of strength to not yell, "SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!" at the top of my lungs.

    I hate being embarrassed. In public situations like this all I want to do is run away, but I know I have to get over this because these are the times when we need to teach our kids coping skills.

    Here are some things that I researched (and know from logic) that may help when you have a three year old screaming in your face.

    1. You are an adult, they are the child.  Try not to take what they are saying to heart.  When you are calm (and they are no longer going ape-crap crazy) use this situation as a learning tool to explain to them how words can hurt feelings.
    2. Even though you feel like everyone is staring at you and judging you, they probably aren't staring at you and judging you (okay maybe they are) but feeling ashamed and worrying about the opinions of others isn't going to make the "incident" go away, it's only going to raise your anxiety level and make things worse. 
    3. Remember they're trying to tell you something (even though 90% of the time it's probably - I need a snack or I need a nap).  Afterwards talk to them about being angry and the various levels of anger. (i.e. I was annoyed when you were rolling on the floor.  I was cross when you started licking items on the shelf of the grocery store and I was incensed when you started screaming that nobody loves you).
    4. Have a plan.  Even if it's a time out and a conversation when the "incident" is over.
    5. Keep in mind that you love them....even if you don't always like them.  Once we were in the car, and post time out, we gave Molly a hug and reassured her that we love her so much.

    What's the meanest thing your kid has ever said to you?  What about your parental word regrets?

    To read about the time that I vowed to never go grocery shopping again click here

    To read about positive discipline click here

    Friday, 12 December 2014

    Graceless - Canadiana Book Gift Ideas

    I didn't realize until I was an adult how patriotic I am to Canada and how lucky I am to have been born and raised here.  So much of my Canadian experience has been driven by the books I've read.

    All through December I have been highlighting specific areas from my gifting that reflect

    1) Something they want
    2) Something they need
    3) Something to read
    4) Keepsake gifts/memories and gifts that inspire the true holiday spirit.

    Today I am going to highlight books as gifts that are truly Canadian (and also amazing reads).  I have recommended ages but really these are great gifts for anyone, any age.

    Books for Little Ones (aged 2-5)

    Just One Goal by Robert Munsch

    I have always been a sucker for Robert Munsch as are Molly and Jack.  His books are quintessentially Canadian and offer a cultural diversity that you don't see in enough childrens books.  Besides, what could be more Canadian than a book about a girl in Hay River Alberta who plays hockey and builds her own rink with some help from her dad.

    just one goal Robert Munsch
    Image Courtesy of a Pinterest Post.

    Books For Older Ones (6-12)

    Booky by Bernice Thurman Hunter
    The first book in the 'Booky" series was read to me in the second grade during weekly visits to my primary school's library.  I fell in love with Booky and how her family got by in 1920s depression era Toronto.  This is a great read-out loud book.  Booky supplied an honest take on everything from trading food stamps for Coca Cola, bed bugs to kitchen tonsil removal.   I tore through the entire Booky series a year or two later and have re-read them a few times over the years.

    Booky by BT Hunter
    Image Courtesy of Goodreads

    Tweens - Age 10 and up

    Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
    Anne is an orphan with fiery red hair and a temper to match.  Find out what happens when she's adopted by the Cuthberts, who expected a boy who could help with farm work and got Anne instead, as she tries to fit in a sleepy town in PEI.  Anne embodies the awkwardness of being a pre-teen and a great gift to read, or re-read.  Guilty admission...My good friend KM and I used to recite monologues from Anne of Green Gables for hours in my room after school in middle school.  I think I just answered the question in my head about why boys didn't like me until well into high school.

    Anne of Green Gables
    Image Courtesy of Tourism PEI

    For your Favourite Historian or Lover of Toronto

    Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.
    What Can-Con list is complete without a mention of Canadian writing royalty Margaret Atwood? This is by far my favourite Atwood book.  I especially love the Toronto setting around Islington and Dundas (where I grew up).  I haven't read it in years, but want to re-read it.  Here's the Wikipedia description which is going to have me reaching for my bookshelf soon, "The story is about the notorious 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery in Upper Canada. Two servants of the Kinnear household, Grace Marks and James McDermott, were convicted of the crime. McDermott was hanged and Marks was sentenced to life imprisonment. Although the novel is based on factual events, Atwood constructs a narrative with a fictional doctor, Simon Jordan, who researches the case. Although ostensibly conducting research into criminal behaviour, he slowly becomes personally involved in the story of Grace Marks and seeks to reconcile his perception of the mild mannered woman he sees with the murder of which she has been convicted."
    Alias Grace Margaret Atwood
    Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

    For some of my absolute favourite book recommendations click here

    For book ideas featuring stories about the underdog click here

    To read my grown-up Christmas reading list click here

    Tuesday, 9 December 2014

    Been Caught Stealing

    Many years ago, in an apartment not too far away from where we currently live, Chris and I were robbed.  It was Mother's Day and we were returning from a dinner with my mom (aka Nana).  As we made our way into our apartment something was amiss.  There was a jar of mayonnaise broken in the centre of our kitchen floor.  Chris immediately asked me if I had broken it and just left it there before we left the house that afternoon (apparently I have a reputation for smearing condiments all over the floor and going out for hours that I was unaware of).  For the record: I had absolutely nothing to do with the mayonnaise on the floor, despite Chris' complaints that I'm the messiest person in the world.  Our cat Pan came to greet us and started mewing incessantly.  He led us to our office where we discovered that our entire back window pane had been removed.  By the window was our lap top and a few other things that were in the process of being packed up to be relocated from our place to a pawn shop.

    We had walked in on our robbers, which fortunately had stopped them from stealing everything we had of value, but we had not caught them before they had ransacked my jewelry collection.  Fortunately for them, at the time of the robbery, I had all of my wares neatly on display on my nightstand for them to easily sort and steal.  After the police report was filled and we cleaned up our place, mayonnaise, as well as some beer bottles and sparkling water that the robbers had helped themselves to, we set to work on making things more secure.  We installed extra deadbolts, our landlord helped us cut hockey stick jams to secure all of our windows and we put an extra bright light on the back entrance.  For a few weeks Chris slept with a baseball bat beside our bed, just in case.  We were really lucky that we didn't corner anyone during the robbery and that no one got hurt.

    heart necklace

    Unfortunately, they never located any of our stolen goods.  We had caught the thieves "mid-job", so they had only run away with my jewelry: the gold locket from my great great grandmother, the sapphire earrings that my grandmother had purchased me for university graduation, the watch my grandfather gave me from when I turned 20 and my mother's engagement ring that I was going to refashion into a necklace.  It was like they had specifically looked for anything with any sentimental value and taken it.  There were no buts about it, this sucked.  Ironically, I had left our grocery money in the cookie jar  (we don't keep it there any more) and it was  untouched.

    Earlier this year, when cleaning out a drawer in our office, I found a small jewelry box.  Inside were a few pieces of jewelry that were given to me as a child that I had long forgotten.  For Christmas this year, I have decided that Molly is going to get a heart necklace that my grandfather and step-grandmother gave me when I turned 13.  Chris and I debated maybe saving it for when she's older, but I've decided that I'd rather give it to her this year, because I know that it will make her happy  She's only three and will only be allowed to wear it for special occasions, but I'd rather see her wear it then it sitting out on a dresser somewhere.  I have a few other pieces from my childhood that I plan give to her over the years.

    What sentimental gifts do you have planned for the holidays?

    Friday, 5 December 2014

    A Little Bit Stronger - 30 Day Shred DVD

    About a month and a half ago I made an online pledge to record my attempts to get into better shape when I bought Jillian Michaels (of The Biggest Loser Fame) 30 Day Shred DVD.

    Below is the annotated, honest account of my attempt to complete the 30 day shred in 40 days, which actually occurred over 42 days.  Spoiler alert: I didn't work out 30 times, I worked out 19.

    toddler batgirl
    It's not easy being a super hero.

    Level 1 - Completed 8 times
    Workout 1,  Day 1 - There are so many jumping jacks.  Jillian Michaels makes a point of saying that there are no modified "moves" for jumping jacks and that if 400lb people on The Biggest Loser can do it, then I should really just suck it up and do it (okay she says it nicer then that).

    Workout 2, Day 3 - I can feel every molecule of fat jiggling as I do seemingly endless rounds of jumping jacks.  At least there aren't any burpees in level one.

    Workout 3,  Day 6 -  Took several days off because of soreness, but now I'm back.  During today's workout Molly tried to steal my purple yoga matt twice and claim it for her own.   I finally convinced her to go downstairs and watch Mickey Mouse, but not before she declared, "I like your purple carpet mom".

    Workout 5,  Day 12 - It's the day after Halloween and I'm convinced that I'm suffering from a candy hangover.  I managed to jump higher for jump rope and complete all of the moves despite being full of chocolate.

    Workout 6,  Day 15 - I managed my first weekday AM workout.  I'd like to say that it was because I'm extra motivated, but it's likely just that the time change has served me well.

    Workout 8, Day 17 - I'm no longer feeling muscle soreness, so it's time for level 2.

    Level 2 - Completed 10 times
    Workout 9, Day 19 - So much jumping!  Also, WTF is a plank jack?

    Workout 10, Day 20 - Answer, plank jack is something that hurts.

    NOTE: I have skipped nearly a week of workouts because of some issues with dental surgery.  Both minions have commandeered my yoga mat and are using it as a dance floor while they do "The Hotdog Dance".

    Workout 11, Day 24 - I probably should have sat out from this a little longer.  I can feel every impact throbbing where my dental surgery was.

    Workout 12, Day 28 - Chris joined me today for the workout and had to sit down for a while after we were done because he was so out of breath.  I feel very smugly satisfied.

    Workout 17, Day 41 - Today after my workout I watched level 3 on fastforward to see what to expect.  It looks like it's going to be tough - weights in hand for most cardio....but I'm excited (I can't believe I just said that).

    Results: I'm stronger and I'm sleeping better, I've lost just over an inch and a half on my waist and have more arm muscle definition than I've had in a while.  Since I've been playing these DVDs a lot, Molly keeps on telling everyone how strong she is, just like mommy which I think is the best possible result. Who knows what would happen if I actually did the 30 day shred in 30 or even 40?  I would definitely recommend this DVD - they say it's 20 minutes, but it's actually closer to half an hour.

    What's Next: I'm going to do level 3, hopefully, 10 times, in the next 16 days.   And I also plan on getting Ripped in 30 to help combat the holiday bloat.

    To read about my experience with the 30 Day Squat Challenge click here

    To read some of my commentary on body positivity click here

    Wednesday, 3 December 2014

    All I Ever Need Is You

    Recently I read an article on how to decide on what/how much to spend on your kids over the holidays that mentioned getting them: something they want, something they need and something to read - and that's it.

    All through December I would like to highlight specific areas from my gifting that reflect this motto with the addition of my own category of  keepsake gifts/memories and gifts that inspire the true holiday spirit.

    Today's category features: something they NEED, that is also budget friendly.  I must admit for most of my childcare "NEEDS" it is easier to get Molly (and some of my nieces) what they need compared to Jack or my nephew because some children are more likely to get excited over new clothes than others.

    Two of my nieces had their ears pierced this year and one is prone to infections, so we went out and got her some cute keeper earrings that are sterling silver.

    We were able to get these earrings at Claire's for our soccer star niece (regular $12 but they sometimes have buy one, get one at a discount sales if you keep a look out)

    soccer ball earrings
     Earrings from Claire's.

    Pyjamas.  Chris scoffed at me for dividing up pyjama sets and may have implied I was being "grinchy"....but if you have some children on your list this year who are similar in size there is a great opportunity to save some cash with some two for one sets.  Target and some other chains are selling PJ sets are very reasonable prices....Here's a cute double set I saw online at Target.  You can quadruple up if you look for the BOGO sales many stores are offering up.

    minion sleep-set pyjamas
    This 4 piece sleep-set (or 2 sets of pyjamas if you're me) goes for $21.99 at Target.

    Where do you save on your "Needs" shopping for holiday or every day purchases?


    Thanks to your support I have been nominated for VoiceBoks Blog Influencer of the year. If you have a moment please visit and vote for me and if you're feeling extra generous share this message:  http://voiceboks.com/multiple-momstrosity/ You can vote daily.

    Monday, 1 December 2014

    Top Ten Records

    I come from a family with very athletic siblings and was always deemed the non-competitive one. I never really cared about trophies and was often the worst performer on any sports team, so I took this to mean that I was a passive opponent in every way possible.

    A number of years ago one of my closest childhood friends was getting married.  As a part of the festivities that proceeded in the months before the wedding, my friend's older sister had organized an Amazing Race Inspired Scavenger Hunt around the city that celebrated the relationship of my friend and her fiancee.  I LOVE this type of activity and was determined that Chris and I were going to win.  We worked together very well and were totally dominating the race.  As a matter of fact we were being a little too competitive and we were very close to beating the bride and groom in their own race.  My friend's sister, who has known me since I was seven, mocked me and my family for our competitive drive and asked me to take it down a notch, or ten.  I took serious pause. I had no clue that I was seen as a competitive person because I was always compared to my uber-go-for-the-gold siblings.  My friend and her husband won the event and we came in second mostly because Chris stalled when he was asked to eat some candied bugs as a part of a gross out competition. 

    What does this story have to do with anything?  

    Multiple Momstrosity has been nominated for Voiceboks Blog Influencer of the Year award and I am currently in 11th place. I want to secure a spot in the top 10.  The problem is, I am over 100 votes behind in the competition, we're very quickly running out of time and there are no amounts of bugs that Chris or I can consume to change my placement.  I have 2 days left to secure these votes and I need your help to do so.

    chickens at high park zoo, High Park animal paddocks
    Random Fact: Chris hates birds...while we were at the High Park Zoo someone dropped a chicken in his lap...this was worse than any bug eating competition, especially since he didn't want to freak Molly and Jack out.

    Here's what you can do to get me to my Goal of making the Top 10!

    1. Click Here Now and cast your vote for Multiple Momstrosity. There is a little thumbs up icon that pops up in the top left hand corner. Click on that to register a vote. Vote daily and if you've got access to  another computer, cell phone or other IP address please vote again daily.

    2. Send an email to friends, fellow parents, relatives, co-workers, enemies, anyone you think will enjoy reading about the minions and include this link: http://voiceboks.com/multiple-momstrosity/ asking them to cast daily votes.

    3. Tweet, share and like my Facebook and social media updates to help me get more votes.

    It's go time people...and I'm in it to win it!