Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Oh Canada - 49 Things to Celebrate About Being Canadian this Canada Day

Two years ago for Canada's 147th Birthday I had a great time compiling a list of 47 reasons why I am proud to be Canadian and last year I did it again.  I'm pretty impressed at  how easy it is to put this list together each year because as I grow older I find I'm becoming more and more patriotic to this amazing country.  So come on it's time to celebrate again as Canada turns 149 years young with my list of 49 reasons why I am proud to be Canadian.

Yes that is the CN Tower in the background (it turned 40 last week)


  1. A commitment to equality in our national anthem with the gender neutral O Canada Bill
  2. Earlier this year Canadians freaked out when Loblaws was going to pull locally produced French's Ketchup (made with tomatoes from Leamington Ontario).  Canadian shoppers were so passionate about keeping the locally made ketchup that the decision was reversed.
  3. Amazing Canadian books being turned into television awesomeness.  This summer Sarah Polley is working on an adaptation of Margaret Atwood's unbelievable book Alias Grace that will be available on Netflix and CBC.  
  4. There is also going to be a reboot of the beloved classic Anne of Green Gables later this year.
  5. New sitcom Letterkenny about small town life in a fictional Ontario town (loosely inspired by creator's experience in Listowel Ontario).
  6. The Strumbellas 
  7. The CBC Music Festival (made for families - highlight of this year Tokyo Police Club)
  8. Victoria BC (North America's second most haunted city, after New Orleans)
  9. The Toronto Blue Jays (games have slowly become a family tradition to us)
  10. Schitt's Creek and Dan Levy, the next generation of Canadian awesome, including a commitment to hard work (read this great article on Dan Levy and finance here)
  11. George Stroumboulopoulos, I know that he wasn't everyone's first choice for Hockey night in Canada, but I can't wait to see what he does next!
  12. July Talk
  13. Amazing Scouting and Girl Guide programs
  14. Donald Sutherland
  15. Gender Equal Cabinet, cause it's 2015
  16. A super photogenic Prime Minister
  17. Blue Rodeo
  18. Roots Canada Clothing
  19. Pelee Island Wine
  20. Most of the world's french fries come from New Brunswick
  21. Kelowna produces the majority of water slides in the entire world
  22. Jos Lois tasty lunchbox treats
  23. Kraft Dinner
  24. Coffee Crisp Chocolate Bars
  25. Swedish Fish (yeah I know it seems weird they're produced in Canada to me too)
  26. Winnipeg mints coins for more than just Canada (60 countries total)
  27. Joshua Jackson
  28. Jay Barachel (and the fact that they are making Goon 2)
  29. Ellen Page
  30. Will Arnett
  31. Baroness Von Sketch Show
  32. Don Cherry's "Amazing" suits
  33. Montreal Bagels
  34. One year (and possibly 18 months parental leave) to focus on family
  35. Toronto ravines (an escape from the city)
  36. Gun control
  37. Dennis Lee and Alligator Pie
  38. Robert Munsch (American born Canadian author)
  39. Chinguacousy Park
  40. The Sound of Music Festival Burlington
  41. Pride Month Toronto
  42. The Great Lakes
  43. Joel Plaskett 
  44. Canadian Tire Money
  45. Niagara Falls (Canada side)
  46. A real walled city in Quebec
  47. Half of the world's polar bears
  48. The Canadian Refugee System
  49. Local grown farmers markets for all sorts of yummy Canadian grown delish!

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Friday, 24 June 2016

Words of Wisdom

Everyone thinks their kids are hilarious and probably are guilty of boring their friends and family with tales of their kids and their misadventures.  The thing is people don't find it that boring, shows like Kids say the Darndest Things wouldn't exist if people weren't watching them.

We spend a lot of time with the minions and I'm fortunate enough to record the things that they say and do so I can look back on it and laugh, a lot.  Some of it makes the blog and other smaller moments don't. Below are Tweets, conversations, parental musings and things that the minions have done or said recently for your reading pleasure that haven't made it to the blog.

  1. Things I wrongly assumed all humans knew: a glue stick is not a good substitute for chapstick.
  2. Me: Why are you punching the wall? Jack: I'm not punching it, I'm dominating it.
  3. Victorious moment when u find a stash of missing toddler socks at the bottom of a toy box, but you threw out the mate 2 months ago
  4. Me: There is no doubt he's ur son, he replaces song lyrics with the word cheese often, usually while eating cheese.
  5. Toy #dinosaur puppet in ur bed is the #toddler equivalent of a #horsehead #TheGodfather meets #parenting

  6. If you don't realize for 3 days that a balloon has popped, you're not allowed to cry about it when you finally do #ParentingUnfiltered
  7. 90% of dressing a 4 year old boy is making sure that he doesn't look like party animal frat boy & when he does that he rocks it #parenting
  8. My #MothersDay gift from the boy. Delivered with the orders "you are sharing with me"

  9. Some days you throw on ur clothes & chase the garbage truck down the street.  That's not #motivation, it's my life #FridayFeeling
  10. Nothing quite like hearing your 4 year old sing "I want to get cheddar" while he eats a burrito because he loves @bleachersmusic
  11. Jack: sometimes when you're rock and rolling you need to take off your shirt and get naked #ACDC #parenting #toddlerlife
  12. Me: who did you play with today? J: Cheeseburger Avery Pintz. Me: I'm pretty sure that's not a real person J: maniacal laugh maniacal laugh
  13. Been in a child-filled, nightmare riddled bed for 3/4 nights. Just want to starfish in a king sized bed all by myself #parenting
  14. Repeat after me: I promise not to put squishy foam glue covered modelling beads in my hair #parentingfail

  15. when you accidentally steal one shoe from another kid at last week's swimming lesson #whoops #parentingfail
  16. Molly: Oh Baby you, you got what I need but you say he's just a friend. New bedtime stalling technique, singing #BizMarkie & it worked
  17. J: Mom can you pour some of the blue stuff in the bath so I can drink it? Me: The toilet bowl cleaner? No. J: Ahhh man #parenting
  18. Me: Jack, Please don't dry your hands on the walls #parentingfail
  19. Molly: Hey daddy monster I'm here to take down your destiny!  Too much #adventuretime?
  20. Today's useless #parenting trivia: #JohnRitter voiced Clifford the Big Red Dog #uselessfacts

    For more random musings, links to articles I find interesting or write for other sites and knowledge about my obsession with craft beer and other random things follow me on Twitter @Sarabethbug 

Monday, 20 June 2016

The Whole World is Our Playground: Wychwood Barns Playground Review

It was really hot outside this weekend and we wanted to take the kids out to a playground with a splash pad, so we decided to head to Christie and St. Clair to check out Wychwood Barns.

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 at multiplemomstrosity @ gmail,com .

Park Name:
Wychwood Barns
76 Wychwood Ave, Toronto, ON M6G 4C6 (Christie and St. Clair)

This park has a lot of local street parking and is also steps away from the 126 bus out of Christie Station or the St. Clair Streetcar line.

Theme of Park:
An artistic mix of urban agriculture and play in the city. 

Ground Coverage:
Primarily cement and sand with a sprinkling of trees and planters.

The canoe herb garden

Variety of Equipment for different ages:
This playground is a toddler and preschoolers dream.  There are small structures and a splash pad that sprays (no wading pool).  There are swings, small climbers, and a big sandbox with a tap in the middle for making castles and mud pies, all without the worry of big kids taking over the equipment from the toddlers.

Best Parts of the Park:
This playground is clearly a big part of the local community.  On Saturdays parents can enjoy a farmer's market in addition to playing, this also makes snacking easy.  The connection to Artscapes has the area aspiring to be a cultural hub, so there art galleries open within Wychwood Barns, so people can take a break from play and check out an exhibit if they like.  The splash pad is great for little ones who want to run through the sprinkler gauntlet, operate a spray gun, and jump in puddles around the floor sprayers.  There is a washroom available for kid use.

Toddler sized play structure, ideal for tiny hands and feet

There is very little shade cover.  The sandbox and one or two highly coveted benches are the only reprieve from the summer scorch, so bring your sunscreen and a hat. This park is really good for kids five and under, but older kids would get bored quickly, particularly if you attended on a day when there weren't the distractions of the farmers market.  

Ready, aim...

Overall Rating:
I would rate this park a 3 out of 5.  I'm glad we caught this playground this year, before Molly and Jack are too old to enjoy it, but I don't think I'd be back unless I was local or was also going with my primary activity centring around the farmer's market and/or to see an exhibit.  Don't get me wrong, if you're nearby and you have a little one who loves to splash and jump in puddles, this is a great spot for them to visit free from worry of the dangers of a wading pool!  The kids had a good time, Molly said her favourite part was building castles in the sand and Jack said the best part was spraying daddy with the splash pad water shooter/ laser. 

To find 10 more free splash pads around the city to beat the heat click here

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Multiple Momstrosity on Twitter @Sarabethbug

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

How Will I Know? Father's Day Questions to Ask Your Kids

This year for Father's Day I didn't have my ducks in a row enough to ask a bunch of dads questions about being dads.  Instead I decided that I would ask the minions a bunch of questions about their dad and see what they had to say. This is what Molly and Jack, age four and a half thought about their dad.  Some of their insight is pretty amazing. I highly encourage parents everywhere to ask these questions to their kids and record them, because it's pretty amazing.

Skipping Stones with Daddy

1. What makes dad happy?

Molly: Daddy likes to play with me.  He likes hugs and kisses.  I am going to give him a beautiful shirt for Father's Day with a woman and a lady on it and that will make him happy.

Jack: Cuddles from Jackie Bear.

2. How does your dad make you laugh?

Molly: When he plays with me and pretends to be daddy monster and when he tells me to stop laughing, that always makes me laugh.

Jack: When Jackie Bear roars in his face.

3. What does your dad do when you’re not around?

Molly: He goes outside and looks for me.

Jack: Talks to mommy.

4. What is your dad really good at?

Molly: He's very good at kissing me and hugging me and hugging me.  He's good at lots of things like helping me not fall down.

Jack: Playing and being a dirt dog.

5. What is your dad not very good at?

Molly: He's not very good at drawing pictures.

Jack: Listening.

6. What does your dad do for a job?

Molly: He listens to what everybody says to him all day long and then eats lunch with Ziad.

Jack: Wears sunglasses and eats chocolate and dead skin.

7. If your dad were a cartoon character, who would he be?

Molly: He's like Beastur (from My Pet Monster).

Jack: Buster Bunny. (from Tiny Toons)

Chris, Um, err, Beastur Image via Behind the Voice Actors

8. How are you and your dad the same?

Molly: We both love each other.

Jack: We are like twins.

9. How are you and your dad different?

Molly: I am good at drawing and daddy is not.

Jack: We like different types of tea cookies and I like Jabba the Hut and daddy does not.

10. How do you know your dad loves you?

Molly: Because he loves me.  He always loves me, because he is so beautiful.

Jack: He's my buddy. He gives me cuddles when we watch TV and reads me stories.

11. What does your dad like most about me (mom)?

Molly: He loves that mommy and me are both so beautiful. (she kisses me on the cheek and then runs away)

Jack: He likes popping balloons with mommy.

To read my Father's Day Honest "dad" survey post from 2014 click here.
To read my Father's Day dad survey post from 2013 click here.

To get access to the newest posts from Multiple Momstrosity and more on Facebook click here and follow today

Multiple Momstrosity on Twitter @Sarabethbug

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Pray for the Fish

The minions have been exposed to a lot of pet death in their lives.  They don't remember our cat Tweaker who died of complications from diabetes just a month or two after they were born, but they tell me they miss him on a routine basis (little do they know that the easily annoyed orange kitty would have likely scratched them to pieces had they ever really had to interact as toddlers and cats under the same roof).  They do remember our cat Pan, the gentle old man giant I got when I was 21 years old (who had only three legs for the majority of their lives) and talk about genuinely missing him regularly.  We have yet to replace either cat.

When our giant goldfish Maqbool (named after our friend's father) died a few months ago at age five we had a burial in our backyard.

Last week we decided that it would be a good exercise in responsibility and such to get the minions some new fish and them help us set-up the tank and take care of them.  We are now the proud owners of four goldfish named: Lucy, Todd (Todd is a girl), Alex (a boy) and Mr. Nemo Hampton.

The Kids Filling up the Newly Cleaned Gravel

Chris and the kids are all on me pretty regularly about getting a replacement cat, with Molly throwing out the odd, "If you love and miss Pan, why don't we have a new cat yet?".  The guilt is strong.  Here's the thing....I miss my cat, not other cats and I have a few major reasons for not wanting a cat or dog or higher maintenance pet right now.  1)The house is already a disaster enough without adding pet fur and animal furniture damage into the mix 2) We are already so busy, pet maintenance and expense isn't a great idea 3) I primarily work from home, I don't need some jackass cat sitting on my keyboard while I'm trying to work and 4) The minions will either a) injure that cat or b) hate the cat because it will hate them for being too handsy with it and invading its space and c) They'll name it something ridiculous like Mr. Nemo Hampton.

Here are 4 conversations my children have said in the past week about fish that make me fear for any pet who enters this house.  Chris will be forced to read these transcripts every time he suggests we get a cat as proof that a cat is a very bad idea.

Jack: Can I put blue food colouring in the fish tank.
Chris: No. It would kill the fish.
Jack: Would they be mad?
Chris No they would be dead, I would be mad.
Jack: But they'd die, right?  You're sure.
Chris and I: YES!!!

Molly: Can I hug the fish?
Me: No, you might hurt them.
Molly: Well, can I take a bath with them then?
Me: No.
Molly: But they're dirty.
Me: No they aren't but, Still no.

Jack: Is Maqbool (our dead fish) bones or dust now?
Me: Probably bones at this point.
Jack: Can we check?
Me: No.
Jack: So Maybe later?
Me (to Chris): I live in constant fear that Jack is going to excavate our fish from the box buried in the yard, please don't remind him where it is.

Molly: I'm done with my dinner, so can I feed it to Lucy?
Me: Fish don't eat people food, so no.
Molly: But mom, it's cucumber!
Me: Still no.

To read about our cat's leg operation click here.

To get access to the newest posts from Multiple Momstrosity and more on Facebook click here and follow today

Multiple Momstrosity on Twitter @Sarabethbug

Friday, 3 June 2016

Empire State: Watching The Empire Strikes Back with 4 Year Olds

About a month ago we watched Star Wars with the minions and they absolutely loved it.  When we told them there were other movies they couldn't wait to start watching the sequels.  We decided to follow the same "rules" for watching The Empire Strikes back as we did for Star Wars for our viewing and broke the movie down into 25-35 minute "episodes" to allow for time for plot digestion and lots of questions.  To read my six essential tips for making your premiere viewing of any Star Wars movie with your kids a success click here.

*If you have never seen Star Wars or the Empire Strikes Back, you should, but be warned this post is riddled with spoilers for the good trilogy.

Yoda: The Empire Strikes Back

13 questions and statements that were asked or declared by my children during the premiere The Empire Strikes viewing

  • Jack: "Tauntauns die easy."
  • Molly: "Are you sure Obi-Wan Kenobi is really dead, cause he keeps on talking to Luke?"
  • Jack: "Why did Darth Vader take his helmet off?" Me: "Maybe his head was itchy or he wanted to eat lunch." Jack (nods slowly)
  • Jack: "Why is Yoda eating Luke's lunch?"
  • Molly: "How has Luke not realized that guy is Yoda?"
  • Molly: "Why does Leia not tell everyone she's a princess?"
  • Jack: "How many generals has Darth Vader strangled with his mind again?"
  • Molly: "C3PO complains too much, I'd turn him off too." Jack (giggles): "Yeah, me too."
  • Molly: "Why do storm troopers wear their uniform, it's not like it even protects them like Knights?"
  • Molly: "So the Emperor is Darth Vader's dad? Or his boss? Or both?"
  • Molly: "I'm so scared that Luke is going to go to the dark side."
  • Jack: "Are you sure Boba Fett is a bad guy?" (in awe of his coolness)
  • Molly yelling "You're a liar!!!" at the screen when Darth Vader told Luke he was his father.
Empire Strikes back movie poster courtesy of Wikipedia

Interesting Questions & Topics We Have Explored Since Watching The Empire Strikes Back Together

  1. Why does Luke not believe that Yoda could be a Jedi Master?  Why is Yoda so strong for someone so small?
  2. What does it mean when Yoda tells Luke: Do or do not, there is no try?
  3. If Lando is really Han Solo's friend why does he turn them over to Darth Vader? What would you do if you were Lando?
  4. If you were Luke would you go to save your friends, even if you'd been warned not to? Why?
  5. What makes someone your parent (mother or father)?  
  6. Can you be a good person if your mother or father are bad people?

To read about the 7 things that happened when Molly and Jack watched Star Wars for the first time click here.

To read about 7 important life lessons you (and your kids) can learn from watching Back to the Future click here.

To get access to the newest posts from Multiple Momstrosity and more on Facebook click here and follow today

Multiple Momstrosity on Twitter @Sarabethbug

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Simple Life

It always amazes me how complicated we make our lives.  It's of particular interest to me how unnecessarily difficult I make my own life.  Getting back to basics has been replaced with a need to be (and feel) authentic with the terms simple and basic generating negative connotations.  Calling someone simple or basic is the furthest thing from a compliment in our social world that is dependent on approval (I'm even writing a blog entry about it that I'm going to share over social media, so I get it).

The past week, as we've really embraced the spring, warm weather and time unplugged with the minions.  As I watch my kids, and the things that really get them excited, I'm both amazed and a little jealous of their sense of wonder and appreciation for simple things. Why do we need to curate complicated hobbies and conversations so we can be cool and interesting?

Molly, Jack, Chris and I at High Park Zoo

Here are 10 things that have made my kids happy in the past two weeks that I wouldn't have even thought of as joyous moments if it weren't for watching them.  These slices of our lives right now have given me greater pleasure than a pumpkin spice latte or a glass of Sauv Blanc as I embrace a new kind of "Basic" bitch through the eyes of my children.

  1. Watering the garden
    After we planted our garden, both kids really wanted to help water on days that it doesn't rain. Our original host nozzle was super intense and shot the kids and plants halfway across the lawn. Chris went out and bought a hose attachment with a watering setting to avoid beating the lettuce, literally, into the ground.  The kids were psyched, Molly in particular, and ask each evening to water the plants. 
  2. Picking Flowers
    Letting Molly pick flowers (aka weeds) in the backyard makes her day.  One of her besties from daycare used to pick Molly a dandelion a day, that was a year ago and she still talks about it.

    Dandelions and Mr. Snail
  3. Making & Eating Freezer Pops
    We bought a set of freezer pops with a straw attachment on the handle to keep messes at a minimum (it helps a bit, but they're still both pretty gross by the time they're done eating the frozen treats).  Using fresh juices, fruit, and recipes I found online and care of my Thug Kitchen Cook Books has made the kids and I both crave healthier summer desserts.

    Molly and Dad on the Rocks
  4. Climbing Rocks and on tree stumps
    Cause that is what big kids do.
  5. Food Colouring in Milk
    Don't want to give your kid chocolate milk?  Let them place a few drops of food coloring in their milk and stir...thanks to an introduction from their second cousin J Blue milk is a staple treat in our house.
  6. Seeing Animals and bugs
    Cause sometimes they really are seeing the creature for the very first time.

    Jack, Dad & Peter Swan
  7. Pushing Buttons
    Whether it's at a crosswalk, on an elevator, a doorbell, the dishwasher, washer, dryer, TV or radio, pushing buttons to make things work is like being a magician for a second. Kids get so little control over their own destiny that this little slice of power can be fight and tear worthy (Molly), particularly if someone pushes a button (Jack) when it isn't their turn.
  8. Any single body of water
    Pool, lake, pond, puddle, splash pad, bath or sink.  It doesn't matter, jump in with both feet.
  9. Popping Bubble Wrap
    This isn't just for kids, I know many adults who love the satisfied feeling of popping these bubbles.  I've heard that there are bubble wrap advent calendars for those who want to pop their way to Christmas.  Molly and Jack spent half an hour jumping up and down and hand popping bubble wrap at their great grandmother's place a few weeks ago, and it was awesome!
  10. Eating Cake
    Cake is a ritual for my kids, seriously they're like the Golden Girls but replace cheesecake with chocolate cake and frosting.  It's your birthday, they'll want to make you a cake (and share it with you).

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