Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Pulling Teeth - Parental Survival Guide for Dental Fillings & Extractions

The past two weeks has felt like a series of appointments and work deadlines.  As Groundhog day approaches I can't help but think about the Bill Murrayness of the past two weeks, particularly the number of hours our entire family has spent at the dentist.

This week Molly had her first filling, and on Friday Jack has to have a tooth pulled and a filling.  It turns out one of the other things that can happen when you have twins is that if both babies aren't getting all the nutrients they need, they could end up with some teeth with poor enamel, here's another thing that Jack can blame on his sister.  The paediatric dentist assures me there will be laughing gas, I'm hoping they save some for me.

Molly was a champion at her filling, didn't need freezing, and only whimpered once.  Our dentist assures me she was better than a lot of grown-ups are.  As we prepare for Jack's big day at the dentist Friday I am spending a lot of time thinking about what made Molly's filling such a painless endeavour, and ways we can prepare Jack for a more lengthy and demanding dental "performance".

Image courtesy of YouTube

9 Tips for Kid Success and Minimal Meltdowns at the Dentist  

  1. Find out whether or not you will be going to be beside them for the procedure to help manage their expectations. Different dentists have different rules, so ask.  This way you can prepare your kiddo for what's going to happen. The right dentist is essential to making sure your children don't develop a fear of what should be a fairly routine and pain-free experience.
  2. Bring them sunglasses.  Some dentists have them for little kids whose eyes are sensitive to the bright lights, but it doesn't hurt to bring a pair with you just in case.  Telling Molly she looked like a movie star distracted her for a good five minutes of the appointment.
  3. Emphasize the importance of being still with your kid, as well as listening, and that they better they are at listening the sooner it will be over.
  4. If they're having trouble doing what the dentist is telling them, start a game of Simon Says.  (The paediatric dentist did this with Jack so we could get X-rays for a very sore tooth, and it worked really well).
  5. Bring distractions.  Favourite books to read in the waiting room or videos on your cell phone (which should be fully charged just in cased) may save your bacon when you're bored or uncomfortable kid needs a distraction.
  6. Know the things that bug your kid and cope.  Jack is really sensitive to loud noises, they freak him out.  So we'll be bringing an ipod with his favourite songs on it to distract him from the sound of the drill, which is a major source of stress for him.
  7. Bribe them for good behaviour.  Seriously.  I told Molly that if she was good I'd buy her a toy valued at $20 or less.  The best money I've spent in a long time, and she's thrilled with her new stuffed dog named Poppy.  Jack is getting a chocolate shake from "Old McDonalds" (that's what my kids call it) as a treat after his filling, and the same promise of a new toy.
  8. Praise them for their good behaviour.  Jack was a star getting his X-rays, even though it sucked. Molly was amazing.  Going to the dentist freaks out a lot of adults, be sure to celebrate the good things they do to help make the dentist a fun experience.  
  9. You know how at Christmas parents hang over their kids head that Santa is watching?  I'm not going to be above talking about the tooth fairy as Jack prepares to put his very first tooth under his pillow on Friday night.

    To read tips on making your toddler's first trip to the dentist a success click here

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Friday, 20 January 2017

Words of Wisdom: My Kids on Twitter in 140 characters or less

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. Some of it makes the blog and other smaller moments don't. One of the brilliant things about Twitter is how it's the ultimate parenting "elevator speech", because you have to keep it short. Below are Tweets, conversations, parental musings and things that the minions have done or said over the past month and a half, for your reading pleasure that haven't made it to the blog.

1. M: I wrote a book. It's called All Am In Molly Me: Why's it called that? M: Those are the words I can write silly mommy!

2. When your kid refuses to wear their thermal mittens but then cries all day long to their teacher about being cold

3. Dad: What should I do with the leftover icing? M: Pour it into my mouth! Me: Now we know for sure she's mine!

4. J: Ur not my mom, Bruce Banner is. Me: I'm definitely ur mom. J: Does this make you mad? Me: More annoyed. J: Sorry Hulk

5. M: I keep my on texting daddy on my cellphone but he isn't texting me back

This is Molly's "newest" cellphone

6. M: Is this fish your friend? C: Yes, how did you know? M: Ha, now u have to watch me eat him cause I'm a bad guy! (pops salmon in mouth)

7. M: If you don't have anything nice to say about someone you can always just compliment their hair. Right mom?

8. M: When we're all dead will everything be darkness?

9. J: Robin is Dick right? Me: What did you say? J: Robin is Dick Grayson, right? Me: Yeah, oh yeah, that's his name.

10. M: Are bones teeth? Me: No M: Are you sure Me: Yes M: Did you it? Me: Yes. M: Then I believe you.

11. Making a salad J: Mr. Onion says don't cut me mommy AHH! Me: It's an onion he's not alive J: Mr. Onion says he'll stop crying so we can eat

12. J: Let's pretend we're possessed babies & scare the ! Me: Maybe next time. J: You know we're just pretending right?

13. For those days you don't want to know that you are setting an example. Worth the sweat. Worth the

What I found in front of my treadmill last week

To read more blogs on my kids on twitter click here, here, here, and here.

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Multiple Momstrosity on Twitter @Sarabethbug

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Oxford Comma: Sharing My Writing On Other Sites

It's that time of the month again when I share some of the writing I've been completing for other publications.  There's seriously some pretty fun stuff that I got to write this month, I am particularly excited about the Archie Comics research I was able to complete coinciding with the launch of the show Riverdale.

Nowadays as my full-time job I write and ghostwrite articles for online publications, organizations and blogs, in addition to providing public relations services.  While I can't really share my ghostwritten articles on this platform, cause then I wouldn't really be a ghostwriter would I, I can share some of the other stuff I have been working on.

I can't begin to explain how thankful I am for all of the support I've had over the years for my writing, and for life as a parent.  It means a lot!

As for Multiple Momstrosity content, don't worry, the minions are still up to their usual antics, and I have plenty more to write about on that front, the kids always keep us guessing.  Click on the links for the topics that interest you most, and if you enjoy what I wrote please share, like, and follow, and keep parenting and reading on!  If you have any ideas for a story, a playground review, or article on any front, feel free to share it with me!  I'm always looking for new sources of inspiration!

Parenting Writing

Image Courtesy of Pregnancy Approach

Relationship Writing

Entertainment Writing

Image Courtesy of Archie Comics

15 WTF Things You Can Find On Amazon

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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Hands - Activities To Boost Fine Motor Skills

When we found out that Jack would need some extra work on building up his fine motor skills we weren't really that surprised.  If you look at both Chris and my report cards from when we were in kindergarten and grade one neither of us were fine motor rock stars and each had comments about our needs for improvements from teachers until around grade two.

As we work with an Occupational Therapist to help Jack with building his hand strength and practicing pre-printing skills we've found a number of fun games, chores, and activities to try that both kids love. These activities help strengthen the hands, build confidence, and improve coordination all around.  The best part is the kids will often ask for some of these items, so to them it doesn't seem like work.

22 Activities to Increase Fine Motor Skills

  1. Making paper snowflakes (scissors work).
  2. Painting pictures on old boxes, toilet paper and paper towel rolls.
  3. Hiding beads in a big ball of plasticine and having your kids pull out the beads using their hands to "win".
  4. Building a snowman using pompoms, glue, pipe cleaners and googly eyes.
  5. Party in a Bowl - Picking up paper "party guests" from off the floor using only clothes pegs to move them and placing them into the bowl (party).
  6. Helping with the windows by spraying the window cleaner and scrubbing (they are super enthusiastic about this chore).
  7. Sticker books where you place stickers to dress characters or anything where stickers should be placed in specific areas.
  8. Making beaded bracelets.

    Adding the finishing touches on the paper rocket
  9. Colouring just about everything (colouring and printing while laying on your belly across the floor increases arm support).
  10. Sorting small objects like candy by colour for baking.

    Happy little elf ornaments
  11. Picking up marbles using a spoon and moving them into a ball.
  12. Using eye droppers to add steps to "experiments" (think food colouring, oil, and other things for easy kitchen science)
  13. Playing with the play dough fun factory. (Both kids are particularly partial to the scented molding play dough they received for Christmas)
  14. Bathtub squirt toys to shoot water at a target
  15. Popping bubbles (another one for bath time in the winter months) with index finger to help develop hand-eye coordination.
  16. Using sidewalk chalk
  17. Making sand castles (you can also make your own indoor version of "cloud dough").
  18. Making a doll clothes line and using clothes pins to hang up all of dolly's clothes.
  19. Putting together nuts and bolts (can be a timed context for added fun).
  20. Gluing beans, dried pasta, and seeds to create pictures.
  21. Painting figurines or ornaments.
  22. Decorating cookies or building gingerbread men & houses.
Dollar Store Gingerbread House

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Monday, 9 January 2017

Movie Review Moana

Over the holidays we enjoyed cuddling up from the cold with a few movies.  Moana was one of them. Here is my review based on my thoughts as a parent, as well as what the minions have had to say.

Image courtesy of movies.disney.com

What's in it for the Kids?
This movie does what Disney does best -  sing songs, in a child-friendly plot, with a handful of charming characters little ones will love.  Moana is being prepared to take over as the eventual leader of her people, but is drawn to the sea, despite her father's warnings (pretty typical Disney source of conflict).  When she must save her people by going on a seaward quest, and force the trickster demi-god Maui to return what he had stolen many years ago, she learns a lot about her personal strength and abilities. Comic relief was provided throughout the film by chicken Hey Hey, who Jack found absolutely hilarious, while Molly related more to story lead Moana.

What's in it for the Adults?
The animation for this movie provides a lush and pretty landscape to admire.  The film contains some pretty fun, and authentic voice talents for lead roles.  Anyone who enjoyed Flight of the Conchords is sure to get a laugh or two out of Jemaine Clement's David Bowie(esque) song and persona as Tamatoa.  Dwayne Johnson is fantastic as the arrogant, yet oddly charming Maui.  I particularly loved the strong female influence throughout the generations in Moana's life, and the support she received from her mother and grandmother.

Best Parts of the Movie
Finally, a Disney movie with no romantic love story.  No prince saving the day, no kisses, just a leader learning how to lead, period.  This change to the Disney formula made a pretty typical hero story feel a lot less tired, and a lot more authentic to it's intended girl power messaging.

Worst Parts of the Movie
The story is pretty predictable, and although Moana isn't technically a princess (she's the daughter of the Chief) it's still a pretty cliched story about a princess (with an animal sidekick) who must overcome challenges to find herself and save the day. The movie received a PG rating for some "villains" who may seem scary to really young children (although at five neither Molly or Jack had an issue with being scared during the film, there were a couple of younger kids who were crying during a specific conflict scene).  Despite this being a good film, most of the songs didn't carry the same memorable oomph Disney is known for (I can assure you, the next Let it Go is not hiding in this film).

Overall Rating
I would rate this movie 4/5.  It's watchable and re-watchable for kids and I know that we'll purchase it when it comes out for sale.  I liked that the women in this movie were strong and capable, both physically and spiritually and the message this sends to both kids.

To read about the minions journey into the world of Star Wars click here.

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Monday, 2 January 2017

Top 10 List 2016

As we start to take down our holiday decor, and there are only a few more days until the minions are back to school I'll admit I haven't fully leaped into 2017.  Ever since we've begun our winter bucket list I've been really excited about all of the amazing things the kids are capable of right now, particularly travel and experiences.  I'm hoping this will be a theme for our family this year.

On the blog front, as always, I am so touched by all the friends, family, and online readers who visit us to hear about our adventures. I can't believe that I've now been blogging for five years, and how much I continue to enjoy it.  It's been amazing to read about our lives with the minions years ago and to see how much they, and our lives together, have changed.

I thought I'd revisit my 10 most visited posts of 2016 and share them by topic, just in case you missed them and wanted to check them out.   I look forward to writing about many more adventures and lessons in 2017.  Thank you, as always, for your continued support.  Happy New Year!

Mother's Day Moment 2016

Twin Identity

Different ways kids show affection

Travel & Day Trips

The Art of Glamping

Exploring the Scenic Caves

Indoor Playground Reviews

Playtown Mississauga

Kidsopolis Oakville

Skipping Stones

Hard Parenting Moments

Helping your kids cope with stress, tips for self-regulation

The time we were banned from "family" yoga 

Dealing with kid rage, anger & tantrums


Important parent & child bonding moments

51 date night conversations to keep connected as a couple

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