Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Schooldays - A Note For All JK Parents

Dear Parents of JK Children or Kids entering school for the first time - This blog entry is for you.

Two years ago I optimistically approached my children's entry into Junior Kindergarten with open arms and an ear to ear grin.  They were going to meet new friends, they were going to learn awesome thing, and our daycare fees were going to diminish significantly. Everything was coming up unicorns, sparkles, and puppy dogs, until it wasn't.

In about a week a number of people I know are going to have their children entering school for the first time, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your kid is probably going to be a disaster for a little while, but that's completely normal.  Take a deep breath, by the time September is over all of this is going to be a new routine and you'll have earned a new parenting badge - Bravo!

What I learned During The First Month Of School

Jack fast asleep before dinner in the early days of JK

  • Even if your child has been in daycare since they were three months old, this is not the same as school, it will take your kiddo a while to adapt.  Think about it like you're starting a new job, they're four years old and don't have nearly the number of coping skills you do as an adult.  
  • Your kid might cry, freak out about drop off, and regress to some serious toddler behaviour but odds are they aren't going to be the most out of sort kid in the class...and even if they are I'm betting their teacher has seen much, much worse at one time or another.
  • Contact your child's teacher when you need to about their special snowflakeness, but don't overdo it. Remember your kid's kindergarten teacher also has 29 other eager beaver parents telling them in great detail about the minutia of little Bobby's bowel movements.  Don't be that parent.
  • You know how your kid hasn't napped for you in what feels like years?  Odds are they'll fall asleep at school in the first couple of weeks of class at least once. (Don't worry most teachers think it's kinda cute).
  • Your potty trained child is totally going to pee their pants (put spare clothes in their backpack just in case).  Even if they don't pee their pants they'll do something ridiculous at the water table that will require a change of clothes.
  • The number one way to make an enemy with your kid's teacher is to refer to kindergarten as "free daycare" - seriously some parents actually do this, which teachers naturally LOVE!
  • This new adjustment is going to turn your child into a total a$$h01e most evenings for the first few weeks of school.  Don't worry, odds are they're being great for their teacher and saving it all up for you, the parent!
  • Even the most beautiful bento boxed lunches will go uneaten, leaving you with a ravenous child twenty minutes after their bed time.  Good luck with that.
  • Most of those cute backpacks in the shape of animals aren't big enough to store your kids stuff and they're totally going to break.  The first year of school I skimped on backpacks and we busted three per child with wear and tear and poor sizing over the school year.  Packs that are designed to meet the ergonomic needs of kids aged 4-6 (think wider instead of taller, with a front clip to keep it from sliding off their shoulders works best).
  • In a year or two this will all be a memory tinted with rose coloured glasses.
As we approach grade one, my spidey senses are tingling.  Change is afoot!  

Good luck parents!  Enjoy kindergarten, cause before you know it, it will be a memory!

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

Multiple Momstrosity on Twitter @Sarabethbug

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Road To Nowhere - 10 Tips For A Great Road Trip

We just got back from our first ever road trip as a family.  In just 11 days we travelled through four provinces and covered over 3200 KMs (not including day trips).  We weren't sure how the kids would cope with spending so much time in a car, the most they'd ever spent in a row in the past was four hours, and we knew we'd have a handful of days with upwards of nine hours in the car.

While we made a concerted effort to make the trip about the journey as well as the destination there was no getting around the amount of time we were going to be in a car.  It's still fresh in my mind, so before I share more about our trip (which was amazing), I thought I'd share some tips and tricks that totally helped us get through with minimal 'Are We There Yet?' questions.

Exploring Botanical Gardens Together

Here Are 10 Road Trip Tips For Families Travelling With Kids

  1. Figure out the time of the day when you'll be able to log the most mileage with limited complaints and hassle (this goes for drivers and navigators as well) and take advantage of those "Power Hours".  For us it's always morning.
  2. Make sure you have a full tank of gas each night before you park, that way when it's time to go in the AM there won't be a delay.
  3. Multiple "surprise" treats on days with a lot of driving give the kids something to look forward to on the road (for us the dollar store for colouring books, mini dolls, figurines, and Amazon for cheap mini figurines was some of the best money we could have ever spent).

    Our First Stop On The Trip Was At The Big Apple In Cramhae Ontario

  4. Research Road side attractions for fun stops that aren't too out of the way to help make the trip about the journey as well as the destination.  Things like museums, botanical gardens, hikes, or giant novelty statues can make for really fun breaks from endless hours on the road.
  5. Fill up water bottles every night and put them in a cooler/fridge so you have them handy on the road.  This will save you money, keep you well hydrated and force everyone to take much needed bathroom breaks to stretch their legs.
  6. Pack healthy portable foods for snacks.  Our favourites include baby carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, squeezable Apple sauce tubes, yogurt drinks, and cut carrots and celery.
  7. Plan some games for the road.  We had an ongoing license plate game looking to find as many states and provinces we could for the entire trip (you can get printable ones online). We also played a game where we looked for all the letters in the alphabet and numbers (from A-Z with no repeats on the same license plate) until we were done. We spent six hours looking for the letter U one day, but everyone was excited when we found it.
  8. Never underestimate the power of a pool.  Promises of accommodations with pools at the end of particularly long driving days let everyone blow off a little steam, and energy.
  9. Understand that your kids sleeping hours are going to be wonky since they'll nap so much in the car.  Some nights the minions were up to 11PM because they'd gotten so much rest on the road, and that was okay.
  10. Know your driving limits and that plans will need to change sometimes.  Our "down days" when we stayed two nights somewhere were always our best ones cause we could really relax with less of a clock to punch.

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

Multiple Momstrosity on Twitter @Sarabethbug

Thursday, 17 August 2017

My Kids 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, for your reading pleasure that haven't made it to the blog.

  1. J: Why did Magneto kill his son? Me: Cause he didn't clean up his , even after he was reminded 3 times
  2. J: The doughnut kicked the jelly out of his home. Where's he going to live mommy, where?
    Mr. Donut Image Courtesy of Tumblr

  3. M: Do you think if you ate a she would taste mostly like fish and only a little like human? Future ?
  4. Ur proud of the unstructured play u give ur kids. Until they start talking about digging up the pets buried in ur yard
  5. J: my heart is happy but my brain is nervous.
  6. M: I need to go to the splash pad because I'm melting, I'm melting (becomes puddle) The penchant for drama is strong with this one
  7. Fashion forward moment: when your son wants to wear a bike helmet to camp because it matches his shoes (we walked there)
    Image Courtesy of Giphy

  8. M: There's this type of wrestling called tuna ...Me: You mean ? M: Let's check both out & see which we like better
  9. If u told me 10 years ago I'd be running around a playground yelling about being Dr. Octopus I wouldn't have believed it
  10. M: I have some news about plums I still don't like how they taste but I enjoy when they look like little purple butts

To read more blogs featuring the wacky things my kids say as featured on twitter, follow me @Sarabethbug & click hereclick herehereherehereherehereherehere, &here.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

I Don't Want To Grow Up: Reflections On Turning Six

Each year I've written a little bit about Molly and Jack on their birthdays. I started this tradition on their third birthday, when they were old enough to answer some questions themselves, so I started asking.  Along with their annual "night before birthday" photo, I've added this annual list of questions to the many traditions we want to enjoy with the minions.  Here is what they had to say this year.  I can't believe they turn six tomorrow!

What happens when you ask your children to pose nicely

Molly Age 6

What is your favourite colour?

What is your favourite toy?
My favourite toys are Barbies.  I love my Ariel Barbie and the two Barbies I got with daddy at the garage sales this spring.

What is your favourite food?
Mashed potatoes and Caesar salad.

What is your favourite song?
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Each time I hear it I feel proud and kind.

Molly was so proud to walk Lola all by herself this spring

What is your favourite movie?

What is your favourite animal?
Bunnies because they are so cute.

What is your favourite book?
The Princess In Black Series and Captain Underpants Series

What is your favourite drink?

What do you sleep with at night?
Blankie and my stuffed donkey from the Donkey Sanctuary

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A delivery girl for food and toys like Lego for children.

Jack Age 6

What is your favourite colour?

What is your favourite toy?
Lego Scorpion

What is your favourite food?
Chocolate Ice Cream and spaghetti with spaghetti sauce and pizza, cheese

Daddy and Jack enjoying a moment at an Outdoor July Talk Concert Last weekend

What is your favourite song?
The metal version of the wheels on the bus (we've been watching this YouTube video daily since he discovered it - to check it out click here)

What is your favourite movie?
Star Wars

What is your favourite animal?
Jupiter (a corn snake that Jack 'met' at his visit to Reptilia Zoo)

What is your favourite book?
Captain Underpants, basically anything by Dav Pilkey

What is your favourite drink?
Fruit punch

What do you sleep with at night?
BB8 the big one and books so I can read when I'm not tired.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a space man

To read their answers from age three to see how much has changed click here

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Symbol In My Driveway: The Emoji Movie Review

We wanted to take the kids to the Drive In this summer. In fact, it was on our summer bucket list, so despite the abysmal reviews on Rotten Tomatoes we decided to give it a go and check out The Emoji Movie. We went to the Drive In on 5 in Oakville and were all able to see the film for under $28 for the entire family, and added in $10 worth of slushies from the concession to share.

Image Courtesy of YouTube

The Emoji Movie

What's in it for the Kids?
A story about characters that have been marketed to kids since they were capable of understanding ads.  Meh has one job, to be Meh, only he's full of a bunch of emotions. Poop Emoji, Romeo Love Emoji and plenty of jokes to match. If your kids enjoyed Inside Out they'll probably also like this movie which has the feel of a lesser, recycled app ad adaptation of Inside Out (try saying that three times fast).

What's in it for the Adults?
Not much.  There are some familiar adult voices in the film, but it's mostly geared towards kids. Voices you will recognize include Ana Faris, T.J. Miller, James Corden, Maya Rudolph, Patrick Stewart, and Stifler's Mom (Jennifer Coolidge).

Image Courtesy of The Emoji Movie

Best Parts of the Movie
This movie was pretty formulaic, boring and forgettable. You could see where it was going from the opening credits, but just the same my kids liked it.  There is a 'like who you are message' which is something?

Worst Parts of the Movie
T.J. Miller is an excellent sidekick or foil, but he's no leading man (love him in Deadpool and Silicon Valley).  Hearing him even attempt to voice vulnerable (granted in a pretty meh script that we can't blame him for) is grating.  For a movie about emotion, there are no characters here to really care about - basically they picked the most annoying possible traits for each specific emoji and run with it for an hour and a half.

Overall Rating
I would rate this movie 2/5, it wasn't leave the theatre bad, but I have no interest in ever watching it again.  Molly and Jack say they liked it, but couldn't point out anything specific they enjoyed, and I'm guessing more of that had to do with the novelty of being at the Drive In and seeing a movie than anything remotely to do with the film.

To Read My review of Despicable Me 3 click here

To read my review of Captain Underpants click here

To read my review of Boss Baby click here

To read my review of the Lego Batman movie 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