Thursday, 28 June 2012

Free Falling

A while back Chris and I passed through this high end baby store in North Vancouver.  One of the products they carried was a form-fitted foam toddler helmet to prevent bumps and bruises, and it could be yours for only "$50".  We both inspected the helmet, looked at the price tag and made our usual comment about how we want our babies to learn fear and how to fall properly. We want them to save the brain damaging activities for high school and university when we aren't around as much to cringe about it.

I really do want the minions to learn about danger and over-all gain a little bit of knowledge about consequences of their actions.  But, my question, especially now that they are more mobile is, how much is too much falling?  Realistically they won't really learn about consequences of actions until they're like 25 years old.*

Jack likes to wake board on the door to the dishwasher while I load it up or unload, forcing me to use the upper baby tray to secure in knives and routinely check if there are any weight restrictions on the dishwasher door before it just snaps off onto the kitchen floor.  There is nothing listed, but I suspect I'm going to find out the tipping point eventually.

Baby equipment that once bought me sanity and knowledge that the children were safe have now become dangerous vehicles for self destruction:

  • Exersaucer, AKA the Console of Doom, now gets used as a climber or pushing device for one twin to knock the other twin over.**  
  • The vibrating baby rocker, which helped us through colic, is now some sort of extreme American Gladiators challenge where one baby climbs up and crouches on it while the other child shakes it to knock them off, or just tries to climb over the other baby.  
  • The rocking chair, a toppling ladder.
  • The baby swing is now a catapult that can be used to knock your sibling over if they are preventing you from being the first one who gets to eat the cat's food, that day.
Jack at around 2 months using the vibrating rocker as manufacturers intended.

On top of the new uses for toys, Miss Molly has decided that she likes to climb stairs.  In fact, she gets so excited after climbing 4 or 5 she puts up her hands in the air and leans back to celebrate***, which forces me to ask the question, when will they get depth perception?  I've now put a baby gate 3 stairs up, to allow the stair climber to practice a little bit, but not fall any further than her own height.  I wonder when I can teach them the art of bump bump to go down the stairs?****

I have to give Molly credit, she has become excellent at falling on her bum and much tougher than I ever thought she'd be.  It's poor Jack, with his giant head who does the double fall, bum and then the head, that really makes you want to wince and go coddle him.  We're trying to teach them to fall well and not cry by smiling and saying, "You're okay" even though the skull cracking sound makes you want to get an estimate for a custom made extra large baby helmet from the baby store. 

*Maybe I was just a slow learner.
**It is now on loan to a 4 month old who can use the console for good, not evil...although it is the console of doom, so I'm not sure if that even makes sense.
***I caught her, she's okay.  I promise.
****Bump Bump is when you go down the stairs on your bum with your feet in front of you to prevent you from falling. It's more fun if you say bump bump all the way down, and has also been a skill that has come in handy as an adult who has had too many martinis at a bar atop a giant set of stairs.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

I Love Myself Today

Yesterday we took our car in for service and we are happy to report that the 2001 Sunfire (AKA Sexfire) is still hanging in complete with the fancy new feature of a rear right hand turn signal.  We are no longer faced with sticking our arms out the window to let other drivers know that we want to turn right or forcing our passengers to act as ground traffic controllers.*

It's actually been a week of maintenance, with Friday being the minions 9 month check up, only a month and a half late.  The 45 day delay has me feeling a little bit better about both babies being over the 95th percentile in head circumference. It doesn't change the answer to Chris and I's question about why Molly is such a better eater of solid food than her brother.  I imagine very few father's dream of hearing, "It's because she has an oral fixation" about their little girls.

We've also found a new way to entertain the children, mirrors.  I'd long forgotten how awe inspiring mirrors can be to babies and children.  Like the work required on the Sexfire, I use mirrors exclusively for self-maintenance and repairs** and not self-admiration.  I don't know if Molly and Jack realize that they are staring at themselves in the mirror or other reflective surfaces or if they think that it's just another friendly baby in the room, but they are both very smitten.

Jack will smile and then try to wrestle with and crawl all over the baby he sees in the mirror.  Molly loves any reflective surface, will smile at it, flirt with it and then try to make-out with it.***  To date she has made out with: both bedroom mirrors, the bathroom mirror, the dishwasher, the oven (to the point where I've had to keep her out of the kitchen when I'm using the stove) and finally any wall if she can see her shadow.****

This is a picture of a horse making out with our car, and why it's aptly named - The Sexfire  

Maybe this self love and self esteem has to do with Chris and I constantly greeting Molly with "Hello Gorgeous", or constantly telling both babies how wonderful they are.  It's sort of a reminder that as adults we should be a little kinder to ourselves, and our mom bodies. It's time for a little more, "Hey Mama wanna wrestle/Let's make-out" and a little less, "Oh God the horror".   

*I don't believe that anyone actually knows what the manual signals for cars mean any more.  Who needs a baby on board sign when everyone thinks that you're flipping them off each and every time you want to change lanes or turn right anyway, right?
**Stray eye-brow plucking, removal of seeds and food lodged in teeth, pore inspection, under the eye ring inspection and make-up application.   
***Oral fixation.  Shudder.  Grown up Molly, in advance, I am SO sorry if you're reading this now - Mommy jests because she loves.
****Most narcissistic Ground Hog Day ever?

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Love Stinks

In parenthood there comes those defining moments where you think, I know I said I'd never do this, but I don't think I really have a choice.  Chris and I pride ourselves on being mobile with our babies.  We even ventured to Vancouver and Seattle last month with the babies.  It was A LOT OF WORK, but well worth it to make sure that Molly and Jack got to meet their great grandmother C who turns 97 this December.  I would be so bold as to say that I would not recommend a two week trip with twin 9 month old babies unless it is for a VERY GOOD reason because while fun exhausting it's tough to get a break.  This trip was chocked full of a lot of those defining moments.

My first moment happened at the baggage claims in Vancouver International Airport.  The flight went really well, the kids fussed for about 15 minutes combined and Chris even got the only empty seat on the plane right beside him.*  We even landed early, and then the baggage carousel broke.  So we stood there for close to an hour before I sent Chris off to arrange for our car rental while I collected the baggage.  The minions were only a little bit cranky** and were quietly entertained by me shaking this plastic elephant maraca singing "This Old Man" until our baggage finally arrived.  I managed to swing it onto our cart, but then we had to await Chris's return.  There was no way I could handle taking two umbrella strollers and a cart full of baggage across the airport to the car rental kiosk solo.

These are the complete set of animal maracas.  The monkey is logically holding a banana, but for some reason this elephant doesn't like peanuts and is enjoying a cookie. Perhaps he has a nut allergy or didn't want to sit in the peanut butter lunch room all by himself.

I tucked us into a corner and patiently impatiently waited for Chris.  After about 10 minutes a foul odor began to waft up from both strollers.  Two sets of eyes looked up at me and started to well up.  I was face to face with two DD diapers.*** There were no bathrooms anywhere near our meeting spot and I couldn't abandon all of our luggage and risk missing Chris's return.

I ducked in behind an old abandoned ticket kiosk, stripped down the babies one at a time and took care of the diapers quickly and quietly while a hundred people awaited their luggage less than 20 feet away.  I had always sworn that I would never be one of those parents who would change a child's diaper in public.  I was clearly deluded.  This was the beginning of many diaper violations the entire trip and beyond.****

After Changing Babies:
-on a pile of paper towels on the floor of a Starbucks washroom.
-on a sink counter in a restaurant that deemed itself "family friendly", yet had no change station.
-on the floor of the basement of a funeral home.
-in the parking lot of a Rona
-at the trailhead of a hike, beside the outhouses,  while Chris berated Molly and I simultaneously while changing her diaper, "Where did you get those pine cones, stop eating them, this is so unsanitary!"

I've decided that if you want to take your babies out in public you aren't always going to get the ideal place to change a diaper, sometimes you just have to make due and sometimes you're going to have to bend your rules.  Chris is slower to come around to my necessity driven revised view on changing diapers in public.

*I am convinced that this was good Karma as a result of volunteering to be in charge of Miss Molly for the flight.
**While I was furious having been at airports or on planes for almost 10 hours by this point.
***Double Diarrhea
****Even in extreme emergencies we have managed to refrain from being those people who change a diaper in the middle of a restaurant.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


When I was pregnant my parents bought me Adam Mansbach's book, Go the F@$k to Sleep, complete with the audio oration by Samuel L. Jackson. (   It has been entertaining and on particularly rough days I have read this bed time story to Molly and Jack, much to Chris's disapproval.*  For the most part the minions are good sleepers, so I don't really relate to this book yet, but from what I know of toddlers and young children this book will grow nearer and dearer to my heart as time goes by.

A good friend of mine - The Granken**, as of late, has had a lot of exposure to a toddler/preschooler and a while back she proposed writing a book in a similar vain to Mansbach's.  Only hers would be entitled, Why are you Crying?.The sequel, I'll Give You Something to Cry About.  But excessive crying isn't my issue either, right now.

The main concern since the minions have been more mobile and independent is how dangerous they are to themselves and each other.  My friend E sent me this article that highlights a display showing how much children like to eat and shove random items up their noses.  The headers of "Foreign Bodies from Air Passages" and "Foreign Bodies from Food Passages"*** really drive home the main message behind my proposed children's book, Why Do You Want to Die?

Minions using the Exersaucer in a way that I would imagine manufacturers would deem unsafe.

The book will highlight some sort of adjustment we've made to make life healthier and safer for our children:
-Not drinking during pregnancy.
-Purreeing food into unchokable consistencies.
-Locking up and storing anything potentially poisonous really high - I am 5 foot 1 people - this is hardly convenient.

Then mention a reason life is awesome as an infant/toddler:
-You get to play all day.
-You can sleep whenever you want to.
-Mom keeps a giant restaurant that's open 24-7 in the car, in the kitchen, in the bottom of  her purse, and will feed you on demand, just to keep you happy.

Followed by a but statement:
-But then you eat three dimes off of the floor.****
-But then you decided to shove your face into the cats water dish to see if you could breathe underwater.
-But then you try to brain yourself on the corner of the coffee table.
-But then you get so angry that you kick off your pants and try to strangle yourself with them, Jack.

And finally:
So, Why do you want to die?

At first I was thinking that the audio book should be read in a somewhat creepily aggressive voice, by a Vincent Price type, that guy from the TV show 1000 Ways to Die or perhaps Christopher Walken, but then maybe it would be better to get a soft kind voice to read the story like Betty White.  Or perhaps sweet, with a slight undertone of evil found in the voice of Winnie the Pooh  I'm taking suggestions.

*I am not the one who's car swearing begat Molly's ability to yell dicdicdic over and over and over again so I will continue to read Go the F to Sleep to the children as I please.
**No, that's not some sort of identity protecting alias, it's actually what she calls herself and has requested that the minions call her once they can utter words beyond yelling dicdicdic at the top of their lungs.
****I recognize that there shouldn't be dimes on the floor anyway, but my pockets, purse and clumsy nature make it seem as if the floor has won some sort of slot machine jackpot on a regular basis.

Friday, 15 June 2012


When I first met Chris I wasn't even sure that I wanted to have kids.  The only dad I'd ever known was my dad and filling those shoes would be pretty tough.

Picking only one or two childhood or adulthood experiences wouldn't capture why my father is my dad and why it's been amazing to be raised by him.  Here are a few of my favorite memories/things about my dad  in no particular order:

He always coaches everything, whether you want him to or not.
  • A couple of years ago my brother and my dad went on a road trip together.  My brother wanted to go run some laps in the hotel pool, my father insisted on going with him to life guard as there was no one on duty.  He spent the entire time my brother was swimming walking the length of the pool and critiquing his technique.

He always shows up to support you in everything, no matter how bad you are at it, whether you want him to or not.
  • As a teenager my sister was embarrassed by my parents coming out to her soccer games and wanted them to pretend that they didn't know her.  My father bought my mother a custom sweatshirt that said "I'm not E's Mother" on it.  
  • When I was 12 I was a terrible runner*, yet for some reason (probably at the encouragement of my dad) I decided to run for a distance event for cross-country running.  When I was miserably last and walking and wanted to give up, my dad and my sister showed up to jog along beside me to cheer me on and get me to finish.  It also delayed the ridicule, cause no one is going to smack talk you in front of your dad.
This is the card that I got for my dad this year.  I bought it in Seattle, but you can get it, or other cool cards at:

He made sure that I knew how to change a tire and check the oil on a car before I was ever able to drive on my own.**

He makes amazing breakfast & he BBQs great/ most of the time.
  • His back-bacon and egg English Muffins are to die for.
  • If ever my dad is cooking and the food turns out poorly, rest assured it's because he got caught up in a game of catch, baseball or soccer with his kids, grandchildren or a combination of both.  So your meal may be burnt, but it's burnt with love.
He makes you do adult stuff & reminds you about it A LOT.
  • Because of my dad I remember to check my steering fluid, I file my taxes on time and we actually purchased a living will kit on Groupon.***   
His passion about books and reading.
  •  I find it random that my father made me read Animal Farm, at age ten, and write him a book report about it - in the Summer.  Now he and I share the same satirical taste in certain books and give each other some great recommendations.
The way he pretended to be Frankenstein when my mother wasn't home.
  • When we were little and my mom was out, sometimes my father would pretend to be a monster.  He'd walk around the house, not speaking, sticking out his bottom teeth and bump into you a lot.  It was never scary, just incredibly annoying, as "Frankenstein" ran into the toys we were playing with and slowly chased us around the house.
Yesterday, Chris was playing with Molly on the floor and she got distracted, ignoring him for a toy that we call Astronaut Comic. Chris pretended to be a monster, took Astronaut Comic in his mouth and started bashing him against the side of the coffee table while he grunted and roared loudly.  He had Molly's attention and she was thrilled to be spending time with her dad.  Chris, I guess you make the cut.

Happy Father's Day, to my dad, Chris and all other Father's!

*Not that I'm a fabulous runner today, but I'm not doing it at the ridicule of other midst-pubescent middle-schoolers anymore.  My treadmill doesn't judge me.
**This shamed a couple of ex-boyfriends who had to step aside while I took care of road problems on my own.
***I haven't filled it out yet, and am reminded of this constantly...But yes, it will be done before the end of the summer, I promise.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

It's the End of the World as we Know it...I don't feel fine...

The zombie plague has fallen upon my family, AKA a really nasty summer cold complete with oozing eye guck, and it has not been pretty this past week.

Outbreak Day 1
23:00hrs - Chris and I were preparing to head upstairs to bed.  Out of no where we heard this blood curdling scream from the nursery.  In the three hours that had passed since Molly had gone to bed she had been transformed into a snot breathing dragon and she was furious.  It took us about an hour to calm her down, and she woke up two more times that night.

The next day tried my best to keep all of Jack and Molly's toys, bottles etc. separate, which is difficult to do when their only two hobbies are biting and licking each other's arms, hands and noses and trying to kill themselves/ each other.

Outbreak Day 3
Chris gave me a break and parented solo while I went to a spinning class with my brother so I could blow off some steam.*  I came back refreshed, relaxed and ready for a good night sleep.  Like clock work at 11:30pm Zombie Jack awoke screaming, "MumMumMum" which is translated to: Pick me up and cuddle me while I scream, cough in your face, rub snot on your face and cry A LOT.**  We were faced with another up and down night of sick baby cuddles and care.

I know that this picture of Jack being attacked by Godzilla(s) has nothing to do with illness or zombies, but it somehow seemed appropriate.

Outbreak Day 4
Am pursued constantly by boy zombie who refuses to actually crawl and creeps around the floor by smacking the ground, grunting and only using his hands to drag the rest of his body while moaning: Mumum at the top of his lungs.

After a near miss dizzy spell the night before I was feeling fine, despite a slight sinus head ache.  I even attended wedding reception for cousin.  Only apparent symptom of sinus medication is severe lack of alcohol tolerance.***

Outbreak Day 5
Symptoms included an ear ache which then transferred into severe congestion and oozing eye.  I was officially infected.  Chris was sent to the drug store for a 2AM run to help save me from myself. Chris stays home from work the next day so I can rest and try to get better.  The babies appear to be gaining strength, while I get worse.  Highlight of the day, Molly removes the carbon monoxide alarm from the wall, sets off the alarm and gets so scared that she poos her pants.  Even zombie Sara finds that funny.

Outbreak Day 7
Have officially become one of those parents who lays there listlessly while my children play around me.  I follow them around the house with pillow so I can collapse on the floor beside them while they play and I can make sure that they don't die.  Feel like someone has been boxing my eye sockets.

Outbreak Day 8
Dayquil no longer working, this has become a sinus/allergy issue.  Babies are happy and giggling, I want to sleep for a million hours, but can't even when they're napping because I have the trots.*****  Chris can't stop laughing at my comment of, "I would have slept better last night had I not had such intense diarrhea."  All I have to say to him is, "You're next buddy."

*And feel some of the pain that I missed by having a c-section rather than natural labour?
**Mom, I owe you an apology, his first word is actually mumum, and it has consistent meaning as I've learned this past week.
***Yeah, I became a slurring mess while the rest of my family looked at me like I was crazy, because besides my mother who was DD, I had matched everyone else round for round and no one else was anywhere near the drunken hot mess that I was.
****Sorry, I know that was too much information, even for me.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

More Than Words

Many months ago I asked my mom what my first word was. She replied, simply, Mama. I shook my head, insisting that Mama  is a sound and not a word, especially at the six months marked in my baby book.  My father then piped in that his first word was, Breakfast.  I'll accept that one.  He still really likes breakfast almost seven decades later.

With all of the baby sounds and cooing that go on around here it would be easy to claim a sound as a first word. Which is why Chris and I set out some parameters as to what qualifies as the big first word.
1. It must be a word not a baby speak sound (i.e. Molly has been saying Hey, Hi, and Heya for months now to get attention - that doesn't count)
2. It can't be an immediate repeat of a sound or word that either one of us has been barking at the baby to get them to repeat, that's mirroring, not talking.
3. It must be in the correct context.

We've been waiting for the first words from these two since Jack started constantly saying Ageee.  I love to repeat Agee to him and my mom is convinced that he's going to think that's my name.*  They've been on the brink of first words for about a month or two now when Bababa, Nananana, Mama and Dada started being regular sounds.

They've also been really good at mirroring what we say.  Which can be problematic, particularly when Chris is driving.  Two weeks ago, Chris was driving and called someone a nasty word.  From the back driver side we heard an emphatic Dicdicdicdicdic.  Molly was thrilled with her new sound.   Since then I've been trying to get her to say Digdigdigdig instead with mixed results.**   It looks like it's time to install one of those limo dividers into the Sexfire.***

Then on June 3rd Molly was up to her usual early evening routine of chasing our cat and crawling around the floor like a maniac.  She caught up to the cat and exclaimed, Kitty Cat!  After several tests and repeats we are confident that this qualifies as her first word, even though most of the time it sounds more like Key Cat.  She's even said it while pointing to pictures in books of cats.  Way to go Molly.

Miss Molly and her Key Cat.  Notice that she's just about to grab his tail.

She's since started saying Daddy and Chris (sounds more like Kiss) regularly to a pink gingham wash cloth and pink soother.  The jury's still out on that one.  

*She has a valid point.  A friend of hers was called "Bus" by his first grandchild.  And guess what, it stuck, all of his grandchildren call him Bus.  
**This worked last year when my three year old niece heard someone on the Big Bang Theory call someone else a bastard, started yelling Bastard at the top of her lungs.  My mom cleverly insisted that they had said  Master.  She started yelling Master instead.
**Our name for our 2001 Sunfire as coined by my brother.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Paperback Writer

About nine years ago Chris moved into my 490 square foot downtown apartment.  There was very little space and we were really crammed for two reasons 1) I refused to purge my old stuff to make room for his things* and 2) it was 490 square feet.  As a result we lived, like sardines with piles of stuff everywhere until only three months later, when we couldn't take it any more we moved to a 1100 square foot apartment in Bloor West Village.

As two avid readers, we have a crap load of books.  One of the first orders of business at the new place was to buy some book shelves to merge our collections.  This was a huge deal (as was the merging of the CDs).  We worked to make room for everyone's books, including a bit of space for new purchases and  tried to negotiate books to get rid of.  He was insistent on keeping his Anne Rice collection** and I was oddly stubborn on keeping my feminist/popping culture collection of Naomi Wolf and  Naomi Klein books as well as some random Jim Morrison poetry books that I purchased when I was 15 and in my own personal musical renaissance.

Just before the babies were born we negotiated another cull of the book shelves and I acquired a book shelf upstairs in my office to keep sticky fingers off my collection of unusual children's literature. I may share these books with the minions when their primary use for a book isn't as a soother or a weapon.  We also got rid of any books that we knew we'd never read again, that being said Anne Rice, the Naomi Collection and Jim remained on our book shelves once again.
Would you want to share this amazing pop-up Alice in Wonderland book with someone who hadn't mastered "gentle" yet? I didn't think so.

Nearly 10 months later, the babies are everywhere, crawling, pulling themselves up onto tables and into book shelves leaving heaps of destruction at every corner.  I spend a lot of time trouble shooting and baby-proofing.  Last week I went back to the book shelves to get rid of and move around about 1/6th  of our collection to leave the bottom shelf empty and available for baby toy storage, since nothing remains on those shelves any more any way.

I never thought I'd be the type of adult who would clear shelves out of her living room book case to make room for stuffed bears, but here we are.  If anyone has suggestions for semi-stylish baby friendly storage containers to put toys on said shelves in, I'd love your input.

Any suggestions on how to protect the minions from floor lamp cords or floor lamps themselves would also be appreciated, they are currently obsessed with them.

When I called Chris to tell him about the new version of the book shelves he asked about his Stephen Kings and Vampire Lestat*** series and I was able to tell him that Steve and Anne still have homes on our shelves.  The Naomi's also remain, in case Molly ever needs to read empowering books to help her with adolescent self esteem and womanhood.  Others weren't so lucky.

Last week, after 19 years, I finally asked Jim Morrison to move out of our book shelf and into our garage in a box marked for Good Will.  He didn't complain because he knows that this relationship that I have with Molly and Jack, it must be serious and high school love, while intense is often fleeting.****

*I had gotten rid of a lot of stuff when an ex moved in two years earlier and the relationship only lasted 1 month post-move in.  I wasn't getting rid of stuff for any one and who did this new guy think he was anyway?  Future husband and father of my children, yeah right.
**Which we all know he will never read again.
***Apparently Chris isn't Team Edward, he's Team Lestat kicking it old school.  I also question the motives of him purchasing me a Kindle to celebrate the birth of Molly & Jack, an e-book will never take Anne's spot on the book shelf, sneaky move Chris.
****Upon reading this blog entry Chris felt that Jim should make his way back into our house so the minions can read up on him in their musical renaissance, I'm not so sure - I thought I needed a clean break.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Vote for Me as Toronto's Fav Mom Blog!

This is the last chance (today & tomorrow) to vote for my blog as Toronto's Best Mom Blog - Please vote if you haven't already - and any shout outs on your own Facebook, Twitter, Gmail or yelling from the street would be GREATLY Appreciated! 

Please vote by clicking on the following like and selecting Multiple Momstrosity as your fav TO mom blog - you can only vote once per url -

This card was pre-chewed courtesy of Miss Molly.