Monday, May 30, 2011

Coming Soon: News, Reviews and Maybe Shoes!

Hi Everyone!

Well, it's been beyond fun writing this blog. 

When I first started it a few months back, I wasn't sure of what the commitment would entail, and to be honest, I didn't really know what I was getting into. Really, I was looking for an outlet to express my thoughts related to my crazy life parenting my kids and working outside the home.

Since that time, I can honestly say that this blog has provided me much more than I would have ever imagined. An outlet - yes - it's been a wonderful one to discuss the inane as well as the more serious aspects of parenting. That said, I have also had the opportunity to connect with some amazing bloggers, to read some incredible sites and to gain knowledge about some of the more stickier sides of parenting (sleep deprivation, anyone??).

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While my primary focus for my blog will continue to be the craziness of parenting 5,000 kids and the inevitable mayhem that ensues with such a scenario, I will now be expanding into some additional areas that I'm really excited about!

Along with the parenting-related topics, I have been approached to do some product reviews, which I will be writing about very soon.

Here are the details regarding the additional areas that this blog will cover:
  • Product reviews - All review items will be related to kids and parenting, e.g. toys, etc.
  • Book reviews - Some parenting, some not. Okay, there might be more on the "not" side as I tend to read true crime and non-fiction personal memoirs. You've been warned.
  • Technology reviews - I'm a nerd and a geek and I like gadgets. 
  • Ongoing discussions of kids and parenting-related trends and topics that are currently in the news.

  • Okay, just a fantasy of mine, but maybe I can review some shoes? One can dream, right?

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So my question today is: What would you like to see me write about? Any particular reviews/products, etc. that you'd like to have me address on this blog? I'm all ears!

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

The 3 "P's" of the Working Parent: Patience, Permissiveness and Pizza

When I first started this blog, I posed the question as to whether "having it all" was really possible. Like all of us, I'm still trying to figure that out, though I must say that the answer is not tipping on the positive side.

If you're like me, you subscribe to the "3P Philosophy", and you do it regularly. For the uninitiated, I am talking about the framework upon which I base my complete parenting paradigm: " The Three 'P's' of the Working Parent": Patience, Permissiveness and Pizza."

Let me explain.

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Patience - Any parent will tell you that an abundance of patience is necessary when trying to balance work, family and life in general. The kids are screaming, the dishwasher is broken and extreme exhaustion set in days ago. You want to hold your eyelids open with toothpicks due to the lack of sleep that you have not been getting for the past month, and still you persevere.

"Patience will see you through this", a kinder, older and wiser soul tells you (okay, it's usually Grandma). You know that she would never lie to you but you can't see the forest for the trees. Yet you are forced into being patient, even against your will, as there is no other alternative. You have to continue taking care of your kids, working to pay the bills and doing laundry.

Permissiveness - Isn't it amazing what you will let your kids get away with when you are exhausted and overwhelmed? Despite your best efforts, you either use a combination of tactics to get them to behave, or throw in the towel and say "Sure! You can have a third cookie," just to provide yourself with a few sacred moments of peace. You beat yourself up for having such a laissez-faire attitude towards parenting but frankly, it has become a method of survival in this crazy, crazy world that is parenting.

Pizza - Pizza encompasses all of the main food groups. I said so, therefore it must be true.

In all seriousness, the guilt that accompanies parenting is more compelling than other emotions and for the most part, is harder to shake. There is so much that is riding on our decisions for our children, from the type of person that they eventually grow up to be, to how they will treat others, and whether they will be liked as individuals. Is it any wonder that we're stressed about it? 

There is no definitive "How-To" guide for parents. While there are many sources of support and suggestions as to what is said to be the "right" way to do it, the jury is out with respect to which philosophy is the most effective or least damaging. We all have our own opinions on how we should raise our kids and although our instincts and gut feelings guide us in our decision-making, we second-guess ourselves nonetheless. It often feels like we can't win.

To this end, for most of us, "The 3 'P's' of the Working Parent" is more of a contingency plan than a well-thought-out strategy about being the best parent that we can be, and making the most sensible decision for our kids. Because in spite of our best intentions, we are tired, really tired and often don't know what else to do.

So my questions today will focus on the "3 P's of the Working Parent." 

Do you follow this strategy?

Do you have any additional parenting tips that help you get through the craziness of parenting?

What are the most challenging aspects of parenting and how do you address them?

Does pizza cover all of the main food groups? Please answer the poll in my right sidebar!

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Top 5 Reasons Why a Good Night's Sleep Is Greatly Overrated (!)

As the mother of toddler twin boys who regularly wake up one, two and sometimes three times during the night, I have had the opportunity to contemplate the topic of "a good night's sleep." After much consideration (usually between the hours of 1 and 6am, and accompanied by one or two two-foot-tall individuals who may or may not be crying, shouting or pooping), I have concluded that eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is grossly overrated.

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Accordingly, I have compiled a list for nay-sayers who surprisingly seem to feel that sleeping is, well, important.

Top 5 Reasons Why a Good Night's Sleep is Greatly Overrated

  1. Dreams: Because being chased by a tutu-wearing elephant can really put a damper on your morning.
  2. Memory: Not having to remember stuff lets you off the hook big time. Functioning on three or four hours of sleep allows you to conveniently "forget" that playdate or sleepover. Thankfully.
  3. Morning breath: Waking up with breath that will wilt flowers on contact is no fun for you and anyone around you.
  4. Lucidity: It's kinda fun walking around in a fog. Kind of like being in a Fellini film...
  5. Health: Lack of sleep is unhealthy and being unhealthy is cool. Don't believe me? Check out the ratings for The Biggest Loser.
Who am I kidding? I will take my tongue out of my cheek now and try to get some sleep.

In all seriousness, what tips can you share for achieving a good night's sleep in spite of restless children? I look forward to your tips and strategies!
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Monday, May 23, 2011

In Praise of Wrinkled Clothing - 5 Tips to Help You Avoid Ironing

I've heard that wrinkles add character.

Oh - they weren't talking about clothes??

Because of the laundry hell that I live in on a full-time basis, wrinkles are my reality. As a result, I wear my wrinkles proudly, and with honor.

As far as I'm concerned, irons are a thing of the past, a medieval instrument of torture for moms and dads alike. More so if the former works full-time outside the home and is tasked with not only presenting a respectable and wrinkle-free appearance, but that of their children as well.
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Now, I realize that there are people who actually love ironing - I know a few of these folks and they accordingly live a wrinkle-free existence! It should go to follow then, that they are likely horrified by the perpetually non-pressed look that I sport. Thankfully, they are kind enough to keep their thoughts to themselves, at least when I'm present. That said, it's really not as bad as it sounds. Yes, the stiff, starched look that some demand of all of their attire does not happen in my world, but I'm also not walking around looking like I just tumbled out of bed a few moments previously.

So, the purpose of this post? To spread the love and hopefully iron out a few wrinkles (!) that plague the already overloaded mom. Cuz really, one less chore sounds pretty good right about now, doesn't it?

5 Tips to Help You Avoid Ironing
  • Never buy clothes that are 100% cotton. Never.
  • Look for blends, e.g. cotton blended with some type of synthetic material (god forbid, it may be polyester!! It's okay, embrace it!)
  • Wash clothes, dry them and immediately take the out of the dryer while they are still hot. Fold (I admit that I don't always do this but in theory, it works).
  • Steam. Either from a steamer, or from the shower. A quick trick - hang up your clothes in the bathroom as close to the shower as possible without getting them wet. Have a really hot shower. Voila! Most of the wrinkles will have disappeared.
  • Wrinkle Releaser. Spray on and go. 
Hopefully these tips will save you time and release you from the drudgery
chore of ironing, at least a little bit. 

So my questions today relate to this often-despised task:

Do you like ironing? Why or why not?

Do you have any additional tips for avoiding this chore?

I look forward to hearing from you!
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    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    I'm Stylish?? Really?? Stylish Blogger Award

    I am thrilled and humbled to have been given a Stylish Blogger Award by Kathleen at Celiac Baby

    Kathleen has a great site that not only provides information and advice to parents of children who need to have a dairy and gluten-free diet, but she does so with flair and gentle support, helping those who read her site to realize that there are many menu options and lifestyle choices that will enhance the quality of life without taking away from the yummy food that can be eaten! I have many of her menus on my list of items that I will be trying this summer and I urge you to try them as well. Please check out her site and show her some love!

    That said, in the spirit of the Stylish Blogger Awards, I will follow the rules and do the following:

    • Thank and link back to the person who sent you the award.
    • Share seven things about yourself.
    • Spread the love. Award recently discovered bloggers.
    • Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.
    So here I go: 

    7 Things You Wanted to Know About Multiple Mayhem Mamma But Were Afraid To Ask:
    1. Gorillas and apes are my absolute favorite type of animal. They look kind of sad and I feel sorry for them and I don't know why. I also realize that this is strange.
    2. I was born in London, England and came to Canada when I was three years old.
    3. My favorite wines are Reisling, Gewürztraminer (white) and Shiraz and  Pinot Noir (red). I cannot stand Chardonnay.
    4. I can (thankfully) get by on very little sleep, most of the time (five hours or so. Less than three, I start really spacing out).
    5. Drinking coffee or tea just before bed has no effect on my ability to fall asleep.
    6. I hate coriander because the flavor makes me feel nauseous. However, I love Thai food, so this presents a problem, sometimes.
    7. I make a mean, homemade baked macaroni and cheese from a totally made-up recipe at the urging of my daughter, Miranda. I will share the recipe on this blog one day soon!
    Okay, that's it! 

    Now on to passing the torch - the part I really like!

    Here are 10 Blogs That Deserve a Read:
    1. Life Not Finished - A wonderful blog about family life, twins and everything that comes with it.
    2. Twins Plus One - Three Times the Fun - A fellow twin mommy who is able to manage a full-time teaching career, twins plus one. Oh, and she has a great blog, too! Hats off to her!
    3. Style and Error - Heaven knows some of us moms (hello - ME!!) need style help! Thankfully, Melanie gives us the goods. Great blog.
    4. My Real Life Parenting - The real goods from a real-life "Supermom." This woman seems to be able to do it all - with ease!
    5. MaMe Musings - This twin mommy keeps it all together and does so effortlessly!
    6. Mommy Monologues - This woman is funny! And she does videos, too! Check her out - you won't regret it.
    7. Mommy on the Move - Advice, adventures and product reviews - what more do you need??
    8. I Need a Playdate - A fellow working mom who is also in Laundry Hell. Love it!
    9. JDaniel4's Mom - Learning and Loving - this former educator and technology trainer blends both in an inviting and interesting blog. You'll be glad you visited.
    10. Diaries of a Grumpy Grateful Mom - A fellow mom of four - she gets it. And seems so together, too!
    Honestly there were so many other blogs that I wanted to include but space would not well, you know...the rules. That said, I'm hoping to provide other opportunities in the near future to highlight other parenting and mom blogs that I have had the pleasure of reading. Stay tuned!


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    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    Minivan Mamma, or "I Drive a 'Loser Cruiser'"

    I've given in to the minvan, ergo, minivans are now cool.

    I must chant this mantra repeatedly to convince myself of this fact.

    Here is a picture of the beast, a 2006 Honda Odyssey. She is a trusted soul, in spite of herself.

    The "Soccer Mom" title that has been the standard term to politely yet pejoratively label a certain ilk of mom has more recently been replaced by terminology that not-so-subtly brands those of us who have chosen this form of transportation as uncool, or worse, losers.

    We have apparently abandoned all hope of having any type of "edge," as edginess and "seating for eight" do not mix. At all.

    I laughed when I learned that the term "Loser Cruiser" was a synonym for a minivan. This must mean, I thought to myself, that I am a loser. So is my husband and our kids. Great. By extension, that must also mean that anyone who "cruises" in the Loser Cruiser is also a loser. I guess my parents, siblings and in-laws are losers too. Oh yea, so are my daughters' friends. Lovely.

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    What is it about us that feels the need to label ourselves and others? Is it the opportunity to feel superior and more comfortable with the decisions that we have made for ourselves?

    Who coins these terms - "Loser Cruiser," "Soccer Mom" and while we're at it, how about "Tiger Mom" and "Helicopter Parent?" Note that all of these are negative labels given to parents of small children. Is it any wonder that we're somewhat defensive at times? As well, this trend supports the call for a larger discussion on why parenting is seen to be a thankless - and evidently, in some cases a scorned upon - job. More specifically, these terms are aimed primarily at women - moms - further relegating the role of mother to one that is worthy of scorn and derision.

    Until the role of mom, dad and "parent" in general is respected, we will continue to endure the ridicule and lack of respect that underlies derogatory and divisive terminology.

    So my questions today relate to the use of such terms:

    Are you offended by such terms as "Soccer Mom," "Tiger Mom," "Helicopter Parent," etc., or do you find them harmless and humorous?

    What is the most offensive parenting/mom-related title, in your opinion?

    Lastly and most importantly: Would you or do you drive a minivan??

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    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Cleaning Up For The Cleaning Lady

    The dirt on the dirt is that many of us are very dirty.

    The problem is that none of us want to admit it.

    Catherine Conners who blogs at Her Bad Mother has outed herself and admitted to having a cleaning lady. Okay, she went one step further and confessed to having a virtual cadre of "help," all in an effort to make her life a bit more livable. Is that so wrong?

    Apparently it is, according to some. We are supposed to be able to take care of not only ourselves and our families, but all the messes that come along with a group of people living together as well. Many feel that there is no reason for hiring "help," and that one should be able to do it all on one's  own.

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    I raise my hand here to say that I need help and lots of it. I cannot keep it together and I admire those who can - those who, regardless of the number of children who may run through the house with muddy boots while trailing sticky fingers along the wall, are able to rise like a phoenix above the laundry mound and take the high road - all while effortlessly cooking dinner and smiling sweetly. With mop raised and Dyson poised, they put all of us less able moms to shame. June Cleaver seems to be their idol. I hate them for it. Only because it makes me look bad.

    The other day, I called for help. Three young children and full-time work do not a tidy living area make. Spurred on by what seemed to be the beginnings of spring (a perfect opportunity for spring cleaning I ambitiously thought), I looked around and realized the stark horror of my environment. It was bad. Really bad. And I had already called the cleaning lady.

    How sad is it when you have to clean up for the cleaning lady? When you feel so compelled to make things look like you have it together, even though you so don't? How sad is it that we feel compelled to present the veneer of having it all under control when in our heart of hearts we know that the reality of the situation is nothing like our fantasy? How sad is it that in spite of your best efforts, you still feel humiliated that your house is not and will never be the spotless showroom that you have seen at others' places, or on TV, or in the movies. The stark reality sets in and you realize that you will never win. You will never be like one of those "perfect" moms, not now, not ever.

    You stay up cleaning so that you don't offend the cleaning lady and still leave the house before she gets there, feeling humiliated the whole time that she's seen  your dirty little secret. You leave the money for her in an envelope adding to the clandestine aura and feeling that what you're doing is somehow wrong. Your house stays clean for oh, one day (or one hour, if you have twins) and you're back to square one. You can never win.

    Okay, so I've gone off on a bit of a tangent with this post (sorry) but it is clearly one that touches a nerve. How is it done? How do people with children keep the house together without help? As I asked early on, is "having it all" still possible - including having a clean and orderly house?

    So my questions attached to this post are this:

    Do you have outside "help" to keep your house clean and in order?

    If so, do you keep this fact under wraps, or admit it freely to others?

    If not, how do you keep things under control?

    So many more questions that I could ask but will leave it here for now...

    I really look forward to hearing from you!

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    Reality TV Parenting - The One Week Challenge RESULTS

    So how did you do?

    One week ago, I challenged you, along with myself, to see if we could collectively stop the habit of using Reality TV Parenting as a way of spending time with our kids. Borne of my own guilt of using the latest episode of Survivor or anything on The Food Network as an opportunity to "bond" with my child, I thought I might see what it would be like to lose the crutch of the latest television programming and make a concentrated effort to spend more quality time with my kids. I was further spurred on by the popularity of a previous post that revealed that many of us are struggling with the guilt of using television as an opportunity to relax with our kids without being completely engaged.

    I failed miserably.

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    As much as the ideal of turning off the tube appealed to me on a number of different levels, the reality of having the TV as both a help in allowing me a few minutes of down time, as well as an opportunity to engage the kids while I throw in yet another load of laundry, was too great to ignore. And so, as the challenge begun early on in the week and visions of myself as a more engaged and interactive parent beckoned, the sad reality of life appeared and the demands of a frazzled and exhausted mom set in. At that point, the remote control went into overdrive and my place on the couch (with my daughter in tow) was solidified.

    In a completely unscientific poll, I asked some of you how many hours of television were watched with your kids per week. Half of you that responded said that you don't watch any TV at all with your kids - an impressive feat, in my books. The balance of responses were split evenly, with half stating that you watched one to two hours per week, and the other half stating that two to four hours was the norm. 

    Not being a statistician or having any remote capabilities in the areas of numerical analysis, I will venture to guess that these numbers mean the following:
    1. Many of us who work outside the home are able to walk the work-life balance tightrope fairly well and prioritize the time spent with the kids without using the TV as a crutch
    2. An equal amount of us enjoy our shows and don't want to give them up, so we engage our kids in the TV-watching as a way of "killing two birds with one stone," so to speak (relaxing and spending time with the kids)
    3. TV to a large portion of us is a key part of parenting - good or bad - and it is not going to be taken out of the mix anytime soon.
    So how did you do? 

    If you were able to go through the week without the TV, how did it change the dynamics between you and your kids? 

    If you continued watching TV during this challenge, did the idea of turning off the tube give you pause to reconsider how much TV you will watch with the kids in future?

    Was there any value to you with this or similar types of challenges?

    I look forward to your feedback!

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    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Guest Post: Top 7 Family-Friendly Vacation Ideas

    It looks like spring has finally sprung and summer is just around the corner. And you know what that means: long weekends! Those of us who are parents are constantly looking for ideas and tips that will allow us to make the most of our deserved time off with the family.

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    If you're one of these parents, head on over to one of my favorite sites, Chic Savvy Travels for 7 Family-Friendly Vacation Ideas for the upcoming long weekends. If you've got some additional ideas for long-weekend excursions, please share as well!

    **What are your plans for the first long weekend of the summer? Answer the poll on my Facebookpage!**
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    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Aint No Cure For The Suppertime Blues

    **To the spirit of Eddie Cochran and the existing members of The Who, I apologize in advance**

                     Well I'm gonna raise a fuss, I'm gonna raise a holler
    About working every day just to waste my last dollar
    On all kinds of foods that I thought the kids would eat
    No such luck they say as they yell and stomp their feet
    Sometimes I wonder what I'm gonna do
    Cuz there aint no cure for the suppertime blues

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    I cook healthy meals so my kids will grow up healthy
    I spend lots on food even though I'm far from wealthy
    "Mommy I don't like this" when I serve up the grub
    They continue to complain as I put them in the tub
    Sometimes I wonder what I'm gonna do
    Cuz there aint no cure for the suppertime blues

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    I'm gonna take two Advil gonna try to get some rest now
    Cuz the whining and the screaming have really put me to the test now
    Toddlers throwing pasta, three kids melting down
    What I wouldn't give to say "who cares?" and go out on the town
    Sometimes I wonder what I'm gonna do
    Cuz there aint no cure for the suppertime blues

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    If you have a cure for the "Suppertime Blues," please let me know.

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    Saturday, May 7, 2011

    Reality TV Parenting Redux - The One Week Challenge

    I recently and unwittingly hit a parenting nerve.

    A post that I wrote a while back entitled "Reality TV: A Parenting Reality" was the most popular and commented-upon piece that I have had to date. Exactly why, who knows, but one can certainly speculate.

    Many of us adhere to the philosophy of "Reality TV Parenting" more out of inertia and less from a concentrated effort to purposefully slack off on our parenting duties. But perhaps at this point I should back up somewhat and provide some context. 

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    What exactly is "Reality TV Parenting?" Well, let's say that it's the easy way out. It's a way of spending time with your kids while watching your favorite reality TV programs - in my case, it's Survivor, The Amazing Race and anything on The Food Network (am loving "Chopped" right now).

    Sure, there is guilt involved. Lots of guilt. But not enough guilt to make you pick up your feet off the ottoman, to get up off the couch, or turn the TV off completely. Reality TV parenting consists of conveniently watching shows that you like all under the guise of spending time with your kid(s). It's convenient. It's easy. And it suits you just fine.

    But what about your kids?

    According to numerous reports, children and television are not generally seen to be compatible partners. Excessive TV-watching in kids has been linked to a range of problematic results, from obesity to aggression. Yet we continue to watch these programs with our children in the hopes of perhaps catching a few minutes of peace and entertainment.

    Sometimes it's because you really want to see what happens on "American Idol" or "Dancing With The Stars," but more often than not, you are just really, really tired and have not one more ounce of energy to devote to the more involved responsibilities of parenting - like reading, homework and just plain talking to your child.

    Television is just one part of the parenting puzzle these days, as other types of technology such as  computers, tablets (such as iPads), game consoles (Wii, Xbox) and the like continue to take precedence over spending time with our children the old-fashioned way. I, for one, am extremely guilty in this department.

    Which leads me to the reason behind today's post.

    I'd like to challenge all of you to try a bit of an experiment for one week. Can you turn off the TV and spend more time with your kids? Can you cut out the convenience of "Reality TV Parenting" and get back to the basics? Read that extra book with your child, make up another story or just cuddle on the couch...with the TV turned off. I know that this will be a challenge for some of us, myself included, but it will likely pay off in the long run (you know that you can always DVR your favorite program and watch it next week, too!).

    Do you think you can do the one-week TV challenge? Can you cut back or completely turn off the TV for one week and replace that time with a child-focused activity? I challenge you!
    Can't wait to hear all about it :)

    **Please answer the poll in the right sidebar about how much TV you watch with your kids per week**

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    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Moms Connecting With Moms - One Diaper at a Time

    **For the record, this post is not a sponsored or paid advertorial. Just something I think is important, especially for new moms looking to find their way. Please read on...**

    Sometimes there are things that are near and dear to your heart that you just have to write about.
    For me, it is reminiscing fondly about my maternity leaves, and the times that allowed me to forge deep and lasting friendships with moms who were similarly finding their way through mommyhood, one diaper at a time.

    Today's post is about just that - connections - and the value garnered from having a support system that consists of moms just like you who are going through similar challenges and similar joys. Those first milestones of parenthood along with the fears and how to raise your babies can be considerably soothed knowing that what you're going through is normal and that at the end of the day, you're not alone.

    Mommy Connections is a new social network that provides a wide range of pre and post natal programs across Canada, and by the end of 2011, will be expanding into the United States. Starting from the time that you are expecting, through your pregnancy and beyond, this community-based program will give you all the nuts and bolts about pregnancy, new parenting and the first formative years of your child's life.

    From a mom who's been there, it's often difficult to find that support system that will be there for you when you really need an ear to listen or a hand to help. 

    Mommy Connections is across Canada and will be branching into the U.S. this year, but for this post, I'll focus on the West Toronto Chapter.

    Mommy Connections West Toronto offers a Post-Natal Program and New Moms Social Network. This eight-week program features expert presenters who will enlighten, support and educate moms - as well as provide an opportunity to socialize with their babies. Each registrant will also receive a free swag bag full of samples and discounts from local businesses. Now who doesn't like free stuff??

    Geared toward the needs and interests of today’s modern mother, the program highlights fitness, nutrition, safety, infant communication, and much, much more. Not only does Mommy Connections give moms the information they need to make decisions that are right for them and their family,  it's also a fantastic venue to connect with other moms in the community to share stories, solicit advice, and just laugh - and sometimes, that's all you really need.

    The next class starts May 17th, 11-12:30 at Swansea Town Hall and costs $120 for 8 weeks.  To register, or for more details please visit or contact Karen at [email protected]
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    I Want to Wear a Fascinator

    ** Full disclosure** Today's post is not even remotely mom/parent/kid related. That is, unless, you as a mom, parent or kid are willing to take up the cause of the Fascinator. Or, perhaps you're a mom who longs to wear a fascinator, like I do. Read on...

    Okay, so I must admit that I wasn't one of those people who got up early to watch Kate and Wills walk down the aisle. With all due respect to the monarchy, sleep was more important to me so I bailed on the early morning wake-up call.

    That said, I couldn't help but watch the festivities that were played and replayed throughout the day, and that continue to entice online in perpetuity. And as much as I'm not a Monarchist by any stretch of the imagination, there are a few things that I am forced to admit:

    1) Kate looked beautiful, and the pomp and circumstance of the ceremony were intriguing as all get-out.

    2) The hats almost stole the show. Okay in some instances, they did steal the show. They were...well...fascinating. I guess that's why the Brits call them "fascinators."

    3) I want to wear a fascinator.

    I know, it's ridiculous. Some of the fascinators are ridiculous. That's the beauty of it.

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    These huge things on British womens' heads...well...what can one say? One can't take their eyes off them, can they? I, like many, were entranced not by the designer duds, celebrities and otherwise, no, I was too busy staring at what appeared to be bird-like creatures that had taken over the noggins of royalty. Celebrities and other nobility were not spared either.

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    Anyway, back to the post at hand. I usually end my blog posts with questions that will provide some insight and advice related to the topic at hand. To that end, here are my questions (they are somewhat different from the usualparent/child/mom-related ones so bear with me):
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    How does a commoner like myself wear a fascinator? Can fascinators be worn to events that do not include royalty? Where does one find a fascinator? Have you ever worn a fascinator? Would you wear a fascinator? Why or why not? I am serious. 

    Looking forward to your feedback!

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    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Don't Hate Me Because I Have Twins

    At the risk of aging myself I shall reference a commercial from my childhood.

    "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful," a hopelessly attractive woman implores her audience (it's a young Kelly LeBrock, in case you're interested). She goes on to talk about her hair, and how Pantene shampoo contributes to her evident allure. Here's the full video:

    Now you're probably wondering what this plea from a rising young starlet has to do with kids, parenting, work-life balance and child-related topics - all of the things that this blog usually covers. Well, I couldn't help but see a parallel between the phrase "don't hate me because I'm beautiful" and a phrase that time and time again I hear swirling around in my head: "Don't hate me because I have twins."


    Let me explain.

    My husband and I have been unwittingly catapulted into the secret society that exists for those who have had the fortune of birthing not one, but two or more children at the same or almost the same time. This society is one where members can spot each other from a distance with a knowing glance or a split-second look that reveals the pallor of an exhausted and frazzled parent. But I digress. On a lighter note, we "twin parents" are a happy bunch, most of the time. Sure, we're sleep-deprived (if our twins are toddler-aged or younger), and sure - we may be wearing mismatched socks and this morning's oatmeal or spit-up on our clothes in public, but in the larger scheme of things, is that really a crime?

    Well, you would think it is, considering the comments that we get on a regular basis. Some examples:
    •  "Better you than me." - Stated quite smugly by the parent of a friend of our seven-year-old upon seeing me pushing a stroller with not one but two babies, aged six months, in tow;
    •  "I don't know how you do it." - Stated by almost everyone who does NOT have twins and seems to think that it is a heroic feat to do what any parent would do - take care of their kids, whether there's one, two, three or more;
    • "You're really brave." As if something I had no control of - identical twins - could be categorized by an adjective that is often used in situations where one has some semblance of control; (for the record, identical twins cannot be planned, and are random and not genetic)
    • "Boy, you've really got your hands full, don't you?" - Stated by (again) smug "well-wishers" everywhere, from the supermarket to the local park to the coffee shop and beyond;
    • "Twins? Have fun with that." - Full story can be found here
    I will state here for the record that all of these statements range from mildly irritating to out-and-out annoying.

    Forgive the evident sensitivity that I am sure is now exuding from this post but frankly I'm tired. Tired of explaining that yes, it is a lot of work but I love my kids and wouldn't trade them for anything. Tired of being pitied and deduced to a sad, exhausted mom who bitterly takes care of her brood, all the while longing for a life of leisure that cannot be experienced by someone who has been given her lot (okay, I admit to longing for a life of leisure, but the one I wish for includes my children, there's just lots of nannies involved as well). Tired of...well, just tired.

    On behalf of all parents of multiples or parents with a healthy complement of small children who are not multiples, we do not need to be pitied. We are fine. We manage our kids just fine. We are not freaks of nature, we do not belong to a strange cult that condones procreation at super-accelerated paces and some of us (parents of identical twins) are still walking around in a daze about the fact that we got two for the price of one (figuratively of course), who look the same, and that we have to look at for that extra millisecond longer to determine which child we are talking to (yes, I still mix up my boys once in a while).


    N.B. This post was inspired by my recent encounter with the smug woman at the grocery store who smugly stated upon viewing my three club-pack boxes of diapers that she feels "really, really sorry" for me.

    Questions this post:

    How do you deal with strangers' rude comments about your kids/family/situation?

    What witty responses or comebacks do you have for these troglodytes?

    Twin/Multiples parents: What has been the most rude comment or situation that you have encountered, and how did you handle it?

    Looking forward to your feedback!
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