fiftyfourcountrieslater

Jessica Montague March

One Canadian family’s adventures at home and abroad. Country count: Jessica: 60 Tyler: 44 Henry: 24 Baby Tom: 20 fiftyfourcountrieslater@gmail.com

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Looking for tips: December is so full of family friendly, cheery activities, but what do you suggest for wintery options after the fun of Christmas is over? 💕🥶🧣🧤🌬(Other than booking a warm weather holiday, because we have done that already woot woot!)
Our weekend was off the rails ya’ll. No like, legit this little train wasn’t on a track...just putzin’ around the local mall. We waited over an hour for this train ride; the things we do for kids. 🤦🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️ Also, remember my post about O’Baby being that cute shop in a shipping container? These are two more sweaters from there. We are obsessed —Tom’s says Muskoka which is our fav cottage country area and Henry’s has fishies all over it which delights him to no end. Lots of Christmas specials right now, if you’re looking for organic fabrics, one-off kind of clothes for kids in your life. @obabymuskoka 💕💕💕
Whose last name does your child have? Was it a conversation or a given? This topic interests me to no end as it seems to be assumed that the kids get the dad’s last name, even in cases where the mum didn’t change her name in marriage. I took Tyler’s last name when we first got married because we were 24 and it was the norm-ish but after 7 years of marriage and a disrupted adoption, we decided to try for biological kids and wanted a fresh start so took each other’s last name — my mother’s family name of Montague (yes, like Romeo har-har) and Tyler’s family name of March (what up Little Women). We wanted our kids to see that we belonged together as partners, since we certainly feel like equals in the relationship and it still allowed us to have the same name as a family. Plus I mean, if it’s good enough for Beyoncé, amiright. 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦
Don’t get me wrong, I love having a change of seasons and do believe in ‘no bad weather just bad clothes,’ but sometimes it’s nice to be inside! I fully intend to take advantage of the amazing indoor play space Canada offers to kids, now that we have six months of winter to look forward to. Do you have indoor playgrounds, craft centres or music space for kiddos near you? Do you use it? #bringmeacoffee
Good news guys — not only does the sleigh ride at @snydersfarm offer an awesome family fun activity with Christmas carol sing-a-longs and a pretty ride through their Christmas tree field, they provide all children with jingle bells to keep. As in, forever. Jingle all the way-ing, ALL the time. 🤪 There’s always that one family member that gives a child a noisy gift, right? (They’re actually really pretty sounding, I promise! Such a fun way to spend a morning!)
He’s never met a tractor he didn’t want to drive. We were all-in on the gender-neutral, wooden toys with clay based paint and no screen time blah blah blah ✌️ ❤️ 🙏 and then a friend rocked up with a book on trucks and it was all over. Henry👏🏼wanted👏🏼more👏🏼. He goes bananas for all vehicles! What is the deal with little boys loving things that have wheels? (I am personally chuffed at how my own digger/dozer/crane knowledge has expanded in turn, might I add.) 💪🏼
Tyler: do you like Santa’s workshop? Henry: ya, there are so many dead bugs. Is there anything funnier than the say-anything toddler phase? But for reals, why were there so many dead flies in one room (and will Santa be ok sitting in there with all these flies droppin’?🎅🏻😬🦟🙈🤒).
@ripleysaquaca , you had me at ‘moving sidewalk.’ Have you been to an aquarium that has a moving sidewalk? Fin-tastic, right?
It felt like our first stop at @ripleysaquaca had to be the anemone garden, because you know what they say...keep your friends close, and your anemones closer. I’ve impressed even myself with that one. 😂🤓🐡🐠🐟🌸 #nerdalert #punmaster
And we are, The Bucket List Family. Is it possible to go to @ripleysaquaca and not come home with a picture similar to this🙈. Sorry @jessgee ! You are the Beyoncé of travel moms so please take the inadvertent imitation as the sincerest form of flattery. 😘 Whale anyway, I thought I would scale back on the fish puns but don’t worry, I’ve got a carp load of them coming tomorrow. 🐡😘🐟
@ripleysaquaca were kind enough to give us the oppor-tuna-ty to visit last week, and while Henry loved it all, he seemed to especially love hanging (a little too far, as other parents let minnow) over the edge of the Shoreline Gallery to get a close up look at the different rays and even a few hammerhead sharks! He wasn’t koi at all! Luckily, it wasn’t a turtle disaster as he didn’t fall in or even get wet! #punmaster #imhereallweek
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada opened with a SPLASH in 2013 and we went for the first time as a family of four with our own little tadpoles last week! I am going to exhaust all my #momjoke fish puns over the next couple of days, but don’t worry, I’ve got schools of them coming. 🐠 🐟 🦈🐡🐙
As it turns out, birthdays in your thirties are a lot more sleep and brunch, than late nights and drinks. Please tell me I’m not the only one who would rather a quiet breakfast with a good coffee. 🤷🏼‍♀️Anyone? Just me? #adulting #happybirthdaytome #thisis34
This Christmas we are all-in on shopping local for the few gifts we buy. We’ve already snagged some gifts from @stjacobsmarket (here is Henry very patiently shopping with me) and I am turning to @obabymuskoka for my baby niece and my own kids’ clothes. But the question is — what am I gifting my 10 year old niece who loves coding and reading, is kind hearted and funny? Any suggestions for her age range that would be locally made or sourced?
Pre-kids we made time for good food — we would drive an hour into Toronto on a week night for @pizzalibretto and now 😢we only have it annually it seems (and take-away to boot). Just give me a second to gather myself. 😭😭😢☹️🙁😔 How far would you travel for good food? Also, HAVE YOU HAD LIBRETTO PIZZA???? (We aren’t afraid to put orders in for vanilla when we hear people are going to Mexico, and for @artistinbakery when my cousin visits home from her university in Ottawa. Cold sweats, just thinking that she will graduate in a couple years cutting off my supply).
We have friends that are now married, but on one of their first dates he FLEW her to dinner. Like, in a real live airplane. Now every time we see a plane Henry says, ‘there goes Sam’s dad.’ Do you have any interest in a pilot’s licence? Or, do you already have it? What a cool skill to pull out like it’s NBD.
A toddler parent’s worst nightmare: not enough snacks. Can you imagine? When I was a kid and my grandpa asked if my brother and I wanted to go on a bike ride, our first question was ‘is grandma going’ because we knew she would have an apple, a mini chocolate bar and water break half way through. Without grandma it was 50 kms non-stop. We always have a couple fruit/veg purée pouches, nuts, goldfish crackers etc on us. What’s your go to for portable snacks? #mylovelanguageisfood
My face is every parent ever, pretending to wonder ‘where is (insert child’s name)’ while being able to see them clear as day! Also, can we just talk about these children’s winter coats/snowsuits, and how they are designed with car seat safety regulations in mind? All my cold weather mums rejoice — no more piling blankets on top of them in the car, in order to be safe...just use @onekidouterwear. Woot woot! (P.S. they come in vegan, too 🎉.)
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