Please, sir, I want some vaccine

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

The Ontario government said that this week (Week of May 17) the over 30 year olds would be able to book their vaccine.

Unlike most responsible people, I tried first thing at 7am after rolling out of bed. No coffee, no breakfast, not even my morning washroom usage.

Things went fantastically well. (I should have known it was too easy.) I booked an appointment for me and then I tried to book for my wife. She’s only 1.5 years younger so it should have been just as easy… right?


She wasn’t eligible. So I tried my info again and I wasn’t eligible.

So now I had an appointment when I wasn’t supposed to and couldn’t get one for my wife.

What do I do? I called the provincial hotline. They were closed. I waited until they were supposed to be open. Sat through 5 minutes of information, pressed the buttons, was put on hold and the system hung up on me. It happened twice more and then I got to talk to a person.

The nice man at the call centre didn’t know how I got an appointment; we think I clicked something that I shouldn’t have. So he cancelled my appointment. I asked when I’d be eligible and he said he didn’t know.

Now I have no appointment and spent a stressful morning.

I’m sure this isn’t an indication of how the rest of the week will go. (Why do I hear boss music?)

Stay safe and be kind,


Winnie the Pooh exhibit

If you love Winnie the Pooh, you’re going to want to visit Toronto this spring or summer.

From March 7 to August 3, 2020, the Royal Ontario Museum is going to be hosting Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic, with immersive and interactive activities for all ages.

Toronto is the only Canadian city that the exhibit will be visiting, so make your plans to visit now!

You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel.

Dr Seuss Experience

If you find yourself in Toronto between now and January 5th, and love Dr Seuss, I hope you’ve bought tickets to the Dr Seuss Experience at Square One!

There are many beautiful and interactive exhibits, as well as plenty of opportunities for selfies amongst the scenes and with characters.

Image of the Truffula trees. Picture from

Check it out here and here and buy your tickets before they sell out!

You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel.

Solo Car Trip with an Infant

We’re going to depart from the standard “fandom” article today because I’m tired and this is relevant to my life.

Last week, I drove with Pegasus to Kitchener from Ottawa. Granted, there was another adult (my dad) with me on the way to Toronto, but we were by ourselves for the entire return trip.

Recommendations for travelling with a four month old:

  • hope that the infant sleeps well for long periods of time in a moving vehicle
  • feed baby and change baby right before you leave (in our case, Pegasus usually has 2-3 giant poops right after waking up in the morning. I didn’t leave the house until after these were done)
  • wait until baby is drowsy before leaving
  • bring more diapers than you think you’ll need
  • wipes, too
  • ask in advance if you have access to a washer and dryer at the other end of your trip; if not, bring 2x as many clothes for both of you than you think you’ll need (I did have access, thankfully!)
  • bring a change mat that wipes clean, not a cloth one

Things that I did that worked when driving solo:

  • got gas when arriving at the onroutes – baby was still sleeping and didn’t get upset at the prolonged wait for food/change/removal from car seat (if he’d been awake, I would have gotten it afterwards)
  • changed baby immediately after arriving – and used the toilet myself because I knew I’d forget otherwise
  • got food for myself right after that – meant that I didn’t have to spread stuff out to feed him, pack it all up to get food for myself, and then spread it all out again
  • found a comfy chair (thank you Port Hope onroute for having comfy chairs!!) and spread my stuff out, fed baby right away
  • changed baby on my lap because packing up stuff seemed like way too much work
  • fed myself while baby played with a toy (chairs are big enough to squeeze baby beside myself!)
  • fed baby again
  • changed baby again
  • baby was getting drowsy so I left right away
  • plan for multiple stops every 2/2.5 hours and hope you don’t need stops in between (I had to make an extra stop at the Mallorytown onroute because Pegasus had a nightmare and woke up – thankfully it was before the onroute; there is nowhere to stop after that other than on the side of the road, and I didn’t want to do that in the dark)
  • do not stop for yourself unless you absolutely have to – taking the baby out of the car means that you have to feed and change them and let them play for a bit before getting back in the car – it extends any trip by at least an hour for every stop you make

You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel.

The Toronto Umbrella Academy

Fans of The Umbrella Academy (viewable on Netflix) can visit several of the sets in Toronto.

Image from Netflix

As I’m not familiar with this show, I’m going to link you to an article that has more information than I know what to do with. You can find the Narcity article here.

Interested in doing an Umbrella Academy tour while visiting Toronto?

You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel.

Ontario Ice Cream Trail

Looking for a cool way to spend the last half of August? Don’t want to leave Ontario? Look no further than a road trip to taste Canadian dairy ice creams.

While you could easily take day trips if you like in the southwest or central parts of Ontario, or the GTA, the rest of Ontario could have a great road trip.

Ontario Ice Cream Trail map

You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel.

Blush: Ontario Curriculum Survey

If you live in Ontario, the Ministry of Education’s online survey on education reform is available ONLY until December 15th!

Image from the completely random I just liked the picture.

I mean, you can fill it out even if you don’t live in Ontario. But it asks for your postal code, so your answers might not be counted.

You also don’t have to be a parent of a school-aged child (or any child). But it does ask you how many you have and in what school. I’m hoping that they still count our answers, even if we don’t have a child in school.

In any case, please complete the registration (emails could take up to 48 hours to arrive in your inbox) and then complete the 15 minute survey. Everyone in Ontario is affected by this, whether you have children or not, because the children being taught right now will go out into the world and will interact with us.

Let’s make sure that they’re taught respect, consent, and open-mindedness.

Because let’s face it; not every parent is going to buy Blush and play it with their children. 😛

If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

Dear Ottawa Smokers…

Dear Ottawa Smokers,

Marijuana is legal in Canada as of yesterday. That means there’s about to be a new thing that is legal to smoke.

As someone who has health issues with cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, vape, and marijuana smoke, I thought I’d take this time to remind Ottawa smokers of the laws, since some cigarette and vape smokers don’t seem to remember them.


  1. You can’t smoke in public places including parks, play structures, bars, restaurants, and patios. This includes Concert halls and festival grounds.
  2. You can’t smoke within 9 metres of province or city owned building entrance.
  3. You can’t smoke on public transit, transit property, or transit stops.
  4. You can’t smoke near or in schools. This includes post-secondary.
  5. You can’t smoke in hospitals and on hospital grounds.

Okay now that we’ve gone over the laws, I hope everyone will follow them and of course medical marijuana will have different rules and regulations.

Rules and laws are great, but as a person with severe allergies and scent sensitivities can I also ask that you do some of the following?


  1. Please smoke so the wind doesn’t blow it back on you. The smell is worse than body odour and shit combined, and will make me start coughing. No one wants to smell old Tobacco, pot, etc in the workplace or bus.
  2. Don’t smoke outside of restaurants or businesses. I want to get some groceries not cough up a lung.
  3. Go to a smoking area and smoke there. Don’t walk and smoke.
  4. If you HAVE to smoke and walk, please pay attention to the people around you. If there’s a parent and child around, or someone coughing, or on oxygen… make sure you’re not sending your smoke towards them.


Thank you to all the smokers that follow the laws and are courteous. I realize it’s a small minority that gives you all a bad name.


Blush: Sex Ed Consultation in Ontario

Hello parents and educators!

Protest sign from a rally in Toronto July 19, 2018. Image from

Were you aware that Ontario has started their consultation of parents? I wasn’t. The first part (the open consultation) closes on December 15, 2018. Here is information from their website:

We’re consulting with parents across the province to address concerns and get feedback in several areas of the education system.
Feedback from these consultations will help shape decisions in the following areas:

  1. Improving student performance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
  2. Preparing students with needed job skills, such as skilled trades and coding
  3. Improving provincial standardized testing
  4. Ensuring students graduate with important life skills, including financial literacy
  5. Managing the use of technology in classrooms, such as cell phones
  6. Building a new age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that includes subjects like mental health, sexual health education and the legalization of cannabis
  7. Developing the first-ever Parents’ Bill of Rights

The online survey will be “coming soon”. I’ll be sure to write another post about that when it happens.

The third part is the telephone town hall. Dates and registration details TBA.

As my daughter is not yet school-age, I’m worried that they won’t take my feedback seriously. I don’t like that they asked the question about the age of the child at all. The sex ed curriculum affects us all.

We’re relying on you, parents of school-age children. Help shape our future!

If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

Ontario Sexual Education and Blush: The Card Game

“Here are all the instructions for doing this acidic lab. Have fun!”

The teens start pulling out beakers and vials, pouring acid without the use of gloves. Safety goggles are placed on top of the head, to make it easier to see the measurements.

“But we didn’t want to teach the students safety measures! That would have given them ideas about how to hurt themselves!”

We don’t say things like that. In science classrooms around the world, the first thing that is taught are the safety measures. Wear your goggles at all times. When handling dangerous substances, use gloves, wear a lab coat, don’t touch corrosive substances with your skin, etc.

Why should it be any different in sex education?

Or, less scandalously, Healthy Living, as it’s called in the Ontario Health and Physical Education curriculum.

The Ontario government has shown it doesn’t care about your child’s sexual education. That doesn’t mean you’re on your own. Blush: The Card Game was designed to complement the 2015 curriculum, help parents gauge their child’s understanding of the course material, and impart their own values on the topics that they learned in school. Now it can be used to help parents fill in the gaps in their child’s education.

In the 2015 curriculum, some topics that were included are discussions about consent, respect, healthy relationships, sexual and gender identity, and cyberbullying.

When the Ontario government repealed the curriculum and reinstated the one from 1998 they went back to a time before the internet.

A lot has changed in twenty years, including how students access to information. The internet is widely available now, and on devices a lot smaller than the old family computer in the living. Meaning kids feel more comfortable searching for their questions about sex and sexuality than going to their parents, if they feel awkward.

Unfortunately there are massive amounts of information on everything and it’s difficult to find and identify valid and trustworthy sources. Blush: The Card Game has valid sources already sorted through and made available to you. You can read them in advance or with your child.

Let’s talk about a few facts.

Cyberbullying: 1 in 3 kids have been or will be cyberbullied, and it is projected to get worse.

Sexual and gender identity: the “alphabet soup” terminology isn’t meant to confuse – being able to put a name to differences that people can otherwise not explain can be nothing short of lifesaving; it gives the feelings one already has a sense of normalcy and legitimacy, and, most importantly, access to the community who shares that experience. Thankfully, they can be looked up in the dictionary (more in depth sources of information are included with Blush). Giving students the terminology to describe themselves isn’t giving them ideas – it’s giving them the tools and the agency to use them.

The 2015 curriculum also bumped up the conversation about puberty to an earlier age.

This means that topics like menstruation will be taught to everyone together. Chances are, even if your child does not menstruate, they will encounter someone who does.

Being aware of what menstruation means will foster an understanding and respect of what other human beings are going through.

Talking about puberty was moved to grade 4 from grade 5-6, because in grade 4, most kids are 9-10 years old.

Recently, puberty has been starting in kids around that age. Teaching them about what their bodies are going through BEFORE they go through it will help avoid a possibly traumatic experience.

I was lucky that my mother talked to me about my period before I got it – she was only early by about six months. I can’t imagine my panic if I had started bleeding before I knew what it was. And the 1998 curriculum was instigated the year I was 13, so I wasn’t taught about menstruation in school until it was too late

One of the most important aspects of the 2015 curriculum – it normalizes talking about the body and its functions, starting the discussion in grade 1 by naming body parts.

To recap, the 2015 curriculum has been removed, and the 1998 one has been reinstated.

That means that parents need to shoulder the brunt of the responsibility of teaching their kids. They need to learn the information, so that they can impart the knowledge necessary upon their children. This decisSex Ed Secondary Curriculumion by the Ontario government means a lot more work for parents.

Here are some tools available and being prepared:

  • The 2015 curriculum documents, Elementary (PDF 2.6MB) and Secondary (PDF 1.7MB) so you can follow along and make sure that your child is learning the content that they need.
  • An amazing educator, Dr. Nadine Thornhill , who is working on youtube videos to teach the 2015 curriculum.
  • A really great website is Sex and U. It’s a great resource from Ontario that has lots of searchable information.
  • Scarleteen is another great site and one of oldest and most inclusive sex ed resources out there!
  • Then there is Blush: The Card Game, to help you discuss topics and impart your own values in a fun and educational way.

The removal of the 2015 curriculum doesn’t just affect you. It affects our future, and the future of our children. I want my daughter growing up with her body and identity respected. Please teach your children that cyberbullying is wrong, that respect is given to everyone, that consent is important, that sexual and gender identities are diverse, beautiful, and valid, and what healthy relationships look like.

Do you have a question about sex or sexuality? You can ask your question Anonymously here.

If you have any questions about Blush: The Card Game, it’s content, how it can help you. Feel free to contact us at

If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.