Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas with the Premier

Courtesy of Premier of Ontario Photography
Last year the big guy got to decorate a Christmas tree with then-Premier Dalton McGuinty.

This year, the Premier may have changed, but the big guy still got to do some fun Christmas activities at Queen's Park. Premier Kathleen Wynne invited the daycare class to come over and decorate a gingerbread replica of Queen's Park. The result was auctioned off to raise money for the United Way.



Kids and candy. When they left there were fewer candies on the gingerbread house than when they arrived.

Everyone had a great time.
Except maybe the teachers who had to manage the sugar aftermath.


video

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

18 Months!

Amazing that MaxLoco is a year and a half today.

Of course he celebrated by eating soap.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sucks to be Second

I think I should start this one off with an apology. An apology to the second child, the younger one, the handmedowner, the everyone's been there done that before I was even born. Max, you have not gotten as much individual attention as your brother did.

I realize I have a few years before he can read this and a few more before he can truly comprehend. By then I'm hoping I can make it up to him in the form of a new car. Maybe a used new car. At least one that wasn't previously driven by his older brother.

This difference really hit home to me last week when we had the chance to attend Toronto's new Kidville location. For those who aren't familiar with Kidville, it's essentially an indoor gym/playground, offers kid/family-friendly classes and a houses hip boutique (toys and clothes).

It was awesome.

We were signed up for a Rockin' Railroad class, but arrived early which gave us some time in the "Playspace". Since it was cold, wet and windy outside, the Playspace gave us an opportunity to burn off some energy.

The boys bounced on the trampoline, jumped in the foam pit, balanced, careened and generally caused havoc. In the padded, brightly coloured room, it was perfect. The Top 40 soundtrack had them dancing while giving parents a break from the regular wheels on the bus go up the waterspout twinkling in the sky. You know what I'm saying.

When the class began was when I really noticed how we haven't been doing enough of this kind of thing with the little one. He was in awe. There were two leaders who interacted directly with the kids, playing instruments, breaking out puppets and generally entertaining while two more staff were backing them up on a full drum kit and keyboard set. It really was rocking. There was movement, song, bright colours and enough energy that I was fully into it. The little guy couldn't get enough of the music, the puppets and the instruments. When class ended, all four of us were wiped out, with smiles from ear to ear.


The only knock is that it's a bit more on the pricey side than other similar offerings, but the quality (of both the class and the physical space) were well above other providers. Also it's a bit far from where we live, but for parents (or grandparents or nannies, of which there were more than one) in the area, it would be ideal.

They offer a variety of classes. Winter registration is open now and the full schedule is here.



A huge thank you to Kidville for the free trial and a great time with both the little one and the big one.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Be Undead

It's that spooky time of year when all the ghouls and goblins creep out into the night. Witches brew and skeletons quake. And Zombies eat your brains.

But did you know that in Canada there are approximately 40,000 thousand cardiac arrests per year. For the 85% of these that happen outside of a hospital,  the current survival rate is only 5%. Truly scary. However, an individual’s chance of survival can increase to up to 75% when early CPR is used in combination with an AED.

CPR makes you Undead!

Maybe not enough to make it onto a hit cable tv show, but at least enough to get your through.

And since anyone can suffer a cardiac arrest, everyone should learn CPR. To find free CPR training opportunities in your area visit CPRundead.ca

In Ontario, the Heart and Stroke Foundation is launching the 2013 CPR campaign with the Toronto Zombie Walk & Halloween Parade on October 26 beginning at 3 pm at Nathan Phillips Square. Come out and learn the three simple steps that can save a life.

Help revive the witch,
and keep Hallowe'en, your friends and your family alive!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

When Mom's Away . . .

 . . . the boys will play.

The munchkins have been pretty good through the first two days of mommy's four-day roadtrip. While she's sipping lattes at Pike Place Market and enjoying views of the Pacific, Daddy Day Care is in full swing.

At halftime the score stacks up:






















I can stand by that total. And from here it should be smooth sailing:

- Playdate Sunday am
- Dinner at Grandmas Sunday night
- Daycare on Monday

So I should watch the third period. Right?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Release the Beast!

"Release the beast!"

A cry that heralds the unleashing of ferocious savagery. A purposeful decision to release something perhaps best kept contained. A recognition of an unstoppable force easier to flee if wild. A sign to take cover.

This is our call when, amongst the carnage that was once a clear table, a clean floor, unbent cutlery and intact dishes, we let bend to the inevitable. When we let #MaxLoco out of his highchair.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Football football football

It's Sunday. And the planets have aligned. The big one is playing Lego quietly. The little one's naptime is approaching. Mommy is out for a grocery shop. Even the bunny ears are working on the tv. Time to settle into the couch, grab some nachos, maybe even a beer and watch some football.

At least that's how I dreamt it. Turns our the big one is done the Lego and wants to play baseball. The little one has a cold and is refusing a nap. I'm participating in the grocery shop through the wonders of text messaging.

Football, maybe next weekend.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cottage Dinners

AKA Beer Can Chicken


Or as the boys were calling them, Elephant Chicken. 

Rather easy to make actually. Right, the recipe:
1. You take a can of beer and shove it up . . .

Actually, just look at the pictures. You can figure it out.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Emerging Vocabulary

The big one has always talked our ear off. With each new discovery we are regaled with tales of awe and wonder. It is pretty cool.

And now the pumpkin man is starting to follow in his brother's footsteps as he harnesses the power of speech. So far he only has two words: "Ba", which means "more", and "Da da da da" which essentially translates as "let's party".

I can see college now . . .

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Feeding time

The only time there is silence with the two wild animals is feeding time.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Principal's Office

It's only Max Loco's 3rd week of daycare, but today when I picked him up I was handed the "incident report" to sign.

Max Loco, biter. Tooth marks to prove it.

Let's face it. It's the first of many more to come.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

You gotta fight for your right

The end is nigh.

Maybe not the end of days, but the end of parental leave and the end of daddy daycare. The Pumpkin Man is in daycare transition this week, starting full time on Monday.

Good thing he has an older brother who has taught him the ways of the big, bad world. One of the Pumpkin Man's first daycare experiences was mealtime. He was sat at the table and handed his small chunks formerly known as food. Out of nowhere another baby sidled in and starting swiping his eats. His first reaction was to cry, but the daycare workers were too busy with other children. Quickly realizing his protest was in vain he swiftly implemented Plan B. As the other baby went for another handful, the Pumpkin Man poked her in the eye.

I'm not really worried about his transition.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Almost a year

Today the pumpkin man is eleven months old. Almost a year. The time flies by and so do the milestones.

I'm not entirely sure I'm happy that he's now able to pull to standing - only a few days before vacation. At least we're keeping things interesting.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Post-Game Analysis

The snow has melted. The sun is shining brightly. The flowers are in full bloom. So it must be time for the NHL Playoffs.

With the big man turning four last month, I thought it high time to introduce him properly to game. Of course we shoot, pass and score on the driveway and we've been skating on the rink, but I haven't actually taught him the game. So for the last two Leafs games we've watched the first period together.

I now find myself in an existential quandary. The kid has questions. I don't mind answering them. There are a lot of rules, gear and broader context issues to contend with. It just blows my mind how he can deconstruct the whole thing from top to bottom.

Now this post-season clearly isn't ideal as I'm more likely to see the Oilers on the golf course than lifting Lord Stanley's Cup. As a fair parent I realize that should let my boys make their own choices of which teams to support, but that's not to say Oilers gear outnumbers Leafs swag in our house 6 to 1. A gentle barrage of propaganda also isn't offside.

But I'm holding out hope that he's chosen an Oilers sweater to wear to school for three days in a row.

Oh, and he calls Toronto the "Make Believes".

Monday, May 6, 2013

Stages

Being an at home parent means going through all of the different stages:

From sleeping on the floor in various pretzel shapes, to the pain and torment of the inability to stick with one task, to newfound mobility often resulting in accident and personal injury.

And then there are the things the kid goes through.

Fashion sense

At first I didn't really see the utility of shorts on the baby. Now I see their immeasurable value as a diaper containment device.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Learning to Crawl

So the Pumpkin Man has started going mobile.



And he's got a new nickname.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

We've Been Slimed

Copyright Martyn Tranter
For the past couple of weeks our house has been taken over by ectoplasmic goo.

It started in the Pumpkin Man, but quickly spread to the rest of us. The first warning sign is a sore throat, but now I wish that was all there was to it.

The Pumpkin Man also hates having his nose wiped, at least with a tissue. The furniture and carpet are his preferred sources of relief. And now that he's crawling, he's been able to slime pretty much the whole house.

For a while I was able to overcome his resistance by turning it into a game, but he's on to me now.

If only Bill Murray hadn't hung up his proton pack, cause I know who I'm gonna call . . .

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blue

It seems that Spring has finally sprung in Toronto. Easter is just a couple of days away and the snow is all but gone. Ten days ago though, we got a chance to hit the slopes. Not quite the steeps and deeps of the Rockies, Ontario's Blue Mountain is a great place for a family ski weekend and for the big guy to try skiing for the first time.
He got his skis shined up, grabbed a stick of juicy fruit, and I think the taste moved him when he popped it in his mouth. He'd been wearing his helmet round the house for the better part of two weeks.

Even with the hype, we were all pretty proud of his first time strapping planks of wood to his feet and throwing himself down a hill mountain. It was hard work too. 
 

When was the last time you used a rope-tow? 


Knowing better than to take Steppenwolf's word for it, I hear they have these new magic carpets, but I still haven't seen one in real life.  Maybe next year. Anyway, our gloves held up to it and we got our share of turns in. Next season my back tells me we'll find that carpet.
We had a great time. And as the little man crashed for nap, I still got to get in some extra runs and a quick apres ski.


 Next stop - Whistler. And then the Caribous.



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Getting Older


Moshfest Gig Poster

Hanging out with friends you often get to reminiscing about days gone by. And as it goes we were recently chatting about "gigs" we used to check out back in the day.

Of course, growing up Edmonton,  and it being the 90s, I attended Moshfest. This is where we perfected crowdsurfing, or so we thought.

Turns out that was 20 years ago.

Moshfest '93. Grunge was in full swing. The music rocked. It spoke to us. I even volunteered - free admission and a t-shirt. A purple t-shirt.
Purple Staff T-Shirt

I was attached to Bill's Psychotic Mother for the day. They knew how to name bands back then. Also on the bill - Drool, Naked and the Dead, you get the idea. It was a pretty sweet deal though, basically making sure they had their rider and watching other bands with their lead singer. I think we had earplugs as the Agricom was the equivalent of a barn. Great place for a music festival.

Still, all this nostalgia is moving. I might have to move to a place, to a place where the dream of the nineties is still alive:



PORTLAND!

Monday, March 25, 2013