Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ho Ho Ho!


The big guy wasn't thrilled to meet the real big guy, but he did manage to get through his wishlist.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

'Tis the Season, for some Christmas readin'

As the days tick off the advent calendar and the Elf on the Shelf finds himself less and less original, as we move from shopping to actually wrapping (!), the season is upon us. It's a special time of year and for bedtime we've pulled out some of our favourite Christmas stories.


Another story before bed? Yes! 
Just let me top-off my eggnog.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Surprises



As we count down the days to Christmas, the excitement keeps growing. So too, it appears, do the kinder surprises! The big guy is pumped to open presents and to celebrate the treats of the season. Convenient then that special holiday Kinder Surprise eggs are both.



So far he has been content not devouring the chocolate all in one go, despite appearances. The same cannot be said for #MaxLoco. Why do did we have a white couch again?

I also hear that Santa is a big fan and that some kinder goodies may find their way into everyone's stockings this holiday season.






DISCLAIMER DISCLOSURE: I’m a #KinderDad who is part of the KINDER® Canada influencer team; as part of my affiliation with KINDER® Canada, I am provided with special perks and products. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

poop

I understand this is karma. Just desserts. What goes around, etc. Whatever you want to call it, but this time, I'm up to my elbows in shit. Literally.

Yes. We are potty training MaxLoco.

The first time around with the big guy, potty training was no big deal. We started on a weekend, made some progress, shipped him off to daycare and by the end of the week the kid was toilet trained. No bed wetting, no accidents. Heck, he can hold it for a full four-hour drive to cottage country, traffic delays included.

So when it was time for Loco to move up to pre-school room at daycare, we thought no big deal. This will be a cinch. Why are there all those parenting resources on the internet anyway? 
That was in October.

Loco is great on number 1. We put him in a diaper at night and naptime, and it is usally dry when he wakes. Good stuff. Another bladder of iron.

And then there is number 2.

I could go into great detail here about the challenges with this particular bodily function. I could get into the consistency (runny). I could get into the frequency (9-10 times a day). I could get into the preferred location (underwear), but I will just say this: when we have prior notification (olfactory and auditory), when we are close to his toilet (one of only three he will use in the whole universe), when he admits through his toddler defiance that it is in fact on the way, his primary insticnt when he starts to feel movement is to leap off the throne. From this point on he will remain rigid, rock-solid rigor mortis stiff. Killer plank bro. But he hasn't finished. Rather, he's barely started. Use your imagination.

And then the clean-up begins. Again.

Good thing you're so cute MaxLoco

Pre-poonami

Monday, December 1, 2014

Countdown to Christmas

It's December 1st. Not sure how that got here so soon. My wife is extra happy as it coincides with the end of Movember and so my Mo' is no more. Of course, you still have a couple of days to donate, perhaps to celebrate the departure of the lip-caterpillar: http://mobro.co/nickcheeseman

The boys are excited too as Christmas is around the corner. We still have a lot of work to do to get ready, but at least we were successful in the first challenge of the holiday season - the advent calendar. This shouldn't be a huge task, but the big guy was very specific. This year it was to be the Star Wars Lego Advent calendar.


Wow. That puppy is hard to find. On-line - Sold Out. Local toy store - Sold Out. Calling frantically across Toronto - Sold Out.

I had given up hope, and sadly I had no Force to use. Somehow though, supermommy of the year found one.

Now we are good to go. Where can I find that Skylanders Trap Team?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

It begins


Last week the big guy bumped into these three. He was really pumped. He's been wearing his new blue and white socks everyday. Luckily they provided more than one pair. And so begins years of fandom futility.

Maybe the Make Believes Maple Leafs will win a cup in his lifetime. Law of averages at least must apply or something. Maybe.

Not that I can talk. The Oilers haven't won a cup since 1990, but there were 5 in my lifetime. Just saying.

Nice Mo' Mr. Komarov. No comment for Phaneuf.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Self-Portrait

Every time I talk to the big guy about his days at school, it makes me want to go back to Kindergarten and do it all again.

I also love watching him learn and leaning how his brain works. Check out this recent self-portrait.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Moustache Running

As in running out of time. 

I've made the decision to donate my upper lip to the Movember movement. Over the 30 days of November, I'm growing a moustache while raising funds and awareness for men's health.

It's been said that with great (and not so great) moustache comes great responsibility. Please donate to my Mo so that it may grow just that little bit more. 

Let's do this bad boy proud.  


Friday, November 21, 2014

Particularities

I really shouldn't be surprised. Everyone I know has their little quirks. We all have our own preferences, the way we like things just so.

It still surprises me though every time the toddler puts his foot down. Generally #MaxLoco is a pretty easy going guy. No trouble to put to bed. Happy to go out and about. Bounces back quickly from injury. But there are those certain things that have to be just so. Let's look at a few:

  • Bananas. He loves this yellow fruit. He would eat an entire bunch if given the chance. However, he will only tolerate them whole. If you accidentally break one during the peeling process, might as well toss it in the bin and start over. 
  • Crackers and cookies. These too must come in one piece. If it comes out of the package in a condition anything less whole, back to square one. It's up to him to crumble them into dust.
  • Mini Babybels. The trickiest of the bunch. If you break that cheese while removing it from that red wax coating, you best be ready to flee.
The form matters, I suppose. You might think I would be able to stand my ground and not give in to these seemingly absurd whims of a toddler. And you'd be wrong.

I'm ok with that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kinder Calendar Giveaway!

The holiday season is fast approaching and Kinder Surprise is helping you get ready by giving away an awesome holiday prize pack! Help count down the holiday season with these chocolate treats!

The prize pack includes:

  • One KINDER® Advent Calendar
  • One KINDER® Hollow Santa with SURPRISE®
  • One KINDER® SURPRISE® 100g Christmas egg
  • One KINDER® SURPRISE® MAXI 150g egg


To enter simply follow the steps below. Giveaway closes on Nov 23, so get entering!


Fine Print: The contest winner will be required to provide a full name and complete mailing address to be shared with KINDER® for shipping purposes. While you may enter as many of the KINDER® contests as you like, you can only win once. DISCLAIMER DISCLOSURE: I’m a #KinderDad who is part of the KINDER® Canada influencer team; as part of my affiliation with KINDER® Canada, I am provided with special perks and products. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hallowe'en Fun

Hallowe'en is just around the corner. Pretty much my favourite time of year.

When I outgrew Trick or Treating (and yes, as we all know, that took a while), my dad and I would decorate the house as terrifyingly as possible. He would bring home flasks and beakers, lab notebooks and charts, photos of dissections and anatomy textbooks. Outside we would hang mannequins from the basketball hoop, have zombies crawling out of their graves and howls of terror emanating from every nook and cranny. Not only would kids have to navigate the graveyard, corpses and other gruesome decorations outside, they would have to enter our front hall and make the long trek through our twisted and deranged lab to come away with any treats at all.

If they dared.

We knew we'd been successful when a) children either refused to come closer or b) ran away screaming. The icing on the cake was when later in the evening some older kids would exclaim "Cool! We found it!"

This would often have the added benefit of ensuring that a relatively small supply of superior candy would last through the evening.


So I'm loving it this year when the five year old is coming up with as many ways as possible to make our place as spooky as can be. Some of the ideas should disturb me, but I just love it too much.

Of course, a big effort deserves a big payoff, so keeping with the retro theme, this year KinderSurprise is offering a whole line of chocolate eggs filled with Transformer toys. Even better, each of the 8 different Transformers found in the Kinder Eggs can be connected like the constructicons to make one mammoth robot. Did I mention there are perks to being a KinderDad?

I love it when everything comes together.


Disclosure: I received compensation for my participation in the Kinder Dad program.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This

This is not a battlefield.
This is not the remnants from a civilization forced to flee.
This is not a roach motel.

This is the dinner table.
After #MaxLoco.

This defeated me many times. It left me bent, broken of spirit and beaten.
I would battle. Winning small skirmishes every so often, but always losing the war.
I could feel the Sisyphean task spreading, growing, infecting every waking moment, every waking hour.
Losing my religion.

At least, I was.
But I have seen redemption. 
I have tasted sweet, sweet victory.
I have a Swiffer WetJet.
And now this table, this chair, this hardwood floor (oh how I cursed you hardwood floor!) are clean.
Yes, actually clean.
And with such speed and convenience that it finally feels like the tide is turning.

#MaxLoco, time to bring that toilet training.
Your unleashed excreta no longer terrify me.
This is my #ManClean.

And I'm giving away an Ultimate Swiffer Man Clean Kit
Simply leave a comment below and/or follow us on Twitter  (@EhCanaDad) mentioning #ManClean and you'll be entered to win.

Check out showyourclean.ca for your Man Clean boasts and your chance to win a trip to Toronto to play basketball with your buddies at the ACC.
You can even get some cleaning tips from a real live Raptor (Amir Johnson).

Full disclosure - Swiffer gave me a box of free cleaning products. Gold I tell you, gold!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Man Clean (with Amir Johnson)


Guys often get a bad rap when it comes to cleaning. The perception of the lazy teenager with plates of half-eaten pizza rotting under the bed, three-week old underwear piled on the floor, dustbunnies the size of large rodents carries over into our older years.

Throughout my twenties, while there were definitely times I'd prefer to sit on the couch and watch hockey, football, or the latest dumb teen movie (Not Another Teen Movie) at some point the cleaning usually got done. Cleaning carried over into marriage - for the most part as double-income-no-kids meant regular visits from a cleaning service.

Fast forward to fatherhood - no money and no time. Just when we feel that we get a handle on things, I turn around and the house looks like a shipping container filled with colourful plastic collided with a
vegetable puree factory. Sure we still get the place professionally cleaned every couple of weeks, but 34 minutes after they've left, you'd think it had been 34 months.

#MaxLoco is partly to blame. While the big guy contemplates a Ghostbuster Hallowe'en costume, the little one wouldn't need a costume to go as Slimer.


So after the boys are in bed, instead of a good glass of red wine and a lovely conversation with my beautiful wife, or a beer with the guys watching the game, I'm stuck scrubbing avocado off the wall, chipping mashed potatoes off the table,  and scraping rancid milk from between the hardwood floorboards. Until this week.

This week the good folks at Swiffer sent me a small package of sanity. 


Combined with some solid tips from Raptors forward Amir Johnson, it was much easier to get the job done. I mean how hard is it really to "set the mood" and "reward yourself"? Yes, Amir! Sure there were a couple steps in between, but nothing painful. A quick sweep with the Swiffer and a mop with the WetJet and I could feel things getting under control. They're calling it Man Clean - empowering guys to get their cleaning swagger back. Call it what you want, it works.

First up was the baked Mac 'N Cheese. Thrown, smeared and smushed by this gremlin, but it was quick and easy to get it Man Cleaned. 

Score one opportunity to veg in front of the Netflix.

We've started toilet training the Loco this week too, so the timing couldn't be better. Stay tuned to CanaDad to see how that turns out and you could win your own Ultimate Swiffer Man Clean Kit. 

Join Amir and Swiffer - visit www.showyourclean.ca to boast about your Man Clean and join the movement.

Oh yeah, and the grand prize is a trip to Toronto to play a private basketball game with buddies at the ACC. #ManClean


Look, it really worked:

Before
After

Full Discloure: Swiffer provided me with a complimentary Ultimate Swiffer Man Clean Kit


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Big School!

The big guy was pumped, if a bit shy for the first day of big school. Senior Kindergarten is a big deal, dontcha know.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Goat-face

#TBT to that time when MaxLoco and the goat saw things the same way.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Headed to the Jays Game!

Thank you for babysitters.
When they don't call 911.
Without calling you first.
True Story.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Decent Hour

Despite MaxLoco's love of soccer, some other sports are starting to strike his fancy. I'm fine with whatever he chooses, as long as practices, games and camps are at a decent hour.





Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Start 'Em Young aka Born to be Legendary

As a parent in this day and age, I find there is one ever-present, particularly gnawing question. It can keep a parent up at night and drive you to distraction. Worse, if you get it wrong, you could be setting your kids up for failure.

So which programs should you enroll them in?

The drivers are numerous: making your kids happy; preparing your little ones for the future; giving them the tools to succeed; giving yourself a break (i.e. making them someone else's responsibility for an hour or two);  or simply living out your own dreams vicariously.

The harsh realities are many:

  • Success in sports is a longshot.
  • There are a lot more starving artists than those on the red carpet.
  • Spelling bee titles have little real world application.

But there's one arena where your little one, talented or not, in a few short years has a real chance to become not only a world champion, but the opportunity to travel the globe, well at least an expenses paid visit to Oulu, Finland.

Air Guitar!

Beyond the music, the drama, the athleticism, Air Guitar supports World Peace. After all "If you are holding an Air Guitaryou can't be holding a gun"In Toronto recently, the Canadian national champion was crowned.  Lee "Brymtime" Brymer battled some stiff competition sealing the deal in the compulsory round to Journey's "Any Way You Want It". And now he's off to Finland. With proceeds going to support of our favourite charity Right To Play.

Airness
Oh, and there's even national media attention:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/music/the-fine-art-of-air-guitar/article19853569/
http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/2014/07/31/air_guitar_advice_dont_frolic_like_a_sedated_wombat.html


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Time for a Trim

Short-long. Hockey-hair. Mullet.

 It had to be removed. The rats nest MaxLoco's hair needed to be tamed. While his old do fits his personality, it was time to reduce the impression that he is neglected. Between his curls and his body-rocking, his dreads were becoming more or less permanent.

Despite his skepticism (see photo evidence right), the haircuts went well. The big one is thrilled by his style, but it's tough as a parent - they always end up looking older. Cute, but older. Enjoy it boys, before it falls out.

Now if only I can find time to squeeze in a cut for myself.




Sunday, August 10, 2014

Birthday Blues Begone

For my birthday this hear, my lovely wife got some of the gang together got us tickets to an artist we've loved seeing for well on ten years now - Michael Franti. So we headed out to Echo Beach, a nice outdoor venue on the water in Toronto for the #SoulShineTour.






Getting pulled on stage was just a bonus :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

1 + 1 = exhausted

This week, Cris had the good fortune of the week off work. I was not so lucky. So rather than come back to the city with me or chase after the toddler (#MaxLoco) on the uneven ground surrounded by water at the cottage, she stayed up north with only the big guy. So for the week we each had one kid.

It was actually pretty sweet. Loco managed to keep things in check, with only one (justified) biting incident at daycare. And the big guy had a blast swimming, canoeing, and all around enjoying the great outdoors. I managed to get a ton done around the house, stay up a bit past my bedtime watching movies and still waking refreshed. Cris got to sleep in, take it easy and generally enjoy cottage life.

Everyone is back under one roof tonight, and three hours in I've already had to have a nap. Somehow the combo of the two of them is just exhausting. I'm pretty sure they play us off against each other (see: Louis C.K., Hide and Seek), but they both demand different things (O-man is mentally draining, while Loco is physically punishing) which in combination give us no respite.

So who's up for a playdate?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Soccer!

The World Cup is behind us. Germany, rightfully won it all. There was drama, there were goals, there was biting. And of course there was marketing.

Our two favourite commercials from this summer of soccer (football) were from juggernauts Nike and McDonalds.



The boys happened to catch them. The big one thought cool, but no big deal. #MaxLoco, however, has gone soccer mad. Bye bye Elmo. See ya Pocoyo. SOCCER! While there is the odd two-year old tantrum for a cookie or the need for a purple fork (we don't have any, by the way), the central pre-occupation, focus, obsession is soccer. 

Malcolm Gladwell talks about the 10,000 hours required to become an expert. We are well on our way. 

He's already mastered the drop-kick. But that maybe self-defence.







Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pool Fun

The boys love the water. They's making huge progress, the big guy is even venturing into the deep end on his own. By the end of this week, they'll be little fish. MaxLoco is practicing his fish "blub, blub blub . . ."

And I'm getting better at handling the early morning swims.