Thursday, May 29, 2014

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

MaxLoco, faced with the most difficult decision of his young life. #LEGO #DUPLO


Forget traffic, congestion or car trouble. It's things like this that make me late for work. #parenting #MaxLoco #ricekrispies

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Family Trip to the Brickworks

I'm sure the university kids were all playing frisbee in their shorts and skimpy outfits on the last day of exams back in April, snow be damned. I would have been there too once upon a time. Now I've waited til the end of May. Til the weather has actually warmed up. I can blame not wanting to expose the children's delicate constitutions to the rigours of the elements, but really I'm just turning into more of a wimp.

Now that Spring has actually arrived in these parts, we're taking advantage. We're getting outside. One of the best spots to get back to nature with the fam that's only 5 minutes away is the Evergreen Brickworks.

The reclaimed and re-naturalized ruins of a century-old brick factory, they have done a tremendous job letting nature reclaim the site while turning some of the old industrial elements into event space.

Given the mud-quotient on some of the trails, combined with the offering of some craft brews in the old kilns, you can guess where we found ourselves. Does it help in the justification that the only space capable of soothing a tantrumming MaxLoco was the beer garden? It certainly calmed me.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Safety First!

First time on two-wheels. Wonder if we should have the headbanger and body-rocker wear this puppy all the time.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Catch the Fever #tbt

Supporting England two years ago for Euro 2012. #TBT Will we do any better in Brazil this year?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Offical CanaDad Father's Day Gift Guide

With Mother's Day in the books, this year we are pulling together CanaDad's first ever Father's Day Gift Guide. Just a small collection of things that I the great men in your life will appreciate at this celebration of all things dad.

On to the list, in no particular order:

Noise Cancelling Headphones

New tech always goes down well with Dads, even if at first they don't know how to work it. Since he probably hasn't listened to new music since the late 1990's (no, Frozen doesn't count), so how about some new headphones? The noise-cancelling feature means Dad will be able to find some peace and quiet to actually hear those new bands he's heard so much about. Even if the monkeys are hanging from the chandelier.
I hear that these are rather nice: Bose Quietcomfort 15.

A New Ride

Dad is often called upon to be the chauffeur.  A new vehicle to help with the dropoffs and pickups and dropoffs and pickups and dropoffs and pickups hits the spot. That midlife crisis can't be far below the horizon either. So why not get him something both sporty and functional? Something with some zip to make those trips to the Home Depot a little bit quicker, but with the space to accommodate all of the munchkins and their gear? Hence the Maserati Quattroporte.

Belt Buckle

A unique or vintage buckle goes a long way to keeping Dad cool. It's a manly accessory, without being too hipster. And of course it is functional too, helping to keep those pants up over that ever expanding waistline. Bonus points for the Jolly Roger, as it'll make him feel like a pirate, or at least that maybe someone is after his booty.

Season Tickets A Pair of Tickets to the Raptors

Tickets to a sporting event are always great. Season seats are even better. Instead of watching the game at home on the couch, Dad will be out of the house around 41 times. That's 41 nights of peace and quiet. 41 nights the baby won't be woken by shouts of encouragement/expletive filled rants. 41 fewer opportunities for the little ones to pick up choice invective. Of course, given realities here in Toronto, a pair of tickets will probably be all the pocketbook can handle, even though at that price you might get season seats somewhere, like San Antonio.


Most parents agree that Lego is a great toy for kids. Most moms will also notice that Dad get just as into it as the little ones. Some so much that there is more whining and bickering coming from he who should know better. So why not get Dad a set of his very own? There are even some great satirical options out there. Helping everyone avoid flesh wounds.


Many Dads I know enjoy a drink now and then. Whether it's after a job well done getting the garden in shape, warming up after shovelling the driveway, or kicking back with some friends, a good scotch can warm a guys' cockles insides. Rather than a single bottle, look into a membership in a "whiskey of the month" club, or if you live in a monopolized liquor jurisdiction (see Ontario; see LCBO; see antiquated booze laws) get some of his buddies together to host a monthly get-together. This also works well for bourbon and tequila and beer. Not so much for Malibu.


Since we've already mentioned booze, we can't forget BBQ. Whether he'll admit it or not, Dad takes great pride in being King of the Grill, Master of the Charcoal, Lord of the Flies Meat. 10 years ago, my in-laws gifted me a phenomenal Weber grill, which is still going strong to this day. My Weber has served me well these years, grilling evenly through thick and thin, summer and winter, sunshine and rain. Better than a US postal carrier, my Weber always delivers. So if you don't have one, get him one of those. Next on my grill list, however, is a bit more of a conversation piece: enter the Big Green Egg. A grill, a smoker, an oven all in one.

A Good Read
A good book can often be overlooked around Father's Day. When does Dad have time to read anyway? So a good read along with some dedicated time to actually read, maybe with a glass of item 6 on this list, can go a long way. For Canadian political junkies, Paul Wells' The Longer I'm Prime Minister is certainly worth it.

And there you have it. Of course, if Dad has put together his own Amazon Wish List or is dropping not-so-subtle hints every time you pass a certain shop window, then go with that.

Happy Father's Day-ing. And let me know how it goes!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Runnin' the Halls

Every morning on our way into daycare we pass through marble halls lined with artwork. Dating from the late 60's some of the artworks are paintings while others are sculptures. They add a little character to dark tunnels, but I don't give them much thought beyond that. Except until we started the little guy at daycare too.

Our walk is now extended by a couple of minutes as MaxLoco stops to "admire" one particular piece. And for the little guy, admiring is a full-on physical experience. Since he's gotten more verbal, he has added some commentary to his appreciation.

I don't interfere, but sometimes I have to give a sheepish smile to passing colleagues. This is THE piece.