Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Holiday Helper

The little guy loves helping with the groceries.

If only we can get him to put away the lego and the shopkins. #ouch

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Christmas is Coming

It's December 1st, and while the snow hasn't settled in, yet, Christmas is less than four weeks away. As always, it's time to manage expectations for the wee ones - Christmas is in sight, but still far enough away. Thankfully our parenting predecessors figured this one out already, hence the Advent Calendar. Sure, sure, there was probably some religious and ceremonial significance when they first emerged a few hundred years ago, but we'll take the parenting help where we can get it.

As a child, I loved those little chocolates hidden behind the flaps. Looking back, I'm not sure my parents were the biggest fans of chocolate before breakfast. These days, however, we have lots of options. Our boys are excited to start assembling there scenes - Star Wars LEGO for the big one, Playmobil NHL Hockey for the littler one. It'll be nice to be hoisting Lord Stanley's cup in our living room, even if it is in miniature.

Now I just need to get myself some slippers to avoid stepping on all those little pieces of plastic.

Full Disclosure: Playmobil provided a sample product free of charge, opinions are my own.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Vids for Kids

As is the case every year, the Skylanders franchise has released another edition, just in time for the holidays. This year it's the Imaginators edition.

I had thought that the boys had grown weary of the Skylanders concept, but this time it's back with some pop. For the first time, the graphics are crisp and sharp (and we are on a lowly Wii U). The irreverent humour is back in spades and this time, thankfully, there is much less Flynn.

The new toys are cool, but pricey as always at launch. Our favourite so far is the just-in-time for the holidays Jingle Bell Chompy Mage.

The twist this time around is that you can design your own Skylanders. As you progress through the game, you collect bits - arms, legs, tails, heads, catchphrases etc. You then stick assemble them how you like and voila, your own Skylander in the game.

There's also a nice tie-in with the Netflix Original series Skyladers Academy. The Norm Macdonald-voiced Glumshanks is a personal fave.

Full Disclosure: Activision provided a promotional copy, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Stick a Pin In It

It's a regular Sunday night. We're all gathered at Grandma's house, a whole gang for a good Sunday dinner. The nephews are pretty tired out from the weekend of skiing. Our boys have done birthday parties, outings and had decent naps.

After the meal, boys peel off in small groups or solo, gathered around a multitude of glowing devices. The Habs for the eldest, Minecraft for the middle bunch, even #CantStopWontStop has settled down in front of the Paw Patrol.

The grown-ups are well fed, lounging about the family room in various states of repose. With glasses of wine in hand, we are content. It's a moment frozen in time. The constant motion has slowed to a point where bodies in motion are in fact decipherable, no longer a constant blur. Did I mention there are five boys under 10?

There is actually time for conversation.

I'm leaning against the counter, in the middle of telling some inconsequential (hopefully humorous) story, when a searing pain stabbing through my foot stops me dead. The cry from my mouth has stopped everyone in their tracks.

Slowly I turn my gaze downwards, down towards the offending appendage. Rather than a view of my foot all I can see is a Cheshire Cat grin completed by bright twinkling eyes. I still can't comprehend what is happening and why foot is continuing to course with fiery pain. Quickly, he scuttles away. That's when I see it.

The push-pin from the corkboard is lodged in the joint between my third toe and my foot.

With all the composure I can muster, I bend and remove the pointy object. I calmly take the little guy by his hand and exit the room. It's time to be serious dad. Not angry dad or bewildered dad, but there are consequences dad. Behind me, I can hear the room erupt in guffaws, chortles and downright belly laughs. Most of me wants to join them, but I've got to be responsible dad. calm dad. dad who makes this a teaching moment. It's on the inside I'm dad who can't believe his own offspring just stuck him with the pre-school equivalent of a shiv.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016


Finally, the Big Mac agrees to wear mitts. Parenting win - now his fingers won't fall off.