Dad Kids Video Games

The World I Know

I wake up, fall out of bed and drag a comb across my head. Before I get sued by the Beatles I should point out that this is a stunningly accurate portrayal of my daily routine. Every morning I groggily stumble out the front door on my way to work before the kids are even awake. I make sure to check in on them as I pass by their rooms, mostly just to enjoy their tiny faces in their most peaceful of moments.

I somehow manage to make it in to work on time each day, drink way too much coffee and potentially talk a little too much. At the end of the day, I Yabba Dabba Doo my way out to my car where I listen to the same radio show, talking about the same thing they do every other day with a traffic report on the 1’s. I glide peacefully home where I have about thirty minutes of quiet before picking up the kids from school.

The thirty minutes often feels like three but I’m always excited to see the kids. My daughter comes out first and lazily gives me a hug, which I’ve dubbed the leaning tower, as she throws her backpack at my feet and joins the procession of people walking to the next pick up spot. Her brother exits next and they hug a hug that shows how much they love each other. I have to be honest, this is my favourite part of pickup.

Once we get home, it’s road hockey, scooters and laughter until suppertime, which is usually later because it’s hard to be the reason the laughter has to come to an end. Dinner, baths, homework, story time, songs, laughter and sleep round out the day, every day.

When you read through this story it may seem kind of familiar and maybe even a little boring. The truth is that it can be boring at times and that’s fine because every so often you get a moment of difference. It could be an unprompted hug, a random compliment or even just a look from your child that conveys how much they love you. You know the look I’m talking about. In those moments, time stands still and I can’t wait to do it all over again the next day.

Photo credit to David Redding from Redding Photographics

OneTap App

Is One Second Worth A Lifetime?

A couple weeks a go I shared a story about a distracted driver on one of our local highways. Since then I have been paying a lot more attention to the cars around me while I am out and about, and not only can I not believe how distracted we are, but I also started to notice my own tendencies.

I’m guessing we all like to think that we are good drivers. I know that I drive with the confidence that I am being safe on the road, especially while transporting my family. That said, after my last post I started noticing that I am susceptible to my phone’s notifications as well. It was disheartening to say the least and I have been taking steps to eliminate those distractions ever since. After all, one second of distraction is all it takes to cause a lifetime of pain and guilt.

I downloaded the OneTap app, developed by Canadian owned App Colony, a couple weeks ago and have really been enjoying it so far. OneTap works by blocking out pings, rings and other notifications that I get while driving and since I enabled it in my car, I have been a lot more focused on what is going on around me.

I highly encourage you to check out the OneTap app in the Google Play Store and coming soon to the iTunes App Store! You can also follow along with OneTap on Twitter by tracking the hashtag #JustOneTap.

And if you’re still not convinced, I think this video does an excellent job at describing the value that OneTap offers. Drive safe, my friends!

Disney on Ice Mickey Roadster

I’m The Guy Who Broke Mickey Mouse’s Roadster At Disney On Ice

Hi, my name is Chris and you may remember me from such things as “My Day With The Cast of Disney on Ice“. As much fun as that was, when I found out that the fine people at Disney on Ice were going to allow me to drive Mickey Mouse’s roadster at this year’s event, I was even more excited than before!

This year’s Disney on Ice event was the Worlds of Fantasy tour and in the video below you will see my interview with cast member, Ben Smith, who discusses his fear of potatoes, followed by the multiple ways in which I break Mickey’s sweet ride… Enjoy!!!

PS – I asked the kids what they thought of the show and they both said “We liked it”, because my children seem to show the same emotion for every single thing we do, making it impossible to ever really know. Also, it’s Disney and even though I had seen most of these performances in past years, the kids seem to have zero memory, which is a good thing in cases like this.

ENR_EcoAdvanced_Logo

What Do You Mean The Batteries Are Dead?!

As parents, we’ve all been there. You’ve thought of everything for your family outing. Everything except batteries, that is, and now you’re dealing with the sinking feeling you get when you see that last bar mocking you as it flashes its final countdown.

We recently had such an experience at my son’s class performance when our camera ran out of batteries just minutes after the show began. I can still remember the sweat pouring down my face as I was faced with having to report my error to my wife as she beamed with excitement at the thought of having these memories forever.

There was a small part of me that wanted to pretend to take the pictures anyway but I knew I would eventually be found out, so I fessed up to my crime. My wife took the news well but I figure it could be years before she gets her revenge, as I would do to her. Maybe the half opened sugar lid or flushing the toilet while she showers. What, that’s totally normal, right?

The point here is that we go through a lot of batteries, as I’m sure most families do, and with March Break on the horizon, we are starting to stock up now so I don’t make the same mistake twice. This year we are trying out the new Energizer® EcoAdvanced™ batteries in hopes of getting a longer life out of our various devices.

FYI – The Energizer® EcoAdvanced™ batteries are the world’s first battery made with 4% recycled batteries and are Energizer’s longest lasting alkaline battery.

Double FYI – When you purchase Energizer® EcoAdvanced™ batteries at *participating stores between February 1st –March 16th, 2015 and go to energizerwinsmart.com to enter your product UPC, you will be entered for your chance to win a smart fortwo ($26,000 value!). There are also 10 secondary prizes of $100 President’s Choice Gift Cards are also available to be won!

Yeah, I know. Makes you want to snag some batteries next time you’re enjoying some quiet grocery time at Loblaws, doesn’t it?

Reader Giveaway!

Oh, that wasn’t enough for you? Okay, how about a giveaway just for you guys? Simply participate in any of the tasks in the Rafflecopter form below and I’ll pick a winner on … who will take home the following:
– Energizer® EcoAdvanced™,
– Energizer® flashlight
– Loblaw’s gift card valued at $25
(Insert Giveaway Form)
* Participating stores: Loblaws, Maxi, Maxi & Cie, Atlantic Superstore, Real Canadian Superstore, Zehrs and Dominion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, however my fear described above was very real…

Kinder Surprise Tea Party

What Happens When You Bring Kinder Surprise Eggs To A Fictional Tea Party

You can call it unmanly if you’d like but I love playing dolls with my daughter. We get a chance to laugh together and it’s one of the few times where she gets to be the boss as she lets me know all the mistakes I’m making.

We recently had a big event in the house when it was one of the dolls birthdays! I decided not to ask why this specific doll got to have 4 birthdays in one month because I’m sure there was a perfectly rational explanation. Anyway, because of the special occasion, I volunteered to bring dessert for all of the guests in attendance.

The Kinder Surprise eggs were a huge hit and the video below hints at what happened to the eggs that the dolls obviously couldn’t eat… Enjoy!

Kinder News & Notes

If you and your children love Kinder Surprise Eggs, don’t forget to tag them on Instagram @KinderCanada when sharing your pictures.

Make sure to pop in to the Kinder Surprise Facebook Page for fun and activities, especially on #KinderPlayWednesday!

I was compensated for my participation in the #KinderDad program. All the chocolate eating was 100% real…

Just OneTap

Help Stop Distracted Driving With OneTap

Let me tell you a story from this past summer. I was driving on the highway when I noticed that the pickup truck in front of me was weaving in and out of the lane. My first thought was that the person may have been drinking, so I pulled two lanes over just to stay out of harms way. The next thing I saw was the truck smash into the cement median, fishtail and continue driving.

At this point curiosity got the best of me and I caught up to the truck to see what was going on. As I glanced over I was shocked to see that not only had the driver smashed into the wall because he was typing something on his phone, but also that he was STILL doing something on his phone and not looking at the road! Needless to say, I got as far away from this guy as possible.

This is not to say that I am perfect by any means. We’ve all glanced down at a text or answered the phone while driving, mostly because it’s so accessible to do so. In fact, according to a 2014 RCMP Traffic Services report, the leading cause of fatal crashes in Canada over the past five years is distracted driving, contributing to 33% of these accidents. Well, Canadian owned company, App Colony, wanted to help change that, so they developed OneTap, a breakthrough new app for Android phones (IOS version coming soon), proudly supported by The Co-operators Group, that will stop distracted driving in its tracks. Now, driving safely takes #JustOneTap.

    How It Works

Acting as your ‘personal assistant’ on the go, OneTap uses the built-in GPS on your phone to know when you’re in a vehicle and driving. Once you get going, OneTap is automatically enabled, blocking out pings, rings and other notifications that pull our attention away the road. Unlike other solutions on the market though, when a text comes in, OneTap doesn’t just block the alert. Instead, its Auto-Reply function replies to calls and texts immediately, letting people know that you’re driving and when you expect to be finished. One2One™ urgent connect technology notifies you when there’s an urgent message, allowing you to pull over and safely respond.

Another cool feature is that when you connect to friends and family through OneTap, you will be able to see where your loved ones are and if they are driving. And don’t worry, privacy settings within the app can be adjusted to ensure information is only shared with individuals selected by the user.

I can’t think of a good reason to not at least try out the OneTap app. If you are interested in more information, you can go to the OneTap Website or you can install the app from the Google Play Shop!

OneTap

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in the #JustOneTap campaign, but seriously people, put your phones down.

#DadFit Hard Work

Project #DadFit – This Sh*t Is Hard

I knew the journey to a healthier me would be challenging but I had no idea it was going to be this difficult. Late last year I started running, hit the gym multiple times a week and even had P90X3 going strong. Nothing could stop me. Or so I thought.

Enter the busy Christmas season, snow on the ground and a bout of laziness and everything I had worked for is now far in the rearview mirror. I’ve wanted so badly to get back into my routines but I’m struggling to find the starting point. I’m now back to my old ways, which happen to include non-stop snacking, shortness of breath, sucking in my stomach to fit into my clothes and a complete lack of motivation to do any of the things I used to love doing, such as blogging and podcasting.

Inconsistency seems to be the only consistent thing in my life right now and I’m slowly working my way through it. What is this thing that holds us down even though we want nothing more than to move forward? I’ve watched all the motivational videos, seen what being out of shape can do to you and even interviewed a bunch of health experts, yet here I sit, unable to muster the strength to get off the couch.

I took a first step yesterday when I signed up for a trial membership at my local GoodLife Fitness and plan on attending my first session in the coming days. There is a lot of work to be done and I honestly have no idea if I’ll be able to get it done, but I’m going to keep chipping away at it in hopes that it’ll eventually stick.

I’m going to go ahead and assume that others are going through the same struggles that I am so I can feel like less of a failure and more of an every man. If you are struggling, feel free to share your story in the comments and maybe we can work through this thing together.

GoodLife Fitness Prize Pack

Win a 3 Month GoodLife Fitness Membership & Prize Pack!

To celebrate Heart Month and the fact that I am now officially a member at GoodLife Fitness, I am teaming up with GoodLife to give away a 3 month membership along with the prize pack shown above.

This February, GoodLife Fitness has teamed up with the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre to host the Healthy Heart Challenge to help keep your heart pumping!

Throughout the month, challenge participants will be encouraged to get CardioStrong through:

- daily cardiac stats and trends

- advice from a team of cardiologist and dieticians about preventing heart disease and stroke

- fitness tips and exercise ideas from GoodLife experts

- recipe ideas and nutrition tips to lower your risks

- suggestions for reducing stress and getting better sleep

As you complete the challenges, make sure you share your accomplishments and photos on social media using the #IHeartExercise hashtag. A lot of people won’t admit it but reading their friends journey to healthier lifestyles can be a striog motivator to get healthy themselves.

Giveaway

To get you started on the right foot, I am giving away a GoodLife Prize Pack that includes 1 GoodLife Fitness gym bag, a 3-month GoodLife Fitness membership, 1 branded water bottle and an #IHeartExercise t-shirt (various sizes available). The value of this prize pack is estimated at $250.

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me what your biggest obstacle is on your journey to becoming a healthier you. The giveaway closes Feb 28th and is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec. Good Luck and don’t forget to join the Healthy Heart Challenge on Facebook!

Disney On Ice Worlds Of Fantasy

Win 4 Tickets To Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy {Ottawa}

Disney on Ice has been a staple event in our house since we’ve had kids. I have to admit that while the skaters are all extremely talented and the show quality is second to none, I get the most joy out of watching my children’s faces throughout the show. You can see the “Disney magic” in their eyes as they shout out the names of the characters as they pour out onto the ice.

Disney on Ice’s Worlds of Fantasy show will be hitting the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa from February 25th to March 1st and I want your family to be there! With the help of Canadian Tire Centre and Feld Entertainment, I am giving away a 4 pack of tickets to the February 25th show, so you can experience the magic yourself. All you have to do is enter using the form below and a winner will be chosen on February 15th. Easy as that!

Don’t want to wait to win tickets? No worries, you can buy your tickets by visiting www.CapitalTickets.ca, by phone at 613-599-FANS (3267) or 1-877-788-FANS (3267). Here is a little more info on the show:

Rev up for non-stop fun Wednesday, Feb. 25, through Sunday, March 1, at Canadian Tire Centre with four of your favourite Disney stories at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy. Thrill to high-speed stunts as Lightning McQueen, Mater and the crew of Disney/Pixar’s Cars race across the ice. Dive into The Little Mermaid’s enchanting undersea kingdom and enter the mystical world of Pixie Hollow with Tinker Bell and the Disney Fairies as they reveal the magic that lies within. The toys are back in town with heroic action when Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and the Toy Story gang escape from the rambunctious tots of Sunnyside Daycare and race for home, in their most daring adventure ever!

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Canadian Dad Podcast - Blogger Mike Reynolds

Canadian Dad Podcast: Ep. 10 – Parenting Writer, Mike Reynolds

Today on the podcast I welcome Huffington Post contributor, children’s author and Puzzling Posts blogger, Mike Reynolds.

We took some time to discuss the different standards between men and women in sport, specifically speaking about Eugenie Bouchard and the Women’s World Cup of Soccer/Football.

This being Bell Let’s Talk day, we also get into a discussion about mental illness and share our personal stories. I believe that the stigma is slowly lifting and will only continue to fade as more people take a stand. The more we talk, the more we help.

As always, if you enjoyed the show, please take a minute to visit iTunes and leave a rating and review. That is how you get the show out to the world and I would be forever grateful! Have a great day!