The Pez Potty Training Method

No. I didn’t start a job with Pez. I can’t imagine a world where I would be lucky enough to work in a Pez Factory.

My daughter has recently begun Potty Training and as most parents will attest, the best way to keep them interested in this monumental event, is with incentives.

My son, who was brilliant beyond his years, held out for Diecast Cars from the Cars the Movie. That meant we were paying a whopping $5.99 per poop! If this were possible in the real world, we would all be billionaires!

Eventually, the balance of power shifted back to us, after we convinced him that stickers were just as cool as cars….

Now it’s my daughter’s turn to lower our diaper bills and we made sure to be prepared this time! We knew she loved two things, stickers and candy. After all, what little kid doesn’t love those things?

The stickers were first and failed miserably. They’d fall in the potty, end up on my socks & we never seemed to have the one sticker she really wanted!

That’s when we introduced her to her first Pez dispenser. It was Belle from Beauty & the Beast, a character she was very familiar with, even as a 2 year old. Little Girls and princesses, you know!

In a move much like her brother had pulled, she quickly conned us into giving her waaaaaay more candy than a 2 year princess should ever eat! We had been giving her a candy every time she said she had to go to the potty. You can probably guess what happened next…..

Every 30 minutes she would scream “Pee Pee Potty!!!”, “Pee Pee Potty!!!” and we’d trip over each other like the ice cream man was outside, to get her on the potty! Only to find out that she was using us for the candy. At one point, she even stopped taking the candy out of the dispenser herself, instead opting for the “Daddy Do It!” approach, which I totally fell for.

We eventually caught on to her little game and adjusted the rules for dispensing candy. She would receive 1 candy for what we deemed to be “legitimate” attempts and she would get 1 more candy upon completion of the transaction.

We are proud to report that it has now been 2 full weeks with only one or two accidents and we couldn’t be prouder of our little monkey! We have saved a ton in diapers and wipes, with our only major expenses being Pull Ups and Pez Refills!!

Way to go Girlie!! We’re so proud of you!

And Thank You Pez!

Did you use incentives to help your kids Potty Train? I’d love to hear what worked/didn’t work for you!

Cheers!

The Never Ending Knock Knock Joke

 

 

You’ve heard it a million times before, “Knock, Knock!” “Who’s There?” and so on and so forth.

Rarely, if ever, are they funny enough to warrant even a phony giggle. Even the dirty adult ones aren’t overly funny.

That all changes when the joke comes out of the mouth of a small child, doesn’t it? We roar with laughter as the punchline rolls out, as if it’s the funniest thing we’ve ever heard in our lives.

The funny thing about it, for me at least, is that the laughter is completely genuine. Something about the fact that your child understands the humour in it, is comforting and hilarious at the same time.

Almost as if you have done your job as a parent by teaching your kid the lighter side of life and that being funny is okay.

That brings me to today’s post. My son, at age 4, has learned his very first Knock, Knock joke. In true child form, he immediately forgot it, which brought on this video of him reciting what may be the longest Knock, Knock joke of all time.

Enjoy!

PS – He was trying to do the one that ends with “Orange you glad I didn’t say Banana”. I tell you this because there is no way you would have guessed it from this….

Way to go buddy! Better than Daddy could do!

Cheers!

5 iPhone Apps My Kids Can’t Live Without

Yeah I know, over dramatic post title, right? Well, you try writing a blog and figuring out how to get people to read it, OKAY!

I’m sorry, it’s 1 o’clock in the morning and I have put this one off all day due to being lazy at work.

Still friends? Good!

Back to the point of the story, my kids are ages 2 and 4. I occasionally let them play on my iPhone, as does my wife, and I thought I’d share with other parents out there, the games that keep the kids occupied, while also stimulating their minds…..sometimes.

I get it. Letting the kids watch TV and play video games is lazy parenting. Well, I have some news for you: I’m Not Perfect!

Every now and then, while waiting for our food at a restaurant or after a really tough day at the office, I’m cool with passing the iPhone to one of the kids for a couple hours minutes. It keeps them occupied and in some cases, can even help out in an educational way.

So without further ado, I let you in on the iPhone Apps my kids love to play!

#5 – Talking Bacteria John by Out Fit 7 Ltd. – This is probably the most ridiculous App I’ve ever seen but the kids laugh harder at this one than any they’ve played so it makes the list. It provides no educational or emotional value, unless you count laughing as a value. It’s basically a bunch of blue blobs floating around that repeat everything you say and you can feed them donuts. They also have an infectious and irritating laugh that keeps you coming back for more!

#4 – Sesame Street: The Fix-It Shop by Sesame Workshop Apps – It’s got some cool features like stories and recording and blah, blah, blah. My kids love the coloring book feature on this app. My daughter will play this until I yank it out of her screaming hands! The only issue with this one is that she doesn’t know how to change colors, so she asks every 30 seconds…

#3 – Shape-O by Bellamon – Now we’re getting to the good stuff! This puzzle game is really incredible and I’m so glad my son loves it! There are tons of puzzles, where you not only place the pieces but also have to match the letters in the word before you can move to the next puzzle. This is a great one and I highly recommend it!

#2 – Garage Band by Apple Canada Inc. – The funny thing about this one is that it was MY app for my band. We are able to share new sounds and vocals through this app and it’s very useful for our music. And then my kids heard me playing on it and stole it from me. Now my son and daughter fight tooth and nail to see who is going to get to pay drums and keyboard and guitar! I secretly love that they love the music because that’s something I can share with them. It came out of nowhere but this one is great for kids to make and record music.

#1 – Angry Birds by Rovio Mobile – Was there any doubt about this one? It’s the classic time wasting game and the kids love it! I don’t even know what to say about this game that you don’t already know. Addictive is the word I would use to describe it. Like I always say, “When in doubt, Kill some green pigs!”

 

That’s it for my list. I wasn’t paid by any of these companies, nor do I ever plan to be, lol. My kids just love these games and I thought other lazy parents could benefit from the recommendations.

Honorable mentions to Flick Home Run, Cars 2 & Talking Tom & Ben News. All great in their own way but just not quite loved enough to make the Top 5!

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to share your favorite apps in the comments section!

Cheers!

I Can’t Wait For @Disneyland To Open #CarsLand This June!

I want to start by saying a couple things here. First, I have no affiliation with Disney, Disneyland, Pixar, Mickey Mouse, Owen Wilson, Lightning McQueen or any other Disney entity. I’m just really excited about this new park they are opening. Cars is my favorite Disney movie so this one looks like a dream I once had, where I was in the movie!

The Second thing is that I will most likely never be able to afford to take my family to this theme park. That doesn’t mean I can’t still be excited about it and live vicariously through those who are actually going to experience it!

I first heard of Cars Land around Christmas of last year and thought it was a joke at the time. That was until I started Google searching it and found hundreds of images of blueprints. I was amazed at how much it looked just like the real Radiator Springs.

As more and more clips come out, my excitement level rises higher and higher! I have failed so far in my attempts to convince my wife that we NEED to go here. Understandably, once we are able to afford it, our family will most likely travel to Disney World instead, which will be fun as well. I guess. It’s definitely cheaper than a family trip to California, so I get it.

Seriously though, look at the photos and videos! They’re all there! Flo’s V8 Cafe, The Cozy Cone Motel, Mater, McQueen, Fillmore, Sarge!! It’s an overload of awesomeness and I can’t stop torturing myself with the videos and images that are out there! The best tour I’ve found so far is the one provided by my buddy Mater on the actual Cars Land website.

Out of respect and fairness to my wife, I have not showed my son any of the pictures and videos that I have been watching. That would be like using WMD’s in my fight to get my family to Cars Land and I’m not going to do it! I’ll just keep picking away until it simply becomes the thing we HAVE to do! In the meantime, I will watch my videos and read the blogs of the lucky families who get to roam the streets of Radiator Springs!

I think I’ll leave you with a couple of my favorite Cars Land videos to date. The first one is great because it explains some of the amazing features the new park is going to have. The second one is for me, lol! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have and maybe I’ll see you there someday!

KACHOW!

It’s A Bird. It’s A Plane. No It’s Super Mario Dad!

My son recently turned 4 years old. Okay, give me a minute….. I can’t believe 4 years went by so fast!

Anyway, we asked him what kind of birthday party he wanted and got about 6 answers, ranging from MarioKart to Angry Birds to Wolverine??? After much deliberation and convincing, we landed on MarioKart.

What a fantastic decision it was too! There’s a growing love for all things Mario and we were able to find a ton of ideas for the party. The best part is that we were able to do a lot of it on a relatively low budget!

How about a laminated Drivers License as the guests arrived:

As for games, we had a rousing go of Pin The Mustache On The Mario:

My son had a blast!! We did have one more surprise for him though. A visit from Super Mario himself!! That’s right, I pimped out my blog for a free Super Mario costume so I could surprise him on his birthday!

I was extremely warm in the suit and the mustache kept falling off but we got through Mario Says, Mario Bingo and the aforementioned Pin The Mustache On The Mario without any problems!

Have a look at my grand entrance! I decided to go with an entrance theme as if I was a WWE wrestler. That’s just how I roll!

The joy on my son’s face says it all!

I want to leave you with a final shot from the end of the party of the two happiest parents on the earth!!

Happy Birthday Buddy!!!!

Cheers!!!

PlasmaCar Review & Giveaway from @PlaSmart (US/CAN)

One of the things the amazing people at PlaSmart said when they agreed to let me do a review and giveaway of one of their PlasmaCars, was that I should only use photos or videos that I took myself.

As you can see from the image above, it looks as though I didn’t follow their instructions very closely….

Unfortunately (or fortunately), I can assure you that those 4 PlasmaCars all belong to me! You see, my wife runs a daycare in her spare time (LOL, kidding honey!) and we have 6 kids in the house at any given time.

Even with the 4 PlasmaCars, we still have fights over who gets to use them! The point is, these are probably the greatest toys ever made! Seriously, the kids (and Daddy) love them and use them literally everyday. On top of that, they are perfect for all ages!

My son even took his out in the snow this year because he was tired of waiting for winter to end. True story!

I’m so proud to be able to bring you this amazing giveaway, where PlaSmart will send the winner a PlasmaCar of their very own! All you have to do is use the RaffleCopter form below and I’ll notify the winner by email. Please read the Terms & Conditions before entering so we don’t have to do the awkward rules dance later!

With that, I leave you with this short video of my 1 year old daughter enjoying her PlasmaCar! Proof that they are suitable for all ages, lol. Good Luck!!

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Is This Really The ‘Rise Of The Dad Wars’ Or Just A Ploy?

I’m a Dad. I love my kids and they make me smile. Look up, there’s proof! I’m pretty good at it too.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about Dads and their evolving role in the parenting landscape. It sounds as if us Dads are rising from the ashes of mediocrity and claiming our stake as equal partners in the raising of our children with the Moms of the world.

I was recently invited to participate in an interview for Salon.com, for a piece entitled “Rise of the Dad Wars”. The article was about Stay At Home Dads and the different challenges they face as primary caregivers, who also happen to be men. You should note that while I’m not a SAHD in the traditional sense of the word, I am home more than 75% of the time so technically I qualify…

To give an example of how green I am to the blogging world, I had never heard of Salon, nor had I ever done an interview before, so my excitement level overshadowed my ability to ask any questions about the upcoming article. Something I have since learned to do.

When I woke up on the morning the article was published, I was surprised to see a couple tweets from some Dad bloggers who I have a lot of respect for, congratulating me on the mention. I think this was about the point I started to panic about who I had interviewed for and exactly what it is that I had said about being a Dad. I think I was just hoping that I hadn’t said anything to embarrass myself or other Dads.

Upon reading the article, I was happy with my contribution and even got the closing quote, which was very (insert smart person word) Awesome! More tweets began to roll in throughout the day and I even found out that the geniuses behind the popular site Dad Labs were discussing it on their live stream that day.

The point of this post however, is not to gloat about being featured in a high ranking news article (okay, maybe a little), but it’s to take a realistic look at what this Dad, at least, feels about the way I am treated in public while alone with my kids.

What followed the article was a strange phenomenon for me. I got an email to do a radio interview about it; and then another; and then another after that. One of them even gave me this line of advice, “Make sure you say the part about feeling alienated at the play groups”. Huh? But I told you that I don’t feel like people treat me differently when I’m out with my kids. That ‘alienated’ line was just a minor observation. Why are they trying to focus only on the negative stuff? War.

Could it be that I am the only one who feels like when I take my kids to their swim class or play group, I am actually getting envious looks from the Moms and not Dagger Eyes? No War.

Sure, when I go to the park or the local Sippy Cup Café, I am surrounded by groups of Moms, most of whom are there together, and I ‘sometimes’ feel like an outsider. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t just walk over and say hi to them. It’s not their responsibility to make sure the ‘Dad’ is invited into their private circle of friends. No War.

I also get unsolicited parenting advice from people I do and don’t know. Last time I checked though, any man or woman who’s ever had children (or a mother-in-law)((Not my mother-in-law though)) has received unsolicited parenting advice, so rule that one out too. No War.

Really, if you think about it, the majority of the hoopla surrounding Dads lately has been created by the corporations and the media. Look at the Huggies “Dad Test” ads. Dads, myself included, were insulted by the concept that the “toughest test imaginable” for Huggies’ products was: Dads, alone with their babies, in one house, for 5 days. Of course we were going to take action; we don’t like to be seen as imbeciles. War.

Point is, this Ad had nothing to do with Moms or even other Dads seeing us in a negative light, it was simply a marketing error. No War.

**Please note that I’m not trying to bash on Huggies here, because they showed remorse and humility by showing up to the Dad 2.0 Summit in Texas to take the wrath from all the Dads in attendance. They then changed the ads to a more suitable and acceptable portrayal (In my mind at least). **

The newest commercial that has Dads questioning a company’s marketing strategy, is from the folks at Proctor & Gamble. The commercial in question, seen below, seems like a spot for the upcoming Olympic Games and really doesn’t promote any sort of product. The only real information we get is that P&G supports Moms, which is fine by me because I love Moms and both myself and my children have great ones.

The issues that some Dads have with the commercial are as follows. First, where are the Dads?? I love Moms and would never take away from anything they do as parents but as an involved father and a child of an involved father myself, I would like to think that, on the whole, both parents would be involved in the responsibility of raising a child who becomes an Olympic athlete. War.

Secondly, and this one applies to both Moms and Dads, the ad implies that being a parent is the “hardest job in the world”, when in fact, being a parent isn’t a job at all. This is pointed out in excellent detail by blogger Beta Dad in this article at DadCentric. Double War.

So you see folks, if there is a ‘Dad War’ brewing somewhere, it doesn’t seem to be between Moms and Dads or even Dads and Dads. I’ve never been asked to move to the back of the bus because I boarded alone with my kids. No one has ever asked me to leave a play group until my wife shows up. I certainly don’t get sad stares or offers for help while pushing a high chair with my foot, while holding my son’s hand and carrying a tray full of food at the local McDonald’s

The Dad Wars seem to be like some mythical creature, created and maintained by major corporations in conjunction with the media. When I leave the house alone with my kids, I’m more concerned with remembering lunches and diapers than I am with how I am being perceived as a father.

That’s just my take on it though. As they say in business, Results May Vary.

As a father, do you ever feel like you are being discriminated against when you are out with your kids by yourself? I’d love to get some different point of views on it because I just don’t see it happening around me.

Moms, do you find it “creepy” to see a Dad at the park by himself with his kids? What goes through your mind? Please Share!

Cheers!

A Letter To My Daughter On Her 2nd Birthday

Hi Honey, it’s Daddy. I imagine by the time you are able to read this, you’ll be wondering why, to this point, most of the posts have featured stories about your brother.

I don’t have a clever answer for that other than to say that he is able to talk and joke a lot more than you can and that he is able to do a lot more activities than you are able to at your age.

It definitely has nothing to do with loving one of you more than the other because you are equally loved.

On this, your 2nd birthday, I wanted you to have this letter I wrote for you. I know you won’t be able to read it now but maybe someday you’ll look at it and understand how loved you really are.

Did you know that you were the first girl in our family tree in quite some time. Over 70 years if I’m not mistaken.

From the minute you were born, I was proud to be your Daddy.

I was then and still am petrified at times. I have no idea how to raise a girl and I certainly don’t want to mess it up!

You’re growing up so fast, I feel like I’m missing the whole thing, even though I’m right here the whole time.

Just yesterday, you were learning to stand up in your crib; now you jump from your big girl bed and into my arms.

I’m sorry that I sometimes still cut your food up way too small because I forget that you are not a baby anymore.

I sneak into your room at night sometimes too, while everyone is asleep, just to get a peak at you while you are peacefully at rest. These are some of my favorite moments.

When you run to the door screaming “Daddy, Daddy” when I get home from work, my heart literally melts. I don’t know how much longer you are going to do that for so I am going to savor every minute of it until you stop.

I love that you are charismatic and outgoing, just like your Dad. It took me 20 years to break out of my shell and I’m so glad that you seem to have already smashed through yours.

If you want to wear a Tinkerbell costume to the mall, I’m cool with that.

I even love the fact that you are a bit of a Diva. Not so much when you are yelling at me, but when you copy your Mommy’s disciplinary lines, I can’t help but giggle, even though it gets me in trouble.

I’m so proud of everything you’ve achieved up to this point. You are such a smart girl and I’m not just saying that because I’m your Dad. Okay, maybe I am but that’s just how I feel about that.

I don’t even care that you still want a soother sometimes, even though the doctor disagrees. What does she know, right?

I fear for the day you bring a boy home for the first time. I’m going to hate him. I’m sorry.

I’m going to hate the next guy too. And probably the one after that forever. Again, I’m sorry.

Boys only want one thing, trust me, I am one.

However, I promise to always be there for you though when or if one of those boys breaks your heart. That’s what Daddies do.

I also promise that I am going to go out of my way, at times, to embarrass you. Sometimes I’ll be doing it by accident. That’s what you get when your Dad is a goofball. I realize you don’t get to have a say in your Dad’s personality. Sometimes life isn’t fair (Write that one down).

I honestly believe that you can do anything you want to do in your life. I promise to do all I can to help you become everything you aspire to be.

You can’t be the President of the United States, it’s literally not legal. I’m not sorry about this because being Canadian is pretty awesome too. We’re pretty good at hockey you know.

I don’t want you to do drugs or smoke or drink because those things are bad for you. But I tried them once so I’ll be reasonable about it because I don’t want to be a hypocrite. Consider this your first warning young lady. Sometimes life isn’t fair. Remember when I told you to write that down?

I could write to you all day but I think I’ve made my point.

You bring a new aspect to my life that I never dreamed could be so amazing.

You make me smile when I’m in the worst of moods.

Just the thought of you growing up and moving on brings a tear to my eye (like right now). That’s right, Daddies cry. It’s something you should know about now because it may fall into the embarrassing category when you graduate from high school.

On this, your 2nd Birthday, I want you to know that your Daddy Loves You with all his heart and nothing will ever, EVER happen to change that.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!!!

Hunting With My 3 Year Old Son – The Day He Became A Man

Yeah, You heard me.

Recently I took the appropriate steps to accelerate my son’s development from Boy to Man by taking him hunting for bears and lions deep in the woods of the South March Highlands of North Kanata.

My son will be 4 years old next week and I felt it was time for him to ditch the toddler act and learn how to be a man. Sure he can tie his** put on his own velcro shoes, do up his seatbelt and even recite the alphabet but it’s time he learned how to provide for his future family.

Obviously, the first step in any successful hunt is to make sure that your weapons of choice are ready for battle. In my experience, for hunting bears and lions, my weapon of choice will always be the sword.

We sharpened our blades, hugged our wives and mommies and headed off for battle! Spirits were high that we would come home with plenty of bear skin for warmth and meat to feed our starving family.

We weren’t sure what to expect upon entering the Highlands but we came across many obstacles on our journey. First was obtaining passage through the Land of the Gnomes. The only entrance is by passing through the Great Tree of Gnomia.

The gnomes demanded a sacrifice so I was forced to give them the last of our rations of TimBits.

The gnomes granted us access but refused to let us photograph them. Trust me, they were real!

We were well into our adventure and had yet to see any bears or lions. I began to worry that my boy would not be entering manhood on this journey and if we could not provide food, who knew how much longer we could survive.

At that moment, we heard a rustling in the bushes and drew our swords! It was the Rock Warriors of the Upper Highlands and they were not happy about our intrusion! I was knocked from my feet, leaving only my son to defend us.

Upon regaining consciousness, I found that my boy had slayed the Rock Soldiers and was proudly displaying his new trophy for me.

He had finally become a man and I couldn’t have been more proud in that moment. I even found myself losing focus at times and luckily had him to remind me where we were.

Unfortunately the journey wasn’t over, as we quickly came face to face with the most deadly creature in all of the highlands!

The Papilionoidea of North Kanata:

Ancient legend states that if the Papilionoidea even senses danger, it can turn you to stone with a single whisper.

I have never been so scared in my life but this was no time to show weakness in front of my boy.

I crept up behind the demon butterfly and in one fell swoop, cut it down with my mighty blade. Then we rushed out of the forest and back to the safety of our home.

While it’s true that we didn’t bring home food for our family, the important thing to note here is that my little boy became a man on this day!

Furthermore, upon hearing of our triumphant battles in the Highlands, the townspeople revolted and declared a new King!

You guessed it!

I hope you enjoyed our adventure. I know there are many more to come, so I hope you stick around to enjoy them with us!

Cheers!!!

**Thanks to Justin at Let’s Make a(nother) Deal! for pointing out my knack for making things up, lol. My 3 year old can kill Rock Warriors but he does not in fact tie his own shoes. Busted!!

Super Mario For A Day Courtesy Of Costume Discounters

I was thrilled to be contacted by the fine people from CostumeDiscounters.com to see if I’d like to review one of their products.

Clearly, as a Dad blogger and the owner of adorably cute children, they knew that my kids would look great in any of their costumes.

Unfortunately, they didn’t know that I am also a lover of wearing costumes, so I threw them a curve ball and ordered one for myself! Here’s the proof:

I have to say, the costume showed up in record time and all in one piece. My dealings with the fine folks at Costume Discounters were nothing but spectacular and I absolutely recommend them for all your costume needs!

Back to me for a minute though….I wanted to really test out the costume so that my review reflected the product and wasn’t just lip service to a client. I decided to test it out to see how it worked in real life situations.

You know, things like pretending to drive while playing MarioKart on the Nintendo Wii:

I also put it to the ultimate test by making dinner for my family. Spaghetti, a Mario specialty! From scratch too!

The costume passed all other tests it was given and is still in tip top shape and ready for my son’s Mario party next weekend. Seriously, I’m using it to entertain all the children at my son’s birthday party. Don’t worry, I’ll post videos!

In all seriousness, everything at CostumeDiscounters.com is of the highest quality and I dare you to find a place to get your costumes for a cheaper price (making your own doesn’t count!). For real, if you find an identical costume for less on the net, they will match the price AND give you an additional 20% off!!

Make sure to check out their Facebook Page for more great deals and information.

Thanks to the staff at CostumeDiscounters.com for providing me with the costume in order to facilitate this review.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have a long day of plumbing ahead of me and I’m out of here! (I think that’s still Mario’s profession…)

Cheers!!