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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!!!

Lucas Sings Episode 1 – My Toddler Composes Original Music

Recently, my 4 year old son has been infatuated with watching himself on video. In order to make sure that he gets ample time in front of the camera, he’s been composing original songs and notifying me whenever he has a new piece ready (every 8 minutes).

In an attempt to create a bank of embarrassing material for future use, I’ve decided to being sharing these shongs with you in a new segment I like to call “Lucas Sings”.

Every week, I’ll post a new video of him performing his original material. Sometimes it may sound similar or even like a blatant rip off of another song, but I assure you he’s tweaked all of them and made them his own.

Oh, and don’t worry about this segment running out of material as I already have a year’s worth of songs ready…

I have not copyrighted any of these so please know that if you steal any of them, you are stealing from a young child and most likely killing an angel in the process.

And now, with further Dudes, Here he is!

You’ll note that when he says “Bad Birds” at the start, he’s referring to Angry Birds. Also, his signature sign off seems to be “I wanna see my video”. He’s definitely NOT an attention seeker like his Dad….

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!!

Win A #RogersSmartHome Monitoring System Valued at Over $1500 (Ontario Only)

With a young family and hectic work schedule, it’s important for me to know that my family is safe while I’m not there. I came across a commercial for the new Smart Home Monitoring Systems from Rogers and was very impressed with the attention to detail they’ve included. The Rogers Smart Home Monitoring System allows you to see who’s at your door, even when you’re not there, just by checking your smart phone or tablet*.

From now until May 16th, you can enter to WIN 1 of 5 Smart Home Monitoring Systems from Rogers. Each prize is valued at over $1500 and the contest is open to Ontario Residents Only. Enter Here Today!

The best part about this contest is that you can earn Extra Ballots simply by sharing with your friends and family so be sure to SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!!

Here are some of the amazing features of the Rogers Smart Home Monitoring System :

    * Real-Time 24/7 Monitoring,
    * Instant Customizable Alerts,
    * View & Control Your Home Remotely,
    * Ability to Automate Sensors, Thermostat, Lights & Appliances,
    * Save Energy & Money,
    * Much, Much More.**

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It’s so easy to enter. All you have to do is visit the Contest Page and complete these 4 easy steps:

Page 1: Enter the contest by providing your contact information
Page 2: Answer a “what’s important to you” question (Don’t worry, there’s only 3 boxes to click)
Page 3: Check the boxes that apply to you (4 survey questions)
Page 4: Share & Share some more! Increase your chances of winning by sharing via social channels & email (there are simple share buttons for Facebook, Twitter & Email) but you can share it other places as long as you use your PURL (Personal URL).

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Each Prize is valued at $1,518.83 and includes:

* 1 Touchpad
* 3 Door/Window Sensors
* 1 Motion Detector
* 1 Key fob
* 1 Security Camera
* 1 Thermostat
* 1 Lamp Dimmer Module (including professional installation)
* Monitoring Service for one year

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If you’re still not excited about the Rogers Smart Home Monitoring System, have a look at this video and I promise you’ll change your mind!

*Works with any smart phone/tablet, please visit the Rogers website for more details.
**System connected by wires and via cellular.

Disclaimer: Canadian Dad or those affiliated with this blog are not responsible for any changes Rogers may make, choosing the winner or shipping this prize. I have been hired by a marketing company on behalf of Rogers Smart Home to share this contest with you.

The Important Lesson I Taught My Son

Recently I wrote about how picky my son is when it comes to eating food. I also mentioned that he didn’t extend the picky behaviour only to dinner items but to desserts too.

While reading through all your excellent comments and recommendations, I noticed that Jennifer from Mom vs The Boys made a good point about my boy not liking Ice Cream and I set out to rectify the situation.

I’m a Dad. My job is to teach my kids stuff. Learning how to enjoy a delicacy like ice cream, I believe, is one of my jobs and an important one at that.

I actually hadn’t realized just how important it was until we got to the ice cream shop. I managed to get my son to taste my chocolate ice cream, so he could see that it tasted like chocolate milk, his favorite.

He immediately asked for his own cone and we were off and running!

He treated the ice cream as if it was a trick I was playing on him. As if any moment, a dragon was going to pop out of it and eat him. Holding it in his fingertips and taking licks so small, that it almost looked like he wasn’t eating it at all.

But the ice cream was disappearing and soon he was stuck staring at a half empty cone.

I know what you’re thinking…”What is this guy talking about? You don’t teach a kid to eat ice cream, you just eat it!”

Wrong! What happened next is proof of my heroic act of Daddyism!

Staring down at the vast emptiness the cone had to offer, my son then asked me “What now Daddy? Am I done?”

In that moment, I realized that I had more to offer than simply teaching him that ice cream is delicious. “Why no my boy, you can eat the cone too!”, I responded with joy.

I’m not lying when I tell you that we then spent a good 15 minutes going over cone eating techniques. My son then went to work, in what I can only describe as the slowest cone eating adventure there has even been.

It didn’t bother this Dad one bit. He ate the whole ice cream cone (without spilling in the car) and I couldn’t have been more proud of him!

I’m finding that, with parenting, even the small victories are still victories. Up until a week ago, my son had scoffed at ice cream, especially if it came in a weird crunchy cup.

And I know it was only an ice cream cone and I shouldn’t be proud about my kids eating junk, but I am and I’m not sorry about it. Every step they take in discovering something new is an exciting experience for a parent and I was happy to be a part of this one!

Have you ever been excited or proud of your kids about something others might see as a small or non existent feat? Share it in the comments below!

Sh*t My Kids Say #5 – The Spanish Book

It’s no secret that Dora the Explorer has stolen a large chunk of the children’s television market. Part of the draw of the show for parents is that kids get a chance to dabble in a second language.

A three year old doesn’t understand that there are people who speak different languages and therefore doesn’t know the difference between English, French, Spanish and so on.

I recently brought my son to the Library to pick out some new books for circle time at the day care. I always let him pick out his own book too and he always selects a french book first.

I don’t know if the pictures are cooler in french or if it’s because they are the first books you pass by but he will always gravitate to the french section first.

I tried to explain to him a few weeks ago that, while Daddy does speak french, translating the book to English is a bit of a tough task and I asked him to select a book from the English section.

This is the conversation we had yesterday at the Library.

D: “Okay buddy, go ahead and pick out a book.”

L: “Okay Daddy!” **Looks for about 8 seconds** “Here’s a great book Daddy! It has a Boat!”

D: “Sure pal, whatever book you want”

L: **Sits at the table and opens it** “I think I need to find a different book Daddy.”

D: “Why? That one looks good and you love boats.”

L: “I think this one’s Spanish.”

D: “Nope, it’s in English. How do you even know what Spanish is?”

L: “Remember yesterday, you told me not to pick the Spanish books.” **Everything happened yesterday by the way**

D: “That was not yesterday, it was 2 weeks ago and I said don’t pick French books, not Spanish”

L: **Blank stare** “Okay Daddy. I’ll take this Spanish one with the boats!”

D: “Haha, okay pal.”
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I’d like to note that I am not against my kids learning another language, I just think it’s more important for them to master the one they are going to use on a day to day basis first.

Plus I hate translating things, LOL!

Cheers!!

Here’s Why My Son Hates People In Costumes

A couple of days ago, I posted about my son going to his first “drop off your kids and leave” Birthday Party and how the Spider-Man character spooked him.

I was going through some old Easter photos and may have uncovered the reason for my son’s fear of characters in costume. For that info, you’ll have to head on over to Life Of Dad to check out my latest post.

Trust me, you’re not going to want to miss this unforgettable family photo.

Cheers!!