Posted in Being Jewish in Toronto, Life

Thursday Thirteen: Parenthood the third time through. Thirteen things I don’t recall the other kids doing


I have been maintaining this blog since just before the birth of our oldest son, Linus, which would be 2004, and at that time – as you can attest to – with your first-born you make note of everything from lack of sleep to rolling over, to loosing teeth.  Once the second child arrived, there were some comparisons made to the first child, but there were also situations where we had to think about whether Linus had done what Stewie was now doing.  Then came Berry, and it was forget about it.  By 3, you know they are not going to die if they cry for 5 minutes, and that rash… It’ll go away.  Oh, she threw up?  Let’s watch her and kiss of sleep tonight.

But there has been some things recently which makes me think back to Linus and Stewie to see if each child did this, or if it’s just for us the third time around.

13.  Germs and dirt: Either we have a germ-a-phobe on our hands or I forgot what it’s like have a 2-year-old, or possibly it’s just a girl thing, but Berry went through a phase where for about 2 weeks she refused to bathe because the tub was dirty, or sit on a toilet seat if the toilet was dirty.    Funny, yet frustrating it how I would describe it.

12.  Language: “Linus is an idiot!  He’s an ASS”.  I do not for the life of me recall Linus using language like this towards anyone.  Classmates, us, his brother or his sister, however little spark plug Stewie blurts it out daily now.

11.  Nutrition: “How much sugar is in milk?  How much fibre is there?  Iron?”  This was Berry to me the other morning as she was eating cereal and reading the box and the jug of milk.  She was quizzing me…  I don’t recall my boys at 2 1/2 doing this.

10.  Food issues:  Linus will stand beside a plate of cookies, without touching them, and point to them and politely ask if he can have one.  Stewie… Dives in and stops when we catch him.  I think with Berry we just keep her away so Stewie won’t influence her.

9.  Picky eaters.  Linus ate everything as a baby.  Urban Mummy made all his food from scratch and he loved spinach, eggs, fruits, veggies, and yogurt.  As he got older he got pickier to the point now that he’d be happy with plain noodles and bread.  Stewie, the human garbage can was always picky to some extent but when he likes something he inhales it, ie. 5 mini-pizzas for dinner, 5 green apples a day, 2 english cucumbers for a snack, but in the last week he’s off everything.  “I don’t like that anymore”.  Berry… Very picky and all over the place.  She starts eating what we have for dinner then when she sees the boys eating something else she wants that too, then after the meal is over she’s had 9 different things.  I honestly have no idea what her favourite foods are…

8.  Bathing.  Linus is a fish.  Stewie HATED the water and when him and I did swimming lessons, he spent the first lesson clinging to me keeping every inch of his body out of the water.  It terrified him.  Berry, hated the water too, having never done swimming lessons, and freaking out in the bath when I tried to wash her hair.  Now she likes it but I recall both boys hating to have their hair washed… I believe.  It’s the bath blur.

7.  Motoring (or motor-mouth): All 3 of my kids walked late – 15 months – nd talked early, in some cases stringing together 2-3 words before the age of 1, but I have the feeling that Berry’s vocabulary is the best!  She strings together smart sentences and they surprise me most of the time.  The other day I took the many decorative pillows off our bed and placed them on the floor.  In walked Berry and said this; “Oh, why are all the pillows on the floor?  Did you put them there, Daddy?  They don’t belong on the floor, they’ll get dirty… Silly.  I’ll help you move them”.  Whew.

6.  Sleep… Oh sleep.  Linus has always been a very sound sleeper – he slept through Stewie’s birth (a planned home birth)  at the age of 22 months.  Stewie slept for 2-3 hours at a time for 10 months which makes him a not so good sleeper.  Berry gets into bed and sings, talks and plays for what seems to be hours.  I don’t remember if the boys played like this because we were too exhausted at that time to pay attention and who knew there would be three of them to compare too…

5.  Sports:  My boys never liked sports.  I’m pretty sure getting them to try hockey or baseball was difficult but with Berry it’s different  She flips out not when I ask her to play but when she cannot participate.  She loves sports.  Granted, when there is sports on the TV, she says; “Daddy, is this basketball?  Hockey?  Wrestling?”  LOL.  She cannot tell them apart but she’s going to be a star.  Competitive and focussed.  Yay.

4.  Technology:  Linus’ first word was iPod.  Stewie iPhone and Berry, well it should have been iPad.  But Berry can open up and set up that iPad and get her games working and move through them with ease.  I can’t recall if my boys were as proficient at that age.  Sure now, I’ll give my iPad to Linus to fix, but Berry gets it too..

3.  Wrestling:  I love wrestling.  It makes me laugh and no one is allowed to watch it, but if it’s 0n sometimes they catch a glimpse.  Until recently Linus and Stewie had zero interest in wrestling.  Now it’s somehow become part of their lives as it did mine growing up.  Linus asks if Mark Henry can life our treadmill, Stewie compared a distance of 7-feet to the height of the Great Khali and Berry runs around my house making the hand gestures and sounds that Kane does before he sets the ring post on fire.  She also loves Brodus Clay’s theme song, and we’ll catch her singing “Gonna call my momma… ya ya ya ya!”

2.  Religion:  Linus goes to a private Jewish day school.  Stewie went to public school last year and is at the same school as his brother.  Linus thinks the world started by G-d when Adam and Eve were placed on the earth.  Stewie said, no its the big bang and evolution and dinosaurs were on the planet first.  Berry, on the other hand is going to a very religious Jewish nursery school and is the more religious of the 3 of them and that makes me laugh since we’re not that observant.  At least they’ll have each other to speak Hebrew to, since I have no idea what they’re saying.

1.  Respect.  It might just be the mob mentality, but when the three get going we fear for our lives.  LOL.  But seriously, Linus was respectful growing up, testing the limits every now and them but understanding his place.  Stewie on the other hand has no qualms about telling us how much he dislikes his brother or me for “wanting to kill him (read sending him to his room where he won’t get to come out ever or eat or drink water).  He’s a little dramatic.  Berry has been observing her brothers and we’re kind of hoping she stays happy and loving and follows neither of her brothers.  I doubt that will remain the same.

Tell me about your kids… If you have more than one does the memory fade away or what have you done to preserve it?

Posted in family

Stuff Stewie Said This Weekend: Random Comments of a 5-Year-Old Boy

Just wanted to post the 5 best comments thrown out by our 5-year-old boy Stewie this weekend;

1) We went to karate this morning however it was closed for a friendship tournament.  When I suggested we grab me a coffee and get a car wash, Stewie blurted this out; “Will Mummy be terrified when we come home early”.



“Not exactly”, I told him.  “Surprised, maybe, but certainly not terrified”.

2)  On our way to get that coffee and car wash, we passed a house being torn down and from our view on the street we could see that much of the house had been taken down and that a big chunk of the roof was still there.  Stewie had this comment;

“Man, if I lived that the roof of that house and the rest of the house was being torn down, I would not be happy”.

To which I replied, “I would not be happy either”.

3) Last night before bed, Stewie stormed out of our bedroom, into his room where he slammed his door and was VERY upset.


He wanted a band-aid for a cut on his hand.

He wanted to use a panty liner for the band-aid.

After being told by my wife, his mother, that these were not band-aids, he got very upset, saying yes they are, until he got fed up and stormed away.

Note to self:  Make sure he doesn’t use one as a band-aid going forward – and that it is not a school day!

4)  In the car on Saturday heading up to the cottage, Stewie blurted out this wisdom; “Do you know what the biggest thing on the earth is?”

“The earth”.

… and lastly;

5) As we were on our way to get our plum tree from Home depot to take to the cottage, a cyclist passed up on the street.  He was cycling with no hands on the handle bars, he had headphones on, no helmet and was looking around – clearly because he could not hear the traffic.

I said; “Man, that is a dangerous way to ride a bike!  No helmet, headphones and no hands.  This guy is dangerous.”

Stewie then said; “You know what is more dangerous that this cyclist?  Riding without a helmet, with headphones on, no hands and doing arts and crafts!  That is way more dangerous.”

“Yes.  Yes it is, Stewie.”


Stewie sometimes gets his thoughts tweeted @littleboypurple whenever my wife remembers to.

Posted in Life

How Mitsou made my day!

Mitou on CBC Newworld
Mitou on CBC Newworld (Photo credit: Elijah)

If you have been following this blog you would know that I like hard rock music… a lot.  If you’ve been following me for a long time, you would also know that I like female artists too, especially Canadian ones, but in general I like female artists such as;  Shania Twain, Jewel, the AM’s (Amanda Marshall, Alanna Myles, and Alanis Morisette), Kelly Clarkson and Mitsou (now known as Mitsou Gelinas).

Mitsou, for those of you unfamiliar with her work, was a very popular singer from Quebec who had some monster hits in the late 1980’s with songs like Bye Bye Mon Cowboy, Dis-Moi Dis-Moi, Spooky, Les Chinois, and La Corrida.  Dis-Moi Dis-Moi was actually banned from Much Music not too long after Madonna’s Justify My Love was and the station had to create a live nightly show called Too Much for Much in order to show these videos and talk about them.  In Dis-Moi Dis-Moi there was a naked shower scene and I don’t recall ever seeing anything worth banning the video, but those were different times we lived in back in the late 80’s and it got Mitsou a lot of press.  Plus being really hot didn’t hurt her either.

Yes, Mitsou was hot.  She was risqué and she was one of the very few French Canadian artists – especially female ones, who made it throughout the country.  I have all her CD’s and yes, I follow her on twitter with the other almost 50,000 fans.  I’m not ashamed.  She’s doing a lot nowadays and you can find a lot through, her website.

So here is how she made my day today;

Friday night I was at our Temple’s Tot Shabbat service and we were sitting with the kids singing songs and having fun when my friend Eric @campusdiscs – who knows I like Mitsou – turns to me and says to me out of nowhere, “I have Bye Bye Mon Cowboy” tattooed on my left butt cheek.

So I took to Twitter;

@mitsougelinas my friend @campusdiscs said he has “bye bye mon cowboy” tattooed on his left butt cheek.  #DismoiDismoi

Then I got his wife’s account number and posted this;

@mitsougelinas @campusdiscs #DismoiDismoi his wife just confirmed it to be true.  C’est vrai!

(I took out here address here as I didn’t get her permission to post it, yet.)

Then about mid-day Saturday I got this;

@urbandaddyblog @campusdiscs. I will believe it when I see it!!

I think he’s got to get that tattoo now, or at least get out the marker and then we can make the left side of his butt popular(ish).

Thank you Mitsou for making my Saturday.

Eric, start inking… Marker, I’m thinking.

If case you have never heard of Mitsou, you can find her @mitsougelinas, and her are some links to her videos;  – Bye Bye Mon Cowboy – Dis Moi Dis Moi – Les Chinois – La Corrida – Deep Kiss (in English!)

Posted in Life

We slept at the Toronto Zoo!

We had plenty going on this past long weekend – Victoria’s Day here in Canada.  On the Saturday night, my two boys and I went to the Toronto Zoo with a bunch of kids from their Beaver Troop (Boy Scouts) and we spent the night there at their Serengeti Bush Camp.

Here is a picture from the camp site itself, which was very clean and centrally located near the African pavilion – the camp was meant to emulate a night in the African wild.  as you can see, there was plenty of room for running – that is Linus tearing around the site.

Our tent was called Ngiri.  It was a 4 person tent with 4 cots inside – 2 adult sized cots and 2 kid sized cots.  Honestly the worst experience by far occurred here as we got into the tent to sleep at 10:30pm after the campfire – where we ate smores – and it was pitch black save for a flashlight the zoo provided.  I didn’t notice the cots came in 2 sizes so both boys were in the big cots and me, all almost 6 feet and 230lbs of me settled into a kids sized one where I couldn’t move.  In addition, it was 30 degrees during the day, but got down to 5 degrees at night, which made me very cold in my shorts and t-shirt snuggled into a sleeping bag on a kids-sized cot.  Oh, and I had to pee but was too cold to get up.  All this means, I did not sleep a wink.  Did I fail to mention the animals scratching at our tent during the night…  There were raccoons, chipmunks, squirrels, groundhogs and peacocks on the loose.

Our neighbour said she heard the velcro on her tent open, and when she flashed her light she saw an animals hand opening the zipper on her tent.  It was a raccoon.

The probable culprit…

Our tent with respect to the campfire before the activities;

The cool thing about being in the zoo for this program is the fact that we were setting up camp and walking the site an hour before the zoo closed for the dayd.  The troop received a detailed walk through of the African pavilion and we got to see many animals up close, and ask questions of the dedicate Bush Camp staff, Jennifer and Shannon.

We saw zebras.

Did you know zebras have stripes so they can stick together and protect themselves from lions.  Lions have traditionally poor eyesight and when they see a bunch of zebras they see one giant moving stripe and they move on.  Smart Zebras!

The Grévy zebra was named after Jules Grévy, then president of France, who, in the 1880s, was given one by the government of Abyssinia.  Nice.

After the zebras we got right up close to the hyenas, this vile animal is depicted as being the villain in the Lion King and for good reason.  These guys are bone crushers and when they catch and eat an animal, they eat the whole dame thing, bones included.  The kids wanted to stay away from these, for sure, and at night when we were running through the zoo – in pitch black – with flashlights in hand, we were all hoping the noises in the bushes were NOT the hyenas.

After the hyenas, we saw hippos!  They were cleaning their pen since our tour took place the next morning before the zoo opened so there was a whole lot of stink involved in this showing.

The other really cool animal we saw up close and personal was the penguin.  We saw them swimming, playing and our troop got to see a special feeding of them from above the water and then below the water.  We also got to see the babies they have at the zoo.  Here is a picture of them playing in the water.  It was really hot ans sunny outside so they are hard to see but there are 3 of them on this picture.

(Oh, and Linus was convinced he was going to be sleeping with the penguins at night).


Our last main animal we got to learn about was the giraffe.  Once the zoo closed they took us into the giraffe pen and we were 5 feet away from them.  We hung with the female giraffe’s and they were very curious about our little beavers possibly wondering if they were food, lol.  But seriously, we go to see them eat carrots with their 2 foot long purple tongue (purple so it won’t get sunburned).  They guys spook easily so the kids had to be as quiet as possible.

We also got to see baboons up close and personal and first thing in the morning while they were eating.  One of the baboons took an empty burlap sack and placed it over his head, the n rolled around to entertain everyone.  Silly monkey.

We also caught a glimsp of the white lions.  Also real cool and we found out that the zoo is going to have a naming contest in the summer.  We saw warthogs and snakes and porcupines.

We also saw cheetahs and jaquars.  Did you know that black cheetahs also have spots on them like the regular cheetahs but from a far they just look all black.

So, all in all the overnight was incredible.  We all learned about the animals, the accommodations were great, the bush camp leaders fantastic – we were their first of the season – and the food surprisingly good.


I wanted to do it because I camped as a Beaver, Cub, Scout and Venturer and I hated it.  I didn’t want to pass judgement on camping to my kids, they needed to experience it themselves.  As it was they got to stay up real late, run through the zoo morning and night as the only non-animal guests, they ate, drank juice, tons of chocolate milk, made smores and got to sleep with their daddy between them as we all held hands.

I loved it.

They loved it.

We’ll be back!

Thank you Jennifer and Shannon our bush-camp leaders and thank you Toronto Zoo.

Posted in Thursday Thirteen, urbandaddyblog

Stepping outside the box, TT13 style! SPAM.

I’m a scheduled kind of guy.  I matured late in life (some would say I have yet to mature and for those people you do NOT need to comment that, thank you) and a big part of the maturation process was getting myself scheduled.  I need that to remain focussed, but for one week I’m stepping outside the box once again.  I’m going to walk the edge of the cliff, dive into the ocean full of rocks and dive into a volcano.  I’m going to life my life according to my spam!

With special thanks to the Monty Python folks for creating the term SPAM, here are some of the items sitting in my inbox I intend on getting through this week – wild and crazy guy I am going to be!

Sit back, with your Spam sandwich, Spam cooking on the stove and your green eggs spam, with spam, spam, spam and spam.  Here we go with this week’s Thursday Thirteen;

13. I going to finally get moving on that penis enlargement.  I’ve ignored way too many emails already but the price is right and who wouldn’t want to be hung like an elephant?  Right?  Everyone is doing it, and it’s going to give me confidence!

12. Next, I have to get moving and finally send money to my friend stranded in Europe.  It must be so tough for them there – I’m not sure which friend got “stuck” there but they need my help!  I’ll also have to make a note where in Europe they keep getting stuck so I can stay away from there. 

11. I will finally send TD Bank all my details that they have been requesting from me via email.  What an efficient and effective way to deal with customers – through insecure email.  I’ll just have to find my SIN card, account number and address to include in that email.  I’m sure nothing will go wrong, but incase it does, I won’t have to worry because…  

10. I’ll be collecting on that lottery I won!  Woo Hoo.  I just need to forward all my details to the lottery corporation and pay that very minor processing fee, and I can collect my $12.5 million I won.  Party at my place!

9. Once I have all my money, I can begin to help that tribe in Africa that needs desperately my assistance.  The email states that all I need to do to begin helping is to flip them my bank account number.  That should help!

8. While saving Africa, I need some me attention to go with my soon to be supersized package.  Even though I already have 3 children and the shop is closed, I guess I do need to keep my sperm count up, so I’m going to have to buy that super-formula being offered exclusively just to me to do just that.  I can hear Big Balls by AC/DC in my head…

7.  I’m going to be smart about my money and new-found confidence by keeping an eye on my security.  I recall seeing an email that my account was hacked and I would need to follow the link in the email to fix it.  I’ll attend to that and then…

6.  Paypal is in need of my attention too.  They also want me to update my information.  Another simple link to follow and I can check that off my list!  Wait.  Do I even have a paypal account?!?  Aww, I must.

5.  Next I’ll need to claim my prize I won.  I love prizes.  I don’t recall entering any contests, but I’m getting a TV and an iPad  I’ll just have to send over my processing fees to them through my PayPal account and I’m golden.

4.  Whew.  By Wednesday, I’ll be able to quit my amazing job and start to work from home because someone emailed me a no-fail work from home opportunity to make $5000.00 – $7500.00 / week.  Sweet.

3.  Without a job, I can turn my attention to finally losing those extra 30lbs of pregnancy weight I gained with Linus.  I am on an exclusive list to purchase a miracle weight loss pill.  No exercise, no dieting.  YES!

2.  Financially, my credit is in amazing shape but I saw an email the other day that will get it into ever better shape!  Who wouldn’t want perfect credit…

1. Finally, I can spend the rest of the week clearing up  few items.  I have surveys to complete for cash, free lip gloss samples to collect, free airline tickets to order, free gift cards for pizza, Canadian Tire and for lip gloss and then I can get my lap top.  I should go through the spam folder more often.  This shit’s way more interesting than my regular email.

How do you like your spam?!?