Sending love and prayers 


We’d like to send our love and prayers to everyone’s friends, family and anyone who’s been affected by Hurricane Harvey. Please know you have friends and people to care up here in Canada. I wish we could do more to help than just prayers.
With love xo

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Spring Has Sprung, the Grass Has Riz, I Wonder Where the Birdies Is?!?


Ahh, spring.

Ahhh Spring…

Ah-chooooooooo… Damn.  It’s spring.

 

Spring time is finally appearing here in Southern Ontario and aside from the increasing temperatures, here are the 13 most obvious ways to tell that Spring has Sprung.

  1. Sports cars in need of muffler repair and convertible cars are zooming around, blasting their horrid music and looking for attention

  2. A.L.L.E.R.G.I.E.S

  3. People are wearing colours again!  Yay.  Winter is dreary enough and everyone in black makes it that much more bland and blah.

  4. People begin to stink.  Not from sweat, at least not yet, but now is the time of year when they think a little bit of cologne or perfume might be a good idea but it’s not.  It’s horrid if I can smell it over a super-stuffy nose. (See 12)

9.  TAXES!!!  It’s tax time!!  Don’t forget to file, even if you think you don’t owe.  File, file, file!  If you need help anywhere in Canada, search up and hit up inTAXicating.

8.  Flips flops and PJ’s make their returns to coffee shops.  In the winter it’s just too darn cold to roll out of bed and drive or walk to the local coffee shop, but not in the spring!

7.  Exposed skin everywhere on everyone, male, female, young, old… If it’s in combination with leggings or yoga pants, it’s a bonus!

6.  I see neighbours!  Seriously, I cannot believe how little we get out in the winter – especially with kids programs keeping us out and around – I found out this morning that our neighbour had a baby and we didn’t even know she was pregnant.  So hard to tell covered in a giant Canada Goose jacket.

5.  Bikes everywhere!  And I’ve mellowed over the years, so I want bikes and bike lanes everywhere.  I also want safe and clean public transit and I want better roads and more parking for cars.  I want everyone to commute and be happy and healthy and safe.  Hey, City of Toronto… If you want business owners to thrive and survive, back off the parking tickets for people who park in actual spots.  If they park illegally, or block traffic, tag and tow them, but let businesses earn money!

4.  Joggers abound!  I’ve always said that out-of-shape joggers (like myself) run at night when no one can see them shaking and bouncing around or hear them gasping for air.  The fit joggers run during the day where everyone can see them.  Whatever your motivation, just run!

3.  My lawn kicks ass!  My front lawn is very green and soft.  I put the snow on it in the winter before the City salts the street or sidewalk and in the spring, and it makes a difference.  It’s so nice, and I have a neighbour who doesn’t talk to anyone but I catch him walking across the street and touching my grass in awe.  Love it!

2.  Change!  Changes come in spring.  People clean their houses, change their jobs, their clothes, their demeanor, and even the homeless-looking guy who visits the Starbucks I frequent cut off his ridiculously long white beard.  Wouldn’t have recognized him – looks somewhat respectable now – except for the same army fatigue pants he wears every day and the shmatta (towel?) he covers his head with.

1.Spring means an end to winter programs for my kids, so say goodbye to hockey, but it also means saying hello to baseball (call me “coach”) and to being able to throw a ball around and walk to park and shoot hoops, or go for a bike ride, and work at losing the winter gut and getting back into a shape that doesn’t resemble a pear.

3 cheers to spring!

Hip hip, hooray

Hip hip hooray.

Hip… Hip… Achhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhooooooooooooooooooo

 

Geez, I hate spring!

 

 

 

Family Day, President’s Day and a Birthday


Hectic last few days here in The Urban Daddy household with Family Day yesterday and, ahem, my birthday, today.  The only significance here in Canada about President’s Day is that our friends and family south of the border get to see how we Canadians, at least here in Ontario get to enjoy 15 degree (60 degree fahrenheit) weather in February!!!

I hate my birthday.  I love celebrating other people’s but hate the attention.  I also find my birthday to be very emotional when hundreds of people take the time on Facebook, LinkedIn, and through email to take the time to wish me well on my birthday.  I wish that I could do the same to each and everyone on their special day, and I wish I could personally thank everyone for taking just a moment out of their equally hectic day to send me a greeting.

To everyone who did, you are incredible people and I’m thankful to know you.

To those who wanted to but couldn’t / didn’t get around to it, I am equally thankful that you took a second of your day to think about me.

To those who thought about me today, or tomorrow, or the next day, I appreciate the thoughts, and you rock!

My birthday reminds me of a friend from ball hockey, who has only 6 posts on his Facebook page over the last 6-years and it was me, every year wishing him a happy birthday.  I actually ran into him, and he said that he doesn’t use Facebook, but he got the message each and every year and it meant a lot to him that I took the time to write something even though there was no activity from the previous year(s).

Hey… Everybody needs to be loved, just a little, right?!?

Oddly enough my birthday today started with cards and hugs and kisses from my kids (that really was all that I needed), but then my wife and kids blew me away by giving me a paid of green glass cufflinks that I saw in Murano (or Burano) Italy last summer, that they bought for me.  I love the colour green and I wear cufflinks and it was the most thoughtful and kind gift I could have received.  My wife rocks!!!

Then… Our former Nanny, and part-time house cleaner came at, 8am, with a chocolate cake and after I blew out the candles, we ate cake – I guess our new family tradition!

A fun way to start a birthday, and another hectic day.

So how did you celebrate Family Day / President’s Day?

We were going to go to the Auto Show, but headed to our neighbours for brunch and ping pong (I LOVE ping pong!!!) and then came home and everyone got to work.  My wife had marking to do, the boys worked on their science fair projects and my daughter finished up her Spirit of Math homework and prepared for her Spirit of Math test that evening.

Factors, Prime and Composite numbers, perfect squares… Phew.  I’m re-learning so much!  Thankfully both my boys are really strong in math, the eldest incredibly brilliant in math and they were able to assist her where needed.

Toss into that day, some hockey skills, and the 2 previous days of hockey and swimming and it made for a busy, busy weekend, without the opportunity to go anywhere special other than to see family and friends, and to hang out with the family.

Now it’s back to work, and off to a great start to the week.

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Happy 50th Dove Canada. Thank You For Teaching Men, Women and Children to be Happy in Their Own Skin


Dove is celebrating 50 years in Canada, and to mark the occasion they have reached out to men, woman and children about health, and what it means to be beautiful.  During their campaign celebrating their 50th year, Dove revealed some startling facts around women and the fear of embracing their age!  untitled

Earlier this year, Dove put out an open casting call to find up to 50 real Canadian women. More than 4,000 women from coast-to-coast applied and those selected are being featured in a new campaign showcasing their personal stories about why they feel beautiful at any age.

Dove is celebrating its 50-year milestone in Canada trying to inspire women to feel beautiful at any age – whether they are 30 or 100 – to educate children about what advertisers do to images of “real” people and how that is not attainable, and by providing better quality men’s products without all those unneeded chemicals and additives.

You can watch Dove’s new film titled How Old Are You? here: www.youtube.com/dovecanada.

Here are some additional stats on why Dove decided to launch the Beautiful Age Campaign and they were asking Canadian women, “shouldn’t every age feel beautiful?”

  • 27% of women feel you have to be young to be beautiful
  • 25% of woman feel pressure to look younger than their age
  • On average, women get anxious about aging at 34
  • 56% of woman feel negative when naked
  • 47% of women feel society puts less value on older women
  • 20% of women avoid celebrating birthdays because of their age
  • 42% of women wish they looked younger
  • 28% of women have pretended to be younger
  • 72% of women are concerned about aging
  • 87% of women are not proud to reveal their age

Amazing.

But Dove is not just concerned about woman, as during this campaign they made the rounds to many public schools to have conversations with children about health, and “beauty” and the role that media places on men, woman, boys and girls.  They showed the children pictures of real people and then images of what they looked like after make-up, and photoshop, and they told the children that so long as you take care of yourself and feel happy about yourself that is all that matters.

My 9-year-old son came home to tell me all about this discussion with the representatives from Dove Canada because he knows that I have been using the Dove Men + Care product line for over a year once it was introduced to me.  He told me that they saw an image of a woman who has brown hair and brown eyes and once the advertisers got through with the images she was now blonde with blue eyes and they make her skin look perfect and made her look super-thin and that for the majority of people in the world, it’s just not possible.

He understood the message, which tells me it was a great campaign, and a great idea by Dove!  I like what I see from Dove on the product side and socially within the community itself  They deserve to be recognized and commended for their actions.

There is more on the Dove Men + Care coming up, as they have a new men’s shaving product which they shared with me, but this post is all about Dove’s 50th birthday in Canada.  (Clearly not afraid to say their age, eh?)

April 24th, 2013. World Meningitis Awareness Day. Parents, do you know the symptoms?


Today is World Meningitis Day.  I had the pleasure of attending a webinar on Meningococcal Disease and the Burden of Meningitis B in Canada.  I learned a lot of new information about this disease but the most important thing I took away  that I did not know and I also learned as parents, we need to make sure we understand the symptoms or at least know where to go quickly to get the information we need to save lives and prevent permanent damage.

What Canadian Parents Need to Know:The Meningitis Story infographic

Meningococcal disease is a sudden, aggressive, rapidly progressing and life-threatening illness that manifests as bacterial meningitis – an infection of the membrane around the brain and spine – and sepsis – a bloodstream infection that can lead to death within 24-48 hours of the first symptom.  Survivors may suffer permanent brain damage, learning disabilities, hearing loss, and limb loss.

Meningococcal disease is dynamic and unpredictable as the bacteria causing the illness can mutate and shift over time and vary by country and region.

Bacterial meningitis is one of the most common forms of meningococcal disease and needs to be treated immediately at the onset of symptoms which include fever, nausea, headache, feeling of unwellness, neck pain and vomiting.

The majority of meningitis cases occur in otherwise healthy people particularly infants and adolescents, who are at the greatest risk and also represent the greatest unmet need for protection.

Adolescents, who often socialize in groups, can harbour and transmit the bacteria that cause meningitis to each other, their family members, and their communities, often times while sharing lipstick, cigarettes or drinks.  A dormant case in one person could be a live case in someone else.

Meningitis B is responsible for 80% of meningococcal cases in infants under one year of age in Canada, and 62% of the cases in adolescents.

Meningococcal disease caused by meningitis B remains an important public health challenge, since there is currently no effective vaccine available, however Health Canada is currently reviewing for approval and use for Canadians, the first meningitis B vaccine. This vaccine would be the final piece of the meningococcal meningitis vaccination puzzle.

Up to one in five survivors suffers from devastating, life-long disabilities such as brain damage, hearing loss, or limb loss.

We cannot emphasize enough the truly devastating impact this disease can have on families and the facts are, when it comes to meningitis – KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

Please watch this great World Meningitis Day video

For more information on meningitis please visit http://www.menifo.ca.  Or http://www.meningitis.ca for information on meningitis research.

Meningitis Disease – Myths and Facts

1. There is only one type of meningitis.

MYTH – Meningitis can be caused by different germs including viral, bacterial and fungal.  A viral infection is less severe and can typically be treated at home. Bacterial meningitis occurs when bacteria enters the blood and migrates to the spinal area.  Given the rapid progression and severity of meningitis, medical attention should be sought immediately if someone suspects meningitis.

2. Meningitis has flu-like symptoms.

FACT – Early symptoms of meningitis are similar to flu symptoms, including fever, headache, stiff neck and vomiting. Other symptoms can include confusion, light sensitivity and no interest in eating or drinking.  If you notice these symptoms, seek medical attention.

3. Meningitis is easy to diagnose.

MYTH – Because early symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses especially the flu, cases of meningitis can be overlooked and misdiagnosed initially. It’s important at the onset of symptoms to seek immediate treatment.

4. Meningitis will go away on its own.

MYTH – Bacterial meningitis requires quick and aggressive treatment and can result in devastating consequences including varying degrees of blindness, deafness, paralysis and intellectual disabilities or death.

5. Canadian children and young adults are most susceptible to meningitis.

FACT – Children under one year of age and adolescents (15-19 years old) are among the age groups with the highest incidence of meningitis.  College and university students are also susceptible to contracting meningitis because of their increased likelihood of sharing items such as drinks, utensils and cigarettes.

6. Meningitis can be contracted by casual contact.

MYTH – Meningitis is spread through direct contact with an infected person through the droplet route by means of respiratory secretions when air or liquid secretions are shared.

Take the Survey!

I encourage parents to take the Meningitis Awareness Survey, which will be live until April 29th. This survey will provide insight into Canadians’ current perceptions and awareness of meningitis (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5BJRTDY).