Posted in Baby Boy, Baby girl, boo, Coffee, Community, Daddy, family, Food, Happy Boy, hockey, Life, Linus, Parenting, Sports, Stewie, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

Great Father’s Day! Happy Father’s Day, 2015.


Today is Father’s Day, 2015.

I love Father’s Day – not just today – but every day, because I feel that every day is Father’s Day.  I don’t need a day where it’s forced, but I know that I am not in the majority when it comes to the father’s role in a household.

I am a huge fan of Mother’s Day! – Not for being the only day to celebrate and appreciate your mother and the mother of your children – but because of the pain and effort Mother’s went through to have their children, and then go through for the rest of their lives for their children.

In most cases, without Mothers there would be no Fathers.

Growing up, I never felt the need to go hardcore on either Mother’s Day or Father’s Day because I tried to express my appreciation for my parents every day of the year, or at least more often than once a year.  I still bought the cards, chocolates, flowers and whatever else was available for my parents but I never saw it for more than an opportunity for retail stores and the greeting card market to cash in.

Fast forward to today, in 2015, and as a super-involved parent of 3 fabulous children, I feel the same way about Father’s Day for me.  I don’t need a tie, or cufflinks, nor a store bought card they signed, or another mug touting me as the World’s Greatest Dad.   All I really need is a hug, kiss, and a hand-made gesture of their appreciation for anything that I’ve done during the year.

As a result, my Father’s Day this year was awesome and here are some of the reasons why;

My almost 6-year-old daughter had a soccer tournament through her North Toronto Soccer team, and I’m the coach!  She started out playing soccer quite timidly, not surprising as the youngest of 3 kids whose older siblings are boys, but she has been great as of late.

Ever since a classmate of hers knocked her on her ass on purpose, which proved to be a wake-up call from my daughter, who got up, didn’t cry, dusted herself off, and then started playing more physically, which resulted in her scoring 3 goals including the game winner!

In fact, as this was the last game of the season for the team, there was one girl who had not scored a single goal all season, and after my daughter sped through the middle with the ball, and blew past both defenders, she waited at the goal line, called for this girl to run over, and she let the girl score her first goal.

The girl cried.

Her parents cried.

I almost cried.

If that is not the more empathetic thing a 5-year-old can do without being told to do so by anyone on the team, I don’t know what is.  It made me realize that this child is special, and maybe… just maybe, the parenting is paying off.

This girls parents told us that their daughter is going to remember this day forever.

From there, we packed a lunch, grabbed some extra tissues in case of nose bleeds, and we headed north to Richmond Hill, to take child number 1 to a birthday party in Vaughan Mills.

We walked around the mall, and walked and walked and walked, and then when we could walk no more, we headed out for dinner to one of my favourite restaurants, Mezza Notte Trattoria, where I ate their super incredible appetizer of escargot on a Portobello mushroom in a cognac sauce, and I had a delicious piece of halibut with tomatoes, olives, and angel hair pasta.

I asked if anyone wanted to try the escargot, and because it was Father’s Day, my daughter stepped up to the plate.  She said she liked it, but she also said that she liked it better than the whale we tried while in Iceland.

I had coffee after everyone was in bed with my long-time friend and jazz musician, Dr. Andrew Scott, and then we packed up our belongings and went to the Rinx, for an 11pm ball hockey game.  I’ve been running my own team in the YCBHL since I was 19-years-old, called the Tasmaniacs.  I love the 11pm games, and it’s great working up a sweat and getting to be all aggressive for an hour.  At this particular game, we only had 2 defenseman which meant I got to play almost the entire game.

Then we all got changed, I dropped Dr. Scott off at home, and my neighbour and I went for another coffee at 1am.

I think we got home at 2:30am, so what else can I do at that hour with everyone sleeping but blog.

I blogged, did some paperwork, and hit the bed.

I am truly blessed!

Every day is Father’s Day.

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Posted in family, Parenting, Stewie, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

Stewie Writes! The Adventures of Stewie and Boo: Lunch for Lions.


My 7-year-old son has decided that he wants to get “published” and fast! He’s started writing some stories for me to post on my blog so that he can work on his stories for his book. I have not edited it in any way. He actually wrote it into a word document which I pasted here.

Here is another one of his short stories. He is Stewie. His protégé and 4-year-old sister is Boo.
2 lions

Once upon a time there were 2 children in the house named Boo and Stewie.

One day when they were walking in the rainy jungle they saw a hungry lion, so they SCREAMED for help but no one came, so they ran away from the lion as fast as possible.

As they were running away from the lion as fast as they could, they saw a house where they thought they could be safe from the lion. As they got closer to the house they realized it looked to be haunted, but they did not want to be lunch for the lion so they ran right into the house.

When they were inside the house they immediately saw a ghost. They asked the ghost, “what is your name?” The ghost said my name is Spooooooooooooooooky and they wanted to talk more to the ghost, but Boo said “the lion is coming in 20 seconds; 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20. Oh no. He’s here. Run everybody!”

So they all ran away from the lion, but the ghost stopped because it did not need to run. It is a ghost. The ghost flew up in the air which confused the lion.

The lion was very hungry and wanted to eat Boo and Stewie for lunch but now they were gone and all the lion saw was a ghost and the ghost was not running away. The lion wondered why. Was the lion going to have a yummy ghost lunch or maybe the ghost was not running because the ghost was not scared of the lion, which made the lion worried, because everybody runs away from him.

But instead of chasing Boo and Stewie, the lion decided to eat the ghost.

Silly lion.

You cannot eat ghosts.

Posted in Daddy, family, Life, sleep, Stewie, urbandaddyblog

Happy 6th Birthday Stewie!


Happy Birthday
Happy 6th Birthday Stewie!

Stewie!

Finally you are 6-years-old today (tonight to be more specific). Wow.

To be honest, it kind of feels like you’ve been 6 for a long time already.   You and you almost 8-year-old brother are often mistaken for twins.  You eat the most at one seating than your family, including me, and I’ve been known to pack back the food in my day.  You are strong like a bull, like your father, which you proved to us and a bunch of 6-year-old’s when you singlehandedly helped your team win a tug-of-war where you were the anchor.  You are driven, determined, serious, focussed and everything else that people look at and follow up with “wow”.  Quite frankly if I didn’t see your birth with my own eyes, I would have thought you were switched at birth.

I mean you are the reason why I herniated the disc in my back – because until you were 10 months old, you refused to sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time.  I carried you morning, noon and night – even though all you wanted was food and mummy.   Mummy also had Linus to take care of, so it was me or the cry-way.  Tough luck for you!   You were stuck with me.

Looking back now I should have known how you would be at 6-years-old… When you were born – a planned home birth – your breathing was shallow so the mid-wives stepped out of our bedroom to call 911 (forgetting that our parents were on the main floor listening and becoming quite worried – I remember my mother calling me as the mid-wives were explaining that calling for backup just in case was a standard practice from babies with shallow breathing – asking me if everything was alright because she heard the call, whereas we did not.  But after seeing what you did when you were given oxygen by the mid-wives – you ripped the tube from your mouth over and over again, we all knew you would be just fine!  You didn’t want it.  You didn’t need it.  You didn’t have it.

Fast forward to today and you are the same size and weight as your 7-year-old brother.  You look older than you are, you act older than you are and you have an old soul who comes across as a kind, compassionate boy who asks really great questions – some not so great mind you (If Big Show fought all the birds in the world, who would win?).

You love school but get frustrated that you’re not learning fast enough – like after the 2nd day when you wanted to quit school because you were colouring with crayons and you could do that at home, you certainly didn’t need to go to school for that – and you get frustrated when your classmates talk during class or (gasp) try to talk to you when there is work to be done.  You also somehow failed to mention to us last year that you were reading at a beginning grade 2 level when you were finishing senior kindergarten.  You excel at karate and swimming.  You are a trusting friend until someone does you wrong, then you have a memory of an elephant, yet your big brother is your best friend and your worst enemy at the same time.  You two fight, then within a few minutes you’ve made up and are playing together again like nothing happened.

You have a very strong sense of justice, and as a result you always protect your brother and sister and I’ve often told the story about how, when you were 2-years-old, a 6-year-old boy took your brother’s balloon. After he had asked for it back, unsuccessfully, you stepped in and grabbed this boy by the shirt, looked him in the eyes and said “I’m going to throw you in the garbage!”  He handed you the balloon and quickly walked away.  You passed that balloon to your brother and went on playing like nothing happened.

You are a piano whiz, and you said you want to try the violin and learn your way up, trying all the string instruments, until you get to the big ones, like a cello.

When asked what you want to be when you grow up, you replied with; “Everything!” I finally got you to confirm it was because you wanted to know what you would really be good at want to do for the rest of your life.

When I blog about things you have said, like punching G-d, my hits go through the roof.  You’re very funny, and the reason we started a Twitter account for you, called @LittleBoyPurple which we don’t update any more, but you probably will one day because you’re a hoot!

So, son, I want to wish you a very happy 6th birthday.  I love you and please, keep feeding me the material, and let me know when that middle child syndrome has set in.  🙂

Posted in Being Jewish in Toronto, Berry, family, Life, Stewie

Are you hungrier than a 5-year-old?


Are you hungrier than a 5-year-old?

I doubt you are hungrier than my 5-year-old!

Let me preface this by saying when we moved 2 years ago into our new house the first thing we did was re-do part of the kitchen to allow for a much bigger fridge for Stewie.  The fridge that came with the house was not going to be enough for the 6 of us (Me, Urban Mummy, Linus, Stewie, Berry and our Nanny – let’s call her “Gamay”), but we were most concerned about Stewie!  This boy can eat and he’s only 5.  He’ll eat us out of house and home by the time he is 13-years-old.

For example, in the car on our way up to T&T grocery in the Promenade Mall in lovely Thornhill, Ontario on the weekend Ms. Urban Daddy was engaging the children, asking them what they wanted to be when they grew up when Stewie bubbled up and asked if there were going to be “samples” at T&T?  His mind is almost always on food.

As an aside, if you have never been to a T&T grocery store, you must go there!  There is a location in the Promenade Mall in Thornhill. and one on Cherry beach in downtown Toronto.  T&T is owned by Loblaws and they carry Asian foods.  Our children love T&T because of the samples they give out during the day and for the fresh dim sum and sushi they make which we pretty much always buy and eat for lunch or afternoon snack.

When the kids hear T&T they know they’re going to eat while we shop and since the samples are of things we hope our kids will want to eat, like tofu, fish balls, dumplings, and many other unique items we would never think to include in our very healthy diet.

Instead of buying a product, like fish balls, for example and experimenting at home, the kids can give thumbs up and thumbs down to them on the spot and if they like it and will eat it, we can buy it.  It makes a lot of sense and is a great way to expand any child’s food options.

The sample stations at T&T are usually manned and the kids know to ask nicely and in return they are given one sample to try unless there are different flavours and they want to try them too.  I won’t let them try coffee, or sweets or anything we will not purchase – like pork products – but we have tried some pretty crazy samples over the years.

The one sample per station rule works for everyone except Stewie – who already at 5 eats more in a meal that his 5 foot 11, 230 pound father (me).  At the store he tries pretty much everything and if he likes it – and if the food station is unmanned, he’ll eat and eat and eat until someone catches him.  He always uses a new toothpick, he’s a bit of a clean freak that way, and he’s not a pig eating everything he just casually takes another, then another with a giant smile on his face.  Free food!

That penchant for eating reminded me of our last cruise.

The last cruise we went on, when the off shore excursion was to the cruise lines private island, we got up, ate a huge breakfast, then hopped on the tender to the island.  By 9am we were baking in the hot sun, playing in the sand with the shells and laying on a raft.letting the tide take us away, when out of nowhere, Stewie started to get VERY agitated.

It was not just past 10:30am and the anger turned to frustration, which turned to tears.

We brought him back to the beach chair and spoke with him about what was bothering him.  The sun?  The heat?  The sand?

It was none of those.

He was hungry.

Fortunately, the cruise ship was setting up a lunch buffet on the island and were almost done getting it ready, so Ms. Urban Mummy walked over and came back with some fruit, some veggies and some water.

But Stewie did not want any of that…

So all of us walked over to the buffet and immediately, Stewie saw what he wanted.

“I want a burger!” he proclaimed.

“At 10:30am?” I questioned.

“Yes!  I want a burger!!!” he said, with his voice borderline agitated, frustrated and again close to tears.

“Okay” we said and by 10:45am after a huge breakfast 2 hours earlier, Stewie was eating a burger.  We could see his demeanor changing as he was eating it.  There were some blood sugar levels dipping here.  But good little Stewie was not done with his first burger… He needed a second one, which he ate quite happily if my memory serves me correctly.  He was still 4-years-old at this time, too.

Then after being burned to a crisp, we headed back to the ship for nap time for Stewie and Berry at which point, Stewie started to put up a stink as he was, “hungry”.

So I took him upstairs to the buffet and we sat at he ate yet more food.

Man can that kid pack away the food.

I should have seen this coming.  This is the same kid who at about 1 1/2 years old was sitting in his high chair at a family resort just north of Toronto eating a meal – soup I believe – and very slowly, when the waitress came and took away the inch left in his bowl.  He did NOT like this and spent the rest of the week with his head on a swivel and every time a waitress walked near the table – ours or others – and he would wag his pointer finger and say, “Never , ever, ever take Stewie’s food away”.

Possessive a little?

His behaviour there came to light in his little sister last week when we at dinner at Safari on Avenue Road in Toronto, when 2-year-old Berry needed to go pee.  She looked back at the table and said, “don’t touch my food”, “don’t let anyone take my food”, “I’m still eating”. and she kept mumbling “I’m still eating” over and over again as she walked to the bathroom.  When she returned and her food was still there, she smiled and with a look of relief on her face, she said, “Oh!  My food is still here.  I came back, and my food is still here!”.

But back to Stewie… There was the time we went to St. Thomas, Ontario to see and take a ride on Thomas the Tank Engine and Stewie was probably 3-years-old.  After a full day of fun we went out for dinner to – of course – the Mandarin Restaurant.  After eating a pretty large meal, matching me plate for plate, I went to get a soup to wind down my meal and with that soup I grabbed 2 teriyaki shrimp to eat.

Stewie finishing his second bowl of soup too, turned to me nd said, “I want shrimp!”.

How did he know what shrimp were?

Okay, so I went back to the buffet and brought him back 2 peeled shrimp.  He stuffed them in his mouth so fast, Urban Mummy couldn’t take a picture of him eating them.

He finished and asked for more.

After bringing him another 10 shrimps, we were laughing as were the elderly couple sitting beside us watching how much food this boy has packed away.  Figuring he should stop before he explodes, I brought him teriyaki shrimp instead but he loved those too.

So fast forward now, and we’re all finished eating, when Stewie after finishing his 32nd shrimp declares that he is full.

We gasp, and pack up the family feeling sorry for the Mandarin who made money on the few noodles that Linus ate but lost a ton of the massive amounts of food that my skinny 3-year-old just hoovered back.

That trait remains to this day.

Just last week Urban Mummy made mini-pizza’s for the family.  5 small ones for Linus and Berry to split, 3 for her, 3 for me and 3 for Stewie.  She ate 1 and a half. I managed to eat 2 – but probably should have stopped at 1 and a half as well, while Stewie ate all three and needed a snack before bed.

And yes, we have had him tested for worms.

He’s fine.

He’s hungry.

He’s a growing boy!

Posted in Being Jewish in Toronto, Berry, family, Life, Linus, politics, Recommends, Stewie, urbandaddyblog

My 775th post – for all readers for all seasons.


Welcome to my 775th post.  If you’re a blogger you will know this is a lot of writing, covering 8 long years.  If you are not a blogger, trust me, it’s a lot of writing.

The thing is, I’ve been getting a lot of traffic in the last couple years, and some very kind accolades here and there, but both of them are from all over the place, as are most of my posts. 

So for my 775th post, I want to make sure I cover off as many visitors as possible by touching on some of my most popular topics;

If you’ve come to read about politics, I can confirm that those on the left in (downtown) Toronto are still way off base in thinking that this financial crisis was “created” by Mayor Ford so that he could solve it to look good.  False.  Look at Greece.  Run by socialists and on the verge of bankruptcy.  Look at the TTC.  In effort to cut costs, the Mayor and the TTC chair Karen Stintz cut some routes and there was backlash, so the public spoke that we needed those routes and a $0.10 fare increase was added instead and the public… Back in an uproar.  You cannot have it both way, folks.  I’d love to help the poor, keep all social programs, have amazing snow removal, etc., but someone has to pay for this and I can tell you I’m already taxed up to the top of my head.  If you think you’re not paying enough taxes, then you can pay more and help those in need.  I’m maxed out, thank you.  If I don’t have enough disposable income, then I cannot afford to go out, buy things, eat out, and help re-distribute my income to those in need.  It’s the way the world works… Get over it.

If you’re here to read about coffee, then let me tell you about this great coffee I tried recently at a place called Neighbours.  It came highly recommended from one of my awesome readers and I was really surprised how nice it was.  Not too bold, not too weak, and the cool thing about the location I went to was that they have flavoured coffee mate and that removed the need to have flavoured coffee.  I didn’t put any in for my first cup and I probably won’t for my next one, but it was very nice!

If you’re here to read about parenting, then you’ll be pleased to know that I am the “Daddy 101” blogger for Pink and Blue Baby.com. Cool, eh?  I find this site really useful, and I have a ton of great stories and baby / toddler / kid tips from almost 7 years of being a daddy and 3 beautiful children.  For example, just Wednesday was my son (Linus’) 7th birthday party and we had a Lego party.  It was great.  The Lego ninja had the kids sitting in 4 teams of 4 and they raced to build a Lego tower, then the built a Lego candy house.  The hour flew by.  After the hour the kids ate Lego candy blocks (thank you Bulk Barn) and Lego cupcakes that I made and my wife decorated so beautifully.  Pizza, grapes, whole wheat pretzels and air popped popcorn round it all out.  It was totally worth it.

For 5-year-old Stewie, we had The Magic and Comedy of IncrediBrent, Toronto’s birthday musician and Brent was amazing.  The kids loved him, the parents loved him and he interacted with the kids so well.  He was a pleasure to deal with and have in our home and I would totally have him back for any future kids parties.  His web-site is www.incredibrent.com.

For Berry’s 2nd birthday party – you saw the Hello Kitty cupcakes in a previous post – we had Applefun Puppetry, www.applefun.ca, and Mike was also spectacular.  He had all the 2-year-old’s participating and his show was so clever and funny that he had me in stitches.  I’ve seen him a couple of times before but that did not stop me from being completely engaged.  Worth the price of admission.

If you’re here to hear my views about food then I can recommend Java Joe’s for catering because they have added some new sandwiches and they are killer.  Spicy chicken and their steak and hot peppers goes great with their chicken Parmigiano and eggplant Parmigiano.  The coffee is great – some organic too – and they have these wickedly heavy brownies and skor brownies.  Find the location at Leslie and West Beaver Creek, call and speak to Randy.  Tell him the Urban Daddy sent you.  He’ll like that!

So I’m not sure what else to cover at this point in time, except to say thank you to all of you who take the time to comment and who tell me you’ve been following along with my posts at home.  It means a lot to mean and it always makes me wonder what’s so interesting that keeps people coming back.  But I like to tell stories, I’m proud of my family, and I like to write, so there.  I’m going to do it if 200 people come to read or 20 million (LOL).

Feel free to subscribe to my feed, or like me on Facebook.  If you are reading this through my actual blog, then go on the right side, check out some of the amazing writers on my blogroll, and further down you will see the link to my Facebook page and some other sites that have featured me.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year to all of you from all of us!

Warren aka the urban daddy.

@urbandaddyblog