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!





The Urban Daddy Halloween Recap: Tips for Parents Included.

Pumpkin Harvest
Pie Pumpkins make GREAT cookies!!!

Under the category of better late than never, here is the 2012 Urban Daddy Halloween re-cap.

For those of you who are frequent readers of this blog, you might recall that I hate Halloween. 

I always have.

Not because it’s a Pagen holiday or anything deep like that, but more because I don’t like dressing up in costumes, nor does the whole concept of Halloween appeal to me – as a child or as a parent.  There are some things that as parents, you try to enlighten your children about in order to allow them to make the right decisions as they grow older.  God knows there are enough stupid people in this world, and as parents our goal is to make sure we don’t add to that total.  So wearing a disguise and begging for food at the doors of strangers is right up there among things that as a kid I didn’t like doing, and as a parent I really don’t think my kids should be doing.

I trust my kids, don’t get me wrong… It’s the stupid people out there I don’t, you know, the ones who put razor blades in food, or who drive through the streets weaving in and out of children.

But will all that being said, it’s my issue only, so in order to enjoy the occasion, we decorated the house two-weeks in advance, this year.  The decorations survived the Frankenstorm and all the water that came our way during that stormy week.  Then it started getting darker earlier and that prompted Stewie to wonder why we even have decorations up since it will be dark by trick or treat time and no one will see them.  He was ready to take them down.  LOL.

We were fortunate enough to be able to add 10 pumpkins to our front stairs in time for Halloween night, after purchasing them for my son’s Cub troop.  On October 30th the Cubs had a meeting and my responsibility for that meeting was to come up with a Halloween-themed game and I created pumpkin bowling.  The game consisted of 3 small roundish pie pumpkins (I cut off the stems) and a hula hoop.  Each team had to roll their pumpkins into the hoop and to win, each team needed the 3 pumpkins in the hoop at the same time.  Needless to say, the game was a hoot and the kids loved it.  Score one for this urban daddy!

By the time Halloween night rolled around we still had the 16 pumpkins on our stairs, however, of the 5 gourds we started with, only 3 remained.  They were squirrel fodder.  On the Saturday before Halloween we came home from the boys morning swimming lessons just in time to catch a squirrel climbing the tree beside our house with a gourd in its mouth. 

We laughed.

Linus yelled to the squirrel; “Hey stupid squirrel, put down our mini-pumpkin” which scared the squirrel and it dropped the gourd right into a giant bush on our neighbours side.

We looked at the squirrel.

The squirrel looked at us, and then we heard a loud noise coming from across the street which sounded like a squirrel fight and it wasn’t until we turned around that we saw what looked like the partner of that gourd-thief, flipping out at it for dropping the gourd.  He He He.  Stewie wanted me to check the security camera on the front of the house to confirm it was the squirrel…  I thought maybe he wanted to press charges?!?  Odd little boy.  🙂

On Halloween night, now three weeks into that worst flu that I had ever had, we decided that my wife was going to take the three kids and 2 of their friends our trick or treating while  I stayed outside and gave out candy.  We keep two bowls of treats, one regular and one nut-free.

In addition to the pretty nifty decorations, I grabbed my laptop and showed a scary Halloween themed video from YouTube to add to the insanity – while I hacked and coughed all over everyone.

Once Halloween was over, in order to fulfil our promise to the Cub troop who let us keep the pumpkins, Linus and I cut up a bunch of those pie pumpkins, took out and roasted the seeds, and we made some treats for the nanny / baby Halloween party at our house, and for the Cub meeting the next week.

I peeled and cubed the pumpkins, then boiled until soft.  I let it cool then strained and tossed into a blender.  I used 16oz of fresh pumpkin to add to the cake mix I had, the brownie mix I had and to make these incredible cookies;  http://family.go.com/food/recipe-an-793753-pumpkin-butterscotch-cookies-t/

The cookies went over so well, that we baked 4 dozen more for the Cub meeting the following week.

We collected all the kids candy upon completion of their neighbourhood tour, sorted it, and took the really awful stuff (that we wont eat) and tossed it into the bowl to give away for the late trick or treaters.  We let the kids pick a number of candies equal to their age, then they traded us the rest of their candy – the good stuff – for a toy that they selected.  That way we all win!  They get a few candies to eat over a couple of weeks and they get a toy they really want.  We get rid of the candy we won’t eat and we gobble down the good stuff.

To be honest, they must have forgotten about the candies because the bowl way up in the top of the cupboard is still quite full. 

By 3 days after, all the decorations were packed away for next year.

How do you deal with candy for children who are allergic to nuts?  Do you buy nut-free or let their parents sort it out?  How about the candy after the trick or treating?