Posted in Canada, Daddy, family, Life, Parenting, Toronto

Happy New Year! How Did 2017 Go? You Tell Me…


Happy New Year!  We, at The Urban Daddy sincerely hope that this year is the best year ever and that it is filled with fun, family, health, happiness, wealth, prosperity and PEACE!

While in the process of clearing off an old computer, I came across my family plan for 2017.  I’m going to post it below and after reading it, you tell me if you think that the year was a success, OR, if I need to rename it “Happy New Year 2018” and try again.

Did you set family goals for the year?  Or does that get done in September before school?

Do you then use January 1st as a re-boot?

 

Here is what I presented to my 3 children on January 1st, 2017.

Welcome to 2017!

Kids, you have left us no choice but to institute this new policy in our household. Your mother and I are tired of picking up after all of you, and asking you to do the same things over and over again.  We don’t like buying you new things because you treat everything you have very poorly.  You all have the ability to change this, but you have never had the reason to… Until now!

Each of you have complained that we don’t like doing things that you want to do, and that is also going to change this year because as a family, we will be doing more together inside and outside the house.

You have 2 options. Read them below and let’s see which one we like and want to start following.

Option 1.

Starting at 12:01.01 am on January 1st, 2017, your parents will no longer be making your lunches, driving you to programs, buying you toys, or taking you to and from school.  We will not be allowing you to watch TV, use electronics or listen to your music devices until these following conditions are all met each and every day.

Conditions;

  • Make your beds in the morning
  • Brush your teeth in the morning and at night
  • Clean up after yourselves after each and every meal – not just putting things on the counter or in the sink, but in the dishwasher, or washed, dried and away.
  • Not leave any food out
  • Put away all of your clean clothes
  • Placed dirty clothes in your hamper the right side out
  • Only be allowed to eat at the kitchen table
  • Leave the kitchen table and your eating area spotless once you have finished
  • Hang your towels on the back of the door in your bathroom once you have used it
  • Hang your jackets in the closet when you get home, not on the railing, not on the floor in the closet, but hung properly
  • Complete ALL of your homework assigned to you which is due the next day
  • Be responsible from taking your lunch box from your school bag, empty it – put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, or wash, dry and put them away. Any uneaten food must be put in the appropriate place
  • Not hit one another
  • Not yell at one another
  • Not swear at all. Ever
  • Be respectful to your parents.

 

If you fail to do any 3 of these in a week, you will forfeit anything that you consider “fun” and will be given extra school work to compensate for your lack of interest in being a contributing member of this family.

 

Option 2.

Help out more around the house. It’s your house too, not just ours.  Don’t fight as much with each other and respect each other’s belongings.  Be kind to others, be kind to yourselves, and make sure if you don’t know / are not sure / confused / uneasy or uncomfortable with anything that is said, done to you, near you or around you, or to others, to ask us or tell us.

Lie to us and it’s over. Tell us the truth and we can deal with consequences.

We want others to see how wonderful each of you are.

Hugs are a must

We’re not perfect either but we are your parents. We have the key / password / ability to allow you to have fun, or be miserable.  We think you might want fair and fun over option 1 and feeling like a prisoner.

Happy New Year!

 

 

How was our year?  Better than 2016.  🙂

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Posted in Life, urbandaddyblog

Happy New Year! 13 Changes I Intend on Making in 2014. How about you?


2014 is here, so long to 2013.  Whew.  What a crazy year all around.

While I’m not a fan of making new years’ resolutions, I do use significant events like this to look at myself and make changes for the better.  It’s akin to The Urban Daddy 2.0, except I’m on 40.0.

Nothing too drastic, nothing too easy, but I’ve listed 13 changes I intend on making in 2014, and I would like to hear from you what changes you are making or how 2014 is going to be different for you.

13.  Be more productive during the day: To me, this means making a schedule and sticking to it, without fail.

12.  Getting more sleep.  This is the part of my life where I’m doing the most disservice.  Going to bed late, getting up early, pretty much since our kids were born.  Some say that a good night’s sleep each and every night allows us to be at our best every day.  When we are deprived of sleep, our well-being may suffer, I remember reading as a new Dad.  “Not sleeping enough can have numerous negative consequences for your health. Try to get to bed by 10 pm and sleep for at least 8 hours every night”.  Giggle.  8-hours over 2 days, maybe.  “Deep rest keeps your immune system strong and optimizes your metabolism.  Another reason to prioritize your sleep: Not sleeping enough can disrupt your hormones, including those that regulate your appetite. Things that can help you get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis include keeping to a schedule, exercising daily, making sure your bedroom is very dark, and eating regularly, and enough, during the day.”

11.  Stop Dieting:  Instead of feeling like I have to eat less and worrying about it, I’m going to tap into the knowledge base called my wife (studying to be a naturopath) and figure out which foods really work for my body and which ones don’t.  I’m hoping to get healthier and maybe even drop a few pounds, too.  I’m tired of feeling yucky after eating and feeling hungry out of habit and not because I am.

10.  Get even more active on a regular basis.  I find that if I don’t get regular exercise I get grumpy and angry.  The more I exercise, the better I feel.  Common sense tells me I want to feel better so more active, more often.

9.   Cook More – I’m going to find ways to move past the foods that I cook for the kids or that my wife will tolerate and embrace the kitchen for more than keeping it clean.  I’m going to cook for my wife!  Yes, she laughed off the thought of a red dinner for Valentine’s Day, but I’ll keep trying.

8.   Manage my stress better – AAARrrrgggghhhhh.  Whew.  That felt better.  Now I need to get things off my chest more often and not hold it in for fear of protecting others, especially those who could give a rats ass what I do.  Sleep, exercise, and not procrastinating should go a long way towards achieving this goal.

7.   Clear up old, lingering issues, repairs, injuries.  Have I mentioned a thousand times that if I raise my arms over my head that my fingers go numb?  Old sports injuries.  Separated shoulder.  Dislocated shoulder.  Torn rotator cuff…  All contributing factors.  So I either need a physiotherapist to help me and in return I solve their tax problems OR I get working on ways to loosen up the joints and get stronger at the same time.

6.   Get more education.  In my industry, there is a LOT to learn, and no matter how much I read and how often I review documents, it is never enough.  I want to begin taking courses again in 2014 and never stop.

5.   Travel more with my family.  We had such a great time travelling to the East coast of Canada in the summer, so while the kids are still relatively young I want to get out and have them experience the world as I never had a chance to do as a kid.

4.   Slow Down:  A wise person once told me that slowing down can do wonders for my mind and body.  I’ve gotten too accustomed to racing around and trying to complete so many tasks each day that I forget to take some downtime in order to de-stress and recharge.   I think this includes gong for a walk outside or doing some stretches or other form of gentle exercise throughout the day.

3.   Blog more.  Nuff said!

2.   Eat Healthy Fats and Oils.  I need to help my body healthy outside and on the inside and I’ve been reading that as I get older I’m going to need more nuts nad oils to keep my brain active and sharp.

1.   Get out with my wife more!  Men, do we not marry our best friend?  Well I did, so why then do we never get out and enjoy life to its fullest?  This year I need to make that plan and get out of the house at least once a month with my wife.  Sounds like a simple plan?  Really not so much when you consider other people’s schedules, fiscal restraint, babysitters and energy.  If there is something that I’ve always wanted to do, then I’m going to try and do it!

How about you?

Posted in Being Jewish in Toronto

A little about Yom Kippur: Wishing you an easy fast.


Kol Nidrei prayer of Yom Kippur
Kol Nidrei prayer of Yom Kippur.

If you are observing Yom Kippur, I wish you an easy fast, and if you are seeing this after the day has finished, then may you be inscribed in the book of life for another year.

Note:  This is a scheduled post done before the day… I’m probably still in synagogue starting to get hungry while asking for forgiveness.

So what does this all mean???

Let’s start with the traditional greeting for Yom Kippur;

gamar hatimah tovah” — “A good completion to your inscription (in the book of life).”

gamar tov,” – “A good completion.”

shanah tovah” – “A good year.”

tzom kal” – ” Have an easy fast.”

Yom Kippur is probably the most important holiday of the Jewish year, and not a happy one, so saying Happy Yom Kippur is not applicable.

A little more about Yom Kippur:  This holiday is observed by the most amount of Jewish people, even those who do not observe the other customs or holidays and during this day, we refrain from work, we fast and attend synagogue services for the day.

The name “Yom Kippur” means “Day of Atonement,” and on this holiday we atone for the sins of the past year.  On Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year which arrives just before this holiday, G-d inscribes all of our names in the book of life and on Yom Kippur, the judgment entered in these books is sealed.  Yom Kippur is, essentially, the last appeal, or last chance to change G-d’s judgment, and to demonstrate repentance and make amends with those you have knowingly or unknowingly hurt or offended during the year.

Yom Kippur is a complete 25-hour fast beginning before sunset on the evening before Yom Kippur – called Kol Nidre – and ending after the sun goes down on the day of Yom Kippur. There are some lesser known restrictions on this day aside from work and eating / drinking, such as wearing cosmetics or deodorants, wearing leather shoes – canvas sneakers are very common – and engaging in sexual relations are all prohibited on Yom Kippur.

As always, any of these restrictions can be lifted where a threat to life or health is involved. In fact, children under the age of 13 and women who are in childbirth or are breastfeeding are not permitted to fast, even if they want to. Older children are permitted to fast, but are permitted to break the fast if they feel the need to do so.

Most of the holiday is spent in the synagogue, in prayer.  Services begin early in the morning and continue until about 3pm. People then usually go home for an afternoon nap and return around 5pm for the afternoon and evening services, which continue until sundown.  After sundown families and friends get together to break the fast and enjoy a meal together.

Posted in Daddy

That didn’t hurt now did it??? I finally got off my ass and ran!


New Year, new beginnings. (Jewish new year, that is, since it’s September).

This morning, instead of getting up at my normal 6:30am, I got up 1/2 hour earlier, spent 20 minutes trying to stretch out my aching periformus (look it up) and then went for a run.

Yup. A run.

Granted, it was nothing impressive, it was only 10 minutes of actual jogging but it was 10 minutes more than I had been doing before and I wanted to see how my back and left leg felt afterwords.  Maybe all this pain I have been experiencing is being caused by a lack of exercise.

Today I did something that I have been talking about doing for oh, about 5 years now.  No longer can I complain about not losing any of my baby weight.  I actually felt great the rest of today – and even more perky than normal – and I am usually quite perky I must say.

I’m afraid of scaring some co-workers with this new found feeling of pride for starting to take care of myself.

Now if I could only add some free-weights, push-ups and sit-ups to my daily routine…

I know.  One step at a time!