What a weekend: Karate, BBQ, UJA Walk for Israel and a picture.


Yes, I know it’s almost 1am and I should go to sleep, but I wanted to make sure much of the house was ready for the week ahead and that I would be ready for another productive week at the office.

Really, however, I should have gone to bed at 10am when my wife did because this was one action-packed weekend and like my family, I’m tired!

So where to begin?

Saturday!  Karate.  Both boys did quite well.  Linus was a little goofy at the beginning of his class and I noticed that he cannot bring his knees right up to his chest when he jumps, so I’m going to have to work with him, but every other stretch, or exercise, he was right in there with the bigger kids.  I’m proud of his development.

Stewie on the other hand really looks like he’s the odd-boy out in his group.  He’s the biggest kid in his level and honestly, he’s the most technically sound, which is why they are trying to move him up to his yellow belt, quickly before he gets bored.  He received another stripe in that class.  That puts him one red stripe and some grading away from yellow.  Yay.

It was also this day when I realized my kids refer to “Tim Horton’s” and “Tim-Portance”…

So we came home, cleaned up and had some new friends over for a BBQ.  YUM.  There is nothing like BBQ’d burgers, dogs and corn.  While the food was on the grill it gave me a chance to plant some veggies I bought – okra, beans, tomatoes, beets, and very soon blueberries to got with the raspberries and strawberries. 

It’s kind of funny that we spent all this money on nice patio furniture for our extended deck and we’ve only been able to use it once, with all the rain we’ve been having.   I found the solution to all the rain, I’m going to buy rain boots for my wife  whose birthday is in a couple of days.  Once she gets those the rain will certainly stop.

Sunday was the UJA Walk for Israel in the streets of downtown Toronto.  Last year it was roasting hot and we took to the streets with a then 6 months old baby in the stroller and 5 and 3 year old boys eager to walk check-point to check-point picking up treats and getting their passports stamped.  About 5km into the 7km route, Stewie melted down and we tossed him in the stroller, my wife strapped the baby to her back and with a blister on her foot, we walked the entire route.

This year, we figured with the boys one year older that we could make it through the route if we cut out a couple checkpoints and made sure the they had lots of treats.  Last year there were yogurt drinks, chips, licorice, and other such junk, popsicle, that kept the boy moving but this year checkpoint 1 had gum and water.  My kids don’t eat gum and we had plenty of water.  So this started the “I want a treat” whine from Stewie and he kept this up the entire day.  It even got to the point that he rejected chips and french fries because he wanted chocolate, so my wife threw him in the stroller – figuring he’d appreciate the rest and might even sleep,but he originally wanted no part of that, so what she saw was this;

Stewie, Urban Daddy, Berry and Linus walking
The 4 of us walked for a little bit until Stewie went back for the stroller and I scooped up Berry so we could head towards the finish. 
 
It was a good walk.  I put on 24,528 steps today for my Global Corporate Challenge.
 
I also realized I am officially bald.  I burned the top of my head.
 
Right before the end of the walk, there were these crazy orthodox men protesting the existence of Israel.  I thought that was really weird, as did Linus, until my wife pointed out that I had the same reaction last year.  These guys don’t speak Hebrew, they speak Yiddish, and they want to be free to pray where ever they want or something like that.
This upset Linus – who goes to a Jewish day school – because they fill their heads with pro-Israel news and information how could the kids not bond with the country.  Personally, I’ve never been there and my family comes more from Russia and Poland, so I don’t feel the tie to Israel, nor do I understand why peace cannot be ironed out, but hopefully we’ll get there in the next couple years.
 
One funny point today occurred when we cut through the Rogers Centre to get to a different check-point (I was holding a pizza and we wanted to eat it, then catch up…  Well we took the skywalk back to Union station but along the way my wife took the elevator to the ground floor, while the boys and I took it down only once floor so we were separated.  I called her and we agreed to meet at the next checkpoint, problems is, she had the map. 
 
So the boys and I walked on to Front street, found a gaggle of walkers, and joined their walk on King street when I noticed that we had butted out way into the Aja Khan walk and we going g-d knows where with g-d knows who.  With that, we quietly left that walk and headed back to Front street where we could my wife and daughter.
 
So all in all a great day!  Kids are clean and out cold, and my wife has not stirred since her head hit the pillow.  The kitchen is clean, I cma clean and it’s time for beg 
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Mitzvah (Good Deed) Day 2011


This past Sunday, May 16th was Mitzvah Day (Good deed in Hebrew) at my son’s school.  So instead of taking him to see the Toronto Rock win the National Lacrosse League Champion’s Cup with a 8-7 win over the Washington Stealth, I took him and his younger brother to his school (next year it will be their school) so we could help the community and to help others not as fortunate as we are.

In cold, pouring rain, we arrived and helped the few soggy adults outside dig, plant and cover the newly dug garden in the front of the school with sunflower seeds.  If 1/5th of them take root there are going to be 50 plants.  🙂  My boys did a fabulous job in this rain and with all the mud – planting, raking and clearing.  It didn’t matter that it was freezing or that it was raining or that there was mud up to their knees, they knew we had to get those seeds into the ground and get them deep enough to cover so the animals can’t dig them up and eat them.  The boys were focussed and yes they tried every single outdoor tool.  It was funny.  I think all those years of having our own garden and getting the kids to help out finally payed off.

After that, we went inside to dry off and warm up and decorated some gift bags for the underprivileged.  These bags were then filled with toys and taken to a shelter.  Once all the bags were decorated and the toys all gone, we moved to a different station and we decorated some Canadian flags which went into backpacks stuffed full of school supplies headed for Kenya. 

After that, we were looking for more to do so we sauntered into the school’s kitchen to watch them put the finishing touches on the decorations on the brown bags filled with sandwiches heading to a homeless shelter.  The kids were also putting notes into the bags. 

The birthday / get well soon card station was packed full of kids decorating cards so we moved back to the backpack station to assist in the transportation of these items to a truck.

One our way out of the school, I found my kids pounding back freezies.  Stewie said he had 10 of them , Linus 4.  I think 3 each might be a more realistic intake. 

So in the cold and rain we agreed that a nice warm bagel would be the best fit for two hungry boys who pitched in for their community.  So off we walked towards the bagel house.  Problem was, we passed the parking lot of the school and there were 2 adults washing a car.  The boys REALLY wanted to help wash that car, so the organizer gave them sponges filled with soap and off they went, cleaning the entire car.  No totally drenched, we walked on to St. Urbains.

Once at St. Urbains, I was happy that the chocolate chip bagels we all gone, so the kids instead received a whole wheat sesame seed bagel which they happily chomped the entire way home.

A good end to a fun morning.

Helping others is a big deal and I want to encourage my kids to give back to the community.  Thankfully the school set this up and my wife suggested it was a better idea to take him here instead of to the lacrosse game.  Time well spent.

When it rains and rains and rains we… Build an ark.


Ahhh, children.

The other night after 5 days of rain, my 4-year-old awoke at about 2 in the morning.  Seems the rain was waking him up.

“Daddy?” he said.

“Yes buddy, what’s wrong?” I replied.

“If it doesn’t stop raining soon am I going to have to build an ark???”

“Errr, no.” I said.  “But you’ll need rain boots”.

I paused for his next question but all I heard was snoring.

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In the car today on our way back from seeing Free to Be (You and Me); “Daddy.  Daddy.  Daddy!”

Me: “Yes, buddy”.

4-year-old Stewie; “How do you make apple sauce?  From apples?”

Laughing begins with myself and my wife.

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Me to Stewie this morning;

“Why on earth are you awake at 6am… On a Sunday, no less”

Him; “I had to get up so my animals could practice for their show.”

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Repost: Thoughts from April 2007


Here is what was going through my head April 2007.

  • Former Conservative politician, until she crossed the floor to become a cabinet minister for the Liberal party, Belinda Stronach is not seeking re-election in the next election.  HA HA HA.  I knew (and probably blogged) that once she became a traitor and left the conservative party, crossing the floor to join the corrupt liberals for a cabinet post, that she would be going nowhere in politics.  Clearly I was incorrect.  She is going somewhere… out! Bye bye Belinda, you turncoat, and take Tie Domi with you.  That former Toronto Maple Leaf pugilist, who was married when you an him hooked up and you deserve each other.  Opportunists.  Besides, Tie’s segment “Win, Lose and Tie” on TSN is brutal.  I turn the channel when it comes on.  It’s painful.
  • In other thoughts… It looks like rain outside… I don’t have an umbrella.
  • I’m really jacked that the Raptors are in the playoffs – but I hate that they are playing Vince Carter and the NJ Nets because I’ll be REALLY upset if we lose to “them”.  Ever since “Wince” left the Raptors, I have always wished him to lose or get hurt, flop on the floor like he did in Toronto and please continue to tip off the opposition on plays in NJ like to did in TO. 
  • I received my grades for my two most recent business graduate school classes… both A’s. Only 4 more classes to go then I’ll have my MBA and can use it to get out of the government.  YAY.
  • Happy to report that my wife and I have something new in common, besides our kids, marriage, house, etc. I love to garden and she does too.  And she is quite good at it too.  We have seedlings now sitting in the living room soon to be headed in the garden, of all these funky heirloom fruits and veggies.  She picked them, she planted the seeds, we watch them grow. Fun, fun, fun!
  • Need sleep… I am painting the basement – kids playroom… It had to happen sooner or later.  We bought some red, blue and green paint – bright kids colours and I am painting the entire space they use to play in.  Part of the wall is going to be a magnetic chalk board.  Wondering how to get the red paint out of the carpet and I dropped the tin and of course it opened on the carpet.. A lot!.  It is fire truck red.  OY. 
  • So let’s recap… Baby up at 5am, I leave for work at 7am, get home before 6pm, bathe and book the kids to bed, then after chatting with my wife and taking care of classes, I set out around midnight to paint until 1 or 2am and then do it all again the next night.
  • Sleep???  Over-rated.  🙂

How a Father of 2 Boys Spends a Weekend…


Before I go into details about our weekend and why I am always so tired and run down, this promotional message is brought to you by the numbers 7, 8 and 9.

Have you heard the new song by the Barenaked Ladies? The one called 7-8-9? In this song, the band counts to 10, but omit the number 9, and when asked about it, they sing, “Cause seven ate nine”… It’s actually quite cute. We listen to it a LOT in the car with the kids, especially when Stewie yells, “789. 789. 789” and won’t stop until we play it.

Well… it would explain why Stewie counted for me to 10, like this, “1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-10”. So I ask him, “Hey, what about 9?”. He just looks at me.

Now, the weekend… It is currently raining and my kids are dancing outside on the back deck. One has stripped naked, while the other still in PJ’s is getting wet. Me? I’m inside on the computer. My wife?!? I’m not really sure. She tells me she is “cleaning” and it sounds like she is cleaning, but nonetheless, she is missing quite a show!

So I brought the boys inside, ran them upstairs and threw them and UM in the bath for a family bubble bath. Linus loved it… Stewie hated it. That was fun for me as I had some quiet time!

Once the kids cleaned off, we got dressed, the rain stopped and I took the kids for a nice walk up and down the main street by our house, and in and out of the backyard to play with toys and check on the vegetables we are growing. We had some much fun, I figured Sunday might be more of the same, and it sure was.

On Sunday, Stewie – who won’t get out of bed on his own – woke up around 6am, calling, “Daddy… Poo potty… Poo coming… Daddy”. So in ran UrbanMummy to get him, but he had already pooed in his diaper. We changed him, gave him yummy-mummy-milk and hoped he would rest in bed with us, but after a few minutes of him trying to escape, I decided that we needed a different plan.

I didn’t want to wake Linus, so I got Stewie dressed quietly, and I was going to take him for a walk in his stroller, but his yelling work up Linus and then it was on for the day! Both boys were bouncing off the walls and finally at 7:45am I let them into the backyard where they began yelling and screaming, playing and eating raspberries from the plant in the corner of the yard. Thinking this might not be a good way to get your neighbours to like you, I wisked them inside, had UM help me get Linus dressed while I made pancakes, and after breakfast we went to the park.

At the park before 9am, we played in the sand, on the slide and with some of the other kids there, until UM showed up, and we walked to Starbucks for a Grande Americano and some chatting outside on the patio with our neighbours, then home to meet a friend and her son for more play time, this time in our back yard. It wound up being 5 boys in the backyard – which wound down slowly just past 2pm at which point we woke up Stewie from his nap and headed down to the park in midtown for our cousins 2nd birthday party.

At the party, we ate (pizza, cake and fruit), played on the jungle gym and got really dirty. We packed up and headed back uptown to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a BBQ with them and some friend they have known for over 40 years. We ate, played and ran inside as it poured just after dinner. The image of Stewie standing inside the door to the deck, dancing side-to-side, signing “rain, rain, go way. Come again ‘nother day”… over and over again. It was so funny.

Anyways, we got them home, fed them and got them into bed. I hoped to have been able to go to sleep tonight, like last night, laying in bed with UM, hand-in-hand, watching Law and Order, but instead I went for a run. Managed just under 30 minutes – was dead tired and legs were very tight from all the walking. I needed more water too. Ugh.

So after my run, I came home, showered, rambled through this post and went to bed. I’m SO beat. We spent like 3/4’rs of the day outside.

Yawn. Just another weekend in this urban daddy’s household with 2 active boys.