Tag Archives: Dad

How to Keep Cool this Summer


We have been experiencing a heat wave in Toronto this summer and my Princess has been crazy being cooped up inside during the hottest parts of the day.  Since we live in an apartment building that doesn’t have a pool, I have had to come up with some ways to keep the Princess cool when we do go outside;

  1. Splash Pads.  One thing I am very fortunate for in Toronto is the long list of splash pads.  These playgrounds are great when its hot and you don’t have a pool of your own.  A little note though, these are not supervised and it is up to the parents or guardians to watch over their children.
  2. Water Balloons.  For a few dollars, you can get a huge container of balloons and it supplies kids with hours of fun.
  3. Local pools.  Alderwood Pool is my favourite and they have drop in programs for families where for $3.50, you can go swim for an hour.  There are also free pools all over Toronto.
  4. Sprinklers, water guns and slip & slides.  Available from almost every box store, all these items require is a water source and children, the rest is all in the imagination of the user.

Be sure in the extreme heat to stay hydrated and if it is really hot, be sure to stay inside or visit a local mall or indoor building where it is air-conditioned.

Things to do in Toronto for Canada Day


One of the perks of living in a major city is that there is always lots of fun-filled things to do with the family, especially on a long weekend.  Here are just a few things that you and the family can enjoy this Canada Day!

  1. Toronto Ribfest.   A personal favourite of mine, this combines two of my choice pastimes; eating and carnival rides.  With a selection of 16 rib vendors, live music, shopping, fireworks, carnival rides & games, this is sure to be great time for the whole family.  Running from the 29th to the 2nd, from 11 am – 11 pm, its sure to be a good time!
  2. Canada Day Celebrations at Woofjocks.  If you are a dog lover, than this is for you.  Located at The Pet Discovery Centre at 245 Queen’s Quay West where there will be demo’s of canine sports.  Best of all, admission is free!
  3. Canada Day at Queen’s Park.   A tradition dating back to 1967, celebrating Canada Day at Queen’s Park kicks off on July 1st at noon with the 21-Gun salute.  Food, entertainment, ride and activities for kids, youth and adults!
  4. Canada Day at Fort York.  Come celebrate Canada Day and the bicentennial of the War of 1812.  There are fun activities for the kids, like singing and dancing with songs from the 1812, writing letters to the children of 2212, scavenger hunts and crafts.  From 10 – 5 on July 1st at the Fort York National Historic Site.  Admission is free.
  5. Canada Day at High Park.  From 12 – 4:30, learn all there is to learn about Canada Day, The War of 1812 and the founding of High Park itself.  Admission is free.
  6. The Red, White & Vinyl Festival.  Vinyl 95.3 is hosting the third annual Red, White & Vinyl festival at Woodbine Park.  With all-Canadian line up, Family Fun Zone, Disco Party and the fireworks from Ashbridges Bay, rain or shine, this event is sure to go out with a bang!
  7. Canada Day Sweet’s Tour. Take a stroll in the Kensington Market for a Canadian Culinary tasty tour where you can sample our national sweet treats like butter tarts and maple syrup!  With a guided tour, samples and sweets, how can you go wrong!
  8. For a full list of events, check out Toronto4Kids.com.


Image from fitnesseast.ca

Excitement All Around


In my post earlier, we had received the Princess’ Kindergarten package today.  She was already at daycare when we got them so I didn’t have the chance to tell her.  I called Hubby on my lunch and we decided that we were going to take her out to dinner and tell her then.  When we told her she was shouting at the top of her lungs.  She was telling the waitress and anyone who would listen.  But the one thing she could not let go of was her want and need of a backpack.  Nevermind the wealth of knowledge she would be acquiring or the friends she would play with, it was the backpack.  She was quite clear that she wants a pink princess one and she wants us to get it as soon as possible.  I am so glad that she is excited for school, it makes me feel better for putting her in.

A New Milestone


My little Princess

Our family reached a new milestone today.  We received our Welcome Package to Junior Kindergarten this morning and as of September, Princess will be in full-day school.  While I am so proud and excited for her, I’m also sad.  My baby is growing up before my eyes and I just want to hold her and hug her and tell her how much I love her.  In the short 3 1/2 years since the day she was born,

I have been there for her first poop, step, word, doctor’s appointment, boo boo, vacation, laugh, sentence, and nightmare.  I birthed her from my body, nursed her at my breast, rocked her in my arms, wiped away her tears and now I will have to let go of her hand as she goes to school.

I am so very proud of the little girl she has grown into.  She is very much the light and joy in me and her father’s lives, and we are so thankful to have her.  After everything we have come through in the last 3 years, I don’t know if we could have done it without her smile, voice and presence.  She took 2 twenty-something’s and turned us into parents, adults, and better people.  While I am crying whilst writing this before leaving for work, they are not just tears of sadness, but tears of joy.  My baby is now a big girl.

My Big Girl

“Do you not like to support your community?”


This is what I was asked by a young man on Bloor Street while I was trying to get home after work.  He was no older than 21, mohawked, pimpled and wearing superman shorts, he jogged up to me carrying a file folder.

“Just so you know, we’re going to talk,” he smiles.  Oh no, I really just want to get home, however because I worked as a telemarketer in my university days, I agree to at least listen.


“Do you sponsor a child?” he asks nonchalantly.  I think to myself, does my own count?

“No I don’t.”

“Have you ever considered it?”

“Not overly.”

“Do you know someone who does?” I nod as I do.  I think at this point he is beginning to sense that this is a dead on, but he is optimistic.

“Did you know for only $1 a day, you can provide a child in Peru with housing, food and an education?  That is less than daily ATM fees.”  I argue with him that my hesitation to sponsor a child is from first hand accounts I’ve heard from people I know that work for these kind of companies that a large portion of the money goes to the business and not these kids in need.  His face grows stern and his pessimism grows.

“Do you not like to support your community?  I bet you don’t even donate to charity. It’s really not that expensive, you could afford it.”

I explain to him that yes, I do like to support my community, however, contrary to his belief, Peru is not my community.  Toronto and Canada are my communities.  I also contribute to charities.  I am a firm supporter of child literacy programs, local food banks and shelters.  This past weekend, I donated over 10 garbage sized bags of clothes and shoes to a local clothing drive in Toronto.  I had 42 diaper boxes of girl’s clothes that I had saved from when the Princess was born and of those 42, I kept a tote of clothes for any future children I may have and have 17 boxes left to give to friends and family that already have or are having girls.  The rest, on top of clothes that Hubby and I no longer wore, went to clothing my fellow Canadians and Torontonians.

“C’mon,” he argued.  “It’s not that expensive.”

I explain that I cannot consent to this right here and now as this concerns money, and I must consult with my Hubby.  I don’t need to ask his permission, but as this is a financial decision, it has to be a mutual one.  He had enough and walked away from me sighing, but then smiles quickly as he sees the next person walking down the street.

I don’t want to put out the impression that I do not care for the starving children in the world, because I do.  As a parent, it’s almost impossible for me not to.  However, I have a child that requires me to feed her, and clothe her, and house her, and provide for her.  My own government won’t assist my financially, let alone people from other countries.  She is my responsibility, those children are not.  It makes my heart ache to see them on the TV, with their bellies swollen from kwashiorkor, flies swarming around their mouths and the squalor they live in.  If I had the resources to feed all the children and provide for them, I really would.  But I cannot justify giving money to care for another child when I have my own to care for.  Some of you may be thinking, “It’s only a $1 a day.”  You are absolutely right, it’s only $352 a year.  But that is roughly 2 weeks of childcare, less than a month’s worth of groceries, 4 month’s worth of Hydro, and/or transportation costs for our family for a month.

I would also like to point out that there are children in Canada and the United States that do not get enough to eat, or have daily access to housing or running water.  Abuse and neglect are still rampant, drug abuse and violence are an everyday occurrence, and in some northern parts of Canada, the suicide rate is 11% higher than the national Canadian average.  To me, those are issues that are closer to my heart than those in other countries.   I cannot help everyone in the world, no matter how much I would love to, but I can help some people.  I just choose to help my community.  A motto I follow is “In order to help others, you must first help yourself.”  I once explained this to someone who didn’t quite understand my point of view.  I argued that in most life-threatening situations, they always tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping the person next to you.  You can’t help someone if you are endangered yourself.  The same can be said in this situation.  So to the young man who approached me, let me say this;  Your selling techniques need work, and just because I didn’t sponsor a child, I’m not a bad person.

Top Five Literary Dads


There are lots and lots and lots of great fathers in the world, but there are also lots and lots and lots of great dads in the literary world as well. Here are some of my favourites.
1)Eddard Stark The Lord of Winterfell may have lost his head at the end of The Game of Thrones, but his devotion to his children is as strong as the Iron Throne.
2)The Man The father is Cormac McCarthy’s The Road keeps his son safe in the post apocalyptic world while teaching him to keep the fire burning.
3)Atticus Finch Nothing shows true character than a father whom teaches his children right from wrong and stands up for what they believe in like in To Kill A Mockingbird.
4)Arthur Weasley This wizard may wear second-hand clothes, but he teaches his children first rate love and care in the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.
5)Jack Salmon While I didn’t enjoy the book, Alice Sebold created one of the most empathetic fathers in The Lovely Bones. This father just could not give up on finding his daughter’s murderer.

Chili Lime Wings for Dad


Here is an awesome wings recipe for Dad! They have some heat with a bit of tang from the lime, but they are delicious and Dad will love them.
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 lbs chicken wings
3 tbsp olive oil
1 lime, cut in wedges

1) Preheat oven to 375 F
2) In a small bowl, combine the paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
3) Arrange the wings in a pan and brush them with the olive oil. Now sprinkle the paprika mixture evenly over your wings.
4) Roast for at least 45 mins and an hour isn’t likely to hurt. You want them crispy! If you have a rotisserie with a basket, that’s a great way to cook these as well.
5) Serve hot, with wedges of lime to squeeze over the wings.

Teaching your Child the ABC’s


In order to start kindergarten on the right foot, it is recommended that children should have a grasp on their ABC’s, numbers and their colours.  While I admit that Princess knows her numbers and colours, her knowledge of the alphabet is where she is struggling the most.  I have purchased flash cards and work books for her to do over the summer before she starts school in the fall.

Reusable Workbooks

I found these 2 books at a bookstore and they only cost $2.67 each.  I had bought books in the past that were not reusable and eventually the cost adds up.  These books are reusable so the one time cost is great.  All you need is a marker and the learning never stops!





Writing Placemat

Another great item that we have is a Melissa & Doug placemat.  This can be used to clean up after dinner and when waiting for dessert, your little one can use a pencil and learn how to trace their letters.  A simple wipe with a damp cloth removes the marks and you are already to go again.




JustMommies.com has come with a top 10 list of creative ways to help teach your young one their ABC’s.  Whether its singing the ABC song, playing the ABC game or many helpful toys and books, the knowledge of ABC’s will be sure to help your children once they start school

Thank you Daddy


Thank You Daddy

Daddy and his Princess

Thank you Daddy, thank you Daddy, Thank you Daddy, Daddy I love you.

You go off to work all day, When you get back home we play; You take me ridin’ in the car’ And you take me to the park.

Thank you Daddy, thank you Daddy, Thank you Daddy, Daddy I love you.

When we’re walkin’ all around, You pick me up off of the ground; You put me on your shoulders, That’s my favourite place to be.

Thank you Daddy, thank you Daddy, Thank you Daddy, Daddy I love you.

Just before I go to sleep, You read a story book to me; And we sing the songs we make up About most everything.

Thank you Daddy, thank you Daddy, Thank you Daddy, Daddy I love you.

Daddy I love you.

Daddy and his Princess

By Nancy Stewart