Photo of the day – Kids and Puddles

Today I took the boys out for a walk around the neighbourhood to give my wife some quiet time and a well deserved nap! I know, I’m the best husband ever. haha.

Anyway the walk started out great. They went down the neighbour’s long driveway and we all broke out into a game of hide and seek. We made progress down the dirt road when we stalled.

At the only puddle in a kilometre!

What is with puddles and kids? Maybe I am getting old and forget the attraction, but it took everything I had to move them along and forget that tiny pool of muddy water.

The 1 year old saw the puddle and immediately crouched down and grabbed mitt fulls of rocks. The 5 year old started grabbing maple leaves, threw them in, and started jumping full force into the water. Splashing everyone in the process!

They had such a great time!

I suppose I still love puddles. It’s just different now. I don’t jump in them anymore. I was out on a mountain bike ride this morning riding through big ones!

Do you still jump in puddles?


Camping ain’t what it used to be. It’s all about perspective.

I love camping! I really do.

I can’t say that as I sit here after the trip, that I’m not overjoyed to be home. It is quiet. I must be getting soft. I have to say, as I age, I see the benefits to those huge RVs parked in the sites next to me. I have always grumbled about ‘how that’s not REALLY camping’. Camping is hard work! Hand washing all the dishes, hauling water, trying to keep a 1 year old quiet at 3am, keeping everyone warm, and trying to make meals to feed our kids with hollow legs…Is that fun?

As I drove home today, my oldest son said, “daddy, I really liked our camping trip”. I couldn’t decide whether he was placating me. Trying to make me feel better, after a horrible early morning trying to tear down the camp and my children running around screaming, waking every camper within a kilometre. Or if he actually enjoyed himself?

The majority of the trip I seemed to be running around like a chicken with my head cut off. To be honest, I wasn’t at my best. I was stressed, didn’t sleep more than 2 hours in a row, and really had to work at relaxing. Relaxing meant the 15 minutes after the family went to bed and I could do a blog post! lol.

I’m sure that my memories of camping as a kid are far different than my dad’s memories of them. Camping is different now. It’s not about me any more. It used to be. Now it is about MY kids having a good time. Looking back at the pictures, I think it was a successful camping trip.

As we have more children, it may get harder and harder to camp the way I’m used to. I may just have to get one of those RVs after all. Now, THAT would be camping!

Here are a few pictures from the trip.

Photo of the day August 21, 2011 – Battles on the beach

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time playing on my own. I grew up in a fairly small community and as luck would had it, my sister had friends around her age, but I did not.

So, I found ways to keep busy. I would play cars and do smash up Derbys with them. I would take my collection of stuffies, and have tag team professional wrestling matches, and I would also pay with army men.

Once I became a dad, I had this thought in my mind that I would never let my kids play with guns or play war games. Maybe it was because, as an adult, I had seen too much of the real world to want to ever glamourize guns and war. But now that my oldest is almost 9, I am starting to see games with army men and various laser guns as harmless entertainment.

So recently when we decided to head to the beach, I told my oldest son to bring his army men! He and my middle son spent HOURS getting along! Hours.

You don’t see them playing so well together most of the time. It could be many reasons, like a blended family, or their 4 year age difference, or that they simply are different types of kids.

But seeing them bond over such a simple toy, makes me think there is something more going on here. Like, kids have been playing war games for centuries, and maybe it helps them sort out good from bad.

I’m not sure, but I know that the army toys are being put next to the pail and shovel in our beach bag from now on!

Photo of the day August 19, 2011- Excited Face

Our son Gray has been expressing himself so much lately. At lunches I’ve come home from work, and the moment he sees me, he screams! It is so cute!
Anyhow, here he is so happy to be eating lunch. Everybody within a hundred metres knew he was happy too!

Kids jumping through the sprinkler signals summer has arrived

Sprinkler fun
Image by magnusfranklin via Flickr

Today I had the boys outside playing soccer with our mini nets! They love having a game of kids vs me. With all the buzz around the house trying to clean and prepare for the wedding, I spent far too much time in the house. They kept coming in asking when I could come out and play. Finally, after getting the baby to sleep for a nap, I came out. We had a blast. As expected, they came through in the end and beat ‘the old man’ 20-19.

I love days like today. The kids riding their bikes, trying to spray birds with the hose, spying on the neighbourhood with the binoculars, playing soccer on the freshly mowed lawn,  the baby having an outdoor bath in the Rubbermaid, and then sitting at the picnic table eating freshly cut watermelon. To top off our evening, I brought out the sprinkler! They jumped around so excited, like they had just arrived at the fair!

Today wasn’t the warmest day(probably 18 celcius), but they ran through the sprinkler for 1/2 an hour. Even our little 1 year old was curious about it.

To me, kids laughing and running through the sprinkler is the signal that summer has arrived. Forget the official date on the calendar, there is hardly a more summertime moment than kids jumping, laughing and playing in the water.

Through all the stress of planning this wedding, trying to maintain a busy house, and juggling the needs of 3 kids at distinctly different ages, nothing makes me happier to be a dad than seeing my kids having so much fun…I love it.

Has fun changed since my glory days of Halloween?

Candy apples on display. mondial de la maquett...
Image via Wikipedia

Happy Halloween everyone! I went out tonight with the kids, and stormed around the streets. They were so much fun to watch. Life time memories. I couldn’t contain their spirits. They were a buzz. I have never seen them run so much, with such enthusiasm. If only they showed the same determination for chores around the house. ha ha.

But, for some reason, there is something wrong. I can’t put my finger on it really. It is like Halloween is a holiday to teach kids important lessons about life. It’s not about fun anymore. Here are some of the thoughts that went through my head tonight…

  • You tell your kids, ‘make sure to say thank you!’.
  • Don’t run, or you may get hit by a car.
  • You can’t eat ANY of the candy until I “inspect” it all…
  • Don’t let your kids touch or play with fireworks.
  • Wear bright reflective vests/bracelets/lights to be seen.
  • Keep them in your sight so they aren’t snatched away.
  • Feel kind of creeped out when some nicely dressed witch lady asks to take a picture of your kid because she loves his costume.
  • Where are all the homemade treats? Candy apples, popcorn, homemade taffy. You can’t trust what people who live practically next door work hard to make for this special occasion?
  • Why does it irritate me to see teens out in really lame costumes going door to door? I did it too…It eventually get boring. Why does it feel like they are stealing or taking advantage of people?
  • Why is it bad to drive around with your kids to find a great place to trick or treat? Some kids don’t live in an area where the residences can afford the treats.

There are probably a bunch more things that went through my mind, but it made me think, did my parents think all this crap when I was little? I will probably ask them one day. I am curious.

When did all this paranoia start? This dis-trust?  When did it become a holiday where we don’t trust our neighbours? When did it get weird to have people take pictures of kids? When did we start  needing to have our kids be seen more than any other day? When you go out with them normally, do they always wear blinky lights, glow in the dark bracelets, reflective tape? How is Halloween worse? Most of the people I know, are completely aware of Halloween night, you drive a bit slower, and that there are tons of kids wandering the streets. FOR A FEW HOURS…That’s it…

Do we need to protect our kids so much? Maybe. I don’t really know. I just try to do my best with them. But I am inclined to think we are over protecting them. To their own detriment. I am sure the boys had a blast tonight. But I think we are losing the fun. And I think that over-protecting them is not preparing them for real life.  I watched a video a few years back about this era of protecting our kids. Today, because of my racing mind, I remembered it, and thought I would re-post it for you. Here you go.

Maybe I am just a dad now, and Halloween is no longer seen through rose coloured glasses…