Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Plastic Grandpa?

Digging through the box of toys at Shelly's, it came as bit of a surprise when I unearthed this strange figure amongst the sharks, bugs, and alligators, only to have Carter identify it nonchalantly as "Grandpa", as if it were completely obvious. Karen said he's been calling it by that name for some time now and I suppose, if you squint, there's a bit of a resemblance. Now, some grandpas do have a plastic hip, a plastic knee--but this is ridiculous...

Shelly's is the place to be!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Works Of Art

Some new multimedia pieces from the boys, created upon their long-awaited return to Shelly's Drop-In, and some photo fun thanks to the handy Photoshop mobile app...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ho Ho Ho--Interrupted...

With Carter having recently discovered the concept of "Santa" and "Rudolph" tbanks to a Toys R Us flyer, there's been quite a bit of talk of the Christmas season in our household lately. So we were all psyched to re-introduce the boys to Toronto's annual Santa Clause Parade blockbuster smasheroo, given that they both enjoyed the view from atop Mom and Dad's respective shoulders last year.

It was a chillier day than last time around, so we bundled the boys up in their new NASA-worthy snowsuits (which took about as long as the parade itself) and nifty animal hats (Carter the lion and Nathaniel the monkey) and they were already clamouring to get into the stroller. A typically bitter downtown wind necessitated our employing the plastic cover--we hoped that when we arrived at our spot, there'd be enough shelter from it with all of the extra bodies around.

Dead wrong. It was cold. Miserably so. And the wind seemed to have gotten only stronger, maybe thanks to a clear path from the foot of Yonge at Lake Ontario and straight up to King. The boys were very uncomfortable--Nathaniel hated the blasts of cold air and Carter's teeth were chattering, even with the added insulation.

After a few floats, we packed it up and headed back. Carter got to inspect a police car, identify a polar bear, a "gum pum" (in fact, carrots on the Metro float), a robot, and an elephant (in fact, "Babar") but unfortunately, had to wait to see the Big Man and his red-nosed navigator from the comforts of the kitchen TV.

Next year, we'll have to consider a spot with better coverage from the elements. Or employment with one of the companies with a view overlooking the strip. Anyone hiring?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Flu Shots

In the rather lengthy time I've been on this planet now, I've never once gotten a flu shot. And I'm never sick. But with the boys, why take the risk? Last year found Carter, Nathaniel, and Mom having to line up at designated inocculation clinics when H1N1 was the big scare--thankfully, this year the world has regained its sanity and we were able to get the boys an appointment with Dr. P. The boys managed to find plenty of fun roaming the tiny hallway during the miserably long wait.

The boys weren't terribly happy with the needles--trusty Tempra helps--but before long, we were back home. Now that the boys have been properly prepped for the cold/flu season and Carter's ear problems have cleared up, they're set to return to Shelly's next week. Apparently, people have been asking about when they're coming back...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


A recent USA Today article calls them "iTots, wunderkinds of the 21st century. One-, 2- and 3- year-olds who know their way around an iPhone or an iPad better than you do." It goes on to chronicle accounts of tech-savvy kids who can Twitter, watch videos, and make phone calls, all before they're ready for daycare.

Of course, it's accompanied by the usual dose of how this-is-robbing-kids of their childhoods-hysteria, etc.--in other words, the same nonsense that was uttered about everything from comic books to Elvis Presley to horror movies. Personally, I don't think exposure to the realities of the ever-changing world is a bad thing at all--it's inevitable, after all, that by the time the boys are ready for high school textbooks, they'll probably be downloading their homework assignments onto an iPad, or some equivalent.

Carter and Nathaniel are already amazing me with their comfort level, and outright skill, with their proud Papa's many electronic gadgets. Just tonight, Nathaniel was aiming my digital camera at Mom and various toys, and before long, I'm sure he'll be posting his own Flickr portfolio. And Carter took to my new iPhone and played along on the electronic keyboard on the Simon's Cat game like he'd been playing the piano for years.

The boys continue to sing, play games, and read books, so I don't think these devices are bad influence at all. Think about it: when I'm 75, the boys will be in their early 30s. Someone's gonna have to come by to help me get my email working...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

If I'd Known You Were Coming...

Here's Carter with his latest Lego "cake", with assistance from Karen and Nathaniel. Of course, it doesn't last long, as Pops has taught him "I'll huff and I'll puff" and well, you can pretty much figure out what happens after that...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

On The Mend...

We kept it close to home for another day--while Nona visited, Pops skipped out to do a bit of shopping for the boys at Chapters to score a few items at the 25% off sale.

Carter developed a sudden, parallel obsession with the lion AND Yoda this past week (the latter thanks to Weird Al's parody in heavy rotation on the iPod, the former--no idea) so I made sure to pick up a plastic replica of panthera leo and an easy-to-navigate book on everyone's favorite mystical muppet.

I made sure to get Nathaniel a new Eric Carle book, too--those are his favorites and I think we own almost every title in the library.