Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Originally uploaded by reflex6002.
How do you say no to this kid? If I even raise my voice to him my three other kids will come to his defense. They say the youngest is spoiled. Well, this guy has got it made. Just look at him. He has the best defense, those eyes.

Monday, May 29, 2006


Originally uploaded by reflex6002.

My 13 year-old has gone on a field trip with her school this week. I lent her my old camera and she took pictures of all of us to remember. This is the picture I took of her last night.

She woke me up at 6am this morning to say good-bye. I said, "I love you. Have a wonderful trip" and fell back asleep.


Originally uploaded by reflex6002.
My daughters. My older daughter, who is now 13, went on a class trip for the week. My younger daughter was sad until they agreed that every night at 8pm they would each stop whatever they were doing and spend a few moments thinking and saying goodnight to each other.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Originally uploaded by reflex6002.
My 3 year-old found a little corner to have breakfast while waiting for the bus.

I hope cheerios are good for you because he eats an awful lot of them. He also has remnants of chocolate chip muffins on his face.


Originally uploaded by reflex6002.
These folks have found a way to keep nature out of their nice and tidy lives.
I'm always walking with my kids because I don't have a car. They're the kind of kids who play on other people's lawns, roll down the hills, walk on garden rocks and hide behind trees. It seems on every street there is one nieghbour who will come out and get mad at us or our kids. I try to teach my kids to understand how people are different.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Originally uploaded by reflex6002.
This is my 3 year old. He is sad because he had to come inside while I made lunch for my 7 and 11 year olds. He choose a good location for me as a phtotgrapher but if he knew this would be a good shot for me he would not have co-operated.

He was sad like this for about 2 minutes. If this was my first child it would have devastated me the whole day. As he is the fourth, I got over it in about five minutes.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Our Oldest Angel

Originally uploaded by reflex6002.
My oldest daughter looks like an angel here and she is. She's 13 now and she babysat her three younger siblings last night while my wife and I went out.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My Boss

Originally uploaded by reflex6002.
This is my boss right now. He is much more patient and tolerant of my faults than my previous bosses. When he takes a nap he does not expect me to have accomplished anything because he hasn't figured out the concept of time yet. He says "I love you" or kisses me when we are doing something he likes, which is just about the greatest bonus I have ever received. Unfortunately, the pay is not good.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Birthdays. Our 10 year-old turns 11 today.

My 10 year old is turning 11 today. This will be our family's 34th kid's birthday. We have developed the following birthday routine for all the birthdays. This is pretty standard stuff that I suspect is done by most families in Canada and the U.S.

1. Shop for presents with dad one week before and come up with a list with priorities. Dad will later go out and buy approx. $150 Canadian (we consider ourselves fortunate that we can spend that much) worth of presents.

2. We try to be nice to the birthday child on his or her birthday. It is impossible for everyone to be nice for the whole day so the birthday child needs to live that.

3. Dinner of the birthday child's choice. When we had more money, we used to go our favourite local local restaurant.

4. Family presents are given on the birthday not the birthday party to prevent birthday overload.

5. The birthday cake is usually a McCain's frozen cake of the child's choice. The expensive ordered cake is saved for the birthday party. We put candles on the cake and sing "Happy Birthday" with the lights out. The child makes a wish and blows out the candles.

Objectives of the Blog

These are the overall objectives of this blog:

1. Improve my writing. I've been wanting to write for a long time but I haven't been able to motivate myself. I thought if I had a blog, the blog would force me to write more often and more carefully knowing someone may read it. I am the third best writer in the family after my wife and 13-year-old daughter. The 10, 7 and 3 year old are catching up to me so I need to start working at it before I fall into last place. My 13 year old actually told me today I should write more. I must admit that she has also told me my blog is boring.

2. Provide a record of this time in my life for my family and myself. I think it would be cool if I could read a diary my dad had of me when I was 3, 7, 10 or 13.

3. Show how I'm happy to be home and watching my kids. That is something of a unique perspective. I usually hear that raising kids is a difficult, worthless and thankless task. I am a minority voice in the world saying it is amazing to be home and I am having a wonderful time.

Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Jane Jacobs

I was reading in the newspaper yesterday that Bob Dylan was DJing on the radio. I'm a big Bob Dylan fan. The article claimed that only Bob Dylan and John Lennon would have carte blanche on their own radio programs. My 13 year old daughter loves John Lennon.

I was at a coffee shop this morning with her and the Bob Dylan song "Hurricane" played on the radio. I told her a bit about how Ruben Carter was falsely jailed and how Bob Dylan's song helped to get him freed. Ruben Carter came to live in Toronto and helped speak out against human rights. I also told her the story about how a historian looked at all the events and tried to measure their influence and said that Bob Dylan was the biggest factor in stopping the Vietnam war. I asked her to imagine what it would be like to stop a war. She said "Neat". She may have just been polite. I Think I told her this story before.

When Jane Jacobs died I laid out all the newspaper items (we subscribe to the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and the New York Times) about her on her chair. I'm not sure if she read it.

I am a broken record when it comes to talking to my kids about this stuff but I can't help it. If I was just trying to be friends with my daughter or have her like me I wouldn't mention this but I am her dad and I think it is my responsibility to push her. There comes a time when you realize that the things you wish you could do you hand off to your kids. I wanted to make the world a better place but I failed so maybe my kids can do it. I don't think I can start a rock band at my age and tour the world and sell a million records. I don't know the language of the times. No one listens to me anymore.

It's always a balancing act of encouraging your kids and allowing them to relax. I may sometimes be on the wrong side of that balance. My wife is on the other side of this balance and I'm glad she is. The most important thing is my kids know I love them regardless.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Concert Tonight

As mentioned in one of the slice of life posts we just had a concert by the 10 and 7 year old. It began with an invitation and posters announcing that there would be a concert in the living room at 9pm. At 9pm my 13 year old and myself sat in the living room (my wife was at a book reading tonight). The 7 year old had prepared a plate of sliced carrots and cucumbers (he's quite a cook and can make a very good batch of scrambled eggs). We have a microphone connected to an amplifier in the living room in addition to our MP3. The performance began with a song sung by the two kids. This was followed by songs by Sarah Harmer, Joni Mitchell and Carol King which were joined in with singing and dancing by the kids. The 3 year old came in near the end and the other kids adapted very well to this interruption by letting him imitate them.


As a kid I loved baseball. In the spring I would go to the park with a shovel and shovel the snow to the sunny side of the park so it would melt faster. I would knock on my friend's houses asking if they could come out and play. When I had kids I figured I could take them to the baseball game.

With my first daughter I took her to a game with high hopes which were quickly dashed. It was torture to get her to sit through half an inning. When we left she said, "It's so loud my stomach hurts."

Daughter number two turned out to be the best. Although it was raining, I got there early and we had to walk almost a mile (I forgot the stroller) to get to the park she loved the game. She was up and cheering and had a great time. I bribed her with so much candy I thought she might throw up. She soldiered on for all nine innings. She didn't know the rules of the game so I would occasionally let her know what the score was. She loved the crowd and the candy, although probably not in that order.

With my first son he was most interested in the baseball cards, hat, shirt and the candy. He somewhat interested in the game. I'll have to try him again this year now that he's 7.

Monday, May 01, 2006

3 Year Old Nearly Crossed the Creek

The girls (13 and 10) went to the ballet yesterday with their grandmother. My wife and I took the boys (7 and 3) to a creek for a picnic. Great weather but the begininning of sunscreen time. I asked my 7 year old to pretend he enjoys putting sunscreen on, which he surprisingly did, and the 3 year old asked for sunscreen for himself. I doubt this will work for more than a day or two. My 7 year old was so happy in the ravine. He found a leech and a worm and brought them home. The 3 year old tried to cross the creek in his sneakers but started sinking in the mud and came back before he got across. You don't worry too much about this stuff and can just enjoy and laugh about it with the fourth kid. He gets to learn a lot of this stuff on his own without our interference.

I went to a movie by myself afterwards. Another good day but I am falling behind in the the day to day chores which quickly pile up when you have four kids.