Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

We would like to take a moment to say thank you for your support of our blog and our other projects over the past few months!  We love sharing with you and we have lots of cool stuff planned for 2018!

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Damian Eva & Cru.jpg

While celebrating and enjoying ourselves this season, we also like to take a moment to think about others.  We have a designated plan for giving back and our support this year is going to two very worthwhile causes.  If you haven't made your plans for giving, consider:

The Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto

Fort York Food Bank

Letters to my Son - Sexual Preferences

Today, you are a sweet little boy with no idea that there are even different sexes to consider. I want you to know that I don't care which way you end up going. There's a long standing debate about whether being gay or straight is genetic or a product of your environment. We aren't here to figure out how or why, but I do want you to know that either way: gay, or straight, or transsexual, or anything else that comes up between now and when you read this, I love you and I accept you for whatever you are in this life. Please don't feel pressure to be anything that you think is expected or pre-determined.

As a little boy, you had an ongoing fascination with all things feminine. Whether it was pretending to be a princess or a fairy, or simply dressing up in one of your mom's dresses or sweaters and applying makeup, you were really excited to be a part of feminine things.

I am sure that is just a normal part of growing up and exploring what sexuality means. You will figure out how all this stuff works for you and I will be there with you whether you want me to play the role of Batman or Princess Anna from Frozen. 

The point of this short note is that I don't care what you turn out to prefer sexually.  I will support you and I will be the proudest dad in the world to meet your chosen life mate or lifestyle head-on, right by your side.  Whether that means standing by you at your wedding, playing wingman with boys or girls, or putting on assless chaps so that you can explore an alternate lifestyle, I will be your huckleberry and I will stand next to you as your proud father.

 

I Don't Care what you Think ... My Kid's Coming with Me!

Eva and Cru selfie out for lunch

Eva and Cru selfie out for lunch

I remember the look this couple gave us when I first went out to eat with a toddler. Eva and I were in Toronto, visiting Nathan and Susie.  Hudson was probably around three years old. We walked about 5mins to this local joint called Sweet Lulu. It was probably around 8 pm.  In my opinion, the best part about living downtown would definitely be how close everything is. So many options. So we walk in, and this couple (I would say early 40s, obviously don't have kids) gives us this disgusted look and rolls their eyes in our direction. I instantly knew it was because Hudson was with us. I mean, it could have been because they thought he should be in bed, or maybe because they assumed he was gonna be loud and ruin their night, but they were definitely judging.  Thinking back now. I must have kinda got what they were thinking. Like, who takes a toddler to eat at 8 pm. And yeah, he probably should have been in bed. So, Nathan finds us a table right at the front of the restaurant. Big window, looking out onto Queen St West. Having a child now, I understand why that table was so important. So many fun things to look at. Cars, trucks, transit, police on horses, riffraff, etc. I say to Nathan, "you see the look those people gave us when we came in?" his response "Meh, I'm not gonna change the way I live just because I have a kid." 

So as a parent I've always taken that philosophy.  We're gonna live our lives, and Cru's coming along for the ride. Eva and I have found a few key essentials for a successful restaurant outing. Other than making sure the restaurant has wifi. lol

Cru and the Guzzie and Guss

Cru and the Guzzie and Guss

First the "Guzzie and Gus". We got this as a baby shower gift from Brett and Anna. This is probably the best thing we got as a gift for Cru. No offence to anyone else, but we take this everywhere. It's amazing. It's a collapsible, portable highchair that hooks onto practically every kind of table. People are probably thinking. Well, we use the restaurant's high chair and it works just great. I'd say to them "Get off your wallet and get one." We've literally been using it from when Cru could hold his head up, and I think the weight restriction goes to 37lbs. The classic highchair restricts where you can sit. The "Guzzie and Guss", you can sit anywhere. Booths and tall tables, picnic tables, counter islands at family or friends places, you name it. We don't leave home without it.

Staying clean in his Make my Day bib

Staying clean in his Make my Day bib

The second thing has to be his "Make my Day Baby Bib".  It's great.   We had Cru in it since he's been eating solid foods. It's a reusable, silicone bib that's got a little trough at the bottom. Catches everything.  It's excellent at home, and at restaurants for cleanup. We have two. One at home and one in Cru's Diaper bag.  We have more cloth bibs than Cru has clothes. It's crazy.  I think people think "I'll get them a bib, kids always need bibs." You're definitely right. However, you really only need one bib. The Make my Day Baby Bib.  Plus, it's environmentally friendly.  That's gotta count for something. lol

Papa and Cru - Think baby bottle with straw

Papa and Cru - Think baby bottle with straw

Next is the "Think Baby" baby bottle. We tried tons of different bottles and sippy cups. Whats beauty about the "Think baby", is that it grows with your little one.  from a nipple to a sippy, and then to a straw.  It's got an awesome top/lid. We throw it in the bag and don't have to worry about it spilling. We originally had only one. Of course, I forgot it at a restaurant.  Three days later, guess what arrived on the porch from amazon.ca. That's right, four brand new ones. Eva says sarcastically "try not to lose these ones."

We were out recently at a restaurant and we had Cru distracted by something we had on our iPhone. I looked over and saw an older couple a few tables over watching us. I said to them "What did you guys do to keep your kids occupied when you took them out?" The husband replied, "We never took them out."

Maybe this is our generation, but just know we're bringing our kids, we're gonna do the best to keep them behaved. Judge us if you want. We don't care.   

Peter Munk Donates another $100 Million to namesake Cardiac Centre

Following up on my post from yesterday comes the news that the namesake for the unit within the Toronto General Hospital, Peter Munk, has donated an additional $100 Million towards heart research at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre.  This story in The Globe and Mail covers the donation in detail.   

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I have had the pleasure of receiving care in the Peter Munk wing of the hospital over the years, first for assessment and analysis, then later for treatment and recovery.  This truly is the best team in the world and they are recognized as such by their peers.

I would like to extend my thanks to Mr Peter Munk for this generous gift as well as congratulate the team at Toronto General Hospital on the incredible work that they do.  

Every person on the front line in the Munk wing works tirelessly to ensure that patients come first and that information is freely shared.  The whole place works like a clock with incredible precision when managing their incredible resources.  

And to keep such incredible talent as Dr Rakowski, Dr Ralph Edwards, Dr Harris, and Dr Spears on staff for such long segments of their career tells me that the doctors are treated well and given the resources they need to continue the research that keeps Toronto a global leader in heart research.  

Of course, I wouldn't have ever had the opportunity to tap into these resources without my primary care-giving cardiologist, Dr McEwan, whose willingness to make herself available to me, confidence in my treatment options, and knowledge in navigating the system have ensured that I can live with an excellent quality of life.   

As a beneficiary to the incredible research and talent at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, I can only imagine what will become possible with this new gift and the introduction of Artificial Intelligence in the monitoring and treatment of cardiac patients.