About stomperdad

I am a lover of family, books and the outdoors (year round). Sometimes in that order. I hike, I kayak, I eat pie. I run miles and miles (sometimes I switch to kilometers). Lastly, I write.

Things I learned After Having Kids

I can only imagine  how much my parents learned about parenthood after I was born. I was colicy. I hated coloring. I painted newspaper to the floor. I joined the wrestling team. While I had a steep learning curve it was mostly because I was the first born. My brother, however, brought whole new challenges to the table. In the beginning, the only electronics we had in the house was an Atari. No tablets. No cell phones. No computers unless you count the Commodor 64. Now we have all that and social media and everyone is “connected” every which to Sunday.

My kids are not me

Oh hell… Who am I kidding. They’re more like me than I care to admit. From “I had it a minute ago, I don’t know where it is now.” To all the broken things. They could tear the hinges off of Hades if only I hadn’t torn them off when I was their age. However, they are more headstrong than I remember myself being. I was a go-with-the-flow kind of kid. These two are not. They know what they want and they are not afraid to ask for it. Or ask Nanny for it. They’re also not afraid to argue their point of view. They haven’t figured out this household isn’t a democracy.

Two kids isn’t easier than one

Silly me. So nieve when I was “young”. One kid was easy. Easy to feed. Easy to entertain. Easy to transport. Easy to put to bed. When we added a second, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. When the second was an infant we were so tired to call us zombies would have been a compliment compared to how we felt. Yet no matter how tired we were, we still had our first born to care for. One can stay awake for just so many games of UNO on such little sleep. Now that they’re old, the ideal would be for them to entertain and play with each other. Naturally, we’re not there. Everything is a competition. Everything is a distraction. They live to annoy the shit out of each other. At breakfast time. At suppertime. At bedtime.

The common enemy

It’s us versus them. Having two kids has brought us closer together. “You’re momma told ya not to do that and you went and did it anyway. Don’t come crying to me about it.” It works in reverse, too. Only on rare occassions when we feel the other just needs to take their chill pill will we override the consequences. If they ever realized they could play us against each other, our world would crumble like last Christmas’s gingerbread house.

Not all things are teachable

I’m a teacher. I teach things. All kinds of things. I teach kids to multiply double digits numbers. I teach kids long division. I teach kids to speak with respect to others and to take pride in their work. Do you think I can teach my kids to pick up their toys when they’re done? Do you think I can teach my kids to pee IN the toilet instead of ON it? Do you think I can teach them that life is so much better when they’re playing together rather than fighting together. I just can’t do it.

For the most part, I wasn’t an instigator growing up. My brother was my brother and it usually wasn’t my intent to piss him off. Usually. My two thrive on instigating fights and arguments with each other. Just tonight at bedtime, the youngest was laughing his head off at his brother who was red-in-the-face angry at whatever it was his little brother was doing or saying. We’re not even sure. All we knew was that it was bedtime and they needed to get there before we went batshit crazy like big brother was.

Pride comes in small doses

It could be a random “I love you” or “I like your face” or “thank you for loving me”. It could be an assignment they’re proud of completing in school. It could be at hit they made, a fly ball they caught, a goal they scored. It could be a first word or a first step or reading their first book. Perhaps it was a first solo song or finally getting rid of the training wheels. It could be a new picture for the fridge or special card they made at school.

Wherever it comes from it reaches deep and grabs your heartstrings. When the days end and you feel their little bodies softly slip into slumber, you can’t help but feel the love. They in your loving embrace and you in their warmth and innocence. You kept them alive for yet another day and in that success you can be proud.

You can make me proud by following me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

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Sunday Share: Week 41

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A little hike today. This was before the red hatter jumped in the water…

16 days until Halloween. We’ll have a skeleton and an alien knocking on doors. The skeleton’s Halloweens are limited. He’s 10 now. He might have 2 more. However, there is no clear cut off age for trick-or-treaters.

11 weeks left of this year.
10 weeks until Christmas. 10 Sundays left.
15 days into October and we have yet to turn the heat on. We’re doing well. I have a hunch it won’t be long until we start hearing those little clicks of warmth coming from those baseboard heaters. The mornings have been 5 degrees (41) and while the days have been nice, we’re no longer reaching 20 (70). Like the Starks always say, “Winter is coming”. Well, duh. We’re in the North.

This Girl’s Dad
We parents have it tough. Kids can have it tougher, especially when there are consequences. This Girl’s Dad carefully weighs the “punishments” his daughter will face in school and then handles like a caring father would…

Wonderoak
Jess is the mom of four and this poignant post she eloquently discusses “kid shaming”.  Having kids is a decision, your decision. Not your neighbors. Not that crotchety old lady behind you in the checkout line. Not that couple next to you at the restaurant. Don’t apologize. These kids are the future…

Skinny and Single
This isn’t a post about a stupid, ugly kid. Okay, yes it. But, it’s also about how to raise them so they don’t get beat up. How to raise them into perfect 10s.

The Return of the Modern Philosopher
Ever wanted to have some deep thoughts with Satan? Austin did. Or at least he tried. He tried to put Hell’s Warden out of a job. Then the Prince of Darkness delivered…

Ah Dad
Dubai is long way away from South Africa. It’s also more humid. Especially since South Africa is moving from winter to spring while Dubai is moving from Summer to fall. I’m pretty sure one air conditioner just saved his life…

I’d also like to share that you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Go Ask Your Father: Moonwalk, Tides, Earthquakes, and Hot Light Bulbs

I’ve had a guitar for 14 years. Guess how many complete songs I can play…

If you guessed one, your guess is too high. I can read basic music thanks to my years of playing trumpet in elementary and some middle school. I like the guitar because of it’s portability. I had a violin for a bit, too. I didn’t learn anything that because, well, it sucked. I know it’s the poor craftsman who blames his tools, but a music friend of my parents played it and said it wasn’t worth the wood it was built. Lately, though, I’ve come to really enjoy listening to the piano. I was substituting in a music class yesterday and girl played the chorus of Believer by Imagine Dragons and it was really neat to hear. That got me hooked so I found a YouTuber, a 14 year old named Sarah who played an incredible version of it. Even my boys loved it.

I can play the piano. With one hand behind my back (because I don’t use it anyway). I play all the classics… Mary had a Little Lamb, Frere Jacques, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

1. What’s a moonwalk?

Of course, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and their 10 friends who have actually been to the moon (no, it’s not a conspiracy… Buzz punched a guy who thought it was therefore it is not). The real moonwalk was done 240,000 miles closer to home. It was right here on our planet Earth to be precise. The earliest recorded instance of the famed dance move is by Cab Calloway in 1932. They called it “The Buzz” 37 years before Buzz did his moonwalk. It was performed by many throughout the years by such stars as Judy Garland, Dick Van Dyke, and James Brown. It gained it’s infamy when Michael Jackson performed it during his televised event, Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever where it became his signature move. It’s a move in which the dancer moves backwards but appears to be walking forward. There are Youtube videos that teach you how to do it.

2. What are tides?

They’re not the orange jugs of laundry soap. They’re not the pods that you need to keep locked and stored out of reach of kids who think the colorful bauble of soap might be candy. The Earth’s tides have to do with water, but not the cold water washing machine cycle. The tides are the ebb and flow, the movement of the water onto and away from the shoreline. Like that morning we went to the beach and the water was really close to us, but after lunch it was far away from our blanket and umbrella. We can thank the moon for that. The moon’s gravity pulls at the oceans of the Earth like little brothers pull big sister’s hair.

The moon’s gravity pulls at the Earth and the oceans’ water is able to move significantly as result. The water is pulled toward the moon. The gravity of the moon also makes the Earth wobble just a bit. Imagine the water moving UP the side of a glass that you are moving in a circle on the kitchen table. That up water in the glass would correlate with high tide on the Earth. As the moon orbits the Earth the oceans facing the sun are also pulled toward it. Simultaneously, the pull of the moon and slosh created by the wobble are on opposite sides of the Earth. As the Earth rotates through those two points the tides rise and fall.

3. Do we get earthquakes here?

Nope. Thankfully. Mexico is still cleaning up their mess. I’m not sure Haiti and Nepal have fully recovered, either. You see, here in Atlantic Canada we don’t live near any fault lines. Fault lines are where techtonic plates of different continental masses rub together. We are on that little land mass just above the i in Carribbean. A couple years ago a small quake was detected about 400 miles off shore of Newfoundland. We didn’t feel a thing and I never heard about any tidal surges because of it. Looking at the fault lines it’s not hard to imagine why New Zealand and California, among other places that lie on the fault lines, are always shaken (and not stirred).

4. Why do some lights get hot and others don’t?

Have you ever touched an incandescent bulb after it has been on for a bit? It’s a lesson you learn real quick. If you’re a man you’re going to try to be tough through the pain so you can get that bulb changed. If you’re a woman you’ll have the sense to use oven mitts or just wait for it to cool off. In an incandescent bulb, a filament acts as a resistor and heats up. It gets to about 4,600 degrees Farenheit to be exact. For comparison, lava is only 2,200 degrees F. This high heat creates some visible light. 90% of an incandescent bulb is heat and 5% is infered light. The other 5% is visible light. I highly suggest you switch to LED lights. Less electricity, less heat, same amount of light.

If you want to light up my life head over to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and follow me…

The 12 Gifts of Autumn

On the 1st day of October autumn gave to me a sense that change was in the air.
On the 2nd day of October autumn gave to me an opportunity to change.
On the 3rd day of October autumn gave to me trees of red and gold.
On the 4th day of October autumn gave to me fallen leaves to kick.
On the 5th day of October autumn gave to me pumpkins with hopes of becoming jack-                                                                                          O’lanterns
On the 6th day of October autumn gave to me news that I had a job interview.
On the 7th day of October autumn gave to me Sunshine and un-autumn-like warmth
On the 9th day of October autumn gave to me Canadian Thanksgiving.
On the 10th day of October autumn gave to me a job interview.
On the 11th day of October autumn gave to me bad news about my interview.
On the 12th day of October autumn gave to me a rainbow in the morning.

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Questions I Asked My Kids: Ep49

In case you haven’t looked at a calendar recently, today is Thursday. That means questions. This being the 49th, thereby the next being the 50th (I’m a math whiz like that), I have a little something planned for next week. Then two weeks after that will be the 52nd. One year of questions and I still haven’t asked them as many as they asked me today. As always, feel free to ask your kids, spouse, parents, some one elses kids or spouse or parents these questions. Just remember to tag me so I can get a laugh, too…

Now it’s time for some Grey’s Anatomy. Have you seen “The Good Doctor”? That’s the one about the autistic doctor. It’s really good. And, of course, “This Is Us” is just amazeballs.

1. Who is your favorite movie character?

Crash: R2D2
Bang: Stitch

2. If you could wake up tomorrow with a superpower, what superpower would you want to have?

Crash: Superspeed, fast motion mode so I could things really fast and really really neatly like clean the basement because that usually takes me an hour or two.
Bang: Super huge fists so I could punch bandits in the face

3. If you could have any 3 wishes granted, what would you wish for?

Crash: To meet DanTDM (Minecraft Youtuber), go on my tablet whenever I want, and that Nan would heal her arm faster (She broke her arm/shoulder last Friday)
Bang: More video games, To be in grade 4 so I could be an alter server, and stay up late every night

4. If all your clothes could only be one color, what color would you choose?

Crash: Green
Bang: Green… NO! blue.

5. If you could be a sound, what would it be?

Crash: Most likely a siren or a dirt bike engine
Bang: Hee Haw! like a donkey

6. What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you?

Crash: I was hit in the head by dad with a snowball while I was running away from him.
Bang: I haven’t even a clue… OH! I made Sharon (in the church choir) laugh by putting my fingers up to show her how charged my memory was for singing

7. If you could choose a new name for yourself, what would it be, and why?

Crash: Rhyman, because it’s my username for everything
Bang: Superman because I have a superman shirt and blue shorts…. or blackman because he saves people

8. What’s the coolest thing you saw someone do today?

Crash: I saw Terry (the school’s building manager) on the roof
Bang: My teacher did a magic trick. He put a red marker in his pocket then pulls out a black marker. But I knew how he did it beacuse he pulled it out of a different pocket

9. What are you proudest of in your life?

Crash: My name and my scar on my chest
Bang: That I sing in the church choir

10. If you could attach an animal part to yourself, what animal part would you want to have?

Crash: Either a cat tail or a fox tail, but probably a fox tail
Bang: I would want turkey feathers to tickle mom and say gobble gobble

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Good Vibes

In case you needed a feel good story you go…

Bang and I had just finished reading books at bedtime. He was tucked in with his blankie and Penguin (though he wouldn’t stay that way because the bathroom beckoned). Then this conversation took place…

Bang: Love you

Me: Love you, too

Bang: Like your face

Me: Like your face

Bang: You’re the best person ever

Me: You’re the best person, too

Bang: Thank you

Me: You’re welcome.

Bang: Know what that was for?

Me: What was that for?

Bang: For loving me.

This evening, Bang is my favorite.


On a completely unrealated note and the reason I’ve been radio silent for a few days is because I was screened for an interview for a teaching position. Today was that interview. I discovered in the past that I learn best when I’m in motion. I spent several days researching and brushing up on my buzzwords and getting all my notes in order. I spent an hour and half and 14,000 steps on the treadmill talking to myself as if I were talking to my interviewers commiting my notes to memory. I felt confident and confidence goes a long way. I’ll find out this week if I’m the successful applicant.

Tag. You’re it. Your turn to tell me something good. Lets keep the good vibes rolling…

Questions I Asked My Kids: Ep48

Canadian Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Monday, to be precise. One day of work left until we hit homestretch. Tomorrow, I’ll be in a 1st and 2nd grade French class. Those 6 and 7 year olds will know far more French than I do. Unless they ask, “Puis-je aller aux toilettes?” I won’t have a clue what they’re saying. So they’ll get to speak English. They’ll be thankful for that. And so will I. There’s that silver lining I love so much.

1. If we had an airplane to take us on vacation right now, where would we go?

Crash: Legoland
Bang: South Korea

2. If we could go to Halifax but couldn’t use a car to get there, how do you think we could get there?

Crash: Giraffe because we could see everything since they’re so tall. I would name mine Steve.
Bang: In a plane

3. If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, where would you go to get it and what would it be?

Crash: I would get an eagle or a fox and I would get them from Hope for Wildlife.
Bang: It would be a giraffe and I would get it at the zoo so I could high high high and look in his mouth to see its 20 inch tongue

4. If you could do something just like your friend what would you do?

Crash: Stay up until 1:00 in the morning Snap Chatting
Bang: Speak French like Nolan. I can’t speak French, but I can speak British.

5. If you could change anything about school what would it be?

Crash: The amount of recess and phys. ed. time. More of both!
Bang: We don’t have to do work. We would play instead.

6. If you could change your name, would you want to and what name would you choose instead?

Crash: Luke, I guess.
Bang: Repooc

7. If you could build anything in the backyard, what would it be?

Crash: I would build a massive tree house that is significantly big with 3 stories.
Bang: I would build a wooden dog because I want a dog.

8. What’s your favorite smell?

Crash: Cookies or pizza
Bang: Bath bombs and mom’s perfume

9. Did anything happen in school to make you laugh?

Crash: Yeah. sort of… it was on the bus. Me and Matthew were sitting next to each other and we weren’t talking about real people, but we said if there were any girls who liked us but we didn’t like them we’d say, “here kiss my hand”.
Bang: Telling funny jokes on the teeter totter

10. What should we make a video about with the GoPro?

Crash: A video of me on my skateboard on a really big ramp at a skate park
Bang: Make a video about building Lego. I’ll build a windmill.

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Things I Hate but Love

I hate that one man with many guns can inflict so much pain.
But I love that there are far more heroes than villains in times of conflict.

I hate that my kids can’t get ready for school or for bed without me watching me.
But I love that they secretly can’t because they want me to be with them.

I hate that my kids fight like Capulets and Montegues.
But I love that they stick up for each when the other gets hurt.

I hate having to cook every single night.
But I love it when every loves the meal so much I get I should be a chef. (HAHA)

I hate helping the kids with their homework (Just kidding. I’m a teacher I love it.)
But I love watching them learn.

I hate taking my kids grocery shopping.
But I love that they always want to buy broccoli.

I hate that we have to watch the same cartoons over and over and over…
But I love that they’re educational.

I hate packing lunches every day.
But I love that I know what they’re eating and it’s healthy (mostly).

I hate mowing.
But I love the smell and look of a freshly mown yard.

I hate bug bites.
But I love hiking through forested trails.

I hate long lines in stores.
I love it when a new checkout line opens and I get to be first in line.

I hate hearing all the bad news…
But I love hearing the heroes stories.

I hate that my kids only read at bedtime.
But I love that they can’t sleep until they read.

I hate our growing dependency on technolgy.

But I love all that it can do for us.

I hate the temper tantrums my kids can throw.
But I love it when they tell me “I like your face. You’re the awesomest person.”

I hate that we had to bring the hybiscus in because winter is coming.
But I love that it has the biggest bloom it’s ever had.

I hate it when my kids fight.
But I love it when they laugh together.

I hate when all the lights are red.
But I love that means we can rock out in the truck just a bit longer.

I hate all the annoyances, grievances, and bad news.
But I love all the silver linings.

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The Metaphor of My Running Playlist

My heart goes out to the victims and their families of the Vegas shooting. I can’t imagine how terrifying a time that was. My heart also goes out to those in Edmonton who faced a terrorist and fell victim to such extremism. May they find peace and solace in these troubling times.


Running has always been a part of my life. I’ve played sports since I could kick, throw, and swing. Then in high school I discovered wrestling (thanks Doug!) and I ran even more. Until I entered university running was just a way to keep in shape for all the other sports I played. It was never a sport itself.

Then it was. My first race was a relay race in western Maryland. Teams of two would take turns running a five and half mile loop through the woods. For. Six. Hours. We took second and I was hooked. Since then I’ve run four half marathons and several 10k races. Mostly, I’ve just run. Not for training. Not for racing. But just for the sake of running. Call it “me time” or “exercise time” or “nuts” but I enjoy it. I just wish I had more time for it.

Sometimes I run to music and sometimes I let Mother Nature provide the soundtrack.

Here are the top 10 songs in the playlist I listen to on my runs and why I run to them…

1. Lose Yourself – Eminem

The beat for this song start my run perfectly. It matches my cadence. Lose yourself in the music, the moment and that’s exactly what I do. I tune out the world and tune into myself – my footfalls, my breathing, and the road ahead. Suddenly, my frustrations with the kids, my honey-do list, and the million other worries of adulting melt away behind. I outrun them all. Did I mention the bpm (beats per minute) is spot on?

2. America’s Sweetheart – Elle King

This is just a fun song. While I’m usually too out of breath to sing along, I try. Out there where no one can hear me I can sing my heart out without puncturing eardrums. So kick out the jams, kick up the soul / Pour another glass of that rock and roll and I kick up the pace and pour another glass of kick ass.

3. The Light – Disturbed

This song is moving and I love the grungy vocals behind the usually heavy metal band. This song is about seeing the positives, seeing the light no matter how bad things seems to be. Sometimes darkness can show you the light. By the time I get to this song I’m at mile 2 and this one settles me in for the next 3+ miles. Don’t let hope become a memory. Because there are many things I hope for – money, health, family, travel…

4. Love Run Out- One Republic

The drums. The piano. Driving. Pulsing. Invigorating. I’ll be your light, your match, your burning soul. Well, duh. I’m your hubband, DW, I’ll be what you need to me to be. Even on those days when you get growly at me. Even on those days when all “my best” traits are shining through in our offspring. Don’t worry, my love will never run out.

5. Hall of Fame – The Script Ft. Will i am

This song makes me feel like I can conquer the world. You can move a mountain / You can break rock. I can and I will. Okay, maybe not move a mountain, but I can run up this really big hill. Maybe I can’t break rock but I can break my personal best by running just a bit faster.

6. My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark – Fall Out Boy

I love the energy of this song. I get lost in the song and forget that I’m 5 miles into my run with another 1.2 to go. So light ’em up up up / I’m on fire. I’ve run this far, on fire I am. This song provide me that boost of energy to finish my run strong rather than limping, sucking wind, and begging for someone to come get me.

7. Hey Brother – Avicii

I just love to sing along with this one, even if it is difficult to do when you’re this far into a run you’re supposedly doing for fun. The water’s sweet but blood is thicker. Family is important and by this point in my run I’m headed back to them. So close to loved ones and food. So refreshed and feeling new, albeit worn out. Plus the bass is pretty wicked sweet. I can feel my feet nearly leave the ground.

8. Demons – Imagine Dragons

This song is a bit slower than the others. For good reason, too. I’m nearing the end of my 10 song playlist and I need a little rest, slow the pace just enough to hold the notes and belt it out before getting back to where people can hear me. With a little luck, I’ve been able to outrun my demons and leave them far, far behind.

9. The Fighter – Gym Class Heroes ft. Ryan Tedder

Hell yeah I’m a fighter. That’s why I’m out here getting my miles in. So I can fight harder. While I’m not exactly sure what I’m fighting, other than the old me in order make a healthier, new me. Ya ever feel like your train of thought’s been derailed / That’s when you press on Lee nails. Fake it until you make it. Be the best you can be until can be better.

10. Iron Man – Black Sabbath

My heart is in the classics, my parents music. How cool is it to listen to a sci-fi song on your run? Dude time travels to the future, hits a magnetic storm on his return and turns to iron. No one listens to his warnings of an apocalypse so he kills them, becoming the apocalypse he warned of. Plus it’s good old Ozzy Osbourne with Black Sabbath. On certain runs this is my cool down, stretch afterward, song. After a good run I feel like an Iron Man. Though not the killing kind because I’m too tired. And I don’t kill. Except that run. I killed that run.

What do you like to listen to when you run?

Now go run and catch me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook!

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From Mark Remy at dumbrunner.com

Sunday Share: Week 39

30 days to Halloween! What are you going to be this year?
85 days to Christmas! 60 days until we put up the Christmas tree, signaling Woody and Elfis to return from the North Pole.

I’ve been going through my list of blogs I subscribe to. I’m finding many that haven’t posts for 6 months or more. I know blogging isn’t something everyone keeps doing. People fall off the blogging bandwagon all the time. Perhaps they didn’t like writing after all. Perhaps it was because they didn’t go “viral”. Perhaps they were abducted by aliens. How long do you allow someone to not blog before you kick them off your subscriber list because you figure they’re done or alien abducted? I’d like to clean up my list by removing those who are done. Do you do that? It sure would make looking for great posts to share much easier.

The Salty Mamas
A stress free, picture perfect picture day for your kids… Or not…

Snoozing on the Sofa
Saving the family from invasion…

Motherhood Made Me Do It
Small talk or get naked? Both?

Lisa Pomerantzster
Solving the world’s problems around the supper table…

Riddle from the Middle
The next Driver’s Ed course…

All In A Dad’s Work
4 question my kids asked me…

You should see what I’m sharing on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, too!

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