The 2017 100 Wrap-Up — 31 Successes.

Several weeks, a few dozen photos and four thousand words later, we’ve finally made it—the Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad 2017 wrap-up, filled with stories aplenty of 365 days spent in my not-so-orthodox life.

The 2017 100 — 31 Successes. — Leather 2017 Planner
Kelly Jean

After wrapping the year up on a quiet note (because two sick children under five will do that to you), I still felt it necessary to do this. These year-to-year changeovers offer a lot of perspective for me—with so much happening all the time, I often forget what I had for breakfast, so I write everything down. And if the height of the pile on my desk is any sign, 2017 was quite the year. But it’s also the time where I’m the most transparent, looking back objectively at everything I’ve done and celebrating successes, owning up to failures, hoping all the while that I’m somehow growing from the process.

But yeah—let’s do this as we did in 2016: look at the year in excruciating detail, figuring out what’s worth taking with me into 2018 versus what just don’t feel part of my world anymore.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me present—the 31 things I did well in 2017! Let’s get it!

The Life and Times of Casey and Family — NaBloPoMo Day 3 — Out of the Mouths of Babes.

“Fuckshit.”

The Life and Times of Casey and Family — NaBloPoMo Day 3 — Out of the Mouths of Babes. — The Kindergarten Kid Back from Kindergarten Orientation

I didn’t know it then, but before my eldest started junior kindergarten this September, life was simple. Taking an extra eight months away from the office after her mat leave to be with the boys (and because two kids in Toronto daycare is really expensive), Sarah took the boys on various adventures as they grew. I mean, it obviously wasn’t perfect—I’m not entirely sure how Sarah finished those twenty months with her sanity intact—but for the most part, we were in control. We taught them what we wanted, chose what stimuli affected them, and saw them grow in the world we created for them.

But what we hadn’t considered was a new factor just over the horizon—something we couldn’t control that’d affect our son in entirely new ways.

Other. People’s. Kids.

How McDonald’s Canada’s Happy Meals Can Reveal the Joy of Reading!

I love reading. I’ve always been reading. As long as I can remember I’ve been reading! My penchant for stories defined me from my earliest days—I devoured tales faster than my Mom could get ’em from the Mississauga Library! I don’t even know what my life would look like if it weren’t for reading—it’s part of just about everything I do. Business case writing. Blogging. Even the spelling bees I’d win when I was eight. Reading’s proved essential to my growth, and I have no plans for my children to do without it, either.

But I should count us lucky. There’re thousands of Canadian kids growing up without a reading culture in their lives. And I get it—parents are too busy. Too tired. And it definitely doesn’t help that thousands of Canadian children don’t even have a book in their homes! Reading’s key to unlocking a child’s potential—if you rob them of reading, who knows what opportunities they’ll miss?

How McDonald's Happy Meals Can Reveal the Joy of Reading! — Kids Being Read to by Paulette Bourgeois

Knowing it’s far better to be part of the solution since being part of the problem hurts us all, McDonald’s Canada introduced an excellent way to get books into the hands of children who might not have them otherwise!

TRY YOUR LUCK: Put Your Car Seat Woes at Ease with the diono radian rXT!

When diono dropped a line to gauge my interest in reviewing the diono radian rXT and the related products, I didn’t quite know how I’d approach it.

Put Your Car Seat Woes at Ease with the diono radian rXT! — radian rXT modesSee, the car seat is the natural nemesis of the new parent. The straps are never tight enough, babies never enjoy being in them as long as you need, and installing them requires strength paralleled only by world-class weightlifters. You never get it quite right on the first try and forever find yourself adjusting ’til your kids outgrow them.

But they’re necessary!

Sure, we somehow survived an era where simply shoving your kids into the back seat was an acceptable practice, but we’re also the same species who once smoked cigarettes in delivery rooms. And treated blood disorders with leeches. Heck, we once thought sugary soda was the key to losing weight. Just because we often do things one way doesn’t mean we can’t do it better, so we must continually expect more from the things we use, and yes—that means our car seats too.

Level Ups with Pampers Easy Ups — Getting Aware of the Better Way to Underwear!

Potty training is a pain in the butt.

Pun totally intended.

I’ll look back at this in the future and laugh, but I have a stubborn toddler refusing to do away with diapers. We’ve tried it all—using a sticker chart to reward every #2; promising every Paw Patrol toy under the sun if only he’d learn to use the toilet… even jealousy by putting his baby brother on the potty for some elimination communication, but nothing’s quite stuck.

But we can’t just give up—diapers aren’t a good look for kindergarten kids, so we’ve got just under a year to help him say the magic words:

“I’m ready for underwear!”

See, the transition from infancy to childhood need not be so difficult—parenting in 2016 offers so many options, and Pampers takes full advantage of this with their brand-new Easy Ups training pants—the better way to underwear!

Level Ups with Pampers Easy Ups — Getting Aware of the Better Way to Underwear! — Pampers Easy Ups Presentation Table