Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

So I guess it was inevitable. The time of the year has come again for the Christmas Cartoon to rear it's head. Tonight the Grinch is on and I for one can't wait to sit on the couch with Declan and watch this classic.

Last year we tried it but I think he was a bit too young still. So we will try again this year with The Grinch, Frosty, Rudolph and Charlie Brown.

I get sentimental at Christmas and think about sitting on the floor of my parents house in Dundas. We would have our baths and sit in front of the fire to dry off while watching Mickey's Christmas Carol or How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

These memories always seem to carry me into the season. I remember the storm windows in our bedrooms had three or four little holes in the frame that were covered by a piece of wood that was able to be removed. I would lift it up in the cold of the winter and breathe in the sharp air, watch the crystals form on the windows and write my name on the glass.

We would either go to the tree farm to pick out our tree or the lot but it was always a Scotch Pine with big spiky needles. These years my parents have moved to a different type of tree and whenever I see it I think that they are being traitors to my memories. How odd.

These days we have created our own Christmas memories. We decorate the tree, fake out of necessity because of specific allergies, and I watch Declan's face as the lights are turned on. This year will be interesting because Rhys will be much more mobile and will begun to feel the excitement that we do.

Hopefully this year we will have time to make Christmas as special as it can be for the boys. I am looking forward to reading Twas the Night Before Christmas and being surprised by the presents. And if we are lucky maybe having some snow on the ground for a Christmas Day toboggan ride!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

We Could Be Heroes

Declan and I were playing yesterday and he pretended that one of his toys was going to fall. I reached out and caught it and told him that it was safe. He immediately got off of his chair and gave me a hug and told me that I was his hero. Aside from the obvious dust I had in my eye it got me to thinking. What happened to our heroes from when we were young?

Most kids see their Fathers as a hero when they are young. I was certainly no exception. My dad was big, strong, rode a motorcycle and could fix pretty much anything. I wanted to be just like him in so many ways. I am pretty sure the only reason that I took machine shop or welding was so that we had something to speak about.

When I hit my 20's things changed. I started to see my Father in a different light. I started to see where he was vulnerable, when he was being stubborn, or when he was just plain wrong. That doesn't mean that I didn't still see him as one of my heroes, it just meant that instead of the infallible superhero he was my Dad.

For better or worse that is how I see him now. I see the man who when I graduated grade 8 drove me to our class after party on the back of his motorcycle and waited for me while I drank pop and ate pizza with my classmates, I see the man who was crushed by a car and was told he would never walk again without a cane, let alone have children and play soccer again. I see this man and realize that he is still just a man and he has made mistakes and showed poor judgement at times as well. But I remember the awe that I was always in when I watched him split firewood in the backyard with one swing of the axe when I was a kid, or fix the car with the ridiculous amount of knowledge that he had.

In many ways I realize now that he is still my hero. I have learned from him who I want to be as a Father and also some of the pitfalls that I am going to try and avoid.

I see in my boys some of the awe that I must have had with my Dad growing up. I am going to continue trying to earn that look.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


One of the things that I have always looked forward to doing with my boys is taking them to events. Seeing the excitement on Declan's face the first time that I took him to see Bob the Builder was amazing. What a feeling. Since then we have been to a Ti-Cats game, many hockey games with his Poppa and 3 Monster Jams. The Monster Jams are probably the most fun though.

The build-up to a Monster Truck event is hilarious. The whole SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY! and GRAAAAVE DIGGERRRRR! hoopla is great on the radio and a lot of fun to mimic. When I showed Declan the tickets and told him what they said his eyes went wide, his mouth dropped and he got so excited! We really got him going this time. He remembers the fun he had with me and Uncle Robbie at Monster Jam in the Roger's Centre back in the February.

This time we were joined by Jacob and Grandma Shirley. Grandma being the uninitiated when it comes to the whole Monster Jam phenomena. We grabbed a light lunch at the Honest Lawyer and then walked back through the Market in Jackson Square (quick aside: what a vibrant feel that place has in such dismal conditions) and out the doors to Copps Coliseum.

Suffice it to say we had a great time. The boys were well behaved and the spectacle of cars being crushed for our viewing pleasure never gets old. Glad that I had my ear plugs and Declan had his ear protection because those things are LOUD! Grave Digger gave us what we wanted to see as did the Quad Bikes and the Motor Cross jumpers.

Can't wait to go see it again at the Roger's Centre in January with Uncle Robbie! I swear having boys is the perfect excuse to be a little boy all over again!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


So about year ago I decided that I wanted to get back into playing soccer. I have always loved the game and was considered pretty good when I was younger. Now, I figure that I am about 2 years out from playing Old Timers soccer and I wanted to get my feet wet by starting in a league that is relatively chill.

Enter Average Joe Sports. What a great idea! This is a league that is made up of people like me who haven't played in a long time, if ever. I have been playing for about a year and I have to admit I love it. I have a great team and have even had the chance to play with Declan's Godfather Robbie.

I admit that some mornings are more difficult than others. I have had a handful of days where I have been stiff getting out of bed. This morning was the perfect example. I have developed a heel spur as well as some pain in my knees and they were both acting up. I think that I am officially old! Oh well, it's worth it.

One of the best feelings that I have had playing soccer so far has been hearing Declan shouting from the stands for me and the team. I have fond memories of watching my Dad play when I was a kid and having my sons there watching me is such a lovely feeling.

Heck, I have even scored a couple of goals since I have been playing. Not bad for a guy who spent his whole childhood playing defence and never really crossing mid-field!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Got around to the house on Friday with my Dad to finish demoing our bathroom. Andrea and I have decided that since no one is living in the house right now we might as well work on a couple of things that have always kind of bugged us. The major thing is getting the bathroom on the main floor redone. We have always wanted to do this and the quote that we got was a bit higher than we wanted. To drop it down I offered to demo the bathroom to get it ready for the framing and new work.

My Dad and I have pretty much got it done and the room is bare. The only problem at this point is the one wall needs to come down. The plaster is crumbling which is going to back for a pretty rotten and dirty job. Oh well, we do what we must.

Once it is done it will look great. We are going to have in floor heating and a nice tub and shower combo. It will be like a whole new house when you consider that we also have pot lights going into the living room and the upstairs bathroom is being repainted with a newly re-glazed bathtub.

All in all the inconvenience has been massive but I am starting to get excited about the changes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

When The Flood Calls You Have No Home You Have No Walls...

So we are currently homeless. Well not quite homeless but our home is totally uninhabitable. The toilet tank ruptured in the upstairs bathroom while Andrea and I were at work and the whole house was flooded. This happened back on September 21st.

Since then I have watched our possessions be classified as savable or not, our first floor be demolished and Declan cry as he realized that we had no walls. The most upsetting thing was laying in bed with him and Andrea while he sobbed that we had no couches, no TV, no ceiling and no walls. He told me that he was trying to be happy but he was just so sad. How can a 3 year old have those worries? Heartbreaking.

I have also felt the unbelievable support of Andrea's parents through this as they open up their house to a family of 4 for an unknown amount of time. They have patiently allowed a 3 year old to crawl into their bed at 4 in the morning almost every day because he loves to be in there with his Grandma and his Papa.

I miss my home. I miss life the way it was. I will say though that Declan doesn't watch as much TV as he used to, and we eat dinner as a family almost every night. The added support that we receive has been invaluable. I don't know how we would get through without it.

On the home front the construction has begun and things are progressing. We have decided to also renovate our bathroom since no one lives in the house currently. With the help of my Dad and Jacob we ripped out the old bathroom on the weekend and are going to finish the demo tomorrow. The new bathroom should be amazing and I am really looking forward to having heated floors!

We have had to replace almost all of our electronics because our TV and Computers were totalled. Luckily I had backed up the laptop months ago and also had the iPod which had all of our pictures on it up until a week before the flood. With a $30.00 program I was able to save all of those pictures and transfer them to our new laptop. Thank goodness because it would have been a disaster to lose the boys first years.

Dealing with Insurance is generally not a lot of fun but we have been pretty lucky. The adjuster that we have has been pretty helpful in explaining the process which is really half the battle.

We hope to be home no later than the end of the year and may be in as early as Christmas. Fingers crossed.

I will try and update as I can.