We must be doing something right

March break has come to an end. It was a full week of museums, movies, bowling, shopping and fun. Yesterday by request of my niece we went to visit great grandpa. She was very excited to see him and so was Eve. It was a short visit, but just enough time to keep him in the forefront of their memories.

Tonight during our bedtime routine, Eve decided to prayer for all her family… Aunts, Uncles, cousins and Nana. It was really sweet. Eve doesn’t like to go to bed on her own and well, good or bad, we indulge her and snuggle up until she falls asleep. This is usually the time where the deep sharing comes out to and tonight was no different.

She looks over at me and says “I miss Nanie” (My grandmother who past was last fall). She continues on and says, “I miss reading with her, and I miss talking to her”. Well, at this point I can feel the tears running down my face as I tell her how much I miss her too. Then she says, “I miss Grandmama. I miss playing with her on her iPad, and swimming with her.” My mother in law passed away about 2 months ago now.

Eve continued; Dad, I need to say a special prayer, is that ok? I told her yes… She made the sign of the cross (yes, we’re catholic) and started to pray. At this point I have a lump in my throat the size of a soft ball and can’t speak, and my eyes are burning with tears. She prayed for God to protect her Nanie and Grandmama, and asked God to keep them close and watch over them. At the end of her prayer she asked me if it was a good prayer, and I softly told her, yes.

She says, it’s ok dad… Nanie and Grandmama are in heaven and they are in my heart too, just like Jesus. I will never forget them.

It was this point where I hugged her so tight and hoped she didn’t notice how wet my face had become from the tears. This little person is 4 years old. Where at 4 do you get that kind of insight?? That kind of understanding? I’m blown away right now. I knew that I needed to scribble down my experience because, frankly, I’m still not sure it happened.

Eve has had 2 influential ladies in her life pass away by the age of 4 and I didn’t realize how much of an impact loosing her Great Grandmother and Grandmother would be.

I don’t know who learns more from who. I teach and guide my baby girl to be the person I want her to be, and she teaches me about having the faith of a child, so pure, so innocent.

We miss you Nanie, I think about you all the time. May you rest in peace. Nicole, you have left a huge hole in our lives and we think about you daily. May you rest in peace. We love you both!

Isn’t medicine interesting?

I’ve never felt so helpless then when my kids are sick. My oldest had a flu bug a couple months ago, actually it was at the beginning of September. It was the first time she was legitimately, hard core, sick. Since being sick she’s had this lingering cough that pops up and within the past week has reared it’s head in a big way.

She does not go more then a few minutes with out a coughing fit, and last night we asked her, “how are you?” Fine, “How’s your throat?” Fine, “Is it soar?” No. hahaha… Every question met with a quick one-word answer, giving us nothing to go on.

At twenty after six, as I sit on the couch with my youngest, she jumps up beside me, puts her head down and with in seconds, it snoring. Unreal! In one respect, it was great, I got to watch the six o’clock news in peace as the baby slept in my arms and the tiny human slept beside me.

About 7:15 hit and you can only guess what happened. Yup, I hit a wall. With two little furnaces cuddled on me, I didn’t stand a chance. The eyes got heavy and the next thing I knew it was almost 8 and the coughing started up again.

Now the baby’s awake and getting fussy, the tiny human is coughing up a blue streak and I’m loosing my mind. In the last week, I’ve purchased everything. Vicks toddler lollypop style cough drops, Vicks rub, Vicks vapo pads for the humidifier, etc… etc… (This portion of my blog is brought to you by VICKS! LOL)

So, I put the baby down and march the tiny human upstairs. I set her all up, and pray that she falls asleep. This took almost an hour, and she didn’t go down well. As I sat and watched her my heart broke and then I got angry at “the system”. There is so much advancement in medicine but they can’t figure out something to help a kid with a bad cold? It’s maddening.

I laughed as my wife walked in the door just before 9 and the first thing she says to me is “The house smells like Vicks” HAHA!

The evening ended with an hour of tv, a little Modern Family and Single Parents then off to bed for myself.


The adventure continues…

Feeling unprepared

As I reflect back on the past few months I pray that I am not completely screwing up my children.

I realize that I have no idea what I’m doing and I don’t know how I’ve got through the past 4 years. In my head I hear myself saying to my oldest, “You’re a big girl now” and in my heart I’m saying “Stay my little girl forever”

My daughter is growing up, and as much as I want to stop it, I am excited. I’m excited to watch her grow and understand the world. I’m of the opinion that we are rushing our children along way to fast today. Let them be kids.

One of the things I pride myself on is being able to read a room. I was a DJ for a long time and part of being able to last in the business is not only knowing your music, but being able to look around a room and see people’s reactions. My daughter has this gift. She pays very close attention to everything and everyone.

The other night she was going through her bedtime routine and my wife came downstairs knowing she wasn’t asleep, but also aware that she was wound right up. Ten minutes into our program on TV we could hear my daughter yelling for us. I went upstairs, and she asked if I could snuggle. She doesn’t like going to bed alone and in my head I’m saying “You’re a big girl now, and you need to learn how to sleep” and my heart says “Ok, only for a minute”

As I laid down beside her and she started goofing around. After a couple minutes, with a stern voice, I told her I was going back downstairs. She got upset, and promised me that she’d go to sleep. About a minute later, she says in a soft voice “Are you mad dadda?” and I told her no, and then she says “Best buddies forever?” and I replied with a lump in my throat… Forever.

It’s these moments that I wasn’t prepared for. She grabbed my hand, wrapped herself around my arm tightly, pulled herself in close and within, I’d say 2 minutes was fast asleep. I was have laid there staring at her for about 5 minutes. Its times like this that, when I sit and reflect.

I find myself doing a lot of introspecting over the past few years. Looking at myself, who I am as a man, and what I believe I deserve. There are a lot of days where I struggle with how to love, and how to be loved. When a tiny human looks at you, you know that she isn’t looking at all your faults, and all your imperfections, she is looking at  her protector, her rock, and you are perfect in her eyes. I pray every day that I can be what she sees. I pray that I will never let her down.


The Adventure continues…

The first two weeks in the books

Two kids, I’ve now got two kids… I don’t really think it hit me right away. I think for me, it was speaking to people and referring to them as my kids, and not by name, if that makes any sense.

I can honestly say that it was a little overwhelming for me. You have a 3 year old vying for your affection and a newborn, well… just needing your attention and then my wife, who’s body needed to heal and all I wanted to do is make things easy for her. The first week for me was a little much. As much as I try and be “THE OAK” for the family, I did shut down a couple times.

Going into week three, I think we are getting a handle on things and finally starting to get a routine down. This of course was knocked off the rails on Thursday when Eve was supposed to start school and ended up with a flu bug. We have been very blessed in our family and Eve has never really been “sick”. She’s had the occasional head cold, and I’m not counting the allergy stuff. Having a fever for 3 days, throwing up and having no energy/appetite is new for her and you can see that she’s trying to work it out, but is having a tough time with it. So are we for that matter. It’s tough for me to watch my little girl suffer when all my instincts (right or wrong) are to try and make it all better. I’ve got friends in the medical field and I lean on one in particular and I’ve now coined her “Dr. Mom”. She is always so great, answering all my questions, and referring me to resources, and if she doesn’t know the answer, she checks with others on her ward and gets back to me. I’m very lucky that way, I told her this morning, if I didn’t have her I would be pissing off a lot of people in the ER at CHEO, because I wanted to go there last night after two days of this flu bug.

Now, I sit in a quiet house… the tiny human cuddled up and asleep on the couch with the cat, the tiniest human next to me in the bassinet sleeping away, making cooing noises every once and a while, my wife taking some well needed time to sleep and outside… A beautiful sunny, cool day which I would love to be out enjoying. I guess these are the “sacrifices” we make as parents, not always getting to do what you want to do.

So, I sit here, and watch them as they sleep, my two little angels, and I think about how blessed I am to have them both. All the windows and doors open, a beautiful cool breeze blowing threw the house.

What more could a man ask for?

The adventure continues…

Parenting… Like a riding a bike

She’s here… She arrived on Aug 21, at 9:18pm, coming in at 7lbs 10oz. She is gorgeous and all I could do was cry.


I find it amazing how tiny humans grasp our hearts and how much work goes in to preparing for their arrivals.

The first night was a hoot. We were in the civic hospital and due to circumstances beyond our control we ended up staying the night, which ended up being 2 nights/3 days.

The count… 12 hours of pre-labor, and 6 hours of active labor, these are terms you learn when you have midwives 🙂 HA!

When we found out our (our? I don’t think so) OB had retired Susanne immediately said that she had been thinking hard about having a midwife, I on the other hand thought that midwives where just hippies who didn’t know what they were doing. True story… 😐

Was I proven wrong in so many ways. Susanne chose the South Ottawa midwives (www.southottawamidwives.com). She had regular care from there and I even went to a few of the appointments. Nothing could prepare me for the 2 ladies that showed up at the hospital on Tuesday morning.

Kim and Erin were awesome! I can’t say enough about these two ladies. They had great bed side manner, they talked you through everything that was happening and explained any questions you had during and after the process. We talked about a WIDE range of topics from 9:30am to midnight, and my opinions have drastically changed about their profession. I would recommend them every day of the week.

Our first night in the hospital was a hoot. I got the vinyl “dad” chair that slides into an uncomfortable bed, Anna got the bassinet and Sue was in the bed, duh… We were told, “Babies typically have 1 poop in the first 24 hours”, not my daughter… There were three poops were within the first 12 hours and guess who got to change them all… HA!

I’m not that far removed from diapers, but wow! I was out of practice. And meconium!! Wow!! This stuff gets in every crack, fold and crevice. I’m sure I went through a ¼ of a pack of wipes on that first one, UNTIL the nurse walked in and … discouraged us from using wipes. Hmmm…

The tiny human joined us around lunch time the next day. She lit up. She is so excited to be a big sister.

We finally got everyone home this morning, 3 days later. Eve sang to Anna the entire drive home and Anna very happily sat and listened. It calmed her right down. We got in the door and the excitement started right up and dad’s frustration levels rose very quickly.

Again, I feel very new at this baby thing, it’s like riding a bike… Keep them warm (put on a onsie and THEN a sleeper) be careful with the neck (onsie’s are a pain the ass), when you change the diaper be careful of the umbilical cord (don’t let the diaper rub on it) and within 10 minutes of arriving home my insecurities all poured out, moreso because the tiny human is RIGHT under me trying to… help.

Well, a few hours have passed. We’ve had our first set of “official” visitors, mama is sleeping, tiny human has been a sleep almost 2 hours and baby is sitting beside me in the bassinet, tossing around, making noises, looking cute. It’s almost time to walk down and pick up the dog from Petsmart, she’s been there since Tuesday morning.

The adventure continues…

The countdown continues…

We are now 2 days away from 40 weeks. I think we’re ready… I hope we’re ready… I feel more ready for #2 then I did for #1.

When Eve was announced we had no experience with raising kids, and as much as everyone offers you advice (solicited or unsolicited) you are never really ready in my opinion.

With Anna right around the corner we feel a little more confident. The room is prep’d the clothes (hand me downs) are all ready and washed. There are ample diapers (cloth and disposable) etc… etc… etc…

I remember saying this in a blog post 3 ½ years ago and I will forever shout it from the mountains. Woman are SO much stronger then men. Susanne is dealing with the pregnancy as best she can in the heat, but over the past 4 days she has done her darndest to start labour. She’s hit the black liquorish, raw pineapple, and having me order in suicide wings (which took her 3 sittings to finish due to the heat).

Saturday evening I even went as far as to drive out to a local place for their famous gelato.


This shop has a so called labour inducing gelato and well… it didn’t work. Haha! If Anna is anything like her sister she will come when she’s ready, and guess what, she isn’t due until the 22 so… that’s when she’ll make her entrance.

Today I start my 7 weeks of holidays and I actually hope she comes sooner then later just so that I can be here not only for her but for Susanne and Eve to help ease the transition.

It’s going to be a busy day, the house is spotless, the ducts in the house being cleaned today, and then off to the midwife for 1 last check up (we hope) before the big day.

The adventure continues…

When did I become… Dad?

Tonight I was struck with new thoughts. As we prep the tiny human for bed, I sat and I watched her. I watched as she started singing softly, and as she gathered up her pyjamas.

As we hit the washroom and did our teeth and face and all the different parts of our routine and then to hear, “Dad, you can do round 2”. We do 2 rounds of teeth brushing, she gets to do the first round and my wife or I do the second round.

I’ve shared this with a few people over the past week. My daughter has started calling me Dad. This in itself isn’t a bad thing, but when you become a father you start with dada, then we hit daddy, and now dad. The way she says it too… the first time she said it kind of rocked my core. Not in a bad way, it just made me sad.

My little girl is growing up. Yes, yes, yes… I understand this is part of life, but I guess I’ve got a small part of me that has romanticized the role of daddy. I know I’m always going to be dad, but I want to be daddy for a little while longer.

Over the past week we are prepping her to go to school and buying her backpack and lunch box and then signing her up for dance and getting her proper clothing and watching her dance around the room. She is growing up too fast. Is this something that every father feels like and goes through? Am I just a bit sap? I’d like to hope the answers are a little bit and pretty much 🙂

We are now 13 days away from the due date of our newest family member. I’m so excited, and yet… I’m so scared. I’m scared that I won’t be able to balance both my girls and I’m scared that 1 will feel neglected and I won’t be able to live up to these expectations that I’ve put on myself. Unrealistic or not, I’ve got a lot of fears deep down and as much as I have always wanted to big family, the fact of the matter is that I need to evolve and learn how to be a parent all over again. I need to learn how to make my new daughter feel as special and as important as my other daughter, with out rocking the balance and the relationship we already have.

Tonight as I was leaving my daughter in her room I’ve now started saying something to her that I used to say to my wife many years ago. The other night she said it to me before I could get it out of my mouth… She looked up and said, “Sleep with the Angels, Dad” I almost cried. As I walked out tonight, I turned, and quietly said “Sleep with the Angels, my little angel” and she turned, ran across the room and gave me a huge and whispered “I love you”

So, this is why I’m sitting on my couch, all chocked up, spilling my guts onto my blog. The adventure continues… That’s been my motto since we moved and come back from Italy. Life is a an adventure and watching my tiny human grow….

Gives my life/adventure…. meaning

Change is on the horizon

Life is interesting.

Over the past few years my vision of what is important in life has shifted. I used to be involved in everything. I had something at least 3 nights a week and then my daughter was born and I found myself missing the little moments that were happening in my family. Slowly, I started to back out of all my extra curricular activities.

3 1/2 years later, I find myself longing. I miss certain things, and I miss people and I struggle to find a balance between family and extra-curricular. As I watch my tiny human grow, and develop I constantly want to be around her and don’t want to miss a thing. Now, in 5 weeks, this process is going to start again with another tiny human being added to the mix.

Tonight I start piping again. I haven’t picked up my bagpipes in almost 2 years. I miss playing them terribly, but something was keeping me from starting again. I’m not sure if it’s the fear of not being good enough, the fear that it will take me away from my family, or the fear of being criticized by people within what ever band I end up landing in. I’ve never had a ton of self confidence and believe it or not, don’t like being in front of people.

So, as I dust off the blog, dust off the camera, and dust off the bagpipes I’m getting ready for another chapter in my life to begin. I don’t really know what’s going to happen but I know it’s time to get in front of my fears and insecurities and get back to where I want to be.

I want to be the father, and husband my girls can be proud of. I think the only way to do that is to live a balanced life and weave everything together.

I’m hoping that this will be the beginning of an adventure.

I can’t believe she’s 3

I can’t believe it’s been 3 years.

3 years ago we moved into our little garden home, and welcomed this little blond bomber into our lives. Little did we know, our lives would never be the same.

Now, 3 years later, so much has changed. Our tiny human is very well spoken, loves to laugh, loves to joke around and play, and as of late, loves to test limits.

The newest news is that we are moving. We are back into home ownership. Moving a whole 3 blocks away. LOL! We’ve fallen in love with the neighbourhood, and the people around us.

I haven’t posted much over the past few months. I took my wife’s advice and decided to live my experiences and not document and photograph them all.

Our tiny human is growing up so fast and she is getting so smart. We continually battle her food allergies and we have such an amazing group of friends and family who really look out for her and try and make things easier for us, even when we tell them not to go out of their way.

It makes me proud when I hear a little voice in the midst of the madness of 10 other tiny humans asking “Is that dairy free??” As we continue to learn about food allergies, and teach her and the people around us, things become easier.

Our next big challenge is school. We are still on the fence with sending her off to school (Kindergarten) next year. We’re nervous, but it will all work out.

Why am I spouting all this after 6 months of nothing… ? I don’t really know. I miss blogging, and I miss sharing my experiences. I think it may be time to pick back up the camera, start blogging again and doing what I do best… have fun

Learning more and more everyday

Having a child with any kind of aliment is challenging. Some change your lives a bit and others change your life a lot.

When dealing with food allergies in our case, it has changed where/if we go out to eat and also what is purchased and brought into our home. I spend a lot of time these days reading about anaphylaxis and trying to find fun things to to eat or places to go.

I’ve recently been inspired by a lady in the GTA who started up a website/blog called AllergyBites. I find myself relating to her in the way that, you want to share with your child all that you love and enjoy and when you find out that you can’t, it really takes the wind out of your sails.

As I read the multitude of blogs and articles on the internet I realize that I’m not alone in this fight. That allergies are very real and more and more people are finding out they have them and like us, don’t know what to do once diagnosed.

I’m going to be changing up my blog a little bit this afternoon as I watch my Boston Bruins play in game 6 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. I am going to be adding a section along lines of … recommended allergy friendly places. I’m not sure the title yet, but we spent the morning this morning at a place here in Ottawa that wasn’t allergy free, BUT was able to accommodate every allergy you had when dealing with food.

The adventure continues…