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.

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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.

https://notablelife.com/this-magical-gelato-in-ottawa-has-sent-hundreds-of-women-into-labour/

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…

Bed Time Success

For a while now I’ve joked with new dad friends, that I’ve ruined my child when it comes to bed time. As each parent does, I have a special connection with Eve and have always been able to knock her out when it came to bed time. Maybe it’s because I’m fat and have a round, cooshee belly, or it’s the immense heat that I produce. Who knows, it’s our thing though. So, as she’s been growing up my philosophy is simple, “If it works, why change it?”

Well, now that Eve is inching up to 2 1/2 years old it would be nice to say “It’s bed time” and put her down and leave the room.

Tonight, it happened! Mommy left Daddy in charge 😛 and so we did a little Sophia the First and then headed up to bed. At first Eve was NOT having it, but after a short discussion we made it upstairs. We got into our PJs, had our puffer, brushed out teeth, said our prayers, grabbed bunny and assumed the position.

I rocked her for about 10 minutes and all she did the entire time was play with my beard. So, I said to myself…”Enough is enough” I slowly stood up, made my way over to the crib, laid her down and softly said, “Good night, I love you”. She softly replied “I love you too dadda, don’t close door”

Ok dads, I don’t care what you say, that kills me every time. I will always remember back to when Eve first started to speak, I said to my brother in law “I love when she says dadda” He told me quickly, just wait until your kids say I love you. Eve has become a little parrot, as most kids do, and when I say I love you I get various responses back “I love you”, or “I love you too” or the best (my wife and I have been saying this to each other for 15 years) “I love you more”

All that to say, I stood over her crib and welled up as her little voice told me she loved me too, waited a second and slowly walked out, leaving the door open as requested. I never heard a peep, movement, nothing. 10 minutes later, turned on the video monitor and she is fast asleep. SCORE!!! YES!!!

That’s pretty much it for me today. It’s been a long week and I’m excited to get back to work. I just felt like blogging about my small victory, and the hope that maybe I haven’t messed my daughter up that badly 😛 LOL… Parenting is an adventure, and I’m sure sure who is learning more form who. Kids are so smart, and so honest and there is something to that. I feel like that gets lost so quickly, and aren’t we called to have a “Childlike faith”.

All of a sudden I feel a sermon coming on, so I’m cutting it off there.

The adventure continues….

Family Road Trip has come to an end

And life starts to get back to normal.

Home Sweet Home

The final leg of our trip was an eventful one. Sue hadn’t been feeling 100% since leaving Chicago. The initial diagnosis was that she was worn down and tired. As we left Michigan she couldn’t shake it and we stopped at Rite Aid to pick up something to help her along. By the time Niagara Falls hit, she was miserable.

We ended up cancelling our stop over in Peterborough and bombed down the 401, straight home. Two things were happening by this time, Sue was sick and I was getting a little stir crazy. The only solid person on the car ride home was Eve.

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We ended up stopping about 4 times on the way back and really took our time. That being said, we left at 8:30am and ended up home by 4pm. We made great time.

I would say the trip was pretty successful if you ask me. We put 3149kms (1956 miles) on the car, and spent $185 on gas. That little car really does well on the highway. I couldn’t believe it when I sat down last night and calculated the milage. We couldn’t have made the trip any other way.

Now it’s time to plan our next big adventure. We’ve got a wedding in August, vacation time, the next RSA will be in New Orleans, which I am completely geeked about.

Then again, ever day with this tiny human seems to be an adventure. Watching her grow and learn continually amazes me.

The adventure…. continues

Family Road trip – Almost over

What a fabulous trip.

I can’t say enough about our family and friends who have gone out of their way to accommodate us during our travel. Whether it is catering to our dietary restrictions or letting us crash at their home or… Give us the key to their home because they were out of town.

Friday night was awesome! An old friend came into Chicago and picked me up at the hotel and we hit a pub called Timothy O’Toole’s. We spend a bunch of hours having dinner, drinking KBS (my new favorite beer) and talking about old times. We picked up exactly where we left off 20 years ago.

Saturday was amazing. I got together with two old friends that used to do ministry with back in the 90’s. We spent the day at one of their homes and I got to meet their family, share a meal and ended our day with all 4 of our children playing at the park.

It’s funny because one of my friends and I spoke at the end of the day and we both held the same sentiment. We both were waiting for this awkwardness to be present, but we all picked up like no time had passed at all, and in one case it had been about 20 years.

Eve had a great time playing with my friend’s children, and just having a place to run other then the hotel. I sure as hell wasn’t going to let her run in downtown Chicago.

Saturday night was the big gala and well, we didn’t get to attend. The hotel and the RSA where very strict about “No Children Allowed”. This was very uncool and meant that Eve and I weren’t able to attend. So, I did what every good father would have done. Went to Target, found food, watched Finding Dory and had some much overdue tub time (for Eve, not me :P)

Sunday was pretty low key. We got up late, got some breakfast, packed the car and headed on our way. We had a leisurely drive into Michigan where we stayed at an old friend’s place.

Today was also pretty low key, but the trip is starting to wear on us. We left Grand Haven pretty late and headed to the border. We made it to Sue’s cousin’s place at about 5pm, stretched out legs for a minute only to jump back in the car and head to Swiss Chalet for dinner.

Now, as the children are being put to bed and I bang away on my keyboard, I long for my bed and to be at home. Sue is starting to feel very run down and well… Even our even keeled, well travelled tiny human is starting to feel the 2500km drive catch up with her.

Tomorrow we make a quick stop at Sue’s sister’s place and then home.

All and all, as I said, it’s been a pretty great trip. Tomorrow is supposed to be a little soggy (lots of rain in the forecast) but we’ll see how that plays out.

Family Road Trip Adventures

What a day…

Yesterday ended terribly. Sue got back to the room and we decided to go out on the town in search of dinner. This hotel is beautiful but we can’t afford to eat or drink here let alone stay here.

So, away we went. We didn’t end up going for, 1 block over to Millers to be exact. It was a nice little pub, known for its Ribs. Once we were seated we spoke with the waitress and explained our issue with Eve. I think something was lost in translation and she didn’t understand the severity that we very much put on her allergies. Toward the end of the meal I’m sure by now you can already imagine what happened.

Eve started to have a reaction. Something she came in contact with contained something she was allergic to. Her upper lip started to swell, then her lower lip, then her cheeks. We hit the panic button, paid the bill and ran. We were both extremely scared. We went to the CVS and purchased some Benedryl, which really only suppresses and we didn’t want to give it to her, but the reaction was… well… mild in a matter of speaking. American Benedryl is also twice as potent as the Canadian version.

Back we went to the room where we took her mind (and ours somewhat) off the reaction by watching cartoons. At about 10pm the swelling started to go down. We were somewhat relieved but now extremely stressed out. No more going out to eat. Eve will live on PB&J and cheerios and apples for the remainder of the trip.

Today on the other hand has been AMAZING! We slept hard and woke up refreshed and ready to conquer the day. We had breakfast and sent Sue on her way (back to the conference) and started our adventure.

We jumped in a cab and headed over to the Shedd Aquarium. What a place! Wow! We arrived and waited in a short line and then went crazy. Eve was amazed. I love watching her as she explores, as she see something she’s never seen before. When she saw the size of some of these fish, she went glassy eyed.

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We walked and walked and stopped and saw Sponge Bob in 4D, which I think scared her a little bit. It was in 3D but with the added air blasts from the seat, and strobe lights and all kinds of very cool effects.

Then we stopped for a snack, went to pet the Sturgeon, and the star fish. Watched the dolphin show and saw the penguins. We arrived shortly after 9am and it was awesome, but by this point it was just after 2pm and the place was bursting at the seams. There must have been 4 or 6 schools there and you couldn’t move. At this point I pulled the shoot and it was time to go.

We jumped back in a cab and headed back to the hotel, had our lunch and well, you guessed it… NAP TIME! (or blog time). The room is dark and I’m actually getting sleepy. So, I think this is where I call it and maybe put my head down for a couple minutes and rest too.

The Adventure continues…