Starting from last Saturday, our family is traveling down the Ringette road to kids’ sports. Yes, Grady decided to play ringette this year. There was an open-house session where Grady checked it out with a bunch of his friends (of course) and he liked it enough to commit to it. I’m looking forward to it, but I have a few reservations…

1. The name. As a few other parents (Dads specifically) mentioned, the name has a certain feminine tone to it. I tried to explain that our language has hundreds of counter examples where girls have to use masculine names or labels in the activities they do. My thoughts fell on deaf ears though. The consensus is that the name should be changed to “Death Ring” or perhaps “Sonic Ring”.

2. Along the same theme as above, the promotional material told us several reasons to join ringette. The number one reason was to develop our child into a more confident girl. I’m glad the boys didn’t notice that one.

3. We managed to get hockey pants, gloves, jersey, shoulder pads, shin pads, elbow pads and socks all for $60 used! Unfortunately we also managed to get a new helmet, cage, neck guard, jock and bag for $220 new. Cage was $70 and I managed to get the helmet for $50 off.

One nice thing about ringette is that the practice is at a very comfortable 5:30pm on Fridays two blocks from our house. Game times are relatively civilized with times typically on Saturday afternoons and sometimes 8:30am Saturday morning.

Kids Hike 6.6km, Dad says “Wow.”

I took the kids hiking on the North Shore yesterday. As part of my plans to get them into hiking and backpacking, I had both of them carry daypacks and I carried my pack with a stove and hot chocolate ready for brewing.

We drove to the top of Londsdale and over to St. Mary street for the start of the hike. Initially I thought we would do 1 or 2km. We started off along a trail that would take us to the Baden-Powell. The kids were kicking it and I hardly had to slow my pace down. Eventually we met up with the BP. I put down some plastic to sit on, got out the stove, and started heating some water. The kids climbed up another path that looked like a mtb downhill trail. After some hot chocolate, Grady wanted to do some more hiking before heading back so we headed east for bit. After another 15min I got us turned around. Instead of following our original tracks, we headed further west. The plan was to check out a viewpoint that is near another trail that would take us back to our starting point. Some other hikers said the viewpoint was about 5min away, which I assumed would take us maybe 10 or 15min.
On the trail

The viewpoint turned out to be more like 30min. There was some snow which made the going a bit slow Read the rest of this entry »

A Proud Father

Over the past couple of weeks, both of my kids have really impressed me. Don’t get me wrong, as a proud father I’m always impressed. Even still, there are a couple of cool things as of late that deserve mentioning.

Grady has always been a nice kid, and definitely is great with his sister. Recently he’s taking it to a new level though. Without any prompting or guidance, Grady has been really encouraging Emma May in their play. He lets her win or do well in games where his age is a huge advantage for him. Even better, he gives her real earnest congratulations and tells her how well she is doing. Not only is it important that Grady does this, but it is fantastic in how he does it. It’s difficult to describe but he does it really, really well.

Emma May of course is growing up in all the normal ways but one thing that makes me extra proud is how she has been controlling her emotions. Emma has always had temper tantrums. I don’t think they have been anything out of the ordinary and certainly nothing crazy. Just typical stuff around the house, and almost always related to emotions and feelings (and not a tool for getting something she wants). Anyways, over the past month she has been able to stop herself in the middle of a tantrum, squeaking out something like “Daddy, I’m not crying anymore” while successfully lowering her voice and fighting back tears. It’s awesome to see Emma May do this, as it shows that she recognizes what is happening and learning to deal with it. Plus, she’s damn cute even with a sour face!


New Haircuts

The kids just a few days before….

Emma May’s haircut:

Grady’s haircut:

So Long Thomas, Thanks For Everything!

Our son Grady used to be a complete Thomas the Tank Engine fan. We watched the animated show, the dvds, and we have trains coming out the wazoo. When we went to the park or playground, Grady always wanted to play trains (which was really just the name for a game where Grady and I chased each other making train noises). We also played a lot of trains at home, either with the track set or chasing each other around the house. However, the Thomas effect has steadily declined for about a year now and the other night Grady and I packed his trains, cards and few other things into his Thomas suitcase. It was a pretty sad thing for me but Grady didn’t seem to care too much. Man, I must be one of the most sentimental guys around.

Thomas took his first hit about a year ago when Grady caught onto the Pixar movie “Cars”. There was a period where it was all Cars, and very little Thomas. Playing trains at the playground was replaced with playing cars. In actual fact the game was exactly the same only we made different noises. We would watch the Cars movie over and over, and the Thomas videos didn’t get too many appearances. Then last fall came the arrival of Transformers.

Transformers changed everything. Almost overnight there was nothing else. As a testament to his interest, Grady quickly and accurately memorized a complete book called “Meet The Depecticons.” This was a 20 page book with perhaps 2 sentances on each page. Within a week or so he taught himself to “read” the book word for word. From that point on, Transformers were 24/7 and they are still going strong. We now play Transformers at the playground. Yeah, you guessed it. It’s the same game only now we make shooting and transforming sounds…

I get pretty choked up when I see the kids grow so fast. I spend 1/2 of my time wanting them to be mature and the other 1/2 of the time I want to freeze time and just have them the way they are. I really miss Grady’s excited voice yelling “Thomas!” on a Sunday morning as he heard the whistle blow from the tv, jumping out of bed to see the latest show. I miss reading his Thomas books with him. The two I remember the most are the Thomas catalog (which we would “read”, but more talk about which trains we wanted) and the Thomas flip-up book. Grady had this cute way of leaning forwards and then with both hands he would open the flip-up and proudly recite what was hidden beneath. I’m also kind of sad to see the Cars phase pass as well. I’m a bit less sentimental about that one, but the movie itself is really cool and I still hope to watch it a few more times with my little buddy.

lots of new pictures

I added a bunch of new photos to the gallery, mostly family stuff like our trip to Long Beach and Emma May’s 3rd birthday party.


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