Home Sweet Home

November 30, 2010

Forgive me Internet, for I have sinned.

It has been a month-and-a-half since my last post.

(And yes, I realize this prolonged absence came barely a month after my two passionate posts about my desperate need to write and preserve my family’s history via the Interweb).

But we’ve been busy. In fact, we – and by ‘we’ I mean highly-skilled tradesmen and my talented wife – turned this…

into this…

into this…

and finally into this…

and this…

So yeah, I guess we’ve been busy with the renovations, the move, the unpacking, the setting up, and the cleaning, with plenty more to go.

Plus, The Hurricane is skating, just finished swimming, and going a million miles an hour in anticipation of Santa’s arrival, as well as the arrival of her new baby brother or sister, which could coincide with each other.

But now that life is seemingly returning to ‘normal’, if there is such a thing, I hope to find some more time to write about our family and all the fun things we do, and all the trials and tribulations that are just part of life, whether we want them to be or not.

And, since it’s my blog, I guess I don’t need to make any more excuses!


It’s all happening too fast…

October 14, 2010

Life that is.

It’s flying by, whether I want it to or not.

Some things can’t get here soon enough – like the still unlaid hardwood floors in our new-to-us house, which is preventing us from moving in anytime soon – while other things can just fuck the hell off, like The Hurricane becoming too old to want to her Mom and Dad hanging around all the time.

Today was the first step on that inevitable journey – Junior Kindergarten registration day.

She’s three years and three months old, and more than 10 months away from actually attending class, but this is heavy.

She’s going to school next year.

For the first time, with at least another 13 years to follow, someone we don’t know is going to play a major role in deciding my daughter’s future, whether that be by encouraging her to embrace her free spirit and tapping into her obvious intelligence, or pigeon-holing her as a troublemaker because of that free spirit and deeming her not worth the hassle, and just pushing her through so she can become another teacher’s problem the next year.

Think it doesn’t happen? Take a stroll down memory lane and picture the kids in your elementary class who were the ‘bad-asses’. Were they stupid or unteachable? Probably not. In fact, the ‘trouble’ kids I grew up with are some of the savviest, most intelligent people I know today, they just didn’t have much love for books and classrooms. Despite their intelligence, they barely scratched their way through school, because their reputation always preceded them, and they played it up and eventually the teachers let them be, rightly or wrongly, on both sides, in hindsight.

I’m pretty sure The Hurricane will get along great at school – she’s extremely bright, plays well with other kids and will be a teacher’s pet, because she is such a ‘Mom’ and will end up babysitting her classmates more than learning beside them.

In fact, at registration today, the early childhood educator who will be assisting with The Hurricane’s class had a one-on-one chat with her at the meet and greet. The idea was to see where the future students are in their development, a year before class begins.

The woman asked, “What’s your name?”

“Layne,” came the reply. “L-A-Y-N-E.”

‘Nuff said.

So I think she’ll be OK, but it just doesn’t feel right. She’s my baby. She can’t be going to school next year. She can’t be growing up this fast.

The days are long and the years are short.

No shit.

New house, another new start

August 31, 2010

On Wednesday we get our new house.

Well, our-built-as-a-church-in-1881-and-turned-into-a-house-in-1910, new house.

It’s our fourth house since 2003, and the second we’ve owned in The Hurricane’s lifetime, although she likely considers my parents’ cottage, where we’ve been living the past four months, as a third home.

It’s amazing how adaptable the young are. We tried our best to explain the move we made this past April from the only hometown Layne had ever known – Port Hope – to my and The Boss’s hometown of Ripley, about 350 kilometres away. She was familiar with Ripley, having spent plenty of weekends here at The In-Laws farm in her almost-three years, but she always pined to get back to her bed in Port Hope at the end of a weekend.

But once we actually packed our boxes and said goodbye to our place in Port Hope, she’s barely looked back. For the first month or so, she’d ask when we were heading back, and, once told we were living in Ripley now, she’d shrug her shoulders and start running at 100 miles per hour again, seemingly unfazed.

Gradually, she has quit asking about our old house, and her old babysitter, and our old neighbours, and Port Hope in general, although she’ll throw something out there from time to time, like how Carolyn (the sitter we all adored) would twirl her spaghetti, which came up when The Hurricane couldn’t quite figure out how to do so last night.

So another move, which likely won’t take place for a month or so after some extensive upgrades to our dated but sturdy new home, probably won’t faze the little one that much. Although the deal has only been done for a month, it was a month-long process prior to the final signatures for a variety of reasons, and in a town of 600 you can’t avoid walking by it from time to time, so she’s had plenty of chances to see where she’ll be living and get used to the neighbourhood. Luckily, it’s a block from the ball diamond, arena, day care and two blocks from where she’ll go to school in the fall of 2011 (yikes!).

So, besides moving her to a new town, having to explain to her numerous times about the baby in Mommy’s tummy that will come around Christmastime, and the new home, The Hurricane (and her parents) have had quite the summer. And, starting tomorrow, it’s about to get a whole lot busier, as every spare moment will likely be spent preparing to bring the house from a well-kept but still late-60s decor into 2010.

But whenever we are prepared to move, I know one little girl who won’t even flinch, as she chooses the colours for yet another new room.

A living journal

August 28, 2010

I honestly didn’t think writing that post yesterday would have such an uplifting effect (or affect? Ah, I hate those words!) on me.

Oddly, I feel lighter today. Some people need to yell and scream, or go for a five mile run (yeah, right) to clear their head, but I just needed to do some typing.

My cousin Derek summed it up perfectly in a comment on Facebook:

“Writing is like walking, for you, so just put one word in front of the other!”

I’ve never thought of it like that, but love the analogy. So yeah, maybe sitting on my ass spewing words is the equivalent to a nice, long run for me (think my doctor and her judgmental Body Mass Index will buy that? Mildly obese? I wrote 2,000 words this week!).

This morning, as we took a break from playing in bed with The Hurricane, who again slept in until a very-late-for-her 7:30 a.m., The Boss said I need to keep writing in the blog because it’s like a living journal. It documented, in too great of detail most likely, six whole months of our family’s existence. As she looked back through old posts last night, she found events (small in hindsight, but big at the time) that she had completely forgotten… like the time The Hurricane probably ate poo, or the time she landed her first two-foot jump. You think you’d never forget things like that, but you do.

But life moves forward, and memories stay behind.

Another pearl of wisdom I pulled out of that Happiness Project book was the quote:

The days are long, but the years are short.

It’s so true. So many things happen in one day when you have a full-of-life three-year-old that you’re exhausted by day’s end, but there’s so many memorable things happen (like her bang-on use of her… uh… mother’s favourite swears) that you think you’ll never forget them.

But in a snap, a year – or in the blog’s case, 17 months – passes you by and, at least in my case, those memories fade and will only be remembered if one of us happens to tweak sometime and bring it up. It’s a ‘Remember when…’ moment, instead of a fully-documented account of exactly what happened one day in the beautiful life of our first child.

I’m saddened I tired of my blog back then, because there have been so many unbelievably amazing everyday things happen in our lives since March, 2009, and I’d now struggle to explain any of them in great detail.

The days are long, and the years are short.

At least now I realize it though.

Oh God, I think she ate poo …

February 20, 2009

That’s right, if the baseball style black streak under her eye is what I think it is, combined with her clean hands, I think The Hurricane had a taste of poo when ‘napping’ this afternoon.

(I’m on holidays this week, so that’s why I’m home in the middle of the day seeing but not believing all this)

The Hurricane naps for everybody but me. What she does when I’m in charge is play in her crib for an hour, then jump up and down, and then drop a huge deuce in her drawers.

Like clockwork.

Today, the jumping started halfway through my sandwich, so I chose to finish eating. Big mistake. Five minutes later, when I went into her room knowing the unmistakble reek of naptime poo, combined with baseboard heater, would greet me upon opening the door, I noticed something under her right eye. It was a black streak, running from about mid-eye and down towards her earlobe.

Being dim-witted, it took me a minute to fit 2-and-2 together, but eventually I realized there was shit on The Hurricane’s face. I grabbed her hands to see if she was covered in it, only to realize they were mostly clean, with only a few traces of poo on them.

And, other than the back of her diaper, where else do her hands spend most of their time? In her mouth, of course.

Again, some math was required for me to piece these facts together, but I’m pretty sure she stuck her hands down her diaper, pulled out a few fingers of poo, marked up her face like the crazy kids from Lord of the Pigs, and then cleaned herself up like any self-respecting 19-month-old would.

I asked her if that’s what she did, and, to her credit, she fessed up.

Then I asked her if she wanted some milk to wash her snack down with and there wasn’t much hesitation with that head nod.

No wonder she still won’t go to sleep, an hour later. I might have insomnia tonight too, knowing what happened in the room down the hall.

Dada has left the building

February 19, 2009

I went into last weekend as a Dada.

I left as a full blown Daddy.

No, I didn’t have to make a religious pilgrimage into a forest with nothing but a jacknife and a piece of rope, hoping to come out 10 days later a different man.

I just had to listen carefully to The Hurricane when she called my name. Although I wasn’t the first to pick it up – The Boss listened to Ace of Base instead of Guns ‘n Roses in her childhood, so her hearing is better than mine – sometime on Sunday the little one made the move from baby to toddler by declaring the days of ‘Dada’ over, ushering in the days of calling me ‘Daddy’.

And oh my God, it is the cutest thing I’ve ever heard.

“Pees Daddy wawa.” (Please Daddy, water)

“Daddy potty.” (Daddy dropped a bomb)

“Daaaaaaadeeeeeee.” (Hey old man, I want you to pay attention to me)

“Daddy high.” (No, I’m not actually high, it means let’s hide under a blanket and tease the dog until she jumps all over us)

The list goes on and on. And, what’s shocking is that at 19-months-old that just scratches the surface of her vocabulary. The Boss signed me up for some parent website about, oh, 20 months ago, and every week it sends me an e-mail with tips and hints and things to watch for with my kid. Yesterday’s e-mail said a 19-month and three-week old should be able to say 10 to 50 words. The Hurricane easily has over 100 – hell she can rhyme off 50 words from just one picture book. In fact, last night when watching Baby Einstein Shapes (which she calls Baby Shay) she turned around in her chair, looked at The Boss and said, “Oval.”

Clear as day.


Some words only those closest to her can make out, but it’s still pretty amazing. I’m sure I’ll start a list sometime for the baby book, or to carry around in my wallet to bore amaze people with, because it seems like she knows too much for someone her age.

Her expanding knowledge is great and it’s scary as hell, because not only is she poised to pass me by any day, it also means she’s getting big, and I’m not sure I like that.

* update – I also noticed at supper last night that ‘choo choo’ (which was one of her first non-parental words, along with apple and baby) has been replaced firmly by ‘train’. So now when we hear action on the tracks about a mile from our house, the whistles will no longer be accompanied by a surprised ‘choo choo’, but a matter of fact ‘train’. She’s such a big girl (and it kills me).

Ahhhhhh, Wipeout

February 10, 2009

The Hurricane had her first major wipeout last night, and the tears were still flowin’ when I walked in the door after work.

Her Nana and Papa Farm got her a great table and chair set for Christmas, but she still has problem sliding off the hard plastic seat. When she wiggles her way to the end of the chair she can’t quite get her butt off before the legs kick out and she and the chair go skidding across the hardwood laminate flooring.

I guess last night, the position of the chair was in a bad spot and when the inevitable kick occurred, it sent The Hurricane headfirst into the toy box, a cheap chest made of a woven wood but with a fairly solid frame.

By the look of the blood on her chin, I think that’s what made contact with the toy box, although she said her teeth were sore and she kept her finger in there for a while, not letting Mom a peek for a few minutes. Luckily, all the pearly whites are still intact and standing where they’re supposed to.

So, after a bout of hugs with Mom, which I walked into the middle of, and then a quick hug and kiss from me, she was back in action, jumping on our bed (I know, we learn so quickly), then hiding under the covers, finished off with a bout of ripping around the house.

So we all survived her first big fall. Hopefully there’s no more of them, and if there are (duh), we’ll just hope for the same result.

Because kisses are the best way to heal wounds.

The morning after ... still milkin' it

The morning after ... still milkin' it