Top 10 Reasons School Being Out Rocks

NYNY rideI don’t know whether to be nervous or excited. Sort of like the moment before your date arrives or just before the roller coaster drops 10,000 feet in 2 seconds.

But the boys are out of school!

And there are 10 GREAT things about that.

1) No more nagging The-Youngest to do his spelling or math or English or socials or science or, well, anything that doesn’t involve mini-hockey.

2) We get to use the pool one last year. With water restrictions, birds pooping in it all the time, and the cost of various and toxic chemicals, the pool’s gotta go.

3) More time to play Magic, build tanks, play FIFA or NHL 2015, throw the baseball, walk the dog in the park, win at Clue, or listen to The-Oldest become a classic pianist.

4) Another epic vacation. This year, Vegas/Grand Canyon, or as The-Youngest calls it, “the trip to the Hershey World.” Apparently, it’s HUGE. The candy store, not the Grand Canyon. (“Joe, did you know – it’s two stories?”)

grand cayon

5) More time to discuss the great philosophic ideas of all time. Like the meaning of evil. The nature of the greater good. And if Ant-man could beat Spiderman (who The-Oldest pronounces, Spooooderman for some reason that makes sense to a teenage mind).”

6) No freaking baseball, hockey, Tai Kwon Doh, parachuting, goalie camps, soccer, Tai Chi, Ballet or Jujitsu or Jedi Training. Just summer. No commitments. How cool is that?

7) No force-feeding The-Youngest so he can get to school on time. Or fast-washing The-Oldest’s gym strip so he doesn’t smell like the Rock’s armpit.

8) No racing out the door, then remembering The-Youngest forgot his lunch, binder, water bottle, magic cards or shoes.

9) monte pythonMovie time! So many movies to watch.

10) Two months chock full of opportunities for great experiences.  Good or bad, I’ll blog about them all.

But, as The-prettiest-girl-in-the-world often says, “it’s not our job to make sure the boys aren’t bored.”

So, true, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make 2016 a fantastic summer.

Piano Man

youtubeYou know, I wonder if we’ll look back and say this was the start of something big.

But yesterday, The-Oldest created his first YouTube account and posted his first video. It wasn’t about minecraft or Smash or his latest movies.

It was about music.

He posted a top 100 list of his favourite pieces of music, (spoiler alert, it’s mostly classical), and then he posted a video of himself playing the piano. Or at least a video of his fingers playing the piano.

It’s been so impressive to watch him start, just three months ago, and to see how far he’s come. In 3 months, I might have learned to plunk out a few notes with 2 fingers, but he’s progressed very far beyond that. So very far.

It’s something he loves. He comes home and goes directly to the piano. He gets ready for bed quickly, he uses the excess time to practice. Give him a whole day at home, and he’s on that thing for 8-10 hours.

Now he’s making his own music, learning about major and minor chords, tweaking Mozart to make it better, and trying to conquer something called the Hungarian Rhapsody.

How cool is that?

So, below, I’ve posted a link to his new YouTube page. If you get a chance, check it out, give him some love and follow him as he begins this journey.



Top 10 Baseball Moments

horrible scorecard
Mine had more scribblings and drawings of calvin and hobbs

Ok, so baseball’s officially over. The boys went out swinging, as they say. I survived scorekeeping and made only a few mistakes, though the whole ‘error’ thing completely eludes me still. I mean, take the last run scored in the last game. It was basically a hit followed by 11 errors, misthrows, overthrows and dropped catches. How to you record that in a 2”X2” square?

However, when I wasn’t scorekeeping, I kept my eyes and ears open for those great moments that make kids sports infinitely better than adult sports.

Here’s why.

  1. In one game, a mom yelled. “Get your hands out of your pants!”
    Mom, stop yelling at me to get my hands out of my pants! Jeez! I' David Ortiz for the love of God.
    Mom, stop yelling at me to get my hands out of my pants! Jeez! I’m David Ortiz for the love of God.

    I mean, you just don’t hear David Ortiz’s mom saying that. At least shouting it out in a stadium (but who really knows what goes on at home.)

2. When The-Youngest ran into home, he forgot that he had to slide in. For some reason, sliding in is a rule. I don’t know why. But the coaches yelled at him to slide, slide, SLIDE, even though he was already standing on the plate, somewhat confused. He did what any major league player would have done while the infield desperately tried to get the ball to the catcher to tag him out. He knelt on the plate like he was praying to God. Or the umpire. (FYI, it worked, he was ruled safe.)

3. One infielder stopped a ground ball on the 1st-2nd base line and stepped aside with the ball in hand so that the runner could run by. No tag. No throw to 2nd. Or first. He was just being polite, I guess, a good Canadian who’d think it rude to actually get someone out.

4. If I was recording a game, here’s what a typical home run would be recorded as… one hit to outfield, the outfielder runs towards the infield for some reason, then realizes the ball is going way over his head, then runs back, then gets it and watches while one runner is nearly run over by another runner around 2nd base, and then the fielder throws it to first even though there’s no runner at first, and the first baseman misses it, causing the first runner to reach home and while the 1st baseman’s sauntering to get it, the rest of the runners are kind of confused and standing or running in circles, but then the first basemen gets the ball and throws it wildly to what can only be described as mid center field and the runners race to home while the shortstop rushes to get the ball, fumbles it, but ultimately throws it to the 2nd basemen who misses and the ball rolls to the pitcher who races to it as the last runner heads for home, and throws it, accurately, but the catcher is watching a drone fly overhead rather than catch the ball and the kid who hit the balls slides into home.

5. One kid hit himself in the face with his glove so hard he fell down.

6. One coach actually yelled, (I kid you not!) “there’s no crying in baseball!” Sadly, he was serious and not just ironically echoing League of Their Own.

7. Our third base coach grabbed a runner who began to run home and yanked him back to 3rd base. He felt so bad, as he just acted out instinct like any father seeing his son about to make a HUGE mistake.

8. At one point, in one game, there were 2 runners on second. The runner from first ran when there was a fly ball and didn’t stop even when it was caught. He reached 2nd only to find the 2nd base runner refusing to leave. So… what’s a runner to do??? What’s the 2nd baseman to do? They all kind of stared at each other while all the coaches and parents yelled advice. In the end, just to be safe, the 2nd baseman tagged everyone in a 10′ radius and let the umpires sort it all out.

9. There were many times a young fielder was just paralyzed by what to do with the ball once they got it. Like me when I’m at a fudge store – there are simply too many choices so you freeze up. Apparently, though, 20 parents shouting at them doesn’t help.

10. In one game, the other pitcher plugged one of our batters right on the elbow. You know that’s gotta hurt. The-Youngest ran out of the dugout and I thought, damn, what a good kid, he’s going to give the other kid some sympathy or be supportive, or do something empathetic. But no, he grabbed the bat from between the kid’s legs, cuz he was up next.


The team
The team

And that was the baseball season. The kids started out like the Bad News Bears and ended up, well, like the Bad News Bears at the end of the movie. They didn’t win a title, but man did they ever improve.

The-Youngest went from holding the bat like he was afraid it would independently hit him in the head, to becoming one of the team’s best batters.

Man, was I ever proud of that little guy. He was fierce when he went up to bat and swung like he wanted to bang it over a fence two fields away.

I can’t wait until next year, though I doubt I’ll be doing scorekeeping, again. I don’t have the attention span or mental discipline to keep thoughts out of my head like what to cook for supper, why did that little boy in the outfield just lie down and put a glove over his face, or wonder what just crawled up leg and into my crotch.

But mad props for all the parents who did kick in this year. Without the volunteer coaches, the dads who stepped up to coach first or third base, and the team moms who kept everyone informed, it could have been a nightmare.


Top 10 things I Will Never Hear as a Parent

Top 10 things I will never hear as a parent

  1. Oh, sleep, glorious sleep.
    Oh, sleep, glorious sleep.

    Joe, thanks so much for getting us to bed on time so we can get a good night’s sleep and not be complete asshats the next day.

  2. Joe, thanks for making me apologize to my friend for doing something derpy to him. It made me a better person.
  3. Joe, why don’t we sit down and talk about history for a bit? You can tell me more about tanks.
  4. Joe, tell me more about what it was like back in your day. Especially about how much harder it was. Or better.
  5. Joe, any advice you can give me on how to please a woman?
  6. Joe, thank you for taking away my electronics for a week so I could focus on my homework.
  7. Joe, the best experience of my life was mowing the lawn every week. Right up there with picking up the dog poo.
  8. Joe, can we move, again so I can pack and unpack all your books? All 800 boxes of them.
  9. Joe, can you come and visit me and my friends at lunch time so we can all talk about life, the universe and girls?

    The most-interesting-man-in-the-world is never wrong.
    The most-interesting-man-in-the-world is never wrong.
  10. Joe, you were right.

Well, the truth is I could hear all those things sarcastically.

But I’m ok with that. When they’re 30 and have kids of their own, they will understand.




Can Parenting Be Rewarding?

familyguy1Ok, so how many times do we get to feel awesome about being a parent?

Well, something happened on Sunday that made up for all the times I found stinky socks stuffed in the couch, had to find a bucket for someone to throw-up in, or had to endure a grade 4 band concert.

As any parent knows, most of the time feeling great about being a parent, well, it’s more of a self-inflicted feeling of awesomeness. Like when you get up at 5am for hockey and remember to take the water bottle. No one says, way to go, you just know you done good. And remembered to put on pants.

But this Saturday, we had an early Father’s Day. Since we share the boys, we wouldn’t be getting them for real Father’s Day, so we decided to do Joe-things a week early. For me, the best present is doing stuff together. Playing a game. Watching an epic movie. Or, in this case, going to Science World to play around with… errr, I mean… to learn about all cool science stuff.

Science World Spy Exhibit? Who dunnit?
Science World Spy Exhibit? Who dunnit?

And this time, they had an exhibition on spying! So I was super excited. More so than the boys, but that’s ok.

But before we left, they gave me their Father’s Day cards. The-Youngest gave me a cool card that also had a clip-on tie attached that played the Rocky theme. I plan to wear that tie at my wedding as I walk down the aisle. I may also wear boxing gloves and my shiny, yellow boxing shorts. Be warned.

But it was a great card. He’d been so happy to find it, and even happier that it made me laugh.

The-Oldest, however, gave me a card he’d created himself. He has a tradition of doing this and I have to say, they are nothing short of amazing. He prides himself on making his mom laugh and cry. All with one card.

But I’m me. I should be immune to whatever he’d write, right?

Well… nope.

He got me to cry too.

Here’s what he wrote:

He even had drawings!
He even had drawings!

Here is the story of Joe, the father. Right away Joe hooked up with someone named Corinne, #cutie: plus my mom. And by ‘hooked up’, I mean intertwined. These two were so perfect for each other it was unbelievable.  

A couple of months in, my mom begins to mention introducing kids and Joe gets surprised. “How am I going to deal with two crazy brothers?” he thinks.

Well, I’m going to tell you the next couple of years that unfold.

The fact that Joe had a dog really helped with our meeting because it was a dog walk. We got to meet Joe’s dog, Vegas, and we got to meet Joe and he seemed like a pretty good guy, plus we got to teach him about minecraft.

IMG_8939Then all *heck broke loose. We began doing EVERYTHING with Joe. I noticed my mommy felt supported and me and The-Youngest felt supported and we learned many, many new things from Joe. He even eventually helped mommy buy a new house which I abide in today and so does Joe. Stuff escalated quickly. We all went on a bunch of crazy trips all with, and because of, Joe.

To me, he is an amazing Father figure, always helping us and getting things done, whether it be playing minecraft with us, or fixing the gutter, or the pool outside. Joe has been and will be with us to the very end, I hope, because he and mommy are engaged. Life’s been great with Joe around and there’s no doubt in my mind he’s a great father figure.

Happy Father’s Day.

I had to laugh at the hashtag. But it melted my heart to read the rest.

All things considered, the Science World trip was fun and even if the damn spy exhibit was too complex for me (I should have done the kid’s version), I will remember those cards forever.

And be grateful to be part of such a wonderful family.