Weekend Common

I knew going in that having kids would mean the end of the weekend sleepins for Sue and I. When Elliot was young, he was an early riser. 5am was the norm. Since sue got up in the middle of the night to feed him, it was I who got up with him in the morning.

When Amy came along, this tradition continued. Amy slept in a little more, but her usual time to get up was 6am.

As the years progressed and the kids got older, sue and I started taking weekend mornings to sleep in. Saturday mornings were mine to sleep in on, and I sometimes got up early to go riding. This was especially true when I trained for the Tour de Victoria. 

I noticed that once Elliot was in school he slept more. It was harder to wake him on school mornings and we usually let him sleep as long as we can. It’s now common for him to get up past 7. This is only doable because he can now get ready for school and eat breakfast quicker than he used to. When Elliot was young he would do untimely take 45 minutes to eat breakfast. Now he can rip through breakfast in 15 minutes or less.

Amy also sleeps in more now, and on daycare days she wakes around 7. In the mornings she is a much lighter sleeper that Elliot, and this is very much like me. On the weekends, when we remind her that it is a sleepin day, she can go back to sleep and 7:30 or even 8 are possible.

This brings me back to the beginning. Sue and I have our sleeping in, relaxing weekend mornings back. Amy got up at 7:30 this morning and came into our bed to snuggle. I got up at 8 and sue got to sleep some more. I drank my coffee, ate breakfast, read some news, got caught up on twitter all the while thoroughly enjoying it. Elliot got out of his bed around 8:30. The kids are now in bed with Sue and she is reading to them.

Ahead ago I couldn’t imagine a Saturday morning like this. Now it is becoming regular, and I must say that I think I appreciate it more. I used to take it for granted.

Time to get ready for a ride.

Hockey Watching

Today was Elliot’s first hockey session. We signed him up for a once a week season that teaches hockey skills. There are a couple games throughout the season, as well as a couple of parent nights, but it is mostly about learning skills.

I was very impressed with how hard Elliot worked at it tonight. Sure he fell a lot, but he always got up quickly and tried again. It’s no surprise, but he also listened really well to the instructors and did everything they asked. They did lots of skating drills, and ended the night with a scrimmage. At the end he was very hot, had very rosy cheeks, and was pooped. He also had a huge grin on his face and loved it.

Here are some pictures:

All geared up and ready

Ferocious face

Two beautiful spectators.

Making sure we were still watching.

Doing a drill

Another drill

Water break.

One tired boy

Tooth Grounds

Two weeks ago, Elliot’s front tooth was getting, very wiggly. Like no resistance wiggly. So wiggly, that one time when he was moving it around, it got stuck in position and I had to put it back in it’s socket. Below is what it looked like.

He didn’t want me to pull it out so I let it be. Well, we went out for sushi one night, and while I was talking to someone, he reached over and handed me what I thought was a grain of rice. A little confused I looked over at him, and he exclaimed that his tooth had come out!

He is growing up.

He was proud of losing that tooth, and didn’t want the tooth fairy to take it. He left a note for her, and she obliged and still left a some money behind for him.

Today I picked him up after school right before hockey. He didn’t remember right away, but when he did he got a huge smile on his face and told me that his second tooth came out while he was eating lunch. While chewing his food, he felt something hard in his mouth, and when he spat it out, there was his tooth. I’m not sure why, but during the lunch recess he ended up going to the office because of the lost tooth, and they gave him a tooth shaped necklace to hold his it in. Unfortunately the lid wasn’t on all the way and he actually lost the tooth somewhere on the school grounds. We assured him that the tooth fairy still knows he lost his tooth.

I am proud of my boy for growing up and being such an amazing son.

Cabin Wound

Last weekend we were on Saltspring to close up the cabin for the winter. We went over on a stormy Saturday and withing 15 minutes of arriving at the cabin and starting to get it warmed up, the power went out. We had planned to go out for dinner that night anyway, so this wasn’t a big setback.

We ate dinner, got some groceries, and a few other supplies to get through the darkness (candles and a flashlight). When we got back to the cabin, I got the woodstove going, and we settled in for the night. We had promised the kids a movie night, and thankfully Sue’s laptop had enough power for that.

The next morning the power was back, so we had a nice breakfast, then took Heart for a walk at Duck Creek. While back at the cabin I started another fire, and we had some lunch.

Things were going well, but I felt like I was constantly reminding the kids to stay away from the stove. Sure enough, there was an accident. Amy and Elliot collided in the hallway, Amy bounced off Elliot, and her hand touched the stove. As soon as I learned what happened I grabbed her and got her hand under cold water. She pointed out exactly where it was hurting, so I kept it under water a long time. We were going to be late for the ferry, so Sue took over for me while I packed the car. As I was handing her over, Amy turned her arm in a way that showed she had another burn down her arm. Seeing this made me feel sick. I felt like I had been running water over the wrong part of her.

She was upset, but not screeching in pain. We bundled her up as best we could, then got in the car and headed for the ferry. Using my phone I found a clinic we had been to before that was open late. We made a beeline for it when we got off the ferry. They diagnosed her with a 2nd degree burn, patched her up, gave us instructions on how to care for her wound, then we were on our way. Again, we had planned to go out for dinner, so we went to Montana’s.

Here is our brave girl, looking none the worse for wear.

Island Troupe

In the summer while the kids were off of daycare, Elliot declared that his dog stuffie named Island was having a birthday. Sue asked him if he wanted to have a party, and offered to make cupcakes. Since it was warm out, we had the cupcake party outside.

The cupcakes that I iced. Not a professional by any means.

Elliot and the guest of honor.

Some of the other guests, Jingles and Ribbit.

Amy and her troupe of guests.

At one point a neighbour was out working in her garden and smiled at us. I offered up a cupcake but she declined.

Camping Sparkle

Camping. This is what I remember from vacationing as a child. Camping with my parents at various places like Long Beach, Rathtrevor, and Gordon bay on Lake Cowichan.

I’ve always loved camping. Something about being in the woods, the campfire, the dirt. Roughing it, sleeping on the ground. Cooking outside, and eating outside. It is fun, but is a reminder of how good we have it at home.

This weekend was supposed to see Sox, myself, the kids and two other couples go to Gordan Bay for a camping weekend. Sox ended up having to go to Toronto, and one of the other couples had to cancel.

I couldn’t take both kids and the dog camping, and have us all come home sane and in one piece. Instead my mom took Amy for the weekend, and I got to take Elliot camping.

It was awesome. He is old enough to appreciate things like staying up late, getting extra treats, and doing something special with dad. He go to poke a stick in the fire, eat marshmallows, have extra cheese on his pasta. Simple things, but I could see a sparkle in his eye each time he got to do something new.

He was a big help in setting up the camp too. Elliot likes to help, so helping dad set up camp was a big deal for him. He helped me set up the tent, and then unload the car of all our sleeping gear.

I didn’t take enough things for him to do. I should have taken his bike. I instantly regretted it as soon as I pulled into the campground. The only reason I didn’t take it was sure laziness. Getting Heart into and out of the car when the bike rack is on is a pain. I should have done it anyway. I also forgot to take any coloring supplies, or any activity books. I did have a few cars and truck for him to play with, and my iPad. We also played cards, and board games.

Saturday we went to the lake, but not at the beach in the campground. We took a gravel logging road for about 10km, then took an over grown trail down to the lake. He liked 4x4ing in the car.

Saturday night was pretty cool too because when dinner was done, our campmates broke out dessert. The brought for use chocolate cake. Not pre-made though, they cooked it in the campfire in hollowed out oranges. Very, very tasty, and not really orangey either. Then after that we made popcorn over the campfire. Again, super yummy.

Today we had to break down camp and come home. I think that three nights is the ideal amount of time to go camping. Maybe four.

I hadn’t planned on this turning into such an amazing time, but it was actually very special to me. Elliot is at an age where I can really start sharing some of the things I love with him. He has the attention span to listen and learn. I think I might try to do this boys camping trip once a year. I will definitely balance this with a special weekend with Amy too.

I am definitely glad my mom was able to take Amy. I would have been way more busy and wouldn’t have been able to enjoy camping as much if both kids had been there. Also, Elliot wouldn’t have gotten to do some of the things he did if Amy was there. She doesn’t have the skill or attention to be careful around fire or other situations. Camping would have been a totally different experience if both kids were there.

Stunning Regularity

Tonight’s sunset was amazing. Stunning. Beautiful. I would have missed it, had it not been for my son noticing it (he’s not even 5 yet and can appreciate a nice sunset). After watching the colors for I was really wishing I had the foresight to be down on the water to take some pictures. As it was I had the kids by myself so I zipped outside for a couple pics with my phone. Better than nothing.

The kids were wanting to color a bit, so Elliot actually made a picture of the sunset. He had layers of purple, blue, orange, and red. I was super impressed with his effort. With increasing regularity I am finding myself amazed by his skills, insight, abilities, and thought processes.

Swampy Twirly

A few weeks ago we headed to the “boat” park (Veterans Memorial Park in Esquimalt) to listen to some Christmas Carols. Unfortunately we were late to the event, and they packed up early. As we were arriving a gentleman mentioned the park was a little swampy.

This was not swampy, but in fact lake-like.

Things went well there, until Elliot went down the twirly slide. He came off at Mach 1, and landed on his side in 4 inches of water. He got up quickly, shrieked for a little bit, then calmed down. We took off his wet jacket, dried him off, and warmed him up.

Sue and I figured that was the end of the park trip, but his jacket was still dry inside, so we stayed and played some more. The kids had a great time getting totally soaking wet, running around, playing, splashing. The were totally dressed for it though, muddy buddies and boots.

Pumpkin Passes

Today we headed out to Galey Farms to go on a hay ride and pick our pumpkins. We met up with a friend of ours and her two children. The four kids had fun on the ride, but Amy was not interested in picking out a pumpkin.

After getting our pumpkins we went and got some hot chocolate and mini donuts. After ‘lunch’ we visited the petting farm area, played on the playground and watched the train go by.

The kids started to get tired so we headed to the car. Right as we got to the car, one of the owners of the farm was walking by and asked if we had a good time. Then he asked if we had ridden the train yet. After we said no, he asked if we wanted to. He then gave us some free passes for the train! The kids were all over that. The owner is really supportive of families and wanted to make sure we had a good time. We thanked him, then went and got in line.

The kids waited patiently for our turn and when the train came back we all climbed aboard. The ride was about 15 minutes, and the kids loved it. Now thoroughly worn out we got into the car and headed home. Lots of family fun!

Ride Burgers

On Wednesday I had an Elliot and Dad day. There were a lot of things we could have done, but I gave him a couple choices. He chose to go for a ride. After dropping some yard waste off at the municipal yard, we got our gear ready, loaded the bikes in the truck and headed out to the Lochside Trail again.

The ride wasn’t as long as last time, but I definitely saw improvements in his riding. Recently I raised his training wheels and while we were out on the trail, I could see stretches where the training wheels weren’t touching the ground. I also noticed how fast he can go now. I sure enjoy riding with him, and I can’t wait to see if he enjoys mountain biking too.

After the ride we headed to Red Robin for burgers. Mmm. It was a lot of fun.

View Elliot And Me in a larger map

Some stats from the ride:
Total Distance: 2.34 km (1.5 mi)
Total Time: 20:53
Moving Time: 15:24
Average Speed: 6.71 km/h (4.2 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 9.10 km/h (5.7 mi/h)
Max Speed: 12.11 km/h (7.5 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 2 m (7 ft)
Max Elevation: 24 m (80 ft)
Elevation Gain: 58 m (192 ft)
Max Grade: 1 %
Min Grade: -4 %