Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dad Turns 70

A short time after our visit to Massachusetts, my dad flew up to Ottawa for HIS 70th birthday. He'd never seen Lucas or the Ottawa Senators so we figured flying him up here in November would kill two birds with one stone.

My dad loves fruit pies so we got him one of those instead of a cake for his birthday.

He brought this hockey jersey for Lucas. It may be a few years before we can let him wear it in public. :)

Lucas and my dad making faces at the hockey game. I think Lucas looks possessed. It was a good game though the Sens lost in overtime to the Wild.

Posing with Karlsson and Toews after the game.

I didn't get any pictures from Lucas's game, but my dad enjoyed finally seeing Lucas on the ice. His team lost, but he had a great game so it turned out okay.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mom Turns 70

Recently, both of my parents turned 70. To celebrate, we wanted to do something special for both of them. Since my mom lives within driving distance, we planned a surprise visit with the help of Kevin. We met up with them in Springfield, MA, at one of their favorite restaurants, a German place named The Student Prince. Even though we arrived a half hour early to find a good hiding spot in the back, we almost got caught as we turned the corner of the street the restaurant was on since my mom and Kevin were just opening the door. I yanked Lucas back around the corner and then we waited a few minutes for them to settle in. Luckily, they were at the bar so we snuck around behind the bar, and with my mom's back to me, I walked up and asked them for their drink order. My mom turned around to answer, and when she saw me, she just about screamed. So mission accomplished! The surprise worked!

We got the waitress to take a picture of our whole motley crew. Family friends Nancy and Bobby joined us shortly after we arrived, in case you're wondering about the extras. As you can see from the background, the restaurant has quite a bit of character,

A nice one of Lucas and Grammy.

And an abnormal one, as only Lucas can do it.

Back at the house, the king rests on his throne.

Birthday cake time! (that's their neighbor Kyle in the background)

During our visit to Webster earlier in the summer, I bought a foosball table that was on clearance at a great price ($30). I didn't have time to put it together then so Lucas begged me on our first night this visit to build it. I got about halfway through the first night and then completed it the next day. We decided to have a foosball tournament, and I think everybody had a good time. I may be a little biased since I was undefeated, and my closest score was 10-2. :)  Seriously though, a fun time was had by all. I think Kevin was just happy it wasn't a board game.

And that was our whirlwind trip to Massachusetts. In the next post, I'll cover my dad's trip to Ottawa.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween 2016

I have to be at work soon so this is going to be a quick post of last night's Halloween activities.

Prior to trick or treating, we got a couple of shots of Lucas in his costume. This year, he decided to go with the villain from Scream. As an added bonus, the mask had a pump that allowed it to look like blood was dripping down the face. Pretty cool, actually.

Here's Lucas, before the mask goes on.

I guess this pose is called a dab or something like that. Kids these days.

And here's the mask in all its glory.

I decided to forego intricate pumpkin carvings this year with something a little more action-oriented. The vomiting one, in particular, got a lot of comments from trick or treaters.

Lucas's trick or treat partner was his best friend Zach. Unlike last year, when we completely forgot to take photos of them in costume, we got this one before they dove into their candy stashes.

And speaking of stashes, here's the dragon and his hoard.

Monday, October 24, 2016


In case you were wondering what a practice jersey for a team called the Emojis looks like.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Game 3

Quick hockey update! After two very close losses, Lucas's team had a big 5-1 win tonight. Lucas had a fantastic game on defense too. It's a shame they can't play all their games at 7:30 PM!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

California 2016: Day 5 (Dodgers Stadium)

Week 2 of hockey is over, and it was better than last week. Although Lucas's team lost 4-3 in a very similar fashion as the previous week--a breakaway goal with a couple of minutes left in the game--Lucas played well. He also had his first penalty of the season. I don't consider this a negative since it wasn't a "bad" penalty. Instead, he was working hard to get the puck and accidentally knocked down the opposing player when he tripped into him. It was kind of a questionable call, but the refs were young and looked like it might have been their first game so they were likely erring on the side of caution when calling penalties. 

Once again, Lucas's team played well overall and once they have some to time to gel and figure out which positions suit them best, they should get some wins. Last year, his team had 2-3 exhibition games before the game started whereas this year, they pretty much jumped right into it so I'm not too concerned about the 0-2 start, especially considering how close both games were.

The highlight of our 5th day in California was a trip to Dodgers Stadium to see the Dodgers play the Padres. There was a strong nostalgic vibe associated with this since my very first professional sports experience was my dad taking me to see the Dodgers when I was even younger than Lucas is now. The fact that I was going with both Lucas and my dad made it even more special.

Before we went to our seats, we went inside the stadium where they had a Dodgers museum. Note Lucas practicing his catching pose in the second photo.

After that, we went to our seats in right field. We picked there since everyone in the right field gets all you can eat hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, and nachos, as well as all you can drink soda and water. All for just $15 more per ticket! If you eat 2 food items and a drink, you've already saved money since they are normally $6 each. It was a great deal though by the end of the game, I think I was eating some stuff just to feel like I was getting even more of a bargain.

Here's an attempt at a panoramic shot of the stadium from our seats.

And finally, some selfies because why not?

The Dodgers went on to win so it was a very fun afternoon. Afterwards, we went to yet another brewpub/restaurant where I had my favorite beer of the trip, a ginger IPA. Unfortunately, it was only available at the restaurant so I couldn't stuff my suitcase with it. 

See you soon for Day 6!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Game on! (2016 Edition)

The Emojis had their first hockey game of the season yesterday, and it went pretty well for about 95% of the game until a remarkably boneheaded play by Lucas gave up the winning goal late in the third period. He was playing left defense, and for some reason, he decided to wind up for a slapshot from the blue line instead of passing it to a forward. While winding up, a speedier player on the other team swooped in, stole the puck, got a breakaway, and scored on the Emoji's goalie.

It's really too bad since he had a very good game up to that point. He was playing the puck well and his ice awareness from last year was in full swing as he was almost always in the right position. While losing the game wasn't entirely his fault--the final score was 3-2 and the two other goals came against the other defensive line--it was just a really dumb way to give up the puck. On the plus side, I don't think he'll be making this mistake again anytime soon since it was a big learning experience.

For what it's worth, the team looks pretty good. They had a LOT more scoring chances than their opponents, but they just couldn't seem to get the puck in the net. However, once the kids have a little more time playing together and develop some chemistry, I think they'll be a lot more dangerous.

Since we're talking hockey, here's a picture of our little defenseman in the locker room prior to the game. You may notice that the jersey looks a bit different than last year's. His league completely replaced all the house league jerseys during the off season. I definitely prefer these ones as they are a bit more flashy plus the only lettering is Kanata. The old ones said Blazers, which is the name for the competitive teams from Kanata. It never made much sense to me why the house leagues wore Blazers, especially since they always named themselves something different. An added benefit is that the kids got to keep their jerseys from last year, and it's always good to have extra ones for practice.

And this isn't really related, but Lucas got a haircut on Friday so here's a picture of his styled hair right after the appointment. He really likes it. I'll withhold judgement since I obviously don't "get" what kids like these days. :)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

California 2016: Day 4 (Redondo Beach/Torrance)

It's been a few days since my last post, but for once, I have a sort of valid excuse: work! I haven't added up all the hours yet, but I think I worked over 40 hours last week. It's taken some time to get used to doing that after not having a job for so long. As a result, I'm re-learning how to balance my life. My goal is to post at least once a week, most likely on an off-day from work.

Last time we talked about hockey, Lucas had just wrapped up his sortouts. We found out later that week that he made the B6 team so he'll be playing B level for the 3rd straight year. That was good news since it would be a bit demoralizing for him if he slid back.

None of his teammates from last year are on the team, but a kid he befriended in power skating last year as well as another kid he knows through Zach are on the team so he's happy about that. Actually, the power skating kid (Cole) was the top scorer in Novice B last year so that's a good sign for this team's scoring chances.

Speaking of the team, they have a name. An embarrassing one. Well, to me as an adult, I guess. The coach picked 3 kids names out of the hat after the first practice and told them they were responsible for coming up with a name by the next practice. I wasn't there due to work, but it sounds like they initially were going to go with the Fire Hawks, which is pretty decent. However, the name then devolved into the Emojis. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, emojis are the faces/pictures you create with keyboard symbols. The most popular example being the smiley face :)

Lucas wasn't too fond of the name so I gotta respect his opinion there, but I guess kids will be kids, and it's a whole new world. If that's what they want, so be it. Anyway, they have one more weekend of practices coming up, and then his first game will be Sunday, Oct 9. Can't wait!

Now, let's get back to California pictures.

When last we left the California posts, Day 3 was coming to an end, and we were in Escondido. On Day 4, we drove back up to Los Angeles with a quick pit stop at one of my favorite fast food places of all time, In-N-Out Burger. We then headed up to Redondo Beach, where we would be staying for the rest of the trip.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it previously, but the main purpose of our trip was to see my grandmother, who has recently moved into an assisted living facility. We haven't seen her since Lucas was a baby, and since she's in her mid-90s, we wanted to make sure we got to see her again just in case something happens with her health.

She's staying in a very nice place in Torrance, about 10-15 minutes from where we were staying so we got to see about 4 times during the trip. We took plenty of pictures with her, in just about every configuration of family members possible. Below are the highlights.

Afterwards, we headed back to the Redondo City pier, where we walked around the shops and people watched for a bit. After that, Lucas finally got a chance to play in the ocean. He met some other kid who was there on vacation and they had a good time together, so much so that we had to drag him away.

We ended our trip to the pier with yet one more visit to a brewery, this time the King Harbor Brewing Company, which is right on the boardwalk next to the pier. Marilu and I sampled their wares while Lucas had ice cream from a shop a few doors down.

After that, we headed back to the hotel and relaxed, in anticipation of the next day's activities. Day 5 will be up soon with pictures from the Dodgers game.