Thursday, August 17, 2017

October 2015 (and one from today)

I was just looking through some of my older photos tonight, and I noticed a couple of before and after haircut photos from October 2015. They really stood out since Lucas got a haircut tonight, and it's basically the same type of haircut he's been getting since early spring: a trendy cut that's really short on the sides and back but fairly long on the top, particularly in the front. In fact, I took a photo earlier so here's what it looked like about 4 hours ago.

Jump back almost 2 years, and it was a drastic change. Before...

And after. See what I mean?

Looking back at that fair month, here are some other highlights. First off, a couple of Lucas and Marilu at a rivalry football game between her alma mater, Carleton University, and the University of Ottawa.

Next up, Marilu's birthday. Here she models the Sens jersey we got her. I think the Falcons toque might also have been a present. I can't imagine why else she would be wearing it in this picture.

I can't recall where we went to eat for her birthday, but based on these photos, I think it might have been Baton Rogue. We haven't been there in quite some time due to a bad experience with a steak our last visit.

I wanted to point out that the other thing I did for her birthday was to make her favorite dessert, cheesecake, from scratch. I've never baked before, and I don't even care for cheesecake, but by all accounts, it turned out perfectly. One of these days I'll do it again.

And what October-themed post would be complete without Halloween? Two years later, I'm still pretty happy with the way these Minions pumpkins turned out.

Of course, you can't carve pumpkins without a bit of silliness.

You could probably take 1000 guesses and never figure out what Lucas's costume was that year:

That's because it was based on a supporting character on an obscure Casper cartoon he was obsessed with at the time. Nowadays, it's all about YouTube videos or tween/teen live-action shows.

And finally, this shot of him and Zach, post trick or treating. Got the iPads out and chowing down on chocolate!

Woohoo! I staved off being 2 years behind for at least another month or two. Seriously though, I'm going to keep weaving stuff like this in with the newer stuff until that mythical day that I actually catch up. Hope you enjoyed this partial trip down memory lane!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A's Baseball 2017 - End of the Season

Lucas's baseball season wrapped up at the end of June. Once again, he had a really good time even though the season was a bit of a mess for a couple of reasons. First, Ottawa's springtime weather was just awful. The season got pushed back a week or two in May due to wet fields from rain and late snowfalls. Then, during the season itself, it seemed like rain arrived every time Lucas's team had a game. If I recall correctly, in their first 10 games, 4 of them were cancelled. I think they all got rescheduled by cramming in a bunch of games at the end of the season, but it wasn't ideal.

The other problem was the organization versus last year's season. For instance, on top of the regular season last year, we had a Saturday tournament against a league from the east side of town, and then at the end of the season, we had a day-long tournament. You may remember that as a busy day for us as it was also the day of Lucas's 4-on-4 hockey tournament, and both of his teams made it to the finals. This year in baseball? Nothing, nada, zilch. They just had their regular season and then had a couple of exhibition games on the final Saturday (which I think were just makeups for the rainouts). No tournament, no league champions. Kind of disappointing.

All that said, Lucas had a great time since he had no less than 4 good friends on his team. I think that's the most kids he's ever known before the season even started. He also really likes baseball, moreso than even hockey, I think. It's a shame, though, that the baseball season is so short. The spring season is only half of May and the month of June. Hockey, while fun to watch, goes on for about 14 months every year so it would be nice to add some of that to the baseball season. Though I guess bad weather doesn't stop hockey so there's the rub.

Anyway, here are some pictures of Lucas and his teammates from the last day of baseball. Enjoy!

This one was taken immediately after the first of their two exhibition games. Lucas and 3 of the aforementioned friends--Zach, Magnus, and Kyle--pose for the camera.

After that, the team had a pizza party. Once the kids finished scarfing down the food, the coach gave them a pennant that had the team name and all their names on it. Lucas's is already on the wall in his room.

The whole team posed for pictures after that. There was a serious photo, but one fun is that? Here's one of the goofy ones. That's Lucas right in the middle, administering what looks like a chokehold.

The rest of the photos are from the second game, later that afternoon. Here, the patient outfielder waits.

Preparing to bat.

Not preparing to bat.

I believe this was Lucas's last at-bat of the season. I particularly like this shot since you can see he got a good hit. If you look closely, you can see the ball in the upper right part of the photo. I can't recall if this was a single or double. He'd probably know. :)

And one final shot for the road, with Lucas at shortstop and Zach in the foreground at second.

And that's that for baseball. I'm going to be heading down to Massachusetts tomorrow afternoon for the long weekend, but when I get back, I'll have plenty more pictures to post. Hell, I still have some from 2015 that need to be uploaded!

So have a good weekend, and I'll see you again soon!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Canada Day 2017

Ugh, it's been way too long since my last update. Here's a picture from Canada Day to tide you over for now. Many more to come soon...

Monday, June 19, 2017

Scenes from the birthday

Now that we got the big surprise over with in the last post, here are some more photos/videos from Lucas's 10th birthday. As you may recall, his regular party was cancelled. However, because he was at his best behavior most of the time ever since the guitar incident, we let him have a smaller get-together for his big day.

Marilu picked up Lucas and 3 of his best friends from school and they went to see Cars 3, which as luck would have it opened on his birthday. Afterwards, they came back to the house for a couple hours of play as well as pizza and cake.

For the cake, Lucas decided he wanted MY favorite cake, the always popular Coca-Cola cake that I've had for most of my birthdays since I was a kid. It's not fancy, but damn, it's tasty.

The obligatory singing video, which goes on much longer than when I was a kid.

And yes, he was eating a cucumber while blowing out his candles.

After the singing and candles, I took a few pictures before the boys dug in.

And here's a final shot of Lucas laughing with Parker while opening his presents.

Over the weekend, I asked Lucas is he would have rather had the large party, and he said that he really liked the smaller version. I'll tell you this, it was a lot less work for me and Marilu since we were going to have to run a bunch of events so we weren't complaining. Odds are, this is more like what the parties will be like going forward so I guess we'll just have to get used to it. He's already thinking about a sleepover next year so that ought to be...interesting.

Friday, June 16, 2017

10th Birthday Surprise

I'll post more pictures/video from Lucas's 10th birthday, but for now, I want to show his reaction after getting the news of his big present from my dad. See below for more...

So for anyone who didn't already know the news that we've been keeping from Lucas for over a year now, we're going to Disney World in August. Woohoo!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Demolition Derby

So, this weekend was a little more exciting than most. This happened...

Don't worry, no one got hurt though I was tempted to attack the other driver before cooler heads (i.e., Marilu) prevailed.

The story, in a nutshell: on Friday night, we went to see Pro Bull Riding downtown with my mom and Kevin, who were up visiting for the weekend. Afterwards, we dropped them off at their hotel with Lucas, who (luckily) was staying with them. We were literally about 2 blocks from our house when some dumbass tried to make a left in front of us and despite Marilu's best efforts, we slammed head on into the side of his card. Luckily, we hadn't even reached the speed limit yet or it could have been worse. Heck, the airbags didn't even go off.

Anyway, we called the cops and they came and took our story and pretty much immediately found fault with the other driver. I should mention it was a couple of Indian guys--one who could barely speak English--in a rental car. I don't think they had gotten insurance on it so it gives a warm feeling to think he's going to end up owing a lot out of pocket.

Our insurance will cover everything without costing us a thing, and in the meantime, we've been given a Jeep Grand Cherokee to drive around in so it's not all bad.

In the next post, I'll try and post photos from some less traumatic moments of the weekend.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Pitching Prodigy

Ok, so maybe the title is a little bit over the top, but the fact remains that Lucas had what was probably his best baseball game this past Saturday morning. If you feel like watching 3+ minutes of video, you can see the first of two innings he pitched below (spread over 2 videos...I think I missed one ball and one strike, but you can add it up if you want). If time is money to you, simply skip past them and read on for a quick summary.

In a nutshell: 1 inning, 12 pitches, 3 balls, 9 strikes, 3 strikeouts. Woohoo! On top of that, he had two hits (a single and a double) that were good for 3 RBIs. Normally, the kids only pitch one inning, but since he pitched his so fast, the coach had him pitch one more. While it wasn't quite as triumphant since he walked 2 kids, he still had 2 more strikeouts and no runs against.

Here's the single. You'll notice he's hitting off a tee. The kids do pitch, but if there is a walk, they have them hit off a tee instead since it gives everyone more experience. And is far less boring to watch than one walk after another when you get a bad pitcher.

And here's the double. Note the 2 RBIs. :)

Finally, if videos aren't your thing, here's a cool photo I caught of the ball in midair between pitcher and Lucas.

For the record, they ended up winning that game 7-5 after starting it 0-5 so it was a great comeback by a great group of kids. Plenty more news, photos, and videos to come as it's been a busy sports season so far,

Sunday, May 28, 2017

May 28 Sucks

So it's May 28 again, and this year marks the 5th anniversary of the worst day of my life. Rory has been on my mind quite a bit in the last week, mostly due to the realization that it's been 5 years since she died. While enough time has passed that I don't think about her every day, she definitely hasn't been (nor ever will be) forgotten. I'm sad but also thankful for what I do have in my life.

I realized earlier tonight that there's something about this date that just makes me want to skip it from here on out. For those of you who use Facebook, you're probably familiar with the "On This Day" feature that lets you see all your posts on today's date from previous years. I was skimming through previous May 28s, and this gem from 2010, when Lucas was 2 years old, popped up:
"today's highlights were intentionally peeing on the rug in the living room and pooping in the bathtub (he IS potty trained)."
Little bugger.

Now you can add May 28, 2017, as the latest May 28 to have a bad memory associated with it. Earlier today, Lucas had his third recital for guitar. The previous two went relatively well, and this was looking to be the best one since he had the song, "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath, down pat. He was playing third in a group of 30-40 kids, and he seemed confident. The song started off well, but he goofed up on about the 8th note. No big deal, right? Just start over and do it again. But he ends up throwing his head back like the world just ended.

After a few seconds, his instructor was able to get him going again, but then he screwed up again, and that's when the wheels came off the cart. He threw his head back again and basically gave up. I can't recall the exact sequence of events that followed, but he ended up throwing his guitar pick, ripping his sheet music in half, yelling, "I hate guitar!" and then he ran out of the room.

So, basically one of the more embarrassing parent moments of our lives. We hastily walked out ourselves and got him in the car. We had planned to go out to dinner afterwards, but that was obviously off the table. We ended up going straight home and had a long talk with him about his behavior of late. Sadly, this wasn't his only bad incident this weekend, albeit the worst.

The most immediate punishment is that he lost his 10th birthday party. I literally just paid the rental fee on the town hall near us this afternoon since we were going to have a big games party with about 15 of his friends on June 17. So we'll probably lose some sort of deposit fee on that, but we're not going back on this decision. He's been way too spoiled lately so it's about time he learns about consequences. He's also likely to be grounded for a couple of days and lose access to his iPad indefinitely.

He will have the opportunity to earn back a small get-together with a couple of friends to have cake on his birthday, but he'll have to be on his best behavior between now and then, and it will be nothing like the party that was planned.

So, just another shitty May 28 in Canada. The only silver lining about today's events were that we didn't have to sit through the recitals of 39 other kids that we don't know. That was pretty painful last winter.

That's enough typing for now. Pictures in the next post, I promise!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Baseball 2nd Game

Lucas's baseball team had their second game of the season earlier tonight. We knew before the game that Lucas would be the starting pitcher since he pitched quite well at a practice Saturday morning. He only pitched in the first inning, but it was a resounding success as Lucas was directly responsible for all 3 outs. He struck the first batter out. The second one made it to first base, but the third one hit a line drive that Lucas caught for the out and then he threw it to first before that kid could tag back up so he got what I think was his first double play. Woohoo!

On the other side of the ball, he hit off the tee due to being walked in his first at-bat and got a single. And in his second at-bat, he actually hit the ball and got a "real" single.

As if all that wasn't enough, a tooth he was wiggling all day came out in between innings so the Tooth Fairy will be visiting our house tonight.

For what it's worth, the rest of the team played well too, and the A's won their second straight game, 9-2.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

1000th Post!

I've been putting off the blog since I wanted to do something super-fantastical for the 1000th post, but all it's done is make me avoid posting since I couldn't come up with anything worthy. As such, here's the 1000th post. So now that that's out of the way, I can start posting again.

In other news, Lucas had his first baseball game of the season today. He walked in his first at-bat, but in his second one he cranked it out into right field, in what was arguably the best hit of the night. His play as catcher could use some definite work, but it's only the first game so there's definitely room to improve. Oh yeah, his team (the A's) won.

A flood of pictures coming soon...

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hockey Party!

If you're wondering about the delay between this and the last post, for once I have a good excuse. Believe it or not, this is post #999 on this blog. I still haven't figured out what I want to do for the 1,000th post so I've been putting off this one since it just brings me one post closer to the inevitable. However, Lucas's hockey team had their end of the year party today, and I wanted to make sure I got his coach's speech about him uploaded in a timely manner. Here it is...

I knew he did a great job on defense this year, but it was nice to hear the coach give him one of the top 2 defensemen awards.

So for post #1000, I'm leaning towards filling it with my favorite pictures from over the years. It might take some time to root through them all, but if so, I should have it up by next weekend. Any other ideas?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Finals Result

If you haven't heard yet, the Emojis lost in the finals, 2-1. It was probably their closest game of the playoffs, but once again, their inability to score in the postseason sunk them (5 goals in 5 games). Lucas had a great game on defense so that's all we could ask for.

The team has an end-of-the-year party in a couple of weeks, but the hockey itself is over until next fall. That same weekend will be the sortouts for baseball (which starts up in May) as well as his first session of flag football. Nothing next weekend for Easter so we plan to RELAX!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Semifinals Result

I'm pretty sure 99% of the people who read this blog have already heard the results of this morning's semifinals game via Facebook, text, or phone, but for anyone who hasn't...


In a surreal repeat of last year's semifinal (see here to jog your memory), the game ended in a 0-0 tie. As a result, they had a 3 minute 4-on-4 overtime. No one scored. So then they had a 3 minute 3-on-3 overtime. Once again, no one scored. So just like last year, it went to a shootout. Luckily, this year it didn't go through the entire roster once and then into a second round of shootout. This time, one of our best scorers, Cole, scored on the first shot, and then none of the other players scored so we finished with a 1-0 OT victory. It wasn't quite as heart-pounding as last year--since we'd already been through it once, plus Cole's initial goal took some pressure off--but it was still wild.

It didn't hurt that our goalie Shaan had one of his best games of the year--if not THE best--since our team didn't play quite as well as they did in the round robin games. Whatever the case, they won so it's on to the finals, which will be played at noon tomorrow. Their opponent will be the team that beat them 2-0 in the round robin so it'll be a chance for revenge.

I didn't bring the Nikon since I wanted to concentrate on the game, but I did get a couple of before and after pictures with my cell phone. First, here's the Emojis as they are about to get on the ice. I'm not sure what Lucas (#9) was doing on the left side there. I know one of his friends came to watch so maybe he was saying something to him.

And here's immediately after Shaan stopped the last shootout goal and the kids came out to celebrate. I apologize for the crappy image, but like I said earlier, I didn't want to have to worry about photos so I left the good camera at home. If you look closely, you might be able to make out a couple of kids not in uniform in the celebration. They're also seen sitting on the left side in the previous photo. They are out-of-action Emojis that came out to support the team and stood on the bench with the coaches during the game. What a great group of kids.

Keep your fingers crossed for them tomorrow and check in since I should be posting an update during the early afternoon.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Semifinals update

As I predicted, Lucas will be going up against Zach's team, the Bombers, in the semifinals. The game will be this Saturday morning at 8:30 so expect an update by mid-morning.

The teams played 3 times this season. In their first meeting, the Bombers won 4-3, but the Emojis handily took the next 2 games, winning by scores of 6-1 and 7-3. However, given the way this postseason has gone, I wouldn't read anything into the regular season stats.