Review: Majestic Colonial Punta Cana Resort

My wife and I went to Punta Cana (sans kids) for a friends wedding last year and our stay at the Majestic Colonial was excellent, and only got hampered by an injury that had nothing to do with the resort. Here is my review, in case you are planning a vacation to Punta Cana.

 

Flight: I hate flying and the descent into Punta Cana was the scariest of my life but we landed fine and it was probably the most normal turbulance/air pocket most people encounter. This has nothing to do with the resort but I thought I’d give the entire picture. I’ve also heard that most descents into the Dominican can be rough ones.
Upon landing, 1000 guys try to take your bags for you and utter incoherent gibberish to try to confuse you as they are looking for tips. For you first timers, a firm “No Thanks” is what you have to do or they will keep trying to grab your stuff.

Arrival at Resort: A pleasant crew unload your bags and ask you to check in but before you get to the front desk, you are met with a nice cold towel and a drink, which is a very nice touch. Once you get to the desk, we were met with a pleasant “Hola” and then immediately offered a room upgrade:)) We passed and found that , throughout the week, the more times you say no to the upgrade, the cheaper the rate gets:)

Our Room: We were at the far end of the resort, which is a long walk from the front desk but it also helped me to maintain my original weight throughout the week. Plus we were the only ones in our group with a balcony that offered a great view of the beach. It ended up working out as our group was either at the beach or the swim up pool bar for most of the week and our room was right next to each.

The room was tidy and the shower was amazing, great water pressure and 2 shower heads. Was tough to remember no to drink the water while brushing my teeth but I managed to get through the week without forgetting. The only complaint I had was that our room was at the end of the cleaning route so our room wouldn’t get turned over until late in the afternoon.

Restaurants: This was my favorite part of the trip as I love my food. We tried all the restaurants except the Seafood Place (because I hate Seafood) and the Mexican place, as it got bad reviews by a bunch of people we were with and others we had met. Here is my experience:

Main Buffet: Clean, Stocked and Delicious. There was so much food to choose from that it was hard not to be happy with your selections. If you don’t like pre-cooked food, there were about 4 stations you could go to in order to get food made right in front of you. The bacon was out of this world and I made sure to take full advantage:)) For breakfast, the French Toast was great but my daily routine was visiting the sandwich press operator and getting an amazing Ham, Bacon, Cheese & Mayo sandwich which they put together for you and grilled to perfection.

The lunch selection was fantastic as well but most of our lunches were had at the beach buffet.

Beach Buffet: Less selection than the main but an outdoor buffet that overlooks the beach is too good to pass up. Daily favorite was the Panini station, which is similar to my breakfast sandwich but different ingredients. The cook always made the same joke everyday about putting sardines on the panini and always faked putting some on it but it never got old and he ended up with some pretty good tips from our group:)

Fast Food Place: Hidden down the marketplace alleyway is a divey fast food place which opened from 11pm to 4am and offered all your favorites like hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, fries, onion rings and of course, lots of beer. We ended up there on a few occasions and were never disappointed in our orders.

Steakhouse: In the same place as the Beach Buffet, we ate at the Steakhouse twice and had varying results. The first night there, I got the sirloin and was underwhelmed by the taste and texture. The battered pinneapple/chicken skewer appetizer was amazing though. The second trip was much better as I ordered the Chateaubriand andit lived up to it’s billing. I tiped one of the waiters $5 at the beginning of the meal and he basically sat with us the whole dinner, making sure we had everything we needed. Good Dude.

Japanese Experience: The most fun I had at a dinner, make sure you make a reservation for the demonstration and not just a walk in meal. Our cook, Raphael, was great at entertaining and had a sixth sense about when a photo was about to be taken, as he posed perfectly at a secondsd notice. He also looked exactly like Kobe Bryant, which was cool to this sports fan. The food was great and I even tried shrimp and Sushi for the first time. Don’t worry though, they also serve beef and chicken, which is also delicious.

French Gourmet: Saving the best for last, my experience at the Gourmet was the best food I’ve ever had. I ordered the lobster bisk (again a first) and it was good but the Churasco wrapped around asparagus, on top of the best mashed potatoes in the world, made me want to take 5 minutes for every bite. Follow all that up with Red Wine and Creme Brule and it was a food night to remember.

The Beach: The beach was pristine, the servers were prompt and the fish were everywhere for a great underwater experience. We did the Banana Boat Ride for $12 which was worth every penny as the boat driver did everything in his power to throw us from the narrow raft. I did get offered some “good stuff” one of the days but it was more funny than disturbing. No complaints about the beach, I can’t think of anything that could have been improved with it. The sunrise/sunsets are to die for, don’t be afraid to wake up early a couple of days, you won’t be sorry.

The Pool/Swim Up Bar: My crew set up shop daily right across from the swim up bar in the pool. We staked our claim to a particular spot every day and spent a good 4 hours there, playing football and soaking the days away. The staff were good but at certain times seemed disinterested, which was fine by me as they kept up with the drink demands. We met some cool people and befriended some cool British kids, who we shared our football with and in exchange, they taught us some funny slang words:))

The Entertainment: We didn’t go to the resort for the entertainment so it wasn’t a problem for any of us that it was subpar in general. The “Pump Up Crew” they have are kind of cheesy but still fun in general and you can tell they work long, hard hours, even though it seems like their job is just partying. Daily pool side dance lessons and funny drinking contests are all part of the fun.

As for the night time stuff, the Michael Jackson experience lived up to it’s billing and is a must see. The Karaoke nights were a lot of fun and people seemed to really enjoy watching others get up there but they only lasted 1 hour, which was waaaaay too short for such a crowd pleasing event. And the 70/80/90’s dance night was fun for anyone who loves to dance the night away. I didn’t make it to the discoteque but I heard from a lot of people that the guy to girl ratio was like 40 to 1 so for all you single men out there, not the best odds.

The Casino was small and had only a few slot machines and tables. The slot machines couldn’t handle a large volume and often broke down. I wasn’t there to gamble so no big deal.

The Marketplace: There are a number of stores along the walkway and each have varying prices. I got a vibe that they were not the bartering type of shops but found out that everyone has their price so don’t be afraid to try to lower the price a bit.

Once a week, the flea market shops come and set up booths down the walkway and that’s where the real deals are made. I hate haggling but found it easy with the pushy nature of some of these guys. Always trying to give you free stuff to lure you in, don’t take it unless you are going to buy something else. We ended up getting some very good deals and found that an opening price of $95 can easily end at paying $20. Walking away is a strong tactic here, so is changing the game a bit. If they want $25, you say that you’ll give $20 and $2-3 for the seller and their attitude quickly changes to your side. That $2-3 is more than the commission they’ll get for the $5 on the actual price. I don’t know if I’m supposed to be writing this stuff but I wish I had had this info before hand.

Off Resort Flea Market: We went off the resort about a 5-10 minute walk to the local flea market and had an interesting experience. A lot of people were hesitant about us going off the resort but I checked with our tour rep and the ffront desk and both said it was safe. I never felt uncomfortable at any point and recommend the experience to others.
The first booth I went into, I bartered down a price and even though I paid more than I should have, the seller said to me (after I paid) that he didn’t believe I was Canadian because I was too cheap….and then had the nerve to ask for a $1 commission. Yeah Right! After that, we met a nice Haitian (second shop on the left) who lured us into his shop by telling us he wouldn’t bother us like the other shop owners. He kept his word and his prices were so good, the need to barter was minimal. He also threw in a bunch of extra stuff (shot glasses, bracelets) after I had already paid. Good Salesmanship!!

Overall, good market experience but very tiring to barter for over an hour…

The Medical Center: I wish I hadn’t had to go here but my wife got a very bad sunburn and her ankles & feet got really swollen. I got a feeling like there wasn’t much the Doc was going to be able to do and I was right. He recommended that we go the hospital and we started panicking. Luckily I had travel insurance so the whole ordeal was covered but it was anything but enjoyable. For the record, this was not the resort’s problem and I wouldn’t hold this against my experience with them.

The Doc called an ambulance and we began our 4 hour journey off the resort at midnight in the middle of the DR. Any driving is scary in this place but the ambulance ride with my wife and no seatbelts was the scariest of my life. Flying around cars and crazy turns made my stomach turn. At the hospital, there was very little english and we could only have faith in their medical system as the plugged the IV into my wife’s arm and gave us a bunch of prescription medication for her to bring back to the resort. Scary times for sure but long story short, we got back safely at about 3am, went for fast food and we are now back home and have a new prescription for an allergic reaction. Was a little surprised at the lack of english speaking staff at the hospital though, very scary ordeal, I recommed not getting injured while visiting here:))

Odds & Ends: My friend and I are in a band back home and he brought his guitar. We set up shop in the lower lobby bar one night with about 10 of our friends and played music til about 2 am. No one complained and in fact, people started coming over to sing with us, even the bartender came over, requested La Bamba and then danced on the sofa when we obliged.

Most of the staff were courteous and eager to help out but there were some that seemed disinterested in smiling or putting forth any effort. I always tried to reward the really friendly ones with generous tips but not fully understanding the economic climate there, it was hard to tell if my tips really helped.

I had an issue with the Coffee providers being called “Coffee Boy” and wondered if Coffee Guy or Coffee Man would be a better title but that was just my quirky brain working overtime.

We brought children’s items with us (colouring books, crayons, pens, pencils, etc..) and left them for the cleaning crew and other staff throughout the week. They really seemed to appreciate that and always thanked us daily.

There was a guy on the beach who painted T Shirts and he was really cool and accomodating to any request. I got myself a Montreal Canadiens shirt with a beach scene and “Punta Cana” painted on it. Very Cool.

I can’t think of much else to write about but would like to thank the entire staff at the Majestic Colonial for a wonderful week and an amazing experience. We will definitely be back and are already trying to convince some of our friends to get married so we have an excuse:))

PS – DO NOT lose your towel….$25 is a hefty replacement fee:))

A Fish Called Mater

My family were always dog people. So much so, that I can’t remember a time from my childhood where there wasn’t a dog running around the house. Before we had kids, my wife and I had a Husky named Bacardi (keep in mind that my wife won that battle,  I wanted to call him Crown Royal). He was a great dog but the amount of hair he left around the house coupled with his hyperactivity and a new baby meant one of the two had to go.

We chose to keep the baby but found an amazing family with a huge yard for Bacardi to play in. It was a tough day for both of us but we know we did the right thing by letting the dog go, he wouldn’t have got the attention he deserved with a baby around. We’ve kept in touch with the family that took him and all is well.

My dear wife, thinking the kids were ready for pets, decided they should each get a pet fish (Daisy and Mater) for their birthdays (which are 2 days apart). I didn’t fight it too hard, after all, how hard can fish be to maintain? The answer to that question came about 2 weeks in, when the first fish, Daisy, suddenly died of natural causes…

As I was starting to panic about how I unprepared I was to have the “death” discussion with the kids, I realized that not only had they not noticed the fish had died, they had forgotten about the fish altogether. Somewhat relieved, I sent Daisy off on a swirly journey to fishy heaven and went about my business.

Later that day, we (read:my wife) decided that we should replace the fish with another one, just in case the kids noticed we were one fish down. Off Daddy went to the pet store to get a replacement fish, to be named Daisy 2. What happened next at the Pet Store was probably one of the most unexpected and humiliating things that’s ever happened to me.

There I was in the fish aisle, looking for Daisy 2, when the small fish “expert” came to see if I needed any help. I explained the situation as delicately as a man could, “stupid fish died, need another stupid fish before the kids notice the last stupid fish is missing”. Apparently my story didn’t jive with the clerk, who laced into a tirade that would have made Ace Ventura proud. It was clear to me why this clerk had been hired by the pet store and it also made me think about how many fish posters this person had plastered throughout their home.

After feigning regret for a few minutes I had found my Daisy 2 and proceeded to the check out, where my fish story had obviously been told and a lecture from the cashier ensued. I wanted to scream, “It’s Just A Fish, Get Over It!!!”, but held my tongue and made my way home to sneak Daisy 2 into her new tank as Daddy the Hero would do.

Just as the kids hadn’t noticed a fish was gone, they also didn’t notice that Daisy had completely changed colours. This turned into a good thing, as Daisy 2’s health didn’t last nearly as long as the year we were told it would. In fact, it lasted about 3 weeks before she too met her fate. It was embarrassing really, to not be able to keep a fish alive for longer than a month! We did everything we were told to but it still didn’t work out for poor Daisy 2.

I decided there was no way I was going back to the pet store for another round of booing and hissing, so we were down to 1 fish and the kids were none the wiser. Eventually my son began to pay attention to the remaining fish and surprisingly never asked what had happened to Daisy 1. He decided the fish’s new name would be Lanny, the lovable elf from Disney’s Prep & Landing movies. About once a month he decides to show the fish some love and asks if he can feed it and he talks to it for awhile.

My daughter still doesn’t bother paying any attention to it, there’s plenty more important things like Barbie and Hide and Seek for her to be bothered by something that just floats in a box and does nothing entertaining. Maybe someday she’ll be interested but I imagine she’ll go straight to wanting a dog judging by the way she reacts around them. But that’s a story for another day.

As for the fish, he must feel completely lost up there on his lonely perch. Not knowing what your name is can be very confusing when you’re trying to meet the lady fish and hes had a lot of them. Here’s a detailed list of all the names I’ve heard called to date: Mater, Lanny, Wayne, Zerby (??? I know), Mater again, Nemo, Flounder, Mater once again and just this morning when I asked my son what my next post should be about, he said it should be about Doc. Based on the post, I imagine you could guess who Doc is…

Do your kids have funny names for their pets? Let me know in the comments section and thanks for reading!!

Don’t forget you can catch me on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/#!/CanadianDadBlog and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CanadianDad

Cheers!!

What Exactly Is A Stoodie Doo Anyway?

So my son has reached an incredible stage of his young life where he’s begun to make up new words to share with his family and friends. His favorite of these is the word, person, phrase “Stoodie Doo” (he wasn’t sure of the spelling but there was definitely an ‘S’ in there).

It got me thinking about how great it would be if everyone, young and old, did this, when it occurred to me that we actually do it every day. I wondered if the person who first uttered the term “woot” ever stopped to think about how ridiculous it sounds? My guess is probably not, because if they had, they probably would have put that one back in the holster.

Anyway, back to my son. He started off by just saying Stoodie a few times for no good reason and my wife and I sort of looked at each with blank expressions. Now it has evolved into a part of his daily vocabulary and apparently as a part of ours after I caught myself using it in a sentence the other day while talking to a buddy of mine and had no good explanation for the meaning.

To help you picture it a bit better, it reminds me of the movie/TV show The Smurfs. Everything is Stoodie. Everyone is a Stoodie Do. Lunch is stoodie time. Mommy is a Stoodie Doo and so on. After the initial concern that something might be wrong with his speech had passed, we decided to celebrate his inner inventor by trying to incorporate the word into our daily conversation, a move that he finds quite amusing.

As far as I can tell, a Stoodie is either a hilarious cartoon monster, some type of meal, bath time, a pair of boots or the game Angry Birds. In any case, it is hilarious to him and that’s all that really matters. I’ve done my best to try to illustrate what I feel he is picturing when he calls me a Stoodie Doo.

I feel pretty bang on about this so I’ll show it to him and let you know what he thinks. Either way, it’s a great time to be a parent when your kids start to show independence, even if it’s in the form of made up creatures. At least I know his imagination is in full swing and that’s alright by me.

Do your kids have any made up words, expressions or special friends that they talk about all the time? Let me know in the comments section and don’t forget to sign up for the Canadian Dad Mailing List as we have some great giveaways coming up very soon.

Soccer Kid

A Father’s Insecurity: What If My Son Hates Sports?

I’ve always been an athletic person. Even in my older, chubbier dad years, I still feel like I can hold my own on a sports field.

I got this from my Dad. In a bittersweet and cruel twist of fate, I lost my father on the same day my wife found out that we were pregnant with our first child. Regrettably, I never got the chance to sit down and talk dad stuff with him. I didn’t get to ask him questions about my youth, or his for that matter and that’s one of those things that you regret as a son and father.

From the young age of 6 and maybe sooner for all I can remember, my dad encouraged me to take part in sport and I gladly obliged. Really by the time I was a teenager, sports was all I knew and I loved the feeling of being able to excel in something that I knew made my dad proud. He didn’t force anything on me, I truly enjoyed the time it afforded us together.

He coached almost every team I ever played on and when we weren’t at the diamond or on the ice, he always made time to ask if there was anything I wanted to work on in my respective disciplines. He went as far as building a rink in our backyard every year and also making a huge net for me to take batting practice in the garage. We grew very close through sports and when I found out that I was going to become a father, I couldn’t help but hope for the same type of result with my son.

Flash Forward to today, my son is almost four years old and is more than ready to start carving his niche in the world. Obviously I would love for that to involve sports but I worry about the prospect of him not wanting anything to do with it. After all, sports is really all I knew growing up, so naturally I have a lot to offer as far as coaching and experience go.

I have also developed a love for music, but as a singer with no formal training and no instrumental skills, there’s really not much I can teach him other than a brief history of rock and roll and what I learned from the Foo Fighters documentary. So that brings us back to sports as my main source of expert knowledge to share with my son.

I’ve started trying to get him into sporty things. I tried to get him to watch hockey with me but without Lightning McQueen or Buzz Lightyear on either team, my efforts fell by the wayside. I still remember the first day he asked me if I wanted to go outside and play hockey, I beamed with joy and shot outside so fast that I forgot to bring him with me. The hockey game lasted 5 minutes before hide and seek became all the rage.

Now we’ve begun soccer lessons and I can’t tell if he enjoys it or not. I know he has fun at it but I wonder if it’s because of the sport aspect or because he has a couple buddies in the class. He’s starting to understand that when the ball or puck goes into the net, he’s done something worth celebrating and while I try to make a big deal out of his goals, I also don’t want to look like one of those crazy parents at a sporting event that makes their kid and themselves look ridiculous.

The point of this article is not to criticize my son on his ability or interest in sports, it’s to shed light on my insecurity that if he decides sports aren’t for him, what do I have to offer him as a father? It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot as a father who doesn’t want to fail his son.

In the end, no matter what he decides his path will be, I am going to be supportive (unless he chooses a life of crime I suppose). I also want to be able to help him grow into the kind of person my father has helped me to become, regardless of his life choices. And I guess I would just feel more confident if that life included something tangible I knew how to teach him, other than life necessities such as using the toilet and brushing his teeth, which my wife and dentist will attest to as being things I’m not even that good at, lol.

Thanks for letting me share a little bit of my inner workings with you. It feels good to put it all down in writing, even if no one reads it. I often wonder if Mom’s struggle with the same insecurities that us Dad’s do? They always seem to have such a level head about everything and look to have it all put together as natural parents. If I had to do half the work my wife does or that my mother did, I think my head would literally explode into tiny pieces.

If you have anything you want to say about this topic, please feel free to leave me a comment below. I check and respond to them all and love hearing from everyone.

Cheers!

Why I Just Slept On The Couch For The First Time In 13 Years

My wife and I have been together for 13 wonderful years. We’ve certainly had our share of ups and downs in that time, but I’d say we’ve been pretty good at working things out. I’m not a person who can just take naps on a whim, so it’s never really occurred to me to lay down on a couch for a nap. I’ve also never gotten to the point of being so mad at my wife, that I would leave the room to go spend the night on the couch. I’m sure there have been times when she has wanted me on the couch but I am pretty good at talking my way out of trouble, even if just for a comfortable night’s sleep in my own bed.

All that has changed recently, since my children have decided that our bed is usually more comfortable than theirs. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and thoroughly enjoy spending time with them, it’s just that men have a special bond with their sleep time and when something comes between us and our sleep comfort level, adjustments need to be made. I can’t speak on behalf of women, it just seems like they have an easier time dealing with lack of sleep.

It all started a few nights ago when my son, Lucas, was dealing with a bit of a cough/fever. He’d been in to our room before but usually only showed up at around 4:30-5:00am, after we’d had a relatively good night’s sleep. This time, however, it was 1:00am and he didn’t look overly tired.

Have you ever been ready for bed, when all of a sudden, some infomercial or show about (bed) bugs comes on and you not only have trouble getting to sleep, but you also wake up every few minutes because you keep feeling something touching you? That’s what this experience was like for me. Every 30 seconds he was tossing, turning and mumbling, scratching up my back with his toes as he did the Homer Simpson 360 spin walk in the bed. Each time I thought it was over, the cycle started all over again, until he finally asked to go downstairs and watch TV….at 2:30 in the morning.

Looking back on the situation, I don’t know what part of my brain I was using when I decided that the best course of action here, would be for me to go sleep on the couch in the living room. I’m guessing it was my selfish side that decided to leave my wife in charge of the un-sleepy boy situation, while Daddy went down to get his much needed man rest. After all, it was a Saturday night and Daddies need all the energy they can get in order to give their undivided attention to the football game on Sunday (or in this case, the NHL All-Star Game), while Mommy takes care of the little ones.

In the end, I learned a couple lessons from this adventure.

First, most couches are uncomfortable by design and are not meant for sleeping on, mine is no exception. I took about an hour and a half to fall asleep and tossed and turned all night.

Second, sometimes kids just need to have their parents with them, whether they can sleep or not. They can’t always express the reasons why they don’t want to be in their own beds, so it’s best to just stick it out with them. I felt bad the next day about leaving him to toss and turn alone, he doesn’t remember but I still feel bad.

Third and most importantly, my wife has learned that it is, in fact, possible for me to sleep on the couch and has decided that it should be utilized more often…

Point, Mommy!

How JibJab Saved My Relationship With My Daughter

There are no books out there that can adequately prepare a father for the joys of having a daughter. And while they can be the beautiful princesses that you’ve always dreamed of; they also develop a nasty side early on, that can be tough to tame. In my eyes at least, I have been a loving father who enjoys spending as much time as possible with my kids. Being that my daughter is only 20 months old and the fact that my wife runs a day care out of our house, I haven’t had to do too many full days alone with my little bundle of joy.

That’s not to say I can’t handle it or even get nervous at the thought of it, but Julia has a classic case of “Mommy’s Girl” syndrome. It affects about 9 out of 10 girls and it can wreak havoc on a Dad’s psyche to know that she’d rather be able to see Mommy at all times; and that if she can’t see Mommy, she’s going to look for her feverishly. Inevitably, when she realizes Mommy is no longer there and looks at you as the only option left, the water works will begin.

We tried having Kristine sneak out of the house, while the kids are playing, like a ninja. We even tried the “hey, look over there” bit, while Mommy slides silently out the front door, but nothing worked. Until I found JibJab.com.

There we were at Christmas time and a relative of mine thoughfully included me on the email of his family’s hilarious Bobble Headed rendition of Jingle Bell Rock. It was funny enough that I thought I would make a video of my family so I could show the kids their dancing faces on the computer andpossibly give them a laugh. What followed was an unhealthy slew of daily requests to watch the JibJab video. It became the response to every question I had, “What do you want for dinner guys?”, “JibJab” my daughter would say as she pointed at the computer screen. “What movie do you guys want for movie night Luke?”, “I wanna watch JibJab daddy” he’d reply. I’d created JibJab monsters and by the end of the first week, I had created about 7 different videos, including one where we were all characters from Star Wars and Luke had hilariously chosen me to play the role of Princess Leia.

It was becoming like groundhog day around the house in that I knew every morning I woke up, the first step, before even getting milks ready, would be to load up the JibJab so the kids could stay occupied. It was getting to be too much, until the day Mommy had to go out for a bit and Julia was on the cusp of meltdown, when Daddy suggested “Want to watch a JibJab?”. Immediately the quivering lip paused as she stared at me, contemplating my request. After looking back at Mommy for a minute (I’m assuming the look was her way of asking Mommy’s permission to let her go without throwing a fit) she happily ran over to me and took up her place at the computer.

I had done it! I had conquered the Mommys and on month later, that little trick is still my way of getting my foot in the door with my daughter. It may not be perfect, but when faced with a sad baby girl, you do what you gotta do to survive!!!

As a special treat, here’s a copy of my daughter’s favorite JibJab video. It stars her Mommy, which I’m assuming is the trade off for letting Mommy go out alone and leaving her with crazy Daddy.

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

 

 

 

Sick Little Monkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As many of you parents know, there isn’t a much more helpless feeling in the world than when you have a sick child. They are raised to believe that Mom and Dad can fix everything and I’ve even caught myself telling my son that exact line after he’s fallen down and cut himself. That’s why, when they get a cold, flu or other illness, they look to you, with their ever questioning eyes, wondering what magic spell you are going to cast to make it all better. The truth is, Mom and Dad can’t fix everything, but we sure as hell try our hardest.

That brings me to today, my self-designated, first night of blogging. Unfortunately, all I can think about is my poor daughter and how sick she is. With a fever breaking 104 at points throughout the day, she has been anything but herself. Fortunately for my ego, she is a Mommy’s girl, which means that my wife is taking most of the “fix me” stares. Unfortunately, this doesn’t do anything for my heart, which pains with every one of her pains.

My wife and I look at each other as we wrestle with the idea of visiting the children’s hospital or waiting to see our doctor in the morning. There’s no easy answer to that question. It’s most likely a cold or flu, which means a 6 hour wait at the children’s hospital will yield nothing more than a “lots of water and rest” response, along with disapproving looks from the nurses, as if we should have known better than to waste their time with this.

We settle on calling Tele-Health and asking their nurse a few questions. We’ve called a few times and while it seems like a nice service to have, it always returns the same results, “we recommend you see a doctor” and “we’re not allowed to recommend any medications”. Back to square one. In the end, she shows enough spunk to save us (and her) from the brutal wait times the hospitals here have to offer.

There was a positive side to the story though. My 3 year old son is not sick and is in desperate need of attention, with all the concern being showered on his little sister. That means an opportunity for a Father/Son day and I’m more than happy to oblige. We start with some groceries, a task he is always surprisingly excited about. It may have something to do with the bakery giving out cookies to the kids and even the little people shopping carts they provide now. As sad as it may sound, groceries are one of my favourite activities to do with the kids because they genuinely seem to enjoy it and they behave admirably while we are there (I direct you back to the part about free cookies). The other plus is that my wife appreciates me doing the groceries because it’s not one of her favourites, that equals Man Bucks…right? I’ll spend them the next time my buddies want me to watch UFC with them.

After we finish groceries, my boy and I take a trip to Walmart for some diapers, still a necessity with a 1 year old daughter at home. Funny, we used to tease a guy at work about diapers, before any of us had kids. His wife was pregnant and we would bug him about being ready for fatherhood and all the extra costs a baby brings. The one thing we’d always say is “Diapers are expensive man, are you sure you want to do this?” We were just kidding around with him, but the one thing we didn’t realize at the time, is exactly how expensive diapers really were. My son didn’t potty train until he was 3 and a half, so with my 20 month old daughter already potty training, you can imagine my excitement as I am already planning the number of things I will buy with that extra diaper money. We decided to celebrate this new found fortune a little early, with a trip to what my son refers to as “Old McDonald’s”. Yep, that’s right folk’s, I’ve seen the documentary ‘Supersize Me’ at least a dozen times and still have the nerve to take my kid there for a Happy Meal every now and then. It was Hot Wheels toy day too, which brings an extra large smile to my son’s face and in turn, an even bigger one to mine.

The best part of the day comes with a milestone as my son and I head over to our community’s Winter Family Fun Day. The trip starts with sadness at the thought of my wife and sick daughter stuck at home in bed, but quickly changes to elation as I take my son Ice skating for the very first time. I’m a big hockey fan, so it’s important to me that my kids get a chance to be into the same things I am. To my excitement, he loves it and we spend a good part of half an hour skating around the outdoor rink. I feel for my wife because I know she hates to miss milestone moments, but I’ve come to the realization that we can’t be there for all of them, so you may as well enjoy the ones you get to be a part of. They are truly miraculous to watch.

The end of the day brings more good news as my daughter’s fever is down and she is excited to play with us when we get home, as mommy gets dinner ready. It’s such a nice sight to have my baby girl back and we have a great time laughing and playing. She loves her brother so much, the way she looks at him and copies his every move, it gives you one of those pause moments where you realize how important these little creatures are in your life. Admittedly, I’m not a religious man, but I know what love is and there’s not enough words in the English language to describe the love I have for my family.

This is my first blog post, so it was difficult for me to come up with content that I felt would best reflect my thoughts and feelings on where I want this thing to go. I realized very quickly that I don’t need to say everything in one post because it’s a long life and I plan on posting a lot more over the coming months and years. If there’s one thing to take away from this, I guess it’s that, nobody’s perfect. We can’t always fix everything, sometimes we go to McDonald’s because it the easy thing to do, and love tends to rule all. I hope you enjoyed my first entry, there’s lots more to come from me so please stick around for the ride!