Monday, 17 June 2013

Happy Father's Day to Me

I was going to open with a grand declaration of how great my Father's Day was.  I still am, but after reflection, I was lucky enough to have a weekend, not just a day, that was an all around good time.  I am lucky enough that my children both love me every day of the year.  Asher being that he is 2, thinks mom and dad are the best people and the world, and not much can beat that feeling.  Jasmine being that she is nearing teenage times, is a little less demonstrative with her affection.  Yesterday, she put aside her teasing and her back talk and complaining.  As I lay in her bed thanking her for such a nice day, I mentioned to her that she hadn't said a mean thing to me all day.  She laughed a bit, a special treat to dad on his special day.

On Friday, I finally decided to get around to making some purchases that we have budgeted for long ago.  Jasmine came with me as we toured Prince George in a frenzy of transactions.  We stopped off and bought the family sized tent set we had been eyeing for weeks.  The set included a couple of sleeping bags, a couple camping chairs, a sun shade (pointless, but free!) and a 6 man tent.  Sheila's tent requirements were:  big enough for all of us, tall enough to stand up in, and that was about it.  If it keeps the rain and wild animals out, I guess that is just a bonus.  We now have most of the things we need for a camping trip, tent, bags, chairs, cook stove, coolers, air matress.  I'm still planning to pick up a lantern, an axe and maybe some fishing gear for the kids and I.  We went to another store, and Jasmine decided that she had at last found her new bike.  We also found a baseball glove for Asher, so he can throw his left hand instead of using Jasmine's glove.  She wheeled out of the store, grinning from ear to ear.  From there we visited Value Village.  I don't shop at the ultimate thrift store as often as I used to, but I can still find good deals for the kids there.  We handed over a bag with about 10 pairs of outgrown shoes, and the girl handed us a 30% off coupon.  Well now.  We escaped after finding some shoes for Asher, a shirt and toy for Jasmine, a few books for me, and a couple pairs of shorts again for me.  We finally arrived home and brought all of our goodies inside.  Asher loved his new running shoes, and loved that he got his very own baseball glove.  Jasmine couldn't help but go for a ride right away. 

Friday evening found me at the soccer pitch.  Queensway Auto World were scheduled for a tough game against open division team Mr. Jake's Steakhouse.  They are a team with younger, fitter guys.  Talented players to say the least.  They hadn't lost a game yet this year, and after Friday night, they still hadn't.  It didn't help that we had very few players, only one spare, and a few of our best guys couldn't make it.  Sadly, that may be our downfall this year.  There is a lot of talent on the roster, but due to injuries and busy lives, we haven't all played in a game together.  It may not happen going forward as the summer months will add holidays to the list of reasons why guys can't make it.  I had my poorest outing of the season, but much credit goes to their team.  They made us look bad.  4 goals for them, and hardly a shot for us.  It was humbling. 

After soccer, I went to pitch some cards at the Treasure Cove.  I had made my return to poker the night before after nearly a month away.  The hour and a half spent there was uneventful, but a few buddies hastily organized a game over at a friends house.  In the end we had 9 of us playing a much smaller home game, that ended up being way more fun than playing at the Casino usually is.  We played 25 cent/25 cent blinds with a $20 buy in.  Your second buy could be $40, and we capped it at $50 for your 3rd and subsequent buys.  It was a mixed game, and I don't get too many chances to play live games other than hold em.  So, we started off with mostly holdem as the host's girlfriend was playing and we were being polite.  I raised the button to $1, small blind who is a smart thinking player who is also wild and unpredictable went all in for $20.  In the spirit of this being a small friendly game, and realizing that the $19 call was 1 raise in the casino game, I made the call with Q10 suited.  I knew that my buddy was on any 2 cards at that point.  I made 2 pair, my friend showed 4-2 off suit and I doubled up.  The chatter was mostly friendly, I was feeling good.  I proceeded to get exactly 1 more hand the rest of the night.  After a raise, a call and a three bet to $5, I moved my $20 stack in with QQ9 while playing crazy pineapple.  I was called by one of the other loose players.  I didn't improve, but the queens were good enough.  I walked out with $13 profit, but had a good time hanging with the guys outside of the casino. 

On Saturday Jasmine and I went to her soccer game, and while the game didn't go our way, I was more than proud of little girl.  I woke up a little late, Sheila and the kids had already gone out.  Jasmine had left me a little note.  She wanted me to know that she had hurt her foot really badly the night before and couldn't play.  When they came home we had a chat, and she showed me her foot.  It was badly bruised, she had stubbed her pinky toe, and the bruise had travelled up her foot from there.  Sheila and I were able to convince her to go and try playing goal.  She plays the first half of each game in net anyway, and Dad let her know how important she is to the team.  Also, she had her new pair of goalie gloves to try out.  She tried her best, even deciding to play out the second half.  I let her know that I was proud of her effort.  We ran into a hot team, and for whatever reason I couldn't convince half of the girls to run.  Alas, we lost. 

My mom and had come up in the morning, and had been visiting with Sheila and Asher at the house during soccer.  They met up with us after soccer and we all went to Noah's Ark, Prince George's very own petting zoo.  Asher had some fun meeting the animals, they mostly have different kinds of birds, sheep, goats, horses, pigs.  It really is pretty cool for a small city like Prince George.  Jasmine always likes going.  She really enjoys the horses.  They also have a number of different playgrounds, a ball pit, and a barn with a number of slides inside it.  Asher was more interested in the playground then he was the animals, but we had a good time regardless.  It's always nice to see my mom, and she always has fun with the kids.  She spent the night and had lots of quality time with her grandchildren.  Sheila made a great steak and chicken dinner that we all enjoyed. 

Sunday started with work.  I had Friday and Saturday off, so this was day 1 of a ridiculous 2 day work week.  I used a couple of lieu days, and I'm glad I got to spend some of that time off with my family and friends.  Work has been trying lately, but yesterday went off without a hitch.  Nary a reminder about behaviour was needed.  When I mentioned it after work to my mom, she joked that maybe that guys knew that it was Father's Day and were being nice.  Most of the time the guys are very calm and relaxed, and it was good to see that things were relatively back to normal.  I came home and saw my mom off, thanking her for coming to visit.  Sheila had already left to Quesnel for some time with her dad.  I had a few ideas in mind for me and kids.  We loaded up the truck and were off. 

We were hoping to get to the park in time to ride the train.  It is really cool and old, and Asher hadn't been on it yet as it was out of service last year.  As we got closer to the park Jasmine and I figured out that there was a Car Show going on.  Then I remembered that Metis Day was also going on.  We parked 3 blocks from the park, and as we walked closer signage was up for a Music Festival that was going on at the Museum in the park.  It was great to see all of the people out enjoying the weather, but these factors all conspired to help us miss out on the train.  Asher got to see it as it chugged around the track towards the storage shed.  I promised him we would come and go for a ride next week, but what ultimately curbed his disappointment was the dozens of vehicles (he uses that word, very funny) that were still lined up in the park for the Car Show.  We had missed a lot of them, but we had fun walking around checking out the ones that were still there.  An older man who was showing off his car gave Asher a hat that someone had left behind.  Thank You sir as dad had forgotten to put a hat or sunscreen on his son.  A few minutes later we bumped into Sheila's cousin Terry and his teenage daughters.  Jasmine and Asher both call him Uncle Terry, and his girls often babysit the kids.  He was in the same boat as me, his girls were being all nice to him on his special day.  Uncle Terry spoiled the kids with mini donuts and ice cream bars, Asher was very cute picking out a popsicle.  Jasmine helped him choose to Spiderman one, which mostly just melted all over his hands and face.  We visited a bit more, thanked Uncle for the treats, then were on our way back to the truck. 

Jasmine ran back to the truck to grab our tennis gear, while Asher and I made out way to the nearby courts.  It was getting hot so I decided to take my shirt off.  Monkey see, monkey do.  Asher wanted his off right away.  I laughed at how quickly this happened.  Asher has a new favorite sport.  He has his own racket, but there is no way that he can connect with the ball yet.  The best part?  He doesn't care.  As far as he is concerned, he is playing, and having a blast doing it.  He runs up to the net and throws the ball over, and this served as a good way for Jasmine and I to start a rally.  He likes to hoard the balls too, only allowing Jasmine and I to have 1 at a time, while he hangs onto the other 3.  A few times he crouched by the net, then ran and got the errant balls, just as a ball boy would in the pros.  We had a lot of fun, and Jasmine is getting better with practice.  We are able to rally a little bit and get a sweat going.  The rules are modified, numerous bounces are allowed, and Jasmine thought it was funny to play the ball even after it had hit the fence.  I was concern that Asher would get roasted, and we wanted to go and cool down so we decided it was time to head to the pool.  Jasmine asked Asher what his favorite sport was and until yesterday the answer was always hockey.  He responded with: "TENNNNNISSSSSS!!!" ( he pronounces it more like Denise with a T, very cute)

The Aquatic Centre was hosting a free swim, and I thought we had made a mistake when the parking lot was nearly empty.  We went inside and I was still unsure.  It turns out, everyone avoids the free swims perhaps assuming its going to be too busy.  The swim was frantic as usual, Asher never wants to stay in one place for long.  We got in trouble with a lady when Asher dumped a bucket of water on my head, then her toddler copied.  She was trying to avoid getting water in her eyes (not sure why), and I was laughing on the inside as I watched.  We moved on, Asher politely handing the bucket back to her son so he had 2 to splash her with.  Asher must have been extra cute yesterday as he had a few different older ladies fawning over him.  The pool visit concluded when I suggested it was time to go out for dinner.  Asher got out of the pool, ran over to Wawa as I chased him and hollered: "Time a go!!!  We leaving for dinnnnnnnahhhhh!!"  Everyone within 30 feet heard him and got a laugh out of his super serious face that he was giving Jasmine.

We went to the Chinese Buffet to eat, we were starving, and I wasn't interested in making Asher wait to eat.  He was bouncing off the walls by the time we got there.  Jasmine was reminded about my buffet rule, you have to eat at least 3 plates to get your money's worth.  She tried her best, and I decided she was okay with 2 plates and 2 desserts, hehe.  Asher ate a couple bites, but mostly he flirted with the old lady in the next both, smiled endlessly at every staff member that walked by, and crawled under the table back and forth between the sides of the both.  He ate his whole bowl of ice cream though, big surprise there.  As we left he was still bouncing around, running away from me and giggling wildly.  We strapped him in his seat, he ate his cookie, then fell asleep with the last of it in his hand.  Jasmine and I had to look back to see him sleeping, it was hard to believe he had turned that fast. 

When we got home I carried Asher in, pulled off his socks and shoes and laid him down im his bed.  I pulled the blanket up over him and turned the shade down.  My little boy is getting bigger everyday, but he still looks pretty small all by himself in his big boy bed.  Jasmine got ready for bed and laid down without a fuss.  I came to say goodnight, crawling into bed to visit for a minute.  Sheila rrived home from Quesnel a little later to find Jasmine and I sound asleep in her room.  What a great way to end a great day.  I'm a pretty lucky guy, and it's nice to be reminding of that from time to time.

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