Category Archives: Declan

Last Weekend

Libs and I had planned on going to Huff Estates winery for our first weekend alone since Declan was born. However, with Declan getting sick with hand, foot and mouth disease, we felt it inappropriate to drop him at the grandparents and waving so long.

Turns out after we cancelled our reservation, he started to feel better and by the weekend, he was fully recovered. We brought him to Libs’ parents anyway so we could still get a little break.

They gave us the opportunity to head into Peterborough and watch a movie. Went to Hancock. As we were walking around downtown Peterborough, we happened to see this car sitting in a parking lot.

I recommend waiting a second while you look at it. No? Imfamous. Not only is it stupid to have Infamous on your windshield, it’s just that little bit extra stupid to misspell it.

Oh and we went to the drive-in in the evening and saw Wall•e and The Incredible Hulk. Took care of all our summer blockbusters at one go.

Father's Day

Sunday was my second father’s day and it was awesome! But first, let me talk about Saturday. My cousin Chandra’s husband, Dave, was in town with his band The Tall Boys of Kentucky for NXNE.

What an incredible show. They didn’t go on until midnight and I was pretty tired and sober by the time they rolled onto the stage. Riding your motorcycle can put a damper on any visit to a bar. They Tall Boys had an amazing energy and all familial pride aside, Dave’s drumming was phenomenal. They’re playing tonight, Tuesday June 17th, at the Lakeside Lounge on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. If you’re in the neighbourhood, check them out. I guarantee you’ll enjoy them. Plus, Dave hooked me up with two bottles of single cask bourbon. I love you…

Anyway, this leads me to Sunday. My one father’s day request was to sleep in. With a toddler waking up at 5:30 am every morning and going to a show that went til 1 am, I really wanted, nay needed to sleep in.

Libs woke me up with Declan at 9:30 am. My presents? Besides a happy Declan, I got a card, a shirt and Libs had a little printed card stating she was having one of my Josh prints framed. The last time Josh came to FiTC, he gave me a Ming Dynasty print. Eric Miranda is one of my favourite New Yorkers and his band is awesome. Josh knows it, so it’s a great gift. The last print he gave me is oddly sized so I need to have it professionally framed. And I’ve been a little reticent in that area. Anyway, I’m excited to have the Ming Dynasty print framed. I love getting artwork from my friends.

She also gave me a great shirt. Then, when Declan was napping, I ran out bought myself a father’s day gift. A new helmet. Finally, I can replace the half helmet I bought a year into owning my bike that never really fit and made my head look like a mushroom. The new helmet is exactly like this but with flames. Sweet.

Then, we went to a concert. Declan’s first ever concert. Dan Zanes is like the Raffi of the 2000’s. It was awesome. Declan had so much fun! He’d stand on his seat and dance, he’d jump into the aisle and dance. He went to the family behind us and sat on the lap of first the father and then the son. He’d clap and yell. He spun around and around.

Finally, to top it all off, although it was closed, the organic butcher down the street from the concert invited Libs and Declan in to look around. Libs picked out a few chicken breasts. Oh, and it was FREE CHICKEN DAY. Excuse me? A free chicken??? So we got a free 6 pound chicken. Which I promptly shoved a king can of beer up it’s ass and roasted on the BBQ. You’ve never had chicken til you’ve had beer chicken.

To sum up;

Free chicken, good.
Dan Zanes, good.
New helmet, good.
Framed artwork, good.
Kentucky, great.
Libs, awesome.
Declan, awesome.

Emergency Rooms

How can you get the feeling of urgency when you’re made to wait for over an hour and a half to be seen?

Declan fell off our bed this morning. To put this in perspective, our bed has a 19 inch mattress which is about a foot off the floor. So Declan fell about 3 ft to land on his back and bump his head on the floor.

He immediately started crying, Libs picked him up and held him on the bed for about 10 minutes before she told she was concerned that he seemed sluggish. He’d slowed down considerably. Something I attributed to shock but that Libs thought meant he could be concussed.

I called my retired nurse of a mom who basically said “Better safe than sorry, bring him in.” So we packed up, went to Toronto East General Hospital nearby.

I think the second you say your child has suffered head trauma, regardless of the degree of it, a healthcare professional might consider at least briefly checking on him. Even if it’s only to make sure it isn’t a sign of parental abuse, for god’s sake. I’d happily be put in cuffs if someone could just allay my fear that little D wasn’t hurt. However, not at TEGH. Nope, they put us into the system, told us to wait in the pediatric waiting room where he could watch tv. The tv that didn’t work. And he could play with the toys. The incredibly dirty toys.

So there we were. Worrying about concussion. Declan recovered quickly and was playing with the toys within minutes. If you ever need to balance between holding Declan and letting him play with filthy toys knowing you’ll wash his hands afterwards, let him play, man. Let him play.

After an hour and a half, we all became impatient. Declan had missed breakfast and was getting incredibly cranky. He wanted out of the confines of the room, so Libs started to walk around a little with him. I decided to call mom again and see what she thought.

“What’s he like? Still sluggish?”
“Nope, he’s running around like a maniac, pointing at every drawing and painting and naming all the stuff he sees.”
“Are his pupils dilating? Or locked and fixed?”
“Well, if I cover his eyes I get about a second before my hand is forcibly removed by him and I can see they change a little. I don’t really get enough time to make his eyes react, but they do a little.”
“Go ask how long you can expect to wait and if they it’s a lot longer, check yourselves out.”

So that’s what I did. The chart hadn’t even been moved to the ward. When I asked one of the three nurses standing around the station if they just wanted to pop their heads in to take a quick look, I got a resounding “No”. And I was reminded that all the beds were full and it would be a while. An indeterminate length of time, of course.

So we checked him out. I am so angry right now with TEGH. Is this what happens when you’re considered an essential service? You become simply “essential” without “service”?

Note, I did check his pupils with a flashlight while he was eating breakfast at home and they definitely reacted. His mood improved even more when we finally were able to give him the cheerios he wanted so badly.

Screw you, Toronto East General Hospital. Thanks for taking what was a great week at FiTC and ending it with such crap.

FiTC TO over for another year.

Sniffle. Just like that, FiTC TO is over. One last lunch with some folks and off they go to their respective locales.

James Patterson’s work is incredible. It’s really evolved. I look forward to seeing his universe unfold. I wish I knew him better personally, as he’s a hell of a guy.

Robert Hodgin continues to impress with his incredible work. Plus, his dry wit and sharp tongue is a boon to all of us that have the pleasure of knowing him. And he has some wicked people to work with at Barbarian Group

Grant Skinner and his wife Bobi are two people, that if I missed them, I’d miss them. Plus, Grant’s words of wisdom taken from his years of speaking was a tremendous help in calming me down before, and after, my session.

Erik Natzke and his lovely Tobey left early but they were catching a flight to Norway so who can blame them? Seeing his work has always inspired me. Plus, he punches hard. I get to punch him back and he doesn’t mind since he’s built like a tank.

Phillip Kerman has been doing some really funny videos.

Chaos-101. Keith Peters. All she wrote, yo.

There’s lots more, of course. Josh is even more of a brand, partnering up with Umbra. I don’t see them on Umbra, but he also designed bedding. So if you’ve always wanted to curl up with Josh and drink a hot chocolate with him while watching the English Patient, here’s your chance. I’m pretty sure he won’t do that in person, unless it’s the extra-long director’s cut. He’s a sucker for Ralph Fiennes.

Lastly, this was year was different because Libs got to join me once in awhile and meet all the people I’ve been talking about for the past however many years. She finally managed to have a nice chat with most of them. And we brought Declan to the festival for a short while where he captured the hearts of every onlooker with his crush on the Seneca bee.

IMG_6857 and stole a beach ball from Aquent.

Has It Really Been A Month?

Shocking. I haven’t posted to my blog in over a month. Is it just that nothing’s happened? Or that I’ve been far too busy to post? Take a little from column A and a little from column B.

It seems I get home from work fairly late, just in time to catch a half hour with Declan before he goes to bed. If I’m lucky, I can sneak out in time actually feed him.

I lost my rear brake on the way onto the Gardiner and barely avoided splattering myself on a highway. Ca-ching! A hundred bucks later and I’m back on the road.

Recently I’ve been consumed by a project at work that just isn’t giving me much time to think of anything else. It launched, as far as I know, this weekend. So chances are, I have a week or so of bug hunting. I don’t know what’s next on my plate.

I’ve got my trip planned for FotB. That’s exciting.

My friend Simon is getting married next weekend. Coincidentally, my mother and one of her sisters is also in town that weekend. Besides the fact that it’s also thanksgiving weekend. And I’m his best man. SO i don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

Oh, on the plus side, Showcase Action has been airing the cancelled show, The Black Donnellys. I haven’t decided whether or not I liked it, but I didn’t like the fact that it was cancelled before I could decide.

Declan Turns One!

If you’re new to my blog, you wouldn’t know that I have a son named Declan. Otherwise, you already know I think he’s the best. Well, August 19th is his birthday. Happy Birthday, Declan!!

We had a nice little party and tuckered the little guy out. Thank you, everyone, that came to celebrate this special day.

Ha cha cha, Mommy.

Once everyone was gone, Mommy let little D roam free

Not everyone liked the hats.

I love cleaning up with balloons. Pop. Pop. Pop.

The Long Weekend

I haven’t posted in awhile. Just haven’t had much to say, I guess. Libs took Declan to the cottage this weekend til Thursday so I’ve been on my own since Friday. What did I do? Not a lot, to be honest. I took it really easy. Besides Saturday which seemed to last forever.

Sunday, my friend Dale came over and we swapped out the handlebars on my bike. Amazing what a difference it made. What a pain in the ass, though. boring out the trees, two trips to the home depot for bolts then drill bits (He bought another drill too to accommodate a 1/2″ drill bit. Turns out the bit was lathed down at the drill side to 3/8″, so he could return the drill unopened) He was incredibly patient and quite the problem-solver. When we talked about boring out the trees to allow the 3″ bolts to pass through, I wanted to give up. But those bits tore through the aluminum like butter.

Anyway, I took some shots with my phone, but have yet to take them off. Will post them later.

I also finished Declan’s nursery closet. Amazingly after a year in the house, we’ve just glossed over the fact his closet was full of junk, tools, boxes to recycle and quarter round.

Declan is 11 months old

“Times they are a-changin'”, as the bard says.

Declan is now tentatively walking. He’ll do laps of the floor if you give him a finger for support. He’s also walking on his own for short distances that are lengthening every day. He was sick the past few days, but apparently (Libs took him to her parents on tuesday) that’s sorted itself out and he’s on the mend. Mind you, I was sick myself.

But he’s still cute as all get out.

My First Podcast

It comes down to distance, really. I don’t necessarily need to make a podcast of Declan from the last year. However, I want my family (who aren’t in Toronto) to be able to see how Declan’s developed in his first year. Besides, I’ve been curious about the process of setting up a podcast. There’s a good amount of documentation on the subject.

If you’re a friend of mine and are interested in how Declan is doing or you’re just some passerby that thinks redheaded babies are adorable, here’s how you can subscribe to this sweet as sugar podcast;

1. Open iTunes
2. Navigate to Advanced
3.Choose Open Stream
4. Type in or copy paste the following:
5. Click OK

That’s it. Enjoy.

Little Declan. Ten Months Old.

I’m posting this late, since I’m just now getting little D to sleep. Declan is now ten months old. He’s having a lot of trouble sleeping from teething, but during the day he’s totally awesome.

We had a nice weekend at Libs’ parents and they have a wicked hammock.

A second later, the little scamp tried to launch himself off the hammock.

Actually managed to get him with a closed mouth.

Doesn’t this look like he’s saying “Lionel, if I get out of this chair…Well, you remember Libya.”?

Oh yeah, and I got my very first speeding ticket. The officer brought it down from 20 km’s over (a $140 fine) to 10km’s over (a $40 fine). I think that was thoughtful.