Happy 3rd birthday, Monkey

Well, Monkey, despite all your best attempts to drive Mommy and I to the brink of toddlericide, you made it to be three. It was your first birthday in Canada — your previous birthdays were both in Costa Rica. It wasn’t as warm as it was there, and there was no pool for you to splash in. But that didn’t seem to bother you any.
It’s hard for some of us to truly believe that you’re three. You’re still a baby to us, in many ways. And yet even someone who’s never met you before can carry out a (reasonably coherent) conversation with them. You know what you like and what you don’t like (even if you actually do like it and you’re just being difficult), and you no longer parrot what we’ve said — you have your own thoughts.
And I gotta tell ya, kid … today, you made me a very proud daddy.
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Living with a hernia

All I do is grunt and groan
Hurts me to walk anywhere
Went to see my physician, Dr. Jones
He took my trousers off, told me to cough
Doctor says there ain’t nothin’ to discuss
He tells me any day I might have to wear a truss
“Living with a Hernia”, Weird Al Yankovic

A couple of months ago (could be longer, but let’s start there), I noticed a rather odd bulge just to the left of my [CENSORED FOR PUBLIC DECENCY]. At the time, I wasn’t too concerned — it didn’t hurt, and prodding it seemed no different than the other side. Given my new exercise regiment, I merely assumed it was a result of over-exertion. (As a side note, I’m probably still correct on that point.)
Yesterday, while having a shower, I happened to notice that it looked bigger than before. Alex, my personal medical encyclopedia, looked at it and said: “hernia”.
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The Great Family Roadtrip 2010, Day 8

We were up perhaps a bit earlier than I’d thought we’d be up, but I’d also forgotten we were stopping in Redcliff to visit Marnie and her kids. Thankfully, Grandpa had enough sense to jumpstart us for the day. That didn’t necessarily mean we were moving particularly quickly, but at least early enough to make a difference.
That, and two cups of coffee, of course…
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The Great Family Roadtrip 2010, Day 7

Despite the nice appearance and newness of the hotel, the Canalta has stiff beds that are really meant for only one person — any movement is felt by the other person on the bed. The pillows are massive and overstuffed (please, hotels, understand that not everyone wants these — please provide a few thin pillows), and the air-conditioning in our massive room simply made things awkward. It would appear that neither Mommy or I slept well.
Monkey, you slept like a log. We had trouble waking you up.
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The Great Family Roadtrip 2010, Day 6

We were all slow to rise today, but we made quick work of breakfast. You said goodbye to your Great Uncle Ken and Great Aunt Marilyn before we headed to the car. Our first stop was to drop off Granny at the airport. She wasn’t driving back with us, which I take to be a very wise decision on her part.
Then we headed back down to Portage, which is one of the main roads in Winnipeg. After a stop at Timmy’s for a coffee recharge, we set our sights for Saskatchewan and our overnight stop at Moosomin.
The question was what were we going to do in between…
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The Great Family Roadtrip 2010, Day 5

We were supposed to go out to a lake near the Ontario border today, but Mommy and I threw up the white flag and declared us all “done”. We need a break. Monkey, you’ve been very patient being trapped in the car seat for hours upon hours. We’ve heard “I want to go home” a few times, but we suspect it’s more about wanting to get out and run around than anything else. (It’s been proven pretty much every time we’ve let you out.)
As for you, Choo Choo … well, I’m not really sure what to make of your thoughts. Aside from the fact that you’re only 4.5 months old, there’s also the consideration that, unlike your sister, you don’t sleep a lot. So we’re never really sure if you’re generally unhappy with being in your seat, tired, or hungry. I suspect at some level you’re probably all three at the same time.
Still it was absolutely necessary that we take the day off and not really go anywhere. So we went to The Forks.
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The Great Family Roadtrip 2010, Day 4

Wow, I wasn’t kidding, was I? It was a long day. A really, really, really long day. We were up and running and gone by just after 8:15 this morning, trucking our way up to an RV park just north of downtown along Main Street, right next to Shooter’s Golf (which I am convinced is named and designed after elements of Happy Gilmore). We met up with the rest of the family who were along for the ride, and then planning to meet at the ESSO station in Eriksdale, headed north.
Granny drove with Great Uncle Ken and Great Aunt Marilyn so she “would have all-new material”, and likely because after a while, you just can’t stand being around us Sowreys any longer.
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The Great Family Roadtrip 2010, Day 3

At least we didn’t have to get up too early today, Choo Choo, and you let us sleep a bit longer. That helped rest away the many kilometres behind us. We hit breakfast, also at the Chicken Chef (there ain’t a lot of option in Whitewood), and then loaded up once more for our push to Winnipeg.
It took a lot longer than I thought to get here.
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The Great Family Roadtrip 2010, Day 2

Choo Choo, I don’t think you yet have a real understanding of time. And certainly, you don’t understand the idea of letting Mommy or Daddy sleep in. Today, I’ll admit, that wasn’t something we would fault you for, since we all had to be up early. Grandpa wanted us on the road by 7:00. That meant getting up, dressed, fed, packed, and loaded.
And as Mommy and I have noticed, neither you nor your sister, Monkey, really understand the idea of “quickly”.
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The Great Family Roadtrip 2010, Day 1

Well, kids, today was a slow start to our cross-prairie adventure. The morning was otherwise ordinary, rising and having breakfast and dressing. But then I climbed into the car and took Asia away to her hotel for the next week. I know this caused a little concern for you, Monkey, because you were worried about her.
Grandpa and Granny arrived after lunch. We loaded up the minivan (which had a fair amount more cargo space than Mommy and I thought there might have been), loaded up you kids, and hit the road for a town called Medicine Hat.
The beginning of our first great family road trip.
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