Saturday, January 26, 2013

Timbits Hockey on an Outdoor Rink

I had to write today about watching my son play Timbits hockey on an outdoor rink.  We were only told this past weekend that the Tony Roman Houseleague Tournament game would be moved to the Markham Civic Centre's outdoor rink and the two side-by Mini Mites division games (for four to six year olds) would be part of the opening ceremonies.  Then the cold spell that has rocked the Eastern part of the US and Canada hit and I was concerned all week that it would be bitterly cold for all the little future Sidney Crosbys, including my son. 

But it turned out to be an excellent day, not too cold and very sunny.  The enthusiasm of the players and the parents and grandparents watching added to the atmosphere.  Outdoor games are so rare nowadays, and due to the NHL's Winter Classic, they have seemingly become "special events."  For my son's first ever real game to be on an outside rink without real boards was something I would never have anticipated.  And now that it is over I will always have fond memories of it.  I hope that my son does too! 

Not that I really care about anything other than that he is having fun, but the fact that he nearly scored twice was extra exciting.  He said the goalie saved his best attempt but, in fact, if an actual goal line had been painted on the ice, it probably would have been past it, when the goalie actually saved it.  Since the score was kept officially but not publicized, and there were no face offs at centre ice except for shift changes, I don't know whether it was counted as a goal or not. My son certainly didn't seem to be bothered by it, which makes me even more proud of him.

I know this blog is about raising twins, so I will finish this entry by mentioning that his twin sister (and his mother) did attend the game to cheer him on...and enjoyed a chocolate Timbit to eat.  By the way, for those that are not familiar with Tim Horton's, a Canadian coffee and fast food super franchise, a Timbit is what the rest of the world calls a doughnut hole...or a very young hockey or soccer player!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Preparing for Twins: Getting the News

          It was in mid-August.  I had been attending a professional summer workshop for teachers and walked through the front door of our home just north of Toronto that afternoon.  There it was.  A hand written sign: Welcome Home Daddy!  My reaction was to yell G-d’s name in vain several times!  I was going to be a father and was both surprised and extremely excited!  But the news was only going to become least in numbers. 

Perhaps, looking back, I shouldn't have been so surprised.  In a story I have repeated often over the years, while we were engaged we attended a dinner at a retreat which had entertainers coming by to each table.  My wife was having her fortune told by a tarot card reader and was asked the question, “Do you have twins in your family?”  I was listening and chuckled at this until my wife said, “Yes.  Why?”  We were then told that she would eventually have twin boys.  I still found the whole thing ridiculous, but I am not as skeptical today.  The tarot card reader was wrong about the boys, because we later found out that we were having a boy and a girl.
            There are quite a few things to consider while preparing for your twins, and the most important one is on the woman’s shoulders – keeping the fetus’ healthy.  Twins have much higher rate of being born early which can lead to birth defects, and also a higher rate of miscarriage.  So eating healthy, getting lots of rest, getting to all those medical appointments, taking the battery of tests throughout the pregnancy relies heavily on your wife and/or partner.  But dads can help significantly by attending as many appointments and ultrasounds as possible, being supportive both in words and actions, and doing as much as you can to get ready for your twins when they arrive.  My own experiences along with some others may help the dads reading this better understanding of how to help their wife and/or partner get through the sometimes challenging twins pregnancy.  And quite a bit of this applies to the moms too!
My next few posts will deal specifically with the issues we dealt with during the pregnancy as we prepared for our twins arrival.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Links to My Online Family Travel Articles

I usually write about parenting and raising twins, but occasionally about family travel.  I have been meaning to post links to a couple of the family travel articles that have been published and are available online.  My wife Lisa provided the excellent photographs for both articles.  So here they are.  Please check them out and let me know what you think.

Taking Young Children to Disney World: It's All in the Planning

Niagara Falls: A Great Family Getaway in Winter

The Niagara Falls article was edited and republished (without Lisa's photos :-(  ) in the Hamilton/Halton and Niagara editions of City Parent, a southern Ontario parenting magazine.  The Niagara edition was its inaugral one.