A favorite quote:

Make play a high priority in your life for if you die tomorrow no one can play for you, but someone can and will do your work for you!!!" Ken Beebe (Dr. Play)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

To my darling wife, the Mother of our little Andrew Jay

Traci, I Love You! You are my best friend. Andrew is growing up to be the sweet, caring, polite, and oh so cuddly little boy he is, because of you.

Here are some blog posts from the past I thought you might enjoy.

Happy Mothers Day!


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

She thinks it's a boy

Traci thinks it's going to be a boy. I don't care either way. I have plans in my head for either. I remember back in North Battleford, i was working in a machine shop and this big burly farmer came in to have a part fixed, he has his 5-ish year old daughter with him and she wouldn't leave his side, you could see that he was her hero. I thought that was pretty cool. That has stuck with me for 16 years. I also remember how much fun Hockey tournaments were and sharing all my big saves with my Dad after the game, cause it's ok to brag to your parents. "did you see that glove save?" yep, he did...
It's all good.

14 weeks

Tomorrow is 14 weeks. It is like we pretend that this isn't the scariest thing we have ever gone through. It is going very well so far, if Traci being in agony every day is a good thing... well... it does seem like it is a good thing actually. I wish she could feel better without worrying. Her comment the other night "I didn't think it was going to be this hard" frightens me too, as we have quite a ways to go. I hope she feels better. Feb 9th is going to be a good day, i'll start looking forward after that day.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Baby nickname

The materinty book says that for a father to feel more a part of the pregnancy he should give the baby a nickname.


I am having a hell of a time containing myself. both of us were feeling like absolute crap yesterday (maybe edmontonchuck rubbed off on us), but holy moly, when the doc fires up the doppler and she lets us hear our babies heartbeat, it's all good. In fact, it so good it's indescribable. for a moment in time, when we hear the heartbeat, i melt into a big warm puddle.
I am looking forward to holding my baby.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

To my wife

I love my wife more than anything in the world. I am so extremely content with our relationship that I sometimes think Traci thinks I am bored. There is no one in the world that I want to come home to more every day!
It is an amazing feeling to know that you will always have someone to lean on, laugh with, cry with, to just be yourself under all circumstances. I am able to give over all of my love to one person, without any fear of ever being rejected, therefore letting me give more love!! Our relationship has hit a higher level in the past couple of years. Our direction is the same, our tastes compliment each other, we can talk about hard stuff, but most importantly, when times are tough, we just "know" that we are supported by each other. Oh, it helps that we find each other incredibly funny, even if no one else does... *air guitar*
I can't imagine a day in my life without Traci in it. She is my dreamgirl, the person I was waiting for to fullfill all my dreams, and to make new ones.
A loving relationship truly is a gift, and i will cherish mine forever!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

We're gonna see...

Friday Feb 9th. The first day i get to see Marty. I am looking forward to this. Traci is feeling the baby move around every day now, she gets a crazy goofy grin on her face every time it happens. It makes me laugh too, to see her goofygrinning. We will have an exact due date tomorrow, and then we can wait some more. It seems like forever, but i know the time will fly by us and all of a sudden i will be softly telling her to "PUSHPUSHPUSHPUSH!!!"
I think about all the things that have happened in our life that has brought us to this moment in time, and thank God for everything, because we are in the exact right spot to have our family. Even going to the adoption classes enabled us to have an extreme amount of empathy towards that process, as well as how thankful we are to be pregnant with our own child.
I think about the pugs and the lessons we have learned from them. They prove that you can be together all the time, have fights, make up, cuddle, eat, groom, find a single toy and play with it for hours, if you like something you are allowed to enjoy it fully, that there is nothing better than a great nap during the day, that when I say i gotta go, I GOTTA GO! That you can be buddies with different races, that there is no such thing as caring too much, that you are allowed to worry, but be good with stuff when it all good! To just be happy to be with the ones you love, to make everyone feel like they are the most important one, to be there when they are needed the most, at the exact time, and for as long as it takes, to know that words are overrated, actions speak much louder, and most of all, to appreciate the goodness and the power of a tasty magic cookie.
I have had the opportunity to take care of lots of things and a lot of people in my life recently, and I am incredibly thankful for everyone, but mostly for Traci, because without her, I am no-one to any of these people. I have told her many times that i would be the opposite of what i am today if she hadn't married me, and it becomes more true every day! in the immortal words of Jack Nicholson in 'as good as it gets'

"you make me want to be a better man"

Friday, February 9, 2007

Holy crap!!!

Wow!!! What a rush!!! The tech told us:
"It is DEFINITLY a boy"
"His brain is symmetrical"
"His Heart has all 4 chambers, is inside the rib cage and is beating normally"
"His stomach has fluid in it, so he can swallow properly"
"His bladder has fluid in it, so his kidneys are functioning properly"
"His stomach is below his heart, which is normal"
"His spine is normal"
"Hands, feet, fingers, and toes are are normal"
"The umbilical cord is present and contains all 3 tubes"
"You have a perfect baby, congradulations!"
She was moving the US around and she goes, "look, he's rubbing his face" HE WAS!! it was really cool! He was moving like crazy, she had a hard time keeping up to him. She took 5 very good pictures of him, and when she was taking them, you could see that his legs were bent like he was crouching, than all of a sudden he kicked! wow.
We go next Wednesday to get all the results at the doctors and we will know more details, like the heartrate, the exact due date etc...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Baby stuff

We are into our 6th month. Traci is pretty big. I think I'll ask for a second opinion on the date at our next Dr. Appointment. A friend of ours was full term a month before her due date. Talking to another friend, she said that when she was in birthing classes, there were always a bunch of people that were no shows because they already had their kids. funny. or not...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Traci rules

I think she thinks I don't think so, but she rules more than anyone has ever ruled before.
I adore her.
I wish I could figure out a way that she could put her talents into my company. We would be unstoppable!

Androo is coming

We have about 3 months left. I am gonna be a dad! can't wait to meet him... hi marty!

Friday, April 13, 2007

I love my wife today

It seems like forever till tomorrow, but 6 months ago feels like just yesterday . Funny how time flies when you are looking far into the future and forgetting about today. It is just a moment ago that Traci came running down the stairs to tell me she was pregnant, and falling on her ass of course. It is a million years to go until we get to meet young Andrew. But later, Today will feel like just a moment ago. I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of wishing for the future. I feel like if we wish to much for the future, we forget about today, then when the future becomes the present, we wish for another future.
I am all for wishing for today, and hopefully making the most out of today, cause really, that's all we have.
I Love Traci today. I will love her tomorrow, I did love her yesterday, but the only thing that matters is that I love her right now. I can do the things for Traci today that prove that I love her. That's all.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Baby is cool, he winked at me in the ultrasound today. and was sucking his thumb.

Big Blogger Hiatus, until AndrewJay site came to be…
Sunday August 31, 2008
I hereby proclaim the name of this country... "ZELLER"

Major experience lesson #1 on this trip.
Our campsite is located only 2km from the US border. As we have never seen a vehicle border crossing we drove there to look. so far so good. We drive up to the little post that shows the international boundary between US and Canada. I get out and take a picture. Still good, right? I get back in the truck and shoulder check so I can turn around. All good.
Until I see that we have actually gone beyond the point of no return and are stuck in some weird land BETWEEN Canada and USA. I look at Traci and she gives me that look only wives can give their husbands in a situation like this... "you arsehole" are probably the best words that could have summed up the look.
SO... we have to go back through Canadian Customs and Immigration.
I tell Traci they are watching through the windows and have seen us pull up and not actually gone into the states. As we line up to "re-enter" Canada, Traci tells me we don't have our passports. But what we do have is 2 Canadians (1 baby), 1 American and 2 pugs with no tags. I tell Traci that this happens all the time and is normal for these border guards.
Yeah, not so much.
Neil -"Hi, yeah, we just wanted to see the border, we didn't actually go into the US."
Border guard lady - "I didn't see you" *see look from wife above*
Neil - "well we just turned around right here"
Border guard lady -"I still need to ask you some questions"
Neil - "ok"
Border guard lady - "I need to see some ID, where is home for you?"
Neil handing the Lady our Drivers Licence and Andrews Birth Certificate (thankfully Traci had this)- "Calgary, we are staying at the Cascade Cove RV Park"
Border guard lady - "How long are you staying at the Cascade?"
Neil - "We are leaving tomorrow"
Border guard lady - "Where are headed after that?"
Neil - "Harrison Hot Springs"
Border guard lady - "Very well then, go ahead"
Neil - "----------"
As we are driving away, we start laughing at my stupidity. We did however decide to name the really silly little bit of land that lies between the US border hut and the Canadian border hut. We officially named this bit of land "ZELLER"

Welcome to Zeller, may I see your passport please? Where are you travelling to? Canada huh? Do you have any idea it is illegal to transport Nutterbutters from the USA through Zeller? We are going to have to confiscate those from you. have a nice day.
The lessons to be learned are:
1. The border is for crossing, not looking at.
2. The little unmarked house on the left as you approach the border, is really the point of no return as it is the Canadian Immigration hut.
3. Don't assume the road will have some kinds of sign telling you to stop or at least tell you you are entering Zeller.
4. Bring your passports
The best part is, the Dogs kept their heads down the entire time. Normally they will get up when we stop, but I guess they knew the gig was up if they looked up. She never saw them.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

3 days in...

We are on the third day of our holiday and we are really enjoying ourselves. Andrew has settled into a really nice routine and we are starting to feel fairly relaxed. Last night we had some nice hillbillies whooping it up until all hours, or it could have been 9:30 as we were sleeping by 9.
We were having a conversation with a nice couple from Oregon who are camped next to us and they asked if this was Andrews first camping trip. Heck no was the reply and we started to recount all the places he has been in his first 13 months.

  • Victoria BC, at less than 3 months old. Included 2 plane rides and a very nice stay in a Fairmont Empress suite.
  • Pittsburgh PA, At 6 months old, included 4 plane rides with 2 connections in Chicago and a nice visit with Granny and Pappy
  • Cypress Hills Park, SK, at 10 months old, a 4 day camping trip in our new trailer. Went fairly well. (he wasn't walking yet, and was putting everything he picked up into his mouth.
  • Dickson Leisure RV Park, Innisfail AB, at 11 months old, was starting to think about walking. We had full hookups here, so it was nice. First camping trip with the dogs, they did great, even though it was 30+ deg outside. (No AC on the first camper)
  • Cypress Hills Park, AB, at just under a year, a 3 day camping trip with our friends Mary Jo, Greg and their daughter Sophie. We had a great time as Andrew is walking regularly and isn't eating everything he picks up anymore. The day we left the campsite to come home I decide to take the family on a bit of an adventure. We ended up driving for 3 hours on Gravel highways in SE Alberta and proceedto destroy the camper rock by rock. We did get to see Manyberries (which has the not-so-famous akinoskway cafe), Writing on Stone provincial park (that has very cool stone pillars all over the place), Milk River the town, and last but not least we saw the Sweetgrass hills. This is the most isolated mountain peaks in the USA. they are a set of 3 giant hills that we could see for 200km on this trip that are located just across the border on Highway 2. They were really neat.
  • Banff, AB, at Just over a year, Andrew got to enjoy his first night at the beautiful Rimrock hotel. We saw an advert on expedia for 75% off the room rates, so since we weren't camping, we thought we would spend a night away for fun. He also had his first good booboo. He wiped out and his 2 bottom teeth split his upper gums when he smaked his chin on the heat register. He did not like this.
  • Nanton AB, a just over 1 year and a bit. The week previous I went in to get the parts needed to fix the gravel road damaged trailer and instead traded it in on a new one. Well new to us. Well, actually new. It is a 2003 model Trail Lite, that had NEVER been used. The previous owners bought it, pulled it home, then 5 years later pulled it back to the dealership. then we bought it. The protective film was still on the appliances. nice. anyway, I digress, the trip to Nanton was because we couldn't wait to camp in the new unit, so away we went. As mentioned in the first post of this Blog, it went really well, except that the dogs had their treats stolen by foxes. Lesson learned.
  • Mt Kidd, at 13 months old, see blog below.
  • Cranbrook Wal-mart, Christina Lake and beyond,

All in all our wonderful little child has seen a lot so far. The other thing it has done is allowed Traci and I to stop and smell the flowers along the way, because even though we have done and seen amazing things in 13+months with Andrew, time is still going too fast. We don't want to miss a thing and have loved every minute.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Closing the circle...

On our journeys I always note where we are closing the circle. Something as simple as driving to the store one way and coming back another, and the moment we cross our own previous path we have closed the circle. Some Journeys take longer than others to close the circle.
We are driving towards Princeton on Sept 1, and we happen across the campground we stayed at on the first night of our honeymoon. Instead of continuing our journey eastward on that occasion as planned, we had to double back to Princeton as my truck broke down and we had to go back and fix it. We then took an entirely different route from Princeton up to Prince George. As we drive toward the campground the significance is not lost on us that we are closing a circle that was opened 11 years, 2 months, and 7 days earlier. That was the longest enduring open circle in Traci and my history. The coolest thing is, it has opened an entirely new circle for Andrew.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Things Andrew does now...

- He drinks from a cup, on his own...
- He Dances like there's no one watching...
- He has started to sing... we think...
- He spends more time looking at things farther afield, like out the car window...
- He says dip dip dip dip dip, when he dips his *anything* in his *anysauce*
- He throws a temper tantrum when either Traci of I leave...
- He is a very good helper when it comes to getting dressed...
- He runs to the stairs when we say its time for bed...
- He sleeps from 8:30 till 7:30 with fairly minimal wakes...
- He naps 2 hours and actually puts him self down for his nap...
- He eats really well...
- He freaks out when the dogs freak out, its hilarious...
- He climbs into everything...
- He enjoys Toopy and Beenoo more than any other tv...
- He really likes wearing shoes or boots...
- He likes to wear his daddy's hats...
- He has learned how to blow on his food before eating it...
He is amazingly smart and funny...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Traci is a runner...

... and she bought runners! not necessarily in that order... but maybe.
If you ever need a good pair of running shoes, go to any location of the Running Room and they will look after you! Traci had a fitting and says the shoes she got are the most comfortable pair she has eve tried on. It took about 30 minutes for the fitting and trying on, but the time is well worth it.
She has registered in her first race as well. The Forzani's Mothers Day 5K run! Congratulations, I know you will do amazing!


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Andrew is going to be the death of me...

...he thinks he is Evil Knievel! Everyday he is trying new stunts. I turned around in the kitchen today and he was standing on the seat of his little john deere tractor trying to climb up onto the table. gotta go back to lasik to see if they can install some eyes in the back of my head...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Daddy's favorite people...

Everything I could ever want and hope for in my life is contained in this photo...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Traci ROCKS! a new personal record.

She ran 5k today.


Traci, Andrew and Myself set out around the neighborhood with a strategy, full bottles of water and a great attitude! Andrew really seems to like the jogging stroller, which is a good thing... as we jog now... so... suck it up little man. hehe.

Traci did great! In run club they say you should finish every run, upright and smiling! Well she was and she was. She ran steady and in control, and she is really proud of herself and she should be!

Yay for you sweetheart! You deserve every good thing that comes your way!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

oh bananas…

… It’s kind of the husband code. When you think you are doing something good, it’s actually not good.

I tidied the kitchen up. It was that simple. Then Traci and Andrew came home and Traci was talking quite excitedly about using a recipe of my Granni’s. She said it would turn out better than last time. My husband alarm sort of went off, but I was hoping she was thinking about baking something else. I thought to myself for a minute before I asked “what are you going to bake?” she says “banana bread”

Um. oh shoot… “I threw away the bananas”

Well, that is pretty much it for me tonight, I will be trying to make it up for the evening, while trying to avoid the ol’ stink eye. I wonder if it’s worth the effort to try to do good some days. We are just not engineered to make those sort of decisions, I guess.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Andrew REALLY loves Rizzo…

… and Rizzo love Andrew. To a fault. She lays there and takes ALL of his S**t and abuse. She will NOT move, no matter what he does. He can lay on her, smack her with his little hammer, pull her hair, poke her in the eye... whatever…

We actually yell at Rizzo to run, run for her life, but she won’t. So today I look into the living room and am quite pleased to see this… CIMG5967


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Would the real Mother’s Day please stand up…

So, after all the fitness fairs, nice family dinners, road racing, and general mucking around, Traci had her Mothers Day. We were home from the race for about 3 minutes and the doorbell rings. It’s Charlotte’s Web Flowers and Gifts, delivering a massive basket full of Picnic supplies. I had actually put a note on the door, just in case they showed up before we got home, for them to put the basket in the Trailer. I had to rush into the house when we got home because the note was still stuck to the door.

So the basket shows up, and, wow, what a basket…IMG_4139

Woo. Let me see if I can remember all the stuff in it. A big bag of pretzels, can of pistachio nuts, Tube of Pringles, box of Breton crackers, a bunch of 8 bananas, 2 oranges, 3 apples, 3 pears, a package of Pepper Pate, a package of Cognac Pate, a wheel of Brie cheese, a block of Gouda Cheese, A basket of strawberries, a box of Chocolate Oreos,  and probably some more stuff I have forgotten. wow.

Traci left early this morning for the race, and I actually had to wake Andrew up to get down there in time, so he was WIPED out by the time we got home from downtown. He sacked out for about an hour and a half, I had a bit of a nap then started un-winterizing the trailer, and Traci got cleaned up and generally relaxed while we waited for Andrew to wake up.

Once Andrew got up, we had the Backpack loaded up and off we went for our picnic. We ended up in one of our favorite parks, George Lane Park in High River. It was an amazing afternoon, sunny, a bit cool in the breeze at first but the wind died completely and it was perfect then. Andrew sat up to the picnic table for probably a half hour eating Bretons, gouda, Oreos, oranges and Pringles and sipping apple juice. He was perfectly content to just sit and enjoy the afternoon. Once we were done with our very tasty picnic we just plomped around our area of the park. Andrew ran around like a goon, and we pretty much just chased and played with him for an hour. What fun!

I love you Mommy…IMG_4147

General running around pictures…

IMG_4166 IMG_4185IMG_4199 IMG_4223

Whoops, too fast, missed…IMG_4190

WOW, I am CUTE…IMG_4194

Dad is whooped from chasing…  IMG_4205

Phew.. how about a rest…IMG_4228

Mom’s turn… looks like he got a bit of a lead on you… LOL, RUN!IMG_4208

I thought this was an interesting photo… only a couple days and all the leaves will be out.  Also, at this park, whenever they chop a tree down, they make a seat out of the stump, see one in the lower left corner?IMG_4215

Once we got our fill of the park, we set out for a drink at the Hitchin Post, home of the WORLD’s greatest milkshake. For anyone who has had a Peter’s shake, HP shakes makes Peters taste like medicine.. Unfortunately, we forgot they take only cash (we didn’t have any, where’s Grampa when you need him), and there was a sign saying they close at 4pm today. We looked at the clock. 3:58. Darn. No shakes today. darn. Oh heck, let’s go to Tim Hortons in Okotoks for an Iced Capp. Ohh my, were they tasty. I think the first Iced Capp of the season is the tastiest, it really hit the spot after the disappointment of not having the shake.

That pretty much concluded the day’s excitement.

I did point out, as we were driving back toward Calgary, a sign to Traci. It said our exit was 4.7km away, and it happened to be across the valley and you could see the entire distance. I showed Traci, and asked her if she believed that she ran that far today? (it looks like a REALLY long way). It is amazing how far our own feet can take us. She just smiled. She seemed really happy with her second mothers day, from the race to the picnic, to just relaxing at home afterwards. I Love you Traci, and Andrew obviously does too! Happy Mother’s Day!


I thought it was poignant to end this post on Last Years Mothers Day. Have a Great Day Sweetheart! We Love You!

1 comment:

Hembree said...

You're a good guy, Neil Zeller!