Darwin. April 15th, 2019

Another trip around the sun has completed for our daughter Darwin. She turned 15 today. As much as I still want her to remain our little girl, I also know that she will be growing into an adult over the next few years.

Looking back at some of my previous blogs this year, I’ve noticed that we have shared some fantastic memories together.

In October, we were out hunting for a Halloween Costume.

We enjoyed last summer’s Bike ride around Barnston Island.

I’ve also noticed that she loves to have fun just like I do. Take last month’s Extreme Blanket Fort or our attempt at an Escape Room.

Watching her navigate her way into adulthood is interesting to say the least. She has goals and aspirations for her career and is constantly getting straight “A”s in order to accomplish this. She’s also inspired by my wife’s former fashion and has taken a liking to her old clothes. My wife is happy to see these clothes get a new lease on life.

Socially, our daughter has a ton of friends. She is kind to everyone she meets and is always ready to give the benefit of the doubt when it comes to awkward interactions. Which is a positive notion but realistically speaking will likely change as she grows. I just don’t want her kindheartedness to diminish.

I hope Darwin continues to enjoy life with a positive helping attitude and a warm hug when needed.

Happy Birthday Darwin!

You’re pretty amazing!

International Women’s Day 2019

In case you were unaware- today is International Women’s Day. I am going to do a quick rundown of the women in my life that have impacted me the most.

First off is my mother. I don’t generally write about her in my blogs. That’s mostly out of respect for her privacy. She generally doesn’t want her personal life exposed into the WWW. But the few things I will say about her is this: She did her best to raise me. Starting right from my childbirth- I was a baby that cried nonstop. Turned out I needed a lung operation by age 2. (Maybe one day I’ll write about that). My mother was there through all of it. Throughout her life she worked hard in the nursing field and was always the caregiver and caretaker of our family. She put up with a lot from my sister and I as we grew up. But my mother also did her best to protect us from my father and his verbal abuses. She took the brunt of it. Kudos to you mom for remaining so strong all these years.

Next is my wife. Yes, I speak of her with fondness many times, so I will keep it short today. She is my equal, my partner, and my best friend. I sincerely have no idea where I’d be in my life if it wasn’t for her. She has been an absolute goddess throughout my life aver the past two decades. I love her with every part of my being and will always make sure she is cared for and looked after.

My wife brought into this world two more great women. Our daughters are intelligent, strong, and creative women. They lead with a sense of purpose in life oftentimes bringing forth admiration from their peers. Having these two females in my life shows me a world that I never would have experienced otherwise. The two of them hold a special heartstring inside of me and I love them deeply.

Then there is my sister. Through our ups and downs as adults, she is still there when I need to talk to her. We were great friends growing up. I learned a lot about playing with dolls and dress up which helped when having girls of my own and my various cosplay. My sister has become a wonderful mother of two as well and is as strong a female as I can imagine. Having been through so much on her own.

Besides my family, there are a few celebrities that I have always admired. Elvira (aka Cassandra Peterson) is one of the funniest and sexiest women I have ever seen. I was lucky enough to meet her a few years back and I was star struck to say the least. The other is Felicia Day– who is intelligent and charismatic. She was one of the kindest people I have ever met. She also inspired my daughters to enjoy gaming in a way that I never could.

There are plenty of amazing women out there. My list is but a short one of a handful of women who have made my life a better place.

Who do you find that makes International Women’s Day important for you? How do you show your appreciation? Or how have you been shown appreciation? Let me know in the comments.

Hanging out with My Daughters

Last night and today I’ve been hanging out with our daughters. It’s been a great time. I offered up a ton of suggestions for things to do: video games, go karts, mini golf, and billiards. None of which they wanted to do with dad. So I let them offer up suggestions.

Here’s what we’ve been doing:

First we had an early dinner of sushi at our favorite restaurant- Nikko Sushi. My oldest daughter was in great spirits and allowed for some selfies to be taken. So I took full advantage of it yesterday and today.

After dinner we hit up an escape room. We did pretty well as a team, but was unsuccessful in the end. So close. I enjoyed working together with them on the puzzles. Seems my daughters are rather smart. They must get that from their mother.

Afterwards, we hit the shopping mall for the last hour before it closed. My oldest daughter bought her first pair of Doc Martens. She was super excited. There is also a record store that opened up back in October. We bought a couple of used albums for fun since my other daughter has a record player and we have a healthy collection of Vinyls. Before we left the mall, we hit up Starbucks for a couple of Frappuccinos. We ended last night watching a movie- “The Hangover” Which was their choice.

This afternoon I took them to the local high school to watch a musical performance of “Heathers” based on the 1988 film. It’s neat to see the teens in the show that my daughters previously went to elementary with. The role of JD is the son of a friend of ours. He did a bang up job. As I’ve said before, I enjoy supporting the arts in all varieties. Especially when it’s kids showcasing their talents.

All-in-all I’ve had a great time with my girls. Tonight will be a quiet night at home marathon watching Season 3 of “A Series Of Unfortunate Events”. These past couple days are things I rarely did growing up with my father. I’m glad my girls enjoy my company. I enjoy theirs.

Uma Is A Positive Role Model

Our daughter Darwin has found a new role model. So she wanted to be more like her. I couldn’t be prouder. It’s starting with a haircut. Specifically: The Bride’s from our recent viewing of Kill Bill.

Uma Thurman is probably one of my favorite female actors. In Kill Bill, she is an extremely self assured assassin.

Our daughter has always had long hair. She decided she wanted it much shorter-with bangs. She views Uma Thurman as a strong female role model. So naturally she wants to mimic the personality she sees.

Darwin sat in the hair salon chair. Inches of hair fell to the floor. A liberating feeling of weight being let go. Like a new start with a new hair cut.

The new look was commencing. The partial smile- or rather smirk of confidence began to show. As a teenager, Darwin needs to find herself. Will this new look create who she shall be for the next while?

Is she happy? For sure. Can she play the part of a strong female lead? I know she can. Will this new look be around for a while? I’m sure it will.

Darwin has the strength inside to be a courageous teenager taking on all obstacles. Feeling like a ninja assassin may help that much more. I only hope that other girls find strong role models to take on the world like ours did.

More Books, More Quality Time

Like I did with my son two weeks ago and with my one daughter last week: Brony For a Day– I had a day with just my oldest child.

*BIG SIGH* The snow nearly killed our plans though. But we braved the weather and headed out. This was the view inside my car when we started:

View of snow from inside my car.

It took two weeks to get to this point. You see, she is only a few months away from turning sixteen and doesn’t have time for dad. She is busy after school nearly every day and also has her own job working Saturdays. I got lucky today and the kids had a Pro-D day.

Our first stop was to buy hair dye for her. She has been begging to dye her hair for a few months now, so it was time to go shopping for a new colour. She chose indigo- I just finished doing her hair and she is really really happy with it.

Our second stop was Chapters. This seems to be a favorite for all of my children. I was here last week and the week before with my other children. Today my oldest offered to buy me a book in payment for the hair dye. Instead, I plan on just reading the books she bought after she is done with them. She spent $111 on books using gift cards she has accumulated over the past year.

She also got a wicked deal on a VR headset for her phone. Costing only $10. It fit in nicely with the theme of a couple of her books. After an hour or so in the store, we braved the snow once more to pick up her sister and headed out for lunch. We had some miso soup and green tea to warm us up.

My oldest and I haven’t seen eye-to-eye on occasion and we sometimes get snippy towards one another. In the end, our day was pretty enjoyable. I love the time I’ve taken to spend one-on-one with each of my kids over the past few weeks.

Brony For a Day, Father For a Lifetime

This morning my 13 year old daughter and I went on a Daddy/Daughter Date. It started with a trip to Chapters where my daughter bought $52 in Manga using her Christmas gift cards. There was so much to choose from, so it took us a little bit. When she was done, she made her way to the cashier. This time with no Anxiety.

Afterwards we went for a morning matinee movie date. She really wanted to see My Little Pony: The Movie. The theater was having a cheap one time showing today, so we went. We put on our Pony Ears (made by Ningen Headwear) and found a spot off to the side. My daughter didn’t want to sit in the middle of the auditorium and block any of the younger audience members views of the screen. She is always courteous towards others. We were probably the oldest father/daughter couple as well- but we love our animation. She also loves that she met Tara Strong at a convention years ago as well. Becoming a voice over actor seems like something that may appeal to my daughter one day.

MLP has been a part of my life for ages. Back in 1986, My Little Pony was on the tv in my home. I would’ve been ten and my sister was six. I had no argument with watching the show. In fact, I still remember playing with MLP toys with my sister and not being embarrassed by it. I guess I’ve always had a soft spot for the pastel ponies- I can still recite the theme song. So being a Brony for a short film today wasn’t a big deal.

After our movie we went for Phở. It was the first time for my daughter. We enjoyed our noodle bowls and talked about the film. We both agreed that it could’ve been better, but it was a nice treat just going the two of us. Shared moments like this last a lifetime. There’s nothing embarrassing about that. So put on some Pony Ears and become 20% cooler in the eyes of you child.

Give Me Fuel, Give Me Fire…

Today was the perfect autumn day to work outside.  A bit of a breeze, a lite sprinkle of rain, and some little helpers needing to burn off energy. My wife had our two youngest cleaning branches and pine needles from the driveway and around the house. My eldest child and I cleaned off the roof and gutters. Her and I then worked together to tackle a project I put off all summer.


We tidied our disasterous woodshed. From boards and beams that were haphazardly tossed in, to the logs that had fallen over into the walkway, we needed to clean it all up.  We re-stacked the wood to the drier side and swept up the dust. Old wooden beams and plywood made their way to the back of the woodshed for possible future use. I even took the time to show my daughter how to safely chop kindling. 

During our afternoon, we shared some good bonding moments that didn’t feel forced. Even laughing maniacally as we killed armies of spiders that crawled their way out from the wood.  Afterwards, we went back into our home for a late lunch where my daughter also lit a fire. 


Our oldest daughter enjoys hanging out beside the fireplace in our large black wingback chair. This is her favorite spot for contemplation and peace during the fall and winter. The woodshed and fireplace are in essence, her way of becoming an adult. Bringing us comfort by warming our home is her contribution to the household.

Little did she know that she also warmed my heart by sharing her time with me today. Talking with her I realized she isn’t my little girl anymore, but a young lady with passion in her soul. These interactions become the “A-Ha!” moments that catch me off guard. 

With a bit of sadness and a lot of love, I’m glad that together we cleaned the woodshed today.

July 15, 2016

14 years ago today, our first child was born.  She was born five days after our one year anniversary.  My wife promised me a year without children and I guess she was right.  The shock of finding out we were about to become parents hit me pretty hard and fast.  We were in the doctor’s office and given the results.  The nurse had to ask if I was ok because apparently the color flushed from my face rather quickly.  I quickly came to grips with my new future and have really enjoyed having children.  Random Katarin, our oldest child, has been pretty amazing over the years.  Today, I would like to share some facts about her.

The rare “Smiling Selfie with Dad”.

Random Katarin Havelka

  • Loves Doctor Who-favorite character is the TARDIS 
  • Been playing piano since kindergarten & recently finished her Grade 5 Royal Conservatory exam with Honors
  • Has been playing flute for three years now and is wanting to explore more instruments

Her first ever real “Cosplay”. Meet Samantha Butterfly.

  • She loves cosplay and has been to numerous conventions and has had hundreds of photos taken of her characters
  • She loves videogames as much as her mother and is very good at them
  • She loves movies as much as her father and often shares with me facts and tidbits about films
  • Loves eating sushi

Reading time with her little sister.

  • She loves to read.
  • She has become an awesome big sister to her two siblings.
  • She has a great sense of humor and often does silly voices with me
  • She enjoys baking for people

Her name in show.

  • She was named after the daughter named Random from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” book five.
  • She loves fashion and designing cosplay for herself

Being silly for dad.


Random has become a wonderful young lady.  She is full of life and has a promising future ahead of her.  I miss the times when she was swaddled up in a blankie and would fit in one arm.  I am lucky enough that she often comes up and hugs me for no reason.  Sometimes it happens in public!  Sure, I embarrass her- that’s what fathers are meant to do.

In the end she knows I love her.  I would do anything for her.  I hope she continues to grow (just not much taller- she’s cresting six feet!) and succeed at all her endeavors.

I love you little girl.  Have a Happy Birthday!

    Father knows best?

    Last night I flipped out at two of my children right before bed.  It’s not a great feeling, and I went and talked to them a few minutes later and apologized.  I can usually control my frustration and pause for a moment before speaking to them about their actions.  It’s strange how it eats away at me if I yell at them.  I’m thankful, and I’m sure they are as well, that this isn’t how I interact with them regularly.

    The 1950’s were a simpler time.

    Being a father is freaking tough.  I’m not saying being a mother is easy either.  But I only know my role, sort of.  I’m doing the best I can as each day goes on.  The guidance I have to refer to is my father, tv sitcom fathers (I wish I was living in Silver Spoons when I was a kid), and all my friends who are fathers trying their best at this game as well.

      

      

    Here’s what I’ve learned so far from this fatherhood thing:

    • Being a father is more than just donating sperm to fertilize an egg.
    • Being a father isn’t just about being a best friend to your children, but it can be part of it.
    • Being a father means having to be there, or listen to their problems, even when you really don’t want to.
    • Being a father isn’t an easy road to navigate, there are many hurdles.
    • Being a father is the greatest experience I have ever had.

    Why you little…

    Not only is being a father hard work, it isn’t for everyone.  I’ve caught myself going into full rage frustration with my face getting red, my teeth grinding, and the vein in the center of my forehead about to burst… All because one of my children didn’t turn off their iPad when I asked for the fifth time in two minutes.  With me waiting so they could come and dry some dishes, and they respond with attitude as if I’m ruining their life!  What about my life?  I didn’t dream that in my late 30’s I’d be doing dishes on a Saturday night hoping to be in bed by ten.  Just so that in the morning I can be on their cases again the next day, hunting them down to do homework.  I hate that when I raise my voice, I hear my father’s anger come through in me.  If he were alive today, he’d probably smile smuggly, knowing I did pretty much the same thing to him when I was a child.

    I am doing my best to make a good life for my children.  I’d like to protect them from the mistakes I made growing up.  I want them to be fully functioning contributing members of society when they grow up.  Being a father is also fantastic.  I see my children accomplish more than I could have anticipated.  I love bragging about my children.  They sometimes bring me gifts and are always on the lookout for something dad would like.  

    I often see a bit of myself come out in my son’s behavior.  I hope that through his eyes, he sees a man doing his best with what he has.  My daughters both test my patience and can pull on my heartstrings and manipulate me easily.  That being said, I do hope that my daughters see what a man should be by how I treat my wife and how I treat them.  

    I hope one day they each of my kids have kids of their own, so that I can smile smuggly as the circle of life continues.