FIRST Build Season

Happy Friday!

I am still in Mississauga – but probably heading back to Ottawa now tomorrow rather than Sunday. There is a wee snow fall forecast that is just enough snow for everyone to drive like idiots and make me not want to drive. I am also driving a mini-van full of robot parts, so I will be a bit heavy/I prefer to drive the jeep in snow as I know how it handles.

wait, wait – back the truck up – robot parts?

yes – it is true. The main reason why I am here in the ‘sauga sans P is because I am picking up the Kit of Parts for 5 Ottawa robotic teams. The program is called FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC for short) and is part of the FIRST program that was started by Dean Kamen – the inventor of the Segway and a few other things. P and his high school team have been competing for 4 years. In the past, I have volunteered at the competitions – but couldn’t last year because of Max, and this year because of work. I usually help ‘mentor’ the team as well – but due to what is going on with our delightful government, I haven’t been involved this year. Except for picking up the parts.

So tomorrow I head to the Ontario Science Centre to watch the kick-off and pick up the parts. The kickoff introduces this year’s game which changes each year and is a big secret. It is kind of fun! Two years ago was involved in the broadcast much to the amusement of everyone watching.

If you would like to know more —>



Max and I last year

Max and I last year


With kickoff happening tomorrow – that means Max and I say ‘bye bye’ to Daddy for at least 6 weeks – maybe more. Build season is intense – you have exactly 6 weeks to build the robot – no more, the robot actually gets sealed on the last night. P said he plans on going ‘all out’ this year with being at the school late (earliest time out being 8pm) every day but Friday (which includes Saturdays and Sundays). After the 6 weeks – there are two competitions and then they start working on their Ontario Skills robot.

So basically I call this time of year ‘single parenting time’. P leaves well before Max gets up and doesn’t get home until well after his bedtime. The big difference between this year and last is that I am working. (Or at least I think so….not too sure what happens February 1st). I am hoping that it will be better that I take Max to daycare and go to work for the day, so I don’t feel cooped up at home. However – I only have an hour between school ending and daycare closing to do anything I need to do sans Max. I also will not be able to leave the house after 7pm. Meal planning will have to be a big priority as I can’t just order pizza every night and cooking with a toddler who insists on touching everything = I have about 20 minutes to cook.

This Monday is my 30th birthday – and I am spending it doing the same thing I do every year, by myself. Last year, Kick-off was on my birthday and I had just gotten home from the hospital with Max after his CHEO time. The previous year I drove to Toronto to pick up the kit of parts, so I spent the night driving. It was fun to stop at every Starbucks on the way and get a free latte! But this Monday is ‘quick build’ night, and P won’t be home. So I am probably going to Boston Pizza with Max as a I have a coupon for a free pasta. YUM!

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