Tuesday, December 27, 2005
My aunt says I'm working my way through the alphabet, but I got stuck on 'c'. 'C' for concussion, croup and chocolate.
Patrick was okay after his concussion. The next morning we asked him if his head hurt and he said, "It only hurts when I shake it like this."
Damon was still wheezy on Christmas eve morning, so he missed his hockey game. Kira was still wheezy too and very clingy. We went ahead and went to my sister's Christmas Eve gathering. Kira was not enjoying herself though, and the croupy bark started up. After she opened a red wool coat from us, she put it on and said, "I wanna go home now." She curled up on my shoulder and fell asleep. Soon she was running a fever. Once we got home, I started up the steamy shower and locked Damon, Kira and myself in the bathroom and started giving out doses of motrin, ventolin and flovent. Then Kira and I took Puck outside. The drugs, the steam and the cold night air did not help her. I am pretty laid-back about croup, because I have dealt with it so many times over the years with Patrick, but I was starting to panic. Finally, I gave her another dose of everything and she finally seemed to breathe a little easier so we went to bed.
Patrick woke up at 8 am ready to open stockings. We woke up the other boys, but didn't have the heart to wake up Kira, so we went down and opened stockings without her. The boys were happy with their stockings and raced upstairs to try out their toys and video games. I was feeling very tired and kind of sick myself, so I lay down on the couch while they played. Suddenly I realized that my shadow, Puck, was not with me. That's where the third "c" comes in. I went down to the living room and found the shredded remains of Matt's 1 lb Toblerone chocolate bar. I slammed him in his crate (mostly for his own protection - Matt is especially protective of his Toblerone bars at Christmas) and checked on the internet. I read a few different pages giving different levels before chocolate can become toxic. The consensus seemed to be that 1 lb of chocolate would not kill a 50 lb dog, but it could make him feel mighty sick. I used a syringe to give him hydrogen peroxide to try to induce vomiting in hopes that I might be able to get some of the chocolate out of his stomach and alleviate some of his discomfort. He stood there on the deck with foam coming out of his mouth, trying desperately to hang onto his chocolate. I put him in his crate, and let him out frequently. No signs or symptoms.
So back to Kira. She finally woke up and sounded horrible. Croupy, miserable and congested. At this point we decided that she needed to see a doctor and we would have to miss out on the gift exchange with my dad's family and Christmas dinner with Matt's family. I called a few walk-in clinics but none were open. Kira opened her stocking and presents in our bed. Matt took our gifts to my brother's house so that he could pass them along to my aunt's house. Meanwhile, I gave Kira more medication and put her into the shower. She fell asleep again soon after that and I made brunch for Matt and the boys. After brunch, Kira and I headed off to the ER.
After 5 hours there, we left no better off than when we arrived. The triage nurse took Kira's temperature by armpit and it was 98.4 F. I said I thought she felt warmer than that, but the nurse and eventually the doctor just ignored me. I tried to clarify the point that I was not bringing her to ER because of croup, I was bringing her because her croupiness and wheeziness was not reacting to steroid inhalers and steam, but nobody seemed to "hear" my concerns. By the time the doctor saw her, the barking cough had changed and was now a wet productive cough. The doctor looked at me like I was a moron. "That is no croupy cough, that sounds wet to me." Well yeah it sounds wet now, but trust me it wasn't so wet at 3 am last night and I'm guessing it won't be as wet tonight. She listened to her lungs and heard a rattle so she sent her for chest x-rays. They came back clear. So the doctor came in again to talk to us and when she touched Kira's hand she said, "oh she feels warm now" and sent the nurse in to take her temperature again. The nurse did a rectal temperature this time and it was 102.5 F. Oh wow, mom was right. The whole time we were there, Kira just lay on the bed like a rag doll, asking me to lie next to her and then trying to close my eyes with her little fingers. The doctor said she felt it was a virus and I should just continue with the motrin and inhalers and follow up with the family doctor. Ohh, I'll be following up with the family doctor all right and not because she said to! My mommy instincts tell me there is something more to this.
For now, I'm putting my money on 'b' for bronchitis.
We had submarine sandwiches for Christmas dinner and watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory together while Puck whined in his crate. Yesterday morning, when he was finally given free reign of the house again, the first thing Puck did was head straight for the dining room table. He jumped up on top of it and stole Kira's small Toblerone bar and swallowed it in one gulp. A day in solitary taught him nothing.
Kira was much better yesterday and was able to properly cough, so we had our Christmas dinner with Matt's parents. They spoiled all of us.
Matt is tired and having problems finding a good night's sleep, Patrick recovered fine from the concussion and his team is getting KILLED at a hockey tournament right now, Damon is slowly recovering from his virus, Campbell is fine and doing hockey school every day this week, Kira sounds like she is drowning with every cough and Puck has a stomach of steel. I'm treading water.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Why am I not surprised that it is now Christmas Eve and I am dealing with a head injury and 2 croupy kids? I'm thinking that if I had all my shopping and wrapping finished already this would never have happened.
I should start taking wagers on Campbell.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Patrick's hockey team played a great game tonight and even though they lost, they weren't outplayed. They could easily beat this team next time. And Patrick played very well and even the one goal that was scored on his line he had played properly (forced the shot, didn't block the goalie's view).
However, during the third period, he started having problems with his vision. We aren't sure why, it could have been the elbow to his head during the second period, or it could have been sweat in his eyes. Either way, he went to check a guy into the boards and missed him buy a lot and hit the boards and hit his head. He skated away though and played another shift after that. After the game, his coach talked to Matt. Patrick's eyes were red, he was crying and had a headache. He said he had trouble seeing colours, but I think that he means that he is over-sensitive to light. On the way home we tried to assess him and all he kept saying was, "Can't I just go home and lie down? That's all I want to do." He showered and got into some comfortable clothes. He had no problems answering my stupid questions ("what is today?" "who are you?" etc) but his headache was not getting better and he was very sleepy, so we decided to take him to the hospital. Matt took him and I am sitting here waiting for him to call.
If it does turn out to be a concussion, this would be his first sport-related injury. So far he has been very lucky.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Today was a big day! Puck turned 1! He celebrated it amongst his adoring family.
Damon sat with him while Campbell brought in the "cake" (an end piece of Rollover). Kira gave him his gift (a brand new Kong). Patrick was certain that he was suddenly much more mature and not as hyper, because now he is an adult. Sure.
Now he is happily chewing his Kong, lying in his armchair while I type.
A year ago today, I was obsessively checking emails, feeling foolish that I was secretly hoping that MY puppy would be born that day, the same day as my old dog Maddie's birthday, feeling even more foolish that I was secretly hoping this would bring me some sort of psychic connection to MY puppy (I know, I have watched too many episodes of The Pet Psychic). But he is that puppy I was dreaming of. He is beautiful, loving, so smart and playful too. He plays hard and sleeps soundly, loves my kids and adores me.
Happy Birthday Bronte, True, and the other 7 beautiful puppies born that day!
Monday, December 12, 2005
Campbell: Can somebody move? I can't get close enough to put this candy on.
Damon: I know, it's too crowded here.
Patrick: Well you guys had better get used to it. It's like that in this house.
Damon: What? too crowded?
Sunday, December 11, 2005
I am trying to finish up my Christmas cards. I have had a really difficult time choosing a photo this year. I took many pictures, but not one of them jumped out as THE ONE. But here are a few that I briefly considered.
Naughty or nice?
The stockings were hung but the chimney with care...
Friday, December 09, 2005
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
I'm guessing this is much more accurate than most growth predictor which say that my 4'10" 10 year old, Patrick will be 6'6". Sorry Patrick, but with a mom who's 5'7" and a dad who's 5'11", I think NOT! Besides, I was my full height by the time I was 11 and Matt was his full height at 13. It says he will be about 6'1". I really wanted to try a prediction for little Campbell, but I got an error message saying that the child needed to be at least 7 years old.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Patrick's birthday was on a Thursday this year. So I picked up Patrick, his friend and Damon up from school and took 5 kids to the diner up the street from the school. It was nice. Then that night Patrick had a hockey practice, so I ordered pizzas for the hockey team. The parents needed to have a meeting that night anyhow so the kids (including siblings) all ate pizza in the hallway with under the supervision of the coach. They had a blast and I heard vague reports of a pepperoni fight. Patrick didn't want to share his cake with his teammates, he wisely chose to have it at home with his brothers and sister.
Last weekend we had a family party and celebrated my niece and nephew's birthdays along with Patrick's. Here he is waiting to blow out his candles.
He really is a great kid. He's a hard worker in school and sport. And he is so kind and thoughtful. I'm so proud of him. Patrick, I hope your birthday was a happy one.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Monday, November 21, 2005
6:30 the alarm goes off, I get up, give out clothes to the 4 kids, dress myself and Kira, feed the dog and take him out, cook breakfast and load up the minivan. Somewhere during this I realize that in addition to having a runny nose, now my throat is hurting and my body is aching.
7:30 We arrive at the arena and get Damon dressed for practice (while trying to keep an eye on Kira, Campbell and Patrick)
8:00 practice begins and I'm chasing Kira around while Patrick and Campbell hang out with their friends and fellow rink rats.
9:00 practice ends and I help Damon get his equipment off
9:30 We arrive home. I take the dog out.
10:00 Kira is already ready for a nap, I turned on the alarm before I lay down with her and it's good I did.
12:30 I make and serve lunch
1:45 play with the dog in the backyard and then put him in his crate
2:00 pack up the van again (this time with 2 hockey bags) leave for the arena again, we don't need to be there until 2:45, but the skate sharpening guy is open at 2.
2:15 stand in line for the skate sharpening guy who is not there, and the kids are climbing all over the benches, vending machines, etc.
2:45 Patrick joins up with his team for warm up
3:45 Patrick's game begins. Kira screams for pretty much all of the game and I get to watch very little. The team lost 8-0. The boys stayed fairly close which was unusual and greatly appreciated.
4:45 I leave Patrick's game with a few minutes left and take Campbell and Kira down to the dressing room and get Campbell ready for the team pictures. Much to my disgust, I opened up his bag to find MOLD growing on his damp equipment. My throat was closing up. It was so gross (Matt got a big long lecture on how HE didn't bother to dry out Campbell's equipment last Sunday). Luckily none of it was on his jersey for the photo.
5:00 Campbell's team photo
5:30 Campbell's practice. Kira has fallen asleep in her stroller! It's a miracle. Other hockey parents are shocked, they've never seen Kira sleep in her stroller.
6:30 Practice ends, Kira's up and poopy.
7:15 Arrive at McDonald's drive thru
7:30 Arrive home, take the dog out and eat our McDonald's. I wash Campbell's hockey equipment in hot water and oxiclean in the washing machine, at this point I don't care if it is ruined, I will not have mold on it!
8:00 All of the kids watch Kicking and Screaming in my bed. I take the dog out again.
9:30 All of the kids watch The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl while I pass out on my bed.
10:30 I take the dog out again and hang the hockey equipment up to dry.
11:00 I go back to bed.
7:00 the alarm goes off. I hand out clothes (including Patrick's team warm up suit, and his freshley ironed shirt, tie and dress pants to wear later to the game), I load up all 3 hockey bags in the van (no room for strollers today), serve breakfast and feed and take the dog out. Yep throat still hurts.
8:30 arrive at the rink and all of the kids come into the dressing room to help get Damon ready.
9:00 Damon's game begins, Patrick and Campbell are playing ball hockey in the lounge area of the rink. Kira wants to join them and doesn't want to stay with me while I watch the game. I see very little of the game. They lose 5-1, but Damon played pretty well (from what I saw).
10:00 Patrick takes Campbell to his dressing room to start getting ready. At the same time, Kira and I help Damon get undressed, once he is done, I go and finish helping Campbell.
10:30 Campbell's game begins. It is so cute to watch. He fell down trying to get the puck out of his end, and suddenly the other team's players were coming toward him, so instead of getting up, he used his feet to turn himself around on his side so he could kick the puck out. It was hilarious and showed that he wasn't going to give up! After a short rest, Kira wants to run again, so I don't see much of Campbell's game either.
11:30 I take off Campbell's skates and helmet and we run to the van.
11:45 Patrick gets into his dress clothes IN the van and we drive to his teammate's house. I don't want to hold them up for leaving for the game. I drop Patrick off (he is travelling 2 1/2 hours to an away game with them). They left and we headed home.
12:00 We arrive home, I take the dog out and I serve a quick lunch.
1:00 Kira has a quick nap and I lay down with her and fall asleep for a 1/2 hour while the boys watch TV.
1:30 Damon wakes me up to remind me that I owe them a walk. I don't feel like I can get up though. My arms and legs feel heavy, my throat is worse.
2:00 I'm up, but now Campbell and Kira don't want to go
3:00 Campbell changes his mind, but Kira wants to watch TV (she'll sit and watch in hopes that Dora will come on).
3:15 I'm ready, Damon's ready and pestering us to get going, Campbell is messing around and Kira is throwing a fit because she doesn't want to go out. And Puck was ready yesterday and is bouncing off the walls, literally.
3:45 We attempt to go out, but Damon has taken off his hat and now he can't find it. I wait on the front porch while he looks.
4:00 We head out with Kira and Campbell riding in the wagon. She's screaming as loud as she can and has her body stiffened like a board in her seat. Despite this, we have a nice walk along the wooded Escarpment Rail Trail.
5:00 We arrive home and Patrick is calling from his friend's car with the unbelievable news I already posted about. We are to meet his team at a restaurant for a celebration dinner at 6:30.
6:00 I try to change Kira into a clean shirt for the party and she has another fit. I jam her into a clean shirt and we head out the door. She keeps screaming and thrashing as I take her to the car and put her in.
6:30 We arrive at the restaurant and the kids join their friends. They have a table set up for all 15 players and most of their siblings. It is wild. Kira and I find a seat. The restaurant is obviously overwhelmed and the food takes a long time. The kids get their meals first and are finished and ready to run around before the parents meals arrive. And when they arrived, the couple beside me discovered that their burgers were FROZEN in the middle.
9:00 We are only the third family to leave the party, but my kids are tired and I just want the day to be over.
9:15 We arrive home and I let the dog out. Then I start the shower.
10:00 The kids all fall asleep. I sit down at the computer for a few minutes, I am tired but need to unwind.
11:15 I take the dog out and then go to bed. I haven't made lunches. I haven't set out the clothes they will wear for picture day. I'm asking a rotten Monday morning.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
They finally did it. Patrick's team won their VERY first hockey game all season. Well actually the AAA team he is on now didn't win last season either, so this is a truly momentous occasion. I was our home ice with Damon and Campbell's house league teams, so one of Patrick's teammates parents graciously offered to take Patrick to the away game today (far far away). They called from the car to say that we need to meet them at Boston Pizza for a victory party! I would hate to be an unsuspecting patron there when a team of pumped up 10 year olds shows up! WOOHOOOO We won!
I was told that the score was 1-0 with a minute or so left and our team pulled the goalie and scored. Then they scored another quick goal! I'm sure I'll hear LOTS of details about it all later.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
I think it's kind of cute, and I would rather go through this rebellious hair stage now while he is still cute enough to pull it off! If we don't put any "product" in it, it just looks like a bad buzzcut, so he doesn't have to be shocking every day. The first thing he wanted to do when he woke up today was style his hair! And when we got back from hockey, he wanted to wet it down and reapply "product". This should be interesting.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Everybody always wants Matt to make for them. He can make dinosaurs fossils for their walls. Easy. Last year, poor Brian, brilliant lawyer that he is, had a bit of trouble reading the list, and Matt ended up receiving a lovely pair of silver earrings. Matt thought it was hilarious and wasn't disappointed at all.
I made for Miche who had just moved to Nova Scotia where they have awful winter storms. I made her a snuggly fleece blanket for two. This year, I am making for her husband, my Uncle Reed. What to do, what to do?
Patrick used a paddle to make hooks for my sister Marni last year. He had Matt screw hooks into the shaft, he traced her name on the blade and had Matt carve it and then he did a paint wash on the letters. This year, he makes for my 9 year old cousin, Aidan.
Damon made for Aidan last year. He made him a "Top Secret" case. The lock on the side is an alarm that goes off if you open it without the key. It is loud and obnoxious, and of course the boys all loved it. This year he makes for my cousin Mark who is twentysomething. We need some real help with this one!
Campbell is making for my cousin Lindsay who I'm going to guess is 19 or 20. I have an idea of something cool he can do for her with minimal help, but I'm always open to more ideas!
My brain is already hurting from taking the kids to the rink every day (and peeling 3 younger ones off of the ceiling beams while we are there), outwitting mice, selling cookie dough for the hockey team and all the daily grind of raising 4 kids and a nutty puppy (who has finally stopped spilling his bodily fluids on my carpeting). I beg you to offer me any suggestions you have! Please?????
Monday, November 07, 2005
Kira looking up to her handsome big brother.
Damon adores Kira. He has a knack for cheering Kira up and getting her excited about things. Actually he is a great motivator for other kids too. I think he could be a great teacher and coach someday. Proof that coaching is in the genes.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
(warning - may contain subject matter that is disturbing to some readers)
I've spent the past 2 days mopping up Puck's vomit. The kids brought home a tonne of halloween candy and of course he was eating anything that fell to the floor. Tuesday night he wouldn't get off of me while I was sleeping, early on Wednesday morning he sat up in bed and started heaving. After I shoved him to the floor he puked up chips that he had scrounged for the night before. He continued to puke, but it was mostly water and stomach juices, and he only had one small bowel movement. He was really clingy, but still active and wanting to eat. By last night I had convinced myself that he had a foreign body but being a GSP, I still hoped he would pass it. I watched him closely and cleared my schedule to take him to the vet's today. He woke up this morning feeling much better, so I started feeding him rice. About 45 minutes ago he finally tried to poop. I eagerly anticipated the results. Would it be an unwrapped mini chocolate bar? Or a sucker with a stick? What halloween horror would it be? Out came a rather disappointing 1 foot piece of yarn (and a multitude of crayon bits) that is likely from the blanket in his crate. He was probably chewing the blanket out of spite when I put him in his crate while I took the kids out trick or treating. The look of relief on his face as he turned to go back to the house was priceless. I'm saying prayers of thanks that he passed it without an expensive trip to the vets. I'd say he deserves a nice new Kong for that, maybe a new pack of tennis balls too.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Thanks to Kristen's pumpkin links, the kids each chose and printed out their choice of templates. Daddy helped them clean out the pumpkins, they taped their templates on and then I had the job, I mean, honour of carving them. From left to right, we have Patrick's black widow spider, Damon's spooky cat, Kira's Hello Kitty and Campbell's Pirate skull. My brother Craig, who gave out candy for us tells me that we had a lot of compliments on them.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Kira and Grandma Nancy. Say 'cheese'.
Now she can't stop smiling.
Look at that impish grin.
Kira is making the rounds with Bob.
Campbell and Kira check out the old photos.
Kira is helping the ladies clean up afterwards. She is taking the tablecloths off and giving them to the ladies in the kitchen.
Patrick and Damon visiting with the birthday girl. She enjoys visits from the kids.
Happy 90th birthday to a sweet and beautiful woman!
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
You can't see Charlie's puzzled expression as he looks for the mouse. Where is it?
This particular mouse kept Charlie occupied for HOURS. Maybe by the time we get rid of them all he will be a slimmer trimmer Charlie.
I don't fear many things, and I used to work in an animal hospital with many small wriggly animals, but the first time I saw a mouse in our house, I don't remember exactly what happened, but I ended up doing the stereotypical leap onto a stool madly waving a broom around. We battled the mice in this old house for years before finally winning about 8 years ago. We haven't had a real problem since. But we are combat ready have since stocked up on traps and poisoned bait (don't worry, it is only put out in pet-proof containers away from the kids). Sorry Charlie.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
Kira woke up in the night miserable with a high fever. She doesn't have any other symptoms though. I went to sleep on edge because Campbell hadn't been feeling well all weekend. I was half-expecting him to wake up with a fever and then Kira did.
A dose of Advil and a live snuggly toy keep her in a good mood though.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Before the race, he was so nervous, it was terribly cute.
The kid next to him had pushed him down earlier and he got back up and caught up to him. Go Damon.
He ended up finishing 7th and he was crying by the time we got to him at the finish line. He was upset because he thought he could have done better if he wasn't pushed. His buddy and hockey teammate came in first and another friend was 4th! After he thought about it more, he was pretty proud of himself and his friends.
It was so cute though, when his friend came out of the finish line (like a queue), with the utmost admiration, he says to us, "Now I am like PATRICK." Later I overheard him telling a group of admirers how he followed the leader until the homestretch "just like Patrick". Patrick is the stuff of legends at our school.
Here is Patrick shortly after the start of the race. He was about 12th, exactly where he wants to be at this point. Remember he just moved up to this grade 5/6 age group. So he is one of the younger kids.
Now he is about 300 metres from the end of the race. He just finished passing the boy in the red who had the lead before the bridge.
The boy in red is trying to pass him.
He manages to hang onto his lead for now, but right before the finish line the boy catches him and won it by a hair. Patrick isn't disappointed though. They shook hands and congratulated each other.
We are so proud of both of our runners! Didn't they do an awesome job!?
I am waiting for the nurse to get here to take blood for a FASTING bloodtest for our new life insurance policy. I said FASTING! It was a last minute appointment and when I called her we hadn't eaten yet, just snacked at the meet. So she said no food until after she took our blood. NO FOOD and we hadn't even had lunch. I'm not doing so good with that.
Test me kids, I DARE you!
Oh yeah and my husband bought me a new minivan. A Ford Freestar Limited. Leather interior, dvd package, and so on. Fully loaded. I get it on Friday. Cool, but kind of weird. We're standing at the meet and he says, "oh yeah I want to go visit Coach Kevin at the Ford dealership after the meet." He called me to ask if it was okay to buy it. I told him I don't really care, as long as it has 4 wheels, 7 seats, gets me there all the time and I don't have to hear whining about how much the payments are. I'll be grateful by the time we pick it up.
Today is Patrick and Damon's semi-annual cross country meet. I'm excited for them, but a bit nervous.
Last year, Patrick finished second in the fall and first in the spring (despite being up all the night before with stomach flu), so he has a certain expectation of himself. But this year he moves up to the next age category where he will race against boys a year older than him (and since he was born in November, some of the boys will be almost 2 years older than him). He is smart enough to know that if he doesn't do as well it isn't anything to be ashamed of, but he i still driven to try to win.
Damon came in 164th and then 31st, so this guy is moving up in the ranks as he gets more focused. This year he will be one of the oldest kids running. Last fall he had no clue what he was there for. He was more interested in the sights along the race route. In the spring, he was much more competitive and he was so proud of Patrick after his win that now he wants to be like Patrick.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Last Friday, I took Campbell and Kira on a big walk in the woods with our friends Sean and Reiko. At the end of the walk our wagons and strollers were full of autumn leaves, teasels, dried grasses and other fall goodies for our Thanksgiving decorating. We stopped at the park where our very tired kids got a second wind.
Here is Campbell at the fall fair.
The weather here has been fantastic, but finally this past weekend, the temperatures have dropped and we are into real fall-like weather. *sigh*