Thursday, October 11, 2007

Break a leg

I haven't been online much for a few reasons, the first one being that I am on dial up. Have I mentioned how horrible it is? My computer has been crashing, I've been losing my connection, and it is soooo slow. Anyhow, I mentioned to the BC girls that I would blog about what a horrible day we had a few weeks ago.

The boys had their first P.D. day of the year. It was going to be a busy day because we had our dear friends from Hamilton coming, a family of 4 and their dog, and I needed to tidy up and get groceries for the weekend. Also, all 3 boys had a fitting at the dentists for a mouthguard and Patrick had a hockey game that night. However, Patrick's new friend's birthday fell on that day, so he had a party at his house. His mom graciously called and asked that I bring all of the kids for a swim when I drop off Patrick. I thought that sounded like a nice break in between cleaning and grocery shopping with 4 kids. So we arrived at 11 am.

Everything went well, Kira and the boys played in the pool for a little while. Then they asked to use the trampoline. At first I said that only one at a time could go on, but trying to keep them off was more difficult than I expected. So I settled on letting 2 on at a time. They were reminded to keep to their own side of the trampoline. Damon had been testing that rule, but finally accepted that it was best to follow the rule. Seeing him bounce in one place bothered Kira, so she bounced into his space, taking him out at the knees. He of course fell on her and her leg.

She did her usual screaming and crying that she does at the slightest foul, but unlike usual, it didn't end when we distracted her. "Damon broke my leg!" she hollered. Our hostess offered her ice and she accepted it. She offered her pears and she gladly snacked on them. But she kept crying and telling us that her leg was broken. There was no sign of bruising or swelling, so I took a wait and see approach.

We went to the grocery store. Luckily it was one that had a cart with spots for 2 kids to ride, as Kira was still not putting weight on her leg. I grabbed only essentials, as she was clearly still in pain. We went home. I was hoping to get some cleaning and laundry done before our company was due to arrive. I called Matt and let him know what had happened and to see how accessible he would be if I was going to take Kira to the hospital. He was very worried and said he would come home an hour early if I did not call him sooner. Kira lay on the couch, not able to put any weight on her leg.

Finally at 3 pm, Matt and I decided that something out of the ordinary was wrong with her leg and we got all the kids ready to go to the hospital. I had to pack Patrick's hockey bag and bring his dress clothes just in case. I called our houseguests to tell them that there would be a key under the mat and that we would be at the hospital. And off we all went in 2 cars.

Kira brought her quilt that Kathy D. made her when she was a baby. She napped on Daddy's lap and we waited. And waited. Well you know what E.R. is like, we waited for hours. Finally, I had to take the boys for their mouthguard appointments. I picked up Patrick at his friend's house, where his friend's mother was feeling horrible about what happened. That made me feel horrible that she felt so bad, etc. We got to the place and I was told that there was a 45 minute wait. I explained our situation and they said that I could call on Monday and book an appointment for another day. PHEW.

So we went back to the hospital and we all waited for a while. Finally Patrick had to leave for his game. Matt took him and left me at the hospital with the other 4 kids. I needed Damon to carry Hanna for me because Kira needed to be carried, and Campbell chose to wait with us.

I guess I was a bit of a spectacle in the waiting room, alone with 4 young kids. They all stopped staring at me when the mennonite family pulled up with their horse and cart and the whole family, grandparents and all brought in the 2 year old. No, seriously they did.

We were finally taken in to a room and we waited another 45 minutes for a doctor. While we were waiting we bumped into one of Patrick's teammates' mother and the coach's wife, who happens to be an E.R. doctor at the hospital. Kira wasn't on her list. Finally the E.R. doctor saw us. I will never understand why a triage nurse can't order x-rays for something as obvious as Kira's case. It would have saved us at least an hour and a half, because that's how long it took to get the x-rays done and see the doctor the second time. Anyway, the doctor couldn't see any breaks on the first set of x-rays. So he asked her to walk on her leg, and I give her credit, she tried really hard, but she could not bear any weight on it, so he sent us back for more x-rays of her hip and her foot. When he looked at those x-rays he still didn't see anything, but decided that since she couldn't bear any weight that he would err on the side of caution and he put her leg into a splint and wrap. He said she needed to come back on the Monday to see the orthopedic surgeon.

It was now 9:30pm. I was exhausted. All of the kids were exhausted, but especially Kira and Hanna. I didn't have a stroller with me, only a baby sling. I loaded the kids into the van and I called Matt. He was just leaving the game, the team had lost, but Patrick had scored a goal. Our houseguests had called his cellphone and they were just arriving at the house. The kids and I drove home and Matt stopped in town to get pizza for dinner.

We were thrilled to welcome our friends to our messy house! While we waited for Matt to arrive with the pizzas, I was running around trying to find the bed linens for them showing everybody where their beds would be. Then my father-in-law called to share some sad news with us. His mother, Matt's grandmother and "Grandmama" to the kids and I, had passed away in her sleep earlier that evening. I knew her as a sweet gentle lady and we will all miss her terribly.

The kids really enjoyed having their friends over and they had a good weekend. Kira definitely enjoyed being waited on by myself and my friend. On Monday, I called to get Kira's appointment time. The secretary said that she had a note that the doctor was to see Kira NEXT week. I'm glad I insisted that the E.R. doctor had said THIS Monday, not NEXT Monday. The Orthopedic surgeon looked at the same x-rays that the E.R. doctor saw and declared that there was no break because he couldn't see one and he took the splint off and said she was fine, that she probably had some soft tissue injury but by now she could walk on it. Yeah, okay, except that she won't/can't/shan't. I felt horrible. How do you tell a 3 year old that the doctor knows more about her body and her pain than her? 4 days of carrying her everywhere (don't forget I carry Hanna everywhere already), my back was hurting, so I convinced with her to crawl. She did a great job of getting around the house by crawling. I was worried though and decided that if she was not bearing any weight on it by Friday, I would be taking her back to the hospital on Saturday.

We were urging Kira to do her best to walk in time for Grandmama's funeral on Friday. She did a great job. She had a definite limp, and often needed support, but she was doing her best to walk on her own.
The next week we were at a hockey game and saw our friend the E.R. doctor. She said that if Kira wasn't bearing weight on her leg after 2 days, she would have told us to bring her back or take her back to the orthopedic surgeon. All of Kira's patient files had been sent to her, but there was still no clear diagnosis on what Kira's actual injury was. Ah well, at that point she was walking, so we were happy.
I'm sorry to be so horribly long-winded here. You can probably tell that I don't get out much these days. LOL

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Last moments at the old house

Farewell to the house that we lived in for 13 years. We moved in a young couple and moved out a family of seven!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Here are some of the first photos of our new house.
We are ALL trying to get the house into move-in condition. The previous owner has been very helpful and even had the carpets cleaned for us, but there is still a lot of work to do as the previous tenants were smokers and we have been trying to remove the traces of smoking before we paint. The kids have been shocked and awed by the buckets of dirty water that we remove from the walls and the way the glass cleaner "turns the colour of cola" when we spray it on the interior windows. Note the cola coloured water running down the wall that Campbell is washing. I also wanted to point out the apples that Kira has are from our trees.

Other than a few naps on the staircase, we have been camping out in Campbell's room which is one of the least "smoky" rooms. Unfortunately, we were unhappy with our colour choices for the living room and family room, but when we swapped colours we found that the colours worked great.

Matt has also been trying to ensure that our water is potable. He bought a UV filter to kill any bacteria that may be present. He came home from a long day of work, sweaty and tired and thought he would install it before showering. After he had already soldered the main part on, he discovered that 2 small parts were missing from the box. But it was too late to go to the store to get the parts. He was unable to turn the water and had to go to bed. When he went to the store to get the parts, they were very accomodating and took the parts out of another UV filter kit and gave him the lightbulb from that box as a compensation for going unwashed (a $70 replacement part).

So far life in "the County" has not disappointed the kids (or the dog). On several occasions we have seen a buck running through a neighbouring field, rabbits by the roadside, skunks on the back patio, herons in the pond, and barn swallows darting to and fro with Puck in pursuit. Matt has been taking the kids and the dog for big long hikes into the woods behind us. Puck spends his time dead tired from a run in the woods or looking longingly out the window and dreaming of his next run in the woods.

The big moving day is 9 days away.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Hanna's newfound mobility

When placed on the floor, Hanna checked out the area.She picked her target, the foot of the bed, and headed for it.She was very proud of herself.She checked to make sure that everybody in the room noticed her accomplishment (Campbell, Patrick, Kira and Puck were all looking on too).Whoa, she lost her balance, but managed to catch herself on the way down. She was a little bit rattled, but mostly relieved.She spied a new target. It's me."C'mon Mom, enough of this, give me the camera."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

This just in

Hanna can now crawl! Not very fast as she insists on doing it with one foot and one knee, but she is clearly crawling. *sigh*

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Summer update

After all of my fretting about how hard it would be to have my house ready for viewings with 5 kids in it, my house sold 10 hours after the sign went up on the lawn, 1 day before the listing was supposed to begin, and just hours before I was due to come home! We tidied up on Sunday and jumped in the van and drove out to Matt’s dad’s house (the boys had summer hockey in our new town). Our agent had told us that the photographers would call us on Monday to arrange to come and take the photos on Tuesday. That was good because I still had a few things to tidy up or take care of. A bit of trim to be painted, Patrick’s bed to be made, light bulbs to be replaced, 12 bags of garbage in the driveway waiting for garbage day. Well they didn’t call, and at 2:30 the agent called us to say that the photographers had already done their thing and that our house would be on the website by Tuesday. Even though I was mortified by the fact that there was a case of pop on my counter, Patrick’s bedspread is hanging down off of his loft bed, and more, the house looked pretty good on the internet. At 4 pm I called the agent back to correct one thing in the listing (the year the roof was replaced) and he told me that he had already had 2 calls about our house. At 8 pm I was putting the kids into the van to leave when the agent called to say that there had been 2 viewings already and that I should wait there by the fax machine, as they would likely be sending us an offer! We signed it back for more and by 10 pm we had accepted their offer. I couldn’t believe it. They asked for August 30th closing, which is okay, because we really do need to be in a new house before school starts on Sept. 4th.

You can see my house photos in my facebook album.

Now our problem has been finding a new house with such a tight timeframe. We put an offer in on a house in the country. It sits on a 56 acre farm. The owner is severing a 2 acre lot to go with the house. It will include a field that is currently used for vegetables, and a few rows of apple trees. The house needs lots of TLC, but the rooms are pretty large and there are 5 bedrooms. It is about 30 years old. The real reason we chose this house over some others we were looking at is the location. It’s on a road that is very well known for the mansions that are on the waterfront side of the road. It is very hard to get waterfront building lots now and a building lot alone will cost 500,000 now. Matt and I are banking on the fact that this will eventually rub off on our side of the road. We figure that any work we do to this house will come back to us dollar for dollar. Matt is going to move a futon into the house on August 14th and start cleaning and painting after work before we move any of our furniture in. I have to say that while I will miss our house, I am starting to get excited about my new “modern country” decorating scheme.

The boys have been doing really well with their summer hockey. When we signed them up, we put Damon up 3 years into Patrick’s age division, and we put Patrick up 2 years as well. Damon is holding his own against the older boys! Because of his size and his toughness on the ice, nobody except the convenor has a clue that he is so much younger. And Patrick’s skating is standing out and he has a lot of hockey people out there really excited about him coming to the region. Dads from various teams found out we hadn’t bought a house yet and were trying to talk us into moving to their town so that he could play on their sons’ team as opposed to against their sons’ teams. When you are an 11 year old boy moving to a new area, it is nice to be welcomed like that!

Campbell is doing well and enjoying his summer vacation. His soccer ended and his best friend went to Japan for the summer. He lost his first tooth and has another one that is loose. He also has an awful cavity that I need to get taken care of. Bad me.

Kira finally decided that she was going to be toilet trained. So she was. As easy as that. Other than a couple of totally acceptable accidents, she has done great.

Hanna cut her first tooth. She is very very close to crawling, but instead she does a half-crawl, half scoot. When she is crawling and she wants to get to something, she leans forward on her arms as if she will crawl, she goes forward with her arms until her legs are extended behind her, and then she sits back down. Somehow she moves around the room remarkably well with this method.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Didn't their moms tell them that it is rude?

Matt's been gone a lot lately as he's already working at the new shop and staying with his dad during the week. So I am a single mom most of the time. Lately, I've been noticing that more and more people are staring at me when I am out with the kids. And I don't mean that they are just fixing their gaze on us longer than is socially acceptable. I mean people are slowing their cars, pointing and talking about us. I guess it could be that Hanna is adorable. Somewhat more likely it that I look like a lunatic as I try to manage Damon and Kira with Hanna on my hip. But I presume it is because I have *gasp* 5 children. I'm used to people commenting to me about our family size, and so far it has been pretty positive, but I don't see why that would warrant a stare. I think I'm going to have to learn to stare back, lean over to one of my kids, tell them a joke, giggle and continue staring. I grew up with lots of siblings, I should be able to handle myself in a staring contest.

If not I'll have to get us all new t-shirts from Cafe Press with "Yes they are all mine." or "Yes I know what causes this." OR if all else fails I should just buy the kids shirts that say "STOP STARING AT MY MOM'S TITS." Yes, that should do it.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The things they pick up from TV

Campbell and Kira were watching an episode of Blue's Clues and this is what followed.

Campbell: Can I have a piece of paper? I'm going to try some pointilism.

Kira: I want paper too. Yay, pointillism.

Campbell: Kira, pointillism is where you do dots.

Kira: Yes, I know, I LOVE pointillism.

Campbell: Okay, let's go.

I'll be sure to scan in the masterpieces later today.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Needles and thorns.

Hanna went for her 6 month needle and check up yesterday. She weighs 14 lbs 8 oz, and she is tall at 27 inches tall. She hates needles and her cries after the first needle were heartbreaking.

Her new trick is waving. I will try to get it on video and post it later. She waves at strangers, she waves at the dog, she waves at passing cars, it is very cute. And if anybody says the word 'bye', her little hand starts waving madly. Patrick also used this waving to teach her to give "high fives".

Campbell had his 7 year check up. He is weighing 47 lbs and is 4 feet tall. For the second year in a row, his urinalysis has shown blood in it, so based on the history of me and Patrick, the doctor felt safe saying that he has Thin Basement Membrane Disease (also known as Benign Familial Hematuria). I know, it sounds more like a home inspector's term than a medical condition. The main part of it being that it is benign and it runs in families.

The lilacs have finished, the lily of the valley are yellowing. My creamy scented roses are in bloom in my front garden and my asian lilies are almost ready to bloom. My peonies seem to be a little bit late this year, but I'm glad for that. My honeysuckle is covering the trellis and FINALLY flowering for the first time. I'm really enjoying watching my gardens this year and I feel sad that this is the last year I will be with them. At the same time, the thought of planting new gardens in our next house is exciting.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Last race

On Friday, the boys had their last Hamilton CYO Cross Country race at Christie Conservation Area. The weather was great, but a little hot for those running. The boys were all very nervous, but Campbell, being Campbell forged ahead. He ran a great race, and finished 77th, which is a 30 place improvement over his last race in the fall and he was running against boys in Grade 2 too. The coach was telling me that Campbell is her favourite runner. He has a great attitude, and he charges along at one speed. There he is in the light gray shirt.

Damon was beyond nervous. He was nauseous, sweating and most of all WHINING! I was trying to watch for Campbell to come across the finish line and he was hanging off of me whining and saying "I puked, do I still have to race? Please let me go home now." I tried to be reasonable and explained to him that it was just nerves and that Patrick experiences this too and it might actually HELP him perform better. I told him that it was okay if he didn't do well because he was "sick", but that after all of his training, he would regret if he didn't run at all. Matt tried to reassure him too. We asked Patrick to take some time out of his pacing and talk to his brother, he did. Damon wasn't listening any of our explanations, he knew that he was sick and for us to force him to remain at the meet and even suggest that he would still run the race was child abuse. So when they called the boys to the start line, I was a horrid mother. I dragged him by the shirt and handed him over to the teachers. And he ran. He threw up on somebody's shoe. And his shorts kept slipping down and he had to pull them up. But he kept running. He ended up finishing 19th, which is a great finish for a grade 3 (once again he was running against grade 4s too). He was in tears that he hadn't won, but he looked around and saw that his school teammates were still running and that he was the first boy from his school to cross the finish line, and he took some pride in that. Honestly, I think if he hadn't gotten so nervous and if he had listened to me and worn a different pair of shorts, he could have finished about 10th. By the way, he said he was glad that I didn't let him quit.
Patrick felt a lot of pressure to win. Because of his past performances, all of the teachers and students from school assumed that he would, and of course that is the worst kind of pressure. I think that he felt that if he didn't finish first, he would be disappointing them. He didn't have a great start, but he started moving up as they went across the bridge and into the woods. He emerged from the woods, but there was somebody about 15 feet behind him and gaining. We yelled at him not to ease up and he sped up and lost the challenger.
Both Matt and I are so proud of all 3 boys and the way they ran. Now we all look forward to experiencing our first Cross Country meet in Quinte this fall.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hanna turns 6 months!

How did that happen so fast?

Hanna has a sweet nature. She is calm and cuddly, and yet still very active and curious. She has smiles for everybody and her velvety round head has a way of eliciting lots and lots of kisses. I have had many people stop me to tell me that they thought I was holding a doll until they saw her blink.

"Hanna Banana" has begun eating solids, and not surprisingly, her favourite food right now is bananas. She smacks her lips when she is eating them and yells for more. She sits up for short periods. She is on the verge of mobility, she can hold her weight on her legs and she moves her way along the bed or floor like a caterpillar. She is eager to be running like her older siblings.

The past 6 months with Hanna have been an absolute delight. I am torn between wanting to see the wonderful girl she will become, and a desire to savour this perfect moment of her babyhood. But inevitably, time will have it's way. *sigh*

Thursday, May 03, 2007

If you had one wish...

I got a forwarded email today, so I checked it out at I visited his website called Shane's Wish and I was touched by what I read and felt compelled not only to get my children involved, but to pass this information along in hopes that others will do the same.

Shane Bernier is a courageous seven-year-old boy from Lancaster, Ontario who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he was only five. On June 6th, 2006 Shane and his family received some unfortunate news: Shane experienced a relapse after completing 108 of 130 weeks of treatment.

However, despite the bad news, Shane has managed to keep a positive outlook on his situation and has made a heart-warming wish... He hasn’t asked for money or toys or anything of the sort. Instead, his birthday is on May 30th and he would like to break the world record for the most birthday cards ever received. His goal is 350 million cards. With every card, Shane’s courage grows. Something as simple as sending a birthday card could be enough to help Shane find peace and joy in his current circumstances.

Please take the time to send a card to Shane and make his dream become a reality. Share his story with your friends, family and co-workers. If at all possible, get your youth groups, church congregations, employees, neighbours or communities to set aside a few minutes to write a thoughtful note to Shane.

With every card, Shane’s smile grows...

If you’d like to send a card to Shane, please send it to:

Shane Bernier

PO Box 484

Lancaster, Ontario

K0C 1N0


Thursday, April 19, 2007


Little Hanna is now over 5 months old! At her last appointment she weighed a mere 13 lbs 3 oz, but she was a very long 27 inches. Not only does she look a lot like Patrick, but she is built like him. She is an absolute joy. She really wants to be one of the big kids. She is curious about the world, but still loves to be held and will gladly snuggle against my shoulder or lean her cheek in to be kissed.
Kira is busy. She is excited about moving and talks about it all the time. She holds up cans of Campbell's Soup and says "Mommy, can we pack this for the new house?" Or she asks, "Mommy, will Puck be at our new house?" The boys all had a good laugh when she asked, "Can we bring Hanna to the new house? Should we put her in a box?"
Campbell is doing fine. He is excited to be in the community soccer league again. He will be playing with his friends from school and most importantly his best friend. He is fiercely competitive, and the league is a little bit too tame for him and his buddy, but his friend is going to Japan for part of the summer and we are moving, so they would both miss a good part of the competitive soccer league's season. So we look forward to another spring of watching the 2 of them dominating the game. He is training very hard for cross country and taking it VERY seriously.
Damon is much much happier at school now. When he returned to the French Immersion program, he had a wonderful teacher who was full of enthusiasm. Just what he needed. Then the regular teacher returned from her maternity leave and she has proven to be a very understanding and knowledgeable teacher. Damon is blossoming as a result. He enjoys his tutoring sessions at the Dyslexia Resource Centre and is working well. Damon's hockey season ended with him playing his heart out, but the rest of the team did not do so well and they finished in last place. Now he moves on to field lacrosse. Usually he plays box lacrosse which is indoors, but the season usually goes into August and we don't know what our moving plans are. Field lacrosse has a much shorter season and will be done by the end of May. We are a bit concerned that there isn't a lacrosse team close to where we are moving, hopefully if we ask around at the native reserve we can find some sort of lacrosse for him to play.
Patrick is doing well in school and sports. His team had an end of season party at Great Wolf Lodge and I took everybody and we had lots of fun. He is playing on a spring tournament team for hockey. He is training for spring cross country and the track and field season is just around the corner too. Patrick left last night for a week at Grandpa's house. He is staying there with Matt so that he can try out for the hockey team out there. Making this team would be a dream come true for Patrick. In our current city, Patrick is a pretty awesome hockey player at the very top level of play and his coaches said that they would pick him for their team again this year. However, where we are moving, hockey is even more competitive and the team he is trying out for has been very successful for the past 3 years. We don't imagine that it will be easy to make this team, but if he performs at his best, it is possible. They have 4 tryouts before they make any cuts, so this next week will be very nerve-wracking for all concerned. Personally, I can barely eat or sit still. (Don't worry, I have my reserves, I'm not wasting away just yet)
Matt returned from his month in Germany, and he was glad to be home. All day, Matt is busy trying to organize the company's move, and then he comes home and searches for houses for us on the internet. I'm sure he'll be relieved when the move is complete.
And me, I feel like a ball of stress. We jumped from playoffs to tryouts. Between packing, cleaning and painting, the house is torn apart and I need to get it ready to sell NOW. I haven't even wrapped my head around the thought of moving, I'm still stressed about the thought of selling.
And Puck is doing well too. He and Hanna are turning out to be great friends. She loves to grab his ears and hug him. I have to mention that he is LOVING his new diet. He is eating ORIJEN food and for the first time since we brought him home 2 years ago, he is finishing everything in his bowl and harrassing me for more! The whole concept of feeding dogs meat makes sense to me, and it is definitely agreeing with him, he's put on some weight, his coat looks great, his gas problem has passed (pun intended), and his messes are much easier to clean up.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Campbell!

Campbell had a birthday. My baby boy turned 7.

Campbell is a man who knows his own mind.

Last Wednesday, we met my online friend Beth from the April 2000 expecting board. She drove all the way up here from NYC! Campbell and Nicole shared a cake at the restaurant. Then we went back to the hotel and they swam.

On Friday night, he wanted to go bowling with my mother. He chose to have his family party along with our regular family easter celebrations so he had candles in his bird's nest cupcakes.

On Tuesday, his actual birthday, he wanted to get take out and bring it home. He requested fish and chips and root beer for dinner and an ice cream cake.

What could I say about this wonderful boy? Well, Campbell is a very determined young man. He is "a gentleman and a scholar". He is unbelievably hard working, both at schoolwork, his chores and hockey. We gave him a Scottish name, and he is growing up as a stereotypical scot. He wants to save up his money and doesn't like to part with it. He still has $140 in Toys R Us gift cards from his last birthday. He goes and walks around Toys R Us and asks me what items he can afford. He always puts the gift cards back in his wallet and asks to go home empty handed. He cuts out coupons for us to use. He has collected 37 dollars in Canadian Tire money and 46 dollars in McDonald's money. He is tough as nails when he is playing with other boys, but tender and sweet with is mother and his sisters. He has a very dry sense of humour and he keeps everybody laughing. I have confidence that whatever he chooses to do, he will do well at.

How cute is he?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Vater ist zu seinem Mutterland gegangen

Matt left for Germany today. He is there for the whole month. It was very difficult for him to leave this time. He is going to miss the kids and they made it obvious how much they will miss him.

Selling the house will have to wait another month.

Campbell's Playoff Game #3

It was a tearjerker. After the other team scored their second goal and crashed into the net (and Campbell), Campbell was crying out there. Then when his own teammate kicked it into his net, he fell apart. Other than a couple of kids, the rest of the team was not putting in much of an effort. One of the coaches asked the kids on the bench, "Who is here to play hockey?" Only one boy put up his hand. The final score was 7-0. Campbell is rethinking his plans of playing in net for a summer rep team. *PHEW*

In other action, Damon's team tied another game 4-4. Damon was on the ice for every goal that his team scored and was on for 2 of the goals against. Campbell's coaches came to watch Damon's game.

Patrick Playoff Games #3 & 4

Game 3 had to be rescheduled due to poor weather conditions on Thursday. It was a very evenly matched game and the results showed that, it ended in a 3-3 tie even after 5 minutes of overtime.

Now I know where the bad attitudes from the other team come from. I was standing near some of the fathers from the other team. While I was standing there, one of the moms marched over and said to one of the fathers, "Those parents are awful. They are over there calling Matthew's mom a bitch." I looked over to where she had come from sitting and none of our parents were near them and when I looked to see if there was interraction between the two camps there wasn't. I know that some of our parents are prone to getting worked up about poor refereeing at games, but this wasn't even happening, they were all avidly watching the game. I'll assume that the parents from the other team were just trying to stir things up. Having said that, I have had some lovely chats with a couple of their mothers. They have the maturity to see that we are all in this together and one even complained that she hates to see her son's team slashing our goalie.

Game 4 was a home game for us, but the referee was horrible. With a score of 2-1, he didn't count a goal that clearly went into their net, hit the back of the net and came back out. He didn't call many dirty hits and let the game get out of hand. The missed goal was a turning point in the game and our kids seemed to fall apart after that. The final score was 5-1.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Samuel Legault (Died February 26, 2007)

LEGAULT: Samuel Joseph Anthoni April 28, 1918 – February 26, 2007 Peacefully at the Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital. Dearly beloved husband and best friend of Patricia Katharine (nee Wilson). Cherished father of Margaret, Tony, Suzanne, Stephen (Diane), Terry (Peter May), and Jane (Bill Chandler). Much adored grandfather of Lisa (Pedro Salazar), Karen (Doug McElroy), Laurie (Kevin Kozak), Derek (Julia), Daniel, Adri (Matt Fair), Dana (Rob Kahro), Craig, Liane, Barbara, Cynthia, Robyn, Amelia, Alex, Jacqueline, Jeff, Kerry and Brett. Devoted great-grandfather of Ambar and Amarys Salazar, Matthew, Jennifer and Scott McElroy, William, Ellie and David Kozak, Aidan and Carter Legault, Patrick, Damon, Campbell, Kira and Hannah Fair, Peyton, Maddox and Tenley Kahro. Sam was the beloved eldest son of Antoni and Maria Legault and beloved oldest brother of Amelia Macejunas (Wally), Julia Stroud (James), Lena Beebe (Ken), Ernie Legault (Trish) and the late Rupert, Dorothy Small (Harold), Betty Morris (Glenn) and Norah Leclair (Evan). Sam was born and raised in Montreal, and met and married the love of his life in Prescott Ontario on September 26, 1942. They lived in Coteau Station Quebec for 9 years, then Sam was transferred to Toronto and they made their home in Port Credit. Sam worked for the CNR for 40 years until his retirement as Circuit Engineer. After his retirement from CNR he worked for WABCO as an engineering consultant, doing stints in Buenos Aries Argentina, Tralee Ireland and Miami Florida, where he was the Chief Circuit Designer, and Signal System Design Specialist on the Miami Dade Metrorail. After his second retirement, in 1986, Sam and Pat settled in Oakville where they devoted their lives to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Sam was very active in St. Mary’s Church, was on the Board of Directors of the St. Mary’s Credit Union, and a founding member and Chairman of the Port Credit Roman Catholic School Board, and Chairman of the Port Credit Library Board. He was very active in the Toastmaster’s Organization and became President of the Port Credit Chapter and then Lieutenant Governor of the central District of Ontario. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus, and until he could no longer do it the secretary of the 60th Degree Knights of Columbus Oakville Branch. The Family would like to thank the staff of Northridge Nursing Home and the Oakville Hospital 4th floor for their care and support. In lieu of flowers kindly make a donation to the charity of your choice. Visitation will be held at the Kopriva Taylor Community Funeral Home, 64 Lakeshore Road West, (one block east of Kerr, 905-844-2600) on Wednesday 2-4 & 7-9 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 1, 2007 at Mary Mother of God Roman Catholic Church, 2745 North Ridge Trail, Oakville. Cremation to follow. Condolences and tributes may be sent to:
“May you always walk in sunshine, May you never want for more. May Irish Angels rest their wings Right beside your door May the road rise to meet you May the wind be always at your back May the sunshine warm upon your face The rains fall soft upon your fields and Until we meet again may God hold You in the palm of his hand”.
“Dad you were the heart of our family, we will love you and miss you forever”

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sam Legault 1918-2007

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me." Psalm 23:4

Grandpa Sam now makes that journey. Early today, with my mother holding his hand, he gave up his fight. I think that the fact that he fought against his illness to the very end was not because he was afraid of death, he had faith. I believe that he just valued this life that God gave him.

We all lost a great man. He was a man of virtue. He garnered respect in his community. He was passionate about family. His strong love of his children and grandchildren led him to be an obsessive worrier. He tried so hard to make sure that we were all okay. And that's a lot of worrying because there are a lot of us! His love for us was apparent, he reminded us all the time how much he loved us and how proud he was of us.

I finally found the words that have been bouncing around in my head while I watched my grandfather's battle.

Do not go gentle into that good night,Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - - -Dylan Thomas

Campbell's Playoff Game #2

Campbell is ready.
He gets the puck where he wants it
And covers it up until the ref blows the whistle.
Campbell's team played today. Our goalie did a pretty good job and we tied this game, 3-3. It is pretty funny to have all 3 boys tie this weekend.

Some of Damon's teammates have siblings on this team, including one little sister who is an amazing goal scorer. The last time we played her team, she scored 4 goals. Campbell has been playing mini-sticks with her during Damon's practice this past week and says that he was trying to learn how to "stone her", meaning not letting her score against him. And he did it, he stopped many shots by her.

His 4th game in net and now the player agents are scouting him. Really! I'll post more about that later.

Melanie, to answer your question about Patrick's tie, his team is actually playing a 7 point series (wins are 2 pts, ties are 1 pt) so they now have 3 points towards winning the series. For Campbell's playoffs it is different, they play each team in the league once, and the games count for points. If two teams are tied for points then they look at their goals against. The teams with the most points face each other in "Super Saturday".

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Patrick's Playoff Game #2

Our team 2
Other team 2

I didn't see the game, as I was taking Damon to his game. It even went into overtime, during which time, Patrick had a nice shot on net that was stopped. There weren't any career-ending injuries, so that is good.

Patrick's team manager did a fantastic job photographing the team. It cost less and we got the photos back much sooner. I love Patrick's photo.

Damon is still in regular season play and his game was tied 3-3.

Patrick's Playoff game #1

Good-guys 2
Mean-kids* 0

Patrick's team won their first playoff game! The energy level was really low, and our kids looked tired, but I guess the other team's kids were more tired. One of our players was hit from behind, breaking his collarbone. A penalty was called and the other player was ejected from the game and given a one game suspension. So now, this boy on our team, who has practiced 5 days a week since last August for this moment, is going to miss the rest of the playoffs and the tryouts for next season.

Game 2 just started, I'm waiting for the outcome.

* The kind of kids who don't apologize to six year-olds, even when they accidentally hit them in the eye with their sticks while walking through the hall to leave the arena.

Friday, February 23, 2007

"Oh Mommy, I'm so sorry."

One thing you never want to hear from a boy holding a hockey stick is, "Oh Mommy, I'm so sorry." Then he hugged me tightly and said, "I SOOOO broke the window."

You can always count on kids to keep you grounded, when you are waxing philosophic about the meaning of life and death, they yank you back into the here and now. I've been keeping busy today talking to window repair contractors and stained glass shops.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Remembering happier times...

As I type, my dear Grandpa Sam lays dying. He has been in palliative care for a week now. So much for the 24-48 hours that they predicted for him when he was admitted. He has clung to life despite severe septic infection and a heart attack. Still there were some really tough moral decisions to be made.
It was a struggle for my mother, who is power of care, to make a decision. Other family members had opinions of their own, driven by how uncomfortable they were with watching their beloved father struggle for breath, they hoped he would go quickly and peacefully. For my mother his comfort was of utmost concern, but some of the measures were prolonging his death. My mother had to struggle with what his wishes would be. I suggested that as an unquestioning man of faith, her answer should come from the church, and that she should presume that he would want a Roman Catholic Living Will. She sought the counsel of the priest, but sadly was not helped much at all by that particular priest. However, while she struggled with this, his deterioration has continued and it has come to a point where things such as fluids, were only serving to flood his lungs, and any feeds through his feeding tube would only serve to cause him him to aspirate some. So barring heroic measures, the decision has been taken from her hands.

Now all that I can do is pray that this wonderful man has a peaceful journey to heaven. I know that he will find his way to heaven. In my dreams he is helping God by bouncing of all of the babies and children in heaven upon his knee.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sometimes goalies happen

The most important thing I have learned as a parent is, "Never say never." This past weekend, I learned that this applies to hockey too.

Matt and I always vowed that none of our kids would be goalies. NEVER. Aside from that astronomical cost of goalie equipment, the experience of seeing the 12th goal slide past a 5 year old Patrick convinced me that neither my heart, nor my stomach could handle being a goalie's mom.

Damon really enjoyed his experiences as a goalie, and to his credit, he was a pretty decent goalie. Still, it was easy enough to convince him that his size and strength as a defenseman were far more valuable to his team.

Back in December, in the middle of a crazy weekend, Campbell had his first turn in net. Matt was accompanying Patrick and his team on a weekend away series. Damon had a tournament near Grandpa Bob's house, so the girls and I were there with Damon. Campbell's coach's family offered to keep him for the weekend so that he wouldn't miss the team Christmas Party and his turn in net. Damon's team lost in the semi-finals, giving me just enough time to get home to see Campbell's game. The photos here are of him on that day.

First a little bit of background, at the beginning of the season, MB, one of our players really started to stand out. By December, he was easily scoring 8 or 10 goals a game. His parents cautiously decided to move him up to the next age level so that he would be challenged a bit more. So when Campbell first played net, MB dominated the play, and Campbell only saw 3 shots on net. 1 went in, but we still won because MB scored a few hat-tricks.

That same week we had an "interlock" game with another arena's team, and no other goalies would have a chance to practice, Campbell got a second chance in net. This time he faced many more shots, and showed some impressive moves, helping his team win the game with a score of 5-2. Campbell won a "Super Sport" award for that game and I heard from all of the other parents how wonderful he was.

After watching everybody on the team took a turn in net, our coach needed to decide who was going to be in net for playoffs. I knew that he was impressed with Campbell, so I told Matt to tell the coach that he could have Campbell in net for alternate games, because I needed a week in between to recover my nerves. So when the coach asked Matt if Campbell would be the goalie for the playoffs, Matt looked down at a beaming Campbell and said, "Sure".

For weeks, Campbell let everybody know that he was going to be the playoff goalie. Family members, classmates, our family doctor, the cashier at the grocery store, they all knew that he, Campbell, would be the goalie for the playoffs. When it came time for a haircut, Campbell decided he needed a goalie haircut. So he asked Patrick who the best goalie in the whole wide world was. Patrick named a few names, and I did some google image searches. No offence to Patrick Roy, Ken Dryden or Dominik Hasek, but when we came across this photo of Martin Brodeur, it was clear to me who the best goalie in the whole wide world was, the one with the haircut that best suited Campbell! The next day we were at the arena all day for Patrick's school hockey tournament. Every hockey acquaintance we ran into at the tournament heard this, "I have da same haiwcut as da best goalie in da whole woild. Mawmmy, what's his name again? Oh yeah Mahtin Brodeu. An' I'm the goalie for da playoffs." At this point I was humouring him, but hoping that this was a phase and that a few tough games between the pipes and he would be singing a different song.

So Sunday rolls around, and we are playing against the top team in the league without MB. This team is used to winning with double digit scores. Campbell made some good saves, and that old feeling of dread in my stomach started to go away. He let a few in, but he got better with each save. By the third period, I found myself hoping that they would get another shot on him so that he could save it again! And I must say that he was just so cute doing it! My stomach was hurting, but that was from all of the cheering and laughing that we were doing watching him hop around in net. He kept his team in it, and the final score was 4-1 for the other team. The shots on net were 31-8 for the other team! He stopped 27. At his age, the goalies normally stop 50% of the shots. The other team's coach came to the bench, where Matt was as an assistant coach, to tell our coaches that the goalie was phenomenal. He asked where the goalie's dad was and Matt raised his hand. And he told Matt that he had a goalie on his hands. Other parents said, "that kid needs to be a goalie." In the hallways, I overheard strangers who had watched the game, "Did you see that kid in net, he was awesome."

When I got to the dressing room, I was surprised to see a teary-eyed Campbell. He was devastated. He wanted nothing less than a shut out. Matt and I reminded him that he played a very good team and then the coach started giving a speech about what an outstanding job Campbell did. Every parent and child from the team came and congratulated Campbell on his performance before they went home. That gave him some comfort.

His brothers gave him respect for the rest of the day. Damon was offering to carry his equipment to the van for him. Patrick was fussing over him all day. And little Campbell just basked in the glory.

So I learned that goalies do happen. And so does shameless bragging. Never say never.