Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving???

If things happen in threes I guess / hope - we’re done for a while…

1. yesterday, Chris’s car was spewing oil, he checked it out last night and all I gathered from the proceedings was that some part was really, really stuck but still oozing oil everywhere and now there’s literally a trail to the repair place we took it to today,okay, now it’s fixed but what timing – the day before Thanksgiving!!

2. the beetle already had a flat so we couldn’t use that (I have called it the Money Sucking Beetle now I know why) …it’s in the shop to be repaired - and then

3. our septic alarm went off this afternoon and the guys who came to check it out just left - and took four hundred dollars with them!! Our septic pump might be shot which could cost lots more if we have to replace it!! Oh swell!! And the air just reeks or maybe the stink is stuck in my nose... because they just pumped out the whole septic tank.

Hopefully the long weekend will only get better - right now I've gotta go check on the warranty on the septic pump.... just in case

Monday, November 10, 2008

a message from Chris about Dima's hockey game on Saturday

As you may or may not know Dima is currently playing hockey for the local team called the Dyna-Mites. They have levels based on age and talent. Mite Major, Mite Minor and Cross Ice. If it was purely age driven Dima would be a Mite Minor. But as he started skating later in life than many (I know, hard to believe that starting at 5 1/2 is LATE in life!!!) he is on the developmental team, the Cross Ice team.

I was asked to help out with the coaching...for those that have seen me play you know how funny that is....! Actually I am just an assistant coach, I am really just there to help wrangle the kids and help them stay focused on the ice!
We have practices about once a week or so on Sat and/or Sundays. And get this...most are at 6am! How is that for a morning guy like me (sarcasm)!!

So...anyway......we have been practicing each week since Sept and this Sat we had a last minute opportunity to play in our first game as in we found out about it at 6:45am.
Dyna-Mites vs. The Generals at Face Off Circle in Warminster. As I said the game was not on our schedule, The Generals had some ice time and needed an opponent. So we gathered our players at 7am to see who wanted to play...well after all that practicing and no game yet....most said they wanted to play! How could the moms and dads say no eh? So we donned our new jerseys and headed off to our first game.

Cross Ice is just that, we do not use the full sheet but play side to side and there are usually no goalies.

How did we do? We won 14-11 (I did mention no goalie right?). Dima had, get this, a Hat trick and at least 1 assist! Papa has been playing since 2002 and has NEVER come close to a Hat Trick! And when called to play D, he made some great plays in front of his net and made some awesome saves too! I was shocked and amazed at his determination, spirit, focus, and over all enthusiasm during the game. And it was not just Dima but all the kids. It was like some sort of switch went off. All that coaching and appears they are listening and they do get it! Go figure.

Everyone had a blast, players, fans, and coaches.
I told Dima he may never score another goal again, and as he and I stress all the time, it is not winning that matters but having fun, but he can always take away that he scored a Hat Trick. Something Papa has never done and will likely never do!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I want to go to the hospital

As I arrived to pick Josh from school yesterday the teacher cautioned the waiting parents that the class had a "Traumatic" day. Josh apparently hasn't learned the meaning of the word traumatic cause he was definitely excited, not traumatized. One of the students fell and cracked her head and ended up in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. There were police involved - according to Josh- he just thought it was great.

Today he came out with "I want to go to the hospital" I told this to the girls at our eye doctor's office (who just adore him) while waiting for Josh's glasses to be adjusted and one of them suggested taking him on a tour of the hospital - I'm not sure if you can just walk in without having a person to go visit - can you? If Josh keeps saying he wants to go I just might look into it, But with my luck he's so friendly he'd go from room to room and think it was great to get to see everyone!! Maybe there's a virtual tour or something on youtube to make him understand that hospitals aren't all ambulances and cops. The kids like the one with the "crack on her head" might be able to tell him it's no fun to be there. I'm hoping he doesn't try to get injured to see the cops and ambulance up close.

We were at the eye doctor because two of the teachers at school noticed that he's been getting very close to his work even with his glasses on. The doctor was not alarmed and said that far-sightedness is hard to deal with especially in kids. He re-tested him and the prescription is the same as it was when he was last checked in the spring so it's not that it's changed, it's just that Josh CAN see far and has to figure out how to best use the glasses to work at close distances. The doc did say that Josh could get away with not wearing the glasses but will most likely need them as his schoolwork gets more involved than it is now. He did say that we can take the glasses off for stuff like hockey so they don't get to bent up under the helmet. Since he's okay with wearing them - it's a habit now - we should keep him in them and maybe have a glasses case in the hockey bag to use while he's skating - until the level of play gets tougher. His skating is getting so good that he's soon going to be ready to actually start doing the learn to play hockey clinics. Today Coach Lisa had his class doing crossovers where they were supposed to go sideways down a line but picking each foot up and placing it beside the other and Josh was going " I did it! I did it!!" when he was really just turning his feet so that he was walking sideways. During free skate he kept telling the coach who had him chasing pucks "Stop it!" cause the guy was taking pucks from him, still he scored more goals during free skate than I ever have or will, so I've gotta say he's doing alright.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Brushes with history

All set to perform my civic duty today I got up dark and early this morning and arrived at the small school that we go to for our polling place just before 7am. There were no parking spots all around the school so I ended up going down a side street to walk to the school – by the time I got inside everyone else in the immediate area was in there too and the line went down the length of the basketball court!! What a madhouse! I really did want to get it over with so I wouldn't have to bring kids with me to wait in line. Chris ended up working from home so it did give us some flexibility in getting out there but he still had to get work done so I opted not to stay to wait around. By the time I went back around 12:30 there were 2 people ahead of me and I went right through I was voter number 716!! I guess they were busy!!

As I opted out of my first opportunity to vote I couldn't help but wonder if the lines would be like that all day. Then I was thinking about last week when I was just steps away from one of the gathering places of the city of Philadelphia while the Phillies were within reach of winning the world series, well the night just got rainier and colder until they decided to stop the game to re-start it a few days later. So not only was the game not won, I had to drive down the turnpike in bad weather, that's never a fun thing to do. Of course once they resumed the game they won and the whole town went wild but that was while I was back out in the boonies here in Chester county and even though it's an area that's tied to and very close to the city there really wasn't a whole lot of celebrating in the streets around here, uh, woo hoo....

I did have the chance to be in DC years ago when the Redskins won the Superbowl and that was cool - going down Pennsylvania Ave to Georgetown in the car of someone we didn't know until the people walking were going faster than we could drive. At the time I couldn't believe I was seeing people hanging out sitting on second story building ledges and climbing on stoplights and every one high-fiving everyone else. Now the past of that historic event that I saw was very cool. That was okay because no one did anything stupid to hurt anyone else and it was all innocent fun. From what I understand the Philly crowd - in places wasn't so controlled breaking a store window and overturning cars. Just after the game was won you could see people lighting fireworks in the crowd - duh, not a good idea! Maybe it was just as well that I didn't have to decide to go into the crowd or not.

Looks like it'll be a short bus and a special class

After many phone conversations, releases signed and hours of observation of Dima in the classroom Chris and I met with his school psychologist, the school counselor and his teacher last week to discuss what to do to help him have a better learning experience. The bottom line is that he seems to be overwhelmed with the classwork and he's trying everything he can to get out and away when it's time to sit down and learn stuff in the class. He's doing stuff like whacking other kids over the head with his lunch box and kicking them when they all sit down for story time. He's smart enough to do stuff while the teacher is distracted with other things - and with 23 other kids in the class I'm sure that's often -

At this point he's so out of control that it's distracting to other kids too. We're fortunate in that a solution is offered in our school district - in the school where he went last year - in the form of a smaller class, with a male teacher who has a background dealing with this specialized sort of situation. The program is called BRIDGES with the goal being to eventually get him back to "regular" instruction in a regular classroom once he's had help with his behavioral issues. At this point we're waiting for him to be accepted into the program - interesting word to use for it being that you'd think of that as a good thing where this really isn't a good situation to be in - Now I'm truly sorry for each time I even thought of making fun of those kids... though we're told that the class isn't strictly slow kids it's also ones with emotional issues - which is what Dima's been officially diagnosed with - for now - along with the AD/HD.

The day after tomorrow that will be his first day on a stimulant to see if this can help him make better choices while he's in school. I'm hoping that we'll find a way to help him have better days so he doesn't dread school any more. He's not pleading to stay home anymore but he's still saying that he doesn't like school.