Thursday, April 30, 2015

What We've Been Up To Lately

We've been enjoying the (somewhat) milder weather lately.  Last weekend, the girls even went outside to shoot hockey pucks and soccer balls on the play-yard with Gordy.

Josie is practicing to strengthen her shot.

As always, they were joined by Pippa Middleton who absolutely loves being outside.

No matter what her face may seem to suggest.

Pippa has completely recovered from her spay surgery and is back to doing all the things she likes to do best.  Like monitoring the neighborhood ...

ans resting on odd surfaces...

She has also resumed her very important schedule of walks, rawhide chewing, and kissing every friend and stranger she encounters.

Obviously, we are enjoying her.

Henry and Georgia are playing lacrosse, Josie and Georgia are playing soccer and Gordy and I have been driving around the state(s) like the bus drivers that we are.  

Things are good.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Welcome Home, Pippa

The day after the girls and I returned from New Jersey, poor Pippa Middleton was spayed.

We dropped her off at the vet at 8am and we didn't get to pick her back up until after five pm.

The house seemed empty without the puppy.  

Josie spent time in the afternoon decorating the house for Pippa's return.  She used a yoga mat as a red carpet and lined Pippa's toys along each side.

And then Josie decorated Pippa's crate.

She also printed out Welcome Home Signs and taped them around the kitchen.

The vet had told us to get a soft cone for Pippa Middleton to wear so that she couldn't worry her stitches.  I bought a soft cone and an inflatable donut from the internet but when they arrived, they were both way too small even for 9 pound Pippa.

The donut was so small that it fit perfectly around the neck of Pippa's plush fox toy!  

We went out and bought bigger models for Pippa but we left the tiny donut on Foxy, so Pippa wouldn't feel like she was the only one wearing a humiliating cone of shame.

Pippa was still groggy when we brought her home and she didn't eat or drink for about 12 hours.  After that, she bounced back pretty quickly from her surgery.  The hardest part has been keeping her calm and indoors.  Pippa loves to be outside and she loves to go on long walks and run around.  We were given strict instructions to keep her mellow for 5-7 days and it hasn't been easy (or fun).  We are all going a little stir-crazy.  

Tomorrow it will be day six, so I'm taking Pippa with me when I walk Josie to school, like I usually do.  She is going to be so thrilled to be out and about.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Our New Jersey Adventure

The girls and I just got back from a fantastic trip to New Jersey.  The main purpose of the journey was to attend Georgia's soccer tournament, but since we were in New Jersey, we scheduled a few bonus adventures including an amazing (and too-short) visit with my dear friend, Nara, her husband Eric and their daughters, Alexis and Cassidy.  

The last time that Nara and I saw each other was about two weeks after Alexis was born, so it had been awhile, although it felt like it hadn't been more than a day.  It's always that way with great friends, isn't it?

We promised to not let so much time pass between visits next time.

Georgia and her team played three games over two days.

The weather in New Jersey was amazing.  On Saturday it was in the eighties and even though it was cooler on Sunday, the sun was still out and it was gorgeous.

It wasn't perhaps the girls' most successful tournament.  They won a game and lost their other two.

And from these photos, you can see that these tri-state girls are a whole lot taller than their New England counter-parts!

After the sunday game, we packed up our bags and drove to my hometown, Summit, where we walked around town, played at the playground by my elementary school and drove by my old house.

We also enjoyed a great dinner in downtown Summit:

before calling it a night at the Grand Summit Hotel.

We needed a good night sleep because the next day we were making a pilgrimage to the great shopping mecca, The Mall at Short Hills (cue the singing angel music!)

No one does shopping malls like New Jersey and the Mall at Short Hills is perhaps the best mall in the US.  We shopped until we could walk no more (we got about 2/3rds through) and then headed home to Massachusetts.

The girls are on spring break now,  although we are home-bound because of Henry still being in school.  I'm hoping for nice weather so we can at least be outdoors.  

What's on our agenda:  hanging out with friends, soccer practice (which never stops), poor Pippa Middleton is getting spayed (she's at the vet now while I type this) and Henry has a lacrosse game or two.   Life as usual!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Hockey Awards

Every year, our town's youth hockey program holds an award ceremony where each player gets a trophy and where the coaches hand out a prize to the most dedicated player from each team.  This award is called the Galvin Award and Henry won one a few years ago. (I tried to find the link to the post I wrote then, but I can't find it.  I'm sorry.) 

There is also another award - it's called the Herb Wood trophy and it's awarded to a second-year Bantam player in recognition of all his/her dedication and hard work throughout their entire youth hockey career.  

A week or so before the award ceremony, Gordy got word that Henry was being given this prestigious award (they wanted to make sure that Henry would be sure to attend the ceremony).

Getting Henry there was no easy feat.  He had a lacrosse game on the North Shore (about 45 minutes away from our house) and it was running late when I arrived to whisk him back home to the ceremony.

Then there was the fact that Henry had a ton of homework, was un-showered and sweaty from his lacrosse game, and had no interest attending his eighth (and final) youth hockey award presentation.  We have a rule that homework (especially tests and papers) trumps sports, so Henry was completely confused about why I wasn't allowing him to skip what can be a very long event.

The Bantam teams are the last to get their awards and the Herb Wood award ceremony is at the bitter end.

Each coach talks about their team's season and each player is called up to the stage to receive their award.  And then the team stands together, holding the hockey banner while the coach explains how/why they chose the team's Galvin winner.

The process takes awhile, especially if the coach is a yapper.

But then it was time for the Wood award and Henry seemed surprised that he won (although he claims he was not).

Here he is with the President of Winchester Youth Hockey (and a family friend whose son was on many of Henry's hockey and lacrosse teams throughout the years):

It was an exciting way to end a youth hockey career.

Well done, Henry!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Last Game of Youth Hockey

So after winning the States and the Regionals, Henry's hockey team lost the last game of their Youth Hockey careers.  It was unexpected and strange and it was weirdly anti-climatic, too.

Everything about the game seemed off.  The players weren't themselves, the refs weren't doing the best job and no one seemed to want to be in a hockey rink anymore.

Youth hockey season is way too long.  It starts at the beginning of September and continues until the middle of April and by the spring, everyone is just over it.

Next year, Henry will play on one of our town's Midget teams which have a shorter season and maybe that will be a good thing.  

I know he'll miss hockey, but at least he won't be playing hockey and lacrosse at the same time as he's done for the last few years.  

The team lost 5-3, Henry broke his stick, got a penalty for un-sportsman-like conduct and Gordy was in a huff all night long.

Yep.  We're done!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Easter 2015

Easter 2015 was pretty low-key.  

To celebrate Easter, we usually rely on our friends who throw an annual egg-hunt / brunch party but this year the party was cancelled because of the presence of snow on the ground outside and ice-dam-damaged ceilings and floors on the inside.  Our party-throwers are not feeling festive and I can't say that I blame them.

We tried to make the best of things.

Georgia and Josie dyed Easter eggs in the morning and I made (heated up) cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

We did our usual Easter Basket hunt and we took Pippa Middleton for a long walk around a local pond.

And then we just hung around for the rest of the day and did nothing, which was a treat in itself.

We did miss the party and seeing a lot of friends whom we don't get to see but once a year on Easter, but there was something nice about spending Easter in our pajamas.

For Easter dinner, Gordy made us all fajitas which were amazing as always.

And now it's one week later and I'm just getting around to telling you about it!  Whoops.

I might as well fill you in on what else has been going on around here.... it will be quick since there hasn't been much going on around here.  The kids went to school, there were lacrosse and soccer practices and music lessons.  Josie had her first soccer game of the season yesterday and Georgia has a soccer game in Rhode Island later today.  

The biggest news is that Henry is playing his very last Youth Hockey game this afternoon.  It sounds dramatic and sad, but that's misleading.  Bantam level is considered the last level of Youth Hockey but next year he'll still be playing (for a shorter season, granted) in the Midget level.  I have no idea why Midgets aren't considered Youth Hockey, but they aren't.

Next weekend, the girls and I will be headed to New Jersey for a soccer tournament, so stay tuned for photos from that.

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