Pink eyes and binky goodbyes

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for us lately. Both girls have had cases of pinkeye and tonsillitis to fight through, plus Ava has had a bad rash all over her torso that she’s still taking steroids for. We seem to be on the tail end of everything, but there’s still medicine to be taken. Then there’s Mr. Enzo, who has recently discovered how to flush the toilet. Obviously it’s so much more fun to flush the toilet with something in there and watch it disappear, so over the past two nights he has blocked up two of our three toilets; one with a toy train, and the other with his fox binky, which is a pacifier sewed to a little stuffed fox.

Last night I tried to fix the downstairs toilet by removing it from the floor and digging around for an obstruction, but not only was I unsuccessful, I also caused a minor flood in the bathroom. By the time I got all the water cleaned up I was so pissed that I decided I didn’t care what the cost was, I would be calling a plumber regardless. So I worked from home today, called a plumber first thing in the morning, and waited for the bad news.

Needless to say it cost us a pretty penny to get both toilets fixed. He tried using a snake to clear them, but that didn’t work, so removing them from the floor was the only option, meaning they needed to be re-sealed and seated. Whatever, it’s not a big deal, and I’m certainly not trying to make it about the money, it’s just annoying. I’ve found that with home ownership there are two types of expenses: those that add value to the house and can be considered an investment, and those that get (pardon the pun) flushed down the toilet. Obviously this one was the latter.

At least we have one positive takeaway from this ordeal: we’re using it as a catalyst for Enzo to be done with pacifiers. When he asks for his binky we say “Sorry buddy but you flushed it down the toilet. It’s gone now. But that’s okay because you’re a big boy now and big boys don’t need binky’s.” I’m sure it will be a bit of a rough transition, but it’s time. In the meantime we need to keep a close eye on him and make sure he’s staying out of the bathroom, until of course we’re ready for our next big transition – diapers.

In other news, we had a great time hosting Madi for a sleepover recently. She and Kristy met me and the girls at the ice skating rink to watch one of Ava’s lessons. Afterwards we all skated for about an hour. It was Madi’s first time, and Kristy’s first time since she was a kid. They both did awesome and had a lot of fun, so I hope we get to do it again. Elise actually got out on the ice that day as well, and although it’s not quite as natural for her as it is for Ava, I was still really proud of her for trying. She ended up doing two laps around the rink before retiring to the stands to run up and down the bleachers.

Later on we all had lunch, then relaxed for an afternoon movie. That night we went out for pizza, then watched another movie about young figure skaters. The next morning I made a big breakfast, then Kristy met up with us a the pool where we enjoyed water slides, floating in the lazy river, and playing in the water jungle. It was a great visit and we hope to have her again soon.

Jessica has been making good progress on her neck from going to physical therapy and seems to be getting a bit better each day. Hopefully it keeps up too considering our trip to Raleigh is only a week away. She hasn’t let it phase her much at all though and keeps just as busy as ever. She’s back in the gym, swimming, running, and keeping up with the kids all the time, which is probably the most exercise of all.

Monday will be our 7th wedding anniversary so the timing of our trip works out perfect in terms of celebrating. Considering that Jessica was hospitalized for an appendectomy on our 6th anniversary, it’s more than safe to say this year will be a lot more fun. I’m more than ready for a long weekend, good weather, fun with friends, and some good southern food!

The only bummer about our trip is that I’m going to miss the final week of my beginners hockey league. Not a big deal though because I’ve already signed up for the next session, starting later in April. I scored my first goal in our game on Sunday, which was a thrill. I got out on a fast break with the puck, and my first instinct was to pass to one of my teammates, but when I looked around, I saw that they were about two strides behind me, and so were the defenders. So then I totally had that ‘Oh shit’ moment where I realized that everyone is watching me, and I better not screw this up. Honestly I didn’t even care if I scored, I just wanted to put a shot on goal and make the goalie do something to stop it, rather than shoot wide of the goal or over the top. I took a couple more strides, pulled it back, and shot as hard as I could. It probably wasn’t very impressive looking from the stands, but it felt damn good to see it sneak by the goalie’s skates and into the back corner of the net.

It ended up being the only goal scored by our team, and I totally did that celebration move you see on TV where I glided on one knee and pumped my fist a few times. I won’t normally do stuff like that, as I generally prefer when athletes act like they’ve been there before, but the truth was I hadn’t been there before, so it felt worthy of a celebration. More importantly, I love getting out there and playing and I’m committed to getting better, so I’m glad to have found this new hobby. I’ve got one more game this Sunday, then I’ll be looking forward to getting started with the next session.

Ava is continuing to impress me with her ice skating. This past weekend they were working on two foot glides, then lifting a foot and doing a one foot glide. After her lesson I was working with her during the public skate on these things, and out of nowhere she says “Hey Dad, can you do this?” and she starts hopping on one foot! I’m like, “Actually I don’t think I can do that.” I tried, and almost bit it big time. Eventually I got it, but it took several tries. It was no big deal for Ava, and mind you, this isn’t something they taught her in class. She just started doing it on her own! I knew she could hop on two feet because we frequently jump over the lines while skating, but doing a one foot hop never even crossed my mind. No biggie for Ava though.

Obviously if she wants to get really good it’s going to take a lot of practice, but there’s no question that she has natural talent to work with. I think most people assume that because she’s a girl, she’s going to get into figure skating, and she certainly might, but right now she talks about playing hockey more than anything. Obviously a big part of that is due to my recent involvement in it, but she seems pretty excited to play and talks about it frequently. It doesn’t matter to us as long as she’s having fun. The other important thing is that we don’t push Elise into anything just because Ava is doing it. I just look forward to her finding something she enjoys just as much as Ava enjoys skating.

Guess that’s about it for now. I’m sure there will be plenty to talk about after we return from Raleigh. Bye for now.

Ava’s first ice skating lesson

I just wanted to write a quick post about how proud I am of Ava regarding her first ice skating lesson on Saturday, as well as the exciting weekend we have to look forward to in the next few days. Before I get into that, a quick update on Jessica and the neck issues she’s been having. It’s been 6 weeks now, and although she’s been trying a number of different treatments, including massage, yoga, and acupuncture, she’s still been in consistent pain. Yesterday she went to her first physical therapy appointment, which was prescribed by a doctor, and the results were the best thing she has experienced yet, so we really feel like we’re finally on the right track with all this. She’s got a variety of exercises to work on daily, and several more therapy appointments already scheduled, but her therapist knows exactly what and where the issue is and how to treat it. Hopefully we’ve found light at the end of the tunnel. Can’t wait for her to be back to her normal self; these past 6 weeks have been really hard on her.

Regarding Ava, last Saturday was her first skating lesson. She was supposed to be in the level 1 class (Snowplow Sam 1) but when she stepped out on the ice and skated for a few seconds, the teacher immediately moved her over to the level 2 class. I watched her throughout the class, and I don’t mean to brag, but she was easily one of the best skaters in that class as well! Some of it is natural talent, but I couldn’t help but take a little pride in how well she was doing because we’ve been skating a lot lately, and I’ve been teaching her some of the same things I’ve been learning in hockey. To her credit, she’s been picking it up very easily and getting better each time out.

She ended up having a blast in her class and wanted to stick around for the public skating session afterwards. I went out to skate with her, but she had already made a friend from her class, so she skated with that little girl for quite a while. Once her friend had to go she came over and skated with me for a bit longer. We had such a good time and she was already talking about wanting to get started with her next lesson. Not surprisingly, Elise is getting more and more interested in joining us, so hopefully it won’t be long before she does.

I actually organized a team ice skating lunch at work next Tuesday and a bunch of us are going. Although one of our girls will be in school at that time, there’s a chance that Jessica and the other 2 kiddos will join us. Should be a lot of fun, and a nice team building exercise for all of my co-workers, especially the new ones.

This weekend we’ve got a lot to look forward to. Friday night Jessica and I are going out with another couple for dinner and live music. Then on Saturday morning, Kristy and Madi will meet us at the ice skating rink at the end of Ava’s class. Madi will be staying the night with us that night, so we’re going to skate for a while, then head home for a movie. This weekend will be our first since finishing our diet, so we’re all going out for dinner that night with Madi.

Sunday morning we’re all going swimming, and this will actually be our third Sunday in a row doing so. Turns out there are 2 indoor water complexes within 20 minutes of our house, and both are very modern/family friendly. They’ve got pools, toddler play areas, lazy rivers, slides, and one even has an area for surfing. We know Madi loves to swim, so that should be a fun way to finish her overnight visit. Kristy will meet us there Sunday afternoon, then we’ll go our separate ways after. We’ll be home in plenty of time for me to get ready for Sunday afternoon hockey.

In the slightly longer-term, we’re only about 3 weeks away from our trip to Raleigh, so that’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve already found a guitar store that I need to check out while we’re there, but other than that, I’m looking forward to going with the flow, and eating like a king. Laurel and Mark have already given us a recommendation for a nice barbecue restaurant to check out while we’re there, so I think we’re in good shape. Lots of cool stuff coming up for us, so I’m sure I’ll be writing again soon.