Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hail to My Little Victor!

My what a difference a month makes.  You remember weeks ago how frustrated I was about Austin's progress or lack thereof.  Well soon after that rough post he really turned a corner.  Up until today we hadn't had any tears or need for breaks during hockey the past couple weeks.  Today he skated as best he ever has however, I think a late night at Grandpa's made for a very tired and emotionally tested Austin.  He'd fall and cry, he complained often that his feet hurt, it was just a rough go.  But check out the video and be amazed at how well he is skating!  And you can also see him score a goal today. Crazy good day!

After the practice a few of the players went over to the U of M field house where Dance Marathon was taking place. This is where Coach Jackie received the grant to start the hockey program. It was a very neat experience and nothing like I imagined. These kids are out there for 30 straight hours, have no idea what time it is, and dancing in a carnival atmosphere all to raise money for kids with physical disabilities. They would also pay tribute to some kids they had helped and had testimonies and such. One teenager was playing the drums along to Eminem's Lose Yourself. The gist of his story was he was hit by a babysitter in the chest at 4 months old and his heart had stopped for 28 minutes. He had severe cerebral palsy and talked very slowly but was able to beat that drum and cymbal with his rigid arms. It was so incredibly sad yet inspiring and it brings tears to my eyes thinking about it again.

And look who we got to meet?? Ashley freaked right out. She was terrified so we didn't try to track down anymore characters though we really would have liked a picture with the U of M Storm Trooper and a Sand Monster.

I'm glad we got to see what the Dance Marathon was all about. Throughout this whole project we have not had to pay for anything. Never an ice bill and if we hadn't had all hand me down equipment they would have given us all new equipment except skates which kids can rent and bags and they've slowly salvaged enough bags as hand me downs from others. The number of volunteers on the ice each week is also impressive with Austin often having one on one help with these awesome young adults and a few not so young adults.

Every week since mid-January, Austin and either Joe, myself, or our whole family has made the 90 minute trek to and from Ann Arbor. On the way down we always see this billboard. And I always go back to those dreaded days in 2003 when we almost lost him. U of M saved him though he's had a horribly tough go at times. Over 7 years later U of M is still there helping Austin along with many other heroes to be the best that he can be. I know all you State fans are probably rolling your eyes at this but "Hail to my Little Conquering Hero you've come so far my crazy boy!"

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Squirt A MAHA Champions!

There are hockey games, and then there are hockey games.  Any given day, any given team can win no matter how good on paper the other team is.  It's who's left standing in the end that matters. And today ended an unbelievable journey for the underdog Blizzard!  Here is the recap.

Early January we hear that we are in a District with the Saginaw Badgers and the Blue Water Stars.  We beat Saginaw in the round robin but lose to Blue Water (who had eliminated us in Silver Sticks and ouch did that hurt).  District Semi's we once again beat Saginaw setting up the rematch with Blue Water for the District Championship which we do win.  Blue Water then goes on to the Second Chance game and gets into the State Tournament this weekend also.  Those darn Stars just won't go away quietly! 

Soon we get the division alignments and see we are in a tough division with Troy who manhandled us 8-0 during our last visit, Ann Arbor, and Macomb who we've played pretty evenly.  We have Ann Arbor Friday night, Macomb Saturday morning, and Troy Saturday in round robin play.  I figured we had to win against Ann Arbor Friday night to even think about moving on and we lost. I then went home because Austin had Sacrament Class and Ashley went to Honeybee's with Julie.  Saturday morning the Blizzard tied Macomb and it seemed like we were toast and I decided to not even drive down last night to watch us get killed by the team who had a good chance going in of winning the whole thing.  Well we ended up winning 5-0 in a phenomenal game (Joe's words) getting us a 2nd seed draw in today's semi's.  Another upset in the other division was a KV loss to Blue Water.  Here we were having to play those pesky Stars again but it was better than playing KV who clobbered us two weeks ago in the LCAHL semi's.  I wasn't there and I think I'm glad as it went into 7 overtimes!!  That's right 7.  They played over two full games this morning.  Ann Arbor took KV into 6 overtimes but KV prevailed.  What a crazy weekend of Squirt hockey!  So many teams saying we were so, so close.

Game time was here and I was honestly thinking a loss was looming but was thrilled knowing we'd be State runner ups! The game started a little late but had a little more hoopla.  They called out the starting line-up and also had a gal sing the National Anthem.  See this tourney is special! And kudos to Joe he was saying all last week we were going to win.  I'm so glad he was right.

The game soon began and we come out and scored but KV quickly answered, we were tied 1-1 after one period of play.  The second period KV scored first but we end up answering.  Tied 2-2 after two.  Oh Lord, please don't let this game go to OT.  In the 3rd we scored with a little less than 9 minutes to go and held on to win.  What a euphoric feeling for sure! 

It was kind of poetic justice today as way back in that first tourney in the fall KV stung us hard in the tournament final.  This was also the team if you remember we were tied with 12 seconds to go and Tommy had a breakaway and missed the net that initial weekend.  He cried that day and the next day we took 2nd place when they crushed us 6-2. There would be no crying for Tommy today, no heroics from him either, but just solid hustle and good play all weekend.  I only saw two of the five games but he looked good from what I did see, though he definitely looked out of gas towards the end today.

All year it's been talk of KV & Troy and the rest of us teams were just there for beating on.  We had some good games through the year and pulled off a few upsets and some lower ranked teams beat us too.  But today in the State Tournament when it really mattered it was the 2001 Bay County Blizzard who rose to the top!

Starting Line Up
 Face Off
 Tommy after receiving his medal
MAHA State Champs!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This post brought to you by the number 10!

This post is over a month overdue!  Hopefully I will get Ashley's birthday post out still this month. Tommy turned 10 on February 4th.  As you can see by the jerseys he likes the number 10. He has lucked out the last few years being able to get 10 for hockey, baseball, and basketball.  And now I'll be darn, he is 10 years old.  Where oh where does the time go?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Embracing the Pale

Red Hair and Freckles.

Dad says I came home from school crying in 1st grade because kids said my hair was fake, that I "painted it."  The story is kind of funny.  But all growing up I just didn't understand why I couldn't be normal.  In my small school my family was the only set of gingers. Years later I embrace my red hair (though it is enhanced chemically with both high and low lights), but I am still not fond of the fair skin and freckles. 

There has been talk in the news this week about the government putting a ban on teenage tanning at salons.  I never tanned as a teenager, and if I was at home (I'm at a hotel) I'd maybe post a prom pic of pale me and my tanned cousin.  (she looks way better) I did however tan three different times in my 20's and I have to say dang I looked good.  But was it worth the premature aging of skin and worse possibly skin cancer? I would have loved the tan ban as a high schooler as it would have been more of an equalizer for me with my peers.  Now I say I hope my kids aren't as shallow as I was and are confident in their fair skin.  Trying to fit in, I often tried the sunless tanners but usually ended up a streaky orange.  Why did I ever care what others thought of me?  On to today's issue, I don't think it's the government's place to be banning this for teens, I do however believe that they should need parental consent to tan.  And in this household, it would be a big fat NO for teenage tanning.  I just wish teens didn't feel the need to tan to feel beautiful during prom season. 

That all being said, I still prefer a tanned body, however, after reading this article from the UK I've decided to ditch the bronzer and blush and just go au natural.  I'm ready to embrace my inner Nicole Kidman and Marcia Cross.  Now the question is, will I look svelte and chic like the mentioned celebrities?  Or sick and pasty?  Again, why do I even care?  I have a wonderful husband who loves me no matter what I look like, and I wear my clothes well.  It's just the upcoming summer season that has me loathing my red hair and freckles. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Potty Whisperer

Oh yeah, it's me.  So two weeks ago today I embarked on the 3 day potty train plan.  Don't count that first day and I can count her accidents on one hand.  That's right FIVE!  Two that next day on Wednesday, two the following Sunday, 1 a week later on Thursday and that my friends has been it.  The girl is doing phenomenal!  She even reached a huge achievement finally landing a deuce at school.  That has been the only major trial in this whole process.  She doesn't like to poop on the potty.  However, she also will not go in her underwear.  So we often do this up down dance forever until she finally goes.  Today was not so bad though it was like 5 minutes of up/down.  Maybe we are on our way.  The more often she goes, the more comfortable she will get.  I'm hopeful anyways, I had the same darn issues with both boys and deserve an easier go. ;)

I am so proud of my little girl and heck I'm proud of me too. :) And the rest of the family and caregivers.  They've been wonderful through all this.  Miss Jill even made her an adorable potty book.  It's so darn cute. 

Sometimes however when we've gone to pee for the fourth time in an hour I do think diapers were certainly easier and more convenient.  However, the closer she gets to her two year old birthday the more attitude she seems to give and the more intense of a tantrum she throws.  I guess I'd rather have the fight now, rather than later and now it hasn't been much of a fight. As for saving money?  I think I bought months worth of cost of diapers in new underwear, at least that in new potty seats, the laundry for a while was much more often. 

And did I also mention that she has been staying dry at night and for naps too?  I'm in freaking shock over here.  I don't remember the last time she peed the bed though I know it was in the last week, but not since the weekend for sure. Amazing!

So I said I'd be singing this lady's praises if it worked I must give credit out there.  3 Day Potty Training There is the link for anyone who is interested.  I guess Ashley was just ready.  I still know there could be accidents here or there but for now I'm calling her potty trained.  We take her out and about and have no problem.  We do have to bring her little purple potty seat with us but I guess I'll deal with that.  Somehow I'm thinking diapers may just be a bit more sanitary than putting our potty ring on all these toilet seats.  But I'm not going back there, I think the diaper stage in my life is finally over.  Happy/Sad.  ;)