The Piano Bench

Is been a long while since I’ve written. I’m still in the process of adding pages and design to the blog. I am almost complete but not yet. So I apologize leaving everyone hanging for so long. That being said after I read the post from The LadyBird Magpie from Parkdale it sparked me to write. Thanks Andrea.

The Piano Bench

I’m not sure if  The LadyBird Magpie from Parkdale really knew the whole story behind her piano bench but I thought I would take the time to write about it.

Andrea in my opinion is an amazing piano player. She was self taught. I found she never gave herself as much credit as she deserved for how well she played.

 Grade Eleven

I walked home from the bus stop after rowing practice every night. Once I reached the corner onto our street you could hear her playing the piano. She pounded on those keys relentlessly and played wonderful music. Some music I knew and some I didn’t. Sometimes after I got home and started dinner I sat out on the side porch to hear her play as the music echoed on our street.

I was one of three girls that took shop in our high school. I can confidently say I learned very little from my shop teacher. What I learned I learned from my Dad.

My shop teacher had a huge complex. It was okay for girls to take shop it just wasn’t okay to be better than the boys. So every now and then he would throw me a curve ball and try to set me up to fail. On this particular assignment I had to come up with a main project that used the computerized lathe. He made smart ass comments about making a vanity table or some shit remark about a girly project that I would be better suited for.

So on my way home one night I heard Andrea play but I could also hear the old squeaky stool she sat on while she played. On that cold November night the idea hit me. I’ll make Andrea a piano bench. I’ll give it to her for Christmas.

Andrea had no idea.

So I talked to my Dad about the piano bench project. I drew up the plans and had six weeks to build it. I drew simple legs on autocad and viola! The computerized lathe made the legs. It was a one shot deal. Everyone in class had one turn on the computer and one turn on the lathe.

My shop teacher tried to convince me to make an intricate design but warned me it could snap the wood. I opted for the classic simple timeless design for the legs.

I assembled the bench at home with Dad’s help. My shop teacher was useless and my classmates were busy with their own projects to give me a hand. I looked at it and said to my Dad it needed something special. Something was missing. Dad had just the thing.

“How about we give it a cushion.” Dad said.

“A cushion?” I said.

Dad went to the back of the garage where all of the rolls of fabric were stacked. He pulls out a dark burnt orange velvet material.

“What about this?” Dad said.

I clasped my hands together with delight. It was perfect.

I painted the bench to match the grey painted piano, glued the foam to the bench and Dad helped me fastened the fabric.

It was awesome.


Picture courtesy of The LadyBird Magpie of Parkdale

Shop was the last class of the day. It was the last day of classes before Christmas break. Our projects were supposed to be marked.

Surprise! He didn’t bother to grade them.

“Well I’m taking the bench anyway it’s a Christmas present.” I told him. He already knew that because he always eavesdropped on our conversations.

“Well they can wait till after Christmas to get their present.” He said shortly while he pretended to be busy writing on his clipboard.

“Uhh noo I’ll bring it back after the break.” I said curtly.

The Bell Rang

I grabbed the bench. Other’s followed suit and grabbed their projects. I wasn’t the only one that made a Christmas gift. Adrien held open the door for me and we all walked out leaving my shop teacher standing there with his mouth left hung open.

“What a prick.” Adrien said. We all nodded in agreement while we walked down the hall.

I waited around for Dad to pick me up. The air was so cold that it bit if you stayed outside too long. We didn’t have any snow yet but you could feel it was on the way. The smell of burning firewood wafted through the air.

Andrea was home and playing her piano. The yellow glow of the lamp warmed the living room. I grabbed the bench out of the back of the van and walked over to Andreas. Dad asked if I wanted help but I declined. It was manageable.

I knocked on the door and Andrea had this puzzled look on her face.

“Merry Christmas!” I said.

“What?” Andrea smiled from ear to ear.

She held open the door and I brought in the bench into the living room.

“Only one problem. I need to have it back so my shop teacher can grade it but I made you a piano bench for Christmas. You can chuck that rickety old piece of crap now.” I pointed to the old wooden stool.

“You made me a bench.” Andrea jaw slightly dropped as she continued to stare at the bench.

I showed her the storage underneath for her music sheets and how I decided to put in a hinge so it would stay open while she looked for things.

“Oh my God you made me a bench!” Andrea smiled from ear to ear. She couldn’t say anything else. She was speechless.

The look on Andrea’s face was thanks enough.


My brother knocked on the door. It was time for dinner. Andrea and I hugged and I ran out the door. I stopped at the end of the driveway and turned to see Andrea through the large picture window standing in the same place I left her.

I smiled.

I knew she was going through the roughest patch in her life and it was gratifying to know that I made her smile.




Reflections of 2013

After going through some facebook posts I realized I wasn’t the only one glad to see the back of 2013. Everyone I knew had gone through some kind of crisis with family members and friends.

It was a bad year for everyone.

Today I realized after I was downloading the photos from my now defunked blackberry is wasn’t all bad, and there were some good moments.

So I decided to highlight some of the good things of 2013 that I didn’t blog about.

Against All Odds.

St. Catharines-20130324-00044

Lucas’ hockey team made the provincial finals. After 5 nonstop periods of play they lost. I couldn’t have been more proud of him as I was that day.

Canada Day Celebrations.


In August Lucas’ soccer team travelled to Montreal. If anyone gets the chance visit old Montreal, it’s fantastic.IMG-20130823-00404


For my birthday


Ron surprised me with tickets to see Ilene and Tony in an intimate and interactive talk. It was awesome. Ilene is surprisingly a really tall woman who is incredibly funny. Tony was no slouch either. For those of you who don’t know who they are they are from a British soap opera called Coronation Street.

Soon fall came and it was off to the pumpkin patch


Nicole’s imagination and pretend play really began to take shape. In the picture below she made a pretend car out of pillows and she said

IMG-20130821-00312“I’m the Mommy and these are my babies. I have to go to work and they have to go to Patti’s.”



“Mummy don’t bother me. I have to do my homework.”IMG-20131211-00602She now has moments of imitating the things people do. Sometimes it’s a riot.

Nicole’s attempt to stay up with Mommy.

It’s 4 am

“Why don’t you go back to bed baby it’s way to early for you to get up. You don’t need to be up for a few hours yet.” I continued to read my notes.

“I’m hungry.”

“Is a banana ok?”

“Sure is.”

 After a few minutes I looked up and there was Nicole passed out at the table with a half eaten banana in her hand.IMG-20131209-00600

I finished reading my page. I got up from the table and without skipping a beat Nicole woke up with a jolt and then continued to eat the rest of the banana.

“Come on baby, let’s go back to bed.”

“But IIII’m noooot tired.” Nicole protested.

“Yeeees you are. You were just sleeping at the table.”

“Noooo I wasn’t. My eyes just needed a nap.”

Nicole has a leapfrog cash register

 She lined up all her stuffed toys and gave them money.

She then proceeded to cash them out.


Shakin her booty

Nicole took dance lessons through the city this year.IMG-20131207-00590

I wasn’t sure if she was going to like dancing.

It turned out our girl loves to dance.IMG-20131207-00594

Back to Florida for Christmas holidays


This is what happens when you’re doing stuff around the house and Nicole gets into the cupcakes…. See no icing.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Lucas decided he wanted to stay the extra week with Ron to play hockey before coming to Florida. He was given the choice of hockey and a road trip with Dad, or a plane ride with Nicole and myself and Disney’s Christmas Party. He surprised Ron and I by opting out of Disney. So off we went to Mickey’s Party.

It became a night of visiting princesses. IMG-20131219-00630

Rides were somewhat secondary.

 That was until Nicole saw the magic carpet ride.


FYI Disney is full of glitter from all of the princess dresses the little girls wear to the park.

Here is cool Christmas idea.


This was given to the kids in the pub as part of a fundraiser. I think I will be making these next Christmas.

I apologize for the long post and the lack of detailed stories. I admit I didn’t write as much as I planned to last year. I decided one of my goals for 2014 is to blog more often.

I learned one thing from not posting very often.

You somehow forget some of the funnier moments in your life. Photos only remind you of little tidbits of a particular moment in time. Stories however keep those very moments alive…forever.

Okay so I’m a little deliquent in posting… It’s Summer :-)

It’s summertime!

I love summer.

The carefree spirit it brings. Garden parties, trips to the park, drinks on the porch, meals outside, bbq’s, bike rides, soccer games, devouring large slices of watermelon so juicy that it drips down your arm… the list is endless. But I love it.

It seems I’m not the only one who feels the carefree spirit of summer. I see it in my kids all the time. For all of the technology in the world I wish that there was a gadget that could record the memory that I had just witnessed. Sometimes I am fortunate and I actually capture a snapshot.

Below I managed to capture a carefree moment. Something as simple as a balloon can bring a smile (or a tear if lost) to a child’s face.


I love how something as simple as a balloon can bring hours (and I mean hours) of enjoyment to a child. Sometimes we need to step back a remove them from electronics and let them enjoy the simple things in life. Like playing with a balloon.

Joanne my husbands grandmother recently celebrated her 80th Birthday and I managed to capture this picture of Nicole running through the grass chasing one of the balloons. This little moment and many others are ingrained in my head. This is what summer life should be….Nicole at Joannes 80th Birthday


It took Nicole to make me realize as much as people have a tendency to annoy me sometimes I just need to ignore them and carry on.

On our way home from soccer practice it was just Nicole and I in the car. I was cut off by some jerk and yelled.

“You IDIOT!”as if said idiot in the car could hear me.

“What’s the problem sweetie?”

I explain  to Nicole that said idiot almost caused an accident and we could have been hurt.

Nicole repeats herself.

“Soooo what’s the problem sweetie pie Mommy?”

I open my mouth to repeat  myself and then it dawns on me.

I understood what she meant. We didn’t get into an accident so what’s the problem?

Nicole is too smart for her own good and she’s doesn’t even know it yet.

Sometimes I find it amazing. As much as kids learn from us every once in a while we can learn from them. I think that’s one of the most awesome parts of being a family. Learning from each other.

What have you learned from your kids lately?

You Broke It!

It started with the pepper mill.

The design is such that the handles squeeze together in order to grind the pepper. Ron let it drop on the floor, or it was already broken. I’m not completely sure of the story but Nicole insisted.

“Daddy you brote it!”peppermill

We were driving to a hockey tournament and Ron had hit the interior light (it’s the push button kind) and it now no longer turns on.

“Daddy you brote light?”

Ron looked at me and said Mommy had broken it because I drive the truck the most. Nicole didn’t buy it.

“Noooo Daddy you brote the, the, the light!”

Every time Ron used the pepper mill or we are all in the truck, she kindly reminds him that he broke it. Nicole doesn’t let Ron forget…ever.

The Chair

We were having a family dinner at the table and Ron had finished his meal first. He decided to rock back on the chair. This is something I constantly yell at Lucas for doing and here my husband does it. I’ve yelled at him too but neither of them listen.

Nicole had to go to the bathroom so I took her in and closed the door. I returned back to the table and continued having a family conversation. Ron continued to rock back on the chair.

Guess what happened next?

The chair broke. The force sent Ron flying backwards. Ron hit his knees on the table which almost sent the table flying on top of him. If I didn’t stop it with my arms it would have landed on his gut. Ron could have really gotten hurt. Instead he had sore knees and wounded pride. I looked at Lucas

“See what happens when you don’t listen to your mother.”

Lucas rolled his eyes.

“Well did Dad not just break the chair and almost get really hurt?”

“Yeah I guess.” Lucas said.

We all heard Nicole shout.

“I done!”

I returned to the bathroom to help Nicole and I heard Ron telling Lucas.

“Quick give me the back of the chair.” Ron then placed the back on the chair making it appear as if nothing was wrong with it.

Nicole returned to kitchen and announced to everyone.

“I get jammies on!”

“Ok honey bunny.” Ron is smiling from ear to ear hoping she doesn’t notice the chair.

“March! March! March!” she shouts marching like the characters from The Cat in the Hat  towards her room.

Ron takes the back off  the chair again to look at it, but Nicole turned around in the hallway and walked right back into the kitchen.


Nicole caught Ron red handed.

broken chair

“Daddy you brote chair!”

We all laughed. Ron was busted.

“No I didn’t.” Ron laughed so hard he wasn’t able to keep a straight face.

“Yeah you did, look! Look!” Nicole pointed to the broken chair.

“Can’t talk your way out of that one now can you Ron?”

More laughter.

“Nope I guess not.”

The Lip

I’m not sure I’m going to survive the tween years

Lucas is pretty lippy. There have been a few times where I’ve caught myself and told myself to breathe, let it go, and to pick my battles.  I find this is not an easy task.

Lately I’ve just flown off the handle.

He becomes disrespectful, and I lose it.

The lip


Is just one thing I can’t tolerate.

I guess that’s part of the parental territory.

After my trip to the grocery store, Lucas began repeating everything I said.

I gave him my three warnings.

“Lucas knock it off, I’m not impressed!”

He again repeats what I just said.

I was about to yell at him when I heard this whisper in the back seat.

“Dudis you shut up.”

I barely contained my laughter, but I contained it.

“Well Lucas it’s pretty sad when your little sister even realizes you’re annoying.”

I saw him smile in rear view mirror.

“Yep.” And he laughed.

A little louder and more forceful this time I heard the little voice.

“You bugging myyyy Mommy Dudis you shut up.”

“Nicole it’s not nice to tell people to shut up.”

“Yeah Nicole!”

I caught Lucas trying to punch Nicole in the arm and he missed. Nicole then caught his arm and she hauled off and hit him square in the arm.fightingcartoonpicture

“AAAHHHH Niccooollle!”

Lucas grabbed his arm and protested that Nicole hurt him.

“Yeah ok Lucas.” I rolled my eyes.

“Nicole it’s not nice to hit even though you were defending yourself and Lucas seems to think I can’t see what he’s doing.” I glanced again in my rear view mirror and I noticed Lucas is beginning to sulk.

“But Moooommm!”

Nicole shook her head and rolled her eyes.

“Shut up Dudis, shut up.”

“Nicole Morgan.” I gave her my stern and I’m not very happy voice.”

“Soweey Mommieee soweey.”Nicole and Lucas March 2013

It’s been a while…

First off I would like to apologize for not writing for a while. The chaos which is my life has been just that, chaos. So I am forewarning you I have multiple posts.

It began just after my last post. Nicole was coughing and I tried the diy cough medicine but it didn’t work. Nicole’s condition became worse and fever set in.

Off to prompt care we went.

When we arrived they advised me Nicole had to wear a cough mask. I thought she would since it had the fun looking mickey mouse designs on it. As I tried to put it on she grabbed and pushed it away. Lucas tried helping me out. He thought if he wore one maybe Nicole would copy. He tried to make it a game.

mickey mouse mask

Nope. Nicole wasn’t having it.

The cough sounded like croup. It was bad. It sounded like a dying seal was having its head slammed in a car door. Her fever was really high and she just sat there. Her happy go lucky spirit was gone.

The doctor finally saw her

He was roughly my age and tried to engage in conversation with Nicole.

“I have a daughter just a little older than you by about a month. Her name is Violet.”

Nicole slowly lifted her head and gave him this look. The “I don’t care what your kids name is just make me feel better” look.stethescope

So the Doctor verified Nicole had croup  and she wasn’t contagious, it was also in her throat and to top it all off her ears were also a little pink. He prescribed Tylenol and Advil on a rotation basis to bring down the fever.

Nicole was also given a dose of medicine at the clinic by the male nurse. Well almost by the male nurse. Nicole was having no part of anyone giving her anything let alone medicine.

So Ron, my husband takes the vile medicine from the nurse. I am holding Nicole in my arms and I turn and prop her up so she’s facing Ron.

“Okay baby open up, ready… AAAAHHHH” Ron mimics what he wants her to do and thankfully she does.

The male nurse looks at us and blinks.

male nurse“You did that in one shot. Most parents do it a little at a time.”

“Uh yeah, no not us. One shot deal and it’s done.”

“I wish all the parents I see did that.” The male nurse scribbled on his clipboard and marched down the hallway.

“Ready to go home babe?” I asked Nicole. All I heard was the soft sound of her deep breathing. She was already fast asleep.

Modern Technology and Kids

This is the way classroom learning use to be


 This is the way classroom learning  is heading now

and in some instances already exists.

                                                      ipads in classroom

Kids are more wired into technology now then I ever was as a kid. Classrooms are now coming equipped with Smartboards and iPads or laptops. I remember passing notes in grade school, and those days are all over. This will never happen with my kids. Kids text message each other. This is how classrooms are dealing with texting issues so it doesn’t interupt thier learning.

cell phones in classroom

Lucas my oldest, is nine years old, and was given an iPod touch for Christmas. If anyone owns an iPhone, or an iPad, Lucas can text messages back and forth to them as long as he hooked into a wireless network. I find it neat and a little unnerving because his friends also text him. It’s not a phone. Although I found out there is an app where he can turn it into a phone, but my husband and I axed that in a hurry.

We are struggling with him. Lucas is in a hurry to grow up. He’s been like this for years. It’s part in parcel with the fact his Uncle is roughly twelve years older than him, and he uses him as a role model. I noticed it’s not just him. His peers are also in a hurry to grow up. I’m sure you are wondering how I know this.

The answer is simple.

facebookNow I know Facebook standards are you have to be at least thirteen. However where there is a will there is a way.

Lucas made himself a Facebook account. Most of his peers also have an account. Our rule was this, Mom and Dad had to be his friends AND we have to know his password.

Why I like Facebook for younger kids….

The most important is Lucas is able to keep in contact with family who he doesn’t see on a regular basis. I surfed on a few of his peers and it’s a growing trend. Grandpa and Grandpa can keep in touch so can Aunts and Uncles, Cousins….you get the picture.

What I don’t like…..

You can’t delete who his friends are friends with. You may feel his friends are appropriate but then you find out the sister who is a friend is not, or cousin or …. You get the picture.

Now Lucas hasn’t figured out how to see friends of friends but the older people do. It can create conflict. So we screened his Facebook and deleted people who had questionable friends and relatives. I thought he would be very upset by this but it turned out he was more upset about the prospect of not having Facebook at all.

Ron, my husband thinks he’s wishing his youth away by wanting to be a part of all this technology. I’m not so sure that’s the case. I think he’s wants to keep up with everyone else so he’s not left behind.

Now as for my daughter Santa brought her a leappad2.

leappad2tabletIt’s what I call a kids version of and iPad, except she can’t email anyone. It’s an awesome piece of technology. She has learned so much is such a short span of time. She’s already learning how to write her letters and she’s not even three yet. Leapfrog has created great apps for her age and the next age group up. It explores everything from music, reading, writing, art, math, geography, science and cooking/eating healthy. This device doesn’t need cartridges so there is no worry about losing them. She’s entertained when we are on the road, and if she wants some down time on the couch in the evening while we watch TV. She affectionately calls it:

“My compooter.”

How long will it be before a leappad is going to be a mandatory learning tool used in kindergarten or grade 1? Would that be a bad thing?

The difference between my son and daughter in their own technology battles is she is learning something and my son is not. I think that’s part of the problem I’m having, or so I thought.

The way people are using technology is rapidly changing.


For instance, twitter. I had no desire for twitter because frankly I don’t care what you had for breakfast or if you have some bad rash…etc. Last semester I caved and used twitter as part of my course for this blog. Now a new semester has begun and twitter is not an option but a requirement. To quote my Professor last night.

“If you haven’t already done so I highly suggest you download this app to your smart phone and we will be having participation marks on twitter so to separate your personal feed from the class feed please use the hashtag and course number provided on your outline.”


I looked around the room and everyone had some sort of smartphone. I do not. I’m not one to jump on the bandwagon and I certainly march to the beat of my own drum. I like my phone but it’s becoming apparent that if I want to do well I will have to upgrade. *sigh*

So now it’s become clear. An iPod touch was our version of Walkmans and Discmans. Almost every kid owns one, or has access to one. It also begs the question, how long before Lucas’ teacher will be giving these kind of instructions?

“Alright class everyone pull out your iPod touches or iPads we’re going to work on this math problem today using this app ……”


This idea may seem crazy but I don’t think it’s that far fetched. I figure in five years max. my above projection will be a reality.

What do you think about kids having access to all this technology? Cell phones, iPods, iPads, Facebook, Twitter? Do you think the use of social media belongs in a classroom? Do you think they’re missing out on the old school way of doing things? Are you like me and think this is happening way too fast? Or is this a reality check that I’m just getting old? *Gulp* and possibly turning into my parents? Is this the beginning of me being technically challenged?  I hope not.

What do you think?

I Da Boss

I would like to apologize for the delay in posting. I have been waiting for my blog to be graded. So I’ve decided I am going ahead and posting. Professor, I’m sure you’ll figure out where I left off.

Given the events of the last week I thought I would share some humour.

Last Night

Lately Lucas has been mouthy. Okay not lately, it’s been like that for months. Mouthy, and full of attitude.

My husband Ron decided to teach him a mini lesson and it eventually turned into Ron putting Lucas in a head lock. They decided to horse around. It went something like this:

“Nicole, grrrrr heeeelp me! Geeeet daddy, get’em.” Lucas is on the ground refusing submission. Ron is laughing.

Nicole is sitting on her knees in her chair eating a peanut butter sandwich at the kitchen table. She peered down at him, licked her index finger and thumb.

“Nooo Dudis, I eat peebutter sanwich. I busy.”peanut butter sandwich

“Give up yet Lucas? She’s not coming to help you.” Ron holds the head lock a little tighter.

“Grrrr.” Lucas laughed.

“Nooo! Never. Giving. Up.” Lucas continued to struggle.

At the Dinner Table

“Dudis, stop it! Yooo, yoooo, eat yooo dinner.” Nicole commanded in a bossy voice and frowns down at him.

“Okay Lucas we’re done.”  Ron said.

“Neveeeer.” Lucas replied.

Lucas tried to haul Ron down one last time but failed. Ron laughed.

Lucas is now laying on his back, on the ground, blocking the doorway between the hallway and kitchen.

Nicole finished her sandwich, hopped down and stepped square on Lucas’ gut to get to the hallway. Something he didn’t expect.

“Ohhhh Nicolllle!”

Nicole stopped in her tracks, turned around slightly and looked down at him.

Nicole let out a large sigh.

“Dudis, stop orsing aa aaawound. Come on, come on. Nap time.” Nicole motioned with her hand for Lucas to follow her down the hallway.

Ron and I glanced at each other and laughed.

“Well you’ve been told buddy, time to go to bed.” I said grinning.

“Whaaa whaaa, she can’t tell me what to do!” Lucas replied.

“Nope but I can. It’s bedtime buddy. Get your jammies on. Let’s go.” I said.

“Thanks a lot Nicole.” Lucas half gets up off of the floor.

A tiny voice echoed down the hallway.

“Yoooo welcome Dudis. I da boss.”nicole upside down

Kids, Minor Hockey and Crazy Parents

When it comes to parents, kids and sports, in particular hockey, I believe Don Cherry said it best.

I don’t agree with the stab at other sports, but his point is well made. Sports parents are a different breed, and so it shapes the personality of the kids.  If your kids play sports, especially travel, they are as dedicated as their parents. Or vice a versa, the kids learn dedication from their parents. If kids play travel, the parents travel like a pact of wolves. They are willing to devour anything that gets in their way. After this past weekend, I decided to share my thoughts on travel sports.

Parents and kids need to do the following:

1)      Win, with class. There is no need to rub the losing teams face in it. They know they lost and they feel like crap.

2)      Lose, with grace. When you know you have lost, or are losing badly, there is no need to behave poorly. For example: you’re out onto the ice swinging fists, elbows, or slashing with a few minutes left in the game. There is such a thing as losing gracefully. Learn to accept it. Learn from the mistakes made in the game, and move on to improve.

3)      Dedication is a hard lesson to learn. Especially if it’s a process that’s a few years in the making. I believe the hardest position is a goalie.

The first year my son played goalie his team was absolutely terrible. They sucked.

“Dad, I don’t wanna be a goalie anymore.” Lucas sobbed.

“You honestly don’t like it anymore?” my husband replied.

“I wanna play out.”


“Cause I can help the team better if I play out. I can score goals.”

“Lucas you know the team isn’t losing because of you right?”

“Yeah, I, I guess.”

It took my husband to point out he was the last line of defense. Every goal wasn’t his fault. You win as a team, and you lose as a team.

Year two as a goalie

The year started off much the same as the previous year. Losing. Then over this past weekend, at the Gene Harrington Invitational in Niagara Falls, NY something miraculous happened. They won. Not just a game, but the whole tournament.

The team was dedicated, the parents are dedicated, and this past weekend it finally paid off. So my lesson isn’t just dedication will help you win, but persistence.

Crazy Parents

Now here are my rules for crazy sports parents. First, you don’t want to be like these crazy parents.


  1. Know the rules of the game before you shoot off your mouth. If you don’t know the rules well, it’s best not to say anything at all.
  2. Put your goggles on. In other words, your son/daughter elbows another kid. Don’t blame the other kid. Instead, after the game, tell your kid you saw what they did and it’s not impressive. That behavior is not what makes a good player.
  3. No point in yelling at the officials. The more you yell, the more bad calls they’ll make. So in other words. Keep your mouth shut.
  4. Other parents may not have their goggles on. Be the bigger parent and say little. It’s really easy to cause a brawl by having two hot heads shout at each other. Usually they’re both wrong and it teaches the kids nothing.
  5. Co-ed sports. Make sure you don’t do what happened to our players this weekend. Some ASS belittled his kid when he realized we had three girls on the team. The shock came during the awards portion of the tournament when they removed their helmets. “Do you see that son, you played terrible, and what’s worse is you guys were beaten by some girls.” Really???? What decade are you in??? Now for the record I’m not sure if this parent was from a previous game or the one we had just played. Either way the comment is completely inappropriate.
  6. Wives, husbands, significant others or grandparents, if you have an ASS like above either bring duct tape to shut their mouth or leave them at home. Also, feel free to correct the moronic comments. In PUBLIC, so everyone can hear.
  7. It’s ok to give constructive criticism, only if it’s constructive and not destructive. “You could have gone down sooner for the puck, or don’t wait for the puck to come to you. You need to go to it….etc.”
  8. It’s appropriate to cheer for your own team but it’s also appropriate to recognize the other team. For example: The other goalie makes an awesome save. It’s ok to cheer even if you’re playing against them. It shows good sportsmanship. A lesson the kids can learn.

Remember you’re there to support the kids. They aren’t pros.


Do you agree with my rules? Have you encountered instances mentioned above? How did you handle it?

I would like to hear your suggestions.

Cough Remedies and a Sleepless Night


Ron and I decided that we should take Nicole in to see Dr. M. Nicole’s cough refused to subside. It sounded like a barking, dying seal, with its head caught in a car door. As I drove Nicole to the doctor I heard this little voice in the backseat.

“luv it, luuuuv it, I luv song, turn up, turn up!”

Somehow within the last week she has turned into a little person with opinions, including music.

I can’t help but smile.

We arrived at Dr. M.’s office and thankfully she was able to see us right away.

Awesome! That never happens.

Nicole proceeded to have a conversation with the receptionist.

“ I see dodor. I rough cough.” She pretended to cough to prove her point.

The receptionist laughed.

Dr. M. looked her over, and as usual I’ve taken Nicole in too soon. She didn’t cough once at Dr. M.’s office.  So Dr. M. gave her opinion based on what I told her. Nicole either had a virus, or croup that hasn’t come to full force, or it’s asthma, which they don’t properly test until age six.

It figures.

At homemarshmellows

Nicole’s cough returned. Kathleen, a work colleague, told me she heard of marshmallows as a remedy for a cough.

I think someone just wanted an excuse to eat more marshmallows. I am totally not buying into this idea but whatever.

I’m desperate.

I swung open the cupboard door and pulled out an opened package of marshmallows I just bought. Two left.

 Lucas was into them again!

I gave Nicole the last two marshmallows. She still continued to hack.

Hmmm maybe it wasn’t a high enough dosage.

I rubbed Vicks vapor rub on her feet. Pattie, Nicole’s babysitter told me about this trick.

The cough subsided a little, but not much. It did eventually kick in and provide enough relief for Nicole to fall asleep.

11 p.m.

Ron and I are about to go to bed when Nicole stopped me in my tracks on the way to our bedroom.

She’s up, and out of bed, wide awake.

Ah man! I want to go to sleep. This is going to be a long friggen night.

I put her back into her bed and she started hacking again. I am finally in bed, about to drift off to sleep, and then I heard it.


 Nicole opened our door, and hopped into our bed.

Dame it!

Nicole lied down on her side and I saw her big brown eyes staring at me. I kissed her forehead and told her to sleep. She closed her eyes and didn’t move.

She actually listened. Holy Crap! Is this my kid?

Below is how our night went.

baby sleep positions

Halfway through the night, Ron is kicked in the ribs, (like the H is for Hell position above) and it was forceful enough for him to fall right out of the bed. I heard him curse incoherently, and left our bedroom.

Nicole is like most babies. She doesn’t sleep still. Throughout the rest of the night Nicole was restless.

At one point Nicole punched me in the eye, and kicked me across the throat. Every time I moved her, she moved herself right back to where she was positioned. *Sigh*vicks

In the middle of the night I re-applied the Vicks on her feet. I must admit, thus far, it has been the best thing that has worked on her cough. As soon as I thought Nicole had reached a deep sleep, I attempted to move her to her bed, she screamed.

I wondered if there was a remedy for that?

5 a.m.

Ron’s alarm on his phone went off. I stumbled around trying to locate it, and put it on snooze, in order to give it to him. I shuffled to the living room, but Ron wasn’t sleeping on the couch.

Where the hell is he?

Just on a hunch I checked Nicole’s room, and there was Ron. His arms hung out the sides of the bed, and his legs hung over top the end of the toddler bed.

Seriously like the couch was too far to walk for a comfortable sleep.

I couldn’t contain myself, and laughed.

For the record, an effective cough remedy is Vicks vapor rub on your feet, whether your young or old. It does wear off after a few hours, but a few hours of sleep is better than none. The marshmallows as a form of a cough remedy is yet to be determined, but I’m sure my monkeys will have fun testing that theory out.

Do you have any suggestions for cough remedies? I’d like to hear them.


My Suburban Zoo