Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Declan is 11!

Oh, how about me? Bad mother, not posting on her son's birthday. I'm trying to remember what we did that I didn't post. We had Declan's birthday party and then I cooked him a special birthday dinner. That's what it was.

It's weird to start thinking back to when I was Declan's age. You know how you don't remember tons about your early life, but I vividly remember being Declan's age--11 in 5th grade. My 5th grade teacher was one of my all-time favorites: Jerry Wilson (he died of a heart attack at a pretty young age--in his 50s, which seems VERY young these days). We went to Washington DC on Spring Break (and got in a car accident). We got a dog. My best friends at school were Anne and Paula. I spent every day I could at the barn riding horses. A woman in our neighborhood had horses/ponies and she would take us out there to ride. We cleaned stalls in exchange for fees sometimes.

I wonder what Declan will remember? Will it be skiing? Hockey? Trips? Watching the Amazing Race or Biggest Loser together? Just being cozy in the house? I fear playing Wii will probably rank up there.

When Declan was born, everyone talked about how it goes so fast. It does. Of course it does. Not always when you're in it though--dealing with teething, a stomach virus, or whatever.

Other than some sleep issues when he was about 6 months old, Declan was a really easy baby. He was curious and pretty quiet. He liked to observe. He's still a little cautious--picking his way down the ski slope (vs. Finn who comes down like a B52 bomber). Isn't it funny how the very core of us doesn't really change over time?

But time does go fast and I think I'm realizing more and more. He rides his bike to friends' houses now instead of me taking him. He enjoys reading to himself at bedtime now. He's definitely asserting himself in other areas of life. He has had a little romance already (I KNOW--5th grade, what the heck!?!?!).

In less time than he has already been on this Earth, he will be leaving for college. That statistic is shocking to me.

When Declan was about 6 weeks old, we were at Theresa and Skylar's house and we went out for a walk, pushing Declan in the stroller. Of course I was still all new mom-ish and hormonal and stuff, and Theresa's boys, Eamon and Jeremiah, were about 19 and 22, I think. One in college, one graduated. It was inconceivable to me and I said as much to Theresa.

"How can you stand to let them go?" I asked.

And she replied, "I think Skylar and I knew from the beginning that as much as we love them, our job is about preparing them to leave."

Stab, stab, stab at my heart.

But she's right. And I want to make sure that I enjoy every last second of this "preparing to leave phase" of this adorable boy.

Happy Birthday, Declan (just a few days late)!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Agony of Defeat...and Other Life Lessons

We have been home from the state hockey finals for about three hours now. There is a little bit of sadness, a little bit of wound licking, and a lot of talking about what might have been.

Three Vail Eagle Hockey Association teams went to states: Squirt B (Declan's team of 9 and 10 year olds--and a few 8 years olds!), Peewee B (11 and 12 year olds), and Peewee A (also 11 and 12 year olds). Three teams from our little valley--that's pretty darn good.

Both Peewee teams lost on Saturday, but Declan's team, the Squirt Bs, duked it out with a very strong team from Boulder (whose coach indicated to ours that as soon they got through this "formality" of playing us they were heading to the final) to advance to the final round this morning.

And as exciting as that semi-final game was on Saturday, Sunday was even more dramatic. If you're unfamiliar with hockey, here's the scoop, at Declan's age group, they play three 12-minute periods with a short break in between to catch their breath.

There are 5 players and a goalie on the ice.

Depending on the tournament or league rules, if there is a tie after regulation, they might go to overtime. Or they might have one overtime followed by a shootout--it just depends.

So at this tournament, it was all overtime. On Saturday, two teams played into a third overtime. I was exhausted just watching.

Anyway, we played through the first two periods today--no score. We outshot them 18 - 8, but just couldn't land one in the net. Angst from the stands, I'm telling you. So many missed opportunities! Then, with 1 min., 40 seconds left in regulation play, they opposing team scored.

I figured that was it. I think all the boys thought that was it. Declan thought that was it. He was devastated. It's hard when you're the goalie. No matter how many times you tell a goalie you win and lose as a team, you feel like in the end, when they score, it's your fault.

I could never be a goalie.

Back to the game. Play resumed with 1 min., 40 seconds to go. They were clearly trying to tie things up--rightly so. They did something called icing and ran the clock down to under a minute. They iced the puck again at 17 seconds and started cheering.

But there were 9 seconds left on the clock.

Our coach had a word with our boys, set them up for the face off near the opposing team's net, and BAM, the puck dropped and a kid named Joey flipped it in with 5 seconds to go.

Holy cow. We went nuts. A level playing field, as it were, and we headed into a 10 minute four on four sudden death overtime.

In the end, the opposing team scored 6 minutes into overtime and it was over. Our boys fought hard to the end, but it wasn't enough this time.

There were tears--and not just from the players. Our season was ending today regardless of a win or a loss and I think with either ending, it would have been bittersweet.

Every time the boys have played a sport, I'm always sad when the season is over. Even though I marvel at how much time we spend at the rink, compared to some families with multiple kids in multiple age groups, it's not that bad. And even though hockey spans a hideous length of time--September tryouts - March state finals--it really encompasses some of our best family times of the year (although Finn might debate that when he is tolerating a 5-day tournament in another city).

But the end of the season brings some sadness with it. Those of you with kids in team sports or activities know what I'm talking about when you realize that everyone is moving on and you probably won't be together again. Sometimes you're going on with a few or the same kids and parents, or many--it just depends--but let's face it--over the course of 5 or 6 months, you form bonds watching your kids practice, compete, win and lose together. Every time we have a changeover in teams or coaches, I feel a little bereft and think, "Nothing could be as good as this year was."

Happily, I'm pretty much always wrong. We have made great and lasting friendships over the years through sports. New teams bring a combination of old friends and potential new friends. And we're just in that transition phase again. Waiting to see what the next season brings.

But there was something special about this group of kids. Declan has talked about it before--they all genuinely like each other. It's a camraderie that is really deep for kids of this age.

As Declan was walking upstairs to bed tonight, he said, "I wish today would have turned out differently. But what I'm really sad about is that hockey season is over."

I am in 100 percent agreement.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I am so incredibly annoyed with myself. I have apparently lost our pretty new video camera. The one that had 80 GB of memory and that was completely full of an entire season of hockey...and clips of my Grandpa talking about "the old days."

Fortunately, I discovered that I did backup the videos of Grandpa, so I do feel slightly better about that, but no hockey. And no camera. I used it at the last hockey game on Sunday afternoon and I can only imagine that it must have rolled out of my bag and someone picked it up. There were so many people from out of town at the rink on Sunday, it's the only thing I can think of. I haved searched the house and the ice rink--no luck. It's gone. I feel a little sick-ish at the thought of how much we paid for the camera. I've been emotionally eating all day. Sigh.

I'm trying to decide if I have it in me to go exercise. It's 5pm. The time change is kicking my ass, frankly. In addition to my own work and lots of meetings this week, I have also been up early to work on the mountain three days in a row.

I'm not feelin' the love. I'm telling myself I should just take a bath and go to bed early.

And let's talk about the bed since you guys asked.

The Tempurpedic. I love it. Beyond love it. What's beyond loving it? I don't know, but whatever it is, that's what I'm feeling.

We've had it for about a month now and I'm sleeping really well. I think the two biggest factors in that department are:

-It's a bigger bed--we went from a queen to a king (which should make sleeping in a DOUBLE at the hotel in Denver tomorrow night fairly miserable) so we are no longer crashing into each other in the night. The downside of that was the other night Eamonn told me it was too far to go to give me a kiss goodnight. Travel is involved if you want to kiss your spouse.

-The stop motion. Stop motion is my new best friend. And basically, if Eamonn moves over there in the hinterlands of his side of the bed, I don't really know it. Unless he's pulling the covers off me. I do feel that. But if he gets up or comes to bed after me, or if I come to bed later, the other has no clue. The bed does not move. And it's awesome.

Plus, I find the bed very, very comfortable. We bought the Cloud model, which was sort of middle of the road in terms of firmness. The next level down was like sleeping on a brick. The next level up was the Cloud Supreme and it has another layer on the top that to me, made it too soft. It was also a zillion dollars more, so it's a good thing I didn't like that. We also got new pillows. They were having a promotion where you bought two and got one free.

The most common concerns about these beds are apparently the smell and that they "sleep hot."

The smell. I thought the pillows off-gassed far longer than the bed. The bed had been on a truck for two days in the mountains on its way to us. It was pretty cold and hard when it got here. I left it to sit for about 8 hours before I put any cover or sheets on it. I was expecting it to make the whole room smell weird. It didn't. In fact, I confess I didn't even notice the smell. The pillows were a little smellier for a few days, but then again, my head was right on it. It really didn't phase me though.

As for the bed making you feel hot. Yes, it does increase your body temp, I think. Normally in the winter, I sleep in a t-shirt, pajama pants, and heavy wool socks. We don't have a blanket on our bed, but we have always had a down comfortor. I have always put a blanket, folded over 4 times, on my side of the bed. Eamonn has no need for extra covers. I like the warmth and I like heavy covers on me.

We no longer have the down comfortor. It doesn't fit the new bed and I haven't bought anything yet. We are using a basic comfortor, not down. It's a queen size, but when you turn it sideways it fits the bed. It's just stopgap until I find what I want, but it works for now. Anyway, the bed does make me a little warmer, so I don't sleep in pajama pants. Now I'm down to a t-shirt, boxers, heavy socks, the queen comfortor, and the blanket folded 4 times. Not hugely different, but somewhat different. On another note, we aren't having a very cold winter either, so I wasn't always wearing pajama pants prior to this bed getting here.

I wake up rested (when I get in bed before midnight!!!). I'm not sore anymore. I feel like I'm sleeping better.

I don't know if Eamonn is as enamoured of the bed as I am. There are some issues with the financing. The terms Tempurpedic sent us are different than those that arrived from Wells Fargo and Eamonn is really ticked about that. He said he had a good mind to send the bed back after 90 days (which you can do). I shed a little tear over that threat.

I love the bed and don't want it to go away.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

League Champs!

Declan's hockey team won the league title over the weekend. Very exciting! They will now go on to try and win the state title in Denver. One more weekend of hockey.

What will I do with all of my free time? Sleep?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Shaving: Round Two

Yesterday we went on the local TV station and Eamonn and the boys shaved on live TV.

Before you go thinking we were on the Today Show or something like that, I should clarify that the local station is owned by the ski resort, so there were probably about 10 people watching. Maybe.

Anyway, if you'd like to check out the segment, you can do so HERE. You can even see our local weather forecast sandwiched between our two shaving segments.

Here are a few pictures of us on air:

That is a serious mop top!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shaving: Round One

Because hockey playoffs are this coming weekend and that coincides with our favorite charitable event, St. Baldrick's Day, it was necessary to do a little early shaving around here...

Shavee No. 1: Declan

Up in the chair and ready to go. We had the shaving at the rink after practice last night.

Basically, all of the players whose teams qualified for playoffs could opt to shave early.

I think he's adorable bald...all those freckles...I wonder if I can still call him adorable?

Before we arrived at the rink, we were a little worried. Only a few players were pre-registered.

We shouldn't have worried. Good luck this weekend, boys!

Wow, boys. Way to go! To them, it's tons of fun. I hope they know how much good they're doing while they're having fun.

Money is still coming in. A huge THANK YOU to everyone!