Saturday, April 29, 2006

Living creekside...

The beauty of living in a house with a creek running alongside it, is that you get all sorts of visitors. We've had numerous frogs - so they're not blogworthy anymore - but recently, we had a different sort of encounter.

David was cleaning out the window-well (I can't remember if he was being punished or paid) when he found this "little" guy. This salamander was the biggest I've ever seen. It was almost like a little cayman. Unfortunately, when CaraLee was calling Connor to "come see", every other little boy in the neighbourhood must have heard as well. I would have liked to have put him in the front-yard pond, but I guess one of the other boys made an offer CaraLee couldn't refuse.

Egg Hunt at Auntie Anne's Grandma's...

We jetted off to Aldergrove to visit Auntie Anne and her family at her grandma's house. She has 5+ acres of beautiful country land full of trees and plants grown by her husband before he passed away.

We pigged out on appies and enjoyed each other's company before the hunt began.

The Easter Bunny was very busy at Annie's Grandma's. There were sparkly eggs, spotted eggs and more crammed full of chocolate treats. The big boys helped Emmers find her "share" of the booty. To make matters more challenging, Tucker had actively decorated the lawn with little, brown bombs. Some kids weren't lucky enough to escape unscathed.

Speaking of Tucker, Emily was in love. She followed the chubby, old hound around the house and yard, wanting to cuddle him.

Speaking of the yard, we took a little stroll to the back 40. We had to cross a beautiful, little, duck-infested creek and explored even beyond the barbed-wire fence. It was a beautiful day.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Connor's first day of hockey...

Today was Connor & Caleb's first day of hockey. It turned out to be the perfect start for Conbo...

Connor & Caleb were put into a small group which would rotate together through 6 different skill stations. This was the second blessing. The first? Each team had a dressing room set aside with their colour on the door. I think Connor likes being a part of a team. The second blessing (sorry for interrupting myself - am I sorry to myself as well?) was that the group they were placed with included twins who were half Connor's size - and that's saying something! It gave Connor something he always wants... security to know that he's not the "worst" on his team.

They started with running. Again, it doesn't sound like much, but it gave Connor some confidence because he knows that he's quick. Both he and Caleb were grinning ear to ear.

They did some shooting and stick-handling, everything but actually play a game. This - believe it or not - was the greatest and final bonus for Connor's dream start to hockey. He gets so wound up and stressed about gameplay - worrying about not losing - that he doesn't enjoy it.

After all was said and done, he ended up with apple juice, too. Does it get any better?

Caleb stickhandles first... then Connor

When Leapfrog goes bad...

It degenerated into a tangle of human flesh. As with most safe, childhood games, leapfrog in the Buzza house should really require full hockey gear.

Connor weighs less than most birds, but he's wiry. He saw his opportunity when David got on all fours and naiively turned his back to him. Through a series of grappling maneouvers, Connor had David in a submission hold. Well... David was being more submissive than he needed to be.

It turned into a Connor & Emmers vs Big Brother David wrasslin' match. But then again, what doesn't?

Belated or premature happy birthday...

Emily and CaraLee were playing with PlayDough. Emily used her creative energies to sculpt a lump of cake - really only identifiable by the big birthday candle on top.

As with many things, her shortcomings as a sculptress were thoroughly masked by her cuteness.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The TBall season kicks off...

With soccer in our rearview mirror, we enter the unknown universe of TBall. Gone are the simple days of showing up on Saturday mornings after breakfast for a couple of hours of soccer. Now, it's TBall 2 days-a-week on Mondays and Wednesdays. The new world means screaming home from work, scarfing down a meal (always wonderfully prepared by my beautiful, dutiful wife) and then scurrying off to the park of the day, playing three innings of TBall after a 15min practice, and dealing with sad kids because TBall went right up until their bedtimes.

But who's complaining?

David's a natural. Even though he's a first year player with kids in grade one, he fits right in. In the field, he's one of the rare kids who pays attention to the game and - thus - gets most of the action. At bat, he's had some really good hits. Next year it could be a little silly when he's playing in the same division. The good news is that Conbo will be playing on the same team if he's interestd in TBall next year!

We've got a video of one of David's big hits... here it is:

Friday, April 07, 2006

Ball Hockey Picture Day...

Connor is playing ball hockey this spring. This is a real "first" for the Buzzas. We are going into this completely blind, but not alone. Connor's partner-in-crime, Caleb will be playing with him on the Mighty Eagles.

We showed up for team pictures the other day and there was a little "down time" before their turn. I was pleasantly surprised at how aggessive Connor was! In soccer, he took more pleasure in watching the players than participating. Here, he was in there like a dirty shirt.

One of the things he became quite excited about was that he got his mommy's favourite number - 7. This seemed to act like an injection of enthusiasm for him.

Having said that, Connor has made some interesting comments about the impending ball hockey season. One question that really has me thinking is when he asked if - when they played - if it would be "just for fun".

I think what he was referring to was that - when they played at picture day - they didn't have nets or keep score. In his mind, that was for fun. I really hope he doesn't lose sight of the fact that all sports are for fun.

My fears were somewhat calmed when Connor showed similar enthusiasm when we played in teh backyard. David was goalie and did a great job of encouraging Connor. You could tell that Conbo really felt good about himself. I was proud of David, too.

We'll see how this ball hockey thing works out. I'm hoping it's... fun.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Official Aquarium Members...

Ryan and Tawny gave our kids a year's membership to the Vancouver Aquarium. On one of the last days of my spring break, we started that year with a visit to Stanley Park.

It was great. We took a leisurely drive downtown after rush hour had settled down and parked in the park. We sauntered over to the aquarium, running into Jessica Sampson along the way.

Jessica works at the aquarium and ended up giving us a behind-the-scenes tour of the place. We got to see jellyfish, a couple octopi and some really creepy-looking crabs. It was also really cool seeing the machinery that kept the tanks clean and filtered.

Connor was in his glory at one point when we visited the kids' area in the bowels of the aquarium. There was a little workshop designed to give kids the experience of being a vetrinarian. There was a stuffed seal doll left in an incubator and instructions for how to care for it.

Connor dutifully put on his vet's apron and brought his seal pup to the doctor's table. He weighed the pup, checked its eyes, ears and heart. He administered medicine and generally cared for the little guy. At the end of it, he carefully placed it back in the incubator for the next would-be vet.

We all enjoyed the shows. First, we visited the Beluga Whale show. We were especially happy to find a dry seat - and even happier to find that it would stay dry during the show. We chowed down on CaraLee's feast and I was more and more excited with each bite, knowing that my backpack would be lighter.

We surveyed the different exhibits, encountering sharks, seahorses and even an iguana that we couldn't quite determine whether or not he was supposed to be as free as he was.

We finished with the dolphin show - the runaway favourite for the kids. It's truly amazing to see them jump into the air about 30 feet clear of the water's surface.

Satisfied, we returned home, already talking excitedly about the next time we'd be able to visit.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

What REALLY goes on in our house...

Okay it's time to catch up on what I've been way too lazy to work on... sorry for the time away.

After we returned from our cruise, Conbo was usually the instigator of our family wrasslin' sessions. Honestly, when the kids and I get on the floor and start to wrestle, it looks a whole lot more like Ultimate Fighting than wrestling. Aside from biting and hair-pulling, pretty much anything goes.

On this occasion, David had it in his head that he was really going to get me. He made repeated overtures to punch me in the mind. As I was dodging him the best I could, Connor was making his own suicide attempts at jumping on me from the couch.

Well, in the fracas, I popped David a good one in the moosh. A little, white object sailed through the air and both our eyes locked on what turned out to be David's tooth lying motionless on the ground. He looked at me incredulously. I looked at him and began my prayers that neither CaraLee nor Social Services would be too upset. The blood didn't help.

Long story short, David looks a lot like a hockey player. He made me sweat even more when he insisted that he not put the tooth under his pillow. When we asked why, he told us that he wanted to take it to school for show-and-tell.

We haven't heard from the authorities... yet.

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