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Learning from the pros

Friday the kids and I got the chance to go to the first official Brad Richards Foundation event. Brad is just a tremendous guy with a huge heart for the community. Beyond his Richy’s Rascal’s program, his foundation is building up programs to include recognizing and awarding youth hockey players and organizations and to acknowledge and appreciate our military. Brad just rocks! He’s such a quiet guy, untiringly sweet and accommodating to the many kids and family members to whom he gives so much. He knows the kids by name, he asks about their health, he genuinely cares about the people he’s able to help. Kasey Dowd, the executive director of his foundation is a spectacular lady, the one who keeps the wheels moving in a positive direction. She has such a loving relationship with the families and each child is made to feel special and unique. We are so thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of their events and to just give a small thanks for their heartfelt work and generosity.

After the announcements were made about the growth of Brad’s foundation the kids were treated to some fun out on the plaza in front of the St. Pete Times Forum. There was the blown-up maze, the rink set up for some street hockey and a thing…I’m not sure what the call the “thing”….essentially the kids became a human foosball table. Kids were lined up in rows, and stapped to each other so they had limited mobility and then they were given sticks so that they could attempt to get the ball into the opposing goal.

Nathaniel and Peyton were pretty into the street hockey. Nathaniel took his turn as the goalie and had a fantastic time! I asked him if he thought he could do it on an inch wide medal blade while standing on a sheet of ice and he laughed at me as if to say “Mom, you really need to think before you speak.”

Peyton attempted to get in the hockey play with a stick at least a foot taller than her, but the older kids were faster and if not better, at least had better hand/eye coordination. She was getting frustrated with that when Brad took a moment to stop the game and let the little ones come in for a few swings at the goal. Seriously, Peyton got hockey tips from Brad Richards….and next summer Nathaniel will be hiring Andre Agassi for his tennis lessons! I did learn one really important lesson about hockey…one should never attempt to take pictures from directly behind the net…That whole ball in the forehead thing only had to happen once….don’t let it be said that I’m a slow learner!

The kids truly enjoyed every moment they spent with Brad and their friends. Thanks to Brad and Kasey for giving us yet another great experience!

Peyton with Thunderbug, last year whenever she’d see him she’d go running for cover under the nearest surface…oh how far we have come!

Human foosball

Nathaniel geared up for a first attempt at street hockey

Rachael just being cute Rachael

Peyton working the hockey scene in her own glamour style

Brad Richards as your hockey coach…are you kidding me???

I’ll bet Brad’s never played hockey with someone in a hair bow before!

Today was low key and mellow. Rachael went off for a play date with her “BFF Forever” Alyssa. BFF forever…for those not hip to the lingo, that’s Best Friend Forever…so the way they put it, BFF Forever makes them actually Best Friends Forever Forever. That’s a long time to be best friends, but I hope they do it. From all reports the girls had a wonderful time together with plans to do it again tomorrow. Alyssa and Rachael aren’t even in the same class, Alyssa is in the second grade to Rachael’s first grade status, but I guess that their friendship is showing that it can withstand that HUGE age barrier.

Nathaniel had his partner in crime here for the day. He and Ryan enjoyed a day full of boy type stuff….playing with legos, indulging in some video time, pretending to battle with each and every weapon they could get their hands on. Something I read said that a child’s play proved to be a sign of their future ambitions, so I guess I can comfortable guess that Nathaniel is either going to be a engineer, a computer whiz or a Jedi. I hope that Jedi package comes with good benefits package.

Peyton and I had a good snoozey kind of day. She slept terribly last night, her steroids are kicking in and they’re doing a number on her. She’s finally kicked the worst of the cold, just a hacking cough is left. Now she can’t sleep, her legs hurt and she’s easily riled to vengeful anger. Yesterday her little buddy Will was sad after we parted ways and told his mama “Peyton wasn’t loving me today.” Sorry, kiddo, unless you sport a plate of scrambled eggs and green beans, she’s not loving much of anything these days. At Cracker Barrel (where else?) this morning she scarfed down four scrambled eggs, two pieces of sausage, two bowls of green beans and two containers of jelly….no bread, just licking that jelly out of the little bowl with a look of absolute bliss on her face. But really, who hasn’t done that at one point or another?

Tomorrow we are being treated to another Buc’s game. Hopefully with the weather being a little cooler the game will be bearable. When I offered the game to the kids, Nathaniel and Rachael both passed with a birthday party and a playdate with Alyssa as preferable options. Ok, seriously kids, we’re talking front row, end zone seats! But I guess their priorities are a little out of whack and they are going to go with their friends instead. Peter, Peyton and I will be rooting for the Bucs and trying to figure out how we’re ever going to work up any enthusiasm for the Falcons if we’re offered tickets to an Atlanta game in the future.

Atlanta is a full on go situation. We are scrambling to figure out the best way to handle the whole transition thing and chances are high that Peter will be going up to a bachelor pad for a few month and the kids and I will follow for the full move when school is out for the summer. “Bachelor pad” sounds so glamorous, but more than likely it’ll be Pete in a tiny apartment with a Sam’s size package of Ramen Noodles and one lamp on the floor. That’s pretty much how I found him when we first started dating. Pete has this deep love for hammocks. I think hammocks are fun too. But he makes the comment that instead of a bed he could just get a hammock….yeah….and my response was “Dude, you’re 35 years old now, if you sleep in a hammock you could end up permanently crippled. Not to mention you could roll over, fall out and break a hip or something.” He didn’t appreciate that assessment of his youthful self, but has agreed to go with the traditional bed option. Marriage is all about compromise, my friends, and occasionally about letting your spouse know that they’re out of their ever loving mind.

Don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour tonight!!

f.r.o.G…fully relying on God

ps….some requests were made for t-shirts in the Pootique, which are now available. There are grandon, granddaughter, brother, sister and friend options in the “I wear gold for…” shirts. If you have a specific shirt you’d like made, just let me know, it’s simple to do and I’d love for you to able to support the special child in your life. A reminder that profits from the shirts with the Pediatric Cancer Foundation logo will go straight to the PCF for research funding. So, if you’re thinking about a gift to share, who can’t use one more shirt in their life???

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I will not, however, be adding anything in the line of “I wear gold for my neighbor’s brother’s best college friend’s pediatrician’s manicurist’s son” on there any time soon.

1 Comment on “Learning from the pros”

  1. #1 Jennifer
    on Nov 3rd, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    Oh how I miss the binky days! Meg was the only baby of mine who took a binky and she didn't start until she was almost 2 (long story)!! She did LOVE her binks though! She had a little basket that she kept her collection in and she'd walk around with 1 in her mouth, 1 in her left hand, and the basket containing the other kazillion binkies in her right hand. When it came time to try to break her of the binky I was told to try the "Binky Fairy" technique where you tie the binky to a branch in a tree and tell the poor suffering child that the Binky Fairy would come take the binky and bring her a present. Well, let me tell you…I tied the darn thing to a branch before bedtime and by midnight I had a sobbing 3 year old in one arm while reaching for a tethered binky with the other!!! Eventually the trash man took all of the binkies but both Meg and I still visit the binky section of Big Lots whenever we're there. Secretly I think I miss them more than she does! There is something just so darn cute about a little one with one of those gooey, stinky little things!

    Hugs to all of you!