Last Sunday the entire family was eagerly anticipating some very big news. My brother and his girlfriend were at the hospital and it seemed that baby was on the way. As baby are apt to do, the little one kept everyone waiting. By Monday afternoon Grandma, Grandpa and Auntie Paulette had come up from Quesnel, bringing Jasmine and Asher home after a fun-filled and exhausting visit. They too joined the baby watch. In the evening, my dad and sister returned to Quesnel, while Sheila and my mom raced off to the hospital to be closer to the action. Jasmine headed off to her friends house for the night, and suddenly the house was very quiet. Just a couple of guys hanging out, watching some rasslin'. Eventually Asher succumbed to sleep and it was just me hanging out and watching some teetee. I got a call from Sheila around 11 pm letting me know that it could be a looooong night. She had to work in the morning, but wasnt worried about getting any sleep. Baby first, work second.
When I woke early in the morning Sheila was next to me in the bed, or at least she had been. The baby had arrived! Sheila had arrived home some time in the early morning, but my mom had stuck it out. The little one had arrived via c-section at 620 am. Between Tuesday and Wednesday I managed to get 3 different visits with my brother, sister-in-law and the new bundle of joy. She was healthy alright, with a mighty set of lungs that she had already figured out how to use. Ian and Larissa didn't settle on what to call her until Thursday I believe, and it was then that my neice was given her name: Charlotte Reyna Marie. A great name, and she recieved the middle names of her two grandmothers as her middle names. I am really happy for the new mom and dad, and it has been a great week filled with happiness and new life. Allow me to introduce you to the star of the week.
The new baby consumed our thoughts for a few days, but later in the week we had planned to go on our first family camping trip in quite some time. The exhaustion of the baby's arrival and having a few house guests threatened to postpone the camp out, but in the Sheila and I decided to make it work. The trip had been reduced to 1 night, but that would give us a chance to test out the gear we had bought in preparation for a longer camp out in August. We were joined at the lake by Sheila's dad and her 5 year old niece Cienna who proudly told me: "Uncle Matt! This is my first time sleepin' out in the wild!" We spent all day Thursday swimming in the lake. It was sunny and hot, so why not? Jasmine is an ace in the water so we spent hours horsing around further out in the lake. Cienna and Asher also had lots of fun in the water, though the were much more careful than Jasmine which was good for us as guardians. After a hamburger dinner prepared on my old school coleman white gas cookstove, we returned to the lake.
Cienna's mom and dad drove out to join us, bringing their sons Ethan and Seth out for some lake time. The joy that the boys had in their faces was great to watch. They had a ton of fun horsing around the water, and Ethan joined Asher in watching Ethan's dad do some fishing from the shore. Asher seemed in a trance, he crouched down staring at his Uncle while he baited and casted, likely only being so well behaved due to the exhaustion from a long day. Ethan on the other hand wanted to be involved. He would creep out into the water after each cast, wanting to get ahold of the line. We ended the visit with some smores around the campfire before it was time for the boys to pack up and head for home and their beds. The campers turned in soon after, though Asher put up a fight even though he hadn't napped due to all the excitement of being out at the lake. After a rather chilly night in our tent, Jasmine and I joined her Papa around the fire at the crack of dawn. I fried up some eggs and hanburger patties for her and I while Papa sipped his coffee. All the other campers were silently sleeping still and missed out on the beautiful scenery. We talked about the Loons that we had heard during the night, and were about to spot a cluster of 5 or 6 of them out in the middle of the lake. Jasmine spotted what she says was a hawk (she knows her animals better than me) swooping down to try and get a fish. We had a great spot, our fire was less than 50 feet from the edge of the water. Jasmine than claimed to have seen an otter surface not far from shore. I was a doubter, and Papa politely told Jasmine that otters don't really live in lakes. The little guy surfaced again a few more times, and all three of us got a decent look. We decided that it must of been a beaver, it was too big to be a muskrat. Jasmine claimed to have seen a big flat tail. Cienna had just woke up, and she rattled off a number of beaver facts for us. I was impressed, she's only just finished kindergarten, where did she learn so much about the beaver? Of course, here are some pictures of our camp out for you to enjoy.
After spending the week being overwhelmed by neices and nephews, we weren't finished being spoiled with cute little kid time. One of Sheila's good friends stopped by on Saturday with her little guy we all got to take turns holding him. He is 2 months old, and his name is CJ. I have had a few thoughts this week of babies, but the toddlers have managed to counteract the happy thoughts with thoughts of exhaustion and patience testing. The little guy fell asleep while I was holding him, his little eyes part way open, and his mouth twisted off to the side as he was in the middle of sucking on a bottle. His mom and dad told us that he does fall asleep like that quite often so we weren't alarmed. I am a pretty big softy when it comes to the babies. Of course, I won't leave you hanging. I have a couple of CJ pictures as well.
From reading the above, you may think that all Sheila and I had time to do this week was visit with neices and nephews and kiss babies. For the most part, you would be right. we did have a little free time last Sunday while the kids were down visiting with Grandma and Grandpa. We went out for a greasy dinner at the Chinese Buffet (a mistake made after our chosen Vietnamese place was closed), then made our way to the movie theatre. I managed to convince Sheila to try watching her first horror film, and we didn't jump into it lightly. We went to see "The Conjuring" which has been getting cracking reviews from the critics. Generally, horror movies are poorly done, light on story telling and acting talent and big on cheap scares. I use to "fear" horror movies to some extent, but often they are so badly put together that I end up laughing instead of screaming. The critics liked James Wan's latest offering, and I did too. Sheila only screamed a couple of times, and she did have to hide behind her jacket for parts as well, but it sounds like she also enjoyed the movie. If you haven't seen it, go out and do so James Wan did an great job of building believable suspense that resulted in some of the most intense horror scenes I have seen as the movie climbed to a finish.
This past Friday night I jumped in the car and headed to the soccer field. We had a 630 game scheduled against Westwood Pub. Now, as a team we have been doing alright. We are still undefeated within our own 30+ division. Unfortunately, we have been tying games left, right and center. Having leads and blowing them, desperately catching up from behind, we have managed to tie games in a variety of ways. In divisional play we have accumulated 3 wins and 5 ties. Great. We haven't lost. With soccer though, wins are very valuable. They are worth 3 points while ties are worth 1. So, even though we have not lost, we are not in first. We are in a battle with one of the other teams for second out of the 4 teams in the division. On Friday night, we got scheduled into a game against one of the Open division teams, and after checking out the website before the game, I discovered that their record sat at 9 wins and 1 loss. I looked at the scoring tables to discover that they had 2 of the top goal scorers in the league. I knew we were in for a tough game. The score tallied up to 8 for them and 3 for us. A few thoughts from the game:
-Scott DeBianchi and Matt Jubinville are good soccer players. Great soccer players. Scary good. Likely the best players currently living in Prince George. On multiple occasions on Friday night they made our normally solid team look silly.
-Despite only having 9 players, Westwood was still way too good for us as a group. They didn't have their normal goalie, and we were able to take advantage of that to some extent by putting 3 goals on the board.
-I actually had more run with the ball in this game then I often do. I made a couple of sprinting runs with the ball that didn't result in anything tangible, but my efforts were moticed by teammates which always feels good.
-I twisted my ankle badly in the first half, coming down on the side of my foot and crunching my ankle over. I limped off quietly, lucky that I was 10 yards from the bench when it happened. 10 minutes later I was feeling quite a bit better so I ran back on. By the end of the game the list of injuries that I had incurred included a bruised toe, and a bruised knee to go along with the ankle pain. All on my left leg. The ankle ended up ballooning by the next morning, and I had to take it very easy all day. 3 days later, it's still sore but I am hoping to play hockey tomorrow night. We will see.
-The highlight of the game was definitely the hanging out after the game. They boys were in a celebratory mood despite the clobbering on the field. The beer was flowing until well after the game. I was hungry after skipping dinner at home, and enjoyed an awesome steak sandwich from the "concession". It was restaurant quality, like at a decent restaurant, and the price tag was a ridiculously fair $10. I've been annoying numerous people since by raving about it. The "concession" which is better than most restaurants in Prince George is only open on weekends so I won't get too many chances to make return trips. I may have to book a Friday off just for it. It's that good.
I have a busy week of family time, soccer, hockey and poker ahead of me. I'm also going to make an effort to get back to eating better and exercising more. I have had my first major lull in action as far as weight lifting, running and exercising goes. Hopefully, I can put an end to the negative downturn this week. I'll keep you all posted. Until next time.