Silly Grandpa passed away suddenly and far too soon today. We've all been feeling mixed emotions as we deal with the shock, but also spent time remembering all the great times together. He was a true character and one of the most generous people one could ever hope to meet. He had travelled the world and shared many experiences and knowledge with all who would listen. His love for teaching others spilled over into his work teaching for many years at the local universities. People all over would exclaim with joy when they recognized him, or his children, "Professor Jaekl! I loved your course" or "I saw you on T.V.". His fame even got him out of the odd jam (traffic infraction). He was a great scholar of history with particular interest in Greek and Roman times. But ultimately it was his love for his family and bringing joy to them that we most remember. He adored his wife, his children and his grandchildren and took great pride in all of them. Seeing his grandchildren running around with the exuberance of youth never failed to bring a smile to his face and a twinkle to his eyes. He is gone far too soon and will be dearly missed, but never forgotten. His unique character lives on in the many lives he touched in ways that many of us are only just starting to really see and understand.
Auf wiedersehen Vati.
March Break was a little bit of math, a little bit of science (fireworks in a jar!), a little bit of reading and stories and a lot of playing with soon-to-vanish-to-Japan cousins.
But for me the best part of March Break was the day Elizabeth made supper AND did the laundry from start to finish all by herself...
Of course we had to celebrate Pi day with pancakes in the morning and actual pie later in the afternoon.
You'll notice the pancakes and pie are green. We decided to celebrate St Patrick's day at the same time, mostly because that's when Ottawa has their annual St Paddy's parade and I got confused. Of course, it didn't help that my calendar told me St Patrick's day was on the 16th of March - apparently this is when Newfoundland has the related statutory holiday and so was automatically copied into all of our family calendars when I selected "Canadian holidays". Who knew?
Brendan announced that he has discovered the real reason pi is usually abbreviated... Because people have eaten the rest... (groan...)
We were literally on the way back from the doctor after Matthew was diagnosed with scarlet fever when Elizabeth's school called. She'd had a sledding accident and we needed to come get her to evaluate whether stitches would be necessary.
It took a long time to quit bleeding and much ice, but after a while she perked up and asked to write to "everyone" to tell them what happened. So here is her account:
"Dear Grandmas and Grandpas and Aunties and Uncles and cousins and friends, but not squirrels and cows like Daddy said because that's silly.
Someone crashed into me at school with a broken sled. And it cut my face. There was blood, blood, blood, blood, blood.
I ran down the mountain where I climbed up. And Mme Caroline [the principal] brought me inside to Mme Marie-Josee [the secretary, who provides basic first aid]. She gave me some glace [ice] and then I went to my class and mummy came and picked me up.
I love you
When Elizabeth was sick on family day and complained of a sore throat, we took her to Dr Jacoby right away to rule out strep throat. We did not want a repeat of last year's scarlet fever debacle so weren't prepared to wait. The doctor gave us a prescription for antibiotics and told us to start it if she got worse. Otherwise she suggested we wait for the swab results. Well, Elizabeth got much better so we didn't fill the prescription. Sadly, we also didn't wait for the swab results before Brendan resumed eating Elizabeth's leftovers...
By the time the doctor called to let us know the swab came back "heavy growth", Matthew had come down with a throat and ear infection and Brendan had his own raging case of strep. Three quarters of the family started antibiotics. Not that I was the only healthy one - I had an out of control asthmatic chest cough and my throat was pretty sore too, but my instant test came back negative so we concluded it was viral and carried on.
A week after Matthew finished his antibiotics, he started falling asleep in random locations and complaining about a sore throat and tummy ("Owieee"). When he started throwing up, we headed back to the doctor only to discover we were a little late - it was apparently Matthew's turn for scarlet fever. Luckily it was a mild case, but this time we not only changed toothbrushes but we replaced every single sippy cup in the house.
The pediatrician thought it was possible the instant test was a false negative and I still had my sore throat (three weeks later!) so I headed back to my doctor to get a proper swab done. This time it was positive. The moral of the story is that if we ever get an instant strep test again and it's negative, we're going to insist on an old fashioned swab too. Apparently the positives are pretty accurate but false negatives are not that unusual.