Saturday, February 28, 2009

A girl and her bow

Should someone ever storm our parapet walls, T-Rex will be at the ready.

T-Rex switched from horseback riding to archery (maybe next year she can shoot arrows ON horseback) and has really enjoyed it. She is my non-competitive child. She hates swim meets, and gets nauseated at the thought of performing, but if she enjoys the event she will participate. Today was her second tournament and she was MUCH improved compared to last fall. Most of her arrows were on target, and she got several bulls eyes.
Although she didn't medal, her group did win the team trophy.
For Christmas she went out with my sister and received her very own bow, so she now can practice in the backyard. She is still quite excited about having her very own weapon, and keeps her bow and arrows in her room.

Here is her own target 4 bulls eyes and most on target. She is definitely improving. Way to go T-Rex

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oh yeah, shake your booty

Our school has a morning news show, but before it starts our students participate in PERK. It is a five minute aerobic type set that allows kids to get up and get moving in the morning. Well, Blondie's class got to show their routine this morning, and she adapted a couple of moves to suit her abilities. So since I was busy, I had Brian try to capture them with the camera. Unfortunately he didn't know that you have to do it right side up because I don't know how to turn it with blogger. So lean to the right and check her out!

Did you catch the pulp fiction move? Her teacher was chuckling this morning when she watched her because Blondie just naturally adapts things to her way of "one-handedness."

This degenerated into just random "Blondie dancing." She can shake it like no other.....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Back to the zoo

This morning we headed over to the zoo to try to catch a glimpse of the baby giraffe that made its debut last week. Unfortunately he wasn't out, but we did buy a handful of lettuce and let the girls feed the big ones.
Brian took some fantastic shots, and we spent a lot of time with the Howler monkeys. They were quite active this morning, and the girls had a ball watching them swing around their rocks and trees WHOOOP WHOOPing to each other.

We walked around the various exhibits, and then caught the tram up to the garden. This is Cheesie's favorite thing to do next to her fascination with the DC metro, so we're always riding it just for her. Once up at the garden we looked around, and found a little path down the hillside and along the river, so we all hiked down together. Cheesie wasn't pleased to miss another chance at riding a "train" and complained a bit towards the end, but it was a very beautiful walk through very peaceful woods.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Today I took my junior girl scouts to the local food bank to work toward their bronze award (they have to do a lot of badge work, and then 15 hours of community service for one organization). T-rex decided to come today too even though she isn't ready to work on her service time yet. Those 8 girls and I made and loaded 720 boxes of food for families in need
in our city. They were quite proud - one
more weekend to go, and they will
earn their bronze.

Meanwhile, Brian took Big Al and the little girls to Big Al's soccer game. He got some excellent pictures. Cheesie was trying to eat her cheetos and play soccer, and Blondie seems to look like she wants to fall over, but it was a beautiful day to kick a ball around. Big Al's team was able to tie 0-0 with this team - we are proud. The other team was older, so this is a good accomplisment for our girls.

T-rex, Big Al and I all ended our day with 4 hours of girl scout cookie booths, and boy are we all tired. Buy those cookies folks - they freeze well, and these girls are really learning a lot about helping other people, and going on exciting adventures (at least in my troops). Heading for bed, enjoy the pics.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Extra therapy

Blondie had an extra therapy today because she was sick last week, and then her PT is on vacation this week, so we squeezed in one today. Then, amazingly enough, OT had a cancellation for the next hour, so it worked out all the way around. The pictures today are from OT, because in all honesty, Blondie was not wanting to cooperate, and sometimes if the camera comes out she will shape up..... sometimes...... but not today...... The pictures were pretty good though, and overall they are asking her to do a LOT!

Alternating arms, and shrugging shoulders....
Touching shoulders, then out to airplane arms...

Alternating feet on the ball.....

The two above were quite tricky. She had to start from the center, and then roll down to one knee on the left, and then back to center. Then of course, roll down to one knee of the right. It used a LOT of tummy muscles. I tried to switch to video, but she was having NONE of this today.

Then of course we come home, and she cheerfully shows me her new dance:

Where was this energy during therapy? Hmmmmm.....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My daughter wants a yellow card

Big Al started playing travel soccer last year, and this year her team is also playing up a year. So a whole bunch of 6th graders, are playing a whole bunch of 7th graders. As parents we tend to measure things in ..... um..... bra sizes. If the other team needs them, we have no chance. Now keep in mind, Big Al weighs about 65 pounds and still wears a girl's size 10(she's 12) so she is pretty tiny to begin with.
This past fall we would get on Big Al because she wasn't quite being aggressive when it came to some of the games. This all took an extreme change at the beginning of January when my neice posted some VERY rough played games she participated in, and Big Al started to think that getting a yellow card was cool. We have cautioned her that fighting and cursing are so far out of bounds that it isn't even an option, but we also figure that with someone her size, playing someone their size a goal of a yellow card may just make her as aggressive as she should be in the first place.

Today was the first game of the spring season, and she played pretty well, except that I saw those illegal elbows (ref didn't) and she pushed another player quite a few times from behind (ref missed that too). When I told her about it she flatly denied it.... until I got home and looked at the pictures......

To me... this is appropriate contact (Big Al on the right in Blue going after the ball with "man on."

Um..... not so legal...... (Big Al on left with both hands on opponent).

So what do you think?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This time last year

This time last year I lost my Dad. I thought I would feel the grief I felt that day, but I still just feel the disbelief that he is gone. When any tragedy strikes - someone passes, or needs brain surgery, or whatever it may be - I tend to think of it over the next year as "this time last year we didn't know dad was sick." OR "This time last year Blondie could use two hands." This date closes a bit of a chapter for me, because this time last year we lost my dad. That's it. We don't get to talk to him, or see him at the end of the table. We can't call him to help pull down a tree, or talk politics (oh, he would have a FIELD DAY right now), or gain any insight into the world based on his experience.
We are still a very close family, but various family members have left us over the last couple years, and it is changing. I guess that is what time does with us, teaches us to cope with change. One of my girls has an interesting way of dealing with these changes - she writes letters to my dad, and then burns them in the fire pit so they can reach heaven. I see her do it quietly, and it is very personal to her, but a way to feel connected to her granddad.

So, in honor of my dad, a few more pictures of him.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Blondie revisits Dr. Park

Blondie had her brain surgery 4 years ago at the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Park and his team were fantastic, and he is still one of Blondie's very favorite people. I think that even at the age of 3 she understood that he helped save her life, and even now with the enormity of the situation still unknown she still knows he is special.

Every year we do a neuropsych evaluation and see how she is doing developmentally and IQ wise. Every year we get the same results - pretty much average - which is generally good news. This year our appointment with Dr. Park was quite a few months after the evaluation, but we went to see him anyway to discuss the possibility of meds for ADD type behavior- not hyperactivity, because in general Blondie is very well behaved, but to help with concentration in learning which I must say I'm on the fence about. I'm not sure it is needed, so we asked for guidance. Apparently, statistically, on a long questionaire we filled out (and her teacher filled out) she shouldn't really need meds, but he wanted us to try a blind study anyway. So in the next few weeks we will send Blondie to school on a half dose for a week, a full dose for a week, and no dose for a week, and see if we notice anything helping. Her teacher will keep track of her thoughts, as will we, and then decide if it is needed or not.
While we were waiting, Blondie played with the model of the brain, and WHAT DO YOU KNOW, it separated into halves. So yes, that is my brain surgery kid, holding half a brain - morbid joke I know, but if you can't laugh you aren't quite past it.
On the way home she was wiped out - it was a LONG day. Hopefully soon we'll hear from another few families (the hospital has them talk to us) going through the same thing, and see if we can help them make the decision that is best for their family. After all, that was one of the initial goals of this blog- show others it isn't the end of the world.
All in all a good afternoon with one of the most beloved people in our life - Dr. Park. I'm not sure he realizes how much he means to us, but in our opinion he saved Blondie's life, and we are thankful each and every day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Marry a thief

Colin and Charley

My little brother is the drummer in the band Marry a Thief. They work very hard, and may actually be on the edge of a little more recognition. On Wednesday at 10:00 their music will be played on the Real World on MTV - the song is called Epilepsy (not inspired by his neice). Marry a Thief is great even if Real World is real weird. Marry a Thief is also heading up to NYC in March for a show so hopefully they make a few more connections. Click on the link on the left to go to their my space page and check out their music- buy a CD - they need the money to rehab their van.