Friday, April 30, 2010

Taylor Swift

Back in December Taylor Swift tickets went on sale and sold out here in about 10 minutes. Brian was lucky and scored 3, so he gave them to T-Rex and Big Al for Christmas. All this week the radio station was giving away sweets from the fifth row closer, and Big Al commandeered all of the cell phones and the house phone to try to get them. Yesterday I was upstairs getting ready for work, when I hear screaming. Big Al finally got through and won the "mosh pit" tickets right at the stage. So this meant she and Brian would be down on the floor and T-Rex had two empty seats next to her. Now I had to go and we let T-Rex bring a friend. It wasn't so much that I didn't like Taylor Swift, but I hear her ALL THE TIME on the radio, in the house, from the backseat of the car.... and I am honestly not a big fan of country music. But I went.... and I had a ball!

T-Rex, her friend and I sat up the roof, but were on the side and had a great view. Big Al and her Dad were super close. They were able to touch Taylor's hand, and Big Al was given a drumstick from their drummer when her Dad yelled that she was a percussionist. It was a very well received concert, and at one point the audience screamed for about 10 minutes straight, and she seemed to be genuinely touched by the emotion in the coliseum. I, as does most of America, knew most of the songs and was singing along with the girls. A couple of things grated on my nerves like how she said, "S-o-u-t-h Ca-ro-liiii-na" and the girl can flip her hair in every direction, AND you know the eye darting thing (left and right) she does it ALL THE TIME. But, I have to admit I walked away from the show understanding the phenomenon that is Taylor Swift, It was a great night.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Girls Can Too!

Two of my cadet girl scouts (Big Al's troop) used the pinewood derby idea from boy scouts, and recreated it for girl scouts. They invited friendly troops to be our guinea pigs, they raised money, bought the kits, borrowed a track, bought the medals and trophy, etc. Last Thursday they had the girls get together and create their cars and learn the rules. Tonight they ran the races. Blondie won for best in show (decorating) and both she and TRex competed in the races. Cheesie is DYING to do it next year. Enjoy the pictures, and hopefully we can improve a few things, and have it as a fundraiser next year! My favorite comment was said several times, "I think the girls had more fun doing that than the boy scouts." I can say that there was a whole lot of cheering and yelling going on, and it was a great time. The two girls who put this on did a lovely job, and I am looking forward to this event again next year.
Three of my junior scouts - great girls!

Blondie, and the two girls who hosted the event. Blondie is wearing her medal for best decorated.

A really great night. More excitement tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The cast saga, and a chorus concert

T-Rex and I went to the doctor yesterday crossing our fingers that there wouldn't be another cast - hoping that the worst would be a removable boot, and that the best would be limping out of there. Although with waiting, and X-rays, and waiting some more, we ultimately got the best news... NO MORE CAST!

Today she wore her skinny jeans, and limped through the school day without any crutches (but did stop for ibuprofen at lunch) and was genuinely thrilled to be "normal" again.
My saint of a husband took Blondie to her chorus concert in the talent show. They sang the first song and the last song, which of course means you have to stay for the WHOLE show in between- which would be fine if we hadn't only been home for 30 minutes from therapy before she had to leave again. Thankfully she got to sing the "Otter Mater" mentioned a few days ago. Her teacher performed in the the teacher skit (hence the wig). We love Ms. B. and are very lucky to have had her this year.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Riding her Bike

Probably because it is so difficult for Blondie, Cheesie has put off learning to ride her bike without training wheels. I took them off about a month ago and we practiced in the backyard in the grass, but she was so afraid of falling. I convinced her to try the pavement then, but she fell and that was the end of the lesson. This past weekend she has had a blast with playing with the older neighbor girls and when they wanted to ride bikes up on the street, so did she. So we got out there AND SHE DID IT! I still have to yell, "BRAKES!" to her a LOT because she wants to drag her feet, but she will figure it out.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

She Shoots! She Scores!

Brian took Big Al to her soccer game today and she FINALLY scored this season (figures I missed it after all the soccer time I've put in this season). It was a sweet moment because she was starting to doubt herself due to some comments made by the coach. Brian was AMAZING and caught the moment with the camera. I LOVE the look on the goalie's face.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Things my kids say

Blondie: Mom, I LOVE singing in chorus!
Me: What is your favorite song right now?
Blondie: The Otter Motter.
Me: The Otter Motter? What's that?
Blondie (sounding exasperated): The school song.... you know the Otter Motter.
Me: The Alma Mater?
Blondie: That's what I said.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Walking...sort of

T-Rex started PT this week during Spring Break. Her left broken leg is still in the half cast, but the upper thigh is one inch less in circumference from the right. She really needs to start building the muscles back. As with many tweens, if Mom says something about, "Hey try this exercise," it is absolutely met with eye rolling, and deep sighing. HOWEVER, if someone else (like a PT) says the SAME THING, then the tween will try anything. So I'm thankful to know a PT.

This past week we went to PT on Wednesday and Thursday. Cathy (PT) got T-Rex up and moving, but she was still hopping. Cathy finally got her walking better using a walker, which we borrowed, but will probably not go to school with her since Brian called her "grandma." (Note to dads, don't tease adolescent girls in current mood as T-Rex). By Saturday she was walking around without it, but still sort of hopping.

I think at school this week we'll have her take one crutch, but she'll start PT regularly this week for a few weeks. I think we're down to about 2.5 weeks until it hopefully comes off. Hopefully... Her sisters were bummed this week when I wouldn't take them to the lake and swim when T-Rex could only watch. Their response wasn't too understanding, but I know she will make it through this time just fine. Crossing fingers we're almost finished.

The Garage Sale

Big Al is about to start on her Silver Award for Girl Scouts. This is a 40 hour community service project and she has to raise money for it. She will be getting some money from the troop, but she needed a lot more. She wants to make blankets to give the kids at the hemi foundation who are getting the same surgery Blondie went through. This organization supports families going through this process, and also supports our reunion opportunities through the year.
So Big Al called her friend (Crazy B for blog privacy) to come help her. Another girl scout in the neighborhood coordinated her yard sale too. Big Al and the other GS put up signs on street corners, and Crazy B came over this morning to drop off some things and help out. Around 7 a.m. I was nervous because we had quite the load, and no one driving through, so the girls went to the neighborhood entrance, acted crazy and brought in a lot of business. We will let it run until about noon, but by 10:30 Big Al had earned about 180.00 and I (and the Haynes family) had unloaded some things we didn't need anymore. MANY THANKS to the Haynes family for bringing in some great things to sell - and Crazy B was a tremendous help.
As people came down the driveway Blondie would announce that the proceeds benefited the hemi foundation and, "I'm a hemi kid!" People would invariably turn to me and ask what a hemi kid was, so we educated them about hemispherectomies and the foundation. Our goal is to help get the word out about this group, and how wonderful and resilient these kids are.

Another group related to Blondie's disease is the RE Children's project. This is the father of one of the kids bringing doctors together from different disciplines to try to understand the origin of the disease, and the newest innovations. Their ultimate goal would be to find a cure for this disease. Check out both groups- they are definitely both worthy of donations.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Baby Turtle

Brian and I did a lot of yard work this weekend. We are in the process of planting the veggie garden we just expanded (I'll be updating Simply Dawson if you're interested). While raking pine straw Brian found a baby turtle in the yard. The adult turtles lay their eggs in the yard (interesting to watch) and then a few weeks later you have to watch out as the babies come out of the hole left behind. We have to be so careful when we're mowing the yard because they try to head for the lake but they are left WAY UP by the house.

This one was a yellow bellied slider turtle. Blondie was thrilled to hold it and play with it (and then wash her hands). Cheesie didn't look quite as thrilled.

It was a lovely Easter weekend with a family dinner, and a beautiful day yesterday.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Toby's parents

Our friend Toby has been mentioned before. He was my sister's former boyfriend, a professor of photography at our USC, and a dear friend. A little more than a month ago he died a week after a motorcycle hit and run. Yesterday his parents, Mike and Andrea, came to the house to spend time with the girls. It was very sweet of them to make time for us because Toby had many circles of friends and they would all love to share their "Toby stories" with his parents.

Thursday we went to the City Gallery to participate in Art for Toby!, an art show to help the family offset expenses, and to start a scholarship in Toby's name. I bought a nice photograph of canoes turned over on a dock, and spoke briefly to Mike and Andrea. When they came by yesterday Andrea read some books to the girls, brought them an Easter craft, and played bubbles with them. Mike and I spoke for a bit about Toby, and overall it was a lovely visit. It did allow Blondie and Cheesie to process what happened to him. I appreciated Andrea speaking to her honestly about Toby and the accident, because Cheesie really doesn't understand why the person who hurt him isn't in jail. In her little world that person is bad, and should be there fast. Andrea was able to talk to her about her feelings, and I think that helped Cheesie work things through a little more.

As much as we miss Toby, I know their grief is deeper. We are thankful for the time they were able to give to us.