Sunday, May 22, 2016

Amazing time at the park

This afternoon Ally, Cloey and I went to the park. The last time I went to this park with Ally was part of her homework for the PPRC. It was not fun. She could barely climb the ladder. She was in tears on the way home and hopped on one leg into the house she was in so much pain. 

NOT TODAY


Today Ally loved the park. 


She was silly on the pole slide.



Tried to go down in a split position.



It's hard to stay balanced across all the poles.


When she reached the bottom she would give Cloey a smooch


Then hop up the hill, on both feet.



Up and down and she went.


But then the lure of hanging was too strong. It always has been and probably always will be her favorite thing at the park. Hanging.


While spinning she saw a bunny! Cloey went crazy barking and the bunny ran away.


But Ally kept swinging. We tried a new thing today, to see how many rotations she could hang for. She made it to 10 1/2. She did that many twice, and tried several times to beat it, but the giggles beat her.


She climbed.


And said "take my picture" 



And hammed it up for me. 
It's hard to believe how far she has come in just a few months. 
On the way home she took a deep breath and told me "I need to take a break when we get home" that is code for, my ankle hurts and I need to rest it. I said ok, and when we got home she read a book for a while snuggled up with Cloey and ate a snack. 
No tears today, no meltdown. Just an exceptional 9 year old girl coping with her chronic pain. 

It's been a quiet weekend. But not without some important milestones:
On Friday Ally went to gymnastics practice. This was the first time in months she attended practice twice in a week. She had a private lesson with her coach to try and master her round off back handspring. Ally wants to perform it with her team mates at the annual show in 3 weeks. They will all be doing round off double back handsprings or back tucks. But the single is a skill she had mastered last summer. She is embarrassed she has to relearn it. She told me she was nervous to practice it in front of everyone. Her coach and Mama and I keep telling her, she has nothing to be embarrassed about. But I can imagine how it feels to relearn a skill you once knew. She worked hard one on one with her coach, she has the skill back, just has to get her confidence in her ability and over her fear of the pain. She did 75 minutes of gymnastics and asked to go home. She was tired. Her coach told me that Ally's commitment to gymnastics is amazing. 
She came home and went to bed. Was asleep by 630 pm. I'm so proud of her. Proud she tried to so hard, proud she knew her limits and proud she doesn't give up on what she has so much fun doing. I say she has a "gymnastics smile" it comes out when she is in the gym. I saw it Friday. 
On the way to practice we had a good conversation about her pain. I started by saying I know we're not supposed to talk about pain, but I had a few questions. Does it still hurt? YES She says she still has pain. Pretty much all the time. But she uses her coping skills to do what she wants and needs to do. She said it hurts during ballet, but she does ballet anyway. It hurts at gymnastics but she loves gymnastics and does it anyway. It hurts at school, but she can use her fidgets and school pain management plan to stay in her classroom and learn. I asked her if she believed the pain would go away. She said yes. 
I'm so glad she has that faith and belief and confidence that the pain will go away. 
I thanked her for talking to me about it.

On Saturday morning Ally was awake at 640. That was 12 hours of sleep! She said she felt well rested.
We did a lot of work in her room, packing up toys she doesn't play with right now and giving away some furniture. To make room for American Girl play spaces. She wants to keep her dolls out and we set up areas for school, bedroom, bathroom and gymnastics. She loves it. 
Then she had ballet. Her June recital dance is beautiful. She and her classmate (it's just the 2 of them) have a wonderful dance. 
After ballet she went to her friend Aiden's party at Laser Tag with a friend. She managed by herself for 3+ hours. She came home, read and ate dinner then took a shower and went to bed. After a good night sleep again last night she was up and at things again this morning. 
She played on her Kinect for about 90 minutes before the park trip I wrote about above. 
Lots of movement, lots of exercise, lots of fun. 

Just the way 9 should be. 


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

RIP Spotted 2

Last night we realized Ally's fish Spotted had died. Telling her was the worst. But we did it and after lots of tears, looking at his dead body and tons of hugs and cuddles she got to sleep much later than usual. 
Spotted2 had been with us since December 2012. Spotted1 is buried in our front yard, underneath the Bryce's rock (the memorial to our cat Bryce). Spotted2 will be buried there as well. 
We told Ally we would get her a Spotted3 if she wanted. We will see what happens. 
It was a very sad night.

But on a happier note this past weekend we purchased a new hamster habitat from a Facebook yard sale group and Penguin the hamster loves it. Ally calls it Penguin Paradise.


One of my best Cloey pictures yet. Even with the cone on she gets sticks!


My happy girl! On Monday she went on a field trip with her class on a walking tour of the Freedom Trail. They walked to the T, and walked around Boston and on the 90 minute tour. She did it all! She was so tired after school, but clearly in good spirits. 





 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Getting back to normal life


Ally has started working with a school provided tutor two days a week after school. This is to help her catch up on the academics she missed while out of school for the PPRC. The tutor is great, and speaks to Ally exclusively in Spanish, because in her words "Ally can understand me perfectly and speaks beautifully so I think giving her more practice in Spanish is good" Ally enjoys working with Ms. Christina and it's helping her gain back some of her academic confidence.


Hard at work on the white board.


Ally's class did these cute "Spring" figures. 


Ally wrote "in Spring I like playing with my friends outside and planting flowers in my garden."


Ally took this selfie on the way to gymnastics. She decided to stay for 2 hours and was very excited. Her plan was 90 minutes, but she asked to stay for 2 hours, and told me "I can handle it Mommy" I was so proud of her for speaking up and for talking about her desire and ability. 

It was a super proud parenting day, because when we picked Ally up at school she told us  that she ran in gym class! The first running she did in months. 


Thursday picture to text to her friend Daniela who was out sick. They were texting each other from their mom's phones lots of emojis back and forth and pictures 


A not so thrilled Ally before her gymnastics sleepover. She was annoyed with me taking a picture of her. She had a great time. She has a good group of friends her age on the team, and they hung out together and stayed up until 1:45 am!!! And woke up at 6:00am. Ally held it together for ballet class later in the morning and then kept nodding off in the car on the way home from ballet. We stopped and got her a Happy Meal which she ate then came home and fell asleep for 4 hours! Woke up, hung out and was back asleep for the night 2 hours later. 
Big news from the sleepover is that Ally practiced the team routine and is excited about performing in the show in a few weeks. 


Monday, May 9, 2016

Being 9

Some days 9 years old feels like the most difficult age we've parented yet. Then I think back and realize every year has its challenges, and it's rewards. It's the journey and the only thing we can count on as parents is that Ally will change and grow. Just as we think we're good she will change again. Her favorite color, her style of clothes, her favorite song, favorite TV show the only constant is change. And maybe cereal. If there was no cereal I don't know what we'd do.
Seriously though it seems that parenting now is more of a challenge than usual. It's unfair to put that all on Ally and her age. I think it's also on us and our exhaustion both emotionally and physically. It's hard to be at your best after the past few months. 

And for the record being Ally's mommy is still the best thing ever.

Beautiful, strong, brave and kind those are the 4 words I tell her describe her most. 
Thanks to Aunt Martha for the fabulous shirt.! Ally picked this out in February when we were in Florida



Fast asleep like a pretzel.

I  couldn't love her more.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The weekend and Cloey's surgery.

Well it was a weekend. There was lots of sickness, stress and frustration. But we managed to have some fun too.


Friday morning Ally and I brought Cloey to the animal hospital for her surgery. Cloey had to be there by 7am, so we left the house at 630am and we're back at school for Ally's usual start time of 730. It was a rough drive there in the car with a hungry crying Cloey in the car. 


The vet tech texted me picture of Cloey. Above is pre-op and below is post-op.


Cloey spent the night at the hospital. Ally decorated Cloey's crate with pictures 






Ally cuddles with Nali. 


Saturday afternoon we picked her up.


Tired doggie wearing her cone!


On Sunday Becky started physical therapy with Cloey. It was hilarious. 



And in celebration of Mother's Day, my favorite picture of Ally and me. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Guatemala Girls April

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GABI!!!!
This month we gathered at Gabi's house to celebrate the youngest of our girls turning 9! 



The traditional group picture on the stairs.


Opening presents. 


Selfie Time! Rosa, Julie, Julie and Ally


Mommy and Ally


Cheryl and Alica


Roxie, Mary Beth, Alice, and Cheryl


Gabi and Kim


Instead of cake it was make your own sundae, delicious!!!


Our Guatemalan Girl.