Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekend in Review

This weekend Ally was resting her ankle. She hurt her ankle at gymnastics on Wednesday and it hurt pretty bad. Bad enough to miss Thursday practice and sit out of gym and recess on Friday at school. Her ankle hurts when she puts any weight on it. Becky took her to swimming on Friday and they watched a very big advanced gymnastics meet after swim.
As is usual Ally is mommy's girl when she isn't feeling well. On Thursday after school we had a snuggle session and started coloring a picture together. We worked on it more on Friday and finished it on Saturday.
I did take her to urgent care at the pediatrician on Saturday to have her ankle looked at. The doctor didn't think it needed to be x-rayed and diagnosed it as a leg contusion. Ally thinks she bonked it while on the beam. But she isn't sure.
She missed ballet practice and cross country skiing with Guatemala Girls on Saturday. She was good about keeping her leg up and elevated and iced.
Saturday Paul and Charlo came over for dinner and games. Ally did great at Ticket to Ride. She came in second place by only 3 points to Paul and swooped mama and Charlo.
Sunday we went to church and Ally again rested. Art projects and listening to mama read Little House on the Priaire. They finished the first book Little House in the Big Woods over the weekend and started book 2.

Some pictures:
Cloey was looking out the window on Friday waiting anxiously for Becky to come home.

Snuggling with Cloey on the couch.
We did it! We finished the picture.
Some close ups of the picture.

Ally has been working on a series of posters for her room of different things she is interested in. She did diving this weekend.
Working on the poster while listening to mama read Little House on the Praire.  She read 6 chapters on Sunday afternoon. Ally loved it.


Ally and I finished putting up our Easter decorations. Some of these eggs (like the one on the right go way back).


Sleepy girl at night! She is supposed to elevate her leg while she sleeps but at some point she wakes up and turns perpendicular and her feet hang off the bed.
Silly funny brave girl.
We love her so much.






    

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Usual Stuff

Its 3 weeks until Easter so we hauled out the Easter decorations on Sunday. Ally counted our plastic eggs and we have 150! Cloey is very excited for Easter.

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Ally and Becky worked on a sculpture project.

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Ally is working on a dream catcher. She had a bad dream a few nights ago that all of the characters in her books came alive. She has not been able to get to sleep for 5 nights now – it has not been fun. So Becky suggested a dream catcher.

 

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Cloey got a bath, and we heard you are supposed to make sure pugs are 100% dry – so we got out the hair dryer and used it on Cloey. She was not pleased.

 

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There was a family breakfast on Tuesday at Ally’s school and then parents were invited up into the class room to see the some of the student work. They each had their Spanish project on liquids and in English a book they wrote and illustrated.

Ally’s book was “My Cute Dog Cloey” the story was great, lots of details about when we got Cloey, and what she does. I was impressed.

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The very happy 2nd grader.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Be Your Own Self

There is some 2nd grade girl thing going on. Lots of girls are cutting their hair short. Last year it was bangs. I think 10 girls got bangs in about 3 weeks last year. Ally has always had bangs and likes them so no big deal.

This year it's short hair. Bobs to be exact lots of girls getting a chin length bob. But not Ally. If you ask her about cutting her hair she says "NEVER" or "NO-WAY" she actually wants her hair to grow a bit longer. I am so proud of her for being her own person. 

We talked about that this week in the car one day. What it means to be your own person. I told her I was proud of her and thought it was great that she dress and wear her hair and play games and talk to people she wanted and to not be doing what everyone else wanted. Making your own decisions about your self, how you look and act and not being like everyone else is huge.

Ally is very socially aware. She's not "out there" and she's not a trend setter she is just confident in her own self in a way I don't I ever was and sometimes I don't think I am now. 

It's quite amazing to watch and see and think and hope she can continue to be her own person and not like everyone else.  It may sound strange to say but I envy her confidence that she looks beautiful with long hair and her conviction that she likes long hair even when her peers are rejecting it. She dresses in her own style too. Most of her peers wear jeans and lots wear woven fabrics and blouses. But not Ally. Cotton knit leggings and pants with elastic and knit shirts and dresses. She likes clothes that fit and won't wear anything too big or too small. And the thing is she looks great and people compliment her.  

Today she let me braid her hair. 2 braids; one on each side down her back. 

Here she is, her own person.



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Update–back to normal life

Well I wish we were back to normal. Jet lag from the 5 hour time change really set us back for about a week. Ally would go to sleep at her normal bedtime of 730-800pm and then wake up 3-4 hours later (right when Becky and I were going to sleep) and be awake for 3-5 hours. It was awful. And I am now sick because for a week that meant I slept from 3-4AM when Ally would fall back asleep until 6AM when it was time to wake up and go to school and work. Becky needs more sleep than me so she would go to sleep and I would stay up with Ally.

UGH it was rough. Added to that was the fact that Ally has had a terrible stomach ache – so bad she was sent home from school on Monday, her first day back, last week.  Becky stayed home with her Tuesday. Ally still has her rash, and has now been back to the dermatologist two times, the pediatrician once and had blood drawn for a full blood work up.

Good News – Ally does not have Lyme or Mono and all her labs looks good.

Bad News – Ally still has a stomach ache (she missed school on Monday of this week), and still has her rash – its almost gone on her torso, but still quite prominent on her face.

Next step is to see a pediatric gastroenterologist, we have an appointment with one on March 23 and we now need to get Ally tested for allergies.

The dermatologist at our appointment yesterday said she thinks Ally’s rashes are eczema – the one on her torso has gone away with topical steroid cream, but the one on her face persists. The primary causes of eczema are weather, stress and allergies. They don’t think it’s the weather since it was just as bad in Hawaii as it has been here, and they don’t think its allergy because its not itchy – but it is very puzzling because the #1 symptom of eczema is itchiness and Ally is not itchy at all. So it might not actually be eczema. They also don’t think that the rashes are entirely stress related. So we are back to some combination of things.

All of these appointments and uncertainty and 2+month of rash on her face has made Ally pretty anxious. The anxiety might be the cause of her tummy ache, or the medical cause of her rash could be what is causing her tummy ache. We just don’t know. The doctors don’t know.

We had a really good meeting this week with Ally’s teachers and the counselor at her school. They are all working together with us to give Ally some additional support now to try and make her feel more comfortable.

And while that happens we will continue to work on the physical/medical side of things and see what we can find out.

In other really amazing news – Ally mastered a HUGE skill at gymnastics. She can do a round-off back-handspring which is 2 skills combined. It’s a major accomplishment for her. I’ll try and take a video this week.

We’re pretty light on the pictures since we’ve been back from Hawaii but here are some.

 

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Last week with all the snow in our front yard before ballet. And at right a picture of the costume Ally will wear for her ballet show in June. It is June 14 please let us know if you’d like to come.

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Ally dancing at ballet. She is so graceful.

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Walking around our  neighborhood – the snow banks are so tall.

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One of the things Ally had to do for homework while we were in Hawaii was write reviews, in Spanish. Above is her review of the Mexican restaurant we ate at in Kauai and below is of the shave ice we had on the north shore of Oahu

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One of the days Ally was home sick she assembled her puzzle ball all by herself! We’ve all been enjoying our pets. Lots of cuddles and resting with Cloey and Nali.

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And Carl and Cloey are starting to get to know each other – lying on the floor about 18” apart is huge progress at our house.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Day 12 Last Day in Hawaii

It was an amazing vacation. This is the longest that I have ever been away from work, and the longest vacation Becky and I have ever taken together. Lots of fun. There was of course some stress and frustration, but that is kind of to be expected. But over all we all three agreed it was a wonderful time.

Our last day was no exception. We went fishing in the morning, ate some lunch in the condo, then spent the afternoon at the pool. Ally made an “eyelash lei” our of yarn, and then we ate shave ice one last time, did some souvenir shopping and met up with Gruncle and Aunt Suzie for Italian food for dinner. Then back to the condo for some major Wii action, topped off by Sleeping Queens and one final game of Spite and Malice. For the record Suzie and Becky played 21 games over our 7 days and Aunt Suzie won – 11 games to Becky’s 10 games.

 

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In the morning as I ate my breakfast out on the lanai a cruise ship sailed in to the dock nearby.

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The bamboo pole fishing was a success again today. Ally became a pro at taking the fish off the hook and throwing the fish back into the water.

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PBJs and Maui style potato chips for lunch – and a beer brewed with passion fruit for Becky, Ally had strawberry guava juice.

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On the way to the pool I took a few pictures of the grounds.

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Fun in the pool with mama. They were in for about 90 minutes.

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Then we saw some adorable black chicks while drying off.

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When your 8 year old ask you to go lay in the hammock with her, you do not say no. My book could wait.

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The clouds rolled in and it looked like rain so we headed back inside. On the way Ally stopped at the telescopes to look for whales. We could see them with our eyes (no need for the scope) every day in the bay near the hotel. Looking thru the telescopes we saw up close the waves crashing and the chickens on the golf course below.

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This is Ellen the Activities Director and Ally – Ellen is who runs all the children and family programs at the resort. She was really fun and we enjoyed everything. Ally is wearing her eyelash lei.

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Then it was off for shave ice. Gruncle gave up sweets for lent so he just took us, then he went back to pick up Suzie and we met up with them for dinner. He was astounded at how huge the shave ice bowls are. I will admit they are large – but we didn’t eat it all. Ally had Raspberry, Watermelon and Bubble Gum. She liked the raspberry the best.  Becky had Pineapple, Strawberry and Coconut.

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We laughed that my shave ice was the Irish flag, Lime, Coconut and Orange Creamsicle. Too bad I’m not Irish, just Manx. We saw more chicks at the shopping center.

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Ally bought herself another journal – she used her own money for that.(she is writing in it above. We got her a turtle necklace that holds the pearl she got earlier in the week. She was thrilled because the necklace was only $10.00 – and she did not want something too expensive. She also got a turtle ring with a pretty turquoise gem in it.  There was a very nice girl feeding the fish at the resort and she let Ally have some food and feed them too – the fish come right up on the platform and eat our of your hand.

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Finally a group shot of the 5 of us!

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The sunset was stunning when we got back to our condo and we had to take some pictures.

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Ally was psyched she won at big pin bowling. She crushed Becky and Suzie.

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Then it was tennis time and Ally played both Gruncle and Aunt Suzie.

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Best of all was that Ally beat all 3 of them at regular 10 pin bowling.

A funny note here about the Wii is that Ally, Becky and Aunt Suzie each made their own character to play, but Gruncle played as Spitweed – the name of another character already in the game. Ally and he were so funny about that.

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Team pink remote beat team blue remote. Or you could say the brown eyed girls beat the blue eyed people. Soon after Wii it was time to leave for the airport. We had an 11pm flight – a red eye 6 hours long to Phoenix.

 

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Becky looking like a super tourist in her Hawaii T-shirt and Becky’s fresh orchid lei around her neck. Ally did great on the trip – she slept about 4 hours of the first flight. I slept about 90 minutes. Then on the 2nd flight – which is her all curled up above she slept another 3 hours. Becky wasn’t seated with us on this very packed flight, and so I sat in the middle and with Ally curled up using my travel pillow on my lap I was unable to sleep. But at least she was good.

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We got home finally – around 6pm. We were so happy to see Cloey. And Cloey was running around so happy to see us. Finally she crashed later in the evening.

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We had a huge pile of mail waiting for us. Ally was SUPER excited to open her Valentine’s cards – she got $5.00 from Grandma Debbie & Poppy, with a hand made pop-up card, and another $5.00 from Grandma Barbie and Great Aunt Martha. The girl was thrilled.

It was a rough first night back. Ally fell asleep around 830 – but then woke up at 1130 wide awake and couldn’t get back to sleep until 3AM!!! I woke her this morning at 9AM – we have to try and get back into our normal time zone and routine.

We are glad to be home. But it was a such a fabulous trip.