Saturday, June 10, 2017

New Hair

Ally has had her own hair stylist since she joined our family 10 years ago at 7 months of age. 

 
That is baby Ally with Feri after her first haircut, right before we headed to PA for her baptism.
Here she is today with Feri:

The salon has watched Ally grow up. When she was a baby and toddler and little girl they would see her every 6 weeks or so for a haircut. As she has gotten older and has long hair she only goes about 3 times a year. A few months ago when we were there the salon owner, Judy offered to streak Ally's hair with some color if it was alight with us and if Ally wanted it.

Ally definitely wanted it and has been asking me about it for weeks. Today she had it done.

 

 

 

 

 
I left Ally at this point and Becky and I picked her up 3 hours later. This is the first step, bleach.
 

 



 


 

 

 
 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Gymnastics Banquet

Tonight Ally had her gymnastics banquet. All of the team boys and girls at her gym are invited to the event from 6-8 at a local community center. Over 100 gymnasts attended the banquet. There was dinner (pizza and pasta Ally told us she ate some of both). A DJ for dancing, and candlepin bowling. The athletes were supposed to get dressed up. It was for the gymnasts only. Parents dropped off and came back 2 hours later for pick up. 

Ally has been on a no dress fashion program this year. She has definitely developed her own style and dresses just aren't a big part of her style. Nonetheless I was pretty set on the need for a summer dress. We settled on a denim dress which she paired with her funky high top sneakers. She said with bowling she wanted shoes she could bowl in. 

 

 

She looked great, very appropriate too. We took her to the banquet, went out to dinner, did our grocery shopping and went back to pick her up. We hung out with other parents while the program wrapped up the awards. Yes awards were given out. 

Ally received Hardest Worker Award! 
We are so very very proud of her and super happy that her dedication and hard work was acknowledged by her coach and the entire gym. The awards were not given to everyone and it wasn't even an award just for her team. But out of the over 100 athletes in the team program she was selected as the "hardest worker".

It really makes the drive to this gym and the cost for her team really worth it when she gets an award like that. We know she works hard. She knows she works hard. She is proud of herself. She told me it felt good to receive it. I said "find another word". She said "really good!" I said "no, something more descriptive". and she said "it feels great". I laughed and she said;  "It does. It just feels good, really good."

 
It sure does.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Busy weekend.

We had a busy weekend.
Saturday Grandma Barbie and Grandpa Frank came to visit, mostly so they could watch Ally perform in her ballet recital and end of year gymnastics show. 
Rehearsal was Saturday. So Friday night I had to practice costume makeup

 

Saturday we did some work around the house, we recently completed some small remodeling work; electrical, plaster and paint. It felt good to hang up pictures again and get the house back to better than before. My parents arrived after lunch and after getting Ally fully dressed in costume and makeup we took her to rehearsal and then I drove my parents to see a few of my project job sites. 
We had Chinese food for dinner and after watching some UCLA Gymnastics on tv it was bedtime. Back to the hotel for my parents. We all needed a lot of rest for the busy Sunday.

The gymnastics show was first up, we left at 930 for the 1030am show. 
 



 

 

 

We left as soon as her performance was over and head to the ballet recital. It started at 130 and Ally needed to be there in costume with makeup and hair done by 12:00. She ate lunch in the car and after we delivered her to the show, we had a picnic lunch outside. Soon it was time for the show to begin. Lost of waiting and walking, and my parents were patient and good spirited about the walk.
The show was amazing. 

 

 

After Ally changes and took off her makeup my parents treated us to a celebration dinner. Ally's choice was the diner, where she had a chocolate milkshake, scrambled eggs and pancakes. 

 

It was a busy but fun weekend. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

It's been a year

Today I brought Ally to her one year check up at the Pain Clinic. It's actually been almost 13 months since she was a part of the 4 week out patient program. Amazing. Grateful. Lucky. These are words that describe how it felt. Proud and Happy are there too. So is Relieved. 

Ally is fully back to being her extraordinary self. The PT told us she never had a patient score so high on the evaluation test as Ally did today. Ally is a true success story for them and it was a honor to be there with Ally and see the staff look at her and feel validated in all the hard work they do. Everyone told me, asked me many times to continue to send pictures and videos of Ally. I have done that with an update a couple of times, and it was clear today that it is appreciated. They asked us to keep in touch. I will. It's the least I can do for these amazing people who worked with Ally thru such a difficult time. 

Her psychologist told me today that Ally seemed so confident. And it's true, Ally does seem more confident lately. 

 
Posing under her ceiling tile. As we walked out of the hospital Ally asked if she could come back and visit. I said yes. I asked her if it felt good to make so many people happy, and have so many people proud of her her accomplishments and hard work. She said it did. 

  
We had lunch out at a restaurant just the two of us and her kids meal came with an ice cream sandwich for dessert. 
After lunch on the way to the car she said "that was really nice" my heart melted a little. It was nice. 

She is growing up so much.

 
All smiles on the way to school one morning.

 
Posing in clothes Great Aunt a Martha got her on February when we were in Florida. This was obviously on one of the few warm days we've had recently. It's been a cold May.

 
But she is still goofy and does things like pick up our 20 pound cat Carl. 

I am so very lucky to be Ally's mommy. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

London Day 7

Last day of the trip. We had a wonderful time but honestly we were ready to go home. A week is a good vacation for us. Now we get to have all weekend at home to rest.

First hotel pictures:
 
I can't say enough good things about our hotel.


We stayed in room 204. Enter the room and this is it.
 
A closet on one side had closet space.
 
Opposite side was the kitchenette.
 
High tech environmental lighting, the lights only work when your key is in the slot.

 



Ally asked Becky to take lots of pictures of the bathroom. 
 

 
This is the skylight over the tub. It was great, we didn't even need a nightlight. 

 
Electric towel warmer
 
Very London. All the street signs look like this and list the neighborhood. This is from our walk to the bus. 

 
Ally and a Becky waiting for our bus. #74 two blocks from our hotel. We rode it several times. The Tube is faster than the bus, but the bus is less expensive and more scenic.


We had a few hours before we needed to get to the airport so we arranged to meet Annabel at the Victoria & Albert Museum. It was a spectacular place.

The entrance hall, it had an enourmous Dale Chihuly sculpture hanging in it. The museum was built as a symbol/ tribute of love between Queen Victoria and her husband Albert. 
  
Lots of very different things on display. 
 
I asked Ally to pose like the picture. She refused, but Becky played along.
 

One of our "must sees" for this museum was the fashion exhibit.


 

 

 
Greek sculpture, below Becky is standing at the one of Achilles being dipped into the river.
 

 
The building itself was incredibly beautiful. The mosaic floor, tin ceiling, mouldings, the entire space was impressive.

 

 
We toured the jewel exhibit, but photographs were prohibited in there. The silver room above was just so huge.
 
Above is the ceiling of the cafe! There were about 5 of those sculptures hanging in the space.
We left after a snack and a few hours. It was time to head to the airport. We walked back to the hotel, it was about a mile and very enjoyable.

 
We walked past the Natural History Museum.

Back to the hotel, picked up our luggage, walked to the Tube and rode that 45 minutes to the airport. Now is when I'm going to brag. 
We managed a whole week with no laundry in 2 carry-on wheeling suitcases, a tote bag and a back pack! Woo hoo for us! They were pretty heavy. But it was totally manageable for us, we could carry the luggage if we needed to, and we didn't check anything in. It was great! 
Once at the airport and thru security we had some lunch. 

 
Becky had a traditional dinner of fish and chips and a beer.
 
Ally had the kids grilled chicken and chips. She also ate all the peas (but not the beans) on her plate. Girl loves her some peas, just not mushy.

 
Family selfie on the plane!

 
Ally even ate some of the dinner! The rice in the Curry Chicken dish and she tried a pomegranate seed from the salad. 

 

But a highlight of the flight was that they gave us strawberry ice cream pops!!! I'd never had ice cream on an airplane before. 
It was a long 7 hour flight home. We landed at 8pm Boston time, which was 1am London time. Ally and I managed to stay awake the whole time, and Becky napped a little bit. Then we waited in customs for about an hour and took a cab home. We were home around 9:30pm. Greeted our pets, and got ready for bed. Ally and I were asleep by 1030pm, which felt like 330am in London. Everyone was awake this morning early, but that is good to start getting back to our usual time. 

It was a fantastic week. 
Ally said that everything was her favorite about London. Then qualified that and said almost everything, her feet hurting was not a favorite. LOL lots of walking. 
Becky's favorite thing was the British Museum and utilizing the buses so we saw a lot of London. 
I'd say the trip itself was my favorite, we went to see friends, and we did, which was a great thing in and of itself, and exploring a foreign place together as a family was really good.  I feel very lucky for being able to take the trip and for sharing it with Ally and Becky. 

 
My favorite picture of the three of us from the trip, taken in the courtyard of the V&A.