Friday, June 26, 2015

Team Week 1

Ally started Team gymnastic practice this week. The first day was brutal. She was very excited and nervous. Practice was 4-7pm. It was an early release day at school, so she had some down time before practice.


Here she is before practice.

3 hours is a long time. She did great. They had a break after about 2 hours, and she had a smoothie I made at home for her and some pretzels for snack. It was a little heartbreaking to watch her sit alone while the other girls paired off. But to their credit a couple did come say hello to her. She is new, and the youngest member right now, and as she says “I am shy mommy…talking is hard for me” It seemed ok to her. She had a smile on her face and was thrilled all during practice.

After practice she was wiped. Exhausted. I drove her home and she was melting down. I was supposed to go out with friends for dinner, and on the way home she spilled the rest of her smoothie in my car and started to cry. I think she was too tired to hold the thermos. As soon as we got home, Becky came out to meet us. She cleaned up the smoothie and I went in with Ally – who just clung to me sobbing about how tired she was. It was pitiful. I told Ally she didn’t need to keep going if she didn’t want to. The decision was hers. I would not be upset either way. That mama and I just wanted her to be happy.

Becky had a bubble bath ready and waiting and I left them negotiating bath. I felt terrible, and wondered if we were bad parents for letting Ally do this. Maybe it was too much for her.

Becky texted me later that Ally was fine, ate a great dinner and went right to sleep.

Two days later was practice #2. I was a little nervous. But not Ally. She was in a great mood. She had a fantastic practice. Loved every minute of it. Seriously – I don’t think I can describe how amazing it is to watch her having so much fun. She is learning new tumbling and skills each time.

When we got in the car she had such a proud and thrilled look on her face. The picture below is her smiling for me – but its not the same as the inner joy she had un-posed.


I feel incredibly lucky that Becky and I can support Ally in gymnastics –something that she loves so much and works so hard at.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The end of 2nd grade


Ally’s last week of school was a little bittersweet. Miss Pat who runs the before school program is retiring. Ally is very sad she wont see Miss Pat every day. Our family has been very grateful to Pat over the past 3 years that Ally has been going to the program. Above is Ally and her friend Maya with Miss Pat.


Ally on her last day of 2nd grade. Onwards to 3rd grade in the Fall.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Becky turns 37

Becky’s last day of school was actually her birthday. She went out with teacher friends after work and didn’t come home until late, after Ally was in bed late.


This is what she looked like the morning after her birthday. We agreed she is getting old.

So Ally and I celebrated with Becky on the 24th, the day after her birthday.


Ally picked out a fantastic card. It said “Happy Birthday! In dog years do you know how old you’d be?” Then inside Ally wrote out the math problem. Turns out Becky would be 259 years old if she was a dog.



Becky was hilariously thrilled to get sewing organizer from her parents for her birthday. Ally and I were laughing at how thrilled Becky was. It was not a gift either of us would appreciate – but it was for Becky and it was perfect. After cards and gifts it was time for cake. Ally and I bought a small cake at the store this year. Ally decided to put all 14 candles on the 8” cake.


It was the brightest cake I’d ever seen.


Mama and Ally.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Typical Stuff

Life does just keep on going in usual typical ways. Here are some snap shots.


After school homework – Ally usually has to do math on an Ipad as part of her homework, here she was stretched out  on her bottom bunk and Cloey was lying next to her chewing on a rawhide while Ally did her homework.


One morning I caught the cats sleeping in exactly the same positions – I just had to take a picture.


Cloey loves to sit with Ally in the morning while Ally watches TV and drinks chocolate milk and east cheerios. Lately though Cloey lies on Ally and waits for Ally to drop a cheerio so she can snatch it up.


At Charlie and Gwei Gwei’s house they have a new puppy! Eloise – we went over one night to meet her and had fun talking with Gwei for a while.


One morning before school, we stopped at a client’s house and picked some wild strawberries. It was only about 7 of them, and  they were tiny. But Ally loved it.

My client is away, and we asked before picking.


Out for ice cream – just because.


Becky went away with friends for the weekend recently and Ally and I had a fun time together. Sunday morning I took her to McDonalds for pancakes for breakfast before Church. Can you see how thrilled she was. She ate every bite of them.


The women’s World Cup has started and Ally loves to watch and root for USA.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Field Day 2015

Today was Field Day for Ally.

Her school is a block from my office, and the Field Day games were about 10 blocks away, so I went over for about 30 minutes this morning.

I had some camera issues so I am sorry about the quality.


Before school – all dressed in comfy running clothes ready to go! Then at the bucket of water sponge balls is where I found her with her class.



The first event was using the stretchy band thing to launch water filled balls at classmates. Ally was handing out the wet balls after her turn.


Ally’s knee has been hurting her and while waiting for her turn at the scuba relay race this was her face and her stance.


Erik and Clemens with their scuba gear on. The kids had to run to a hoop, put on the swim ring, run to the next hoop, put on goggles, run to a 3rd hoop put on fins, and then run around a cone. then back at each hoop take off each piece of gear. It was pretty funny.


Ally’s teacher Miss Goodwin did it too. And ally managed to do it as well. Even with her hurt knee.


While they were waiting for their next event I took a class picture.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

School Project–Bee Abeja

The 2nd grade year is coming to an end. Its hard to believe in 6 more days Ally will be a 3rd grader! Its true – she just keeps growing up. In 2nd grade this year the students had to do a 3-D model of the life cycle of an insect. Ally chose the bee. Students were encouraged to use recycled materials and be creative.  Today was the showcase for parents.


Ally with her model.


Turns out that Larva and Pupa are the same work in English and in Spanish. But the other stages of the life cycle are different in the two languages. Since Ally goes to a bilingual school the presentation was to be in both languages as well.

Ally came up with this model on her own. She cut down paper towel and toilet paper tubes and painted them yellow to create the honeycomb in a hive. The holder is a take-out food box she wanted to use. For each life cycle she found things in our pantry to use:

1) Huevo egg is a grain of rice

2) Larva is a pine nut

3) Pupa is a cashew, and there is a cashew wrapped in thread to show how it makes a cocoon.

4) Adult Bee / Adulta Abeja – this is crafted of an almond, a black pompom and a jelly bean all hot-glued together to create the bee’s 3-part body. Then she cut out plastic (from a soda bottle carrier) to create the 4 wings on each bee.

Her model shows the Queen been (the larger one made of a walnut) laying the egg, an adult bee feeding the pupa, and the 3rd adult bee has hatched.


Ally’s friend Daniela had the bee as well. The girls made their own models at home, but collaborated in class on a poster.


It was filled with interesting facts about Bees



This is Ally’s friend Clemens – he had the praying mantis.


Ally’s friend Eric did the praying mantis as well (right above) and Ally thought the spider’s web was cool.


Parents, teachers, administrators walked around to the different pairs to learn about the insects. On the left above, Ally is giving her presentation to the school principal.

Ally and Mommy. Ally worked really hard on her model and I was thrilled with how creative she was in using all the materials. We did not buy anything for the project – we used all things we had on hand. Most important is that Ally is proud of her project, and was excited to show it to people.

Its been a challenging year for Ally, (not academically) and I was grateful to have a few minutes to talk to a few parents whose children have been very good friends to Ally this year and made her feel comfortable and welcome. I thanked them for raising such nice and friendly kids, and expressed my gratitude.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Zoo with Rosa

While Becky was away Ally and I met up with Rosa and her mom at the zoo.


It was a beautiful day to be outside having fun with friends.



In the Tropical Forest building we let the girls have our phones to take pictures. I have a ton of pictures of the snakes, the gorillas, the lemurs, the capybara, the hippo, fish inside the hippo’s tank, and the gorillas. Here are some of the best ones.


Did you know its called a rhinoceros snake because it has a horn like a rhino?


Ally still loves the gorillas – she had to get up close as usual. There is a new baby one – only 22 days old but we didn’t see it.


Ally was thrilled with this picture of the mandrill but. And while it was too dark to get a good picture inside of the girls, I kind of like my artsy shot of them.


One of the best things about the zoo are the playgrounds.


We have 2 new lions! Our old one, Christopher died a few months ago – he was the oldest lion in North America at 22. The new ones are 6 year old twins from the Dallas Zoo. They are beautiful.


Giraffes and Zebras are not to be missed. The girls are getting so independent – they climbed up the look out without us.




At the main playground they played for a long time while Julie and I sat in the shade and talked.


My favorite picture all day. Such good friends these two are, and we feel so lucky to have them in our life.


A trip to the zoo isn’t complete without a trip on the Carousel. We even let them ride twice!


It was a great day.