Friday, June 29, 2018

Weekend Fun

Some weekends are just full of regular fun:

Attending the birthday party of a gymnastics team mate - Eliana's party!

Trying out a new hairstyle - side braid and some new summer clothes!

Going to a movie as a family - with Aunt Beth. We saw Ocean's 8. It was Ally's first "grown-up" movie. Seriously - the first movie we think she has seen that wasn't made for kids or teens. 
It was pretty good. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Gymnastics Banquet

Another year of gymnastics has ended. Ally kept saying the year has gone so fast. Level 4 complete - now on to Level 5 next year.

We had a meeting with her new coach (same gym, just new coach) about the schedule for next year. Ally is going to miss 2 hours of the 16 hours of practice a week so she can do pointe for ballet. Her old coach was really supportive of ballet and thought it was a great idea. The new coach - not so much. But after meeting with her and explaining why Ally wants to do this, and why we as parents are supportive of it and talking with the coach about her concerns and thinking we are all on the same page. Ally is going to 6 weeks of gymnastics camp this summer - which will give her a good chance to get ahead on skills and if necessary we will schedule some private lessons for Ally over the summer and in the Fall to make up for the practice time she is going to miss.

Ally's new coach is very dedicated and is glad Ally is doing ballet - she talked about how hard Ally works, and that she never complains - that Ally is so elegant and flexible and that she sets a good example for the other girls. Her coach is from Columbia and speaks very good English, but some of the other coaches from Columbia don't speak  that much English - and we made the coaches all know Ally is fluent in Spanish. Apparently sometimes they ask Ally how to say things. Ally thinks its pretty fun and neat to have that connection and special talent!

At the end of the season there is always a banquet for all of the team girls.

All dressed up and ready to go.

Then some fun pictures of the banquet with her team mates.

Then on Saturday morning on the way to her last day of Level 4 practice:

Some Bad News

Our cat Carl has cancer. Yesterday Becky brought him to the vet for his annual check-up and the vet took one look at him and knew something was wrong. Carl has lost 6 pounds since his last check-up. Its liver cancer - if we are lucky the vet said Carl will probably live a few more months. But no guarantee. I had suspected something was wrong, but Becky and Ally had no clue and we are all really broken up about it.

When Ally arrived at our house Carl spent about a month in our bedroom. He never came out if Ally was around. After a month it was like he gave in and realized she wasn't leaving so he better get used to her. He made her his friend. He has been a feature on the blog for all that time and I've posted many times about how patient he is with her. Here are some of my favorites.

Yes that is Becky 12 years ago with Carl in the ergo baby carrier - we used him to try out  the baby carrier before Ally even came home. He always was such a good sport.

When Ally was little Carl was her first friend - at a playgroup when she was about 10 months old we caught her head butting another child - just the way Carl taught her. That is what he does when he likes you.  She used to say his name in 2 syllables Car-roll. So adorable.

When we told Ally the news last night she sobbed. We've had 2 big losses in the last 10 months (Grandma Barbie & our cat Nali) - and its hard to think about a third one. He is here with us now and we will shower him with love and affection for the rest of his time with us. We talked about how (to us) our job as pet owners is to give Carl the best life we can, within reason. We won't be doing chemotherapy or surgery. At the advice of our vet we will try some steroids to help Carl feel better. But we need to be prepared to let him go when he is in pain and can't enjoy life any more. It will be hard to do, Ally remembers it was hard with Nali, but it is the best thing we can do for him.

We have no idea if we will get another cat. Maybe we will just have Cloey for now. We talked about needing to grieve after Carl is gone and see how life feels. It will be a busy year for us and we will wait and see what feels right.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Becky Turns 40!

Becky turned 40 on June 23.

First thing in the morning Grandma Debbie posted this baby picture of Becky on Facebook. Becky was such a cute baby - and that was probably the last time she wore a pink bikini!

Ally had practice - and so Becky and I ran errands and had lunch out together.  Later in the afternoon after some Minecraft with Ally, Aunt Beth came over. We opened gifts and headed out to dinner. 

 Becky was a bit concerned about the package from her parents.
 It was a Pi T-shirt - the digits of pi are printed on the shirt.

 Then it was Beth's gifts.
 Hard cider and gummy bears - Becky was thrilled!

Ally gave Becky a card with a note that said she was sorry she had used so much of their shared data plan and that Mommy would arrange for a higher data plan for Becky's birthday gift.

And then she got her big gift  - a new phone - the Iphone X. 
I love mine and Beth got one recently. Becky was super surprised. 

Then we headed out to dinner - Family photo outside the restaurant.

On the menu as a special for the night was "Moyer Family Farm rib eye steak" Of course that is what Becky ordered. 

She ate every single bite.

 Then back at our house we had carrot cake and sang to her.

Ally was in bed at 830 and Becky and I stayed up for a long time watching a couple Harry Potter movies on HBO. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Last week of 5th grade

Last week was the last week of elementary school for Ally. She doesn't actually change buildings or even the actual school - her school is a JK-8 school (Ally went to junior kindergarten or some places call is pre-kindergarten when she was 4 at this school.) But they do change the format of classes after 5th grade and Ally will be changing classes for each subject. 

At the start of the week there was an after-school party for the whole class. It was super hot and Ally and her friends had fun running around in swimsuits and playing in the fountain. 

In this second picture you can see Ally better - in the back up high with Willow who is wearing a neon orange suit. 

Field Day! For the first year ever Ally didn't want me to come. So I didn't go - she had fun with her classmates. 

On the 2nd to last day of school we had a meeting with the 6th grade Language Arts teachers. It was mostly Spanish so I didn't follow it all but Becky was there. And trust me - the teachers now know that Ally is pretty shy and quiet. 

 Lazing in the morning before the last day - or maybe it was a weekend morning watching the World Cup soccer - we have been following that pretty closely.

 Last day of 5th grade.
 I honestly cant believe how long her hair is. It is actually too long for even Ally. She asked to get it cut asap - mostly it is so heavy and full she cant wait to get the layers cut back in - and a couple inches off the length.
And there she is - 1st and last day of 5th grade. 

Looking at the first day pictures makes me think about my mom. Ally missed the first few days of school because of my mom's funeral. Grandma Barbie would have loved hearing about the craziness of the end of school - concerts, recitals, parties, picnics and plans for the Summer. 
I suppose she is up in heaven following along with us in her own way. At least I hope she is. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Pool Parties!

Good Bye 5th grade - hello middle school! And 5th grade certainly went out with a bang! And lots of socializing with friends.

The schedule was such that the last week of school Ally had 2 half days. I had planned to only work while Ally was at school these days - I can work more hours during the Summer while Becky is home so working a few half days is fine.  And in a gesture of good will I offered to host a bunch of Ally's friends for a pool party and our house for both days.

Day 1 Pool Party: Rory, Millie, Sonya, Ellie, Nina, Daniela, Lauren, Maya, Else, Sabine, Julie, Cata, Willow & Ally. All pictured above. A whole group of 5th grade girls and their sisters. 2 other moms were with me - it wasn't just me and 14 girls!


The usual pool routine is swimming, then out to the roof deck to eat some snack and sunbathe.
Daniela, Maya, Ally & Lauren in the picture on the left above. Cata, Willow & Juli on  the right.

The whole group outside on the deck!

Ally and her closest friends like to hang out in the sun and chat. That is Ally, Juli, Willow and Cata.

After some time at the pool we headed back to our house. The girls did some crafts in Ally's room and after a while we walked to the park. I just can't believe how grown up Ally and her friends look. 

 Ally and Ellie have a basketball rivalry. Ellie is about 6" taller than Ally but Ally has great coordination and she wins almost every time. Its basically a shooting contest. This day Ally won 10-1. I found out no one else really wants to play but Ellie because Ally always wins! Ally is pretty humble about it all. I heard this from another parent and 2 of Ally's friends.
Ally is hoping her schedule will give her time to play intramural basketball with school friends in the Fall.

Then the 2nd pool party - was on the very last day of school. Becky joined me and a couple of other parents - but we had 11 girls with us!

Julie & Willow

Olive & Maya

Lizzie & Cata on the left and Daniela and her mom Alissa on the right.

I call the picture above "Portrait of a 6th grader"

Ally got her class assignment for next year - she is in a different class than Willow. But she does have Cata, Maya, Olive, Daniela & Juli.