Monday, March 28, 2022

March 23-March 31, 2022

Lately Ally seems older. I think part of that is health. She’s healthier than she has been in years. 
COVID and the pandemic while still here is not as much an impact on daily life. Last week she was able to attend school and sports without a mask for the first time in 2 years. 
Family TV nights, another volleyball tournament, start of tennis practice and lots of cuddles with Cloey and Daisy. 

Wednesday was  too much. School, a doctors appointment, 2 hours of tennis and then 2 hours of volleyball. Sleep in the car is a must. And we learned not to attempt all three in one day again.

But family TV nights are relaxing.

Cloey is under the covers.

Shutterfly kills me some days. 12 years ago. 

After Saturday morning tennis before going back to school for 2 hours of community service. 

On our way to her volleyball tournament 

At the tournament. Rough match for her team. They lost in 3 sets. (They played 3 matches on Saturday but Ally wasn’t able to go because she had school commitments.)

Post game stop at Dairy Queen for an Oreo blizzard for Ally and a butterscotch dip cone for me. Yum.

We finished a puzzle on Monday night.

Tuesday we watched “Fail” videos and “silly answers from kids” videos on You Tube. We laughed until we cried. It was such a fun time after dinner.

Wednesday Ally worked on her digital photography assignment. They were to go to an Urban location and take 30 pictures of abstract, architecture and people. We went to Central Square after her appointment.
Can you see Ally in the picture above?

We made a plan for Ally to take a nap on Wednesday before volleyball:

Becky decided to take one too.

My tired family. School takes a lot out of them!

Thursday the last day of March Ally woke up feeling crummy. She went to school and her tennis match but felt so crummy she told coach she couldn’t play. I went to watch and she came over to see me and looked so pitiful. But she stayed and watched her team until the very end.   We came home,  ate some dinner and watched TV. She had a low fever but was negative for COVID and so tired she was in bed at 830pm. She told me lots of kids at school had the sniffles and since they are no longer wearing masks it’s going around. 

This morning when I went in to wake her she was burning up. 101 fever. So no school today. She’s bummed to not go and I chuckle because she has missed a lot of school, for medical appointments, her surgery and Frank’s wedding. But today is her first “sick” day all year.  She went back to sleep and will take it easy today.  Let’s hope the rest of April is healthier than it started!

Friday, March 25, 2022

New Family Activity

For a couple years now we have been trying to find a TV show we could all watch together. It’s hard. Becky tends towards sci-fi (Star Trek, Mandalorian etc) and Ally really enjoys dark teen dramas and medical dramas. I’m actually the most flexible. 

But this winter we started to watch 1883 the Yellowstone prequel about the pioneers traveling from Texas to Oregon in 1883. Ally loved it. Becky and I enjoyed it too. And we watched all the episodes together. When the series ended we weren’t sure what to do.

But we started Bel Air which is the remake of the 1990’s sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel Air. It’s really good. It’s a drama about a Philly teen moving to Bel Air to live with his extremely wealthy relatives. We’ve caught up with the episodes and are waiting for the final two to be released. 

So last night we started Chernobyl. It’s a 5 episode mini series on HBO about the Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion in the 1980s. Ally is blown away (pun intended). She can’t believe what the Soviet Union was like. She is stunned she had never heard of this at all. She keeps saying “how did I never know this happened”. It’s very well done, and from what I can tell it’s a pretty good retelling of the story. We watched 3 episodes last night. 

Not sure what we will watch next. Historical dramas are good and so are urban dramas. I’ll have to do some research. It’s been a really good thing for us to have this time together. Ally has been great at getting her homework done so we have the time. And I know that eventually she won’t have time for this and will have a car and be out with friends more. And in a few years she’ll be away at college. So it makes this time all the more sweet. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

March 12-22; Spring Break week 2

Spring Break also known as a very long school vacation.

Ally has to do 15 hours of community service for school each year. It’s been tough to find things to volunteer for because of COVID so we signed up to bring meals to our church shelter. Ally had to help cook and clean and deliver. We made red velvet cupcakes.

And spaghetti with meatballs.

Frosting cupcakes 

Delivering it to the shelter.

She had her volleyball tournament 

Got a pair of new sneakers.

Which she LOVES.

We’ve been eating dinner together in the living room. Sitting at the table and eating is still challenging for Ally, so this is a good compromise.

She had 4 medical appointments this week. I can’t remember if this was before the dentist or her pediatrician check-in.

We finished a puzzle

Made another meal for the shelter. This time chili and cornbread.

Ally opened a Fab Fit Fun box.

Daily breakfast in bed. 

Friday was a gorgeous sunny day. 70 degrees. And we got some really fantastic news. Ally’s report card was released and she got straight A’sWe are so very proud of her. But more than proud is the amount of joy and happiness we have for her. 
Getting all A’s is something Ally has wanted for years. Becky and I always say as long as she tries her best it’s fine. Grades themselves are not the most important thing. But to Ally this report card was validation. It is proof that she can be successful. I wish I had captured her smile when I gave her the report card. It was so genuine. She and I both choked up and got a little teary. It’s a big deal. 

Such a big deal that we decided that a “celebration cake” was in order and last night, her final day of Spring Break we had some cake to celebrate Ally’s accomplishments. 

She felt a little silly. And was afraid she would drop the cake. But we could tell she was happy to be celebrated. And with her favorite kind of cake, vanilla with buttercream frosting. 

Today is her first day of the final semester of 9th grade. She seems so grown up lately. 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Spring Break 2022; Florida

Vacations for private schools are a lot longer than public schools. For Spring  Break Ally is off school from March 3 thru March 21. She starts back for her final semester of 9th grade on Tuesday March 22. Crazy!

Knowing this was going to be such a long time with no school I took a week off and planned a trip to Florida for Ally and me. We decided on Miami, South Beach to be exact. Because we wanted to stay in the USA, guaranteed warm weather, not too long of a flight and I did not want to rent a car. 

It’s always hard to say goodbye to Daisy.

Traditional airport selfie.

On our hotel balcony.

I was so happy to see the balcony. It was large and had nice seating options.

We walked to a small pizza place and ate outside, then we went to Walgreens for cereal, milk, Diet Coke and some snacks.

The view from my lounger on our balcony was very nice. 

It was so hot our first full day that Ally went in the pool and stayed in for a long time.

It was 85degrees, full sun and humid. Perfect for a break from cold cloudy Boston weather.

The iguana was entertaining.

Eventually Ally headed back to our room. I settled our tab and then went in to join her. 

There was a very loud concert on Tuesday. It was Wyclef Jean playing an private event on a special stage they erected at the pool. It was so loud. But pretty neat to be at a private Wyclef Jean concert, even if we didn’t want to be.
I complained to the hotel management Bc it was so loud and they gave me a big credit on our bill. Totally worth it.

It was sunny and bright the next day too.

We just hung out in our room and balcony. Ally wasn’t feeling her best. 

But some chips 

And a milkshake helped. We watched a couple Disney movies on pay preview and that helped too.

Thursday morning I offered to get her pancakes from a nearby restaurant. She was pretty happy.

And we spent a few hours outside on our balcony again. It was a bit overcast so not as hot as the past few days. 

We walked to the shopping district later in the afternoon and had fun at Aerie and Nike. Another pizza for dinner and then we watched a movie on Ally’s iPad together.

Friday morning Ally said she felt like donuts for breakfast. I had to laugh, because Dunkin is such a Boston thing, but it was super fast to Uber-Eats them to our hotel. 
We enjoyed a lazy morning before headed to the airport at noon for our flight home.

We did walk down to the beach for another selfie.

Ally was so tired. She slept most of the flight home.

And at home, Daisy was so happy to have her back.

It was a nice relaxing time. Exactly what we both wanted and needed.