Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dan and the Keyboarding Contest

Somehow or another Dan was good enough at typing that he got invited to the district keyboarding contest.  This was an event for 4th and 5th graders that went from 3-9 p.m!  It was single elimination though, and so you could leave if you didn't type fast enough to make it to the next round.

This is Dan in the cafeteria at the high school where this was held.
We were lucky to have friends to sit by, but the music was so loud we couldn't really talk to them.  We got there at 3.  I wish we had gone later.  By the time everyone was signed in and we got started it was a little after 4.  Dan was in the first group of the first round.
While waiting for over an hour to see if Dan made it to the next round, we went and got dinner, and then found a quiet lawn to hang out in.
Dan did not make it to the next round.  We were actually quite happy about that.  Dan was done and so was I.  Dan didn't even want to stay if there was the possibility he'd win a hundred dollars!  The most interesting thing about the whole experience might have been the silly disagreement Dan and I had on the way there about whether the animation for Clifford the Big Red Dog, or Pokemon was the worst.  Nobody won.  Usually we are arguing about scientific "facts" that we don't quite agree on -- or discussing them -- in a very civilized manner.

I'm glad Dan was good enough at typing to get invited to this event, but I am also kind of glad that he refuses to go if invited next year.  Perhaps they could find a way to make that contest much, much shorter!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Dan Tries Something New

Dan did really well which was a good thing since I put his wrist guards on backwards and his knee pads kept slipping down.  Maybe it helped that the wheels were kind of broken on the hand me down, down, down skates?  He has new skates with non-broken wheels now.

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Healthy Heart. A Happy Time.

Exactly a month ago I picked up Jake from school and headed up to Primary Children's Outpatient Center for a routine checkup with Jake's Cardiologist Dr. Cowley.  Jake reported with a smile that his friend asked where he was going and Jake said, "To the hospital".  His friend said, "Is everything ok?" and Jake said, "I hope so." Jake had a couple of heart defects when he was born that, without the help of terrific heart surgeons, would have made his life awfully short.

We drove an hour for an appointment that took half hour.  They did an quick EKG, took the blood pressure in both arms and legs and then the Dr. came in.  He looked at Jake and said, "Wow!  You've gotten so big that I feel really old!"  I bet Jake liked being called big!  He's 14, and not super tall, so he doesn't get that a lot.  Dr. Cowley said it seemed like just yesterday when he was talking to Derek and I before and after Jake's surgery.  We remember too, but I am impressed that he remembers.  Jake isn't his only patient!

Just like Jake's last appointment Dr. Cowley mentioned how pleased Dr. Hawkins, the heart surgeon would have been to know how well Jake has done.  Dr. Hawkins passed away due to pancreatic cancer in 2011.  Aside from Jake's scars, Dr. Cowley said that nobody, even a trained cardiologist, would be able to tell anything had ever been wrong with Jake's heart.  Jake keeps growing though, and we keep going up every once in a while to make sure the repair of his heart grows with him.  He won't go again until he's a senior in high school and then he'll have echocardiogram to make sure all is still well.  He's had one before. I think they are fascinating to watch -- they are about a half hour long ultrasound of the heart.

Anyhow, I learned from my friend Susan C. to try to do something fun while we are skipping school for these appointments, and so Jake and I went to the dinosaur museum on our way home.  Jake knows a lot about dinosaurs and could often tell me what I was looking at before either one of us read the information.  He was good company.  Here are some pictures of that:
Selfies don't always work out -- so then you hand your camera over to someone nice.

This was toward the end of our time I think.  I kind of forgot I could get pictures before that.

So Jake is closing his eyes, but for some reason it struck me as funny to have skeleton people
fighting a skeleton dinosaur with spears.  
 We had a happy time, and were happy to hear that Jake has a healthy heart.

Happy Birthday to Princess Tia

This is actually happy belated birthday to my princess Tia since her birthday was more than a week ago.

I love this picture.  I miss my little Tia with her cute squeaky voice.  Back then a song could make almost any problem all better, and she loved to wear dresses to twirl in.

Even though I miss my little Tia, I love the grown up Tia and wouldn't really want to go back -- except maybe for a short visit!  Tia doesn't have a squeaky voice any more, she has a beautiful one, and a contagious laugh to go along with it.  She is kind, as evidenced by the fact that she is a hair stylist and she never gives me a bad time about how her hair was or wasn't done when she was little.  I was obviously not a hair stylist -- but was all the hair stylist she had -- and nothing I could have done could have kept her from being cute.

Tia is a good writer and story teller.  She is so fun to be with and is great with her little brothers.  She does a really great job as a cosmetologist, and I think she is brave.  Even someone who does a great job occasionally has a client who gets really angry when they don't end up looking exactly like they imagined -- but were not so good at explaining.  That must somehow be made up for by the much more frequent happy clients.  I would dread my job every day if I were her because I would be afraid someone would be unhappy with me -- but she likes her work.

I love that Tia seemed to figure out when she was not very old that it helps to be able to laugh at yourself.  One of my favorite memories is still the piano recital where she played beautifully and then missed the last chord -- and then laughed.  The audience laughed too and I was so proud of her for how she handled that.  It's not always so easy to find humor in messing up in front of people!

Here are a couple of pictures of the birthday celebration that we finally managed to have a couple of days after her birthday.
A song may not make everything all better -- but it still helps.  This book had music with it and beautiful pictures.

Tia loves turtles and the towel is a turtle towel.

My attempt to lean my way out of this picture didn't quite work!
Happy Birthday to my beautiful princess Tia!