Sunday, May 31, 2009

Soccer is done! Yesterday was the last game, along with an end-of-season BBQ. It made for a very long day though! The scouts are camping down west of Cottonwood, and AJ was the only 'older' scout that was possibly going, and he needed to do a 'fireside ceremony" at the camp to finish up one of his merit badges, so we made arrangements to take him camping (at 8:30 Saturday morning) and pick him up (around 2:30) to come in and go to his game (be there at 4:00)/BBQ (starting after the game - 7:00 ish), and take him back out to the camp (back by 9:00 for the ceremony.) It is a 45 minute drive from the house to the camp site! It wasn't a lot of mileage, but quite a bit of it was on dirt roads. The camp site is beautiful - rolling hills, on a small pond that the boys could fish in, and everything.

AJ's game was good! They lost by 1 point (I think - maybe two??) The other team was very tough, and when we scrimmaged against them earlier in the year, they destroyed us. We were very happy to come close to tying them. AJ knew several of the boys from playing with them at U-Prep. Our team played really well together. It was about 95 degrees at game time, and probably 10 degrees hotter on the artificial turf. All the 'good seats" (i.e. in the shade) were taken, so I sat in the sun for two hours. Hot! Not as hot as the boys, but still hot!

The BBQ was fun. The host family had a pool, and the boys started stripping as they walked into the back yard, and just fell into the pool. I don't think their pool was as large as ours (hard to tell - it was beautiful, with an irregular shape) but it was hard to count the boys in the pool, there was so much splashing and dunking going on. I think there were somewhere around 13 boys in the pool, counting the team and siblings. Tell me, do they ever outgrow 'Marco,Polo'? They played that for a good half hour last night! The host family BBQ'ed hamburgers and hot dogs, with a lot of fresh fruit and lemon aid and ice tea. Yum! The coach also had a little presentation for the boys. We had to leave, so we only heard the presentation for the first couple of boys. He had 'nicknames' for each of the boys - depending on the styled, etc. of the boy. He called AJ 'the thief' for his ability to 'steal' the ball, and goals, from the other team. He also had a collage of photos made for each boy that is just too cool. They had one 'team photo' picture, one 'team photo' of the boys goofing off together, and a couple of action shots of the boys. I'll try to scan it later.

About 8:00, AJ and I left the party (which was up north of Shasta Lake City, by the way, almost as far as you can get from scout camp) and drove to the house and picked up 'stuff' he forgot to take camping in the first place, and then out to camp. Ralph had taken AJ out in the morning, and, since it was a dirt road, let him drive! When we hit the gravel road, I asked AJ if he was up to driving, and of course, he wanted to. Driving is still scary, but I think he is a little more willing to go get his permit now. It was scary, but it was also fun!

One problem with Ralph taking AJ out in the morning, and then letting AJ drive in - I didn't know the way in to the camp. AJ was focusing on driving, and missed the last turn in to the camp. It was pretty dark by the time we got out there guessed it, we got lost. The turn in to the camp was about a 10th of a mile before the road forked. AJ knew we were close, and when we hit the fork, wasn't sure which way we went. He didn't remember a fork in the road. We took the right first, as it looked a little better travelled. Not far up, AJ was doing the 'this doesn't look familiar' routine, so he turned around. we went back and took the left fork. Not far up, it forked again.

We pondered for a while, and AJ knew he didn't remember two forks, so it must have been the other way, so...we turned around and went back to the right fork. We travelled a bit further on it, and ran out of road. Back we go to the left fork. At the next fork, we took the right turn. Not far up it, the road got a bit nasty for driving, and I knew Ralph hadn't taken the Camry down this way! Back we go again. I am now driving because AJ didn't want to be doing all these turns in the dark . Back to the second fork, taking the left turn this time. We got up to the top of a hill, and ran out of road again. Alex got out this time, and climbed around to see if he could see camp lights or something, Yippee! He didn't see the lights, but he could hear talking! We were close. He wandered down the hill a bit, and saw the lights of camp. "Okay Mom, it is over here, and I saw a road just down this way, so we can just drive down from here". I turned around (again) and headed toward camp. The 'road' that he saw was actually the lake, We probably could have driven down to camp from there - a lot of grassy meadows, etc. but I didn't want to go four wheeling at 9:30 at night! We turned around (again) and headed back out past the original form in the road, and found the correct turn off to camp. Finally!

To add insult to injury, the adult leaders thought I was lost! I told them I knew exactly where I was, I just didn't know where they were. I could have found my way home from anywhere in the whole trip. I wasn't confused or lost - we just couldn't find them!! They insisted on riding back with me to the 'main gravel road" (about a half mile from camp), 'just to make sure' I didn't get lost going home. AJ has ruined my reputation!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Last night was Alex' Spring concert for Band. When I think about how they sounded when he first started in Band, they've come a long way! Unfortunately, they still weren't that good. Alex said it was the worst they have ever sounded! What ever the reason was, they just didn't click last night. It was still an enjoyable evening. I'm glad they told us what they were playing though - I don't think I could have picked it out by the tune!

The pictures came out better than I thought they would - considering we were in the dark, and I was halfway up the auditorium from the band. These photos were all of the Concert Band. When Alex was in the Jazz Band, he was in the second row, and I couldn't see him.

This was the Jazz Band playing.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Yesterday wasn't quite a 'wasted' day, but it sure wasn't a productive day! I woke up with a headache, and just couldn't shake it. Alli was up early (of course) but by 10:30 she was napping. Ralph decided to join her, so both of them were napping by 11:00! I should have napped then, but I didn't. I tried later in the afternoon, but Mommy isn't allowed to nap alone. (And it is very hard to nap with someone sharing the couch!)

Alli (and Alex) got some swim time in, and Alex threw the toy for the dogs while they were swimming. Koori feels compelled to stand in the water when she drinks in the summer. (Thank goodness she doesn't do this in the winter!) If she has been running and is hot - in the bucket she goes! Too cute!

Alex decided that Allison needed to jump off the diving board yesterday. Unfortunately, he couldn't convince Alli that she wanted to! Don't get me wrong - Alli loves jumping off the board - she just doesn't get the phrase "Come on Alli, lets go jump of the diving board." from Alex! I finally got her out for him and led her to the board, and she giggled and jumped right in. He tried to get her to jump again, but all she wanted to do was swim with him (actually - she wanted him to haul her around in the water - fun!)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

As promised (okay - as mentioned?) here are pictures of my poor jasmine bush! Here is the 'what it should look like' - the side that he didn't cut down for me.

And the side that he did.

Here's a picture of the bush we pulled out

And the new clothesline!
Do you know the best way to get both the house and the yard cleaned up? Invite someone over for a BBQ! We had company last night, so...yesterday morning, I cleaned house and yesterday afternoon, we cleaned up the patio/back yard area. I have to take pictures of my poor jasmine though.

The story started with a planned addition to the side yard. I bought a clothesline last week - one of the umbrella types - and Ralph poured the concrete base for it yesterday. I told Alex that I needed the bushes trimmed back so I could walk down the sidewalk with the basket of clothes, and turned him loose with the clippers. He got a bit carried away. I had mentioned that I wanted the jasmine cleaned up where it had grown across the ground, so.....he cleaned up! I know it will grow back, but it sure isn't pretty right now! On the plus side, I can now walk down the sidewalk, and I have a new clothesline!

Alex's doctor appointment was fine - the doctor thinks he just pulled a muscle, since it is improving, he won't worry about it. The side affect of taking your son in for an annual physical? When the nurse pulls his chart and sees that he needs a tetanus booster, and, since you're there, maybe you need one too? Let me pull your chart - oh it's not a problem, be right back! Both of us got our tetanus shot on Friday. Bummer!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Allison was up at 5:00 again this morning! You would think I would use this time constructively, wouldn't you? Oh no - all I did was drink an extra cup of coffee! All those things I 'could be doing' are still waiting to be done. Oh well, there is always 'later', right?

Alex has a doctor's appointment today - lucky him. I had an appointment scheduled for today because he needs a physical for scouts - no big deal. He also wants to talk to the doctor about his acne. Again, no big deal. Yesterday, around 10:30 (while I was in a meeting) Ralph tried to get a hold of me. Alex was at the nurse's office at school. He had reached down to pick up a binder at school, and felt a 'pop' by his shoulder blade, and he couldn't move his arm now. Lovely! When I called Ralph back, he was almost at the school. I told him to talk to the nurse - she has been observing Alex for the last 15-20 minutes, and would probably be the best person to tell us the severity of the problem - if he needed the doctor that day, or could wait until we already had an appointment - needed an emergency room trip, whatever. The nurse said it was fine to wait - just alternate heat and ice, take some Ibuprofen, and massage the area. I also called the doctor, and he was fine with him waiting as well. As of last night (when I got home), Alex could move his arm, just not a full range of motion. Lovely - it's always something with that kid! (I figured he wasn't too badly hurt - he called me at work and asked if he could go over to Dallas's when he got home - the answer was 'no' and he wasn't very happy with me!)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Talk about the best laid plans! I got up early this morning (5:00 a.m.!) so I could shower and get ready for work before Alli got up, as she has been getting up around 5:30 lately. What happens? It is 6:00 and she isn't up yet! I've putzed around a bit this morning, trying to be quiet. Lunches are packed, everything is done except feeding the dogs (and Alex). What a treat - a quiet morning!

I think we wore Allison out yesterday. She went swimming for about 45 minutes, and most of that was spent in the deep end, spinning and playing. Then, I didn't put her to bed until 8:30. She had a busy day! I took advantage of the day yesterday as well, and went shopping for her. She now has two new swim suits ($10.00 each from Ross!) 2 pairs of shorts, two new sets of jammies, and three new shirts. She is set for summer - for a while at least. I need to take AJ out and get him some new summer clothes as well, but I don't dare just buy him something. I did pick up a pair of swim trunks yesterday, and...they will do, but not what he likes. It figures. Swim suits just don't last from season to season around here for the kids, so I have to replace them every year.

Alex watched slasher movies all day yesterday. Poor child - he is so bored! He is on restriction for poor academic performance - we got a deficiency notice last week. He isn't getting bad grades because of tests, he is getting bad grades because he wasn't doing the homework. Funny - we put him on full restriction, and it only took him one day to get the backlog of homework done! He has raised his grades up, so he is now getting B's and C's, but he is still on restriction. Hopefully, he is learning something. I don't guarantee it, but I hope he is!

Friday, May 15, 2009

We had a very exciting day yesterday! Allison's teacher called me because she was just so excited, she couldn't wait! As usual, when Alli got to school, the school staff took her to the bathroom, but, since daycare toilets her before she gets on the bus, she didn't go. About a half hour later, Alli got up, all by herself, and went in and went to the bathroom! She did it twice yesterday! All by herself! Yippee! When Lynda called me, I had to make an announcement to my co-workers - just because! Yippee!
We also got our 'new' sprinkler fixed. On Wednesday morning, as I pulled out of the driveway, I noticed a sprinkler where I didn't think we had one - over the pump! Needless to say, I was not a happy camper! I called Ralph, and he misunderstood what I was talking about (though why he didn't see it when he pulled out of the driveway 3 minutes before I did, I'll never know!) He waited until he got home that night to take a look at it, and then called for repairs. Luckily, it was just a $5.00 part to fix it. Unfortunately, it was a $95.00 service call change to replace the $5.00 part. That's okay - I was worried we would have to replace the pump! $100.00 is cheap compared to that! Since the guy was here, and it was an easy fix (and I think he felt bad about the cost of the service charge for so little work) he took a look at what he could on the pump and lines, and said they all look good, so we got a check-up on the pump at least!

Here's the 'new' sprinkler!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Check out the newest addition to the house! We added a 'baby gate' to the kitchen to keep Alli out. I fought getting one, because it just seemed more hassle than it was worth, much as she likes to watch the flame on the stove, we were worried about her getting too close to the fire. An added bonus is that is also keeps her out of the cupboards and the frig! have to actually use it. It is retractable, so it isn't like you have to take it down and put it up, but it doesn't fasten and unfasten easily. I am hoping it will loosen up a little bit as it gets broken in (and not broken!)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day! I need to stop complaining about Alli getting me up at 5:00! This morning, she was up at 4:30 - wide awake and happy! I'm headed up to Susanville today, so I may get an early start - since I am up so early anyway.
I got all my chores done on my list yesterday, and a few more! (I didn't start with that long a list!) Alli's game yesterday was extra long. "Someone" turned the sprinklers on at the ball park overnight, and the fields were soaked. There are usually two games going on, and only one field was playable, so we played two teams against two teams. Since the innings last until everyone has batted, it was a long game! Alli did good the whole game, but we went from there to Wal-Mart and the grocery store, and she was getting a bit tired by the time we got home.

Yesterday was the first day of the pool for Alli too! The water on the top step (just a few inches) was nice and warm, but the rest of the pool is still cold! Alli eased her way into the pool, and was actually swimming at the end. Of course, she just swam over to the 'cutout' area, where the water was warm. As soon as I asked if she was ready to get out, she can a splashing to the steps. She was cold!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

It's the weekend! Time to relax, re-group, etc. Right? Probably not! Time to vacuum, dust, scrub floors and bathrooms, laundry, etc. instead! I have no excuses either - Alli got me up nice and early to get a head start!

Alli was up at 5:00 this morning! Why? I could have slept a bit longer, really! I woke up about 12:30 this morning, and couldn't got back to sleep with all the snoring happening in my room, so I moved out to the couch about 1:00. I slept much better, but still not enough to be ready for 5:00! Oh well, if I get going (soon!) I can have a lot of things done before we go to Alli's last baseball game.

The baseball season was sure short! We had two games rained out, and one we didn't make it to because of scheduling conflicts. I will admit, it doesn't break my heart to not have to run up to Shasta Lake City on a Saturday morning any more, but - it sure went fast this year! Alex only has three more weekends of games as well! They are playing in Mt. Shasta today, but Alex is in Sacramento for a Boy Scout training day.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Here is a doily I finished. After the last one that took forever, I thought I would do a 'quick and small' doily. Well, it was quick, but not small! I think it is just under 21 inches across. Looking at the pattern, there were only 13 rows, so it shouldn't be really big, right? It is all treble stitches, so it is much bigger than I thought it would be.

Since we finally had some sunshine today instead of rain when I got in from work, I went out and looked at the garden. The beans are doing good, and the tomatoes are doing okay. The tomatoes will take off as soon as it warms up. The poor pepper plants, on the other hand, have been pretty much eaten by something. The cucumbers never came up (or were eaten as soon as they poked their heads up is more likely) so I need to replant them.

Here is the 'wild rose' bush in one corner of the yard, and some of my mini-roses. The rain was not kind to most of my roses!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Happy Birthday to Allison! She is 12 today! (Now, how did that happen? She was just a cute little girl the other day?) It's hard to believe she is 12 already!

We had her IEP (Individual Education Plan) last week, and it looks like she will get to stay with the same teacher next year, which is wonderful. She has changed so much in the last year! We were reviewing things items in her plan for last year, and some of the comments were about her screaming, and ways to try to quiet her down. Hew teacher this year was questioning why they were there - she had very few problems with her. She can actually get her to quiet down by showing her the 'quiet' icon! (I want a bushel of those!) She is now walking 4-5 laps on the track with only supervision (as opposed to having someone hold her hand and make her walk) and is standing up taller when she walks. She is participating in the recycling program, sorting colored paper from white paper, and the key word is participating. She still doesn't differentiate independently between the two, but can put paper in the right stack over 50% of the time when told 'white' or 'color'. Alli still does not get 'PEC's' (Picture Exchange Communication). The head of the Special Ed Program made the comment that she was a strong willed child - she has never seen anyone so resistant to PEC's than Allison. They are now doing a visual schedule for her, and it seems to be working. It is still in the early stages, is more than she was doing before!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sunday was a bust! Alex and I drove to Sacramento to UC Davis, and....he isn't eligible for the research project due to his familial relation with someone with autism. I really wish they would check their records better - it would have saved me a tank of gas and 6 hours of my day! (Actually more time than that, as I 'didn't do' some things because I was working around the trip.) A major waste of time, but at least you can't say we didn't try to do our part for Autism research!

After we got back (about 4:30 in the afternoon) I decided to walk some of the kinks out after riding in the car since 11:00, and took the dogs for a walk. Bad timing for that too - sort of. Right after the dogs and I got out to the field, it started to rain. By the time I got home, I was soaked. The dogs were soaked too, but that was because they were playing in the water!
Here is Koori digging in the water - strange dog!
The wildflowers are beautiful right now - hard to believe that in a month, these will all be gone, and the field will be just a field again.
Clover Creek after the recent rain.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

They were right - the soccer game went on 'rain or shine' yesterday, and it wasn't shining! The Soccer Park has built very nice picnic tables with canopies down by the fields that Alex plays on, and they would have kept us nice and dry, if the rain was falling straight down. Since the rain came at us sideways, they weren't a lot of help! David (Alex's friend) and I sat in our chairs and held the umbrellas to the side to keep the rain off. Add a cup of hot chocolate, and it was bearable!
Alex's team tied 5-5, and once again, Alex left with an injury. He headed a ball with his nose, and messed up his equilibrium. I don't think it is anything serious. At half-time, he was falling all over the field when he tried to play. After the game (he sat out the second half) he was able to shift his weight between his feet and not fall, and by the time we got home, he was able to walk sideways without falling.

Practice before the game - Alex is #13.
Today is a trip to Sacramento for Alex and I. We got a call from the UC Davis Mind Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurological Disorders - they do a lot of research on Autism) and they needed a test subject - a 'normal' kid to use as a comparison. Alex fits the description, so we are going down today for him to do an IQ Test and other tests, including some sort of sophisticated MRI while doing some of the tests. Except for the drive - it should be fun. We are still stormy in Redding, and I expect to battle the winds up and down I-5.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Winter is back! At least the rain part. It isn't particularly cold, is raining! We had almost an inch yesterday - just what we needed! I haven't heard that Alli's game was cancelled, so I am assuming she is playing at 8:30 this morning. Alex's game is on, rain or shine, so I know he will be playing at 2:00 today. Alex had friends sleep over last night, and I have a request to make waffles for breakfast (for three teenage boys!) so I have to get started on the day pretty quickly!