Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm trying to get back on an even keel. What a week, and it's only Wednesday! Our pump decided to go out on our well Saturday night, so we had limted water pressure all day Sunday - but at least we had water! Ralph ended up taking Monday off to deal with the pump people, and our insurance. It got fixed, at a cost of somewhere around $2,000.

Monday morning was also Alli's appointment with the Spine specialist. Bad news there too. She has scoliosis, pretty severely. She has a curvature of 47 degrees in her upper back and 55 degrees in her lower back. The max they want to see without surgery is 40. The doctor is going to try a brace, but....he would rather do surgery.

Now I'm playing 'good mommy - bad mommy' stuff in my head. The surgery won't be good for Alli, but the brace isn't a cure - it just stops the progression. I hear lots of bad things about the surgery, and Ralph's boss actually had the surgery - she says don't do it either! I don't know if the 'cure' would be worth Alli having back surgery (inserting rods and fusing vertebrae). That just doesn't sound like it would be a lot of fun, and could cause even more problems later in life. The brace won't be fun - from what I understand, it is a plastic hard shell that rests on her hips and will go up to her chin, and worn 23 hours a day. Not looking forward to that either!

On the other hand, Cindy came down last weekend and visited, and took AJ's senior pictures. Here are a few of them - unedited. I am very happy with what we got!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Another busy weekend - but this time I have something to show for it! Or at least I will pretty soon! Cindy came down for a nice visit and shot AJ's senior pictures. I very happy with them - considering her challenges, she got some great shots. Her challenges included a 17 year old that didn't really want his picture taken and a Labrador that wanted the treats in my hand more than having her picture taken. Needless to say, we got a lot of pictures with the dog looking at the camera, and not AJ, and a lot of AJ looking at the camera, and not the dog. With lots of patience, she managed to get everyone looking the right direction for some of the shots! My original plans called for going to several locations for different back drops, but we changed to just using the front yard since AJ was so enthusiastic!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

We got rain last night - not a lot, but enough that it feels like autumn! I think I'll have to use the dryer for laundry today - the first time in a while that I have had to use it. I am ready for fall and winter, but I am sure I am going to get tired of the rain before it is done - I always do.

I sat down Friday night (for the first time it forever, it felt like) and crocheted. I whipped up this little seahorse in one evening, while watching baseball (Go Giants!)

I did have a bit of a problem taking a picture of it though - Picot thought it was great fun!

I shooed her away several times, but ended up just shooting around her.

We did get AJ's surgery scheduled - he goes in on November 4th. Neither of us are looking forward to it, but it will be nice when he is 'all fixed'. Unfortunately, that is after soccer season ends this year, so he will miss all of the season. He should be able to play spring season for rec soccer, but it isn't the same!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The wonders of a good night's sleep! I feel ever so much more ready to face the challenges of the day! I got a good 7 hours of sleep (only one interruption from Alli at 3:30 - her sleep cycle must be rousing her about that time. Last night, she played for a little bit and then went back to sleep!) I didn't get started on the day in time to go to the store before my Trustee's meeting this morning, but I have gotten a lot of things cleaned up around the house. All I need to do now is the actual cleaning - vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, etc. I guess I'll go to the store after I work the snack bar at the tournament - yuck! The busiest part of the day at the store! But that's what I get for sleeping in! I think it will be worth it. I'll even pick up Alex while I'm in town, and he can do the vacuuming!

We got Allison's school pictures home this week - pretty cute! I love that they can capture so much of her personality - she just looks like she is waiting to get into trouble, doesn't she!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's going to be a long day, and it isn't even 6:00 a.m. yet! Alli woke up around 3:30 this morning. I put her back to bed, tucked her in, and went back to bed myself. Needless to say, tucking Alli in and telling her to go back to sleep didn't do a thing! She was awake, and didn't want to go back to sleep. We tried it a few times, but since I was getting up, the cats and dogs decided it was morning too, so....I gave up and got up. I've balanced the check book, paid some bills, cleaned some stuff, etc., and it isn't even time to get ready for work. Oh well.

It's been a long week anyway. Monday, AJ had his first league soccer game. He still can't play, but he helps the other players warm up and helps the coach. They lost 4-2 (and they scored one goal against themselves - not their best game!) Tuesday, one more soccer game, (again, a loss, but they played better!) and then scouts. AJ finally gave his presentation to the parents for his Eagle Project! He has some more work to do on it, and then re-present it next Thursday to the adult leaders. Then, it will be ready to present to the Eagle Board for approval. (Then, he can actually start the project!) I also had to bake a cake (carrot cake!) for a birthday at work on Wednesday morning. After work on Wednesday, I had a CPR class from 6:00 to 10:00. I'm tired! And today starts the U-Prep annual soccer tournament. AJ has a game at 3:00 and 8:00, I think, and then tomorrow I have a Trustee's meeting for the church at 10:00, and then directly to U-Prep to work in the snack bar until 2:00. We won't know when AJ's team plays on Saturday until after the game tonight, so he made need to be there bright and early Saturday morning for a game, too. I'm even more tired just thinking about it! I keep reminding myself that this is the last year for high school soccer, and he is taking his driver's test next month, so I may not have to do as much running around. (Notice I said 'may'! I do like watching the games, so I will still be going to them, and still going to scouts and so on, so it may not slow down for a while yet!)

Monday, September 13, 2010

I finished two projects yesterday! Now, I didn't get the house cleaned, and I didn't balance the check book, but I did finish two projects! The lab puppy has been started for a couple of weeks, I just never 'finished' him.

The scarf was in my latest Crochet World magazine, and I thought I'd try it - it is something I may never wear, but it looked interesting! The scarf pulls the end through a hole in the flower. I used some plain old green yarn I had around here, but the pattern uses two yarns held together, and one is a metallic yarn. It would definitely be prettier with mixed yarns, but it has a certain style now. Please pardon the picture of me wearing it - it's tough to get a good picture of yourself!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A busy, uneventful week. Nice! Work is actually on an even flow right now, so even with one person on vacation I have been able to catch up on some projects, and even go home on time (most of the time, anyway!). I still have been too busy to do much of anything. AJ has soccer practice at 6:15 a.m., so I am up at 5:00 and running in to town by 5:55. By the time I finish cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, I'm pooped!

Scouts are back in session, and it was nice to spend some time with the other mom's that I haven't seen in a month. AJ spent Friday night at Conner's again - Saturday was spent working on Conner's Eagle Project. I need to go take more pictures of it! It is almost finished. Supposedly, AJ is ready to present his project to the Parent's Group on Tuesday, but....we'll see. He has done a lot of work on it recently, and the adult leaders have reviewed the project, so he is moving forward. He has less than 4 months to get it completed!

This week could be a bit busier. AJ has a soccer game Monday at Foothill at 6:30, which means we'll get home around 8:00 - late dinner! He has a game on Tuesday against Chico at U-Prep, but he doesn't know what time it is yet - they just added it to the schedule. Tuesday is also "Senior Night" at the school - mainly for the parents from 6:00 to 7:30, and then scouts from 7:00 to 8:30, and he wants to present his Eagle Project, Somehow, I think we ran out of hours!

Wednesday, AJ goes back to his Cardiologist - the one in Redding - for a followup appointment. We haven't heard back from the surgeon about scheduling a new surgery. I should probably call him next week, too!

I need to follow Indy's example, and just relax!

Kittens can fall asleep in the oddest positions! Indy is such a cool kitten. He loves to be petted and held, and will follow you around for you to pick him up. It's been a long time since I had a cat like this one!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Here are some pictures the boys took this morning of our neighbor's house after the fire. I'm so glad everyone made it out!

I did it! I actually made it up the Castle Crags trail! I started it last year, but didn't go all the way to the top. It was a harder climb than Lassen, I think. The trail itself was trickier at least! Patti and Collin came along with me for the hike. Poor Collin - he was supposed to have a friend along to hike with, so he wouldn't be stuck with the 'old ladies', but, as we were on our way up to the trail, the friend got a call from his dad, and he couldn't go. We got a bit later start than we planned because we had to take him home before we could head out of town! Collin got bored pretty quickly with my pace, but he put a good face on it. He did try to convince us a few times that we had reached the top already, or that we were on the wrong trail and had to go home.

Here is a sample switchback:

The views were worth it though!

Patti actually checked her e-mails while we were resting! We started calling her 'crackberry' and made her turn her phone off!

Another shot of the 'trail'

The view from the top!

Since we got a late start (we went up after church) the parking lot was almost full when we got to the Park. For a second, I thought we weren't going to be able to make the climb! Luckily, we had a spot (but I to show my 'number' from the entrance to be able to park, and the spot was small enough and close enough to the edge of that Patti decided it was a good thing I was driving - it was a bit on the small side!) The guide that parked us asked what we were planning to do, and when he heard we were hiking to the dome, he told us we probably should just try for Indian Springs - it was a little more than half way, and was an easier and quicker hike. Since he looked at his watch when he said it, I have to think that it was because of the time (after 2:00) rather than looking at the two of us and deciding we couldn't make the dome trail! It did take us a good 4 hours to hike it up and back, so he was probably right to be concerned!

Some more trail shots The ones below are of one corner that I thought was hard going up - going down was worse!

The shadows starting to fall on the trip down.

Then, after we got home, and after dinner, the real excitement began! Koori barked at the front window, so I looked out, and saw a lot of cars in front of the house - someone was having a party! I mentioned it to Ralph, and said that the way someone hit their brake lights, I thought I saw flashing lights! He went outside, and came back - they were flashing lights - the house across the street and two doors down was on fire! The house is between Dallas' and Seth's - two friends of AJ's. Everyone got out okay, but the house was destroyed. According to what I heard last night, the owner was burning some papers in the fireplace, and it fell into the living room, and quickly spread. Here's what our street looked like (after the fire was out)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Wow! It was a busy week! I haven't posted since last Sunday - rare for me. I looked at my blog to see what I hadn't written about, and the last post was when we were cold and rainy. That changed quickly! I think last Thursday we were 110 degrees - a new record. We broke two records in one week - for a high and a low. Weather is weird!

It was a busy week. AJ's surgeon called Sunday night and talked to both AJ and I. He really feels he can completely fix AJ's heart with one more surgery. AJ still didn't want to go that route, but by Tuesday had reconsidered. We don't have a new surgery scheduled, but we are starting in that direction. The surgeon did clear AJ for 'limited' soccer, so he is now going in to practice three days a week (at 6:15 a.m.!)

I took Alli in Wednesday morning for X-rays for scoliosis. (Which went ever so much better than I thought they would! The tech said 'Now hold just like that..." and then said "Never mind" and went and got a second tech to help me hold Alli still.) The specialist's office called within a couple of hours of us taking the X-rays. She evidently had the X-rays, because she said "Let's see if the doctor will really want to see her or not. Hmmmmm. I think he will want to see her. Our first available appointment is 9/27., and I'll call if there is a cancellation." I'm hoping she says that to all the patients so they feel better about having to wait and see the doctor, not because Alli's X-rays were so bad!

Thursday night was Alli's back-to-school night and I had a very nice chat with the teacher. Only one other parent came, and his son and Alli have been together since kindergarten, I think. Alli is off to high school next year, so the teacher and I discussed some of the different locations. I get to go 'school shopping' again, and see what classroom will be best for her next year. I wish she could stay where she is (or that her teacher could move on with her!) She is now doing 4 laps on the track 4 days a week all by herself. An aide is with her, but they don't have to hold her hand and make her walk any more. (But if they try for that 5th lap, they will!) She is also moving independently between classrooms, and they have an extra aide this year doing solely one-on-one with the kids. Since Alli needs so much physical prompting, I am happy they got the extra person!

AJ actually worked on his Eagle Project this week with Conner. Since Conner is almost done with his project, he was helping AJ get started. Supposedly, AJ will be ready for a parent's presentation next Tuesday. We'll see! He went back over to Conner's this weekend to help some more. It is slow going right now - only two or three people can work setting the stones, so the last part will take a while.

I also added a few new members to the family:

Of the three goldfish I got on Wednesday, two were dead by Friday. Ralph went in and pick up two more, and they all seem to be doing fine now. Picot thinks they are the bestest thing! Thanks for the new toy Mom!

I was also working on a quick little project - and had a lot of help:

Not only is she chewing my yarn, she is on my pattern! We did finally find the 'missing flower' from my fairy doily - she had knocked it under a rug in the kitchen. I also found part of a doily I had started the other day - chewed off the ball of thread! We are going to have to have a word with the kittens!