Friday, February 27, 2015

Snow day

We've been dreaming of snow for weeks.  Two weeks ago we headed to my mom's house hoping to get snowed in.  Unfortunately, the snow missed us and landed north of this part of Tennessee.  We were bummed and headed back home to check on our cats, Tiger and Adventurous.  They were happy to see us and not as disappointed as we were with the lack of snow.

Two days later on a Friday night, we got a dusting during the evening hours.  We were excited to see the flakes falling from the sky turning the ground and trees white.  It was not enough for sledding or snowmen, but Summer and I tried to throw a few snowballs at each other.  The snow was not the packing type, but we did manage to throw snow dust at each other.  Tiger loved playing out in the snow.  The next morning we headed out again to see what we could do before it all melted off.  We were able to make a few snow angels in the driveway, but 10 minutes later they were gone.  Summer also made a nice message for me in the snow.  Since sledding on the grass was not an option, she played on her slide and called it sledding.  We made a few memories before it all melted away, but were again disappointed.

Two days ago, we got our biggest snow in years.  On Tuesday after school, we headed to my mom's house in anticipation of inches of snow accumulation.  As soon as we got to the mountain top, the snow started falling.  An hour after we arrived at my mom's there was already an inch of snow on the ground.  By the time bed time rolled around, there were 6 inches.  We were in heaven!!!  We did not get out in it that evening, but rather chose to play Tri-ominos at the kitchen table before watching a little TV before bedtime.  We did run out with the ruler every hour or so to check the accumulation.  We put a big bowl out on the back porch which was soon overflowing with snow which we transformed into snow cream.  Summer, my mom and I all had a bowl of the tasty concoction before tucking ourselves into bed for the night.  We were up bright and early excited to see how much more snow had fallen.  We ended up with about 7.5 inches of glorious snow.  After Nanny got all of her pics taken of the untouched snow, we suited up and went out for round 1 of playing.  The snow was awesome for packing.  Now that I think about it, I did not even throw one single snow ball though.  We built a snow woman which kept us all warm and toasty and Summer and I ended up shedding our hats and coats.  However, once we started sledding, we geared back up.  It was difficult to sled at first with their being so many inches of snow so my mom cranked up the 4-wheeler and packed it down a little for us.  We took turns going down the hill until we were all a little weary.  Then Summer and my mom headed off on the 4-wheeler to check the main roads.  The snow plow had already been by so there was no need to venture further than the yard for sledding.  We watched a movie and had lunch before heading back out for more sledding.  Summer did a little painting and rainbow looming too.  Our 2nd round of sledding was followed by another movie and a game of sequence.  We had spaghetti for dinner and after we were all full, we headed out for round 3 of sledding in the dark.  This was by far the best sledding all day.  The snow was packed and frozen.  It was an amazing snow day and we were so thankful to finally get a big snow.

Where does the time go?

It's hard to believe it has been almost 6 years since my baby girl was diagnosed with kidney cancer.  She is now a healthy 3rd grader at St. Peter's Episcopal School.  She stopped sucking her thumb a few weeks after the end of 2nd grade at the age of 8.  I was sad to see it stop although for years I really wanted it to.  But when she did, it was like the last link she had to being a baby was gone.  Now she is approaching 9 years old and is growing taller everyday it seems.  She is 4'4" now and around 61 pounds.  Picking her up is quite a task and her long legs are a bit awkward in my arms.  But, there are times when she still allows this.  She is definitely outgrowing some of her snuggliness, but she does still want me to walk to her class every morning so I am very thankful for that.  I really dread the day that ends.  She also still wants me to come to chapel and spirit day every week so she is not distancing herself from me yet.  However, I have a feeling I am going to be one of those embarrassing moms so it will probably happen sooner than later.

She still loves crafting and creating and during our recent snow days she perused many magazines looking for ideas.  She is into gymnastics and is going to start a new sport type activity next week--Girls on the Run.  She got a trampoline from Santa for Christmas and that, along with a slack line and air pogo, helps to keep her active and entertained in the basement at home.  She loves to listen to music and choreograph different routines which she then performs for me or whoever else may be at the house.  Tennis lessons may also be in her future if we can get them set up and she seems to be excited about that.  Team sports are not something she is interested in at all at this point.

She is excelling in school and all of her teachers find her to be a joy in class.  Her favorite subject is math which is something her dad and I both enjoyed.  She also enjoys after school art classes when they offer them.

She still hasn't lost any teeth since the end of 1st grade.  She has no real best friend, but seems to play with several different girls in her class.  Her and Abby Teruya are becoming close again after about a year long break of being BFFs.  The only friend she has stayed the night with is Elizabeth Bruce and that was a birthday slumber party.  I believe she is starting to be more comfortable with the idea of staying with friends, but her preference for overnight stays out of my house is definitely Memaw and Nanny's house followed closely by her cousins, Leah and Jonathan.  The cousins sleepovers are rare though since we live an hour away from each other.  Grandbaby sleepovers at Memaw's house are heaven for them all.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

7.75 years and growing

Lately, everyone has been commenting on how tall Summer is getting.  She has grown about an inch since school started and has finally reached 4' 1", at least that is how tall she was when we went in for her EKG & echocardiogram a few weeks ago.  She's a whopping 54 pounds and as much as I hated to see the rock-a-bye baby end before I would leave her classroom every morning in kindergarten and half way through first grade go, it's probably a good thing she out grew it.  I do still pick her up and carry her at times, but it is very infrequent now that she is approaching 8 years old.  She has not last any teeth since the end of 1st grade when she lost both two front teeth bringing her grand total of lost  teeth to 6.

My sweet girl started playing basketball for her school, St. Peter's Episcopal School, through the YMCA recreational league in early January.  She absolutely loves it which is a dream come true for her daddy.  He's always wanted a child in sports, and he's so glad she did not opt to be a cheerleader.  He has been working with her at home and she seems to not be able to get enough of it.  It is awesome to see the excitement she has for basketball.  Her games are on Saturday mornings and this week we have a double header.  Her team is 2-2 right now which is pretty good considering they only had one practice before there first game when looked like they had no idea how the game was supposed to operate.  They just learned there first play yesterday at their once a week practice.  I can't wait to see if they can actually run it on Saturday.  Go Storm!

She also started back to aerials in January which she also loves and hopes to never take a month off least that's what she is saying at this point.  It, along with basketball, seem to be her passion right now.  She has that class once a week and also a jazz/hip hop class once a week.  Dance will culminate with a big recital at the end of May.  She's got her dance down and can do it without music which she showed me the other day when we were visiting Lexie.  I was so proud of her as I did not know she already knew it since they don't show off their dance at the end of class like they used to.  

School is going amazing for her although her and her best friend Abby "broke up" yesterday on the playground.  She was pretty upset about it at bedtime last night and had a hard time getting to sleep because she couldn't stop thinking about it.  We will see if they are able to get past this and rekindle their friendship.  I think it will be just a matter of time, but sometimes kids surprise me.  Her parent teacher conference went amazing, and I am feeling so blessed that she has not had any learning disabilities after having gone through  such hard chemotherapy treatments.  SOOO BLESSED!!!  Her teacher had only great things to say about her and actually thanked me for letting her be Summer's teacher.  Now that makes a momma feel good!   Oh the joy she brings my soul!  I love being her mom!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A new year

It's hard to believe 2013 has come and gone.  Summer became a pretty good roller skater over the year.  We love to go skating together, sometimes with friends.  We are actually going to meet up with some later this week for a skate date.  I love the fact that she holds my hand as we skate around the rink.  We rarely fall, but we did have a tumble last week that involved her falling and me landing on top of her.  She was the more injured one, but after a few minutes of sitting and holding her ice water up to her red cheek, we were back out on our skates.  Good times!!!

We have been enjoying relaxing at the house over the Christmas break.  I only wish it could last a few more weeks! She will be starting basketball next week.  She has one practice before her first game so it should be interesting.  Her daddy has been teaching her some skills, and she's getting to be pretty good at dribbling.  I can't wait to see her out on the court. She may also be starting up aerials again soon.  That is her true passion as she currently uses her air pogo for practice, making up dances to Justin Bieber songs.  So adorable she is!!!

Christmas was good to her again this year.  Santa brought her a remote control helicopter, but it lasted less than 48 hours out of the box before the propeller broke.  Bummer!  She got more things than I can remember, but one of her favorites was Blokus.  Being the nature girl she is, I got her a bird call, a lighting bug lantern, shell collecting bags, and a bird house.   She also got the electric scooter she asked her daddy for.  Oh and, let's not forget Sparkles her new bunny build-a-bear that she just had to have when she saw the sales ad. 

One of the current crazes going around are Rainbow Looms which she received a few months ago from her friend Abby.  She got several new colors of bands for Christmas and has been trying to come up with new bracelet designs on her on in the mornings when she gets up.  I think I will be getting her the how-to guide at some point in the future as her designs often do not end up making a bracelet.  She doesn't get as frustrated as I would, but just gives it more thought.  I love her determination!

I love her soooo much! Her sweet face just melts my heart. I can't give her enough hugs and kisses.  Snuggling with her on the couch is amazing.  I feel so blessed to be raising her and watching her grow.  I can't wait to see what this new year has in store for us!  Hopefully more blogging so I can capture all the wonderful memories.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Terrible Blogger

Once again I sit here in dismay at my lack of blogging this year.  So many intentions to do it more often, but life has been allowed to get in the way and distract me.  I did not blog about our summer vacations as I had hoped.  And now, school has started back and the first day of school was also unaccounted for. 

Summer is loving the 2nd grade despite being initially disappointed when she found out her teacher and who was NOT in her class.  She got none of the people she really wanted in her class, but like 1st grade, the two 2nd grade classes spend a lot of time together.

She is taking dance again this year, but has moved from ballet and tap to hip-hop and jazz.  Her friend Abby is taking the class with her, and sometimes they get to have play dates on Thursday before class.  Abby is the only friend from school that she really sees outside of school.  However, Friday she found out that her friend Callahan was going to the same movie that her dad was taking her to that night.  So, I set up a date for them to meet him and his family at the movies to see Free Birds.  She wore her Lana's Love shirt which was much too big when she got it almost 4 years ago and who did she run into at the movies other than one of the main volunteers for Lana's Love--Holly Shull.  What a coincidence!!  She has grown into the shirt now; I wish she would stop growing so fast!!!  Before I know it she will be wearing my clothes!  LOL We are so lucky to have been associated with that charity since shortly after she was diagnosed with cancer 4.5 years ago.  Just last weekend, we went to Disney on Ice compliments of that charity and in September we were lucky to get to go to Lake Winnie with them too.  I can't say enough of the great things this charity does for families who children have been affected by cancer.  And, I can never say how thankful I am to have a healthy little girl to raise.  What a blessing!

Summer got a great report card from her teacher and one comment the teacher made was that Summer "is a teacher's dream."  She does not seem to struggle much in school and especially loves music, computer and art.  She is a pretty good reader and impressed my aunt and cousin a few weeks ago when she read to them as we drove to Florida for a cruise.  We celebrated my cousin Alex's and my birthday while we escaped the everyday worries in reality.  There were 4 different water slides on our cruise ship which she loved.  They were the highlight on the boat, along with dance parties by the pool.  Summer really wanted to go cave tubing and zip lining so we decided to do that at our stop in Belize.  She was amazed as we floated through the cave with lights on our heads and looked up at all of the beautiful rock formations.  She has been collecting rocks for a few years and this was right up her ally.  Zip lining was like icing on the cake.  Other highlights for Summer were the day we spent at Cozumel at Ocean Beach Club.  We kayaked and took a ride on a catamaran in the ocean.  We swam out to inflatables and jumped, climbed and slid on them.  There were swings at the beach bar, and she really enjoyed those.  She also got to hold a big iguana and a few Macaws there.  My aunt splurged and got her a henna tattoo of a dragon fly.  In Mahogany Bay and Costa Maya, we built sand castles and collected shells. 

I am being beckoned to play a game before bedtime.  I hope to continue to catch up on all the important things I never want to forget later this week.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer vacation: Camps are done!!!

Our summer break has been very busy until yesterday. Summer ended up skipping the last day of school. The night before that was her dress rehearsal for her dance recital at which, of course, she was super adorable. In her first dance, she wore a flower girl dress from a wedding she was in last summer and ballet slippers. She and her daddy were stars in my eyes as they danced their Daddy/Daughter dance. It was a much different look than her Gitchie Gitchie Goo costume which was like a purple flapper least in my mind. I'm not really sure what you would call it. But, it had lots of purple fringe hanging down, purple gloves, purple ribbons in her tap shoes, a choker and a sparkly headband. She was still totally sweet in this "wilder" costume, but a lot more flashy. She did not seem nervous at all during either dance and made me a proud momma for sure.

The following day we stayed at home and hung out in lieu of going to the last 1/2 day of school. One of her friends from school had a birthday party at Pump It Up that afternoon at 4:00, and she was very excited to go to it. She ended up playing mostly with the boys from her class, namely Brody. They were playing dodge ball or something like that with balls. She had a great time and it was fun to see her smiling as she played and played. We went and hung out at a friend's house after where she got to play with her friend Abby. They had fun until the fireflies came out and then it was time to call it a day.

The next morning we got up and headed to the library to check out some books for summer reading. She is doing very well at reading, but she does not like it. She seems to always tell me that when I make her alternate pages or paragraphs with me when we are reading at night. I don't understand it since she does a good job and does not struggle a lot, but maybe it is just the wrong time of day for her to be reading since she is tired it being the end of the day and all. It's different for me too not being the only one reading. I do miss the days when I did all of the reading and she just listened, but learning to read is part of growing up so she has to have her turns too. She doesn't seem to mind reading to her animals when it is her choice. She is working on a Magic Treehouse book, but has not finished it yet. She has quite a collection of them. They seem to be her favorite series. I think mine (of books for her age level) is Junie B. Jones. She has a book report due the first day of school on the book of her choice, so I hope that goes over well and she does not decide she doesn't like writing either! 

After checking out our books, we headed to Mellow Mushroom for lunch with our friends Selena, Willow and Harper. The kid's favorite thing to eat there seems to be their parmesan pretzels. Summer also likes the steak and cheese calzone. She is never one to turn down steak! When our bellies were full, we headed to the zoo to check out the new exhibit that opened a month or so ago. It was fun to see the new animals as well as the ones that have been there for years. We never have gotten tired of going there and love our family membership!! To the kid's delight, we stopped by the carousel for 3 rides before leaving. I love that you can get unlimited rides with a family membership.  Makes it easy to let them have their fill and be the "good guy" at the same time.  That was not the end of our day with the Lynch's. Next on our path was Cold Stone Creamery where Summer chose their Oreo filling flavor with a KitKat mixed in. She gobbled it down without even giving me a bite! Not that I usually ask for one.  I try to behave myself and not eat anything there when I can. 

Our adventure for the day was not over yet as we made our way to our firepit by the creek. Lexie joined us for our campout. We tried to catch fish, but we only fed them. It was still fun, but not as much fun as it would've been to be reeling in fish. When we finally got the campfire going, we roasted hotdogs and marshmallows. I put a can of chili in the hot coals to cook since my baby girl is spoiled and doesn't eat hotdogs. Not that I blame her. I totally don't like them either, but chili does make them edible. Between 10 and 11p.m., I tried to get the girls to sleep in their tent, but it was a little warm outside and they were not anxious to go to sleep. They did finally drift off and slept through the whole night in their Winnie the Pooh tent. The next morning Summer woke up with bites all over her legs despite her leggings. It was a mommy failure moment for me even though we did apply bug spray several times throughout the evening. Apparently, it is wise to spray your clothes too. Either that, or wear jeans. My legs seemed fine. Overall, it was a camping success since we stayed out all night. We left around 7:30 the next morning which was not a moment too soon. I was ready for a shower and they needed a bath themselves. We ended up cutting their "shower/bath," as they call it, short and heading over to swim at my aunt's pool until time to go to her dance recital. It went off without a hitch and Summer got a dozen red roses from her daddy.  I am imagining that he was influenced by his friend Paul's decision to get his baby girl some flowers, but it was sweet nonetheless.  Needless to say, it was a fun busy day. Summer ended up getting to spend the night with Memaw and Nanny after her dances which was icing on the cake for her. That's definitely her favorite place to go!!

There was little rest before her next adventure: Tennis Camp. She was finally persuaded, after many "NO'S!," to go when she found out her friend Lily from school was going. Apparently a friend was all she needed. It turned out that her friend Callahan also ended up going.  It was a good thing because Lily turned out to be in the younger group and Summer was in 7 & 8 year olds. She gave me some hard times about leaving her a few of the mornings, but there were not too many tears shed. One morning, she had a belly ache, but I think she just needed to potty or didn't want to stay. After the first day of camp, I asked her what her favorite part was. She replied, "We got popsicles and candy." So much for the tennis part! One day, she and her friend Callahan were having a hard time getting along and she told me that he was causing her "so much stress." It was funny to me to be hearing her having "stress." I guess it comes in all forms though. She ended up getting Most Improved Serve at the final ceremony where she also received her camp t-shirt which she says she will probably never wear. We'll see. Sometimes I think she is all tomboy, but others she seems girly. She has especially gotten into painting her nails (and mine) the past two weeks. I am not sure if that is just because she wanted to use the birthday presents she got, a manicure set and a pedicure set, or if she is indeed going to become a girly girl. We'll see how much use they get this summer.

After we left Tennis camp that Friday, she headed to do one of her favorite things in life--have a grandbaby sleepover at Memaw's. I dropped her off at my mom's work and they went to meet her cousins for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. They spent the afternoon swimming and playing. The next morning they had a nice walk and swam and played some more. I called and checked in several times and she was always happy as a lark. She was especially happy that she was going to get to spend 3 nights instead of 2 like she sometimes does. I guess Memaw and Nanny are pretty special if they can keep her from missing me for 3 days!!!

On Monday morning, I met them at my mom's work and we headed to the condo to waste a little time before Aerials camp. There was not one moment of dread in her when we headed there. This was what she had been waiting for!!! She absolutely loves aerials. Last year, her friend Willow went with her, but this year she was going alone. That did not bother her until it came time to choreograph her routine for the final performance at the end of camp. She got herself all worked up that 2nd afternoon when I came to pick her up. I had gotten their early so I could watch some of it, and I noticed she was frowning while sitting on the trapeze. At first I didn't think anything of it, but then I started to wonder why she looked so unhappy. I went in and talked to her and she told me she could not think of any more than 2 tricks to do in a row. She was very frustrated and not easily talked out of it. Her favorite instructor, Ms. Yuti, came over and tried to help her figure out which tricks she knew and how to do them under the bar, then sitting on the bar, then standing. She was still too stuck in "I can't" to listen so we called it a day and headed to the house. She told me she would not be going to another camp unless she had a friend or was going to aerials on a regular basis.  I guess the pressure of having to make the decisions alone this year for her routine was a little overwhelming at first.  That was the only day she had a bad day, and I'm glad. It's not fun seeing your kids all bummed out, but it is part of life. Everything cannot go perfectly unfortunately. She picked "Everything Is Not What It Seems" as her song for her performance. Again, I was a very proud momma! She's definitely my shining star!!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

All she wants for Christmas is her two front teeth!!!

Summer lost her two front teeth the week before she turned 7.  Her teacher, Ms. Hughes, pulled one on Monday and Summer pulled the other on Friday at school.  So that puts her up to 6 teeth she has lost.  I am lucky enough not to of had pull any of them!!!  There's just something about teeth coming out that makes me squirm.  A few years ago I did have dreams of my teeth falling out, but it has been a while.  I'm not sure if the flashbacks to those nightmares is what makes me uneasy, but it doesn't matter because so far she is perfectly happy pulling them herself.

She turned 7 two weeks ago, and we had her birthday party the day before at our house.  The weather had threatened to be ugly, so we put the inflatable in the basement along with some balloons and a few other games and the kids had an absolute blast.  The little capsules that dissolve in water leaving a sponge creature were a big hit with her friends.  Her cake was from the Great American Cookie company and, like last year, had a dolphin on it per her request.  Her friends Abby, Willow, Liliana, Laila, Katelyn, Jacob, Giada, and Maxwell all celebrated with her. Her cousins Leah, Faith, and Jonathan were also hear to celebrate along with other relatives including my aunts Melody and Sandra, my Granny, my cousin Alex and her husband Jonathan.  Memaw, Nanny, PawPaw, Lexie and Amanda were also here to with her a Happy Birthday.  It was a fun day and she received many games and a few nail polish sets.  One of her favorite games, which we played that night, was Uno Attack.

The next morning I gave her some clothes and a 3 pack of Barbie movies.  She is really into Barbie movies, but not really the dolls.  Go figure!  The hot pink tennis shoes I got her were a perfect fit.  I believe they are the first pair of tennis shoes that I have bought her with shoes strings instead of velcro.  She was excited to tie them and picked it up really quick as I have only tied them a handful of times over the past two weeks.  On the way to school that morning, she looked at the book of rock and minerals that Memaw and Nanny gave her.  She was amazed by some of the rocks she saw.  Like every other day this year, I walked her into school to her classroom.  She is still not willing to let me drop her off at the flagpole via the carpool line, but I don't mind.  She's my one and only!!!!  For her birthday dinner she chose to eat at Ryans.  Memaw, Nanny, Amanda, and Lexie met the three of us there to celebrate.  Her favorite thing to eat at Ryans is yeast rolls stuffed with steak, chili, rice and possibly olives. It's definitely an odd combination that I would never try, but to each their own.

We've been frequenting Chuck E. Cheese quite a bit lately.  She really loves to go there and when it is just me and her, it is pretty relaxing and fun.  Whereas once upon a time she hated pizza, now cheese pizza is her menu item of choice here.  We play while our pizza cook, and then take a break when it's ready.  She usually eats 4 of the 6 pieces of their small pizza.  After she gets her big pile of tickets, she cashes them in for some awesome (LOL) prize and we are on our way.  Amazingly, the thing she just had to have somehow seems to never leave the backseat of the car until I am cleaning it out and throw whatever it is away.  In fact, the floorboard of my car is scattered with tokens so it might be time for another trip to clear them out.  If she saves up several trips worth of tickets, she can usually get a decent prize. She spent the night with my aunts and cousin a few weeks ago, and they took her to Chuck E. Cheese.  She ended up leaving with a mini lego set which she really enjoyed and it did make it into the house!

Another thing she has really been into lately is playing the Wii.  Her favorite games are Chuck E. Cheese, Sing It, and the Just Dance games. She is getting to where she will continue to play with me even though I usually win on Just Dance.  The other night we were playing Sing It, and she convinced me that we were good enough to do the hard version rather than easy or medium.  Although deep down I wanted to do easy, I complied to her request.  We neither one have a great singing voice, but we put our hearts into it and that's what counts.  Having fun with my little girl is priceless!  I hope the years ahead will bring us many more fun times.