Sunday, September 15, 2013

And now, back to our regularly scheduled Saturdays...

Labor Day, the last hurrah for a carefree weekend.  Because every weekend after that for the next few months  we'll be juggling Morgan's practices and cheer activities and Garrett and Jack's soccer games.  It's a bit tricky trying to get everyone where they need to be and being able to sit and watch.

Morgan cheered for her first frosh game.  Games are on Thursdays, so she goes to school, I pick her up for a cheer gym class at 3:30 then pick her up at 4:50 and drop her off at the game.  She doesn't get home until 7:00.  Her Saturdays are spent at practice from 10:00-4:00.

Season 2, U6 has started with this little man.  Chris is coaching again and so far Jack and his teammates are scoring it up and really a step above the other teams.

Chris still enjoys putting together a highlight video for Jack.  So here's one from his first game of the season.

 And Garrett is playing his last season of soccer.  Eleven years!  He's been doing well, recovered from the break and back to give it his all.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Hear a happy dance?  Well summer is over and it is back to school!  Actually this summer went by incredibly fast.  We were all very busy and had a calendar full of events and fun moments.

Garrett & Morgan started school on Monday and Jack began today.

In summary, it was the last first day of school for him.

And the first day of high school for her.

And the first day of school for him.

It was the first time the oldest two have been at the same school since they were in 5th and 2nd grade.
And it was the first time, the oldest have gotten to school without me driving at least one of them!  So lots of firsts going on around here.

And here's a first-I got this shirt made up for Jack and am going to have him wear it on the first day of school until he's Garrett's age.  That should be a fun progression of pictures that will go all too fast.

And here's a first and a last-a group shot of them as they head off to their first days of school this year.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

It's On

We have some soccer friends that live nearby.  It's hard to describe this family, they are very athletic and very driven and they have a very different sense of humor.  They've always used profanity in casual conversation even when their kids were young.  Garrett played soccer with their son and we seemed to bond over two things, the AMC show Breaking Bad and our extreme dislike for the team mom.

The team mom was a know it all who just made the two of us roll our eyes.  We'd often send snarky text messages to each other about something she'd done.  If her son didn't show up to practice, the team mom would take it upon herself to lecture him.

So one time Garrett and their son went to the team's soccer camp.  I can't remember why, but we had some conflict so Garrett stayed with them the night before camp and they drove the boys there while we picked them up.  Well back to the very different sense of humor-Garrett arrived at camp only to unpack his bag and find a ginormous bra had been put in his bag.  He was mortified.  The "A" family thought it was hysterical.

Fast forward nearly two years.  They asked us at the last minute if we could watch their dogs this weekend.  I've never been inside their house before, but Garrett and I both noticed a collage of pictures they had loosely arranged over a desk.    Well, we both kind of devised a pay back scheme.  I went to the store and had 10 pictures of the team mom printed up and we carefully placed this picture throughout the kitchen in family room. We weren't invasive.  We covered up the boy's picture with hers.  We added one to the collage of pictures.  We propped one in a cabinet.  We taped one to a wall that had some school report cards.  There was a ceramic dog and one was placed in its teeth.  They have a pizza oven with boards below and that was probably one that won't be found for some time.

So I just got a text message from her.  It read, "Ummmm. U think u guys forgot something really disturbing....Let me know if we should return them!!!lol

Oh and by the way....

It's on!!!!"

So let me tell you, when the "A" family says it's on, it's on.  I'm a little afraid of what they may pull.  I know I'm totally going to be on guard waiting for the retaliation.  So what am I going to do in the meantime?  I going to figure out our next move.  And it's going to be good!!

Stay tuned.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Catching Up On Some Scrapbooking

I set a goal for myself to spend some more time scrapbooking.  My goal was to finish 30 pages in 30 days.  Here are a few of my favorites that I thought I'd share.

Just a mini update

Jack got his cast off last week.  9 weeks and he's all healed.  It was the first time I left that office since January that I didn't have to make a follow up appointment since January.  He had quite a rash under the cast when it came off (we had some high temps that week), but a week if airing it out  and putting lotion, it looks great.

And this little girl made the varsity competition squad for high school.  There were only 12 girls picked, one freshman-Morgan!  This team is the two time national champions, so this is quite an accomplishment.  She will continue to cheer with all the other freshmen girls at the football and basketball games, the competition team is separate.

Here's her competition schedule for the coming year:
Nov 3 James Logan High, Union City
Dec 14 Santa Margarita High, Rancho Santa Margarita (So. Cal)
Jan 18 Yorba Linda High, Yorba Linda (So. Cal)
Jan 19 Brea Olinda HIgh, Brea (So. Cal)
Jan 25 Tesoro High, Las Flores (So. Cal)
Feb 2 California Open Champs, UC Davis (Superbowl Sunday)
Nationals March 28-30 (Anaheim)

In addition, she'll be headed down to Long Beach in July for cheer camp and over Labor Day weekend for choreography somewhere in So Cal.

She's been working really hard to get the skills needed to be on this team. (see video)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Darn, those kids are expensive...

If I ever overhear a parent complaining about how expensive diapers are, I may just have to give them a peek into their future.

Morgan made the high school cheer team.  Yay!  Right? 
Considering she's been cheering for two years and has her gymnastics background, I knew it was coming.  But I didn't know how big the checks would be.
Just this week...
$355 Fair Share Donation (covers coaches' stipends and busses)
$679 Cheer Uniform
$300 Cheer Camp and transportation
$100 Camp/practice clothes

CHA CHING!!  We also had to sign up for our first of many fundraisers because believe it or not, there's more.  Cheer music, cheer choreography and perhaps new competition uniforms.
But wait, there's more...this doesn't even cover the expenses that occur to be on the competition squad-competition fees and not one, not two, but FOUR trips down to Southern California to compete, so add some gas and hotel bills to this.

That's child one.

Child two has needed his fair share of checks lately too as he is going to the Jr. Prom this weekend.
$155 prom tickets
$10 to replace ASB card that he lost which is needed to buy tickets
$220 Tuxedo
$20 to special order a new vest because first vest won't match date's dress
$32 Corsage

Child three...he's the cheap one.  I like it that way :-)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Making Lemonade

When life hands you lemons....

take a picture.

So I guess by now, this picture is a bit outdated because that third healthy person in the picture above is now wearing an arm brace.  I did get a picture of the gimps in the house, but this one is a keeper for sure.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Seriously What Are the Odds?

Monday seemed like it was going to be an ordinary day.  I was getting over a cold and counting down the minutes till I could go to bed and then Morgan comes running from her room in tears saying that Jack had broken his arm.  A few seconds later, Jack comes out and there was no doubt he fractured his forearm.  It's not as obvious from the photo below, but when his arm was by his side, it was nearly shaped in an S.  Being that I have such a recent memory of this injury and the fact that Jack was as calm as could be, we took a few minutes to gather a few things and then headed off to the ER.

Despite a lot of people at the ER, the triage nurse came to get Jack's vitals, took one look at his arm and said they would get him a be right away.  Jack was given an IV so medicine could be administered.  This was probably the moment that was most difficult for him.  Later he had a blood pressure cuff, heart monitor and a cannula for oxygen.

I went with him as he was wheeled to x-ray.  I saw his x-rays on the monitor so I knew exactly  what they would tell us.

They had to set it before they put him in a splint.  This was the worst part of the night for me.    They had already given him morphine, but they also gave him versed which put him in a twilight sleep.  The doctor manipulated the bones and I could hear the pop of the bones from the other side of the room.  Jack woke up and moaned at this part.  But he does not remember this at all.

Here is the x-ray of the after.  The next day the orthopedist commented that the ER doctor did an excellent job, they usually don't get them so straight.
Jack was sent home in a sugar tong splint.  He slept pretty well that night, but needed pain meds in the morning.  We followed up with the orthopedist and they put him in the long arm cast.  Healing time is 4-6 weeks, most of it in this length of a cast.
He is doing remarkably well.  He doesn't complain about it hurting and he's already pretty active.  It's definitely not going to slow him down.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Two Weeks Out

Garrett went to his orthopedic appointment today with a big cast and high hopes of leaving with a shorter cast and he was not disappointed.  Actually this appointment  put a smile on his face bigger than I've seen in weeks.

The latest X-ray showed that his transverse break continues to heal and that he could go to a Patellar Tendon Bearing  Cast.   We were not expecting this type of cast at all.  As you can see from the picture, the cast goes up and around the knee from behind.  He has forward and back movement, but no side to side.  The best and most unexpected news is that by next week, he should be able to walk without or with little assistance from crutches.

I guess with this transverse break, the pressure of walking/standing will stimulate bone growth.  So really as soon as he feels like he can comfortably start bearing weight, he's been cleared to do so.  This was completely unexpected.  This still does not change the timeline of the recovery as the tibia is one of the slowest healing bones in the body.  But it will make the recovery much easier.

This is Garrett's leg when the cast was removed.  There is a sizable difference  between the size of his legs, particularly his thighs from atrophy.

We go back again in two weeks for another X-Ray and recast.  He will likely stay in this type of cast for at least six more weeks until he can be moved to a walking boot.  Unfortunately with this type of cast, he was unable to get a waterproof cast, but I think the trade off is worth it.  The doctor thinks he could probably be driving again in about two months.  And after therapy he will likely be able to start back to soccer when the season resumes in July.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Week 2....
Garrett had another appointment today at the ortho.  He had another x-ray which is the second one since the injury.  Doctor said the bone is in a good position which is great.  This definitely puts Garrett on the road to a full recovery.  And when we asked if it would definitely need to be another 3 weeks in the long cast, he gave a long sigh.  After a bit of silence he said Garrett would need to come back next week for another x-ray and at that time he would consider putting him in a shorter cast.  We are really crossing fingers that this will be the case.

Today Garrett went back to school for the entire day.  I was a bit worried.  Last week, he went on Thursday for 3 periods, but was too tired to attend more than one class on Friday.  I wasn't sure he could make it the whole day.  But he did.  He was tired, but I'm very relieved that he won't miss more school.  His good friend Cory has had his driver's license for a year and has offered to take Garrett to school in the morning.  It's a huge help and I think Garrett prefers to go with a friend in the morning.

Jack went to school last year with a little boy who just so happens to be the son of the doctor that Garrett is seeing.  So I know the doctor's wife fairly well and ran into her last week.  She mentioned that one of her son's used a different type of crutch which had a better ergonomic design and was more comfortable.  She said she'd let Garrett use them.  Here are the Mobilegs.  They are a pretty unique design and there's give when pressure is applied.  Hopefully they make getting around a little easier.

I have to say, in just the last couple of days I think Garrett is becoming much more mobile.  He's less likely to call out for help, he's getting more independent.  All in all, we are in a much better place than we were last week.  I didn't expect to see this much improvement in such a short time.  Keep thinking good thoughts, he has a long road ahead, but the worst is definitely behind him.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Garrett's PSAT scores were released to colleges a couple weeks ago and since that time we've been email blasted by colleges from all over the country touting their reputation.

  • Garrett, there is no place like Seattle.
  • Dear Garrett, If you're right for Saint Mary's, we'll do everything we can to make it affordable.
  • Are you ready for the Northeastern advantage?
  • Columbia University graduates have a rich history of invention and innovation

Of course, the best ones are not the ones that toot their own horn, but the ones that speak to the recipient's talents.

  • Garrett, your academic record proves you have the record to succeed.
  • Garrett, You're just the type of student I'm looking for - smart, motivated, eager to learn. 
  • Garrett, Based on your impressive academic record, we think you are seeking a college where faculty members will personally challenge you, mentor you and help you create new knowledge

    Garrett's has received emails from many prestigious colleges like Columbia, Duke, Brown, and Boston University but I'd say that at least a third have come from New York state.  I didn't realized how many colleges were in that state, but I think every last one has reached out to Garrett.  Of course, the weather is probably an issue for Garrett so we've deleted all of those. :-)

    Well today, the mail campaign has started.  Here's what was in our mailbox just today- William and Mary, Carroll, University of Miami, University of Pittsburgh, Drexel, Stony Brook, St. John's, Fordham University, SMU, Santa Clara (a top choice for Garrett), and University of Portland. Bet the New York college brochures will arrive tomorrow-probably a weather delay :-)

Road to Recovery

What a difference a couple days make.

The above picture was taken after 4 hours at the emergency room on Saturday.  Garrett was placed in a 3 sided hard splint, but he could not move around at all.  By Monday, he was in more pain than he was on Saturday.
Monday afternoon, we went to the orthopedic's office.  They did not take more x-rays, just used the ones from the emergency room, but he appears that Garrett's  fracture will heal without the need for surgery.  The bones were aligned.   He fractured his tibia straight through, but there is no sign of a fracture on the fibula.  They will x-ray him again in one week to make sure it is healing straight.
The cast he is wearing above will be the length he needs for another month and then he'll move into a shorter cast for a month longer.  Once this one was put on, he immediately felt better, it provides much more support.  He's still not moving around too much, but at least he can now get out of bed.
Today I was running around.   We now have a handicapped person in the house, so some modifications were in order.  Garrett will obviously not be driving for awhile, but we got the temporary handicap placard through the end of April.  At this point, getting his long, straight cast in the car is a bit of a challenge.  I'll need to drive my Acura which has a bit more leg room.  But the handicap spot will mostly be needed so he can swing his door open wide.  It's kind of an production getting in and out of the car with that leg.
I also went to his school.  I already emailed his teachers.  We think he'll miss class this week, but his physics teacher said it would be a hard week to miss because of some in class demonstrations.  So we may take him just for fourth period on Thursday and Friday.  That class is at the front of the school so he won't have too far to walk.  His last class of the day is on the second story so I had to see the principal's secretary and check out the super secret elevator key that he can use for the next few months.  Thinking ahead to next week, I also asked that they provide a table and chair to prop his leg on in each class.  There's no way he'll be able to get in and out of those small desks.  I've also been busy ordering things online to make life easier...I bought some gel covers for the crutches, a waterproof protector for his cast, a stool for the bathtub, and a hand held shower head.

Garrett's been a good little patient.  Chris went out and bought him a tv for his room so he's been hooked up with his PlayStation keeping busy.  His friend came over last night and kept him company so he was in good spirits.  I will keep you posted with his recovery.
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