Monday, August 31, 2009

A heavy load, the pros and cons

Elizabeth this year decided to take a heavy load... AP Chemistry, AP US History, AP BC Calculus and Honors English. On the light side she has Seminary, Yoga, & AP Research. Now, the first night she came home with homework, not just your standard get these supplies, but outline this chapter and do these problems type of homework.

To round it out, today she starts dance, only four days a week, 7 hours a week total including teaching. There is some question on Nutcracker this year, but we'll see when we see her schedule.

On top of that is her social life. Yes, junior girls like to socialize, with girls, boys, parents, brothers (ok, maybe not so much), dog, etc. Texting was turned on in our household for the first time the month before school started and Elizabeth won with over 900 texts (most to a single number who will be left unnamed, but he took her out on his first date a couple of weeks ago).

ADVATAGES: More school out of the way this year.
She really enjoys the classes she's in.
Said boy is in all the AP classes as well as other friends.
She gets out of a lot of home chores.
She can compete with Jan in Yoga.

DISADVANTAGES: Has to go to bed earlier if possible.
Doesn't get to see her friends as often.
May not be able to do Nutcracker.
Can't walk the dog as often.
Mom and Dad only see the top of her head.
She has to wake up just after 5:30.

I love just being the mom and not the student sometimes!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Welcome Back to School

Schools back in session! This brings mixed emotions in our household this year. Liz is a Junior at BHS (Go Braves!) and is carrying a heavy load, so she'll be busy (along with ballet and, of course, her friends). She even has a boy that seems to be as interested in her as she is in him. Hum, we'll see if she gets an invite to Homecoming Dance.
Anyway, for Jeff, it's bittersweet. He misses the social aspect of school so much. On the first day of school, he finished all but his picture for his mission papers to go in next week. He's so excited, but it's a bit of the unknown and a change from what he is used to. But there are lots of little projects he and I have to get him ready, like immunizations (he's a baby when it comes to needles). His good friend, Dan, actually just got his call, the first of his group of friends, and leaves in November for San Fernando, Ca. Spanish speaking. I think that helped Jeff's spirits. And in the end of September, his grandfather is taking him to Washington D.C. as a graduation present to see the sites.
Rob started out on a sad note, His uncle passed away after a long battle with congenital heart disease. It kind of puts a damper on your day. So this weekend we will unfortunately have a funeral to go to in Northern Utah. But his father, who is recovering from bone cancer surgery seems to be doing better and they think they got "clean margins" meaning they got all of the cancer - yeah!! Now he just needs to get through the long process of rehabilitation.
For me, school in session brings many emotions. It's a time of change of pace. Early consistent mornings, scheduled time, and usually more time to myself. Luckily this fall it means more time with my son. Now I just need to get back on a solids diet, and I can start riding my bike again and my days will be school complete.
I wish all of you a successful fall/school season - wow, the summer went fast!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What was I thinking?!?

Ok, Liz is a Junior this year. HOPEFULLY, she will be asked to Homecoming Dance which is on September 12th. I used to sew a lot. I guess I thought a 1952 Vintage Vogue would be not that big of a deal. 2 panic attacks later, one over how to add sleeves and one over cutting out expensive fabric, it's starting to go together. I think it's going to turn out. (It'll turn out, It'll be beautiful- voice inside my head) Both my mother and mother in law have helped me so far. It's a beautiful crepe with a shear fabric with dots on it over the crepe. I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wisdom Teeth in 2 Parts

Thursday, Lizzy got her wisdom teeth out on the recommendation of her dentist before it ruined her years of orthodontics. Last month, Jeff got his wisdom teeth out so he could go on his mission. It's amazing how different two kids' experiences can be.
Jeff got his dad's genes, no reaction to anesthesia, pain meds or down for more than 3 or 4 hours.
Lizzy unfortunately is related to me nausea, nausea, nausea, down for 2 days and looks like a chipmunk. I do have pictures, but I value my life too much to post them, sorry.
Luckily, we're all done with wisdom teeth. One follow-up appointment for Lizzy and it's over.
Rob still has all 4 of his and mine were removed the first week of college (yeah, smart).
Ahh, the milestones of life.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ballet Boot Camp Part II

All you need is friends... (and most of her new ones are from out of state)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Elephant update

Ok, my snail hasn't moved since I put it up and started my crusade to lose weight. Well, to tell you the truth, I haven't even been on the scale... But I have a good reason. I've been working really hard on my eating and drinking habits, but I've had some difficulty exercising.

It all really began July 26, Sunday morning. As many of you know we have a puppy, Bear. Well, people give Bella a bad time about being clumsy, I may not do it as often, but I can do it better. We have a slight hill, cement, between the patio, cement, and the driveway. Bear was being a puppy and wanted to play outside more and I wanted him to come back inside so we could all get ready for Church (some days I love 1 pm schedule). Needless to say, he pulled me off balance, not hard to do, and I landed on my right side of my face on the patio with some force. Bear immediately got the idea when I let go and Jeff raced to my side, why he waited to figure it out is beyond me, but he did. Jeff came and offered me a hand up off my face - not the best of positions to pause and gather ones whits in. I think I made him feel bad when I told him to get his dad because I was seeing stars and was nausiaus.

By the time my loving husband made it out, the two of them got me righted and we looked - no blood but lots of swelling and, well, it looked like one of my better attempts to knock myself out cold. So some 3 hours, 1 ER doctor, 1 CT scan and a Lortab later - the verdict was in... I have a very hard head. Surprise. I spent the next 4 days with a concussion that was serious enough that I couldn't drive Liz to dance (thank goodness for good sons). I didn't even bruise that much so that people realized I was loopier than usual. I did swell like crazy, and stayed swollen.

But I figured that would go away in a week or so. NO, I have to be more talented. Today I had to go to the Ear, Nose, Head and Throat doctor (there's a specialty for Edward, speaking of Twilight), because I can't lay flat, use any kind of earphones, sleep well or get my head (all of it but especially right earish - that's a new word - area) to stop hurting including with the pain medicine they gave me at the ER. So I know nothing is broken (CT Scan remember), they test my hearing (I have excellent hearing - yeah I know - I have teenagers - they're the ones with the poor hearing), but I have this large muscle that wraps around my ear and the side of my face that is inflamed and will take at least 1 good week but most likely 2 weeks to go down, if I am good.

Now let me define good: Sleep with my right side up still. Take my muscle relaxer at bedtime. Don't grind my teeth. No gum or that kind of intense chewing. And I'm on a soft food diet until I see him next in 4 weeks. To some, a tragedy, to me, a strange opportunity. OK, I'm going to put this out there and let's see how it works. If I can't eat things that require heavy chewing (Steak is definitely out unless I want to make a smoothie), maybe I can maneuver my eating habits in a healthy direction?

What's ironic about the whole soft food thing, is Lizzy gets her wisdom teeth out on Thursday so she'll be on only soft foods, too, but she'll be back on normal food sooner. And she was all worried about suffering alone.

Regardless, September 1, I'll step back on the scale even if I can't exercise because of dizziness and pain (mostly the dizziness - how embarrassing would it be to fall off your bike and hurt yourself when your in your front room on a trainer!?! ARGH!). Onward and downward!

Ballet Boot Camp Ends Friday, August 7 Part I

Ballet West/University of Utah Summer Intensive (Ballet Boot Camp) ended Friday, August 7 and pictures are starting to trickle in. Because of complexity of the story, editors have compiled a two part series: class and classical artistic photography, and the girls behind the story. Although our inside source who will remain unnamed to protect her (Lizzy) was unable to take many pictures of this first part of the series because, of course, she was dancing, we have some valuable insight into one class, Choreography, and one outstanding picture thanks to West Point Blog, by Ballet West of one of her teachers, Jane Wood.

Jane Wood, now of Oklahoma, was a long time Principal with Ballet West and was invited back to help teach during the summer intensive. She taught every day during the last part of the intensive for our source's class and was well loved. In the picture here, she is the teacher standing in the middle of the class watching a few girls dance. Lizzy happens to be just out of the frame of the picture dancing. She was very much enjoyed for her positive attitude and her constructive criticism of the class. She didn't seem to play favorites.

The following pictures are of the Corps practicing during the Choreography class. Lizzy was chosen to be one of two soloists in one of two casts, so was able to take these pictures during corps practice between her practices. The goal of a corps is to look the same. Jump, turn and move the same so that it looks like one continual piece. This is not an easy thing to do. Being in corps is not a demotion, just a different challenge. The first picture (if I can get it to work right) is a picture of the corps in formation taking instruction. The next is them dancing in that formation. The other two pictures are of the corps in sequestration. Those not together are partly because pictures had to be taken slowly without a flash.

The final pictures are a couple Lizzy took with her creative side even though she didn't have our good camera just to be creative. Enjoy! Look forward to Ballet Boot Camp Part II: The Participants.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cancer hits home

After watching many families deal with many different types of cancer, today my father-in-law went in for surgery for chordoma, a bone cancer that has developed in his coccyx and lower spine requiring removal of both his coccyx and a vertebrate of his spine today. Being a slow moving cancer, he won't go through radiation or chemotherepies. After a couple days in the hospital, and a month on his back, he will start to rehabilitate and build his muscles and all to support him in his walking and other regular movements. Although the cancer is likely to be all removed, the survival rate of people with chordoma is only 7 years because of the wear and tear and aging it does to the individual, according to the We've known about it for two weeks by a miracle that he went in to have a cyst removed that tipped the surgeon off to the cancer. Thank you to all that have supported our family so far through this disease.