Monday, October 1, 2012

Where were we?

Oh yes, after twenty years in marketing research, my entire department was let go last month. Wow. That wasn't fun.

I've taken a blog hiatus to catch up on twenty years of house cleaning, laundry and home decorating. Fun, exhausting, eye opening. What world is this that there is no one in Costco at 10 am on a Tuesday morning? Where are all the people??

O brave new world!

Stay tuned, for this ex professional lady, life is getting interesting....

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Scoliosis update

We didn't have the best news at our check up last week. DD has been wearing the TLSO (Boston Brace) faithfully (24-7) as directed since February, but her thoracic curve continues to progress at a rate of 1 degree per month. The orthopedist has sent us back to the orthodist to see if we can adjust the brace, or potentially make a new TLSO brace, OR see if we need to use the dreaded Milwaukee brace to stop the thoracic curve. We have to stop it...the closer it gets to 40 the closer we get to spinal fusion surgery. 

We also have an appointment with the specialist at Children's to see what he recommends, and I am trying to move it up from the current end of August. Every month we continue to gain another degree in curve.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My little supa star

First chair violin II

Before each piece the children gave a short introduction.

No, this next video is not the Changing of the Guards. My arm was getting tired. This piece is Danza Africana which was William's favorite piece anyway. Try not to get sea sick watching it. Heck, you can't see William in it because he's blocked by a music stand, so just close your eyes and listen.

And then there were the advanced juniors. Kids who at age 9 and 10 had already been playing for 6 years.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dune Goon

By running up and down this enormous sand dune at Sleeping Bear Dunes park on the shores of lake Michigan, William officially became a Dune Goon. And for the next ten years we will be finding sand in his hair....

Saturday, June 30, 2012

6 days later summer camp!

Two fast posts in the same day...felt a bit like what we did once we returned home from Alaska....quick quick get the kids packed and ready for camp.

This year instead of foreign languages we decided to try an Art camp, so both children applied and we accepted to Interlochen Arts Camp in Interlochen, MI. It's roughly a 6 hour drive from here to there.

Of course I had no idea Michigan was in the Eastern time zone so that sort of screwed up my timing to get Catherine there for registration on Saturday. We made it. That's what counts.

So in the spirit of short and sweet, here goes Camp: a Photo Essay. Enjoy!

Since we were an hour late (curse you time zone change!!!) we were afraid we'd miss check in. But we made it.

Catherine got decked out in her camp uniform, complete with Intermediate Girls red knee highs

Those knee highs come in handy during the opening of camp event.  (c) ICA

The girls cabins have graffiti all over them dating back decades. (c) ICA

Catherine division is in the trees, across from enormous Green Lake

To the far right you can see the girl's waterfront, with dock and canoes etc. The girls are on one lake, the boys on the one across the road.

Here's William getting dropped off the next day to his cabin. Junior boys wear white socks and blue belts (junior girls wear blue sock or knee highs)

William's division water front, which was right outside his cabin door.

There are 11 boys in his cabin. Sorry for the blur.

Step outside William's cabin door and see this. Gorgeous!

Junior and Intermediate Boys all eat in their own cafeteria.

The boys have a pavilion with Foosball and ping pong (tennis and basketball not shown). William tried playing ping pong another little boy from China. William was, obviously, annihilated.

Lots of adorable practice cabins
Need to practice your piano? They have some for you to use.

Pipe organ practice? Anyone? Anyone?

Painting? Ceramics? Metalworking? Fiber? Bookmaking? Textile? Yes.

The performance venues are amazing.

The main camp itself is like a college campus. As well it should be. The fine arts boarding school that is here costs $50,000 per year.

The place is HUGE!  There are over 1,000 kids there each session.


Do you think they'd let me spend the summer here? I'd totally rock the uniform. I'd look hot in knee socks....

Alaska in photos

We sailed June 6th from Vancouver on the Island Princess. Here are a selection of photos from this trip.

Recap: We took this trip as a family along with John's mother and father. The weather was chilly (50's) and overcast for most of the trip, but then the sun would really come out and it would warm up into the high 60s and low 70s. This was our first cruise on Princess (we'd cruised Disney 7 years ago) and it really is a different cruise/ship and clientele. Primarily people on this cruise were retirement age thereabouts, which we knew ahead of time. The on board entertainment changed nightly and the dancing shows and music were very good. The service was also excellent, and everyone really had a good time. I think the only thing we would change is next time we will book a bigger cabin, or at least one that doesn't require two berths to come from the ceiling. You don't spend a lot of time in a cabin, but it made for tight (but comfortable) quarters. My major concern was sea sickness, but since this was an inside passage cruise, most of the trip was like cruising on a lake with no movement at all. I took Dramamine every day and that worked fine. After the cruise we disembarked in Whittier (Anchorage) and took an observation car to Mt. McKinley Princess Lodge for an overnight and bused the next day to Denali Princess Lodge, and our final day was in Fairbanks, where the sun doesn't set till midnight.

Getting ready to sail in Vancouver
Kids and daddy exploring the ship prior to departure
The indoor pool

Outdoor pool
Jumbotron TV outside for showing movies, but it was too cold really
The Provence dining room where we ate dinner nightly. There were two specialty dining rooms on the boat but we did not try those.

Ship main atrium

There was a card room and a library (which Catherine loved). A lot of retired people take the Alaska cruise, so this place was packed with people playing Bridge on "at sea" days.
The Horizon food court was the main food buffet on the ship and where we ate breakfast and lunch on a daily basis. The food was good.
By the open air pool there was a pizza place. The pizza wasn't very good. Kind of worse than your typical frozen pizza.
There was an ice cream and milk shake stand at the indoor pool, which the kids liked. And of course, old people love the some ice cream.

Another shot of the outdoor pool. We rarely saw anyone brave the water, though it was heated.
This is out 4 person cabin with two single beds and two beds that folded out of the ceiling. It made for a tight cabin.

Another shot of the two upper beds over the two lower beds. Kind of like being at camp
It was nice to have a balcony to go out and take pics

William got his inner groove on at the sail away party with the other grand moms.

The kids enjoyed chess on deck

And shuffleboard

And the hot tubs and the pool

There were three kids clubs on board. One for toddlers, one for elementary school age, and one for teens. There were 160 kids out of 2000 passengers, so not many participated in the kids activities. There was something running every hour all day long so if kids got bored, they could drop in for movies, Wii, PlayStation, crafts etc. William really liked the kids club.

On our trip (7 days on the boat visiting Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Glacier Bay, plus overnights in Denali, Mt. McKinley and Fairbanks) we got to see a lot of cool things like totem pole parks, dog sledding, the Mendenhall Glacier, lumberjack shows, mountains, moose and caribou.

In Fairbanks the extremely long days make for some enormous flowers. Check out the begonia and the peony.


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