Monday, June 29, 2015

Camp Visit

This weekend was a visiting weekend at camp, so we saw Alyssa. *grin* It was great hearing about her adventure so far, and seeing her wanting to be with Matthew and Jackson.  We have missed this girl, likely far more than she has missed us.

Biggest camp revelations so far--
*There isn't anything Alyssa doesn't like about camp.  She loves horseback riding, drama, camp craft, the library, her cabin, her cabin mates, the food, archery, BB, the counselors, the staff-- everything. 
*As expected, Alyssa had NO trouble adjusting to camp life. I did email the director after the first few days just to check, but the response was "She's doing great!". 
*She loaned her fan to a bunkmate. I must have asked her half a dozen times if she'd like me to send her another fan, but her response was always "no".  I don't think I could be happy in a cabin during the summer in Texas without A/C and without a fan, but she seems to have adjusted fine.
*We get random letters every few days.  I think my favorite was simply, "I have great new friends.  Their names are ...(list of names)."  That was the entire note.
*We called once and realized that next year before camp we should probably do a 'how to talk on the phone' training. The whole call was a litany of questions and answers, very little elaboration. Talking on the phone isn't a skill she's really worked on before.

It was great to see her and we are looking forward to giving her big squeezes when she comes home at the end of this week.

Happy Camper
I love this picture!

Matthew has missed these girls! 
He asks several times a day "Aly?" "Ella?" (our neighbor friend)
and then he'll respond to his own questions with "camp".

Alyssa wanted to show her bunk to Jackson and Jackson was excited to see it.

I have missed this girl!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Start of Summer

The start of this summer has been smoother than our previous summers.  I suspect there are a myriad of reasons-- 1.  I see summer vacation a bit differently since it is now a 'holiday' for me too!  2.  The kids are older and more self sufficient.  3.  One word- Camps.  Aly is still at sleep-away camp and Jackson went to Boy Scout day camp last week.  So far, so good.

A few random thoughts as we start out the summer break: 
*I can have a clean house OR happy kids, not both.  There is an inverse relationship  between the two and as soon as I embraced the mess, the kids were much happier.
*Matthew has reached potty independence the majority of the time.  Now, he does NOT want us to go with him into the stall in public bathrooms.  Every time I wait outside the stall, I wonder if I'm going to have to crawl on the floor under the door to open it.  So far, he's done well on his own and figured out how to unlock the door.  I usually cringe as I wait.
*We figured the boys would either fight like crazy or get along better without Alyssa around, or toggle between the 2 extremes.  So far, Jackson has stepped up and really been a stellar big brother since Alyssa (or little mommy) has been gone.  I'd say they have been getting along about 90% of the time, which is a huge improvement.
*I am about at my wits end with Matthew's vehement opinions.  He got in a tizzy this morning because I wouldn't park in the grass near daycare.  Silly me, I wanted to park in a parking spot!  Ugh! 

We took Darren out to lunch for Father's Day.

Darren and the boys went on a hike.  Jackson loved it.  Matthew did not.

With Alyssa gone, Matthew only wants to hold Jackson's hand (still not mine).

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Camp Drop Off

Sunday I dropped Alyssa at sleep-away camp for 3 weeks. 

As we drove the 2.5 hours, the excitement built (Only 2 more hours, only 1 more hour, only 30 more minutes, only 15 more minutes, only 10 more minutes, only 5 more minutes, we're here!) and she was grinning ear to ear by the time we arrived.  It took about 20 minutes to help Alyssa unpack and make her bed.  While other parents were still milling around, the conversation went like this: 

A:  "Mom?" (with raised eyebrow)
Me:  "Do you want me to leave now?"
A:  Nods head yes with a grin on her face.

I wasn't expecting teary good-byes, but I don't think I expected to be kicked to the curb quite so fast.  I had obviously forgotten that this was the little girl that relegated me to the other side of the street by the 3rd day of kindergarten.

I love this independent girl and can't wait to hear all about her adventure! 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Rare Chromosome Awareness Week 2015

I almost missed it this year!  This week marks the 2nd annual Chromosome Disorder Awareness Week, where we celebrate Matthew and others with rare chromosome disorders.

You can find more information about Matthew's rare chromosome disorder here and more information about rare chromosome disorders in general through the awesome non-profit Unique at  Unique helped us tremendously after Matthew's diagnosis.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

EOY 2015

It was a wild and crazy journey to the end of the 2014-2015 school year!

Jackson went from being a wolf cub to a wolf.

Alyssa bridged from Brownies to Junior Girl Scouts.

 We fit in some fun.

Musical chairs!

We hung out at Best Buy for way too long during a tornado warning.

Alyssa and Jackson could have stayed all day.  Matthew was done with Best Buy.

We celebrated the end of the school year...

...and our 2 year anniversary of moving to Austin.

Let summer begin!