Thursday, June 25, 2009

Long Unintentional Break

It seems like I haven't posted in a very long time. Doodle fainted during a soccer tournament over the Memorial Day weekend, which resulted in a round of doctor's visits to ensure that she has no cardiac, neurological, or other problems. This is the second time that she has fainted in the last year. She was cleared by these doctors, but now she's seeing an ENT because she has had four sinus infections in the last two months. Last week she missed the last two days of school, and her fever rose to 105 (she had an ear infection and likely a virus in addition to the sinus infection). Tootle and I were also sick last week, although we didn't get sick until after school was out for the summer.

In between the doctor visits, we went to a Nationals vs. Mets game, enjoyed our annual family reunion, and completed the soccer season. Doodle's team finished 3-2-3. After starting out with a string of ties and a loss, the team came on strong at the end of the season. Two of Tootle's teammates are leaving her team to join a travel team. They tried to convince Tootle to join them, but we're not quite ready for that yet. I did have a twinge of regret after Tootle played with great skill in Doodle's parents vs. kids game; there's no denying that she's an athlete. But I still don't think that a 2nd grader needs to have two practices a week and travel to games.

Here Tootle the athlete beheads the Elmo pinata at the family reunion. I hope we can stay healthy for awhile, and start to enjoy summer.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Prayer Requests

Two friends are in my thoughts and prayers this week:

  • J, a military doctor who left for a one-year tour of duty in Iraq yesterday. J is a neighbor and the dad of one of Doodle's best friends, S. Today is S's birthday and she was pretty disappointed that her dad had to leave before her big day. He was here for his son's graduation from high school last week. The son is spending a gap year teaching in China so they will be a global family over the next year.
  • B, the mom of Tootle's best friend, who has suffered from seizures due to temporal lobe epilepsy for several years (basically ever since we've known her; it appears to have started shortly after the birth of E, almost 7 years ago). After trying many medications and alternative therapies, and seeing her health continue to deteriorate, B is having the first of two brain surgeries next week, to be followed by a second one a week later. She'll be in a New York hospital for 2-3 weeks total, and there is a chance that she may experience personality or speech changes as a result of the surgery. B seems secure in the knowledge that she is making the right decision and has sent out a letter asking for prayers. I cried when I read the letter even though I already knew many of the details.

The more people who pray for these two wonderful people, the better.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Bookworm

Tootle is totally addicted to Daisy Meadows' Rainbow Fairies books. She would read them every waking moment if I let her. Her reading skills have exploded in the second half of the school year, and I credit an excellent teacher and the Rainbow Fairies for her success. Only six more days of school and then Tootle can veg out with a book all day if she desires.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Tootle turned seven yesterday. When she woke up, I wished her a happy birthday and asked how it felt to be 7. She replied that she wasn't 7 yet; she thought she would turn 7 during recess (maybe it bugs her that we know Doodle's actual date and time of birth; she was found with a note). After breakfast, Tootle opened presents. As I snapped a few pictures, I asked her to hold up 7 fingers; she held up 6 instead because she wasn't 7 yet.
By the time of Tootle's party last night, she was officially 7!!! Tootle invited 8 of her very best friends to an American Girl based mystery party. Reading from a script and acting out their roles, the girls had to solve the mystery of what happened to their trick or treat candy. They really got into dressing in period Halloween costumes and being characters from the 1940s (no TV or computers or cell phones--no way) and stuck with it until the mystery was solved more than an hour after we began. Tootle played Molly and liked the glasses that she wore just a tad too much. She doesn't want to take them off. I got the mystery game, which included invitations, for $4 from American Girl, a terrific bargain. The game was supposed to be for 8 and up, but overall the 6-7 year olds did a wonderful job of reading their lines. We had a "healthy" snack that was part of the play--we chose to serve frozen fruit cups from Molly's cookbook (quite good)--and after the play was over we had pizza, carrots/celery, fruit kabobs that the girls made, and ice cream cake. We didn't even have time for a craft, just 15 minutes or so of free play before the parents arrived.
Note: I tried hard to make everything as authentically 1940s as possible--even researching when various Hershey chocolates were first sold to make their trick or treat bags historically accurate--but I caved on the cake and let her have a Spongebob ice cream cake. You're only 7 once.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Curtain

Curtain of hair that is. When we arrived at Doodle's recent band concert about 40 minutes before show time, I was happy to see that she would be seated where I could capture her with my trusty zoom lens. I wasn't counting on the curtain of hair that would totally obscure her face.
Or the music stand that blocks the view of someone who is only 55 inches tall.
I did manage to get 1 or 2 decent shots.
I always leave Doodle's concerts amazed by how well an elementary school band/orchestra can perform when they are led by an unbelievably talent/Pied Piper type of instrumental music teacher. The band is 122 members strong, and the orchestra probably has at least 60; almost 75 percent of the kids in the school participate in instrumental music. I didn't hear a single wrong note (not that I'm an expert, but there truly was nothing cringe-worthy), and the music lingered in my brain for hours after the concert. Bravo, Doodle and friends.