Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cooper's 1st Soccer Practice

Today, Cooper officially joined Lakeside Soccer!  After 3 years of watching his older brother in countless games and practices, Cooper finally has his shot.  And what a shot it was!  1st practice out and he scored two goals in the ending scrimmage!  Even did his little "victory dance" for one.  It should be noted, though, that despite our dire prediction that at some point Coop will be the one to force Lakeside to institute a kinder red card for flagrant aggression, he somehow managed to keep his hands to himself, didn't tackle anyone to the ground and kept his cool for the entire 45 minute practice.  That is amazing!  HA!  Welcome to Lakeside, Cooper!  Mommy and Dad are so very proud of you!

Cooper's 1st Lakeside Practice

Monday, August 27, 2012

Neurology 2012

This month found us down once again at Seattle's PolyClinic in the neurology clinic.  A bit of acceleration for headaches had me calling down to check in, and we found it was time for a check in anyway.  Of course it would see us traveling down to Seattle on one of the hottest days of the year, with Seattle checking in well over 90 degrees that day.  I initially tried to change the appointment when we saw the forecast, knowing it was a rare day and perfect for doing anything but crawling down I-5.  Not to be, as the next available appointment was way out in to September and wouldn't help us get med paperwork for the school done in time to start the new school year.
Thomas has grown 4 inches in 2 years, which was the last time they measured him.  He has put on 18 pounds in 1.5 years, which sounds staggering.  However, on the growth charts, he went from the 50th percentiles just up to the 70-75th percentiles for both areas.  Hardly a chunky monkey and not even worthy of them commenting on until I asked what that looked like on a growth chart.  His main headache med is a known appetite stimulant, also used for failure to thrive kids.  We knew to initially watch for excessive eating, and don't seem to have that problem.  With that said, it's comforting to know that we don't have to worry about a too-skinny kid, either.
Earlier in the month I'd called Daniel, Dr. Plawner's assistant, after Thomas has a particularly rough day vomiting most of the afternoon.  I called him that night, telling him that I needed something else to help when the migraine went all the way as it had that day.  I told him the ibuprofen/tylenol/caffeine cocktail wasn't working and I couldn't get another round down him due to the vomiting. They brought on board Zofran, to be given at the first notice of nausea.  Thank goodness, as Thomas couldn't get relief from the pain as he just vomited his med cocktail up each time we tried.  What an awful spot to be in!  We also now have nasal spray Imitrex to use at our discretion, either in place of the cocktail or when the cocktail doesn't work.  I am not ready to give up the cocktail, as it seems that a lot of headaches respond to the mix, and I hate to think our first course of action is a heavy med like Imitrex.    I try not to think about the fact that my son has a prescription for this med as it is, much less something we might need to use multiple times a week.  My prayer each night is that someday his headaches will just go away.  I am very grateful for the doctors down in Seattle, for the meds we have.  I also pray that someday he won't need to suffer with these things.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

In Search of the Perfect Island Pool

We went sailing the islands in search of the perfect island pool.  This time around our itinerary included three island overnighters.  Our first stop was to be Orcas Island/Rosario Resort and Marina.  We left Bellingham filled with anticipation of great weather and great times out on the water.  The weather couldn't have been better, really.  Sunny skies and warm temperatures made me feel as if we'd won some sort of Pacific Northwest weather lotto.  The kids played down below, content to draw, read and play games with cousin, Jack, who joined us for this little adventure.  It was relaxing to stay up at the front of the boat and enjoy a pretty quiet time of peace and sunbathing.  A perfect combination after a hectic week at work and the chore of packing for four days away in a 37 foot sailboat.  Of course, candy never hurts, and Grandpa Bruce remarked that with the amount of candy and treats brought on board, we could eat candy for days without dipping in to the food stash.
Rosario was an amazing marina.  If you want a convenient swimming pool, I do believe Rosario will give any resort/marina a run for it's money.  Walk up the small dock and there you have the pool.  Right above the marina docks.  Tucked back against the cliffs, the Mansion is quite the commanding sight.  Don't let that fool you, though.  It may look grand, but the mood of this marina is very laid back and homey.  The attendants at the dock were helpful and friendly, and the dockside store and grill provided everything we could need.  There are different activities to do on Orcas.  We did check out the mansion, listed to some pipe organ music, and searched for ghosts on the haunted second floor.  However, our needs consisted of finding more candy, buying floaties for the pool, and the mandatory sailing vacation ice cream cones.  We tend to be pretty self sufficient with the supplies we bring.  We don't have grand plans of island culinary genius.  We do, however, grade on pool and ice cream.  I won't say Rosario won any big points for ice cream (the grill and store only sold soft serve), but they won big for a pool steps from the marina docks.
After a fabulous sleep, John headed up the road for a Orcas Island run, and I took the boys up to search out pool floaties that had been shopped in the store/spa the night before.  God forbid they not have a pool floatie at ages 5 and 8.  I just chalked it up to vacation whims and didn't fuss about it.  What we saved by staying in the boat instead of the Mansion rooms afforded quite a little monetary cushion for floaties and ice cream I suppose. Following an early morning swimming pool session, we once again loaded up and said goodbye to Rosario.  What a treat it was!
Lopez Island
Off we were to Lopez Island/Fisherman's Bay.  This was the pool the boys were looking forward to.  They hadn't quite believed us when we told them about Rosario and the pool setup they have.  They were determined to get to Lopez.  Lopez again delivered.  With its laid back vibe, and simple, unpretentious marina, Lopez was again a hit.  After having been there a few weeks ago, the kids quickly made their way up to the pool.  Not before hitting up the ice cream cooler, though.  They knew exactly where to go for the ice cream.  John headed out for an afternoon exploratory run out to the peninsula, and we quickly headed for an afternoon of pool time.  Later, after dragging the boys out of the water, grandpa took the boys out by dinghy and John and I walked in to meet them in town.  Guess what was our first stop?  Yep!  The ice cream store!  To be followed up by some browsing in the island bookstore.  Although my plan was to browse and possibly buy a book the read on the trip, I spent the entire time in the kiddie section helping the boys decide on what books they wanted to take back to the boat.  It warmed my heart to sit on the floor reading jacket covers.  How cool it was to have the boys find such enjoyment in looking over the selection, picking ones out, then returning when something more enticing caught their eye.  Again, as I did with the pool, I basically had to drag them out of there or they would have left with an armful of books.  I took one last look back, though, as we left.   However heartwarming it was, I could only look longingly back at the shelves of books I might have picked out.  Oh well!  There will be another time!  When we got back from our jaunt in to town, John took the boys out by dinghy to "Shipwreck Island".  Skeleton boats litter this little peninsula (the boys will forever call it Shipwreck Island, I believe) where they did a bit of exploring and built a fort using items they had collected.  After dinner, we headed up once again to the pool, but not before having a wonderful dinner prepared by Grandma Lil with John's prepared meatballs.  However, following the swim, Thomas was super hungry, and filled up on restaurant chicken strips and fries. Whereas John and Cooper could care less about restaurants, Thomas LOVEs to eat out.  Oh, and should you feel sorry for poor little Cooper being left out... once again Cooper had another ice cream from the freezer section of the lobby.
Roche Harbor
After an early morning swim and hot tub  (Lopez is leading on the pool crawl due to the inclusion of a steaming hot hot tub as well as a great pool), we headed out around lunch time for Roche Harbor.  The trip to Roche was not for the weak stomach.  The wild water and big, crashing waves truly tested the strength of my seasickness patch.  I had listened to the marine forecast with Bruce earlier, and knew we would be hitting some interesting water.  However, when I brought up to Bruce the "small craft advisory" that had been mentioned, I was unprepared when Bruce replied back, "This is it."  Simple enough, I guess.  No other choice really.  We just kept steady and plowed right through the "Small Craft Advisory".  It was supposed to be a quick one and a half hour trip.  I do believe it was the longest two hours plus I have been least out on the ocean. Four to five foot seas and twenty plus knot winds.  Crazy.  So when the marina finally came in to view, it was a big relief for all of us.  Later in the day we heard from two families with 22 foot sailboats that they went to leave the area for Victoria, only to turn back once they realized the waves crashing over their bow was too dangerous.  The deck folks that helped us dock asked us how it had been, then remarked that a lot of people were chattering about it, and it was talk of the marina.  Wasting no time, we quickly loaded our swim gear up and headed to the playground and pool.  While it was decent enough weather, the clouds and breeze kept things a bit on the cooler side.  The boys did not like the water temperature nor the depth (the whole pool is no more than 3.5 feet deep) and quickly tired of the pool.  Here we are at one of the most beautiful marinas in the country and the boys quickly tire of it.  So, what does one do when the pool is not enticing?  Dingy lessons?  More ice cream?  Bocce Ball in the courtyard?  Fish and Chip?  Spooky trek to the McMillin family mausoleum?  Fish and Chips and Burgers overlooking the marina?  Check all of the above.  What a fabulous day, although Roche may not make it on our next island pool crawl.  Roche is haughty, pretentious, the super model of marinas.  Super yachts with their fancy pants accessories and big screen plasmas.  Parties on the back of these super yachts, fancy clothes, dinghies that look like a mini boat instead of a dinghy, and money spilling out of everywhere. It gets tiring, really.  While the horns were sounding at the evening flag lowering ceremony, our guys blasted the fog horn and goose calling horn.  Just call us the rednecks out on the far deck!  It was a relief to call it a day.  In the morning, Bruce went to work teaching Thomas how to operate the dinghy.  Cooper got in the action, too.  Both boys refused to swim, even though the sun was hot.  I had the great fortune of sitting out in the sunshine, content to let the hot morning sun work its magic.  Before wrapping up Roche, we once again hit the ice cream stand and the grocery store (diet Coke and a fish net that Coop wanted).   It was no hardship motoring away. We bid goodbye to the lifestyles of the rich and famous and hit the waters for home.