Friday, July 25, 2014

Repost from FB...

This was a blog post I posted to FB from Hawai'i, as Blogger was running so slow...

Long couple of days over-filled with great stuff. Amie is still waking up at the utter crack of dawn, which makes things really complicated when you have one kid who is up and READY! at 3:30a, but the rest of everyone is not. As it was Shelley's birthday today, I grabbed Amie and we went for a walkabout.

Tonight's big event was the Paradise Cove Luau. Walking into it, I expected cheese. Not sure if it was going to be the good cheese where you can enjoy it, or the bad cheese where you feel tired because of it.

Boy was I wrong. Totally wrong.

The singing of traditional island songs from across the South Pacific was really impressive. The dancing from all the different styles was really impressive, more so because I'm so horrifically uncoordinated that it's light years outside of my comfort zone.

The star part of tonight was the performance of the Haka (the Maori warrior chant) and the Tongan Fire Knife Dance. I've OFTEN been accused of being too tech driven and not in the moment, so I just put down the phone and experienced both without attempting to record them. I'm glad I did.

Here's what I loved about both things....I live in America where we have so few rituals, so few customs... I yearn for them. I love to know about how other people eat, drink, worship, dress, talk...and all other parts of their custom. Hell... I struggle to be a vegetarian on days like this because I just want to eat the Japanese traditional breakfast, or the Hawaiian loco moco breakfast, both of which are meaty to the extreme...just to try them. The dances tonight were a celebration of a culture that is alive and amazing to those who come from it, and defines who they are in so many ways.

The other thing I wanted to mention is the use of the terms "Cousin", "Aunty", and "Uncle" here. Over and over, people are referred to as family....not in the blood relation sense, but in the Hawaiian 'Ohana sense that we're all related, we're all here to help each other, and things only get better when we slow down and help each other. Strangers are Cousins in that we ought to treat them with respect and love and patience. Elders are Aunties and Uncles in that they have stories and lessons to teach us, and that might just help us avoid a few catastrophic blunders in our own lives, or at the very least give us a little context to how they became who they are today.

Yesterday was the solo character meet and greet with our ‘Ohana. <Seriously, I’m going to import this idea into my classroom this year> Shelley and I both were thinking that the girls were not going to be into it very much because they have had so little exposure to Mickey and Minnie. Once again, boy were we wrong!

The girls both loved the crap out of it, and were so happy it went as long as it did. For 30 minutes the girls hung out in a private courtyard, with both characters pantomiming all their responses. The girls loved every minute of it, and kept coming back with hugs and hugs and hugs for them. Aulani provided a disc with all the pictures from the event, and I of course shot my share as well.

The girls are all sleeping, so I’m going to end this now. There’s a TON more I could write about, but I pick that up later.

This should have been a proper blog post with all of this, but FB was loading the pictures much faster than blogspot, so I loaded them here. 

Night All!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Is there anything she can't do?!?

Greetings All,

I wanted to wait a bit on this blog post for some news from Google, and now that I got it I can proceed.

By encouraging you to click on the ads, I violated their terms of service, and they turned off the ads and removed all the ad profits I had been accumulating from the month of June.  C’est la vie.  It wasn’t ever going to be a replacement income for Shelley…but it was nice.  Whatever.  J

Amie Update:
  • She had her final radiation treatment last week, and it sent swimmingly well, as it had all along.  She’s really a trooper.  At the end of the process of radiation at UMHS/Mott, the patient gets to ring this bell.  It’s the type of bell that ends rounds of a professional boxing fight and is really, really loud.  Here’s the video of it that we posted on FB last week.
  • Amie is also having side effects from the Irinotecan, which are these weird ghostly lower-GI stomach cramps.  I’d say they look like menstrual cramps that I’ve seen people reacting to…but that might be considered “too much!”, so I won’t….but I did.  <See what  I did there?>.
  • We are scheduled to go into Mott tomorrow for a blood draw and a meeting with Dr. Robertson and Marcia, and they’ll give us the timeline of where we go from here.
  • Also, as we’ve posted on FB, our Make-A-Wish trip is scheduled for July 16th – July 23rd.  The resort is on the SW corner of O’ahu, about a 30-minute drive from Honolulu International Airport.  They’ve scheduled us a 4-ish hour flight leaving Detroit Metro at 10am to Phoenix with a small layover (90-minutes) and then a 6-hour flight to O’ahu.  We’ll lose 6 hours on the flight, and get there around 5:30p local time.  I can’t wait to see what the girls look like after that time shift.  The first experience with jet-lag is never good.  J  More information later, as we’re meeting with our wonderful Make-A-Wish coordinator on Tuesday.

However, the big event on our horizon is the Mom-2-Mom eventon Sunday with the stars of Teen Mom and Teen Mom2.   The entire event is being organized by the people who own The Link Fund, and much of the proceeds are going to be donated to us.  Here are the hard details:
  • Doors open at 9:30am and the event goes to 4pm.
  • The event will be at Mt. Brighton.
  • There will be food and beverages sold at the event, by the Mt. Brighton location staff.  No idea on what or how much.
  • The Teen Mom/Teen Mom 2 couples are both going to be there signing for the entirety of the event.
  • The cost of admission is $4.
  • There will be a variety of vendors selling goods + Moms selling gently used goods of their own.
  • There will be copies of the Kailyn's book available for sale.
  • There will be a package for sale at the event for a signed postcard, a linkfund bracelet, and a picture with the stars that will be mailed to you after the event.  I believe that is $15.
  • I'm sure there's more.  Email me with questions.

For those of you who want to help out at the event, the coordinator is Ashley Haponek, and she’d love the help.  Contact me and I will coordinate.  She needs people to help organize people, take pictures, collect admissions, etc, etc.  Anyone want to hang out and help?

One last thing…  it was recommended to us that the GoFundMe website was a bit more well-known and trusted, so we switched over to that from fundrazr.  The fees to use them both are roughly the same. 

Lastly, a few pictures!

Shelley and I got a break on our anniversary that I talked about on the last post and I took this picture.  The peony gardens are a stone's throw (literally) from Mott, and amazingly gorgeous.  Take a walk through there (handicap accessible too, with metered parking nearby) next time you're near there.  Part of the Nichols Arboretum footprint.

Shelley's been on a crafty binge for a while, and I need to show her off.  She is too humble to do so herself.  Here are a few of her crafty bits...

We're leaving in 10 days.  Instead of just answering the question every time it's asked, she created a palm tree with a coconut on it for each day until we leave.  Each of the girls get to pull one down (alternating on evens/odds of course) each day.

I love these fingerless gloves.  Shel gave them to the Child Life person who worked with Amie every day of her radiation treatment.  I think they are beyond cool.

 Shelley is now making her own clothes.  She knit the top.  Is there anything she can't do?

Anya's classroom is the Narwhal classroom.  
Shelley made these for Anya's teachers as a gift to finish off the school-year.  So, so cool.

More news in the days to come..