Hahaha, it's 10pm here in California, and I SWORE I was going to get to the blog before now. Does your time ever get away from you like that? Argh. Oh well. Time for some focused typing!
Let's recap the week.
Monday I took Ali and Julian to Sea World, and can I just say that if you choose to sit in "the soak zone" at any of their live events... know that it isn't the "splash zone" it is the SOAK zone, and they use that word for a reason! It was a blistering hot day, and the dolphin encounter show was already filling up fast, so frankly the only good pocket of bench left we could find that wasn't in the rafters was in the soak zone. Ali was prepared for this in her bikini under her sun dress, so she disrobed and was prepared. I had a towel in our bag, so I busted that out for me and Julian as we were not in our bikinis. I had a bad feeling when I sat down and the concrete below my feet was still VERY wet from the last show. Did I mention it was hot? That concrete should have been hot and dry, unless of course we were in firing range from one of the pilot whales or dolphins. There are two BIG black pilot whales in the show that do some real damage to the soak zonees...
...and this time....
...we were among the casualties!
The pilot whale first went over to another spot, stuck its tail out of the water, and flicked gallons of water repeatedly at the same poor slobs... to which we laughed quite hard... then, he or she came our way, lined up DIRECTLY in front of us, and let us have it. My towel was no match for the deluge! It was as if the water was literally blasting through the towel like bullets. I was holding it out in front stretched tight like a taught curtain, and that puppy was pelted to where it just collapsed in a soaking heap onto me and Julian within the third (or fourth) tail flick.
However, it should be said that Ali and I haven't laughed so hard out loud ever, and Julian didn't even flinch. He thought it was fun. The water was nice and cold and was a welcome relief from the blazing sun... till we started to STINK! Lotta whale and dolphin poop and pee in that tank... that's all I can say.
Still, a good time was had by all.
Wednesday was Julian's official birthday, and Ali's last day of summer, so Ang and I both took off work and took the kids to the beach to celebrate. Cute cute cute watching Julian at the beach.
Thursday was Ali's first day of first grade! Ang, Julian, and I walked her to school, and that was just wonderful. What a right of passage. Again, cute cute cute with the new backpack and clothes... the whole bit.
Thursday night I had the honor of giving the keynote at my alma mater, Chapman University, for their freshmen orientation. 900 kids, only 3 days out from the nest (away from home)... absolutely TEEMING with raw potentiality and possibility. It was amazing to be around their exuberance and energy! IT was such a privilege to share Bella's story with them. Everything I learned about how to use music in the NICU with Bella I learned at Chapman, so I have a lot of gratitude for my education. It reminds me that you NEVER KNOW in what way you may use information or knowledge you learn today... tomorrow.
Friday we got ready for...
Julian's birthday party on Saturday morning!
What a fun day! We had a soccer themed party, since I wanted the brainwashing to begin early and often. Grandma hosted, and Grandpa made an AMAZING soccer ball/pitch cake that looked and tasted fabulous! Ang bought all sorts of soccer decorations, and when we realized we were going to have 8 kids at the party over 4 due to some late rsvps, it fell on me to figure out how to keep 'em busy. Ang had created an art station, but we needed something that would use up their physical energy.
So, I thought, how do I know what to do? Wait, let me consult Google, and let google do the thinking for me. Trouble was, all the activities were tired, been done for 50 years straight ideas that came up. So, I figured, this is a soccer themed party... we should probably play some sort of soccer! So, I through Ali in the minivan Friday night, and we essentially went out on a scavenger hunt. T-shirts? check. Spray paint? Check. Stencils? Check. materials to make goals and corner flags? check.
We hand made team jerseys for each kid, then set up a field at the nearby park and played 4 on 4 soccer with all the kids divided according to age. Only 2 meltdowns occurred. That's a number I can live with!
Julian tried a cupcake and frosting on his actual birthday, but when we dropped a full-on cake in front of him on Saturday, he didn't see the connection, and wasn't really that interested in dismantling it with his bare hands. No worries. All in all, it was an adorable afternoon.
Alright. My brain just ran out of gas. Probably because I played my first soccer match on a regulation field for a regulation time for the first time in probably 4 years. I've been playing pick-up, but we've been on youth fields. What a difference! I'm gonna be sore tomorrow.
P.S. If you didn't notice the widget on the right, I turn the big 4-0 this coming Friday. I'm lucky to reach 40, and thought, "Won't it be amazing when EB kids can reach 40?" With that thought in mind, would you consider making a small donation to celebrate the milestone with me? Any little bit would be appreciated. This is the only time I'm reaching out to this blog community on this fundraiser. I almost didn't do it at all, but I just didn't feel right keeping my birthday for myself. Grandma is gonna order pizza next weekend. That I'm okay indulging in, but I don't need anything. Really, I guess I'm just obsessed with fulfilling the promise that ten years from now, NO child has to die from THIS disease again. Wouldn't that be an amazing thing to have happen, and then say you were a part of? Pretty cool dream in my opinion. Thank you in advance for your birthday wishes and donation gifts. I really appreciate you!