Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Miles At Age 11

To read about Miles at age 10, click here.

1. What is your favorite color? "Red."

2. What is your favorite toy? "Hmm... hmm... let's think. Um, my favorite toy... probably Nerf guns. If the computer doesn't count as a toy."

3. What is your favorite fruit? "Kiwi or mango. I can't decide."

4. What is your favorite tv show? "Either Captain Underpants, Teen Titans Go, or any cartoon that I like. Or Amazing World of Gumball."

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? "Hmm... let's think... umm... probably a toasted ham and cheese sandwich with lots and lots of mayo. Unless I can have hotdogs or hamburgers, then I would have that." 

6. What is your favorite outfit? "Probably my red Under Armour shirt with the Under Armour pants." 

7. What is your favorite game? "Either Monopoly or Bohnanza. Or Little Big Snake on the computer." 

8. What is your favorite snack? "Hmm... gummy worms if y'all let me have them."

9. What is your favorite animal? "Umm... black panther, peregrine falcon, or cheetah. Or cat - any type of cat."

10. What is your favorite song? "No clue! Can I skip? Hmm... Maybe You Can't Stop Me by Andy Mineo?" 

11. What is your favorite book? "Probably How to Eat Fried Worms."

12. Who is your best friend? "Umm... Emilio, Brian, Nathan, Dominic, Blessed, Rahim, Simian, and Lucas. And Jack."

13. What is your favorite breakfast? "Easy! French toast. French toast with sausage and orange juice."

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? "Probably pet stray cats, or be in a pool, or be in water, period."

15. What is your favorite drink? "Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper. Probably Mountain Dew. And Orange Fanta." 

16. What is your favorite holiday? "Christmas. Big time." 

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? "My body. My head. My pillow. My clothes. And my blanket. And my new tortilla blanket."

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for dessert? "Anything! Anything that's a dessert." 

19. What is your favorite dinner? "My favorite dinner would probably be, hmmm... brats, hot dogs, and hamburgers, or breakfast for dinner, like banana pancakes."

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? "Hmmm... a marshmallow. A marshmallow maker. Um, honestly, no clue. A video game tester or a food tester."

You are an incredible kid. So helpful, creative, and giving of your time and energy - and boy, do you have a lot of energy! I love watching you grow and learn. You are an amazing athlete, and so, so smart. Every day with you is an adventure. Happy birthday, Miles!

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Friday, August 28, 2020

Gisèle, age 13

We have a teenager. An amazing, intelligent, brilliant, beautiful teenager.

To see Gisèle at age 12, click here.

Since she is officially a teenager now, or in these "unprecedented times," a "quaranteenager," she'll be getting a new set of questions this year!

1. Describe yourself.  "Um... Quirky. Hm. That's all I got right now! Creative. Dramatic. And crazy. I feel that like pretty much sums me up."

2. What are you thankful for?  "Of course my family and my friends, and all the teachers who are dealing with all the weird stuff right now in schools. And God."

3. What makes you happy?  "Hmm... good weather. Good weather makes me happy. Reading makes me happy. Hanging out with my family all together. That make me happy. Watching movies. And baking, probably."

4. What makes you sad or angry?  "Unjustice, in my point of view. Death. I just don't like the topic of someone I love dying. Or me dying. And when someone I love is hurt and I can't do anything about it."

5. What do you want to be when you grow up?  "A director."

6. What's important to you?  "Hmm... following my dreams."

7. What do you love most about yourself?  "Hmm... {long pause} I'm trying to think about what I love most about myself; it's kinda hard! Umm... I guess that I'm ready to try new things, and that I'm creative and always see a different way than everyone else."

8. What do you love most about your mom?  "Mom, did you just put that in there?! Probably how brave you are, and that you can conquer anything. That's why when there's any question about a role model I usually choose you."

9. What do you love most about your dad?  "Dad is always so funny, and he's so weird at the same time. I don't know; he can always cheer you up, even when you're feeling terrible. He can just come in there and make a joke even when he didn't try to make a joke. And he's so passionate about everything."

10. If you could go anywhere, where would you want to go?  "Hmm... probably Ireland. I'm just going to stick with that answer. It just looks really cool. But after seeing The Amazing Race, South Africa looks really cool, too,"

11. Who do you admire, and why?  "Hmm... probably you, Mom. I don't know, just your strength when you went through treatment, and, I don't know. I admire you because you're brave, and I want to be more courageous, just like you."

12. What do you want to learn more about?  "Uh, I know this is probably a very typical answer for me, but theater, of course. Because that's my dream. I think it's really cool and interesting, and I love making things come alive that you wouldn't dream could come alive. I could probably ramble about theater all day."

13. What's something you'd like to do to help someone else?  "Hmm. Does it have to be one specific person, or can it be a group of people? Hmm. I want to make sure everyone can get a good education anywhere, and that people don't have to live in poverty."

14. What are you afraid of?  "Mmmm... uh, pain? Just, mentally or physically."

15. If you could only keep one thing, what would you keep?  "Goodness, this is so hard... ok, this is really hard. Mom, this is an unfair question! It shouldn't be this hard, should it?! Can I say Miles, or is he not considered a thing?"

16. What's your favorite memory?  "Ooh.. again, I have no idea! I really liked when we went to Universal. And also, one of my favorite memories is just a collective memory of Shrek. {The musical she was in.} Bits and pieces here and there of our costumes, my terrible bird skirt... Ooh! I finally have my favorite memory. When I had just walked on stage, they had just slapped a wig on my head, and it was the first song and I was supposed to walk across the stage, look back at baby Shrek, and walk off the stage. But when I looked back, my wig fell off in the middle of the stage and I had to leave it on stage in order for the show to go on. Mr. Rhoades, my director, ended up picking up the wig and tossing it backstage for me to put it back on my head. It was funny, but also embarassing because everyone was dancing around it and everything."

17. What are you proud of yourself for?  "Ooh... hmmm... for being kind to other people. I think I make a good friend. But then, that's completely up to my friends."

18. What are you looking forward to?  "Hmm... probably when I just stop doing school, and I can go out there and direct a movie or direct a production on Broadway and can be like,'Everyone, check me out - I'm a director now!'"

19. What do you dream about?  "Since we kinda already did a question about, 'What was my dream?' I'm going to go literally, like 'What was my dream about' and it was about people turning into hippos because of lollipops. That was the weirdest one I think I've ever had."

20. What else do you want to say?  "Ooh! Since you didn't ask a question about Miles, like what do I admire in Miles, it's that Miles is so energetic, and that's he's ready to pretty much do anything, and that he's really funny, too, and that he's crazy like me, and so it's nice to have someone to equal out my crazy."

Gisèle, I am forever blessed that God considered me worthy to be your Mom. Watching you grow and discover the world and all the possibilities it holds for you is one of the greatest joys of my life. I can't wait to see you conquer everything before you. Happy birthday, my sweet girl!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Well, It's Been a While

Not much going on here lately. Just a pandemic.

I was a bit shocked when I came here to write a post and saw that the last time I wrote anything was on Miles's 10th birthday. He's only 2 1/2 inches shorter than me at this point (probably less - it has been about a week since I last measured him), so it feels like it has been even longer.

Since that last post, we celebrated Halloween:

Thanksgiving in San Antonio with Nana and Papa:

And Christmas at home:

Before the pandemic hit, the kids were really enjoying school. Miles was doing great in 4th grade, and was a member of Run Club and the Choir. He also competed in UIL (Number Sense) and earned his Senior Green Belt (and Best Forms and Best Blocking) in Taekwondo.

Gisele was having a great year in 7th grade. She was the President of Student Council (the first time it had not been an 8th grader), a cheerleader, and was having a fantastic time in Production Theatre, playing Betty in The Crucible.

The pandemic hit right around Spring Break. Really, the kids just never went back to school afterward. We started online school on our own pretty quickly because they always do best with some sort of routine. The district came out with their own version of online school fairly soon after, and we switched over to that seamlessly. We set everything up in the dining room, with the kids each on a laptop while I worked on a puzzle.

A few days after this, the table was covered with papers/notebooks.
It was not this clean again for months. MONTHS.
They wore blue light glasses since they were on the laptops for hours each day.
When school ended at the beginning of June, Miles even agreed to finally let me give him a haircut at home after a few months of denying he needed one.

We've been very careful to stay socially-distanced whenever possible, and masked-up when we've needed to be out amongst everyone else.

MD Anderson has been great about masks/temperature-taking/sanitizer, etc., so I've felt perfectly safe going in for my appointments. We've been getting 99% of our groceries delivered from HEB, and Jamie wipes everything down with cleaner as he unloads the bags, and washes all the produce before putting it away. Miles returned to taekwondo after a few months of Zoom-only classes, and the studio has been wonderful. They spray the kids down as they enter, everyone wears masks, and they spray them again as they leave. The equipment is wiped down between sets, also, and they haven't been doing any sparring or partner work since opening back up.

Jamie has been able to work from home since the pandemic started, which has been absolutely wonderful. We set the desk and chair up in our bedroom, so he uses that as his office. He's back there all day, but comes out to eat lunch with us, refill his water, or grab a snack. And I can go chat with him when he has a minute to spare. He doesn't have to commute anymore, and I don't have to worry about him traveling across the city twice a day in traffic, which means I have less stress, also.

Overall, staying at home hasn't been too bad. I do miss going to the zoo whenever we want, taking laps around Target with a Starbucks in hand, and stopping into Blockhouse (my favorite local coffeehouse). And I miss having the option of dinner at Ninja, our yummy local sushi place, when we're tired of cooking every night. Our last night out as a family was actually right before news of "social distancing" hit, and was dinner at Ninja.

For now, we'll follow all of the CDC guidelines and continue to pray that this will pass sooner rather than later.

Stay safe and healthy!

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