Clouds

Daddy came across a story on Zach Sobiech. He was 17-years old at the time and had been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that mostly strikes children. While the prognosis was grim, daddy was moved by his seemingly peaceful outlook on his short future. He had chosen to spend the remaining bit of his life making a difference to his family and friends and trying to raise funds to fight the disease that was taking his life. The result was him creating a song that summed up his thoughts and feelings about his fate that went to #1 on iTunes and inspired many celebrities to “sing” his song as a tribute to him and to help awareness for his cause (video below) – Clouds. Zach passed away on May 20th, but his video and his cause continue to be viewed by many – what a great way to say goodbye.

And we’ll go up, up, up

But I’ll fly a little higher

We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer

 

Grandparents galore

Over the past week I have been blessing my grandparents with my presence. First, it was bowling with papa Kolias and daddy. I’m almost unstoppable with bumpers and a ramp to guide the ball, but daddy still got the best of us both and was crowned champion. Daddy says that this is his time – young enough to beat the aging papa Kolias and old enough to hold me off for many years to come. Just keep in mind daddy that my time will come and I will have no pity on you.

Then, I spent the whole day with Grannie on 5/24 because school was out and mommy and daddy had to work so she was the lucky one that got to run me around everywhere – and I mean everywhere. First, it was off to a great breakfast at Waffle House – my fav (#FavFlav). After getting fueled up, we went to the library to find knock-knock joke books. She didn’t realize how many books there would be on that subject, nor did my folks – I have been reading knock-knock jokes left and right. After that, we ran up to Pilot Point to go to this zoo where you can also eat dinner with bears. Unfortunately, it is closed during the week so we wasted a trip to Pilot Point for nothing. So pressed to keep me entertained and happy, Grannie took me to Chuck-E-Cheese and I have to say that I never get sick of that place. Yes, it may be germ-infested and full of ill-mannered kids that aren’t high on taking turns, but I get to spend lots of money for tickets to get prizes worth a fraction of the money spent on them.

And then this past weekend, we went out to nanny’s new place at Possum Kingdom. That is about a 3 hour car ride from here to there – fortunately, I had a lot of knock-knock books to help pass the time for mommy and daddy (thanks Grannie). One of the cool things about nanny’s place is that she has like 40 pet deer, or at least deer that hear the can rattle and come running up for a free meal. Nevertheless, I got to feed deer and it was cool. We fed them corn and at one point I tried to throw the corn out real far, but I ended up just hitting a deer in the head. I didn’t mean to, but I did giggle when I heard the thump of corn on his head – I hope that isn’t bad karma – he did continue to eat.

Anyway, it was a good time with the grandparents – next up is papa Dupree this weekend at the family reunion.

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What a trip…

…Friday was a day my whole Kindergarten class has been waiting for since we found out about it a month ago – field trip to the Dallas Zoo. We were all so stoked to get out of school for a day and spend it seeing all kinds of animals. For some of us, the day was even better because our parents got to come along as chaperons. I was super lucky because mommy and daddy both got to come along. The only downside was I had to keep listening to my dad say we were going to visit my mommy’s family – he thinks he’s so clever.

My parents were kind of nervous about chaperoning the trip. They weren’t sure how many kids they were going to get or whether the kids were going to be rowdy – the last thing they wanted was to be on the evening news because one of the kids they were watching jumped 12 fences and a moat to pet a lion or something. To their pleasant surprise, for the 18 students in my class, 11 parents volunteered to be chaperons. Even better, my parents were only responsible for 1 kid – me! So it turns out it was more like a take your parents to school and then the zoo kind of day for us which was awesome. Side note: I think it is important to say that having so many chaperons is a great display of how engaged the parents of my class are – kudos to them.

We got to ride a school bus to the zoo. I was so excited because I’d never been on a school bus before – it was kind of cool. I mean, I still expect my parents to drive me to school through college and all, but it wasn’t bad to “rough it” for a day. On the way there, I rode with mommy – keep reading to see whom I rode with on the way home.

When we got to the zoo, we were able to split up in our groups and do our own thing. It seems like everyone headed to the Giants of the Savanna to see the lions, elephants, etc. After eating our lunch and doing our own thing for a while, we ended up in the Chimpanzee Forest and ran into my buddy, Andrew – he wasn’t one of the chimpanzees – oh my, my humor is getting like daddy’s.

Andrew has always been nice to me – he tries to talk to me and play with me, but I’ve always kept to myself. The cool thing about kids my age is that they don’t tend to give up  on trying to talk to you so he is always talking to me. His mommy was his chaperon and they had Micah in his group so we starting sticking with them. I slowly started opening up to them and saying things. The more I spoke and played the more I realized nothing bad was happening so  I did it more. The result was me having a blast with Andrew and Micah. We were acting silly and laughing non-stop. There was one play area in the zoo where we could climb on stuff and jump over little “rivers” and this where I really started opening up. Once we started to play, it was like I had been waiting 8 months to play with some of the kids from school and now was the time to do it so I didn’t want it to end.

Of course, we eventually had to leave the zoo, but we had the bus ride back to be silly so we totally were. I sat next to Andrew and Micah on the way back and I think we did some things that I wasn’t suppose to do like talking real loud and being kind of rowdy, but I think everyone gave me a pass because they were just happy I was opening up.

I was having so much fun that even though I was allowed to leave school when we got back, I elected to stay for the extra hour since Andrew was staying. Hopefully, I continue to play with Andrew for the remainder of the year, but our parents exchanged numbers so we can hang out over the summer and catch up at the beach club – so pretentious. I can’t wait to get Andrew and Greyson together – I’m building my crew.

Note: It is worth saying that the changes/upgrades the Dallas Zoo has implemented have been well worth it from a guest experience perspective. The park is clean and very open which makes viewing more enjoyable. My parents and I were pleasantly surprised about the quality of the zoo and plan on going back soon to see the whle thing. 

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Perfect Storm

Tuesday was one of those days where excitement, achievement, and fulfillment all came together for one person – me! It all started off first thing in the morning when I got to school. For anyone who knows me, they know I tend to be rather selective with whom I communicate with. While I typically take a “that’s me so deal with it” attitude, I really do want to talk and communicate more than I do – I just get nervous sometimes and that usually wins out. But I’m determined to push through that so I set a goal with my folks that I would wave “hi” to my principal in the morning.

That may not sound like a big deal to a lot of people, but keep in mind for the 4 years I’ve been in some sort of daycare or school system, I’ve never waved or even acknowledged anyone on my way into the building so this would be a big deal if I actually follow through.     Today was the day that I stepped up and looked my nerves in the eye and said not today  – today I will be stronger than any shard of anxiety or fear – today I will take control – today I will reward this kind lady (principal) for her efforts in regularly trying to reach out to me for the past 8 months to no avail. Today, I waved!

While the principal, assistant principal, and daddy all played it off like it was no big deal I get the sense that as I walked down the hall to my class they were all high-fiving, talking about how amazing I was (I have anxiety, not low self-esteem) and how proud they are of me. Truthfully, I was proud of myself and you could tell it in my body language.

That was just the first great part of the day. In PE we played baseball and I was one of the few kids that was able to hit the ball when it was pitched to me opposed to setting it up on a tee. Now I started rounding the bases like I do at home, but we were only suppose to go one base per hit. Kind of embarrassing, but everyone got to see my slugging power and chicks dig the long ball.

The icing on this wonderful day of cake was Magic Mike. He sounds more like something mommy had to pay a cover charge for, but he was actually a magician our school brought in for an after school event. He could make eggs appear out of nowhere and bunnies change colors – all by magic. He was pretty funny too because he juggled a basketball, smelly shoe, and smelly pig – too funny – it had all of us kids rolling.

All in all it was a great day brought on by the perfect storm – magic, baseball, and waving.

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