Sunday, May 1, 2016

Brace Face and Metal Mouth come for a two year visit

So it would seem that April is the month of the Parrish kids getting braces.  Well, at least two of them.  Emma has needed them for about three years now, but still had a few baby teeth that wouldn't budge.  Reece on the other hand, lost all his baby teeth early, and was ready by the end of 5th grade.

Dad wanted to pose with Reece before he went in for the big appointment.  Pre-braces.  When Dr. Fishbein said, yep, Reece could get them right then and there, we decided, why wait?

Emma had her appointment to pull her last baby tooth that afternoon with Dr. Bonin our dentist.  The two of them always fight over who can sit in the front seat of the car. So, when I picked up Emma from school and she saw Reece was already in the front seat, she opened the door and said, " Out Reece!  I'm having a tooth pulled today."  He closed the door on her and rolled down the window and said, " I got braces this morning, so there!"  End of discussion, his misery trumped hers, so he got the front seat.

Emma got her braces the following week and if you wear your Fishbein " Fish" shirt every time you have an appointment you get extra points which can be cashed in at the end of treatment for gift cards or cash. Both of them were told about two years was how long the braces would be on.  That seems like a long road to go, when you have a sore mouth and now can't eat gum, popcorn or caramel apples.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

With every "First" comes a "Last"

When we started NB Cook Elementary we knew going in it was a magnet school for the arts.  The principal explained they had a drama teacher, Mrs. Odom, who actually worked with Julie Andrews on Mary Poppins.  Each year the children would be involved with two productions, a grade level production and a seasonal play.  

I knew these productions would be right up Emma's alley, but Reece was my shy, quiet lad.  Under the tutorage of Dr. Elliott the music teacher, who plays the piano and teaches the class the song they will sing in the play, and Mrs. Hayes the dance teacher, who guides the class to learn the dance they will perform, Reece over the years grew to enjoy the performances. 

Reece's first production was the seasonal fall production, where he was a vine and had to sing a song called, Swing Swing.
It's amazing to look back now 6 years later, and see the same faces standing next to Reece, only instead of pudgy, toddler faces, they are turning into young teen faces.  
The shy, little guy who barely opened his mouth to whisper out the lines and songs, has grown into a confident, young man, who even though he doesn't look forward to the productions, seems to have accepted that they exist and says his lines loudly and with spunk.
His last play at NB Cook was his 5th grade production in March, the Irish Heritage Play.
His class, Mrs. Coley's, represented the railway workers, and early 1800 towns people.  His last lines were, " the Transcontinental railroad connected east to west."  and his very last line ever spoken in a play at NB Cook was, " Work began in 1863."

Here is Reece with his best friends he made at Cook.  Six boys, Jake, Fin, Teddy, Tucker and Ira that call themselves " The Hex." Because, there were six of them.  All these little Irish lads will be parting ways at the end of this year, after being together since Kinder.  Seems that when the firsts happen, you are never quite ready for the lasts to happen.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Trampolines are as dangerous as everyone says

 It all started so innocently enough.  A backyard game of Badminton that Emma got for her birthday the day before.  We had driven up to Virginia to do a two week physical therapy session for Emma's Scoliosis to try and prevent her from having spinal fusion surgery.  Staying with Grandma was a good choice since she has a big backyard with a trampoline, a basement full of scary old puppets and a park with a creek right down the road.  Muffet could come with us, and everyone had their own bed.  June 9th, 2015, a fun game of Badminton after dinner, turned to silliness on the trampoline.  And about 20 minutes after this picture was taken, Adeline broke her right arm above the elbow.
 We spent most of the night in urgent care in McLean, only to be told, they couldn't fix this kind of break on a child and that we needed to go to Inova hospital of Fairfax.  After hours of waiting, and X-rays, and waiting in beds and getting medicine, they finally came in to torture Adeline and set her break.  It was a woman named Kat, who actually was doing it, because I told Adeline oh her name is Kat and I bet she'll be so nice and gentle with you.  These were all lies and pipe dreams, it hurt!  The screams are probably still echoing off the hallways of the pediatric ER to this day.
 The days that followed, involved laying in bed with her arm propped up, lots of pain medication and a healthy dose of her cousins and Washington D.C.  Aunt Cathy would drop by with candy and a giant butterfly balloon to cheer up her littlest niece.  The break was clean through the upper humerus bone right above the elbow.  Changing clothes became a challenge and we decided anything that could be pulled up from your feet, instead of over your head, was what we were wearing for the rest of the summer.
 When we got home a week later and went to get our hard cast from Nemours children's hospital.  The sweet lady up there told Adeline that the latest trend all the little girls were going with was the Frozen Elsa cast.  Light blue with sparkle glitter all over the outside.  There was a giant whiteboard in the cast room broken up into boxes.  Each box had the heading of a common way to break your arm or leg, ex: bike, monkey bars, pets.  Adeline was able to add her dash mark for the month of June to the Trampoline box.
The rest of the summer was spent finding creative ways to still go to the beach and pool, without getting out cast wet. We cooked pierogis with mom, while the other kids were in the pool.  But, when our good friend from Louisiana came for a weekend, we used a plastic dish glove to cover the cast and just be an 8 year old kid playing with her oldest friend.

Lets hope this will be the only blog post that involves a broken bone until I stop blogging.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Spirit in the Stands...Everybody clap your hands

 Emma's last year in St. Paul's, she joined the cheerleaders again.  She wasn't jazzed about it in Sixth grade and it was more a forced torture event, than something fun.  But, not this year.  Her good friend Emmy Chambers was the mascot, the St. Paul Spartan.
 This was the first year Emma has really enjoyed looking pretty, having long hair and getting gussied up like a teenager.  She got herself ready long before the games started.
 Most games were at 9am, played at Catholic High School.  The girls would perform during the game and then at half time during the big Spirit Weekend, they did a dance that was a choreographed.

Emma hated when she would have to come into the stands to cheer in front of the parents.   Their song went " Spirit in the stands, everybody clap your hands....and you were supposed to stand up.  But, not a lot of parents ever did.  I think I always embarrassed her.
 Emmy, Fiona, Jenna, Alyssa and Emma
 There were only 8 games and the season flew by so quickly.  All those blazing, hot days scorching in the stands, were gone before we knew it.  They had a Homecoming type game the last Saturday night in October and then everyone went to Sonny's Barbecue to celebrate the season.  Rick Simpson made a video of their season, both cheerleaders and football players.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

You are only a little girl once

When the invitation for an American Girl Doll Fashion Show arrived in our mail in September, I thought " how did I end up on this mailing list?" Then, I realized, I have a little girl and they want my money.  Even though it was in Gulfport, MS, I figured it would be a great opportunity for Abigail and Adeline to get together.  Angela was all for it, even though Issac would only be 3 weeks old.  I also called Adeline's little friend Molly O'Sullivan, who loves American Girl Dolls as much as Adeline.
So October 11, 2014 I set out for the 2.5 hour drive through 3 states to see some doll clothes.

When we arrived they had tables set up to buy clothes, enter raffles, have your picture taken and also have your dolls hair done.

Adeline and Abigail(7 yrs old) both picked the flip ponytail to have the lady do to the doll's hair.  Anna-Kate came along also, and Adeline brought her blond doll along for Anna-Kate to hold.

Fancy hair, fancy clothes, ready to head into the fashion show

Didn't realize we would be sitting at separate tables from Angela and Abigail.  We were in a corner near the front, while Angela was right near the catwalk.  There was a beautifully wrapped pink box for each person.  The decorations were beautiful with pink starts hanging from the ceiling and little pink cupcakes in the middle of the table.

Getting ready for the show to start
We dug into the pretty boxes and discovered our lunch.  Tiny cucumber sandwiches, a scone, cookies and other adorable foods.
Even the chairs were fancy
After the first half of the show, there was a brief intermission.  I took Abigail and Adeline up to t he catwalk to snap a few pictures, while there the director of the program, asked if our girls wanted to help with passing out the door prizes.  So, Molly, Abigail and Adeline all got to choose a number and then walk it to testable of the winning girl.
After the show was over we went up on stage and stood in front of the pretty star
The girls glammed it up and looked fierce

Adeline was bored most of the show as, it was girls carrying dolls dressed in outfits for 2 hours.  But, had fun with her best friend and as a treat for helping with the door prizes, the girls were allowed 5 minutes to walk the catwalk with their dolls for the audience.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Where ever the wind takes us

We left our house Friday afternoon on the 2pm Southwest flight to Houston. Upon landing we tried to stay on the plane as it was heading to Los Angeles, and it would give us a chance to at least be on the west coast.  Apparently the flight was oversold,  so they kicked us off.  We tried to jump on a flight to Seattle, yea that didn't happen either.  Our last flight that we did get seats for was the San Diego flight, but literally just as we were to jump on the flight, we decided that San Diego was too far south, so we didnt jump on.  We spent the night at a Doubletree hotel right near the airport.  They had a great pool and we ordered steak sandwiches. Rick and I sat there and tried to decide our next plan of action.  He wanted us to jump on a flight to Hawaii, but I didnt want us to get stuck.  So, we were looking at an early flight to Los Angeles or another one to Albuquerque.  I chose L.A.  We landed early by 9am and immeadiately rented a car and drove to Venice Beach.  We hit the marine cloud layer and walked out on the pier.  Below us floating in the Pacific, were tons of surfers waiting to catch a wave. 
We walked down to muscle beach and played on some of the equipment outside.  Emma and Reece climbed the ropes in the sand.  They were playing loud music from the muscle beach gym and there were lots of guys playing basketball.  Lots of t-shirt stores and souveniers stands lined the walkway.  The beach front homes were incredible.  All were without front lawns, just a wall that ended up atteh sidewalk.  Dogs were everywhere.  And bikes.  Seemed like a very carefree lifestyle.
The kids wanted to see some of the iconic parts of Hollywood, so we headed to the Hollywood sign and to get lunch, since we walked so much around Venice Beach.  Weird occurrence with Venice Beach, the day after we left, they had a freak lightning storm blow up and killed 2 people on the beach and hurt like 7 others.  Upon returning to the rental car, we also realized we had parked in a paid parking area and received a nice, fat ticket for $64.  Ouch
Drove inland to find the Hollywood sign and drove right past a Hollywood institution, Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles restaurant.  There was a short wait, and the place was packed and the food came out quickly.  Reece just wanted a waffle, Emma and I got s combo plate, with 2 thighs, mac&cheese, collards and cornbread.
The kids all agreed we wanted to find Walt Disney's star on the walk of fame.  It was somewhere on the 6700 block of Hollywood Blvd. Rick parked and the kids and I started walking.  It was now pretty hot, where the shore had been cloudy and cool.  We immeadiately ran upon some pretty famous stars, like Johnny Depp, Marilyn Monroe and Tom Cruise.  That's where all the tourist traps were also, like the Madame Toussads wax museum and Ripley's Believe it or not.  We found Walt's star and then walked down to the Chinese Theater where all the hand and footprints are.  Didnt realize that the Twilight stars and Harry Potter stars all have footprints there. 
Decided that was enough so we started heading north.  It was very deserty, with not much to look at. Drove for about 2 hours and turned west again towards San Simeion.  The captain on the flight from Houston had told Rick, we couldn't miss the Hearst Castle on the coast there.  When we finally arrived, the last tour had just left, and we didn't realize you had to take a tour bus to the actual castle.  Also, it was pretty pricey. Night was fast approaching, we still had no where to sleep and thought we could make it to Monterey.  We soon found out, yea, not so much, Monterey was still going to be 3-6 hours up the coast along VERY windy roads and depending on traffic and clouds, could be even longer.  That's where we got trapped, by the local hotels and their high prices.  There was literally no where else to stay and we were forced to shell out over $250 for a room, but at least it had breakfast and was on the same side as the ocean.  It was called the SeaBreeze Inn and was cute.  The windows were all open to the cool breeze from the water.  We took a walk down by the ocean, along the rocky dunes.  The kids were exhausted from having been up since 4am, and Reece was quickly turning into a weepy mess.  None, of us had eaten very much, so we headed to one of only 2 restaurants in the small town, a Mexican one.   Got a quick meal and margarita, Reece was being impossible.  I downloaded a few movies from Amazon for the kids to watch the following day, and we all turned in for the night.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Spring Break Part 1

Since Emma has Spring Break during Easter and the little kids have spring break earlier.  We decided to do a little vacation for each break.  We drove to Tampa and Orlando for a few days and did Busch Gardens and the pool.
 In Sesame Street Town Adeline only felt comfortable on the little rides.  I had to force her onto this hippo ride.  She was too scared to go up the little hill.  Here she is nervous, as the hippo rounds the corner heading towards the " giant hill."  Thank God, it wasn't very crowded, because they only had 1 hippo going at a time.
 Oh, no Adeline here comes the hill!!!!!  And she was fine and even wanted to go again.
 Reece and Emma felt like being silly and climbed onto some non-moving animals in the little kids merry-go-round.  Here is Reece on a water buffalo.
 Busch Gardens tries to steal some of the Disney magic by transforming their plants into animal forms.  However, even though it was cool, we still love Epcot's gardens better.
Somehow we actually talked Reece and Emma onto the Sidewinder roller coaster.  It was like the old mouse trap type coasters that zig zag back and forth making it appear as if you are going to fall off the side.  I guess it was a little scarier than we thought.  When they hit the first hill, this was the picture of Reece trying to escape his fate and Emma screaming in terror.  We didn't buy the picture, but we should've.  The bottom picture is Rick at the Dublin Irish restaurant in Downtown Disney trying out a flight of Irish Beers.