Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Update on Vivian - 6/30

Vivian's ventilator (center). On the left is a machine that hooks up to a vest wrapped around Vivian's chest and shakes her for 15 minutes, eight times a day. "The Vest" (how's that for a creative brand name) supposedly knocks the gunk off the walls of Vivian's lungs and makes it easier to suction out. Robert compares it to the fat jiggling machines from the 50's

Although I did not have the quiet interlude by Vivian's bed that I was hoping for, today was a very good day for Vivian.

We had a scary episode this morning when Vivian's blood pressure numbers plummeted and a cadre of three nurses and Dr. Matson materialized out of nowhere and began scurrying around attending to Vivian while Robert and I sat agape in our tiny crowded corner of the room. Most likely Vivian's arterial line that gives a constant measure of her blood pressure became kinked or clotted and was thus providing false pressures because Vivian's blood pressure numbers returned to normal quickly when they adjusted and flushed the line. They will monitor Vivian's blood pressure closely just to be sure this was indeed the case. We also experienced multiple episodes today where Vivian started to wake up and thrash and pull at her myriad tubes and wires. Robert and I helped restrain Vivian while the nurse administered more of a Valium-type medicine to little avail (shades of last Friday). We finally were successful in quieting her down, and I think the ICU staff realized the necessity of keeping Vivian sedated until she is off the ventilator. On the bright side we were glad to see Vivian's spunk and determination peeking through her swollen little body. Robert and I are counting on that spirit of hers to help pull her through this.

Several causes for praise today! We had a very positive meeting with Dr. Matson this afternoon. He showed us Vivian's latest chest x-ray that, in his words, showed "material improvement." In the past twenty-four hours, Vivian's fluid input versus output was negative two-and-one-half liters. That is wonderful news and is very obviously having a positive effect on Vivian's lungs. Yesterday Vivian was showing signs of a yeast infection, a common side effect for someone taking antibiotics, but a very undesirable situation for a patient with pneumonia as the yeast can spread to the fluid in the lungs and cause a host of problems. Today, however, Vivian's lab results showed no trace of yeast. Hooray! Vivian's CPK numbers continued to drop, and her hemoglobin was improved if not yet optimal following yesterday's transfusion. All in all, a banner day for our sweet girl.

We are thankful for Vivian's progress and for God's provision for our family during this crisis. Dorothy (Dots) happily spent the day shopping at NorthPark with her grandmother. Will is working as a counselor in the Summer Splash day camp program at our church, and we are glad that in addition to keeping him busy during the day, his job wears him out and lets him sleep well at night.

Thank you again for your continued prayers for our family. Please know that I read and cherish each and every note, comment and email that you send, even if I am not able to respond individually. Robert and I thank God for the presence of each of you in our lives.

"Jesus said to him, 'Do not be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.'" Luke 8:50

Update on Vivian - 6/29

The atrium in the entrance to Medical City Children's Hospital

Robert and I met with Dr. Matson, the head doctor in the PICU, today. The three of us sat in his office while Dr. Matson went over Vivian's chest x-rays and lab work numbers in great detail and explained things very thoroughly. The meeting was very helpful, if a lot to take in at one time, and Dr. Matson has a wonderful bedside manner. I likely remember less than 10% of what he said, but essentially Dr. Matson told us that Vivian is "dangerously ill" but that he expects her to pull through this. Vivian's CPK numbers (related to the dead muscle cells in her blood) were vastly improved; they're now down to about 1600. I believe that means her kidneys are out of danger. All of the fluids they have given Vivian, however, to resuscitate her on Friday and to help her kidneys the next three days, are taking their toll on her lungs. Vivian has had roughly two liters more fluid (!) in input than output each day (hence her swelling beyond recognition). Her latest chest xray looked awful, much worse than when we arrived, because of all this extra fluid. They added another diuretic, however, and today was the first day Vivian's output exceeded her input. This is very good news. With all things optimal, the doctor hopes to work Vivian off the ventilator by the weekend. If any complications arise, obviously that could push that date into next week.

We also consulted with a geneticist today. The PICU physician told us that the cause of this event could possibly be metabolic rather than an infection (though her blood work also presents a good case for this being an infection). I thought that we had ruled out a genetic issue as the source of Vivian's developmental delays, but evidently the technology is much better now that it was 10+ years ago when we last looked down that road. This geneticist wants to test for a few things that might predispose Vivian to some factors that might have led to this episode (sorry for the poor explanation - I was lost by this point). The tests won't come back for 7-10 days, but the geneticist said given that we're going to be in the hospital for several weeks to a month, that should be fine. You might imagine that my heart fell into my stomach at that point. A month? Egad.

I would like to give a special thanks to someone I don't know named Lottie who left a comment on my blog. Lottie encouraged me to carry pictures of Vivian up to the hospital so that Vivian's doctors and nurses could see what Vivian looks like when she's not sick. I printed five pages of snapshot collages of Vivian at school and home, with her beloved cat Percy and baby doll Sarah, etc., and hung them on a wall across from her bed. Every person who came into Vivian's room today stopped and looked at the pictures and commented on what a precious girl Vivian is. The pictures were especially helpful when the geneticist met with us this afternoon, as she pored over each one.

Obviously I am WAY in over my head trying to process, much less relay, all of this information. I trust that we are in very good hands and that God has a plan for our sweet Vivian.

Thank you all for everything. We love and appreciate each one of you who cares enough to read these updates.

"Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16

Monday, June 28, 2010

Update on Vivian - 6/28

Some of the machines by Vivian's bed. The giant "caulk guns" on the right are medications that are administered into her IV over a predetermined period of time as the gray disk slowly compresses the large syringe

Vivian had a quiet day.

She had to have a blood transfusion this morning because she was anemic. Her magnesium and phosphorus levels were also low so they added those minerals to her IV. The amount of muscle protein in her blood continued to trend in the right direction; tonight the CPK number was down to about 2800 from over 10,000 Friday and around 5,000 yesterday. I found out that "normal" is around 80 - yikes. They have Vivian on Lasix to try to help her kidneys flush the toxins from her body, but the Lasix infusions were causing her blood pressure to drop. So they switched her to a continuous drip of a small dose of Lasix and she seems to be tolerating that much better. Vivian still has pneumonia and infection in both lungs, and though her lungs sound a little better, the chest x-rays don't show much improvement. The physical therapist visited today and worked with Vivian's feet and legs a bit. She also fitted her for little boots that will keep her feet from becoming dropped, a common side effect from lying in bed for extended periods. Nothing has grown yet in her blood cultures to indicate what made her sick.

Vivian's much-loved neurologist stopped by her room tonight. It was so nice not only to see a familiar doctor but to see someone who knows Vivian as she really is. We have been so pleased with Vivian's PICU doctors, but they only know her as a very sick, sedated girl, not as her sweet and funny little self. It was good to visit with Dr. Riela, and we especially enjoyed the time when he and the attending doctor were in the room discussing Vivian's situation with us. They are hopeful that Vivian's high fever did not cause any brain damage because she never lost consciousness. Their consensus seemed to be that no one thing led to the crisis on Friday, but rather several events likely collided to create the "perfect storm."

I cratered a bit this evening. I think the stress of the past week and the realization of how very sick Vivian is finally caught up with me. Vivian's face is very swollen from the IV fluids, and she doesn't look anything like herself, so that is very difficult too.

We still have a long way to go. Thank you for walking through this valley with us.

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.” Psalm 57:1

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Update on Vivian - 6/27

Not a lot to report today.

I went to Fort Worth for part of the day to attend TCU orientation with Will. The doctor and nurse in the PICU yesterday encouraged me to go, telling me that Vivian was in good hands and was sedated and unaware of whether I was there or not, while Will would appreciate my being with him (that's debatable given that he's an 18-year-old boy but a nice thought!). I relished the opportunity to rejoin the real world for a bit, and I enjoyed the time I was able to spend with Will. I was grateful that Robert stayed at the hospital today to watch over Vivian.

I was at the hospital for several hours this morning and again this evening, but I missed the doctor's daily "State of the Nation" address. From what I can tell, though, Vivian is holding steady. She is doing well flushing the damaged muscle cells out of her body. Her CPK (muscle enzyme) numbers had dropped from over 10,000 to around 5,000. I think they want them below 300, but at least we're heading in the right direction. Vivian was low on potassium and magnesium this morning and has been receiving infusions of those in her IV. She is also now receiving very small amounts of nourishment (something like a teaspoon an hour) through a feeding tube. The doctor wants to see how she handles that before increasing the amount. They have still not identified the bacteria that made Vivian sick, but she seems to be responding to the broad spectrum antibiotics they're giving her because her fever has not returned and the material they're suctioning from her lungs is clearer. Her arm that had the surgery seems to be healing well. They are going to begin some OT and PT with Vivian tomorrow. Still quite a long way to go, but Vivian seems to be taking baby steps in the right direction.

Thank you again for your prayers and words of encouragement. They are sustaining us.

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:2-3

Update on Vivian - 6/26


This is Eloise. I came home tonight to try to get a good night's sleep and instead I'm on the computer.

I wanted to post a quick update here. So many of you have been so supportive and encouraging about Vivian, and I truly appreciate every kind comment left here and every prayer uttered on her behalf.

As you might guess, my heart is breaking right now and I am exhausted, both mentally and physically. I need to go to bed so I am going to paste the contents of an email that I just sent to family and friends.

This has been such a crazy week. I apologize to those of you for whom this is the first you've heard about Vivian as well as to those for whom this is repeat information. This experience has been more than a bit overwhelming, and not being able to use my cell phone in the ICU has limited my ability to communicate, not to mention I can hardly keep a thought straight. Additional apologies to those in the medical field for any errors in my explanations.

A quick recap: On Tuesday, Vivian's 16th birthday, she fell during the night, likely in an off-balance episode following a seizure, and broke her upper left arm pretty badly. She had surgery Wednesday afternoon where it took seven screws and a plate to put her little arm back together again. The surgery went well and we came home Thursday. Friday around 5 a.m. Robert and I awoke to the sound of Vivian falling in her room. We rushed in and found her stumbling around and quite agitated. We were able to get her back to sleep, but when she awakened later in the morning, she was even more agitated and violent and required constant restraint to keep her from injuring herself. We gave her more pain medicine and several Tranxene (a medication similar to Valium that we use to relax her when she has cluster seizures), but we were unable to calm her down. At some point she spiked a fever and we decided to call an ambulance because I didn't see any way we were going to be able to calm her down enough to get her into the car and take her to the doctor (we even had two wonderful neighbors helping at this point). When we got to the hospital, Vivian's fever was over 107 and she was having trouble breathing. They very quickly sent Robert and me to the waiting room and put Vivian on a ventilator and wrapped her in some sort of cooling blanket. Soon afterward they transferred her to the Pediatric ICU. We hope to get some lab work back in the next day or two that shows what is making Vivian septic so that her doctors can target it with a specific antibiotic. Her spinal tap was clear so they have ruled out meningitis. She does have pneumonia in both lungs.

The doctor told us in her update today that she expects Vivian to be in the hospital no less than two weeks. Vivian is still on the ventilator and is resting peacefully. Their main concern right now is something called rhabdomyolysis. Vivian's high fever evidently caused muscle breakdown, and it is very stressful for the kidneys to filter all of the damaged muscle cells out of her body. They are giving Vivian lots of IV fluids to try to help her kidneys flush everything out and they are monitoring her kidney function very closely for signs of renal failure. Vivian's blood pressure was very low yesterday, but that seems to be better today. Her lungs are also showing improvement, though she still has pneumonia.

We are very pleased with the fabulous level of care that Vivian has received at the hospital. Her nurses and doctors are very loving and professional and patiently explain things to Robert and me.

We have a wonderful circle of family and friends who have been tending to us in the hospital and to Will and Dorothy at home. We would sincerely appreciate everyone's prayers for healing and comfort for Vivian and for a sense of peace for Robert and me.

Robert and I have been greatly buoyed by your many prayers and kind expressions of support. My sister Marian is trying to keep my Facebook status and blog ( updated. I will also try to email updates as I can. Please feel free to forward my emails to anyone who might be interested. We believe in the power of prayer and think the more prayers being sent up on Vivian's behalf the better.

Love, Eloise

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Morning - Vivian Update

This is from Marian again. I just spoke with Eloise. Vivian had a good night and is still stable. Her organs are all functioning as they should. She is still on the ventilator and sedated, as they want her to be. They have her on antiobiotics, but have not received any information from the spinal tap they did yesterday. Her temperature is normal, which is very good news. The doctors have told them they could be in there from 4 days to multiple weeks, depending on how Vivi responds. Eloise and Robert appreciate the messages of prayer, support and love. I will post again later.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Please pray for Vivian

This is a post from Eloise's sister Marian. Vivian was taken back to the hospital this morning with a fever of 107. She has been admitted into the ICU and is on a ventillator. They have brought her fever down to 100, and have done a spinal tap, put in a central IV line (to administer medicine & fluids) and an arterial line (to track her blood pressure and organ function). She has complete pneumonia in 1 of her lungs and some sort of infection. She is stable now and her organs are all functioning as they should. I will post more information as I know it, but please pray for sweet Vivian and Eloise and Robert.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Update on Vivian's surgery.

First of all, thank you for all of your prayers and kind words in regards to Vivian's broken arm. They were much needed and appreciated!

Vivian's surgery went very well, though it took longer than we expected (always a cause for anxiety when you're waiting to hear something). Vivian had a distal humerus fracture and it required seven screws and a plate to repair. Yikes! We stayed overnight in the hospital and came home around lunch today. She was able to sleep pretty quietly last night and has continued to rest fairly comfortably today. Vivian has an abnormally high pain tolerance, which is not always a good thing but comes in very handy in this particular situation.

On an equally happy note, Will returned from his mission trip to Jamaica last night and Dots flew home from camp this morning. I'm so glad to have them both home, though sorry that I wasn't able to make much of a celebration of their homecomings (I couldn't even make it to the airport to greet either of them).

Thank you again for your kindness and concern.

Arriving at the hospital

Being entertained by Daddyman's iPhone while we wait in a pre-op room

Heading down to the OR holding area

Vivian was reasonably pleasant until the anesthesiologist arrived. She didn't want any part of him or his IV! Then to add insult to injury, he took her "phone" away and handed it to Robert!

First glimpse of her in recovery

The surgeon gave us these xray pictures. This is Vivian's elbow after the surgery

Another xray view of her arm. I showed these to Vivian's teacher and she commented that it looked like we'd had the procedure done at Home Depot rather than at a hospital!

Resting comfortably back in our room

Our room was lovely! Reminded me of the W Hotel (top two are of our room, bottom left is the Family Waiting Area, bottom right is the view from our room)

Ready to go home!

Precious (and yummy!) cookie bouguet from my Aunt Judy and cousins Cathy and Nancy Baby. Notice that one flower says "Happy Birthday" and another reads "Get Well"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Not so sweet 16.

Poor Vivian.

Today is her 16th birthday, but it has been anything but sweet or happy.

Vivian evidently fell out of bed last night, likely during a seizure or in the aftermath of a seizure, and broke her upper left arm pretty badly. She is going to have surgery tomorrow to put it back together with screws and possibly a plate. Her surgery is scheduled for around 5:30 p.m.

Vivian has a splint on her arm for now and seems to be resting pretty comfortably. She's actually been a real trooper throughout the whole ordeal (except when they took her xrays - ouch!).

I would appreciate prayers for Vivian's comfort and healing. I'll keep you posted.

This was Vivian's arm this morning. I noticed after I woke her up that she was nursing her left arm a bit and that it was swollen. Can you tell how much bigger the top of her arm is than the lower part?

At the orthopedist's office just before the xrays. Vivian's arm was now beginning to show bruising in addition to the swelling

Having a splint put on. You can also seen where Vivian hit her nose and eye when she fell. Her bedside table was askew and her lamp broken and on the floor this morning - I can't believe that neither Robert nor I heard anything during the night :(

Leaving the orthopedic office. Vivian slept through much of the appointment, thankfully

***Update on surgery and real birthday post coming soon***

Monday, June 21, 2010

If you like tuna...

DSC_0908 might enjoy this pasta dish. Robert can't abide tuna so I only make this when he is working late or traveling!

Rome 2005. Robert is blissfully unaware that I'm about to order a dish with tuna! Note how empty the restaurant is. I made our reservation for 7:30, and when we arrived I was thinking that I was silly for reserving a table and likely foolish for choosing this restaurant. By the time we left, the place was packed, with a long line outside the door. Romans eat late!

Several years ago in Rome I ordered a delicious pasta dish at a funky restaurant called Il Boom in the equally funky Trastevere neighborhood. Shortly thereafter I saw this recipe in the comments section of a blog I was reading and thought it sounded similar to the pasta I'd so enjoyed at Il Boom. I have made it many times since. It is super fast and easy, and Vivian and I think it's wonderful!


Penne with Tuna and Olives

½ box penne pasta, cooked al dente and drained
1 can albacore tuna in oil, undrained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can sliced black olives, drained (you can use a small or large can - it just depends on how much you like olives)
large pinch of Italian seasoning
Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, grated

Sauté garlic and tuna for a minute or two. Stir in olives and Italian seasoning until heated through. Toss with penne pasta and top with freshly grated Parmesan.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Twenty-three years.

June 20, 1987

Today Robert and I celebrate our 23rd anniversary. Wow, where does the time go?!

I look at this picture now and think how shockingly blessed and wise that young and naive girl was to have married such a wonderful man. At that time she knew only that he was the nicest person she'd ever met and that she loved to spend time with him. She had NO idea that twenty-three years later he would still be the kindest, truest person she'd ever known, that he'd be a wonderful provider and the best father ever to their three children. It never occurred to her that the two of them might one day face challenges and that he would be her rock in the task of raising a child with special needs. The girl never paused to ponder that she had better be marrying someone heroically patient and disciplined because she could be quite moody and prone to indulging her own whims.

The girl didn't think consider any of this because her world had hitherto been pretty controlled and happy, and she had never thought very far past her sheltered little self. But fortunately, the girl's mother and God knew all of these things and more, and they made sure that she chose wisely.

And this girl is very grateful.

Adapted from a previous anniversary post from back when no one read this blog!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chocolate Frangelico Bundt Cake


I had this delicious cake at a recent party that my friend Susan and her husband threw for their daughter's graduation. I requested the recipe and made it this week to take to the bridge studio in honor of my bridge partner, Leslie's birthday. It was a huge hit! Vivian was not happy that I only had one small piece left for her, so I'm going to make it again for her birthday on Tuesday.

Chocolate Frangelico Bundt Cake
1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 box chocolate instant pudding
4 eggs
1 cup oil
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup water
¾ cup Frangelico liqueur

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour a Bundt pan.  Mix all ingredients and pour into prepared pan.  Bake for 50 minutes.  Let cool and then drizzle with cream cheese icing. Top with milk chocolate and white chocolate curls.

Cream Cheese Icing

2 tablespoons butter
3-oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon sour cream
3 tablespoons milk
⅓ cup powdered sugar, sifted

(You may need to add more milk to make the icing "drizzlable.")


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vivian takes Tucker for a walk.

With Dots at camp and Hockey Boy on a mission trip in Jamaica, it's a little quiet around here, i.e., not much to blog about.

This is a little video clip that I took of Vivian the to other day as we prepared to take Tucker on a walk. In it she makes a reference to "the gate speaks Spanish" which is what Dora the Explorer tells the kids on her show so that they can learn some Spanish words. Usually Vivian will say abre which is Spanish for open, but on this occasion she only said open please. I thought some of Vivian's fans out there might enjoy hearing her sweet voice.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A little drama.

***The antibiotic I took was Cipro, which is evidently commonly prescribed for bladder infections and is not one which many people are allergic to***

On the first night of our road trip that I detailed in yesterday's post, the girls and I stopped in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Right before bedtime, I took the first dose of a new antibiotic. Within 20 minutes my eyes began to itch and I started to cough. I got out of bed to wash my eyes, looked in the mirror and saw that my eyelids were quite swollen. I called Robert and told him that I was having an allergic reaction and was going to have to go to the Emergency Room. Vivian was sound asleep and Dots was in bed reading. I wasn't happy to leave the girls in the hotel room but knew that Vivian would be easier for Dots to manage while she slept in the hotel room than in an ER (plus it would have taken some time for me to get Vivian out of bed and into the car, not to mention out of the car again when we got to the hospital and I didn't have much time to spare).

I had seen a hospital across the highway from our hotel so I hopped in my car and hurried over there. When I pulled in the parking lot, however, I noticed a sign that said "No Emergency Services." I started to panic because by this point I was having trouble swallowing, my eyes were swelling further shut and my hands and feet were burning. I remembered that my car was equipped with OnStar so I pressed its emergency button. A very kind woman answered immediately and directed me turn by turn to the nearest hospital.

By the time I arrived at the hospital I could barely talk or see. I ran into the ER lobby clutching the bottle of antibiotics. As I handed someone my driver's license and insurance card, a nurse rushed me into a room and started me on an IV. While the nurse took my vitals, a doctor ordered some Benadryl and steroids for my IV. Somewhere in there I must have written down my husband's name and number because the doctor called Robert to update him on the situation. Robert in the meantime had talked to Dots at the hotel and ascertained that everything was okay there.

Within a couple of hours I was doing much better. Because of the Benadryl, though, the doctor did not want me to drive myself home, so he arranged for a police car to take me back to my hotel - my first time in the back of a police car! (I wish I had a picture of that!)

By the next morning I had almost completely recovered. The very nice hotel manager gave me a ride back to my car, and the girls and I continued on our journey, the rest of which was thankfully much less eventful. Suffice it to say, though, that I won't be taking that antibiotic ever again.

In the ER. I took this picture with my cell phone to send to Robert. He said he hardly recognized me! I told him I was glad to hear that because it was the ugliest picture I'd ever seen

Back at my hotel a few hours later. Still a little swollen but much improved

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Road trip.

For some crazy reason I decided to drive Dots to camp in North Carolina this year rather than fly. I made this decision never minding that my disdain for riding in a car long distances was outpaced only by my abhorrence for driving a car long distances and completely disregarding the fact that Vivian, with her aversion to new places, would be with me.

To my surprise and delight, the journey (aside from one unfortunate incident that I will detail tomorrow) was quite pleasant and passed quickly.

Vivian was an ANGEL. Despite frequent requests that began about 30 minutes outside Dallas to "take me home," Vivian was very content in the car and entertained herself with her *phone* (iPod Touch), her books and her crayons. Though she often fusses when we go to a restaurant, Vivian was so happy to get out of the car for a bit that she went along quite contentedly.
Dots, in anticipation of being technology-free for the next three weeks, was perfectly happy texting with her friends and watching episodes of Glee on her iPod (though she was quite distressed that the season finale would air after she was at camp!). I hooked my iPod to my car stereo and listened to the audiobook of The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton which really helped to pass the time enjoyably. Best of all, though, about two-thirds of the way to North Carolina, we stopped in Birmingham and picked up my good friend Anne-Murray and her girls, Lauren and Eloise (who is named for me and calls me "The Other Eloise"), and they rode with us to camp and back. It was an extraordinarily rare opportunity for Anne-Murray and me to talk and catch up, and the time spent in the car with her melted away in a stream of conversation and laughter.

I drove 2000 miles through seven states in four days, certainly a new record for me. In spite of the fact that I enjoyed the journey, though, I can't say I'm not excited that Dots is flying home at the end of camp!

Eloise, Dots and Vivian at dinner. Vivian wanted to wear her Rudolph pajamas to the restaurant; I pushed for clothes. We settled on pajamas over clothes {sigh}

Me with my sweet friend Anne-Murray (please excuse my "I've been driving for two days and I spent last night in an ER" look). Oops! Looks like Vivian is escaping in the background

Dots and Eloise eating breakfast at Anne-Murray's. The beautiful hydrangeas came from Anne-Murray's yard

Lauren and Vivian (with Vivian's doll Sarah and her Dora pillow, also faithful companions on our trip)

In the car ready to head for North Carolina!

We stopped in Athens, Georgia where Anne-Murray's son Graham is about to start at UGA Law School in the fall. Graham works at an old-fashioned soda fountain in a pharmacy and fixed us a delicious lunch of grilled cheese and milkshakes

I was amused (Anne-Murray was slightly horrified!) at the house where Graham is living with six other guys this summer. It sits between a liquor store and a body shop on a busy street and features several discarded sofas and other pieces of furniture in the front yard

It was raining when we arrived at Dots's camp so I didn't get many pictures. Here she is, though, in front of her cabin. I lived in the same cabin when I attended this camp 33 years ago

View from Dots's cabin

Looking back at camp from the road. Dots's cabin is the last on the left

One last view of camp. Have fun, Dots!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dancing Dots 2010

With the 'Bun Lady' backstage before the recital

Tap routine to Queen's
Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Dots is on the far left

Jazz number:
Rockstar. Dots is second from the right on the front row (I think!)

Dots backstage with her longtime friend Caroline before her ballet piece

Ballet routine to Copland's
Rodeo. Even though Dots (in the center on the first row) disliked this costume, the dance was beautiful

Final pose for
Rodeo (Dots is third from the left)

After the show with flowers from Dad

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Elementary reunion the week of graduation

Hockey Boy with friends at the Senior Picnic

Robert, his mom, Dots, my parents and me on our way to graduation

School bagpipers welcome everyone to the ceremony

Hockey Boy (in the group on the right, second from top) enters the arena!

The graduating class

Hockey Boy receives his diploma!

The graduate with his family after the ceremony

Graduation Week was indeed busy!

The elementary reunion that I co-chaired went really well. We had a great turnout of teachers and kids, and everyone seemed to enjoy visiting and catching up.

The graduation ceremony itself was very nice and moved pretty quickly considering there were 400+ graduates receiving diplomas.

Afterward Robert and I helped at the all-night party at a nearby country club. Hockey Boy might well have died of embarrassment had I pulled out my camera then so I don't have any pictures, but it was a lot of fun. Robert worked as a dealer at a blackjack table while I checked kids in and out of the party (we gave them a bracelet at check-in that we cut off when they left, and once they left they weren't allowed to return). In addition to a lot of fun games, music and activities, the all-night party featured the giveaway of some great prizes, the value and frequency of which increased as the night went on. The kids were all very excited and seemed to have a great time at the party. When Robert and I left around 2, I'd venture that more than 90% of the kids were still there.

After graduation we had Dots's dance recital, and then the girls and I left to drive to North Carolina to take Dots to camp. Pictures of those events coming soon! I'm looking forward to catching up on my blog reading and commenting too.