Monday, September 8, 2014

The Question of the Day

The question is, "How is Amanda doing in high school?"

The answer, I'm proud and happy to say is, very well.  She has transitioned better than we expected.  She has made friends with both the students and the staff.  Her best friend from middle school transferred with her and is providing some consistency and the new activities are both stimulating and challenging her.

She is picking out her clothes the night before all by herself which proves she is more like her mother than me.  She is being a constant help at home now with laundry and the kitchen, both of which are a joy.  And finally but certainly not least, she is going to bed earlier than she did during the summer.

While all this is very positive I still have to say the best part is how each morning on the drive to school she and I rock it out.  She has a playlist of One Republic, Little Mix, DJ Snake, Paramour and just for a southern twist, Toby Keith.

We go to Starbucks and get her apple juice along with my Grande Pikes Place in a Venti cup and then we go onto school.  This allows us most of the playlist which she sings along with.  It puts us both in a great mood.

She is currently bragging about her perfect attendance of 10 days and looking forward to her first field trip.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Phone

We’ve all seen the internet post, “No Matter How Tough You Think You Are, If A Two Year Old Hands You Their Play Phone You Answer The Call.”
Amanda has loved phones her entire life.  A couple of years ago I broke down and bought her a real cellphone, an I-Phone 5 to be exact.  I put about a dozen contacts in it, me, my wife, my mother, brother, and a few of Amanda’s babysitter/friends.  Since then she has had a few of my salesmen give her their numbers.  Some amazing things have come out of this.

1.       Amanda can read well enough to know who she is calling
2.       Amanda can leave the best voice mail you’ve ever heard
3.       Amanda cannot spell anything and therefore her texts are simply annoying
4.       Amanda has never broken or lost her phone
5.       Amanda’s phone has to be recharged at the end of every day because she is a typical 16 year old girl

I think what is most enjoyable about her phone calls though is how much better she speaks on the phone than she does in person.  She has taken the time to think out what she wants to say and she projects and enunciates. 

Now, Facetime is a whole other story.  She holds the phone and iPad too close to her face and you only see her eye.  It really is just a waste of bandwidth.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I've missed the Bench

I’ve missed the bench
This past year has been different than the previous years and for that I am thankful.  We took our third trip to Disney World last September and it was a grand time if not a little more taxing than years past.  We took Tina’s family: sister, her husband and son, and both her parents.  Five people can get through Disney with minimal difficulty, which is what we did in 2012.  Eight people is more like a group of refugees.
Granted, we did see and do more than we had in the previous two visits, but at the same time we also decided that we don’t need to go again for a while.
After that I had several months on work related issues to deal with that left me in a non-communicative mood.  To put it bluntly, I was a grump with very little to say that anyone actually needed to hear.  But, at the same time, Amanda continued to grow up and simply become a sweeter and better person on a daily basis.
Then in December of last year there was the kitchen remodel.  The only thing I want to say about this other than the end product is great: CONTRACTORS LIE!
The spring was uneventful with one major exception, Amanda had a blood test that didn’t require me to restrain her.  She was as brave as she could be and we all survived.
At the end of May Amanda graduated from the 8th grade.  She walked across the stage by herself and shook the hand of her principle and hugged a vice principle.  She was the first person anyone clapped for and a lot of us cried.  Simply put, she is awesome.
In June we took a nine day trip to Boston and New England.  It was Amanda’s longest trip to date and she did great.  It was a nearly flawless trip with the exception that I forgot half her wheelchair.  But we rented one which actually worked better.  And as I told Tina, “If I didn’t screw things up, how would we ever learn?”
Over the course of the summer Amanda has been coming into work with me almost daily.  She helps the ladies in both accounting and sales and has grown because of it.  Her vocabulary and conversational skills have improved to the point where it is hard to believe where she was just three years ago.
In July we took a road trip to North Carolina.  This was 1,200 miles one way with our final destination being Carolina Beach.  We rented a condo for five days and while I worked with my area sales rep, Amanda attempted to remove all of the sand from the beach.  Both she and Tina love the beach and they are planning our next trip, all be it much closer.

Now we are at the end of summer.  Amanda starts high school next week.  We are approaching the last few laps of the school district saga of our lives.  I imagine this time will fly by because as I write this I realize I just recapped an entire year.