Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Three quarters of the way through Davan's gymnastics class, I was prepared to come home and write a triumphant blog entry: First Class Successful! Who-Hoo!

Every time Davan came over, she was smiling and happy. She really liked D, her coach. Things were going well.

Then came break - after nearly three hours. Davan didn't eat much. She was invited to go sit with the other girls, but came back after a bit. "I didn't like the conversation."

"What were they talking about?" I wanted to know.

"Just talking. About this and that. I just didn't like the conversations."

Okay. Whatever.

The last hour of class was taught by a different coach, S. S looked and sounded good to me. She said stuff like, "That's the idea! Try working on this." She seemed to have a pleasant demeanor.

At the end of class, I asked Davan how it went. "Pretty well. I liked D, but I didn't like S."

"Why not?"

"I just didn't."

Okay, then. I guess she's pickier than I thought. She also didn't like "the girl in the white leo." I'm glad to see she's making friends. I'd given her the assignment of figuring out one girl's name by the end of class. She's not good with learning names at all. She'd forgotten to pay attention.

Davan didn't want to finish her dinner after practice, which was shocking. She hasn't eaten that much today and she usually is seriously jonesing for a snack after gymnastics. So, I'm sure she's not feeling great.

So, even though it was successful, there was a damper on the evening because there was grousing at the end. Of course, D will be her regular coach and, for Davan, liking the adult in charge is much more important than making friends with her age mates, so it'll all be fine. And, mostly, I got my wish. Her first class is under her belt, she felt pretty good about it and she liked her coach.

I know my sense of dissatisfaction stems in good part from me not feeling top notch and that her complaints probably have more to do with not feeling well herself than anything else, so I'll try not to put too much stock in it all and try to focus on the good myself.

Warning! Grousing Ahead!

I've been feeling just a little under the weather the last several days. It started Saturday evening with a coughing fit when I laid down to sleep. After that, I've just been kind of tired and a bit stuffy, with some tightness in the chest. So, really, it's nothing too serious, but it makes everything seem harder, ya know? I am quite grateful that it's not more. But.

When Davan and I got home from Do Jump yesterday, we got into a fight. It was stupid, but there was yelling and tears. She had told me that she felt funny yesterday. "Not sick, really, but just....tired." I'm sure that both of us being under the weather contributed to the fight.

This morning seemed better, but then we went to open gym. Now, I had doubts about going, as I'm feeling iffy and I wasn't sure how Davan was going to be feeling today and it's a decent drive to get there. But, Davan said she was okay (even though she was sniffing at breakfast) and I don't plan on going next week, so we went.

It wasn't fun. Davan is stressing about skills she doesn't have. She spent quite a while obsessing about her kip, which she wasn't able to do today. She worked up to it for something like 10 minutes before she finally even tried it, though, all the while sending me wounded looks for help. There wasn't even anything to help her with! She was mostly just standing on the mat! It was very frustrating.

On the car ride home, Davan said her tummy was hurting, but that she thought it was just that she was car sick from trying to read on semi-winding roads. But, when we got home, she spent some time in the bathroom. Lower intestinal issues, if you know what I mean. Nice.

She says she still wants to go to gymnastics tonight for her first night in the group she's supposedly going to fit into. I hesitate to not have her go, as there have been some situations with the new gym that makes it look like Davan has confidence issues (well, maybe she does at that). I also hate for her to go her first night feeling punky and not have a good night because of it. Will that taint the new class for her?

And then I think, why are we doing this at all? It's horribly expensive and Davan gets so stressed out about it quite often. Of course, with some stability, she might not get so stressed out. And that's what I'm hoping for. But still. I half want to just call up the gym and say, "Never mind," then chill out for a while and see what new interests might develop. Would that be so bad?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Unschooling at Work

Davan tends to do things in spurts. Well, at least in the post 6 year old years or so. Before that, it was different. Unending years of Fisher Price Little People and then years of Barbie....whew, I'm glad those years are behind us. There isn't much wrong with the Little People, except that playing with them for years will put anyone off. Lining them up, freaking out when the line gets knocked over, each Little Person taking a turn on a swing or getting their hair cut or whatever, "Mommy! Talk her!" over and over...they were long, long years. She was not the sort to go off and play on her own, either.

Back to the spurts, though. The first time I really noticed this spurting business was after a trip to OMSI when she was about 6 or 7. The main exhibit at the time was about the science of animation. We both enjoyed the exhibit, doing stop action movies of ourselves on a stage and other things in a smaller format. Davan loved, loved, loved the taking of pictures of her small dog and then watching it move when she played it back.

When we got home, I set her up with the family camera on a tripod aimed at a dresser top and she went to work. For days I hardly saw her. As much as I love the child, that was pretty awesome. She made a 12 minute movie by moving her rabbit family a tiny bit, taking a picture, then repeating. We had some trouble with making a movie out of the pictures with the software we had on hand, but we were eventually successful, although the attempt to add voices didn't go so well.

Here is just one shot out of the thousands of her first and longest movie. You would not believe how many pictures it took to get the rabbits to the front door....

Then, she just gave it up. No more movies were made after a few months. She was done. Just when I was exploring the possibility of buying a mac to publish the movies with. And that seems to be par for the course with the spurts.

Some past interests, obsessions really, for short times, were the moon, stars, princesses (not just Disney, but real ones), China, cats, rats, gymnastics (although this is the most on-going), being an astronaut, drawing and, lately, anything and everything about the different states - geography, state flowers, how states became states, their license plates (she's keeping a list in the car) - everything.

Here she is, reading one of the 5 books about states we picked up at the library today. This one, she says, focuses more on the nature aspects of the states than some of the others.

Sometimes it's hard to pinpoint when the spurt started, but this time, it was an idea that took seed after she came across a map on which the idea was to fill in the state names. She almost just didn't do it, but then she decided to just copy it from the atlas. Then there was nothing for a while. Then I came across a game at Goodwill - The Scrambled States 2 - and picked it up. You may remember me sharing a picture of her with those cards which she'd made a map with. She didn't do that right after we got the game - things must have percolated for a while in that brain of hers. But after that, bam! There has been so much about the states going on with her - research, questions, map work, history, geography.

Eventually, this will pass, like China. It used to be that we'd know for sure what Davan would say when posed the question, "If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?" Without a doubt, it'd be, "To China to see the great wall!" Now, well, now it's much more unpredictable, which is all well and fine. Her interest in China had abated, but the things she was exposed to because of that interest will stick with her.

The same goes for all of her obsessions. And, who knows? Someday one of them may turn into more of a life long interest. Being an astronaut is still a possibility. For now, though, if you feel the need to be schooly about it, you can call them unit studies.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Successful Sleepover

Davan spent the night at a friend's last night. That isn't a big deal for a lot of 10 year olds, but Davan isn't into spending the night away from home very much. She's spent the night at my parents' place and enjoys that usually. She has successfully slept over at two different friend's houses before last night. But one of those friends, even though they were close family friends, had a lot of attempts and only a few successful overnights.

So, trying at a different friend's house for the first time was a big deal. Davan was very nervous when it was time to go, even crying a little. I suggested that she pretend that she was only playing until bedtime so that she could relax and enjoy the play. Then, at bed time, she could chose if she wanted to stay or come home.

Luckily, and I wouldn't have tried it otherwise, the friend and her mom were both quite cool the with arraignment. This friend has found it challenging to sleep over and has needed rescuing, so they were fine with it being a trying sort of situation.

Davan came home today saying she wished she could have stayed longer and that she had a lot of fun. Yay! I told her that, next time, if she really wanted to stay longer and it didn't interfere with their plans, she could call and ask, but once we've driven over to get her, she was coming home.

She also seemed happy to be home and have lunch with us and she's off in her room, having time to herself, so I think it was fine for her to come home when she did. Wanting more is much better than wishing you'd gone home earlier.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

And Yet More About Gymnastics

So, Davan is set with going to work out with the 5s at Top Flyte, as previously mentioned. However, there had been talk about the developmental team. One of the head coach/owners of the gym had mentioned Davan as a candidate for it. What it is is a fast track to optionals. Rather than spending one, two or more seasons as a level 5 and then a level 6, you breeze through them in one season and become an optional.

I'd been under the impression (correctly, it turns out) that try outs were in the spring and you couldn't join mid-stream. However, one girl from Davan's old gym is going directly to the developmental team. So, I asked about it because Davan says she wants to do it.

The one girl who got to go directly didn't even have to try out or anything. She just got to join them. Only she got that opportunity because there was only one spot, from a girl who'd quit.

It seems to me that they should have evaluated the new comers before deciding who should get that spot. There are girls on the level 4 team from the old gym who would be more qualified than either Davan or the girl who got the spot.

But, oh well. Davan is fine going to the 5s and the best part of that is, well, the two best parts of that are that she can still do Do Jump because of the schedule and that she won't have to compete until late in the season and then just once as a level 4, provided her scores are high enough to qualify to compete as a 5, which they should be, given where her skills are. That will actually save us a lot of money.

We went to open gym at Top Flyte today again and Davan got her kip! It's very cool! She got it on the metal practice bar at the old gym during practice Thursday once. Then she couldn't do it Friday at open gym (at the old gym) then, today, she did something like a dozen of them on the regular bar! Very cool.

This week will be all about settling Davan in at her new gym. She'll be doing 4 hours a day 3 days a week plus Do Jump one evening, as well. That's something 4 evenings out of 5! It's times like these I'm glad she's homeschooled (well, lots of other times, as well, actually) because she still has time to just be a kid and I still get to see her.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Going for a Run

I'm sitting here at the computer, perusing blogs and checking email, when Davan comes up and asks if she can go for a run. Well, I don't know why the heck you'd want to do such a thing, but knock yourself out. A walk, I understand. Running. Not so much. It's just not my thing. But good for Davan that it is. Even after she joined me for a 1/2 hour of my 1 hour of yoga this morning (which has been making me quite sore, I might add) and then spent nearly an hour and a half working hard at open gym. Sure, go for a run, too. Geez that kid should really be motivational for me rather than making me feel like a slug.

Speaking of open gym, it was our last time at the current gym today. They are, supposedly, open through Tuesday next week, but we won't be going back. Davan is starting at Top Flyte at the beginning of the week. It was not very sad for me, although Davan managed to work up a little drama at the end. The only two coaches that I really still care about who work there are moving to Top Flyte, as well, so it's just a space. And it's not like it was a great space, either, so it's fine to move on. And, yeah, I know it was Davan's activity, but I spent so much of my time there that it felt like mine, too.

Letting that thought develop, I realize that it's really true. Swimming truly is my activity, too, as I swim as well. Girl Scouts felt like mine, too, as I was there and it was a social time for me, too. Do Jump, though, where they don't allow parents to watch, doesn't feel like my activity at all. It feels like Davan's.

And wandering back to Top Flyte now. Davan will be working out for 4 hours at a time there. I can do that the first week, but 4 hours! I'll certainly use that time for walking some, but I may very well come home sometimes. I've already promised to stay for the first one, but after that...I'll probably end up watching a bunch, but I'm going to try to break away at least some.

And Davan's back. She did a mile. She wasn't gone very long. No walking she says. Good for her.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Clean Teeth

Davan and I visited our dentist's office today for our 6 month cleaning and teeth check. Davan is proudly showing off her no cavities sticker. She hasn't had a cavity yet in her almost 11 years and is rightfully proud of that fact.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


That's all.


I'm having internet connectivity issues this evening. I'd just typed up a whole rambling email about grown up time, gymnastics and speeding tickets. And it went away into never-never land. Alas.

Suffice it to say that while Davan has enjoyed a play date for the last three out of four Wednesdays at a friend's house, Anthony and I have enjoyed some grown up time, which has been quite nice.

Davan is planning on sticking with gymnastics and she'll be working out with the level 5s at the new gym while competing as a level 4 until she's ready to compete at level 5, whenever that may be.

I got a speeding ticket, which is a big pain. It was a school zone. I didn't realize. It was 12:45, so neither when school was starting or ending, and I was going the exact speed limit for outside of the school zone. I guess this is to get me back for all those times I speed with intention.

Now, lets see if this one posts.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Gymnastics

There is so much drama and seriousness in the sport of gymnastics, at least, if you want to progress as a gymnast past the basics. I don't know if we (as a family) are going to be able to make this all work out for Davan.

First, I'm tired of the drama of coaches leaving, not doing their jobs, owners letting their personal lives interfering, yadda, yadda, yadda. It's constant. And we're paying a lot of money for it.

Then, the only way you do more than very basics are to join the team. Then you have to compete and there are serious team fees to pay on top of the serious tuition.

Davan has, as you all know from me blogging here, had some problems with coaching at the team level. We're not having good luck there. Plus, she's nervous about competing. She doesn't want to have to commit for a year. She wants to just try a meet. That isn't an option in the gymnastics world. Unfortunately. Seems like it should be.

She, though, loves the gymnastics part. She loves tumbling and doing bars. She loves vaulting. She isn't overly keen on the balance beam, but is very happy and proud about mastering new skills on it anyway.

Her gym is falling apart. Even if it weren't, we'd be moving because of coaching problems. The new gym, which we had great hopes for, might not work out for her for two reasons. One is that she didn't much care for the level 4 coach. I agree with that assessment. She had trouble with crowd control, allowing too much goofing off and running around, followed by harsh snapping at the team to try to get them under control. It's not a good mix for Davan, particularly, who doesn't care for the goofing around and hates to be yelled at. She also hardly paid any attention to Davan and her abilities, mostly because other people were constantly vying for her attention.

The other reason is that the level 4s at this new gym are quite a bit behind Davan skill-wise and they don't even work the more advanced skills that Davan has. Plus, they aren't even going to compete this fall because they aren't ready for competition. If Davan stayed with that group, she wouldn't compete until spring (really winter, but they call it the spring season) and, thus, wouldn't get a chance to work on more advanced skills (many of which she already has) until after that.

What are the other options?

1) Going to a gym that would require a hefty commute. When Davan is feeling rather iffy about being on team anyway, that seems like a bad idea.

2) Just have her do recreational gymnastics. That would be fine for her in a lot of ways, with the very important exception that it would never be challenging for her.

3) Quit and find another sport. This sound more appealing to me all the time. But, I'm not sure of another sport that will work for her in the same way gymnastics does. I also think she might regret it, as she is doing so well and moving so quickly. Anthony feels that, partially, at least, she needs to grow a backbone and learn to put up with a coach who is only okay in order to pursue the sport she loves. Maybe.

4) Go with recreational classes for now. Continue with Do Jump. If she wants to move back up to team at some point, do it. If rec gets too boring and she doesn't want to move up, then she can move onto another sport at that time. If level 4 team at this new gym is boring, though, then imagine how rec would be.

Davan has been thinking about all of this, too, obviously, and these are some of the options we've come up with.

Something will work out eventually. It'll all be fine. It's not life or death. Yeah.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Camping at Beverly Beach

We got back today from three nights at Beverly Beach. It was a fun trip. We listened to a Full Cast Audio production of Circle of Magic, Sandy's Book and we started Tris' Book. We like the productions by Full Cast Audio, so that certainly helped to pass the time on the way there and back.

We spent a lot of time on the beach and I spent a lot of that time body boarding, which was lots of fun. I'm grateful for the full body wet suit Anthony gave me for Christmas. He found it at Goodwill, so it wasn't even a huge present.

We also did some cooking over the fire, beach walking, a little tidepooling and a cool hike which included a really neat pedestrian suspension bridge.

Davan checking out a sea star.

Me out on the suspension bridge.

Davan making a sand tunnel.

Me waiting for a wave.

We took Arie, Davan's rat. His favorite part of the trip was dinner time. He snuggled under Davan's coat and came out for tidbits periodically.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Neck Update

The pain in the upper left area of my neck is much better. Sadly, though, on Monday, I managed to do a number in my more usual injury spot - across the base of the neck. It was hard sleeping on it last night and tonight, between my neck and thoughts whizzing through my head, I'm not sleeping. I'll be glad when my neck is healthy again. It'll happen. This, too, shall pass.

My thoughts are about gymnastics for Davan. I'm trying to decide a few things and really, I'll know more tomorrow to help with the decision, so I should just let it be for now, but my mind won't let it go.

We like what we've seen of Top Flyte (the potential new gym) so far. I think it's probably in Davan's best interests to move over there. However, if her pre-team coach does buy the gym, I'd feel like crap if I moved Davan and it could work out to stay. I'd kind of like to move her anyway for the stability and opportunities at Top Flyte, but I'd like to support her coach, as well, who is a great coach, but is likely to be seriously distracted by being the new owner of a failing (but maybe recoverable) business. That's a sticky situation I'm hoping is solved by her not buying the gym.

But, say we move over to Top Flyte either because her pre-team coach doesn't buy the gym or because we just decide that's the best place for her. Then, I have to decide if I want to push for her to go to the developmental team or have her just go to level 4. Yes, they have the say on that and, in theory, will make that decision. Some of it does seem to have to do with what the parent says, though.

One girl, who is very similar to Davan skill-wise, from the current gym went over to Top Flyte for a trial class and worked out with the developmental team. Davan is scheduled to work out with level 4 tomorrow. Why the other girl the one way and Davan the other? I have no idea. And it's not from a skills evaluation. The other girl didn't have one. Both Davan and the other girl are new level 4s at the current gym.

Davan wants to go for the developmental team. So, do I push? I'm thinking I just see how she does tomorrow and how she fits in with that group and go from there. That's nice and straightforward. But, I'm still thinking about it. Why? Because I obsess and sometimes get stupid stuff in my head that prevents me from sleeping. Sometimes it's important and sometimes it's not. This time, there's nothing I can do until later and it's not important now and it'll all work out. But my brain is taking no notice of that.

Perhaps after pouring out this horrible dilemma here, I'll be able to sleep.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Max Thoughts

To write this post or not has been in my mind for a while now. I worry that people who read it and don't know me personally will think less of me. However, I want to keep things honest. And I know many of the 6 or so of you came to this blog because of our Max experiences and will want to know where we are emotionally with the disruption.

We are fine. Really, really fine. Davan is so much better after having quit the gymnastics team that it seems the stress almost had more to do with that than with the disruption. Although, I'm sure time and extra attention has healed on that front some, as well.

Anthony and I are doing really, really well. We're happy. We don't have guilt about choosing to disrupt. We don't think about Max much, even though we're still reminded of him through pictures on the screen saver, art work on the walls, his room still with pencil drawings on the wall from when he was mad. When he does pass through our minds, we might linger briefly, but we're glad he's moved on. Our family is so much healthier and happier.

The only guilt I feel is sometimes feeling like I should think about him more or miss him or something. But I just don't. And, mostly, I accept that. It's really only when telling other people that this feeling comes over me that I probably look bad for not having more angst.

I do regret the poor outcome of the adoption. It makes me sad that we didn't find a second child for our family. But, I also am fairly happy with who we are. Maybe Davan is an only child. Maybe I'm a better mom with an only child. Maybe a larger family would have worked out with a different child.

I do feel badly that Max had to experience another loss. It won't help him. However, I think we did what we could to make it work. We stuck it out a long time in hopes that things would turn around. I really don't think that staying here would have helped him, either.

I idly wonder how he's doing sometimes, but my need to know isn't pressing. I hope he's doing well. But, if I knew he was doing well, would I feel like a failure for not being able to help him do well here? I don't know. And I don't feel a pressing need to find out how he's doing. It goes to show the lack of a real bond, even after a year and a half of living together.

It's not like he's totally gone from my mind, I just don't linger over the whole thing. I have sent on a few items as we've come across them. His Sports Illustrated Jr magazine, for example, as come a couple of times sense he left and I've passed them on to Barbara to give to him.

That's where we are. It feels healthy and good most of the time. I'm so glad we disrupted. I'm not actually depressed, which is sure nice.


Davan asked on and off over the summer about maybe taking some piano lessons. My step dad has an extra keyboard which he's offered up to us on a long term loan sort of situation. I picked it up last week. Davan set it up immediately and started teaching herself how to play.

She was added by a book that her piano teacher had asked her to get. Her piano teacher is an 11 year old young lady who's going into the piano teaching business. Davan is her first student. We're getting a great rate.

Davan has been just flying through the book and sitting down at the piano every chance she gets. She had her first lesson on Friday and just barely scratched the surface of the book. However, her teacher did ask her to do some things she might not otherwise have concentrated on, so it's probably good to have the lessons anyway.

However, I then started to teach myself with her book. At first, Davan seemed happy about this. She shared what she'd learned in her lesson with me and enjoyed hearing me work on songs she'd already worked on. But then we got into reading music.

It's more difficult than the stuff before. I got there first. I'm struggling, but working on it. Davan is struggling but not working on it. In fact, I haven't seen or heard her at the keyboard sense about noon yesterday. That doesn't seem like too long and it might just be that she's into other things, but I don't know. It almost seems like she's given up. She's not even practicing older stuff.

So, there are, I think, two things at work here. One is the more difficult aspect of reading the music. The other is that I'm ahead.

I'm thinking I need a different instrument. Something where we could play together might be nice, but without being is sort of direct competition.

I used to play violin. I was Davan's age or so. I only did it for a year. I regret giving it up, though. There happens to be a violin in my closet. It belongs to my friend, Chris, and is in need of some repairs. She was happy to loan it to me a couple of years ago, with the plan that I'd get the repairs done and use it. I think it might be time for that.

A Pain in the Neck

My neck is acting up again. It seems to do so periodically - maybe twice a year or so? I don't know. It's a pain, though. Pun intended.

My neck was making noises like it wanted to clench up for about a week when it finally did Saturday in the wee hours of the morning. This time it's the top of the neck on the left side that is acting up. Turning over was excruciating. I'm not good at sleeping in one position...when I finally convinced myself to face the pain of sitting up, I whimpered and gasped my way into some clothes, into the bathroom and out to get a hot pad on that neck of mine.

It wasn't long before the pain had radiated down into my shoulder, then laterally into the shoulder joint. Saturday was not fun, pain-wise. Sunday was better. I was hoping for near recovery today, but, alas, I had to get up at 4am to take some Advil, as it was back to seriously painful. Although, it is better now that I'm up and moving. More like Sunday. Maybe tomorrow it'll be just sore. One can hope.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Gymnastics Saga Continues

Wednesday evening a rumor reached my ears that the gym was closing down. Now, that's not great news or anything, but it wasn't over huge for us, as we were probably moving gyms anyway. However, it did make a difference to us in that possibly a large number of people would be looking for a new gym now, rather than just us. Or, at least, so it seemed at first.

For some background, Davan has been greatly enjoying gymnastics again. She looks forward to going and enjoys working with Linda (the pre-team coach). However, she doesn't feel challenged. 1 1/2 hours two days a week is not enough for her. She wants more. But not with the coaches she had for team. We went to another gym Saturday and did open gym there. Davan felt pretty comfortable and even did her floor routine for Julie - one of the owner/coaches. She got invited to try out with their team. We opted to do so, but hadn't talked to them about it yet, thinking there was no rush. Now this.

After I heard the news, I called Do Jump, which I'd been planning to do anyway, but there had been no rush before, to see if she could possibly switch nights because her gymnastics schedule is changing. No. They weren't willing to work with us at all in that regard. Period. And, just so we knew, we couldn't get a refund, either, as it was Thursday and the dead line for refunds is one day after the first class, which would have been Tuesday. Gee. Thanks.

Davan and I talked about what she wanted to do and options. With what we've learned, as of this morning, we've made a game plan. She'll be able to do Do Jump this month, but then she'll probably just have to abandon it, which she's sad about, but wants to do gymnastics more. Then, next month, she'll be back on team. Now, it may be team at our current gym with her beloved pre-team coach, Linda, as the new owner and coach for level 4 or it may be at the new gym with Linda over there as a pre-team coach, but with Davan on team. In other words, we're following Linda. She's a really good coach and is the one who's held the gym together. We're willing to give her our loyalty.

However, we're still going to have Davan do a trial workout with the team at the new gym to make sure she's compatible with their level 4 coach. Otherwise, we'll have to keep shopping. I don't think it'll be a problem, though. With the 7 different coaches she's had in gymnastics, she's only really had a problem with 1 and only 1 other that she didn't much care for, but could live with.

Gotta have something to keep me busy, I guess. Playdates for Davan, drawing classes for Davan, a visit from my best friend, no eating out at all while keeping everyone healthily feed, starting piano lessons for Davan, getting in my exercise and keeping up with all the little things that are routine or come up in life aren't enough, I suppose.

Mini Food

Davan and a friend made little food for Ari (Davan's rat) today. Some of it was very cute. Here's an example - a stuffed mini bell pepper and french fries served with a garnish of lettuce.

And, while I'm sharing pictures, last week Davan took all of the scrambled states cards (a card game) and put them where they would go, making a sort of map of the US.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Busy in a Good Way

Late Thursday evening a wonderful thing happened. My best friend, Chris, flew into town! Yay!

We've been busy, but mostly just with each other with some other stuff thrown in. Friday was open gym (pressure from Linda for Davan to start working with the team again on a sometimes basis, which Davan is not happy about) followed by an exciting afternoon at Oaks Park for Not Back to School Day.

The afternoon was made even more exciting when Chris, who is, unlike me, fine with spiny rides, supposedly, went on the Screaming Eagle with Davan and then proceeded to feel worse and worse until she made a little trip to the closest restroom stall to loose her lunch. Poor Chris. :( After that, though, things improved some stomach-wise and she was able to do a couple of rounds of bumper cars with me.

Davan, meanwhile, was really into the Rock-o-Plane this trip and did it over and over again. We mostly just watched her. Although, she and I did a few rides on the roller coaster, as well.

Chris, even though her stomach felt somewhat better post kneeling to the porcelain god, continued to feel a bit off and started to feel like her throat was burning (we figured from the upchucking, at first). It became apparent by evening, though, that she was sick. :( Poor both her and I. Sad, sad timing.

So, things have been a little more subdued this trip than on some others. We've played cards and watched movies, rather than playing cards and going for walks/hikes. We've laughed and enjoyed, but also been much more quiet. We've played armchair psychologist for each other. In short, done the friend thing.

We spent the night at my parents' house, who are out of town, to have some just us time. On the home front, Davan and Anthony got to spend some father/daughter time, including a 20 mile bike ride with Davan on her own bike.

Sadly, yesterday evening found Davan with a sore throat and the sniffles. She's succumbed. She has her first Do Jump class this evening and really wants to go, so the plan is to rest up today, then pop a little Advil and go. She doesn't even seem to want to rest that much, truth be known, so I don't think it's too serious for her.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

All Worked Up Over Nothing

So, it turned out to not be a big deal - the whole gymnastics thing. Brandon was totally cool about Davan going back to preteam or to rec. Davan chose preteam. Of course, I told him the issue was that she just wasn't emotionally ready rather than Davan not liking him. But, he was totally like, "No big deal. It happens that kids try it and just aren't ready. Stepping back is okay. You guys do have a leo coming, which you can sell or whatever."

We have to go back down and talk to Linda - the preteam coach - to work out the details of Davan stepping back. In fact, we'll be leaving again in about 10 minutes.

Davan still really wants to do Do Jump, so we'll be trying to get her schedule to work out so that she's not at the gym on Mondays. Other than that, she wants to go as often as possible. Three times a week if she can. Obviously, this girl still loves gymnastics.

And we'll still plan on December being a time to check out a new gym and start team there, if she wants to go to team. Or she can continue with Do Jump. But not both. Or she can move to rec. She can't hang out in preteam forever.

I feel better, but will feel even better after we talk to Linda and figure out our schedule options. Her preteam class this evening looked very full....I guess I've just gotta have something to worry about.


You wouldn't think that a person who'd been through an adoption and then a disruption could get so worked up about a little thing like dealing with a gym. And yet, remember that obsessive personality I was talking about? Yeah. My head is about to explode. I just want it all settled.

I tried calling at 11:00, 11:15, 12:00, 1:00, thinking that their office hours started at 11:00. However, no answer. I finally left a message on the 1:00, identifying myself as Davan's mom and saying this:

Davan has made the decision, and it's a firm decision, that she does not want to continue with team gymnastics. She does, however, want to do a recreational class. I'm wondering if the tuition we've already paid can be applied toward a rec class. Please call me back.

And then I left my number. Now I'm just waiting. I don't like it. If it were only as simple as my message made it out to be, then we'd be fine. But, I know there are emotional issues there, so it's not that simple.

Meanwhile, I've got a sore throat and, yeah, feel like me head is going to explode.

Maybe this all makes more sense when you know that I'm really an introvert. Confrontation is difficult for me. At least, with people outside of my family it is. Okay, then. I'm thinking Davan, at least, will want some lunch. So, I'd better do something about that instead of obsessing.

Or maybe I'll just go watch an episode of Buffy.


I have what one might call and obsessive personality. It's really easy for me to over analyze and stress about things. Or just think about things to the exclusion of other things - like, oh, you know, spending time with Davan, for example.

I'm fairly obviously obsessed about the whole gymnastics thing right now. I'll be really glad when it's over.

I obsess about food. What I want to eat, what I don't. What my new plan for eating right will be.

Sometimes I obsess about the book I'm reading. I have a hard time breaking away from it and think about it when I'm not reading.

Just now, though? Other than gymnastics? I'm obsessing over Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We're just finishing up Buffy season 3. When we finished season 1 and had a break until season 2 due to logistical issues in getting the new season from our friends, I missed watching. I made sure there wasn't a long break before we got season 3, though. Even so, it was a couple of days. When Anthony is too tired to watch an episode in the evening, I feel bummed.

Even though we have many seasons yet to go and Angel is starting up, I worry about when it'll be over. I'll miss watching. It wouldn't be as fun to watch it all again. Although I may still do that. It'll help ease the sorrow.

When we watched the Prom episode, I cried when Buffy and Angel were dancing. How sappy is that? I mean really. It's kind of stupid, but still.

Now that that's out, I'll try to lay my various obsessions aside and read the newspaper that Davan spent hours making last night for this morning. Because, gee, that's probably where my priorities should be.

Waiting to Call

I have to call the gym today and let them know that Davan is quiting team. I also have to ask for her tuition money to be used for recreational classes, as that is what she, Anthony and I decided to try to do. She just loves gymnastics too much to give it up all together. I'm not in love with having to call and talk to them, though.

If it were just a matter of tuition money, I know they'd work with us. However, they'll have been counting on us for team fees, also, which we now won't be paying. That'll increase the team fees for the other girls, which they won't be happy to do and might make it awkward for me to see the team moms at the gym when we're there for rec classes. I'd just change gyms, but there are two reasons for not doing that.

One is that I hope to use the money we've already paid. The other is that the rec coach Davan would have is a really good coach.

We're also still going to do Do Jump. She'll do rec classes either at this gym or another for a couple of months and then to a trail with a new team. After that - the 3 months of Do Jump and the team trial, she'll have to decide between sticking with Do Jump, joining a new team or staying at rec level until the summer, at which point we can evaluate again.

I think it's better for her to not just quit and to try to make it work. I think our plan is a good one. I think it's great for her to be able to try out Do Jump and really know her options. I'm not excited about working it out with the gym. No. I'm really not.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Freedom or Enabling?

Okay, so I know I said I was cool with the quitting of gymnastics thing. And I am. Mostly. Okay, I'm having second thoughts. I do think she should quit this team. I think the main problem is incompatible coaching. Before she got to team, she loved being at the gym just as much as she could possibly be. She doesn't think she's having to work too hard. She still loves doing the gymnastics.

I was/am okay with the quitting because it's expensive, really. I'd just as soon see her do a less expensive sport. But, I think I'm letting that color my view of this decision. I wish we'd acted on it sooner, but really, I think she should be at another gym. Yikes. Like I want to start over. What if it isn't just the coaches and we invest so much more time and money into it?

I'm thinking that I'm enabling her quitting rather than giving her the freedom to choose for herself. Sometimes it's better to find a solution instead of just quitting. I guess I need to talk to Anthony about this and figure it out.

Maybe I'll talk to the gym and see if she can just go to rec on the tuition we've already paid to keep up her skills and also go ahead and do the Do Jump class. Then, after the next three months, she can decide which she wants to do in the long term - Do Jump or gymnastics. We can go to another gym for team. She could still enjoy it with the right coach. Or a more right coach.

Or maybe I should be encouraging exploration of other sports and letting gymnastics go. I don't think I'm holding onto it for me, though. 'Cause, really, less expensive would be great. I just don't want her to regret quitting later and wonder, "What could have been? I loved it so much."