Wednesday, June 17

Graduation #3

Sunday was a big day for our family, namely Angel.  Though he had previously graduated from Ricks College with an Associates degree and Auburn University with a Bachelors degree, he was never able to walk in the Commencement ceremony due to competing in Track & Field nationals.  I mentioned a couple posts ago how he finished school for his apprenticeship at the shipyard. But when we got the information in the mail he was strictly opposed to walking in graduation because he didn't view this degree as a "big deal."  I told him that it IS indeed a big deal, that he did more studying for his classes {like Applied Physics} and exams this time around than he ever did with the 1st or 2nd degree, that he graduated with one of the highest GPA's in his class earning a spot on the Dean's list, and most importantly that his kids were not around to see him graduate before and that it would be a HUGE impression on them to see their dad accomplish something of this magnitude. In other words, "YOU'RE WALKING IN GRADUATION!"
and needless to say, He conceded....
So Sunday was a big day.  The kids were so excited when the graduates started walking in and had so much fun waiting and looking for Angel as he came down the aisle.  Though they didn't recognize the pomp and circumstance being played by the band, they definitely recognized the importance of the occasion.  The excitement faded, however, as the ceremony progressed.  To their credit, it's been a while since I'VE attended a graduation and I don't remember them being that long! {that's code for: boring}  The excitement returned though, when Angel went up to get his diploma and then all the graduates marched out.
Receiving his diploma.....
Marching out with the graduates...

It was a little chaotic trying to find him in the mass of red-robed graduates {very where's waldo?-ish} but eventually we found each other and it was so cute to see the kids say "Good job Dad!"  And just so you don't think I'm an obnoxious, controlling wife, Angel DID tell me after we left graduation that he was glad I "encouraged" him to walk. He said he didn't realize how actually going through the ceremony would make him feel what an accomplishment it was, not just for this last degree, but for the other two as well. {See! Do I know my husband or do I know my husband?}
Afterwards we went to my mom's for a get-together. We had some good friends, the O'shields, over to help us celebrate (he's actually the reason Angel has his job at the shipyard!)  The kids all had a blast playing outside together. 
And Angel was excited when he opened the Sounders Jersey he'd been eyeing for a while now. Good friends, Good food {Baby-back ribs, cornonthecob, potatoes, shrimp-ka-bobs, fruit}....what more could you ask for?  Oh yeah, chocolate cake :-)


Friday, June 5

A very {memorable} Memorial Day....

Memorial day for us was filled with lots of fun and interesting things....We finished weeding and prepping the front yard to plant new grass, we went to Costco and had LOADS of yummy samples, {can you say "lunch"?}, we took the kids to the playground where Dallas truly learned to ride his bike. {he's been on the verge for so long since we took off the training wheels, riding very short distances, but afraid to go much farther}, had some batting practice with Grace, came home and ate bbq'd hamburgers, corn-on-the-cob and watermelon, and to top it all off, ended the day with 4 long hours in the ER.  Do I really even have to say who for?
Earlier in the day I was inside and heard the certain someone crying, not his typical "I bonked my head" or "I smashed my finger" cry, but a full-on-sobbing-this-really-hurts-cry.  Normally I saunter out to see what the damage is, but this time I high-tailed it out to the playground and found Alec on the ground holding his foot with, get this, REAL TEARS streaming down his face.
I say that because even when he split his head open and had to get staples, he never even shed a tear....he just ran around the house like a madman, yelling "OW, OW, OW!"  
So, as the story goes, apparently he decided it was much more fun to climb across the TOP of the monkey bars rather than swing from them {because, you know, you're only a few feet off the ground swinging from them as opposed to 8 or 9 feet if you're climbing on top of them}. At which point he lost his balance and fell through, landing on his left foot.  {FYI, Crocs do NOT provide sufficient support to cushion a fall from 8-9ft.}  We, Angel and I, looked at his foot and didn't see any protruding bones and then he proceeded to walk back over and climb up the rock wall.  We figured everything was fine and went about our day.  But, as the day went on, we noticed that he seemed to be favoring his foot, not putting all of his weight on it when he stepped {or should I say, ran.}  I took his shoe off and saw the whole left side and around his toes was purple and swollen.  It was at that point we decided that maybe he was not "just fine." So Angel took Grace and Dallas home to put them to bed and Alec and I ventured off to the ER. 
4hours and 3 x-rays later he left with a semi-permanent splint, lots of stickers from the nurses, an appt. with the orthopedist, and a very tired mom! {it was midnight}  Oh, and did I mention, instructions to not put ANY weight on his foot.....{I didn't feel inclined to mention he'd been running and playing on it ALL day long...} Can I just say, telling a kid {a kid like Alec} that he can't use his foot is pure TORTURE?!?!? He was going stir crazy not being able to ride his bike, or play Ben10 with Bubba.  But he did get pretty good at hopping around on his one good foot.  
Which is why we were all cheers the next day when the Orthopedist said "walking cast." Yay!  Alec was very excited when he found out he got to choose the color of his cast and between questions and stories, I don't think he ever stopped talking, at all, during the whole process. {to which I sent the cast technician many apologetic glances when he would look at me as if to say "seriously?"}

Putting on the 1st layer of plaster, then the 2nd layer of blue...
The finished product!

He's enjoyed having family and friends sign his cast.  To name a few: "#1 and counting...." from Mom, "Te Quiero Mucho" from Dad, "The Stitch" from Auntie Amy, "You're crazy but we still love you" from Uncle Matt, and "Get better Stitch" from Uncle Scott. At first I was afraid that all the excitement would give him the impression that having a cast is "fun" and perhaps maybe he would want to repeat the ordeal after it comes off, but when I was tucking him in bed the other night he said, "I just want this cast to come off so I can go to sleep!"

Everyone has been asking if having the cast has slowed him down at all and I regret to say that if anything, it has enhanced his self-confidence.  I think he feels as though he now has this invincible, bionic foot.  He has been caught balancing on top of bikes, scaling chain link fences and hanging upside down guessed it, the monkey bars.  But, to anybody that knows Alec, is it at all surprising? No, not so much.....

{where I found him when he was supposed to be eating his lunch}