Friday, October 17, 2008

Are You Ready For Some Football...

So I thought it was about time Ava experienced her first live football game. It was an area high school football game, and hopefully we will be making a trip to Champaign next season to watch the Fighting Illini. :) Anyway onto the game we watched from the stands. The Home Team: Central A&M Raiders Visiting Team: Maroa-Forsyth Trojans. A little background here...Central A&M usually is a dominating force in area high school football. This season though they have struggled to make their mark. Maroa-Forsyth is also a dominating force in area high school football and they have continued dominating the grid iron this season as well. This game was extremely important to Central A&M if they had hopes of making it into the playoffs this season. Would this be the game that Central A&M would rise up and let the other area high schools know they are back with a vengeance and they are still a team to be reckoned with this season? I have two cousins who go to Central A&M and one of them plays on the freshman football team, but this was not the freshman team playing, so I had no real vested interest in who won or who lost in this game. Now with that we go!

Okay let's kick off more commentary with the Central A&M High School Marching Band. Let me just say right here a few years ago I had some other cousins who played for Central A&M and so I did attend those games and if memory serves me correctly, that era of the marching band was much better. I hate to say this, but this marching band was just sad. I mean maybe if they played more enthusiastically that would motivate their team. I don't know...I am just saying! Seriously this marching band played with very little heart and if that was them playing with enthusiasm I would hate to see them play with no interest at all.
Ava enjoyed the excitement of the game. Watching the fans. And she got a huge kick out of some of the more "animated" fans who would get all upset and irate over certain calls of the game. I couldn't help but laugh either, because some people are such idiots! ;) Ava wanted to make sure that "baby" didn't miss out on any of the excitement of the football game either!

The team behind Ava in this picture is the Central A&M Raiders. As the clock wound down in the first half against the Raiders & Trojans, the Trojans led the game 41 -0. At every turn the Raiders got smacked down by the Trojans! I mean if I was a Raider fan I would have been one unhappy fan, but honestly the mistakes they made in the game were just laughable. For a team that was such a force to be reckoned with in previous years, this team looks nothing like the unstoppable Raiders of the past.

Half-Time Thank Goodness!!!

With half-time now underway Ava enjoyed some hot chocolate that had been allowed to cool to just being warm by this time. What would a football game be without a cup of hot chocolate? She had never had hot chocolate before, and I must say she thoroughly enjoyed her delicious treat.

The most exciting part of the night had to be the Central A&M Pom Pom girls! Ava was completely enamored by them. She watched with such an intensity at the girls performing their routine. It was just so cute watching her take in this whole experience.

Once half-time was over it was back to watching the game. And hoping the Raiders could pull out a touchdown or at least a field goal. I mean come on...get on the board for the love of Peter! In High School football they have a new rule this year that in the second half they have a continuous running clock unless a timeout is called or a player is injured on the field. That is the only time the clock stops. Personally I think it is a stupid rule, but what does my opinion matter?!?! Yeah it doesn't! Okay so onto the second half and hoping the coaches were able to get the Raiders pumped up to give it all they've got.

With the clock quickly winding down the Raiders still failed to get on the board with a field goal or a touch down. However, they were able to keep the Trojans from scoring at all in the second half...or maybe the Trojans just felt sorry for them and kept from scoring on their own. Regardless, the Trojans went on to take the game 41-0 and increase their winning lead in the division. Next week the Raiders play Meridian. Another team this season who is almost unstoppable. Meridian isn't usually a tough school to beat, but it looks like the roles have reversed this year. Here is to hoping the Raiders at least get on the board next week!

And a final picture of Ava at the game! She was so well behaved and just about perfect I must say! I look forward to taking her to more football games in the future! :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Day At The Park...

We know that this nice weather is not going to last much longer as the month is quickly passing by. So I decided to take Ava to McDonald's for lunch and then we took our lunch to the park to enjoy our lunch in the park. We invited my Mom to join us on this impromptu outing today as well. Ava had fun eating her cheeseburger and apple dippers. Though there was this annoying bee that kept flying around us and being quite the nuisance. I think Ava got an even bigger kick out of me trying to kill this stupid bee before it stung one of us. I of course, had my Mom telling me that I better watch out or it was going to sting me. Thankfully, though I won the battle and the bee did not live to sting any of us or anyone else for that matter.

I like this picture of my Mom and Ava together. I normally always look at my lens before taking pictures because Ava has been known to mess with my camera and it is inevitable for her to get fingerprints on the lens! As you can see, I failed to look at my lens before taking this picture. However, I did remember to check soon after and so at least the whole day of pictures do not have this smudge on them.

After eating lunch Ava was eager to run and play on the playground. The weather was beautiful today. A little windy from time to time, but still a very nice day overall. Ava enjoyed climbing this rock like structure to the top, but most of the time she would not go down the slide. She is funny like that. Someday she will go down the slide over and over again, and others she has no interest in the slide whatsoever. Today she went down a couple times, but overall she had little interest in the slides.

Though I did manage to get one picture of her going down the slide today. She was determined to not look at me though as I took the picture. She even squeezed her eyes closed to make the point she wasn't going to look at me. Ornery little girl! ;)

Though finally I was able to get her to sit still for a few seconds so I could snap a couple pictures of her. Though I am pretty sure she had more fun things to do, than to sit and let me get a picture of her. This is her "cheese...take the picture quick Mom" look!

And this is a picture of her I managed to get while she was climbing through those tubes/tunnel things that playgrounds often have nowdays! You just gotta take what you can get! She ended up playing on the playground for about an hour before we called it a day and so I could get her home for an afternoon nap. I enjoy these kind of days with her where we just break out of our routine and just do something random. She had fun, I had fun, and my Mom even had fun. :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Like A Good Neighbor...

I am not one that bakes desserts often, and very rarely do I have most ingredients on hand for things like making pies. However I did make so fudge this past year and I had an extra can of carnation condensed milk...I think that is what it was or evaporated milk. Whatever it is you need to make pumpkin pie anyway. See you can tell I am not a baker, since I can't even recall what kind of milk it was. I do have like a box of Betty Crocker Brownies and cake mixes on hand usually, but you can just add like eggs, oil and water to that kind of stuff. But when we are talking about baking from like scratch...yeah so not something I do on a regular basis. In the winter I sometimes get the urge to make chocolate chip cookies and things like that and have those kind of things on hand, but to make a pumpkin pie?!?! I've never baked a real pie from scratch in my life. Sara Lee all the way here! Or the pies you get from the bakery at the grocery store! Sad isn't it!?!? Anyway my neighbor came to the door asking if I had a can she could borrow. Which amazingly I did. She was making pumpkin pies with her granddaughters. She promised to return the milk, but I told her it definitely was not necessary. Well, this afternoon another knock on my door and it was my neighbor sharing her pumpkin pie with us. Very sweet of her. And Ava and I both enjoyed the pie. As delicious as the pie was, it still doesn't make me think, wow I should try making one of those myself from scratch. But I just might pick up a pumpkin pie from the bakery one of these days! ;)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Breaking that 9 year losing streak...

against Michigan that is! The Fighting Illini had a tough first quarter, but the rallied back something fierce the rest of the game to finally defeat Michigan since 1999. Now if the Illini could just beat the Wolverines on their home turf! Go Illini! Don't get me wrong I do like Michigan, and if they were playing any other team I would be wanting Michigan to win, but I have to stay loyal to my Fighting Illini. Here is to hoping Michigan and Illinois win against the teams they are to meet up with this coming Saturday.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Trying To Keep The Faith...

Today, I went with my Mom to her neurologist for a follow-up appointment. This is one of the doctors that basically monitors her Alzheimer's, and the progression of the disease. I missed the appointment she went to in May, but of course, I was at the appointment in January of this year. Anyway, every time we go, they do the same test and it helps them determine how she is doing and if she is doing better, getting worse, or staying the same. I remember all to clearly how she did in January, and every other time I've been to these appointments with her. These are the things that kind of stay with you. Anyway, the nurse starts asking just basic questions. Like what day is it - it was a Friday and my Mom had no idea the day of the week, but she said she thought maybe it was a Monday. The nurse asked what month it was - My Mom guessed August. My Mom just turned 53 on September 29th, so you would think logically she would have been like well I just had a birthday so maybe at least guess September. When in fact the month we are in is October. They asked her the season next and realistically you would think okay you just answered August for the month so August is a Summer month or even just kind of think about the weather Mom's answer was Spring. They don't ever correct her when she is wrong they just continue onto the next question. There is a part of the test where you have to remember 3 words and then a few minutes later they go back and ask you what those three words are. Those 3 words are "Hope, Shoe, & Acorn". My Mom very rarely remembers any of those words when asked to recall them. Every once in awhile she will get one of the words, but that is very rare. Well this time she was able to recall 2 out of the 3 words. I was really excited about that. Then they came to a part where she had to draw the face of a watch. She was able to do that, but then the nurse asked her to draw the hands of the clock to show 20 after 11. My Mom in the past has never had an issue doing this, today she only knew where the 11 on the clock was. She was not able to figure out that the 4 on the clock represented 20 minutes. Then she had to look at this diagram and re-draw it. It is basically just two shapes overlapping. In the past my Mom has always been able to draw this fairly accurately. Today she couldn't draw this without getting completely confused and finally it just became to overwhelming for her. When the doctor came in to evaluate her, he said she had remained the same from her last appointment in May. So in a way that was good news that she has declined, but from her appointment in January to now showed a pretty big decline. We requested her medicine for the Alzheimer's be changed this summer from Aricept to the Excelon patch and even though we have not seen huge improvements, we are not seeing a decline in her like we were with the Aricept. So, to have the doctor tell us she has declined since we made the change in her medicine was very welcomed news for us. I truly feel if we had kept her on Aricept and not found out about the Excelon patch she would be far worse off. So here we are just taking it a day at a time and hoping against all odds that there is a cure found one day really soon.