Sunday, January 30, 2022

From 2T to Men's Medium - Week of Jan. 24th

Parent sayings: "You won't believe how fast they grow up!" "It seems like you blink and they're not toddlers anymore." "If only we could stop time."

It is so true.  Cam's clothing seemed to move into the "Men's" section seemingly overnight.  Of course, that wasn't the case, but it did happen fast.  Cam has never minded shopping and actually likes to pick out his clothes.  Blue is his favorite color and many of his shirts gravitate towards that spectrum.  Without pre-planning, Chris and his son both ended up wearing similar shirts one day this week.  Except they weren't similar...they were exactly the same.  Jane bought the one for Chris two years ago and Cam's was given to him for Christmas.  

Cam was back to school this week after successfully navigating quarantine.  As we all know, sometimes it takes a day or two to get back into the swing of things.  When Chris went in the sunroom to see how homework was progressing, he found his son looking like he just survived a long day.

Jane continues to be impressed by the genius creativity of her husband and son.  Every morning, Cam's mom has a cup of coffee and sometimes in the afternoon, a cup of tea.  Chris will also make coffee or hot cocoa in the Keurig once in awhile and Cam likes to have a hot chocolate on the weekends.  Each and every time, the coffee/tea/cocoa splattered on the counter while it was dripping into the mug.  The boys were busy for two consecutive nights designing and fabricating a solution on the 3-D printer.  They created a 3D printed "mug holder" complete with holes for any drainage needed.  

Equally impressive was the detailed height model making certain that our largest cups would still fit on top of the new holder.  The "invention" is one that is appreciated by every family member, but especially the person who tends to wipe down counters the most....patent pending!

Camology Quotes:

Cam announced this week that his choir class would be performing in March for the musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  At school, they were watching the movie to become acclimated to the music and the story.  Ms. Ann tutors Cam after school and when they are finished, they typically talk about Ann's grandchildren and events.  Cam disclosed to his parents and Ms. Ann that Ann's five-year-old grandson would not be able to see the musical production.  When asked why, his response was...
"The guys are nude, like naked."
"What do you mean, Cam?"
"They are not wearing shirts!"
(discussion ensued and clarity provided...Jane's grandmother would have thoroughly loved Cam's 'appropriateness')

Sunday, January 23, 2022

The Gift of Video - Week of Jan. 17th

It was a long week in the Weatherford household.  Cam was feeling good but still had to remain home per the school rules which are in place to protect everyone.  We were grateful his teachers were able to zoom with him multiple times a day and he was still able to tutor with Ms. Ann virtually.  We were thinking about what we would do if we didn't have video technology so readily available.  Of course, we had to research how video first started. 

AT&T developed a refined Picturephone throughout the late 1960s, resulting in the "Mod II" (Model No. 2), which served as the basis for AT&T's launch of the first true video conferencing service. Unlike earlier systems, in which people had to visit public videophone booths, any company or individual could pay to be connected to the system, after which they could call anyone in the network from their home or office. The inaugural video call occurred on June 30, 1970, between Pittsburgh Mayor Peter Flaherty and Chairman and CEO John Harper of Alcoa. The service officially launched the next day, July 1, 1970, with 38 Picturephones located at eight Pittsburgh companies. Among the first subscribers, Westinghouse Electric Corporation became Bell's largest Picturephone customer, leasing 12 sets. The following year, Picturephone service expanded to central Chicago and the suburb of Oak Brook, before expanding to other large East Coast cities. Customers peaked at 453 in early 1973. AT&T ultimately concluded that its early Picturephones were a "concept looking for a market."

It's funny how the picturephone concept was replaced by the smartphone and computer video.  A teacher in Texas coined the term "zoomies vs. roomies" to distinguish between students at home versus students in the classroom.  As we counted down the weekdays, it was fun to see Cam's brain at work as he thought of journal entries and completed homework assignments.  All the while, he really did have the best attitude, knowing that the home restriction was coming to an end.  He requested the photo op of his cat, Stella, when she almost seemed to be posing.
Since Cam was officially out of isolation on Friday afternoon and his buddy, Brody was as well, we set up a get together for the guys at the Weatherford household later in the day on Saturday.  Both boys felt good all week and symptoms were no longer in place.  To say they were both excited was a bit of an understatement...after only seeing their parents all week.  
First up was a movie with freshly popped popcorn to create a true theater experience.  The newest Clifford flick was chosen and we all declared it a good movie.  Next up was a high octane game of hide-and-seek, which lasted almost an hour.  Jane drove over to Culver's to pick up dinner and frozen custard, Cam and Brody's favorite!  
After dinner, we played Kahoot as a group (online quiz game) answering trivia questions.  Then, we had lots of brain power at work during a few rounds of charades.  As both Jane and Brody's mom, Jenny have commented- "these boys are good for each other!"

We said goodbye to Brody and noted this deer party in front of our neighbor's house giving credence to the popular phrase, 'birds of a feather flock together' or 'deer in a herd huddle and hover.'

Camology Quotes:
As part of this week's homework, Cam had to journal daily. One topic was to talk about a future job and what strengths you would bring to that position. Cam's entry is summarized here.
"I would like to work at Brody's Be CafĂ©.  I am kind and nice and helpful. I am a hard worker!"

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Isolation Mode - Week of Jan. 10th

When you put all of the safeguards in place that are possible and you still have an unwelcome visitor...

Cam departed the bus after school on Tuesday and seemed tired.  He started coughing and didn't sleep well. We kept him home on Wednesday and learned two other kids in his small class were also home and not well.  On Thursday morning, we were informed one of his close contacts was Covid positive so our entire family tested.  

Cam was positive, while his parents were both negative.  With school protocols, we were informed that Cam could not return to school until Jan. 24.

As a family, we were most thankful for Cameron's mild symptoms.  The cough lingered through the week but seemed better each day with additional rest at night.  With some extra time available, a Christmas present that had arrived from Cam's great grandma Mary was finally completed.  An evergreen tree kit complete with seedlings to germinate was the first step in the process.  The seeds were watered daily and finally ready to plant. 

A Christmas treat container served as the planter for the seedlings.  The process is to begin their growth cycle inside so they can be planted outside in the spring.  We'll be able to watch it's progress on a daily basis.  

Cam requested additional projects and kept his parents busy finishing tasks and moving onto the next item.  As a family we accomplished quite a bit, cleaning up and sorting, updating our picture magnet board and computer work.  

After all of the efforts, Chris surprised his son by picking up a tasty treat from Tropical Smoothie.  Cam's favorite drink is a chocolate banana peanut butter smoothie.  This should not be shocking since his popular go-to goody is a Reese's peanut butter cup!

Camology Quotes:

Cam is a consummate ruler-follower.  He took his positive test result very seriously, but also matter-of-factly.  When Stella was meowing at him one evening and close to him, he immediately informed his cat of his status.
"Stella, I cannot pet you because I have covid so please do not come close to me."

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Snow Daze - Week of Jan. 3rd

 "Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people's legs like house cats.  It was magical, this snow globe world." ~Sarah Addison Allen 

Cam was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and has always lived there. As a Michigander, the winter weather will inevitably find its groove and settle in.  This week was the turning point and Wednesday and Thursday turned out to be snow days, meaning no school for Cam for two consecutive days.

A new semester started at school and our 8th grader electives are choir and GLI.  GLI- Global Learners Initiative is a program the Forest Hills Public School district is piloting for middle school students. Its aim: ALL Learners Achieving Individual Potential, Building Meaningful and Productive Lives in a Global Society.  It includes a literacy component focused on inclusion, equity and global society.  Cam is looking forward to being involved in GLI this semester.  His mom completed the training to be a GLI Champion when he was in grade school.

Even though Thursday was a snow day, Cam had an appointment at Mary Free Bed to be fitted for new AFOs (ankle foot orthotics).  The AFOs help Cam's feet remain in a stable location and assist with standing in his chair.
Jane and her son headed out in the snowy weather in the late afternoon.  They took it slow and even arrived five minutes early.  The process is very interesting to see.  Fiberglass is placed in a tub of warm water and then unwrapped around Cam's leg and foot to create a makeshift cast. It hardens very quickly and then is cut out.  Cam chooses a pattern for the special plastic that the AFO's are made out of.  It takes 6-8 weeks for the orthotics to be custom-made and sent to Mary Free Bed.
On Friday, Cam headed back to school relieved to have his normal routine back in place.  As he shared with his parents, "I am not a fan of snow days!"

Camology Quotes:

As part of a GLI assignment, Cam had to choose a quote that was inspiring to him and why.  He had to research and decide independently. 
The quote he chose was by Dr. Suess: "The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you will go." When asked why he chose that quote, his response:
"It makes me want to read!"

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Bring on 2022! - Week of Dec. 27th

"Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties." ~Helen Keller

"And now we welcome the new year.  Full of things that have never been." ~Rainer Maria Rilke

The end of the year seems to sneak up on us.  The anticipation of the holiday season, all of the activity and then suddenly the final date of December shows up on the calendar.  Although we missed out on a white Christmas, some light snow arrived this week to blanket our area.  Cam always likes to hear about random facts and the one we found online indicated that there have only been 11 "green Christmases" in Grand Rapids, Michigan since 1902.  This year, 2021, marked year number 12 which means there have been 107 snowy Christmases since 1902.

This week, Ms. Amanda spent a few hours each day with Cam. The two exchanged gifts and Amanda really outdid herself this year.  A blue shirt with the words "We go together like peanut butter and jelly" was Cam's surprise but the bigger unexpected piece was the matching shirt Amanda had.  We all agreed it was one of the coolest gifts ever.  To keep occupied, the duo worked on projects and found some fun New Year's Eve accessories.  They also tried a recently opened treat place in town- The Detroit Cookie Company and declared it most delicious.

On New Year's Eve day, Jane and her son picked up best bud, Brody and his mom, Jenny to head to the movie theater in the early afternoon.  With reserved seats and delicious popcorn, they watched Sing 2.  It was a great show and truly rivaled the first Sing.  The music was so good and we were all moving in our seats to the beat.

January 1st was our productive day to take down the tree and holiday decorations.  It's always bittersweet to remove the festive ornaments.   As we said goodbye to 2021 and welcomed 2022, it's true that time seems to go by more quickly with each passing year.  When we think back on the entire 365 days and how things have changed, we remain optimistic for good things to come in 2022.  Cam says "I hope everything you do brings good cheer and I hope everything you wanted to do in 2021, you get to do again in 2022!"

Camology Quotes:

It's evident that Cam loves his dad's jokes. Frequently, at bedtime, some zingers are told by both father and son. Often, they are ones we have heard before but once in awhile, an original stands out.  Cam shared the following and if you're a techie, you'll understand the punchline...
"Knock knock. Who's there?  Cookies. Cookies who? Website cookies!"