Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Special Exposure Wednesday - 5 Minutes for Special Needs...



If I'd never had micro-premmie twins, then I'd have never had a child with special needs, and then this would never have happened...






Filming for RPA Where Are They Now? - Sept 2009. Don't forget to check out all the other great photos.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Filming and Kidney Update

Today we got to pretend to be important, interesting people as our entourage followed us around for the day.

First up we filmed our consultation with Ashlea's kidney specialist. We have filmed with Dr H once before, during the original show when the girls were still in the nursery - Audrey in Special Care and Ashlea back on life support in the NICU. We even had the same camera man as we did that day! Things have changed so much since then. Today's consult was cool, calm and collected. That first consult - not so much - they were unable to use any of the footage of the original due to my complete hysterical breakdown part way through.

Everything is stable on the kidney front. Ashlea's creatinine today was 206 and her sodium 138 - a record low for her! She has grown since we increased her calories at the last appointment and is now 87.5cm (3rd centile) and 13.6kg (30th centile). The only issue - and there is always something - is that her phosphorous levels are low, so we are fiddling around with her formula a little to try and bring it up to normal. Her liver function is good except her ALT is still higher than it should be. It is frustrating not knowing the cause of the wayward liver numbers, but while ever they aren't effecting her life I am choosing to ignore them.

We then went home and they filmed the kids playing together in the backyard. Of course when the cameras were turned on them, the children got a little hyper so who knows how they will come across on the tv, or how many times I can be heard in the background shushing someone.

Next up they filmed Ashlea having a therapy session with Ana from the RIDBC. I wasn't watching while they filmed it, but I believe Miss Ashlea behaved beautifully. The session went so well that they then did a little impromptu interview with Ana - she was thrilled with that idea as you can imagine.

Finally they interviewed Murray and I. First up they interviewed me on my own, which was a little daunting. I can't remember really what they asked or what I said, so hopefully I haven't totally put my foot in it somewhere. For someone who doesn't always think before she speaks, off the cuff interviews can be dangerous territory! They then interviewed Murray and I together and he did a great job - sang my praises loud and clear! I did rib him afterwards about always saying the right things to everyone else and not to me, but at least I got to hear it this time!

By the time it was all over we were exhausted. Who knew being a star was so tiring??

I think the series is due to go to air around the end of October - I'll keep you posted!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Filming tomorrow!

Tomorrow is our big day.

First up we meet the crew at the kids hospital where they are going to film Ashlea's kidney appointment. Then they are coming back here to film the kids playing in the backyard, Ashlea using her walker, stuff like that and then interview Murray and I (that's the scary bit). Then in the afternoon they are going to film Ashlea having a bit of therapy from RIDBC.

They also want to film Emma and Audrey's swimming lessons but didn't think they had enough time to do it all in one day (the producer was quite surprised to think that yes I would normally try and fit all those activities into a single day), so they are going to film them at swimming later in the week.

Pics of the kids new haircuts...


Maybe we won't use the trampoline to style their hair tomorrow!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

More confessions...Do you have a temper?

Do you have a temper? Have you ever lost it in public and later regretted it??? I did today. I lost my temper. With a 2 year old. Someone else's two year old.

We had friends over this afternoon, and for the most part everything was great. All the kids played well together, we had a nice time catching up with our friends - they even helped us sweep the yard!

And then ... one of their kids clocked Audrey on the side of the head with a whiteboard eraser (not the soft side). Hard. Deliberately. For no reason.

Did I immediately rush over and scoop up my poor hysterical baby? Or did I instead run after the perpetrator saying:

"YOU. Come here."

Yep, you guessed right. Instead of letting his parents deal with the situation I went after him, hauled him off my couch and sent him to go and talk to his parents.

Oops.

I don't think he'll ever want to come back to the place where the scary lady lives. I know I should have just let the parents deal with it while I dealt with Audrey (because they are the type of parents who would have dealt with it), but that protective mother part of me just lost it and chased him down. I know that if the situation were reversed and it was Audrey who did the hitting I probably would have reacted similarly towards her, but if someone else had reacted like that to Audrey I would not be happy.

I think I need to go and mend some fences.

So this poses a question...is it ever OK, or when is it OK, to discipline someone else's child?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Vanity

We have a busy weekend planned - lots of cleaning and tidying to do before Tuesday when the crew arrive to film 'RPA Where Are They Now?'

I want it to be a realistic portrayal of our lives when they film, but do you think I will have my usual just crawled out from under a rock look about me? No way - we're going to give ourselves a little tidy around the edges. So we are all going to get hair cuts. We are going to tidy and clean the house. And mow the lawn, and remove the weeds, and, and...you get the picture.

Here are the 'before' shots...

The current state of pretty much every outdoor surface after the dust storm...


The current state of my front entrance way...


And best of all, the current state of Emma's hair...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Belly.....water

This will just be a quick little brag post.

This afternoon I was feeding Ashlea, and unbeknownst to me the tube had come out of her PEG and was leaking all over her. My clever little chicky decided that she needed to tell me there was a problem and used these words to tell me:

"Belly......water".

How clever is that!!!

A lot of Ashlea's speech is based on imitation, even the sentences she uses are based on things she has been taught (eg What do you see? I see Mummy). In this situation she knew she need to tell me she was getting wet, and she thought about it and used words that were familiar to her to tell me her tummy was getting wet.

I am so impressed!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Botox Follow Up

Ashlea had a quick follow up appointment yesterday at the botox clinic to check on her progress. Even though the peak effect of the botox usually occurs after 3 weeks, we are already seeing some improvements:

Her leg muscles are much 'softer' for want of a better word. Her AFO's are easier to get on and she can tolerate them being on for longer periods - although her feet still aren't completely in the right position.

Dressing and changing her nappy are a lot easier - she feels almost rubbery compared to the usual stiffness!

When on her feet her heels are much closer to the ground than before. Although when we tried her in the walker on the weekend she didn't quite know how to get it going. She is used to using the high tone in her legs to propel herself around, so she kind of just stood there unable to move much. Yesterday she was a bit better - but still using her toes for walking unfortunately. Hopefully as the botox really kicks in she will be able to practise walking with her heels touching the ground.

She is able to tolerate sitting in her corner chair for a lot longer - we are using this chair whenever she needs to sit at the moment to try and stretch out her hamstrings. She can also sit on our laps for longer before throwing herself backwards.


So far I think we have had a pretty good response. Now its time to get stuck into the physio so we can maximise the benefits. We have been put back on the wait list to have more botox in around 6 months time.

On a completely different note, I have been mucking around trying to get photos of the kids (new camera) but unfortunately they are of the age where they like to pull faces for the camera so I've only got a few odd shots for you! Ashlea doesn't pull faces at me, but between her sunglasses and the light reflectng off her regular glasses it is still difficult to get a shot.

Here is Emma - the peasant lady...


Audrey


Ashlea

Monday, September 21, 2009

Book Sharing Monday

I don't know who started the idea of Book Sharing Monday, but my friends Bron and Di regularly do a book post on Mondays. I don't usually participate, but found a great kids book on the weekend so thought I'd jump in this week.

My sister and I have been looking for uniquely Australian books for her to take to friends overseas when she goes next month (did I mention my jealousy over this already???). On Saturday we found this little gem. It is an Australian re-telling of the 3 little pigs...

The 3 Little Bush Pigs by Paul Dallimore


It is so Australian in it's language that I think my sister will need to translate it for our American friends! Also I must say that I think some of the humour is lost on my audience of under 5's - but the adults in the house find it thoroughly enjoyable.

The book starts...'Deep in the Pilliga Scrub lived three little bush pigs who were as keen as mustard to leave home'
Of course they soon meet the dingrel who is 'a bit of a slacker' and likes an easy feed. The first pig builds his house out of prickly pear, but that is soon demolished by the dingrel. The second pig builds his house out of wheet-a-brix boxes which is just as quickly taken care of by the dingrel. The pigs all then end up at the 3rd pig's 'mudbrick house, which had been approved in writing by the Pilliga Shire Council'.

At this point the Dingrel (and his goanna mate Dazza) 'fang it all the way' to the 3rd pig's house in their ute, where the dingrel is unable to blow down the mudbrick house. The dingrel then comes up with another scheme to catch the pigs...but I won't spoil the ending for you. You can rest easy though...

' most of the animals in this story lived happily ever after.'

Saturday, September 19, 2009

100 Posts!

This marks my 100th post since starting this blog. And what grand topic have I chosen for today's auspicious occasion? Some profound insight about parenting? A witty anecdote about my children? Nope, none of the above. I am going to share with you my excitement about a bath seat.

You see, I have had many bad experiences with bath seats for Ashlea, and we seem to have finally hit on a good solution so I thought I'd share it with all of you. We have tried a number of commercially available bath seats as well as a couple of specially modified seats and none have worked particularly well, until this one...it's called the Love n Care Deluxe Baby Bath Seat.


The great things about it are:
* it has multiple little 'sucker thingies' on the bottom so that it actually sticks to the bottom of the bath - have you got a mental picture of me balancing a naked squirming Ashlea whilst trying to chase the seat around the bath? Yes? That is not fun for anyone, so one that actually sticks to the bottom of the bath is a good start.
* it opens at the front for easy access
* the bottom screws off so that you can add secure modifications like this:


Our lovely OT has added some padding and tied it down between the 2 layers of the seat which is great because (again) while the other bath seats were floating in one direction, their inserts were usually floating in another. With this arrangement the insert is unable to float away - I tell you it really is the little things that make my day. The padding and seat belt have solved the problem of Ashlea sliding forward in the seat or arching herself over the back of the seat

Here is a picture of the bottom so you can see what I mean by the 'little suckers' and how it screws off.


It didn't occur to me at all that it could be modified to include a little support - but my crafty OT took one look at it and had a vision. I thought I'd share that vision with all of you so that you can modify it for yourselves at home if you like. The only thing I am not sure about is what size child it would hold up to - Miss Ashlea is a small 3 1/2 year old (around 14kg but quite short). Emma ( 5 1/2) still easily fits in it though.

And for those of you with no interest whatsoever in bath seats, here is a cute twins picture for making it this far...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

5 Minutes for Special Needs

Today's photos are both cute photos of Ashlea and a request to all you knowledgable special needs mums.

These photos are of Ashlea doing her absolute favourite thing in the world - riding the bike. She LOVES doing this, and as soon as anyone opens the back door she will say 'Outside....Bike'. For her to ride it I have to either hold her on - as you can see in the pics - or actually ride on it with her. What I would really love (and here is where you all come in) is some kind of adapted / special needs ride on bike for her (for Christmas). She isn't up to fully riding a bike with pedals yet, but I think she would be able to get the hang of a little ride on - as long as it had a lot of support so she didn't fall off. Please leave suggestions if you have seen anything that would be suitable.






PS I think I have worked out how the 5 Minutes for Special Needs thing works this week and will try and leave comments on all the blogs this time. Sorry for not leaving comments on everyone's blogs last week - I got side-tracked reading all the stories about everyone's kids! All the other blogs can be found here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Botox Clinic

We're back from botox. Ashlea did really well (courtesy of some very nice drugs - again, I wish they would share the kid's drugs with the parents).

Before botox clinic we had our regular PDC (Physical Disability Clinic) appointment. Our usual doctor was away, so we just went over Ashlea's history and progress, and then the physio had a look at her legs to decide which muscles to botox. It was decided to do both calves AND hamstrings (which is what I was hoping for) as both these muscle groups are really tight. The good news is she has no tightness around her hips at this stage.

Ashlea was quite unhappy during all this touching and prodding - but it did prompt something very clever from her - a mini-milestone almost! Usually when she is upset with someone she says 'Bye Bye'. She doesn't say 'No' at all - but today when no one listened to her when she said 'Bye Bye' she very forcefully said NO. And then she repeated it. And kept repeating it. No No No No No.

After that we got to wait around a bit until they put the emla cream on her legs, and then we got to wait around some more. During all this waiting I was very productive and got all my hospital business done - including finally catching up with the continence nurse and getting Ashlea into the program for free nappies through the PADP - yes you did read that correctly - free nappies. To make things even better because I told her I had trialled the nappies they normally use and thought they were absolute shite, she is geting Huggies for us.

Eventually Ashlea got to have her midazolam which made her nice and sleepy. That combined with the gas (and a CD of In the Night Garden) meant she was quite calm (by her standards) throughout the botox injections. She was still a little aware of what was going on but not enough to be too distressed. It was less stressful than our regular blood tests! She had 12 injections all up - 3 in each calf and 3 in each hamstring.

And now we get to wait some more to see what effect it will have. The peak effect is in around 3 weeks. Watch this space!

Monday, September 14, 2009

B-1 and counting...

Tomorrow is botox day. It will be our first ever experience with botox. I still think they should consider setting up mother & child clinics for botox - the kids can get their spasticity botoxed and us mums can get our worry lines filled!

I hope the day won't be too distressing for Ashlea. She is extremely sensitised to being touched by any sort of medical person. Even when she had some leg measurements taken today she was hysterical. Usually for botox they just give the children gas to help them through it, but I am going to request they give Ashlea some sedation otherwise it is going to get.very.ugly.

She had her pre-botox leg measurements done today and the good news is that in spite of the spasticity she hasn't had any shortening in the muscles (I think that is what the physio said - it was hard to hear over Ashlea's wailing). The good thing about that is that it probably means she won't need serial casting after the botox - got to be thankful for that!

So....I'll update tomorrow evening or Wednesday morning to let you all know how it went.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Sermon

Yes, you read the title correctly - so for those not interested in sermons it might be time to switch off your computer! Its not really a sermon as such, rather a comment (soap box moment) about something someone said in church today.

A bit of background information for those who don't usually go to church (and are still reading): Christians believe in heaven. Its the whole point of Christianity - we believe in life after death - those in Christ will be raised to eternal life - perfect life, no more sickness, mourning, crying or pain I believe are the bible's exact words on the subject.

Today someone was praying in church (in front of everyone) and described heaven as being a 'cold comfort' to someone whose relative had died. I nearly choked. I understand where he was coming from in that sometimes when you are grieving nothing feels like a comfort. BUT this is church for goodness sake. We (Christians) don't believe that the hope of heaven is a cold comfort - we believe it is THE ONLY source of true comfort for a Christian. There is no greater comfort than knowing that your loved one is no longer suffering and that you will be reunited with them in eternity. If there is no comfort in the hope of heaven then we as Christians are wasting our time and should just stay in bed on Sunday mornings.

OK, I'm stepping down from my soapbox now.

I was unsure about whether to post this as I know a lot of people reading this aren't 'churchy' but I want to be open on this blog about all aspects of myself and my life. I don't want to start a major controversy, and I definitely do think there are many sources of comfort when you are grieving, but for Christians the hope of heaven has got to be the main one.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Respite here we come!

Along this journey of parenthood and disability, Murray and I haven't had much time off - especially together. We haven't accessed any respite services - mainly because I don't trust anyone else to look after my baby! Also the idea of sending my baby to a respite centre is just unthinkable at this stage.

Well, the Spastic Centre have hit upon a genius respite idea and we are lucky enough to be part of the program. We are receiving respite funding for the next 12 months and the program is designed to be completely flexible and user-friendly for the families. So user friendly in fact that they just give you cash and you can spend it however you wish to access respite. You can use it to pay an agency, or (here is the good bit) you can nominate your friends and family to be the respite workers and you can pay them to look after your kids! You can also use the money to pay for the respite activities themselves. For example we can use the money to pay Aunty Kellie (who the kids LOVE) to mind the children, AND use the money to pay the restaurant bill when Murray and I go out for dinner.

The program goes for 1 year and comprises two payments of $500 - woohoo!

So, the obvious question is "What to do?" I'd love to hear your ideas about what you use as respite. What works for you? So far I am thinking Murray and I will use it to go out just the two of us a couple of times, and we might also try and do a few activities with Emma and Audrey that they would love but would send Ashlea nuts (maybe the Easter Show or a kids concert). I'd love to hear your suggestions and hear what has worked for you and your families.

Totally unrelated to respite, I just had to post this pic of Ashlea - she had her first piggy tales today. She has an unruly mop of hair - the front is always hanging in her face and the back looks like a wild birdnest - so we decided to try pig tales as the solution.




















PS You will also notice I am using Murray's real name - he has not read this blog in ages so I figure what he doesn't know won't hurt him ... Actually it will be interesting to see how long it takes for him to realise!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Would this annoy you?

Or am I just being petty? We all know that the answer probably is going to fall on the side of pettiness but that is not going to stop me from sharing it with all of you :)

We had swimming today which Ashlea loved as usual, but one of the other mums there did something I found quite annoying. After swimming most people dress their bubs on the benches at the side of the pool (they are quite wide - I can easily dress Ashlea there). If anyone wants a shower they have to use the communal 'rinse-off' showers that everyone uses after swimming and then we go to the change rooms to get dressed. Pretty straightforward right?

Well, there is one mum in our swimming class who, rather than do this like everyone else, goes and showers and dresses in private in the disabled changed rooms. With her non-disabled self and her non-disabled child.

Come on princess - surely you can slum it in the change rooms with the rest of us?

Do you think this is OK behaviour???

It really irks me and I really want to say something, but I just don't know if its worth it. I think the thing that cemented my annoyance was when I saw her get in her BMW to drive home!

So what do you think? Would this annoy you? Would you say something? Or do I need to just get over it?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Special Exposure Wednesday - 5 Minutes for Special Needs

I got the idea for this post off Bron (as usual), who got the idea off 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

I don't quite fully get the gist of it, but it is a photo-based post, that also relates to special needs (no different to most of my other posts really!). Anyway, I thought I would add a photo today. Click here to see the rest of the posts.

I took these photos of the girls on the weekend. It is so rare for my 3 girls to play together that when it happens I run and grab the camera. Emma and Audrey always play together, and sometimes Ashlea plays near them, but rarely do they all do the same activity at the same time.

Even though this first pic is of Ashlea's behind, it looks like she and Audrey are colouring together. It wasn't quite like that in real life - Ashlea had just crawled over to see what was going on.

















After she had inspected the goings on, she did pick up a pencil and do some scribbling in the book with Audrey. Look at that - my 3 girls colouring in together - such a normal, regular, everyday activity - but because in our house it is an amazing, irregular, one-off occurence I had to get a photo.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Just quietly...

Just quietly, I had an interesting phone call today from someone at RPA (the TV show not the hospital) wanting to know if they could follow up the girls again*. I am undecided whether to do it. The main reason I would say no is because I worry that people will think 'not them again!' seeing as this would be our 3rd time on the show. Surely the country has had enough of our story by now!

We probably will do it though as it makes for a great record of how far we have come. If it weren't for the show we wouldn't have all that video footage of the girls when they were so tiny.

Also I want to do it because I want people to see that it is OK not to get the fairy tale ending. I think some people may watch the show and be shocked at Ashlea's disabilities, but I really want to portray all of Ashlea's achievements rather than the negatives. I feel that most people only see the negatives - 'I don't know how you manage' and 'I could never cope with that' are frequent comments we get, and for the most part they are from people who are only seeing the negatives not the positives - not seeing Ashlea herself. I am hoping if we do this it will come across as a celebration of how far both Ashlea and Audrey have come.

So, what do you all think? Yay or Nay to more reality TV???

* For those new to our story or who read from overseas, RPA is a reality TV show set in a major hospital in Sydney. They followed our pregnancy with the twins and their early birth. They also did a follow up show when the girls turned one. Yes I have to admit to having been on a reality TV show!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Father's Day

The girls had a lovely time today with M for Father's Day. They have been excitedly making gifts during the week - at preschool they made a gift bag with a hanky, a notepad and pen, a chocolate and of all things some rubber bands (WT??) and at home they made lots of bits of paper stuffed in envelopes. Emma asked me the other day if it was OK to love Daddy a bit more than everyone else on Father's Day because it is his special day - very sweet.

The day started with a big fry-up for breakfast, then I went to church while they kept clogging their arteries with more bacon, and then chocolate for 'dessert'. In the afternoon we all went to the park and flew our $5 kite (thanks for that idea Bron). The kids loved it - and we were by far the most popular people at the park...until another family arrived with their own $5 kite!

Here is Em flying the kite...she did really well at it:













The pictures are pretty far away so it is hard to tell what is happening - Emma is the speck on the ground and the kite is the speck in the air. The next one is Audrey 'flying' the kite - ie her holding the string and running in circles while M held the kite in the air and ran after her!















We have discovered the secret to park success with Ashlea - have her asleep in the pram. Today when we got there she was quite unhappy and crying a lot, but then managed to put herself to sleep - I think in the belief that if she wasn't aware of what was going on then maybe it wasn't really happening. When she woke up she was in a better mood thankfully, and we even took her on the swings and the slide - her new word for the day is 'slippery dip'. I am going to look into some of the brushing/sensory therapies though - I am tired of avoiding places that upset her. We are in danger of ending up with a very small world if we keep that up.

This was our 3rd recent trip to the park after my self-imposed exile of the last year. I have noticed that it is now 'obvious' to other people that Ashlea has a disability. In the past I have been able to get away without questions or comments because she just looked like a younger child in a pram, but I guess we have gone past that point now. Any illusion of slipping under the radar is gone. Now people see her and realise she isn't a baby and that 'something' is going on. Not that anyone has asked me any direct questions, its just a subtle change I've noticed. I think Emma has noticed it as well, as she has started 'explaining' Ashlea to people. A lot of people ask if my girls are twins or triplets, and Emma (after asserting strongly 'I am not a twin') has started to say that 'she (Ashlea) has had lots of sickness that's why she doesn't look like her twin'. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I guess it is a part of our life - people will always ask questions. I guess too that it isn't just other people realising that Ashlea has a disability, Emma is also realising it.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I have another confession...

One you will find almost as disturbing as last weeks.

I watch 'Packed to the Rafters'.

Religiously.

Totally cheesy I know, but it has got me sucked in. Before I got to watch this weeks episode, I read a comment about it on Terrible Palsy's blog, which made me all the more keen to watch it and see what I thought.

This is what I think: I think they are on dangerous ground.

A few weeks ago they had the storyline about the mum (Rebecca Gibney) being pregnant and at high risk for Down Syndrome. What if the baby had DS? Would they keep the baby? Would they terminate the pregnancy? How would they cope? And then after a lot of emotional scenes it turns out - O look, the baby doesn't have DS after all. I know for the writers it is just a story idea that they think will get ratings, but how does this affect people watching who have lived this? Especially the ones who didn't get the convenient TV ending of everything turning out fine? And why not have the story idea (shock, horror) that your child does have DS and you love them to bits and they are a delightful member of your family that you wouldn't swap for anything???

This weeks story has been bugging me since I watched it. There is a new character in the show - Jake (Rachel's boyfriend) whose brother has Cerebral Palsy - which is fine - good actually for people with disabilities to be portrayed on screen. However the character isn't played by an actor with CP, but someone pretending to have CP. VERY hard to do that tactfully if you ask me...surely there are actual actors with CP out there that could have been used? The worst part of the storyline is that this character's mother is quite bitter and twisted. She comes across as very protective of her children, but in an aggressive, nasty way. Surely the media doesn't think that all us SN mums are bitter and twisted from taking care of our children and worrying about their futures? Why not portray her as a loving, caring mum just like the main character of the show?

The DS and CP storylines don't offend me, they do make me concerned as to whether the stories will be handled well, and whether they are realistic. But the SN mum being bitter and twisted - that I find offensive.

I am not bitter and twisted (not to my knowledge anyway). Hopefully I won't ever become bitter and twisted. So far I haven't met any other bitter and twisted parents. Most of us though are sick of stereotypes and prejudice in the community - and I don't know that these TV portrayals are helping.

Anyone else watch and have an opinion?

PS - I hope I haven't been offensive in any of these ramblings. If I've been out of line with anything I've said feel free to leave a rude comment - that I won't publish ;)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Concert Review

The Ben Folds concert last night was AWESOME. He is so freakishly talented, it was amazing.

I even have a blurry pic for you...



One kind of surreal moment during the concert was where (for I don't know what reason) he had 3 guys on stage playing hacky-sack during a song. We were watching and all at once my sister and I turned to each other and said "Isn't that Morgan?" (one of the student ministers at our church).

Oh my goodness, how did he score that gig???

After the show we were outside texting him just in case he was inside hanging with Ben, and could therefore arrange for us to be inside hanging with Ben too, but alas he didn't return our messages (like you'd really be checking your phone the whole time you got to hang out with someone cool like that).

It was a great concert, and also a great reminder that making the effort to go out and do something can be fun. Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking it's all too hard, but really, it is usually worth the effort.

So now I am looking for something else fun to attend. Any suggestions?