Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mommy & Toys

This week has been a bit of a blur.  Garry got a horrible cold & cough last week and this week I came down with it along with, to a certain level, Macey, Molly & Braden.  Only Emma seems to be holding strong.

I have fallen behind on practically everything -- dishes, vacuuming, laundry.  Yesterday I tried to climb out of the hole a little bit by doing some laundry.  Molly came into the room while I was sorting and putting laundry away.

When it was time to go to bed, I had to climb under a mass of Molly's stuffed animals she had brought in.  I had her come into the room and clean it up.  It took several trips to get them back in her room.

"Molly," I asked.  "Why did you bring those all in here?"

"Because I wanted to spend time with you AND my toys," she said.

Can't argue with that.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

We Went To Disneyland!

My kids love Disneyland.  No, really, they love Disneyland.  They talk about it everyday.  It seems that every meal contains a discussion of a favorite ride.

Enjoying Disneyland is a little easier for us now.  Everyone is over 42 inches, allowing us to ride nearly every ride together as a family, which is something we could not do for nearly a decade.  Garry and I got really good at the Parent Swap thing.

But some parts of Disney are harder to enjoy now.  It seems that everytime we go, it gets more crowded.  Disneyland has over a million annual season pass holders, and I swear that each and every one was there when we went in February because it was really crowded.

We were only supposed to go for two days but surprised the kids with a third.  Going for a third day is a nice option because it allows you to just hit the highlights and take time for things outside of the rides, like meeting Spider Man and Thor and Kylo Ren.  But a third day can really hurt your feet!  Every night I went to bed and prayed that my feet would heal while I slept!  And every morning things were fine!

Emma still loves Screamin'.  She did not get to ride it nearly enough.  Braden still will not try Tower of Terror though the couch on the Carousel is just perfect for him.  Macey found Tiana on her birthday, which was huge.  And they added BB8 to Star Tours, which made her happy.  And Molly loved all of the spooky changes to Matterhorn.

A tax return well spent!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

When A Bowl Isn't Big Enough. . .You Do What You Have To Do

Macey Turns 10

We celebrated Macey's birthday at Disneyland but held her family birthday party when we got back. She requested brownies and a chocolate fountain, and Garry bought a ton of peanut butter cookies just for her.

A little about Macey:

She's in the Fourth Grade.  Her teachers are Ms. Jarvis & Ms. Liu.  She excels at school.  Last week we had Parent Teacher conference and Garry asked if there was anything Macey needed to work on.  Ms. Jarvis laughed.  Out loud.  She apologized but said she could not help it -- Macey is just perfect.

Macey learned to play the flute this year and is also working on the piano.  She started competitive dance and is finishing soccer this Spring.  Busy girl.

Macey loves her friends.  She is very loyal.  She's not as crazy about her younger sister.  She's very helpful with her little brother.

Macey loves to read.  She loves to steal my space heater and find a few minutes to read.  She likes to disappear into the basement and watch Disney Channel but lately she's been too busy to do that as much.

She loves pink.  

She's a daughter of my soul, and I love her very much!  Happy Birthday Macey Gracey Puddin' In Her Facey!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Competitive Dance Season Begins!

Saturday morning came way too early as I got Macey ready for her competitive dance performance at Juan Diego high school.  Luckily it was just in Draper, Utah.

I got Macey up and did her hair and make-up for the first dance.  It's a little challenging because she had three performances on Saturday and all required different hairstyles and shoes and outfits. . .I was also scolded for not putting on her lipstick dark enough.  Did I mention she was 10?  It's all a little much.

Macey is the youngest in her group.  She has a lot of learning to do, but she is having a really good time!  Her jazz number and lyrical number got third place but her production number, Willy Wonka, got first place.  It really deserved it.  They've done a marvelous job putting it together!

One competition down this year!  A few more to go!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Are You Going To Play Sharks & Minnows?

This week has been CRAZY!  I write for five different clients, and this week each and every client wanted something.  And as soon as possible.

Add to that the kids' homework, music lessons, Macey's concert, Macey's extra dance practices, Emma's soccer practices (three times a week), Parent-Teacher Conference, spelling tests, benchmark tests and FINALLY, today, the Chinese Language Fair at the University of Utah.

The language fair is only for the older grades.  Molly is not participating for a few years.  But she heard tidbits about "camp" and went with her Dad and sister to pick out sack lunches for Emma & Macey's "camp".

When we're off-track, the kids do go to Super Sport camp.  And they have a great time.  Molly thought the girls were going to Super Sport.  And she was being forced to go to school.  And take her crummy spelling test.

She didn't complain.  But while I was doing Emma's hair, I heard her little voice ask: "Are you going to play sharks and minnows?"

Poor thing!  We quickly explained about the language fair and she seemed relieved.  Bring on the spelling test.  Bring on the language fair!

And I'm excited to have this week over!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Outings With Braden

Since Braden and I are the only ones home during the day, we take a lot of outings.  We go on a lot of walks.  Target is a familiar haunt.  Barnes & Noble is a favorite, especially if we stop and get a hot chocolate and chocolate mousse.  And we always stop.  Thursdays mean storytime at the library with a jaunt to Cafe Rio to have lunch with Aunt Shelly.  We have a lot of outings.  And apparently they all seem to rotate around food and books.

Last night I was tempted by a Village Inn commercial and the promise of Free Pie Wednesday.  So I told Braden we were going.  He was none too happy because he wanted to stay home, watch Netflix, and eat Chicken Noodle Soup.

But I insisted and off we went!

He ordered his pie from the picture.  So imagine his surprise when he -- my boy who does not like really sweet things -- realized it was lemon.  He was not pleased.

I thought it was pretty good, though!

Braden's lemon face:

Saturday, March 5, 2016

End of the Line!

Here is my picture celebrating three sessions of Kindergarten Orientation!  Emma missed out because we were not in a house yet and things were still up in the air.

Crazy Hair Day!

Friday was the day my kids LOVE and I dread -- Crazy Hair Day/

I know parents who go all out on this day.  My friend Tiffany even shaves her kids heads, if necessary.  Emma will come home with tales of kids with floating hair (helium balloons), Christmas trees (battery powered lights and all), etc.  I have no good ideas!

This year I thought Emma could at least have a fun shape (a soccer ball, of course).  Macey asked for a flower garden.  I made Molly into a Christmas present.

Whew!  Done for another year!

Spelling Bee 2015/2016

Macey is an exceptionally good speller.  Which makes sense as she is an exceptionally good student.  I often called her brain "the vault" because what goes in usually stays there and she can recall it.  It comes in handy with the spelling bee.

The school spelling bee is divided into two: a spelling bee for the lower grades and a spelling bee for the upper grades.  Last year, we knew, was Macey's year because she was in the third grade and would be the oldest one there.

The only complication was that her class spelling bee was scheduled for when we were in Florida for Theresa & Mike's wedding.  Luckily it was postponed.  Perhaps it was not about luck.  Perhaps it was about her teacher, Ms. Rollins, wanting the let Macey participate.  We brought the spelling list to Florida just in case and when we heard that the class spelling bee had been postponed a day and Macey could participate, we started studying like crazy in the Florida airport.

It was certainly her year!  She won in Round 11!

But the whole process made her a little anxious and a little sick.  So we thought that this year we would study enough to do well and be proud, but not win her class spelling bee.  But she just couldn't help herself.  She won.

We really did not study this much this year.  We knew older kids would be participating and decided that this year would not be her year.  But we practiced a little while in line in Disneyland.  We should have studied harder because the competition was not as brutal as I expected for the 4th, 5th and 6th grade.  I think Macey could have won it all.  As it was, she was the last 4th grader standing.  She went out on the word inclement.  She slipped an A in there.

We are proud of Macey!

He Didn't Get One!

Braden has been working really hard on learning his alphabet.  We have some flash cards and he's a master at his ABCs.

A few weeks ago, Braden was tested on his alphabet at school.  He missed a few lowercase letters and missed the sound a G makes.  Could not get that for the longest time.

He was retested this Friday and conquered the alphabet like a boss.  He was awarded with a bright yellow ABC badge.

Jumping in the van after school, he asked me, "Mom!  Guess what today was?"

"Alphabet Badge Day!" I responded.

Evidently I did not sound excited enough.  "No, Mom," he said.  "You don't understand.  He didn't get one," he pointed to a friend.  "And he didn't get one!" he said, pointing out another little kid.  LOUDLY.

Parents loved hearing that. . .

But, Mom. . .

Braden has a lot of questions about Kindergarten.  His primary question is "How many days before. . ."  He wants to know when he'll start.  He wants to know what he'll learn.  He wants to know who is going with him.

When he asks what he'll do at Kindergarten, we explain that it will be a great year because he will learn to read.

On Friday, I took Braden to school so that we could volunteer in Macey's class for a little bit.  We saw Mrs. Mueller, the woman I hope will be his teacher next year, outside in front of the school.  We told her that we would be back for Kindergarten Orientation that afternoon!

As Braden and I walked away, he asked: "Mom, is she going to teach me to read?"

"Yes!" I said.  "And I'll help you, too."

We had a good time at Orientation.  I'm an old pro now, so I wasn't too anxious about the information presented.  In fact, Braden had to go to the bathroom, so we missed a chunk of the presentation anyway.  We went to visit a classroom and Mrs. Mueller read the kids a book.

On the way home, Braden was a little quiet.  Finally he said: "Mom, she did not teach me to read!"  I guess he expected it all to happen at Orientation.  I explained that it was a process -- that it took longer than 10 minutes.

I do not think he was fully satisfied with my response.

Oh, They're Going To Laugh At You!

Stress was running high this morning as I realized that I made a mistake -- a big one.  I invited neighbors for a movie night out but got the date wrong.  The movie did not open on the 11th.  It opened on the 18th.  I sat on my living room floored, stressed as I tried to find the best way to tell people I had mixed everything up.

Braden listed as I explained the situation to Garry.  "Oh, they're going to laugh at you!" he said, while playing with his toys.  "Laugh and laugh."

That's my Braden!  Always there to make things better.  Stinker.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Time To Pick Up Sisters!

I am so grateful that I have this blog.  It contains many of my favorite memories from when Emma & Macey -- and even a little of Molly -- were little, little.  But, by abandoning this blog for a quicker, easier Facebook, I have really let a lot of Braden's childhood go undocumented.

So I'll try to do better.  Especially for him.  Because he's hilarious.

Braden is 4 now.  He'll turn 5 in just a few days, which he is very excited for.  He asks everyday how many days are left before his birthday, though he does not really understand the answer.

When I pick Braden up from preschool with Miss Sally, he really likes to chill out by watching "a show" as he calls them (Bubble Guppies and Paw Patrol are the current favorite) or playing a game on the Wii.  He HATES picking up the girls from school.  It disrupts his play time.  It's always a few drama-filled minutes before I can get him into the van.

Today I reminded him that we were going to leave soon to pick up "the sisters" when he responded: I thought they were walking home today!

Since the school is over two miles away and you have to go over a highway to get there, chances are really, really low that that would EVER be a possibility.  But hope springs eternal in his mind, I guess.