Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ms. Sheri and the end of year one

Tate had his last day of his first year of preschool on my birthday.  His class did this cute little program where they sang songs, with funny gestures of course, and it was super darling.   I'm still trying to figure out why I can't upload videos anymore, so if I figure it out I'll get some posted!  
He had a fun and diverse class.  Lots of different personalities.  He learned a lot and grew up a lot this year.  I was a little worried, given the drama of last summer, whether he'd do well in preschool, but it was just what he needed.  He made some sweet little friends and his teacher, Ms. Sheri, was so kind to him and seemed to really understand him.  
After their little program we went back to the classroom for an ice cream party.  Tate got a scoop of vanilla and then proceeded to scoop spoonful after spoonful of gummi bears on top.  He just kept going.  I guess I hadn't realized before that there was a time when we didn't have this filter of "I should stop now.  People will see.  I can't have as much as I want."  Tate has not developed that filter yet.  He just kept scooping gummi bears because, he still wanted more.  Ms. Sheri and I watched for a bit and then she just said, "Here, Tate, let's just dump the whole cup on top."  So she did and Tate ended up with more gummi bears than ice cream and was a very happy boy.
 Here's Tate with my favorite little girl, Ryanne.  I think she has a bit of a crush on Tate and she is SO sweet.  
 Tate and Ms. Sheri with their serious faces.
 Aaaand silly faces.
 And their smily faces.
We're both going to miss Ms. Sheri.  Every time Tate talks about preschool he talks about how he doesn't want to go to a different class because he doesn't want a new teacher.  I agree buddy, but this is gonna be life from now on.  I'm so glad we found Ms. Sheri this year.  She was perfect for Tate and made it a wonderful first year of preschool.

The time Glenn threw me a Surprise Party

Yep.  My honey is a serious sneak.  He called me two days before my birthday and told me that he wanted to take me out to dinner but he couldn't find a so Sister Baxter, the sweet momma of our regular sitter, volunteered to watch them while we went to dinner.  I protested, of course and told him I'd rather just go out together, but he said no.  He wanted to take me out for my birthday.  I said what about what I want?  He said, I'll think about it.  Perfect.  Thanks a lot, Glenn.
Turns out he'd been lying to me for days.  Telling me he was elsewhere when he was really picking up food for the barbeque, stashing it at the Baxter's house, setting everything up at the park.  Then when the time came we loaded the kids in the car to take them to the Baxter's house and he turned into the clubhouse parking lot instead.  It was FULL of cars and there was a rather embarrassingly large crowd of people waiting.  
Honestly, not what I would have chosen for my birthday (who would choose a surprise party given the choice?  It's a bit embarrassing.) but it was very flattering.  I was so surprised at how many people planned, schemed, made food to share, ran the grill the entire evening, and brought their whole families out on a pretty windy evening just to wish me happy birthday.  We counted afterwards and there were 15 families who came.  It was very sweet and I felt very loved.  Glenn managed to get a few pictures while chasing Finn around.  Finn thinks he can do everything the big kids can and he's getting really fast which makes for a lot of falls.
The Cluffs even made their special Cluff cookies and drove all the way down from Broomfield to partake in the festivities with their 4 week old baby Katie.  They look very serious in this picture, but I think they all had fun!
My birthday cake.
 Well played Glenn...and everyone else who schemed and lied to me on my birthday to make this party possible.
Glenn did give me a date night for my birthday.  He got us tickets, great tickets by the way, to see Les Miserables on Saturday.  Other than a rather unfortunate shoe selection on my part, the evening was delightful.  We had dinner at a fun outdoor cafe down town then walked (here's where the poor shoe choice comes in) to the theatre for the show.  I've seen it several times so I was expecting it to be like I've seen it before, but I wasn't aware that for the 25th anniversary of the show they did a complete re-staging.  It's very different than the original staging and I REALLY enjoyed analyzing all the changes and seeing how different the new direction made the show.  I talked Glenn's ear off afterward and he was very sweet to at least pretend he was listening.  Maybe he really was, maybe he was going over lacrosse plays in his mind, but either way, I appreciate his indulging my excited word vomit because he knows I have to talk after we see a show.
Glenn dear, thank you for making my 30th birthday a memorable one.  You're a wonderful sweetheart.  I love you, babe.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

30

Today's the day.  I'm 30.  Yuck.  My whole life I've been so excited for my birthday.  The surprises, the presents, the cake, the day all about ME!  I love my birthday.  This year...it's been kind of a kick in the pants.  I did not see it coming, the whole melancholy on my birthday thing, but it turns out big mile stone birthdays are kinda hard.
When I was younger I thought that the year that your age started with a 3 instead of a 2 meant you were suddenly old, unrelatable somehow, out of the realm of "cool twenties" and now I'm an older, married thirty something.  I've spent a few days pondering my 30 years.
I had a long dream a couple of nights ago about all of my past passions.  It was like a long flashback of all my dreams and goals of yesteryear.  I dreamed about my presentation on dyslexia in my education class in college.  I asked to give it because dyslexia wasn't being covered and I thought my fellow future teachers needed to know about it!  I researched it, planned a really cool interactive presentation.  I got that feeling where you knew that somehow this passion, this purpose was going to be a part of your life.  I researched dyslexia teacher training programs.  I talked to counselors in different schools asking, if I got myself trained would they let me test and teach and help kids with dyslexia?  I got so excited about the possibility of helping.  Helping kids who were getting lost, see how smart they are.  How important and wonderful they are regardless of being dyslexic.
Then I dreamed about seeing my first West End production, "Ragtime".  Walking back to our flat from the tube stop and talking with my friend.  Analyzing the scenery, the directing, the actor's choices.  What would we have done differently?  What worked and made the theme more powerful?  I remember the ache I felt, sitting in the audience.  I still feel it when I see shows.  The ache of wanting to be on the stage.  Wanting to be the one to hit those notes, wear those costumes, say those words, make other people feel the story of that character.
Then I dreamed about seeing the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.  Walking through the intricate arches, and seeing the Patio de Los Leones for the first time.  There was a story I read years before in a beginning Spanish class, a legend about what happened in that room.  I remember the tingling sense of history, of magic, being in the very room that I had pictured for years thinking about that story.  Walking through the halls of the palace feeling the weight of centuries of people who walked those tiled halls before me and imagining all of the stories that happened there that I had never read about.
I dreamed of the afternoons spent on the couch with my roommate pouring over Spanish magazines, reading them aloud to try to improve our flow and accents.  Looking up every word we didn't know so we could improve our vocabulary.  Remembering the drive that I had to conquer and figure out this language that I loved so much.
Then somehow my dream led me to my huge, windowless classroom at American Fork Junior High, always packed with at least 40 students.  To the faces of the students I wanted so badly to teach and nurture and shape.  To the one face who had so much drama in her life, that she had no room for me to just teach her drama.  To the feeling of loss I felt as I walked out of that building for the last time.  Knowing that it would be years, if I ever taught again and feeling that that year was in many ways not what I wanted it to be.  Knowing that if I just had one more year, I could have been the teacher I longed to be.
I woke up kind of bummed.  Longing for those passions.  Those dreams and weighty moments.  Moments where I just knew, I felt that where I was, what I was doing would shape my future life.  And here I am.  Thirty.  And the life I live now doesn't have enough space in it for the passions I used to have.  Don't get me wrong.  I LOVE my life.  I wouldn't trade my sweetheart, my boys, my house, my job as a mommy for anything in the world.  But you know what?  We stay at home moms have a hard time on big mile stones like today because, if we're incredibly lucky, like I am, when we look back at our lives we see all the other passions before we had our littles.  And part of being a mom means letting those go.  For a while.  For a lot of years, while we do our greatest, our most important work.  I love my children.  I love being their mother.  Sometimes it's hard to realize how much of me I've lost (Spanish language skills anyone?), or put aside for a while.
I talked to my little brother today.  And he didn't see me holding back the tears while I was talking to him over the phone.  But when I told him that I was having a sort of melancholy birthday he said, "But Kim, all those years and experiences made you who you are.  They weren't for nothing.  It's okay that you're thirty because you've earned thirty."  So there it is.  My thirty year old ponderments.  All of my amazing experiences in my life have shaped me.  My great education, my travel, my passions, my dreams, they're still a part of me.  I am who I am because of those experiences and those 30 years and I'm a better woman, wife, and mother for them.  Maybe some day I'll see the Alhambra again and maybe I'll even remember how to speak a bit of Spanish.  Maybe some day I'll star in something small on stage, but maybe not.  Maybe some day I'll teach again.  Help students who are lost.  Who need someone to remind them how great, how smart, how important they are.  But for now, I'm pretty busy doing what I do.   And I am grateful for my 30 years.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Quick Trip to Phoenix

The first weekend in May was my brother Adam's graduation from Thunderbird, a top international business graduate school in Phoenix, AZ.  I could not miss that!  I booked my flight for a really quick weekend trip on my own.  Then we realized that Glenn had a friend from high school getting married back East that same weekend and Glenn had planned to go.  So I had to rearrange our plans a bit and added the boys to my travel plans.  The flight there was actually not too bad.  Finn was pretty happy and Tate was so excited to visit Adam, Cami, and Baby Abby.  He talked about it all week and at one point even told me, "Mom, I don't want to leave."  
"You mean you don't want to go to Arizona, buddy?"
"No, mom.  I don't want to come home from Arizona."
Ahhh, well, that makes much more sense.  I should have known that leaving AZ would be a dramatic event when I had this warning before we even left. 
We got there late Thursday night.  The kiddos were bushed but still had a hard time getting to sleep.  This is how tired Finny was.  
 He let Auntie Mallo give him some VERY rare snuggles.  He was too exhausted to resist.  Gotta love when that happens.
 The next morning we woke up and got ready for Adam's graduation ceremony.  I was so impressed with the school.  It was small, but really prestigious and the student body was incredibly diverse.  They literally came from every corner of the world to study there.  I'm so proud of my brother.  It has been a tumultuous 2 years for his family and the fact that he was able to graduate from this amazing school, get a great job offer, and be such a sweet husband and daddy through it all is pretty darn awesome.
Here's Ad with his ladies, Cami and Baby Abby.
Tate and Finn were pretty good through the ceremony, thanks to Star Wars Angry Birds on Mom's phone for Tate, and tons of snacks and laps to crawl over for Finn.  At one point Tate was busy playing and Mallo asked if he would like to sit on her lap.  His response was, "Um, sure.  I'll be right with you!"  Awesome.
 The graduation party party:  Finn, me, Tate, Mom, Ad, Cami, Baby Abby, and Mallo with her sassy hand-on-hip pose.
 It was a hot AZ day and the boys crashed for a bit post-ceremony cooling off and waiting for lunch to be ready.
We had a delicious meal, provided by Ad and Cami and then changed and went swimming for a bit.  The water was pretty cold, but we were hot enough that it didn't stop us.  Tate had a ball.  Swimming until his chin started shivering, then getting in the hot tub for a bit, then diving back in the pool again.
That night we went to Outback to celebrate Ad's graduation.  
Ad and Cami were incredible hosts.  They planned meals for us, bought snacks for the kids, planned fun activities, and even stood in line at the library for 3 hours one morning to check out free zoo passes for us.  They were so great to help with my busy boys and treated us all so well.  They made this quick and busy visit so enjoyable.
The boys had a hard time falling asleep again that night.  It's just too fun having so many people to chat / play peek-a-boo with in the same room.  Mal and I woke up early to get in a nice jog together then we got ready and headed to the zoo.  Finny slept for the first half hour or so in his stroller.
 Tate was spoiled and loved by everyone.


 I got to get some snugs in with this sweet little lady.  I can't believe how easy it is to get her to smile.  She is so sweet and happy and man, are her cheeks delicious!
 We only lasted a couple of hours at the zoo.  We got there at 11 and left around 1, so needless to say it was wicked hot and after 2 hours we were wiped out.  But we did get to see some pretty cool stuff.  They had a monkey exhibit that you can walk through and get really close to the monkeys.  Close enough to touch them, but you're not allowed to.  They had lots of play grounds and climbing things for the kids and a splash pad as well.  We hit up their farm area and the boys got to play with some goats.  Always a huge hit.


After the zoo we sat around Ad and Cami's apartment for just a couple hours before they had to take the boys and I to the airport.  It was a rough farewell.  Tate was VERY upset about leaving.  I thought he'd get over it, or at least get distracted eventually.  Nope.  He was upset to the airport, through the airport, and kept remembering on the flight and on the drive home, until he fell asleep, that he was mad at me and that he wanted us to turn around and go back to Arizona.  My favorite moment happened at the gate as we were getting on the plane.  He had cried on and off all through the airport and when we got the gate the woman taking our ticket asked him, "What's wrong, little guy?"  His little lip started quivering, his eyes welled up and he said, "I don't like when vacations are over." And started sobbing all over again.  She got down on her knees and hugged him and sympathized with him.  It was very sweet.  Another favorite was being told, "Mom, you are not invited to my Star Wars party (the theme of his NEXT birthday party.  Yes, he's planning it already).  But Dad is, but you are not!"  Okay, sorry you feel that way.  Good to know what happens when you're upset with me.  
Fam, thanks for the great, though much too quick trip! And congrats to Ad on your graduation.  So glad we were able to make it!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Boutique and our first Tate Date

Now that it's been almost 2 weeks since the big day, I should probably post about our boutique.  It was crazy.  My mom and Aunt Tam drove up just for the weekend to help with the boutique and they were incredibly helpful and so fun to have around.  They kept us from getting too stressed...well, my mom kept me from getting too stressed out.  Aunt Tam kind of stressed us out on occasion.  We were hoping for a much better turn out, but I guess none of us really expected it, considering that this is our first time trying to run a boutique ourselves.  We did everything we could think of to advertise, but we still had very few people come.  And yet, even with the slow traffic, we still made a good deal of money.  We had a lot of big sales, and the total at the end of the day surprised us all.  The club house looked amazing.  Our vendors really made their displays look wonderful and the clubhouse was pretty full with our 15 vendors' booths.  
 Here's my little table of baby things.  My mom set it up while I was running around like a crazy person.
 This was one of my favorite booths.  We found her from her etsy shop, Sedula.  Her name was Lili and she's from Lithuania.  Her things were so so cute.  Really pricey, but cute.
 My aunt Tam's candy table.  She really went all out.  She probably had 10 different types of candy, all wrapped up super cute with darling ribbons, tags, and signs for the table.
 Aunt Nancy's table.  She made darling home decor signs.
 My momma, hanging up all of her darling doll clothes.  I wish I could find a good place to sell them for her because they are so beautiful!
 It was a really good experience.  The hardest part, and the part that makes me think hard about doing it again, was sitting there in the club house for so many hours feeling sad for our vendors who came and spent so much time and we couldn't get people to come shop!  They all made money, and we still made money, but I felt bad that we couldn't make it more worth it for them.  I know it's just hit and miss with craft fairs.  I've done a few where I didn't make my booth fee back, and at least that wasn't the case for them.  A few of them really did quite well.  But I still wish we could have had a better turn out for them.  Oh well.  I'm still really glad we tried it.  I think I need a few more weeks before I decide if I'm up for another go though!
I should also mention that Glenn was ridiculously supportive through the whole thing.  My favorite form of his support was that when I got home from the boutique at the end of the day, I found that he had cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed the house, and cleaned all the bathrooms.  Yep, he's that awesome.

The next week we took Tate on our first ever "Tate Date".  We found out that Mary Poppins was coming to town and I could not resist getting tickets and taking Tate!  We got a sitter for Finny and Tate, Glenn, and I went to the show.  We watched clips from the show online and talked about what a Broadway play was and what kinds of things he was going to see.  We talked about theatre etiquette and when he should clap to let the actors know he liked it.  It was so fun!  Here we are before the show.  Gotta love Tate's "Smile for the camera" smile.  Wow.

 He was so sweet during the show.  He whispered when he wanted to tell us something or ask a question.  He clapped immediately after every song and was really enthusiastic about it.  My favorite song was "step in time".  The dancing was incredible and at one point Bert walked up one side of the proscenium, danced across the top upside-down, and walked down the other side.  It was awesome.  Tate's favorite song changes every time you ask him.  He liked Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious of course, and step in time (which he calls "the one on the roof"), and It's a Jolly Holiday with Mary, when the statues come alive in the park.  He thought that was pretty cool.
It was very late, and we were surprised that he lasted as long as he did.  But by the end of the play he couldn't hold out any longer.  He stretched out across our laps and fell right to sleep with about a half hour left in the show.
It was so fun to share that with him.  I think there will be more Tate Dates in the future.  And eventually there should be Finn Dates too.  It was great to spoil and spend time with just one at a time and make him feel special.  The next day we flew to Arizona for Adam's graduation (another post, of course), and he kept telling everyone at the airport, "I just went to my first Broadway play last night!"