Saturday, May 24, 2014

Her first graduation

A moment I have been dreading/looking forward to for the past year has been Aubrey's preschool graduation. I kept in the back of mind all year, but really wished it would not happen. I mean, I am excited to know she has grown and shown she is ready for kindergarten, but I really don't want to admit my baby girl is moving to elementary school. I remember her first day of preschool and how nervous we were. She has grown up so much and learned so much since that and its amazing. But, in my mind, she's still that little girl and so admitting that she's not the same little girl I dropped off on that first day is so bittersweet.

To start the ceremony, each of the 3 classes performed songs before walking back to their classrooms to don their little caps and gowns. While they got the kids ready, the adults watched a slide show with pictures from the year and I completely cried like a baby. Seeing the activities they did through pictures and watching for pictures of Aubrey with her friends was so fun, but they had to use the most tear-jerking music, like "It Won't Be Like This For Long" so we all cried. Finally, each student came in the sanctuary and walked down the aisle to the good ol' Pomp and Circumstance before taking their seat. Aubrey was so cute in her cap and gown and I really did have visions of what she will look like in 13 years at high school graduation. After they marched in, the director called each student across the stage individually and they had to shake hands with the her and the pre-k teachers. It seemed so professional and grown up. I can tell they practiced with the kids a ton but the kids were still so nervous to be in front of all of the adults. After they walked across the stage, the director made a little speech and pronounced them the class of 2014 and more tears started. Luckily, I had the distraction of getting Aubrey at that point to keep the tears brief. We did a few pictures with her friends before taking off for a post-graduation celebration. A local stable offered their property and horses for a party for the kids and it was so much fun. They had pizza, pony rides,  a playground, paint the pony, and a water inflatable. Both kids had a blast playing and I was glad Aubrey got one more chance to play with all of her friends together. It was a great way to wrap up a fabulous school year and celebrate the kids and teachers' hard work.

Dance Recital 2014

Another dance season has come and gone. I was so excited about Aubrey's dance recital this year. I guess since I've been less involved with dance this year since I went back to work, I was more looking forward to seeing what she has been doing all year in dance. Mrs. Rhonda kept me up to date whenever I saw her about Aubrey's progress so I knew she was doing well, I just wanted to see it for myself.

Just as we did last year, we had dress rehearsal on Friday night. After Aubrey's rehearsal, we stayed to watch most of the "big girl" dances. Unfortunately, I had to work early the next morning so we couldn't stay for all of it, but it was still fun to watch all of the girls  (and guy) dance. We also got to hang out with my sister who came to watch with us.

Saturday I had to work and got to the auditorium just in time to get Aubrey dressed and scoot her to the back. I was thankful again that they girls had helpers in the back to take care of the girls so we could enjoy the show. I am sure she the girls were much more entertained in the back with their friends and no mommies telling them what to do. It was bittersweet to see the new class of "babies", but neat compare the them to the big 4 and 5 year-old girls of this year. Aubrey and most of her friends have made so much progress this year and it was fun to watch.

After she show, Todd went to the stage to pick Aubrey up and present her with her flowers and balloons. Aubrey was ecstatic when she saw her bouquet included an Anna and Elsa (from Frozen) balloon. She was so happy about the balloon, she almost forgot to get her 2nd year of dance medal from her teachers. However, once she got the medal, she refused to take it off the rest of the night. We did a quick round of pictures after the show and then went to eat dinner for Todd's birthday the next day.

I really hope Aubrey can stick with dance, especially since its such a battle to get her to go every week. She said she loves performing in the recital, but hates going to class. Hopefully adding in tumbling next year will help her be more excited and motivated to keep dancing.

Luckily, Aubrey doesn't have to wait all summer before she can dance again. Mrs. Rhonda is hosting a dance camp for a week in June and we decided to sent Aubrey this year.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

April 2014

Finally, oh finally, spring has shown up and decided to grace us with its presence. The temps have finally warmed and the days are getting longer and more and more time is being spent outside. The kids have been in heaven now that we can spend long chunks of time outdoors instead of cramped inside watching Frozen for the 200th time (ok, I kid, but at least the 50th) time.

We finally got Mason's helmet so he could start riding his trike outside. He's not quite a fan of the trike just yet.

Free cone day at Ben and Jerry's

Enjoying the bubble machine on the porch. One of the best outside inventions ever.

A surprising moment of the month was that both of Mason's last 2 molars finally broke through. I noticed the left one had broken though in 2 places and the right had just barely peeked through the skin on Easter Monday. He has never gotten 2 teeth at one time so seeing them both was surprising. And then in typical fashion, I teared up a bit thinking it was the last time I would spot new teeth in our house. As much as I've moaned about the teething drama in this house, and here I was was being all sappy about it. We've still got a few more weeks of drama while the teeth come all the way through, but we can see that light at the end and I know he'll be happy to be pain free. 

One of our most exciting events in April was the Charlotte Racefest Half Marathon. Todd decided after I finished my first half in November he wanted to do one, too. So, I kept my training up over the miserable winter, mostly on the treadmill. I was so burned out on running those last few weeks were just torturous. I've decided that I like running well enough, but the long distances are just not for me. However, we both stuck through training and made it to race day. The weather was perfect and all conditions were great for the race. The course was really nice, except for this beast of a hill at mile 7. I was also a little perturbed that we were running down Providence Road in one lane and cars were zooming past us in the next lane. But, I managed to deal with all of the challenges and beat my November time by about 30 seconds. Todd was happy to finish the race in 2:45 and I was so proud of him. We are both rid of the running bug for now but I am considering running Thunder Road again in November just to prove I can have a better race. I will make the final decision in August on whether I run it again. Right now, its a no. But, my stubborn pride might get me when it starts to get closer, so we'll see.

We celebrated Easter this month and I promise, it gets more fun each year. Aubrey hyped it up so much this year that by Easter Sunday, we were all excited. What's even more important, though, is that she is understanding a little more about what Easter means. I love that she goes to a Christian preschool that can teach her those lessons. I sometimes wish she could continue in a Christian school where she can learn more about God and Jesus and not be afraid to talk about it. But, that's a story for another day.

However, I can say that she was still a 5-year old little girl when it came to the idea of the Easter basket. She even shocked me by taking a picture with the Easter bunny at school. She was so excited to see her basket and enjoy all of the Easter egg hunts. Mason was excited just from being around Aubrey, but it was still fun to watch his enjoyment. We also did our annual spring pictures at Todd's parents' house before the kids enjoyed their egg hunt.

The last piece of excitement for April was that I got a new car! Our local Toyota dealership had been harassing me for months to trade my Highlander in by saying they could lower my payment. I knew better than to fall for that line of crap, but my curiosity got the best of me so Todd and I discussed going in to talk to them. I finally went in and test drove a new 2014 Highlander and it was love at first drive. But, I knew I had a feeling it wasn't going to work that night and I was right. The dealer was crazy on their offer for my car and interest rate for the new one, so we left. I was sad, but determined that I wasn't going to be screwed. 2 weeks later, the dealer called asking what it would take to get us in the car. We named our terms and magically, they agreed. My new payment is $4 more than my old payment, which really makes me laugh. The whole car buying process pisses me off, but it is what it is. Todd and his family are good at the car buying and negotiating so they've trained me to play the game, despite my hatred of it. I did have a moment of sadness when I handed over the keys to the old car because there were a lot of memories tied to that car. But, I know I don't have to worry about maintenance or car repairs for the next few years and that's a good thing considering my old car was coming due for some work. And this car should last a good long time and be able to handle all our little family can throw at it over the next however many years we drive it.