Monday, May 26, 2014

Mother's Day 2014!

Though our lives are a little different this year, I still was blessed with a wonderful mother's day with my babies!

The morning was spent at home cleaning up a bit, and I got a special visit from miss Kendall. It was so fun playing with her and just spending alone time with my youngest for her first mother's day in this world.

We played with tools, read books, had some snacks, and explored the new living room set up. She had a blast and I loved every second of being with her!

After she left, I went to the local playground to surprised the three older kids who were there with their weekend respite provider. She kept it a surprise that I was coming there to see them and they were SO excited to see me!

We had a TON of fun swinging, going down the slides, running around, having a snack, and taking fun, silly face selfies!

After we were done playing and being silly, we went out for pizza for lunch!

All three kids told me Happy Mother's Day during lunch, but the best quote came from Merasia when she looked at me, smiled, and said, "It's so nice spending time with you mommy. Happy mother's day." Melted my heart!

It was a beautiful end to my mother's day, and I treasured every single second of it, while reminiscing on the first days each of my babies made me a new mother:

Connor and T-Ball!

Connor is heavy into sports. It started a year or so ago with indoor soccer. He did pretty well with that so when outdoor soccer season started that summer, we enrolled him in that and he did even better that time. We tried basketball this past winter, and though he did okay with it, the age group of the kids was large, so it was a big group of kids and he got easily distracted by so many people in such a tight area, and that's around the time things started going sour with me and Frank, so it was hard to get him to practice much. He didn't seem to enjoy it as much as soccer anyway though. He had to be 5 to start T-Ball, and since he turned 5 in January, he was eligible for this season of T-Ball! He has been SO excited to start!

His first practice went well! The coaches started off by helping the kids get familiar with pretending to swing a bat at an imaginary ball, and running from base to base to understand how first, second, third, and home base work.

After doing that a few times they broke up into two smaller groups to practice catching the ball in their mitts and throwing it back to the coach. Connor caught the ball once or twice in his mitt and has a dang good arm on him! 

At the end of their first practice, each of the players got their very own team t-shirt and baseball hat. So stinkin' cute!

The next week, they got to actually practice hitting the balls. Connor did pretty well for his first time! 

He REALLY enjoys T-Ball, and we already know how good he is at soccer, so it seems like those two things are going to be "his thing." Both are very good for him actively and if he sticks with these sports through high school and even beyond, both can be beneficial to him through college and adulthood, so I will support that as long as he wants to continue them! I am so proud of the big man my oldest baby is turning into!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Merasia's Dance Show, 2014!

Last year, we started Merasia in a gymnastics class at a new dance studio in our town. Some of you may remember when Merasia was about 3 years old, we enrolled her in an early creative movement/ballet dance class. We ended up stopping it a few weeks in, because it just didn't seem like her thing. We would go every week, and she wouldn't really participate. I chalked it up to her preference of more upbeat music and dancing, and the fact that she was 3 and maybe just not quite ready for a class of this sort. 

Fast forward to last year. We found a gymnastics class being offered at a local dance studio, and decided to let her give that a try, since it wasn't quite dance but would allow her to stay active, and it was something Frank did as a child, and enjoyed it, so we wanted her to try it. Much to our happy surprise, she excelled at the class, and we were so proud and excited to see her in her final performance.

Because she did so well that first year, we decided to let her do gymnastics again in the fall, and even decided to go out on a limb an add a ballet class to let her try that out again now that she was older. Well, it was definitely the right choice for her and for us. She excelled even more this time around! 

I know I'm slightly biased since she is my daughter, but I truly believe she is a natural at ballet! From her very first ballet class (the photos above) she had perfectly straight legs and perfectly pointed toes! 

Though doing these two classes meant getting her from daycare early two days a week and assuring she made it to class twice a week, and then of course the dreaded, exhausting, long final rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and of course the crazy-ness of the show itself, it was well worth it in the end.

This year's show was Alice in Wonderland, and Merasia was particularly excited for this since that was the theme we did for Halloween as well. Merasia's gymnastics class were part of the "croquet game" and her ballet class were the White Queen's Little Attendants. The young lady that played Alice did the whole show on pointe (pointe's a ballerina thing), and Merasia absolutely ADORES her! She definitely idolizes her and looks up to her, wanting to dance just like her. And this young lady is so great with the younger children, which makes it even better. I got some special shots of Merasia and her chatting during a break in dress rehearsals on the stage and the twinkle in Merasia's eyes as she is looking at and talking to "Alice" is just precious.

I wasn't as nervous for Merasia being in the show this year, since she was older this year and she had done it before, so knew a little of what to expect. Plus, she had made and nurtured some very special friendships through the year or so, so she was plenty busy backstage and distracted from me not being there. She was in excellent hands so I could enjoy the show from the audience. 

I was seriously in complete amazement watching her on the stage this year! I was one heck of a proud mama! Don't get me wrong...I loved watching her last year and was proud then too, but I was even more proud this year, as I could definitely tell she had matured as a person, and even more so in her gymnastics and dancing abilities. She truly took to ballet with no problem whatsoever and looked like the most perfect little ballerina in training up on that big stage! It brought tears to my eyes to watch her doing so well and being so amazing and beautiful.

People have asked me if dance is going to be "her thing." They ask me if I'm going to keep having her do it forever. I always respond that as long as she wants to dance, I will be there to support her in that and in whatever else she chooses to do. If she wants to continue it into her teenage years and even beyond, then I will be there for her in every way I can to support her love and encourage her every chance I can. Dance has the potential to provide so many amazing, unique opportunities educationally and professionally for Merasia, and what kind of mother would I be to not encourage a love like that? On the other hand, if there is ever a time she says she no longer wants to pursue dance, I will support that decision as well, and encourage and support her in whatever else she might choose to do or participate in instead.