Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day At The Track

On Wednesday the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders all went to the track at the middle school and compete in various races.  Not being a runner myself (I loathe it more than the prospect of being force fed oysters at a rave surrounded my the smell of dirty diaper) I was sympathetic to Ethan not being thrilled.  He really didn't want to run, but all the kids had to run in at least one race.
Ethan, Caleb, and Dakota more interested in whatever they were talking about than the races.  I prefer to think it was about quantum physics and not what it probably was...gassy gummy bears.
Ella's dance had taken up a lot of time this week, so I thought the least I could do is go to Ethan's meet and try and show support.  The last couple of weeks have been HOT, but of course the day of the meet was overcast, cold, and mostly miserable.  Ethan was running in the 100 meter, which I thought would be toward the beginning so I didn't pack a lot of entertainment for Livi.  Once it was clear that all the relays (about 1000 of them), the 800's, and the 400's would come first I was a little worried Livi would have a meltdown...
until we spotted the Bagleys.  Thank goodness Chad had brought Carter and McKay with him to cheer on Caleb because it made it much more fun for Livi, and by extension me.

Ethan freezing at the starting line.
Ethan putting more effort into running than I have EVER seen him put into a physical activity before.  I was so proud!
He came in 5th out of 7, which if you know Ethan, is AMAZING!!!!  We are so proud that he kept up with the pack and even beat 2 other guys!  Good job Buddy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ella's Dace-O-Rama, or This Well Be Twice As Fun Next Year

It is that wonderful time of year when Ella's dance office has their yearly recital.  Last year was amazingly... in depth.  This year is, luckily, a low key year (they do a "high" show every other year).  We can't record or take photos during the actual recital (they make professional DVDs for us to buy), but we are allowed to tape during the dress rehearsal.

Ella has 3 dances this year; a tap, a jazz/ballet, and...hip hop.  Yep.  My German/English decent, green eyed, from Nebraska little girl is in love with hip hop.  Oh well, if she loves it! In this one she starts out on the back row, 3rd or 4th from the right and moves to the first one in the front row. Here she is on the front row, second from the right. Here is hip hop. She is on the front row, farthest on the right, in the purple and white stripped tank top.
Pretty cute for a gangsta
With Jade Painter from our ward.

Some of the Tap/Ballet Combo classes had one piece rompers for their costume.  I think we really lucked out!

Livi had a hard time watching Ella get prepared for her dress rehearsal (big shocker). She wanted makeup on too. I tried putting a little gloss on her, but as I left she was still in tears over not having "red enough" lips. Today, after the track meet (more to come) we went into my bathroom and she found the dreaded gloss again and asked (insisted) to have it on again. It still wasn't "red enough." Throwing in my good-mom towel I decided to give her "red enough" lips. I took my red lip liner and drew on bigger lips, filled them in, and then topped them with the red gloss. I think they were red enough for her then...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sibling Rivalries, or Ella's Birthday, or Longest Post Ever

It must be hard to be the younger sister.  Especially when you are 3.  I know it has been a hard week for Livi.  Not only did we have 2 birthday's that weren't hers, but we also had friends over for a party, and lots of talking about what Ella wanted.  What flavor cake Ella wanted, etc.  It has been an emotionally hard week for everyone, but especially Livi.

Bright and much too early we started out opening presents. 
Notice Livi is still smiling at this point.

Could Tonks be any cuter?  She looks just like a tiny Ewok!
Ella's birthday fell on a Thursday this year, which is my day to go in and help in her class.  I made special castle sugar cookies and spent my usual time plus recess with her.  Eric went to the school for a special daddy/Ella lunch, and I spent the afternoon finishing up Ella's cake.  You may think you shouldn't need an entire afternoon to finish up a cake, but when your daughter looks over your shoulder while you browse and she sees the "most beautiful cake in the world" it takes a lot of time to execute.
It is suppose to be two pillows.  There was also suppose to be a tiara on top, but it had an "accident."

Livi did like helping make the cake.  Especially eating the icing.  Even the black icing!

We had the Bagleys over for cake...

and we all ended up playing in the backyard.  The hammock seems to always be a favorite for kids.

We spent most of Friday preparing for the PRINCESS EXTRAVAGANZA on Saturday.  We made most of the decorations and ended up making cupcakes (because I hadn't baked enough this week).

At 1 pm we had 8 princesses and 2 knights over for princess games (the boys mostly played down stairs and in the back yard).
The girls watching Eric pelt the boys with water balloons.  They all seemed fascinated with Ethan and Caleb which makes me a little scared for the future.

 We started out decorating crowns and having a tea party (cookies and chocolate milk).

We played hot potato with Cinderella slipper (amazingly enough I had a shoe that would work! ha ha)

We played pin the crown on Aurora, which Ella was very excited to win.

We played freeze dance, looked for the poison apple,

and then headed outside to break open the pinata.
 It felt weird trying to destroy a beautiful castle, but nobody seemed to hesitate taking a baseball bat to it.

 We went back in for cake.

It was finally time to open gifts and this is were Livi just couldn't take it any more.  She had watched me open boring gifts, Ella open gifts she couldn't play with, Daddy go to school to be with Ella, and now there was a giant princess baby, and it wasn't for her.

 It was more than she could bear.

At this point my heart broke for my tiny Livi.  I don't like buying the kids toys for no reason.  It is a slippery slope, but watching her just loose it, knowing none of the fun was for her was too much.  I decided she needed something too.  I promised her that after the party we would go get her, her own baby princess.
Maybe this isn't good for her, but watching her at Target and at home after, it was worth it!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Non-Traditional Birthday Cake

Well, my birthday was Tuesday, and all in all it was pretty awesome.  I got up early, opened presents, went to breakfast with Eric and Livi, worked out, went out to lunch and ate a burger and fries (sooooo good) and generally vegged (and worked on Ella's cake) in the afternoon.

The mailman (or should I call him the gift-fairy) brought me a very welcome box of chocolate covered strawberries.  I decided since I was baking a big cake, sugar cookies and cupcakes for Ella's multiple celebrations the strawberries would be a stand in for my own cake.  Since it is hard to get a candle to stay up in strawberries, I pulled out a little sugar cookie dough and we feasted on our treats, and probably gave ourselves diabetes.
I had just taken a shower.  I normally look when my hair isn't slicked back, and I'm wearing makeup.  Giant forehead anyone?
A few highlights:
My parents dog, Casey, sends everyone birthday cards.  Last year I got the all time low of  $0.26.  Everyone else got at least a dollar.  I know it shouldn't matter, it's a pretend birthday card from my parents dog, it's only a dollar, but I felt a little jipped.  This year Casey sent me ....wait for it... $0.12  (2 days later Ella got a dollar).

I also noticed that Casey's writing is starting to look more and more like the zombie notes from Plants vs. Zombies.

Also, Livi dancing at breakfast:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why Tonks Is The Perfect Dog For Me

Because she is weird.  I am weird.  I don't lay on the floor like a bear skin rug, but we can't all be perfect.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I'm Not Sure What This Means...

Today I was greeted with some beautiful flowers and some wonderful homemade cards.  Both cards were wonderful.  They made me happy, and laugh, but on further inspection I was a little worried that maybe my parenting strengths are actually weaknesses.

Ella made a book "All About My Mom."  She knows me pretty well... 
The part I am not so sure about...

 I'm glad it wasn't something like My mom gets mad when ...I don't clean up, or I talk too loud, or something about her.  I am a little worried that she picked up on how hard I can be on myself.  I don't want her growing up more stressed out about perfection than she already is.  Aaarrrrggghhhh.  Parenting can be tricky.

Ethan went in another direction.

 He wrote the comic book version of a Mother's Day Card.
 My favorite (made me laugh, but also worried) part is the elves from around the world.  I'm not going to be specific, but I'm a little worried that either Ethan watches too much Japanimation or that he is very culturally insensitive.  Neither one is a win.

I loved both cards.  I love all my kids.  I hope that is what they remember when they are my age (and not my constant whining and panic attacks).

Read-Alongs With 3 Year Olds

We had a primary activity for the kids yesterday.  They were doing a read-along, which in theory could be really fun.  The problem is that the 3 year olds...well...they can't read.  There was a VERY long practice and then parents were invited to the final performance.  By the time Eric and I got there Livi was done. 

She tried to do her part.
Then she started fidgeting and whining.  Then she started asking, loudly, if she could go now.
Finally she started crawling off the stage, which is where I decided to intercede.
Livi was much happier being on my lap, but I think that had more to do with the treats they provided for the audience!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Why I Should Always Wear A Wooden Plank Around My Neck...Or At Least A Wood Bead Bracelet

I love the idea of teacher appreciation week, and I think making desserts is a great way to celebrate, but because nothing at the kids school can be easy, this always turns into an ordeal. They don't want cookies on a plate. They don't want a box of doughnuts. They want full on gourmet desserts presented in a classy way, (no paper plates) but you don't get anything back, so it must be displayed on something you are willing to never see again.

The teachers draw numbers and they go in order and pick out what dessert they want. No one wants to be the dreaded last dessert on the table. The "pity" dessert, if you will. Last year I did cake pops in a flower pot, but this year I wanted to try cupcakes. Cupcakes beyond vanilla and chocolate. Cupcakes that make other cupcakes cry in envy. Cupcakes that wouldn't be picked last for the baseball team (or whatever cupcakes play).

I made Hot Chocolate, Strawberry Lemonade, Red Velvet, Cookie, and S'more flavored.  Good-bye waist.
I decided to try 5 different recipes (because I have a stress related death wish) so I could find just the right recipes to present. Of course finding the ingredients required for gourmet cupcakes in Scottsbluff is as easy as finding Tonks when she escapes out the front door, so I spent most of the morning going from grocery store to grocery store. By the time Livi and I got home from morning errands it was lunch time. We have lots going on at our house this week, and because I don't want the other joy school moms/insurance interviewer/cub leaders to see my house in all it's natural glory (I swear evil elfin brownies drop off all the junk they clean from other people's house right into my living room), I spent a couple hours cleaning up around the house, got the kitchen spic and span, and then went on a baking spree.

 It was a well oiled machine in my kitchen. I would bake a batch of cupcakes, and while the next batch was baking I would make the icing for the last batch that were cooling. Things were running so smoothly and I was so happy with how easy it was to make 100 cupcakes that I should have stopped to knock on wood. It turned out I hadn't bought enough red food coloring or powdered sugar so I had to make frantic phone calls to Eric begging him to pick some up on the way home. By the time he got there I had a pile of egg shells and butter wrappers that would make Paula Dean gag in horror, soup on the stove for dinner, and french bread in the other oven. Eric surveyed the mess and calmly walked by with no comment.

 Livi came running around the corner to hug Eric and promptly slipped on the floor. This is when life went from organized chaos to full on pandemonium. Eric offered Livi a hand up and she squirmed and tried to pull away. All of a sudden we had a 3 year old screaming in agony. She was clutching her arm to her side and making noises I have never heard from her before. I was running around frantic saying we needed to go to the ER and Eric was grimacing (I think he was thinking about our deductible) and trying to tell Livi she was okay. Livi didn't believe him so I forced Eric into the car and off to the ER we went.

When I went to the ER with meningitis it took 8 hours from when I went in to when they released me.  It took 2 hours from when they ordered X-rays to when I actually went to have them taken. We have found the trick to a short ER visit: Screaming Toddler.
Livi showing off her stickers for doing so well with the X-rays
With in 5 minutes of us getting there the Orthopod Doctor had popped Livi's elbow back into the socket. A few minutes later she was getting X-rays. We were there for less than an hour overall. Once Livi's elbow was back in place she immediately stopped crying. It was like a little switch had been flipped.

She is totally fine today, no pain, no swelling, just 100% rambunctious little girl. We even had joy school this morning and by the way she was attacking our tree with a lightsaber you would never guess that she couldn't move her arm last night!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Crazy Cows Cause Cheerful Calamity - Updated with better quality video (hopefully)

Heard at dinner tonight:
Eric: What do you get when Casey goes swimming?  Hairy Water
Ethan immediately responded: What do you call Chewbacca making a bowl?  Hairy Potter

Ella's second grade program was last week, and boy did she love being a part of it.  She is definitely not scared to perform in front of people, and she spent the weeks leading up to the program singing songs, practicing her part, and asking everyone how excited we were to go see the program.  They have a great music teacher, who has brought some great new programs, so I actually was pretty excited.

As I have mentioned before people in Scottsbluff have the tendency to attend every program, recital, meet, or clothes fitting that their second cousin's mother's boyfriend's neice is involved in.  I knew we would need to get to the school early, and Ella had to be there early anyways, so I thought 15 minutes would be plenty of time to get an okay seat.  I was expecting front row, but I was under the impression I would get a seat.  I was wrong.

By the time we got there every single seat was taken.  Every single one.  One man told me, like I couldn't tell, that the room was full.  His wife also stated that I should have shown up earlier.  I may have asked in a petulant tone "What do you want me to do?  Go home? Miss my daughter's program?"  Now I know there are multiple classes, but even if every child had both parents, and step parents, and 3 siblings in attendance there should have been room.  The problem is all 8 (including step) grandparents, all 30 cousins and all 15 aunts have to be there too.  I shouldn't complain.  If my parents lived closer I would ask if they wanted to come, but when space is limited and people treat me like I am an idiot I tend to get testy.

Eventually we squeezed into a spot on the floor, behind a speaker, to the side, but we could see Ella, so I guess it was fine.  It was also mercifully short, since I don't think Eric or I could have taken much longer sitting on the linoleum. The title was "Barn Yard Moosical" and Ella was a very cute cow.  She is on the top row (of course) and has a little too much attitude in the first song.  It made me laugh with delight, and a little bit of fear:
Here is her saying her part.  Maddi says "Most Cows are known for their milk and their butter." Then Ella says "But we're dancing cows and we're like no udder." (Just so you know what they were saying).