Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Little Pieces of my Heart

May is hard when you are a teacher. You spend a year, or in my case four years, investing in young people who then have the nerve to do exactly what you taught them and prepared them to do--leave.

For me, I have layers of this leaving. My actual students on campus left two weeks ago. I've been embedded in two K-12 classrooms this year, though, and those goodbyes are coming. I have a couple more weeks with my second graders, but the middle school schedule has changed.

I have been working with a reading group all year, and I have come to love my little motley group. I thought we would have one more meeting, but the schedule changed. I didn't get to tell them goodbye. So...last night I did the next best thing:


 I loved writing each of them a note. For me, it was a lovely way to put a bow on our year, and I'm hoping they at least hear how proud I am of them if nothing else.

Every May little pieces of my heart go walking into the world, and it hurts. But every August, new parts come walking back in.

Monday, May 21, 2018

So Much Celebrating

May is a month of  celebrating for us!

Issa and I always love celebrating the end of dance season with the Carolina Ballet's season finale. I'm sure they plan it just for us. We originally had tickets for Sunday, but Issa's dance banquet was scheduled for Sunday, so we moved our tickets to Thursday. We left straight from dance pictures, hence Issa's make-up:
 We didn't get home until midnight Thursday night, but it was totally worth it! We had a blast, and she got up Friday like a champ!

Friday, we celebrated surviving last week with a family dinner at Pueblo with chocolate to follow. Sometimes it's the little things in May.

Saturday, Issa had Company auditions for next year, Evan had his friends over for his birthday party, and I had a reunion with the students I took to Italy last year. It sounded totally great when we planned it, but it was a zoo! Issa feels great about auditions, Daddy took the boys to Defy Gravity, and I loved seeing some alum Saturday night. I was home in time to help wrangle everyone to sleep, and everyone had a great day. We have nothing but blurry pictures to show for it, but I guess that's about right for four boys.

Yesterday, we had a double celebration for Issa. She has art work on display in the library:
Hers is the piece on the bottom. We also celebrated the end of the dance season with the Company. Of course I took no pictures.

This weekend we have zero plans, and we are holding on to that space like our lives depended on it!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Meet Trigon and Raven

Brad and Issa have been looking for a "thing." Brad and Evan share the dojo, and Issa wanted something that was just for her and Daddy. Well, they found it. May I introduce Trigon and Raven:
 These particular characters are from Teen Titans Go, and this episode is one in which the evil Trigon is trying to convince his daughter, Raven, that he can be good. They spent weeks planning and making these costumes, and they were pretty pleased with the results:
They even made all the gems and Issa's belt and broach! They wore them to Geekfest, a cosplay craft fair, and they are already planning their next event.

I think they have definitely found their thing.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Happy Mother's Day!

I had a lovely Mother's Day! I just have been swamped teaching a three-week summer intensive, so I haven't made the time to write about it.

Here what we did for Mother's Day: nothing. Just like I asked. I slept until nine, at which point the children brought be breakfast in bed. Evan and I stayed there to watch the most recent Pirates of the Carribean movie, which was hysterical. He even paused it long enough to bring me mac and cheese for lunch.

Mom came over for dinner, and Brad made burgers and fries with a chocate cake and strawberry trifle. It was perfection.

And...the kiddos made me possibly the most thoughtful gift ever:
It may not be readily apparent, but it's Maine. They made Brad and I's cabin and the ocean. How cute is that? I might have cried.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

I Want the Same for My Kids

I look forward to Wednesdays these days. Wednesdays are my carpool days, and as soon as I drop the girls at dance I head to Mom's house. We sip wine and chat without interruption until it's time for me to pick Issa back up. It's lovely.

Yesterday, Mom had a staff meeting at school, which means she wouldn't be home until 5. I should have gone home for a bit to do some laundry or sort the mail or do the million other housework things that needed by attention, but I didn't. Instead, I just went to Mom's anyway. I let myself in, made myself a sandwich because I was starving, and flipped through a magazine she had sitting on the counter. It wasn't until I was halfway through the sandwich that I started to giggle.

Even though I never lived in her home now, it's still home for me. I still feel comfortable enough to just walk in and make myself a sandwich. It's still a place to just be. I know it's because of Mom, and I know it will always be that way.

I want the same for my kids. I hope that when they are grown they will still just walk through the door and make a sandwich. I hope home will always be a place the can come and just be. And I hope they will come home often.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

All Storybooks Have Troubles

Brad laughs at me all the time--especially around birthdays. I openly admit I tend to go a bit over the top. I look at special days--holidays, birthday, day trips--as a page in the kids' childhood storybooks. I imagine them mentally turning pages someday and remembering how they felt on those days. I can still picture every birthday cake Mom made me, and I still feel that love. I want the same for them.

That means that I tend to want things to go well. Evan's birthday was...not so well. He still says he had a perfect birthday, though, so that's all that matters!

I did take the requested donuts and juice to his class on Monday, and I was pleasantly surprised when Evan turned down being served first and requested to help pass out the treats. We went home early, and he had a lovely afternoon playing his new video game before he and Daddy headed to the dojo. Evan wanted to go because his teachers promised to flip him nine times for his birthday. Does life get any better when you're nine?

They took off for the dojo, and I set to work making the requested pasta salad for dinner.

As it was happily chilling, Brad called. They were stuck in traffic; I needed to go get Issa from dance. No problem. Then from Evan, "If you haven't started dinner yet, I was thinking I would really like to go to Red Robin's for dinner." The pasta salad would keep. We decided to meet there.

I pick Issa up, and she has a headache. I offer to take her home, but she thinks she just needs to eat. The closer we got to dinner, the more miserable she got. Brad walked in the restaurant and she fell apart. The two of them left while Evan and I had his birthday dinner. He announced mid-dinner that he kind of liked it being just the two of us; we don't get a lot of one-on-one time these days.

Poor Issa had a migraine like she hasn't had in a year. She actually got sick on the way home, and when we got home she was sound asleep. She woke up enough to whisper with Evan, who was worried about her. They both felt awful--her for "ruining" his dinner; him because she was so sick.

Issa woke up better yesterday. We had the birthday lava cakes the day after his birthday when we could all enjoy them. He proclaimed it the best three-day birthday celebration ever!

It's funny. I was so worried about his day, but he didn't see it that way. We created some great memories, and I saw the very best in my kiddos and their love for each other. I guess a little trouble makes storybooks that much better.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Happy Birthday, Evan!

My baby boy is nine today! I blinked and my baby turned into this hot mess smiling back at me:
 Ever the pragmatic one, Evan asked if we could actually celebrate his birthday last night because "Mondays are always crazy." I think he really wanted his gifts early, but we were happy to oblige. Nana joined us for his choice of grilled chicken and romaine, and there were some gifts.

He and Issa are a little obsessed with water balloons right now, so she got him a cool water balloon pump:
 And Daddy made him a ninja weapon:
 You can't see the long rope with a tennis ball attached at the end. The idea is to use the rope to tie up up your enemy and then use the scythe to finish the job. I see this ending in pain.

We also had cake:
 Evan was not feeling like pictures, so Daddy cracked him up:
 And I finally bribed him lighting his own candles:
 Make a wish big man:
 Evan may be pragmatic, but I'm sentimental, and I couldn't let the birthday morning go quietly, so I filled the end of his bed with balloons:
 He was amused and puzzled when we woke him up:
 And we had one more birthday gift this morning:
 He has his own vivofit jr., which is a lot like a fitbit:
The running step count may be the end of me!

We will celebrate some more throughout the month, but I sure do love this crazy nine year old of mine!