Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No More Tears

So last Thursday I took my precious ballerina-in-training to dance again. And do you see this smile?!?
It lasted the whole time! No more tears! Hannah Kate was genuinely excited to go to dance and has been anticipating her next class ever since. She wishes every day was Thursday. The only thing is . . . we have not been able to get her to show us the new moves she learned in class. Nothing! So I guess we'll just have to wait until recital time.

I took a quick picture of Hannah Kate and her friend Addison as Miss Machita was giving beginning instructions before heading into the studio. Aren't they just the cutest?!?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tutus, tights . . . and tears

This past Thursday was Hannah Kate's first "dance" class. We registered her for a tap and ballet class at Machita & Co., the same studio where Abbie takes lessons. Hannah Kate just loved Abbie's last recital, and she loves to "dance," so . . . why not? I took ballet and tap lessons for all of two years before I begged my Mama to let me take piano lessons. She told me that I couldn't do both, which really was music to my ears because I just really did not like those dance lessons. I traded in my slippers and taps for a piano and never looked back!

We spent Wednesday shopping for ballet shoes, tights and a leotard. She was so excited and such the cutest thing modeling the leotards we had narrowed down her choices to. I told her she could only take one home. And I told her which one was my favorite. But, of course, it wasn't her favorite. I was so very tempted to get both of them, but I didn't. I mean, the one she picked out is cute enough. It's very simple. It actually reminds me of one of her swimsuits, and I really think that's why she picked it. But the one I really liked . . . it was so dainty and elegant. But anyway. She's three years old, for goodness sakes! So we got her shoes, her tights, her dancing outfit and a bag . . . oh, and not to mention a big, fat pink bow! So she was ready.
Just for kicks . . . here's a picture of the leotard I picked out. Except it was pictured in blue and not pink on the website, which really doesn't do it any justice AT ALL. It's so much cuter than this, especially on strawberry blondes named Hannah Kate! I just love the cap sleeves and the detail at the neck. There is a small "diamond starburst" on the left side of the skirt up near the waist.
All day Thursday she kept asking me . . . how long? . . . when is Mason going to be home? . . . when can I get dressed? We even watched her Olivia Takes Ballet DVD after lunch. I explained to her that she would be in a class with other little girls her age and that Miss Machita would be her teacher. I also told her that I would not be in the room with her but that I would wait on her. She seemed fine with all of that so I thought we were ready.

So Mason got off the bus, we ate a quick snack and we got dressed. Hannah Kate was SO excited. This was going SO well. We loaded up and left. I had allowed time for us to get there five minutes early. After all, if you aren't on time, you're late. And the earlier, the better. What I didn't take into account was the possibility that we would get stuck in traffic on the interstate. And we did. I still had to drop Connor off, but Kayla knew I was then running late and called and told me she would meet us at the dance studio. So we pulled into the parking lot and ran inside at 4:03. Miss Machita had already taken the class into their practice room. I quickly changed Hannah Kate into her ballet slippers and pretty much shoved her into the room with the other girls. I waited a brief second, and she seemed fine. I wasn't worried anyway because one of her friends from church is also in her dance class. So I headed back out the door to grab Connor's diaper bag and hand him over to Kayla. I got Mason's homework out of the truck, and we went back inside.

I was already flustered from being late . . . I HATE being late . . . so I really wasn't paying any attention to anything around me. And then Mason said, "Yeah, that's Hannah Kate." As I came back to reality, I realized that the little girl screaming hysterically, "MOMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!" was Hannah Kate. I waited for what seemed like an eternity, and the screaming persisted. So I went to the door to see if I could peek inside. That's when I realized they had moved to yet another room. So she was actually two rooms over from where I was, and everyone could still hear her! I peeked in the door and saw her standing on the end on the front row. She was bawling her eyes out. One of the assistants saw me and shooed me away. I told her to just let me know if they needed me to take Hannah Kate out of class.

Her lesson is a one-hour class, but Miss Machita dismissed them after 45 minutes. That was one of the longest 45 minutes of my life! And, of course, "Hannah Kate's mom" was called in to have a discussion with Miss Machita. By this time, Hannah Kate wasn't crying anymore, but her eyelids were beet red and very swollen. The blue marker ink on her name tag had run and bled down the front of her new pink leotard. It was a pitiful sight. Miss Machita just gave Hannah Kate a hug and told me that if I had my camera, it would be a great scrapbook moment. Well, of course I had my camera!
Now . . . just between you and me . . . I was sort of secretly hoping that the blue marker was a permanent stain . . . because then I'd be totally justified in going back and purchasing the OTHER leotard! But let's just say that Oxi Clean and a little cold water worked some magic, and Hannah Kate's favorite leotard is as good as new now!

We decided that we're going to go back next week and try again. Miss Machita moved several of the other girls into a different class so Hannah Kate's class will be smaller next time. Maybe that will help. For the longest time, Hannah Kate would not talk about dance. at. all. But when I was giving her a bath later that evening, I broached the subject again and asked her if she would like to go back. She told me yes. And then she said, "Mama, I not cry no more."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bed Bugs

Last night . . . or actually this morning . . . at 3:39am . . . I was awakened from deep slumber by a little girl yelling, "Mommmmyyyyyy," at the top of her lungs. By the time I stumbled upstairs, which was rather quickly given the urgency in her voice, the yelling had escalated to shrieking. I ran into her room to find her standing on the edge of her bed. I didn't turn the light on, but I could see the terror in her eyes by the glow of the moon. I wrapped her up in my arms and asked her what was wrong. She told me there were bugs in her bed.

Yes, I'll give you a moment. Because after I gave myself a moment to wrap my groggy mind around what she said, I was really glad it was dark so she couldn't see the big smile across my face. I also have to mention that it was in the midst of the shrieking that Mason woke up and started yelling, "Mom, you forgot to put drops in my ears!" I promise I am not making this stuff up!

Anyway, I held her for several minutes and then explained to her that it was time to go back to sleep. She asked if she could sleep with me, but I told her she needed to sleep in her bed. As I laid her back down, I noticed her Strawberry Shortcake and Plum Pudding figures. I grabbed them and put them by her pillow. I told her they were in her bed, thinking maybe she had rolled over on them and then thought they were "bugs." She carefully inspected them to be sure I was telling the truth and put her head on the pillow.

When I crawled back into my own bed, I started wondering if perhaps there REALLY were bugs in her bed! I really didn't sleep the rest of the night. Because I don't do bugs! I was glad today was Tuesday because Tuesdays are the days that I wash sheets and blankets every week. So after breakfast I took the sheets off the beds and carefully inspected each one. No bugs. I didn't mention anything to Hannah Kate because I wasn't sure if maybe she had a bad dream or perhaps didn't even remember anything about the night before.

After lunch I began the task of putting the sheets back on the bed. Hannah Kate was playing with her doll house while I was making her bed. I heard her say something about "bugs in her bed." The conversation then went a little something like this:

Me: Really, Hannah Kate?
Hannah Kate: Yup.
Me: Well how do you know you had bugs in your bed?
Hannah Kate: I saw them.
Me: You did? What did they look like?
Hannah Kate: One was purple and one was blue.
Me: Do you remember that you slept with Strawberry Shortcake and Plum Pudding last night? Plum Pudding is purple. Maybe that's what you saw?
Hannah Kate: I told you I have bugs in my bed.
Me: Well. What were they doing?
Hannah Kate: They were playing in my bed.

At this point, I didn't say anything, and I was really glad my back was to her because it was all I could do to keep from laughing. And that's when . . .

Hannah Kate (matter-of-fact): Those bugs like my bed because my bed is fun.

At this point, there was nothing else I could do. I was laughing uncontrollably, so much so that I was rolling around on the floor in one of those laughs that only happens every once in awhile. When I finally got control of myself, I took a peek at Hannah Kate. Let's just say she didn't find herself as amusing as I did! I'm quite sure she was mad at me. I desperately wanted to keep the conversation going . . .

Me: Did the bugs talk to you?
Hannah Kate (absolutely outdone and exasperated): Well no, Mama. They are BUGS. Bugs don't talk.
Me (as if it's completely logical for bugs to be having a picnic in Hannah Kate's bed but illogical to think they would be talking): Oh.

So tonight when I tucked her in bed, I DID NOT say, "Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite!"

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Couple of Firsts

Well, yesterday was Mason's FIRST day of FIRST grade!Since we are supposedly an old pro at this, I figured we'd make it just fine. I didn't realize that it's still dark at 5:45am! But that's okay. By about 2:00 though, I really wanted to lay down and take a nap! Hannah Kate and Connor, on the other hand, weren't down with that. I think it's going to take a few weeks to get back into the swing of things.

And then I got a phone call from the school just as I was getting ready to go outside and wait on the bus. They were inquiring if Mason was supposed to ride the bus or be in the carpool line. As it turns out, he somehow ended up in the wrong line. I wasn't there, and the buses had already left! But the Lord always watches out for us. It just so happened that a friend of mine was there and saw the whole thing go down as she was picking up her children, and she was kind enough to offer to let him ride home with them. Let's just say it took me a few hours to calm down after this one, but Mason assured me that he had a great day and was ready to go back. He flashed that big grin at me, and I was reminded even moreso just how proud I am of my big boy.

Having said all of that, I'm so glad the first day of school was on a Friday! There's no way I could've gotten up this morning to do all of that all over again. I think that's best saved for Monday morning!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Party for Being Six

Since Mason's birthday was in the middle of two weeks of VBS followed by a trip to the beach, we decided to celebrate a little early this year. So his birthday party was the last Saturday in June. And since there's really nothing you can do during south Louisiana summers besides something that involves water . . . and since his last two birthday parties were pool parties . . . we decided to rent a big waterslide this year.

During the days leading up to his party, Mason was constantly asking how many more days and who's coming. Although we explained it several times . . . and he knows his birthday is July 13 . . . he kept thinking he was actually going to be six on the day of his party.

So on the day of his party, several conversations went as follows:

Mason: So I'm six now?
Me: No. Today is June 25. You'll be six on July 13. That's 18 days from now.
Mason: But my party is today?

Me: Yes, your party is today. And you'll get presents today. But you aren't six yet.

After that, we counted down the days until July 13. And then the conversation went something like this:

Mason: Today is my birthday?
Me: Yes, today is your birthday.
Mason: So I'm six now?

Me: Yes, you're six now.
Mason: What kind of party am I going to have?
Me: We already had your party. It was a waterslide party. Remember?
Mason: But that's when I was still five. I'm six now so when is my party for being six?
Me: That WAS your party for being six. We had your party early since your birthday is during Vacation Bible School.
Mason (very matter-of-fact): So I'm not going to have a party for being six?

Me: You ALREADY had a party for being six!
Mason: Well, I wasn't six. I don't understand why you aren't having me a party for being six.

Although I think he's still convinced that he didn't have a birthday party for being six, he finally let it rest. Note to self: No more birthday parties in June!

When I look at Mason now, I'm just amazed at how much he has grown this summer. It's been nearly two and a half months since the last day of kindergarten. It's been nearly a year since that first day of kindergarten. And now this Friday will be his first day of 1st grade (yeah, why they want to do that to a Friday is beyond me). I'll be honest. I'm nervous about 1st grade!

A couple of weeks ago, Mason asked when he was going to go back to school. We hadn't even brought the subject up because I figured he would say he wasn't ready to go back. So I was a bit surprised when it came up out of the blue. I told him he had just over two weeks to go. He asked if that was a long time, and I told him it wasn't. So then he said, "Good. 'Cause I'm ready to go back to school." That wasn't exactly the answer I was expecting.

We went to orientation last week and met his teacher. This is her 20th year of teaching! He was a little disappointed that he couldn't go back the next day. And he's really looking forward to Friday . . . the first day of 1st grade. I don't think I'll need as many kleenex this year. But I'm more aware than ever that my baby, my little boy is growing up. He's no longer a little boy. He's a big boy and into big boy things now. With each and every passing day, he's letting go of me more and more. While that used to make me sad, I can now look at him and smile because I just can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for him. I often think of Hannah (the Biblical one) and how she gave young Samuel back to the Lord at such a young age. Of course, Mason is still here with me. But I can finally say with certainty that sometime during the past couple of months, I "gave him back to the Lord." I am trusting and resting in such peace and confidence because I already see the Lord doing a mighty work in his young life. And, I don't know about you, but absolutely nothing excites me more than being a part of His work!