Sunday, December 29, 2013

Curtis Finds His Dream Job

We took the kids to Discovery Gateway yesterday. Even Curtis, who refuses to smile about anything, couldn't stop grinning while he was playing in the construction zone.

But that was nothing compared to his happiness working as a mailman. 

He spent at least an hour picking up the mail from the big, blue mailbox and delivering it to all of the little mailboxes around the museum--the market, the farm, and even the dog house. (Luckily, Paige was happy to keep retuning all of the mail to the big box, so he could just keep delivering and delivering.) 

And the fun didn't end there. When he got home, Paige dumped out every tupperware container in the house and turned them into mailboxes. With a grocery bag slung over his shoulder, Curtis delivered mail to our room, Paige's room, the family room, and the kitchen. Over and over.  

Today, when I got home from church, Paige had even made name tags for Curtis and his junior assistant. It looks like their company is called the Mailman Brothers. 


Watch out FedEx, the Sutherland boys are gunning for you.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Paige's First Solo

If you've ever been to a Mormon Primary Program (where the kids sing and do all the talks during Sacrament Meeting), you've probably noticed that there's always one kid who sings about twice as loud as all the others combined.

In our ward, that kid is not only loud, but sings with enough vibrato to make any opera singer jealous. That kid is Paigey

We've known this about Paige for a few years now, we just hoped that others wouldn't notice. Well, they did.

A few weeks before the Primary Program, Paige was asked if she would sing a solo. She was ecstatic about the opportunity. We were a little nervous about it, especially since she refuses to sing in front of us, which means should wouldn't practice at all.

Paige didn't seem to get nervous until the day of the event, when we were driving to church. "My stomach feels weird," she said.

By the time she was sitting on the stand, fidgeting uncomfortably, I could tell she was really nervous. But she still probably wasn't as nervous as Traci and I.

When she walked up to the microphone, all alone, my heart was thumping in my ears. The piano started, the chorister raised her arm, and give Paige her cue. After a small pause--which felt like a mega enormous is-she-going-to-do-it pause to her parents--a voice as big as a house excited our tiny daughter's body.

She did a wonderful(ly dramatic) job. We were very proud of her.

She was also proud of herself. As she went back to her seat to sing the remainder of the songs with the the primary, she was beaming. She continued to belt the songs out, louder than anyone else but now with her arms crossed proudly across her chest and her eyes closed like an R&B diva.

After the program, she was showered with praise from just about everyone. She, of course, let this go directly to her head.

After church, we had this conversation:

Me: Paige, you did a great job. Do you think you'd want to try taking voice lessons?

Paige: [Rolling her eyes] Voice lessons? What are voice lessons?

Me: It's like your piano lessons, but you practice singing.

Paige: Dad, I take piano lessons so I can get good at playing piano. I'm already good at singing.

Later that night, I left the kids in the car while I dropped some keys off at the Relief Society president's house. When I got back in, Paige said, "Let me guess, Sister Rickards told you what a good job I did." (No, Paige. I'm sorry to say she didn't mention it.)

It's good to have a confident kid.


On a related note, Curtis also refuses to sing. But not just in front of us, he refuses to sing ever. (Well, that's not entirely true. I have heard him singing C&C Music Factory in the bathroom.) He once again refused to sing during the Primary Program. But we had a few major breakthroughs. Not only did he stay on the stage for the whole program (with his lips pursed so no singing could slip out), but he actually said his one-sentence part into the microphone. (Last year, he walked up to the microphone and not only refused to deliver his line, but turned his back to the audience. Take that, crowd!) It was super fast and completely mumbly, but he did it. Another proud parent moment.

Jazz Game Night, Take Two

Last April, I attempted to take Curtis to his first Jazz game, only to have him decide at the last second that he didn't want to go.

Because I'm a resilient father (or maybe stubborn...or stupid), I gave it another shot.

I  tried to learn from last season's mistake. This time around, we left straight from our house so the allure of grandma's house or cookies or toys could not distract him. Traci was not allowed to speak of what she, Paige, and Tate were going to do while we were gone. We were only focusing on the game.

We successfully made it into the car (which I know isn't true success; I still remember when I took Curtis to Monster Jam and he didn't start bawling until we were all the way to the arena) and he was still pretty excited about the game.

At the Gateway before the game
We made it to the arena and he was still happy. It was free t-shirt night, so Curtis and I put on our matching shirts--me in a Men's XL and Curtis in the smallest size available, a Men's L that went down to his calves--and made our way to our seats.

It only got better from there:
  • We had aisle seats on the eighth row (thanks, New Job)
  • The Jazz Bear slid down the stairs on his sled right next to us
  • The Jazz dancers danced right next to us (Dad like this part)
  • During a timeout, the Jazz Bear played Curt's favorite sport, human bowling, and got a strike (with the help of Little Jazz Bear)!
  • Curtis and were on the Jumbo Tron for like 15 seconds (me shaking my keys and whooping it up for the "Show us Your Keys" contest; Curtis refusing to acknowledge the camera) 

Curtis, being Curtis, did not allow his emotions to get the best of him. I don't think I saw him smile the entire night. (But I did spy the half-smile he does when he wants to smile, but doesn't want you to see it.) But I knew he was having a great time.

In our matching shirts
On the ride home, I asked him what his favorite part of the game was. In classic Curtis fashion, he said it was when I bought him a bouncy ball out of the vending machine by the parking lot. But when we got home, his true feelings were revealed.

He ran straight up to Paige and said excitedly, "Paige! We got shirts and the Jazz Bear rode on his sled and Dad was shaking his keys and the Jazz wore their green jerseys but they didn't win and the Jazz Bear knocked down all the pins and I got this cool bouncy ball."

The night was a success. He's already asked when we can go to another game.

And that makes my heart happy.