Sunday, August 26, 2012

Farewell, Summer

Curtis' favorite part of the Wheeler Farm
Paige enjoying nature
Never trust Tate with a stick of any kind
Summer. As it quickly as it came, it ended. I think Traci was more than a little overwhelmed by the thought of finding something to entertain three kids every day for three straight months. But she did it.

Paigey heads off to first grade tomorrow; Curtis will start his second year of preschool after Labor Day. And Tate will get lots of one-on-one time with Mom, once he gets rid of the other two. (Paige and Curtis have become super-good buddies over the summer. I think he's going to be pretty sad to be on his own for the next week. Tate, though good for a laugh or two, has not yet proven to be a good hang out buddy. Mostly because he spends all of his time smashing everything and pulling Curtis' hair.)

For how fast it flew by, we certainly managed to shove a lot of fun into the last three months: a couple of trips to the ranch (where Paige learned how to kayak by herself), a trip to St. George, two weeks of swimming lessons, a couple of Blaze games, a couple of Bees games, (no RSL games because they were sold out on Tuesday; I had to settle for a rain check), a handful of visits to Tracy Aviary, a sleepover at Grandma's (while Traci and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary), a day at Jungle Jim's, an afternoon bowling at Fat Cats, and on and on.

As I look back at the list, I'm starting to think my kids are a little spoiled. Or maybe we've gotten the most out of our Pass of All Passes. Or we just get a little stir crazy when we're trapped in our house all day.

But now it's time to go back to school.

What a drag.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Proud of Both My Girls

Paige continues to progress in piano land. (Her latest round of practicing has been motivated by her desire to earn a Rapunzel wig, an accomplishment that she finally achieved.) All of the credit goes to Traci, who does all of the fighting practicing with her. And at here last recital, she got to do the performing with her, too.

On the way to performance Paige said, "Uh, I feel a little nervous."

"Sometimes I get a little nervous, too," Traci said. "But when I feel nervous, I just take a deep breath before I start to play."

"I don't have to take a deep breath," Paige replied.

"Well, you don't have to," Traci said. "But you can if you want. It just helps you to feel calm."

When it came time to play, Paige marched right up there and did her thing. She did a great job on the first song. She struggled a little bit during her duet with Traci, however, because she got distracted by the two little boys goofing off on the front row. (I wanted to smack them in the back of the head, but a recital is, you know, a classy thing, so I couldn't.) But she still did a great job.

Here's the video:

(Traci also did a duet with her little sister Makell. I have a video of that, too, but I think shy-performer Traci would be embarrassed about me posting it.)

On the way home, Paige said triumphantly, "I didn't even have to take a deep breath before I started playing!"

I guess we don't need to give Paige any tips about dealing with anxiety.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Weekend in Dixie

It was sunny and 93 in Salt Lake today. And it felt like a refreshing oasis. 

We just got back from our annual fun-with-Traci's-family trip to St. George where it was a cool 110 degrees each day.

Despite the heat, it was a nice little getaway. When I told Paige that, despite her repeated requests, we probably wouldn't be going to Fiesta Fun to play miniature golf in the midday sun, she complained, "All we do is go to the pool, go to splash pad, go to the pool, go to the splash pad." Yep, that's we do in St. George in August.

And the kids had a great time doing it. (Literally) right before we headed to St. George, Paige finished up her swimming lessons (level I for the third time; she refuses to put her head in the water) and was ready to show off her new skillz in St. George. I don't know what finally clicked, but by the end of the trip, she was swimming around, unassisted, like a little fish. She was even jumping in and putting her head under the water!

Curtis continued to be shy every time he was out of the kiddie pool (he was also signed up for swimming lessons but refused--for two full weeks--to get in the water). But not Tate. To our dismay, he'd dive right in and randomly decide to stick his whole head in the water to blow bubbles. It's a miracle that he survived the entire trip.

Paige's observations about our daily schedule were not entirely correct. In addition to the swimming and splash pad-ding, we also made it to the dollar movies twice. My date with Paige to Madagascar III was actually my favorite part of the whole trip. Paige was hooked from the first scene--laughing, dancing. shouting at the bad guy (er, bad lady). And when Katy Perry's Firework (Paige's jam) kicked in right at the movie's climax, I could see she was in heaven.

I slacked in the photo department, but here are a few pics:

Curtis feeling victorious at the splash pad (probably because he just discovered the joy of sitting directly on the fountain)
Tate's true baby vampire identity is revealed
Two minutes later Tate, completely unprovoked, stole his cousin's binki right out of her mouth and shoved it in his own (and he doesn't even like binkis)
Curtis and his cousin get a little tech time--Curt watching Power Rangers on the iPad, and Maika playing Angry Birds on the Kindle
Paige is also rocking some vampire teeth
Tate discovering that it's nice to be back in Salt Lake