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Posts Tagged ‘I am Seven!’

For me, each kid in my family has an age that I identify them with. An age that for whatever reason, gets stuck in my brain. For Keaton that age is 3-4ish so to wake up this morning and find him a whole SEVEN years old is really messing with my brain’s construct of what my world should look like. I honestly have no clue how we got here. How did that sweet, funny, pigtail-sporting, tutu-wearing, booty-shaking toddler morph into this hard-working, sword-wielding, ninja-rolling, BOY?

To quote one of his favorite movies: Inconceivable.

Keaton is no one thing. He is not a kid that you can put in a box. He loves swords and rough-housing, and nail-polish and his stuffed Crookshanks. He’ll happily watch a Barbie movie or Star Wars. He is sensitive and kind. He is mischievous and a fairly adept liar.

He is joy. He is love. He is ours and we love him so very much.

Happy Seven, Keaton Sir!!

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The 2013 costuming season can be summed us thusly: So. Much. Sewing.

Seriously. As I was sewing on what I’m pretty sure was the 67th snap, I found myself wistfully remembering that first year when all I had to do was lovingly affix 7,986,231 sequins to two costumes. This year, between the 2 kids, I was responsible for six costumes, all of which needed a moderate to severe amount of sewing. And yes, severe sewing is totally a thing. At least when it’s done by me. I severely sewed the SHIT out of these costumes.

Let’s jump in, shall we?

Rowan’s jazz dance was to Monster Mash. This costume was originally slated to be a lacy white and black, Bride of Frankenstein-esque number but it wasn’t quite Monster-y enough, which meant that the sewers had to start over, modeling it after a small-group costume created the previous season. I was a little put off by all the orange at first but it looked great up on stage and even won the costume award at our first competition.

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The skirt was probably the most labor intensive. The tulle of the skirt was dotted which made the placement of the sequins a no-brainer {and it was soft tulle which makes a HUGE difference in getting the sequins to stick} but there were A LOT of them. The black stripes on the front were glittered, which was messy but pretty easy. The waistband was added later by our room mom so we could add an assortment of orange, clear and irredescent crystal stones.

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The orange muppet feathers were originally on a rope-like spool; 2 four inch and one six inch pieces were cut for each skirt and we sewed them on to create the desired feathered-bootie effect. We also added the flower and tacked the skirt down in several places so it would stay in place during the dance.

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I’m sorry there was really just no good way to photograph this fluff of a top. When we got it is was just a rectangular piece of lycra. From there we sewed on two long ropes of orange fluff, tacking each down in 6 or so places. Then we added extra pieces of fluff to the back once we account for stretch, so it would completely cover the lycra. Three black straps were added to connect it around the back and two to the neck. The material is a sparkly black which is great for shimmering up on stage but not so great for the dancers as it is suuuupppeeerrr itchy. I ended up sewing a soft felt-like material on the inside where the straps were bothering Rowan which helped some.

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The neck straps were stoned with an assortment of crystals and I sewed on a swimsuit clasp and snaps for closures. There are 6 of these flowers on this costume, which were originally fake flowers with a stem and all, purchased from a craft store. They were de-stemmed, taken apart, hot glued and sewn back together, then a clear gem was sharpied {I promise this is a thing in the dance world} orange and glued in the center. We also glittered all the black stripes by placing many small dots of gem-tac glue and then sprinkling spoonfuls of glitter over them. Obviously this wasn’t enough DUH so we added random stones for shine.

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For the arm bands we sewed more orange fluff in a circle to splay out the feathers and WHY YES, that is more glitter on the black stripes, which was thankfully done in the studio and not spread all over my house… although I did mysteriously find some under Ezra’s chin a few days later for which the only explanation I can think of is some made it down my shirt and was transferred via nursing session, whatever… sparkle boob, sparkle baby. We also sewed clear hair elastics to the points of the band to loop around their finger so they would stay in place.

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The leg mufflers were made of a very messy fur that sheds everywhere so we had to handle these puppies with care. We sequined the black tulle and sewed on the decorated flowers. To keep these things from slipping down while the girls danced we were given very tight, long, lycra socks. We sewed snaps to both the muffs and the socks to secure them. There was still a little slippage but it worked pretty well.

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Last were the hair bows. I helped glitter and decorate the flowers but one of our talented room moms created and assembled the bows. They are super cute and will be great for re-wearing at Halloween.

And here is the finished product…

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Rowan’s tap costume was MUCH less labor intensive and I really really love it. Still though, with the sewing…

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The skirt was made out of a shimmery plaid which required no extra stones or sequins. I’m not quite sure how we made it through without having to sequin the tulle sticking out but thankbabyjesus for big/small favors. We stoned the belt loops and the buckle and tacked down the belt and the skirt to the tulle so it wouldn’t flip up. Voila! Done!

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For the blazer we stoned and sewed on the decorative buttons and then sewed snaps on the inside for the closure. We sequined and stoned to create the LD patch. The pockets and collar were tacked down in several places so nothing gets floppy on stage.

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For the finishing touches, the plaid was cut and glued onto the taps. We sewed on two rows of ruffle to the white knee-highs. The bra top required no extra work, as it was really barely visible on most girls.

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And here it is! I helped put the little stones on the hair bows but they were again mostly done by one of our room moms. I was disappointed when Charlie Brown was chosen as Rowan’s tap song- it’s just never been one of my favorites, but the costume ended up so adorable and the dance turned out to be one of my very favorites- the best one of Rowan’s yet. I love the whole thing.

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The studio also does a number that spans all the competition lines, 1st grade through graduating seniors {6 lines total plus the Dancing Dads- all of them except for the baby line, which is why this is Rowan’s first year in it} called Jive Bunny. It’s always a mix of songs with a common theme. Last year it was a Footloose theme, the year before is was Lady Gaga {those costumes were pretty rad}. This year Jive Bunny had a Rock of Ages theme. Rowan’s group dances out to I Wanna Rock during which they wield Paper Jams guitars. It’s reeeeeeally cute. A group of awesome moms took the helm piecing together this costume. I didn’t do anything but pay for it and add a few tacks to hold things in place.

Now for Keaton. Last fall I offered to help out backstage for the boys. I didn’t think it would be a big deal since there were just three boys on his line, they only do two competitions and two recitals and I was nervous how Keaton would handle all this so I thought it would be better to be back there with him. Then one of the boys ended up dropping out so it was just the two of them and I failed to remember that all the comp boys from the studio do a boys only number that is performed at all 5 recital shows. And little did I know, although I should have suspected, that I would somehow become responsible for the boys’ costumes which were eventually pieced together and modified by myself with a generous amount of help from the room mom from his line and a couple other older boys’ moms who have been through The Crazy and gave me help/tips. I was completely unprepared for this responsibility and hated pretty much every second of it from conception to execution to completion but there really wasn’t anyone else who could do it so that was that. If Keaton stays in dance I praypraypray a boy with a competent mother gets recruited so I can pass the costume conception torch to her, for I absolutely SUCK at it. Give me detailed instructions and material and I will gladly do whatever I can to help out but I’m just NOT cut out to put this stuff together; I do NOT have a brain that thinks in sequins and shimmer, just look at my closet where you’ll be assaulted with only varying shades of grey.

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I don’t have detailed or great pictures of Keaton’s costumes. I’m always so busy doing things backstage, a rushed cell phone picture is all I’ve managed so far, Hopefully I’ll get some good ones during the recital weekend. This is his jazz costume. It looks easy and unassuming enough and it really is, except that none of the items he’s wearing here came in the right color. The green t-shirt is the only thing that was purchased outright and the only modification was cutting a hole in it to string the light panel battery pack connector through. The sweatshirt had to match the girls’ vests so I bought white hoodies, cut a hole for the light panel in the lower chest, cut the sleeves off and had them hemmed, then a room mom helped dye them to match. Another room mom found the light-up panels {the girls’ tutus light up so they wanted something cool for the boys} which I glued and tacked onto the sweatshirt in 8 spots. I also tacked down the hood so it wouldn’t flop around and tacked the sweatshirt to the greet shirt.

The shorts were pretty time consuming because all the pink and orange you see on them was lovingly colored in with fabric markers and they needed to be gone over several times to be bright enough. They also only had the converse high-tops in bold colors; no neon or baby blue unless you want to pay big bucks for custom designs so those were dyed along with the sweatshirts, which took a couple of tries because they weren’t coming out dark enough. Then I ditched the white laces for the bright blue. The socks needed to be colored with fabric pens as well. There were tons of neon colors out there this spring but unfortunately they were all for girls and all super feminine styles. The process of running to store after store, getting excited about finally landing on something only to have it not work out and then heading back to return it was really daunting with the baby.

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Keaton’s tap dance was to Hound Dog. Please don’t ask me about the zebra print because I… don’t get it either. The pants and fake-leather jacket was purchased at H&M. I searched stores and the Internet high and low for a boys zebra print shirt with close to zero luck. The only one I found was spendy and non-returnable which really wasn’t a chance I wanted to take because I never knew what would make it through approvals or not. In the end I modified the straps on a zebra camisole I found at Justice. The boys HATE it but since you only see the bottom and a little bit at the top it’s not too big of a deal. My least favorite part of this costume was the dog collar {which you can’t really see in this picture}. It’s a men’s gothic spike necklace I got at Hot Topic. I had to cut it down and add elastic and a snap and ugh, it’s weird and yuck and I DO NOT LIKE. Admittedly it looks just fine on stage but I asked the girls’ room mom to sneak it off of him for his individual shot on picture day because just, yeah, no thank you.

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For the boys dance Keaton wore an adorable tuxedo. Since he was born with absolutely no butt to speak of, I had to take in the waist by about half. I also had the legs hemmed and each age group of boys got their own color cumberbund and tie. Besides adding velcro on the tie closure {they all pull them off at the end of the dance} and reinforcing the buttons, this one was pretty easy and he was just oh so handsome.

And there you have it! Time is always the big issue~ it seems no matter how hard everyone tries to get the ball rolling early, we always end up having to complete 9,000 tasks in about 3-4 weeks and it is really pretty stressful; especially when you’re caring for a small human that doesn’t understand when I say “hold on, Baby, I just need to sew on 8 more snaps”. I have learned to let go and just try to roll with the punches for the most part which was fine for Rowan’s stuff, especially after I learned to glue down the snap before sewing. There may have been some tears shed when those little bastards wouldn’t stop sliding around as I was trying to sew them down and it was 11 pm and I knew the baby would be up soon and I just wanted to sleeeeeep and STOP MOVING, SNAP I HATE YOU, SNAP WHY WERE YOU EVEN BORN, SNAP. Letting things go turned out to be a little trickier for Keaton since I was in charge of it but with lots of help I made it through with most of my dignity in tact. Being stuck in a dressing room with a dozen boys ages 4-12 is a WHOLE other story, one I’m really hoping I live through.

As in previous years, we are not sure if we’ll continue down this road. There are so many benefits of competitive dance but the main drawbacks, time and money, are getting harder to justify the deeper into this we get. We will reassess after the recital at the beginning of June and see where things stand. In the meantime, I’m so proud of all the hard work Rowan and Keaton put in this year. The progress they’ve both made is really remarkable and watching how much fun they are having up on stage has truly been one of my best moments as their mom, even if I do wince every time I see a hard-won stone or sequin pop off in the process ;).

 

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So, yeah. Things look a little different around here. Yesterday I got a bee in my bonnet, deciding I needed to change the header to include Ezra. The thing is, because there is always a thing, Bill designed and built my blog back in 2010 having very little knowledge about blog coding and while he did a fabulous job, it was time-consuming and a giant pain in the ass. At the time it was worth it because I was blogging very regularly and had hopes in the future of putting work into promoting it and making it a bigger, maybe even income-generating thing.

After a little time and soul-searching, I decided that what I really wanted for the foreseeable future was a home to keep our family’s memories, nothing more. Not that you can tell from the posts I put up here but I’m actually somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to my writing so when I thought about being read on a wider scale I knew I would drive myself crazy during the editing process, because time? We just don’t have it at this point in our lives. Life morphs, evolves, in the nearly seven and a half years of being a parent, the shape of our family along with its dynamic has changed so many times. One day I might get to a place where I want to do more with this space but for now I scramble to document the big events and much of the minutiae of every day life is lost to these pages now.

At the point we’re at now, I just wanted to strip down what I had by choosing a basic wordpress theme, throw up a picture of the kids as the header and call it a day. Only neither of us could figure out how to add a picture to the header which seems like it should be the easiest thing in the world and it probably is but when you have two sleep-deprived parents of three small children, well, basically we’re idiots. So after playing around with themes and trying to get the fuuuuuureaking header image up, we broke the Internet and my blog {temporarily, obvs.} then gave up and went to bed because our brain cells were starting to jump ship out our earholes. Being a lazy asshole, I’m just leaving it bare-bones for now, but if we can’t figure out how to fix it, I’ll probably end up putting the old site back up until we figure it out, so bear with me as my super kaduper life is going to be a bit bi-polar for a while. UPDATED: Bill figured out the header! Yay Bill! {I’d say I’m sorry for publicly shaming you, but you know, shame gets shit DONE.}

Now! To distract you from these boring surroundings, I will share with you my very favorite Christmas gift. Rowan was very secretive about the gift she had made in school but she was super excited, downright giddy, to give it to us. The little stinker even sneaked out in the wee hours of Christmas morning and put it under the tree for us, right next to her own presents which I’m sure she thoroughly {illegally!} inspected. Truth is I sort of cheated because the evening after the last day of school I was going through her bag and in it was a rough draft of her present. I didn’t realize what it was at first, it was just a little stapled book, but I’m so glad I was able to read it first out of her presence because tears were just streaming down my face I was laughing so hard which probably would have insulted her had she witnessed it. Thankfully, I was much more composed on Christmas morning.

Here is her book. The harrowing story of her mother. A mother who, against all odds, takes naps, goes shopping and drinks…

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I can’t decide if my favorite part is when I ditch everyone to take a nap or when I take my small child out on a shopping trip where I start drinking. A few people who read it tried to make me feel better by saying maybe I was just being mean and not letting her get a drink, that it didn’t necessarily mean it was alcoholic. So I asked Rowan why I wouldn’t let her have a drink in her story and she replied, “I can’t have those kinds of drinks mommy. They have booze in them.” You guys, I don’t even know what her teacher must think but for now I don’t care because despite the storyline, this was by far the best present I have ever received.

Also, just so we’re all up to speed, on the flip side was Bill’s story, in which he gave hugs, cooked her dinner and went to work like a responsible parent.

Now, Internet, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go make a martini, do some shopping and take a nap.

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Look what I got for you, Internet! A non-ghetto, non-cell phone pregnancy picture! I KNOW! Just what you’ve aaaaaaalways wanted.

You’re super welcome.

Out of the bathroom and everything! I know. You didn’t think I had it in me.

The kids have already been great big siblings, always asking to give the baby hugs and kisses in the morning and before bed.

Of course before Keaton gives him a kiss he always asks where the baby’s bottom is positioned and when I show him he promptly kisses it and then breaks out in a fit of giggles, “Haha I kissed your butt, Baby!” I’m not gonna lie… this sort of makes me wonder what the hell I’m going to do with another potty-humored boy in the house. {Probably work on perfecting my serious face after I’ve turned around and laughed myself, because, well, he did just kiss his butt and sometimes that shit’s just funny.}

Hopefully sometime in the next two and a half weeks we’ll be able to meet this little guy. Both Rowan and Keaton came during the 38th week {38 weeks 6 days, and 38 weeks 2 days respectively} but that’s obviously no guarantee. As my mother likes to remind me, she had five kids and all of them came early except one. Can you guess which one was not just a few days, but almost two full weeks late? Yeah. So maybe I sort of deserve a late one but with the number of birthdays that reside at the end of this month and early November between our two families, I really hope he takes pity on me and comes earlyish to mid-October.

At my 37 week check last week SDjrjr’s heart-rate was pretty low and I had previously mentioned that his movements had slowed considerably so the doctor I saw {who is not my midwife because my midwife is out of town for the next week and a half HAHA ISN’T THAT FUNNY? {No. No it is not}.} hooked me up to the monitor to make sure he was doing OK in there. He remained quiet for the first 20 minutes or so but then kicked it up a few notches so that the doctor was satisfied enough to proclaim him too sleepy/lazy/out of room to get really worked up for a higher heart rate and I was thankfully cleared to go home.

They also monitored me for contractions which I was indeed having but since I was not feeling them at all, they didn’t even check me for dilation/effacement. That night I woke up at 1:37am mid-contraction, and not the wussy Braxton-Hicks ones I’ve been having every time I over-do it, a full-blown UM, OUCH contraction. I had one every 10-12 minutes for the next hour and a half, during which I took the time to have a heart to heart with my unborn son about how I did not order a SEPTEMBER baby, I ordered an OCTOBER baby so he could just SIMMER THE FUCK DOWN in there. And he did. Because he is already a better listener than his siblings and he’s not even born yet. I fell back to sleep around 3:30am and have not had a “real” contraction since, so all’s well.

Other than that, I’ve packed the baby’s bag for the hospital and washed/prepped all the hippie diapers and clothes that he’ll need for the first few weeks. The crib and bassinet are assembled and the car seat is ready to be installed. I also spent 4.5 years composing a schedule and instruction manual for the care of my two giant children. With the nutty dance schedule we have this was no small feat but 17 pages later, I hope someone besides me can figure it out.

In other news…

“I have a hole in my face!”

This is the third year Rowan has had to watch the tooth chart in her classrooms fill up, the majority of the kids having lost multiple teeth. The insult was even greater felt this year as she knows she is one of the oldest in her class and had yet to lose even one. At her last dental check the dentist assured us that her bottom two front teeth were on their way to becoming loose and he predicted they would be out by late fall. I have no idea how he could tell because this was back in July and they weren’t the slightest bit wobbly but lo! and behold! and etc.!

A little boy at school had lost his bottom two at school earlier in the week and had swallowed one of them which caused Rowan to stress out about swallowing her own very loose tooth. She spent all of last Thursday night wiggling and wiggling the thing, in hopes it would come out easily but no such luck. It was way past bedtime and even though we tried to assure her she wouldn’t swallow it, she proceeded to have a mental breakdown over a teeny-tiny piece of enamel. Which… ugh. There was nothing we could say or do. After multiple refusals to have Bill attempt to gently tug at it to get it out, we gave up, put Keaton down for the night and left her alone in the bathroom with her tears and her wiggly tooth. Three minutes later she waltzed out with the reddest, puffiest eyes you have ever seen and a big smile with a small hole in it. “I got it out! I didn’t swallow it!” She was so proud, all the drama of the previous hour or so completely forgotten, for she held the promise of a fairy visit in her palm.

She requested we wait to put the tooth under her pillow until the following night as she wanted to hold onto her hard-won prize for a day or so. So the next night we placed the tooth in the small tooth-box I purchased earlier that day and set it on her dresser. {She asked to put the tooth on her dresser instead of under her pillow, “What if it falls down behind the bunk-beds?!” which, let me tell you, suited the tooth fairy juuuust fine.} That night the fairy did not disappoint and in the morning she was rewarded with a small Polly Pocket, a book and three dollars, with the stipulation that the first tooth is special and after this she would just be given a handful of coins. {Which will probably, sadly, be filched from her own piggy bank because I am never prepared for this sort of thing. Oh I’m kidding! I’ll steal them from Keaton’s piggy bank, he’ll never notice.}

Other than that bit of big news? We’re just trying to savor our last couple of weeks as a family of four…

Which is doing a nice job of distracting us from the anticipation of becoming a family of five..

Because we’re so excited to meet this little guy. {Belly close-up courtesy of Keaton, photographer esq.}

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Knowing that this fall and a new sibling would bring many changes, I really wanted to make an effort to make this summer about hanging out with Rowan and Keaton and enjoying the relative get up and go freedom that comes with a 4.5 and 6.5 year old- something that we’ll be missing for the next couple of years as we start this whole parenting adventure over with our new little guy. Pregnancy in general, plus the anemia and fatigue I get along with it, sometimes made things tough but we accomplished a lot of what I wanted to do {water park!, beach! bike rides!} did more of some things than I thought possible {so. much. dance.} and had to skip a couple of bigger ideas {lake superior getaway} due to lack of time/funds. Overall? I think we did a pretty good job of soaking summer up…

Went for a firefly walk, Rowan even made friends with one.

Talked to a real pirate.

Made a pirate flag. That rainbow is really gonna strike fear into the hearts of other pirates, huh?

Made a butterfly ring.

Played on the sandbar on White Bear Lake that Mama grew up playing on.

Weaved on a loom.

Went to science camp.

Watched a ridiculous amount of swimming events during the Olympics. Here is Keaton “on the block”.

Splashed mighty splashes in puddles.

Not wanting to be left in his sister’s dust, learned to ride a two-wheel bike at 4.

Ate ridiculously bright-colored ice cream. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that the brighter the hue the more natural and healthy it is…

Bounced!

Pretended to be cuddle fish at the beach.

Pretended to be lifeguards at the beach.

Took swimming lessons in a pool where we held our breath under water for many seconds and even really swam all on our own.

Refused to put our faces in the “yucky brown lake water” and also refused to swim without a life jacket at the lake which was the whole point of those lessons in the first place.

Hugged curious George at the Children’s Museum.

Planted peas and beans.

Went to Cascade Bay where we chilled on the lazy river and went down the big tube water slide.

Swam with flippers for the first time.

Rode bikes to the park.

Went swinging!

Went to a T-ball clinic with dad.

Went to a watercolor and acrylic class.

Picked carrots, peas and raspberries from our friends’ garden.

Shot a bow and arrow.

Ate Popsicles.

Had breakfast outside.

Told stories by candlelight during the power outage at Mallinger’s.

Went out for pizza with our cousins.

Slipped and slide-ed.

Visited Jorie’s work.

Went to Mama’s doctor appointment where we got to use a doplar on mom’s tummy and listen to our brother’s heartbeat.

Turned into Spiderman.

Turned into a butterfly.

Turned into a giant douchecanoe.

Hung out at the fire station.

Went to the N. St. Paul car show to see the cool cars and get ice cream.

Got into a water fight.

Watched the fireworks with our cousins. (Not Keaton, who went to grammy’s to watch Frosty the Snowman instead.)

Made marshmallow pops.

Turned 4 and a half!

Turned 7.

Got pet betta fish! Named them Harry Potter, Olympic Swimmer and Shimmer Dufenshmirtz Jr.

FINALLY gave up pull-ups at night so mom gets to enjoy approximately 3 whole months diaper free.

Went to the county fair and pet a fluffy bunny and went on rides.

Were ceremoniously introduced to daddy’s boyhood passion, TMNT.

Did not disappoint dad.

Had 3 friends over for a pajama-movie-night birthday party.

Went down the log chute and rode the big swings with daddy at Nickelodeon universe.

Had a fancy lunch at the American Girl Bistro.

Got Rebecca and Kanani’s hair done at the salon.

Had another birthday luau with Ellie!

Went to a summer ballet clinic.

Worked really hard at stretching and can almost do the splits.

Took first comp dance class.

Made the next line up in competition dance!

Got to be a flower girl.

Got to be a ring bearer.

Danced the night away at Auntie Susie’s wedding.

Finally decided it was safe to swim with heads underwater at the beach. Had a blast swimming around like fish, looking for shells and practicing underwater hand stands.

Finished my pre-k workbook and started working in my kindergarten workbook!

Passed the first two levels of Super Mario Bros for Wii.

Did the monkey bars all by ourselves.

Helped the neighbor girl with a lemonade stand to raise money for Tanzania.

Completed 20 hours of summer reading for the library’s Bookawocky program by devouring Cam Jansen, Disney Fairies and Rebecca and Kanani books.

Was brave enough to finally try the big scary silver slide.

Went for a sunset climb.

And? On Tuesday it will be on to new things…first grade, pre-k, new dance classes, new piano teacher and a very full schedule. After being so sick and apart from the kids all late winter and spring, I hope that what we did this summer made up for the time they spent watching me crawl from my crypt of a bedroom to the bathroom, only to miserably crawl right back in again. I know they won’t retain it all but hopefully the memories they do keep tucked away in the folds of their little brains will tide them over until their next adventure of becoming a big big sister and a big brother begins in October.

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Yesterday morning I was braiding Rowan’s hair before dance and I told her that this was her very last full day of being a six-year-old. She said, “I really want to stay just six… I want to stay with you forever and never get old and go to college”. After I died from The Cute and Precious words and then reanimated myself, I reminded her that she’ll probably feel differently in a few years. And I’m sure I will too but as of right now if I could bottle Six up and keep it close to me for all of time, I would. This year was complete and utter magic for Rowan. This was the age everything changed. You know how at every age people give you the “they’ll grow out of it” line?  And you wait and wait but sometimes they just don’t figure it out? Well Rowan worked out of so many of the things that were wearing her down and in turn grew into the amazing little thing she now is.

“Think of all the awesome things you learned this year!”

“Well…I learned how to read inside my head…and play Super Mario Brothers… and ride a two-wheeled bike… and do the monkey bars… and keep my legs straight when I do a cartwheel… and blow a bubble with my gum… and how to snap… and memorize and play my recital piece in piano… and was brave enough to get my ears pierced… I think the bubble thing was the bestest though.”

“And do you think you learned all of the things? Now there are no things left to learn?”

“Hmm… it was a lot but maybe not ALL of the things. I think I can still learn stuff when I’m seven. I still don’t know how to whistle. And I still haven’t lost a tooth.”

“Then I guess you have to get bigger, huh?”

“I guess.  I’ll probably find stuff to do.”

And I know she will, although seven terrifies me just a little bit. The age of magic is winding down and now dawns the age of logic. Where all the little white magical {LIES!} explanations I have provided for topics just too big and difficult for me to explain or for her to grasp are going to start cropping up again, only I’ll have to drop the “well, fairies did that, DUH” type answers.

It’s hard to imagine being a parent of a toddler and preschooler is easier but in the sense of the Big Wide World and all its complications, it really, REALLY is. Before this nearly anything and everything can be explained away as good or bad, black or white, and magical thinking can explain the rest. Now she understands that mamas aren’t always right. That daddies make mistakes. And that hugs and kisses can’t fix every problem. She still puts us up on a pedestal and relies on us to fix her problems but I think she’s starting to see that it’s good ol fashioned hard work and not fairy dust that makes these things happen. This makes me sad in a way. I mean, in order for her to become a functioning member of society this is a lesson she needs to learn but to see that we are on the far side of the magic years makes me think of all the growing up that’s going to take place in the next 3, 5, {and lord help me} 10 years. Before seeing her as a 10-year-old and beyond was absolutely impossible, but now I am beginning to be able to imagine 10-year-old Rowan, she doesn’t seem so far away now and WOW that scares the shit out of me.

I guess I don’t hold out too much hope that all the remaining years of Rowan’s childhood will be as spectacular or as easy as this last one but Six has shown me that this kid can always land on her feet. And that as a parent sometimes the pay-off doesn’t come until much later than expected, making the celebrations and triumphs that much more sweet.

Rowan J, you’ve taught us so much about love. So much about laughter. So much about struggle and so much about patience. You are such a hard kid to describe because you are just so many things, all at once… and I love them all.

Happy Seven, Little Miss.

Rowan Year of Six-Medium from Christy Gunter on Vimeo.

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