Monday, June 11, 2012

The Most Magical Place on Earth

One of my favorite memories is when Conrad & I took Bronwen & Ava to Disneyland three years ago.  The rides, seeing the girls' faces when they met characters, the California sun, food & then when I found out I was pregnant when we got back... it was magical.

With Cate now 2.5, Ava, 6.5, & Bronwen almost 8-years-old, we were ready to go again.  I felt like we were at the cusp of the older girls believing in the magic of Disneyland & since Cate was old enough to travel, we were ready.  The deal was sealed when we got an amazing discount offered in our email.  As soon as we knew we were going, Bronwen started the countdown.  Finally the day had come!  We had a magical time & I wanted to write down some of my favorite memories.

Two days before we left, Bronwen & Ava got out the suitcases & had all of us 80% packed.  It still impresses me how big they are getting & how responsible they are.  My beautiful little girls are invaluable.  Cate tried pulling things out of the suitcases haha!

Cate getting naked on the plane.  This girl does not like wearing clothes -unless you count her swimsuit. ;-)  Ironically, she hates getting her clothing wet. I'm thinking she puts the swimsuit on because she is constantly spilling water on herself in normal clothes.  I'll have to ask her tomorrow!

Anyway, she spilled water on her shirt & pants, so she took them off.  Thank goodness we were sitting next to a wonderful mother who didn't care & thank goodness Cate had her blanket to keep her warm.

Photos in front of Mickey Mouse!  There were a bunch of people around, but we saw a space open up & told the girls to run!  Oh snap!  We got the infamous photo!  I still get so happy when I see my three girls together.

Oooh, this also reminds me of the great sunglasses & hat hunt.  Being from sunny WA, so weren't prepared haha!

Another great memory is of the girls & me trying on goofy hats while Conrad was interviewing for a position with another company.  We found some beautiful princess nightgowns, princess gloves, Mickey lollipops & left the store.  Then we got some snack bars & drinks at Jamba Juice & hung out in the Downtown Disney district.  When I got the text from Conrad that we were in the clear to go back to the room, we ran to show him our treasures.

My 33rd birthday fell on the third day of the trip & I had my favorite food in the world, Mickey's Waffles, to celebrate!  Conrad told them it was birthday, so they gave me a pin. :-)

We ate at a restaurant Storyteller's Cafe every morning.  The breakfast is to do die for & all kinds of Disney characters come out to visit with the children.  It is a must see place to eat!

Each morning after we'd fill up, we'd head out to go on the rides & for some swimming.

Speaking of rides, Cate got to go on her very first roller coaster.  Yahoo!

Loved the photo of Cate scratching her butt!  Haha!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

2012 Steppin' Together Dance Recital

There's a certain look Ava gets on her face when she decides to transform herself into another character.  She gets serious, her eyes get dark & her jaw sets.  When she was dancing, I swear she just knew she was Michael Jackson in his "Beat It" video!  When she was done, she looked so satisfied.  "How'd you like those apples?" :-)

Bronwen, on the otherhand, focused on the audience.  I could imagine her envisioning how awesome she looked on the stage, in front of hundreds of people.  You could see that at that moment, she was on the show, "Dancing with the Stars," mesmerizing everyone with her brilliant moves. :-)

Both girls stole the show.  They worked very hard for about five months on their routine, coming home humming the song & sometimes showing us some of their moves.  Out of the dance genres they've had over the past 3.5 years, I think they hit their stride with hip hop.  To me this is the best type of dance to learn anyway because what are they going to do when they're older, bust out a piroutte at the club?  LOL!

If anyone lives in the Renton area, I highly recommend checking out the City of Renton's recreational programs -especially the dance classes for girls & boys.  Formal classes in the program start when children are at least 3 & go all the way up to the teenage years.  This year, their instructor was Monae Thomas, who happens to be the dance coordinator for the Seattle Storm dancers.  How cool is that?

It's not about putting your children in classes to be a world class dancer (although who knows?!).  It's about building confidence (I dance!  I can go onstage & perform!), learning teamwork (I am responsible for learning the routine so we all look good out there as a team), discipline (I need to go to class every week, so I can learn) & most of all, learning, "I can!!!!"

There are so many people who tell you you can't do things in life, & we need to tell our children that THEY CAN DO ANYTHING!!!!!  Why not?  Help your children believe in themselves.  It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.