Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hero Up 2

Hero Up was a complete success this year.
Great turnout.
Awesome people.
Awareness for children's cancer.
Money raised for research.
A day to remember Keith.

My sister lives every day like she's Glen Coco.
You go, Glen Coco.
Can't believe you pulled it off again - can't wait to see you outdo yourself next year.

Evie insisted on being Spiderman. Not Spiderwoman or Spidergirl, but Spiderman.
She's a kid. She does strange things. And she loves Spiderman.
Why can't girls like Spiderman? 
Who says that liking Spiderman is only a thing for boys?  
I just don't understand how we are in the year 2014 and we are taking such huge steps backwards for women. Evie likes Spiderman. Her favorite color is blue. She is more violent than the average girl. She likes to wrestle. She loves to play pirates.
A tomboy, but still my little girl. 

And I now realize that things took a turn for the serious - I apologize. Rant over.

My baby was Spiderman, complete with muscles, and she looked adorable.

A lot of anticipation, a lot of success, thanks to the one-and-only Dot.

Cutest Supergirl in town.

I will give you five bucks if you can guess who is the proud (and obvious) owner of the 'Super Bossy,' cape. Just kidding. That question is wayyyyy too easy.

Wolverine made his usual MC performance.


Batman is more approachable than I remember.

So many friends and family came out to this race and as cheesy as it is to say, it meant so much to us. Knowing people care is priceless, but watching people generously donate to a cause so important to you is pretty amazing. 

Plus you can't find people this cool just anywhere.
Professor X and Storm!

Mini Superheroes!

Captain America/Anna's betrothed.

Favorite people.
Emma stop making everyone look bad.

My friend Haley-who-had-a-baby-like-two-seconds-ago-and-felt-like-running-a-half-marathon.

Elastigirl is ... awkward.

Sheera is ... hot.

Superhero family!
Quick! Everybody smile perfectly for the camera so we can go back to doing...


This is okay, too.

My kids enjoyed playing with my red wig.

It was creepy and cute all rolled into one.

Thanks everyone for making Hero Up exactly what it should be ... Heroic!
Such a special day.
We miss you Keith!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Let's Talk About Preschool

I'll be honest, I didn't research preschools in Yakima much. Mostly, because there's only a few and also because I secretly wanted Evie to attend the same preschool I did. Does this make me a weirdo? 

Don't worry, I didn't try to find my picture on the wall or anything...

Although I might have been a little offended when I didn't see a shrine erected in my honor:

We survived the devil child,
Sydney Smart.
May her parents be blessed continually for their heroic efforts in basic day-to-day living.
And may other parents who think they have devil children think twice, thank their lucky stars and donate extra money to our cheery preschool.

Ev is not a devil child. 
But she is my child and has unfortunately inherited way too much of me.
What I love most about her is also what terrifies, boggles and infuriates me.
Her confidence, her tenacity, her competitive nature - all wonderful things, when harnessed properly.

The first day we dropped her off at preschool I felt one emotion more prevalently than the others - apprehension.
I was excited for her, but scared for the other children. I held my breath when she waltzed in the room and starting bossing everyone around. Within five minutes, she had four of her classmates sitting at a table and she was bringing them "lunch," telling them what she had prepared. When one boy tried to get up she shrieked, "WAIT! Lunch isn't ready and you ordered the chicken!"

He quietly sat back down.

When she talks, people listen. And if they don't, Evelyn just talks louder.
She is a force to be reckoned with and she knows it.

As a moderately self-diagnosed Tiger Mom, I did not intervene the day she force-fed her classmates play food. I've told her many times that the best way to make friends is to be one, and that meanness does not equate friendship. Happily, she is learning and has so far had success in preschool. She enjoys her classmates, art projects and reading amid all the bossing people around.
I'm proud of her.
Evie is learning to temper her emotions and I'm grateful that she has been willing to take direction from others (she doesn't even take direction from her parents). 

We lovingly call her "The Bull," in our family. She will bulldoze anyone and anything to get what she wants (does this remind you of anyone?) and I'm constantly having to help her reign in her anger. 
She can be explosive and inconsolable, but she is the delight of most who meet her. She is clever and spirited and nobody can say no to that wild, curly hair. 

If you asked me today what the best part of parenting is, I would say this:
Watching your kids conquer their weaknesses.

As a parent, you don't always want to admit that your child even has a weakness. They are adorable and funny and interesting and smart, but they are human. And we all have weaknesses. 
And sometimes its hard to watch your child push or yell and believe me, I feel like I've had my fair share of that in the last year. And people told me it would get better, and it has, but by no doing of my own. I want to give Evie credit here. She has really grown up and tried to be more nice lately and I appreciate it more than she could ever know. 

She is exceptional.

After the first day of preschool her teacher said, "You have an extremely independent little girl."
I agreed and we laughed about Evie's innate desire to do everything herself.
"The Bull," in full force.

Despite having done so well the last few months in school, we haven't conquered all demons, nor will we ever, but it is sure fun to try. I attempt to tell myself this when I want to scream in frustration at Evie. Focus on the things I love most about her, help her find her way, allow her to learn. Honestly, I'm grateful for these little problems, because I know in ten years, our lives won't be so simple and an outrageous temper will seem so trivial. Its sad when kids grow up, but its so fun to watch them mature. There is nothing more surprising then parenthood. Sometimes you turn the ugliest, most treacherous corner to see your child do something spectacular. 

I love talking about what happened at school and I love listening to my daughter re-hash her day. We have entered uncharted territory and I'm realizing how much I love it. And I know we have years and years of school ahead of us, but I can't help but look forward to it. I have dreamt about late-night school projects and Abe Lincoln presentations and Christmas concerts since I had Ev. And I know preschool isn't really "school," but I've had a taste and I just can't wait. I do miss her when she's gone, but I'm too excited for her to feel lonely. Plus, Anna naps during preschool AND I GET TO TAKE AN UNINTERRUPTED 20 MINUTE SHOWER.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are easily Ev's favorite days of the week.

You guys, this backpack lights up when it moves. Its so obnoxious, especially when I run to the grocery store at 9 PM and I think I'm getting pulled over, but its really just blinking Hello Kitty lights in the back of my car. 

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I signed up to help with every field trip/class party/everything Evie has this year in preschool (I need Tiger Mom rehab).

Her first field trip was apple picking at Johnson Fruit.

We had so much fun together.
Afterwards we went to lunch and then went to pick up Anna from Grandma's. 

To many more field trips with the Bull!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Well Deserved Shout Out

6 months ago I had a phone conversation with my sister that went something like this:

Chels: What are you going to do this summer, just live in Yakima again?
Me: Well, I was hoping the girls and I could live with you while Nick studies for the Bar in Yakima...
Chels: Sure, Shea's going to be here for part of it and I'm hosting some people here and there, but it would be fun.
Me: Great. I promise we won't ruin your house, although I realize now that Ev is potty training so she might pee on your carpet.
Chels: If she poops on my carpet I'll kill you.
Me: Okay, see you in a month.

With opened arms and little hesitation, Chels allowed us to bunk with her for two months this summer. Minus the absence of Nick, it was so fun. So much sister bonding (CW watching) and with Darc just minutes away it was awesome. Plus Shea was there for a few weeks basically making it a Smart Compound (creepy? We think so too).

Not sure if Chels enjoyed it as much as we did (especially since she had to have her carpets professionally cleaned afterwards) but we can't thank her enough. My girls absolutely adore her and there is not a better Aunt out there. 

Our last hurrah was visiting the Japanese Gardens in Portland.
In my head it was a lot more child friendly then it turned out to be. Apparently you have to be serene and quiet in a Japanese Garden, so my wild toddler was unwelcome at certain points (oops!). Also, Nick and I had to carry our heavy/crappy double stroller up these stairs that rivaled the RB stairs at BYU. No joke (sweatastic!).
In the end?
Totally worth it and a super blasty blast.


Double stroller up this baby.

We may have been approached by a grounds worker at this point, politely asking us to not touch the statues.

The politeness didn't last long.


You know what? 
I wish we were at Disneyland. There's better food and cooler people there.

I'm thinking about starting a new string of blog posts called, "Bear's Life."
It's all about what Bear does on a daily basis, how she's feeling, maybe some photos of all the places she gets to go.

Would you all be interested in this?
Diseased stuffed Teddy Bear travels the world with crazy toddler who thinks that Bear is an actual person with feelings and thoughts?

It might have potential...
Otherwise, I need to seriously reevaluate my life.

A beauty and a beast.
She is my stinker but oh, she can manipulate.