Thursday, March 31, 2011

... and stick, "Ta-dah!"

Dominic started gymnastics.

He loooooves it. Almost more than he loves garage doors. (But not quite.)

He is (by far) the worst one in his class... which just makes it all the more adorable, hilarious and enjoyable to watch.

He's down-right giddy while we drive to the gym. He listens attentively to his coaches and genuinely tries hard to make his little body cooperate... unfortunately, his extremities are stubborn and usually have other plans... but it's so darn fun to watch (and don't worry, he doesn't know how stinkin' silly/cute/hilarious he looks anyway. He's just having the time of his life out there).

Here's the little acrobat, he's one trick pony...

These clips are so flippin' funny to me. This one is supposed to be a series of "straddle jumps" down the tumble track. He gets an "A" for effort!

And this one is "tuck jumps"...

Followed by "somersaults"... he finally gets it by himself at the very end!

And finally, "seat drops" on the trampoline...

Bless his sweet little heart, he's trying so hard. I love this boy. And I love that he loves "nastics"... proof that he is, indeed, his mama's son.

He's been to three classes so far... and he's actually finally learned to JUMP! This is kind of a big thing for us.

We've been working on jumping for a.really-really.long.time.

So way-to-go Dom. :) Olympics, here we come! (But probably not.)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Big, BIG Day

Last Wednesday I loaded my heart up in the car, equipped with a rocket-ship backpack (thanks, Deborah) and a fresh haircut, and drove him to San Tan Elementary School.

Umm... he's 3. Baaaarely 3. He was still using his binki at night a mere 2 weeks ago (not that I'm proud of that). But gosh, he's still just so little. Preschool 4 times a week at this age wasn't really in my plans.

Being a teacher in my past-life, and remembering how frustrating a lingering, crying mommy can be... I made the big drop-off brief (although it did not go down in history undocumented... yes, I brought the camcorder. I know, I'm embarassing). I cried, kind of a lot--after I was safely in the parking lot. He did not. At least not when I left. There was definitely apprehension. There were quite a few, "No, no, nooos!" (Not the bratty kind, the pleading kind... which are sooo much worse.) But not a melt-down. Thank goodness. Here he is with his teacher before I made my exit... looking a little apprehensive. His pre-school teacher said something later that led me to believe there were a few tears during the course of the morning. But all in all, he took it like a champ. When I picked him up, his teacher said he had a great first day... and that besides a few tears, his only set-back was when they had to take a book away from him during clean-up... which doesn't surprise me. I had to pry his fat little fingers off the book he was reading when I tried to take him out of his carseat and into church today, and he howled at me all the way into the chapel...and all the way back out again for a time-out. Here he is after school on the big day. After his 2nd day, he actually ran out the door to me, smiling, and yelled "Pane!" His teacher said, "Oh, he made an airplane this morning and he's been really excited about it all day." Awww, maybe we can do this school thing afterall. When we got into the car, (which was, like, 10 minutes later because we had to jump off the curb 5-6 times and walk over all the manholes, and "vait" (wait) for all the big yellow buses to leave) I opened up his backpack to pull out his prized "pane".
I flew it around the front seat and did a loop-de-loop. He was spazzing at it in the back seat, clenching and unchlenching his little fists and grinning from ear to ear... filled up to his eyebrows with pride. :) He felt so good about himself. I think he gets it. I think he gets that he's a BIG boy now. He gets that school is a BIG thing.

He's proud of himself and happy. Me too... I guess. But just because I'm happy for his courage and independence and pride, doesn't mean that my heart doesn't ache for my sweet little guy to stay little for just a teeny bit longer. Curse that speech therapist who will be working daily to rid him of that lisp that I adore. Curse the articulation class that will make him sound like a big boy. I'm going to miss his "so bids" and his "wuv you, Mamas", his "by ah-sefs" and his "Mmmmm, nandy!" Sweet little boy, don't lose all of your baby-ness too soon. Congratulations on this big day in your little life.

Love, Your Over-Emotional Mommy

Here's a short clip of Dominic in the morning before he left for school. He's not really into actually wearing his backpack... that's why he's being a stinker. (Pshh, like he EVER needs an excuse.)

P.S. We were so bummed that Dom's new backpack wouldn't arrive in time for his first day. And so excited when his buddy Jack let Dominic borrow his super-cool rocket ship backpack for the first couple of days. And then utterly disappointed when it arrived after his 2nd day of school looking like this...'s about 10 inches tall (hand is for scale). Aaaand it's personalized, so we get to KEEP this little baby. Sorry, no returns. He can stuff some of his beloved Thomas the Train Engines in there... but certainly not a green preschool folder. :(

So... we are so excited that Jack is extending the terms of the backpack lease??? Deborah? I hope that's ok. Backpack #2 is in the mail. That's what I get for getting all over-excited and not reading the small print. Sheesh! It did say "Preschool Backpack", just so ya know.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

If I Had a Wish Then it Would Be...

... a Happy, Happy Birthday to You from Me!

Soooomebody just turned 3!

I have a three year old. Which means, in 2 years I'm going to have a 5 year old! Which means I'm going to have to send him to school soon! Which means... I might have a nervous break-down. Are they supposed to grow up? Really!? I'm going to get a 2nd opinion. I'm taking my business elsewhere, aaaaannnd I want a refund... because this just feels wrong.

Are those really his long, lanky legs? C'mon! What happened to his chunky thighs? His plump little fingers? Why are his cheeks vanishing into thin air? Why is he learning to ride a scooter!? This is all very troublesome... and overwhelming.

The next thing you know, he'll be dodging my kisses, getting embarrassed about the cute things he does, having slumberparties without me, and... and... and stop having tantrums in public places! Wait... that one I'll take.

But for the love of PETE child... please.stop.growing.
Your poor Mama's heart can't take much more.

I love you, little boy.

Dominic playing with his new train. Dominic spazzin' out over said train.

Before Dominic's party today, I went and bought the cake while Rich took the boys out to breakfast at Joe's Farm Grill for Dominic's free birthday meal, and then I headed to the party venue to set up for the festivities. :)

Dominic loves trains. LOVES them. L - O - V - E.

So for his birthday this year, we threw a Thomas the Train Birthday Party at Freestone Railroad & Park. The kids got their own train whistles, they rode on all the rides, rode the train, ate cake and ice cream, aaaaand almost blew away. (Yup. Can you say 35 mph winds!?) What IS it with stormy weather and EVERY important event in our family's life? Last year it rained on Dom's birthday too. And that's a rarity here.

Here are some pictures I took before the "real" winds started wreaking their havoc...

... still not the way I had pictured it, but the best I could do with the bad weather. I'm just glad I thought to snap some pictures before disaster struck. While the kiddies were (thankfully) having a blast on the rides, and while I was putting on the finishing touches, the weather decided to show me who's boss and before I could say, "Life in unfair", the party area was in shambles. The tables were attached to 3 large umbrellas (think "windsails") which made them able to FLY. Literally. And the cake that was on the middle table? It flew too. I watched in horror as it seriously did a flip in the air as it flew off the table and landed face UP on the cement below... scoring a 9.98.

Me? I was spread eagle on the other tables trying to save all the Thomas party hats, plates, cups, balloons, and decorations. Rich caught my eye as I was cursing under my breath and desperately trying to save everything from flying to Oz. He gave me a little smile and motioned me over to the rides. I shook my head in disgust, wiped away a tear (or four) and stood up and walked away. All my hard work... big sigh. But you know what? The kids had a BLAST.

And that's why we did this, right!? They were absolutely oblivious to the hurricane that WAS the weather... and I have the pictures to prove it.

I loooove the picture below!

Next year though? Indoor party. And the weather will probably be beautiful... just to spite me.

Here are Dom and his little friends, livin' it up and having so much fun it made my material loss so worth it. :)

Giving Mamie high-fives as he went by...

Manning their own waverunners video...

Cute kiddies...

Wind-blown babes...

Miss "A", Dom, and Miss "E"

"T" and Dom and "D"

Check out that face. Soooo excited. Love it.

Here's the crew and all the Daddies on the Choo Choo Train...

...and some video footage of the train ride:

There's an antique Carousel too.

It was a hit. Just ask Little Miss "E". :)

Or you could ask Little Mr. "A"... because he thought the bench seat was super-cool.

And the birthday boy with his Thomas the Train cake and. All it has to show for its earlier acrobatics is the little smudge on the bottom right corner. Not. too. shabby.

Dom and his friends and the decoration-less, tablecloth-less, balloon-less table... he didn't even get to blow out the candles because there was no way they'd have ever gotten lit.

I love the collage below... especially little "D" in the middle, enjoying the frosting.

Mamie, feeding little Dame ice cream...

After the party was over, and seriously the second the boys were strapped into their carseats, the skies let loose. Tender mercy. At least we only had to survive the wind during the festivities. We drove ourselves on over to Joe's Real BBQ for Dom's free birthday lunch! Mamie and Papa joined us.

When we got home, Dom was finally able to open his presents without fear of them being blown into the next city.

He got Thomas the Train movies, a Thomas lunchbox, Thomas bath toys, Thomas RR track toys, a Thomas musical book, and coloring books! Plus, a huge bouncy ball, bathtub crayons, and some Legos! He also got a learning laptop from Mamie and Papa and a new razor scooter from Nana and Bumpa.

Thank you so much to all of our wonderful friends who braved the elements and celebrated Dominic's BIG 3 with us! You guys are the BEST!

As if his day weren't already heart-pounding enough... he got another surprise... "Aunt Chachel" came over. Dominic's heart throb. Not only does she make Dominic's heart go a-flutter, but she came bearing a super-cool new dinosaur train for the birthday boy. She just can't get any better. Dominic is smitten.

Dominic had to wait a couple of days for the unveiling of Mommy and Daddy's gift because it rained and was FREEZING through the weekend. But Monday night, we finally surprised him with this...

... now we just need to teach this kid to JUMP! Haha!

P.S. If you're reading this post and thinking to yourself, "What kind of parents spoil their 3-year-old rotten like this when the kid would've been happy with a cupcake and present or two?" You're not alone. I ask myself the same question. Here is your answer: I had a little break-down the night before his party (that rivaled that of a mother-of-the-bride the night before the wedding) when I realized just how much money we had spent on a party for our 3 YEAR OLD. I think I really needed something to keep my mind busy... a distraction, if you will, from the latest, big event that took place in my life a mere 8 weeks ago. And so I dove into party-planning mode and did not come up for air until... now. Healthy? Hmmm... maybe not for our pocket-books, but it did keep me pretty distracted. Anyway, that's my lame, embarrasing explanation for all the over-the-top-ness. Sorry for my lack of inhibition.