Thursday, December 10, 2009

turkey and tap dancing

We are in the full holiday spirit around here. The lights are up, the tree is trimmed and Olivia is excitedly counting down the days until Santa arrives. We are in the middle of all of our Christmas shopping and trying to get ready for the holidays. We have yet to do all of the fun annual Christmas things that we do around town, but that is going to change this week. Olivia will be going to see Santa soon and we will pack as much in before Christmas as possible. But first I need to bring you up to speed on a few other things have been going on.

First, was Thanksgiving. We had a relaxing, fun, big Thanksgiving, with lots of friends and family. We started the day by watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. We thought Olivia would enjoy it. She not only enjoyed it, she LOVED it! She could not get enough of all of the floats and musical performances. In fact, my Mom taped it for her so she would not miss a second. We have watched it numerous times since Thanksgiving too. I think we started a new Thanksgiving tradition. Next, we went over to Todd's parents to spend some time with them. They did not have a structured dinner time but they did have all of the traditional Thanksgiving food, so we had a preview lunch of what was to come later that night. We spent the rest of the day at my Mom's. It was such a nice, relaxing afternoon. I even found a way to sneak in a little nap while Olivia was taking hers. Don't get to do that very often!

We ate a late dinner, but it was well worth the wait. Olivia enjoyed her dinner on her pilgrim placemat that she made at school. It was still a struggle to get her to eat, but the rest of us enjoyed it for her. Meals are a struggle with Olivia these days. She is going through the typical "picky eater" stage, like most toddlers. If it was up to her she would eat five things, and five things only...peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, hotdogs, pizza and spaghetti. The battle occurs when I will not let her only eat those things. I require that she tries all different foods, with the hope that she may actually like them. I am also not a short order cook, so she eats what we eat. The positive side is that the child loves fruits and veggies, so I never have a problem there. She would much rather bypass dinner altogether and hold out for dessert. Dessert is always worth waiting for, but only after some actual dinner has been consumed. It is an ongoing battle, but one I have learned to not let stress me out.

So Thanksgiving was great. It was nice spending it with so much family and some good family friends as well. I know that this holiday can be stressful for so many people, but it always seems to be a very relaxing day for us. I am grateful for that. Aside from Turkey Day, Olivia has been a busy bee. School has been more fun than usual, with all of the holidays things going on. Olivia's first holiday program is coming up next week. She will be singing some songs with her class, and I am just dying to see their performance. Speaking of performances, Olivia is working hard in her tap class this year, learning their new dance. The first parent visitation of the year was last month. It is such fun watching her tap her little toes. I am afraid that we do not get the full effect of her tapping ability when the room is full of parents, but at least we get to see what they are working on.

I am in love with their dance this year. The group of little ones will be dancing to "ABC" by the Jackson 5. I love it! Obviously they need to do a lot of practicing before recital time next June, but I was impressed by how well a group of 3-6 year olds listen. This is Olivia's second year of tap and she really likes it. You would assume that her tap dancing skills would improve the second time around, but so far I think she may be backtracking a bit. Now I know she is only three but I was particularly surprised by the quality of her "kick-steps". I know, funny right? But check this out. The first video is of Olivia rocking her kick-steps last year, the second one is what they look like now. Now before you judge me as one of those "pageant moms", who pushes their daughter to do something they hate, know that I am totally joking. I just think it is funny how her "technique" has changed since last year!

Most importantly, she loves going to her tap class. I could care less how well she does, just as long as she enjoys herself. Each week she rushes into her class, excited to see her friends and her teacher. It is a great activity, that helps with her motor skills as well as her social skills. And who knows, her kick-steps may improve by recital time next year!

Well we have had some good news fall upon our family this week. Todd is no longer laid off. He started a new job this week! After a very difficult year we are relieved that things are finally back on track for Todd. Since he was laid off the first time in February he searched non-stop for a new position. He took a job in August to only be laid off again three months later. After just over one month he was offered another position and he is happy to be back at work. Hopefully this job will offer him the job security he has been searching for. It has been a stressful year for all of us, but we are so grateful that this nice little Christmas wish was granted, just in time for the holidays! So be sure to wish Todd luck in his new job. He is excited about it and happy to no longer collect unemployment.

We are excited for Christmas to arrive, but we also want to slow down and enjoy everything this time of year has to offer. With Thanksgiving just behind us, I have been doing a lot of thinking about all of the things I am grateful for. The list is too long to discuss, but I think it is clear that I am most thankful that I have a healthy, happy family. There really is not much else you need in life! I love this time of year so I am going to be sure to slow down and enjoy every second of it.


Anonymous said...

We so missed being with all of you for Thanksgiving but it looked like you had a great day. I love Olivia's dance pictures, so sweet. I wish I could see her for Christmas, there is nothing better than an excited child at Christmas time..congrats again to Todd for his new job...Love Aunt Sue Sue

Anonymous said...

I agree, we all have so much for which to be thankful. It is always a great Christmas but it will be more wonderful with the joy of Olivia.