Wednesday, June 29, 2011

tiny dancer

Well I got my wish...I made it through Olivia's dance recital! It was well worth the wait. Our girl did amazing! It was a busy couple of days between my classes that were performing and getting Olivia ready for her performances, but I managed to get through it.

This is the first year that Olivia was performing in two numbers. This was her 3rd year of tap, but her first year of ballet. Both of her numbers were on the second night, which made things a little easier. On Saturday morning we had the dress rehearsal. It was fun to catch a glimpse of how she would look on the big stage that night. It just blows my mind how comfortable she is performing on a big stage in front of tons of people. There is no fear!

She breezed through rehearsal, so all that was left was for me not to go into labor before the big recital that night. Not only was I hoping to see Olivia's performances, but some of my kids had numbers that night as well and I really wanted to be there for them. We headed right home after rehearsal so I could take it easy before heading back to the school that night. Once I realized that I was in the clear and would make it through the night, or at least the next couple of hours, I breathed a sigh of relief. We arrived early that night so I could start to get Olivia ready. I wanted to make sure I had time to take a ton of pictures before the recital started. Her first performance that night was her tap routine. I could not get over how sweet she looked in her costume.

She really hammed it up for me whiel I was taking her picture. When I asked her what she was doing she said, "trying out different poses, Mommy!". The kid sure loves the camera, and it is pretty obvious that the camera loves her too.

Since I am a teacher at Northeast School of Dance I typically stay backstage during the recital, but I managed to sneak out into the audience so I could catch her first dance. I snagged front row seats for my Mom and Todd so I had a great view of my sweetie. She performed her tap routine like a pro. I was very impressed with how well she remembered her dance.

Next up was her ballet routine. The costume for this dance was simply beautiful. Olivia loved the costume aside from the fact that it was quite itchy. She looked like a beautiful princess and she literally took my breath away once she was all dressed and ready to go.
I snuck out into the audience once again, as there was no way I was going to miss her first ballet performance. They danced to a Hawaiian version of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". I know I am doing a ton of bragging in this post, but I can't help myself. She just shined on that stage and I was so very proud of her.

Olivia's 3rd dance recital was a huge success and most importantly she had a great time. After coming on stage with all of the other dancers for the finale she was surprised with a beautiful bouquet of flowers from her Daddy, who was also beaming with pride.
I love the fact that my Olivia has developed a love for dance, just like her Mommy. I hope she holds onto to that, but if she loses interest I will be ok with that too. For now I am going to enjoy every second of watching her perform on that big stage in her cute little costumes. For months I worried whether or not I would be able to watch her perform, or if I would miss out because I would be stuck in a hospital bed. Well I made it and I am glad that I did. Now I am ready to have this baby!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

#1 Dad

Olivia and I may be a bit biased, but we think we're pretty lucky. Olivia will be the first to tell you she has the world's best Daddy! This was most apparent over the past week as we celebrated both Father's Day and Todd's birthday. She had loads of fun thinking of gift ideas and getting things ready for us to celebrate both holidays.

We kicked things off with Father's Day. Olivia could not wait to give her daddy his gift, which was a small photo album filled with pictures of just the two of them. She thought of the idea all on her own. We also gave him a grilling apron with a huge picture of Olivia and her daddy on the front. He loved both gifts. After church we stayed downtown so Todd could attend RibFest. This is an annual festival featuring many different vendors selling the "world's best" ribs. We try not to miss it each year. We also made a visit to Todd's Dad's grave. Couldn't let Father's Day pass without saying "hello" to GP. After an ice-cream run we finally made it home to rest. That night we went to my Mom's for a Father's Day cook-out. It was a fun-filled Father's Day! I almost forgot to mention that I thought I was going into labor that evening, but it was just a false alarm. Whew!

On Wednesday we celebrated Todd's birthday. He had the day off from work and thought it would be fun to spend it with Olivia. Here is a recap of everything they did that day. It started with a trip to Dunkin Donuts, followed by a short visit to the zoo. After the zoo I met them for a birthday lunch. Next they headed to the movies. After the movies Todd dropped Olivia off at my Mom's so she could get things ready for Todd's birthday dinner. She decorated his cake and the house.

That night we continued the celebration with Todd's Mom with a wonderful dinner at my Mom's, complete with presents and cake! Did you catch all of that? It was a jammed packed day and may have gone down in history as one of Todd's best birthdays. According to Olivia it was the best of his life because he got to spend it with her. Gotta love self-confidence!

This week Olivia has definitely been a Daddy's girl and I must admit it has been such a joy to watch. The love this girl has for her Daddy just fills my heart. She knows that there is nothing he would not do for her, like spending his birthday doing all of the things she loves most. The quote of the day came from Olivia during Todd's birthday dinner. We were all eating when she stopped and said, "I have a question. Why does Daddy do all of these nice things for me on his birthday, but I did not do anything for him? That's weird!" Even though the day did primarily revolve around Olivia I think she did more for him than she realized. She showered him with love and attention all day and that was probably the best gift of all!

With our second daughter set to arrive at any moment I am more secure than ever that our girls have been blessed with the best daddy possible. I hope he enjoyed his Father's Day/Birthday week. We enjoyed making it special for him...he deserved it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

love this girl!

As we count down the final days before Baby #2 arrives, I find myself full of many emotions. Fear...of how everything will unfold. It has been 4 1/2 years since I have done this and I feel like I am doing everything again for the very first time. Excitement...that we are bringing another little person into our family. I can't wait to see how Olivia will react and bond with her sister. Sadness...that I am going to be giving up having Olivia as my only child. I know this may sound strange, but for over 4 years she has been the center of our world. It is strange to think that I will soon be sharing my love and time between two girls. I have no doubt I can do it, it just brings a tiny bit of sadness to my heart that soon she will no longer be my one and only. But out of everything I have been feeling lately I have realized just how full of love I am for this girl. She has given me the most amazing 4 1/2 years of one-on-one time and I would not change a single second of it.

With the baby's arrival days away it is becoming increasingly harder for me to do the day-to-day tasks I am used to doing. I feel like a huge whale at this point and although I am feeling good, it is safe to say that I am ready for this to be over. My current condition has not stopped us from packing in the activities with Olivia in these final days. Just recently we took a day trip to the Indy Children's Museum. This was Olivia final wish as an activity to do with Mom and Dad before her sister arrives. We made arrangements to meet some friends at the museum so our kids could run around together. Once we arrived we immediately made a bee-line for the Dora and Diego exhibit, which was Olivia's main reason for wanting to go.

She had a blast exploring all of the different stations. I was really surprised by how long she choose to play in this area. Usually she just runs from one thing to the next, not taking time to enjoy or explore. But this time was different. I think we spent about 30 minutes in this area alone. The Dora and Diego exhibit seemed to live up to her expectations and helped to make the trip worth while.

We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the other areas of the museum. I mainly just sat on a bench and watched her play. Normally she would be begging Todd and I to run around with her but this time she had a little friend to keep her company. I think she enjoyed this trip to the museum more than any other for that reason alone. I was surprised by how quickly the afternoon passed. By late afternoon we realized that it was probably time to head home. It was a fun afternoon at the museum and I am glad we found time to squeeze in one last visit.

Olivia also just ended her 3rd year of school at Peace Montessori. It was another fantastic year and she accomplished so much. We could not be more proud of our little girl or impressed with how much she has grown in the past year. She can read short books all on her own now, do simply math and write many words without help. I give all of the credit to her amazing teachers. This was her second year with Ms. Laura and Olivia just loves her. They work very well together and she has gotten Olivia to progress in so many areas.

She also became very attached to Ms. Julia, who was new to her classroom this year. Unfortunately, Ms. Julia will be moving to another classroom next year. Olivia will miss working with her each day. We have always been blessed with such great teachers, so it is sad to see them move on, or to different classrooms.

Like I said, it was a great school year and the kids all celebrated with a day at the park. They played games, had lunch and just enjoyed spending time with each other before saying goodbye for the summer. Olivia will be attending summer camp at her school for several weeks this summer, and believe it or not she is already excited to go back.

I am pretty sure this is the last blog post I will make before we head to the hospital to have this baby. It is exciting to think that the next time I hop on here it will be to post pictures of our new little bundle of joy! Until that moment arrives I am going to enjoy every second I can with my amazing Olivia. She has taught me how to be a Mom so that I am prepared this second time around. She has showed me just how much love I have inside to share with her and a second child. She means the world to me and I will do everything in my power to give her the same amount of love and attention I have been able to give her during the first 4 1/2 years of her life.