Monday, May 22, 2017

Ellie's first dance recital and preschool end of year program

Elinor began a ballet/tap class in February after seeing a few videos of ballerinas.  She was happy to see that Alina, one of her preschool classmates, was also in her dance class.  Alina took Ellie by the hand that first week and led her into the dance room, where she introduced her to the teacher.  "This is Ellie. She doesn't talk much."  And talk she didn't.  Every week she came to dance class and listened to the teacher's instructions and danced her little heart out and didn't make a peep.  Some days she loved it and some days she wasn't so sure about it.

At the recital this week she was given the award for "Dancer of the Year" in her group, proof that all her hard work hadn't gone unnoticed.  She was so nervous onstage that she couldn't even say her name into the microphone when presented the award, but she did an amazing job during the dance number.  Unfortunately, she was in the back row and you can only see her little head peeking out from behind one of the girls middle in this picture.  They danced to Eva Cassidy's rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and I've maybe cried a few times just watching her practice.  Afterward, she was so proud of herself for doing such a hard and scary thing!  She was so proud of her trophy, and we were so proud of her.  Way to go, Ellie!
Next up for the end of year festivities was her preschool graduation program.  Since her preschool class was a mixed age group only half the class was actually graduating.  Ellie enjoyed every minute of preschool this year.  It was the true highlight of her week and she was devastated that there would be a summer break.  She'll be going back to the same preschool next year, partly because she loves it so much and partly because it's just down the street from us.  Yay, proximity!  Also, Teacher Leslie is the best around!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

SoCal Vacation! Legoland! Disneyland!

So the company I work for offers hefty referral bonuses and since I referred two friends who are now working here the company gave me quite a hefty bonus.  So we decided to go to Legoland and Disneyland!  We went down at the end of April and stayed for a week.  We first went to San Diego and spent two day at Legoland.  Robin and Zeke and Raiphe joined us for our San Diego stint and the kids loved having their cousins with them!  On Saturday we explored the Carlsbad area and then went to LegoLand that Sunday and Monday.  Sunday was pretty rough and crowded but Monday went down as one of the greatest days any of us have ever experienced at a theme park.  Hardly any crowds.  No lines anywhere.  It was incredible.

Then Monday night we drove up to Anaheim for our 3-day Disneyland stint.  The weather was pretty hot but not as scorching as our last trip to Disneyland back in September 2014.  Definitely bearable.  We had timed the trip so the lines wouldn't be that bad and really it was pretty great.  We took advantage of the "ride swapping" system they have where one parent can stay behind and they give you extra fast passes to come back.  We went on Space Mountain so many times!  Isaac, Ellie and Sammy were all big enough to go so we really made it a focus.  The best line of the week came from Sammy when he exclaimed "IT SCARED THE BANANAS OUT OF ME!!!"  By the way - check out all those empty seats in the Space Mountain car!  SOO GOOD!  And yeah, I was totally too cheap to purchase the photo they took.  :)

BTW, that "grey stuff" WAS delicious!

The other kids weren't tall enough so Isaac and Maxine did the new and improved Matterhorn.  Isaac was impressed :) 

So it turns out if you want to see a parade at Disneyland you have to get there way before it starts and stake a claim.  There was a lot of waiting and a lot of heat and a few unhappy campers...