Saturday, June 30, 2012

Noisy 11 Month Old

Mr. Kyle is 11 months old now and the name of the game is:  NOISE... be noisy, make noise, and if you are going to do it, do it LOUD.  He bangs on anything with any object, loves to clap objects together, and is like having a sound effect machine around all the time with his raspberries, tongue rolling and full out babbling.  He babbles "da-da, ma-ma, ba-ba" and then when he wants to say Anna, he only says that loud too, probably because one of us is always yelling her name.  He will sit at the bottom of the stairs and yell up, "A-uh".  Well, sort of sit, he has mastered the stairs this week and loves to climb up them now.  The child never stops!  We are also claiming his first word as "fish".  I was reading "One Fish, Two Fish, Three, Four, Five" to him and on the third page, I pointed to the old fish and then he pointed to the new "ish" and said it!
Kyle loves to point to people's noses, eyes and mouth and is quite proud of himself when you cheer him on!

Like most babies, he has a love for the dishwasher and loves to be around when I'm emptying/loading it up.  He goes non-stop, and has the bruises and scraps to prove it!  He is standing all by himself but hasn't tried to take a step yet.  I'm kind of wanting him to wait til we get home from the beach for that which isn't til mid-July...

One more month, little buddy and then you will be 1!!!  Crazy!

 At the Suwanee fountains, Kyle LOVES the water!

 Seeing if there are any leftovers on his chair.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Tiny Dancer

Since Peter's death, I have been down in the dumps, there is no doubt about it.  Turns out, I will not be dancing for his service this coming Saturday due to scheduling conflicts with the teachers and rehearsal times.  I did still go over to the studio last Friday night and will admit it made the pain a little more raw.  And, then, to make matters worse, my mom went by the studio to drop off a donation for the food at the service and found out that the studio will be closing.  My heart hurts and I know it will heal, things will go on, but man, this whole situation has made me realize how much and how quickly things can change in life.

I needed a pick me up and there is no better person than this little girl to do it.  Anna has been so excited to go get her "ballet things" as she calls them and she had it in her mind just what her leotard and tights would look like.  We drove over to the store this afternoon, just the two of us, and as we pulled into the parking lot, I could tell we were going to be the only ones there.  I was so glad because I knew she was a little nervous about it.  I had told her that they would need to measure her foot to see what size slipper she needed and she kind of turned up her nose at that idea.  But, when the lady asked us to sit down, Anna did happily and took her shoes off.  We found her a pair of ballet shoes and then we started looking at leotards.  Anna wanted one with an attached skirt and there were quite a few to choose from.  I pulled one out that was very simple, sleeveless and no extra ruffles or bows or anything.  She really liked that one but we still kept looking.  They had one with a rose on it which she liked but they didn't have her size.  I pulled out a few more but Anna kept going back to the first one.  The lady then pulled one just like it except with sleeves and Anna didn't hesitate one beat, she chose the one with sleeves.  I took her into the dressing room to try it on and...

 And, no, I did not tell her to pose like this.  I simply said, "Let me see and smile.".
She even wore it out of the dressing room to show the lady working there and asked if she could wear it home!  I told her I needed to pay for it and that once we got it all home, we could put it all on.  She was okay with that until we got to the car and then, with a panicked look on her face, she asked me where the tights were.  I told her they were in the bag and that we just didn't try those on.

"Well, Mommy, after you buckle me in, I want to hold all of it.  All of it.  Okay?  And, let me see the tights because I want to see the color and didn't get to look at them in the store."

Okay. Got it. Check.

I was so excited for her and for me.  This does just warm my heart and now I know how Justin must have felt when he took Brice for his first glove, bat, and cleats.  I never wore a little pink leotard for ballet, I might have had one for gymnastics but I love seeing little girls' legs in those pink tights and little ballet shoes.  And, then when we got home, I could hardly hold back tears when she put everything on and asked for her hair in a bun.

 She told me this is her "ballet smile"!

I have some work to do on getting straight hair in a neat bun!  Not used to it and will of course need a hair net!  But, overall, I would say she is definitely ready to go!
Hope ballet camp is as much of a success as getting dressed for it was!  Camp isn't until the end of July.  I am so happy to have this special memory with her.  My tiny dancer.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Always Remembered

I believe all of us have people in our life that we think are invincible, or rather we never consider the fact that something could happen to them.  And then, when something does, the concept is so hard to grasp that it can consume our thoughts.  For some, that person or people may be a relative or a good friend that we grew up with.  For me, I have learned over the past week and a half, it was one of my ballet teachers.  Mr. Peter Garick.

I learned of his death the Sunday we returned from the lake and it was one of those times when I read and re-read and re-read again the email that was sent to me.  It was very vague with only the words that "Peter passed away.".  I immediately wanted to know more but information was being withheld because his stepdaughter was overseas in Europe and had yet to learn of his death.  As the week went on, many of the dancers from Duluth School of Ballet were communicating through Facebook and we learned that he passed away in his sleep and most likely from a heart attack.  He had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure at the end of May and needed to have surgery.  He put it off in order to perform in the end of the year performance put on every year by his studio.  This year was the performance of "Coral Kingdom".  He was 64 and still dancing in the ballets that he choreographed, scored, and wrote himself.  I, myself, performed in this production years ago as a sophomore in high school.  There were 6 or 7 ballets that were rotated as the performance at the end of the year.  All of them with amazing sets, costumes, and dancers.  The real deal, not just a "recital".  I am so happy that he was able to dance just one weekend before dying.  I am also glad for the current students who were able to experience that with him.

I first met Peter when I was 10 years old and decided that I really did want to take ballet.  My mom signed me up and I'm not even sure what made her take me over to Duluth School of Ballet in old Duluth.  But, it was the best thing she has ever done for me!  At the time it was in a tiny little building with only one studio.  All I know is that I met Peter and Lisa (his first wife) and immediately fell in love with dance.  I remember feeling a tad silly because most of the girls there had taken lessons for years.  I was "old", in a class with much younger girls since I had never taken before.  Peter and Lisa saw something in me though enough to boost my confidence and keep me there for the next seven years.  The school changed locations and moved into an old post office which afforded them with enough space for three studios.  I spent approximately 6-8 hours a week there and then when February came each year, I was there an additional two hours a week to start learning the dances for the performance in spring.  To say I love it is an understatement.  To say that it shaped the person that I am does not do it justice.  In those hours, with those people, I became me.  I could go into that studio in any type of mood, but I would come out a new person.  Middle and high school is a challenging time for most people and ballet gave me the confidence and the outlet that a girl with changing hormones needed!

Peter predominantly taught the older girls which meant I spent a great deal of time with him.  At times, he could be grouchy, no doubt.  Here he was, a man, surrounded by young women with as I mentioned before lots of changing hormones.  But, he tolerated us well, did not put up with much, and instilled in our souls a love for dance.  He truly respected the art form and made sure that when we entered that studio, we respected it as well.  Not only could he dance, but he could teach it as well.  There are few who can do both at their trade.  But, he was good at it and he loved it and it was evident.

This past week, the staff at DSB have been in the process of planning a memorial service for this wonderful man who was so loved by so many.  The response has been so great that they are holding it at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center where so many of those spring performances happened.  The teachers are putting together a program for past and present students to perform some of Peter's favorite pieces.  If nothing else, this should tell you how much he is loved!!  I pray that the dream he had and realized of owning and directing a ballet studio will continue.  I cannot imagine the studio being closed or the vision he put into practice being tarnished.  I can hardly imagine how hard it must be for those there at the studio now to carry on.  The strength they are mustering must be palpable in that place.  It is VERY hard for me to imagine being there without him physically there as well.

I keep asking myself what I am so upset about and why this has shaken me so.  I haven't seen him in years and only corresponded by sending him a Christmas card each year.  Maybe it is that invincible thing...  I am kicking myself for not taking Anna to the performance a couple of weeks ago or sending him an email and letting him know that I would be signing her up for ballet this summer.  Just to see him one more time or talk to him and see how he was doing.  I have come to the conclusion that the reason I am so upset is that the memories I have of him are part of the happiest memories I have of myself growing up.  I love ballet and what it gave me but it wouldn't have been that way had it not been for him.  After my last performance senior year, I felt as though there was a hole in me that would never be filled again.  As though part of me had died.  And, now, that feeling is back.  The hole.

I drive past the studio quite often since I last danced there and see the parking lot full of cars and the lights on inside.  I know there was so much fun going on in there.  It is like I could go back and start right where I left off.  And, Peter would welcome me right back. I received a message last night from one of the current teachers, a former student, who is 7 years younger than me, asking if I would come back and dance again for the service.  After talking with Justin, I've decided to do it.  I may never walk again...but I will dance!  Ha.  I know it will take lots of strength to walk in there this coming Friday but I also know in some way shape or form (or plie), that he will be there.  And, oh, how he will be missed.  In the program from my final performance, Peter mentioned my graduation and among other words he stated that "Saturday class will not be the same without you.".  Well, Peter, let me just say that the ballet world will not the same without YOU.   You will be missed greatly but always remembered.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lake Weekend

The kids have been dying to go to Nana and Pa's lake house and so we took them up this past weekend.  Brice for sure could just live there all summer, exploring the woods, catching fish and frogs and of course swimming.  We went for a boat ride when we first go there and I didn't go back for my camera like I should have.  It was Kyle's first time and he was hilarious.  He loved the feel of the wind in his hands, you know, like when you stick your arm out the open car window.  He would just lift his little arm and open his hand to feel the wind.  So cute!  I did, however, get my camera out once we got back to the dock/house.  The kids were excited to jump in the lake.  Anna wasn't so sure at first but once she understood that she wasn't going to have use her swimming skills she was all about it.

 Cookie break...
 Silly faces.

  They jumped off the dock about 20x each.

 Then Brice got brave and went off the back of the boat.

 Kyle loved the screened porch.  Outside and inside all in one, what could be better?

A little video of Anna jumping.  I wish I could have held the camera in my hands, her face was so cute every time she jumped, complete with big ear-to-ear grin!

The plan was to take Brice on a fishing "trip" on Sunday but the weather was not so lovely.  Anna hooked a fish on Saturday though!

 If this isn't a sum of Anna Reynolds' personality traits I don't know what is; messy hair, cute dress, pink shoes with a pink fishing rod.  Think Faith Hill's "Wild One"!  Click "HEAR" to listen to lyrics.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

One on One Time

When Justin and I decided to have a third child, we knew the scales would tip in one direction or the other and that one of the kids may start to feel like second fiddle.  Although I thought it would be awesome for Anna to have a little sister, God knows what he is doing and He does it well.  Having a boy has given each of our kids their "place" in the family.  Brice, the oldest, who made us parents and has far exceeded all of our dreams.  Anna, our only girl and yes, middle child has no one to compete with.  She is the "meat of the sandwich" and she knows it.  She will put you in your place faster than you can blink an eye and has brought the "party" to our family.  And, then Kyle, laid back, determined to run with the big kids and yet spaced far enough from his brother in age that he will hopefully only view Brice as a friend and not a threat.  Any new baby would/will bring attention, who doesn't love a baby?, so we knew that we would have to make time for each of our kids since Kyle stole our hearts all over again.  Since summer has started, I would say that Brice and Anna have been treated quite well by Justin.

Justin took Brice to the Braves' game the first night of summer, he then took them fishing together but gave each of them their own time at the dock.  He and Brice have been trout fishing at the Buford Dam twice now and Anna got to go on a special date with her Daddy.  More on that, in a minute.

Justin told Brice to make a crazy face for this picture.

Reeling in her catch.  This is about all she does with an occasional finger tip touch of the fish.
If anyone saw my Facebook post about needing a technology class, this is where it comes in, I can't get the picture of Brice holding a bass to download from my email so... here is a picture of him with a trout.  He had a great time trout fishing and Justin said he wasn't afraid of the river water (which actually scares me a little).

Okay, so now onto this date.  Let's just say we are in trouble, big trouble when Anna actually starts dating.  She knew they were going to Cracker Barrel and Swirlin' Twirlin' (frozen yogurt with yummy toppings) together for dinner and she wanted to get ready at 9am.  I can't remember why but she needed a bath and so we went ahead and did that in the morning.  She had already picked out her dress and she slept with it the night before (because you know there are these "date fairies" who secretly don't want you going out and looking your best so they might come in and steal your pretty clothes...).  Anyway, she got dressed in her dress and then wanted her hair fixed a certain way but we had to hold off until her hair was a little bit dry.  I think she was nervous she was going to be late because she kept asking about it and was worried that she hadn't gotten her hair done.  So, it finally came time for them to leave and she and Justin came down the stairs together looking just smashing!  Justin even commented that he had never been on a date before where the girl had skinned up knees/shins.

So, off they went to Cracker Barrel where Justin must have been the perfect gentlemen.  Look how she is glowing...

Then they were on to Swirlin' Twirlin' which is such a fun place any lady would love to go there on her date.  Anna likes to get vanilla yogurt with M&M's because then it turns the yogurt into a rainbow (cue Judy Garland singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow").

After this, it was getting close to Anna's "curfew" so I requested that she be brought home, ;).  As Justin was getting her out of the car, he asked if he could have a kiss, she said yes and instead of offering her cheek, she grabbed his chin/cheeks in her hands and pulled him forward for a kiss on the lips!!!!  What did I tell you, TROUBLE with a captial T!  Justin said there was no getting out of it.  Ha!  She did come home with some good knowledge of what guys are supposed to do on dates.  Justin treated her as well as he treats me. :)

Overall, all of the One on One Time is a success, the kids love it and so does Justin.  And, I got some time with Justin too this past weekend.  Nothing like undivided attention over a yummy dinner and Starbucks.