Thursday, June 1, 2017

recitals + mother's day + babies, oh my.

This is me trying to sneak this post in before I have a baby sliced out of me tomorrow morning. Also, this is me trying to distract myself from thoughts of blood clots and post-delivery pre-eclampsia and not being able to stand up straight for a few weeks, yayyyy!

Right. Ahem. This is me posting about Mother's Day weekend juuuust a few weeks late. And, actually, my favorite part of the weekend wasn't Mother's Day itself; it was the day before.

Rowan's first dance recital! I have to be honest: If no one had suggested it to me, it's unlikely I would have ever signed Rowan up for dance. I have nothing against it, not in the least. I just never did dance as a kid and am totally unfamiliar with what all is involved, where the best place to take classes is, etc. But last fall, my mother-in-law brought up the idea, and Rowan was totally thrilled about it. So we signed her up for a "creative movement" class at the same studio where J.J.'s sister danced for years. She was...a little hesitant at first.

She's the short one with a decorative Band-Aid
on her arm and tears in her eyes. Sweet baby.

This was also back when she was starting preschool and no-parent gymnastics for the first time. My poor girl was not keen on the idea of participating in all these activities without me or J.J., and it took her a few weeks to really settle in and feel more confident. But she's done great since then, and she absolutely loves her dance class.

When I found out that all the age groups at the studio - even her little group of three- to five-year-olds - was participating in the end-of-year recital, I was kind of surprised. I honestly didn't expect that my tiny three-year-old would be able to hold it together and follow directions well enough to sit through a bunch of other performances and then walk out on a real stage (at a local middle school) and dance with her classmates in front of a huge audience. 

Apparently, I set my expectations too low.

That video is actually from the rehearsal, since we weren't allowed to take videos during the performance, but Rowan did just as well during the real thing. I was seriously in tears watching my baby do such a big-kid thing. I was just so proud of her, and amazed that she's old enough, capable enough, to really pull this off. And the sweetest part is that she loved everything about being involved in a performance - the practices, the stage, the audience, the costume, and the fact that she had to wear a "special bun" in her hair and lipstick and blush on her face. (Side note: I literally do not own lipstick or blush. Thank you, Gramma, for purchasing some for this occasion, and for putting it on Rowan!)

With Gramma, who made the whole dance class
and recital experience possible!

She didn't mind getting flowers from us afterwards, either, or going out for a special ice cream treat.

When I asked Rowan about the recital, both before and after, she claimed she only felt excited, not nervous at all. I believe it. She was in her element. She's put on impromptu performances around the house, like, every day since then, usually while wearing her dance costume. Maybe she was just too young to be nervous, but whatever the case, I'm still so proud of her - and we can't wait for dance to start back up again in the fall.

The day after the recital was Mother's Day, which we started out by going to brunch with J.J.'s mom. And right after this picture was taken...

...I became fairly convinced that I was in some sort of labor. Seriously. I was having contractions strong enough to take my breath away, and bouncing over the bumps in the road while we drove to brunch almost did me in. I was only thirty-six weeks along at that point, so likely too early to be in actual labor, but dude. I was in enough pain that I was like, if this is it, FINE, I'm ready to be done. It was a little hard to enjoy brunch, but I did start feeling better once we ate, and Rowan was being pretty adorable:

She was drawing this on her accord, mind you - it's supposed to be a picture of me holding our new baby in a hospital room, with nurses and doctors and family members all around me. I smiled at her while she explained every detail to me, and in my head, I was thinking, "Um, do you know something I don't know? Am I actually in labor?"

Obviously, I wasn't; I think the baby was just shifting and stretching in some ridiculously uncomfortable ways. Probably just trying to say happy Mother's Day. Thaaaanks, Baby. J.J. and Rowan ended up dropping me off at home after brunch so they could go adventuring and let me rest, which was awesome because (a) nap! and (b) the baby calmed down significantly and I wasn't in pain anymore. And when they got home, they bestowed my Mother's Day presents on me:

The cake was sort of random - J.J. and Rowan happened to stop by Kroger when they were offering free cake decorating, and Rowan wanted to make a cake just for me. She slathered it in pink frosting and yellow sprinkles (her favorite colors) and added some blue sprinkles, since blue is my favorite color. Seriously (sap alert), the look on her face when she brought it over to me was the best part.

She also came up with my Mother's Day present idea all by herself. When J.J. asked her what she wanted to get me, she thought for a minute and then said, "A duplicator!" A duplicator, for those not in the know, is a machine that Calvin and Hobbes make. Rowan and J.J. have been reading Calvin and Hobbes books every night for weeks now, and Rowan loves the chapters where Calvin duplicates himself. J.J. asked her what she wanted to put in the duplicator - "What's something that Mommy loves, or that she loves to give you?" - and Rowan came up with Hershey's Kisses. That's my girl!

Oh, my other favorite Mother's Day present was the card she and J.J. made for me. J.J. asked her a bunch of questions - her favorite thing to do with me, my favorite thing to eat, etc. - and she had cute answers for all of them. The best one was the last question: My mom shows me she loves me with... And Rowan answered, "With her heart!" Awwww.

My Mother's Day weekend was capped off with a "snuggle nap" with Rowan...

...and a barbecue at my sister's house, which was my siblings' way of celebrating our own mom, who would have turned seventy the week before. Her birthday and Mother's Day were easier for me to manage this year than last year, but she was for sure on my mind the entire week. And on Rowan's mind, too: We were at the grocery store a few days before my mom's birthday, and Rowan spotted some bumpy cake, which I've told her was my mom's favorite. When she saw it, she said, "Oh, there's Obee's favorite cake!" And I said, "You're right! Hey, it's almost Obee's birthday. Maybe we should buy some of her favorite cake to celebrate." She said, "Yeah, and sing happy birthday!" Then she paused. "Buuut...she won't hear us, because she's dead." I grimaced and tried to come up with the right response. Before I could, Rowan went on: "But that's okay. We can just sing happy birthday REALLY loud, and then she'll hear us!" All I could do was laugh and squeeze my girl.

Okay, off to enjoy what's left of nap time, considering this is the very last nap time before Baby comes. Because he comes tomorrow. I'M HAVING A BABY TOMORROW. More on that later tonight, hopefully!

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