Monday, June 26, 2017

End of school/Las Vegas

Since I last posted, all three kids finished their years at school, summer vacation began, and I took a trip to Las Vegas for a conference.

Charlotte was the first to finish school.  She finished pre-k, although she will now have to do 2 years of kindergarten since she is a December birthday. Her teacher, Miss Tammy, organized a lovely graduation ceremony that started with the kids bringing roses to their parents.  Charlotte hammed it up through all of the songs and performances, but clammed up when it was time for her to get her diploma.

She had a really amazing year this year; she made friends with everyone in her class and was happy to go to school everyday.  She is ready to read and loves to learn.  I feel so fortunate that we have a preschool where our kids get such good care and learn in a warm, loving environment.
Charlotte with her 3 teachers
 Charlotte saw many of her classmates getting flowers and gifts and got upset that I hadn't gotten her anything (what can I say? I didn't even think about it). So after her graduation lunch, I brought her home for a nap and went out for a walk with a friend. We walked up to the shopping area nearby and I picked out a necklace for her. I wrapped it and tied it with a bow and gave it to her when she woke up.
Opening her gift
I was so excited- the necklace had a rose quartz heart and some fake diamonds- it was sparkly enough to be appealing to Charlotte but tasteful enough that she could wear it for years to come.  She opened the package... and started to cry. She was disappointed that the present wasn't "big" enough. I picked up the necklace and said I would hold on to it until she was ready to enjoy it- which turned out to be the next day.
Friday night at Chanticleer
 On June 10, Alex's Original Lemonade Stand was across the street.  The kids all look forward to it all year long, and this year the boys volunteered to serve lemonade with their friends. They both seemed excited about it, but when the day of the lemonade stand arrived, this is what we got:
look closely at Benjamin's face
 After all of the anticipation, Benjamin couldn't stick it out- he complained that he was bored while serving lemonade, then didn't want to play any of the games, then decided he had to eat lunch at exactly the time they did their choreographed dance which he had practiced at least 10 times.
Asher ready to serve with his friends Jonathan (left side of the photo) and Luca (right side of the photo)
 The rest of the family thoroughly enjoyed the lemonade stand and all its lemonade, games, crafts, and friends.

Then the boys started their final week at school.  I was a room parent for Benjamin's class and helped plan an end-of-year party for his class and teacher. It was a steaming hot day and we were wilting in the sun, but the kids had a great time. I had very mixed feelings about his teacher this year- I had heard she was one of the best, but Benjamin had some struggles with her, and she seemed more focused on his shortcomings than on his achievements at some points.  On the other hand, Benjamin's reading skills increased, his writing is impressive, and he did seem to make some good friends (and some undesirable friends, too- he has an affinity for those).
Benjamin's class
Asher had a better year- he and his teacher were a perfect fit, and the kids in his class were all sweet and easy.  Asher's reading level went up to a Level M, which is amazing given that he was around a level H at our March conferences.  He has since started picking up chapter books and reading them all the way through, a huge change from my begging him to read me just a few pages.

 Then, like the good mom that I am, I took off mid-week to go to a conference in Las Vegas, letting the kids finish the week with only one parent.  I went to the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists with my friend Molly. We have never traveled together, and it turned out that we were well-matched companions. Neither one of us gambles, neither one of us is a big drinker, and we both like to go to bed early.  Neither one of us slept that well, but that is ok, too.
At the pool
Aside from attending the conference events, we spent many hours at the pool. We enjoyed a fancy dinner at the steakhouse at the Mirage, and then I had the brilliant idea to walk 1.5 miles across Vegas at night (it is still 90 degrees at 9 pm, in case you wondered). We both had blistered feet and were hot and sweaty.  Next time- Uber.
At dinner
Saturday night we got tickets to see Magic Mike Live at the Hard Rock Hotel. I was prepared for it to be sleazy and cheesy, but it was actually a great show with professional actors/dancers. It was amazing! I would go again. In fact, anyone want to go to Vegas?
Put 3 sex therapists/educators in front of this restaurant and there is no shortage of jokes 
At home, Eric got to deal with Asher coming down with strep throat and missing all the birthday parties he was supposed to attend, and taking all 3 kids to Diggerland on Father's Day.

Worst of all, Eric's Aunt Annette passed away suddenly, and he went to Maine for her funeral. She was a kind and generous woman, who I always thought had a great sense of humor. She will be missed by everyone.
Benjamin with Aunt Annette, Christmas 2010
After the end of school and my travel, our summer adventures are just beginning. There is more to come!

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