Picture Perfect Prom

It is so strange to think of my little girl being old enough to go to prom.  Prom is quite different than when I went.  Oh man, I am starting to sound like my parents!  GASP. :)
 These days an essential part of prom is the promposal.  Some of the ways boys have asked girls to prom are more elaborate than many men asking women to marry them.  Hailey was thrilled when the boy she wanted to go with did the formal proposal and asked her with a cute little poster saying, "It would be really sweet if you went to prom with me!"
I had breakfast with Karlie in Las Vegas and then headed to the airport.  I was back home in time for lunch and a nail appointment with Hailey!
She had gotten her hair done in the morning by a friend of ours and Hailey did her make up herself.
Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo she was a beautiful princess!

In the selfie generation the parent paparazzi was in effect with ladders and all.
Instead of going as a couple as kids did in the olden days, the kids now go in large groups on a party bus.  Most of the kids are just friends and not true boyfriend and girlfriend dates.  There were almost a dozen girls that did not have a date.  It is nice that it takes the pressure off of having to be a couple and they can all go and have fun.  But I was happy Hailey was going in a more traditional way.
Her date was so nervous he could barely open the box.  He finally figured it out and got the corsage on!
They were cute.  I told him to take care of my princess.
Hailey and one of her best friends looked so so beautiful in their gold and sliver combo.  Belles of the ball to be sure.
The next morning when we asked Hailey how it went, she said if she had to chose one word to describe it, it was "perfect!"

Vegas Volleyball or Bust!

Karlie's club volleyball team had a 3 day tournament in Las Vegas. We took off on Thursday to have little time to play before the work began.
 Once we got checked into our hotel I told Karlie we could do anything she wanted for the afternoon.
 She wanted to check out all the hotels and walk the strip!  The gardens in the Bellagio were one of our favorite stops. 
She was also rather fond of New York New York with all of its shops and themed restaurants.  We stopped at the Hershey's store and shared a peanut butter brownie that was delicious!
 I know you see things through a different lens when you are with your kids, but I feel like the strip has gotten even more raunchy and sexualized than before - if that was possible!  I don't ever remember walking around in daylight seeing women with just pasties, a thong, knee high boots and feathered wings walking around.  I thought you had to go to a strip club to see that.  It felt horribly uncomfortable when I had some of Karlie's teammates with me and we stopped at the cross walk where a man in bondage was being spanked by women "dressed" as police officers.  The fake badge was one of the larger coverings on them.  Is this what it has come to?  I wanted to cover all of their eyes while we waited for the light to change.  They kept saying, "I can't unsee it."  I know it's Vegas, but really at 3 in the afternoon this is OK on a public street with families.  Pretty disgusting.  It made me grateful Hank and Kaitlin were not with us.
No only was it more raunchy it was an especially rowdy weekend because we were staying in the Monte Carlo that is directly across from the Knights' stadium.  It was hockey madness everywhere with everyone celebrating 24 hours a day!  One night the Knights played and won and it was like a rave outside our room until midnight.  Waking up at 5 am was not the easiest.
Karlie however was thrilled by the lights, the gambling, and the fun people watching.  I am pretty sure we are in trouble with this one! :)  She can't wait to gamble, just like her Grammy and Great Grandpa.  Gambling does nothing for me because I hate losing money.  I showed her what a waste it was by putting ten bucks in the slot machine.  It was literally gone in under a minute!  She just wanted me to try one more time.  LOL
 After a fun afternoon of exploring the strip we had dinner and tried to get some rest for the 7am match the next morning.
 Teams from all over the nation came to compete and it was amazing to see the size and talent of many of our opponents.  I think some of these California teams must be using growth hormones.  They were some of the strongest and largest 14 year olds I have ever seen.  Needless to say we got beat most of our matches since our tallest player is 5'8''.
After one of the long days of losing the girls met up to ride the roller coaster at New York New York. Karlie is deathly afraid of heights and roller coasters.  She really did not want to ride but wanted to bond with her team.  The peer pressure won and she went, but she had me by her side!  We both decided roller coasters are way overrated, especially with your eyes closed.
 Karlie has fantasized about going to an all you can eat buffet.  She is our foodie and is always watching how to make new foods or restaurants to visit on Instagram. 
Karlie's tournament was the same weekend as Hailey's prom.  I couldn't miss her first prom!  My parents were kind enough to decide to take mini vacation to Las Vegas to help me out.  My mom can always use an excuse to hit the casinos.  They took over for me on Saturday so I could fly home to help Hailey get ready.  They were a life saver.  They got to be a part of Karlie's first buffet experience!  She attempted to try everything they offered.  We were laughing at her dessert line-up.  It is a good thing she was playing volleyball for 8 hours each day!
It was fun to have some one on one time with Karlie and get to hang out with my parents.  Neither of those things happen as much as I would like.
On our final night we did the ritualistic face mask and snuggled.  Forty eight hours in Vegas had been more than enough for me, however Karlie was ready to party on and still wasn't ready to come home Monday morning.  She got to take her first flight alone.  My parents put her on a plane to Phoenix and then they jumped on a plane to Denver.  It was quite the jet set weekend for all of us.

April Activities

 Our schedules are so hectic that one Sunday when we all had the afternoon with nothing to do and were all at home it called for a Sunday Sundae celebration!
After Hank's football game we all made our favorite sundae and just hung out.  It was so much more simple when they were little and their schedule was my schedule.  I still try very hard to have a family meal every night of the week, but it certainly is tricky finding even a 20 minute window we can all sit down together.
 One morning while the boys were at lacrosse the ladies had a shopping day together to get Hailey everything she needed for prom!  A henna station gives a free henna word of the day and it happened to be Bliss.  I couldn't think of a better word to describe my morning shopping with my girls.  Well, maybe it would have been true bliss if the credit card bill went to some rich uncle instead of our house.  :)
 This little guy loves lacrosse so much he sleeps with his stick.  I think he found his sport.  He always has stick in his hand and is cradling the ball in the pocket.  There are SWAX balls all over the house and I am just waiting for the day the ball makes a goal through the window.  
Kaitlin also had a volleyball game every week.  Luckily she is still in the recreational league which is not as demanding as club.  She is working on her overhand serve and looking to move to the next level next year.
 Karlie and her friend did a community service project for GiG's play house, which is free resource center for families with children with Down Syndrome.  They each held a drink and treat sales to raise money to buy items from GiGi's wish list.  The girls raised nearly $250!  They were able to buy all the items on their wish list.  When they went to deliver the items the owner was overwhelmed to near tears.  She called them little angles.  Karlie has a heart for special needs children and serves as a peer role model in a special needs PE class at her school.  The highlight of her day is interacting with these kids.  She decided to take the volunteer orientation at Gigi's so she can volunteer there over the summer.
 It was so strange to only have one end of the year Open House to attend.  We are usually scrambling from room to room and performance to performance.  This year it was so calm with just Hank!  He had two pieces of art displayed.  I love the expression of the cat!!  I think the H buddies got the art gene for sure.  He has grown so much as a student this year.  He went to touring twice a week for an hour before school with his teacher to help improve his reading skills.  While we still have work to do, he has really taken off this year and has gained confidence in his reading ability.
One night Hank was the only one home and he wanted to watch Moana.  I want to soak up every minute that he wants to snuggle with me and watch a Disney movie!  These times are so precious and I know all to well how soon he too will be off with his friends and it will be weird to snuggle with mom.  April is always a busy month.  It is like the sprint at the end of the race, sometimes you just can't wait to get through it because then you can slow down into summer.  But I am trying hard to not always look at the finish line and try to capture every stride.

My Kinda Birthday

Last year we had a continuous birthday celebrations!  This year was more like a typical birthday.  Our best friends were in China and we were watching their kids for the weekend.  What is two more when you have four!?  We started the day early with Hank and Ben's lacrosse.  While they practiced Max and I ran circles around the park where the girls played.  After getting a few miles in I was ready for a birthday sized breakfast.  Max made my favorite eggs Benedict and homemade potatoes and peppers.
After breakfast we squeezed in little pool and relaxation time before heading to Karlie's tournament.  Max was going to swap out with me so I could go home but Karlie was having a great tournament and I wanted to stay.  It was sweet, the team sang Happy Birthday to me and the girls won!  What better present could a mom ask for?  But we didn't get home until close to ten.  Karlie found a half eaten donut and she and Max sang to me since everyone else was asleep.  It was a busy day full of the people I love doing what they love which made it the happiest day.

How Hank Spent His 10th Birthday

It is ironic that Hank's favorite breakfast is creamed eggs since he allergic to eggs.  However, Max has been pulling off the cream before adding the eggs for him and he thinks bread soaked in cream sauce with bacon is pretty awesome.
 He is also very into Dr. pepper right  now.  Like any good parent, Max took him to school and stopped to get him a Dr. Pepper.  I am sure his teacher appreciated him being all hopped up on DP.
 I brought in cupcakes and was able to eat lunch with him.  A nutrious day lined up with a Lunchable,  Kool-Aid, Doritos, a pickle, watermelon, and some Skittlets.  Just don't tell his dentist or pediatrician.
 He wanted homemade Tacos for dinner.  Finally something slightly healthy if you forget about the deep fried taco shells.
 He also chose brownies for his dessert.  I am still trying to find an eggless brownie recipe that I like.  Currently we use a mix and substitute yogurt for the egg and it just doesn't turn out right.  Luckily Hank will eat just about anything if chocolate is involved, so he thinks its great!
A perfect 10!

Happy Double Digits Hank!!

Happy 10th Birthday Hank!
I can't believe my baby is 10!  Ten things to describe you are : kind hearted, funny, lovable, lacrosse lover, football player, smart, fun to be with, Jeeper, mountain biker, and sweet brother.  You are all boy all the time, that fills our house with laughter and our hearts with love.  Your smile can make anyone happy and I love that you still want to snuggle with mama.  We love you to the moon and hope 10 is terrific!

Kaitlin's Pottery Party!

Kaitlin has always liked pottery and recently has been into making slime.  She really wanted to see what it was like to make something on a pottery wheel.  We bought a Groupon package for a introduction to pottery class.
 Unfortuanely two of her friends had to cancel last minute, but Hailey and Karlie were happy to fill in and try it too!
We spent the first hour learning how to use the wheel and shape the clay.
I can tell you that it is much more difficult than it looks but it is wonderful feeling on your hands.  You just want o keep messing with it, but that it what wrecks it.  You have to stop while you are ahead.
 However, I was not channeling any feelings from the movie Ghost!  It is so messy.
 Each of us made a little vase or bowl.
 The next hour we spent learning about glazing, the kelm, and getting to glaze already fired pieces.
 After working up and appetite we went to Kaitlin's favorite fast food, Panda Express.  We rarely get Asian cuisine due to the likely hood of peanut exposure with Hank, so it is a special treat. :)
 She really wanted a piñata.  Kaitlin is my child that hates change.  I think it was hard for her to imagine a birthday party with no piñata since she has had one every birthday.  Her best friend was happy to indulge her!
 This was the first time I made a Kit-Kat M&M cake.  It was super easy!  I want to make this cake for every birthday!
I hope all your wishes come true my sweet.

How Kaitlin Spent Her Birthday

Kaitlin requested pancakes with chocolate chips and a circle cake for her breakfast.
 Since it was a school day she had her regular turkey sandwich, with fruit and veggies but a special chocolate treat.
 This year for her dinner she changed it up slightly and had, Costco rotisserie chicken with shells and white cheddar but artichokes instead of fruit salad.  Look out!  Middle school is making this girl wild.  :)  The must have gifts of middles school are Vans and a Kendra Scott necklace.  She also got a full bed and a matching desk and dresser.  She was ready to have a"big girl room."
Kaitlin wanted brownies since the birthday season is so full of cake.  A pretty sweet day start to finish for our sweet girl.