The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Trick Toe: A Pre-Trip Adventure

I'm just about to start a big long blog post all about my family's big trip to San Diego but before I get started I have to tell the prologue to the story.

Picture this. It's Thursday afternoon, just two days before the family is leaving for the trip. I've got a To-Do list about a hundred items long and I'm rushing around like my normal cuckoo self. I am clad in a bathing suit because among the many other tasks I am working on I'm trying to get a little sun on my trout-belly skin before subjecting myself to a week of California beach time. I fished my 15 minutes per side (which I'm pretty sure did nothing, by the way). I hopped up and walked towards the house. All I was doing was walking. Not skipping, not falling, not stumbling, not even twirling. And somehow I still stubbed my 2nd toe on my right foot and folded it sharply under all my weight. Oh my gosh. Pain shuddered through my foot and leg. I reached down to feel it and there was a crunch. Oh MAN. I was certain I had just broken my toe. I've broken a toe before and this felt very familiar. I had to just go sit down and be in total absolute pain for about 10 minutes before I could even open my eyes to see straight.

I won't drag out the details, I'll just say that 2 days of terrible pain while trying to prepare for the trip was really not fun. And getting through an airport, taking a plane ride then getting through another airport with my family and my older parents was enough to put me in tears by the time we got to our destination. Ouch ouch ouch. I had managed to find a friend with a surgery shoe and I had a lot of pain medication but my toe was swollen and blue and bloody and I so could not walk on it.

As the first evening of our arrival wound down and kids got tucked into bed, Sheri took a closer look at my toe. She prodded and tugged a little and finally told me she really didn't think it was broken. Her assessment was that I had hurt my toenail really badly and there was a lot of fluid under the toenail and that could be what was causing the pain. Nail bed pain can be excruciating, almost like a broken toe, she said.  Sheri bid me goodnight and went up to her room, and I was in the quiet kitchen alone. I grabbed a pokey thing, poked the big swelling under my toe nail might be another good time to summarize. I'll just say....pressure was relieved. (As evidenced by the spray pattern on my shirt. Sorry. Had to include one gross detail.) And the relief was almost instant. It took a couple of days to be able to walk totally normally again but it happened - I was able to get through a full week of long walks, running through waves and walking for miles through amusement parks with very little discomfort. My toenail is definitely going to come off - it currently looks like its sliding off the tip of my very round toe.  Kinda ugly but I'll take it.

I am so grateful that I was spared a week of limited mobility, inability to be very helpful, and pretty intense pain. I was so afraid that a week of vacation that I had been helping to plan for over a year, was really looking forward to and had a little anticipation/anxiety about was going to be 50 times more challenging. I felt that Sheri's insight was frankly an answer to a prayer. After that, nothing about the week felt nearly as daunting! It was a great week - I better get writing about it.

One gross picture, okay?  Well, maybe two.

I took this one right after we arrived at our beach house and was in total misery.  I had taped my toes together thinking the one was broken, I was wearing a funny little shoe to help with the walking, which wasn't actually very helpful at all.

I think my feet might be kind of funny looking....oh well!  This was after I, uh...relieved the pressure and was just a day later.  I could really get around.  Of course, this photo was taken before I went into the ocean and damaged the nail further.  Now my toenail really does look like a wicked witch nail hanging off the end of my toe and getting ready to fall off.  That's okay. I walked.  I ask nothing more.

Cap's Book One Recital

In another mind-bending flash of time, it has been three full years since my kids started taking cello lessons from the greatest cello teacher ever, my sister.  When I say that she is the greatest ever, I actually mean that very sincerely.  I have never known of a teacher before who is more interested in kids having a happy, positive relationship with music.  She meets the kids where they are at each and every lesson, and we have never once not ever come away from a lesson feeling bad, embarrassed or defensive, no matter how much any of us felt that way going into the lesson. She's magnificent, and I'm so grateful to call her our teacher and my sister.

I don't think most kids take three years to finish Suzuki Book 1....but in the spirit of Margaret I'm not going to worry about that, I'm going to celebrate the fact that music is a part of my kids' lives, that they enjoy the cello and that they are progressing.  Cap finished learning all the pieces in Book 1 this spring and to celebrate, we held a small gathering on our back porch where Cap and Margaret played through all of the pieces.

Cap did a beautiful job.  I have so enjoyed listening to his musicality and expression develop, especially over the past school year.  He's really playing nicely.  And to top it off, he sometimes gets out his cello and plays without being asked to. Jaw drop!! He is a big fan of movie music, and often spends time trying to sound out the themes he loves.  We hear a lot of Jurassic Park and Avengers themes around the house, and it tickles me.  Cap may occasionally grumble about practicing or going to lessons, but he comes away happy almost every time.  What a blessing music is.

End of the School Year

Oh gosh, did it really happen?  Did THIS LITTLE KID....

...just finish sixth grade and is going to be heading off to Jr. High?  Nope.  Can’t be true. And yet, somehow it is.

The last few days of school, though stressful, were also a wonderful celebration of a great year for the kids.  We had such a fantastic group of teachers and I was very devoted to each of them.  Cap especially had such a good year - this was the first year I didn't feel like I had to cattle-prod him through every single bit of his homework.  He really started developing self motivation and had some goals and everything.  I was really proud of him.  His teacher, Miss Parker, was a friend of my younger brother's in high school and it was especially fun to have a personal connection with her.

This is not a very good picture of Bitty and her teacher, Mrs. Farrell.  I adore this woman.  She's a dear friend, really - Cap had her for fourth grade as well - the first time Bitty has ever had a teacher whom Cap also had.  She'd better stick around for a few more years so Skippidy gets a chance with her too!

And Skippidy.  I count myself as a very fortunate mom to have had the chance to have Skippidy in Mrs. Yaeger's class.  What an amazing woman.  She makes life fun - what more could a kindergartner wish for?  She's strict, but she also makes life a celebration and cheers for every accomplishment these kids have.  I know school ended a few weeks ago but now that I'm finally writing about it, I'm feeling very sad that the kids have moved on from these neat ladies' classrooms.

The day before school was officially over, Cap and the rest of the 6th graders took part in an official "promotion" ceremony.  I'm not going to lie, it was kind of a tear-jerker.  There was a great slide show, choir numbers, words of wisdom from the teachers. And then of course, a tasty lunch with some of Cap's best buddies, most of whom he met and developed friendships with during his kindergarten year.  I can't believe they have stayed friends all these years.  And like the old fuddy-duddies say, I can NOT believe all those years have already passed by.

We should have taken some pictures with the adults so there would be some normal pictures in there as well. Oh well.

Then came the last day of school - the kids all gather in the auditorium and each grade sings a song or two, then the big-kid choir gets together to sing farewell.

Skippidy got a little emotional:

Then came the moment of triumph.  The very last thing that happens is the teachers all grab yard sticks and make a tunnel for the 6th graders to run through.  It happens really fast and is hard to catch on camera, but I tried:

Then suddenly school was over.  And the sibling fighting began.  Just kidding...that didn't start until the next day!  We celebrated that afternoon by getting burgers from B&D and eating at the park in the leafy shade.  Ahhhh.  Sounds so nice.  Today was over 100 degrees, so thinking of that lovely 80 degree weather, sitting in the shade at the park sounds pretty great right now.  

Friday, June 19, 2015

Skippidy Turns Six

So should I wait until later or just admit right now that I really really really didn't want to throw a party for Skippidy?  I was so totally overwhelmed by the end of school and everything going on, the thought of putting together a cute and wonderful party with lots of little screaming girls was just more than I could bear.  I feel kind of bad about that because I'm sure that Skippidy would have loved it.  Eek.  I feel bad.  And I will say that I did give her two options - a little party or.... A FABULOUS all-day birthday extravaganza with just her and her mommy all to herself!!  I may have talked up my idea just a little bit to try to convince her, it wasn't really fair, but yes, I did that.  And I tried really really hard to make it the best day possible for her.

The day began with a breakfast-in-bed party.  Skippidy had made it abundantly clear that she wanted breakfast in bed, that she wanted scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, ketchup and water.  On a tray. Since we have a tradition of the birthday girl (or boy) getting one present at breakfast, we decided we'd better have a mass-breakfast on our bed.  We spread out a tablecloth, gathered the kids and everyone enjoyed some breakfast while Skippidy opened a couple of presents: a giant jug of gumballs (what was I thinking?  Don't ask.  I don't know,) and a small lego kit.  It was a very merry morning.

After I got the kids off to school I had just enough time to bake a birthday cake and decorate the back porch in preparation for dinner in the evening.  Then I grabbed some chicken nuggets, which seem to be Skippidy's favorite meal on the planet, and met her for lunch.  I have never actually eaten lunch with any of my kids in the cafeteria before.  It was a new experience for me, and I probably should have done it long before now.  I think Troy has often been the special lunch visitor on Stomper's birthdays, and Bitty has her birthday in the summer, so I guess that's why.  I had fun chatting with Skippidy's kindergarten friends. 

After lunch I stayed for lunch recess and had a really good time observing Skippidy in an environment I don't normally get to see.  There are lots of sweet kids in the kindergarten group and as soon as I pulled out the camera they started flocking my way. Started with a little hide n' seek:

As soon as school was over, I whisked Skippidy away and took her to our first stop: getting a mani-pedi. Now, this was something that she had told me she really wanted.  She had been talking about it for quite some time - "Mom, can we please please please go get a mani-pedi some time?"  And when I asked her what we should do for our birthday-date, she said with great gusto, "Mani-Pedies!"  Great!  I got us scheduled and was excited to take her.  But then, during our recess play, Skippidy came up to me and said, "Mom, I'm so excited for my mani-pedi." (Long Pause) "Mom, what IS a mani-pedi?"


All this time she had just heard the phrase, probably in a cartoon or from friends or something and had no idea what it was.  This was like the biggest part of her birthday and she had no idea what it was!! I was dying.  I told her teacher and the two of us just howled.  So once I explained to her what it was we were doing, I really hoped that she would still enjoy it.  I'm pretty sure she did.

I let her pick my nail color....may have been a mistake, especially for someone who NEVER wears nail polish
After we got our nails done we had enough time to make a quick visit to the planetarium. For some reason she just really wanted to show me the things she had seen there on a field trip.  So that's what we did!  We just puttered around the displays and I followed her lead.  We had a good time.  And of course at the gift shop I let her choose a bag of the shiniest sparkliest rocks I have ever seen.

After the planetarium we zipped home to finish preparations for Skippidy's dinner party.  She told me she wanted steak and strawberries and asparagus, so that's what I did.  And I threw in potatoes too. We enjoyed the company of grandma and grandpa and a very pleasant June evening on the back porch.

This cake was totally the best part.  Initially Skippidy told me she wanted "a chocolate cake with black frosting with white polka-dots."  Sometimes when I ask her what she wants I think she just free-associates.  It can get very random and very funny.  I tried to talk her out of black frosting - she was okay with pink and decided that we could make polkadots out of marshmallows.  Skippidy insisted on applying all the decorations, and finished up by going to the garden and plucking a dozen mint leaves to top her cake.  It looked...awesome.  And very creative.  She had so much fun making the cake.

So my skippidy girl is six.  She's losing teeth, she finished kindergarten, she's as sassy as can be she knows what a mani-pedi is.  Happy day for all.