Hatfield, Atticus and I just returned from an ENTIRE weekend away, so we could attend their first dance competition.
The past 8 months have been both good and bad for my "big kids." The addition of two new baby siblings into any family means lots of shifting within that family. Well, the addition of two 4-year old boys and their accompanying issues has required an insane amount of shifting.
Hatfield and Atticus are loving and attentive big siblings. Many times they or their possessions have been treated poorly through no fault of their own, and they have taken it with grace and in stride. They have witnessed some Ca-ra-zy behaviors which they have NEVER seen (and still can hardly believe, at times). Many times, due to my own adoptive parenting infancy, we have had our lives and schedules held hostage to these crazy behaviors.
Through it all, Hatfield and Atticus have kept their positive attitudes. It has not been without tears, concerns, exhaustion and exasperation on their parts. We are so thankful that they are able to talk to us about how they feel and we move forward.
To say that they deserved a much-needed vacation away from the craziness of having two 5-year old brothers and a 4.5 year old sister is an understatement.
We had the best weekend. At lunchtime on Friday we hightailed it down to Madison where the kids were participating in the Thrive Dance Competition at the Overture Center.
Hatfield and her troupe performed their jazz and tap routines first. These girls take their stuff seriously.
And that means serious hair (I don't use that much hair spray in a year.)
Serious make up (she soooo got the wrong mom for that one.)
And seriously blinged out fake lashes (eye lash glue---UGH! Need I say more?)
But most of all, serious fun.
For the 90 minutes the girls were in the dressing room, it meant Serious Boredom and Games of Sudoku on mom's cell phone for Atticus.
Who was a good sport and camped out in the hallway.
And he only tried to peek in the girls' dressing room one time.
Or 100 times.
He's lucky he's cute.
After Hatfield's dance, we noshed at Noodles on State Street where we had a great time watching all the people walking about, enjoying the sunny weather. Then we went back to the hotel and swam, swam, swam.
I loved watching my two "big kids" play in the pool, just like they did when they were my "little kids."
Sunday morning we were up bright and early because Mr. Atticus' Troupe was performing first thing at 9 am sharp (which in Dancing Lingo means 9:40ish)
Here is Atticus chilling in the Holding Area.
Surrounded by adorable little girls who all ADORE Atticus. He's all, life's rough, I know, tell me about it.
After they slammed out their jazz, they had 7 minutes to change into tap. Which had me completely stressed out because I forgot that in Dancing Competition Lingo, 7 minutes = 25 minutes.
Oops. Sorry for getting stressed, Atticus.
Seriously, though, how stinking cute is this kid?!?!
When their tap number opens, Atticus is in center stage all alone, back to the audience. The music starts and he starts this cute little hip/butt shake.
So I always yell, "Shake it, Atticus!" Because they encourage us parents to hoot and holler and whoop it up for our kids. Which I think is fun.
And it only embarrassed Hatfield like thhhhhiiiiiiiissssssss much.
That was fun, too.
After Atticus performed, I was tired. Because whooping it up at such an early hour on a Sunday can really take it out of you. So we hit State Street and drank coffee and hot cocoa at Steep 'n Brew. Who roasts the best beans this side of the Mississippi. No joke.
We stayed for Sunday's awards. Atticus' troupe took First Place in Jazz, First Place in Tap. Then the judges (who were ALL from So You Think You Can Dance! and I didn't make a fool of myself yelling, I voted for you! too many times. Promise) gave out special awards for their favorite act. Atticus' troupe got a Most Energy from Jeanette (love her!) and a "I Love You Most" from a really cute guy whose name I forget.
Hatfield's troupe, which had a larger group of competition, placed very well. They received two "High Gold" rankings for the performances, and placed Third overall. Plus Jeanette awarded them the "Best Smiles" award. Totally love that Jeanette. And I'm serious when I say I did vote for her. Because I did.
After the awards, we packed up our stuff, jumped in the Mister's car and headed back for home with my big kids in tow.
No one asked to go to the bathroom.
No one got car sick and threw up.
No one asked me how long until we get there.
It was the perfect ending to the perfect weekend.