Friday, May 31, 2013

ibiza whites

Each year, Tuck has an Ibiza White party at Dartmouth's dock house on Occum Pond. Don't ask me to explain, because I honestly don't understand. But, it was a nice outing on a beautiful May evening and an opportunity to go to the dock house! 

White is a dangerous color for our family, but we braved it for tradition and had ourselves a great time. The weather was even on its best behavior, sunshine and all.

The girls not only looked angelic in their whites, but they acted the part too. Maybe we should wear white more often!?

Hartland Dam, the last

We took advantage of a sunny Friday morning when our husbands had no jobs and no school to enjoy some final hours at our beloved Hartland Dam. The big kids were actually in school still, so we just had four littles with us, which seemed so relaxing! 

Kate loved the one-on-one time, the sand, the water, the food and the chilaxing. (And I loved her chubby baby self in that suit!)

And we all loved the sunshine and company.

Definitely a day to be remembered...and missed.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

my last NH lesson is in the (piano) books...

Today I taught my last piano lesson in New Hampshire. I drastically decreased my student load after I moved here by about 90%. I taught three children last year. One moved west with his family after his dad finished a medical residency and became a bona fide doctor (yay!). One decided she was more interested in gymnastics than sitting on a hard, wooden bench for a half hour each week (I won't take it personally). The third continued this year with me. And I gained another, making two for this school year. 

It really was perfect - the students kept me current on all things piano and all things elementary school (One Direction is so hot...). They helped me update my rewards box (decorative pencils and Japanese puzzle erasers are all the rage in the Upper Valley...). They even raided my cupboards sometimes for after-school snacks. 

Sadly, I didn't hold a recital at all. I figured a four minute program might be an under-kill? (After all, my first recital was only 13 minutes long, and that was pushing it.)

Teaching has been such a rewarding experience for me. I love watching each student learn, stretch and grow...and become successful!

And the cake isn't bad either. 
(Seriously, this was a gift on my last day from a student whose mom is from Sweden. It was all sorts of delicious.)

Here's to more students (and more cake?) in Iowa!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Portland, Maine

For months leading up to May, my inbox kept getting more packed with information about our last days and weeks at Tuck. Activities, parties and events galore. Not to mention the emails we got about graduation. But the two weeks in between the time when classes and finals ended and the students actually graduated - also known as Disorientation - was seriously packed. Something to do every day. 

One of the activities I really wanted Ryan to do was a trip with his classmates to Portland, Maine. I didn't think it was feasible for our whole family to go. I just felt like it would be more of a hassle than anything. Plus, Leah was still in school and we'd have to take her out for at least two days. So, I deleted the email and pestered Ryan to go with his friends. 

Well, Ryan didn't want to go without me. 

I didn't want to go unless there were other families going. 

So, I pestered a few other families and voile! Everyone was happy. I purchased some cheap boat shoes (because you can't go to Maine without boat shoes) and off we went.

I'm so glad we did. Our girls were amazing on the three hour drive there. When we arrived, we loaded a ferry and headed to Whitby Island for a private lobster bake.

Kate loved the ferry ride and my heart skipped about 17 beats as she leaned over as far as she possibly could to feel the ocean air on her face. So then I quickly took her inside so she could view it safely from behind the glass.  

Honestly, I turned in my little lobster ticket and got a plateful of the most deliciously fresh lobster I will ever eat. 

We played on the grass and hiked down to the shore and just had a great time relaxing in the sun. Kate, per her usual self, hated the grass and Leah loved playing with everyone...especially her Beloved Blythe. 

The girls loved the hotel room where they did NOT nap. Kate made a new friend in the mirror and then slammed her finger in the drawer. It wasn't pretty. Note the bright green bandage on her little finger. That was after we cleaned up all the blood.

We distracted ourselves from no naps and smashed fingers with dinner and a night out to see the Portland Sea Dogs. It was a relatively warm  night, but little girls with 1% body fat get cold quickly.

Unlike most of the students, we skipped the pub crawl and retired early to ready ourselves for a day of sightseeing. Leah was obviously enthralled with our current book of choice - a Boxcar Children mystery.

After the girls fell asleep, Ryan went to grab some ice cream with his good friend Brent. It, apparently, was the highlight of his entire trip. He came back and would not stop talking about the blueberry sour cream crumble ice cream. (I'm writing this post more than two months later and he still hasn't stopped talking about it.)

The next morning, the weather had a different idea. We braved the rain for a yummy breakfast with the Holbrooks. But we weren't brave enough to do much more than that. We decided to head to Freeport to checkout the flagship L.L. Bean store with the Dances. After enjoying the giant aquarium and enormous children's section, we snapped a picture in front of the big boot and headed to Trader Joe's to make my heart (and tummy) happy. 

Then of course we had to get one more blueberry sour cream crumble before heading home in the rain. 

I'm so glad we decided to go and experience Maine firsthand with some of our very best friends!

Sunday, May 26, 2013


I've had a lot of questions about Leah's most recent fashion accessory: biking gloves. 

Leah wrings her hands and fingers often, and constant hand and finger wringing wears on such sweet skin! She often has her hands up near her mouth, so they can get wet as well. When they are really wet, we use her arm brace, but lately she has just been wringing them together. 

So, we took her to the nearest upscale department store. Um, wait, we took her to WalMart because that is the only store near us. She picked out three pair of gloves. Lucky for us, the gloves came in a pack with elbow and knee pads too, so we have three spare pair of those if anyone wants to borrow them. 

The gloves take about 347 minutes to put on because her fingers are so wiggly, but once in place, they really protect her hands. And they do so in a very fashionable way.

I actually love that this special needs solution was:
1) so inexpensive - you just have to write the words "special needs" in front of something and you can automatically charge 10x the normal amount, so because these were normal gloves, they were a normal price; and
2) so Leah - she picked out exactly which gloves she wanted so I think she enjoys wearing them! Plus, she gets all sorts of awesome attention from wearing biking gloves all day. 

And they work! The days we use the gloves, they really protect her hands. Can I get a huzzah for trying something that was cheap, Leah likes, and WORKS!? Huzzah!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

last, last day of school

He is never, ever, ever, going back to school. 
Like ever.