Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Welcome Summer 2012!

Hip Hip Hooray!  It's summer!  Bring on the pool, College World Series, summer nights at Village Point, Tropical Snow trips with no shoes on, sunburns and sleeping in, movies at the outdoor theater, BIG BROTHER 14 (AHHH!!!), and MY 30TH BIRTHDAY!  All other seasons can wait in the truck.

It's the last day of school although it's not officially summer until I'm done working.  I have one more night of work and then we have a measly little 7 recitals proceeding 7 rehearsals.  That's 14 2&1/2 hour showdowns of our year long hard work and summer 2012 will be official. 

I do, however, foresee Stella's obsession with the outdoors being a slight buzz kill this summer.  Our "down" time will probably consist of pushing Stella in her swing and taking her for walks in her wagon.  Such a princess.  An outdoorsy one.  Being trapped in the house gives her a major case of the Monday's.  She cries at the back door until someone caves.  Since she's totally worth it, we are stocked up on SPF and swim diapers.  We take our pool time pretty serious around here so I just realized as I typed that, that I made it sound like a sacrifice.  Hmm...

The Cobb summer 2012 will look something like this:

Go to grandma's and go swimming.  Red Mango for dinner, Cold Stone for dessert.  Holly to dance, Sam to baseball.  Stay up late, sleep in late.  Go swimming at grandma's.  Go swimming at the ZELENY'S!!!  Watch Big Brother and pretend like we know all of the players personally.  Dance, baseball, gymnastics.  Swimming.  Big Brother spy cams like it's our job. Swim more.  Repeat.

Oh, and smores at least once a week.

Holly will be dancing a lot this summer and Sam will be playing a crap ton of sports: baseball, golf, and football.  Missy turns THIRTY and Gage will be busy being awesome.  Stella is working on her new favorite past time...walking!  Jarjar is looking for a new home.

We have plenty of new adventures that are in the making as expected.  Never a dull moment.  However, I will NOT be announcing a pregnancy so you can put your mind at ease.  I already made a pregnancy announcement this month for my sister and it practically crashed my website. 

Last day of 1st and 4th grade

Sammy's teacher made these for the whole 4th grade.  THAT'S why I LOVE teachers!

Holly's teacher made each student a personalized scrapbook of photos of them throughout the year.  It's completely precious and Holly is so proud of it.

First and Fourth grade were great years for the Cobb kids.  Plenty of  ups and downs.  Seriously, PLENTY but we ended on a great note!  I'm going to try all summer to not think about second and the dreaded f-f-f-fifth grades.  The awesomeness of my job reaches it's highest point in the summer and I'm looking forward to auditions and starting a new year this summer!  I have 10 million other exciting things I want to blog about but I can't show all my cards at once or that would spoil all the fun!  I will blog my way through this summer as often as I can.  (translated: in between pool time and only on the 4 days of the week that BB14 is not on).

I'm confident that summer 2012 will not disappoint us.  Cheers, my friends.  Cheers!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Baby #4

Don't worry, it's not MY baby #4.  I had you going though, didn't I?  Man, pregnancy jokes never get old!

This post is actually about my sister's bambino numbero quatro.  Still surprised?

Obviously, we are crazy excited for the whole Mixan clan but the worrier in me can't help but have a slight fear for this child's life.  I know my sister and brother-in-law are laughing at me right now because "fear" is not a part of their vocab.  They are about as chill as they come.  Hence, baby #4.  Oh, have I mentioned that their oldest is 4 years old?  Yep.  You scared  yet?

Allow me to introduce my second favorite family in the entire world:

Left to Right: Mandy, Marlow, Melrose, Mike, Mayzie

Good looking fam, right?  Why the heck would you not keep reproducing with kids looking like that.  Four kids in five years.  No biggie.  Just keep spittin' them out, guys.  Keep the cuties coming.

Here, I give you the most competitive 4 year old on the face of the earth.  Her name is Melrose Joy Mixan but she likes to call herself "the first one out."  As in the first one out of her mother's womb.  She enjoys competitions, winning, being right, and everything Holly does and owns.  I honestly can never ever get enough of this child.  I laugh at everything that comes out of her mouth even when I shouldn't.

The second one out is the sweetest little bug you'll ever meet.  Marlow Maureen Mixan aka: Marlow Beans, Beany Weany or Beany Maureeny, Beanarino, Bean Bag, or just Beans.  I try not to get too excited when Marlow tells me I'm her best friend because she tells everyone that.  She enjoys animals, insects, nature, storms, people, and the outdoors.  She gives amazing hugs and has a killer tan all year round.

The Mixan caboose (for now) is chunky monkey, Mayzie Grace.  We call her Layzie Mayzie because it is very fitting.  She's a tank and she knows it.  Mayzie is such a perfect fit for this fam.  I thank God on a regular basis that Mayzie survived in those first few months of life.  I guess if she lived through the torture Marlow gave her, this new baby (who are we kidding, it's probably another girl) can too.

I love these girls as if they were my own and it literally hurts if I go to long without seeing them.  My kids ask me EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  if they get to see the Mixan kids.  They resemble the behavior of siblings more than cousins.  Lots of fights, lots of love.  Sam and Melrose butt heads because they are both "first borns" in every meaning of the word.  Marlow can not do any wrong in Sam's eyes and he is her Knight in shining armor.  Melrose looks up to Holly and wants to do everything she does, but her competitive side (which is every side) wants to do it BETTER.  Holly is sensitive and Mel loves to push her buttons.  She gets some sick thrill from it actually.  Holly, however, IS older (just don't remind Mel) and knows how to take advantage of her pre-school aged cousin if need be.  They used to be like fatal attraction but have grown out of it (for the most part).  Stella and Mayzie flip out when they see each other and it is the cutest thing ever.

Now, the Mixan's think it's cool to torture all of us and not find out what the sex of their babies are. They have already tossed around the idea of not finding out this time and I absolutely forbid that.  You may have noticed that our family is slightly lopsided with genders.  Mandy is from a family of 4 girls and 1 boy, Mike is from a family of 4 boys and 1 girl.  There is absolutely no pressure but my fingers may be crossed for a junior.  But then again, another one of those Mixan girls would be nice.  Ohhhhhh I hope it's a girl!  Just kidding, I want it to be a boy.  No, girl.  Boy.  Girl.

Boy.  Or girl.  Either one would be amazing.  They just better find out.  Stat.  Screw the "surprise" crap.  Wasn't the plus sign on the stick surprise enough?

If you run into Melrose, she WILL tell you that there is a baby in her mom's tummy.  Actually she will say, "there is a baby in my mom's tummy already!"  ALREADY!!!!  As in, there was just one in there, it came out, and there is another one in there.....already.  Beans is hoping that it's a baby rabbit in her mom's tummy so just play along.  Mayzie?  Well, she will know soon enough what Irish twins are.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sammy 2.0

How rude of me to leave you hanging for so long after The great debate.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, let me just say, we have always had to work so hard at parenting Sammy.  Until now. 

Here, I give you Sammy 2.0!

This year I have literally watched this kid mature before my very eyes.  Writing the debate post was healing for me.  I tossed around the homeschooling idea for a long time and by "tossed around" I mean "fought against."  It was almost instantly after I wrote it, that Sammy turned into Sammy 2.0.

Of course, he still gets mad at his little sister sometimes and his temper will flare up every now and then but it is MILD compared to what we have seen. 

The fact that he sets his own alarm every morning and gets himself ready an hour before school starts so he can watch Sports Center, is defiantly blog worthy.  In addition, he miraculously knows how to keep his room clean, which probably deserves it's own post.  Can't wait till Holly figures that one out.  His confidence is soaring through the roof, which I credit to sports.  He had an awesome basketball season and is rocking second base at baseball this year.  He has been on my case about signing him up for (TACKLE) football and I'm dragging my heals on that one big time.  I love football and everything but my skinny little runt is not exactly aggressive and we have made it so long with no broken bones.  Out of respect for my boy, I have KWAA football flagged in my toolbar and have almost made it to the registration page.  I've attempted several times but always chicken out.  By "chicken out" I mean pray on my knees that he will change his mind.  He's also going to play a little golf this summer and try-out for Select baseball.  I think I want it for him worse than he does, but either way it will be a good experience.  He will probably play fall ball again like last year and, unfortunately, I don't see myself winning the football battle.  Pray for me him.

Claiming victory after finishing 1st in the 400m dash at Field Day

Besides falling madly in love with sports, Sammy has made some pretty solid friends at school that share his love.  Fourth grade has turned out to be a fantastic year and summer is right around the corner!  Amen!

The best BEST improvement that Sammy 2.0 has made is the way he can talk to strangers.  This week I took him to his favorite store, Dick's Sporting Goods.  He wanted to use his own money to buy a pair of Nike socks.  A $15 single pair of socks, but that is neither here nor there.  Those babies better have came with a 10 dollar bill in them.  Just sayin'. 

He asked the worker if he had his size ALL BY HIMSELF!  The poor guy had to climb a ladder and check about 40 pairs before discovering that he didn't.  He then climbed down and told Sam that he can go look in the back.  Sam said "I feel bad that you have to do this."  I couldn't get words out of my mouth when I heard that.  I just smiled.  THEN!  The guy came back and said "all we have is black with a red swoosh." 

*side note: there were a zillion colors and he already has several black pairs of (cheap) Nike socks.  I thought that sounded boring and was ready to get the heck outta there.  Not Sammy.

He replied "okay, that sounds good.  I'll take those."  If you are bored by this dialogue, I apologize, but just know that this is a small miracle.  It was a proud mom moment.

I also could go on and on about how he treats ME but nothing has changed there.  He has always been madly in love with me and treated me like a queen.  "You're the best mom ever" and "I'll never let anything happen to you" are regulars out of his mouth.  Like daily.  I don't know if I've ever mentioned that his love language is physical touch, but it is.  It makes me giggle all the time.  He is always hugging me, rubbing my back, holding my hand, or draping himself on me while watching TV.  If you spend too much time with him, he will do the same to you.  It's his love language so that's how he shows love.  Positive words, quality time, and acts of service do NOT float his boat.  A good hand holding does though.

Me: Hey Sam, can I take a picture of you and your......Oh wow, that will work too.

I have no idea how I got so lucky to be chosen to be this kids mom.  Seeing how marture he has become is greatly rewarding.  I'm going to enjoy every single second of this stage of life.  Obvioulsy, because it is heavenly, but also because I'm petrified of Middle School and everything that goes along with it.  I have one year left of Elementary school, 3 years before he is a T-T-T-TEENager, I'm praying for at least 5 before puberty, and hopefully a billion before he starts dating.

Catch him if you can, boys!

You better believe that they were "Tebowing" after their 4 man relay smoked their competition

In conclusion, I'm happy to announce that I will NOT be homeschooling but have an even greater respect now for those that do.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dancers against Cancer

Today was one of the coolest days I've ever lived.  Nebraska Dance honored Camp Quality Heartland in our 5th annual benefit concert as I mentioned earlier in Stella's birthday post. I'm so proud today to be a part of ND.  Our dancers against cancer danced so hard and the audience was so touched.  There were survival stories shared throughout the show along with heart wrenching struggles.  Camp Quality is amazing in itself but this concert was even more about the fight against cancer. 

Blurry pictures but seriously, O WELL!!!!  These kiddos rock my flippin' socks!!!!

Towards the end of the concert, the audience was asked to stand if they had/have cancer or have a loved one who has suffered from cancer.  My emotions were running high when 95% of the place was standing.

My photography skills suffered a little today but I'll make up for it for sure at our SEVEN recitals next month.  This was one of my favorites though.

Holly and Alivia sporting their Dancers Against Cancer shirts

Since #dancersagainstcancer was trending on Instagram today, I wish I could share my favorite photos, but I can't.  Real cute, Instagram.  Real cute.  NDC, just know that I was entertained.

I love these kids.  I love Nebraska Dance and what it stands for.  I'm truly feeling so blessed today.  I loved that my daughter got to dance in this concert in place of a competition.  It meant more to her (and clearly me) to stand for something.  There is nothing like being slapped in the face with your own blessings.  I'm blessed and I know it.  This was a weekend of thankfulness.

1. My grandpa had a stroke 3 months ago and we didn't think he would ever come home...but he came home Saturday.  Unbelievable.

2. My brother who has been deployed on a job more dangerous that I even care to think about...came home. 

3. My baby girl had an amazing first birthday!  Every time someone wished her 'happy birthday,' she clapped and blew them a kiss on command.  Seriously!?  I SWEAR we didn't practice that.  No, really.

 4. I have never lost a loved one to cancer.  I realize now how rare that is and am heart broken for those that have.

Tonight I'm squeezing my family a little tighter and thanking God just a little bit longer.

Dancers rule, cancer drools.

Happy Birthday Stella!

The last few weeks have felt slightly surreal.  It has taken me that long to grasp the fact that Stella's 1st birthday has arrived.  My baby girl is ONE!  This past year has been the fastest year of my entire life.  No question.  May 6th 2011 at 12:20pm and every. single. second. after that I have fallen deeper in love with this baby.  Stella has power over my heart.  I feel closer to God just by being her mom.  So what if the stork didn't actually drop her off at our door (even though I let Holly think that) but I kinda feel like God did.  I prayed hard for a happy and healthy baby before and during my pregnancy with Stella.  But for heaven's sake she didn't have to be PERFECT! She is though, FYI.  She's perfect. 

It was not until recently that we discovered she has a few flaws.  She will be a handful in the coming years for sure.  Today, though, she is perfect.  Everything Stella does, she does to the highest degree.  Crawl?  Faster than lightning.  Smile?  Whenever you look at her.  Talk? 9 words  Eat? Like a bottom less pit.  Sleep?  16 hours a day.  Get mad?  Fits that will make your head spin.

She is not walking yet but she can stand without holding on to anything for as long as she wants.  She is actually entertained by NOT walking.  I'm pretty convinced that she could if she wanted but thinks it's funny that we always ask her to.  So, naturally, she just stands there and laughs at us.  She laughs hard.  While standing.  And we beg her to take a step.  She is still standing.  And laughing.  At us.  She doesn't like to be told what to do.  Already. 

It's her party and she'll cry if she wants to.  Today and only today, we let her cry if she wants to. 

I've been a mom since I was 19 and I wasn't prepared for that.  I think it's safe to say that no 19 year old is.   Of course I love all three of my kids equally but I'm not the same mom that I was 10 years ago.  Maybe it is just maturity but I think it's more than that.  I longed to be Stella's mom even before I knew of her.  God allowed my heart to be broken just so He could make it whole again.  Being a mom, and especially on this level of love, is the greatest reward on earth.

Stella brings abundant joy to our home.  She reminds me so much of Sammy when he was a baby but looks so much like Holly.  I love her strong personality and tiny little body.  She's a runt like I always was.  (Was).  I still have burning flashbacks of my kindergarten class taking turns picking me up while singing "M-I-S-S-Y, M-I,S-S-Y."  Okay okay already, I was little and had a silly name.  Now back up.  Things didn't change much when I taught High School dance camps in St. Louis where I was the ONLY white girl teaching Hip Hop (really!?) to girls that were significantly taller than me.  When they had to make up team cheers for their teachers, they started pounding on the ground and RAPPING (!) "M-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-Y."  I think I made their life when I smiled and asked "what's a crooked letter?"

Anyway, Stella may be tiny but she has a much bolder personality than I ever did.  She will do just fine in life.  This gal can hold her own.

It doesn't seem real to me at all that she is a year old.  I will probably always think of her as my little newborn.  However, I'm 99.9% sure that I want another baby someday.  Gage would be happy either way.  We are both convinced that nothing or no one could top this last one but are super excited to see what God has in store for us.

You know that saying, "everthing I ever wanted and more?"  Well, I hate to brag but I know what that feels like.  To think that God has even more planned for our family is beyond me!

Today is Nebraska Dance's 5th annual benefit concert.  This year we are honoring Camp Quality Heartland, a camp for kids with cancer.  Gage likes to think that ND is hosting a huge birthday party for Stella.  Baby girlfriend has on her birthday gear and gets to spend the whole day with a whole bunch of cool people for a super cool cause.  My favorite dancers and my favorite friends, all together for the whole day while we celebrate my favorite one year old!  I love this day!

Stella Rosie Punkie Wunkie, we all love you so so much!

Special Thanks To: 

Sarah Zeleny, for offering your beautiful home for Stella's cake smash!  Also, for showing me so many cool things about my camera that I didn't know existed.

Jenny Narke, for the super cute Sophia's Style 1st birthday hat and, of course, Stella's awesome letters on her wall.

Etsy, Target, and Pinterest, for hooking me up.

Grandma and Grandpa Mickells for hosting Stella's party and fish fry!  Also, Grandma and Grandpa Cobb and Aunt Gentry for coming to Omaha for the party!

Props to ME for taking all the photos.  I'm pretty proud of myself.