Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May 24,2014: TRR -Little Johnny Rivero; emotional moment with Madison

PopUp had come to Madison several weeks ago and let her know about a chance to be able to dance to Johnny Rivero for a Truth Revolution Records concert series for today.  She mentioned it to me briefly and  I completely forgot about it.  She then came to me about a week before telling me that I needed to talk to some parents to set up some time that she could practice a dance with them for this concert because she was able to get he CD with the song on it from PopUp.

     Once again, between my schedule(which isn't that crazy and isn't really an excuse) and flakiness, I forgot and only mentioned it to 1 mom and then forgot about it again and was never able to set up a proper time for them to get together and practice.  With that being said, on Friday Madison and I had one of our famous arguments learning opportunities, where I told her that it may be best to just call PopUp and tell him no, she would not be able to dance.  With her being the little "performer" that she is, she yelled  discussed with me how she didn't wan to let anyone down and she would practice, come up with something, and be ready to dance on her own for Saturday.  So that's what she did.  She spent hours on Friday night listening to the song and coming up with a routine.  She would come out of her room occasionally to have me film her so she could watch it back and critique herself.

Saturday morning she got up early with me, went to dance, went to the Polish National Home and hung out with Zaccai and Luques, Myles, Mayci, and I met up with her about 715p or so at the Polish National Home.

It was so nice.  Zaccai, Luques, Mama, PopUp, and the entire Truth Revolution Records crew always does a great job at setting up and manning these events.  There was even a "kids" table with coloring books and crayons-- I am 100% sure PopUp had something to do with that!!

Mayci stretching with big sister Madison

Madison in a "zone"

Johnny and the band "Heatwave":( Johnny Rivero - Congas; Zaccai Curtis - Piano; Luques Curtis - Bass; Camilo Molina - Timbal; Louis Fouche - Alto Saxophone; Jonathan Powell - trumpet) were PHENOMENAL!!  (I hope to be forgiven if I spelled any of their names wrong)

They did 2 sets and I caught myself dancing along quite a bit.  There was a song they played called, High Heeled Sneakers,(Or something like that- I don't think any of them will read this and hopefully I won't offend anyone if I got the name wrong) practically had me out of my seat dancing!  I LOVED THAT SONG!!  These musicians are incredible.  Oh what I would give to have just an inkling of their talent.  

During the 2nd set, they played a song called, Picadillo, which if I remember correctly is from an Eddie Palmieier & Cal Tjader cd called El Sonido Nuevo from around 1965-1966.  What a pretty song.  This is the song that Madison danced to.  I was so busy trying to keep Mayci from running out to dance also that I missed a portion of her dancing... eventually, I realized that I was losing my battle with Mayci and let her loose.  From what I saw of Madison, she did well!  The audience and musicians were so gracious to Madison and really boosted her confidence when she was dancing.

"Little Johnny"

Love this picture that was captured by Ed Larose who is not only an extremely talented photographer, but a fascinating artist, and an extremely close family friend!!

As Madison took her seat, Mayci decided that it was her time to get started, so once again, this was a battle I chose not to pick and up to the front Mayci went.  She danced for like 2 full songs before I finally told her she had to call it quits.
Another picture captured by Ed Larose
 She had a minor meltdown but we managed to stay right up until the end.  As soon as the last song was done, we were OUT!!  I have learned that sometimes it is safer when I have the littler kids with me to leave BEFORE everyone else starts getting up to go.  The least amount of chaos the better.  The kids were home and tucked into bed by 11:30p.  Poor Damian didn't get home until about 4:00a.  When he walked in, I got up and peeked in on the kids, who had decided on a sleepover in the girl's room--so precious!!

I feel like I do this in every blog, but I really mean it:  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU-- to all who give my kids the chance to do things like this.  We are forever grateful.  Madison was super nervous and super excited to be able to dance as a part of a TRR gig and was extremely apologetic  because it turns out that she had forgotten a bit of her choreography and had to improvise.  She beat herself up quite a bit about it because she didn't want to "ruin" anything.  I assured her that she did fine but still sent her apology to Zaccai who informed her of the same thing.  I guess we really are our own worst critic.

**********Sidenote*********** Madison and I had been talking a car ride on Sunday and she was explaining to me how she really loves the relationships she has with my sisters(her aunts) Lisa and Amanda.  (She has struggled sometimes with feeling like she doesn't quite fit in to the Curtis family since Damian is not her biological family)  I was telling her that everyone on both sides of the family love her very much and that I also love the relationship she has with my sisters.  She then starts telling me of some very important times she had the day before.  She was telling me about the few places in the world that Luques has not traveled.  I was asking her when they were talking about it.  She said that everyone was at Mama's house and she saw Luques go outside and sit on the front porch.  She went out and asked if she could sit with him(yup--she gets her creeper skills from me, haha) and he was telling her that he came outside because it was loud inside and they started talking.    And then she started telling me about her and Zaccai also had some time to just talk and she liked being able to have a "moment" with each of them.  She said to me, "It was so nice being able to just have some one on one time with them.  I love Luques and Zaccai, I hope they know that I really think of them as my uncles and I want to be close to them.  I hate that I don't get to see them very much and want to be able see them more and bond with them"

OH GOODNESS-- My eyes got all watery and we just kind of sat there in silence after that.  I hope that I have never given Madison the feeling that she doesn't belong.  All 3 of my children are MY children.. It doesn't matter to me who their father is. I am so pleased with the relationship that my sisters share with my kids, especially with Madison as she is the oldest.  I hope that Zaccai and Luques know that I have always admired how they have treated Madison since she was brought into their lives at only 4 months old.  She looks up to them and cherishes every moment spent with them. They make her feel so important and special and I love it!!  Like Madison, I too hope that EACH of my children shares a unique bond with EACH of the aunts and uncles.  THANK YOU ALL!!!!

Don't forget to check out the Truth Revolution Records website for the most current events and happenings of some pretty awesome artists!!

Weekend Recap 5/23/14- 5/26/2014;

WHEW!!!!  What a fun packed weekend!!

Thanks to those who served our country, those who gave their time and lives for us, and those who are currently serving, we were able to enjoy a 3 day weekend.  Oh how I love 3 day weekends.  there is just something exciting about leaving work on a Friday and knowing you have an extra day to do whatever you please!! But for any of you that didn't have a 3 day weekend or you have to work on the weekend... I am sorry and I definitely feel your pain because I have been there also.  Damian also works on the weekend and sadly, because of work, he was unable to be apart of some of our fun events from this weekend.

May 24, 2014

Friday was another one of my special evenings with Miss Madison.  She, yet again, chose to stay home with me for the night while the little ones stayed at Mama and Popup's house.  We didn't do much...just ran out to the store to grab a few things that we need for Amanda's ( my little sister) Baby Shower which Lisa (my older sister) and I are hosting this upcoming Saturday.  We also stopped by Menchie's... Windsor's little frozen yogurt joint, that Madison and I have been frequenting quite a bit lately. I honestly think that this is why she chooses to stay with me some Friday's... because she can almost always talk me into stopping there..  Hey, what can I say-- I am sucker for giving in to my own sweet tooth!!!

Saturday May 24, 2014

Madison had her usual dance and Myles FINALLY got his hair cut!!  I mean.. he hadn't gotten it cut since a week before Christmas.  And yes, he chose to have his little mohawk style again.  I just can't take how big he is getting..and after he gets his hair cut, he looks like such a "little man."
The little ones hung out with Daddy around the house while I went and did more baby shower shopping with my mom and Lisa.
Madison spent the day with Zaccai and Luques at Mama's house and the Polish National Home rehearsing for a dance she was planning to do for one of the songs they would be playing with Johnny "Little Johnny" Rivero that night. Damian had his own gig in Stamford, so he wasn't able to join us but I know that he has heard from alot of people how "interesting" his kids are and what a great show Johnny put on with his band!!  This was quite the fun evening and worth its own post, so that will be coming!

Sunday May 25, 2014

We didn't really have anything planned for today.  Since we had such a late night on Saturday, we didn't make it to church today.  Truth be told, I don't MAKE my kids so to church, so I am not sure if they would have attended anyway, but since I was extremely tired, I woke up much later than I had planned and trying to make it to church on time wouldn't have happened for me.   I am hoping to redecorate the house this summer and have been looking for some inexpensive pieces that I can do some DIY projects with so Madison, Mayci and I took a trip to Christmas Tree Shops.  It's been almost a year since I had step foot in that store-- Oh how I love it!!

These two are so close!! I love it.  Check out Myles' tie!

Nicole ended up texting me while I was out to see what the kids and I had planned for the day, and because our schedule was open, Nicole, Gianna, and Bella actually met us at the store.  Well, that was an adventure in and of itself.  2 childish and giddy moms with 4 extremely "free" spirited children caused quite the ruckus in the store.  Didn't really find much of what I was looking for and still managed to spend WAY over what I had planned, but a good time it was indeed.  We also stopped by 5 below, for me to spend even more money on things I didn't need before heading home.  At home we just unleashed the kids into the backyard to be attacked by the mosquitoes that seem to be guarding yard.   I didn't get many, if any pics of the kids...but here is one of Nicole and I-- clearly thinking we are still cute and back in high school...just don't mind that extra little pooch hanging out near my stomach-- must be the lighting in the kitchen haha-- I swear I had sucked that in before taking the picture!!  The kids played, fought, got hurt(don't worry--nothing that warranted any emergent care), were loud, got on our nerves, and had a GREAT time.  Nicole and I spent the day catching up on each other's lives, as I do with most of my friends since I see them so few and far between.  For the past 6 years or so we have drifted in and out of each other's lives for various reasons, here's to hoping that this time our re-connection is permanent.  I think we have managed to overcome the things that caused us to separate and in that we have grown up and learned just how importance acceptance for our mistakes, honesty, and forgiveness truly are!

Sometimes, regardless of the circumstances and the events in your lives that have separated you, their is a bond that lies deep within that pulls you back together....  I think that bond is present in Nicole and I .  She will always be an important part of my life and I do love her dearly.  She will always be "Big Stride Nikki" to me-- (inside joke--hopefully she is reading this and remembers)
Nic and her crew left fairly early and the kids and I just lounged around until we fella sleep.  Damian spent most of the day searching for the perfect pair of running shoes for himself and his evening was spent in the studio working on one of his many projects

Monday May 26, 2014
Happy Memorial Day! I posted a quick Happy Memorial Day status on Facebook regarding Memorial Day and unfortunately received some negative feedback in my Facebook inbox.  It actually caught me off guard, while I knew it may have been seen as controversial.  Amazing how some people can have their opinion about things, but once you voice an opposing opinion, it turns into something personal.  Sad, sad, sad!

I took the kids to the Memorial Day parade in Bloomfield.. I also posted a video of Mayci and Myles dancing at the parade on a previous post, but if you didn't get a chance to view  it, feel free to click below:

We watched the parade and the kids waved their flags, Myles complained that he was bored until the first marching band came by, and Mayci didn't like how loud things were and that no one threw her any candy.  When I asked if they had a good time.. they all responded that they I'll take it!!

Here is Mayci's "mad" face when she was yelling about not getting any candy

Seeing how perfect they are in line sometimes makes me miss the road marches and cadence from the Army!

The rest of the day was spent around the house playing, catching up on TV shows(or in my case-my YouTube subscription videos), and taking naps.  No barbecues for us this year..we ended up at Friendly's for dinner and then home for the night!!

Looking forward to the upcoming week--  Brooke's graduation and Amanda's baby shower!! CAN'T WAIT!!

I hope you all had a GREAT weekend and were able to enjoy, hopefully, an extra day for your weekend!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day Dance Off

Here is a little 35 second video of Myles and Mayci as we waited for the Bloomfield Memorial Day parade to start..

I will post more pics from the weekend tomorrow!!

Hope you had a fun filled Memorial Day

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Weekend Recap May 16 - May 18, 2014

Just a normal run of the mill weekend for all of us this past week.

Friday, as usual, Myles and Mayci spent the night at Mama and Pop-Up's house.  Because Madison is older, she sometimes chooses to not stay and this was one of the Fridays.  Okay, well all of the kids get a choice, but for the most part Madison is the only ones that chooses to exercise that decision making ability.

Damian had a gig Friday night so he was out of the house for the evening.  Madison and I lounged around and watched videos and then had a surprise visit from Auntie Lisa.  I actually fell asleep before Madison, so when Damian arrived home, both he and Madison put on a movie and watched it together.  Madison told me later, that she was so happy that she had some one on one time with Damian.  I don't think I ever told him, so hopefully he will read this because I know that would make his day!!

Saturday was a BEAUTIFUL!  We woke up with rain, rain, rain, but by the time we were ready to start the day.. the sun was shining and the air was the perfect temperature.  Madison had dance and Damian had to work(both the norm for for the earlier part of our Saturdays) so we met back up afterwards and took a family trip to Home Depot.  Damian was working on trying to fix some little issue we were having with our living room lights and I have made my mind up that I am now ready to take care of some plants and possible even start a small garden in the backyard.  Madison helped me pick out some plants (3 to be exact) and Damian got whatever the heck it was that he needed.  Madison is also hoping to be able to paint her room soon, so we came home with SEVERAL paint swatches for her to make decisions on.  Mayci and Myles were so excited to be able to ride in the "car" cart thing that Home Depot had so that kept them busy for the trip.

I posted this one on Instagram and FB over the weekend-- sorry for the repeat!!

Madison and "Auntie" Lisa---  these two have such an amazing bond. This pic captures their closeness

Lisa had been spending the day at Rentschler Field for the America Cancer Society's Relay for Life walk in honor of a friend's mother, so Madison and I headed out to join her for a little to show our support.  She had a goal of walking 20 laps and by the time we got there she had walked 11.  We walked 3 with her, stayed for about an hour, and then headed back home so Madison could prep her costumes for dance picture day on Sunday.  Lisa did tell me though that she finished all 20 laps and is still recuperating hahaha!!
Madison and I perfecting our #selfie game, all while supporting a good cause!!

Yup-- that's an orange!! haha

Sunday morning I woke up fairly early because it smelled like the house was on fire... pretty scary-- especially when right after I woke up, Damian woke up saying the same thing.  After walking around the entire house and investigating, it turns out that the engine on our old Sump Pump had burned out-- literally burned out.  It smelled like the house was going to explode.  But everything worked out and before going to work Damian was able to run back to Home Depot, buy and install a new sump pump---there goes some of that savings money were working on!!  The house is just now starting to NOT smell like fire.  the kids were oblivious to everything and spent the day playing outside and getting on my nerves.

Madison had picture day at dance on Sunday so she had to head over and spend about 4 hours changing in and out of costumes and switching her hair up for each routines picture. That's always an extremely hectic time and I am just grateful it is over.  Madison and I  always seem to show our worst sides to each other in circumstances like that :(  But we pulled through-- as always!!

We ended the weekend the same as always, playing video games, getting ready for the upcoming week, and cracking jokes!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend also.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

CANstruction- May 14, 2014

Madison was the part of her CANstruction team at John F. Kennedy Elementary school with some of the other fifth graders.  This group of kids was responsible for standing in front of various grocery stores to ask for donations.  These donations were used to purchase canned good of various kinds to be used for a competition.  The competition allowed for the students to work with architects and engineers to build something out of cans for a statewide competition.  These structures would be judged and awarded "prizes" at the end of the competition.  After being in display for several days, JFK would be breaking down their project and packing up ALL of those cans to then deliver them to the local Windsor Food Pantry.

The kids did a fabulous job. Their slogan was, "When the clock strikes one, hunger is done!"  Their structure consisted of an hourglass, a regular clock, and a sundial.  They won the award for " Best Structural Integrity."  The final can count has yet to be announced by the judges.. I think that do that at the breakdown of each structure.

Throughout the competition day which lasted for 4 hours, the kids were able to visit various booths and learn things about engineering, electricity, home improvement, law enforcement, and fire safety.  They were able to participate in small experiments and even take home some goodies, including a hula hoop that they were able to make out of actual gas pipes. So cool... And YES- I made one of those hula hoops as well!

As someone who has had to utilize the local food pantry for basic needs during rough times, I am incredibly proud of Madison for being involved in something that gives back to the community.  I am actually hoping that next year, her and I can both get more involved in giving back and volunteering in some way in our community.  Such a great way for children to learn to be appreciative of their blessings and acknowledge that there are those less fortunate than their own.

Madison and the teachers, architects, and engineers that made This experience possible for her
The finished product 
The other side of the finished product..isn't that so cool?
Madison and her group...TEAM 4 baby!!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Someone turned 5!

Mr Myles McCoy Curtis turned 5 on Sunday April 27, 2014-- I know, I know...this is a super late post!!  Where does the time go?? I do believe I ask this question at each of my kids birthdays.  WOW!!  I still cannot believe how much of a "little man" Myles has become.

Once again, you know, because of that horrible parent that I am, Myles did not get a birthday party from us this year.  In fact, he didn't really get anything special from us.  His cake was a store bought and he didn't want to decorate it because he was "busy" so I just scrambled to write Happy 5th on it.  I know, I know-- another chance at the Mother of the Year award down the drain!!

 This year his gift was simple... we traded in the Wii Nintendo game system that we had (which, I have to admit was actually a Christmas gift of Madison's from 2009) and upgraded to the Wii U.  I am not exactly sure of all the details and perks of the Wii U, but all 3 kids have seemed incredibly happy with it.  Madison picked out a small lego thing for Myles to build.  He sort of has a thing for legos. (Have I mentioned how much I despise the little legos-- I find them everywhere, especially underneath my foot whenever I have no socks on, but never where they are supposed to be.)

This is Myles expressing his happiness after opening his LEGO gift from Madison.  I LOVE this picture!!

Grandma Virginia, Grandpa Wayne, Lisa, Mama, Pop-up, Anastoria, Nicole, Gianna, and Isabella showed up for some cake and ice cream.  Myles was excited to have his friends over for a visit.  He got some more Spiderman stuff, a magic washcloth, and a whoopie cushion(that Madison actually broke 2 weekends ago- that's a story in and of itself).

Mama and Pop-Up got Myles a Batcave things that he has been playing with quite a bit.  And Grandma Virginia and Grandpa Wayne got him his very own tablet.  He loves it and I think it is great gift although it has been the source of some of our bedtime  disagreements recently.  That's okay though-- we are working on it.  It has recently had some issues with the power button so he has not been able to use it, but Pop-Up thinks he may be able to fix it.

On Saturday May 2nd, Mama and Pop-Up hosted a birthday party for Myles at their house.  How nice of them!  Mama of course made a Super Mario Bros themed cake that I know was the hit of the party.  Not to mention the family and friends that turned out to celebrate my precious little boy!!  I, unfortunately, was battling with some inner struggles, so decided it be best that I stay home.  I did get some cleaning done and was able to send some nice quality time with my favorite big sister, Lisa.  The kids came home late, full, tired, yet full of energy all at the same time.  Needless to say-- there was some good sleep going on in our house Saturday night.

Myles and "the boys"-- Elliott and Gilbert... these are his best friends!!

As always, let me just say thank you to all that made Myles birthday a special event for him.  He is loved by so many and while he may not always say it, I know he is incredibly grateful for all of you!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY (May 10 -May 11, 2014)

Happy Belated Mother's Day to all of you Mother's out there.  I hope you all had a GREAT day/weekend!!

The weather was definitely in our favor this weekend.  The kids Saturday was filled with dance, helping Pop-Up out in the yard, bike rides, signing Mother's Day cards, making mother's day gifts, and watching movies.

Damian and I headed out late Saturday afternoon to New York. We spent the evening watching Luques play with Eddie Palmieri at the Blue Note and then Zaccai playing at FatCat.  Both performances were great as usual and I am glad Damian and I were able to get the chance to get away together for the night.  I, of course, have very limited pics but here are a couple from Luques' gig that Damian took:

Eddie Palmieri and Luques

The band, minus Eddie Palmieri

I am really trying to get better at this whole picture taking thing. I used to be so good.  And between smartphones and digital cameras, I really have no excuse.

Damian ran into several "old" friends and was able to catch up with them, and I also saw some familiar faces like Donald Harrison, Little Johnny, Lummie Span and Igmar Thomas.  It's always rare when I actually know or remember some of the people that we run into when we trek down to the city.

The kids stayed with Mama and PopUp and headed to New Haven on Sunday(mother's day) to see Mama-Ma and Mama's sisters (minus Ada who is loved and missed by all of us, and I am sure her kids were treating her EXTRA special down in Florida)

We rescue Mama and Popup from Madison, Myles, and Mayci in the middle of the afternoon so they could head to New York to spend time with both Zaccai and Luques.

We stopped briefly at Grandma Virginia and Grandpa Waynes' house to visit Grandma and wish her a happy mother's day as well.. The kids got her a card and also presented me with a balloon, card, and some mother's day coupons that Myles has informed are only valid every day until 7:00pm.

The rest of the evening was spent with the kids doing their own thing outside in the backyard(Myles and Mayci played together while Madison wrote some organizing lists), Damian working on some musical projects, and me just resting because I wasn't feeling that great.

Overall, this had been an incredibly wonderful weekend.  I hope everyone else can say the same!!