Archive for November, 2014

Little Student

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Gabby has really progressed over the past few months, especially her reading. Ms. Verbon is her kindergarten teacher and is teaching the second generation of Plasters since she taught Morgan and Jillian, and then Coleman two years ago. Gabby did well on her first report card and received E’s for excellent progress in English, math, reading, science/computer and Spanish. She got E- and S+ (satisfactory) in different behavior categories, so there’s a bit of improvement there. I think her biggest issue is talking too much, and as Gabby likes to remind me, “Gabby means talkative.” Basically, if I didn’t want her to talk so much, I shouldn’t have named her Gabby. Silly me!

Gabby’s favorite part of school is making friends, and it sounds like she has her own little crew on the playground. Every day we hear about who has a crush on whom. It freaks me out, but I am not sure what to do at this point. Speaking of friends, watch this video of Gabby explaining how one can be a good friend.

One of the best experiences I’ve had with  Gabby this year was when she and I went to Austin a day earlier than Brian and Coleman. We were in town for Stephanie and Amanda’s wedding in Georgetown and to visit with all of our old friends. Gabby could not have been better behaved on the flight to Austin and when we waited 45 minutes for our rental car. She played well with Jack McGlashan while we stayed at his house and adapted very well to her new surroundings. I think getting alone time with each kid is really important, and I plan to do more of it.

On the tram at McCarran.

Our first stop was a great little lunch at Second Bar & Kitchen. When we were leaving around 2:00 p.m., a group of sorority girls was telling the hostess they were there to have “cocktails.” My first thought was that my group of friends at Sewanee never uttered that phrase when we were in college.

Even though I lived in Austin for 5 years, this was my first time visiting the zoo, which I highly recommend for anyone with kids. It was very laid back and a great environment for the animals.

There were lots of different animals at the petting zoo.

I loved that Gabby and Jack could spend time together. The dynamics would have been very different if Coleman had been with us.

Later that day we met up with Dorie, Henry and George Pickle for some swimming and takeout. I was impressed with Gabby’s ability to hang out with two boys she did not know. They all played really well together in the pool and on the sport court. And I was happy to catch up with my best grad school buddy.

Gabby Plaster and Henry Pickle - I like that name combo. Note that Gabby is still wearing her sassy dress. Lord only knows what she’ll do when she grows out of it. She loves it more than any of her baby blankets.

When Coleman arrived that night around 11:00, the trip immediately became more difficult. All four of us were in a tiny hotel room, and the kids wouldn’t go to sleep until Brian and I would. So annoying!

We had BBQ in East Austin the next day with Hampton. Food truck style.

Gabby is ready for her first wedding! I love that Gabby’s first wedding was a lesbian wedding.

When it was time for speeches at the wedding, it didn’t take Gabby long to understood the format. She begged me to let her give a speech, and even thought I’m a Toastmaster, I said “Go ask your Daddy.” Brian was initially reluctant because he was scared that she wouldn’t actually go through with it. After a bit of convincing on Gabby’s party, Brian took her up there after the last speech was given and said “My daughter has been begging to make a speech. Here she is.” In her sweet little voice, Gabby said “I’ve known Stephanie and Amanda since dinner.” (She meant since we all had dinner in Vegas several weeks prior.) “I think they are both pretty great.” Her speech was a hit, and I was so proud that she could speak in front of 100+ people, most of whom she did not know.

The second best part of the wedding reception was the photo booth. It kept the kids HIGHLY entertained. I am pretty sure they spent more time in the booth than anyone else. This is only a handful of the pictures Gabby took.

We had one shot with Stephanie, my old friend from the American Cancer Society.

I’m hoping I’ll have photos to share at some point, but the third best part of the wedding was Gabby getting her stank face on while dancing. The kid was OUT OF CONTROL dancing as hard as she could and even rolling around on the floor a bit. Even I couldn’t keep up with her.

The next day, Mel and Jason had us over for brunch, and we got to spend time with all of our Austin buddies.

Then we headed to Pluckers to see our good friend Kimmi before heading to the airport.

What is fun? Watch this video of Gabby explaining when the fun ends.

Gabby had a blast at Grace Bell’s birthday party. I love Frozen as much as the next guy, but I was really glad Gabby didn’t chose Anna or Elsa for her Halloween costume.

We went to Sunrise Hospital to meet the newest member of the Westerman family - Nicolina.

Gabby poses with the football she painted for Kindergarten Night at The Meadows Football Game.

We took family photos, and our photographer and good friend Ginny Trudeau brought out the props. I’m glad Coleman was okay with making his little sister feel like a princess.

Brian attended Gabby’s Halloween party at The Meadows. I couldn’t get away from work.

Gabby and Madison Schubert

The funny thing about this picture is that Brian has the same yellow Wolverine costume.

Gabby’s costume is a classic and fits this scenery perfectly.

It was observation week at Nevada Ballet Theatre Academy two weeks ago. Gabby loves her ballet class with Ms. Diana.

Brian and I were Gabby’s “show and tell” on November 20. I told all of the kindergartners what it is like working at the city of Las Vegas and being in Parks & Recreation. Brian explained the nuances of mountain biking. We were allowed to hang out afterwards and watch the children rehearse their Grandparents Day routine.

We celebrated Thanksgiving at Wendy and Richard’s this year, and we all had a great time. The kids always love being the center of attention, and we were okay with each of them getting time to perform. Gabby sang “Turkey in the Straw” and did a poem about grandparents.

The next day, we went to the Sugar Factory for dinner to use a $250 gift certificate that Jillian won before it expired. $50 of that went to pay for the King Kong super sundae. I’m pretty sure the kids want to go back.