Sunday, January 18, 2009

Why I've been a lame blogger.........

This is it, the reason I've been such a lame blogger. This is what caused all other things to go by the wayside, Christmas prep, Christmas cards, cooking, sleep, haircuts (Blake had to have hair long enough to comb over, so we grow it out starting in Sept., and the girls had to be as long as possible too), time with friends, probably some school work, and barely clinging on to my new calling I got right in the middle of this whirlwind! The Nutcracker has become a holiday standard for our family. This is Alexa's fourth year in a row trying out and making it. She was a gingerbread cookie, mouse, mouse again, and now the ever so desired (by us) party girl. Blake was a party boy last year and loved it, but this year he wasn't 100% positive he wanted to try out until the day came, and then he really wanted to. This year he was cast as the roll of Fritz for the party scene. We just cracked up, as he is the only boy who tried out who does not take any dance! He was so excited. I was just happy that he and Lex would be going to most of the same practices because this year Mally got asked to be a gingerbread cookie! You can not try out for the Nutcracker until you are 7, so the cookie part is an invited part. This may be our only year to have three kids in it so it was kinda special for me. Next year Mally may miss the try outs by a few days because her birthday falls right before they usually do them, and who knows how many years Blake will want to try out. To say it was a major undertaking is a major understatement! From the first of October to the final performance, we had 39 scheduled events (practices, dresses rehearsals, shows, parties, etc.) to be at for the Nutcracker! And then there was normal life on top of that. We love being backstage, so I sign up for as many "helping mom" duties as possible. Oh, I forgot, with each child you have in the Nutcracker, you have to perform 10 service hours or be billed for them at $10 an hr. Some people have thought this sounds crazy, but it really takes a "village" to run the show. I did most of my hours as a backstage mom and Todd even helped out with some parking lot patrol hours. (Making sure everyone was safe and our cars we not broken into on those dark, rainy nights) We really had to live and breathe it this year with three kids in it! I think the experience they get, working with such professionals, is priceless! Lexa as a mouse for two years and now joining Blake in the party scene means they get to work with all the company members of Central West Ballet. It doesn't get better than that for them. These kids are so great to them and I am in awe of how much fun they make it for my kids. It is so fun to hear them come home with the crazy stories of interacting with all the older kids and the directors Renee and Leslie. Miss Debbie, the director of Julines School of Dance, was Mallory's cookie teacher, and Miss Kirsten was Blake and Alexa's. They were also so great with the kids. Here are just a few of our pics....oh, warning-stage makeup makes them look so scary everywhere but on stage!
Alexa was thrilled to get the "brown dress". She has been eyeing them for years now and knows her favorites. This was her #1 choice.

Mally was such a cute little cookie! It was so cute when she found us in the audience , while performing, and gave us some extra big kisses. Her cookie costume was new this year. Miss Kirsten designed and made them all her self and they were so beautiful! This pic does not do them justice and the Mother Ginger skirt that they come out from underneath was taller than me. Three adults were under the skirt pushing her on a rolling platform. Central West's production got a few really cool upgrades this year!

Blakie was so cute as Fritz. He was so animated on stage and stayed in character so well. My favorite Blake story of the season was when I picked him up from practice one of the 39 times, and it was one of the first that the party girls and boys had merged into one practice. I asked Lex how he was doing and she said he was doing really well. Then Blake butted in saying, "but I only had to make a few changes to my part". Ok, so immediately I was worried, and asked what he meant. He told me that when the other party boys start leaving the party at the end of it, instead of waving or shaking hand, he decided to "rock" one of them and another throw up a "hang ten" sign! I was horrified and asked if Renee or Leslie (who are a husband and wife team who danced with Salt Lakes Ballet Co. for years) saw any of this! He thought that they hadn't and I made him promise to never, ever do it again, or change anything on his own. I am still not sure if he got why it was a bad idea. I tried to explain to him that in a Victorian setting, this would never happen. He still looked at me like I was the crazy one.
Blake was also kinda ticked at his costume this year. Mostly because it was the same as last year and he thought is was so babyish last year (with the sailor bib and all), and so this year being Fritz, he dreamed up a much better one in his head. The day he came home from costume fittings, he came in looking so sad and when he told me why I felt bad for him. Carrie the costume designer tried to make him feel better by telling him that in those days, sailor things were considered good luck. He didn't care.

One of the funnest parts of the Nutcracker is doing it with our friends! This year Lindsey, a BonBon, got to share a dressing room with Alexa, the party girl. Of course they all like to do what ever they can to torture Blake and he loves every minute of it!

This picture is to simply show Alexa's hair. I had to so some serious ringlets this year. I knew when Alexa was cast a party girl that I would be doing "party girl hair", but then I got hit with a double whammy because they decided to let the cookies have ringlets instead of a bun. Wow, to say the very least we were so, so, so happy to be done with those. After doing it nine times between two girls (Mally had a school performance that the party scene was not in, so Lex got out of one time), even I, who loves doing hair was sick of it!
I guess some may think we are crazy for putting ourselves through this during our Holiday season. I, on the other hand, can't imagine the Holidays with out it. I cry every time my kids walk off stage for the last time, probably due to partially to exhaustion :), but I am really sad it is over. And believe it or not, so are they. Will we try out again next year? Absolutely. We'll take the opportunity any time we get it.


Valerie said...

their ringlets kill me! i could never do them that good.......i don't think anyone could! lex looks a bit "annie" in that picture with the tank-top!

Molly said...

(I agree, those ringlets are pretty darn amazing!) Whew, I'm exhausted just reading about all the work it takes to be in a production like that! fun to see all the pictures!