Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Nutcracker Weekend with Grammy & Grampy

As I've mentioned before, the whole purpose of this blog is to share fun pictures and stories with family and friends but also to keep a sort of family record for Solana and Chloe to keep and enjoy when they're older. Unfortunately, the more fun things we do the less time I have to blog about it defeating the purpose of the blog. November/December seem to be my most difficult blog months. I guess it's more important to make the memories than to document them so I'll be satisfied with that.

Ignoring my previous sentiment I'll now try to "catch up on December." LOL!

We started the month with some of our favorite visitors in the whole wide world! My parents! They arrived Friday afternoon right as Solana got home and surprised her as she got off the bus. The weekend was a whirlwind of activity but we managed to get lots of fun and quality time in.

They came for Solana's Nutcracker weekend. She would be playing the part of Flag Soldier for the Miami Valley Dance Company's annual Nutcracker. The week preceeding the performances was all about rehearsal. My mom and I spent 5 hours at the full dress rehearsal Friday night, then my parents took her to the next full dress from 9-12 on Saturday morning. She had a two hour break before the first performance for which I played the role of backstage mom. After a one hour dinner break Dave and I attended the second Saturday performance. Solana was basically at the Nutcracker from 9am to 10pm with two short breaks. Most of that time was spent hanging out and waiting and, as it turns out, hanging out and waiting is an exhausting endeavor. It was for me, anyway. Solana and the other girls were full of fun and energy. Sunday was easy. One performance attended by my parents. Dave and I didn't even go to that one. I felt a little guilty but not enough to spend another moment there. Solana was sad when it was all over.

This was our first Nutcracker. Some kids do it every year as they graduate from Mouse to Soldier to Clown, to Angel and then join the Company to get bigger and better roles like Party Guest, Snow Flake, Candy Cane, Flower. I can't imagine doing this every year through HS. I think I'd lose my mind! Anyway, I've gone off on a tangent.
Here we are at Friday night's rehearsal. We waited in the Bellbrook HS cafeteria most of the time. Out of the five hours there Solana probably spent about 30 minutes rehearsing her 5 minute part. The hardest part about being the parent of a flag soldier is understanding how much time and effort the girls (and we) put in for such a miniscule role. It's perect for the new students to the school, though, since they don't really know much, yet. Solana didn't care about the amount of time she spent on stage, either, and she loved her costume. She WAS really cute.

The soldiers appear as the Nutcracker battles the Mouse Queen.They ran around in a circle a couple of times and waved their flags here and there. Solana waved her flag perfectly and projected the perfect soldier energy.

She's the second from the right.
On their way to rehearsal on Saturday morning. Solana has no idea how long her day will be. I had no idea how energetic she would be after such a ridiculously long day.

After Saturday morning rehearsal and before the first performance the girls had a dance party with my parents. Here they are dancing to salsa music.
Dancing on my dad's feet - just like the way I did when I was little.
While Solana and I attended her first performance my parents got to spend some quality time with Chloe. First the walked to the park.
Then they got some Chloe snuggles. Dave told me that she woke up grumpy and just wanted to be held for a really long time so he and my dad took turns sittng with her for a long time as the watched tv.

Meanwhile, the mice and the Soldiers "posing" for the moms before the Saturday afternoon performance.

Saturday evening Dave and I needed a picture with our little star.
Solana wanted a picture with one of the big girls and asked this random girl to take a picture with her. She's so funny.

We went out for breakfast Sunday morning. Breakfast was yummy.

My mom helped Solana get ready for her final performance.
This picture cracks me up because my mom's pooching out her lips as she applies Solana's lipstick. By the way, hairspray does wonders to remove lipstick from polyester. As we arrived for the first dress rehearsal on Friday I put Solana's lipstick on. As it turns out, putting bright red lipstick on a 7 year-old before shoes is a really bad idea. She put her foot up on the chair and immediately rested her lips on her white pants. All the mothers around gasped in horror for fear of the dance director's reaction. She's pretty scary so I have to admit I was a little scared myself. I sprayed some hairspray and rubbed with a wet wipe and "Poof!" it was gone! I coudn't believe it!
Grammy with her Flag Soldier star.
Grampy with his Flag Soldier star.
Monday and Tuesday are kind of a blur and it appears I didn't take any pictures. Solana stayed home from school on Monday to spend time with my parents. Chloe was home by 11 on both days so she didn't miss much.

Highlights I remember:
-Marathon walk. I think we walked for about an hour to the dentist where Dave picked up some medicine. The walk was my idea. I think we were all pooped by the time we got home but felt glad to have done it.
-The fact that my dad actually enjoyed and was satisfied by two meatless meals. The concept of filling vegetarian meals is foreign to my dad and he was skeptical to say the least. He has endured his fair share of heart surgeries to include a quadruple bypass a few years ago and I feel like it's my duty to feed him some healthy meals when we're together. The first was my favorite soup: Tomato, Kale, and Barley, served with fresh whole wheat free form bread. He kept asking Dave (on the sly) if he should go pick up some fried chicken or something to go with the soup.  I've forgotten the second but after both meals I puffed with pride at how impressed he was with having reached satiation from my vegetarian meal.  But the other thing that stands out to me is that my dad was noticing that he slept better at night and felt fewer aches and pains while he was here and wondered if it could be the food. I truly believe in the power of healthy food and wouldn't doubt it.
-Shopping with my mom for Solana's earrings and learning that you don't enter a jewelery store with the word "diamond" in the name if you're looking for a $40 pair of earrings for a 7 year-old.
-My mom getting after the dogs because they're pathetic attention hogs, "Bluebell and Monty! I didn't come here to see YOU!"
-Feeling so happy that Solana and Chloe adore my parents as much as I do.


Angela Maggard said...

Aw, I wish that we could have been there to see Solana, but I'm thankful that you inspired a new tradition for us!! We love going to the Nutcracker, and Jas even asked to come... He unfortunately didn't have enough time off in the end... Maybe next year!!! :) Solana's pictures are beautiful! I love the ones of your parents dancing with the girls!!

Angela Maggard said...

Aw, I wish that we could have been there to see Solana, but I'm thankful that you inspired a new tradition for us!! We love going to the Nutcracker, and Jas even asked to come... He unfortunately didn't have enough time off in the end... Maybe next year!!! :) Solana's pictures are beautiful! I love the ones of your parents dancing with the girls!!

Grammy said...

I just finished reading these beautiful memories again and will do so often. We enjoyed our visit so much, and adore each of you as we'll! Thank you for your beautiful words .