Saturday, November 15, 2014

Dance Week - Part 1...

The theme in our house last week seemed to be tutus and tights...

A few weeks back I received a notice from a popular blog/website about an upcoming SugarPlum Tea Party at a local dance company, Metropolitan Ballet Theatre & Company.  The reviews from last year's event were amazing and tickets were expected to sell out quickly.  I emailed a co-worker who also has a young daughter and we decided that we'd try it out (not surprisingly, our husbands were DEVASTATED to be freed up on a Sunday morning and immediately made golf plans for the day).  

Although the reviews online from the previous year were fantastic, we still weren't sure what exactly we were walking into at the dance company.  The advertisement promised a ballet class, craft, "tea party," and meeting some of the characters from the Nutcracker.  Georgia and I watched some YouTube videos the night before so she could get a better idea of what exactly "The Nutcracker" was and who the characters were in the ballet.

When we arrived, the place was packed with cute little girls all wearing their favorite (mostly pink) dance outfits!  We were ushered into one of the dance studios that was set up with tables and craft/coloring activities.  Georgia loved decorating her wand...

After that, we moved into another dance studio where all the girls participated in a short ballet class.  I'm always impressed when Georgia follows directions, especially in a large group situation like that.  She was one of the youngest "ballerinas" on the floor, but she did a fairly good job doing what she was told.

My little ballerina in her favorite hot pink tutu

The most entertaining portion of the morning was when the girls ran through a ballet station obstacle course.  Interpreted by Georgia, this meant run and jump as fast as you can...

Once the dance lesson was complete, the girls transitioned back to the other dance studio and enjoyed their "tea party."  As always, I was prepared with a whole bag of safe treats for Georgia because I never know what is going to be served at events like this.  I was pleasantly surprised when they brought out a tray filled with little mini sandwiches, fruit, goldfish and teddy grahams.  Georgia inhaled a strawberry or two, some goldfish and teddies.  Eventually, a tray of beautiful pink cupcakes made its way to our table and Georgia begged for one.  Since I didn't know the ingredients we had to pass (which broke my heart a bit), but I quickly distracted her with some safe chocolate chip cookies I whipped out from my purse!

While the girls snacked, the ballet company's Nutcracker characters made the rounds and took pictures with the little girls.  

Georgia and Molly meeting the "Snow Queen!"

The morning wrapped up with a reading of The Nutcracker story to all the girls...

Where's Waldo/Georgia???

Overall, we thought it was a great local event!  It wasn't expensive, it encompassed a ton of different activities and kept the girls moving the entire time, and everyone had a ton of fun. It was a nice and simple introduction to The Nutcracker and we would definitely attend in future years!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

November Favorites!


1 - Nick and I have a new favorite theater... the iPic Theater in Bethesda/Rockville officially opened a few weekends ago.  When Mimi was visiting at the end of October/beginning of November, Nick and I managed to squeeze in two different movie dates.  One of those nights coincided with opening night at the theater.  AMAZING!  As Nick declared, "We're never going to another movie theater again!"  It had massive comfortable seating and it served food/alcohol.  It was a one stop shop for dinner and a movie!  Who doesn't love watching a movie and sipping on sangria at the same time?!?!  My favorite part was that we reserved our seats ahead of time.  Seems like the place is a hit based on all the Facebook pictures I've seen of friends there over the past few weeks.

2 - Georgia's new favorite thing... hosting birthday parties for herself, her animals, us, visitors, etc.!  Sometimes these parties even involve candles.  Yes, we sing.  Everyone loves a birthday party (in their pajamas)...

We gave her a surprise right back.... trick candles that re-light!

3 - My new favorite thing is sleeping in on Sundays again!  For the past 8 weeks, Georgia had soccer.  But, that came to an end the first weekend in November.  Overall, it was a great experience.  She ended up making some great progress with kicking the ball and did an amazing job every week listening to Coach Alex and following directions! 

Kicking the ball with Mimi before her last class

Getting her trophy from Coach Alex!

4 - Oh KC.  As most people know, our 6 year old cat is not quite the nicest lady on the block.  She's mean to Georgia, who just wants to love on her.  But, the cat loves Nick and I.  As in total 100% devoted love.  Who else would get up with me at 6:15am and make sure that I'm putting my mascara on correctly???  If I don't let her in the bathroom, she slams herself up against the door and howls until I open the door.  For her devotion and dedication, KC makes me favorite list this month!

Up close and personal... way too early for this!

5 - I don't put too much thought into decorating for Thanksgiving.  Don't get me wrong, I like the holiday, but I honestly get more excited about Black Friday shopping than the turkey dinner.  Poor Thanksgiving gets sandwiched in between Halloween and Christmas, which are much bigger deals around here, especially in terms of decorating.  I have a few things that I put out ever year that are "place holders" after the jack-o-lanterns get put away and before the Christmas tree gets dragged out of the basement.  I think my favorite decoration is my fat turkey!

The only new addition to the sofa table for Thanksgiving are the pilgrims!  I keep out the same subway art and glittery pumpkins from September until the end of November.

6 - Girls on the Run is an amazing organization that I've been proud to be a part of for quite a few years.  I was introduced to the program about 5 years ago and have volunteered and helped run the 5K races alongside the kids since then.  This year, I stepped it up a notch and actually coached with some of my coworkers.  At most schools, the girls' parents help run the program.  That's not the case with our school, so the staff have really stepped up to embrace the program and devote their time and effort to making it a successful program for our girls.

The big 5K race for this fall's program is set for this Sunday.  Unfortunately, the weather looks to be QUITE chilly this year as the first cold front of the year pushed into Maryland mid-week and dropped temps far enough for some snow flakes to even fly tonight. 

My shirt is all set and ready to go for Sunday!

7 - And a special shout-out to our favorite daycare director, Miss Nicole.  She's been the director of Georgia's preschool since before Georgia was even born.  She's finally moving onto another endeavor and we wish her the best of luck, but she will certainly be missed!  We're hoping to convince her to come over and "catch up" with G via a babysitting gig here and there because she's the best and Georgia LOVES her!!

Until December (my MOST favorite month of the year!)...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Trick-or-Treating 2014...

Life with a 3 year old is.... well... always unpredictable. 

Last year, Georgia LOVED trick-or-treating.  She ran from house to house yelling to her friends to wait up for her.  If it hadn't started drizzling, I think she would have stayed out all night long.

Totally different story this year.  We really should have expected her reaction considering that everything, absolutely everything, is "scary" these days!

It all started well.  Georgia was definitely revved up while she got dressed in her costume.  Mimi had just arrived, so we all quickly ate some dinner and then headed up to our neighborhood clubhouse for the annual parade.  

Our little panda

A Mimi kitty and a Georgia panda bear

Georgia was pretty excited to see all her little friends at the clubhouse.  I literally could only snap a quick blurry photo from behind because she was off and running with her friends to join the parade.

This year, our neighborhood also hosted a Trunk-or-Treat event in the parking lot of the clubhouse.  Several local businesses decorated cars and joined in the fun distributing candy to the kids.  Georgia was so excited to spot her teachers from school there.  She had big hugs for everyone and they had safe candy for her!

And then we were off... we hit lots of houses right around the clubhouse and Georgia was doing great.  And then the house with the graveyard happened.  Some people got really excited about Halloween and decorated their front yard with gravestones, skeletons, etc.  There were also a few scary kiddos dressed up at the house and Georgia was done.  D-O-N-E.  Done.  Everything became "scary."  Even as her friends ran from house to house, Georgia remained in the safety of her wagon.  We tried luring her out with candy.  Her friends tried to get her out.  Nope, nope, nope.  But, she didn't mind going along for the ride.  She just didn't want to get out of the wagon to approach houses.

At one point, her buddy said, "Come on, Georgia!" and she hopped right out and went to the house (she must have forgotten that she was scared momentarily).  All was good, until she realized there was a skeleton decoration on their porch too.  Oh well.  We tried.  Back into the wagon she went and she remained there for the rest of the night.  Luckily, a lot of people sat out on their front steps or in their driveways, so she did get some candy from lovely people who took pity on her/us and let her do a drive-by in her wagon!  

Safely in her wagon... with skittles (we thought maybe a burst of sugar might inspire her!) and a gazillion light up toys!

Making her move and getting out of the wagon!  (Yes, that is Nick in the hat)

Even though Georgia didn't visit many houses, she still had fun with her friends and we had fun roaming the neighborhood with a big group.  We even bumped into Uncle Nick and Bennett and they joined us for awhile.

We hit up our own street last and we finally convinced Georgia to at least get out of the wagon to visit our neighbor's house.  They were kind enough to buy some special candy for her that was safe for her to eat.  She immediately broke into the giant bag of gummy fish... at 8pm!  But, we quickly discovered that we could use those gummy fish as bribery.  We offered her one fish for each of the houses she would visit on our street and she happily went and visited houses on our street with Mimi.  She would hit a house, come back for a fish and then go to another house.

The grumpy (and tired) panda... still nursing her skittles on the front steps.

Roaming the neighborhood with Mimi

We figured Georgia would be done at that point, but she actually loved distributing candy to the kids who knocked on our door.  We had to remind her that some people had scary costumes, but that it was all just pretend, especially with the big kids who came out later at night.  One poor dad had to whip off his scary mask when he saw her reaction to him - "I'm just a daddy - look!"  

Helping Daddy give out candy after changing into her jammies

Overall, it wasn't the night we expected, especially based on last year.  But, she still had fun.  And for us, the candy doesn't really matter since she can't eat most of it.  Okay, slight lie because Nick and I didn't get much candy to steal from her pumpkin.  Oh well.  We gave out skittles, starburst and pretzels at our house, so she inherited those leftovers directly into her bucket.  I also bought her some special chocolate online and she has loved eating her safe spooky cats and ghost lollipops.  

The weather was perfect for a late night fire with friends/neighbors too...