5 Dollars

My life as an at-home momma of 3 amazing kids...it's kind of like shoveling snow in a blizzard.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Why I love Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus

I love Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus). I love that my kids love her. She has a good image and seems like a pretty good kid. She seems genuine when you hear her talk. She dresses stylishly, but not all trampy. And I *LOVE* all the positive messages her music is giving to my kids, especially my girls! She tells them that they can be whatever they want to be and that it's OK to make mistakes as long as they try!

I Got Nerve

I know where I stand
I know who I am
I would never run away when life gets bad
It's everything I see
Every part of me
Gonna get what I deserve
I got nerve

Who Said
Who Said,
Who said I can't be superman
I say,
I say that I know I can
Who said,
Who said I won't be president
I say,
I say you ain't see nothin' yet
Go on and make some noise
Every girl has her choice
To lead their own parade
I do it my own way

Life's What You Make It
Don't let no small frustration
Ever bring you down...No, no, no, no!
Just take a situation
And turn it all around!
With a new attitude, everything can change
Make it how ya want it to be
Staying mad, why do that... give yourself a break
Laugh about it and you'll see!
Chorus #1:
Life's what you make it,
So lets make it rock (make it rock)
Life's what you make it
So Come on, come on.... come on EVERYBODY NOW!

Nobody's Perfect
Nobody's perfect!
I gotta work it!
Again and again til I get it right.
Nobody's perfect!
You live and you learn it!
And if I mess it up sometimes,
Nobody's perfect...

Every little girl needs to hear things like that to help empower them as they grow into strong women! You go Miley! I have no problem going out this fall to buy Ruby a "Hannah Montana" wig and microphone so that she can be Hannah for Halloween.

Can she be drawn-and-quartered?

A story in today's Indianapolis Star reports that ex-Carmel bus driver Judith Van Meter did not check her bus to see if all the students were off on August 20th. This resulted in a 5-year-old girl being left alone on the bus on an 80-degree August day.

Five and 1/2 hours later, at 1:54 p.m., the video camera on the bus showed the driver talking to the poor, hot and sweaty little girl! The student was already considered missing at that time. The bus driver reportedly told her,
"Why don't you lay down and take a nap? . . . Just stay down until the other kids come, and then I'll get you up." The driver also later lied to police, saying she had checked the bus and that she found the girl inside the school!

Thank goodness the weather wasn't hotter and the little girl ended up all right. If this had happened during the recent 90-degree heat wave, the outcome could have been tragic. The bus driver has been fired, but if I were the little girl's parents, I'd be ready to to have her drawn-and-quartered on top of it.

In Memorium

I'll always remember Diana like this. Young, beautiful, full of humor and a magnetic energy.

And I'll always remember how my heart broke when I saw Prince Harry's card that said "Mummy" perched atop those white flowers.

I'm so sorry that her boys had to grow up without her. I think she would be proud of the young men that they have grown into.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Top bunk!

Kaylee and Ruby have a bunk bed that has a full-sized futon on the bottom and room for a twin mattress up top. They've slept together in the full bed at the bottom for almost 2 years now. For the first year, Keithen was in the top bunk. Almost a year ago he took that mattress to his own room and the top bunk became a "play loft" with no mattress. Last night we got a twin mattress with new Diego sheets and blankets. Kaylee moved up into the top bunk by herself. Hopefully both girls will sleep much better with no one kicking them or rolling on top of them. (You saw the "pretzel girls" picture last week.)

The gang checking out the new space.

Moving her stuffed animals into the new bed. Of course Webkinz get "priority seating" up there! LOL!

Big girl hanging out in the top bunk.

Ready for bed.

Organizing her shelves today. She got a new booklight and an alarm clock as well.

Friday, August 24, 2007

We had a house guest last night

We had a little house guest last night. Kaylee finally got her turn to bring home the class pet, Max. Her teacher picks one student each day who has had a good day and they get to bring home a stuffed dog along with a journal. The child is supposed to write about what Max did while visiting their home. Max was very busy last night. He met Kaylee's Webkinz, watched Pokemon movie with her, helped her do her homework, went for a ride in the car with us, had pizza for dinner and watched a magic show.

She had to have fancy hair and a nice dress for when she reads her page in the Max journal to the class.

Run Kaylee Run! I love the way she's completely airborne in this picture. This was right before the game of tag turned into a skinned knee for Ruby.

Sister love.

Max is safely tucked away in his bag and ready to return to school.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

SYTYCD - The tour

Our tickets to the SYTYCD tour arrived today. We got two - one for me and one for Ruby. She doesn't know yet. The show isn't until November and I don't think I could deal with over 2 mos of "is it today Mommy?" I think she'll be so excited to get to go. I know I am!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Some pictures of the girls

THIS is what I found when I went to wake Kaylee up for school this morning. They looked like pretzels. Can you believe I actually managed to get her out of bed without disturbing Ruby?

Then I sent Jaguar Girl off to school.

Just look at that hair! It's getting so long!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

SYTYCD - The Finale

Congratulations to Sabra! How great to finally have a woman win. I bet it was really close between her and Danny. I thought he might have clenched it with his performances in the final week. I hope this really launches her career. It will be interesting to see where she goes next.

BOO! to the producers for that huge waste of time "e-card" of Cat & Nigel "dancing" together. Hello guys.....we'd have rather had a few moments with our winner after the results were announced instead of that ridiculous (in a bad way) moment in TV history.

4 years, 6 months, 2 days

4 years, 6 months, 2 days - that's how long Ruby nursed.

She's been skipping days for a while now and I was really feeling ready to be done. (After all, counting her siblings, I've been nursing for 8.5 years straight!) So last week we made a contract.

Here are a couple of pictures of the two of us cuddled up together after she fell asleep nursing for the very last time a week ago Friday.

So, what was our agreement? She's been bugging me for about 6 months now to let her "get her ears punched." I told her if she could be a big girl and not nurse anymore, then she could go to the "Hannah Montana store" (a.k.a. Club Libby Lu) and get her ears pierced. In the past week she only asked to nurse once, and immediately followed the request with saying, "I mean I want scratchy" (me to rub/scratch her back). I didn't even have to remind her that she didn't nurse anymore.

So today we headed off to Libby Lu for the big moment. I was a little nervous about how she'd react if it hurt and praying that they would do both ears at the same time. She was as excited as could be.

She got sprinkled with fairy dust, picked out some sparkly rhinestone earrings and climbed up in the big pink chair. While the ladies cleaned her ears and got everything ready, she was enjoying listening to the Hannah Montana music and watching some other little girls who were dressed up and singing and dancing around. I was busy choking back tears at the thought of how BIG my littlest girl suddenly seemed.

She sat so still and quiet while they lined up the guns to pierce her ears. Not one single noise or even one tear from her. She looked a little surprised when it was done, like she wasn't sure that was all there was to it.

Admiring her new bling-bling in the mirror.

Close up of the rock star in the mirror.

It's a girl thing!

And here she is on the way home with her new bling-bling and her certificate. She couldn't wait to get home to show Daddy, Kaylee and Keithen.

How blessed both of us are that we were able to outgrow her need to nurse together, in our own time.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

In Memorium

I can't believe it's been 30 years. I was about Kaylee's age when Elvis died. I remember how unbelievably upset I was. His movies and music had been such a huge part of my childhood.

SYTYCD - 8/15 - the Final 4

I loved Lacey & Sabra's partner dance. I was very shocked by the judges' reaction to it. I thought it was beautifully done. They handled the stylized movement wonderfully and made it look natural. They were committed to the characters. The piece had nice levels.....good contrasts between the fast and slow sections and they were well-connected to each other.

Lacey & Danny's waltz was so classy and elegant. And I actually really liked the way they were lit. It looked as if they were dancing outside on a starlit night.

Danny & Neil's partner dance was full of energy and athleticism. Mia did a wonderful job of blending their strengths into the choreography. Did anyone else notice that Neil missed the leap over Danny's head that was shown in the package at the top? They showed him going over Danny's head in the rehearsals, but in the performance he went over his left shoulder instead.

Sabra's solo was just joyful. And the cha-cha showed off her sexy side, which we haven't seen a lot of prior to this.

Interesting choice of music for Danny's solo - LOL! OMG.....like 6 soaring, perfect grand jetes in a row followed by about 16 pirouettes.....and he still comes out of it like he was just taking a walk. That boy is perfection personified. It was so beautiful that I teared up. That solo clinched it for me.....when he danced it, I said, "He just won."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

SYTYCD - Results 8/13 - FINALLY!

After a long wait over the weekend, we finally got the results of the last elimination show Monday night. The producers were very smart and cleared the theatre last week when the show was filmed. There were some reported "spoilers" going around the blogs over the weekend, but thankfully they were wrong. Danny was indeed safe, along with Neil, Lacey and Sabra. Our final four!

Sabra was such a little ball of energy. She was all over that stage.

Although I've never been a big Lauren fan, I have to say that her solo last night was my favorite of all three girls. That series of pirouettes was great. Too bad she seems to have peaked so late in the competition.

Lacey's solo was much better than last week. Not quite so "stripper-esque" as before.

I liked Pasha's solo. Very fun and the bit with the suspenders was cute. His personality will be missed in the finals.

And Neil.....wow. He has grown so much. I really think that he embodies that masculine quality that Nigel is often kvetching about reguarding the ballet and comtemporary dancers. He manages grace without seeming feminine.

I loved Danny's solo. I could watch him forever. I was so relieved to hear he was safe after the rumors that flew around the net this weekend.

Two more shows this week - the final 4 on Wednesday and the finale on Thursday. Then two and a half more months until the tour hits town.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

So You Think PEYTON Can Dance?

The SYTYCD results show will be delayed until next week so we can see the Colts and Cowboys slug it out in tonight's preseason game. Since we'll be missing out on the dancers tonight, how about a little video of Peyton dancing instead?

Peyton's 8th grade Tango - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSeIXjN33cE

Or how about Peyton dancing on SNL? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiLtPPeT8Z4


SYTYCD Weds 8/8

Pasha & Lacey – Hip Hop
The choreography was very clever. I loved the little “heartbeat” Lacey did before she really joined in the dance. Their musicality was absolutely wonderful. I totally bought Pasha as a Hip Hop dancer. Very cute and corny and "Tranji-esque." Lacey really captured the style of movement needed for the mannequin. (And it forced her to stop mugging for the camera!) The run around they did where she had to pivot on one foot but remain stiff at the same time was smoothly executed. I also loved Lacey’s costume. Wardrobe actually made her look hot without putting her in something resembling underwear or a negligee.

Sabra’s solo
I love to watch her move. Her extension is always perfect. The energy just flows right out of her. I didn’t care for the way she was lit. (Surprise!) The light was too harsh on her face and she had that washed-out, over-exposed look to her.

Lauren & Danny – Contemporary with Mia
Finally! Mia finally gets her hands on Danny! Oh joy! Thank you…thank you…thank you!!! I missed the rehearsal package at the top so I didn’t get to hear Mia talk about the piece. (Would love a link if anyone finds the complete package!) I loved the whole first part of it up to Danny’s amazing pirouettes below the stairs. They moved so well together and really complimented each other. The part where she launched herself at him with complete abandon and then he caught her and they fell forward was powerful and smoothly executed. I had mixed feelings about the running across the bridge at the end. I wish that space had been clear of spectators so that it could have been filmed from downstage instead of from behind them. Not so much a gripe with the way it was danced but with the limitations of how it had to be shot with all those people in the way.

Pasha’s solo
The use of the dressmaker’s dummy with the gown was an interesting way for a ballroom dancer to overcome the disadvantage of not having a partner! I wondered if this was a partner routine of his that he adapted to perform as a solo. Whatever the case, it worked very nicely.

Sabra & Neil – Jazz
Awesome! I loved these two together! Their musicality was right on and their energy was amazing. The plank he did above her on the table showed so much strength and control. The lift they did with her high up in the air in the splits was absolutely stunning. Neil’s leap had such power and elevation. There was so much intensity in both their physical movement and in their connection. Definitely an all out polished performance. Possibly my favorite piece of the whole season.

Lauren’s solo
Her pirouettes were lovely. Other than that I didn’t really feel it was especially memorable.

Lacey & Pasha – Smooth Waltz
So romantic and dreamy! What woman wouldn’t want to waltz with Pasha? He is such a wonderful partner and always makes his ladies look so good. Their rise and fall was very nice and their movement just flowed like water. They looked absolutely elegant as they moved across the floor. The roll around lifts where she went over his back were beautifully executed. The only fault I could find was the same one the judges mentioned, sometimes Lacey’s hands weren’t extended quite right and looked awkwardly placed instead of elegant.

Neil’s solo
Instead of just linking a series of show-off tricks together, Neil performed a grounded solo that really did show off his talents. I finally figured out what one of the things I really love about Neil is – he’s like this little ball of energy that explodes without warning whenever you least expect it. The power in that leap near the start where he just launched himself and flew around in mid-air followed by the soft, cat-like landing. His arabesque was just beautiful, still and extended with such tension. But then came the contrast of the powerful flips that he flew through but finished with such control. This was definitely one of the best solos of the season because it really showed such an amazing range of what Neil is capable of doing.

Lauren & Danny – Disco
My least favorite couple number of the night. I didn’t especially care for the choreography. I liked Sara’s disco piece much better. I do like Danny and Lauren as a couple. I think physically she’s the best match he’s had all season. I felt that the lift they did after the “death drop” was a little awkward looking. She wasn’t quite centered and he had to adjust her in the lift.

Lacey’s solo
Yet another costuming disaster for Lacey.....she's back in the negligee. Why does she keep getting put into things that make her look thick round the middle? I swear wardrobe managed to make Donyelle look thinner last year with everything they put on her but everything they give Lacey adds pounds. What’s the deal? I didn’t really care too much for Lacey’s solo either. She looked so “tarty” to me, like she was just wiggling around shaking her booty. Not a lot of variety or energy. And I really could have done without the part where she stuck her butt in the camera. YIKES! I felt like I was supposed to tip her when she was done.

Sabra & Neil – Paso Doble
I loved both of their costumes. Sabra really used the skirt to her advantage. I think I caught Neil looking like he was catching flies a couple of times. The lift was so strong.

Danny’s solo
As always, his leaps were just beautiful. I really enjoyed watching the flow of his arm movements this time around. Every movement seemed so natural and effortless.

So who's going to get cut? I absolutely can't pick. At this point I'd have to say my four favorites are Sabra, Neil, Danny and Pasha.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Children's Museum advisory panel

Keithen and I were lucky enough to get a spot on the Children's Museum's advisory panel to help develop a new exhibit. The tentative title is "Global Perspectives" and it will be replacing the "Passport to the World" area of the museum. The new exhibit is set to open sometime around May of 2009. We'll probably be meeting monthly to give our input until then.

We went to our first meeting on Monday night and found out a bit about their plans for the exhibit so far. There will be a general area that will compare how things are done in different cultures, say maybe how people communicate around the world. Then there will be a more country-specific area that will change out to a new country every 3 years or so. The first country they will focus on will be Egypt. They are considering a 90 minute long "cultural immersion" experience where you go in and learn something about the culture (maybe traditional dress, cooking a native dish, a dance or song) and then everyone comes back together to celebrate a ritual of the culture.

Both of us enjoyed the discussion we participated in this week and we are anxious to see what direction the group goes in and how the project evolves. I'll keep you updated on what we learn and do!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Catching up on life..........

It's been a while since I've posted any pictures or blogged about the kids.

We had a brief visit from Mamaw Betty last Friday. The kids were very excited to show off their rooms for her.

Last weekend was the annual summer reunion at cousin Stan's house on the river. Of course that always means a bunch of wet and muddy kids. Keithen opted not to go splashing in the river this year, but the girls were filthy enough for all three of them by the time they were done. Notice how, in the third picture, Ruby is only holding one swimming shoe. The other one got lost in the water somehow.

This is what Keithen looks like most of the time right now.....nose still crammed into Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I'm hoping he finishes soon so no one ruins it for him. You should see this poor kid getting off the bus with his backpack stuffed full of homework plus his HP book. If nothing else, he's going to grow some muscles this year!

Keithen and Kaylee have been back to school for two weeks now. Today is Kaylee's first spelling test. Studying for spelling has been a little stressful for her this week. Her words included at, am, cat, jam, had, dad.....stuff like that. If she thinks those are hard then I am already dreading the rest of the year! I have discovered that she studies differently than Keithen. He would rather you quiz him orally on his words. Kaylee would rather you ask her the word and then let her write it down.

Kaylee requested big "Hermione" or "Goldilocks" hair today for her school pictures. Ruby wanted hers braided overnight too. My arms were so tired after doing both of them up in tiny braids last night!

I forgot to mention that on Sunday Keithen and I went to see Harry & the Potters play outside at Fountain Square. They put on a really fun show. We just wore our DA shirts, but several people did come in costumes. The best was the girl who came as Hermione after the Polyjuice potion went wrong - school robes with cat ears and a tail!

Then on Tuesday night we went to see Bianca Ryan and Corbin Bleu. (Ally & AJ and Drake Bell performed too, but we left after Corbin's set.) We won the tickets from IndyMoms. This was Keithen's first concert in a big venue. Bianca is only 12 years old but she sure has a set of pipes on her! Watching Corbin and his crew dance was a big treat. I know Shane Sparks has done some of his choreography so that was a bit of a bonus. I'm pretty sure he was actually singing too and not just lip-syncing to a track. (And if you're not tired of listening to me b*tch and moan about camera work in my SYTYCD posts, the camera work at the concert wasn't so hot either. HELLO.....when Corbin's introducing his band, how about you point the camera at the musician he's talking about instead of a close up of Corbin's face?)

SYTYCD Results 8/2

I wasn't too surprised about who went home last night. Dominic and Sara are talented, but I think they've reached about as far as they can within the competition. (What was the deal with the chair last night? Sorry.....I thought that was stupid, not clever!) I really would have prefered Lauren to go home before Sara though. Sara has shown a lot of growth throughout the competition and I usually find her much more engaging to watch.

I was surprised to find Neil in the bottom 2 guys. I thought Danny would be on that other stool after the miserable hip-hop he did Weds. night. (Plus, doesn't a shirtless routine + Mia Michaels weepy routine = a free pass?)

I think Shane Sparks has been smoking the same stuff as Wade Robson. I loved the group number last night. It totally made up for the toothless routine he did on Weds. night. Click here to watch the opening number.

Next week we should lose Lauren, leaving Lacey and Sabra as the final two girls. I think that one is a given. The boys are much harder to call though. I really like all three of them. I suspect it may come down to Danny and Pasha though.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

SYTYCD Weds 8/1

Danny & Sara - Argentine Tango
I thought they partnered pretty well. I really wanted to see a lot more give and take between the two of them though and more work in a close embrace. Did they spend so much time apart because there was fear of them not pulling off the frame? His endless pirouettes make me dizzy just watching, but somehow he manages to maintain his center and stride right out of them as if he was never even turning. While the acrobatics were impressive, they didn't work for me in the context of the piece. More tango and less showing off please! (But once again, that's a gripe for the choreographer.) Not as hot as I'd have anticipated.

Danny & Sara - Hip Hop
Can we PLEASE fire the camera men now? I am so sick of them allowing people to dance right out of the frame. It really looks like amature night.
The dancers took a lot of teasing about their costumes. Yeah, in today's light they look pretty ridiculous. But back in the day when Salt & Peppa were hot, those outfits would have fit right in. As for the dancing, I was disappointed. I didn't know what to expect from Danny, but I felt Sara should have been better since she was dancing something close to her own style. Maybe she was compensating to attempt to match Danny? Whatever the case, it didn't work. They weren't matched and there was no magic at all here. It was kind of like hip hop for little kids.....it needed more of an edge to it.

Lauren & Dominic - Krump
I wasn't all that impressed with this one either. I never felt drawn in and the energy wasn't as strong as I would expect from Krumping. Lauren was supposed to run across Dom's back but instead she fell off. She did a reasonable job of covering up her mistake.

Lauren & Dominic - Rumba
Overall, I liked this. I was very disappointed that Dom just did not have the Latin hips down at all. He has a fabulous build for this kind of dance, if only he'd work those hips! They were very sexy together and I thought their lines were very well matched. I did catch Lauren doing an awkward little catch-up step to correct herself after coming out of a spin towards the end.

Lacey & Neil - Latin Jazz
I was really excited about this one before they did it. I ended up with mixed feelings though. I had to re-watch it this morning. Last night, at first glance, I liked the lift. This morning, when I watched it again, I was annoyed because I felt they actually wimped out with it. It seemed to me that Lacey was probably not intended to be holding on like that. She looked unbalanced and scared up there, like they couldn't find their center. And I just wanted to smack her and tell her to stop looking at her camera and look at that hot man with no shirt on! I finally got into the last part of it, after the lift. I think there was more of a sense of abandon to the dance from that point on which made it fun to watch. Maybe Neil can give Dom some lessons on that hip action.

Lacey & Neil - Mia's Contemporary
I felt like the two of them were very much in the moment in this piece and gave a full performance. For once Lacey's expressions weren't overdone and she stayed in the picture. The look on his face at the top when he first saw her was amazing. I loved the moment where he caught her with his hand over her face and she completely released into his arms. I've seen some criticism that this was more acted than danced. True, it wasn't technically complex. But dance isn't just about technique.....it's also about about conveying emotion. I felt that they did that wonderfully.
But once again, let me bitch and moan about the technical elements of this show. What the heck was the idea of showing us that lift from above? The camera angle cancelled out the choreography.....we were cheated out of any sense of elevation and lost the soaring motion. I get the idea of wanting to show the bright light of Heaven, but can we please have a little color in the design? Too much white light creates a washed-out, over-exposed look, especially when paired with those beautiful white costumes.

Sabra & Pasha - Broadway
I thought they were very fun to watch. They were well syncronized, seemed connected and had great energy. The roll and the lift were smoothly executed.

Sabra & Pasha - Quickstep (other-wise known as the "kiss of death" dance)
Favorite costumes of the night. Very appropriate for the dance and looked great on the dancers. In the past, the Quickstep has often been a kiss of death for whoever pulled it out of the hat. I thought that Sabra and Pasha did a nice job with it though. She was very lucky to draw this dance when she had him as a partner. They upheld their energy throughout the piece and they used the full stage. (Something that both of them are normally very good about doing anyway.) I felt that on some of the longer runs across the floor she was working hard to keep up with him. The split leap was nice and she had a smooth landing, moving right into the next step. I think it was a good idea to follow up Mia's heart-string tugging piece with something fast and fun like this.

I predict that Dominic will get his walking papers tonight. For the girls, it will either be Lauren or Sara.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Kevin Smith to Write/Direct HEROES:ORIGINS

Awesome news for HEROES fans - Kevin Smith will be writing/directing the HEROES: ORIGINS that is in the works! Click this link to see a video of the announcement and hear Kevin's thoughts.