5 Dollars

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

Sunday, June 29, 2008

You might even be a rock star.....

Last weekend Keithen went to stay with Grandpa John. He had a real blast and really wants to go back to stay again soon. He came home on Sunday.

The girls spent all this week with Nanny and Pappy. While they were gone, Matt, Keithen and I redid their room with a "rock star" theme - complete with a stage. This was a complete surprise for the girls when they came home today. They LOVED it. There have already been two concerts and a "Webkinz fashion show" on the new stage.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

SYTYCD - 6/25 - Top 16

WOW.....one look at Mary's outfit and I'm sure we were all wide awake and ready to party! BLING! Was she supposed to be the disco ball for Jessica & Will's number?

Of course Shankman had to start us out with some bad puns. Groan. But very excited to hear that Lacey & Travis will be in his next movie! Yay!

Nice tribute to Cyd. I didn't know Nigel had danced with her. Anyone know in what?

Twitchington ROCKED! Great way to start the show. She had better facial reactions this time - she had more than one anyway! But when she did smile, it was kind of "BIG and happy like a beauty queen" for me.....not "gangsta." The costumes worked well for them - did they say SYTYCD on the back? The pacing was nice.....there were different levels to it and they hit everything.

Courtney & Gev were really good. Something about coming down from that top pose worried me a little.....I think that it was obvious they were being slow and careful? It didn't seem effortless. Their connection at the top was pretty HOT. But I'm not sure how memorable they will be compared to some of the other stuff? It was hard to see the hip action in a lot of sections because of the camerawork. He looks darn good in a suit!

I didn't like this "African Jazz" as well as some of the others I've seen Tyce do. The lighting was *SO* annoying to me. How are we really supposed to watch and critique the dance with all those darn strobes going and that super "over-exposed" look to things? It wasn't lit well for the camera *at all* and I'm getting tired of that. It's supposed to be about *the dancing* and when the technical elements are *so obvious* that means that they are *over done.* When you have *REALLY GOOD* tech work, the audience *SHOULD NOT NOTICE IT.* Like some of the judges, I wanted more use of the fabric.....but that's on Tyce and not the dancers. And I felt that the animalistic nature from the top didn't carry all the way through the routine consistently.....they lost character. It seemed a little too slow and too soft in a lot of places with that music.....needed to be more aggressive. The intensity didn't match for me.

Jessica & Will really sold the disco number. The little "sigh" moment from her towards the top, he really hit the "Travolta" move and didn't look ridiculous doing it, his flips rocked.

Kourtni & Matt - I was so happy to get to see them dance in their style! Like Adam, I hated the costumes. UGH. If it's a comic book, I wanted more bright colors and perhaps some exaggeration instead of that sack she was wearing.....and he was too muted. They were very stylized, connected and energetic. Well syncronized and the leaps were nice. Agree that he needs to get down into the floor and not be so upright all the time.

Chelsea and Thayne - not the worst Quickstep but not the best routine of the night either. LOVED her dress. Wished the camera would have stayed pulled back so we can watch the FEET since that's what this number is all about! Their smiles seemed so "glued on" to me. I bet they were gritting their teeth and chanting "Oh God don't let me mess up!" Better than expected but didn't knock me off my feet. They didn't really sell it.

Chelsie & Mark's Hip Hop was another one I was really looking forward too. I know he's a contemporary dancer, but I had a feeling that his quirky style of movement would lend itself to this genre. *MAN* were they amazing! Towards the top where her hand was near his face and he slid down her arm to her neck.....YUM. Their connection was just amazing. Their musicality was just beautiful and they had such attention to detail, hitting all the little stuff. That bit with his hand on her chest and the fingers, stealing the heatbeat. Her "heartbreak" response at the end was amazing. They were so committed to this and it seemed like such a complete and polished performance. AWESOME!

Katie and Joshua's Samba had me a little worried at first before we actually saw them. I didn't know how he would handle this style. MAN did he have it down. He had such wonderful hip action! Camerawork frustrated me here a bit again when they cut from two dancers to one yet again. HELLO.....we want to see BOTH of them! There was one bit towards the end where she raised her knee and they kind of hit a post - I want to go back and watch again as it seemed like an awkward moment to me.....too slow maybe?

Eliminating people is getting harder and harder!

I think the bottom 3 will be.....
* Chelsea & Thayne
* Courtney & Gev
* Comfort & Chris
.....not that any of them were really bad, there was just a *very tough* competition this week!
Voted off? I think probably Chris and Courtney maybe? It would be interesting to see Gev & Comfort as partners if that happens.

Oh.....and officially *LOVING* Napoleon & Tabitha!!!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

SYTYCD - Top 18 - 6/18

My take on the top 18 show -

I thought Cat looked pretty good last night. Some of her dresses are just icky but last night she looked very classy.

What in the world happened to Mary? First off, either the lighting was bad or she's turning into a lobster. That woman's skin was R.E.D. last night! And I have to say that I'm really glad her leopard print blouse held up to the enormous strain it was obviously under last night. Can we say "jam packed?!" I thought those puppies were gonna break free a couple of times. I really wanna know what's in that cup of hers too. (And was she sharing it with Nigel last night?!)

Chelsea & Thayne – I’m still not big fans of these two. Where was there connection? This piece was probably intended to be a lot hotter than it was. And those costumes were just ridiculous. Her “bustle” looked more like a diaper!

Chelsie & Mark – I was a bit worried when I heard Argentine Tango, but they really pulled it off! He looked so classy. Their frame and lines were very nice (most of the time) and all those deep, flexed lunges! He had a sultry intensity which she *almost* matched. Their syncronization was very nice. (And isn't Cat just the greatest! How sweet of her to fix Chelsie's shoe. I wonder how long it was like that?)

Jessica & William – I’m a little afraid that they could be in trouble again. I sure hope not as I love William. It was really nice to see him smiling and obviously having fun. The routine started out fun and energetic but was also a little uneven and unattached. He was really doing a pretty good job hitting it (remember he is a contemporary dancer!) but she was not quite there…..a little “cheerleader” quality? Could have been tighter.

Kourtni & Matt – A Foxtrot straight out of a movie. The lifts were much better this time. MAN he must be strong. His face was very lit up. Their footwork could have been a little tighter.

Courtney & Gev – He really did partner her well and was there for her in everything. He showed strength. It was technically well-danced but I’d love to have seen a little more emotion from them and a bit more of an organic quality. Overall pretty well done and they will most likely be safe.

Katee & Joshua – Not Tyce's best choreography ever, but fun none-the-less. These two really are the official couple to beat right now. She’s got a very expressive face when she dances. They work really well together as a couple and really commit to and sell whatever they’re given. Remember how Benji & Donyelle just "clicked" right from the beginning? Well, that's kind of how these two seem to just fit together as partners as well. If I had any criticism, I think that maybe they were slowing down a bit too much towards the end…..they had to have been exhausted after that!

Susie & Marquis – Can we send her home yet? I feel bad as Ruby says that she is her favorite girl…..but I just want her GONE! The only thing I really liked about their Salsa was the throw down from his shoulders. That made me go WOW! But since this is supposed to be her forte, I expected a lot more and felt very let down. It looked like hard work instead of like a performance. The part where they twisted around each other’s arms was kinda painful to watch.

Kherington & Twitch – When I heard “Viennese Waltz” I was honestly a little worried. I don’t know why! They captured the real essence of what they were given. It was joyful and beautiful. The lifts were so lovely and the tender rocking in his arms. Can you believe I used “tender” to describe Twitch?! This is a Hip Hop guy for goodness sakes! His strong manly carriage, wonderful partnering, soft lines. They are so safe again.

Comfort & Chris – The camera work on this one was exceptionally bad once again. I felt they could have hit it harder and expected a bit more from her – good, but not what I thought it would be. Was Chris even there?

Bottom 3 predicition - Susie & Marquis, Chelsea & Thayne, Comfort & Chris

Tuesday, June 17, 2008



Monday, June 16, 2008

Ain't it the truth?

Friday, June 13, 2008

RIP Tim Russert - 5/7/1950 - 6/13/2008

I was shocked and saddened to learn that Tim Russert, host of NBC's Meet the Press, died today. I can't imagine the rest of this election year's news covereage without Mr. Russert there. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Can I get an "Amen!"

More on the "Obama Baby Mama" controversy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

FOX news is now slinging-mud at Michelle Obama

It's so outrageous that it's difficult to believe. FOX News ran a headline on the bottom of their screen yesterday proclaiming potential First Lady Michelle Obama "Obama's Baby Mama."

Just in case the slang is outside your vocabulary, here's what the Urban Dictionary has to say about what it means. "The mother of your child(ren), whom you did not marry and with whom you are not currently involved." There are several other descriptions of the phrase available at that link as well.

In using the term "baby mama" to refer to Mrs. Obama, FOX News has hit a new low. Did the producers really believe it was appropriate for them to use such a derogatory phrase to refer to Mrs. Obama? This comment is about one step away from calling the potential First Lady a "ho." It is nothing less than sexist slander, and the connotation is very clearly racist.

Was the vast staff of FOX News reporters simply unwilling or unable to unearth the fact that the Obamas were married on October 18, 1992? That they have two daughters, Malia who was born in 1999 and Natasha who was born in 2001 within the bonds of their marriage.

Michelle Obama is most certainly not Barack’s “baby mama.” FOX News owes the Obama family a swift public apology for this incident which has over-stepped the bounds of reporting the news and turned into mud-slinging.

Please express your disgust with FOX News by emailing yourcomments@foxnews.com to let them know how appalling you find their choice to refer to Mrs. Obama in this way.

SYTYCD 6/11 - The top 20 FINALLY!

A lot of surprises for me last night.

Rayven & Jamie went first with a hip-hop routine from Napoleon & Tabitha to "American Boy." I thought they were pretty well syncronized and had decent energy, but it just wasn't at all memorable. Their faces were WAY too muggy for me. And why in the heck did they have her pants him? What was the point in that? What a low note to start the show on. Blech. I did like the second half of the routine a bit better. It was a little more aggressive and more interesting to watch. Maybe I'm just used to some hard-hitting Shane Sparks hip-hop instead of what Napoleon & Tabitha are throwing at us? Like Beckyloo, I think most of their choreography feels a bit more like jazz with some hip-hop thrown in for seasoning.

Susie & Marquis were next with a Smooth Waltz to "Dark Waltz" courtesy of (I think?) Hunter Johnson. Beautiful lighting, beautiful costumes. So-so movement. Their lines were pretty decent and I felt Marquis had nice body tension. He carried himself very nicely and seemed mascaline and in control. That lift was so awkward though. Nigel is really crazy if he thought the audience didn't catch that. It was B-A-D. And I didn't think Susie really had the rise and fall to her movement that I was looking for in a waltz.

Kourtni & Matt danced a jazz routine to "Tainted Love" choreographed by Mandy Moore. Oh how I wish they had been given just a little more time to practice this! I really liked the piece - very sexy - but they just didn't hit it quite hard enough. They did have the little details down with some nice hands. The lifts were a bit slow and heavy, but she's no small girl to be throwing around like that! I also felt Matt's coat was a bit too difficult for him to deal with. The pockets were obviously not easy for him to access for the little props that he was given and it flapped around behind him too much.

Chelsea T. and Thayne got stuck with Tony Meredith's Cha-Cha. Simply put, she was hot and he was cheesy. I felt he was a bit heavy-footed. Not a Thayne fan going into tonight and still not sold on him.

Chelsie H & Mark had the great luck to draw Mia's Contemporary interpretation of Tim Burton's wedding danced to "Beautiful." Wow. Loves me some Mia! I was very excited when I saw the spoiler that Mark would be clay in Mia's hands this week! While the costumes were very appropriate to what Mia was trying to portray, that skirt was a bit too much foof to deal with at times. I wish it had been just a *tad* less so that it wasn't a distraction from the dancing. (Sometimes I found myself watching "the foof" instead of the dancers.) The lighting and costumes for this piece actually worked together so well. (Did you hear that?! ME complimenting the lighting on this show!?) They achieved a nice, mono-chromatic look that really reflected the feel of Tim Burton's movies. The dancing was very nice. Loved the part where they rolled over each other on the floor. Their faces were wonderful - especially when he was whispering in her ear. Mia of course made genious use of Mark's quirky abilities (a little Hok-like homage there?). The lifts looked so effortless. BUT.....here's my gripe on this one. The camera work - again! PLEASE OH PLEASE let me not be complaining about camera work all season again? There was a point where Mark nearly danced out of the frame. There was a point when he picked her up and it was shot from below so all we got was a nice shot of her butt and all the foof.....no faces at all. Great. Work on that, will you guys?

Twitchington (a.k.a. tWitch & Kherington) drew Broadway with Tyce this week. They danced to "Too Darn Hot" and man was it! I was actually very excited about seeing that these two had been paired together and put with Tyce. I had high hopes and I was *not* disappointed! They hit it! They were connected and emotive and FUN to watch. His toe touch was awesome. No way would you have believed that this was a hip-hop dancer. I can't wait to see what else they throw at tWitch on his way to the top 10!

Comfort & Chris got Jive with Tony to "Boom Boom." This should have beenhot, but not so much. I really went into this hoping to like Comfort. She was far too upright and I thought maybe it was a bit slow overall. This couple certainly needs to gel a bit more. I hope Comfort sticks around because I want to see more of her.

Katee & Joshua were next up. When I heard that they got Tabitha & Napoleon's Hip-Hop, I was expecting that Josh was going to be saving her behind. I really wasn't feeling her after the attitude last week. Then they intro'd the piece. He was going off to war as they danced to "No Air." WOW. My favorite piece of the night. I ate my words about Katee. Her dancing was a tad week at the top, but her acting still sold it. And once Josh joined her, they both really hit it. They were connected, well syncronized and really told the story well. This piece totally got me teary-eyed both times I've watched it. It felt natural and effortless. Loved the way he regained his center so easily after she pulled him up by the leg. They are currently *the* couple to beat. Don't be surprised if we see this number again as one of judges favs on the final show of the season.

Jessica & William had Hunter Johnson's Tango. With such a hard act to follow, they were really under-whelming to me. I really love William and I hope that this number doesn't hurt him. I want to see him around for a while! The judges called her on being wobbly on her heels. I just want to point out that they are constantly telling the Hip-Hop girls how great they did for not being used to dancing in heels. HELLO.....Jessica is a Contemporary dancer. She is used to dancing in her bare feet and feeling the floor under her. Yeah, she wobbled a little.....can you give her the same concessions?

Courtney G and Gev got a Disco routine to "Boogie Wonderland." Let's just say they were no Neil and Sarah. It felt very "dancing by numbers" to me. It needed a lot more polish.

My bottom three prediction -

Courtney G & Gev - Rayven & Jamie - Chelsea T. & Thayne

Sunday, June 08, 2008

RIP Edwina Froehlich - January 5, 1915–June 8, 2008

Edwina Froehlich, one of the 7 founding mothers of La Leche League International and co-author of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, died at 5 am on Sunday, June 8, 2008 at Northwest Community hospital in Arlington Heights after suffering a stroke on May 25.

Funeral and memorial arrangements are pending. Please visit http://www.llli.org/edwina.html for more information and to leave a message at the online memorial to Edwina.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Edwina's family.

Friday, June 06, 2008

SYTYCD fantasy team

School's Out!

Yesterday was Keithen and Kaylee's last day of school. Summer has officially arrived!

Kaylee took her teacher a boquet of flowers. Ruby also delivered one to Miss Dusick since it was her last day before she leaves to teach in the Marshall Islands for a year. Keithen chose a cactus for his teacher since he had just finished a report on desert plants.

They both brought home really good report cards. Keithen's was all "M's" and had a note from his teacher about how much he had grown this year. Kaylee's was all "M's" except for the portion that had to do with her writing skills. When she really tries she can print very nicely, but most of the time it is sloppy and can be difficult to read.

They got rewards for their good reports and we had a special dinner last night and then watched SYTYCD.

Paradise by the GoPhone Light

My mom would probably have loved this commercial. Yes.....that really is Meatloaf.

SYTYCD top 20 dancers

I'm in total shock that Brandon, Evan and Kelli were cut.

Our top 10 girls (Forgive any mispellings plz, will correct when FOX posts. Not sure on a few last names.)
Courtney Galiano
Chelsie Hightower
Susie Garcia
Chelsea (Trail?)
Kourtni Lind
Kherington Payne
Rayven (Armeno?)
Comfort (?)
Jessica King
Katee (Sheean?)

Our top 10 boys.....
Joshua Allen
Matt Dorame
Thayne Jasperson
Marquis (Cunningham?)
Mark (Hanimura?)
Jamie (Baynard?)
Chris (Jarose?)
William Wingfield
Gev Manoukian

Surprised that there were about 9 of them that I couldn't place. I hate when they hit us with so many new faces in Vegas.

Daemon's TV has short bios and individual pix of most of the dancers up now. click here Not sure why FOX is so far behind on the game and hasn't posted bios and pix for us yet!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

SYTYCD - the countdown!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

My SYTYCD top 20

OK......after some quick looks at videos from the audition shows, I got it down to 10 gals and 11 guys. Having problems cutting that last guy to get to the required 10 and 10. This is my best guess as to tomorrow night's top 20 dancers. (Of course you never know what surprises they will pull on us in Vegas with dancers they haven't even shown us yet.)

Gals -
* Devin Oshiro
* Aliona Vetrenko
* Kherington Payne
* Chelsie Hightower
* Kelli Baker
* Sheila Kaiser
* Claire Calloway
* Megan Campbell
* Kourtni Lind
* Rebecca Hart

Guys -
* Cooper Zamorano
* Stephen “tWitch” Boss
* Phillip Chbeeb
* William Wingfield
* Leonidas Proskurov
* Ryann Race
* Matt Dorame
* Joshua Allen
* Jeremiah Hughes
* Brandon Bryant
* Evan Kasprzak