Friday, October 30, 2009

Why my kids are scared to go outside at night

Our next door neighbor loves to decorate for Halloween. She puts up some...hmmm, how shall I describe them....perhaps unconventional is the best word to describe her decorations. Creepy would be another and just as appropriate.

Last week I wanted Ella to go get something she had left in the car and she said "No mom, I'm scared to go outside in the dark, everyone has their Halloween stuff up." Now you all know that Ella and Catherine are easily spooked (see previous post for a great example), but in this case I totally understand where she's coming from. I'm kind of creeped out by the Halloween stuff as well.

Let's take a tour and I'll show you what I mean....

Starting off, a little ghost. Definitely not a friendly ghost, but he's giving us a thumbs up so he can't be too scary. Not too bad, right?

Moving along we come to a caped devil-like creature. Again, not as friendly as a Winnie the Poo Dracula blow up yard decoration (yes, they exist...why make Winnie into Dracula, why?), but his goofy looking eyes make that sinister grin just a bit less sinister looking. But scarier than the ghost, right?

Then we have the side window. Yeah. Imagine that lit up and staring out at you at night....shiver...scary, but not nightmare inducing.

While I'm talking about staring I'd like to present a series of photos showing what I believe are the creepiest and bizarre Halloween decorations I've ever scene.

Words fail me. The vacant stares on those mannequin heads just creep me out. Can you blame my girls for not wanting to see them staring at them at night?
The one at the top is new for this year, so I had to get a closer shot of it
What do you think of the ghost hanging from below? Do you think it's supposed to represent the ghost of the decapitated mannequin? What would make someone think of using mannequin heads as Halloween decoration? I'm afraid to even answer that question, although assuming they were going for scary/creepy/bizarre, they definitely were successful.
I just had to share this with all of you, to give you something to be thankful for this Halloween. Thankful that you don't have to avoid the eyes of decapitated mannequins and instead most likely get to enjoy a blow up Mickey or Winnie the pooh vampire!
On a different not...I am making something yummy that will be in the crockpot all day tomorrow and make for an easy dinner before we head out to trick or treat. Definitely one I'll be sharing! Enjoy your Halloween!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Tale of Two Dreams

My mom made a request that I update my blog, she was sick of reading about the tour.

Last night I had a dream that I was first in line at a SYTYCD tour performance and was able to save a whole row of seats for all my friends (apparently we just lined up and were given tickets that told you what order in which you could enter the arena.). But then for the first performance we all gasped because 8 out of the 10 dancers weren't there and other random (and quite funny looking people) were being used as their subs. The first big moved involved some crazy flip but the girl involved landed on her head/arm and everything stopped and I was sitting there thinking that this wasn't worth being in the front row.

When I woke up I realized my mom was right and I really needed to update my blog so could stop having dreams about So You Think Can Dance. Next one would inevitably involve me being on the show wearing one of those costumes, paralyzed with fear....because who wouldn't be if you were wearing something like that on national television?

I don't have any good reason for not blogging over the past few weeks. Just a blogging funk I guess. I wish I could somehow transfer my thoughts to the screen without actually typing them out. It's been a long month and a half. We had two major house projects going on that definitely made the atmosphere around the house feel a bit disheveled. Now granted, both were outdoor projects, but resulted in a lot of debris and material and various ladders and equipment in our yard and driveway. Somehow the craziness outside resulted in craziness inside as well! Or maybe it was just us still getting used to the fall schedule of school and more activities!

Since Monday is the day I do my meal planning and grocery shopping for the week, I'm going to try and start posting either my menu on Monday or at least a recipe I'm trying or have recently tried and was a success.

Monday is also the day I do laundry. I will not be posting anything on that topic!

To try and make up for my long absence, I'll leave you with a classic Demo family story.

Last night, in the middle of the night, we were startled out of a dead sleep by Catherine screaming at the top of her lungs. Terrified screaming. I know I heard her scream "get it off me". I definitely whispered a quick pair as we jumped out of bed and ran into her room. She was laying there crying saying "there was a lizard on me."

Matt is clearly not as versed in Catherine speak because he had to keep asking her "what???!!" over and over again. I did a quick glance on her blankets and around her bed and told her "Catherine I don't think there is a lizard." (Yes, I checked. While I didn't think there was a lizard on her I wasn't totally discrediting her story.) At this point Matt was clued in, "ohhhh, a lizard". In Catherine's defense I think she said it clearly, it's just probably the furthest thing from Matt's mind as he was listening to her.

Thankfully after we looked around her room and assured her that there was no lizard she went back to sleep, and so did we, pretty confident that she had been dreaming.

Jump to the morning when Ella and I are snuggling in bed and Catherine wakes up and comes in and joins us. Right before Catherine had come in I told Ella what had happend the night before and that Catherine must have been dreaming. Of course Ella asked her sister and Catherine said "No Ella, I wasn't dreaming. I could tell, I could see his eyes and he was moving."

Ella turned and looked at me "Ummmm, mommy, I think I'm scared of lizards"

Who wants to bet that I have another middle of the night wake up call? Same lizard*, different child?

*If you know of any lizards native to the PA region, please DO NOT let me know, I am perfectly fine assuming it was all a dream.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The TOUR!!!!

Finally, the post you've all been patiently waiting for!!!

We had a great night at the show. Our tickets were floor seats and not that bad, but it was a bit frustrating because they MADE us sit down. It was definitely hard to sit down when the dances started. We tried standing behind another row and get shooed back to our seats!

Probably the funniest part of the night happened when the lights first went down and the announcer came on with "Welcome to So You Think You Can Dance" and Renee and I turned to each other and screamed. Total fangirls! We pretty much screamed for every routine and gave a few standing ovations. The crowd screamed a ton but wasn't quick to jump to their feet.

There was the opening routine and then all the dancers were introduced - this was a cool new group routine, but it was also a confusing time when people didn't know whether to stand up or sit down (this was also the time we were getting shooed back to our seats).

Throughout the night two of the dancers would come out and "set up" the upcoming routine. The actual dances were enhanced with a cool light set up, i.e, for the Butt Dance the stage resembled a street in Paris. It was interesting to see which of them was better at delivering the rather cheesy lines - some were a bit more natural in the acting arena than others!

One of the little shticks involved Jeanine and Philip coming out in their Russian Folk dance costumes anytime someone mentioned anything along the lines of "dance from all around the world". It was cute, but cheesy, and each time they were told that Nigel did NOT want to see Russian Folk dance again for a long long time and they had to leave the stage immediately.

After many many tries they were finally able to sneak on stage and get to the end of the routine after which they were joined by all the dancers and did a cooler hip hop version of Russian Folk dance (is that even possible?)

One other little shtick involved Kupono coming out on stage in the funniest outfit ever (click here
to see what the shorts looked like) and doing an intentionally cheesy sell for the SYTYCD Get Fit DVDs. As cheesy as it was I would love to get the DVDs (if they were free or something) because how fun would it be to dance along with Katie, Travis, Lauren and others...!

In between all the routines, the individual dancers came out to perform their solos. Can you guess which dancers got the biggest applause for their solos? Of course Brandon, doing his speedo wearing one (not a dig, just figured that would be the easiest way for you all to remember). Jeanine doing the solo that probably one the whole thing for her - when she did those amazing turns with tons of control (no rose in the mouth this time.) Finally....did I mention that Philip was there :) ? Because everyone went crazy for his solo, which was completely amazing. I definitely enjoyed Philip being a part of the show and I'm glad they included him....and special guest Caitlin (yes, that's how they referred to her!).

Here is the set list...Whenever possible I tried to link to a video so you could be reminded which dance it was (some of the videos are from the show and some are from the tour. I wanted to get this published so I didn't get all of the dances linked to. It's definitely fun watching them, so I hope to finish soon!)

Brandon and Janette's disco

Philip and Jeanine's hip hop

Evan and Randi contemporary, Butt dance

Jason and Kayla broadway Mr Monotony

Brandon and Janette Argentine Tango

Melissa, Jeanine and Kayla Superheroes group dance,

Jason and Caitlin Bollywood

Kupono and Kayla Contemporary, Vampire routine

Brandon and Jeanine, hip hop, Battlefield

Melissa and Evan, Broadway, Late for the wedding

Ade and Janette, hip hop, Love Sex Magic

Calle Ocho group dance


One group routine

Brandon and Janette, Wade Robson jazz, Ruby Blue

Jason and Kayla, Shane Sparks hip hop, zombie

Ade and Melissa, Pas de Duex, Romeo and Juliet

Brandon and Kayla, Broadway, Bye Bye Love

Willy Wonka Group Dance - Evan, Ade and Brandon

Russian Folk group routine

Kupono and Kayla, Mia Michaels contemporary, Addiction

Jason and Jeanine, Travis Wall contemporary, If It Kills Me

Ade and Melissa, Tyce contemporary, Cancer Dance

Brandon and Jeanine, Pase Doble

Final number, Brand New Day group routine

One of the things that both Renee and I noticed and agreed on was that you naturally were more drawn to watch certain dancers during the group numbers- Kayla being the girl, followed by Jeanine, who you really couldn't help watching all the time. Brandon, obviously was the guy who stood out the most. Not sure if it's because they were featured more often than the others, but they had amazing stage presence.

I know that my favorites were without a doubt Addiction and the Calle Ocho group routine. I am pretty sure Renee would agree with me (we did talk about this!) but maybe she'll add some tidbits of her own. Overall I enjoyed some of the routines more during the tour than I did watching them during the season. I think this was because it was for pure enjoyment and you didn't have to critique them or wonder what the judges were going to dislike or like about them, or if this dance was going to help them stay or not. So even though last season honestly wasn't my favorite, you wouldn't know that for how great the show was and how much Renee and I enjoyed it!

Renee is posting her amazing pictures which you definitely have to see to believe! I want to own them all! There was a hilarious one of Brandon doing a back layout during his solo and we both agreed it was not post-able. Can you imagine what the view was?

Tonight we get to see Vegas week of Season Six! I believe someone...could it be Crafty recapping for the Sisterhood, so head on over and view in on your thoughts!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Staying home

This will go down as the weekend that wasn't. I was supposed to go to Grove City for homecoming and my ten year reunion, but at the last minute (hours before I would have left) I finally decided that I wasn't going to make the trip. Believe me, I could make a long story (b/c you know I usually do) out of how I went back and forth over the course of the week but all I'll say is that while I was bummed to miss out on time with some dear friends, I felt confident that I made the right decision.

Today we did a lot of yard work, cleaning out flower beds, weeding out the creek, trimming the hedges, work on the patio that Matt is building (for lack of a better word). At one point all of us were out on the bridge in our backyard and Matt froze and told us all to go up to the house. I started to freak out because just minutes before we had seen a LARGE spider in the pile of leaves and bark that I had been gathering up and tossing in the wheelbarrow. I still shudder to think that there's a chance that spider was in my hands.

Anyway, it was just a snake. A tiny snake. We showed the girls thinking they might be scared, but instead they were pretty unimpressed. When Catherine finally was able to see it she just said "oh, that?" Matt tried to shoo it into the creek (which put a damper on the weeding I was doing in the creek bed) and the girls both started yelling at him "don't kill the snake dad" and "it's just a baby snake". Who knew they'd have any reaction other than running away screaming?

All in all it was a good day, lots of time together, getting some work done, but also having fun, like painting pumpkins and heading to a local fall festival.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekends and this gorgeous (but slightly warmer than typical) fall day. I definitely enjoyed having a weekend with my family (although I missed my GCC girls!)

Before I go, one last thing to share with you, if you have a minute or two, check out this post by John Acuff called Raising Dorks. As a mother of two girls it really resonated with me. At one point he says "And although I make about 47 dad mistakes a day, I have learned one secret about childhood: You can fast forward childhood, but you can’t rewind it." Amen to that. When you read the post I have no doubt you'll agree!

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