Friday, May 29, 2009

Movie Shoot!

I have been out of blog world because I am helping produce a film that is shooting in CU this month and next.

Leading Ladies is a movie about an overbearing ballroom stage mother and her two daughters must re-define their roles in life and on the dance floor. There is dancing and romance, laughter and tears.

It was written by local theater director Jennifer Bechtel and former-UofI Dance professor Erika Randall. We have so many valuable people working with us including So You Think You Can Dance's Melanie LaPatin and Benji Schwimmer as well as other dancers from the show, fantastic director of photography Pete Biagi, and many locals (and not locals) on crew.

The community has been very welcoming of our production team...thank you!

If you would like to get involved, check out the website

If you want to be an extra, check out the extras section.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

This Party is Out of Control!

The Chicago Tribune had an article about children's birthday parties today. The title of the article is Birthday Bashes for Less. So I thought that finally someone is writing about the ridiculousness of children's birthday parties (or adults for that matter). But no...the basic idea was that parents are starting to have their elaborate birthday parties on weekdays. This, I guess, is cheaper because some locations offer reduced rates for weekday parties.

So, I suppose I have to be the someone who writes about the ridiculousness of children's birthday parties (or adults for that matter).

I have this thing about birthday parties. In general, I don't do them for my kids. Since my kids' birthdays are all within 6 weeks of each other, we host a single family party for all three once a year that is very simple and casual. Shockingly, we host it at our house. I don't really understand the trend of going somewhere (like Chuck E Cheese, Little Gym, etc) and having to have specific activities, etc. for kids. We just don't need Party Leaders in our lives.
I work with kids, I have kids, I was a kid. You really don't need to give them anything to do. Put a group of children of similar age together and they will run and play and fight and it will be fantastic! We had birthday parties all the time as kids, and we just had people over and my mom got us food and maybe a video (and the VCR rented from the video store).

As for a friend party, I think my daughter has had two over the past 12 years. Every few years, she has a 'big' party with 8-10 friends...again at our house, simple (they love chips and ice cream). We didn't have parties at all until she was in grade school. Most often, she invites a friend or two over to do something special, like go to the movies, out to lunch, or have a sleepover.

My favorite is the First Birthday Party. I suppose marking the child's first year of life is important but let's face it...the party is for the parents and grandparents. The child will have absolutely no memory of this event except for photos (yes, I think that 'eating cake photo' is adorable). What I don't understand is why people have these huge parties, renting out halls, catering food, etc.? Its a lot of work, energy, and lots of money. The event should be intimate.

My second favorite is Adult Parties at Bars. I just don't understand this idea at all. I really don't like being invited to a party and then asked to pay $30 just to go, especially because it would take me days to drink $30 worth of Sprite. I went to a party at my friends house once, and we were asked to pay for dinner. I feel like if you want to have a party, you should pay for it.

And don't get me started on party favors.

I think celebrating special moment is extremely important. But I think we should focus on the actual celebration not the event. My mom always tell us our Birth Story on our birthday. We always write down our favorite moments of the past year on New Year's Eve. We often prepare a small show about the honored person. I am banned from diapers and dishes on Mother's Day.

Because, overall, it is not about a party with lots of food, favors, activities, and decorations. Its about the amazing person and that doesn't take any money to say "I Love You!"

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fitness Friday

I do a lot of yoga and pilates-type work with my preschoolers. Its really nice to learn to move and strengthen their bodies and it can really calm them down.

Pretending is the best way to do it. There are some ideas.

Have them lay on their back and tuck their knees in to become a BALL.
Then stretch their arms and legs out long like a BANANA.
Alternate between BALL and BANANA.
Lay on their bellies...reach their arms and legs out raising them off the floor like SUPERMAN.
Make sure to grab for STARS along the flight.
Roll over alternating BANANA and SUPERMAN.
Lay all the way down and reach their heads up like a SNAKE.
Coming up on their toes, roll into a standing BALL.
Pretend to grow up into a TREE....stretch out into BRANCHES....and shake their LEAVES.
Make a letter T with their arms.
Have the T fall from side to side.

I often make a game of saying different 'images' and having them hit each one.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cut it out!

If you are a facebook friend or have seen me lately, you will know that I chopped off a foot of my hair and donated it to Locks of Love. I do this about every other year when I get to the point where I can't find the time to get my hair cut regularly. Well, since then everyone in my house wants a haircut.

The boys usually get a trim every 8 weeks of so. Every time, my older son, with beautiful blond locks, wants to use the electric clippers (which I use to buzz his little brothers head). And each time, he decides at the last minute to keep it long. But today was different. I went over the decision several times and he was sure he wanted to do it this time. He wanted his hair like his friend at school (who is African American and has very short hair...I tried to tell him it won't look like that but will look like his brother). He was sure, I checked. So there I go...I was almost in tears, his hair is so beautiful.

But it was done. He goes in the bathroom to check it out and starts screaming. He says he hates it and wants it long ago...can I put the hair back on. Sorry Charlie, there is nothing I can do. Well this lasts for about an hour. At one point he refused to leave the house until his hair grew back.

By the end of the night, he now loves it and he even wrote a new song about hair ("You Never Get a Haircut When You're Sick").

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New favorite quote

"Its a process, not an event."
Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.S. on The Daily Show

Of course he wasn't talking about child development but he should have been. That is exactly right. Kids don't suddenly stand up and walk, become potty trained, have conversations, read a book....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Morning Talk

My 3yo often crawls into bed with me sometime between I often wake up to a sweet kiss from him. Today, as he cuddled with me and I tried to pretend this wasn't time to wake up, he asks...."Mom, what don't you have milk in your boobs anymore?"

So after explaining that there is only milk when there is a baby to drink it, he agreed that he didn't need the milk anymore. Then he explained to me that he doesn't have milk in his boobs anymore because Ty (his imaginary friend) isn't a baby anymore.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

New Computer

I've been spending the past two weeks getting to know my new best friend, my new laptop. I am still learning how to use it and understand how much my husband made my life easier with our old computer.

Our former computer (shhh...we haven't told him yet that he's been replaced) hasn't been feeling well. Over the past five years, it has served us well as we pretended to keep up with technology. First of all, it was a laptop. And eventually, we got wireless internet. We got a digital camera and put most of our cd collection on iTunes. I used it for my fitness job for almost every class I teach (using my iPod). But over the past year, we had to replace somethings and the past couple months, he just got tired and only work when he wanted to. Although, I respect that in many ways...I have become terribly dependent on my little buddy. And he needs to go to work when I say.

This allowed me see the world outside the computer screen. I really stopped using my computer that much. It was great. I read books! I listened to music! I played with my kids!

So enter my new guy. I'm sure you want to know what kind it is....I don't know, my husband picked it out after lots of research. Wow, have things changed in 5 years! This one is so light and small. My favorite part is the finger print reader to open certain files! I feel so CIA. But I apparently have a slow learning curve when it comes to I still need to learn how to do things and download programs that I thought were magically on all computers.

But this, in addition to great madness in other projects in my life (more on that later)....I have spent far too much time on the computer. I even take him to bed and fall asleep watching TV online! I have had to make myself turn it off and do other things...but I sure do love this new baby!

Saturday, May 02, 2009


All I have to say today is wash your hands....please. Thank you.