Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Girls’ Day Out... in 10 easy steps

As promised, I am back to share our girls' day with you. First, a back story. Several years ago—before Mr. Fantastic and I were even together—my mom got a group of girls from the family together to see "The Nutcracker." It was my first ballet, and it was wonderful. (We tried to recapture the magic the next year, and this time took the men along, and it was a terrible production… not a good time to drag guys to the ballet…) At the time, I (obviously) didn't have kids, and my brother and sister-in-law didn't have any girls yet. Now Lamb is 5 and very into dance, and my niece is 8, so my mom thought this would be a good year to revisit the ballet.

First step to make the day perfect: Preparation.

The girls were so excited to get their hair curled, but I didn't have enough curlers so we had to do it in stages.  :-)

Second step: Matching outfits.

My mom found those beautiful gowns, and it just so happened that they also had matching doll dresses with them—and it just so happens that my parents bought the girls dolls last year for Christmas. The girls got their dresses on Thanksgiving, and they had a blast dancing and twirling in them. In fact, when Lamb put her dress on, she asked, "Mommy! Do we get to be in the ballet?"

Third step: Good company!  Somehow I didn't get a picture of our whole crew on our camera, but I'll try to get one from my mother-in-law and get it on here a little later.  But the group was my mom, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, her mom, Lamb, and my niece.
Fourth step: Fun pre-ballet activities. The theatre was full of fun things to explore…

…from a Nutcracker photo op...

…to a Nutcracker tree...

…to big fun chairs...

…and they even got to see Santa, although somehow I didn't get a picture of that. If I'm able to get a copy from my mom or mother-in-law this morning, I'll update with a picture of that as well.

Fifth step: A beautiful location.

I had been in the lobby of this theatre before, but had never actually been in to see a show. It was beautiful in there! These were the best shots I could get with my current camera. (Anyone want to buy me an SLR??? Anyone?)

Sixth step: Good seats.

Lamb and my niece led the way to our row, which was very close to the front. Also, we were surrounded by other families with young children, which made it much less stressful for me. Lamb is… ummm… very inquisitive, so I knew I would be answering lots of questions throughout the show.

Oh and, of course, they had booster seats for the smaller patrons...

Seventh step: A kid-friendly production. This show was perfect for the girls. A narrator came on at the beginning of each act to explain what was going to happen, which was really helpful for Lamb. There were also LOTS of kids in the show, which was neat. And it was just overall a really well-done show. The sets and costumes were beautiful, the dancing was great, it was just a good time!

Eighth step: Dancing.

At intermission an organist played Christmas songs, which gave the girls the perfect opportunity to show off their skills in their dresses.

Ninth step: Close encounters!

Lamb had SO MUCH FUN getting autographs from the cast! She wouldn't pose for pictures with any of them, though. I think she was a little intimidated. J

And finally, to make it a truly perfect day, food must be involved, right? J After the show, we took Lamb to her favorite restaurant, Spaghetti Warehouse. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of that part, but it was the perfect way to end the day.

This is definitely a Christmas memory that Lamb won't forget anytime soon. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from her that day:
  • "This is so beautiful I could cry!"
  • "I can't believe Daddy is missing this!"
  • "Are those their dresses (the costumes in the show) or does the movie theatre give them to them?"
  • "Can we stay for 'The Wizard of Oz'?" (their next production… which isn't until the end of April…)
But I think the best quote came at dinner, when Lamb was reviewing her fun day, from having a sleepover—and spending the whole day—with my niece, to church that morning, to having lunch with some friends after church, to the ballet, to dinner with Mommy, Gram, and Nana. I said, "Is this the best day ever or what?" And she immediately shook her head no. "No?" I asked. "What was the best day ever?"

"Pancake day!" she exclaimed. That was Thanksgiving morning, when Mr. Fantastic made the kids pancakes in all different shapes.

"That was better than this, huh?"

"Yeah," she explained, "days with Daddy are just more funner than days with Mommy."

Oh well. Thanks, Nana, for treating us to the best possible Mommy day we could have, anyway…

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