Mary Louise performed for the school system on Friday morning. There were 2 performances with about 1700 school children viewing each one - wow. is all I can say. She did absolutely beautifully with it all. We were there for about 5 hours - in makeup - in and out of costume - a room full of 3 through 5 year olds. No one got hurt, there were few clashes at all in fact. The "big kids" helped with the younger kids and were very proud to be able to contribute their older sibling skills to the cause.
There were 2 mothers for each age on Friday - it was hard, but I feel very lucky to have been able to be there for our sweet girl. I don't say it near enough, but the fact that Brent and I are able to have me home is one of our greatest blessings. He makes so much possible by shouldering the finances of our household...and for him to come home from work, kiss us all and tell me, "thank you for taking care of our children today," is indescribable. We are always working to improve our routine and duties...but I think it's so important to point out that I am never working alone...digress...digress...back to the story...
Getting their costumes together - ML with her friend Allie:
getting a "yittle bit ner-bus Mommy":
on stage during rehearsals:
Playing with the "big girls" back stage:
She's a "joiner". Mary Louise had no problem at all moving in and out of the little circles of girls back stage and asking to play with them. She figured out, through this process, that she could ask others their names - and learned how to respond with hers. She proudly got to know the names and personalities of many of her classmates and confidently let me know if anyone was nervous or upset.
To think of just how far we've come...and now I'm gushing about this kid's dancing and social skills...sigh...there really aren't any words...
She was 10 days old here - I'm about to change her diaper (no, that's not gauze in my hands):
Just before going on stage - she wanted me to hold her hand:
On Saturday morning, she performed in the matinee show. Brent, David, Uncles Collin, Kyle and Sean and Mommon were able to make it. They came in late Friday night after work and school and left after lunch on Saturday - but I think they were glad they came despite the hard trip between work and school schedules (I know ML was so excited to have them watching "in da chairs". Sadly, Mere and Pops had planned a trip before I even knew about the Christmas ballet...but I'm sure Mary Louise will gladly offer an encore performance of twirls the next time we get to see them!
She looked a little nervous waiting in the wings just before her very last dance. She had to switch sides of the stage at the last minute and was a little disoriented with a new classmate in front, and behind her. But, when her music started to play, she painted on a sassy, slightly awkward stage smile and did her thing...and believe me, it was certainly all her!
She did really well with the routine during the beginning - then it was time for the twirls.
This sweet baby girl LOVES the twirl. She does turns at home around and around, gets dizzy, runs into doors and walls, reorients, twirls again. She asks to wear dresses everyday and gets upset if the skirt on the dress isn't ample enough to float out and up while she twirls. Twirling machine that one...
So, when it was time to twirl on stage for the last time, she started going and just didn't stop. She spun round and round and round again. She would get a little dizzy, stop for a second or 2, then get going once more. I was waiting back stage and had a side view of it all. I heard the giggling in the audience, but couldn't see all that was happening. Brent gave me the play by play later. She twirled until the end of the song then stopped. The 3 girls before her had gone off stage - I couldn't figure out why there was a break in the line and was trying to get "all angels" back to their dressing room and out of the way. Mary Louise apparently stopped spinning, grinned, took a bow, folded her hands in angel (prayer) fashion, and pranced away!
Brent got a text message from a friend who was also somewhere in the audience waiting to see his daughter: "Gee, let me guess. That one's yours?" Brent proudly responded: "you know it!"
I probably don't have to say it, but I will for the "official record's" sake none the less. Everett was a gem through it all. He pretty much lived in my Ergo carrier this past week. He napped, he was quiet while the girls were on stage, he grinned, he nursed, he ate Puffs, and he played. He was (and is) a happy happy baby - but was so very ready for some tummy time when we got home!!
and the big Bubba lovies weren't so bad either:
Everyone was absolutely on best behavior throughout the week. After it was all said and done though, Mary Louise was quite over the make up application process:
Ha: typical moment for a family pic: "Mary Louise! get out of the flowers...No David! You are not to jump off a wall - you could hurt yourself!" (Everett was sleeping believe it or not)
And don't think we had to bring little miss back down to earth when we did get home - she got straight to it in her "kitchen" (playground):
"baking" mud pies:
In seconds. Literally.
That's my Meese.
Brent reported that David really enjoyed the whole ballet as well. He sat with Uncle Collin and watched everything for the whole (just over an) hour performance. It really was a sweet production - a southwest Louisiana themed Christmas: "Christmas in Louisiana".
Now we're resting up and calming down. I'm happy to say that we don't have any lessons today. The kids' music class session ended and another won't start up until after the holidays. We're just enjoying a little down time now before things pick up once more. Eye appointment time is coming around - always a major trip for us.
Until then, Cecil - our Elf on the Shelf - is working hard (perhaps overtime) reporting off to Santa about Mary Louise and David's behavior.
So far, they'll be very pleased (I think) on Christmas morning!