Dancing Days and Sleepless Nights

My goodness. Our little girls are crazy funny and developing quite the little personalities.

We rearranged our living/family rooms and now we have one toy area (we had two toy areas and it seemed the whole house was always a disaster). The living room is now a dedicated "dancing" room. We moved the TV from our bedroom down into the living room and it's much cozier in there now. Weird to say a TV made a room more cozy, but it did. Anyway...we have dance parties every day now (Pete happened to pull out some good speakers he had stuffed away in the garage - who knew?!?) and the girls absolutely love having family dance parties.

Hailey has been refusing naps lately. It's been really frustrating. She gets so tired and I try to get her to nap, but she makes up every excuse under the sun in order to get up 1,000 times during her nap time. The most frustrating part about it is that she's always tired and cranky when we're trying to do something we'd like her to be happy for, such as Santa pictures.

We met up with Daddy at Redmond Town Center for pics this year. It was Pete's last week working at AT&T, so we figured we'd get one more lunch date in and since the girls wanted to wear their "fancy dresses" that day (and every other day), I figured it would be a great time to do Santa pics.

No. It wasn't. First of all, we got a Groupon for RTC Santa pics and it was $11 for a photo package.
The quality of the photo is pretty bad. And the Santa? Not great. And the chair? blah. The text on the bottom????? NO, not okay. The ads on the outside border? Are you kidding me?

Now, I'm really sorry if you got your pics at RTC and like them. I'm not trying to dog on them all. I was just a little frustrated as we had pretty good pics the last two years. It didn't help that I misheard the lady tell me it would be $6.95 for a 5x7, to which I said we'd like 3....and then after things were printed she told me the total was $56. Um, WHAT?!!?!?!? We cleared that up...the price was actually $16.95 for a 5x7 and multiplied by 3, add the tax.... I thought about ditching the photos.. We ended up just sticking with the $11 deal and letting them ditch the extra photos that were printed (whew).

Doesn't Hailey look so happy in the pic though? :) This is after she had calmed down. Unfortunately (or fortunately? because it makes a good pic) Charlotte had been watching Hailey freaking out and decided it was something to cry about. So awesome.

So anyway, we're still planning on taking the girls to Factoria Mall for Santa pics this year. That's where we've gone the last 2 years, and though they don't allow you to take your own pics, the Santa/decor/picture quality is much better than the one we got.

Yesterday and today we had dance practice for Hailey's show on Friday night. Oh boy....it's going to be interesting!

I should back up... On Tuesday we went to Hailey's normal class. There are 6 girls in her class. In class, Hailey sat on her little circle and wouldn't participate. She kept leaning over and saying something to the teacher (Ms. Barbara). She had been excited to go to dance, so I was a little curious as to why she wasn't doing anything. I know they all have their days...so figured she just wasn't feeling it. The class was working on all sorts of fun dance moves and not yet practicing their snowman routine. Ms. Barbara closed the shades so us peeping mom's would quite distracting the kids through the window and I wasn't sure what happened for the rest of class. When they came out, I asked the teacher if Hailey ever got up to dance and she said, "Yes, she did the WHOLE snowman dance - she kept telling me she didn't want to do any other dancing, just that she was waiting for the snowman dance." Ha! Too funny. That was encouraging.

I don't really have high expectations for the show this next Friday night...after today, I'm actually wondering if they'll even get her to come out on stage. It would be nice to see her (especially since tickets were $10/seat and we have a lot of family coming to see her), but hopefully I will refrain from being a crazy stage mom and be happy for the experience - even if she doesn't show up with the other little snowmen on stage.

So back to this weekend. We've had a really busy weekend (with this being my first down time) and like I mentioned already, Hailey hasn't been napping too well lately. She's also been up late the last few nights. Pete took Hailey to practice yesterday so I could prepare the house for some friends who came over for our annual gingerbread house building/decorating party. The practice was at the studio, with lots and lots of kids there. The idea was to get our little girls used to the crazy that will be backstage on the day of. They each have a teenager assigned to them during the show, so they got to meet them and then they did their practice behind closed doors.

Apparently the snowmen have the most expensive outfits and they are on loan from the studio (thankfully). We do not get to take them home as the kids have to share them (there are 3 different shows with 3 different sets of snowmen and they all share outfits).

Today was the dress rehearsal at the theater. Hailey was already super tired, so I wasn't too excited to take her. The toilet paper party the girls *threw* right before the practice might have been a cause for the tired bit, but hey, that was the best use of toilet paper today! And do you see it? It's a toilet paper heart shaped cloud!

Anyway, getting Hailey into her outfit proved to be a challenge when she started screaming and arching her back and saying she didn't want to dance. By this time, everyone else was dressed and had entered the theater. We were still trying to get dressed in the lobby. I told her that if she got her whole costume on and did the dance on stage she would be able to have a teeny ice cream treat when we got home. I hate bribes. Especially sugary ones. But I was also really tired and at that point, I didn't know what else to do in order to get her in there before it was too late. The bribe worked a little bit. I managed to get her tights and leotard on (it was a crying struggle) and into the theater we went. We were to get their accessories on them in the theater and then they'd be called up to the stage.

First came the tutu. Now, Hailey LOVES tutu's...but she wasn't having it. She hugged me and I managed to tie the thing around her as I was hugging her. Next came the scarf. She didn't want it. I got it around her neck by mentioning the ice cream (man, I can't believe I bribed her like this!), but she didn't want me to put it on her how it was supposed to go. Then she refused the hat, gloves and leg warmers. Totally refused them. I even mentioned the ice cream - it didn't work that time. I went on stage with her and helped her find her spot on stage (she's on an end) and I stepped to the side of the stage. The music came on and the teacher danced with them. They all danced. Well, all but Hailey that is. She stood there. I'm pretty sure she was chanting "ice cream, ice cream, ice cream" in her head the whole time. The group went in their little side stepping circle and she just stood there. Then after some more cute moves, the group exited the stage (to the side she was on) and yup, she just stood there (as in, she didn't exit and the others had to go around her). Then the music stopped. She looked over to me and said, "I get ice cream now!". Wow. That's my girl!

She fell asleep as soon as the truck started moving, but woke up during the transfer and didn't want to go down for a nap (a friend came over after church today and she was excited to see him again). We had another losing battle with nap time. We'll be hitting the internets on how to deal with this new wave of parenting. We've tried what we know and it's just not working. The girl is so tired lately though (maybe over-stimulated?)...

Fun facts about Hailey:

  • The first words Hailey spoke upon waking up this morning were, "I get to wear my fancy dress today!".
  • Hailey wants to wear tutu's every single day (well, actually the "fancy dress" has been winning this whole week). And every single day she wears a tutu is another day to convince her that it is really cold outside and we should wear warm layers with her tutu. She never wants stretch pants on with her tutu... some days I wonder if she's actually warm because she's turned down all offers of warmer clothes and opted for a summer dress with a tutu under it (maybe I should pack away the summer dresses now...). She has even been sleeping in tutu's lately too (over her PJ's). 
  • She also likes headbands. She fell asleep with a headband in her hand tonight...I went in to check on Charlotte and there was Hailey, sleeping with her hand grasping that headband so tightly...I didn't want to risk waking her up by removing the headband. I went in an hour later and she still had it in her hand, but her arm had moved and her grip was looser - I set the headband on the floor next to her bed. Her first words tomorrow morning will probably be, "where's my headband?".
  • I'm amazed at how good her memory is. Quite some time ago my parents watched the girls for us and Hailey had an accident in her underwear (and I apparently forgot to pack extras). My mom put one of Charlotte's diapers on Hailey and we had a good laugh about it. Well, Hailey still randomly brings it up and says, "One time, Grandma put me in Charlotte's diaper! (insert really silly laugh here)". 
  • Hailey can use the toilet all on her own (as in, pants down, sit, go, wipe, pants up, flush, wash hands). We still help wipe if we suspect it would be a good idea (you know what I mean).
  • She gets herself dressed in the mornings (including picking out which tutu she's going to wear, of course).
  • She can carry on a conversation on the phone. Wow, totally weird and awesome. I was so happy to have caught the following phone call with Daddy on camera.

    One last little factoid:

    • We are still very rarely sleeping through the night. If it's not Charlotte, it's Hailey waking us up (more often than not these days). Not sure why Hailey wakes up so much in the middle of the night. Growing? Hungry? Has to pee? ??? One night recently she was up at least 8 times in the night. It's getting old. I want my sleep back.

    And on that note, I was planning on sharing some fun facts about Charlotte too...but it's late now and I'm tired. This pic will have to do. :)