Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tiare Maere Hia

Another Dagny-centric post, she's been a busy girl.

Whenever your kids are involved in things, that means that you're involved. Funny how that always happens. Dagny had a lot going on this weekend, so that meant I had a lot going on. It was the closing weekend of Fiddler, and a dance competition. Fiddler doesn't involve me much, I was the backstage mom at the Saturday matinee, watched the show closing night, then drove Dagny and her friends to the cast party. The dance competition is another story, it's labor intensive. I have to get Dagny's costume ready, braid her hair, drive, help in the dressing room, do the dancers make-up, take lots of pictures, and then discuss every nuance of the performance on the way home. I also get to have a really good time hanging out with my Tahitian dancer.

Here is a breakdown of the weekend by the numbers;

2 - how many times I watched Fiddler On The Roof
8 - trips to the Village Theater
11:30 - time we got home on Saturday night after the cast party
1 hour - how long it took to braid Dagny's hair
6 - number of french braids
1:00 am - time I went to bed
4:30 am - time I got up
2 - hours to drive to Merced
8:30 am - checked in at the competition
4 hours - how long we waited in the dressing room before the performance
7 minutes - how long Dagny was on stage
102 - pictures taken
5 hours - spent waiting for the awards ceremony
10 minutes - length of the awards ceremony
0 - number of awards won
2 - hours to drive home
24 hours - to recuperate

the result of the braids

drummers, musicians, dancers

lovely dancers

part of Tiare Maere Hia

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunrise, Sunset

And now for the gushing;

Fiddler on the Roof was amazing, everything about it. Sets, costumes, acting, choreography, singing, it was a great show. This was Dagny's 4th production with DCMT, and it was the best yet. Dagny really wanted to play Hodel, getting the part meant a lot to her, so this show was very special. I have heard Dagny sing Far From the Home I Love everyday for months, but getting to hear her sing it on stage was like hearing it for the first time. I will keep the gushing to a minimum and just say that I am in awe of her poise and impressed by her talent. I really enjoyed watching my child do something that she loves, I am incredibly proud.


Maybe Yente found a match for you, Tzeitel

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Are you asking me to marry you?

We would like your blessing, Papa

Look at my daughters eyes, she loves him

It's a match!

I must go

Far from the home I love

Friday, March 27, 2009


Yesterday I learned that I am a Mommy Blogger. I was chatting with a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile, and I casually mentioned that I had started a blog. (casually mentioned = telling her to read my blog and letting her know that she better leave comments) She said, “Oh, you’re a Mommy Blogger” I had never heard the term, but it seems to fit. Until recently I never read people’s personal blogs, I had no idea that all of this mommy blogging was going on. Now that I know about it, I’m fascinated. There are women who are really putting themselves out there, sharing their lives, the good and the bad. They aren’t afraid to admit that life isn’t perfect and that being a mother is hard. Some of them are also really, really, funny. I have no problem being labeled a MB, it’s good company to be in. Since my kids are no longer small and cute, I feel like I am at a disadvantage as a MB. Let’s face it, writing about a teenager can’t compare with a good potty training story.

I used to have sweet, adorable children who acted like this

Now I have this

At least I have something that will stay small and cute

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

An Apple A Day

A couple of months ago Dagny lost misplaced her iPod. After a half-hearted attempt at looking for it, she decided it was no big deal that it was gone and started using one of my old iPods. That leads to the question, why did we buy a new iPod if we already had one? The answer is simple; Apple is the most diabolically brilliant company in the world. Whenever they come out with the latest and greatest version of a product they help you realize that the product you just bought from them is total junk, and your life is not complete without the newest version of said product.

Parade of iPods

(all in working order, but the iPhone is the only one I can actually be seen with)

*Dagny's iPod was eventually found, by me

Monday, March 23, 2009

Date Night

Shopping at Costco - $150

Dinner at Costco - $3

Time with Steve - Priceless

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Fiddler On The Roof opened this weekend.

Expect a lot more pictures and some gushing about how amazing Dagny is as Hodel.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Confession

Hi, my name is Natasha and I am a scrapbooker.

I started scrapbooking about 12 years ago, and right from the start it felt natural to me. Once I got into it I realized that I’d been scrapbooking all my life. I’ve always arranged my pictures and labeled them and saved mementos to put in my photo albums.

I see scrapbooking as a way to express myself artistically; it’s a creative outlet. I don’t scrapbook for future generations, I do it for myself, simply because I enjoy it. My style has evolved through the years, but I have never really been into cute or trendy. I prefer clean, uncluttered pages that focus on the pictures.

Scrapbooking is a fabulous hobby for me for lots of reasons, but mostly because I enjoy shopping. There is a never-ending array of gadgets and supplies to buy. I love going to the annual Scrapbook Expo where there are giant rooms filled with things for me to purchase. I also go there to take classes and learn new techniques, but mostly I buy things. Lots of things. I think I may need a twelve step program.

Shopping Nirvana

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Secret Identity

I love my name. I love the way it looks, I love writing it, I love the way it sounds, I love everything about it. I haven't always loved it, but it's a woman's name and I have grown into it. When you have a name that is out of the ordinary people tend to not be able to spell it or pronounce it correctly. I like my name so much that when it gets mutilated it pains me. That is why I adopted a secret identity. It all started several years ago at Starbucks. When you place your order at Starbucks they write your name on your cup, then when your drink is ready they call out your name. The person writing my name could never spell it, or the person calling for me could never pronounce it. To make it easier on all of us, I became Jill. Everyone could spell Jill's name. Jill worked out so well at coffee shops she started going to the car wash, the dry cleaners, the nail salon, anywhere that I didn't want the hassle of having to teach someone how to spell or say my name. Until now, there was only one person who knew my secret. Steve discovered it when he saw me with a cup with Jill's name on it. I confessed what was going on and instead of seeing the practicality of my actions, he thought I was completely crazy.(His name is Steve, how could he understand my need for a secret identity?) Now that my cover is blown I have to go back to being Natasha for awhile, but Jill was just my first secret identity, not my last.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Girls Night Out

While the boys were off skiing Dagny and I had girls night out. We went to see this:

It's a cabaret style revue that spoofs show tunes, characters, and plots of Broadway Musicals past and present. It's completely irreverent, shocking, a little naughty and quite possibly the funniest thing I've ever seen. Dagny and I are obsessed with musicals, so this was the perfect show for us because we got all the inside jokes. (I got all the jokes, I'm hoping some of them went over Dagny's head)


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Where The Boys Are

Steve and Dane spent the weekend doing this:

Dagny and I didn't go with them, we stayed behind because Dagny had to go to dance rehearsals. We were sad that we missed out on all the fun, like getting up at 5:00 in the morning and freezing all day. It looks like they were able to enjoy themselves without us.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Escape From Race to Witch Mountain

When I was a kid I loved the movie Escape to Witch Mountain. I wanted Tony and Tia to be my friends; I wanted a marionette stage of my own, psychic powers, and a secret star box that would explain that I actually came from a different planet. (I was a weird kid) Seriously, I loved that movie.

Now they have made this:

Why do they have to re-make beloved movies from the 70's? Are there no original ideas out there, or are they just trying to hurt me? Several years ago I watched the original Witch Mountain with my kids. They had a good laugh at the special effects, but enjoyed the story. They said there was no way they’d go see the new movie, I appreciate their solidarity.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Just Desserts

One of the things I love about where we live is our close proximity to cool stuff. Charming Downtown Danville is within walking distance, so we have easy access to all kinds of fun things. I grew up in Arizona where it’s too hot to walk anywhere, so being able to walk to a store or a restaurant is a big deal for me.

Danville has a ton of dessert places, all within a couple blocks of each other. We have enjoyed all of them at one time or another, but something new and wonderful has moved into our neighborhood. I’m talking about Tutti Frutti Yogurt. I don’t even like frozen yogurt and I’m obsessed with this place. Their yogurt is tasty and the flavors are exotic. (Taro, Lychee, Pomegranate…) It’s not inexpensive so I will admit that the fact that we went there 4 times this week is a bit extreme. I was only going to go twice, but Dane talked me into the third and fourth trips. He's persuasive that way. Dagny is too embarrassed to go with us anymore because the people who work there are starting to recognize us.

green apple yogurt with fresh fruit and lychee jellies

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Family That Plays Together...

We are a very competitive bunch. We like to play games together but it doesn't always end well. Family games often end with pouting on one side and gloating on the other. Steve and Dagny are very magnanimous winners, they are a little less gracious when losing. Dane and I can be a little exuberant when we win. Dane even has a dance that accompanies his winning. This doesn't stop us from playing cards and board games together, but it has hampered our family enjoyment of the Wii. We bought the Wii to enhance our family game night, and for awhile we all had fun together, until Dane got better than the rest of us. He wins every single time at every single game.

        intently trying to win                                                                                  barely trying, still winning

this is what winning looks like 

This is not a problem if you don't mind losing to him, but Steve and Dagny do not enjoy losing, so that leaves Dane with only me to play with. I don't really pose much of a challenge for him, but we play MarioKart, and we have a good time. (I now know more about the Mario Universe than I ever thought I would) I like that Dane wants me to play with him, we really do have fun, but I have a secret hope that one of these days I will come in first and beat him. I know, dream big.

Dane's Wedding Cake

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Who Watches the Watchmen? We Do.

I am married to a fanboy. Steve loves all things geeky; comic books, video games, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings etc... I find this endearing, and over the years I have come to enjoy the things he enjoys. I am a geek by marriage. I admit it, I embrace it, and that is why I am able to go with Steve to see things like the Watchmen movie. The Watchmen comics came out when Steve was a teen and they are what got him interested in comic books. I read them years ago, and I was almost embarrassed at how much I liked them. (at that time I hadn't yet accepted my geek status) We approached the movie with trepadation, as we do all adaptations, and we were shocked at how good the movie was. Steve went so far as to say that the movie had a better ending. That is high praise coming from a comic book geek.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Do The Math

I left Dane in the car while I went to pay his piano teacher. When I came back he was laughing hysterically. That is never a good sign. To amuse himself for the all of 5 minutes that I was gone he took dozens of pictures of himself. My kids are no strangers to taking goofy pictures, but Dane had gone above and beyond. I loved it. I looked through the shots and I ended up laughing hysterically. Dane really is the comic relief.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Happy Birthday!

I was so involved in the creation of our house I feel like I gave birth to it. I consider it my third child. This month the house turns 2 and that deserves a celebration, and possibly a cake.

I have literally hundreds of pictures of the construction process, I could do a photo essay on every detail of the house. These are shots of the exterior as it evolved.

November '05

April '06

July '06

September '06

December '06

First Birthday

March '08

Monday, March 2, 2009

I Think, Therefore I Blog

What I have learned during my first month of blogging
  • it doesn't take up as much time as I thought it would
  • it's more fun than I thought it would be
  • it's addicting
  • comments make me happy

What my family has learned during my first month of blogging