About El Momma

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Whole New World- A Night of Theatre at Our House

So, you may have heard. We had a star-studded performance of Aladdin performed exclusively at our home this Summer. You didn't hear about it? Well, here is the press coverage to prove it. Now that you know about it, you won't want to miss what we are doing next Summer. It's gonna be off the hook!

Here is the story of how this came to be:

Houston offers amazing Summer activities for kids: camps, events at the zoo, museums, theatres, etc. One of the things I was really interested in getting Bakri involved in (our four year old) was musical theatre. He loves music and loves acting things out. But, he is a four year old boy and his attention span is not yet cut out for intensive 3 hour rehearsals. So, my very bright husband said, why don't you just do your own musical? hey. That is a great idea. I'll teach the kids a musical that we can do at the house. It will give us something fun to do on those hot Texas Summer days and the kids will love it.

And, they did. It was super easy. First, I had to pick the musical. I chose Aladdin, because the kids were familiar with the movie and liked it AND when I did a quick google search, I was able to find the script right away online.

Through Amazon.com/mp3s I was able to download all of the music from the soundtrack and a few of the songs in the karaoke style(without voices.) It was perfect. We picked the most energetic song first and got to work...uhhhh....play. The first song we learned was "One Jump Ahead." I choreographed it. Which basically means when the song says "Jump" I had the kids jump! And when it said "swing" I had them swing their arm. It was so simple, and so easy.

After we learned the first song, we moved on to the rest. The kids had their favorites, but we would practice them all.

The costumes were super easy too. I used white baseball pants and stitched patches on them. And I cut the vests out of felt. The Prince Ali costume was the most fun to make. I used a child size straw hat that I found at Goodwill and covered it with a white puffy silk material. I then placed a feather and jewel on it. It really looked nice.

The backdrop was also made of felt. I drew the castle and cut that out of posterboard. We had pottery barn outdoor lights which I used to make the stage more lit up. Over all, our house served as a very good location for a theatrical production.

So, if you are up for something to do next Summer with your kiddos, I would highly recommend this activity. It's a ton of fun and very rewarding. Here are some photos of our Summer Musical 2009!

Dress rehearsal....what's in this lamp?
Trying on his costume. Maddux played the part of Abu (the monkey) and the genie. Really both of the boys did most everything together.
Here is Bakri in his Aladdin costume.
The boys together.
The backdrop.
Last minute touches before opening night!
The show begins....

The audience (our family came to the house for my birthday and the Aladdin performance!)
Prince Ali!

Singing "A Whole New World" on the magic carpet ride!

The end!
Some after photos!

Actors can be so dramatic. :-)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Embracing the Chaos...Again

The kids working on our Summer Musical "Aladdin"
So, after my post about embracing the chaos and how crazy life with 3 little ones under the age of 4 can be, I really felt encouraged by all of you.

I know many of us are in the same boat, or we know someone in the same boat, or we captained that boat many years ago and survived. So, there are plenty of similar stories to tell.

Just thought I'd give you a glimpse into my day today....

Today, started off pretty normal for us. None of the three Els typically wake up at the same time. It is a staggering process. T was the first to rise this morning. She was awake 3 times last night and I was awake with her. She is 11 months old today and has 2 bottom teeth, 3 top teeth and another coming. So, I'll blame her restlessness on the teething and move along.

Maddux was next. On most days, he's our first to rise. We call him our early-riser, but it's usually not before 7:30, so I consider myself pretty lucky in that department. Well, he was up. And looking for us. Normally we are in our bedroom in the morning, But, yesterday we moved out of our bedroom to remodel it and into our fourth bedroom (which we use as a multipurpose room- an office/ playroom/ laundry room.) That room has all sorts of fun things for kids to do. But, all Maddux wanted to know was where did I sleep? We moved a bed in there, so that was the obvious answer.

Maddux and Trinity and I went downstairs and made a big breakfast. Since Trinity has started eating scrambled eggs, her breakfasts have become a lot easier for me. So, everybody had scrambled eggs and avocado. Perfect! And, we're done...oh, wait. The 3rd El was still asleep.

At 9:30, Bakri made his way down the stairs and announced "I'm hungry for breakfast. I want some bacon, please." And, so I obliged. Bacon for breakfast and a pancake on a stick...

Get dressed, turn on Sesame Street...Mommy gets dressed...baby takes a quick nap....and, we're out the door to the Y. I can't ever seem to make it to Yoga class on time. No matter what I do. I am ALWAYS the last one in the door. I do have a million good excuses - had to put 3 kids in car seats, had to get 3 kids out of car seats, had to walk with 3 kids from the parking lot to the Y, had to check 3 kids into the Youth Activity Center, etc. It goes on and on! So, when I am five minutes late- I consider it an accomplishment. Way to go, me!

Finished my class and went back to get the kids. This is when I get a little nervous as I casually ask "how did they do?" The answer today was they did great. Middle El pushed Baby El down once....uggggghh....but, other than that, they were good. My goodness, is there any chance one of my big kids won't push my baby as she is innocently walking around the room cute as a bug in her little tennis shoes and purple leggings??? Come on!

Ok, quick scolding session "don't push your baby sister. You know better than that. Good job behaving the rest of the time. Don't push your sister again...blah, blah, blah. Do you understand?" Answer: "Yes, Ma'am." Alright, moving on.

Now, we have to make it back to the car safely. Everybody grab a hand and let's go!

Home again. Time for lunch. The requests start pouring in.

Bakri: I want Sausage

Maddux: I want grilled cheese sandwich

Trinity: Num num

Turn on the griddle and get lunch started. Light the fire. Bakri breaks out into song ala Johnny Cash "Ring of Fire." So, we turn on the music and everybody joins in as we make sausage and grilled cheese sandwiches on the griddle and steam some broccoli. It was a great lunch! Everybody gets a cookie or 2 for such good behavior at lunch! Way to go!

While eating cookies, we must all grunt like cookie monster. Have you ever thought about some of the not-so-positive habits that are reinforced on Sesame Street? Just a side note, but there is Cookie Monster (really bad table manners,) Baby Bear (mispronounces most words,) and Elmo (talks in a really high annoying voice.) I still love it, but seriously it is pretty funny when you think about it.

So, now it is naptime. 2 out of 3 are sleeping now and one is rolling around (aka fighting a nap) on the couch.

Hope you are all having a great day.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Austin Mini-Holiday with Some Forever Friends

You know the kind of friend that when you see each other after being apart for a week, or a month, or a year, or five years, it's like you were together yesterday. You just pick up right where you left off. Life has changed you. Circumstances have changed. Children have grown. Babies have been born. But, it's like nothing has changed. Because, this is your forever friend. Someone you can always connect with, talk to, listen to and love unconditionally. I have been blessed beyond belief to have so many special friends like this. Many from my youth, from college, from my days in LA and now from my time in Houston.

At the end of July, we headed to Austin to have a mini-vacation with some very special. Some of my best friends from college, their husbands and kiddos all met in Austin and rented a little house. We had a wonderful time. There were 4 families all together 8 adults and 7 kids. It was such a refreshing weekend (even with 7 little ones.) It is always nice to be together. Here are a few pics.

Maddux and Bakri playing on the playground at Zilker park.

Maddux in the house.

Me & T on the Zilker Train....toot toot!

Jonah and Michael.

playing in the very cold and very slippery water.

Maddux and his buddy Cypress. These boys are just 1 month a part in age.

M and C.

Maddux, the keeper of the door.

Meriwether- Trinity's friend...Cypress' sister. She is just 1 month younger than Miss T.

I was in charge of breakfast on Saturday and so....I made pancakes! Here is Owen patiently waiting to be served.

Bakri, Trinity and mommy on the train.

2 of the boys exploring outside.



more pancake pics!
huge stack of pancakes! yum

The girls! Yes, there were just 2. There is another on the way!

The boat.

In the pack n play.

The girls!

Hot and a little bothered.

The boys in the water.