Monday, February 25, 2013

A Day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

We left are house early to navigate our way through the subway's in time for story time at the Met.  Sometimes plans just don't work out, we arrived 15 minutes early and Nolan's Library was already packed to capacity.  The girls were disappointed and honestly I had no clue what to do or where to start in this ginormous building.  I had packed sketch pads and colored pencils thinking they may like to use their own abilities to recreate the art but as I looked up at the space around me I felt completely overwhelmed as to were to even begin.

I had no idea how the girls would do or if we would last 30 minutes but I decided to spend the little extra money and get them their own auto tour and once we were all situated we set off on a treasure hunt.  Every time one of the girls found a code to enter into their head sets they would say, "I found treasure," and then we would enter the codes and dive into learning about the art.

We actually went on a search to find some Degas and Monet but the harder we looked the more lost we became.  We ended up giving up on our search and decided to just roam around and go with the flow.   As I looked around I couldn't help but be charmed by the museum itself, It reminded me of the estates in a Jane Austin novel and I wondered if this is what she had in mind when she wrote about Mr. Darcy's Pemberley. 

 Some of our favorite exhibits where some furniture pieces from Louie the xiv, the hall of rare musical instruments including some of the very first piano forte made during the early 1700's,  the department of arms and armor and the period rooms from different era's.

Estee in the department of arms and armor
I think the girls favorite section was the department of Egyptian Art.  Coppelia is a bit obsessed biblical stories and some of her favorites are the ones of Moses.   If you ever visit my children you may be asked to play the 10 plagues of Egypt, this has become a common act out in our home.  The girls entered the room, saw a giant statue and began calling it the Pharaoh and Moses room.  

At one point Coppelia asked me to read what one of the plaques said and I began reading about Ramesses and she says, "Hey Ramesses is Moses's brother."  I'm not sure if we were reading about the same one there were a few Ramesses, but I was impressed none the less that she knew that.  At another point we walked into a room where a tour guide was giving a speech and with the mention of Moses the girls ran straight to the tour guide and finished the lecture.  

We ended up spending 5.5 hours at the museum and we would have stayed longer if it hadn't been for the fact both of their audio tour's batteries had died.  It was a wonderful day and place we will have to revisit on our next trip to NYC.  Maybe next time will catch the story time but even if we don't make it I know that we will be able to spend a day finding and learning about all sorts of artistic treasures.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Baby's turned 5

It's crazy to think how little they were 5 years ago.  I remember looking at them wondering what their personalities would be like or what they would grow up to do.  Now that they are 5 I can see through pictures and video's that their personalities have been their all along just gotten more defined with time.  

I'm kind of obsessed with my little dynamic duo.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't give thanks to God for these miracles and not a day goes by that I'm not awed by his creativity and his knowing us so well that he allowed Tyler and I to be their parents.  It's amazing the things you learn about yourself while parenting it becomes a constant process of refining ourselves.  

These little girls have a way of keeping me on my toes.  I've had so many people comment on their over the top enthusiasm and hilarious antics and although I think they are both individually dramatic I think as twins they got a double dose of awesome with their built in side kick.  They play off each other   so well and the moments and comments escalate until I either want to rip my hair out or laugh till I pee my pants.  I think that's how it goes with over the top personalities it comes with an equal amount of Mom wanting to pull her hair out moments, but I wouldn't trade it for anything!!!   

You woke me up at 6:00 on your birthday ready for a bath, you wanted to get glamorous for your big day.  That's how you are, you wake up early and go from 0-200 in a nano second ready to take the world by storm.  When you learned to walk you never toddled, you walked like you were 16 and ready to take the runway and that's how you still are, physical.  I love watching you dance because you don't just twirl, no, you actually do real ballet moves, complicated ones that are not normal for someone your age.  You started riding a two wheeler bike and swimming at age 4.  You love to hula hoop but one hoop wont do, you can do up to 3 but maybe I should buy you more hoops to see if you can do more. You asked for a pogo stick for Christmas and you bounce on that thing as if you could have been born with one spring instead of feet.  You are a one person circus!  

You also remind me so much of your Daddy.  Some people would say the question "why?" is rude but your Daddy thinks "why?" is the best question.  If your always asking why makes you more like your Daddy then I hope you never stop asking it. You also ask some of the best questions and are really good at cross connecting ideas so if things don't add up you'll call us out on it.  You also happened to be obsessed with religion so sometimes your questions leave me with headaches. 

I love you Coppie!  

Estee MoMo,

You are so sweet!  From the moment you were born you had a way of connecting with people, someone would hold you in their arms and you would look deep into their eyes and just connect, I'm not sure how else to describe it.  To this day you still connect with people in a personal way.  You can go from the life of the party to sitting back taking it all in.  You are pure sunshine and warmth and your heart is big and beautiful you make my heart smile with your songs.  You tell me, "God made me a singing girl because I love to sing." I tell you, "I love the song God put in your heart."

You have natural grace and flow in your movement and I love watching you.  Your gymnastic coach called you a bar girl because you do kick overs with ease, you understand it's the rhythm and flow of your body that makes the movement.  With that same grace you dive into a pool and swim on your own and with your amazing rhythm I wonder if you'll be a dancer.  You are incredibly smart and with the same focus you give a puzzle or any problem solving activity you picked up on piano playing and music comprehension quickly.

You are SO funny!  You are a sarcastic mumbler with perfect timing.  I sometimes feel bad because if I retail a story of something you did or said it would never do it justice.  Your delivery is on point and you have your Daddy and I up late at night laughing as we talk about our days.  

The only way to describe you two is similar but different.  For instance you both love the movie Princess and the Pop star but Coppelia's favorite version is Barbie and Estee's is Veggie tales.  I think that is the best example I can give to your personalities.  

We went to American girl today where you made your final decision on which doll you wanted and it came as no surprise that the term "similar but different" was very much evident in your decisions.  Coppelia went with the now a day's doll and named her Stacy Sparkle, then later changed it to Charlotte Sparkle.  Estee chose a historic doll from the Great Depression era named Ruthie.

After our big purchases we headed home to pick up Daddy for some more fun.

We started by taking the girls to watch the helicopters land and take off.  The girls really wanted to go see the Statue of Liberty but we missed the last boat by 2 minutes.  So we took a walk to World Trade Memorial (you need to get a pass in advance to get in) and then we went out to a fancy dinner where we met up with cousin Emily.

After dinner we came back home for some Baskin and Robins ice cream cake!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Their First Musical On Broadway - Newsies

Today's artistic adventure was to experience their first musical on Broadway!   I wanted their first experience to be one they'd remember forever so I chose Newsies because Andrew Keenan-Bolger plays Crutchie.  

During this past summer's Mommy Performing Art School, one of our weeks was Broadway and during this week we watched some of Andrew's video from behind the scenes of this Broadway musical.  Andrew also has a really awesome YouTube channel that the girls and I randomly watch and if your a theatre nut like me or just someone who is entertained by theatrical people you should definitely check it out!  

The show was AMAZING!  
It had 8 tony nominations and won for best choreography!
The girls did wonderful, but how could they not? they were on the edge of their seats the whole time completely entranced.  Estee kept looking at me with big eyes during the show saying, "they are such good dancers."  

When the show ended the girls clapped harder and screamed loudest for Andrew!  I think he has life long fans.

They waited for him outside to get an autograph but he didn't come out.  I think Coppelia was most bummed that she didn't get a chance to invite him to their 5th birthday tomorrow.  

So glad we choose this as their first show on Broadway and I look forward to the shows we will see in the future!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Radio City With My Future Rockettes

I can officially say that Coppelia has wanted to be a Rockette for over half her life so when I heard that you could get a backstage tour of this art-deco historical gem I knew I had to take the girls.  When we showed up to buy tickets I had some looks from people like "you really plan to bring 2 little kids on this tour" but those concerns were quickly gone in the first few minutes.  The girls walked into the theatre with eyes as big as saucers and they both kept saying how gorgeous it was.  

The girls have done their homework they of course have seen the Radio City Christmas Spectacular movie, own the soundtrack and have gone through a timeline of video's and photographs many times but still wanted more.  For over an hour the girls took in all the information as they explained everything from the design of the carpets which they call "visual jazz" to the hydraulics used under the stage.  This tour is full of history and art and a must see for anyone taking a trip to New York.  We happened to come at a very good time, there is only about 5 or 6 times a year where it happens but we actually got to go on the stage and visit under the stage and see the hydraulics system (side note: also the place they turn into a barn for the animals that appear in the Christmas Spectacular for 7 weeks)

Us on stage
She was too excited for a normal picture
powdering her nose in the women's lounge

The statue was called "The Spirit of Dance" 

She really liked this costume
We also got a chance to meet a real Rockette and ask her questions.  The first thing Estee said to her was, "My sister wants to be a Rockette when she grows up."  We were not able to use our own camera so I'm not able to upload that picture right now.  

Radio City wasn't the only thing we were able to fit in today we also made a trip to FAO Schwarz.

Build a muppet... way cooler then build a bear!

The nursery
Dancing while playing
It was quite the day, this mama is beyond tired.  Time to get some sleep, because tomorrow is another day full of new artistic adventures to explore!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Final Musical Theatre Lesson

Today the girls had their final lesson with Miss. Natalie.
We stayed around our house for the majority of the day because the day of our last lesson we walked all over the city and the girls were ready to pass out by the time they arrived.  They did much better today!  Coppie usually is the one to bring the drama and energy and Estee on the other hand is much more focused, she is the one who struggles with her speech so theatre has been a great way to get her to focus on pronunciation. I was very proud of Estee she did a wonderful job memorizing her lyrics in preparation for her final lesson.  

The girls worked on the song "Sisters" from White Christmas.  In their two lessons they were able to learn the song and choreography and then today in the last 3 minutes were able to perform it for us.  It wasn't performance ready of course but sweet and precious and it brought a huge smile to my face. Estee was singing her heart out and Coppelia insisted that she wanted to use her inside voice because we were inside.  She later told me that singing that long made her voice tired.  

Who knows where life will take them but there is so many important lessons to be learned through drama I hope it remains a part of our lives for a long time.  All in All I'm glad the girls took these lessons and I hope that next time we come back that they can do something like this again.  

Day 3 - Not so artsy Sunday at American Girl

After a deep sleep induced by Tylenol PM I woke up to my sounds of my eager beavers asking to go to the American Girl store.  Fortunately I was feeling a bit better so we got all bundled up for this windy 28 degree day and made it too our new favorite donut shop where the girls were greeted upon arrival with 3 of the staff saying, "Hey, our girls are here!"  After all the special attention and sugar rush we made our way to the subway where I faced my fears and navigated my way through the city without Tyler.  

The girls have been saving their Christmas and Birthday money for New York and they have plans to buy a doll.  My job is to teach them not to be impulse shoppers, a hard lesson for an almost 5 year old who has their own money and wants it all.  I've told them that this trip to American Girl was going to be a looking trip and that after seeing all their options they could take a few days to think about which one they wanted and we would return for the big purchase on their 5th birthday (Thursday).  We spent about 2 hours at the store where they picked up little pictures of the dolls they wanted so they could decide at home.

There big decision is if they want a modern doll or a historical doll that comes with a book series

The girl of the year is Saige

She is a cowgirl and artist.

Are you impressed I made it there and back using the subway while managing 2 girls with their heads in the clouds?  You should be!

I have come to a conclusion... I love New York but just like DisneyWorld you should never go on a weekend.  Looking forward to Monday!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Day 2 - Museum of Natural History

Today we ventured to the Museum of Natural History.  I think it's important that as we explore the art around us we remember the ultimate artist.  Although you won't find God mentioned in this museum his work is evident in his creation.

Coppelia has been asking to visit a planetarium for a couple of months now and could it get any better then going to the very same place that we saw Ben Stiller play the night watchman in "Night at the Museum." I'm pretty sure Ben Stiller went during the best hours, Saturday afternoons are a little too crowded for me, but I'm sure any place on Saturday is bound to be packed. 

The girls and I have a favorite evening activity in the summer time, I let them stay up late, we make a bowl of popcorn and layout under the stars our favorite nights are of course in August during the meteor showers.  Today we even got to see a meteor.  We eventually made our way up to the theatre to watch the movie.  It started off very peaceful we looked like we were laying under the stars in the city and then we were in the sky in the stars and Coppie FREAKED OUT!  What should have been a fun entertaining movie on stars turned into a horror film for her.  At one point it went into what happens when stars burn out and it said something along the lines of, "human will cease to exist."  She says loudly with tears in her eyes, "but I'm human!  Oh I wish I was in heaven right now!"  Needless to say the planetarium was a total bust and I hope they don't run screaming next summer when I want to stay up late and watch the stars.

We made our way to the African gallery where the girls where fascinated by all the animals that lives so close to Uncle Chris, DeeDee and their African cousins.  

The elephants
There was another exhibits at the museum that caught the girls eye it was a butterfly garden.  The same one the girls have read over and over again in one of their books.

I'm so glad we did this!

one landed on Daddy's head

Estee rescued one and eventually with after much patience she  held one on her finger.
Although Fancy Nancy is certain that butterfly's speak french we are not convinced, we said bonjour but none of them responded.

After the museum we headed cross the street to Central Park.  After the crowds of the museum, fresh air and space felt beyond amazing!  

I tried to take a nice picture but they all fell forward into the mud... glad I caught that 
We finally made it home where you can find Coppelia playing super model

And Estee working on the music to Seussical the Musical.

I wonder if this is a glimpse into the teenage years.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Day 1 - Musical Theatre Lessons

I love the excitement that comes from kids.  It doesn't matter that this time zone is two hours ahead, the girls still woke up before the sun ready to explore the city and to experience a subway.  Eventually they got me to roll our of bed and we bundled up to go in search of breakfast and some much needed coffee.  Daddy had a few hours of work to do before we could head out so we walked across the street to the park.

I wish we as adults where more like kids on the playground.  It doesn't matter that they don't know everyone or that some of the kids don't even speak the same language because in every culture and every language children play and they will find a way to play together.  The girls invented a game together of kicking ice back and forth, each time the ice chunk came to them they stomped on it until the ice was shattered and they would get a new chunk. They pulled random kids into their made up game for a time and eventually moved on to pirate play as they transferred the play structure into a pirate ship.  

Once Tyler had finished work for the day we took two very excited girls on the subway.  

Estee rode the whole way with a smirk on her face.

The girls and I on the Ruby Red Steps at Time Square
We made our way to time square where the girls saw Broadway and were pointing out different shows they would like to see.  We took a trip to the Toys r us to ride the Ferris Wheel and to see Barbie's mansion.  We then went and had a late lunch at a little diner.  We were all dragging at this point and needed a nap but the girls had a very special lesson in an hour and we were hoping a little sitting down would do them some good.  By the time we were finished Estee was half asleep and Coppelia wasn't too far behind.

They turned the condiments into characters.  Ketchup and Sugar met at a ball, fell in love and got married in city hall.  Then then had two babies little salt and pepper.  Their was a little cameo from fork the mailman.

We then made our way to Ripley Grier Studios where the girls got a private lesson from a Broadway actress.  I so very badly wish I could have been a little fly on the wall and seen their rehearsal but I know from years of experience with teaching dance that kids are not at their best with parents in the room.  But I was able to listen at the door as they began learning the song "Sisters" from White Christmas.  We have another lesson on Monday and we have been given homework to work on the lyrics and then at the end of Monday's rehearsal we will get a little performance of what they have been working on.

The girls and their teacher.... sorry my camera died and it was taken on a blurry phone camera.
As soon as the lesson was over we dragged ourselves back home, ate dinner and crashed.  Honestly I find it amazing the girls were able to function at all during the lesson.  Tyler and I were beat and my eyes where burning with a need for sleep.

Until tomorrow
when we find more art to explore.