Friday, July 26, 2013

Chloe's 6th Birthday

Chloe turned 6 nearly two weeks ago!  One reason it's taken so long to post pictures was the fact that we neglected our parental duties in picture taking.  We had a BBQ & pool party for her friends and their families.  The kids had fun swimming forever followed by taking turns on the zip line.  After swimming, zip line, and food, everyone got a chance to eat owl cupcakes.  I forgot to take pictures of the cupcakes before the party so they didn't look great by the time I pictured them.  They were still cute though and the kids seemed to enjoy them, especially the eyes.

Chloe got lots of great presents.  Do you notice the theme?  Owls.  For some reason Chloe loves owls and lemurs right now and owls were the easier of the two to pick for the party.  She got an owl pillow, custom owl shirt, owl dress, owl toys, lipsticks, a stuffed horse, horse reader books, money, and even a gift card to get her ears pierced.
 After the party was over we hopped into the car and went to Claire's to get her ears pierced.  She's been waiting for her 6th birthday to have them done.  Chloe's future mother in law was the one to pierce her ears (yes, Chloe has had plans to marry Trystan for the last two years).  She was brave, no crying.  Of course with all that was going on before we left, I forgot the camera next to the stairs.  Sigh.  Chloe spent tons of time in Claire's spending the rest of the gift card.  She was so excited.
Here Chloe is after getting home.  It was a long day and Chloe passed out hard.  Here she is with lots of her new gifts and even her new owl eye mask.
The following day Chloe and Etta went swimming with Eric and one of Chloe's new earrings had fallen out.  Of course it was closed up by the time Eric found the earring on the bottom of the pool and tried putting it back in.  We had to wait a week for the hole to close up and get re-pierced.  I brought the camera that time, but forgot it in the trunk of the car.  We are horrible parents!  Luckily Pilar had her phone camera on hand and tool a picture of that ear being pierced.  Once she returns to Spain, she can send me that picture.  For now, here is a picture of Chloe and her pretty butterfly earring.
She wants to be a big girl and is cleaning her ears by herself with my supervision.  She loves her new ears!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hair Cuts for Both the Girls

The girls were in need of hair cuts.  Etta has been planning on cutting her hair short and donating it since I donated mine in December.    I told her she could only after the State Pageant as well as the AAMTC Talent competition.  Since she has fulfilled her obligations, it was time to take a trip to Great Clips.  Chloe just needed her hair trimmed, layered, and textured to help thin it out.  Not much of a change, but she's happy it feels lighter.  
Before haircut.
After haircut.
Etta before haircut.

Here is Etta with two pony tails separating her hair.  I wished my hair had been put into two ponies because I could have donated more hair based on the way it was cut.  Of course that means Etta's hair is pretty short now.

Her hair was just shy of 10 inches so we are donating it to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths (which takes from 8 inches on) instead of Locks for Love.

Etta even filled out her first envelope and mailed her hair this afternoon.  She knows it was for a good cause, but I can tell she hasn't decided if she likes it or not.  I told her not to worry because if you don't like a hair cut, it will always grow back.  It will be an awesome hair cut for the rest of the summer and especially for our upcoming trip to Hawaii!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

AAMTC Talent Competition 2013

Etta has been working pretty hard for several months on a couple of talent routines for the American Amateur Modeling and Talent Competition with the plans on just doing the talent part.  The modeling is a little more free form and Etta likes structure.  There are 8 different categories girls can compete in: tap, jazz, ballet, acro/novelty dance, vocals, song and dance, musical theater, and novelty (any other talent not listed).  Etta wanted to do 5: tap, ballet, vocals, acro, and contortion.  Eric and I basically forbade her to ever sing as a talent but she really wanted to do it.  Today was a reminder why we are against singing.  Unless she wants to have voice lessons, we won't be doing that again.
She actually started with tap and looked super cute.  She was having headband issues during her performance and it was downhill from there.  She just looked terrified and kept messing with the headband.  Turns out the little ponytail that the comb was stuck in broke.  Go figure.  There were maybe 8 or 10 girls in the 7-8 year old age group so I was not surprised when she didn't place in tap or vocals.  I omitted those videos for a reason.
Ready for tap
Ballet was her third event and it went pretty well.  It wasn't her best job on the routine, but it still looked cute.  Not sure how many girls were entered in that event but she ended up with 3rd place.  Here is her routine.

Her 4th event was her acro dance routine.  I have to admit it was looking pretty dang good then near the end she forgot something and you could see her face go blank.  She skipped to the next thing but then she ended about 15 seconds early and thought she could just fill the gap with back walk overs.  So, I lost track of how many she did then she finally ended.  Needless to say, even if your routine is strong, if you mess up at the end that's what the judges are going to remember.  She did not place.  I was banking on her scoring well on ballet, acro, and contortion.
Etta's last event was her contortion routine in the novelty group.  There was a girl that did a monologue and several piano players.  Etta's routine looked great except she ended early.  Luckily the routine itself looked good.  She ended up winning first place in that event.  (oops, missed the first part of her routine on the video after placing her balancing canes on stage).

 3rd place for ballet
 1st for novelty
The girl with the most amount of points (only counting their top three places) won Talent of the year.  Etta wanted that so bad but it didn't happen this year.  I figure if she could work on these routines all this coming year, she'll be sitting pretty for the 2014 competition.

Monday, July 1, 2013

2013 Nevada State Cinderella Pageant

It's that time of year again.  Etta has been working hard all year long for the State pageant this year.  She's gone to every preliminary in Las Vegas this year to have practice speaking on stage as well as with the judges behind closed doors.  A lot of prep has gone into this week and she was ready.  The morning after the Cameo pageant was a Getting Acquainted Party with all the girls competing.

Ready to get acquainted with all the tots at state.
 Everyone wears the same dress so they all look the same in the following group picture.
All contestants

After the group picture, we had to get ready for interview.

I tried a cute new hairstyle with Etta.  It looked awesome, but the hairspray I used obviously couldn't keep the curl up.  Boo, I need to find something that will hold this look!
After all the interviews we had a welcome dinner followed by a bowling party.  Etta and a few other tots got to bowl on the same lane and she had so much fun.  
After the bowling party we headed back to the ballroom for the Souvenir Party.  During interviews parents put a small gift in a bag for each girl and they each get their bag full or goodies at the end of the party.  They do a lot of dancing like the Disco Cindy, YMCA, and several different group dance songs everyone would recognize from wedding parties.
The next morning the girls had to get ready for Tot Personality which I like to call on stage interview.  Here are a few of the girls ready to be on stage with Cinderella.
Oh my, Etta was amazing on stage.  Cinderella asked her about her favorite book and she said which book she likes the most and gave a description of the book.  Cinderella asked about her favorite food and Etta said pumpkin seeds because they are salty and crunchy. Cinderella asked what she wants to be when she grows up and her answer was to be a contortionist for Cirque du Soleil. It was awesome, every question Etta came back with a great answer and a huge smile.  It was probably the best on stage interview I've ever seen from her.  The best part, she was excited after it because she felt she had done a great job.
After Tot Personality there was a big Fairy Princess Lunch and Party.  The girls were so cute and they had so much fun.
That night was the Prince Gilbert Party.  Prince Gilbert is a frog prince that is we only see at the state pageant in his true form, but we seem to always have frogs around during the year.

I love her little frog and lily pad dress, which will now be too small to wear after this year.
The next morning was modeling in a party dress.  Here are several of the girls from the Tot group.
Here is Etta while she modeled.
This is the entire Tot group along with last year's state winner in the middle.

After the party wear modeling the girls had a Cindy Fair Lunch and Party.  Each of last year's State winners had a game the girls could play and win prizes at.  One even had a craft.  It was a lot of fun.  Here Etta is with one of her friends from last year who moved into the Mini Miss group.
Following the Cindy Fair the girls modeled in their casual wear.  I had a hard time with her hair since we only had 45 minutes to be back in the ballroom so I left her hair straight.  Hindsight, I wish I had done something different, but she still looked adorable.
That night each contestant had to turn in a garment bag with either their talent clothes or tot personality clothes and their casual wear.  If they end up making the top 5 they have to recompete in those categories.  After dropping off the bag the girls have a Pajama Party.  Here she is all ready to go.
There was a huge game of Twister.  It was funny watching the younger girls not really playing it right, but were having a great time.  They also had a book read to them before the end of the party.

The next morning the girls had a two hour rehearsal for the Grand Finals Production.  After lunch  was the big Grand Finals.  They announce the top 10 and then top 5.  Etta made the top 5 and had to compete again in casual wear followed by tot personality.

The top 5 tots in their casual clothes.
Here Etta is being interviewed again by Cinderella.  She was asked about her favorite book again, where she liked to go in Las Vegas (great answer with that question!), and what her mom told her to do on stage (another awesome answer that made everyone giggle and give me a hard time!). Man that was a great interview and she looked so cute too.
 Etta was perfect all week long and even when she competed for the Top 5.  We had to have a long discussion about possibly not winning, regardless of how perfect she had been.  Last year she got fifth place and cried on stage.  She was so upset. This year, she was warned she was not allowed to cry regardless of how she placed.  When it was down to 1st alternate and she and one other girl was left I was so worried.  I knew how much she wanted to win but she was announced as 1st Alternate.  I was happy because of how she'd done, regardless of her place.  What made me even happier was she didn't cry and she congratulated all the girls in the Top 5 including the little girl that did win.  The bonus, she didn't cry.  She still asks why she didn't win so we've had some great conversations about subjective versus objective and even compare it to grandma's dog shows.  It's funny how she understood the comparison.  She surely has matured and grown up this past year!

Tot Top 5

After dinner there were more awards handed out.  Knowing that Etta had placed second, she would be given one of the other two crowns, either Tot Personality or Beauty, based on where the judges believed she belonged the most.  Here are all the tots receiving trophies and crowns.  There are crowns for Cover Girl (best picture from an advertisement), Congeniality (based on votes by all the tots on which girl was the nicest all week long), Photogenic (head shot from the catalog), Tot Personality (or talent for the other age groups), Beauty, and Overall (which was given during the Grand Finals).

As you can see, Etta was pretty darn excited about the Tot Personality crown.  It's funny to think about the first pageant this year and all the pageants last year because she has struggled a lot with speaking on stage.  She's either frozen in fear or been really quiet and reserved so to see her rock the stage all week long during her interviews sure made me proud.  I think she's pretty happy with how she did too.
These are the Talent winners from each age group. 


Here is Etta being introduced to the audience as the Tot Personality Winner.
A very happy Etta.
Etta has a trophy for 1st Alternate to Overall Tot and one for Tot Personality.

When we got back to our room I had wished I took her Cameo crown and sash to the ballroom because it would be have made a beautiful picture with the castle in the background.  So we improvised in our hotel room.  Here she is with her Cameo crown and her Tot Personality crown. 

 Next year she will be competing as a Mini Miss and will have to compete one of her talents instead of Tot Personality.  It's going to be a hard jump into the next age group, but regardless Etta will want to do it.  I keep thinking about how much she has grown the last two years doing Cinderella.  I know a lot of you think of me as a pageant mom or think Toddlers and Tiaras when we do pageants but it's so different from that.  She has come out of her shell and actually talks with other kids, adults, and has confidence in front of an audience.  I'm so proud of Etta in so many ways.