Monday, December 12, 2016

Nutcracker Hangover

Nutcracker 2016 is officially in the books!  Two performances (Saturday evening and Sunday matinee), two school performances (Friday morning at 930 and another at 1130), four nights of rehearsals on the big stage and two months of studio rehearsals. . . 

The shows went really well.  Our Party Scene was great and I really enjoyed being back on stage! My costume was yooooge, as you can see from the pictures!  After our first full dress rehearsal I realized that I either needed to wear character shoes (I was wearing low, lace up jazz oxfords), or needed a bustle.  Since my dance partner is only a couple inches taller than I am we decided I needed to hit up the costume ladies for a bustle.  It helped  a lot!
My favorite maid in the show!  She's an amazing little ballerina!

My character's "rival" for the attention of Drosselmeyer!  She's a local news anchor and is SUPER sweet!

My beautiful Toy Soldier!

So, after not dancing since the Clinton administration, I did fairly well.  Our dances weren't too hard.  Sunshine was fantastic as a Toy Soldier in the Party Scene and I'd be lyinv if I said it wasn't special to have been on stage with her!  It's not something I ever imagined would happen!

She did really well as a Toy Soldier, Battle Soldier (the Battle Scene was AMAZING!), and a Russian in the second act.  She had some quick changes and gained experience in having someone dress you and fix your hair for you in the wings.  Something she'll need as she moves up.

Tuesday's rehearsal was very emotional for me as it was the 6 month anniversary of her surgery.  I will never forget that gut punch feeling when her doctor told us she'd need surgery to repair her fracture and his assurance that she would be ready to dance in September.  She's still not at 100% but she has come so far.  We're hopeful that the next 6 months brings more strength in her foot/ankle and that she's able to move up to pointe next year.  She's got a lot of hard work ahead of her!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lucky Number 7!

Sunshine's auditions went well.  Every girl who could possibly audition for Clara did and while Sunshine didn't get that part (her friend did), she congratulated AC and was excited to discover that she would be a Toy Soldier in the party scene.   She'll be a Battle Soldier and Russian with her classmates.

And, she and I will share the stage as I'm a "party mom" in the party scene!  I'm excited and nervous.  I haven't performed in a little over 20 years but am hoping my old experience kicks in.  We started rehearsals this past weekend and I have a stage husband as well as 5 kids.  The first dance we learned was easy.

My only concern is that I am FRONT AND CENTER for this dance!  YIKES!

Costume fittings will start this weekend--not sure when mine is but I'm hoping for the dark green or dark blue dress.  There is a peach dress but I don't look good in peach.

Sunshine's rehearsals went well and the schedule is great---she has an hour break after class on Saturday and then has back to back rehearsals as well as one on Friday night.  We had dinner after the Friday night one and enjoyed our time together.  Maybe it'll be our Mom/Sunshine night until the schedule changes and things get busier.

So, Nutcracker 2016 is upon us.  We're going to be busy but we're grateful that it's even happening.  In June it seemed so far away and whether it would be a thing wasn't known to us.  Sunshine has her 3 month post-op appointment with the surgeon on Friday.  We're optimistic.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

God, I Hope I Get It. . .

Sunshine is walking.  Sans boot.  She is only allowed to wear sneakers or super supportive shoes (my rule.  Shush, her surgeon didn't contradict me).  She's not allowed to carry more than 10 lbs which makes avoiding her locker at school difficult (Shush, her surgeon's rule).  But, she's walking.  I hadn't seen my baby walk without crutches or a boot since June 2nd.  June 2nd 'til August 16th is a long time.

So, while she's walking she's not allowed to run or leap/jump. No cartwheels, round offs, walk overs or anything.  Again, her surgeon's rules.  She's allowed some participation at dance but it's limited to barre work mostly.  She's happy to be dancing again.

This Saturday the conservatory is holding auditions for The Nutcracker.  Every Level 4 & Level 5 girl is losing her mind over being able to audition for Clara.  In their eyes it's the only role that matters but I think very few of them realize the workload involved.   Sunshine didn't appreciate my telling her that someone who had surgery in June isn't prepared to be Clara.

Something to tell her therapist when she's 30.  The list so far:  my mother took a picture of me when I was 1 and got stuck in the dog's crate before helping me out,  and my mother told me not to audition for Clara when I was 12.

I managed to regain some of my standing by suggesting she audition for a Toy Soldier as it's still an important role, everyone knows/recognizes the music, and would be an easier role for her with her current situation.

I then played my trump card which was to suggest she speak to one of her instructors who just so happens to have had suffered a 5th metatarsal fracture some years ago (a Dancer's Fracture which didn't require surgery but still---she gets it.).  She suggested Sunshine audition for both, be prepared to not get one, to try her best, and learn the audition process.  

I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The One About Stress

I'm used to living with stress.  I made it through three of Huter's combat tours, two with a baby/toddler. I ran a PTO. I've done countless cross country (okay, South to North) drives with a baby, then a toddler, then a child, and now a tween, dogs, and enough supplies to last us two weeks.  I've planned trips to Disney for pete's sake!

But honestly, none of this prepared me for this summer.

I knew something was wrong when I had a dream a couple weeks ago.  I dreamt that I was taking my SATs again.  Only instead of the two sections, mine had 18.  And everything was on separate pieces of paper and I couldn't find any to use to show my work for the math section.  And the weirdest part was that I was taking the test at home.

The other night I dreamt that Sunshine was back at ballet and it was parent observation week.  Sunshine was doing well but when they started doing leaps down the floor I gasped and jumped.  The mom next to me asked if it was hard for me to watch her dance now.  I replied that yes, it was very hard and I held my breath every time she jumped and when she landed.

I've also found myself craving what I refer to as "crap" foods----stuff like cheetos, Krispy Kreme.   Stuff that I just don't allow myself to eat.   I've had a hard time carving out time to walk/run due to Hunter's schedule at the pool and my need to be with Sunshine.  I've had a couple doctor's appointments in the last couple weeks and my weight is 3 lbs over what it was during my appointment in May.  Hunter tells me it's water weight.  I'm convinced it's my inability to get out and exercise.  Still, 3 lbs isn't bad.  It'll come off easily enough when she goes back to school and I'll have time to myself.  I did get a pleasant surprise in a fitting room when a pair of shorts that I thought was a 10 wound up being a 6.  They fit and zipped.  They fit and zipped poorly and I looked like a stuffed sausage but they fit and zipped.  I wound up buying them in an 8.  #smallvictories

So, next week Sunshine goes back to the surgeon and we see if her cast is coming off for good and she'll be in a boot (read: freedom and ability to swim!!!) or whether he'll try the cast for another week or so.  School starts in early August so I'm praying that she's off crutches by then.   We have a list of questions for the surgeon a mile long regarding what she's able to do and not able to do.  And then we'll have to get a rehab schedule from physical therapy.  AND then find out if she has PE first semester or not.  She's not allowed to go back to dancing until late August at the earliest so needless to say, participating in PE wouldn't be allowed until then at the earliest either.  If she does have PE we either need to ask to change her schedule or meet with the coach and see if she minds Sunshine changing out but not participating for at least the first month.

This past weekend we went up to ATL to see Hunter's mom who was flying home from his brother's in TX.  While we had a nice little visit, it wore Sunshine out so much.  Being confined in the car for 2 hours up and 2 hours back was brutal on her.  She was nauseous despite taking some OTC meds.  She rallied for dinner but by the time we got home, she was cranky, sore, and ready for bed.   I hope that her stamina comes back because the first month of school is going to be so hard on her.

So yeah, stress.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Post Op/Recovery

So today makes a month that Sunshine fractured her foot and Wednesday will make one month since her surgery.

The current count is 4 casts (one plaster from her surgery and 3 fiberglass), 3 splints (one in the ER from our first visit, one from ortho after meeting with the surgeon and a 3rd this past Sunday after she accidentally got her cast wet).

And one awesomely blinged out pair of crutches.

Sunshine's ben a major trooper this past month.  Her mobility is limited as are her activities so we've been reading, playing games, watching movies, going to the movies once a week , and doing short errands.

We're counting down to having her cast removed in three more weeks and then hopefully transitioning into a walking boot which will mean the start of physical therapy.  We do some exercises at home in an attempt to keep her flexibility up and to help with her turn out.  We're optimistic that she'll be healed and ready to dance by Labor Day.  Just in time for Nutcracker.

As The SuperBookatarian says  "dancers are tough".

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

And Then Summer Was Canceled

Sunshine's last day of school was May 19th.  We cut out early so she could run by SuperAwesome Elementary School to say hi to old friends/teachers.  The pool opened the next day so we spent the majority of our first week of vacation swimming.  We slept in late, we relaxed.  We were having fun.

The week of Memorial Day she started a week long ballet intensive.  Three weeks off proved to be a long time as a lot of the girls were beyond exhausted and sore.  Sunshine was on a steady diet of motrin, sleep, and eating to keep up with her dance schedule.

We were planning a trip to VA to see MIL this week so on Thursday I was getting my nails done while out running errands.  Sunshine texted me to say she wasn't feeling well.  She was queasy.  I suggested she sip some Gatorade, ask for a few minutes to rest and to lie down for a few minutes to see if the feeling passed.  She didn't reply so when I texted her during her lunch break she said she was feeling better and was able to eat her lunch.  I figured she was good to go and finished my errands before heading to pick her up at 4.  She called at 3:15 and asked me to pick her up as she'd hurt herself.

They were doing the dance of the 4 swans from Swan Lake when she heard a pop.  They immediately had her rest and iced her foot.  When we got home we had Hunter check her out (having an ex-combat medic in the house is helpful).  We decided to have it checked out at the ER due to the pop sound she heard.

A couple hours and one xray later, we were told that she had indeed fractured it and we would be hearing from the Podiatrist within 72 hours.  They put a splint on her, fitted her for crutches, and sent us on our way.

I started googling fractures--dancer's fractures, Jones Fractures, etc.  At the least we knew she'd be laid up for 6 weeks.  Summer session wouldn't be a thing for her and we needed to unenroll her.  The director of the ballet was sweet and called to express her concern for Sunshine.

Podiatry called the next day and wanted us there immediately.  We saw a bone scan and it was said that she did indeed have a Jones Fracture (the worst) and surgery would be next on our plate.   We were scheduled for Monday 6/6.

From what I've researched Jones Fractures are notorious for not healing properly due to either not having surgery immediately if not at all, and for the fact that there's limited blood flow to the area.  Sunshine has the Nutcracker in 6 months and rehearsals starting in 3.  We both cried and felt like we'd been punched in the gut.

So Monday came and went.  Her surgery went as planned---nothing unexpected was discovered, the 4 screws were put in, and she didn't appreciate me playing the intro to The Six Million Dollar Man and saying "we can rebuild her, we have the technology".  She was nauseous for most of the night because of the anesthesia.  The Percocet to help with the pain didn't help much either.

Tuesday wasn't much better as she was still nauseous and the Percocet wasn't helping with her pain.  A quick visit to Podiatry later we left with a new 'script for pain meds and something for nausea.  She slept much better last night and woke in good spirits this morning.

We have a follow up next week where we'll get our first indicator of how her recovery process is going.  Her doctor seems to think that because we caught it early, operated/repaired early, and her age that she'll make a full recovery with little to no incident of reinjury (common with a Jones that didn't have surgical repair).  And best of all, she should be back to dancing in late August, early September.

Hope and optimistic are big words for us now.  As are "rest" and "heal"

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Words Escape Me

Our sweet girl danced in Coppelia this past weekend.  In February she was approached by one of the instructors about dancing "up" a level for the show.  She was thrilled and of course, said yes.  The best part?  She blended right in and did an amazing job.  
 We had her evaluation for the end of the year and it was great----her instructor commented on her strength, fabulous work ethic, and her confidence.  She was told to not be so hard on herself when she makes a mistake or doesn't get anything right off the bat.  I'm not sure where she gets that *eye roll*. She's motivated to work her tail off during the summer session and fall to get promoted again in January rather than next August. The next promotion means pointe shoes!

This week is our last week of regular classes and we'll have a small recital next week along with level awards.  The awards are new this year so we'll see what they're all about.  Then it's 3 weeks break followed by a week long intensive and then 2 summer sessions with 3 classes a week.  Time to shine, Sunshine!!