LenaLoo:Looking at ADD Life Through a Creative Lens
Last night, I went to see American Idol Live at the Power Balance Pavilion (formally known as Arco Arena) with Cohen's babysitter Charity (my best friend's little sister). There were also a handful of people from my work (including the owner and his son) in the section next to ours. I realized a handful of things at this concert tonight.
  1. American Idol began my Senior year of high school, yes my ten year reunion is upon me.
  2. I date myself quite often with the 16 year old crowd by talking about things like cassette tapes and bands like PAX 217, Hanson, and Charlotte Church.
  3. I will be to old to audition for next years season of Idol. I can never say I tried.
  4. The kid who won American Idol was like 7 when the show started in 2002. Sick. And Wrong.
  5. Charity was like 6 when the show started. I am 12 years older than her. I repeat, sick and wrong.
  6. I am a total music nerd, I focus more on recording the show on my cell phone and writing down the set list in my moleskin than I did on actually watching the show. (This is not a new habit, just something weird I have done at shows since my days as a street teamer (We Are The Voices!) for PAX 217.
  7. I know better than to buy overpriced merch inside the arena because inevitably some shady dude will take $8 outside for a knock off T-Shirt.
  8. My son is going to think all the things I think are cool now (like American Idol) are totally dorky in about 5 years or so.
  9. I am going to be "that mom" (you know, the one who will take a van load of teens to a concert and actually sit with them so I can feel young again and embarrass the daylights out of them at the same time).
  10. Charity is going to blink and she will be in my shoes, writing this same blog post (will there be blogs still in 10 years?) wonder when the heck she started getting old...

Anywho, here is the set list and a highlight from the show (sadly my favorite moment was captured on Charity's camera because my battery was low and I can't post it tonight). Please excuse the screaming, I am going to have trouble hearing (and speaking) tomorrow at work, should make answering phones interesting!

  1. Girls - Born This Way
  2. Pia - New York
  3. Pia & Steffano - California King
  4. Paul - Rod Stewart Song
  5. Thia - Who Says You're Not 
  6. Girls - High or Low
  7. Steffano - Usher Song
  8. Steffano & Girls - DJ Got Me Fallin' In Love Tonight
  9. Guys (without Scotty) - Here We Go Again
  10. Naima - Dance the Night Away
  11. Pia - This Time (Single)
  12. Pia, Thia, and Lauren - Firework
  13. Casey - Smooth (Casey playing his Bassy)
  14. Casey and Hailey - Many A Days & Nights
  15. Casey - Harder and Harder to Breathe
  16. Almost Everyone (except Scotty) - Forget You
  17. Lauren - Like My Mother Does (Single)
  18. Lauren, Thia, Hailey, & Steffano - If I Die Young
  19. James - Sweet Child of Mine
  20. James -Muse Song (Paranioia?)
  21. Jacob - I Just Don't Want to Stop All My Love
  22. Jacob, Steffano, Pia, & Naima - You're All I Need
  23. Hailey - House of the Rising Sun
  24. Hailey - Benny and the Jetts
  25. Scotty - Baby Lock Them Doors
  26. Scotty - Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not
  27. Scotty - Love You This Big (Single)
  28. Scotty and Lauren - When You Say Nothin' At All
  29. Scotty & Girls - Gone
  30. Finale Medley (Everyone) - Here I Go, Faithfully, Walk This Way, Any Way You Want It
So, I have been a bit MIA lately due to my crazy busy schedule as of late. I just began working at Goore's for Babies to Teens doing general customer service, operating the phones, and blogging for goores.com blog! It is totally my dream job to get paid to do social media AND have "office hours" to go into work for.

Other than that, I have been doing ballroom lessons at Arthur Murray's Carmichael studio about 3 or 4 nights a week (okay sometimes even more ha ha) since the beginning of May! It has been a blast! Some may think it is quite an expensive hobby, but when I tell people that I pay less for dance lessons than most people pay for weekly therapy and a gym membership, it starts to make sense. I have become a new woman since I started dancing again (Toby and I took lessons at this same studio four years ago before our wedding), I dress the part when I leave the house, skirt, hair, and makeup... No more errands in my yoga pants thank you! I am making new friends and I have more to talk about now than just "mom stuff."  Even my marriage has received a boost, Toby comes dancing with me at least once a week and it has made our communication so much better!

Need to see it for yourself? Come join us at our Guest Open House tonight at 7:45! Call for more info! 916-
In the corner of Crestview shopping center:
4762-B Manzanita Avenue
Carmichael, CA 95608

I absolutely love that I can incorporate all of my passions into one hobby: costuming, jewelery crafting, acting, and listening to great music (somehow, I will sneak some singing in here too). Our instructor Travis even has the same taste in Movies and Television as Toby and I and has been encouraging us to do a number from Moulin Rouge (What's that? Why yes, I can CosPlay while I dance)! I happened to begin at just the right time in fact, because the last six weeks was Arthur Murray's Spring International Festival and we got to dress in a different era each Friday night! We ended the festival with a Summer Extravaganza (theme was Planes, Trains, and Automobiles) and performed routines for each other at our sister studio in Rocklin! Here are two videos (shot from different angles) of our rendition of the YMCA.
I love this song, this show, and Linda Eder. Have a listen, you won't be disappointed.
For MamaKat's Writer's Workshop
This is a writing exercise I did recently. It just so happens to answer the prompt:
Write about someone who made your childhood bearable.

Becoming One With The Green Fairy

As a wee child I horded bits of broken radios, watches, and lenses (we had many wonderful bits and bobbles around my house with two mechanics in the family who kept everything and loved to tinker) in a little treasure tin that I took with me everywhere. I fancied myself living in a fairy land. I spent my days and night’s dreaming of my fern gully-ese world and searching for fairy circles. I had a tree house filled with shiny treasures. I insisted on wearing pieces out of my overflowing costume box as everyday wear. I kept snails as pets in my grandfathers birdbath, fashioning wee saddles out of scraps so my fae friends and I could ride our snail mounts around the garden. Grandpa fostered my fancies and encouraged me to be creative. He was my prince charming, always listening to my stories and playing along with my games.

When I reached grade school I was told by my teacher that I wasn't to bring my tin to class with me anymore because it caused me to be too distracted (I kept it in my desk and would fiddle, I know now that I pay much better attention when my hands are busy). That day, some other children who heard the teacher tell me this grabbed my tin away from me during recess and scattered my treasures all over the playground, stomping on them, ripping them, breaking them to pieces. The teacher did not do anything. Rather, she told me that it was better that way and it emphasized her point. I stopped collecting then, stopped telling stories, and stopped trusting people.

In high school I was in theater, working costumes and props and managing the stage. When I finally made it on stage as a senior, my fear got the better of me. However, off stage, I wore clothing inspired by the lovely costumes, or even bits of my costume out and about. I finally felt at home with friends who liked to play dress up as much as I did. The film “Moulin Rouge!” came out that year and fell in love with the idea of Absinthe releasing your true inner creative spirit (funny enough, to this day I have still not tried the stuff because I want my first time to be in Montmartre). I also became re-obsessed with fairies and folklore behind them. Then high school ended. "Real Life" began and it besieged me. I once again lost touch with my creative spirit, my inner green fairy, as I began taking medications prescribed to me to help me focus, to stave off the so-called "disability" of Attention Deficit Disorder. I wanted to be "successful," so put my fairy in a cage, locked it and hid it deep inside me; protecting her from getting damaged by this cruel world. I spiraled downward. One bad decision after the next: found bad boyfriends, got bad grades, took bad jobs, quit good jobs.

Then I reconnected with an old friend, someone who cherished my creative spirit, who knew me "when I shined." He knew my fairy was in there someplace, he could see her faint glimmer when he looked deep into my eyes. He coaxed cautiously, reminded me of things I used to love, introduced me slowly to new things that would make that little fairy rattle the cage and fight to be let out. He got a shiny diamond and put it on my finger knowing full well that no fairy could resist! She almost broke free when I said yes. She shook the cage so violently in her glee that I brought the cage to the surface. But I kept her in there, fearful to let her out lest she be crushed. I began to sing to her again as I had not done in years. She was happier now, but she desired to be out, needed to fly free.

 I kept her there for another year and a half. I gave her lovelies to fidget with, but they were not all to her liking. Too modern, too assembled. She wanted to take them apart, wanted the bits from inside. I realized she needed tools; she wanted to disassemble so that she could recreate. I began allowing her out on a tiny lead attached to her foot. Oh how she flew! She took off around the room so quickly that she forgot about the lead and… Snap! She zoomed back like a boomerang into my lap. I showed her the tools I bought for her. Pliers, tin snips, scissors, and hooks! She touched them softly and looked at me, displaying the comedic scale of the human sized tools next to her pin prick fingers. I whispered “you tell me what to do and I will do it.” She hummed happily and flitted to sit on my shoulder where I would be able to hear her better. She hummed her instructions like a lullaby. “String the bead, string the pearl, another bead, and wrap the wire, cut the wire, loop it through, wrap, repeat...” Her hum became a little chant that she sang to me for hours, diving down to hand me beads as I got the hang of the pattern. After she decided it was enough, we each held an end and she flew up to show me our work. It was beautiful. She helped me make nine more, one for each girl in the bridal party. My mom wore the first one we made on the day I walked down the aisle.

My fae and I began to work together more and more closely. On days I had to put her away and go to work, she was content to dream in her cage, now filled with bits of pretty pieces, knowing that she would be let out soon enough. One day, I got into a spat with my sales lead at work and my fairy made her way out of the cage. Her fairy rage came through me and I quit on the spot. I went home feeling not upset, but satisfied that my fae was finally free to be part of me. I could finally feel what she felt. Her emotions were tricky, swinging from high to low day to day.

I soon found learned that it was not just my fairy emotions going mad, but also my hormones as I was carrying a wee babe within me. I was overjoyed, my husband and I had been dreaming of this day for the whole year and a half we had been married. The first few months were tough because I was so sick. I had so many emotions that were new and foreign. I created a little cave in my bedroom, curled up with my computer. I didn’t have the energy to create anything physically, so I spend my days playing World of Warcraft making fictional jewels, gizmos, and gadgets with my different elven characters. I withdrew from my real life friends and delved into the online world, making friends with people all over the world.

I missed my friends, but I was worried that they would not understand the drastic changes happening to me. I lost twenty-five pounds in the first three months, not able to eat much more than soda crackers. I was so sick. I thought I might waste away. My child was using up all the resources I had (glad I was not all that thin prior to pregnancy). I had trouble relating to the wee creature inside of me.  I dreamed of whom the baby would grow up to be, but it was fuzzy in my mind, until I found more about this child. When I learned that my baby was a boy, we gave him his name, Cohen Robert, and he suddenly became real to me. I began to feel him move, responding to my voice with little nudges.

I finally began putting on an appropriate amount of weight. I felt good again and headed out into the sunshine. I found soft and shiny clothes to drape my growing belly in, drawn to bright greens and deep purples. I felt a glow radiating out of me that had been missing. I began to nest, making my home sparkle with fairy creativity. Cohen’s room became an African Plain, a savannah with roaming giraffes nibbling on trees, inspired by music from the Lion King Broadway show. My belly swelled in the final months.

Cohen came into the world a week late (just like his mama, always late to everything) while the season shifted from autumn to winter. I knew right away that he had my fanciful spirit. He loved music, bright colors, and shiny things. The first year of his life left no room for me to separate myself from my fairy. I was one with her. Her spirit was my will to survive during the dark months that followed. Her empathy became mine. I feel what others feel so completely now that it changes my mood very easily. I am part wild fae, part human now. I love what she loved. I create what she would create. My love for nature has increased by leaps and bounds. I do my best to protect the world I live in.

Last month, we moved into a new house. We painted it in bright colors. It has gardens and more room to flit and fly. My wild soul craves the outdoors. I sit in the sunshine glimmering away digging in the earth. My desire to eat foods that my hands have helped cultivate has increased as well. Clothing that is plain and manufactured no longer appeals to me. I long for clothes of old made of leather, lace, brocade, and lovely trim. I long to make things; to create what I wear, eat, and handle every day, with my own two hands. I am now one with my fae.

Borrowed from Mamarazzi @ Dandelion Wishes

Part of Ultimate Blog Party 2011

ABC's of Me

A. Age: 27

B. Bed size: Queen (Wish we had sprung for the King now)

C. Chore you dislike: I have to choose one? Well, okay, cleaning the cat litter

D. Dogs: Nope, just girl cat (that is her preferred name too), but I keep asking for a puppy!

E. Essential start to your day: A kiss from my kiddo

F. Favorite color: Green!!!

G. Gold or silver: White gold, but lately I have had my eyes on copper and brass more often ;)

H. Height: 5'3"

I. Instruments you play(ed): Clarinet

J. Job title(s): Mama, Director of Arts and Crafts, Community Facilitator

K. Kids: Like Mamarazzi, I have a kiddo named Coco, but mine is a 16 month old boy (whose proper name is Cohen)

L. Live: in NorCali

M. Most favoritest thing: Right now? Steampunk!

N. Nicknames: LenaLoo, Lena, still working on that Steampunk name

O. Overnight hospital stays: Only when I had Cohen

P. Pet peeves: Mean comments on blogs I <3

Q. Quote from a movie: "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." - Moulin Rouge

R. Righty or lefty: Righty

S. Siblings: Drew, Tony, Amy (sis-in-law), and Simon (bro-in-law)

T. Time you wake up: Well, I drag myself out of bed when Coco wakes, but I don't truely wake up until about 10am

U. Underwear: Fun Cotten Prints (I like Xhilaration Brand at Target the best, I am kind of addicted to collecting them!)

V. Vegetables you don’t like: Green Bell Pepper

W. What makes you run late: Everything!

X. X-rays you've had: On my shoulder and arm after falling off a quad

Y. Yummy food you make: Chicken Tacos

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Right now, Giraffes, Coco's nursery theme

5 of my latest favorite posts:
1. Dressing Up! (Steampunk and Elven Costume ideas for Convention) in Nerdy
2. How to Outsmart Your Picky Toddler in Parenting
3.  Dance It Out! (on Anxiety) in ESA's
4. The Buildies in Crafty
5. Dark Flower Bead Art on Etsy (10% off code at bottom of post) in Reviews

I will be out of town and away from my computer this week, but if you comment or subscribe to my RSS, I promise I will do the same for you when I get back to town!