Monday, December 07, 2009

Mommy & Me Date with Sav: The Nutcracker

I was SO excited to take Savannah to her very first Nutcracker ballet this past Sunday. It was a very small reward considering what she's been through lately. And like many of you, I LOOOOVE the Nutcracker and look forward to the production every year around Christmastime- something my Mommy would always take me to...so it was beyond special to get to share this with my only daughter.

Sav loves playing dress up and twirls around in her tutus every single day (she even has a ballerina on her Christmas stocking). Before I put her down to nap, I explained that we were going to go see the "Nutcracker" as soon as she woke up---with beautiful girls, dressed up in tutus, dancing & twirling across the stage.

After a while, I quietly tip-toed into the nursery and pulled Savannah out without waking her brothers...the first words uttered out of her sweet little mouth was: "Mama...Nutcracker?" SO excited! She must have been dreaming about it!


OK, again---it is night and day with Sav. She completely clams up in social situations and any time she is outside of her comfort zone. She will not talk, she will not smile--especially if there are other children around. It takes a LONG while for her to loosen up. You will see the difference in these pics.

We met up with some buddies including my childhood friend, Lacy, and her darling daughter. (Our fathers are BFFs)



I just LOVE this picture of all the precious little dearies and their adorable outfits. Also cracks me up that Sav is a good 2-3 years younger than most of these ladies (all of the kids her age at church are boys, btw...go figure!). She's a tiny lil' thang. I was nervous about how she would sit through the entire performance.



Love how Lacy pointed out that the girls are the same number of years apart as we are! Its like looking at a younger Lacy and Suzanne back in the day!



Did I mention that we were 4 rows from the stage?! I spent a long time trying to prep Sav that the lights were going to go off and then children would begin dancing on stage. Even still, Sav almost lost it when the lights went down...a couple of "Mamaaa?....MAMMMAAA!!"'s and then she was fine. She actually sat through the entire show! I couldn't help but tear up, thinking about how special it was to share this with her...one of those surreal life moments (cheezy, but true).



She did so well at the performance, that I promised her a trip to Target for her very own special Nutcracker! I let Sav pick it out all by herself. She ended up with a lovely ice princess and couldn't have been happier. (Didn't mean to cut you off, Boo-Bear!)



Just in case you needed more proof (she wouldn't let the princess out of her sight for the rest of the night)--click on the collage for a closer look:

See? She DOES smile! (Why do you think she is completely opposite away from the home? Is there anything I can do to help?)


Here are some more sweet smiles from the Steecieeees

Ethan Joseph


Andrew Paul (his fake smile on command)


Savannah Leigh


Benjamin Stephen




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45 comments:

kayasmom said...

what a special special time for you and your little girl!!!! love all the pictures!!!!

Rachel said...

Suz, thank you for this post. It reminded me of all the times my mom took my sister and I to see the Nutcracker. She even let us pick out our own too. Believe it or not my brother broke mine just like in the story. Looks like Sav had a blast!

Following HIM said...

Oh my goodness...what a special time with Miss Princess! She sure does change when around other kids...wow...what a turn around! Glad she enjoyed her very first Nutcracker :)
~Elyse

Kerri C Bobbett said...

She may be an introvert. (Meaning that she draws more energy from being alone or with the people she holds very nearest and dearest and knows the best.) Most introverted children are completely overwhelmed by new situations. Just let her know what is expected of her in terms of considering other people but also let her know that it's ok to feel overwhelmed. I'm an introvert and learned how to completely enjoy being in new situations and with large groups of people. I still draw the most amount of energy from being alone or with my very best of friends one-on-one though. Sav's social skills will develop over time, just like her understanding of her own personality. :)

cat said...

Poor Sav, after all she has been through she really deserved a treat. We missed the Nutcracker this year - only played one week when we were away. Next year...

Kim said...

Adorable!

What a wonderful memory to look back on!

I'm sorry if you've covered this before and I missed it. But has she had an Occupational Therapy evaluation recently? It could certainly just be that she has a shy personality, but it wouldn't hurt if a good OT can offer some insight or help you help her cope a little better in certain situations. It's worth a try!

MEGAN said...

This is one of my favorite posts of yours! What a special memory to share with your girl! I love how excited she is about her doll.

Luluquack said...

aww what a lovely memory that you and Sav created together! I just love the photo of Ben at the end, his smiles are the sweetest!

Rebecca said...

This just absolutely warms my heart. My mom took my sisters and I to see the Nutcracker when we were little, and it is one of many fond memories I have of my childhood. It was always something to look forward to this time of year.

Suz, you are such a wonderful mother. Those children are beyond lucky to have you and your husband for parents. They are so precious and happy -- thank you for sharing them with strangers out in blog-land.

When it's time for me to become a Mommy, I can only hope to do as great of a job as you are doing.

God Bless You!

Ashhog said...

I LOVE that! So Sweet!!

Kristin said...

So precious!

My son (3 1/2) was the same way as Savannah until about 6 months ago. Now he is a really social little guy when we are out, just took a little "growing" time.

Penny said...

Love the pictures! The last one of Ben looks a little like your Mom. They are all so adorable!
It's sweet you're starting traditions already, like the Nutcracker! =)

Heather B. said...

So, so precious! How special that you get to share the Nutcracker with her! Don't worry, my kids clam up in public too! Connor not so muc now that he is older but he sure used to. And Kendall hides every time she sees a camera or someone that wants to talk to her! She will grow out of it in time! ;)

Tracey's Life said...

Aw how sweet that you got to do this with your darlin daughter. Isn't it nice how traditions are passed from one generation to the next.

As to your shy, clingy daughter out in public - it is just her age - don't worry too much. Home is her comfort zone and she knows she can be herself at home. She will open up more as she grows - she will have to once she goes to school. I have an almost 16 yr old who is "shy" at school and all her teachers say to me that she doesn't talk much in the beginning of the year, but by the end of the year or at the end of camp, she is a chatterbug just like home.

All I can say, is expose her to as many social situations as you can handle with the four, and let time and nature take over naturally. I am sure she is just fine (and quite darling too).

HW said...

Now I'm tearing up at the thought of you having such a special day with your daughter. There's nothing like mother/daughter time.

As far as Savannah acting differently when she's in a crowd, I'd say it's just because she's "out of her element." It doesn't look like she cries or clings to you. It looks like she's willing to get down from your arms and test the waters. As she's willing to be away from you a litte, I'd say she's fine and will gradually warm up in new situations.

My little girl was always shy to the point of hiding behind my leg and burying her face in my hip. When she was three, I put her in a little tap dance class and that helped a great deal.

Your children are so sweet and I'm so glad Savannah is doing well.

Charity Donovan said...

I LOOOOOOVE the Nutcracker & cannot wait to take Meredith to it! I totally teared up reading this post...so special...I LOVE YOU!!!!

Jeni said...

I love that you got to have such a special time with your baby girl. My baby girl is 13 years old now, and I love when we get special mother-daughter moments. I wouldn't worry about Sav's behavior in public places. My daughter was the exact same way when she was little. She wouldn't smile, talk, etc., until she felt really comfortable, but she was always dancing and singing and smiling at home! She grew out of it and is a very outgoing, beautiful teenager now who loves the Lord, is the sweetest thing ever, and enjoys volleyball, cheerleading, and gymnastics. So, no worries! I think each child has their own way of dealing with things. Sorry this was so long!!

Anonymous said...

Very cute pictures Suz! Looks like you guys had a great time! I wanted to tell you, my daughter is the SAME way when out in public, she just turned 3 in June. She always is so shy and won't talk to anyone. It takes her a long time to warm up. She is a very happy girl, at home but take her out with "stranger" ( really people she knows but doesnt see that often) and she acts like a different girl. I always thought she was the only one! I'd love to know how to help her when out in a social situation!

The Drama Mama said...

OMG, this made me tear up...how PRECIOUS! Seriously, you will treasure every second of those memories and I KNOW she will too! That is so darn sweet that you can share that memory just as you remember as a child! Alexie would LOVE the Nutcracker...is it still going on?

Also, Kylie was like Sav where she was so smiley at home and then act like a different child in public (the older two didn't do this), but it has gotten WAY better. So, I'm thinking in time, Sav will warm up more. Now, Kylie will still act a little shy, but not near as long as she used to!

I hope you guys are doing well, hun! Enjoy these Christmas moments...they grow way too fast! Love & HUGS!!

Oh, and Sav looked precious in little Nutcracker outfit...so darn cute!

Kalle said...

What an awesome date. I'm the only girl in a house full of boys as well and the Nutcracker was always something special my mom and I did. This year I'm going to watch my step-daughter dance in it. Can't wait.
Loved the pics.

Pam said...

I guess she just needs the time to warm up, probably a good thing. They are all so cute and just growing way too fast! Glad you two had some mommy/daughter time, the only thing like it is mommy/son time! Thank you for sharing! Your friend in East Texas, Pam.

Mrs. Hope said...

So sweet. My little one is the same - she's so excited to go somewhere, talking about it in the car, but when we get there, she's anxious and withdrawn, and she usually wants me to hold her, especially if it's something new with lots of other kids. Sometimes, if there's enough time, she'll loosen up, but other times, we get in the car to leave and then she's a chatterbox again.

So if you figure it out, let me know!

Andrea said...

My 2 year old is like that. At home she is a ham, always playing and being silly but away from home she is totally silent. She just takes everything in very seriously and won't speak or smile. It takes her a long time to warm up to anyone new and is even quiet around people she knows that are not in her "inner circle". We were so concerned about it that we had early intervention come for an evaluation to see if she had a speech delay and of course, she wouldn't say a word to the evaluator so she qualified for 6 months of therapy (a therapist came to our house once a week). All of that just to determine that she was shy. What we did learn though is that it is best just to let her do what she is comfortable with and not label her around others as "shy" or push her to talk or smile if she doesn't want to. Anyway, long story just to tell you we went through the same thing.
What a special afternoon for you and Savannah!

Queen Mama said...

I so need a mommy and daughter date with my only girl. I literally am tearing up right now, cause I know she is yearning for one. Now, to find something to share with my baby ;)

Stephanie said...

What a beautiful tradition you are going to have with her!!
This was such a sweet post!
I cant get over her "home" SMILE and her "public" smile! lol
I dont have any advice, but I can say she is precious either way!!
Looks like she LOVES her nutcracker!!

Kristal said...

This post made me tear up. What a special day!

Megan said...

What a fun memory, and the start of a special tradition for you two. LOVE the collage of her with the princess nutracker! So sweet!

Momma and Her Doodle said...

Suz,

What a special time for you and Savannah! She looks fabulous and after all she has been through I am glad that she had some fun with Mommy!

My two year old is one month younger than Savannah and her brothers. It's the age they are at which is normal to be shy. My shy guy warms up after 15 or 20 minutes. Also how many times is Savannah out and about without her brothers. Not having them with her might make he feel a bit more clingy and shy. It's all normal!

Happy Holidays Steece Party of 6!

The Cappadona Family

Tiffany said...

So special and so precious! Not only for her, getting to spend that one-on-one time with you, but also for you getting to share something so special with your daughter. So glad you girls had a blast! She will cherish those memories and her nutcracker to remember it by!

Andria said...

How sweet!!!!!

Molly said...

My daugher is 3 and she's the same way. At home or around her friends that she knows, she talks and plays. But when she's in a new situation she likes to sit back and observe and get a feel for the people and what we're doing...and sometimes it takes a good while, maybe even an hour before she starts opening up. Usually when it's time to go home, she's just getting comfortable and then sad we're leaving. She's just an observer...I was, kind of still am, the same way. I think it's just a personality. I've learned to just hold on to her and sit back and observe with her and turn down opportunities for group photos in the beginning or having her go off with other kids until she's comfortable. And by me not forcing her (something I used to try and do), she seems more confident and opens up sooner. I sit back and talk to her and point out people and talk about what they are doing, etc.

Nikki said...

So glad you got to start/continue a family tradition with sweet lil' Sav. I was wondering...where did you get those darling stocking for the kids?? Love reading your blog! Happy Holidays!

Bumble Bee said...

cute

Anonymous said...

I think she's just shy... my daughter was and is still exactly the same way and she's now 10... not to mention that she comes by it honest, because I'm the same way too. You can not pressure her to talk, smile or be more outgoing, she's just got a shy personality. It hasn't harmed my daughter in the least! The only thing I hated was that everyone (even some family members who aren't around frequently) do not get to see her wonderful and beautiful personality that she shows only to those dearest to her. By the way, her brother is the exact opposite too!

Kim said...

My 4 year old was shy and wouldn't talk to ANYONE outside of our house until he was 3 1/2... now... can't get him to *stop* talking to people.

My 2 1/2 year old is the super shy one now.

The photos of your daughter and her Nutcracker princess are priceless! The utter joy on her face is unforgettable!

Annie said...

Hi, I love reading your posts. Your family is so beautiful. I have three kids, Lily is 6, Cooper is 4, and Ruby is 10 months. My little Lily is just like Savanah. She clams up big time in public, she has been this way since she was Savanah's age. It has gotten a little better, but she is still completely different at home where she feels comfortable. The best thing we have done to help Lily along is encourage her when we are out and about and she literally closes off. School has been a little tough, but she is getting better. I think the best thing for kids sometimes is just to expose them in order to get them comfortable around other people. Wow, that was forever long when I just wanted to say I understand where you are coming from. :)

Louisa said...

Hi, I read your blog daily and really love reading all your Steece adventures and I don't normally comment but I just loved this post! Its one of my all time favorites!

King Quads said...

Awwwww...look at your little ice princess. How cute are those pictures of her? So glad you got to get out and celebrate, she's been through a lot.

I love her middle name...spelled same as mine.

The boys are so adorable, I love their smiles (all of them) I can't even begin to pic a favorite from your bunch.

Bill & Angie Ryan said...

How awesome is that?!?!!! I love taking my girls to The Nutcraker. I'm so glad that you have that tradition with your daughter. Memories for a lifetime! Here's my blog post from last year's Nutcracker.

http://ryanbradybunch.blogspot.com/2008/12/nutcracker-2008.html

Anonymous said...

My little boy Caleb just turned two a month ago and he is the same way. We will be playing at the park and if someone else comes, he will stop playing and just stand there and watch. Won't talk, or smile, or play. I think he is just observing, concentrating maybe. Doesn't seem scared. And afterward, he will do or say something that has made me think he was observing the other kids and picking up things. Maybe that's what she is doing?
Michelle

Anonymous said...

What a cutie she is! And what a great tradition to start. Glad you had such a good time!

-Holly

Berg said...

How sweet! I love traditions. :)

Amy-Jo said...

Love it...what a fun and happy time for Mommy and the Princess! Just imagine all the special times the two of you are going to have, and the boys too.

Jennifer said...

So sweet! And her eyes DO look great! Dr. Alan did a fabulous job. We just love him.

This year (or next) you should check out the Let's Pretend tearoom in downtown Grapevine. They do a Nutcracker tea every year - they bring in a local dance group to perform an abbreviated Nutcracker ballet while the little girls have a "real" tea party with tea (or milk) and cookies and little sandwiches, and the girls each get a nutcracker ornament to take home. I did this for several years with my own daughter, who is now too big for tea parties :( , and it was so fun! And the lights stay on the entire time!

Merry Christmas to all the Steeces!

Kelly McG said...

I finally got to play catch up on blogs and loved reading this post of yours! I completely understand the tearing up at *cheesy* moments like this, I do the same thing. Glad you got some girl time with Sav, she is such a sweet girl, those times are special and she will remember those forever!

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