Month: August 2010 (page 1 of 2)

Tiny Dancer, You Had A Busy Day Today.

Lucy had her first dance class yesterday. She was SO EXCITED. Truthfully? So was I.

Ready for her first dance class.

I’ve been working hard to keep up with Kindermusik and (at least try to) enroll! enroll! enroll! despite my pending due date, nearly unnavigable belly and doctors advice to stop, mainly so I can afford to keep my girls in activities like this.

It had been suggested to me that I shouldn’t worry so much, that I should just take it easy. Lucy wouldn’t know the difference if I put her in class or not. “She’s only two,” people have told me.

And I have said, “ARE YOU KIDDING?” This child has been begging to follow a leotard-clad Julia into the studio for at least a year. She’s been playing “ballerina” in the mirrors in her playroom alongside her big sister since she could stand. She wants to take dance class. It means so much to both of my girls. And I won’t lie – it means something to me, too.

Arabesque...kind of.

Lucy wore Julia’s old ballet shoes for class. There was a time when this would have bugged me, because, from my “only child” perspective, I was convinced that Lucy deserved her own shoes. But, as the girls have grown and I’ve witnessed the bond of sisterhood, I now realize, wearing Julia’s shoes made it even more special for Lucy. There’s no one she’d rather be like. And though this may not always be the case, it is right now. So, I’m going with it. It’s sweet and it saves me $15.

Let's go to dance class!

Lucy dove right into class, jumping, twirling, bouncing and smiling. She reminded me so much of Julia that I had to go back and read what I wrote on Julia’s first day of dance:

Julia wasn’t hard to find. She was the bouncy one. The one that, when the teacher walked around helping the kids get into their positions, walked after her, straightening arms and adjusting feet, too. The one that had to run out into the waiting room about fifteen minutes into the class to declare, “Mommy! I’m doing it! I’m doing ballet!”

The difference? While Julia jumped in to assist the teacher, Lucy actually told the teacher that she’d like to teach the class and proceeded to shout out instructions while the girls played with a parachute.

Little ballerina

Julia sat on the sidelines with me, fighting the urge – and my death grip that was holding her back – to join in, watching her sister.

“Lucy’s really cute, Mom. I can’t believe she’s so big now,” she told me. I could tell she was proud. I wished I’d taken some photos or videos the night before when Julia showed Lucy how to plie after bathtime. But I was stuck sitting on the floor until Dave made it upstairs to help me up and they were naked, so it would have been weird anyway.

Dancing girl

When class was over, we came home and celebrated with popsicles. Julia toasted her sister saying, “Now, we’re both ballerinas!” and they clinked their frozen treats together like champagne glasses.

Ah, to be the mother of little girls!

Dear First Grade Teacher,

Julia's First Day of First Grade

I’m not sure you know
how incredible she is
this girl in your class

passionate and smart
brilliant and hilarious
so eager to please

you’ve done nothing yet
she respects you already
you are the teacher

So, please, take good care
not just of her head, but her
heart and her spirit

she will look to you
for answers, validation
make her feel valued

even when you feel
underappreciated,
tired, underpaid

and she’s annoying,
talking and not listening,
or picking her nose

even if my child
is the dark spot in your day
she’s the light of mine

So, please, dear teacher
won’t you remember, you’ve got
my world in your class

Display Your Child’s Work with Personalized Name Pegs

Showcasing your child’s work in your home sends a powerful and positive message. It tells her that what she does is valuable to you, that she is smart or creative and that a job done well is something to be proud of. So what do you do when you run out of space on the fridge? Hang a clothesline! You can place it flat against the wall or across a room. Since it isn’t permanent, you can try different locations around the house. The clothespins make it easy to rotate school and art work without damaging them with a hole or tape. You can even have your child personalize the clothespins to make it extra-special, like we did.

Name Pegs

Here’s what you’ll need:

Name Pegs Supplies

Supplies:

  • string
  • clothespins (one for each letter in your child’s name)
  • art supplies

Directions:

  1. Decorate your clothespins. We used paint, because that’s what my kids like best, but you could also use markers, stickers, paper and glue or whatever you have on hand.
  2. Name Pegs 1

    • Tip: I fastened the clothespins around the edge of a paper plate and balanced them on top of a cup so the kids could decorate both sides at the same time (and without painting the clothespins closed).

    Name Pegs 2

  3. Attach a letter to each clothespin to spell out your child’s name. We used pre-cut foam sticker letters, but you can easily cut out your own letters from the supplies you have and glue them on.
  4. Name Pegs 3

  5. Hang your clothesline and display your child’s work.
  6. Name Pegs 4

The way you choose which pieces to display is up to you. You can choose them or ask your child which ones should go up on the line. You may be surprised at the things that make her the most proud!

How do you display your child’s work?

Originally written for and posted on the now-defunct My OH! Momma website.

The Truth Revealed

It turns out Lucy did not cut her hair. And Julia’s conscience can only handle about seven hours of deceit.

Her confession came amid a flood of tears, which isn’t nearly as shocking as the fact that Lucy – at 28 months old – never gave her sister up. I questioned her all day about her hair. She was adamant that she did nothing to it, but she never ratted Julia out. The kid was as cool as a popsicle.

I’m not sure what to think of this.

Should I be impressed? Proud? Maybe a little scared?

In Which Lucy Tests The Theory That If You’re In Trouble, The Go-To Answer Is “Nothing”

Here is Lucy just a few days ago.

Beautiful bangs!

This is Lucy today.

NO BANGS!

And this is what she had to say about where her bangs went.

The Haiku Buckaroo Contest, Volume 7

So, maybe you thought I’d kicked the haiku habit. I mean, things have been a little light in the 5-7-5 verse around here. But that’s the thing about addiction – you can relapse! So let’s celebrate the hopeful return of the Daily Haiku with a reprisal of the semi-annual (and completely underrated) Haiku Buckaroo Contest!

Here’s how to enter:

Write a haiku.

(A haiku has 17 syllables:

five in the first line
seven in the second line
five in the third line


Just so you know.)

Bloggers: Post your haiku on your blog. I’d love it if you’d mention this contest in your post in a linky fashion. It’s the first step in establishing a cult following and it’d be nice to help a girl out. Once your post is published, submit a link directly to your entry post with the Mr. Linky below.

Non-Bloggers or Bloggers Who Don’t Want To Post It On Their Blog For A Reason I Don’t Understand But Support Because I Am Young and My Heart Is An Open Book and I Say, “Live and Let Live”: Submit your haiku via this entry form. I will provide a page on which all non-blogger haiku submissions will appear. Once your submission is received, it will be included on the non-blogger haiku submission page and a link to it will be added to Mr. Linky under your name.

You may enter more than once. Each haiku will be judged individually.

The contest winner (a.k.a. The Haiku Buckaroo) will receive:

A Magnetic Poetry Haiku Kit

A Haiku Buckaroo Mug

A Threadless Haiku T-shirt (in the size of your choice)

$25 via a gift card or PayPal

A super-cool button (in your choice of white or black).


Haiku Buckaroo Button (White) Haiku Buckaroo Button (Black)


The contest deadline is 11:59 p.m. EST, Wednesday September 1st. The winner will be announced on Monday September 6th.

Haiku Buckaroo
Just seventeen syllables
And it could be you


Good luck!

Bats, Balls and Getting to Bases…You Can’t Help But Think About Sex

It was during a softball game that I fell in love, or maybe it was lust, with my husband. We’d been to dinner for our first date and he invited me to come along afterward to watch him play his game, which is the reason I hesitate to say “love.” How can you know you love someone in three hours? At the very least, I knew I liked the way he looked out there and I wanted to learn more about that body. Oh, and the guy inside it, too, of course.

He loves to reminisce about the moment after the game when I reached out to grab his hand on our walk to the car. He says I touched both his hand and his heart and he was hooked. Little did he know, I was going for a butt grab but missed.

Since that first game, I’ve tried to be there every time my husband played softball, because I like to watch him play. He has a childlike joy for the game, like he’s doing it for the first time, every time. But in hot, sweaty, super-sexy man body.

Last night, he had the opportunity to play at Firestone Stadium for a charity game. He played it off like it was no big deal, but in reality, it meant a lot to him. He’s always wanted to play there. And I know he got a thrill at being called out on the field at the start of the game. So did the girls. Their Daddy was a sports hero.

He played first base during the first half of the game and made some great plays.

Dave at first base

He wasn’t too happy with his hitting, but it all looked good from my angle.

Dave at bat

The kids had the chance to run the bases during the seventh inning stretch.

Dave and Lucy run to home plate at Firestone Stadium

My husband was the only player to run them with his kids. And that makes him more attractive to me than anything.

Summer, Please Don’t End

Sunset

eating popsicles
on the front porch with my girls
watching the sunset

Make Your Own Sidewalk Paint

My kids have a spent a little bit of almost every day this summer coloring the sidewalk around our house. They love it! I can let them paint a canvas as wide as their imagination with this inexpensive sidewalk paint that they can create in the colors they choose! Here’s what you’ll need to make it.

Sidewalk Paint Supplies

Supplies:

  • 1/2 cup of cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • food coloring

Directions:

  1. Mix the cornstarch and water into a small bowl.
  2. Sidewalk Paint 1

  3. Add food coloring. Six to eight drops should be plenty.
  4. Sidewalk Paint 2

  5. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for all the colors you’d like to make. This is a great opportunity to teach your child about colors. Introduce the color wheel. Start by making the primary colors – red, yellow, blue. Then, show your child how you can mix the primary colors to make secondary colors – (red and yellow to make) orange, (red and blue to make) purple and (yellow and blue to make) green.
  6. Sidewalk Paint 3

  7. Grab some paint brushes, hit the sidewalk and get painting!
  8. Sidewalk Paint 4

Some tips:

  • Your paint may go on a little dark and watery. Just be patient! It dries bright and bold.
  • This paint washes off easily with water. Cornstarch is a natural, biodegradable product. It won’t harm your plants or curious pets (or children!) that decide to give it a taste.
  • You can store your leftover paint in an air tight container – a great use for your leftover butter tubs! If the paint gets a bit dry, just add a little water to revive it.

Originally written for and posted on the now-defunct My OH! Momma website.

I’m So Proud of My Kid for Screwing Up

It finally happened. After three years of near-perfect piano recital performances, Julia messed up. And I’m not talking about a little flub. I’m talking about forgetting the finger change in “Go Tell Aunt Rhody,” and taking an excruciating 72 seconds to stop, breathe and find her place again.

I thought I was going to vomit my heart during that 72 seconds. I wanted to run up there and save her, shout out a clue or something. But, I just stood there, clutching Lucy close, listening to the blood rush through my veins while she pulled it together and finished the piece.

After taking her bow, she walked toward me shaking her head. I could see the fear in her eyes – the fear of my disappointment, because I’ll be honest, I can be very critical of Julia when it comes to peforming. Ask her what her mom’s motto is. She’ll tell you: “Don’t just do it, DO IT RIGHT.”

“I messed up….” she began, putting her head down.

My first instinct was to say, “What happened? You KNOW that song. How could you forget the finger change? I guess we need to practice more.” But she knew her mistake. And it was just that, a mistake. And she was the one that had to live through it with the weight of the audience’s gaze and anticipation upon her. So instead, I opened my arms and embraced her. “You did great! You didn’t give up. You finished the song!”

I felt the tension leave her body. She pulled away to look at my face, to make sure I was serious, and gave a huge smile of relief. “It’s okay?”

“It’s okay. I don’t know what I would have done if that was me. You really kept your cool, Jules. Good job.”

She walked out of that nursing home with her head held high, knowing she had accomplished something great: she fell down, but got back up. And she did it with grace.

I am so glad to know she can do that.

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