Monday, March 28, 2011

Sweet Dreams are Made of This

Just a few minutes ago my ears perked up as I listened to Jordan singing that Annie Lennox song as it was on the radio.  She didn't see me looking at her--she was too busy drawing pictures at the kitchen table.  I watched her for a few seconds and smiled.  I had a strangely nostalgic sense of myself back in 1984 singing "Sweet dreams are made of this, who am I to disagree?..."  Although I was surely singing "sweet dreams are made of THESE" not "this" because that lyric sounds like "these" to me.  Not the point.  I was seven in 1984. Jordan is seven right now.   I am so struck by the idea that this song pulled me backward and forward at the same time.  All these life-comes-full-circle kinds of thoughts come swirling. 

Like when Jordan says she wants to be a singer or an actress when she grows up. I said the same thing.

Like when the girls play with their Barbies and turn it into drama central by pretending cat fights, domestic turmoil, gossip mill, fashion show craziness. My husband thinks they are nutty. But my sisters and I played the same way with  Barbie, her clones, and her frenemies.

Like when I showed the girls how we would make little "dolls" out of rose of sharon buds and flowers in the Summertime. And they would try to make them too.

Like when they came running to me with a bottle of "potion" they made out of water, soap bubbles, and flower petals. One of our favorite ways to spend an afternoon imagining.

Like when I soap up Livi's hair in the bath and slick it straight up like a unicorn horn--the way that my mom used to do for us.

Thanks to a barbie guitar and a "Girls just wanna have fun" cover by Miley Cyrus my girls can sing at the top of their lungs: "The phone rings... in the middle of the night..." the way that we would.

The past and present magically mingle.  Sometimes the girls will share an idea or say something that I distinctly remember having or thinking in my youth.

I never thought I'd want to relive the 1980's.  I imagined neon pink hair, leggings, jelly bracelets, and stone washed denim making a comeback, and I would shudder--I didn't realize that my 1980's childhood might revisit.  I have four little time machines that take me back there quite often and Sweet Dreams ARE made of this.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Me and My Shadow

I just had to share these pics from this morning.  Chloe discovered her shadow and they became fast friends!

Who are you?

When I move, You move.


Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

From Here to There: The Short Version

I can't believe I haven't written since March 1st.  I wanted to do it numerous times, but every time I sat down I thought...I don't have the time right now. I don't have anything interesting to say. It's been too long.  I mean after weeks pass, it almost seems odd to come back to, if that makes sense.  I am, by no means, ready to give up on this blog. 

Maybe it's because I'm not heading in any clear direction. I really just post when the mood strikes. If I had a clearer direction then I would know what to write about.  The blog seems like it should be about motherhood and raising girls (hence the name), but I never really write about that.  I'm no expert I guess so I don't feel the wealth of information trying to find its way through my keyboard. I like to share the funny moments of our day. There are many. But lots of times I feel like a Status Update will suffice--so I don't blog about them often.  Then there is my new found love of snapping shots and I could share those...but...this isn't that type of blog either. 

There are the random thoughts and inspiring tidbits too.  I like to do those to but I haven't really had any major "aha" moments lately.

Then there are projects around the house and my beloved "before and afters".

As you can see it's really a hodgepodge.  That's okay. That's life and in the end that's what I want the blog to be...a blog about my life.

And so without further ado...

Yesterday after Olivia's dance class I was buttoning jackets and gathering my bags when a little scene went down. Nothing major but it made me think.  The girls came out (these are 3-year-olds mind you) Some of the girls had stamps on their hands and some of them did not.  (Livi did have a stamp, which she proudly showed off). The other moms asked to see the stamps but some of the girls didn't have stamps. When the moms asked why they didn't get stamps the little girls couldn't really say why they didn't have them...just kind of looked a little sad and confused.  "My hair wasn't in a pony tail...that's why I didn't get a stamp" one girl said.


Livi's hair was pulled out of her face...but not in a pony tail either, but she got a stamp. Here hair is shorter though...

So the mom asked and almost immediately the teacher (who doesn't have children of her own yet), got kind of defensive and said, yes indeed it is because the child didn't have her hair in a ponytail.

The girls have to have their hair pulled up for safety reasons--so they don't get hurt when tumbling.  That makes perfect sense to me.

What doesn't make sense to me is "punishing" or "singling out" three year olds who can't articulate to their parents the need to have a pony tail for class. If you plan to give the girls stamps why not just make it a positive thing--give every girl a stamp for doing a good job, learning a new move, being a good listener etc. And then come out and announce to the parents that hair needs to be pulled up? 

It just seems to me an odd way to get that important information out there.  A three-year-old just doesn't get that. Can a three-year-old pull her own hair back in a pony tail? No. It's up to mommy or daddy or whoever grabs the comb for the day. So let's have a conversation with the parents instead of relying on the three-year-olds to relay the information.  I'm all for teaching kids responsibility. Did I mention these girls are three?
It's in the HANDBOOK. The teacher shot back.

Okay. It's been about 6 months since anyone has picked up the handbook--I don't even know where mine is! For most of these parents, this is the very first experience with dance class.  Is stamping the girl (good girl) or not stamping the girl (bad girl) really that much easier than coming out and simply saying to the parents--please have your child's hair pulled up from now on so they don't get hurt!?

Then the mom who got upset about it felt like a fool because she had made a little scene.  I didn't think she looked foolish and I told her so.

Maybe when these gals have kids of their own--a handbook sitting under a pile of school papers, children bugging them while they are on the phone, a poopy diaper to change, lunch to prepare, and at least three seperate bags to pack just to get out the door--they will understand. Or are we the crazy ones?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Little Lady

My biggest little girl turned seven today!  She's not a baby, not a toddler, preschooler, or kindergartner anymore. She's a little lady.  On Sunday, she was feeling under the weather for her birthday party. That night I gave her a tepid bath to help bring her fever down and afterwards she fell asleep on the couch. her wavy hair was pulled back loosely in a bun and when I looked at her sleeping, for a moment my breath caught because she just looked so peaceful and beautiful.  The worried little frown and tired eyes she'd been wearing all day had melted away into the serenity of sleep.  My heart just spilled over with the love I felt for her in that moment, just watching her rest. It is one of those moments that will forever be etched on my heart.

It took me back to a night in her babyhood. After midnight, I rocked her in her darkened room after she had awakened for a feeding.  I remember her tiny little splayed hand in mine, a little star.  That moment is frozen in time for me too, I will not ever forget it.  I thought about all of my hopes and dreams for her that night. Prayed that we would both have the strength to bear the disappointments of life and hoped that I could somehow shield her from any hurt. We all know that can't be.  No matter how hard we try to keep them safe, showered with unconditional love, and protected, we cannot keep them from making their own way in this imperfect world of ours and, thus, they are left open to disillusionment and pain.

Still, there is so much to be happy about: So many wonderful, fun memories over the last seven years. She has given me infinite reasons to be amazed. I have witnessed her being the best big sister. I have marveled at her ability to make a friend anywhere she goes (like her dad!). I have swelled with pride reading things that she has written and been flabbergasted by her creativity. She has her moments, like any kid does, but for the most part, she blows me away with her beauty--inside and out. 
I'm being awfully sentimental about my baby girl today...

...but today, of all days, I need no excuse to do it!



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