Life is Better in Tutus

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Life is better in tutus

What Dance Has Taught My Daughters and My Journey to Becoming a Dance Mom!

Everyone has memories of their childhood — some good, some not so good. When I was 5-years old, I was completely traumatized by my dance class — Okay, so maybe traumatized is a bit of an exaggeration.

Regardless, I remember the experience vividly and with enough intensity that I vowed to never step foot on stage. I was also adamant that I would never ever become a dance mom if I had daughters.  

Never say Never…

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Why I Won’t Force Potty Training

Piper and “Bob the Broccoli”

Potty training

Is there really a right way or a right time to do it?

Let me answer that for you…NO!

Don’t bother reading all the books and pamphlets and listening to those who tell you how and when to do it.

For real, if one more person asks me when I am going to potty train my youngest daughter — I am going to lose it. I mean, am I missing something? Is there some amazing mom award ceremony at the end of potty training?

I have successfully potty trained my two older daughters. My oldest embraced potty training and was easily duped by stickers, sticker charts, and rousing cheers.  I was a mom star. I had the “Elmo Goes on the Potty” DVD, I read articles online about potty training, sang ridiculous songs, and had countless books about going “pee pee on the potty”.  She was trained by 18 months. Oh crap — sorry, I didn’t mean to be one of those bragging moms…

Looking back, I realize four things.

  1. It was definitely a fluke.

  2. She is a people-pleaser and has been since day one.

  3. I was in the, “I’m a new mom, and I need to do everything just right phase.”

  4. I’m so freaking over that now.

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This is Real Life

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Ain’t No Hood Like Motherhood!

I’m a social media person — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (even though I’m still learning how to “tweet”), and my favorite is Pinterest.

I love sharing a little piece of my family and my life, but at the same time, social media can be deceiving. It’s not real life. It’s little snippets of life and most times we don’t get to see the whole picture. 

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Recently, I posted pictures of a “mommy and me” photo shoot. A friend is starting a photography business and asked if we would be a “practice” family — I’m always up for taking pictures and happily agreed.

The pictures are beautiful — but the hour leading up to the photo shoot was madness. 

What you didn’t see behind the perfectly posted Instagram pictures was…

My youngest, Piper, refusing to wear anything I picked out for her — she’s in the midst of the terrible twos and has a certain “style”, which consists of mismatched t-shirts and tutus —my head-strong child grabbed her favorite faded Snoopy shirt and a tutu out the hamper insisting, “Mommy, I wear dis…k?”  After bribing her with munchkins and pink lollipops, Piper changed into a dress with the promise of Snoopy shirts and tutus when we got home. 

Real Life Parenting Tip: Don’t ever judge a desperate mom bribing her child. We have all been there. Sometimes bribery is how I survive the week.

Meanwhile, in the other room, my older daughters were bickering over the same dress and who would wear it.

But that one twirls…No fair…

But… I’m the oldest!”

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I secretly listened, hoping the girls would work out the disagreement — my oldest, a master manipulator, attempted to work her magic on her equally manipulative younger sister — My middle daughter, Parker, is even better at bribing. I could hear her enticing Peyton… “You can borrow my American Girl Doll gymnastic outfit, like for the whole month, if I can wear the dress that twirls!”

Not quite sure who the winner was here… Parker got to wear the twirly dress, but Peyton got something she’s had her eye on for weeks.

Regardless, situation diffused. Mom wins!

Real Life Parenting Tip: Sometimes you need to let your kids figure it out on their own (as long as they are not injuring each other) while you eavesdrop and quietly laugh at the adorable and innocent conversation. 

Beyond the outfit dilemma, one daughter wanted her hair curled and the other wanted wavy hair — I’m a girl mom…This is my life and this is what happens. Meanwhile, I was still in my robe, trying to remember if I had anything other than coffee so far that day. I wish I had somebody to bribe ME with munchkins and pink lollipops.

These are the real moments…the moments that aren’t captured for Instagram or Facebook. Social-media-free moments, where moms are losing their minds, praying their neighbors can’t hear them yelling at their kids!

Real Life Parenting Tip: Find neighbors who sometimes yell at their kids — this way they won’t judge you when it’s your turn to yell at your kids. Make them your friends…create a mom tribe…hold them tight…plan mom nights out. 

Somehow, we made it out the door and in a shocking twist, we were only five minutes late, not an hour late for the pictures —  In another, not so shocking twist, by the time we arrived, curled hair was flat and wavy hair was crazy hair… 

I warned my friend that this experience could be disastrous.

To my amazement, the girls were complete angels…I mean…seriously? How do they do that?img_4299

I wasn’t sure whether I was proud…or pissed…what smart little sassy divas!

Despite the sass, stubbornness, and high-spirited personalities of our girls, when my husband feels outnumbered, I remind him that these challenging personality traits will be advantageous. Our girls will grow into determined, passionate, and strong young women.

Real Life Parenting Tip: Karma is a bitch — accept it.  Everything we ever did to our parents is coming back tenfold.

 

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My point is this: Real life isn’t a series of perfect pictures posted on Instagram…

Real life is messy and chaotic.  

Real life is days filled with school projects, dance classes, lacrosse practices, skinned knees, occasional tears, and at least six trips to the grocery store in a four-day time period. I mean who actually remembers their grocery list?

Real life is wondering how you’re going to make it to the end-of-the-year picnic or Mother’s Day Tea when you have job responsibilities and already used your days to attend the Holiday Party, Spring Party, or to be Mystery Reader.

Real life is trying to remember which kid has to wear a superhero shirt one day of the week, while the other has to bring in a show-and-tell item and completing forgetting to do all of it.

Real life is the intense mom guilt after yelling at your kids for leaving their socks next to the laundry basket, but then— stopping… putting it into perspective (usually when you are watching them sleep peacefully) and realizing that it doesn’t really matter.

Real life is embracing the messy, embracing the crazy, and living in the real.

Post the perfect Instagram pictures, but don’t forget to post the “not so perfect” pictures too — because these are the crazy moments that we are going to miss one day.

Parenting is hard — like really hard — but we got this…

Treasure these moments, support other moms, and remember…

The days may be long…but the years are short.

Here are some “real” not so perfect Instagram moments — or as my parents say…”poor parental supervision.”

Hey…it happens.  We can’t be “perfect” moms all the time!

(Disclaimer: This is my blog. My story. My “real life” experiences and my parenting tips. I am not an expert and I am not a perfect mom. I am just like most moms trying to balance it all and trying to raise good people. Take it or leave it…Don’t like it…don’t read it)

 

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Disney Dads

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Real Dads Rock Pink Backpacks

Guest Writer: Prince Charming (Kevin Daniel)

Disclaimer: My wife made me sound like an actual writer in this article. I want to thank her for her talent, patience, and laughter while we wrote this together. And a very special thank you to my brother-in-law, Chad, for the inspiration behind this post.

I’m not like a regular dad…I’m a Disney Dad.

Before my wife and I started writing this blog post, we did a quick search to see how many articles have been published from a Disney Dad’s perspective. Instead of finding articles about Walt Disney World, we found the real definition of a Disney Dad.

Disney Dad (paraphrased in our words): A subpar dad that showers his kids with gifts and toys to compensate for poor parenting and guilt over divorce – Also, dad who attempts to look like the better parent by purchasing excessive and expensive gifts.

Uhhh yeah — Not exactly the direction we were going…and a little sad too!

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Why I Blog.

4 reasons to blog. Why I blog. Blogging life

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Why I blog.

My blog is a little over a year old, but only in the past month have I actually “published” my writing. When I hit the blue publish button, I cringe, hold my breath, and say a few expletives — I am not a shy or introverted person, but writing exposes you in different ways. 

Ironically, my first “successful” post was about my brother’s death and how I managed life, marriage, and motherhood after a tremendous tragedy.

Friends and family responded by sharing personal stories of Steven. I received messages from people I didn’t know, thanking me for my courage in sharing. I even received a private message asking if I needed a therapist. Don’t we all?

I was “new” to blogging at that point. This particular topic made me vulnerable. It is raw, it is real, and it is my life.

Read it here:  Life is a Wonderful Mess

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Criticism is scary. When publishing anything publicly, there is always the risk of negative comments and negative exposure, but there are also compliments and encouragement  There are people that don’t understand what blogging actually is and think it’s a cute “hobby”— there are people that don’t understand the purpose of writing — and the importance of giving voice to your thoughts.

Even more so, there are people that can’t publicly compliment because they privately criticize. But, since venturing into the blogging world, I have learned —

 I. Just. Don’t. Care. I care about what I write —not what people think.

You write for YOU. Write because you have a passion for the topics you write about. Write because you want to tell your story —share your story.

Fortunately, there’s been more compliments than criticism, for which I am grateful, but there’s still plenty of people that don’t understand what I’m doing or why I’m sharing—and YES, you can SHARE my posts. In this absolutely insane world of social media, anything shared publicly is fair game. 

Simply scroll through Facebook and you will see friends sharing articles all over social media. Some from Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and NY Times…Those articles and posts are blogs, videos, and websites that have gone viral.

Why I love blogging…

img_2376It’s My Story: I can share experiences, likes, and dislikes — and the beauty is… it’s my story. Not everyone cares about Disney and there are readers who don’t care about parenting and motherhood posts —but there are people that do. It’s simple, don’t like it, don’t read it. Small disclaimer: there’s plenty I write that I don’t actually publish. I’ll wait for retirement for those stories and I promise, they will be good—Real good. 

I’ve developed an eye for meaningful things: I don’t have time to read articles that don’t matter or don’t have meaning — my eyes search for credible and interesting topics and writers. Anyone can post, publish, and deem themselves a “writer.” It’s an important lesson and one I teach my students. Find things that matter and have credibility.  Connect that to real-life, it’s a good motto to follow — find genuine people and steer clear of the opportunistic ones —find purpose and find meaning. 

I want to write to inspire and entertain: I am inspired by other writers and I am entertained by some super funny people like The Truth Bomb Mom and Cat and Nat.  I vicariously live through their humor and inappropriateness. I follow Disney bloggers to learn and stay up-to-date on Disney News. I also follow some serious and not so serious motherhood blogs for tips and tricks on surviving motherhood — I swear, I’m just winging this motherhood gig and hoping I don’t screw my kids up too much. Mostly, I want my readers to laugh, to cry, and to feel as though they are living my story and can connect to my story. 

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That’s red marker, not blood!

Writing Creates Opportunities:Writing is freaking hard.Sometimes I spend upwards of 10 hours getting a post “just right” and I still hate it —Currently, I have 28 articles in my drafts. I don’t sleep, my laundry is always at least two weeks behind, and my two-year old has been known to raise havoc with markers – mostly on herself while I am writing.  I just “don’t know” how that happens! Writer’s block strikes more often then I care to admit…and when it hits, it’s like the flu, hard to shake. I’m learning new things every day: SEO, Google Analytics, Tailwind — I didn’t know what any of those were a few weeks ago and I haven’t mastered them yet, but I will. I also don’t know what opportunities writing will bring, but I’m hopeful and excited.

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I am eager to write and to tell more stories — to show my daughters that they can do anything and everything, like run half marathons or stand up paddle board in the ocean. That they can survive tragedy and come out stronger. To show them to stand up for themselves, and to respectfully speak up when it matters. To show them that life is a lot like writing…

We don’t always get it right, it’s definitely not perfect,  it can be frustrating, but we learn…we improve…and we keep looking up… that’s the secret to life.

SnoopyHere are some of my favorite blog posts: This is TEN 

About Me