So my friend and I are armpit-deep into planning the birthday party of our crazy girls. There’s so much pink flowery stuff around here it’s nauseating. But we’re all about throwing a party, ya’ll! I don’t have much to write about today, so I’m posting some fabulous pics of party stuff. Now I’m off to work on party favors!
Ahh…we did it. One more summer under our shredded belt. And just in time! Cali and I were about to gnaw through some bark and eat spark plugs just for a change of scenery and pace. I guess we both thrive in regimented conditions. I could’ve excelled in the military! No. Wait. Not possible. You can’t accessorize and wear lip-gloss 24/7.
At any rate…I thrive during the school year. Maybe it’s the party throwing and gift giving. Or maybe it’s the luxury of drinking HOT coffee as opposed to dishpan cold coffee during the summer months due to constant interruptions. Whatever it is…I dig it.
It’s all bittersweet though, really. This is Cali’s last year at her school. After this year, she’ll be transitioning on to “Big Kid School”…and I can hardly think about it. I’m kind of attached to the place. I can’t even talk about this being our last year without wussy tears. But I must suck it up! Noone likes a cry baby.
So. Here’s our first-day candids. I’m noticing that with each year, her choice of clothing, shoes and accessories becomes more bizarre. Hm. Wonder where she gets THAT from?
Okay, here’s what’s crackalackin’ on ye olde home front. It’s been stupid busy and we’re on the official countdown to the first day of school. Seriously. I’m talking down to the last millisecond. We’ve got dance class kicking back into full swing next month, the birthday party invitations are already starting to flow in, my gift closet is slap empty (gotta get started on that) and I’ve started on the Christmas stuff for the shop.
Earlier that day we went to visit Radium Springs…which was nothing but a big bunch of sad. The place used to be a natural wonder…now it looks like toxic waste:
As for Christmas, it’s a tad hard to get into the spirit when it’s 116 degrees in the shade:
…but here’s what we got so far:
Much more to come in a month or so!
After my daughter’s first dance recital last month, it became abundantly clear that we were in no way, shape or form destined for the pageant circuit. I think now I understand why the pageant moms are always looking rough. They’re flat worn out. They’ve had to wrangle a 4-year-old into pantyhose, wigs, layers of tulle, 8 pounds of stage make-up, fake eye-lashes, nails and spray tanning. They should give a trophy to the Mom who shows up looking fresh as a daisy after getting her little queen ready for the stage. Seriously.
You should’ve seen us dancing moms backstage. We were all sweating like a gang of menopausal heffers, screaming at our kids, “DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH THAT HAIRBOW! DON’T DO IT! QUIT RUBBING YOUR EYES! YOU’LL SMEAR YOUR MASCARA! QUIT CRYING!! NOW!”
One of Cali’s sweet little friends had the backbone to DO what the rest of the kids WANTED to do, but DIDN’T out of unnatural fear. She just stood there on stage…frowning into the light…not giving one hoot ‘n holler about dancing or looking pleased to be there. That would’ve been me.
Anyway…earlier today I came across a blog talking about a book called “High Glitz: The Extravagant World of Child Beauty Pageants” by Susan Anderson. She walks you through the process that these kids go through in the great quest for tiaras and trophies. I’m talking nuts here, people! NUTS! I’ll go ahead and admit I have an odd fascination with pageants. Not because I want to participate. What fascinates me is the brazen exploitation of these children followed by treats and rewards.
Call me Amish…but I have a problem with five-year olds who look like 23-year-old women of ill repute. The term “natural beauty” is offensive in the pageant world. Their idea of “natural beauty” is fake teeth and airbrushing. FAKE TEETH! I believe they’re called “flippers” in the industry. And you ain’t big-time until you got a flipper, hunny.
Places like “Unity Smile: The Flipper People” cater to pageant-eers looking for oral perfection. And it’s not like you can go find those things in a consignment shop. Well, maybe you CAN…but you really wouldn’t want your little piece of precious running around on stage with George Washington teeth. It wouldn’t be the responsible thing to do.
And there’s pageant lingo. Stuff like ‘Casual Wear’, ‘Crowning Dress’, ‘Boutique Outfit’, ‘Cupcake’, ‘Glitz’. If I sent my kid up on stage in her ‘Casual Wear’…she’d be…well…nekkid. Eating a cupcake. Some mamas see tutu’s and lip-gloss in their daughter’s future. I see Art school and professional sports.
I live in the deep south…the bowels of pageant country. Home to some of the most beautiful people on the planet. When my daughter was a few months old, people began to talk.
“Oh, this divine child needs to be on stage, sweet-hawt! Would you just LOOK at those lashes? She wouldn’t even need falsies! She’s precious…simply precious! Let me contact ******* for you, mkay? He’s who you’ll want to help with choreography, style, glamuh. Let me just grab his cahd.”
It would confuse them when I laughed maniacally at their suggestion. Perhaps if they would’ve looked behind them, they would’ve seen the Divine Child, picking her nose and ingesting its contents like it was prime rib.
I’m not bashing the entire pageant kingdom. Just the ones that promote and celebrate itty bitty kids who look like prostitutes. You know…Prosti-Tots.
Maybe I’m biased……but I think my daughter reeks of natural beauty…and I hope she grows up knowing that beauty comes from a place that can’t be altered by man. This is my one-hot-mess-of-a-daughter:
Sometimes I wish my ADD would go jump off a cliff. It’s the bane of my existence. Truly. Why, you ask? Because being an artist, writer, photographer, mama, Coffee Maker, Housekeeper, Zoo Keeper, Humorist and Spouse….all at the same time…is a bit nerve-racking. If it weren’t for my ADD….I could pull the whole thing off with aplomb. Instead, I write a sentence, make a sandwich, clean the bathroom, paint one square inch on a canvas, laugh at my husband, curse the cat, then remember I forgot to take my meds.
Nothing makes me warm ‘n fuzzier than children’s art, books, fashion and toys. Especially off-the-beaten-path stuff.
Like THIS! (Click image to visit website)
If I could get a fat paycheck for giving gifts, I’d be SO all over that. If there’s no occasion that calls for gifts, I’ll make one up. I swear, I will. So imagine my unfiltered jubilation when I found these felt party favors! Now I want to crash a random party so I can throw these favors around and leave…..like a happy shiny Robin Hood. I’d probably get arrested by the infamous Dougherty County Po-Po though….but I’m not skeered. I’d like to think a friendly felt party favor bribe would wipe my life ‘o crime slate clean.
So behold. Marvel at the cuteness. I’m going to make a heaping pile of these things.
Okay, third day into no-camp week….so far so good. It was cloudy and yuck-yuck yesterday, so we ended up at Wilder’s World for a couple of hours, followed by the standard Happy Meal run. After “Quiet Time”, there was head-to-head combat over the attempted murder of our neighbor’s infant feline.
Here’s what went down…from what I can tell. Our neighbor’s mama kitty had some babies a few weeks ago and they all stay outside. There’s one kitten in particular who comes busting out of the fence every time he hears one of us come out our back door. I’m not gonna lie…the little booger is a cutie. Looks like a fluffy pumpkin ball.
So Cali was playing with Punkin…and I made it abundantly clear that under no circumstance was she to bring the cat inside the house. ”OKAAAAYYYY!” I was doing some writing and noticed things had become ominously quiet.
“You better not have that cat in here, Cali Spring!”
As I got to the back door, I saw Cali stop like a deer caught in headlights. She was trying to hide something behind her back. Turns out that “something” was Punkin….drenched like a water-logged rat and shivering like he had the palsy.
“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??!!!”
So I grabbed a towel and frantically started fluffing Punkin back up….meanwhile, fleas were having Mardis Gras all over my shirt and face. I walked him to our neighbor’s front door…but alas…they weren’t home. So I fluffed him up some more and sent him back through the fence to his mama.
Here was Cali’s explanation:
Cali: I wanted to give him a bath like I saw the dogs do at my trip field in the pet spa.
Me: Did you squirt him with the hose? How did you get him wet?
Cali: I stuck him in the pool and swirled him around.
Me: Okay. Cali, you can never do that again. Baby animals can’t get wet…it’ll make them sick. Remember how you almost killed Bing when you drenched him in Febreeze? Well, dunking a kitty in cold water will kill it. Do you like killing small animals?
Cali: NOOOO!! (wailing and gnashing of teeth)
Me: Okay, then. Don’t be ignorant and do something like that again.
Cali: Well, Daddy didn’t tell Ms. Beth that I killed Bing…so you don’t tell Daddy I killed a cat. Okay? Don’t tell him.
Me: I’m going to tell him, Cal.
Cali: NO! YOU ARE MISTAKEN!
Anyway…I ended up telling her Daddy while she was in the kitchen having a snack. He laughed, naturally. We agreed to keep it a secret. This morning when we were leaving the house, here comes Punkin. As soon as Cali saw him, she excitedly told her Daddy:
“Daddy! That kitty there yesterday wanted to swim in my pool! All by himself, he did!”
Whatta kid. Today we visit the Aquarium. Thankfully the fish and birds are safe behind the Plexiglas.
If you have an ornery kid that needs to be occupied 24/7…here are some brilliant ideas that may keep them out of your hair and preserve your sanity. Just click on the images for instructions and printables.
Cali had her first dance recital this past weekend. Naturally, we made a big deal about it. You would’ve thought she was the prima ballerina in a special production of Swan Lake for the Queen of England. If you don’t believe in miracles, well…you should. If you’ll note in the following pictures…Cali’s hair is slicked back. She didn’t put up too much of a fight for the dress rehearsal. But she had a complete and total meltdown prior to the main event and I honestly didn’t think we were gonna make it. I was in dire need of a daquiri by the time we left the house.
Mood swings aside, the recital went beautifully. Every single one of the dancers did an awesome job. Everything from the programs to the sensational costumes was first class and I’m proud that my daughter had a part in the process.
I was only able to take photos during the rehearsal…so you’re unable to see the beautiful costumes worn by the older girls. Take my word for it…they were stunning.
If you live in the Albany area, check out Josette’s and see everything they have to offer.
Josette’s Academy of Dance is a performing arts school of excellence, recognized as an innovative leader for pushing forward a new standard of dance training and theater classes in the community. They proudly offer a nurturing training program with professional instruction for all ages and skill levels.
They are now accepting summer enrollment. You may register online, or call the studio to register. Classes start June 7th!
We made it through the first non-camp day of summer vacation. Sat down and made out our schedule for the week. It may sound a tad anal retentive, but I really have no choice in the matter. The child functions best when on a semi-rigid schedule. So…semi-rigid schedule it is. I’m talking curriculum, planned activities and outings. The whole nine yards. Only I don’t get a paycheck. Why else would I be taking an expensive multivitamin every day? Certainly not for the fishy burps.
So…after completely reenacting the Chipmunks Sequel and eating waffles, we made cupcakes in a cone. I was grossly irresponsible and let my kid eat cake batter. Raw eggs!! I ate some too…that way if she got sick, I’d be puking right along with her. Sensible decision, right?
It’s off to Turtle water park tomorrow…where I’ll sit baking in the sun, watching my kid roll around on wet concrete, happy as a clam in mud. Yippee.