Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Dance Mom Life Is Not For Me

To whom it may concern, this is my formal resignation from my title as a dance mom. I would like to say that there were many factors that went into this decision, but truth be told there was only one. One thing ended it all. One thing pushed me to a breaking point that I didn’t know was possible over something so relatively unimportant. The recital. It’s hard for me to even type out the word “recital” right now because I am still recovering from the anxiety attack I experienced. I realize that I am not cut out for this kind of pressure. But let me explain all that led me to my ultimate decision that this is the end of dancing for my girls, at least until my memory forgets how bad it was. Let me give you what I can remember of the recital prep checklist:

  • pay for the recital fee
  • pay second child’s recital fee
  • pay for the recital costume
  • pay for second child’s recital costume
  • attend presentation in class over hair, makeup, and costume details
  • attend presentation in class over hair, makeup and costume details for second child
  • receive recital packet
  • read packet
  • forget to pre-order recital video at discounted price
  • buy short Bobby pins
  • buy long bobby pins
  • buy clips
  • buy spray gel
  • buy hairnet
  • buy red lip liner (not lipstick, it will smudge) (this is not their first rodeo, I mean recital)
  • find/buy tights without holes in them then hide from children so they don’t put holes in them
  • start a recital make-up bag
  • sew extra pieces on Morgan’s costume
  • thread corset on Sadie’s costume
  • hang costumes upside down to keep the poof in the tutu
  • practice buns
  • pack outfits and accessories (almost lost a coordinating hair flower)
  • pack snacks
  • opt out of expensive professional pictures on recital day

Now let’s get to the day of the recital. There is a dress rehearsal first, around noon. Girls are to be in full costume and makeup and BUN! The dress rehearsal is where you are allowed to take video and pictures. You are not allowed to during the actual recital. So I ran into a small problem that I didn’t bring a real camera to the dress rehearsal. But it was fine, the iPhone to the rescue! Then there is an awkward break, get the girls out of costume, while still preserving the hair and makeup effort, and wait about an hour and a half, then head back to be there early, get them to there groups . . .

Than, wait for it. . . you have to get your seats. Us Texans, we are generally nice and smile big, and wave to strangers, etc. But at a dance recital, when your sweet daughter is about to have her debut stage moment, there are no niceties when the doors open to find seats. Running, throwing personal items on seats to reserve, I heard there was pushing, I did not see it.

Now we begin the actual recital. We smile at the other performances because they are certainly cute. Three year old’s trying to dance to a choreographed routine is hilarious for sure. I think many things can be told about their futures by the ones who watch the teacher to do it right, the ones who tell the other girls where to stand on stage, and the ones who break free and have their own personal twirling stage dream come true. This makes it worth it, literally each sweet little group has one dancing angel who gets distracted from the routine and just free dances until someone brings them back to reality. I personally think these girls have great lives ahead of them.

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Then it’s one of our girls turns. My brother-in-law calls it 90 seconds of awesome when it’s your kid up there. I agree. I love every second of the entire 90 seconds. Deep deep joy, happiness, contentment fill each second. And then they prance, skip, and twirl off stage and their work is done.

JUST SPLENDID! IT WAS ALL WORTH IT!

At least for some people. Let’s just say it’s not my cup of tea. Are you thinking, “but it’s not about you, it’s about your precious little girl and her dreams of being a ballerina!” I will tell you that I told them to enjoy every second, to live it up, to dance their little hearts out. I will tell you that I have a low threshold for stress, and my kids are happiest when our lives do not involve recitals, or anything that puts me on edge. (On edge is not really being truthful, it puts me over the edge.) They were blissfully happy when I told them ballet was over for awhile and they would get to start gymnastics in the Fall.

Now for anyone who is still reading, I’m guessing just about 12% of those who started at the beginning, let me say that I fully understand that this is a privilege. And being a privilege to put my kids in any extracurricular, it is one that I can deny at any point. That is what make it a privilege, the freedom of choosing. My girls are adorable ballerinas, and they are adorable when we sit around and play UNO, or when they are riding their bikes. So for awhile, I am turning down the choice of Ballet, but my deep respect to the dance moms who pull it all off un-phased. Bless you!

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Just Google It for Goodness Sake

So I haven’t blogged in a few weeks. I do not vainly think that anyone has noticed, but I have enjoyed writing my randomness for the world wide web, so I have missed it. I still am not feeling well, so I have been doing a lot of sleeping, thus explaining why I have not been writing. I cannot write in my sleep. I just cannot.  I am always oddly optimistic that I will go to sleep sick and wake up the next day feeling better. I am not sure if it is a form of denial, hope, optimism, faith, or a combination of the four. But after the days turn to weeks and the weeks turn to months, my optimism and hope slowly fade away. I get a little down. The other day I thought to myself, “Self, how do I lower my expectations of how I want to feel without losing hope and without giving up?” Myself did not have the answer, it usually doesn’t, at least not with some searching first. So I asked God, I asked Jachin, I asked friends and family, “How do I be okay with feeling so crappy and not give up hope to feel better and not give up working hard to feel better?” There were not many answers. Because these people love me and know this is not an easy thing to answer. What I did get were words of encouragement. Because I have great people in my life. So while I was laying in bed feeling sorry for myself, I told Jachin, “I am only lying here because I lack the strength to stand.” Which does make things a little better because Princess Bride makes everything better. Anyways, back to point of why I am explaining why I am in bed so much. When I am laying in bed I Google.

I Google everything. And then I tell Jachin that I have finished the internet. (It’s an inside joke, unless you know what TV show it’s from and then you get 5,000 bonus points).

Of course I Google on my iPhone, because I do everything on my iPhone!

So after weeks of lying in bed I really feel like I have Googled A LOT, and it is random because as soon as I think about something, I Google it, everything. I Google everything. I mean it.

So here is a non-exhaustive list of what I have Googled in the past few weeks, I have left some out, but here are a few, with brief explanations:

1. Best places to live with asthma

2. Best places to live with allergies

3. Houses for sale in Northwest Florida

4. Houses for rent in Northwest Florida

5. Schools in Northwest Florida

It started out innocent, but before i knew it I had a full-fledged plan. There were many, many more searches involved in this thought process. I decided that we should move to Florida to see if I felt better living by the sea. Thank you, I know this was a brilliant idea. I am disappointed it did not work out. I did find a lovely home just west of Destin and North of Rosemary beach in a community called Wild Heron, and there was a private school nearby whose website seemed to show it was similar to the ones the kids are in now. The house was perfect, the master bedroom was on the first floor and the kids rooms upstairs, a fourth bedroom for all the visitors we would have because we were relocating to such an amazing place, duh. The community has a pool by the lake, a gym, and a boardwalk along the lake.  We were going to ride bikes at sunset and fish at the dock.  You can poo-poo on my plan all you want, but when I am there one day, I might not let you visit us. Here is a picture of what I thought would be my home:

 

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I KNOW!!! So dreamy. My vision was coming together perfectly, but we decided to stay her in the Big D. So when my relocating plan looked like it was going to pot, I continued on in my searching:

6. Should dogs eat vegan

7. Average grocery budget for a family of 5

8. How do I give up Starbucks

9. Nespresso machines

10. Cost of Nespresso pods

You see, some things that I Google just don’t make sense, at least not to anyone else. But thoughts go through my head and I think they require some follow though (the Googling). My dog will not be vegan, calm down about it already. But what was happening was that Jachin and I were making a huge financial decision and he was showing me our numbers and they did not look good. After years of tip-toeing away from the whole budget thing, it is for real now. FOR REAL, FOR REAL. Like if you see me spending money you should slap me. So we are on an actual budget, and Googling was required. If I am going to really give up Starbucks, I needed a back-up plan.  I currently have the winning bid on Ebay for a Nespresso machine. I hope I get it! Moving on, but not moving:

11. Coconut cream in coffee

12. Apple and beet juice recipe

13. Calories in juicing

14. Juicing with mint

15. What to eat when juicing and hungry and dairy and gluten free

So a friend carefully suggested I try changing my diet to dairy and gluten free and to try juicing. After going vegan last year my health improved, but now it is time to try something else. Because if what you are currently doing is not yielding you the results you want, you should consider doing something different. Kind of common sense. Many of my symptoms lately can be linked to possible food allergies, so I am willing to try it. When you are chronically ill you have to be open to try different things. Some of them take a lot of work, which is hard to take on when you are feeling sick. But I have juiced and been gluten and dairy free for four days now. Four days down, months to go. Friends, I have never bought a beet before, I didn’t even know what it looked like. And then the sweet lady in the checkout line was kind enough to warn me it might turn my pee red. Bless her, she was only trying to help.

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Maybe the beet juice will help me feel better, maybe it won’t.  God only knows. So I will push on, whether I am juicing, moving to Florida, or Googling, life goes on. And I still find that on my sickest days, or my hardest days, that God still shows His goodness to me in every day.  To me, goodness is dreaming of another life somewhere prettier, goodness is my kids crawling into bed with me just to be close to me, goodness is Espresso, goodness is God whispering in my ear that I can live on a budget and live to tell about it, goodness is a stranger warning me about my pee turning red from beet juice.  These things may not cancel out the bad, but they are present and reminding me to want to live.

So cheers to beet juice and Googling and hope.

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My blog was a fraud

Well, the picture was a fraud. No wait, the picture was legit, Jachin took it while we were vacationing in St. John. This is confusing, stay with me. What it represented was not authentic to my blog. It represented peace and serenity. Neither of which are strong points in my life right now.

That night that I asked Jachin to find my blog that we had saved a few years back, we picked out a picture to put at the top with my blog title. I thought I was being authentic by picking one of our own pictures. I looked at the pre-made formats that I could choose from, but none of them were authentic to me.

So I picked out the picture of the sailboats in the bay in St. John’s.

The only time I feel calm or peace or serenity is when I’m on vacation. We can dissect the wrongs and rights of that later, but for now that is the way it is. That particular vacation was amazing. Jachin and I refer to it often. We felt free as the wind in St. John. All day we roamed that island as if it were our own and each night we would eat at a restaurant in the bay by town and watch the sunset behind the sailboats.

Dreamy. Serene. Peaceful.

That was not too long after we had Sadie, and before Morgan, which is when all serenity left the building.

So I love that picture for many reasons. And the memory of that feeling is priceless. But it does not represent my life now or the blog for that matter, so it had to go.

I have been working with a blog designer that I found on Etsy. Speediness is not her strength, but whatever. I sent her a drawing of what I wanted and that is what she made my blog look like. Voilà! Check that off my list. (Oh if you saw my list you would laugh so hard). (It is so optimistic).(Everything goes on the list). (In an effort to make room in my brain, but that is in vain).

So I hope you like it.

Put St. John on your bucket list.

I don’t believe in bucket lists, too much pressure.

Goodbye sailboats, I hope we meet again one day.

I need chocolate, RIGHT NOW

This one might be for all the women out there. But men, what I am writing about is something you have seen with your very own eyes and it is scary. Men, I am so sorry you have had to witness this. So so sorry. Maybe over time and with some counseling you might recover if you have ever been caught in the middle of a woman and her need for an immediate chocolate fix. It is serious.

So men have seen this phenomenon and women have had to experience this weird out-of-body experience. It can come on suddenly and without warning and sometimes it leaves a path of candy wrappers and crying children (because you ate their valentines or Halloween candy!). This is what happens when a woman suddenly has the dire need for chocolate. But gasp, the horror of there not being holiday candy or a candy stash, and one is not prepared for what is to come.

You start ripping through junk drawers, scaling through the back of the pantry, looking under children’s beds for any remaining holiday candy stash. And then the awful reality hits: there are not any candy bars in the whole house! Not even a single M&M. Women, we know what happens next, because we do not give up.

No woman needing an immediate chocolate fix has ever given up on finding the chocolate. Not ever in history. If she did, then it wasn’t even a real legit craving. Because a woman doesn’t abandon a real chocolate craving. There is no, “Oh well, maybe I will have some chocolate tomorrow.” Ha! I shudder at the thought.

So what does happens when we can’t find the chocolate candy? We settle. We settle for the baking chocolate chips. Women, we have all done this. We understand each other, it bonds us together, in some scary freakish way. We have all stood in the kitchen with our arm elbow-deep in the chocolate chip bag eating chocolate chips like a rabid animal, drooling chocolate out of the sides of our mouths. We don’t even care about what this might look like, or what diet we are on, or what the consequences are. We have our hands on the chocolate and no one is going to take it away from us.

But I must share with you something terrible that happened today. This might have happened to you too, and for that I am sorry. It made me doubt who I was, why I was here, if I was a good mother and wife. I went in search for the chocolate chips and THERE WHERE NONE. Nowhere. I scoured the pantry again, but reality sank in after my third search through the pantry. I put my hands to my face and let out a faint whimper. What woman lets herself go so badly that she doesn’t even have the chocolate chips? I began to re-evaluate my life and how I would move on from here.

I knew in the back of my mind that this was divine intervention because I am on a sugar fast. And yes, I have the self discipline of an untrained puppy. I was merely trying to sneak a few into my vegan granola bars, that is all. But technically that would count as sugar, I guess. And technically they are not vegan either. Tiny details. Blah blah blah.

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So women, we can be a lot of things, amazing things, but we cannot be without chocolate. Apparently.