things that don’t go together

A weekend in a hotel for the Hollywood Vibe Dance Convention and Competition and YOU have to study and take the online portion of your Neonatal Resuscitation Program renewal test. Doesn’t that sound like a workable thing? Oh, I forgot, you are bringing along your 12 year old boy because your darling husband is working through the weekend. You know, the sweet boy of yours with sensory processing issues? Don’t forget that your grandgirl, who also dances, will be there for part of the weekend too.

No! YOU thought this would be totally easy and doable.

Of course you did. Until you got there at the hotel…where the dance convention is being held…crowded with lots of other families from lots of other dance studios there…with lots and lots of very excited kids because OMG!!! Kent Boyd is here too!!!! A lot of dance moms were overly excited too. Still, you imagine this will be doable. The kids will be in dance classes from 7:30 AM until well into the afternoon and then they dance competitively through the night until around midnight all weekend long. You’ll have time for sure you tell yourself.


Did you forget the son you brought along?

But there’s a pool. He can swim. He has video games. He can keep himself entertained while you are studying and logging on to take that 9 part test. He’s a good boy. Your husband will be picking him up Saturday afternoon. You end up repeating that last sentence over and over again because he is a 12 year old boy and the last thing he wants to do is entertain himself. Your husband will be picking him up Saturday afternoon…

Did I forget to tell you that there is a hockey tournament happening here too and there are all kinds of hockey teams here with hockey players the same ages as all those dancers? Oh, and with hockey teams come hockey parents. Hockey parents who are more than okay with letting their kids play hockey IN THE HOTEL ROOM NEXT TO YOURS in the evening…until you asked them not to because it sounded like someone was being murdered in the next room which distracted you from studying and REALLY stressed out your 12 year old…the one with sensory processing issues. Apparently hockey dad didn’t think this was a problem until you told him that you thought that it might be…so he sends the kids out into the hall to play hockey. Yes. Because apparently on every floor there are kids playing hockey. They are also playing hockey in the hotel lobby too while their parents are doing celebratory shots Saturday night because their kids won the tourney.

YEAH Junior Kings!!!

Did I forget to tell you that the Internet connection is very spotty? The Internet connection you have to pay for because of course this hotel isn’t going to offer complimentary wi-fi to their guests.

So the connection keeps dropping while you are taking your test. There are hockey games, loud hockey games happening everywhere. Your son wants to go back to the pool an hour after he decided that he was tired of swimming but can’t possibly wear the swim trunks he wore because he wore them and they are wet. Any parent with a kid on the Spectrum gets that. If you don’t get that all I can say is, I’m sorry. Your grandgirl is REALLY upset because she can’t go swimming because her day is filled with dance classes and dance competition. You’re very thankful that your dancer is old enough to get herself to and from her dance classes but there are still the dances she is dancing in…and the grandgirl is dancing in. What kind of dance mom/mima would you be if you didn’t watch these kids dance?

You know what? None of this mixes well together at all.




So the next time you find yourself in hotel with your kids for a dance convention and there are also lots of hockey teams there too with hockey kids and hockey parents and you have work you must do for work that requires Internet access DON’T DO IT!!!

Just don’t.

Dance convention and competition is enough. It really is.

I know that my dancers think so. Hang in there girls…only five more hours to go then we go home.


Excuse me, I have to get back to trying to take my test before the wi-fi cuts out again.


with love to the people we practice on

So apparently today is Siblings Day.

Yes, I know some of you are rolling your eyes, shaking your head and muttering under your breath…as you some of you sometimes do over things like this that you might find silly.


The day was created by Claudia Evart, who lost both of her siblings earlier on in life. She chose the date to honor her late sister, Lisette. After losing her two siblings to separate accidents early in life, Claudia realized the importance of remembering our siblings, both living and no longer with us. She has dedicated herself to ensuring the bond of brother and sister is forever recognized as the special gift it is.

Like many, I have these pictures of my brother and sister, who are both gone, but remain with me daily, not just in these pictures, but in my daily thoughts and in my heart. I lost both of them in tragic accidents, making me understand the everlasting bond we have with our siblings.

Yes, I am sentimental, and sometimes very emotional when I remember my late brother, Randy and think of where the consequences of life, our choices and others’ choices brought Randy, Billy, Valerie and me.


So many memories…good, bad, ugly and even WTF parents?! But they are/were ours and as Randy once told me, they are the one thing that we share and share only with each other. No one will ever get any of it and that is okay. Memories like that romper Billy is wearing…that haircut of mine which would be in the WTF parents? column. But ultimately the good is what I think of looking at this picture and other pictures of the four of us. Anything else would likely have destroyed me as it crushed my younger brothers and sister. And so I focus on the magic we created together, the four of us and I give thanks.

Then I celebrate some more because, yes, I have more siblngs!

Sisters…so awesome are they! So much younger than me, so much more smarter than me, more amazing than me and even taller than me now. Our memories are different, still they are good and always make me smile. I’m pretty lucky to have you, Angela and Elana both, as sisters.

But not to be left out, my own clowns began to share today celebrating their siblings.

Nobody tell those kids of mine that this is a dream come true especially when I recall the knock-down-drag-out fights that always ended up in tears, blood drawn and a broken nose or two in the past and maybe even last month.

Honestly, kids!

Zoë shared

And because only siblings are great in that way, Hollie declared this to be probably the worst picture to share.

Oh kids!

So I offer perhaps a better picture.

I have more…lots more…Hollie found some.

Oh the secrets, promises, laughter and tears these four have shared…and the fighting…with blood and a broken nose too that these sisters have shared!

Hollie shared: “Hey Daniel, thanks for being our brother. You kind of didn’t have choice in the matter (does any sibling ever have a choice, I wonder?). But you are literally the best thing to happen to this family. You’re crazy, and awesome, and weird in the best way. You’re brilliant and inquisitive, and so much like the four of us. You’re going to drive mom and dad crazy when you’re a teen (next year, OMG!). You were meant for us. And I love you so much. Happy Sibling Day!”

My heart just exploded with glitter and rainbows and unicorns.

Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring, quite often the hard way. – Pamela Dugdale




promping v. 2014

If it’s Spring then it is time to promp again here under the Big Top. Such is the life of raising a family of five circus clowns growing up much, much too fast. Actually this will be the last promping time for awhile. I imagine that when Daniel is old enough and if he chooses to go to prom that it won’t be such a big deal as it is now…and truthfully my girls are much, much more low maintenance than some peers…thank goodness. Still, I won’t lie, I do live a little bit vicariously through my girls’ proms because that wasn’t one of those things I got to share with my Mommy Dearest even if I did have a boyfriend through high school…that dang “no-dancing-because-it-is-a-sin” thing that he and his family ascribed to.

Oh well.

But this year’s promping is again all about Jodie…her Senior Prom!

There was the dress shopping.

It MUST be a burden to be a hanger that every single dress one tries on looks absolutely perfect. I’m going to keep telling myself that. These were part of her top 4. Wait for it…the winner is coming.

But horrors! A monkey wrench in all the promping.

A tumbling mishap at dance earlier this week which she tried to tough it out until yesterday when she could scarcely lift her arm. That could be a problem. Xrays ruled out a broken clavicle but it was determined to be a sprain of ligaments connecting her clavicle to her shoulder joint so the good doctor recommended no dancing for a week and to wear a sling to keep her arm in a neutral position.

I know, first world problems.

Still, we pressed onward because it is promping time.

Who else would be doing hair and makeup besides big sister? Really?


Actually this is the only picture with the sling. We made a deal and yes, against medical advice, she went sling-less to the prom promising to be careful. I’m not worried. Her shoulder and collar bone are quite sore still and she has limited range of motion so there won’t be any throwing her hands up in the air because she can’t. Plus next weekend is a big dance competition so with the exception of tonight, she is motivated to follow doctor’s orders. Besides, this dress…

…with a sling?


Aren’t they cute?

They’re just friends which is okay because promping is so much more fun with friends.




princess meetup

“It’s Cinderella!”

This weekend, Fallon saw Cinderella dance on stage with some of her princess friends including: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Ariel and Pocahontas. But the only one she noticed, the only one she saw, the only one she cared about was Cinderella.

“It’s Cinderella!”, she cried as she was jumping up and down pointing at the stage with excitement.

Hazel tried to correct her, telling her that it was Jodie but Fallon was not buying that…I mean big sisters sometimes do tell tall tales.

“It’s Cinderella!”

Do you want to meet Cinderella?“, I ask Fallon. Her eyes widened as she pondered the possibility that she could meet Cinderella! I get that. Cinderella has always been my favorite princess too.




And Jodie, er, Cinderella came off stage and made her way to where we were sitting and knelt down and hugged Fallon…as a princess would do.

Sorry, no picture of that magical moment; but if you close your eyes…

See it!

Magic, is it not?

what else would I be doing but juggling…pinning!

Another weekend, another dance competition in the This Is My Last Year As A Dance Mom tour.


A friend and fellow dance mom complimented me today on how Jodie does such a great job organizing her own costumes and manages her own quick…very quick…costume changes in between dances. She added that while she (and the other moms) are running around like crazy helping their kids with their quick changes and organizing their multi pieces of costuming,
it often always several pieces, small pieces because of course one will be temporarily misplaced usually in a darkened auditorium ten minutes before your kid has to be back stage ready for the next dance
I am the mom sitting there in the auditorium keeping busy on my iPad. My friend smiled telling me how impressed she is with Jodie managing all of that.

What my friend doesn’t see is that in between dances and costume changes, Jodie usually tosses the costume pieces, garment bag and shoes at me as she heads backstage for the next dance. She often will direct me to get the next costume ready for when she comes back as she is running away. So I put the costume pieces back into the garment bag…all the little gloves and hair pieces too as well as the shoes because god forbid I lose any of this in the darkened auditorium where no food or drink is permitted with the sticky floor from food and drink. THEN I go back to whatever I’m doing on my iPad like reading or re-reading something like Nicholas and Alexandra or a random news site that I frequent or playing Words with Friends (Nicurnmama) or pinning stuff on Pinterest because what else would I be doing during the butt-numbing time I spend waiting for Jodie and her team members to take the stage?

Of course this weekend I will be pinning. I might be pinning a lot. We shall see. In the meantime, here is what was pinteresting to me this week.

So Zazzle gave me a gift certificate for my birthday just because and I’m thinking this is the T for me.

I made this for our St. Patrick’s Day dinner and it was delicious!

This is amazing and yes, I’m working on the tricky part…all the time.

Then I found this and I had to pin it because, after all, she is my favorite princess. Perhaps even more so now.

These scrubs. The census needs to go up so I won’t be put on call so I can wear these to work because these scrubs are perfect.

This because of Mondays and days just like Mondays. I don’t imagine that I can use it at work but that’s okay.

I could imagine this in Daniel’s room except when I consider the number of Hot Wheels that he has, I don’t believe that he has nearly the wall space. Still. How cool!

Mock us Dance Moms if you must, but you will be needing us during the Zombie Apocalypse. Count on it.

God only knows what I will run across on the web that I must pin because it’s amazing, I want to make it, eat it, wear it, do it or just want it this weekend. We shall see.

Or perhaps I will try to study for my NRP renewal…in a dark and loud auditorium.