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Dreft, eczema, how to protect baby, caring for baby skin, sensitive skin, spring allergies, mom tips

Do you like surprises? Me, neither. Unless it’s, here’s a bag filled with a million dollars sort of surprise. Still, I got a big one this Mother’s Day. My baby girl became a woman.On.Mothers.Day. If that isn’t putting a fine point on it all, I don’t know what is. I thought we had some time. She’s only 11, well, nearly 12. In a week, she will be 12-years-old. But if I’d been in any sort of denial about my baby growing up, welp, that’s all been slapped right out of my mind.

Mother’s Day wasn’t what I expected this year on any account. Normally, I relax and spend the day focused on myself, alone. It has been heavenly and indulgent and wonderful for my entire tenure as a mother because my husband is awesome. He gets me. He really does.

This year was different because mortality decided it wanted to pay me an unexpected visit just to remind me that I am not actually invincible. I am human. I err. I can die at any moment. We all can.

READ ALSO: How a Doctor’s Visit Saved My Life

While I’ve been secretly patting myself on the back because I don’t feel like I’ve had a “midlife crisis” like some others who have told me they are in the throes of one, I got too damn big for my britches, as my southern mama would say. While I was busy not obsessing over my looks, rejecting bread like it was syphilis and trying to fight mother nature my body played a nasty trick on me. While I was being “cool” and “aging gracefully” my body had other plans.

Here I am with a health created, self-induced midlife crisis. Suddenly, the carefree, living in the skin I’m in, tired of being fat but not tired enough to do something about it woman is now, working out and eating like her life depends on it. I’m not fighting the hands of time but I’m trying to keep death at bay. I’m trying to reverse the damage a lifetime of abusing my body has inflicted.

READ ALSO: That One time I went into “HEAT” at Panda Express

So amidst all of this, on the bleakest of Mother’s Day, laying in bed feeling completely overwhelmed by my own inner monologue…living in this moment of the winter of my most discontent…an effing period snapped me out of it. My baby girl became a woman and put even a finer point on the fact that I’ve got work to do. My girls need me and there is no time for self-pity. Self-care yes. Self-reflection? Hell yeah. I need to be at my best because my girls need me for many more firsts.

She was a little scared. It’s new and it was her first. It was different than her sister, as they’ve always been. It was magical and scary for us both. But it was exciting too because it’s her first and she’s a young woman. This is the beginning of a lifetime of womanhood. We are all three of us women. We’re like a club or a coven or something but this binds us in an even deeper way. Then we went out to celebrate with Starbucks because in our house becoming a woman is cause for celebration.

READ ALSO: Girl, You’ll be a woman soon

My babies are growing up. One of them, quite literally, on Mother’s Day. The Big Guy and my girls have been my saviors in this life, more times than once. They give me reason and purpose and that is more than enough. The Big Guy saved me from myself when he came into my life. The girls rescued me from mediocrity. Having them has always made me want to do and be better. Because of them, I am becoming my best self.

How did you celebrate Mother’s Day? What do your children inspire you to do?

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science fair, how to survive the science fair, first science fair, STEM, parenting, kid science

Have you survived your first science fair as a parent yet?

This may sound like a helpful post but really, be forewarned, there is no actual help here to be had, only tears, yelling and frustration. No, this my fellow weary, exhausted parents is a piece of commiseration because all one can really hope for is to survive war the science fair.

I haven’t participated in a science fair since my own over 20 years ago, scratch that, I’ve been out of high school for almost 25 years so it’s been a.very.long.time.ago. Absurdly, I remembered it fondly as I did the spelling bee and all the academic special occasions that I seemed to flourish in during my youth. Well, either I’ve gotten dumber, the work has gotten harder or life is just so much easier when your parents are the ones worrying and you are the one just doing it. Ahhh, to be a kid again.

Anyways, this year is my oldest daughter’s first “mandatory” science fair and like all firsts it was a complete bumbled “learning process”. That’s mom code for a complete muck up. I’ve been urging her to sign up since she was in 2nd grade but she didn’t want to. Now, I understand why. It’s hard. Aside from trying to find a suitable, age appropriate experiment that appears that your child could have actually did it on their own, and the implementing of science and then design elements, it’s nearly a full-time job for me my kid!

I’m not going to lie to you. I helped. A LOT! Our girl saw an episode of Myth Busters wherein the hosts mixed Mentos and Diet Coke and she decided that she wanted to do the same. We’re big fans of Myth Busters and she’s apparently a big fan of making things go boom. This worries me a bit. Anyways, we decided to do our own Mentos Explosion experiment and it was AWESOME.

I figured it would be easy. Mentos and Coke, very cost effective. Only I hadn’t wagered into the cost, a geyser tube, 6 bottles of Diet Coke, as many packs of Mentos, science fair board, border trim, printed photos, aggravation with graphs and hot glue gun burns. And I never anticipated the human error tears (hers) when the Coke fell sideways or the Mentos didn’t drop. Oh we paid. We all paid and I’m not just referring to the $40 at the damn art store.

You know the saying it takes a village to raise a child? Well, it’s not bullshit because it takes an entire family to do one science fair project. One to hold the GoPro and take video, one to shoot photos on the DSLR, one to set the experiment up and the child doing the science project to actually perform the experiment.

You think the science fair is going to be your 3rd grader filling balloons with vinegar fumes or conducting electricity via potatoes. You , ma’am would be wrong! You think you are an innocent bystander but I’m here to tell you that the science fair is an equal opportunity destroyer and you will be collateral damage.

So next time, don’t wonder why your 2nd grader didn’t volunteer to enter the science fair, just stay quiet and be glad that you have two years left to enjoy your sanity and that beautiful burn free body you have now because in a couple years, it’s be all burnt eyebrows, singed arm hair and tears. Lots and lots of tears and nobody needs to see their parents cry that much!

What’s your “fondest” science fair project memory?

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communion, firsts, growing up, blogiversary, parenting


by Deborah Cruz

communion, firsts, parenting, growing up, milestonesSaturday, May 4, 2013, my Bella received her first Holy Communion. In the Catholic religion, communion is the third sacrament that our child receives. It is something they prepare for all year, culminating in a mass in which they wear a beautiful white outfit (like they did not so long ago when they were christened as newborns) and they are called to the altar to consume the consecrated body and blood of Christ. It is a beautiful mass. But for me, as a mother it was so much more.

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first moments, baptism, tide, vivid white

white, first moments, tide, life, bellaMy daughter is about to celebrate her birthday in a few days. I always seem to get a bit emotional around birthdays. Logically, I know my daughter is growing older but, in my heart, she will always be my fresh newborn that they laid on my chest, swaddled so tightly in her soft, white receiving blanket. I couldn’t believe how something so small and vulnerable, begging me to love her and protect her from the world could be my greatest honor and privilege in life but she has been from that moment on.

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change, first communion, dress, growing upAs you may have noticed, change is inevitable in life in general for all of us and, more specifically, on my site in the last few days. If this is your first time here, you probably only noticed that holy smokes this woman likes her pink, like her men, hot! But really what you don’t know is that yes, while I do like the Big Guy hot, like my pink, my site has gotten a complete overhaul this past weekend. Thanks to my tech guru/ web design genius, the Big Guy. Hey, you know what they say, it’s cheaper to keep him. No way could I afford what he would charge for the pain in the ass kind of person I am to design for, especially since he undertook this task on my shark week. He is so brave. This was by far my favorite Valentine’s Day gift thus far.

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airplane, flying, jet plane, claustrophobia

Flying for the First Time

In a couple weeks, I will be flying on an airplane for the first time ever. Not that I’ve ever flown without an airplane. I don’t have wings, have never jumped off a building or been catapulted across a field or shot out of a canon. Yes, I do realize that I am forty and have never flown. In case you were wondering, it has nothing to do with a fear of heights or death. Though, honestly, I would prefer not to die on my first flight. I’m not counting on one of those ironic moments where I waited half my life to take my first flight only to crash. That would be completely uncool. No, I’ve never flown because I’ve just never had the opportunity.

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Bella just lost her 2nd tooth over the holiday break, December 28th to be exact ( 2 months to the day that she lost the first one)  and now ( *gasp) Gabs has started saying “I”. Yes, my sweet , sweet baby who ALWAYS says, “MOMMY , ME…..” just this second ( inspiring this post ) said , ” Mommy, I’m a good girl.” And she said it while holding the dust pan as I swept, no less. This kid is  freaking breaking my heart with all her amazing, freakish sweetness and ginormous brains:)

New Year and looks like the littles have made some resolutions of their own.

Bella has decided that this is the year she is going to start using the word “glockenspiel” in everyday conversation. As of noon yesterday, she had already used it 347 times.  She is loosing teeth like its the end of the world.Hold on, didn’t 5000 birds just fall out the sky this week, for no apparent reason? Maybe her teeth are just one more sign of the times.Mind your P’s and Q’s people, maybe end of days are just around the corner.Nah, she’s only lost the bottom three..when the molars start spontaneously jumping out of her mouth…then, my friends, be worried.But still, the tooth fairy has not been allowed to visited us. By the time she decides to relinquish those teeth, the tooth fairy’s going to have to take out a small equity loan. Actually, a sure sign the world is ending will be the day my littles no longer want chicken nuggets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bella has also apparently resolved that she is going to argue EVERY single point I have, request I make, and food I offer.This does not bode well, as I am resolving to have my own resolution to prioritize and be present. Lucky for her, I’ve resolved to love hard and love often. Lucky for me, I have also resolved to let forgiveness rule my world.She doesn’t listen, I forgive her. Deep breath. So, she can argue at every turn and I will still be there to wrap my arms around her crazy little self and love on her.If its too much on occasion, I can walk to another room, take a breath and not feel guilty that I’m not feeling particularly sunshine and unicorns about her behavior that day. Forgiveness for me! Serenity now!It’s a good thing and I think it will serve us well in our household.

Gabs, aside from resolving to talk like a grown up and break my heart, has resolved that since she does everything her sister does, she too is going to argue every point, request and food that I dare to offer.She has even upped the ante by throwing in bedtime, bath time,and playtime. I’m a lucky, lucky lady. Just when I thought my heart was going to burst from the pain of them growing up too fast, they go and do something amazing like make me want free time by being argumentative.In direct contradiction,Gabs has decided that while whipping me into a breathless tizzy ( from all the deep breaths, obviously) she will toy with me. She has decided that the best remedy for a Mommy who’s head is about to explode from aggravation is to constantly chide her with “I LOVE YOU, MOMMY” well, up until today “ME LOVE  YOU, MOMMY!” Then, just when I think I can’t take one second more, she will lean in and squeeze me around my thighs like I am a puppy from the pet store that she is trying to convince us to buy ( because the dog we have is so not the “in” thing anymore.) Just like that, I melt into a pool of putty in her tiny little hands.

I’m not sure what  this year will bring, but I do know that the girls and I will be growing together;bending and reaching to meet one another in the middle. Hopefully, soon, we will get to join the Big Guy. Because though I did not mention this in my New Year post, my number 1 resolution is to get the Big Guy, our girls and myself back in the same zip code. It feels like the shades are only half open on our lives with the Big Guy not here with us. For now, I’ll keep on inciting my revolution to be the best me, the girls will keep testing my resolve to keep to those resolutions and we’ll try not to drive one another completely crazy while waiting for more angry birds to fall from the sky. I still think they were only trying to get those damn piggies, but that’s just me!

*Update, last night after  I wrote this post, Bella lost her 3rd tooth (Jan 4, 2010). Come to think of it, this kid is loosing teeth at an alarming rate! Beware the apocalypse.

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Last Thursday (10/7/10) was Bella’s first field trip. It was to be to a farm with a pumpkin patch at which all the children were going to be able to pick out a small baking pumpkin. Apparently, the $5 fee for the patch only covered gas for the bus not necessarily any type of pumpkin of  any value, aesthetically or otherwise. It was very exciting. I, of course, volunteered to chaperone. After all, I couldn’t let my baby go off on a bus to God knows where, with God knows who, doing God knows what without being privy to every second of it. We arrive at school,only to find out that the chaperones are not allowed to ride the bus. We have to car pool and meet them there. So much for sitting on the bus with her, holding her hand and taking it all in . I remember when we were little it was required that chaperones rode the bus to help keep the wily kindergartners in control.Apparently, rampant chaos is what they go for these days. After, hitching a ride with the coolest mom I could find and a quick stop at Starbucks ( I told you she was COOL) we met the kids as they were pulling away in the bus bound for the pumpkin patch. Oh, did I forget to mention after being awoken at 5 am by an eager kindergartener, my reward was for the teacher to tell me to go away until 8:20. The kids go into class at 7:50, what the hell were we supposed to do for 30 minutes?Anyways, I am digressing. It started out a little bit of a cluster fuck. I thought maybe my expectations were too high being this was my first field trip as a chaperone.

After much debate,against  my better judgment, I left the house that morning armed with only my Point and shoot camera versus the behemoth that I usually sport to any occassion concerning my girls. I thought maybe the teacher would frown upon a chaperone who was preoccupied being the stalkarazzi when she was supposed to be protecting little ones from flying pumpkins, crazed goats, and bee infested horse corals.I left my beloved memory recorder by the front door. Of course, once we arrived at the field trip and I was assigned my 2 children, the teacher issued an APB for a volunteer to take photos. What?? Just so happened that the chaperone who is actually a photographer ( by profession) forgot her camera and the teacher..forgot hers. I had my POS but not really what you want as your memory recorder. Luckily, the cool Mommy that I hitched a ride with had her professional grade camera in the back of her SUV. So funny because we had the conversation on the way in whether or not we should bring our big gun cameras. Needless to say, she became the designated photographer of the day.

The children were having a blast; picking apples off the trees, eating sunflower seeds fresh from the sunflower, picking fresh raspberries, swiss chard, lettuce,carrots, and with each thing the tour guide showed them she encouraged the kids to ” Go ahead, try it! It’s fresh!”The crazy in me wanted to say, “Hell no! That’s dirty!” People, I am not a country girl. Not by any stretch of the imagination, other than being a Mexibilly. The south has had the misfortune of being my host state for about 6 years of our marriage.I can positively say Tennessee was probably as happy to see me go as I was to leave. The south is beautiful, but it is full of fresh and wide open.Tall trees.Bugs.Wild turkeys. Cows. Pigs. Chickens. Bears.( and not the kind that play football on Monday nights),snakes, and More Bugs!
So,when the kids were told to eat all the off the vine food all I heard was here is some bugs and dirt kids….Enjoy!

The kids are loving every moment of their bug, dirt munching. Its all fun and games until they start asking the chaperones to ” Come on try some” Most adults would probably bite the bullet and say, “Oh Ok” in the spirit of being a good example and all. Not me! Sorry folks, I don’t do dirt and I certainly do not do BUGS! Ewwww! Now, maybe if one of my kids’ life depended on it..I’d eat a bug or a little dirt. But, as a rule, I refuse to model behavior that I don’t approve of in the first place. So, just as the kids are beginning the barn part of the tour, all the children simultaneously get a gleam in their eye that signals certain mutiny and chaos are imminent..I blame all the fresh air and mass quantities of fresh picked bug and dirt infested food that they had just consumed. Just as the kids are let loose to terrorize the animals, as children are running off in all directions of the barn yard petting stray barn cats, feeding apples and carrots to the horses, lettuce to the bunnies, corn to the pigs and goats, being chased in every direction by squawking chickens, I scan the joint to find my Bella and the little boy I was assigned. Just in time to see her about to walk face first into the horses mouth and the little boy about to be mauled by a couple attention starved goats. Luckily the horses and goats were close to one another, I grabbed both kids and saved them from becoming fresh food themselves:) Boy, chaperoning chaos is hard work. Thank God for that extra shot in my Toffee Mocha that morning. Then came the most exciting part of the field trip, we were called back to the school due to a gas leak in the entire downtown area, school was being evacuated…actually, the entire downtown was being evacuated.

We were ordered by divine intervention to cut our field trip short.I was all about it. All that fresh air was making it hard for me to breathe and I am pretty sure I was breaking out.But we had one last stop, or hell would have certainly broke out amongst the tiny farm lovers all hopped up on fresh air and homegrown goodness…the pumpkin patch. After, the fastest hay ride ever to the nearest pumpkin patch, all children were instructed to find 1 small,firm, round, green stemmed pumpkin. Of course, they jump out and all run through the vines, tangled up and dropping like flies. I was picking them up and helping them wrestle the pumpkins of their choosing from the vines..now, this was serious chaperone business. It might have been nice to know that I would be needing gloves and a box cutter. No? It’s Ok, I love picking pricks out of my fingers…for the children. After we wrangle all the children back up to the hay truck, we then speedily exit towards the bus. After all, this isn’t all fun and games…downtown has been evacuated because of a gas leak. School could be blowing up for all we know. I let out a sigh of relief as the last kid exits the truck and heads towards the bus, without a single casualty.

Then it happens. The guy driving the truck looks at me and says, “You know, they weren’t suppose to pick those big pumpkins. We were supposed to take them to a field with the small pumpkins but due to the emergency we just took them to the nearest field.”He is very straight faced and not joking. All I could think was I just wrangled 25 kids through a pumpkin patch without a single broken face or skinned knee, I just saved a kid from a crazed goat and a carnivorous horse, and you what Mr. Hay ride driver? Mr. Fresh fruit eater? You want me to compensate you because you took them to the wrong patch? Umm, OK FAWK YOU Mister. I almost had to eat fresh off the vine, bug infested, dirty raspberries. We’ve all made our sacrifices!Now, go feed a pig or something. I ‘ve got to go pick up my car from a lot that may or not be exploding as we speak! The nerve of some people! Hey farm boy, go suck a pumpkin. Wait? Where’s my kid? Oh shit, is she eating more dirty fresh lettuce? Happy Mothering!

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Kindergarten has been a big step for our Bella and it doesn’t seem that the firsts show any sign of slowing down anytime soon. I have mixed emotions about all of this. For the most part of it, I am very excited for my Bella. Unfortunately, the fact that I left the girls overnight for the first time ever coupled with the fact that she has had about 4 firsts in the past week, add to that me trying to upload photos and stumbling into a folder with photos of my Bella when she was newborn to about 2 years old and on top of that add the Bette Midler song Baby Mine and I am sitting here, alone in the middle of the night, feeling a bit emotional. As always, I share these moments with you, my friends.

Last Tuesday, while we were at ballet class with Gabs, Bella and I were sitting in the car waiting for Gabs to be done. Bella was in the passenger seat spelling out words ( She is getting to be such a big girl) and I am reading. I hear the click clack of her Barbie laptop stop, I glance over and there she is..tying her shoe..all.by.herself! It really felt a lot like those first steps she took when she was about 10 months old. I was so proud. She’s only been shown once. She amazes me. Where did that helpless little baby go? How can I be so happy and so sad simultaneously? Mostly, I was proud. Just ask any of my friends and family…I took a picture of it and mass texted it to them all.

First Shoe Tie 9/21/10

Then on Wednesday, we had our first rehearsal for the Nutcracker. I can’t believe that 3 years have already passed since she first started ballet. She was such a tiny thing when she first began and now she is a snowflake. She looked like such a big girl ballerina in her leotard, tights, and performance bun. I do realize its the same thing she wears to class every single week for class. But something is different, my Bella is different. She is growing up every hour of every single day.Letting go, even a little, hurts a lot but thank God it is dulled by the happiness that she shows on her face when she accomplishes something that she has set her mind to. It amazes me what a strong characterful little person she is at such a young age.

First Nutcracker Rehearsal for the Snowflakes 9/22/10. This is the photo that broke the Big Guys heart because he had to miss this moment.

Then on Thursday, she came home with 2 declarations. The first one was “Mommy, I was chosen as one of the stars of the day.” Me: “Great,baby!I’m so proud of you!” Bella: ( a little bashful) “Umm, Mommy, the star of the day gets a piece of bubblegum.” And with that she pulls a little baggy from behind her back, with one little red gumball in it. She is smiling so big that I can hardly stand it. Me;”Bella, you know you are too young for gum.” Who the hell gives gum to kindergartners? This is the same teacher who is so strict about no unhealthy snacks.Yeah, OK. I am watching as Bella’s face is losing its smile. Bella: “But Mommy, the other stars got one too!” How could I deny her her reward that she was so obviously proud to have been chosen to receive. I told her that we would split it, and she could chew it for 5 minutes in my eyesight, but from now on she would have to put them in a Ziploc, put them in the freezer and save them until she’s 8! I know, very random solution but it satisfied her for the moment. I’m not a fan of gum for kids…bad for teeth, choking hazard, etc.

The next declaration was a little more substantial, thank goodness we had spat our gum out or I may have swallowed mine. Bella, puts her hand on her hip, has a very nervous look on her face and says,”Mommy,I’ve got to tell you something” Me: “Yes, Bella, what do you need to tell me?” Bella: “Mommy, I like Bill* (*names have been changed to protect the innocent) and Bill likes me!” She’s blushing, so I am pretty sure I know what that means. But I don’t want to embarrass her. I want her to be able to tell me anything.But, I had to know,”Bella, do you mean like a boyfriend?” Bella: (blushing and giggling and averting eye contact) “No, Mommy..like he’s my best friend!” I heard what she said, but I also saw what her face said, that little face that I have read every single day for the past 5 and a half years..her little heart is happy. She has her first crush.

Today, as I was waiting for Bella to come out of class ( she is one of only 4 half day kindergartners) and so is Bill*. Bill’s mother sits down next to me and says, “I was told to be here early , I have been given strict orders to find out from you when the Nutcracker performances are because Bill* said he has to go see Bella in the Nutcracker.” We both giggled, because its obviously the sweetest thing either of us have ever heard…ever. But, oh my God, I won’t lie it choked me up just a bit. As we’re pulling out, Bella and Gabs are gleefully screaming “Bye, Bill!” And the cutest little boy ever waves them both on. In the car ride home, Bella informs me that I must talk to his mother about setting up a play date with Bill*. She continues on and tells me that the two of them were talking about it. She told him he could come over and play dress up with her. She told him he could be a fairy. He said,”Nah, I have a cape with jewels on it. I can be the prince and you can be my princess!” Priceless. do you hear that “Awwwww” in your head too? Or is it just me? It also makes me wonder, am I scheduling a play date or just a date?

This, of course, catapults me about 20 years into the future and I can already feel myself losing that helpless little baby I met on the day she was born to the man of her dreams on her wedding day. I am now more convinced than ever that parenthood is misery peppered with moments of profound bliss. God has given us these little people that steal our hearts, our minds, and our bodies and then in the end they leave us alone to miss them. Now, I understand why grandchildren are so important..its a way for parents to have a little part of their children back. Its probably also why grand kids can get away with so much. Parents have already felt the loss of their children growing up and leaving and have a new barometer of what is acceptable behavior and what is not. To be able to hold your children in that moment when they are little perpetually would be worth almost any price to have again, once they are grown. For now, I am going to cherish every single first, smile, giggle, even the tantrums and heartbreak because this time passes too quickly. Baby of Mine!

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Snowflake, be still my beating heart. Saturday, the day we’d been waiting for for the past 3 years finally happened.Ella started ballet when she was  3 and since then has been longing, planning for the day when she would be in our city’s ballet production of the Nutcracker. I remember the first days of taking her to ballet class, she was so nervous and uncoordinated. She was practically a baby in her pink tights, leotard and ballet slippers. She was so small, it was difficult to even find shoes that fit her appropriately. But like all things she sets her mind to, Ella achieves what she desires. She doesn’t really understand limitations. I like it that way. I hope she never loses that. Saturday was one of the destinations that this journey has been headed towards. Saturday was the first time she was old enough to audition. We woke up Saturday morning. I was nauseated from nerves. Ella was excited. As I put on her tights and leotard, I could feel the stress building inside me. While pulling her hair back into her ballerina knot, I was almost brought to tears by the thought of what if she isn’t chosen. She has been looking forward to this day for over half of her short life. As she pulled on her rain boots, I realized this was one of those defining moments in her life. This was the day she either became a performing ballerina or the first day she experienced rejection.Either way, I was nervous for her.

Daddy’s little Snowflake

We walk in to the dance theater and register. The place is packed full of a range of ballerinas. I immediately start sizing my girl up to every other ballerina in sight. After getting her into her slippers, her father and I offer some words of encouragement. At this point, I am pretty much vomiting a little bit in my mouth. Ella is unphased. She just wants to get on with it and get her part. Her confidence is inspirational.

Mommy’s Little Snowflake

She locates a couple of competition her friends from class. They squeal at the sight of one another. All of us Moms breathe a sigh of relief that we are not sending our girls to the wolves alone. Then it happens. They call for the 5-7 age group. With a kiss for good luck and a smile, we send our girl off to her fate. I say a little prayer. We are all praying our little 5 year olds get to be mice ( standard part for that age group) in the Nutcracker.

Time passed s-l-o-w-l-y. I watch her ascend the stairs, my little girl, and I realize this is just one more of those firsts in life that I can not do for her. She is excited and a little nervous, but mostly excited. I am a half a breath away from falling to the ground and assuming the fetal position.

We wait for her to return. And wait. And wait some more. A half hour later, part of the group ascends the stairs. I hold my breath and wait for Ella to appear. One of her classmates comes down, her mother is standing, waiting with me. She is carrying a letter. She has the part! She is a MOUSE! Hurrah!
Uh oh! The mice have been cast. Where is my Ella? Oh, no my worst fears are coming true. She is not a mouse. All I could think was, she will be heart broken. Pull it together Debi. You have to be strong for your girl. I was going over all my pep talks in my head.  “It’s OK, next year we can try again”, ” You are a great dancer, there were a lot of little girls trying out and everyone deserves a chance”, “Mommy loves you, these people are stupid (LOL,I’d never say that..well, probably not)”. I shot my husband an “Oh Shit” look. He gave me the “breathe woman” look, as usual. I congratulated the other little girl. She was so proud.
Then ,15 minutes later, another group is released. I see Ella. She is holding an envelope. All I could think of was “how the hell am I going to explain why she’s not a mouse”. She walked over to me all smiles ( poor unsuspecting fool). I asked her how the audition went. She thought it went fabulous. She used to be taught by the director ( who was actually at audition selection) and she was just so exited to see Ms.Prima Ballerina. It’s really all that she cared about. Then I took the envelope out of her hands, I braced myself, and I opened it.Deep breath!
She wasn’t a mouse. She was a SNOWFLAKE! It’s a bigger, more advanced part and she gets to wear a white tutu , with a tiara and dance as snow falls onto stage. She was happy. Her Daddy and sister were proud and happy for her. I was relieved and so full of pride of my little girl that I thought I might bust at the seams. I texted every family member we have, on both sides, and told them to pencil in the weekend of December 10-12 to come and see our Ella in her stage debut as a snowflake. Her first performance as a ballerina will be attended by every family member who can make it. There will be a showering of flowers and love on our little girl at a diner in her honor. It will be a night she will not forget. And to think,

I almost vomited over a snowflake.

Ella, you are always Mommy’s Prima Bellarini. I am so proud of you. You will not be capable of understanding this feeling that I have until you have your own child. It is more than any pride than I have ever felt in myself. I love you! 9/11/10 First Audition date ever. We have our very own Snowflake this holiday season.

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