Search Results for: label/parties

Sun Buzzed

A billion degrees, the thermometer said today. And the day before. And the day before. So when I’m at the park watching sweat-slicked moms pull damp t-shirts from their skin like wrappers off a fruit roll-up, and they’re pushing strollers and hauling wagons and painfully smiling through We’re-all-gonna-die-on-this-playground expressions, I’m thinking “Oh my God, these people are crazy. Who would go out in this heat?” Until I realize I’m here too, so that makes us all a little sun buzzed.

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A thick stew of heat and humidity, the air has been uncomfortably stagnant. Running in this heat actually sounds like relief because at least the motion would provide some kind of air current. Instead, we join kids with red cheeks and sticky foreheads at the park, and I convince Lainey out of her long-sleeve t-shirt and have her settle for a tank top and rolled pants.

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We join forces with nature for an afternoon heat compromise of ice cream and cooling storms.

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Our Weekend:

Tomatoes. Sliced and well-peppered.

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Lavender. Delightfully fragrant and taking the center spotlight at the plant window right now.

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Goodwill Finds. I scored like the Knicks this weekend, swiping up a couple fall sweaters, a worry doll vest for Lainey and these $2.50 vintage suede/leather beauts. I’m going to rock them this fall with some tweed.

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Ice Cream Parties. Torrential rains foiled our Dairy Queen plans last night, so we brought the party inside.

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She’s asking us to lead her through spelling everything these days. It takes a long time, but she is patient. I spent an entire “relaxing” bath the other night dictating the letters to “Please everybody, I need to tell you that these chapsticks are Lainey’s and please don’t take them or Nella will take the caps off. Thank you.” Every single letter. And God forbid, she flip an “M” into a “W” because she’ll get frustrated and start from the beginning again.

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Rain Dance. Fred Astaire ain’t got nothin’ on this.

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Cats. Lainey asked if she and Nella could be cats today. So I painted their faces, and they crawled around on the floor and meowed and licked their palms. Nella did exactly what Lainey did. Except Lainey didn’t fall asleep; Nella did that on her own.

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This Crazy Face she’s made since she was a baby. She knows it slays me.

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Driveway Duck Feeding.

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That’s a wrap.

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Online Consignment Boutique, Dashing Bee, is returning in sponsorship this month just in time to offer readers a fantastic summer clearance sale. From the convenience of your home, you can shop through their collection of gently used, quality brand name clothing, baby and toddler gear.
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Dashing Bee offers you a great way to shop for unique, inexpensive clothing for all of your kids. Use Code SUMMER40 for 40% off all spring and summer clothing items.

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I’ll be over at Nickelodeon’s ParentsConnect for a “Rock Your Life” party tomorrow–making the best of the bad moments, moving forward, finding ways to be inspired and passing it on. Join me for some great question and answers and fun giveaways. And virtual air conditioning.

For all those experiencing similar summer scorchers, an icy Cheers! from a chilled glass to you tonight.

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We’re Dancing

In planning my wedding seven years ago, there was a priority list for expenses. Photography was more important than flowers. Flowers were more important than cake. Cake was more important than invitations. And what the DJ was playing was damn near critical because dancing was it. It’s what I dreamed about even more than walking down the aisle. I thought about the dance floor and how happy we’d be and how many people we loved would be joining us and shedding their sport coats and high heels to get that much closer to feeling it. That high-on-life exhilaration that comes from shaking a hip, throwing a hand up, swinging your head back and accepting that yes, you might look ridiculous, but it doesn’t matter. You’re dancing.

My DJ wasn’t fantastic. In fact, I made him promise he wouldn’t play any cheesy songs, and somewhere between “Love Shack” and “I Will Survive,” I about tripped when I heard the big band introduction to “The Hokey Pokey.” Yes, The Hokey Pokey. Cued by my disgusted expression, Brett ran to ask me if I wanted him to make him stop, but you don’t stop a DJ in the middle of the song, especially at a wedding. So, we made the best of it–made a big roller rink circle and stuck our left elbows in and our whole selves out and, you know what? It was a blast. My sweet grandma, in her white hair and her pearls and her Rockport pumps–she laughed. She laughed when she put her head in and her backside out and shook it all about, and by the time “The Hokey Pokey” ripped into this fabulous Beegees remix, I didn’t care about anything. We were dancing.

My favorite moment from that day is still clear. Despite failing on “The Hokey Pokey,” our DJ came through on one song I included on our list. It was a family thing–a song we had played at parties and dinners that entire week preparing for the wedding, and the very first notes were a Cryderman siren’s call. We didn’t know what the words meant, but when the speakers announced O-zone’s “Numa Numa” with the first “Ma-ia hii, Ma-ia huu, Ma-ia hoo, Ma-ia haha,” chairs tipped over and bodies ran to dance. Cousins and nieces and nephews, friends and family–hands in the air, cheering and screaming, “This is our song” so evident by our display that even the DJ noted “Whoa, must be a family anthem.” We gave it everything we had. I think my brother even whipped out some break dancing. And I will never forget that song, that moment, that feeling of letting go and being present with the people I loved in that moment.

Tuesday night, I joined a couple of friends at a local bar that has designated Tuesday nights as special needs dance night. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and so I watched as people arrived–some I recognized from the Valentine’s Dance–and made small talk, asked questions, waited for the music to start. And when it did, so did the party. There’s something about dancing that immediately strips us all of what makes us different. With music and movement, bright lights that spin and flash colors on the wall, hands that clap and raise the roof together–we’re all just people who come to celebrate, who come to move. We call out names and clap as each person brings their game to the center of the floor. “Go Janice!” we holler. “It’s your birthday!” And we smile when Janice shakes her groove thang all the way down to the floor and rises, laughing. She smiles and says “Thank you.” We do the Cupid Shuffle, side by side. And I feel not only a surge of happiness because–why yes, we’re dancing–but I feel settled in to another level of healing. Because I can’t deny the fact that my love for Nella is partly what brings me here.

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We dance. It’s a universal language, one I speak fluently and enforce in our home. My kids are bilingual, you know. They speak English and Dance.

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If you live in the Naples area, come out to Fred’s (on Immokalee Road in the Sam’s plaza) on Tuesday nights at 6:30. It’s kid friendly and alive with dance. If you know of anyone with special needs in the area, invite them to come. I’d love to see this grow. And I didn’t hear “The Hokey Pokey” one time.

Enjoy a little Dancin’ with Dot session:

dance from ETST on Vimeo.

Song: “I’ll Fly With You” by Gigi D’Agostino

And for those who’ve asked about making the videos, I posted a quick instructional video on YouTube on how to compile photos, video clips and music using free software to make a video like ours.

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happy day.


childhood.

sometimes, i do it for her.
the backyard tea parties where we get lost under shady trees with tiny cups–real cups–and graham crackers and peaches.
the moments where we stop everything and just be.
the little slivers in a universe of time where nothing else matters but what’s going on in her little mind…and i am stilled by the realization that she is ours and that she is wonderful.
the opportunities where i am not her teacher, but rather she is mine.

…sometimes, i do it for her.

but many times, like today, i did it for me.
because when i am lost or overwhelmed or sinking into that place where i forget what really matters, she brings me back.

to childhood.

and somewhere, inside every one of us, there is childhood.
where imagination blooms. and free spirit soars. and time is non-existent.
where bare feet run on prickly grass and skirts swish and sway in the afternoon light.

where we are never too old to somersault. or smile with all our teeth. where knees are skinned from rough afternoon play and hair is thoughtlessly tousled into a heap of a happy mess.

today, she took me to childhood again.
and i think it is my favorite place.
and, while i have no photos of my somersault, i did one. a nice pregnant version of one, of course, but it was beautiful.
today, pretend tea tasted even better than real tea. and the music of her giggle was perhaps the sweetest sound. and, as the sun went down, and our ‘tea’ slowly dwindled, i began to pick up the mess.
and then, completely umpromted, she sweetly said…
thank you, mama.

except i should be thanking her.

loving my little and what she makes me every day.
better.

and to childhood. a very happy place. look what it did for peter pan.

~k