Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Daddy Daughter Dance - 80's Style

"SonofamothernamedGina" I roared while holding the flyer for this years Daddy Daughter Dance. THEY DID IT AGAIN, DAMMIT!

Last year I was seething with jealousy as Eugene and Bella got to hula their way through the Hawaiian themed party and this year, it's 80's style! Which is only like MY FAVORITE THEME PARTY EVER! Gag me with a spoon Parent Faculty Association, this is total bullshit man! Oh, sure, they have a Mother-Son event that's something majorly lame like "take your boy to the batting cages" or something, which, REALLY?  That is in NO way a party. Nothing I can dress up for, nothing I can call a special event and certainly nothing I can shake my groove thang to! I have half a mind to throw the biggest Mother-Daughter rave the PFA has ever seen. 

Bella, bless her heart, saw how resentful I was and gave me permission to wear a moustache and 
dress-up like a daddy to take her, which instantly caused me to spit out my water from laughter. 

Now that's love!!!

And as I wiped up my regurgitated water I found myself actually contemplating the thought of cross dressing, which I admit is a little bit obsessive. Fun and challenging? Yes. Freakishly overbearing? DEFINITELY!

I bitterly accepted the reality and knew that if I wasn't going, then hot damn, my girls would totally rock the 80's. I headed to Burlington Coat Factory which is my go-to place for fancy, sequined over-the-top girl dresses and wildly inappropriate urban toddler gear.

Without a crimper in sight, I took to my three barrel curling iron and kinked and curled the shit outta their hair and applied every piece of neon jewelry we owned.

My valley girls were like, totally, ready. 

***And for a MiaBellaVida first I will hand over the baton to Eugene, our very first guest blogger, to tell us a little bit more about this night.

February 23, 2013

My Dearest Bella and Mia,

Decades from now you will be reading this and learn about our special time together tonight.  I can tell you with my fresh memories that you two made me one proud daddy!  We dressed up in 80s and partied at Bella’s Daddy Daughter School Dance [By the way Mia: Your awesome sister Bella insisted that she invite you—even if you were not part of her school yet—so that you could feel special.  Unconditional love!]  

Your clothes were so awesome, and Mommy worked so hard to get the details just right.  
She even used belts as bracelets.  

I hope when you grow up that you continue to have crazy fun.  Always keep your spirit alive.  I love this 80s picture of us. 

I’ll remember that picture all the way to my old age.

My Mia…

Your spirit is so strong; never let that go.  Tonight, you especially loved your time with Mommy dressing you up as a 80s Material Girl.  I could see you checking yourself out in the mirror.  You like twisting one foot to the side like a fashion model.  

I could see the trust you had with Mommy dressing you in a style you’ve never seen before.  You loved every precious second with Mommy getting you fancied up.  Fast-forward: we’re in the minivan about to leave.  Mia, you were feeling so special all dressed up to go to the dance, and at that moment you realized something.  You started crying hysterically.  You realized that Mommy was not coming, and she couldn’t be there to see you for the first time on a school dance floor.  You had real tears falling.  And although you will continue to have fun, you would also continue the night missing Mommy.  That’s you, Mia.  You are connected to people in such a profoundly deep level.  Plus...I loved that we “sneaked” you into the dance.


I had an endearing moment with you. I could see that you were having so much fun listening to loud music.  We were near the DJ, and two of your friends came running to you to get your attention.  They wanted to dance with you.  The speakers were pounding.  So here you are, in a peer pressure moment, and you didn’t even think twice.  You politely let your friends know that you were dancing with me.  You even grabbed my hand and squeezed tight.  You gave me this look, Bella, that took my breath away.  I hope you know that you have your mother’s honest eyes.  You are an amazing 6 year old.  I love your “old” soul: You can quickly understand people.  I know you’ll grow into a beautiful person.  

During the dance, you both were so hilarious.  I laughed the whole time.  Here are some pictures that I took.  These make my heart melt.

While writing this letter to you, I am realizing something: We’ll have another father-daughter dance at your Wedding Night.  I think my happy heart will explode…walking you down the aisle…at our Daddy-Daughter Dance again. 

Will we talk?  Will we laugh?  Will we just dance in silence? 

I know that I will be so happy for you.  

Bella and Mia...

I want you to know…  Life is so short.  Live it now.  Live it sometimes dangerously.  People will influence you in your journey of life—not always down the right path.  You need to remember your roots.  Deep inside both of you are beautiful girls.  Never let anyone take that from you.  Love yourself relentlessly and try not to dilute this in exchange for other people needing to validate this for you.

I don’t know if this letter, in the future, will find you in bliss or in distress.  Whatever your situation, I know the truth about a few things: two beautiful girls love one another, love their parents, and love the adventures of life.  Your mom and I have always believed that the best gift we could have given you is the gift of one another.  Siblings will, indeed, outlive their parents.  This fact is rooted in nature.  Always grow your deep love for one another.  I wish you girls the best in life.

Loving You Forever,

Your Daddy

Thursday, March 14, 2013

As Seen on TV

Fact: My parents have a hard time passing up any kind of deal when it comes to retail shopping. No joke, they are some serious chronic shoppers!! It's been this way for as long as I can remember. Weekly outing trips to TJ Maxx was our version of family bonding. Spending hours and hours with my siblings playing hide and seek inside the clothes racks was how we survived.

We lived at Marshall's and TJ's!

And don't even get me started on Craigslist. It's my dad's new favorite obsession. "But Gina, that Tiffany style lamp is a steal!" Um Dad, it's TWO HOURS AWAY!!!!  Calculate the gas and the amount I believe I'm worth per hour and it is NO LONGER A DEAL!!!

But once in a very blue moon, they score and they score big.

Exhibit A: These "As Seen on TV" Tortilla Pans

I still laugh at the title "As Seen on TV" as if that's some sort of high class rating system. Oh jacknabbit, whom I kidding, I was a total sucker for the "As Seen on TV" big cupcake mold that hit the markets 3 years ago. Anyone? Anyone? 

But something about these caught my parents eyes as they walked the aisles of Walmart. And sure enough, it was their best purchase this year. My mom was sold after her first taco salad. So much, in fact, that they were hell bent on buying me my own set. They went back to Walmart the next day only to find that their precious pans were sold out. They searched Walgreens. They searched everywhere other than the As Seen on TV website, because they must have thought that would be like cheating or something--I mean they're THAT kind of bargain shopper. They searched high and low until one day, weeks after their first baked taco salad, they found a set for me at CVS.

I laughed my ass off when they brought it over because you would have thought it was a priceless heirloom the way they hyped it up.   

But like a good daughter, I invited my parents over for Taco Tuesday so I could make good on their offering and OMG you guys, THESE ARE SO AWESOME!!!!!

Five minutes in the oven is all it takes! Mini tortillas and even large ones work too. They make a perfect little baked bowl! I totally recommend this product, which I can't say for all the As Seen on TV products!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snowed In

In about two months it's going to be sunny and seventy, which is a FAR CRY from the 8 inches of snow that pounded us yesterday. Both schools were called off so our extended weekend grew another day longer thanks in part to our day off on Monday for Casmir Pulaski Day and Mother Nature on Tuesday. The kids didn't seem to mind a bit.

I haven't appreciated the nature around us quite like I did yesterday. It was breathtaking, really!

By 9:30 a.m. the kids had completed every puzzle in the house, ransacked every board game and even made their own little art gallery. Bella, a true perfectionist, titled every art piece:

"Playground" by Bella

"Angel-y" by Mia
"Castle" by Bella

"Pony" by Mia

Then we enjoyed a movie in our jammies and watched the snow fall all around us. My favorite part of the day was when Bella set up her bean bag in front of the window so she could simultaneously watch the snow and read a book. I couldn't help but capture the beauty of the moment, she really made my heart smile. It was SO grown up of her and so indicative of her personality, my little independent.

As promised, we played in the snow after nap time and had an absolute ball.

Making snow angels never gets old.

Little Chance doesn't even know what a snow angel is but he's SO damn determined to do everything that his older sisters do, it's hilarious.

Remind me to sign Mia up for softball this summer. She has impeccable aim, just ask my face.

Do ya see the size of that snowball she's holding???? My girl is ruthless one minute,

then sweet and innocent the next.

Check out that tree to the right of Bella, the one that's almost completely weighted down? Mia began crying because we had just watched The Lorax earlier that morning and talked about how important it was to take care of earth, and here we are letting this tree die. "WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING MOMMY!!!!" she muffled from behind her scarf. The four of us spent the next 20 minutes shaking off all the snow and sure enough the tree popped right back up. Thank God or I wouldn't have heard the end of it!!!!

And then in a moment of divine intervention a friend and their family showed up to our house to see if we wanted our driveway plowed. How awesome is that?!!!! Thank you Slack Family!

There's just something so magical and exciting about getting a "snow day" right? I mean the kids were jumping up and down chanting snow day! snow day! They certainly didn't react that way when they were told about their day off for Casmir Pulaski day--not in the least, although that would be pretty funny, huh?. 

We felt every bit of the magic and excitement that only a "Snow Day" can bring.


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