Friday, April 20, 2012

A date.

This evening, I had a date with my best girl. Rory's birthday is in 2 weeks and we needed to get party supplies for the big Minnie's Bowtique shin dig we are having. Dave was cranky after a long day at work (and trust me, he has every right to be. His school district is a hot mess right now!) and Trace was cranky in his car seat. So what did Rory and I do? We dropped their "stinky boy butts" off at home and went on a date. :)

We started our evening with some fine dining at McDonald's. Rory loves the new Happy Meals, with the tiny fries and apples. We sat down at our booth, Rory across from me by herself for the first time in a long time. She took a sip of her lemonade, like a big girl, and promptly said to me "So Mom. How was your day?" Needless to say, I burst in to laughter. What a girl! She's 2 going on 25 at times. :)

After our "delicious" dinner, as Rory says, we went to Dollar Tree to get the paper products for her birthday party. Less than $80 later, we had plates, napkins, cake plates, cups, silverware, ribbon, balloon holders, mini canvas treat bags, PILES of candy and lots of little Minnie and Mickey themed prizes for her friends. Shout out to Dollar Tree! I've officially done Rory's entire party (minus food!) for less than $100. Aaaand thank you. :)

Rory had the best time in the store, carefully picking out plastic toys and sparkly party hats for herself and her friends. She choose a pink and gold sparkly "top hat" to wear "when she opens presents." Okay, babe. You can have a $1 paper hat if that's what makes you happy. Watching Rory thoughtfully select a blue bag for her 14 year old cousin Connor because "he likes to wear blue" (Okay...?) and a purple water bottle for little friend Jenyka because "she wears purple to dance class sometimes" made me so proud. She clearly cares about each little friend coming to her party and wanted to give them a thoughtful treat. She's a sweet kid, this one.

After Dollar Tree, we headed to Wal-Mart, Rory's favorite store in the world. I kid you not! She asks daily if we can go to Wal Mart to look at toys and buy bananas. (Your guess is as good as mine!) We had a great time, picking out yogurt and tortillas, a bag of Mickey Mouses shaped cheese and a pack of hot dogs. We strolled the aisles, Rory stomping along in tie dyed shorts, a watermelon shirt, pink flowered rainboots and hot pink sunglasses. She was sight. She made the people at Wal Mart smiled as she waltzed by, dancing and singing, shouting HELLO FRIEND! as she paraded around. We checked out the toys and Rory pointed out things to me she would like for her birthday. (Sorry babe, I've been done shopping for a month! :)) Then we paid. At the check out counter, Rory told the sweet check out girl all about our date.

We stopped for ice cream on the way home. Yes, it was past bed time at this point. Yes, we had junk food for dinner. But the look on Rory's face when she was handing that tiny dish of chocolate ice cream with sprinkles? It was, well the sprinkles on the ice cream if you will. My girl.

After a quick stop at my parents' house, where Rory asked my mom how her life is (how old is this kid?! :)) we came home. Happy. Delighted. Tired. But mostly? Our love tanks were brimming. I'm so blessed. Thank the Lord for Rory Beth.

Mom Advice

Mother's Day is coming up next month. In honor of that special day, I want to do some posts about mothers. Here's number one...

Advice to Moms of Babies. 
(All the advice you want to hear to make you feel better)

1. Your baby will sleep. Eventually. It might be tonight. It might not be tomorrow night. But you can do this! Pour another cup of coffee and power through. Eventually, your baby will sleep and so will you. Anyone who tells you they haven't slept in (insert number of years) here is exaggerating. My son  had severe acid reflux and a host of other stomach issues and he still was sleeping a good 8 hour chunk each night by 12 weeks old. Research sleep methods. Try new things. Allow yourself to get frustrated. Call your mom. Ask for help on Twitter. You can do this.

2. If you think your baby is ready for rice cereal, DO IT. 

3. There's nothing wrong with strapping your baby into the car seat, setting the car seat on the bathroom floor, giving baby a couple toys and grabbing a quick shower. Having the baby in  a safe place, in the room with you and occupied is FINE. Take a shower. Seven minutes to yourself will feel like heaven. It's not a big deal.

4. If you want to take a nap when your baby naps, go for it. If you want to do laundry or dishes instead, go for it. Don't feel guilty for napping or for NOT napping.

5. You don't have to put your baby in every outfit someone has given you. Some outfits people think are adorable you will think are God awful ugly. It's okay. Donate those outfits to someone else who will love and appreciate them. Dress your baby as you think they will be happiest and most comfortable.

6. If you chose to use formula, that's fine. Don't listen to the haters.  #thankyouverymuch 

7.  Ask your doctor every question you have. Every. One. Don't be embarrassed or think your question is stupid. I promise, the doc has heard worse. Ask and know the answer! Your peace of mind is much more important than feeling like you are inconveniencing your doctor. That being said, any pediatrician who makes you feel like a bother is not very good at his or her job. Choosing to work with kids means choosing to work with parents. 

8. Only you know your baby best. You will figure out what diapers are best, what wipes don't give little one a rash, what times is best for baths, when naps should up on and ask for all the advice you want but at the end of the day, form your own conclusions. You are a Mom! You got this. 

9. Your baby doesn't have to wear shoes until he or she can walk. And hair bows? Good. Luck.

10. There will be bad days. There will be blah days. There will be great days. Do the best  you can. That's all your baby really wants. Your love and your best.

You'll be fine.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Things I Hate...that other people love.

So today on my FB newsfeed, there's a bunch of ladies discussing how they don't like 50 Shades of Grey. No biggie, of course. I don't like Twilight and a lot of people do. To each his own...because frankly I loved the books and am planning to re-read them in a couple weeks. ;) But that got me thinking...I like a lot of things other people don't like...and vice versa.

Things I Hate (that other people love)
1. Twilight. Shudder.
2. Inception. For real.
3. The New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens.
4. Professional Baseball.
5. Bikinis
6. Katy Perry
7. Taylor Swift's music (She seems like a super cute person! :))
8. Beer
9. Sushi
10. Spending insane amounts of money on shoes and purses...(but only because I'm cheap and have 2 toddlers!)

What do you hate that other people love?! Share!

Saturday, April 14, 2012


67 days!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Did you spend $1500 at AT&T...and other things I never want to hear again.

Last night, after work, I stopped at the ATM to get a twenty out. I was picking up Chinese for Dave and I to have for dinner. Not a big deal and certainly not a huge amount.

My card was rejected. What the heck, right? I'm OCD about my banking so I figured my card wasn't working or something like that. No biggie, ran home, grabbed a twenty from there, got the food and figured I'd go to the bank first thing in the morning to order a new card. It happens, those strips get scratched or know, nothing to worry about.


It turns out someone stole my identity and drained my checking account ENTIRELY. Down to nothing. This (despicable) person spend $1100 catching up their AT&T bill, then another $300 at AT&T, probably buying a new iPhone or something. A couple hundred at QVC, couple hundred at Forever 21, FTD, list goes on and on. All things told, I had over $2000 taken from my bank account.

Nightmare. I burst in to tears in the middle of the bank. I mean, this week just won't quit it seems!

Once I took a deep breath and the bank teller assured me about 50 times that I would get every fraudulent charge back, I calmed down. And then I got mad.

So I need to say this...

Dear Mr or Ms Identity Stealer,

You are a jerk. A big smelly jerk. If I swore, I'd say much worse about you but I'm a lady so I won't. You have caused me so much stress in the last 2 hours. You took MY money. That's my money, the money I work really hard to earn and save. Let me tell you, I earn every last cent of that money. My job is difficult and stressful. You took that money from me but guess what. I'm getting it back.
What did you really need at Forever 21 that you thought it would be okay to use my credit card to order? And seriously? $200 worth of flowers?! I mean come on. Did you think I wouldn't notice, because yeah, I did. And guess what. I'm investigating. I'm figuring this out. You'll be dealing with me.
Get a life. A job. The rest of us do. Stop taking advantage of innocent victims and contribute to society in a normal, worthwhile way.
You are a creep.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's Okay

Its Ok Thursdays

Linking up with Neely and Amber because hey it really is okay...

To cry in your office for 20 minutes during rehearsal. Sometimes kids just don't get how serious this Disney stuff really is.

To be kinda sorta really wishing this dance year was over. The last 6 weeks have just been awful!

To not fully understand "kids these days." Like at all.

To contemplate driving Rory and Trace 25 miles each way each day so they can go to Christian school.

To not be sad when your Latte spills all over. Bye bye calories!

To wish it was warm. It's only 37 degrees right now. Yuck.

To think, without a doubt, your kids are cuter, smarter and jut generally better than everyone else's. ;)

To want another pedicure...even though you just had one last week. That calf massage? AWESOME.

To be dreading buying a recital dress, even though you have lost weight. It's just not fun.

Wow. That was really negative. Yikes! Back to sunshine and flowers soon. Probably around June 4, when this craziness is over!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Broken Blessings.

Last night, I was watching Oprah's Next Chapter after everyone else was already in bed. Do you watch Next Chapter? You totally should. Oprah is interviewing really fascinating, unique people. Last week's episode was about an entire town that practices transcendental meditation. So intriguing! This week, she was interviewing Bishop TD Jakes. The interview was nice, it was interesting to hear a major preacher's opinions on many hot button issues. But what really got me was a clip of one of his sermons they played.

I'm paraphrasing here, because I couldn't type the exact quote fast enough. But basically, Bishop Jakes said this:
You know the story about 2 loaves and 5 fishes? The Lord blessed something that was not enough. We know for certain that the little boy had 2 loaves and 5 fishes. He broke it and suddenly it was ENOUGH. The blessing is in the breaking! You will not be blessed if you refuse to be broken. You must be broken to appreciate the blessing. The most blessed people I have ever met in my life are the people who have gone through something that broke them. 

Talk about a light bulb moment. I love this idea. The thinking that all our trials, our breaking moments are merely a means to our eventual blessing is a beautiful thing. It reminded me of the saying "Those who think sunshine brings happiness have never danced in the rain." Yes, the sun is beautiful but if we didn't have rainy days would we ever really appreciate the blessing of sunshine? If we didn't experience times where money is tight, then we would be inclined to take paying bills on time for granted. If you never get a cold, you don't understand how great breathing through both nostrils is. Right now, for example, my kids are playing beautifully together. If they didn't fight and bicker, I wouldn't fully comprehend how nice their laughter and chatter is. 

Does this mean I think God wants us to suffer unjustly? Nope. I think it means God brings us through times of trials so that we can see how truly awesome His mercies are. I also don't believe God will never give us more than we can handle. The Lord gives me more than I can handle all the time. This forces me to rely on Him, on His grace and His forgiveness. He allows me to experience situations I am far from capable of handling on my own and He equips me to deal with them. He provides. He wants me to flourish. He wants me to succeed and prosper. The Lord isn't satisfied with enough, He wants abundance! If I live my life praising Him through my broken moments, seeking the lessons in hard times and choosing to learn each day, then I am bringing glory to the Lord.

To God be the Glory forever and ever, AMEN!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Easter is a time of rebirth, renewal. The Savior paid our price, my price and gave us the promise of reunion in Heaven. What a glorious comfort that is! Isn't it amazing that all it takes to be guaranteed eternal life in heaven is to believe and love our Lord Jesus? How simple. How amazing. I'm in awe this weekend.

My life has been filled with twists and turns, up and downs. I haven't always been the best version of myself. But by the grace of God, I've made it through. Now, as I reflect this Easter weekend, I'm reminded of how far the Lord and I have walked together. The lessons learned and the progress made astounds me. Thank you, God, for this twisted path I've gone down. If all that  I've come through lead me to Rory and Trace, I'd do it 100 times over.

Happy Easter, my dear friends. May the Lord bless and keep you all the days of your life. Glory to God, Amen.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Boob Tube Babble

I'm linking up with my buddies, Neely and Ashley, for Boob Tube Babble today! I feel the need to talk about Dance Moms.

Boob Tube Babble

Okay here's the thing. I know the Abby Lee Dance Company. I competed against them when I was in school. My students have competed against them. I've known those hardcore red coats for as long as I can remember. (Pittsburgh is only 2 hours from my studio and where we most often compete.) They are absolutely as beautiful and technically correct as they seem in the show. There are way more than 6 girls on Abby's team though, regardless of what Candy Apples Cathy says. Abby has a huge studio with lots of students and plenty of teachers.

That all being said...

I was FURIOUS at this week's episode. I know a lot of what they do on any reality show is for TV purposes, but oh my goodness. At an audition for the Joffrey Ballet School, a dancer should under no circumstances perform acrobatic tricks. Back handsprings?  no. Chin stands, elbow stands, death drops? No. There's a time and a place for that type of dancing, and I am a huge fan of acro!, but it is not at the Joffrey Ballet. That is the place to show technique and classical dance styles. A contemporary piece or a jazz piece even would have been enough to set the girls apart. It was unnecessary and poor coaching on Abby's part to send them in their doing acro.

I also don't like the way the amount of ballet the girls take was portrayed. They obviously have lots of ballet training. Their technique is wonderful. That doesn't come by chance. It comes from hard work and lots of time at the ballet barre. They might not take as much as the Joffrey school would like but they clearly take a great amount from qualified teachers. You do NOT  become the creme de la creme of competition studios without a strong ballet program. Lifetime TV, you just did the world of dance studios a huge disservice. If ONE of my students says to me "why do I have to take ballet? Maddie doesn't." I'm gonna lose my mind. It's like pulling teeth to get kids in ballet class as it is anyways. Ballet is the foundation of dance. Trying to dance without a strong ballet background is like building a house with a foundation. It won't last very long.

When Maddie forgot her solo and had a full  blown  panic attack, my heart shattered for that little girl. She is 9 years old and her biggest fear was her dance teacher hating her. I may or may not have cried a little. That fear of her teacher was so raw and exposed in that moment. Yes, Maddie, is obviously Abby's favorite but it doesn't spare Maddie from the fear they all experience. Every kid forgets their solo once and a while. It happens and it stinks. But it is not the end of the world, especially when you do 9 or 10 comps a year. It's a learning experience. It's no reason for a kid to go in to full on panic mode. Maddie needed a hug from Abby and an "it's all right, we'll do better next time." Instead her mom was short with her, Abby melted down and Maddie felt guilty on so many levels.

These poor babies. I just want to hug them all.

Mothers, take note. There are lots of great dance studios around the country where the teachers do NOT yell and humiliate their students, where students are built up not torn down, where students are valued and appreciated. Do your research. Find a healthy environment for your kids to train in. And above all else, do not be afraid to yank your kids right out of there if the teacher is a screamer. Kids need affection, not embarrassment.

Sidebar. Dance Moms Miami? Ehh. No thanks. PENNSYLVANIA DOES IT BETTER!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey

Hi, I'm Kate Undercoffer and I am addicted to Christian Grey.

Oh my goodness. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit how much I loved these books. Yep, they are dirty. The language is rough. The situations are...steamy. But the storyline! The characters! The tragedies! The romance! It's so addicting. It's like a delicious dirty little secret. I highly recommend the trilogy to anyone who likes a little (A LOT) of spice in her reading. You can always skim the scenes that make you uncomfortable...cause I do. :)

Anyways! I've been hearing and reading lots of articles about the casting of the movie for Fifty Shades of Grey. I have to weigh in with my opinions.

First off all...THIS little beauty came across my Pinterest feed.

Source: via nubia on Pinterest

Um yes. Absolutely. Yes. Please. I've thought Colin Egglesfield was cute since he guest starred on an episode of Gilmore Girls (Girls in Bikinis, Boys Doing the Twist...the spring break episode from Rory's freshman year at Yale.) Then when he was Dex in Something Borrowed? Yeah. Sealed the deal. I think he'd be the perfect Christian Grey. He has those eyes! Ever since I saw this picture on Pinterest, he's who I picture when I read more in the books. Ooooh yes.

My pick for Anastasia Steele? That's tougher. How about me? hehe

(not kidding.)

I have to say this...

IF ROBERT PATTINSON IS CHRISTIAN GREY, I WILL REFUSE TO SEE THIS MOVIE. Also, I love Ryan Gosling. I think he's talented, hilarious and good looking. But he isn't brooding enough to be Christian Grey. I would however sell my left arm to be Ana Steele if they cast Zac Efron as Christian...I mean wait what? ;)