Good Monday Morning!!

So far this morning I've been pooped on, bled on... Like bled ALL over on, and most recently peed on!!! What a morning to be back home. Oh my. And poor Stryker. The guilty-party-for-bleeding... I don't know what happened to the kid. He was sitting on the ground, just fine and he went to crawl forward, forgot to put his hand in front of him and face-planted right into the hardwood floor. Now he looks like a duck!!! Or like I gave him Baby Lip Injections. Both of his lips are swollen and enlarged. And he bled forever!!! He seems fine now, but he still looks funny. :)

So that is how I've started out my morning back home. Full of bodily fluids and three outfit changes in two hours.

And oh boy, it is SO back to work for me today. After a fantastic weekend away in Kansas City, it's time I got serious about this whole Work at Home Mom thing...

And actually work at home.

P.S. That is a new phrase I heard a little while ago and I've been kind of dying to use it ever since. "Work at Home Mom."

It fits sooo much better than Stay at Home. Because yes, I stay at home, but I also have to hire help and my evenings are spent working, NOT with my husband like they used to be.

But I like that phrase a lot. And not just for me. For all of my dear Stay at Home Mom friends that still have to work. In fact, it is the rare SAHM who actually just stays at home. Most every mom I know is working in some way to help support her family.

Anyway, I digress. I'll get off my soap box, even though my thoughts are moving rapidly to the whole Ann Romney debate and how she doesn't know what it's like to really work because she's never had to rush out the door at 7am and drop her kids off at daycare. Even though she's raised five kids, survived breast cancer and battled MS.


And I am SO not sticking up for her for political reasons. I think the media in general has a disgusting opinion of Mothers. Both when they are working and when they are home.

I would be just as defensive for Hillary Clinton. Sure, attack her pants suits, even her hair cut, but leave Chelsey out of it!!!

Ok, so where was I? Oh, right, Back-To-Work-Monday.

At least in my office, I get to stay in my pajamas, style my hair like a crazy person and keep my slippers on.

However, my co-workers happen to be extra cranky this morning and my lunch options are few and far between, thanks to a postponed much needed trip to the grocery store and a car-less-situation until Zach's jeep is back from the shop.

But, our weekend away was completely worth it and I am SO glad we went. We were down there for a Dance Competition and other than the weekend getaway, I'm not going to lie, I had a little bit of a hard time swallowing the fact that we were ALREADY traveling for Stella's dance company and she is only five. I mean, right?

The one thing that's nice though, is that she isn't going to travel more the older she gets. I think generally the company only travels for one competition yearly and then every other year for Nationals. So it's not like in four more years we will be headed all over the country. The cost will hopefully remain the same, except with the possibility of a pre-season comp out of town. Which I get the whole reasoning with wanting to perform the dances on stage in front of judges away from our normal competition, so I'm 100% on board with that! :)


So, here I have my doubts, and then the girls go on stage and Rock It. Like, knock it out of the park, they did so good!!!!!

I'm not kidding you, I don't think I have ever been prouder of my little Stella in the world of dance. She did amazing.

And her team, which the average age is four years old, cleaned up out there!!

First, let me tell you that this is our hardest competition of the season, and then that our 3,4, and 5 year old team competes in an 8 and under category. So our dance is matched up with 8 year olds as our competition.

That being said, we took home a Diamond Elite First (Which is the best First Rating you can get, if you don't speak dance. And believe me, I BARELY speak it. Usually, the other moms have to just inform me which is the best first, because First Place usually sounds just as good as anything else. But... That's not the case. I come from the world of contact sports, where you compete, the competition dwindles down and at the end of the day there is a first place winner and a second place runner up and everyone else are losers. In dance, you can have an Elite First, a Ruby First, or a Diamond Elite First. Or sometimes they don't use those ratings at all, sometimes they use words like Platinum and Gold, and sometimes you can have two wholly separate categories where depending on the number of hours you dance a week, you could win such and such Elite blah blah blah First or a different such and such Elite blah blah blah First. It's all VERY confusing.) BUT. We took the top first place!!!!! Yay!!!!!

And then.

Stella's team, called the Sweet Divas, won the Category Cup(Which actually won money for the studio.), a Judge's Choice Award AND best of all, they came in second overall in the ENTIRE 8 and under category, ONLY losing first place by 1/10th of a point!!!!!!!!!!

That's HUGE.

Like, HUGE HUGE!!!!

I am just the proudest mama ever. And I'm reminded once again why we do dance!!!! And that is because I get to see my child in her element. My shy, reserved, careful little Stella transforms on stage to a performer. She is bold and talented and she works it. And if we never would have tried dance, or even entered into the competition world, this is a side of her that I'm not sure I ever would have seen.

And she is in love with this thing. Like more than anything else in her life, Dance is her language.

So, we stick with it. I can complain about the cost, and about the world in which I SO do not fit in. I can really complain about competition weekends and being at the studio three times a week(And that is only going to get worse next year....). But this is where Stella belongs.

And slowly, over time, I'm starting to believe it's the world I belong to too now.

Oh my.

Anyway, besides the fantastic morning of Competition, we also spent the day around Kansas City, shopping.... And eating.... And hanging out with dear dear friends.

First of all, I don't think I can ever eat out at another restaurant again though!! There comes this point on vacation where food just stops being appealing all together because every meal is so darn rich.


And the kids ESPECIALLY feel this way. I swear, if I had to order one more kids meal for them, they were just going to do like a preemptive vomit right at the table!

NO more chicken fingers!!!! :)

Plus, I actually shopped. And didn't hate it.

Although, technically I didn't get anything for myself even though I really wanted/needed a new purse.... But still.... I made progress. Zach found some amazing deals. And the girls got to pick out their very first American Girl Dolls.

This was a HUGE deal for them and they still haven't put the dolls down yet.

I never had an American Girl Doll growing up. We were way to poor for that to even enter into my realm of possibility. Plus, I feel like they might have come around a little too late for me to want to push the issue anyway.

But ever since Stella was a baby, I have wanted my own little girls to have them. Of course, I took my time about it, always wondering if they were old enough and how to justify paying for it and what not.

So for the girl's birthdays, their dance friends all went together and got them gift cards for the AG Store just for our trip to Kansas City!!!!!

Aren't they the sweetest???

So. The girls got to go to the store and pick out their doll and feel what heaven is like for an hour of their day. Seriously, those were some excited little darlings!!! And they LOVE their dolls.

Plus, it made our trip so so so special.

They also got new sandals while we were down there. But that had more to do with the fact that Stella was refusing to wear anything but too-small-flip-flops and we were kind of desperate to get her to move on to a different pair of shoes before she got like seriously injured or something. Her toes hung over the edge, her heal hung over the edge and they looked ridiculous on her.

But she insisted she wear them.

Now she has pretty sandals and I can stop worrying about broken toes and a giant shard of glass being lodged into her heel.

Ok, it's off to work I go.

I've got a To Do List a mile long, including an impossible May Deadline, a Two-Week Menu Planner to fill out, and a Lunch to pull out of thing air.

Wish me luck. Pray for me. And if you really care, send a Starbucks Delivery Van my way!!! Oh, they don't have those?? Dang it!!! :)


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