Monday, April 14, 2014

Cheer season is over!

I can't believe our first season of cheer is over. We had our last competition yesterday and boy was that insane. Cowboys stadium is nice inside but the most ridiculous policies. However they do put on a great competition and Princess enjoyed meeting the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and watching the big screen.

We competed (technically Show Team doesn't compete, they perform and get a trophy) in 4 competitions this past year. Most early in the morning (1 VERY early) which has meant being UP early (5 am in an Oklahoma hotel room!)  doing ringlet curls, teasing hair, applying countless layers of red lipstick and trying to keep up with bows, warm ups, good luck charms etc. Packing for competitions takes some work, and making sure mommy has her blinged out mom shirt, necklace and shiny blue paw print has been fun! But its been absolutely worth it. The bonding time while getting her ready has been wonderful and fun.  And with the exception of the very first comp where she ended up on the wrong side of the mat (and she kept trying to tell her coach it was wrong, but wasn't sure how to fix it) she has been right on with her routine and smile, never showing a bit of shyness or fear. She even got to be the flyer for the center stunt for one competition! I'm so proud of how good she has done at her competitions! I was worried she would be that one child who is too afraid or shy to even move, but she has rocked out her routine every single time perfectly!

December 2013 NCA Christmas Classic

This has been a very busy year for us, with her first year of competitive cheer along with throwing some gymnastics, cheer and now soccer in there. And while some days she is less enthusiastic or cooperative at practice overall she has enjoyed making her new friends, she loves her coaches and absolutely loves the excitement of the competitions. Being able to put on that sparkly special uniform and the makeup and curling her hair makes her feel like one of the 'big girls' that she looks up to.

April 2014 Final Comp
And I will admit, I love the experience I've had as well. I've made some new friends, and its so nice to be part of a 'family' environment, even though we are still the newbies. I've made some good friends that I've been able to spend some time with outside of cheer related activities, and watching these young dedicated athletes has been inspiring, I just hope that Princess can use these role models to become a passionate and dedicated young lady too. To see the determination in their eyes and their love for their gym and each other is the kind of environment I want Princess to grow up in. To understand that if you want something you have to practice and commit to it-not just cheer but that is something I want her to learn and develop for any activity she pursues-art, music, sports, etc. I'm not pushing her into any one activity, I want to make sure she is able to try out anything she has a passion for and find what she loves the most. Right now her main love is still dance I think, so I can't wait til she can get back into it (soccer is taking our dance class time). We are going to stick to cheer for at least 1 more year (I have the uniform, need to get the use out of it!) because she truly loves being at the gym and I love all the friends we have made there, and once soccer is over we can go back to dance there as well. I just want her to be able to enjoy everything she possibly can to see what inspires her. You won't know where your talent lies until you test yourself, and I hope she continues to thrive in everything she tries out. Which by the way is so hard as a single mom-time consuming and stressful trying to juggle her schedule with a full time working one. But I am determined to make it work!

Its sad to see our first year end and know that many of her teammates will possibly be moving up/off the team but we know what to expect even more now for next year and can't wait for the new season to begin!

Guns Up!

Heading to our first competition of the season!

Heading to our last competition of the season

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Happy Birthday Princess!

I can't believe it. She's 5. How did it go by so quickly? There is something about 5 that seems to make her seem more grown up. I guess because now she is 'school age'. She will start Kindergarten this fall and I am so freaked out over it. I know she will love it, she loves learning, but this mommy is having major anxiety. But that's another post for another day.

This is all about the celebration from baby to big kid. Theres just something about 5 that makes you realize your baby isn't a baby anymore. They can sit in a different style carseat, they can eat basically anything they want (I mean, most probably can/did before, but mine seems much more open now), they can do so many more things on their own now. Learning to read, tying shoes, doing math, playing sports. Riding a bike. That was her birthday gift yesterday. A new bike. Oh how she loved it. We spent almost an hour outside yesterday riding up and down the sidewalk. She looked so sweet with the streamers, the little basket, her baby strapped in the back and her cute Ariel helmet (safety first!).

We started out our day with breakfast at IHOP to have her favorite mini-pancakes, then headed to get her big girl haircut. She was so still and so sweet while getting it cut. Her past 3 haircuts have given her some anxiety but she was so happy about this one-even without the bribe of a sucker! Guess it helps to actually have a sweet person doing the haircut for once! We headed to TRU to pick out her new bike, walked around outside for a bit enjoying the sunny, yet cold, weather and played at the play land before getting her first pair of (pink of course!) soccer cleats since her first game is coming up! We went to WalMart for the helmet, joined a friend for her favorite frozen yogurt and topped it off with a night reading books in bed. It could not have been a better more relaxed birthday! This has been the easiest birthday year in terms of work I've had to do, but its by far been the most emotional with the exception of her first birthday. Its like I suddenly realized I have a KID. Not this little baby I have to do everything for, but a kid who can do quite a bit for herself. And believe me, there is so much she WANTS to do by herself without my help. Just another sign of how quickly she is growing up. I admit some days I want her to be older so she is more self sufficient, but as the days go by and she needs me less and less it makes me sad. I'm enjoying most of the younger ages, she can still throw some serious fits and get too stubborn at times as well as distracted easily. But now that I see her around her soccer friends who are the same age I believe its more of the age than just the Irish blood ;)

Princess-You are growing up into such a beautiful young girl. Sweet, friendly, and with a huge heart. Although you are incredibly stubborn at times (thanks Irish blood), and want to do what YOU want to do when YOU want to do it (most of the time), you are always loving and kind to anyone who is around. I know that stubbornness will just become strength and independence. You are an amazing child and I'm so lucky you are my daughter. I can't wait to see what this new chapter brings with cheer, sports, friends, and school. I know you will continue to grow strong and independent, and I could not want more for you than being a confident, friendly, compassionate child. And I will do everything I can to guide you to the right path and grow up strong. I love you sweet pooh-pie!!!

Always supporting her cheer family with the 'Cheerleader Face'

Monday, March 10, 2014

Best birthday party....

EVER! I'm still struggling with the fact that Princess will be turning 5 soon, but we had her party this past weekend at Build a Bear Workshop. And I even managed to keep it a surprise from her! Yay mommy! This was the best and easiest party I've done so far. I usually stress and overthink on her parties and end up having ZERO fun because I'm doing so much work. This year, it was GREAT!

For starters the only food I had was cupcakes! I did the cutest set up for them. I think they turned out adorable. I used small 8 oz cups and added Dessert Skittles to the bottom to set the cupcakes a little higher. Then I added some pink frosted cupcakes, put another 8 oz cup over the top and cupcake tape (found in the scrapbooking section of Walmart!) to keep it closed! They traveled fine!

Everything I needed for our My Little Pony(ish) Party I found at Walmart!

Clear 8 oz cups
Dessert Skittles-softer colors to match the ponies, found in the regular candy aisle
Cupcake Tape-found in the scrapbooking aisle-lots of different designs!
Vanilla Cupcakes with pink/white peaked frosting

Put a layer of skittles, drop in the cupcake and place another cup over the top and tape. Make sure the tape goes under the bottom on each side. These traveled very well and looked pretty cute in my opinion!

Dessert Skittles and cupcake tape!

For the goody bags I did cheap and simple! Pink Zebra plastic bags from Walmart with bubbles, a ring pop, a lip gloss,  a sheet of My Little Pony Stickers, and a little 'grab bag' MLP from Walmart-you don't know which one you get til you open it! (only $2.37!). I also put the mini bottle of water inside the bag. Easy to transport. I folded down the top and taped with more cupcake tape, punched a hole in the top and added a home made MLP thank you card! Done!

"Thank you for celebrating my birthday with me! You are one of my best pony pals!"

Bubbles, Lip Gloss, Ring Pop, Stickers, and MLP grab bag. Perfect for the princesses!

Pink zebra duct tape, found in the craft or hardware dept of WalMart/Target helped add a nice touch to the mini water bottles!

We started our party at Build A Bear where Princess got to ring a bell and have a sweet ceremony with her friends to bless the heart of their new friend. So now she is able to carry around 6 hearts all loved on by her friends.  I admit, I cried. I'm a softie. They got to fill the stuffer, wash their stuffed friend, and then we sang to Princess. Afterwards we headed to the food court to sing happy birthday, open presents and thank our friends for joining us. We even had a stranger passing by who asked who's birthday it was and handed her a $5 bill and told her to enjoy her birthday. Yes, I cried. It was a nice reminder that there are still kind people in the world.

It was one of the easiest and least stressful parties I've ever put on. I managed to successfully surprise my kid, and the look on her face when I told her all her friends where there to celebrate her birthday was priceless! I fully recommend BaB for a birthday party as it is simple to execute and there is something for every kid! Each of our 7 kids got something completely different.

Photo of all her friends with their new stuffed friend!
Princess and her puppy Cutie.

I still can't believe this sweet baby girl will be 5 on Wednesday. How quickly it goes by....