Flying to Orlando: Must Pack

I will admit, I have not flown to every city in the good ol’ USA.  However, I have flown enough to know, one destination in particular is by far my least favorite.

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IF you are braving the air to this destination, you BETTER pack two essential items:

  1. Headphones
  2. Patience

Anything else you bring along is just extra.  Anything else you could ever want, need, or desire, you can buy when you get there.  However, if you want to make it there with your sanity intact, you better bring the two items above.

Why do I say Orlando is the worst flight? Here it is:

  1. There is a guarantee there will be kids…many kids on this flight, on their way to Disney World etc.  These kids will vary with temperaments from the most docile child to the tantrum throwing brat that you pray doesn’t sit next to you.

 

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I get this face ALL THE TIME with The Duke

 

My family and I just visited Orlando this past week for a baseball tournament.  I haven’t been here in 2 years, and forgot how dreadful this flight can be!

All other kids aside, I’d bet money my son was THE WORST ONE in the air.  I swear I wanted to pretend I was an annoyed passenger in the seat with strangers.  However he blew my cover with Mom. Mom. Mommy. Mom. Mommy….every chance he got!

This less than 2 hour flight feels like pure torture when you have a little one as ornery and active as mine. I genuinely would like to take the opportunity to apologize in advance to every and anyone who has to grace the air with my rambunctious son.  Again, if you see this face waiting to board a plane, check for your headphones, and patience before boarding (YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED).

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On another note, for parents with a child/ren like mine, here are things I pack to TRY and make the flight as smooth as possible

  • Ipad/Tablet with headphones- make sure you download their favorite shows BEFORE hand!
  • Snacks/Juice box
  • Blanket/Pillow
  • Portable Charger
  • Coloring Books/Crayons
  • The one toy your child simply can’t live without (my son’s is an etch-a-sketch)

In conclusion to my rant, I will leave all those flying with small children with this:  If you can get a late flight…things will be so much smoother, I promise!

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Competition Dance For Kids is a Money Leech

This past dance season, I was hoodwinked and bamboozled to allowing my daughter to participate on the competition team at her dance studio.

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I knew from a very brief dance experience that I wanted no parts in this whole ordeal.  So much so, I did not have her audition when the time came.  HOWEVER before the season got way, the team teacher sought my child out and convinced she and I to join.  My daughter was adamant she wanted to participate and I was adamant I did not.

I had 3 reason I did not want to join, and they are the same reasons I will not be joining unless she has this epiphany that dance if her calling.

  • Hair and Make-up…I don’t have time for that…I’m a ONE 2 pony-tail MAX kinda girl, and lip-gloss. I know nothing about faux mow-hawk and smoky eyes!

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  • The time-it is time consuming!!!! Between practice for the team, practice for the          MANDATORY DANCE CLASSES, tumbling class, and extra rehearsals…I KNEW I would never have air to breath.
  • THE MONEY!!!! The amount of money I spent on the BRIEF TASTE was alarming and I  knew it was only going to get worse…and it did.

 

You know this hobby is expensive when one mom say “Don’t do the math”. I was like, I do the math..I am math…and the math said, to JUMP SHIP!!!

Let me break it down for you on my expenses for a year to allow my child to dance for approximately 6  minutes 3 times….

From September to June Monthly expenses included:

  1. $182 for 4 dance classes- 2 team and 2 regular ballet, tap, and jazz (all mandatory)
  2. $58 for tumbling class…DESPITE THE FACT my child is by far the best tumbler in her age group and has 2 1/2 hours of gymnastics a week.
  3. $375 on costumes that were cheap as a dollar store costume..one came out the destroyed.
  4. Holiday Gift Exchange parties $50
  5. Accessories for costumes $150
  6. Makeup $35
  7. Bags and storage for costumes/make-up $150…some moms brought the Dream Duffle min $200 which looks like an oversized suitcase
  8. Team Fee $150
  9. Prop Fee $50
  10. Warm Up Suit $150…As I’m typing this out…I’m getting annoyed….
  11. Gifts for graduation $20
  12. Barbecue $30
  13. Dance Attire/Shoes $150 (always need tights and outgrow a shoe or two)
  14. Team Banquet $66
  15. Team End of the Year Event $90
  16. Competition Fees $294…and our last competition ended in a pure DISASTER of being put out the building during awards (still don’t know who won), having the building condemned, and the rest of the competition cancelled.

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I can promise you I left something out. This is what I can remember…I try to push the memory of spending so much on a 6 year old to the lost footage files of my memory.  Keep in mind, I have not included gas driving back and forth to these lovely places 3 times a week or food needing to be brought because we were always on the go.  I think the art of dance is beautiful, breath taking, and worth EVERY PENNY for someone who has a child who has a passion for the art.  My child did and does not.  She’s a gymnast at heart, and I only believe the teacher wanted her on the team because she is the only one who could tumble.  From here on out, we will be investing our money in her passion…gymnastics.  She will continue ballet and tap, and nothing more or nothing less.

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What are your experiences with competitive dance?? I like to hear other experiences to know I’m not crazy!!

The Prince

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This is my second son, AKA Sonnie-Onie. This once little, now big fella is my everything.  He came into this world at 3 pounds 5 ounces on 3/5/05 and has been a determined individual from day one.

What I remember most about his first month in the NICU (neontal intensive care unit) was his temperament.  The only time he cried was when he was circumcised.  He was, and has always been, my most easy-going child.  I like to refer to him as my saving grace, because I honestly don’t know what I would do without his presence.

My prince is the best big-brother a sibling could ever ask for.  He’s a natural athlete, with baseball being his niche. Lastly, he’s the best helper a mom could get their hands on.  Whenever I need help with ANYTHING, he is there to lend a helping hand without any question.

Having him for a son, really makes me envy the lucky young lady who gets to call him her husband.  I just pray she is wise and mature enough to appreciate all he has to offer.  Mom’s who have son’s like him, often fear, their kindness will be taken for a weakness.

Until the time comes for him to leave my nest and make his own, he’s all mine, and I plan to cherish him.

Meet my Baseball SuperStar “The Prince”

The Princess

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After having 2 brothers and 2 sons, God felt I was special enough to have a female in my life to share my everything with.  In 2009, I was blessed to have a daughter.  Ironically, before she came along, it was my mom and I against the world.  God knew I needed someone to keep me company, because the following year my mother passed away.  Ever since, it’s been my daughter and I against the world.  Thankfully, my mother was able to spend a year with her granddaughter, because all she ever wanted was a granddaughter.

Raising a little girl, is by far the most challenging and rewarding experience at the same time.  One minute I’m in love, and the next, I’m ready to pull her hair out.

I remember having a conversation with my husband, at the time, about what I wanted in a girl child.  I recall saying, “She will be smart, giving, well-rounded, curly hair…basically a mini replica of me only better”.  I wanted a girl so bad, and then when her existence came about, I remember being overtaking with fear! I worried about her safety, her heart, her future, if I was a good enough role-model, and the list goes on.

When she finally arrived, it was like everything just fell into place.  Having a female counterpart in my life after being surrounded by boys for a great deal of my life, was like a breath of fresh air.  She was everything I envisioned her to be, and so much more.  It also made me realize how different it would be raising a daughter versus two sons…EASIER.

This section is all about the diva, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  She’s a gymnast, a dancer, and a gifted student.  She is wise beyond her years, and apparently inherited all the common sense her brothers left behind in my womb. It’s all or nothing with her, she either brings me pure joy, or pure chaos at random!

Ladies and gentleman, I introduce you to my princes, Zizah-The-Diva