Unconditional… 

This heartwarming video captures the true essence of the bond between a mother and child. If unconditional love could be defined without using words… THIS is the answer. 

Every MOM understands this… no matter what our differences. We are all unique and have gifts to share with our children and the world. 

What is YOUR gift?  YOU are a MOM and your child/children love YOU as YOU (even if they can’t see you).  They are pieces of your soul that share unconditional, pure love with YOU.  Could they find you in a line of moms using only touch and smell? I think so. 

You are a MOM. You are BLESSED. 

Grab your tissues and watch here—> http://youtu.be/DRoqk_z2Lgg

Mama’s Boom in Da Room – My Messy Beautiful

©2014 Dancinmoma.com

©2014 Dancinmoma.com

“Those who hear not the music think the dancers mad” – Proverb

Yes, as in crazy or “Cray. Cray,” as the kids call it.

We are all dancers on this earth. We reach ups and downs, we bend over backwards, we turn from one place to the next, lift our arms up, put our heads down, then twist and we turn. We jump. We run, run, run and stop with our arms flailing about… If that’s not a “dance” I don’t know what is.

Of all the “dance shoes” I’ve worn in this life, the mom pair has to be the most exhilarating, most challenging, most “drive you to a place you never knew existed, drive you mad, tug your heart, 24-hour lifetime channel movie, soap opera, overwhelming, and simply JOYful experience” I have ever had.

Whew. Let me breathe for a sec.

Children (and husbands) do have a way of putting the “OY!” in JOY (sigh). You know what. I wouldn’t change ANYTHING. Motherhood may drive you to your wits-end or bring you to your most vulnerable place but it’s an ADVENTURE and I personally happen to love adventures. Motherhood is where you can tap into your inner strength, your inner beauty and things you never knew you existed within you.

I have danced on many stages in my life with audiences of all sizes, but the audience members that mean the most to me, are those tiny little toddler hands that clap and say “yaaaay” or the double-digit, emotion-filled boy (wanting to be on stage next to you), or the handsome teen-sized eyes that look at you, smile and say “sup mom.” That’s MY audience. They may not always applaud feverously, toss roses my way, give 5 star reviews and yell BRAVO… but they are there with hearts full of love and possibility. They need me. They love me, all of me, flaws and all. There’s a popular proverb quote out there that says this…

“If you stumble, make it part of the dance.”

That is my “mantra.” I’m certainly not a psychologist, but I guarantee that even with the most well thought out plan… you will stumble at times. (For me, I stumble more often than not, but again… if you make it part of the dance… DANCE it out sister!) So let’s crank up the music…

Boom. Ba da doom. Ba da doom boom the room. Do you hear it? 🙂

ME: “Baby’s sleeping, try to keep the noise down.” Boys get louder. I calmly repeat “Baby’s sleeping, keep it down please.” Boys get louder. Me (at the top of my lungs) “I SAID. BE QUIET. BABY’S SLEEPING!!!!” (Look who’s shouting now!) Followed by baby cries (because I, yes me, I woke up the little one).

Ahhh, Chicka, Doom, Boom… Music’s still playing.

Toddler in the bath, older child in the shower. All is good. Husband runs to store for milk. Toddler says, “Wook, mama, wook!” (as he holds up an object). Hmmmm how did a “tootsie roll” get in there? WAIT! That’s not a tootsie roll! “Yucky!” I say, as I grab “object” and immediately remove toddler from “toxic area.” Older child is now done with shower and curious. Looks into tub, sees foreign object and proceeds to “toss his cookies.” Really? Really?!! Mom proceeds to put both kids in shower for a soap rinse, dry PJs on, and then cleans mess. Husband comes home, looks at me with my disheveled frizzy, hair and wet clothes and says…

“What the heck happened to YOU?!!!” 🙂

Whata, whata…whaaaaaa…Can you still hear it?

Fast forward to a morning commute to school. Baby is still sleeping. So is Daddy (It’s my turn to drive). Boys are knee deep in the morning routine. “Grab your backpacks! Turn off the lights. Pick up your clothes.” Normal stuff. We head out on our driveway (which snakes down a large hill through some woods by the way). Moments after accelerating, remembering there may have been “freezing rain” in the forecast. Duh. Is school even open? Car catches the frozen rain, veers right, then left, sideways, and completes a 360 at the bottom of driveway, barely missing a tree. My heart is beating. Fast. There’s a short moment of silence followed by loud, cheers from the passengers. “YEAAAAH. Wooohooo! Mom’s got SKILLZ.” Why yes. Yes I do.

And the beat goes on…

So get out there…MOM’s and dddddDANCE! Work the floor, show YOUR audience what you’ve got, hear your own music… and take a BOW baby… YOU deserve it.

 

messy-beautiful-450b

This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!

 

That’s a Wrap!

©2013 Dancinmoma

©2013 Dancinmoma

That’s a Wrap…

There was peace in the air, as the kids were away.
Mommy grabbed her coffee and decided to wrap today.

She sat by the tree, nestled in the paper and bows.
She wrapped and tied the gifts with love, as only Santa knows.

Several minutes went by and she wrapped it all up.
She smiled with each gift and drank from her coffee cup.

She hummed a tune, and then looked around the empty room.
Disney Junior was on the TV! Ummmm… Boom!

She laughed and chuckled, as she shared her “MOMent” with friends.
She typed up some words and then pressed “Send.”

Together they giggled about her Christmas wrapping time.
Next time, they said, you’ll need some “Mom Music… with WINE…” 

15 Definitions from a “DancinMoma.” Are YOU one too?

Are YOU a "DancinMoma?"

Are YOU a “DancinMoma?”

Are you a “DancinMoma?” No, not a trained dancer, but a parent on the move with a child (or two or three) in tow. If you are a “DancinMoma”, or know one who is, you should also know that there is a certain grace these individuals possess and masterful techniques they use to weave through a typical day.

Here are a few “DancinMoma Definitions” to ponder; have YOU experienced any of these?

The Pointless Pivot

Walking into a room with purpose.

Forgetting why you came there.

Pivoting the opposite way.

Remembering why you were heading there in the first place.

Pivoting again.

The Drop, Duck and Roll

The maneuver executed while walking through the living room covered only by a small, post-shower towel and hearing a loud knock on the front door from a delivery person!!

Maneuver is normally followed by a 30 second pause behind the couch, then a cautious peek.

The Trip Walk

Walking purposefully and alone to your destination, passing people and smiling confidently, then tripping, running three steps, and continuing as if you “meant” to do that.

The Tippy Toe Toy Hop

Inadvertently stepping on a Lego® creation or small toy.

Ow! Jumping! Hopping up and down holding your toe.

Happy S”hour”er

Extremely rare, uninterrupted time in your shower that feels like a frozen drink by a beach.

The Split Side

Stepping a flat, slippery object such as a magazine (Left by your spouse, no doubt). Then, while struggling to regain your balance, splaying the legs into an unconventional split you did not know you could still do.

Laser Spy Mission

Arriving from point A to point B in a playroom without hitting a toy.

The Baby Sway Stray

That side-to-side motion used to rock your baby that you do it even without your baby.

The Hip Dip

Closing doors or drawers with your hip while carrying a child in one arm, bags in the other, and cradling a phone in one ear. (Caution: only trained ‘DancinMomas’ should attempt this.)

Mac and Cheese Mambo

Stirring (and 1, 2) providing direction, repeating that direction (and 3, 4) without “boiling over.”

The Dip & Dunk:

Bending over to pick up item on floor and shoot a basket across room into the appropriate container or basket…. Score!

The Shuffle Shovel

Holding items in arms while maneuvering your foot to collect and slide things scattered on floor into a neat pile.

Cha Cha Chew Chew

The amount of time (1,2) allowed to eat your dinner — cha-cha chew chew chew — after everyone is taken care of.

The Splam

That moment when you walk away from a conversation only to run into a door or side stage wall… Splat is what it is normally called. If your name is Pam, however, like me…. the “Splam.”

Five Minute Flail Fail

The 5-minute warning that evolves into 15 to 30, or more, as you motion to

your child with flailing arms that it’s “time to go!”

Please Define YOUR “DancinMoma” moments below and add to the list!

Happy DANCING!

Dance with me, Daddy!

It’s a relationship like none other. From the moment that swaddled tiny human being is handed to YOU; your heart overflows with LOVE.  Then a precious, miraculous moment follows… the tiny baby girl opens her eyes and looks into yours. It will take your breath away.

You are a DADDY.

The moments are fleeting but so joyous. She will grow right in front of your eyes, with her unconditional love. She will wear her heart on her sleeve. She will fill your soul with an infectious laughter, and will turn to you with her tears. That precious baby girl, your daughter, is your biggest fan. Daddy's ShoesShe will follow you around in your big shoes, literally, and she’ll watch you. How you work. How you treat her Mommy. How you make funny noises with your mouth. How you take your pencil, circling it around to create beautiful drawings for her.  Your daughter is simply mesmerized with your being.

She puts on her princess dress and twirls in front of you.

“Look, Daddy!”

You pick her up and spin her around, again locking eyes.  You can see that in her smile is PURE JOY!!

“Dance with me, Daddy!”

As she places her tiny feet onto yours, the music starts and together you dance. You will treasure this moment for the rest of your life. In fact you will honor each moment that you are hand in hand swaying to music and twirling on the dance floor in your home.

Soon she gets a little older, she’ll still spin for you with a new outfit or new shoes, but her attention span has widened. She spends time with friends, listens to music, goes to dance class, and writes in her journal. She reads her latest book, watches her favorite television show, and becomes obsessed with the new boy band or singer. That baby girl, who eyes were only for Daddy, seems to be drifting, growing and blooming into a beautiful young woman. Soon she’ll ask you to drop her off a block early, or at the door of the mall, so no one sees you.

But don’t fret; you are still her one and only DADDY. You will always be a huge part of her ever-expanding heart. She will turn to you in times of need, she’ll ask for your advice, share funny stories, and laugh heartily when you play the old songs to which you danced.  She will always be your BABY Girl.

DaddyPammy

“Daddy, I made the cheerleading squad!”

“Daddy, why are boys so silly?”

“Daddy, sometimes girls can be really mean.”

“Daddy, a boy asked me to dance!”

“Daddy, why do bad things happen to good people?”

“Daddy, what would you do?”

“Daddy, I met someone!”

“Daddy, we’re getting married.”

The wedding march music begins in the church. It is time to walk your Baby Girl, your precious daughter down the aisle to her future spouse.  Memories of her childhood flood your mind as tears roll down your face.  She turns to you with those same eyes that met you for the first time a long time ago and says, “I LOVE YOU, Daddy.”

She always will…. Daddy/Daughter

To my Dad and all of the Dad’s out there…

Happy Father’s Day.

“Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a DADDY.” ~ Proverb

Get Jiggy in March!

“Dia Dhuit”

Top of the morning to ye, lads and lassies! Follow me to the end of our imaginary rainbow to search for a pot o’gold…’Tis time to get your “Leprechaun” on.

We step, we skip, we hop, we MARCH! It’s time to kick up our heels and dance a jig or two in honor of St. Patrick. You see, I grew up in an Irish family and married into an Irish family. So I’ll be knowing an Irish Blessing or two. St. Paddy’s Day is a big deal in our home, right up there with Christmas and Halloween. It’s not about the pub crawls (but that’s not to say a green beer or two wouldn’t appear.) 😉 To us it’s about Leprechauns sneaking in, leaving a bit of a mess, and maybe a wee lil’ gift or two. It’s about pots of gold and magical rainbow myths. We dress in shamrock-adorned clothes and carry banners as we march proudly in our local Irish parade. We sway arm in arm while harmonizing over “Oh Danny Boy” and yes, we know all of the arm motions to the infamous Unicorn song.

Aye. Kiss us. We’re Irish! 😉

20130317-083515.jpg I hope that you, too, will get your “Green” on…whether Irish or not. ‘Tis a fine time to clap your hands with the beat. Stomp your feet. Click your heels. Make some noise and celebrate!

On this St. Patrick’s Day — and everyday — count your BLESSINGS. Take a moment to look for the “four-leaved” clovers in YOUR life.

“Slån!”

I will close with one of my favorite Old Irish Blessings…

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

CUE THE ORCHESTRA!

One, Two, THREE! We dance teachers have a “thing” about counting out numbers with the music. “5, 6, 7 ,8” is a popular count to begin a combo and get all the dancers in synch. Each step or movement usually has an assigned count to it from 1-8. There’s “1 and a 2, 3 and a4” or “1e and a, 2e and a, 3e and a” Lots of options to remember and lots of music to be played. But these variations also make me realize that these counts in OUR own life go by quickly, as if stuck on fast forward.

THREE!

newborn

I’m “zeroing” in on the number THREE because in the blink of any eye…my youngest (our lil’ miracle baby) is turning three. She’s old enough to do ‘big girl things, but young enough to keep her childhood magic aglow during a simple day (even more during holidays and special family events.) She coaxes out the inner child in virtually everyone around her. She’s a little sis to two wonderful big brothers who are also growing too fast by the way. If I could only hit the “pause” button with my kids, as we do in dance class to repeat a combination. In the meantime, I will SAVOR the moments. I will pause. I will stop. I will watch. I will listen. Just as I do while rehearsing my classes for a big show. It’s about fine tuning. It’s about details. They have my full attention.

MOMENTS?

Can you think of moments you may have missed while you’re focused on a phone or iPad, while your child is experiencing a brand new fleeting childhood moment? I am guilty of that. Especially with my 3rd child. You see, not only is she three, she is growing up through social media. Although I am happy her life is well-documented on Facebook, on my phone, on instagram and now, this blog. There have been times where I’d take a photo, post it immediately, then check far too often waiting anxiously for “likes” or “comments.” Yet at the same time…

I am missing the authentic moment.

Right. In. Front. Of. Me.

Pause. Rewind. Start over.

One more time.

5, 6, 7, 8.

LIFE BY THE NUMBERS

1. Our youngest surprises us by entering this world, early
2. We were expecting a boy — we already have two — but ‘she’ surprises us
3. Welcome to this world precious soul
4. New words in the house, such as “she“ and “her”
5. A puffy cloud of pinks and purples came over our home
6. Time crawls by, yet suddenly she’s walking and talking
7. Our baby turns One!
8. Our baby turns Two.

1st bday

2ndbday

Clearly 8 counts of a song or combination cannot capture the numerous MOMENTS of wonder, joy, and pure LOVE we have celebrated these last three years of this precious, sweet, girl…..SIGH.

Time to add more music, more “steps,” more counts. So in class I could scroll down for a new song on the iPod or put in another CD. Ahhhhh…..the music continues….the counts go on….I pause, I rewind, I fast forward, then rewind. A “dance” is created. It’s a memorable one too.

Stop. TAKE A MOMENT TO “PLAY!”

Grab some type of material, even a napkin, in your house or office (we use scarves in dance class). Take your item and scrunch it up into a little ball in your hand. Grab a few family members. Now count down…..then toss it in the air, knowing that our family is laughing along WITH your family and friends. Hey. It’s even a simple joy by yourself. Feed your inner child. 🙂

Are you ready? 5.….4.….3.….2.…..OOOOOOONE!!! (Toss your object in the air, with all the joy you can muster!)

Cue the music! Now get on with your DANCE!

Football Food and Motherhood