Kindergarten · Lane · Parenthood · Summer

Goodbye kindergarten; hello summer! ☀️

Lane is fresh outta kindergarten, and as I reflect on the school year, I’m absolutely blown away by her growth in so many ways. She’s blossomed in ten short months, from outward things like her appearance – no more baby face 😢 – to inward things like confidence, integrity, and pride.

Kindergarten brought with it many things I hadn’t been prepared for. Lane is my first, and while she did two years of pre-school, it was only 3 half-days a week. I hadn’t fully processed the idea that she’d be immersed in a classroom environment day in and day out. That she would meet and make relationships with people I didn’t know. That she’d see, hear, and experience things that don’t quite align with the way we do things at home.

It was only a few weeks in that she came home after school one day, looked at me with her huge, innocent brown eyes and declared, “Mama. Joey said THIS *boldly holds up middle finger* is a bad word.” She must have misinterpreted the reason for my expression of disbelief, because she continued, “I KNOW! I told him that was the silliest thing I ever heard because THIS *finger again* isn’t even a word!”

Then, maybe a month later, she approached me with another doozy. With a genuinely confused, almost sad expression, she asked me, “Mama? Is it bad to be skinny?” My heart sank as she shared with me that another little girl had been staring at her and then commented that Lane was “so skinny.” We talked about how that remark made her feel, and I couldn’t believe we were already discussing body image. I asked Lane how she responded to the girl, and was surprised and proud when she told me she answered, “I’m not skinny. I’m fit.”  For the record, we don’t use words like “skinny,” “fat,” or even discuss other people’s (or our own!) body shapes in our house – in fact, Lane actually asked me what “fat” meant last summer at age 5.

Thrown into the mix, of course, were typical reports of kindergarten spats, bumps, bruises, and hurt feelings, coupled with my own heartbreak of not being able to fix everything for her. But overwhelmingly more frequent than all the drama were Lane’s stories of the fun she had each day, her amusing observations about the people and situations she encountered, how she adored her teacher, books she read, and fun games she played in her favorite subject, gym.

I loved hearing the knock-knock jokes her friends would tell her (well, the first time anyway), and watching her teach Lauren all the things she picked up, like how to dab and do the floss dance. 😂 But mostly, I’ve loved watching her evolve. She’s got her own, confident, IDGAF-what-you-think little style (oversized glasses with the lenses popped out and Jordans are her jam), and is very proud of her ability to read second grade books. She doesn’t follow the crowd, writes in a diary that she keeps locked (I honestly don’t know where the key is), and while she’s been craving alone time more and more, she still loves a good snuggle at bedtime.

She is pumped to become a first grader, but first, we’ve got a summer of memories to make. And we plan to enjoy every moment.

Lane · Parties and Entertaining

Lane’s unicorn-themed 6th birthday celebration!

So, it happened.  Lane turned six.  And I have learned that six means many things.  It means a little more sass.  A little more confidence.  A little more individuality.  It also means a birthday party with a very specific creative vision.  For Lane, that vision was a unicorn-themed trampoline party.

Unicorns are all the rage right now, so I knew it wouldn’t be hard to bring this theme to life, but my challenge was the location.  Lane decided she wanted to have her party at a trampoline park, and there was no changing her mind.  I was OK with the trampoline part of it – but that party room!  It would need a serious transformation to create a festive, magical vibe from a space that reminded me of a locker room.  On top of that, the venue wouldn’t allow us to bring in any outside food other than the birthday cake, which definitely made my party prep lighter, but took away a lot of the fun unicorn-themed treats and sweets that Lane had pinned to her Pinterest board.

Everything turned out great – Lane had the best time.  And as far as the party decor, Lane told me that it looked like a real unicorn had decorated the room, so I took that as a win.  Fewer details to photograph due to the no food rule and limited decor options, but here are a few photos from her special day.

Unicorn cake - www.laneandlauren.com

This was my first attempt at a sprinkle cake.  Not perfect, but it tasted good and Lane loved it!

Unicorn birthday party - www.laneandlauren.com

How cute are these plates and napkins from Meri Meri?  And the wooden forks?!  I couldn’t resist…  The unicorn party hats were a magical touch that the kids loved.

img_1057.jpgUnicorn themed birthday party - www.laneandlauren.com

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These DIY goodie bags were super simple to make – plain white bags with drawn-on sleeping unicorn eyes, hand-cut and glued on ears, and a lollipop horn.

img_1050.jpgwww.laneandlauren.com

I found some cute quotes about unicorns online, and decided to print and mount them as decor.

I’m not sure if you can tell from this picture, but Lane’s glasses have only one lens.  She was playing with them and accidentally popped out a lens.  It didn’t stop her from wearing them, anyway.

Unicorn themed birthday party - www.laneandlauren.comUnicorn themed birthday party - www.laneandlauren.com

We did our best to counter the locker room vibe with lots of wavy, iridescent skirting, sparkly confetti for the table, and of course – balloons!

Unicorn themed birthday party - www.laneandlauren.comUnicorn themed birthday party - www.laneandlauren.com

The kids had the best time bouncing – and so did I!

This rock-climbing wall was pretty awesome, too.

The happy birthday girl!

We couldn’t bring any outside food, but pizza is life, so no one seemed to mind.

Lane really wanted a unicorn shirt to wear to her party, and was super pumped to find this “Unicorns are born in February” t-shirt online.  I mean, the unicorn is dabbing, so can you really blame her?

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And so it goes that another fiesta is in the books.  My little Pinterest monsters are already saving ideas for the next one…

Dance · Product Reviews

Product Review: FASTEN Leotards

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. I was provided sample products for review purposes, but was not financially compensated for this post. Opinions are entirely my own and based on my personal experience with FASTEN products.

Ask any busy mom – when it comes to kids, every second counts.  Each moment of our busy days is meticulously planned (yet somehow, we’re still always late 😩), and you can bet I’ve factored in time for putting on mittens and hats, zippering coats, grabbing snacks for the road, running back into the already locked house to get purple blanky and kitty or a forgotten backpack, hitting the Dunkin’ drive-through for a medium hot Hazelnut… the list goes on.  But nothing throws us off more than last minute trips to the bathroom – especially when we’re on our way to dance class.

Dance moms know that potty emergencies take on a whole new meaning when leotards are part of the equation. Simple bathroom trips with little kids are a project to begin with, but when you add peeling off all the layers, tugging down leotards and tights, and pulling it all back together again, you’ve exponentially increased the hassle factor.  And your minute-to-minute-get-there-on-time plan is an absolute wash; everybody’s rushing and crying and miserable (including me!).

FASTEN: Lauren

Enter: FASTEN.  I stumbled across this brand on Instagram, and couldn’t be happier I did.  Their genius patent-pending technology makes bathroom breaks a breeze by eliminating the frustration and wasted time of taking everything off.

FASTEN

The hidden snaps and magnetic strips are magical – they unfasten at the waist and open easily (why didn’t I think of that?!), enabling a quick, clean, fuss-free trip to the potty.  That way, tiny dancers can get back to what matters most: mastering their pirouettes. 💃🏻

FASTEN: Lane and Lauren

And now, a word from the real experts.

FASTEN: Lane

 

 

img_8211Lane was excited to try out her new leotard and called it “comfy.”  This is huge coming from her, as this girl tugs at tights and leotards like no other and will literally cry actual tears if her clothing is not comfortable.

Lauren, on the other hand, will put fashion over function any day of the week, and was mostly concerned with whether or not the leotard would have a tutu.  To her delight, the skirt is attached, which is another win for me.  One less thing to fuss with!  That being said, she was happily surprised when she didn’t have to take off her entire ensemble to use the bathroom, and commented that it was “convenient.”  Yes, she knows that word.  Yes, she’s 3.

FASTEN: Lauren

Ready to give FASTEN a try and make life easier for your own little superstar?  Click here for free shipping!  Happy twirling!

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