Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Keep Your Imagination, Sweetie

**I was sent a dress in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was exchanged.**

Early on, my daughter has always had an imagination. She has always loved to dress up in costumes.

As she's getting older, I worry her imagination will fade. Soon she might not think it's cool to create her own world. I always tell her she can keep an imagination for as long as she wants--some people earn millions with one, after all. (Stephen King, anyone?)

We were sent this gorgeous dress from an amazing site called Little Goodall. It's filled with all sorts of precious items for kids. (I squealed at their animal coats.)

This dress is their Gingham Tabitha Dress and good news for you: it's currently on sale!

Right when Natalie saw it, she gasped and went, "It's like Dorothy's dress from The Wizard of Oz. I love it! I have to pair my red shoes with it!"

The dress is gorgeous and well-made with buttons in the back and a sash.

She insisted on the braids. "Like Dorothy. I feel like I'm going on an adventure."

And she's right. She's going on an adventure of life. As she gets older, her friends have started to tell her that her costumes are babyish. That she shouldn't wear them anymore.

I remind her that she can do whatever she wants. She doesn't have to be like everyone else. She can look at a dress and be reminded of Dorothy. She can turn into Dorothy.

"I want to wear this dress forever!"

She said it was comfortable--she cannot stand itchy dresses.

I love her imagination. I love how she can look at a tree and say, "I'm pretending he's the lion. The cowardly lion. He's hilarious."

I love that she still checked to see if the dress has twirlability. When she was tiny, before I could buy a dress, she had to try it on and make sure it fluffed out around her.

I'm proud to say that this dress has amazing twirlability:

If you want a precious outfit for your little one, be sure to check out Little Goodall!

You can also learn more at the following:


Do you still have an imagination?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Hey, It's Okay

I got this idea from Glamour magazine. You can link up any day of the week. All you have to do is make a list of what you're okay about. Simple! Please do not link up a post that has nothing to do with Hey, It's Okay. It's rude.

Hey, It's Okay....

....to be amused by the photos at Pippa's wedding where Duchess Kate is reprimanding her kids. I like that royals are more hands on these days. Granted, they still have it rather easy due to the nannies, but it's nice that they don't always rely on them.

....to be tempted to watch Anne with an E on Netflix even though no Anne version can EVER take the place of the one with Megan Follows. She just captured Anne so well.

....to can't believe the last day of school for my kids is June 1st. Help me.

....to be excited for the new season of House of Cards! Such a great show.

....to have loved watching my mom, husband, and daughter swim with the dolphins over the weekend. I'll write more about it soon! I didn't participate because it's not my thing. Nor was it my son's. But watching was just as much fun for me!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

When You Can't Find Your Kid

"Natalie, time to come in," I shouted out the back door.

I received no response. Normally I'd hear, "Okay, coming!" followed by Natalie telling her friends goodbye.

But now there was silence.

"Natalie?" I tried again.


Still, I didn't panic. Sometimes she was out front. So I walked out there.


I scanned the yard and didn't see her. I stared down the street where her friends live. Sometimes she's in their yard. But I didn't see her running around.

I felt a nervous fluttering begin in my chest. I went inside and texted some of the parents of her friends, asking if Natalie was there.


Sometimes there have been brief moments in the past where I couldn't find her. But then she'd pop up before I could really panic.

"Sorry," she'd say. "I was chasing a bunny."

Or, "Sorry. I had a race someone real quick. I won."

But now? Now I didn't know where she was.

What if someone---

I pushed those thoughts aside. No. She was fine. She had to be.

I began to fast-walk down the streets. Maybe she found someone new to play with and forgot to tell me. But. She's normally good about telling me.

I felt sweat begin to form on my forehead. I'm sure I had a crazed look on my face. Weirdly, I thought of the scene in that book The Deep End Of The Ocean where Ben goes missing. The mom becomes hysterical shouting his name over and over again.

That would soon be me. I pictured myself tearing down the streets screaming, "Natalie! Natalie! Nat-a-leeeeeeeeeeee!" I'd be mentioned on that Next Door app where conversations about the neighborhood are started.

"Did anyone else see that bedraggled woman screeching?"

"Oh yes, why didn't she have real pants on? What's with those yoga pants with the bleach stains?"

"Natalie!" I yelled, startling a man walking past with his dog. He gave me a wide-eyed look and hurried past.

Where was she?

What if someone---

My heart went cold.

I let her play outside like I used to play outside. Some parents won't allow their kids to do this. But I do. I think it's important. There are rules though: she has to check in every hour. She has to tell me if she changes locations. I check on her often to make sure she's where she should be. I warn her of the Bad People.

What if one of the Bad People--

Stop. No.

A bead of sweat dropped on my bare foot. My bare foot. I didn't realize I forgot to put my shoes on. But I didn't think I'd be out for long. I thought I'd immediately find Natalie.

"Did anyone see that hysterical woman walking around without shoes? Is she homeless? Should I alert the authorities?"

I walked down more streets. I called out for Natalie. With each minute that passed, I know I looked more and more like Gary Busey.

I felt a pinch on my foot. I stepped on a sharp rock.

I needed help. I needed to tell my husband. I hurried into the house and yelped, "Natalie is GONE!"

"What do you mean, gone?" I could see his fists clench slightly. He probably thought of all the weapons he had in the house. He's a trained military man, he knows how to use them all.

"Gone! I can't find her." I put on my flip flops.

So Tom and I started pacing the neighborhood. We passed some people on the street.

"Have you seen Natalie?" I asked. I felt like a terrible mother. Maybe they were thinking, "Why can't you keep track of your kid?" I can, I can, normally. But Natalie is 10 now and is seeing how far she can go. How much she can get away with.

"She's grounded when we find her," Tom grumbled. He would not let his mind think that maybe we wouldn't. He's not hysterical like I am.

They hadn't seen Natalie. Tom and I went down another street. In between doing this I kept checking the back yard to see if Natalie would turn up. That's normally where she's at.

I peeked into the backyard, expecting not to find her, but there she was, bouncing on the trampoline with a friend, not a care in the world.

"Natalie!" I screamed.

She jumped. Stopped bouncing. She could hear the twinge of fear in my voice.

"What?" she asked.

"Where WERE you?"

She named a friend that I forgot to check with. This is because normally that friend sends everyone home by 630 to eat dinner. It was past 7.

"You didn't tell me YOU WERE GOING THERE!"

I know I resembled Shirley MaClaine from Terms Of Endearment where she's screeching at the nurse to GIVE HER DAUGHTER THE DRUGS!

"I for-got." Natalie stretched out the word and gave me a look like, "Ugh, parents."

This infuriated me. I had been searching the neighborhood in a panic for over 20 minutes. I cut my foot. My hair looked like Einstein's. And all she could say was she FOR-GOT?


"Get INSIDE!" I bellowed, pointing to the house. "NOW! You're GROUNDED!"

Natalie scowled. "But why? I was with my friend. I was--"


At this point, the friend she was with darted away. She probably told her mom, "Natalie's Mom has completely lost her mind. Also, her hair is like Einstein's."

"Geez, fine, you're not being fair," Natalie grumbled. She crossed her arms over her chest.

It was a strange feeling I had. I wanted to grab her and hug her. She was safe. Yay! But I also wanted to slap her. She had petrified me. Terrified me to the core. The saying that having kids is like your heart walking outside of your body is true. Plus her attitude wasn't helping.

"I'm sorry," Natalie added, walking past me.

"You scared me to death," I said. Then I remembered my husband was still out searching for Natalie. "I have to get your Dad. Go take your shower."

I went outside and found Tom before he went down another street.

"I FOUND HER!" I shouted, and he calmly walked over. He still wasn't hysterical. He doesn't always show many emotions. Maybe it's the military guy in him. I don't know.

Yes, he spoke to Natalie. Sternly. And this is when she started to cry. She hates to disappoint Daddy.

"Don't you ever do that to your mother again," Tom added. I thought it was odd that he didn't say US, but rather ME, but remember...no emotion.

Natalie said she was sorry and yes, she was grounded for a day. So far, she's remembered to tell me where she's going. But I have a feeling that she's going to keep me on my toes as she grows.

Has your kid ever terrified you? Or if you don't have kids yet, did you frighten your parents?

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