Friday, December 03, 2010


She grew! Maria thinks that the birthday is the day you grow. Fortunately, all of her growing has happened slowly over the year, and now she is six, and she is a bigger girl than when she was only five.

On the day of her dance class, we rushed out our door, and I was so proud to get her to the studio on time. As we walked up to the studio door, Maria tugged my sweater and said, "I just remembered, teacher said there is no class on Thanksgiving." I should have remembered too: No class the week of Thanksgiving! But there we were, ready to go. Figures I would get it right, when it was wrong.

Then I remembered Grandma BooBoo and Grandpa Ron's birthday gift to Maria: Tap shoes! Maria borrows shoes when she goes to her weekly tap and ballet class. It works fine for the class, but as my mommy pointed out, it doesn't give her an opportunity to practice. Thank goodness for grandmothers! Even from a distance, they can fill in the gaps, lend a hand, offer support, and be there. I know I need my gaps filled, quite often.

So, we left the dance studio and headed over to the store that sells all things dance. Maria got measured for tap shoes. And seeing, really paying attention, to the condition of her "pink" tights, I grabbed a new pair of those too.

They are so shiny!
Maria was speechless... surrounded by point shoes, and tutus, and all things sparkly, and she could not believe she was getting her very own tap shoes.

"These are from Grandma BooBoo and Grandpa, Maria." I explained to her that they sent the shoes for her birthday. Her jaw dropped. It's funny when someone's jaw really does drop open, the look of astonishment that comes over them. She was definitely grateful, and I realized why her amazement was a bit much when she asked, "How did they do that? How did they get the tap shoes into this store for me?" Even after explaining about how the transaction actually took place, she was still mighty impressed.

She has been tap~tap~tapping her joy and gratitude all over the house!

Thank you BooBoo and Ronnie!

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After dropping off Maria and Max at school, Geoff came home and informed me that Maria was very excited that mommy would be bringing cupcakes to school for her birthday!




Somehow, I consistently fumble on one thing or another, and cupcakes to the classroom is just the tip of the iceberg.

Trader Joe's to the rescue! I had a box of their pumpkin cake mix in the pantry. Ooh, that pumpkin cake is delicious! To the mix I add a grated carrot, a scoop of oatmeal, and a mini scoop of flax meal. Then into the muffin cups goes the batter.

Maria loves these muffins, but to make them party special I grabbed a tub of whipped cream cheese from you know where, and mixed in some cinnamon, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Dab, swirl, go!

Cupcakes to the classroom success.

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It can be hard to jump back in to regular life after a sad event. Professor Moriarty was a sweet innocent, and Alex's personal pet. Everyone here has been knocked a bit off-kilter by his injury, and his sad passage.

The kindness of all of You, friends new, old, far, and near, has been so sweet and comforting... a lovely reminder of how good we can be to each other. It just feels so nice when people let you know that you are thought of, that you are not alone, so thank you. Thank you for taking time to reach out to us... you made our week better than it might have been.


nikkipolani said...

Wonderful SAVE on the cupcake front, Natalie.

I'm still sorry about the poor Professor. Hoping that the warmth of your family love and your other creatures and your innate resiliency will carry you through the grief.

ArtyZen said...

Another smile brought to my face; you live three days in one methinks! Axxx

Jen ( said...

Super-Mom to the rescue with the cupcake save. My little girl is also in dance class and she is enthralled with all of the trappings. :)

Alison said...

I'm stunned by how beautiful your daughter is, Natalie. And the expressions on her face and eyes; she is so very alive! It's lovely to hear her continuing enthusiasm for all things dance.

I laughed with nostalgia at that twisted sock in the first picture; is there something about childhood that makes your socks always twist around like that?

So sorry about the Professor. He was a sweet looking little guy.

Mama Spark said...

I love your "Maria" stories. They always make me smile! So sorry to hear about Professor M. Bunny heaven will welcome him with open hearts! I just recently lost one too so maybe they can play together!

judy in ky said...

I have tears in my eyes for the sweet little bunny. Bad things should never happen to pets, or to the children who love them. I'm so sorry.
You are amazing, just whipping cupcakes together at the last moment. Life sure has a way taking over, doesn't it?
Maria is beginning to look so grown up. Her new tap shoes are beautifully shiny!

tara said...

Oh, I am so sorry about Moriarty. Sweet little bunny.
Nothing like shiny new shoes.

Miriam said...

I always wanted to learn how to tap dance! I studied ballet quite seriously (and oh, did that photo of the wrinkled tights take me back!) but my inner alter-ego was a tap dancer with tails and a cane a la Fred Astaire.

Go Maria, go!

(And I, too, am sad to hear about the Professor. He was a good bunny.)

Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for you all. I do believe though that the angels in Heaven are happily playing with your wispy ball of fluff! I hope your hurting is easier with each new day.
Horray for childhood resilience and positivity. I also have a 6 year old daughter who is always joyful and full of life too! How wonderful are they?!

Cheyenne -Millie said...

We saw the news about the bunny the other day. We are sorry. We just know he will be waiting at the bridge for you.

Maria has such cute little feet!

Julie said...

I'm so sorry about your little bunny. Hadn't read the post about the injury until last night and I was saddened to hear that.

Maria Ballerina is now a tap dancer?? Oh, how fun! Loved to hear about her shoe buying experience. She makes me smile. :) :)

Happy your cuppie cakes made it in time. Was impressed by how you doctor up the recipes. Things never turn out quite the way I imagine when I tried that.

judy in ky said...

Hey Flartus, I am all grown up and my socks still turn around that way!!

Susan said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your sad loss, Natalie.

I just made Trader Joe's pumpkin bread yesterday and added some raisins and walnuts. It was delicious...and still is. :)

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

So many sweet, kind comments. Thank you everyone for sharing your concern and warmth.
Twisted tights... not limited to childhood for me either!

Karla said...

I just love how you take ingredients and mix them together to make something wonderful (cupcakes and frosting). So wish I could do that! I always seem to need a recipe. Cute ballet pics of your Maria. Hope she is feeling better?