School, Soccer, and Style

The end of summer rush hit us hard around here. Between our trip to New York, Henry’s birthday, school shopping, appointments, paperwork, and trying to figure out what our schedule is going to look like with Cadence starting 1st grade and me starting a new job on Thursday, we’ve barely had a minute to sit down and breathe. But we’re not complaining. We’re excited to turn the page on this brand new chapter. And in those few free moments we managed to find these past weeks, we’ve had a whole lot of fun.

Cadence and I had a special girls’ day to go get her hair done. She’s been asking to dye her hair for quite awhile not. I’m not sure whether the obsession started because several of her favorite cartoon characters have funky-colored hair, or because she saw a few photos of me with pink/purple/red/blue hair from my college days. Either way, Stevie and I knew it was something she really wanted to try, so we decided it would be a fun back-to-school treat to let her give it a go. Miss C has always had a very unique sense of style, and both Stevie and I are supportive of Cadence’s desire to sport a little extra color. So C and I headed to the College of Hair Design last week for a cut and a little color (she asked to dye her whole head; we agreed that we’ll start with a streak). And other than Cadence getting a little bored when the bleaching lasted more than an hour, we had a blast and were both so excited with the results.

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Yeah, our kid is cool.

Sunday, Cadence started fall soccer with the YMCA. We thought we’d give it a try since she’d done so well in the Happy Feet league. It was the perfect day–sunny, warm but not too hot–and Stevie, Henry, and I had fun watching Cadence play. Team Coventry ended up losing 2-1, but it was a great game, and Cadence had two awesome breakaways and really controlled the ball well. It’s amazing how good she is for only starting to play soccer in January.

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Since Cadence is running around looking so stylish, I figured it was time for Mr. H to finally get the haircut he’s been so desperately needing. Little man’s hair was hanging down into his eyes, and he’s been sporting a full mullet in the back for quite some time now. These days, the boy is obsessed with books and Mickey Mouse, so I put some Mickey cartoons on the tv and gave him a board book to look at and dove right in. Other than stealing the spray bottle from me and demanding his own comb, he did awesome, and I think I managed to give him a pretty straight cut. But he looks so different! Seriously, he doesn’t even look like my baby anymore, and I don’t know how but cutting his hair made him look taller. Long or short hair, he’s one handsome little man.

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Somehow we managed to fit it all in and get everything done, just in time for Miss C’s first day of 1st grade today. I can’t even believe she’s this old already, and it amazed me how mature she looked standing there on the front step impatiently waiting for me to get the obligatory first day of school photos. Impatient or not, she couldn’t hold the serious face long, especially after I pointed out how Electra was creeping on her in the background.

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And now H-man and I are waiting for her to get home so we can hear all about the first day. And then I’ll have one more day home tomorrow before I head back to the office life and start my new position at the University of Nebraska. I can’t wait! Just when I don’t think it’s even possible, life always finds a way to getting more interesting. But with Stevie, Cadence, Henry, and Electra along for the ride, I’m ready for any new adventure that comes my way.

Elf on the Shelf 2015 – Day 7

Anyone who knows Stevie and I knows that we’re a bit…uh…let’s say eclectic. We’re obsessed with movies that most people haven’t even heard of (Southland Tales). We wore lampshades on our heads when we were introduced as bride and groom at our wedding reception (we wanted to match the lampshade wearing couple that adorned the front of our wedding invitations). Our dinner plates have aliens and hitchhiking angels on them. And we once sent out Christmas cards with a family photo featuring Electra trying to jump over my head to chase a rabbit, Cadence looking horrified, and Stevie flashing his classic, open mouth goofball grin straight at the camera.

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Yeah, we’re a little strange, and we embrace it.

Last winter, when we put our old house up for sale here in Lincoln, we almost had a chance to appear on an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters. We interviewed over the phone with one of the producers of the show. I always knew Stevie and I were a little different, but it wasn’t until we were asked to describe our “style” that I realized just how unique our tastes really are.

“So, is it like more Crate & Barrel, or Pottery Barn?” she asked.

“Uhhhh….” I stuttered.

“Well…” Stevie said.

Neither of us could quite figure out how to tell this woman that our “style” wasn’t really something that could be summed up quite that simply. We’ve got books (everything from our childhood favorites to vintage collections to our old college textbooks) stacked in crates in just about every room in our house. Our walls are decorated with family photos, movie posters, and a life-size canvas of our buddy Foerth giving his speech at our wedding. And as far as knick knacks go, we’ve got Stevie’s Star Wars and X-Files toys, an antique lantern, and an urn with the ashes of my old Shih Tzu, Angel (aka Stinky), who lived to the ripe old age of 13 and who now sits in her final resting place on the mantle of our fireplace.

We ended up buying our new home so quickly that we never even had a chance to submit an application or audition tape, but I imagine had we been able to appear on the show, we might have been one of those couples that the audience is torn between falling in love with and wondering if we are even real.

I assure you folks, we’re very real. And we think our home and our family and all are quirks are pretty awesome, right down to our animated, Christmas-light parrot Pedro.

See, Pedro was a wedding gift from our friends Jenny and Leland. Story goes, Pedro was actually given to them as a gift by a couple who’d received him as a gift from a couple who’d received him as a gift, and on back a few more giftings. Apparently, Pedro was quite the prank for awhile, right up until the moment where Stevie and I unwrapped him, plugged him in, and simultaneously decided that he was, quite possibly, the most fabulous thing we had ever seen. We promptly named him Pedro and from that moment on, he’d found his forever home.

That was almost nine years ago, and we don’t plan on getting rid of our little friend anytime soon.

He’s been down in the basement since we moved in February because we just haven’t had a chance to find a good place for him yet. Apparently Cosette and Leo didn’t think the accommodations in the basement were quite good enough for dear old Pedro, so they hauled him upstairs while we slept, and hung him near the Christmas tree where he could be admired in all his glory. And that’s where Cadence found the three of them this morning when she woke.

“Oh Cosette!” she sighed when she saw them. “What did you do now you silly elf!?”

Silly elves indeed. Cosette and Leo definitely fit in well in the Romano house.

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Project Life 365 – Day 19 – Style

According to most people, I probably don’t have a lot of “style”. I don’t follow the latest fashion trends. I don’t spend money on the most popular designer fashions. But I gotta say, I like my style, because it is unmistakably me.

I’m a blue jeans and t-shirt, flowered Dr. Martens, coffee-drinking, Pentax-shooting, cheap aviator sunglass wearing kind of girl. I like to roll down the car windows and sing along loudly (and probably badly) to the radio. I like to strike up conversations with strangers in the grocery store. I smile easily, laugh often, and let most of life’s little annoyances just roll off my back. I believe in miracles. I like to walk in the rain. I see things that a lot of other people don’t (or don’t want to) see. I love deeply, dream often, and hope that when I leave this world, I’ve done something to leave it a better place.

So, maybe my style isn’t exactly what some other people think it should be, but it’s mine, and I’ll proudly own it.

Now, tell me, what’s your style?

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365 Project – Day 191 – A Unique Sense of Style

Every day, I am amazed by my daughter. Somehow, as she sleeps in her crib at night, she gets a little older, a little smarter, a little wiser, a little funnier, and a little more aware of the world around her. She wakes fresh every morning, ready to take on the world, ready to make new discoveries, ready for anything that comes her way. If only more adults could approach life with this kind of vigor.

I think what I love the most about being a Work-At -Home-Mom is that I get the chance to see the subtle changes that happen to my daughter’s personality on a daily basis. I get to watch her slowly transform from a chubby faced baby into a curious and expressive toddler. I get to sit front row center, watching her unique soul unfold before me like an expertly choreographed musical production, complete with plenty of drama, humor, action, dance numbers and costume changes.

Today, for instance, Cadence seemed to display some of the first inklings of what may very well turn into a unique sense of style. From the beginning, she has never been much of a dress-wearing  girl. While some people may blame me (seeing as I am not much of a dress-wearing girl myself), I am quick to point out that it is not for my lack of trying. Cadence simply has a low tolerance for dresses. She might indulge me for a few hours, running around and looking pretty, but then it’s a race against time to get her out of the dress and into some play clothes before she has a chance to totally destroy it. She seems most comfortable in t-shirts and and shorts (even in the winter), and also seems to have an aversion to wearing socks and shoes (though we can usually con her into keeping them on in the car if we tell her she’s going to play with the kids in the childcare at the YMCA).

This afternoon, however, it seems Cadence found the first pair of shoes that she actually likes. She asked her Daddy to put them on her, and then spent over an hour trotting around the house in them, showing off her dance moves in them, trying to show them to the neighbor dog Thunder through the glass patio door, climbing in them, and even lying down on the floor to see what it would feel like to sleep in them. Nevermind that Daddy accidentally put them on the wrong feet…

Now, tomorrow, Cadence might very well forget all about her new favorite shoes. Sometimes her obsessions are very shortlived. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if they suddenly become the only shoes she wants to wear. After all, an obsession with wearing stylish boots every day just might be genetic, and we all know that Cadence’s Momma has been sporting these bad boys since 1999…

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to my daughter, and her developing sense of style. I wonder where it will lead her next.