Off to a busy start

It’s only Tuesday and it seems like we’ve had enough activity that it should be Thursday.

Sierra’s volleyball season is off to a great start. We’ve already had the parent meeting and we’re looking forward to her first game.

They’ve already both been working on projects. Sienna tried to do her poster all by herself. I was glad she was attempting it without any help, but when I saw the final product, I couldn’t let her bring it to school. It wasn’t her best work, for sure.

So, she and I talked about how she could have done it differently and decided we would work on it together.

Sienna had her first Hip Hop class. She was a bit nervous since she had never gone to this dance school before. We walked in and only the staff members talked to us. I was pretty frustrated with the moms there. They acted like they didn’t even see us. Of course we don’t want people to stare, but why couldn’t they have said hi and tried t make us feel welcome?

Luckily I quickly discovered that those moms were waiting for their daughters in the earlier class. Yay. As Sienna’s class filtered in, one little girl said, “Hi, Sienna!” that was like music to my ears. It turns out that little girl eats lunch with Sierra, so she knew who Sienna was and treated her like any other kid.

I watched Sienna through the classroom window as she danced. She was having a good time. I had a nice visit with that one girl’s mom. Very good. 🙂

When class was over, Sienna said she had a blast and that she couldn’t wait to go back. She said the girls were nice to her and treated her like normal. Awesome!

Next up…choir meeting, volleyball practice, tutoring and football…School is definitely back in session. 🙂


First Day of Jr High

Outfits were laid out, backpacks were packed and alarms were set.  The girls were ready for school. 

After a restless night for me, I woke up and went upstairs to wake the girls.  Sierra was already up…shaving.  Well, that’s a new one for me.  Sienna popped up out of bed.  “I couldn’t sleep.  Bzzzzzzz. Annoying.”  LOL

They went downstairs to eat breakfast.  Sierra quickly ate hers, as usual.  Sienna took her time, as usual.  She ate all her food, though.  That was good.

She quickly went upstairs, put on her clothes, brushed her hair, brushed her teeth and came down for me to help her with her makeup. 

Sierra got herself totally ready.

Picture time. 🙂 

Then it was off to school…

Several hours later, their first day of school was complete.

We sat down to talk about the day.  Sierra felt good about her volleyball tryouts.  Sienna said it went pretty well.  She’s confident she will love her dance class.

Me: “Did you end up having History together like you thought you might?”
Sierra: “No, I was disappointed. I kept thinking, ‘When’s my sissy coming?'”

“Very cute,” I thought.

Me: “Were the kids nice to you, Sinny.”
Sienna: “Uh huh.”
Sierra: “No.  Tell her about the one girl.”
Sienna: “One girl called me a loser and did this [making the L on the forward gesture for Loser].”
Me: (obviously upset) “What did you do.”

She sat silent.  She apparently didn’t know what to do.

We all had our different thoughts on how Sienna could have handled it.  Dad thought she should tell her to stop “hatin'”.  Austin (the 16 year old) said she should tell her to kiss her little butt. (Obviously not the answer I agree with.)  Sierra said, “You should have said, ‘Oh, L for love.  You love me.  Everyone does.” LOL  We all liked that answer. 🙂

We’ll see how tomorrow goes.  As I type, they’re already ready for tomorrow.  Outfits are laid out and backpacks are ready to go.  ZZZZZZZZZZZZ 🙂

Schedule Pick Up

Today was a big day. Schedule pick up day!

The girls got dressed and wanted to wear their new tennis shoes.

We gathered their paperwork and shot records. (yes, Sierra passed out after her shots)

We sat down at one of the tables in the back to make sure I had signed everything. Right away a staff member walked up and said, “You must be Sierra and Sienna.”. Not sure how she knew. We had never met her before, but they’ve clearly discussed the girls. That seemed like a good sign.

We walked straight to the line for “B” last names. I was very impressed at how quickly we made it through the line. We were handed their schedules. Sierra was pleased with hers–except it looks like she and Sienna have the same History class. They’ve yet to be in a class together, so we’ll see how that goes. Then we headed for the Athletic line. We registered Sierra for Athletics and paid her Athletic fee. (Volleyball tryouts are Monday!)

Then we headed to the PE line to get Sienna’s PE clothes….yea….those weren’t going to work. They told me I could get her some matching clothes on my own since they didn’t have anything that would fit her. I went ahead and got the t-shirt anyway, because I didn’t want her to be the only kid without a school PE shirt. I’ll just have to do some modifications to it.

The Special teacher was there so we got to meet her. She went through Sienna’s schedule with me. Uh oh. Looks like Sienna was not mainstreamed as much as I thought she was going to be. Also, she wasn’t scheduled for theatre or choir–the two things she specifically wanted. They had her in Special Art.

It was off to meet with the counselor. She was very nice. She said she remembered seeing those requests on Sienna’s paper, but had to go with what was written on the ARD (annual review) instructions. We walked together to the Head of the Special department. She said we can certainly include Sienna in more “regular” classes. She suggested including choir like Sienna wanted and she even suggested Dance rather than Adapted PE. I was very pleased with those suggestions.

Wow. That seemed pretty easy…not what I expected. 🙂

Next on the list: Locating lockers and classrooms.

We were hoping Sienna wouldn’t be assigned a top locker. We walked to the very end of the hallway where their lockers were. Sierra had a top locker and Sienna’s was right below it. Yes! We practiced unlocking them. When Sienna opened hers she said, “Man, I could fit in this!” So, she did. She turned around and sat in her locker. She wouldn’t let me close the door though. Hee hee

We found the classrooms pretty easily. As we were walking around, I noticed Sienna was getting overlooked pretty easily. I said, “Sinny, you just might have to walk around with your arms up so people can see you. Haha”

We said “hi” to a few of their friends and headed out the door. School starts shortly. We’ll see how this goes…. 🙂

Pagaent Results–part 2

We still had a little down time before we needed to get ready.  Sienna fluttered from one group of girls to the next.  She was the very definition of a social butterfly.  She even got a few videos of her own.  Looking back over the moments she captured on camera were quite entertaining.  The angle was pretty funny, too, since she’s so much shorter than everyone else.

Sierra had made a couple of really good friends, too.  So, she was engaged in conversation.

4:00–time to get ready for show time!

We went to the dressing room and began working on makeup.  Sierra was up first.  We finished her makeup in no time and curled her hair.  She was already in the black dress she needed to wear for the opening number.  It was a sparkly, off the shoulder dress with beads that moved with every step she took.  She loved it.  I have to admit; she looked great.

Sienna’s makeup is pretty easy.  She has such a small face, so it doesn’t take long to put it on. 🙂 The hard part is eyeliner.  She can’t close her eyes without squinting, so it’s too hard to make a smooth line.  She looked marvelous.  Her black dress was also sparkly.  It required some adjustments.  It was a size 6, but it was very big along the trunk.  We got it pinned up and she was ready to go.

The opening number seemed to go out with relatively little hitches.  Sierra was a bit sad because the mic had cut out a bit during the part she was supposed to sing.  She got over it, though.  As they say, “The show must go on.”

It was time to quickly go back to the dressing room and change into Fun Fashion Wear.  Sierra had chosen a purple and black stripped shirt with a layered look, a jean skirt and black leggings with some cute black flats.  She topped off the outfit with a sassy fidora.

Sienna’s outfit was sort of similar.  We almost didn’t get her shoes on in time, but thanks to some help from one of the pageant ambassadors, she was dressed and ready to rock it!  She wore her hair in a ponytail and had added a pink extension in her ponytail.  She wore a pink top with a sparkly crown, a jean skirt, black leggings with sparkles on the bottom and sparkly Sketchers.  Yes, lots of sparkle.   According to Sienna, “Sparkles are the new black.”

Sierra was up first.  She walked out on the stage a bit shy, but still confident.  She had practiced what poses she wanted to do at each stopping mark.  I think she worked it pretty well. 🙂

Sienna was up next.  She had practiced, as well, but Sienna’s pretty much a do-whatever-comes-to-my-head kinda girl.  She walked that catwalk with attitude.

Next we quickly had to switch into evening wear.   We touched up Sierra’s curls and took Sienna’s hair down.  The girls were quite confident walking in their heels.  They had been practicing.  They even went so far as to sweep the floors while wearing heels. LOL Yup, they’re totally my girls!

Sierra looked so grown up in her pink dress and gold, sparkly heels.  Sienna did, too.

The evening wear walk was to be a slower walk demonstrating poise and grace.  Sierra carried off her walk nicely.  She got down to the end of the catwalk.  It was time for her on-the-spot question.  She was asked to name who inspires her and why.  I was very touched by her answer (completely unrehearsed).  She said, “My mom and dad.  They always encourage me to do things and encourage me to follow my dreams.”  Wow.  Love it!

Sienna’s walk was a little less flowing, but enthusiastic for sure. 🙂  She was asked to name a special talent.  Since Sienna loves to dance, she said “dancing.”  He asked her if she had a particular song that she liked to dance to, but she said she didn’t have one.  She was very cute.

Finally, it was time to hear the judges results.

They first announced the pageant-wide awards.  Sierra won the Community Service Award!  She was shocked.  We don’t really take notice of community services we do.  We just do them.  So, she wasn’t expecting to get recognition.

Then it was time for the Miss Congeniality announcement….drum roll…..”Sienna Bernal!”  She was so surprised to hear her name.  She ran up on stage (as gracefully as possible) to have her sash draped across her.

She sauntered down the catwalk waving to the crowd and blowing kisses.  She was such a hoot!

Although they took 4th and 3rd runners up, they were pleased with how they did.  They had a blast and hope to do it again.  I was very proud of them.

Daddy brought them flowers.  It was a sweet ending to a fun day.


Pageant Results –part 1

We showed up to the welcome luau on Sat night. The girls were pretty nervous, but excited at the same time. Since Sierra had been in a pageant before, she new a little bit more about what the weekend would entail. Sienna was full of energy.

We sat down after checking in. I scanned the room. The other girls in their category looked so much more mature than Sierra and Sienna. I just hoped they would treat Sienna well.

Everyone stood up, introduced themselves and announced their title. Sierra was actually a bit shy. Sienna stood up and introduced herself without hesitation. In saw a few people skew their faces as if they were thinking, “How old is she?”

We played some icebreaker games. The girls were having a good time. Many of the contestants asked about the girls. They said things like, “How old are you?”, “Oh, you’re twins?” They were very polite with their questions and most of the girls were very gracious.

We received our instructions for the next day and headed home.

We packed our bags for the pageant. The girls already had all their outfits laid out. We had their interview outfit, fun fashion outfit and their evening wear. The girls were exhausted and immediately fell asleep to my surprise. I figured they would be too excited to sleep.

We woke up bright and early on Sun morning, got ready, loaded the stuff in the car and headed off.

First on the agenda for the morning: rehearsal for the opening act. Then it was time to run through their walks for each outfit. I could tell that Sierra was taking a little time warming up, but Sienna was owning the stage and was loving every minute of it.

They dismissed us for lunch and it was time to change into the interview outfits. Sienna wore one of her favorite pink dresses and Sierra wore her favorite purple dress.

We ran through their interview monologues a few more times. Sierra had hers memorized quite well, but was nervous as she was #1. Sienna was #2.

Sierra went into the interview room where she had 1 minute all to herself with the judges. She came out about 20 seconds later. Eeks. She said it went well and that she remembered her speech, but that she went too fast and that they didn’t ask her any questions.

Sienna took a deep breathe and went in the room. She came out about 40 seconds later. She said she had to start over on her speech, but that she did well after that.

That was it for the time being. We had two hours until the pageant started, so we went to eat and rest before it was go-time. 🙂

——Come back soon to read about the actual pageant. 🙂


While Sierra has done local pageants in the past, Sienna hasn’t. She has always wanted to.

It’s been difficult trying to decide what to do about it. On one hand, I was afraid that I would set Sienna up for “failure”. I could be wrong, but I couldn’t recall a little person winning a “regular” pageant. While on the other hand, Sienna has more confidents, more joy and more enthusiasm than arguably most other people.

When someone approached us about a local pageant. I was faced with actually making a decision. After looking at the history of this pageant and establishing the dress requirements (strictly age appropriate), I reminded myself that I’m always telling her to shoot for the moon. So, I decided to let them go for it!

We spent this last weekend hunting for dresses. Finding an age appropriate fancy dress for an almost 13-year-old in a size children’s 6 is a little trickier than I thought–well, without breaking the bank. I think we went to literally 15 stores. We finally found something that we could dress up enough with jewelry to make it work.

She came out of the dressing room with a huge, sassy smile on her face. She was very pleased. It had a slim cut and a sassy dress bottom that had the “swoosh factor”. (the ability to swoosh when you twist back and forth.)

Sierra’s was easy to find. The first place we looked brought us success. We even found it on sale! Now that prom is over, all the Jr’s dresses are on sale.

Now it was on to shoes. This has always been a challenge for Sienna. Trying to find “big girl” shoes is not that easy–again, I clarify that it’s not that easy to find them at a descent price point.

As we’re walking in the mall, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a kiosk with sparkle shoes that were designed just like “big girl” shoes. We chose a black pair of high heels–yes, I said high heels! They have rhinestones on them, too. Although, I felt these shoes were completely inappropriate for “regular” children wearing this size shoe, I was quite grateful for them.

We found Sierra’s shoes pretty easily and even found these on sale, as well. I was feeling like this was one heck of a successful shopping trip!

The girls have been walking around the house in their heels trying to break them in. They even swept in them. Haha

So, we’ve been practicing interview questions and walking and having fun preparing for it.

We’ll see how it goes. Yes, the girls are essentially competing against each other and we’ve talked about it. They are just looking forward to doing it together and having fun.

Pictures and results to come! 🙂