Grown Up Little Girls

So, I caught the first half of ABC’s The Revolution a week or so ago.  They were discussing how much reality show is affecting tweens and teens lately.

I know that society’s views of modest dress have evolved throughout the years, but what they’re seeing that’s a bit different than before is that the more adult dressing style is being donned by younger and younger girls.

Girls are showing more skin than ever which is especially concerning considering girls are developing earlier than ever before.  They feel like women, they’re starting to look like women, so they want to dress like women.

As we walk down the halls of the mall, I see young girls around 8-years-old dressing like 16-year-olds.  It’s not hard to see why.  The stores are full of grown-up like options.  One clothing store was recently controversial because of the push-up bras for tweens.  I’m not really sure what the store was thinking with that choice.

How are we to guide our young girls to dress appropriately?  How are we to teach them about how their dress affects how they’re perceived?

For me personally, though, I’m actually a bit glad that some of these options are available for us.

As a 13-year-old Primordial Dwarf, Sienna isn’t the same size as other 13-year-olds.  She is tired of having to wear clothes styled for a 7-year-old.  Sometimes she even has to wear clothes that are size 2T in the instance of skirts and athletic shorts.

So, for us, more grown up clothing for younger girls is a plus.  We’ve even been able to find high heels for her!  As Sienna gets older and it is age-appropriate for her to wear these more mature styles, I’m going to be glad they’re available so we don’t have to have custom-made clothes.

Do you have a young daughter who wants to dress older?  How do you handle it?


March of Dimes

From Sienna’s mom:  I know a thing or two about premature babies. Having twins early and being told that one of them had a 10% chance of living, I know how valuable the NICU is and how necessary it is to continue discovering ways to help mothers carry their babies to term.

I’ve joined up with some other amazing ladies to form a team to walk at the March of Dimes fundraising walk.

You can help us in our efforts by either joining our team if you’re local or donating towards our team goal.

Click here to view our team page.

Thank you in advance!

Winter Dance

The girls have their Winter Dance tonight at school.  It’s not a dance where you ask a date, rather you go and just have a good time with everyone.

Sienna came home from school very excited about the dance.  She wanted to wear a very pretty dress.  Although, I had been told that it was a casual dance and that most children wouldn’t be dressing up.  So, we made our way through her closet and picked out a cute sweater dress with leggings and her sparkle shoes.  It was a nice compromise.

She was a little bummed about not having a “date” to the dance, but she was excited that her friends were going.

Sierra decided she didn’t want to go.  She was tired and just wanted a break. (This was the first week of track practice, so she was a little worn out.)

I asked Sienna if she still wanted to go since she usually wants Sierra there with her.  Surprisingly, she still wanted to go.

Sierra wanted to help Sienna get ready, though.  Sierra did Sienna’s makeup and curled her hair.

After about 20 minutes, we were on our way to the dance.  Sienna excitedly ran to the door and confidently went right in.

I was nervous.  Was she going to get made fun of?  Was she going to act too childish and not being able to “hang” with the other teens?

Two hours later, it was time to pick her up.  As I was pulling up towards the doors, I was a few cars back in the “pick up” line and could see her.  She was over towards the corner talking with a very tall young man and a sweet-looking young lady.  They seemed to be having a nice time.

She hoped in the car with a huge smile.  She said she had a great time.  I chuckled, though, as she said it was gross when the couples were dancing.

I asked her if she danced a lot.  She said she danced most of the time and got to do some of her favorite dances like The Wobble.  I must admit, she does The Wobble really well, so I’m sure she certainly entertained.

I was thrilled that she had a good time.  I’m sure Sierra will get the details from the dance when she goes back to school on Monday.  Sierra always gets the scoop. 🙂

Black Thursday/Friday?

Originally posted on

In years past, it has been a fun family tradition.

After a lovely Thanksgiving afternoon, my mom, sister and I would have our list ready, store ads in hand and alarm clocks set for 2:00 a.m.

Yup, Black Friday shopping fun!

We would arrive at the chosen first store for the day and drink our coffee and muffins. It was a lovely time to visit and giggle about how silly we were for having gotten up so early to shop. Then we would rationalize it by comparing our adventure to those of the hunters who wake early for their hunts.

So, this year, I was excited to see what might be featured in this year’s Black Friday sales…until I felt like several stores were crossing the line.

As you may have heard, a few stores like Wal-Mart, Target and Toys R Us will be opening on Thanksgiving Day for these “once-in-a-lifetime” sales.

Well, that just irritates me.

Christmas has already gotten so commercialized. Regardless of whether or not it’s a religious holiday for you and your family, it’s still supposed to be about family.

Thanksgiving isn’t always thought of as a religious holiday and is simply a time for everyone to express thanks and gratitude and to spend time with their families. For those who do believe in a higher power, they use that time to give thanks to their higher power, as well. Regardless, it’s a time to reflect and give thanks.

So, I’m frustrated that stores want us to forgo our family time to go wait in line for bargains.

They’re taking advantage of the down economy and peoples’ desperation to still provide great gifts for their family.

They’re ignoring their employees’ need to give thanks and be with their families. Many of them already work on Sundays, which is for many people a day for rest, praise and family. Why must the stores take away this one day the nation has set aside for thanks?

This also hurts small businesses that would have to totally forgo Thanksgiving celebrations in order to prepare for and open earlier on Thanksgiving.

One store interviewed on a Good Morning America segment about the earlier sales hours said they simply had to open early in order to meet the demand. Um, I’m sorry, but why not stay open for longer hours that weekend starting on Friday? Maybe hold the sales over for Monday’s work day? Why must it cut into Thanksgiving?

My wish is that families would realize that getting that large screen TV at a rock bottom price isn’t really a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Realize that your kids will vaguely remember the presents you got them, but will vividly remember the memories you make with them, the traditions you established with them and the joy you shared.

I urge you to help spread the encouragement. Let’s take back our family traditions. Take back our memories. Take back the holidays.

Black Friday won’t be the last sale ever held, but we should celebrate each holiday with our families as if it’s going to be the last one we spend with them.

What are your thoughts on the extra Black Friday hours? Will you be shopping during those extra hours?

Update on Choir

It has been a two week battle. I’m amazed that it took only one day to remove Sienna from choir, but over two weeks to put her back in choir. Sienna missed their Fall Choral performance. She said it made her feel very sad and that she “had worked very hard to remember those songs.”. She said it made her feel like “they [the school] were leaving me and [the other student] out.”

Talk about heart breaking.

It was clear they really didn’t want her choir.

I didn’t receive the phone call from the Assistant Principal as promised. We left a message expressing the necessity of an immediate phone call. She returned our call after that. I wasn’t pleased with the conversation, though.

She and the Special Ed Director called me on speaker phone. I started off by immediately saying I wanted Sienna back in choir. She said “We can discuss that possibility.” I said “No, I want her back in choir.” She said the same response.

She said the choir teacher’s concern with Sienna returning to choir was the “one-on-one attention Sienna required.” I asked what that meant. She said that during instruction Sienna would come up and want to talk about her cat and…(Sienna doesn’t have a cat.) I said if behavior was the case, why wasn’t I notified. It could have been brought to my attention via email, phone call, progress report, report card…(Sienna had a 97 in choir last six weeks.).

She said that it was just brought to her attention that morning. I said, “That’s fine, but why wasn’t I notified until now?” She didn’t have an answer for me. That was starting to become a norm.

I asked if that was why she was removed. They said ‘no’ that she was removed so she and the other student would have an opportunity to experience the other electives. She tried to tell me that when her son was in school she would have loved for that to be an option. She even told me that she would be learning life skills while helping in the library. She was really to sell me on the idea. Hmmm. Why would she try to sell me on it? If there was nothing sneaky or deceptive going on, why not just put Sienna back in choir?

I asked again if this rotation was something available to very student. She reluctantly said ‘no’. Seemed to me like they were singling out the Special Ed kids. She said she would look me in the eye and assure me that wasn’t the case. I seriously doubted that. She knew they were in hot water.

“Who initiated the change?” I asked. After a pause, she said “We decided collectively.” I said “decided collectively…without me.” (She said it was a collective decision, yet no one seemed to be able to talk to me about it and the counselor/scheduler had no idea what I was talking about.) Again…seems pretty fishy.

I told them I wasn’t happy with their answers and that something seemed off to me. She asked if I wanted a conference with the three of them. I said yes.

I knew (and I’m sure they knew) they were in violation of federal law by changing her schedule without my knowledge.

The next conversation with them was filled with more spinning and more lies. This time, she said the other students’ parents were notified, but we just slipped through the cracks.

That was a lie and we let her know we knew she was lying. She must have forgotten that she had already told me it was only Sienna and one other student. She also didn’t know that we had already spoken to the other child’s mother and knew she hadn’t been informed.

Lies. Lies. Lies.

She also lied about it being a collective decision. We asked the Assistant Principal to provide us with all meeting minutes, notes and documentation leading up to the schedule change. Funny–there were no papers. She told us Sienna would be immediately put back in choir.

Not surprisingly, Sienna came home from school and informed me that she was in PE that day (as her elective–despite already taking Dance as her PE credit). It was clear that they were just shuffling her around and didn’t have a real plan.

I’m convinced they were up to no good by switching Sienna out of choir. Unfortunately it took us threatening legal action in order to get Sienna put back in choir.

She finally was put back in choir. I asked Sienna how her first day back in choir was. She said they kids said, “Sienna! We missed you!”. I asked her what the teacher said. Her response: “Oh. Hi.”

We’ve had multiple issues with this school district. However, after dealing with this, it makes me wonder what else are they doing. What has gone unnoticed? Has anything been done to students who don’t have a voice?

My husband and I are pensive right now. We feel as though we have a moral obligation to figure out if anything else has happened and to stick up for those who can’t speak for themselves.

Needless to say, we are very disappointed in the school district. By the way, the other student hasn’t been put back in choir.

I have a feeling this isn’t over.

Here We Go Again…

Sienna has been enjoying choir this semester and has been looking forward to their performances and field trips. She has even happily attended the before-school rehearsals. It seems as though the other students in class enjoy her being in there, also.

When I received an e-mail from the teacher reminding parents that their students were sent home with their recital outfits, I was excited. I knew we were going to have to get it altered quite a bit, but had a feeling she was going to look super cute in the dress.

Upon her arrival from school that day, I asked her if she got her dress. She said she didn’t. I assumed maybe they had to order something different or there was something special I needed to do. I didn’t think too much of it. I figured I would just contact the teacher and get the outfit. No big deal, right?

The next morning, as she was getting ready for school, I reminded her that she needed to be at school early for rehearsal. She said, “No, I’m not in choir anymore. I’m in Art now.” “You are?” I responded.

She said she didn’t know why she was in Art, but that she and another special ed student were not going to be in choir anymore.

I emailed the choir teacher inquiring about Sienna’s comment. The teacher responded that it was her understanding that Sienna and the other student were going to be rotating among the electives.

Hmmm. That’s news to me.

I asked her who I needed to talk to about the scheduling. I didn’t receive a response.

I called the counselor/scheduler. It was news to her and she had no idea what I was talking about.

She transferred me to one of the Special Ed teachers. I had to leave a message. I was able to speak with her in person after school. She said she didn’t know why and that I would need to talk to the person who heads up the Special Ed department.

I requested a call from her. (I got an email from her this morning simply saying that I would be receiving a call from someone else regarding the change.)

Not long after my request, I received a phone call from the 7th grade Assistant Principal. She said she didn’t know I was not informed and said, “On behalf of the school, I apologize.” She said they are trying to give her a taste of the different electives to “see what she likes.” To which I responded,”I already know she likes choir.”

She tried to explain to me that it would give her an opportunity to see what the other classes were like. I discussed my concerns about singling her out, not allowing an opportunity for bonding with the students in her class, field trips…She said that she would be rotating 2 weeks at a time despite “every other day” like she insinuated I was implying.

This seems like an interesting idea…if it were a regular curriculum option that each student could do. However, I really thought it was weird when she told me one of the “electives” she would be trying out (remember this is supposedly to see what she likes) was learning how to re-shelf books in the library. Hmmmm. I’m pretty sure she’s not going to think that’s fun. Seems like they just want help in the library.

I asked if this was a regular program or if it was just something the Special Ed kids were doing. Silence. I don’t think her silence was a good thing. She carefully chose her words by replying that “the children involved in the core program” were participating. Interesting. What’s this Core Program? Why haven’t I heard of it?

I could be over reacting, but I do find it strange that I wasn’t consulted prior to this and that the teachers still aren’t/can’t talk to me about it. I’ve talked to them about everything else. Why is this different?

Regardless, why would you think it’s a good idea to take a special needs child from a class where they’re thriving and behaving well and bounce them from class to class?

I do know there are a few other factors that have recently happened and that are about to happen, that really raise some red flags for me.

I’ll keep you posted. I’m waiting on my phone call…

Karaoke Night

Last Friday, Sienna had Karaoke Night for her choir. I was curious to see her interact with her new Jr High peers, so I went along.

For a while, she clung to one of the other students who was also in special classes with her. After about an hour, she warmed up a bit and started doing the line dances with the rest of the students. It was very cute. I couldn’t really see her among the other kids, so I just watched for her feet. Hee hee

I gave her the camera and encouraged her to be a social butterfly and visit with her friends and take pictures. She took many pictures, but rushed right over to show me the picture she took with a “super cute” boy who gave her a hug. He even asked her to dance with him later on in the evening. 🙂

Each student had their opportunity to be the center of attention and sing their song of choice. It was obvious that some students already had a nice sized “fan base” because students would gather near the microphone to listen and dance along with the student as they sang. Some had larger gatherings than others, but it seemed as though each student enjoyed their time up front.

The most nerve wracking and exciting time was when Sienna’s name was called to do her song. She was out of breath from having just done a line dance, but she ran right up to the microphone and began to sing her song without hesitation.

Every single student there circled around her and listened intently to her singing. They didn’t even chatter to themselves. Some even had their phones out recording her. (Not so sure how I felt about that, but it seemed to come from awe rather than negative amusement.)

She got a huge round of applause and was quite proud of herself. Was she always on tune? Did she sing the song perfectly? No, but she was enthusiastic, very confident and had tons of fun. It was awesome. 🙂

Open House Exhaustion

The girls had their open house recently and boy was that exhausting.

I certainly didn’t think about the logistics of navigating both of the girls’ schedules solo since dad was out if commission with a broken foot. I should have worn more comfortable shoes. Sheesh!

Walking into the crowded cafeteria, I quickly realized this would be exhausting. We listened to the principal’s speech where she clarified some of the new rules and described how the night’s event would play out.

I walked over to the Schedule Table to get copies of the girls’ schedules. The volunteer handed me their schedules and several papers…and chuckled. I guess she knew what I was in for.

We had 10 minutes in each class, so I was going to spend a few minutes in one kid’s class then scamper to the other kid’s class. Easy, right? Lol

The bell rang…time for First period. As I walked into the class, I warned the teacher that I would be leaving early to make it to another class. I quickly jotted down information I needed and moved on the the next class. At the end of that class, I introduced myself to the teacher, explained why I was late in entering her class and moved on to the next one.

Each period proceeded in the same manner. I flip flopped between which girl’s class I would visit first depending on its location. Sounds pretty simple, right? Yea…

It turns out that their classes are on almost polar opposite sides of the school at any given time. When the evening was over, I was certainly hungry, grateful I had skipped my workout that day and had blisters on my feet. I wouldn’t have missed it, though, and would do it again if needed. 🙂

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. 🙂