Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Best 2 Body Beauty Products (Under $10)!!!

The Headlines:

I'm not a beauty blogger.

But I do know a good product when I find one.

These are the best (if you want to spend less than $10)!




With the biggest Summer holiday right around the corner it's time to do some last minute tweaks to that bod of yours!  Whether it's shorts, a bathing suit or that rockin' dress you'll be sportin' this weekend - you gotta get it right!

Sure, you've been watching your weight, exercising some... don't get me wrong... you're looking good but sometimes you just need a little extra help to get into that AMAZING stratosphere!   These 2 products do that for me:


I've been using them for years and they absolutely work for those spots where we all need some help!

Here's what I'm talking about... I stopped "sunbathing" years ago and I must say I miss it a tad.  But we all know it's SO NOT GOOD FOR YOU - in large doses.  The problem: man a little tan looks good!  I used to totally sport those self tanners which made me smell weird, got all over my sheets and reminded me of a zebra (they always looked streaky).   Fortunately I was able to retire them when I found this:
Jergens Natural Glow Firming Moisturizer, Fair to Medium Skin Tones 7.5 Ounces



It's different because it's basically just a tinted moisturizer so the "tan" builds seemingly, naturally.  Plus, there's no weird smell, it never streaks, doesn't get on any clothes, sheets OR cars!  I was in heaven.  They also have some that add in sunscreen or "firming" power!   You can buy it by through Amazon by clicking: Jergens Natural Glow Firming Moisturizer, Fair to Medium Skin Tones 7.5 Ounces

or just go to Target.

Then I found its little sister:
Jergens Glow Face Daily Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 20, Fair to Med, 2 Ounce


and I once again breathed a sigh of relief.  It just warmed me up from the outside/in!  Because let's FACE it (ha!) most of us can use a little tan to A) help hide those trouble spots B) look thinner and C) get our glow on!  You can also buy this through Amazon by clicking: Jergens Glow Face Daily Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 20, Fair to Med, 2 Ounce

I haven't used anything else since... I can NOT put them down.  Every morning, I lather up with both.  Sure, I use other, more expensive moisturizers, eye creams and so on but I always finish it off with a layer of this stuff!  LOVE.

But at night I use something different.  See, it was also around this time that I found a little thing that complimented the Jergens glow products well: NIVEA Skin Firming & Toning Gel Cream, 6.7 Ounce

 
Before I head to bed I layer this stuff on around my rump, belly and legs.  It acts as kind of an invisible "Spanx" because (sidenote - I really can't stand the feel of Spanx) I'm super NOT into wearing panty hose around my rear - EVER!

It's made with natural lotus extract, the coenzyme Q10 and L-Carnitine.  You'll see results in a week or two.  It's good stuff.  Really.  The bumps, not that I have any of course, disappear!  Buy it on Amazon here:
NIVEA Skin Firming & Toning Gel Cream, 6.7 Ounce

In the end, us Moms are busy.  We don't have a lot of extra time or money to spend... but we also shouldn't completely neglect ourselves or our looks either.  These 2 (or 3) products work well, they're inexpensive (under $10) and help us out where need it the most.

Enjoy!


Again, you can buy here through Amazon (Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.  That just means if you do buy something, I'll get a super duper small portion of sales at no extra cost to you):
NIVEA Skin Firming & Toning Gel Cream, 6.7 Ounce
Jergens Natural Glow Firming Moisturizer, Fair to Medium Skin Tones 7.5 Ounces
Jergens Glow Face Daily Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 20, Fair to Med, 2 Ounce

or... find them at most drug/super stores!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

5 Reasons Why You Must Leave Your Kids (at least once a year)!

The Headlines:


Every once in  awhile, parents have get away from children for a weekend.

You'll be happier.

And, in the long run, so will they.




Years ago, when I was still working a full time job at a TV News station in Phoenix, Arizona, a woman I worked with asked me why I felt the need to "leave my child" so much?  I was stunned and paralyzed really.  My daughter meant the world to me.  I didn't LEAVE her... I did, however, take time outs.  BP (the husband) and I would go on a jaunt here and there.  We also went to dinner occasionally.  I got a massage or a pedicure sometimes.

By the way, that woman didn't have kids.

Because if she did... she wouldn't have asked:




Since "retiring" from the news business and not having access to regular "help"... escaping for those jaunts have been much harder to do.  While we can easily arrange a sitter for a night... a weekend away is few and far between.  But no less necessary.

A couple months ago, I insisted BP and I take a weekend.  It had been a year - it was time.  Does it seem selfish?  Maybe.  But every once in a while that's okay.

Here are 5 reasons WHY:

1 - Mom Needs a Break
I love my children.  Like adore.  They're my world.  I live to make them better people.  But we Moms must never play martyrs.  If we do, at some point, resentment will set in friends.  We'll look at our 55 year old selves and wonder... where did I go?  Who am I now?  Do I like anything?  Take moments, or an entire weekend, to find out what else you love besides those special little bundles.  It will be worth it.  For everyone.

2 - Parents Need Time to Connect
That guy who married you has to remember why.  Of course, you're a great Mom... but remind him who else you are... or used to be.  Explore things you haven't done in a while.  Read a book together.  Go somewhere you haven't been in 10 years.  Go somewhere new.  But above all, talk.  There's no good marriage, love or family without fabulous and flowing communication.  We get side-tracked, A LOT, with kids.  This weekend is carved out specifically for you two to RE-connect - so make sure you do that in all the ways you should.

3 - Strong Couples Produce Strong Children 
When that woman asked me why I "wasn't that 'into' my child?" all those years ago... I was so taken back - I really think I said almost nothing.  But the next time I returned to work I was prepared.  What I told her was simple: I am helping my daughter by helping my marriage.  Because the stronger you are together, the better your children will be individually.  A solid home produces confident people who can then go out in the world and be contributors, leaders, survivors.  If it takes my husband and I leaving our children one weekend a year to feed and forward that... it must be done.

4 - Modeling Love Matters
Love grows here.  Have you ever seen those signs?  It's actually true.  A good marriage will show your children love matters.  It will help a young girl understand how she is to be treated by a man and it will make a little boy see how he is to treat a woman.   They'll be learning without even knowing it.  Bottom line, if your marriage is healthy - there's a better chance their marriage (decades from now) will be too.

5 - Kids Need a Break!
Might be nice for the kids to be reminded how much Mom and Dad does for them.  Whomever they're with while you're gone will NOT do things exactly how you do them and, undoubtedly, they'll miss that.  They just may or may not tell you when you get home.  But inside, they'll surely appreciate you a little more than when you left.  Almost like a re-set button.  And the hugs when you return are BIG!  Enjoy it.  Certainly makes coming home just as good as leaving.  Until next weekend hits.  By then they'll be calling you from across the house asking for _____ (fill in the blank) a drink, a snack, to wipe their behind, find their shoes, etc.


Yep, the weekend BP and I went on was heavenly.  We traveled a whole 15 minutes to a local resort, The Camelback Inn and stayed 2 nights.

I got my toes done...


had a fabulous dinner, at BLT, one night.  The place is MAJOR YUM by the way.


Also, had some wine... that wine is major yum by the way.


I'd like to say we went on a hike but it was too hot.  Reached 115 everyday I think.  But we both got facials at the spa.


We also went to The Jade Bar - at the Sanctuary - in Paradise Valley... for drinks and apps.  Must tell you this drink, the Barbados Bar Tab, is to die for, really.  The cocktail waitress (can I call her that still) said they can't take it off their menu because people always call for it! 


Fresh and so complicated-ly yummy - it was ALSO major yum!  Yea, so says this picky chick.  I was so full by the end of the weekend!



I know what you're thinking:  that sounds amazing but where am I going to get the $$$ to do that?

Here are some ideas:  
- Go anywhere.  It doesn't have to be a swanky resort.  You can go camping with your honey and re-connect.  It's not about WHAT you're doing as much as WHO (your husband) and WHERE (not at home) you're doing it...
- Swap a sitter.  I was lucky enough to have a (very nice) friend watch my kids because a weekend sitter can get PRICEY!  We're talking hundreds of dollars, right?  So ask some relatives, arrange for some sleepovers for your children or trade a friend (I can do this weekend for you if you do another weekend for me)!


I've said it before, kids will suck the life out of you if you let them.  So don't.  Take care of the base who made your family in the first place.  Without you two, there really is nothing.  It will be worth all the trouble it takes for you to plan it and maybe even pay for it.  Do nOt feel guilty.  Leaving will be good for all of you.  Especially if it's just once a year.  Because we all love our kids but lest we forget we must love ourselves (and our husbands) here and there too!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thank You Husband - for being their DAD!

The Headlines:

Every time I see my kids do something cute.

My insides fill with warmth.

Kinda like getting a gift everyday.





I wish I could have a video camera in my eyes.  You know what I mean?  So I could remember all the cute, funny, good things about my 2 children.  But instead I remember nothing.  Does that happen to you?  I think to myself, I'm going to remember that one for sure... 1 day later, it's gone.  I tried to write everything down once.  I put a notepad in my car when my daughter was like 18 months.  I wrote some things on it but then life got in the way and the writing stopped.

Now, with the iPhone at our fingertips, of course I could capture the moments easier, right?  Ahhhhh wrong.  See, once they say or do it... it's forever lost.  But what I am always left with is the knowledge that without their Dad - those moments wouldn't be there at all.  Seriously, every time I see adorable - I think of him.  I didn't make them on my own.  They came from both of us.  So I say a quick little thank you to BP (their Dad - my husband), silently, from time to time.

Father's Day is one day, however, that I say it out loud.


And if you read this blog at all (the 10 of you)... you know I'm not afraid to do that.  Father's Day has long been important to me because of my own Dad.  But now, within the last decade, the other Father in my life takes center stage from time to time.

This Father's Day, I will again attempt to make my husband feel special to us.  The way he makes us feel special everyday by just being there, providing, loving and supporting.

The other day my 4 year old son did something that really made me smile and, this time, I actually caught it on video:



(If you get this post emailed to you, you can't see it -  go to ONEPICKYCHICK.COM or click HERE to check it out on my blog!)

Anyways, unbeknownst to my son - it's supposed to go:



Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch a tiger by the toe.
If he hollers, let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.



But he'll learn the real words soon enough...

Until then, ironically, I'll continue to thank his Dad for giving ME the real gift this Father's Day and everyday in between.

You too, huh?  Happy Father's Day.









Thursday, June 11, 2015

What I learned during 1 year After a Brain Aneurysm.

The Headlines:


1 year ago my Dad almost died.


He had a brain aneurysm that almost killed him.

Instead, he's alive today.

And almost as good as new.







All really big life lessons start somewhere.  You never know where or when.  Sometimes they pop up in the most mundane way.  Other times their entry into your life can be rather extraordinary.  One of my "life lessons" began about this time last year.  It was almost Father's Day and in honor of it I wrote a post about "giving DAD the gift that costs nothing..." I encouraged people to write a letter to their Dad - for Father's Day.  If you missed it, you can read it HERE.

It was also at that time, that unbeknownst to me, a time bomb was ticking in my Father's head.  A brewing brain aneurysm that was slowly and silently growing inside.  You can read that story HERE .  I will say, it's a good read if you need a reminder of how easily life can be taken from you.

Looking back at the first post, I could hardly believe my own foreshadowing of the events to come.  I talked about how you need to take advantage of today - tell people how you feel now - just in case tomorrow never comes.  My Dad almost didn't live to see Father's Day.  But he got another chance.

Since then, I've learned a lot.  I know way more than the average person about brain aneurysm's of course... but I also took note of the life lessons that joined me on the journey too.  It started with a very simple question... What is a Brain Aneurysm?  They sound so scary but it's pretty simple to define:


Kind of like a balloon inside your head that pops.  But it my Dad's case... it didn't pop as much as it seeped.  On the Sunday, when the pain started, his head hurt when he coughed and the bulge was probably close to erupting.  By Tuesday when he started to be in non-stop pain, the aneurysm was most likely slowly leaking.  It continued like that for 4 whole days.  By Friday the pain was excruciating.  Again you can read the play-by-play HERE but the bottom line is doctors had more questions than answers when it came to my Dad.  They kind of weren't sure why he survived.

He was taken into surgery Friday afternoon and they say, his blood seemed to stay in one spot versus traveling the entire brain.  Because of that, as far as they could tell, he sustained no "long term neurological damage."  At that point, one year ago, they assumed he'd go back to everything he used to do prior to the aneurysm because they didn't see any reason he couldn't.

I was shocked, over-joyed, confused and hopeful all at the same time.  I heard the words directly from 3 doctors mouths because I flew out to see him for myself when he was in the ICU.   In essence, they were saying he was going to be as good as new.


But we had to wait 21 days.

For 21 days, we held our breath, watched him carefully and hoped those 3 weeks would pass without any instance.  For then, we were out of the immediate danger (recurrence) zone.  21 days came on the 4th of July last year.  Now, the holiday holds a new, special significance for my family.  The birth of our nation and potentially the re-birth of my father.  


But our next hurdle would take much longer.  When I saw the neurologist last July in California, he told me my Father was doing as good, if not better, than any other patient he'd had.  He was simply one of those people you don't see very often.  He lived.  See, depending on who you talk to... 95% or 9 out of 10 people with a brain aneurysm die.  Not only had my Dad lived... but they predicted he would survive and thrive.  Of the people who do live through a brain aneurysm... many of them have life altering issues.  Kind of like a store patient, they have speech problems to trouble walking, changes in personality, mood and skills.  The list goes on....

The neurologist also said he had one year.  One year to become the person he was meant to be.  One year to re-grow those brain cells that may have been a little damaged a long the way.  One year to become who he was capable of being of the rest of his life.  At that point, his growth would stop.  He would be who he was, one year later, forever.

He seemed to get off to a decent start but stumbled, literally and figuratively, shortly after.   In September, those that didn't know him but would casually talk to him thought he was great.  But by Thanksgiving, those who know him were all concerned.  He was exhausted, sometimes confused (not able to figure out the tip on a restaurant bill), he wasn't clear, it was like he was in a fog.  And he walked funny.  Like little shuffle steps.  He even scraped a car in a parking lot and wasn't aware that he did it until the policeman knocked on his door (sorry Dad)!  Honestly, it seemed as if he'd aged 15 years overnight.  I told him to challenge himself with crossword puzzles or Sudoku.  He did none of it.  He wasn't interested.  I was desperately trying to get my Dad back but my Dad wasn't really there.  After Christmas, I wrote the neurologist - I often encourage people to be your own medical advocate and I was absolutely going to do that for my Dad.  So I asked, "Help.  Per your own words, we're running out of time.  Can we do anything more because he's not okay...?"

It was at that time they thought he had Hydrocephalus or water on the brain.  Which is not at all what it actually is because it's cerebrospinal fluid, not water.  And it can happen after a trauma in the brain.  If not treated, it too can be deadly.  If it didn't soon go away they would need to put a shunt in his head to drain the fluid into his stomach.  It explained so much, his symptoms were right on.  But magically, when they went in to look for the so called "water" there seemed to be none.  The shunt procedure, was deemed, unnecessary.

I was worried but I took a leap of faith.  Since I wasn't in the state, I trusted my Mom and medical professionals he didn't need surgery.  I let go... while still holding on to hope that he would live to see better days.   

I saw my Dad in February of this year and I could not believe it.  For the first time, since the trauma... he was much like himself again.  NO more shuffle walking, not as much confusion, less forgetfulness, it was like he was back.  By Easter, it only got better.   We now talk on the phone like old times.  He reads this blog.  He's even upholstering and doing some household chores like he used to, the doctors we're right.  Just like they said, he has no life altering neurological damage.

Why did this happen to him?  Smoking is bad.  That's nothing new I learned this year  but he smoked all his life until about 12 years ago... that's one high risk factor.  But so is hypertension, alcohol abuse and drug abuse.  It can be genetic but none of his close family members had one.  So maybe it's just life... perhaps we have to go through pain to keep us in line.  Without it, we wouldn't appreciate anything.

Today, 1 year later, I would say he's 95% of the person he used to be.  He says he still forgets some things and occasionally gets confused but I rarely see it.  All I see is my Dad again.

I do know this,  I believe in ANGELS (I wrote about them HEREand I think my Dad had many of them surrounding him this fateful week of last year.  He told me, when he was being wheeled into surgery, he said a little prayer: "you and me God - we're good" he said, "and if it's my time - no hard feelings."

My Dad didn't hear it but God spoke back to him that day - loud and clear.  

Yes, it's been a full year of life lessons: I now know what a brain aneurysm is, I know that you're out of the immediate danger zone in 21 days, I am aware how incredible it is that my dad survived without serious loss.  I also know major strides need to be taken within that first year of a Brain Aneurysm, I can define Hydrocephalus, I learned to be a medical advocate while letting go when necessary.  I  now know the risk factors of an Aneurysm.  I thought about the reason pain is apart of life and I solidified an opinion I had long believed in: Angels.  Not to mention, I was reminded, once again, the precious gift that is life and that no matter how bad your day seems to be going... it could always be worse.


I'm glad I'm still a work in progress, thankfully today my Dad is too...
Happy Father's Day to all the Daddy's out there.  And may ANGELS surround during the day pain finds you.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tomato, Bread & MINT Salad

The Headlines:


This salad is perfect for any Summer BBQ.

Kids & adults like it!

And, as always, it's easy!



It's that time of year again... when the skies clear, the temperatures rise, kids are out of school and we start to gather with friends for Summer holidays, lazy Sundays and middle of the week last minute get-togethers!  I love it!

But in order to do that - you need some good (quickly made) eats.  And that's what I specialize in my friends - cause this mama doesn't have a lot of extra time.  Sound familiar?  You too, huh?  Yes, it's the complaint of Moms everywhere.  We all want to have fun gatherings at our home but let's face it - we're just trying to keep up with LIFE!  Host?  Forget about it.  We Moms have priorities.  Like getting our children clothed and bathed everyday...

But hear this: recipes like the one below make parties more possible!  Really.

It's a tomato, bread and MINT salad.  The Mint flavor really kicks this dish up a notch.  I'd say it's the "surprise" inside.  I love dishes with a surprise!  So are you ready to rally?

Here's What You Need:
4-6 Medium to large tomatoes, cored and cut in small pieces
2 hoagie rolls, cut in cubes
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
6 tblspns fresh lemon juice
2 tbspns olive oil
4 tbspns thinly cut mint leaves
salt and pepper
fresh shaved parmesan cheese (optional)

Here's What You Do:
In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, olives, lemon juice, oil and mint.  Season with salt and pepper and toss.  Place in fridge.  About 15-20 minutes before serving, toss bread into the mix (if you add the bread to early it gets really soggy).  Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.  Feeds 8.

When serving, add a little freshly shaved parmesan to pump up the taste if guests desire.  See?  Easy,  colorful, kid friendly and everyone will chow it down - so if you have a large crowd - you may want to double the ingredients.


Just consider this one of your go-to Summer Grill-Out recipes and you're half way to some fun, Summer Parties in your OWN backyard!  














Thursday, June 4, 2015

Have Summer Bummers? Make A Chore List.

The Headlines:


It's that time of year.

When kids start to go beserk-o... (otherwise known as Summer)

Unless they're kept on task.

Try a Chore List! 




Summer.  It's such a romanticized season.  I always have big dreams in my head about what is to come.  You know, beaches, cocktails, bikinis... but with kids... those dreams can sometimes turn into nightmares!

That's what happened last Summer.   Oh Good Lord was it bad... my 3 year old son (now 4) was PSYCHO!  I mean, we're talking complete crazy time.   My 7 year old daughter was better but also a little off.  You can read the story from 2014 HERE if you'd like.  If you're having a bad start to Summer... it may make you feel better.

I'm convinced it's simply because our kids are used to their school year routine and when it's gone they kind of don't know how to handle it.  Cause, well, they're kids.  So what do you do?  Sure, you can enroll them in camps to continue a type of routine but let's face it - camps every single week of Summer Break is not really Summer BREAK.

So, with the help of a friend, I came up with this:


It's a chore list.  Simple to create and enforce as long as you follow these 5 tips:

1 - Make a list that's tailored to a child's individual skills.
There's no way my 4 year old would or could put all his laundry away but my 8 year old can!  He also can't read for 20 minutes a day but he can do a letter writing app on the iPad!  Once your thoughts are organized, make a chart with all of the chores listed and a place to check them off as they're done throughout the day.



2 - Add "optionals"to the list.
Those are chores/ideas they must come up with themselves.  The "optionals" are supposed to either improve my day, their day or another person's day!  They must be approved by Mom.  Examples: making a card for a sick friend, picking up the backyard dog doo (which isn't on their daily list), clearing the dinner table.  You'll be surprised with what they do!



3 - Motivate them.
Clearly, in order for this to work, they need to get something out of it!  My kids love treats in the Summer.  They ask for Ice Cream almost every day.  But they have to earn their daily treats through the Chore list.  For instance, if they don't complete all the tasks on Monday, they don't get a treat on Tuesday.  It's kind of a "Will Work for Food" concept.

4 - Give them some earning power.
We also go one step further.  At the end of the week, we tally up the days they completed their list and they get a dollar for each day.  This is a chance to earn some serious cash over Summer!  If your kids understand money they'll be all about it.  If they don't (my 4 year old isn't phased much by it)... they won't.

5 - Keep them on track.
This only works if you actually do it.  They'll forget about it - so you can't.  There's always lulls in Summer days (that's kind of what Summer is for) and when that happens seize the opportunity to remind them of the chore list.


Bottom line, this really works for us.  So far, our Summer is off to a much better start compared to last Summer.  What it does is keep them on task, teaches responsibility in the home and it brings back a little routine to their life which comforts little ones.  Not to mention, it's a great way to keep your house clean!









Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Is Dance A Sport?

The Headlines:


Dance is fun.

But is it a sport?

It's something I've debated for years.





Sports.  They're huge in America.  People live and die by the team they route for... they idolize the men and women who play... they spend millions on support.  To be a Sports icon is arguably just as, if not more important, as any movie star, rock star, tech star elected official or billionaire. 

So it's no surprise when people have children... they often put them in a sport. 

Not necessarily to have their child become the next Peyton Manning/A-Rod/LeBron James... but to teach them skills, determination, team work, losing, winning, community and so on and so forth.  No debating here - I completely agree, there are many, many things to learn learn from a sport.  So when the time came to enroll my daughter in sports, we did.  In kindergarten she learned to golf.  Which she likes and is pretty good at.  Then soccer.  Which she didn't like at all.  But all the while she had also been enrolled in dance which seemed to suit her best. 


At age 4 we saw her first recital.  She was good.  She was cute.  She actually kind of stole the show with that shake of hers.  And so it was decided... she would stay with prancing and kicking!

Now, at 8 years old - 5 years of dance later - she likes it and is having fun.  Great says BP (the husband)!  But he questions... does she also need to do a "sport?"

Which begs the question:


For the record, BP means, "traditional" sport.  One that has clear winners and losers at the end of a game or match.   Something that can motivate and empower team members.  A sport that enables you to give the person next to you a big high 5 after a job well done.  Where individuality shines on the person while it simultaneously propels the team.  He wants my daughter to feel like she's a part of a team that is working weekly towards a common goal... i.e.: softball, soccer, basketball.  

He does not feel a dance team is as reliant on each other.  I get his point.  If my daughter does a particularly high kick, no one pats her on the butt and says - "way to go!"  It goes, almost, unnoticed.  Therefore, he feels some accountability and engagement with the team is lost.  Perhaps, he wonders, big life lessons are missing from dance that are found in and on other teams...?    

You see, as a child he was in traditional sport.  Baseball, basketball and football.  He gained and found confidence through them.  They were a part of his life experience.  

Not so much mine.

I myself, never really hit it off with any typical sport when I was a child.  I did play soccer for a couple years and liked it.  Even learned from it.  But I never felt any real pull toward any particular team sport so I didn't do one.

And in turn... I was a bit lost.

Until I found Cheerleading.  Which, of course also... was always debated:


See me? I'm the center, bottom line.  That was at Loyola Marymount University... during a quick timeout at a basketball game.  We worked hard.  Almost as hard as the players, I'd say.  And what I learned was at or far beyond what any "traditional" sport could have taught me - since those didn't really suit who I was or what my skills were.

In high school and college Cheer, not only did I learn how to dance fairly well... but I learned responsibility, time management, leadership, communication (it was CHEERleading for goodness sakes), it taught me confidence, organization, dedication, team work, I could go on and on and on.

True, no one gave me a pat on the butt for my perfect toe touch, we never won a "tournament" with a high score and I did not receive any trophies.  Oh wait, yes I did!  We also had uniforms, a captain, a coordinator, a travel budget, we received letterman jackets and had our own year end banquets.

It was a sport.  It was MY sport.


Today, my daughter is on a competitive dance team, the "company," with her dance studio and they go to multiple dance competitions throughout the year in our home state of Arizona.  Here is one of their routines from this past weekend.  Watch it... I happen to love this one and they placed in the competition with it:


This year they also went to Disneyland to dance and next year they'll head to Las Vegas.  They practice 8 hours on 3 days of each week almost year around... they are 7 and 8 years old.  If you ask, I'll bet any one of them they would say "heck yea - dance is a sport!"

And maybe by pure definition it is...


Meantime, my little girl continues to golf, will look into the traditional sport of softball and dances  with the company.  All of them, in my humble opinion, are sports in their own ways.  She will learn differently and greatly from each one of them.  Just like your children are learning from their respective sport.

So I guess in the end, whether or not you think dance is a sport really depends upon the person you're talking to...



and then again, maybe it doesn't really matter.

What do you think?  What sports do your children do?  How are they thriving?  And why do you encourage it?