House rules… for the fairies

We have fairies in our backyard… they have been sighted.

Just to make sure all humans and fairies live cohesively… Lily came up with a set of rules.

I found this letter on the coffee table in the formal sitting room while cleaning the house today… because fairies are fancy! 

* we have only two rules in this house – Don’t play on the stairs and don’t catch the spiders – these rules are promptly relayed to any guest staying in this house by Lily. It’s her job! *

Fairies

Fairy House Rools:

  1. Do not leave the house without telling me
  2. Do not make a mess inside
  3. You need to let me borrow pixie dust because I’m letting you live here. 
  4. Do not invite anyone over to the house . Hands and feet to yourself.
  5. But remember to have lots of fun.

This letter makes me so happy! I have believed in fairies all my life and I remember this magical life that I created for my fairies… and now it’s Lily’s turn.

She’s built entire village for them in the back yard and it’s really a magical place!

Oh the wonder of childhood! 

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Aden and Anais – fit for my prince

Did you know there was a royal baby prince born recently!

And did you know that cute bird print swaddle which he was pictured in is made by one of my MOST favorite brands… ADEN + ANAIS!

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We’ve used Aden and Anais swaddle blankets for Thom until last month. He’s 8 Months now. I discovered the brand at a boutique baby store and fell in love with some of the prints as well as the soft muslin fabric. (you can also get aden and anais at target)

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We’ve moved on from swaddling to sleep blankets these days. And all summer we’ve been traveling… to florida, to shelter island, to Pittsburgh, to DC… our adventures have taken us all over.

One MUST-HAVE that we have packed every time is our Aden and Anais Bamboo Sleeping BagAKA sleep blanket.

This Sleeping Bag is super soft made of rayon from bamboo fiber muslin. It feels sooooo yummy great to the touch and just the best for Thom’s baby skin.

The zipper can be unzipped from the bottom for those convenient late night or early morning or 3am diaper changes. 20130821-145013.jpg

Sleeping blankets are great for babies. It reduces the risk of suffocating and baby is super comfortable in his own little sleeping bag! 20130821-145021.jpg

All of aden + anais fabrics are really soft and organic and the bamboo fiber muslin line is even snugglier and softer! aden + anais has really beautiful and simple prints that give it a unique… ” only my child has this’ quality. Thom is wearing the AZURE BEADS bamboo sleeping bag in all the above pictures.

For more info about aden + anais and their great products visit – ADEN AND ANAIS 

* I was sent products for purposes of this review. All opinions are my own. I discovered the brand all on my own and just happened to connect with their PR company who sent me the latest in sleeping blankets.*

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Tween style file – RUUM kids – back to school

* Sponsored post* 

It’s back to school time! In case you haven’t felt the flurry of excitement from eager parents and kids with lists in hand every time you step into a mall or target… I’m here to tell you that your blissful summaahh is over and it’s time to get these kids schooled!

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While higher education is the whole goal here… a little fashion helps too.

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Lily is 8… she’s going into the 3rd grade… how did that happen… and this little fashion girl of mine has her own idea of what to wear.

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From casual, to dressy, to  boho chic… to what’s now in LES fashion… Lily has her own sense of style and I for one… will only encourage this creative identity of hers.20130819-235309.jpg

We were recently invited to a fab shopping spree at RUUM KIDS. We are fans of RUUM. They have clothes for babies all the way up to the tweens. What’s great about RUUM is that their clothes are fashionable with everyday staples as well as on trend dresses, shoes and accessories.20130819-235316.jpg

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Dare i say….I feel as if RUUM kids is the affordable version of crewcuts… the JCrew kids line that I obsess over!

We picked up tons of clothes for the fall season… lots of layers… a few church clothes and shoes. 20130819-235331.jpg

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Lily loved her clothes and while we didn’t pick a single graphic tee.. i mean we are sorta graphic teed out in this house… she did pick a few pieces with the next best thing… glitter. I mean really… no 8-YO gals closet in complete without a few key glitter pieces… who am I kidding… MY closet isn’t complete without a few key glitter pieces. 20130819-235347.jpg

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To take us from late summer- to fall- to winter- to bitter winter- to spring… we picked pieces that can be layered. We are out and about a ton during all seasons and going from indoors to outdoors and lunch rooms and art class and subways and trains… layers are our go-to dressing must-do. 20130819-235412.jpg

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As a parent I love the clothes at RUUM… they have just the right bit of everything for the tween set. (Newborn thorough Tween). The prices fit my budget really well and I’m not just saying that. The back part of the store had a whole clearance section that was 60% the sale price… so we picked up shorts and tanks for next summer and some pieces were $5… no joke! RUUM kids is a welcomed kids clothing retailer at the mall.. where most of the kids clothing stores are either overpriced or super cheap and the fabric quality is wonky. 20130819-235434.jpg

A big THANKS to those fine ladies at KIDZVUZ for including us in this campaign. Lily is itching to share her clothes and tips for back to school with her friends. And I’m going to try to get her to share some tips with you… dear reader… as well. ( she’s got some doozies.. and some practical info … like ” don’t show off your belly in school”… words to live by girls.. word. to. live. by.! )

*all clothes featured in this article are RUUM* ( except the shoes)

* I was compensated for this post* 

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Ergobaby Swaddler – Review

Any new parent with a baby knows the value of a swaddle. For the first few months Thom would not sleep without a snug swaddle.
I’d love to share something that worked for us.
Introducing the Ergobaby swaddler. Its innovative, ergonomic design helps ensure that your baby sleeps longer and safer. The Ergobaby Swaddler is easy to use and is made of soft and breathable 100% Cotton knit terry.
swaddlerPoints
 
I am a fan of the ERGOBABY line. Their materials are all super soft and designed to give baby the most comfort. This swaddle in particular is designed to secure your baby’s arms while keeping hips and legs in the correct ergonomic position.
This swaddle has a few key features I’d like to mention:
  1. Arm Pockets – Secures baby’s arms and helps to replicate the fetal arm position of “hands to heart.”
  2.  Leg Pouch:  Provides easy access to baby’s diaper.
  3.  Healthy Hip Positioner:  Helps to keep baby’s hips and legs in the correct, ergonomic “frog-leg” position.
  4. Soft and breathable 100% cotton knit terry:  Helps regulate baby’s body temperature.
 The ERGO BABY swaddle is offered in 2 sizes.  S/M: Small/Medium (6-12lbs) 
M/L:  Medium/Large (12-18 lbs)
Find out more about ERGOBABY and this SWADDLER by visiting their site.
* this is a sponsored post. I was sent product for purposes of this review. all opinions expressed are my own.*
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The most important…

Tonight Matt was successful in getting Thom to bed early and was able to spend bedtime with Lily and JUST Lily.

The laundry waited, the kitchen waited, the stroller was outside and it poured down rain for about 10 minutes and got soaked… but that too waited. THIS bedtime with Lily was the most important…

It’s been so very long since Lily and I have had our bedtime moments. We read books, give each other facials, back massages, brush our hair and then tell stories about the day. She tells me things about her life – her feelings, her grand plans, her fears.

This is our bubble of a moment where nothing is held back and she can’t get in trouble for telling me things like “you know when you asked me to throw away the dirty diaper… I actually put it in the laundry hamper”. This is our space… we kinda naturally created this bedtime ritual space and it really hurts my heart to think about her growing up and ‘aging out’ of our snuggle time.

Lily lies on my belly when she goes to sleep. She used to fit entirely on my torso and as she has grown her longs legs dangle off and drape along the side of my body… but still she rests her sweet. thoughtful.  kind.  head on my chest and that’s all that matters.

I always say to her –

When you grow up will you still sleep on my belly? Even when you are in college and even when you’re an old grandma?

She smiles and says… yes! A true yes. one she means. And it makes me feel very very needed in her sweet life.

New York Mom

You know sometimes us parents- who stay at home primarily with the kiddies- can get into a rut. An- everyday is the same- kinda rut.

There are routines that must happen in order for things to function- wake up at 3am for a feeding, wake up again at 5am for a feeding, wake up yet again at 7am for the day and not feel rested. Disappointment that breakfast was a glass of milk and banana and a granola bar because I’m too exhausted to make a proper breakfast… too exhausted and it’s only 8AM! Then there is playtime… we go through about 15 projects in a day.. all while trying to squeeze in naptime for the baby, laundry, cleaning the house (that was a joke), and keeping a sane mind.

Lily can talk for HOURS these days… about all kinds of amazing things… but for HOURS!  and then just when you stand victor over your day with your superwoman cape blowing in the wind… something in the corner catches your eye and it’s that clock giving you that cheeky face and saying… oh hella no no no mamabear… it’s ONLY 4pm!

So then starts the evening routine. cooking, bathtime, bedtime… witching hour.

These days are long. These days are exhausting. But these days go by really fast.

As I lay with Lily this evening singing my nightly set of – oh danny boy, in the bleak midwinter, angel we have heard on high and sweet child of mine- I realized something very important… the MOST important of all…

The people I influence the MOST and have the BIGGEST impact on are these babies of mine. No matter what my lofty goals – advocating for arts education, using dance as a medium for social change, working with a non-profit… building my media career… all takes a bask seat these days.

My work is here at home. My audience is ready and willing and will buy anything I sell and copy everything I do… so mama needs to get it together and be the very best during these routinely repetitive days.

new york mom

My most important work these days is… these two tiny beings who think I am their entire world.

What an honor.

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How to Eat an Oyster and other tales from the boathouse

Every summer we go down to the Florida gulf coast– and spend endless days with our most sweetest of families. and every year Matt and I make many many MANY stops at our favorite local spot in Destin, Florida – The Boathouse Oyster Bar.

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The Boathouse is one of those places where the locals go. It’s where the oyster shucker guy sneakes in a few extra… like 5 extra oyster in your dozen. The waitress calls you honey… but in the good way and your glass is never empty… like never.

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This place has been around for some time and there are no frills about this institution. Just great florida gulf coast seafood. Oysters, cajun shrimp, fish sandwiches, hush puppies… the works.

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The drinks are strong and the food just keeps coming.

At $7 for a dozen fresh oysters plucked straight from the Appalachicola Bay… this place is a MUST for any oyster lover. or anyone wanting to get a taste of the local flavor of the Florida Panhandle.

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Lily, our little foodie, has caught the oyster bug. I love her adventurous spirit and especially love that she LOOOVES food just as much as Matt and I do. She is always up for trying anything new. “just try it… you might like it” is our mantra.

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We go to the Boathouse a handful of times on every visit. And always only get the $7/dozen raw oysters and hushpuppies. Sometimes we get the cajun steamed shrimp. Food for the soul!

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In case you have always wanted to know… How to eat an Oyster. (my version)

* A good oyster shucker will have shucked the oyster clean from the shell so you don’t have to wrestle with it while you slurp*

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  1.  You can just slurp it down right from the shell. Juice and all. If it’s fresh.. it’s amazing.
  2. Add a dab of lemon and eat it right from the shell
  3. Add a dab of hot sauce or cocktail sauce or horseradish and eat it right from the shell.
  4. * i like to eat it like this* place the oyster on a saltine cracker and add a dab of cocktail sauce with a little extra horse-radish and eat the whole thing in one bite.
  5. TIP- Do NOT try to eat your raw oyster in bites…that just gets embarrassing… one big chomp is how it’s done.

This year Lily noticed the bras on the ceiling at the boathouse… hmmm…

She did ask to place a $1 bill on the wall. So we had to oblige. because when else does your 8YO ask to staple a signed dollar bill on the wall of a dive oyster bar!

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This little MOTO got his first taste of the dirty south on his first trip to florida… no shirt, no shoes… don’t care!

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Outside the boathouse… Lily loves seeing the boats go by but mainly feeding the fish.

Just like any waterside fish resto, there is no shortage of hungry fish and Lily loves watching them jump out of the water to catch the grub.

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Lily is an old soul sometimes. At the young age of 8 she loves discovering new places and things and best of all… food. She has yet to meet a food she has not tried. Love it!

The water and food and everything is just fine since the oil spill a few years ago… hope you make a trip to the Florida Panhandle this year… the beaches are just gorgeous and the food… well… fresh and tasty!

* I was not paid for this post. Just a narrative on my summer travels* 

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Fringe Fever with Eva Dean Dance

There are many many MANY reasons to love summer time in NYC. One of my most faves is THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL that happens every August.

Ok so one of my lifetime goals was to present a show in the NYC fringe. And years ago… that goal happened when I presented my dance-theatre piece EYE CANDY. It was sold out every night and had the best reviews and my cast was the most ideal and my memories of this work and the whole Fringe experience was beyond anything I could have imagined.

I support the FRiNGE and if YOU want the BEST the very BEST… the very cutting edge.. the very NOW in theatre and dance theatre TODAY…. get thee to THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL my friend!

The Fringe also has a kids section. Fringe Jr. This is all kid shows and all kid friendly theater works.

—–> The NY Fringe is the ONLY curated fringe in the world. for realz. It’s not easy to be accepted into this festival. It’s a big deal! <—-

Eva Dean Dance has been around for a while.  I actually auditioned for her at one point in my career. ( did not make it). But think her work is fun and always a treat to watch.

When her PR team reached out to me … I was over the moon. All I want to do is support art and dance and especially modern dance ON THIS LITTLE BLOG… and here we are!

Peter Pan and Stardust Dances – Floating dancers on circus globes, bedeviled pirates, and free-spirited gypsies inhabit the netherworlds of Peter Pan, Esmeralda, and Tinker Bell.

NY Fringe 2013

I was able to connect with the choreographer/ artistic director Eva Dean and ask her a few questions that I thought you might like :

What was the inspiration for this piece? 

The impetus for Peter Pan and Stardust Dances comes from an interest in magic, joy and wonderment.  Peter Pan & Stardust Dances features original music from composer David Kahne. What I love about David’s music is that it is both cinematic and classical; just by listening to the music you can hear the story of Peter Pan come to life. The other dances on this program feature floating dancers on circus globes, a free-spirited gypsies, and twinkling lights. I love twilight. I have to admit I have a bit of Peter Pan in myself.

Has you created a work for kid specific audiences before? 

Yes, the other dances on the program were premiered at the Children Museum of Manhattan, First Night Boston, and the family-friendly programming of the Prague Fringe Festival.

A quick story about dance when you were a child. 

I come from a family of 12 children, and while I was younger, my family played numerous outdoor games that involved movement. One of my fondest memories of dancing when she was younger: I was about 4 years old, I would go into the backyard, and there was a dog that would follow me around. I would look into the clouds and just spin and spin and spin until I fell over. I would watch the clouds subside, I would let the dog lick my cheek, and I would do it again and again and again. This spinning has forwarded into current choreography of BOUNCE 09 (included in the Peter Pan & Stardust Dances programming), where dancers spin and glide and dance on top of a circus globe.

Don’t you just love it! 

I’m always looking for things that will STICK with Lily. What experiences that I offer will latch on to her creativity and foster her personality and life going forward. Dance… dance is one such memory and experience that will leave a lasting impression on a young mind.

So I say… grab your kidlet…. and your kidlet’s friend and head over to the NY FRINGE jr. this month.

I hope you take advantage of this amazing festival. There are TONS of shows all over the city and lots of times you can catch guerilla marketing skits happening on bridges and parks all over NYC this month!

First stop at FringeJr. –  Eva Dean Dance – Peter Pan and Stardust Dances

 Dancers: Julien Kanor as the Crocodile, Katherine Moncebaiz as Tinker Bell, George Hirsch as Peter/Photography and Videography by Amelia Tang
Dancers: Julien Kanor as the Crocodile, Katherine Moncebaiz as Tinker Bell, George Hirsch as Peter/Photography and Videography by Amelia Tang

Peter Pan and Stardust Dances
Eva Dean Dance
Writer: Choreographed by Eva Dean, Music by David Kahne
Director: Eva Dean
Choreographer: Eva Dean
Floating dancers on circus globes, bedeviled pirates, free-spirited gypsies inhabit the netherworlds of Peter Pan, Esmeralda, and Tinker Bell. Enter their world, illuminated by mystical twirling lights. A wonder for all ages 4 to 104 who believe in twilight magic.
0h 45m   Local   Brooklyn, NY   
FringeJR   Dance   
Discover: Literature   
www.evadeandance.org   evadeandance   
VENUE #8: The Theater at the 14th Street Y       Share/Bookmark       
SUN 11 @ NOON  MON 12 @ 4:30  WED 14 @ 5:45  SAT 17 @ 4:30  WED 21 @ 4:00  

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The baby weight rat race

So recently I decided to go hang with non-kid having folks and one of my gorgeous – totally fit- single- no kid having… friends from my dance world said to me:

It’s really weird to see you not all bangin!

  • First of all – thanks for thinking I used to be all bangin!
  • Second – What the HELL-OOOO!

Apparently if you were ” bangin” once.. you best get back to ‘bangin” shape after having a baby because if not… people notice and are quick to point that madness out.

Whatever dear friend – with no kids and nothing to do but dance and workout and run around free as a bird all day…

Let explain something to you:

  1. I am not a celebrity who has personal trainers and a manager and a publicist and whole ARMY of people who will be paying their mortgage this month because I am in a polka dot bikini on the cover of some glossy mag 2 days after giving birth to a human.
  2. I don’t have a personal chef who gives me all the nutrients I need while breast-feeding while also trying to drop 30 LBS in 2 days after birthing to the human I mentioned in point #1.
  3. I am STILL… 8 months later… having physical issues like a weak core, I can’t run as comfortably as I used to, my arches in my feet have fallen, I pee pretty much every time I sneeze, and my days are filled with feeding a baby, chasing an 8Yo and dealing with the emotional roller coaster that comes with an 8YO girl and a baby, cleaning the kitchen, juggling my MULTIPLE personalities, trying to foster a creative career,  laundry and a wish list that has to wait for a few years…. must I go on?
  4. I don’t care about your silly unrealistic opinion…. and…
  5. I don’t wear polka dot bikinis anyway… and
  6. ya mama.

Well…there ya have it. The reality of it all.

So in the end I have to say… as a professional dancer ... I have had a career where your body… your BANGIN body ( i’d like to add)… is what got you the job. You can’t be dancing on stage with the hottest pop stars or in commercials or on broadway or on a concert stage with less than a bangin bod. Additionally your technique would suffer and your dance and art would suffer… and you wouldn’t get any gigs, and wouldn’t be able to afford to live… etc.

I guess i actively stopped paying attention to my body about 4 years ago. There was so much going on with Lily and I was exhausted trying to juggle dance and motherhood and suburban life.

These days I sorta kinda have enjoyed having no pressure to get back to shape and I actually love my soft mushy belly. This soft mushy belly which housed and cared for and cradled my sweet baby for 9+ months and has continued to offer him food and a place to rest his body and is his place of comfort… so it’s fine with me that 8 months later I’m not bangin and a bit soft.

There is SOOOO much pressure to get back to shape after having a baby. In the media, in magazines. I can’t even pick up an innocent mag for babies… where there isn’t some article about ” how to lose your baby weight while doing lunges in the kitchen while cooking a nutritious meal for your family”. Isn’t cooking a meal enough people… do i HAVE to squeeze in lunges in the kitchen!

So what am I going to do about my ‘non bangin” status.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. For the FIRST time in my adult life, I am not expected to have a tight core or a fit body, I’m not dancing professionally these days and it’s OK. My career does not depend on what my body looks like.

I would like to get back to fighting shape… but at my own time. at my speed.

This baby weight rat race is intense and it sucks that we – women- mothers – are judged or have commentary and are compared on something so very trivial.

Your thoughts?

* My friend is totally cool and knows I’m writing smack about her comments to me. *

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Disney Holiday Preview 2013

 

Disney had their preview for the 2013 Holiday Season in NYC recently. This year I found lots of products that covered a wide age range.

From baby products like vintage toys to tween home decor and even the Ariel makeup line- available only at Sephora – for me… Disney is hitting the ground running for the holiday gifting season.

My favorite was the “it’s a small world” line of dolls. There are dolls represented from many parts of the country … including the motherland… INDIA! I love the details on the dolls and the size is perfect for little kids as well as older kids like Lily to play with.

Here are some of my picks. 

* I was not paid for this post. But was gifted with a swag bag with products from the Holiday line*

 

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1 fish, 2 fish, 3 fish … More

While we were in Florida last month, Lily and Matt found a tide pool on the beaches. We have been going these very beaches for YEARS and grew up less than 6 miles from this very spot and never never NEVER in our lives had we ever seen anything like this tide pool.20130720-020809.jpg

Thousands of tiny black fish everywhere!!! I mean… i was kinda sorta creeped out by this… very nightmare-ish… but not Lily. This was just the kinda thing she lives for. 20130720-020821.jpg

Thomas didn’t know what to think. One day he’s going to look back at all these pictures we have of him and his early months… and think 1. ” my parents were the coolest” or 2. ” I could have been fish bait!”20130720-020839.jpg

The Sea Gulls were having a FEAST eating these tiny black fish. 20130720-020854.jpg

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So surreal right! Lily hasn’t stopped talking about it. It WAS a once in a lifetime kind of thing. In my years of exploring I have come across many a tide pool… none with ONLY one species.. and NONE with this many fish. 20130720-020926.jpg

Some of the fish were stuck in the sand and Lily took it upon herself to pick them up and throw them back in the water.20130720-020939.jpg

The beaches of Okaloosa County and Walton County on the Gulf Coast of Florida are just stunning. The water is crystal clear, the sand is pure white. Nothing compares! 20130720-020959.jpg

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ON this particular evening, the water was pretty still and the tide hadn’t come in yet. I took Thom out into the water with me and right as we were having the best time swimming and walking around the sand bar way out in the water…. a family of dolphins came swimming by!

It was PERFECT. I didn’t have my camera with me…but gosh… it’s one of those moments where i just WISH i could capture these dolphins who were swimming within 25 feet of us. Lily was BEYOND excited. 20130720-021102.jpg

Lily is amazing. Instead of running the opposite direction and being afraid of these gorgeous dolphins swimming so very close to us… she embraced it was headed off to swim with them. Same with this tide pool of fish… she could have been easily grossed out or scared..but instead she jumped in and totally threw herself into the experience.

She’s an explorer of the world!

Hope your summaahh is going … swimmingly. We have been loving this season and have had so many adventures already… and still have a whole month to go!

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