Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pay it forward

"Does she always leave the house in a tutu?"A young mother asked me about my third child Fifi, at mommy-and-me-gym class.

"Do you let Lola dress herself?" My neighbor asked me yesterday on our walk around the block. Lola, my attention seeking middle child, dressed in a fluffy silk party dress, black leggings, brown puffy coat, and pink cow girl boots.

"How does she find the Lycra leotards before breakfast?" My husband asked me as we watched Fifi struggle to pull up an old gymnastics leo over her outfit.

"Do you think she should wear the Hannah Montana wig to dinner?" My son giggled at the sight of Lola's wig on top of her head.

My girls do not play dress-up. They dress up.

Of course I pick my battles and do not allow Lyrca leos to be worn for Sunday mass but I do believe they can be appropriate cooking attire. I don't allow tutus at the dinner table but do allow tutus for a trip to the grocery store. The senior citizens shop on Tuesdays at Heinens and you should see the smiles we create.

At almost 2 and almost 5 the girls are so confident in their wardrobe choices and completely unaware of the pressures of magazines defining beauty. I am loving their confidence in everything frilly, puffy, sparkly, and pink. "That is ugly" Lola's friend declared on a recent play date in regards to Lola's outfit, in which confident Lola replied, "It is beautiful to me! My heart told me so." High five, girlfriend. They have their entire lives to sort out their personal styles and have a pretty good start from me, allowing them the freedom of choice (in moderation) to feel beautiful and confident by listening to their hearts.

So imagine their delight and try to envision their squeals as they, my pink tutu loving leo wearers of daughters, ripped open a package from India revealing beautiful saree dresses, sparkly bracelets, and colorful bindis. Sweet awesome Jill took one of my comments on her blog seriously "OMG! Your daughters look so cute. What beautiful dresses. My daughters would LOVE those!!!"

And they do. They. LOVE.



I asked Jill how I could re-pay her. "Just pay it forward" she wrote in an email. I will Jill!

I have thought long and hard about many things in my life, of late. My New Year's resolution is to pay it forward all year long. The smiles on my fancy girl's faces this morning was proof enough of what my resolution would be this year. My muffin top can wait one more year. No?

A very happy 2009 to you all.

This year I am paying it forward all year long. Cheers.

88classy comments:

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

That is '09's mantra: "Pay it forward"

I'm taking that, wrapping it in ribbons, putting it in my pocket, and savoring every last syllable.

PAY IT FORWARD!

the MomBabe said...

They're only young once. let 'em be.

MommyTime said...

You know, I hope, my friend, that you have already paid it forward -- which in a karmic sense is why you got the saris in return. I have tried to do the same. I love this post. Happy New Year!

Leslie said...

The girls are so beautiful! This post and it's message are so awesome, you are so wise beyond your years, your Mommy skills continue to amaze me!

Jaime said...

What great advice. I love the post. I think it's great you let them have some say. Pretty dresses.

Momo Fali said...

Wonderful! What a great way to start a new year.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I agree....you need to pick your battles most days and I think it is great that they pick out their own wardrobe for most occasions...they always look ADORABLE!!

What a wonderful gift....and I love your "Pay It Forward" attitude....I plan on Paying it forward myself!!

Elaine A. said...

That was so sweet of her to send you those dresses and look how perfect they are for your girls!

I LOVE this about blogging too. It just proves how amazingly nice people CAN still be.

Thanks for your comment at my place today and... HAPPY NEW YEAR!

p.s. I just adore the concept of paying it forward and I love that Jill said that to you.

Ok, I think I am done! ; )

Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

So very sweet. The gift, the mantra...and the girls.

*sigh*

Junebug said...

How awesome!

♥spoiled mommy♥ said...

I totally agree w/Paying it Forward.
The girls looks gorgeous!!Perect match.

Rhea said...

I love that you let your girls dress themselves and express their personality that way.

And they look beautiful in those Indian outfits!

I love paying it forward. It's an awesome concept and so simple.

Flea said...

Awesome smiles on those beautiful faces. You pay it forward every time you grocery shop with Fifi in a tutu. :)

Hey it's Amy Shipp said...

Oh, I want to "Pay it Forward" in 2009 too, what a fun idea.

JCK said...

What a lovely post! And you are so right about brightening the senior citizens days when they see those wildly creative outfits coming.

I just LOVED what your daughter said.

Paying it forward. You have hit the jackpot to happiness.

Happy New Year!

amanda said...

i let my oldest daughter wear stuff 'out' all the time. and hey if she can work it already in high heeled dress up shoes...so be it! i can't even do that! yay for paying it forward!

ame i. said...

I have 2 girls, 8 and 10. I remember the day the now-8 was 5 and walked up and down our cove wearing the very elaborate Cinderella costume I bought her for Halloween. She wore the "glass" slippers, crown and carried a magic wand which she used to "ting" every mailbox she passed. One of our cats, Kitty Jane, followed along.
I loved the looks the neighbors gave me and the smiles they gave her as they watched from their porches or drove slowly past.
My now-10 hid behind a tree as not to be noticed.
Now-8 recently entertained scores of fellow guests at a Fancay Nashville hotel by doing an enterpritive (sp?) dance as Frosty the Snow Man played on the p.a.s.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Beautiful post, beautiful girls, beautiful dresses. I love it!

4funboys said...

speechless... pink does that to me!

carrie said...

What a wonderful surprise!

And I agree, there is nothing more rewarding than paying it forward...nothing.

Happy 2009 to you and yours! :)

Kelley said...

adorably gorgeous.

Sounds like a wonderful New Years Resolution babe.

Happy New Year!

Kash said...

They look beautiful in those outfits, and what a gorgeous shade of pink!

Chiloe said...

Happy New Year to you too !!! Hoping for a year full of happiness, laughter, joy, kindness, travels and a good health to simply enjoy life little moments !!!

Your daughters are beautiful in indian, polish or american clothes made in China !!! lol

Laura said...

OK....tears...seriously...first for the love you have for your girls and the lesson of confidence and self-worth you are giving your girls. And secondly for the nice gesture of your bloggy friend. And thirdly, for your resolution to pay it forward.... how wonderful.

Happy New Year!

UrbanVox said...

awww... that's cute! :)
I try to get TB to choose whatever he wants to wear everyday as well...
and the worse thing is that he has more of an idea of fashion sense than I do! ;)

Krystyn said...

Don't they just look gorgeous!

Pay it forward is the best resolution...I'm trying to do the same thing!

Happy New Year!

kim-d said...

Your children are so very fortunate to have you for a Mama. Because you keep the emphasis on what is truly important, they are able to go out in the world--even at their tender ages--and bring smiles to people (I'm not quite a senior citizen yet, but it would absolutely make my day to encounter a little girl in a pink tutu, or one in a brown puffy and pink cowboy boots!).

It seems to me, in that way, you have already paid it forward. You have three children that are already making the world a better place and that, my dear, is beyond incredible. It gives me such hope for the future!

I know that you will continue to excel at paying it forward in 2009, because you already do it so well. I think I will join you!

Immoral Matriarch said...

I WANT. Where did she get them from?

My girls are very original with their style too. They like bright, primary colors. They like to combine boy clothes and girl clothes. They like their hair certain ways and I love it. They are into what they are into, and it's originally them.

And pshaw - you pay it forward constantly.

Sarah said...

"It is beautiful to me! My heart told me so."

Tears. How beautiful.

Secret Agent Mama said...

That's a beautiful resolution!

Best wishes to you and yours.

Rachel said...

That's how Princess dresses too and I love it ;-)
pick your battles and their expression of themselves, is not a battle! It's a gift.

Those saris are gorgeous as are the beautiful jewels wearing them!

Pay it Forward my love!!

Clare said...

they look so beautiful! i love the pay it forward mantra!! great idea classy mama.

Stephanie said...

My muffin top can't wait, but paying it forward is a great idea! Way to go you! And I love love love the post. My Punky has an uncanny matching ability, but I allow her the freedom of choice at home, too. I love to see it!

PS, KB toys is going out of business and have a ton of dress up clothes!

Kel said...

Oh what a wonderful resolution...simple and brilliant!

I wish you all the best in this coming year.
~K

Domestic Extraordinaire said...

very cute. I too let the girls wear what they want, which meant about 6 months of sparkly dorothy shoes, formal dresses and whatever necklaces the Chicken could find.

You also have a wonderful new year! Paying it forward sounds like a wonderful thing for 2009.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

My oldest did the same thing--no she refuses to wear anything that 'puffs'; so enjoy this time :)

Pay it forward is a great motto for '09

Happy New Year :)

Robyn said...

What wonderful lessons you are teaching your children -- they are very lucky.

And, they DO look SO beautiful in those saris.

Can't wait to see how you pay it forward in 2009 - I know it'll be great!

Courtney said...

Wow, that's awesome. What a great friend you have in India also!

Karen MEG said...

Nothing like little girls, and it's lovely that they love to wear dresses. So precious, so sweet, so much to savour, these moments.

Paying it forward is an awesome resolution.

Happy new year to you and your beautiful family, OHMommy.

Smart A$$ Mom said...

I use the term 'pay it forward' at least once a week. To neighbors and friends, which mainly pertains to swinging by an old basket of chicken noodle soup in a can, a package of soup crackers and a coloring book when someone is feeling ill. Or just grabbing kids unexpectedly to go play at the park. I totally 100% believe in this. And look how beautiful your girls already are, you have paid it forward a trillion times already.

Jessica said...

I read about this non-profit and thought of your love of photography and your love of children.

http://www.flashesofhope.org/chapters/Cleveland

Maybe something that would move you.

krissy said...

I would love to just kiss your kids cheeks. They are so kissable.

Happy New Years Friend. I'm glad this past year has lead me to your blog....

Megryansmom said...

You are a very wise OHMommy. Fifi and Lola will be confident young ladies with their own flair for fashion. Have a very Happy New Year!

Indy said...

Your girls always look adorable. I am sure they will develop a great sense of style due to the freedom you give them. With only boys, I enjoy the tutus and remember the one I used to wear every day as a little girl. Enjoy your girls!

Kim said...

Paying it Forward does wonders for the soul.. I try to pay it forward as much as possible..

I heart Jill.. and those dresses are just adorable on your beautiful girls..

Here's to a rewarding soul filling year OhMommy!!!

Happy New Year to you and your family!

Kelly said...

Your girls look absolutely precious!!

Blessings From Above said...

"It is beautiful to me! My heart told me so." - I love this response! Lola is wise beyond her years.

I think "Pay it Forward" is a wonderful way to start the year off.

just jamie said...

"It is beautiful to me. My heart told me so."

Look what YOU are making. THAT is simply beautiful. You're paying it forward by sending lovely little children into the world who will grow into delightful, poised, compassionate, humane, and confident adults. Bravo my friend!

Jill said...

Wow OHMommy - I had no idea that I'd see your beautiful girls here in their outfits. I'm thrilled that they fit and so glad that they love them!!

Thanks for your kind words - it absolutely made my day! Pay it forward is so very important to us... I truly believe that when you give to others, good things comes back to you two-fold!

Have a wonderful New Year my friend! Here's to 2009 - may it be a great year for all of us!

Burgh Baby said...

A little princess dress never hurt anybody. It's a fact.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

What a beautiful post to start the New Year right.

Happy New Year!

Ashley said...

Are you kidding me? *I* would totally wear a tutu to the grocery store :) I can't wait to see the things Lorelei and Aurora come up with to wear. Love love love it!

the mama bird diaries said...

Happy New Year. I love this, "It is beautiful to me! My heart told me so."

That is just so precious and beautiful.

the planet of janet said...

they ARE beautiful (and lola? totally rocks for her comeback at heartless girl)

roo used to go out in things that would make me cringe, but it was HER personal style.

tulle, lace, frills and so much pink it would make your eyes bleed.

i miss those days .........

Marinka said...

You are awesome and I'm so glad that I found your blog. And duh, of course she needs to wear the Hannah Montana wig to dinner. What kind of person eats dinner without it?

jennyonthespot said...

Love this post. So precious... so meaningful... I love that you let your girls celebrate and explore their style, their love, their creative expression!

I just submitted an article to typeamom.net that fit very well with what you just wrote. It's "letting go" in ways such as how they dress... My mom allowed little expression... but I also let my kids explore their creative expression. heck when my son was 4 he wore his SUperman jammies for 6 weeks straight. he even wore them on Easter Sunday. That was a stretch, but as I look back (he's 9 now) those are some of my favorite pictures to see... a little boy dreaming, pretending... Now he worries about being cool and would never dream of wearing a costume/jammies. I will never regret letting him dream :)

PS - pay if forwad all year... yes, yes, yes... :) Yes!

Tracey said...

Sounds like a good mantra for a new year!

Corinne's outfit yesterday (at one point. It kept changing...) was her velvet Christmas dress (on backwards. She liked the zipper that way) with her new purple gym shoes and a tiara. She spun and spun saying "Don't I look lovely, Mommy?"

Happy New Year, my dear.

Huckdol said...

Don't you just love seeing your children bring smiles to complete stranger's faces? It's probably one of my favorite things in the world.

Happy New Year, sweetie. I'll be thinking about you tonight as I toast the amazing blogging friends I have and all of their support. I've had this year. Thank you for everything!

xo

Ellyn said...

What a beautiful gift.

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

Wow... that is just awesome. It makes me want daughters... I have two boys and a steptomboy! Love them, but long for tutus and sparkles. Maybe if one turns out gay... there's hope.

enthalpymama said...

All Gladys wanted from Santa this year was shoes. Just shoes. Well, shoes with candies on them. She got all kinds of sparkly shoes. My mother enjoyed giving me all kinds of hard time. "So, the economy kind of tough in Ohio? Your kids just wanting shoes?" Yes, the daughter of the practical engineer just wants PINK SHOES. Santa wasn't nearly as thrilled about packing those pink shoes in the sleigh as Mrs. Claus was. =) hee hee hee

Miss said...

How beautiful and happy they look!!! I'm so happy that person was kind enough to send those to them!

Happy New Years Love. Me and you. 07/09. ;-)

melissa said...

i've always let my kids wear pretty much whatever they want...within reason,of course. no bathing suits during the winter and that type of thing. but my oldest...almost 13 boy...refuses to match his clothes...FINE. my daughter used to only want to wear dresses and braids...FINE. my youngest...ALWAYS wears superhero pj tops under his clothes. and i've always be fine with all my kids doing things like this. it helps develop their personalities. i think it's AWESOME!!
hope you had a wonderful new years!! and pay it forward...that's an excellent idea for this year. you should start some sort of movement with this!!
xo

Lisa said...

How wonderful - and what a wonderful resolution!!!
Happy New Year, my friend!

Natalie said...

*I* would have been excited to play dress up in those, too! How neat!

Love the resolution, it is one of mine as well, even if it means just paying forward a smile I got from a stranger on a bad day, you know?

April said...

Happy New Year, OhMommy. Wishing you and your beautiful family all the best in 2009.

anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

I think a year of paying it on is a wonderful idea. I can tell the diva dolls love their new duds. And, I think it says loads about you that they have such self-confidence to express themselves.

Mama Smurf said...

I'm going to join you in that resolution! (I must also work on the muffin top though...mine can NOT wait another year =).

Those dresses are absolutely beautiful.

Happy New Year to you and your family.

meg said...

i am awaiting the day that miss sassafrass wanders down to breakfast in leos, cowboy boots and a tutu... :) Master D has started wanting to pick his own clothes out - but he just wants to look like daddy... polo shirts, long sleeve thermals and jeans or track pants... boys just aren't as much fun in the wardrobe department! Pay it forward is one of my 2009 goals (b/c resolutions are meant to be broken, we use "goals"). Good Luck and Lots of Love in 2009!

Wendy@RuensOnTheRun said...

I loved this post. How kind! And I love your daughter's quote, "It is beautiful to me! My heart told me so!" That's beautiful.

Nap Warden said...

How sweet is that! Yay Jill...I love her btw:)

3 Peanuts said...

Love the saris...I think you always seem to pay it forward, OM!

Kim

April said...

They look adorable! And I love your New Year's mantra! :-)
Happy New Year!

TheCynicalOptimist said...

ADORABLE photos and a great resolution. I like this idea of foregoing the weight loss!! :)

CC said...

While my 5 year old son is starting to refrain from dressing in princess dresses, my 3 year old daughter is starting to love them. Her absolute favorite gift was a hand-me-down-worn-out-ballerina-costume that we wrapped up like a "real" gift. She adores it. So I'm going to splurge $12 or so and actually buy her a pretty looking tutu/skirt so that I don't have to be embarrassed by my own cheapness. ;)

formerly fun said...

The girls look beautiful. I admire your ability to let go of wanting them all matchy matchy. I'm working on it but sometimes my five year old's combinations make me cringe. She has free rein with jammies and much to my chagrin she NEVER wears the two pieces that were actually made to go together, the rebel. She has recently been layering her jammies, like wearing three bottons and three tops. I have started just washing her whole drawer every week rather than wash the six-eight pieces she's wearing daily. Ugh.

Michele said...

I love this post. Your girls are beautiful!

I tell people all the time when I give them something or send them something and they ask how they can re-pay me. I say no just pay it forward to someone else.

Michele said...

I also loved what Lola said to her friend. She has a great head on her shoulders and she will be the trend setter and the leader. Go Lola!

Amy said...

Love it! A great resolution. And I'll do anything to avoid working on this muffin top ;-)

Happy 2009 my friend!

Jo said...

Hello,

I just found your blog ~ it's lovely.

The pay it forward post is perfect. For the past few days I've been reflecting on how willing everyone is to help others out during the Christmas season but, the day it's over, they are back to their old ways of I was here first, get out of my way. My children are older (18 and 16) and they too have begun to notice this behavior. I am going to "borrow" your idea and put it into action here in Connecticut. While I may not change the world, I might make someone smile on a day they really needed to!

Thanks for sharing such a fabulous idea!

LoVe your thoughts on the girls dressing themselves! Let them be and just enjoy who they are! When my son was in first grade he wanted to pick out his outfits. We came to an agreement that every Friday he could wear what wanted. Oh my what he came up with ~ patterns and colors of every sort. He came down those stairs on Fridays with such a smile of pride on his face. It was worth every head turn we got walking into school. I miss those Fridays!

Fondly,
Jo

Steph said...

Ohmommy, happy 2009! I love the idea of pay it forward, whatever fun stuff you come up with for pay it forward I am in!!! Your girls are adorable!!!

Musings of a Housewife said...

They are just SO precious! I love it. Love the confidence. You're doing a good job, Mama!

Haley-O said...

I'm paying it forward, too. Great resolution. Happy New Year. And, as the mother of a three year old little girl -- I totally relate to this post!

Rick said...

Hello there again Oh Mommy, Please forgive my boldness, but I am doing a bit of blog surfing to invite people over to my blog for my 2nd annual giveaway. Rest assured, this isn't some kind of gimmick. It's just my way of celebrating. I am giving away a free caricature drawn by me, plus a few other prizes. I hope that you will do me the honor of coming over to take a look.

Shannon said...

SO adorable!!! Those are just so sweet, and the girls look fantastic in them, of course :-) Happy New Year to you and I agree, there is nothing better and more rewarding than paying it forward.

Rachel said...

I'm so impressed that you let them dress according to what they know makes them beautiful. Good job.

And, those saris are adorable!!

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

what a lovely gift!!

Jaina said...

"It is beautiful to me! My heart told me so."

Wow, just wow. She's got it all together. High five her for me.

 

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