If there’s one thing Ava and I like to do together, it’s get fancy. If there’s ever an excuse to put in a little extra effort, we’ll take it. Ava has been wearing my necklaces to school lately… because she likes to be a little fancy. I love pulling out the napkin rings and candle sticks and plate chargers… because I like to be a little fancy. So whenever there’s an event where we get to be fancy, we’re all over it.
Yesterday Ava and I went to the Fairy Princess Ball, a mother/daughter event that is put on for the benefit of the Children’s Cancer Center at Essentia Health. And it’s right up our alley.
Half the fun of going to these events is the ‘getting ready’ time. I love getting ready for fancy parties. Basically, every thing about being a girl, I love; and because Ava watches me, she loves it too. Our prep time started out with hair and make-up. As Ava watched me put on foundation and blush, I knew what was coming.
“Mama, can I put on some makeup too??”
I know she very badly wanted to do this. My mom had a pretty strict no-make-up-until-you’re-16 rule growing up, so I always have a hesitancy in the back of my head.
“Well Ava, little girls don’t need make up. They are just beautiful without it.”
“Yeah, but mama’s are beautiful without it too.”
To-shay, Ava, To-shay. “Yes, you’re right. Mama’s don’t really need make-up either. But it’s just fun to wear isn’t it.”
And then I gave in. I showed her three eye shadows she could choose from (she chose the golden pearl “because it’s golden and sparkly”), swept the blush brush over her cheeks and helped her put on a little lip gloss. The truth is, you’d never know she was wearing any make up at all, but it made her feel special and extra pretty and I think deep down, that’s what every girl likes and wants to feel. We curled our hair, Ava put up with the hair spray, and we went to get dressed.
Now, the night before, I pulled every fancy dress I have out of my closet, which is a whooping two and a half… “half” because I’m not sure how fancy one of them really is. My baby belly ruled out two and I was super thankful to even have one that would mostly work. You can’t go to a fancy ball without somewhat of a fancy dress.
As I started to get dressed, I searched through my drawers for a pair of pantyhose. I used to own what seemed like 100’s of pairs of pantyhose when I worked… but that’s starting to be a long, long time ago now and as I searched, I realized I don’t own a single pair of nylons anymore. And as I thought about it, I couldn’t remember the last time I had actually worn a pair of nylons. Geez!
Running to CVS for pantyhose was not in the plan. And standing in the pantyhose aisle for 10 minutes trying to remember what brand I used to love wasn’t the plan either. I finally decided to go with the one whose box boldly stated “RUN RESISTANT” Because getting a run in your pantyhose is just the worst. Seriously. So if you’re “RUN RESISTANT” than you’re what I’m looking for.
So pantyhose procured, dress on, I emerge from the bedroom to my waiting audience of Ava and Oakley. They give me the once over. “Ooooo, Mommy, you look so pretty!” Then “Are you wearing a sweater with that? People are going to be able to see your shoulders… and your chest… and… everything!”
Well, now. I didn’t actually think my dress was that scandalous and I knew compared to other dresses that would be there, it would probably be pretty modest. While it was strapless, the neckline was pretty high and the hemline was to my knees. But we’ve had lots of talks about a certain Barbie who ended up in the trash can because her top was too low and her skirt was too high and her make up too…everything. So if my kids thought I wasn’t covered enough then that was a problem and I wasn’t about to un-teach any modesty lessons just because I liked my dress the way it was.
“I don’t have a sweater that would match, but how about a shawl?” They thought this was an ok idea.
Again, I had to dig deep into the bowels of my closet because this stuff doesn’t come out very often. I found the shawl I was looking for and put it on. Ava and Oakley confirmed I was appropriately covered and it was time to go. The truth is, I felt better with the shawl on too. Good fashion advice Ava and Oakley!
Probably the only belly pic that will happen with #4. 18 weeks!
The ball itself was so much fun. Whoever plans this event does such a fantastic job every year and they really go all out. This year there was a live jazz band and two (what seemed to be) professional singers. They had craft stations for painting and picture frame making, a photo booth, face painting, and a caricature artist. The sit down dinner was delicious, Ava was excited to be able to drink out of a fancy glass (ie stemware) and declared the punch was “so delicious… I LOVE it! We sat with fun friends and really had the best time.
Then came the dancing. This DJ knew his audience. He played everything from Disney theme songs, to Taylor Swift, to Backstreet Boys. I’m telling you, when the Backstreet Boys came on, it was like I was 17 and at prom all over again. Except this was way better than any prom I’d ever been to, mostly because by the time you’re 35, you don’t care how you look when you dance, you just bust it out. And when you’re 5, you don’t care how you look when you dance, you just bust it out. Me and Ava were dancing fools.
We left that party two happy campers and on the drive home were already talking about how much we’re looking forward to next year.
I love being able to do these things with Ava. I love having a little girl and I hope that as she grows up, she’ll still like doing this stuff with me too.