Saturday, December 22, 2007

Have Yourself an Unfrumpy Little Christmas

What I wish for you this holiday season:
Gift cards
Anything you'd never have bought for yourself but are secretly dying for
Something, ANYTHING, with sequins

What I don't wish for you this holiday season:
A robe
Exercise equipment
(Unless, of course, like myself, you actually asked for any of the above. Then it's okay.)

Happy holidays 2007!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Can I still call it baby weight if my child is a toddler?

In just a few short days, I'm heading to Hawaii for the holidays. Along with the swimmy dipes, the carseat, the pack n play, the lifevest, the sand toys and the baby flip flops, I'm bringing along eight unwanted pounds. I tried not inviting them, but I'm pretty sure those sneaky bastards are going to be stowaways. I even tried contracting a week-long stomach virus that I wrongly assumed would knock out at least a couple of them. These are the most stubborn lbs that ever were. And not only are they coming to Hawaii, they're going to be on display, waving and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas while I parade around in a bathing suit.

One of my frumpiest moments of late was when I went out shopping for said bathing suit. In retrospect, I should have gotten a couple of glasses of wine in me before standing in front of a three-way mirror in 12 square inches of clothing. It seems to me that there are three camps of bathing suits out there. The ones that are made for 12 year olds with no body fat, the ones that look like they're made for someone performing a 1950's water ballet, and the ones bearing rhinestones and faux gold that belong on someone named Rhoda. I'm sure it didn't help that I was looking for bathing suits in mid-December, but there is a serious dearth of cute, non-Brazillian-assed suits out there. After trying on about 30 bathing suits (I'm still dealing with the PTSD), I walked away with one semi-cute bikini and a new respect for the cover-up. Bring on the beach!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ponytails are Mommytails

If you don't have a hairdo, there's a good chance you have a hairdon't. Now, mind you, "long with bangs" is not a hairdo. Nor is "curly". I know this from experience, because for many, many years I unsuccessfully tried to pull off "shoulder length". Then recently, I went to a new stylist. I was so fed up with my hair that I just said, "Do whatever you want", then sat back and watched in horror as inches and inches of my hair dropped to the ground. But my horror turned to wonder as slowly, out from under the frumpfest that was my hair, emerged a style that I think of as "Posh Spice Lite". It took some time to get used to it, but now I am amazed at how easy it is to look "finished" now that I have an actual, grown-up hairdo. It's kind of like having a permanent stylish accessory that goes with everything. So, if you don't have hair that can be described using an actual style-related adjective (bob, shag, blunt cut) or a celebrity reference (Meg Ryan, Jennifer Aniston, Posh Spice), then get thee to a salon. There's nothing a mom needs more than an easy way to decrease her frump factor. Except, perhaps, a chardonnay IV drip.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Frumpity-frump-frump, Frumpity-frump-frump

...look at mommy go. With the holiday season upon us, I'd like to take a brief moment to talk about holiday-themed clothing. In a word, it's frumpariffic. There are, of course, exceptions. If you are a grandma, a teacher of young children or going to an "ugliest Christmas sweater" party, then by all means, deck your halls. If you don't fall into any of those categories, you may want to eschew the following when it comes to holiday attire: santa, reindeer, snowmen, elves, nutcrackers, wreaths, presents, stockings, angels, candy canes, nativity scenes, lights (especially if they actually LIGHT), dreidels and menorahs. Acceptable holiday-related icons for clothing are: snowflakes. In moderation.

It's like people lose their minds briefly once December hits. You don't see people throwing on sweaters with suns and beaches on them starting July 1st. In the past, before Christmas sweaters were invented, people showed their holiday cheer in their actions, their faces, and their homes. Now, we're parading it around on our persons. Let's get it back where it belongs, shall we?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lumpy is Frumpy

Me as a mom is a lot like me before I was a mom, only lumpier. Granted, I'm still working on getting rid of 6-8 leftover baby pounds. But even when (not if! positive thinking!) I manage to drop those lbs, I know I will have a few more lumps than I used to. I feel like a toothpaste tube that's been squeezed at both ends. In fact, I'm considering a Weird Al-style makeover of Fergie's "My Humps" that goes: "My lumps, my lumps, my frumpy baby lumps".

Anyhoo, all this leads me to find any and all methods of creative lump-hiding. Here are a few I've discovered:

1. The cute, fitted puffer vest - instant lumpectomy! Plus, you can basically throw it over sweats (ones that fit, mind you) and a sweater and it looks like you've got an outfit on.

2. Layers - as long as they're not too bulky. A tank top under a shirt or sweater is great at lumpoflage. Gap Body has some good, paper-thin stretchy tees that work really well, too.

3. Stretch knit fabric - I think whoever invented jersey knit should have their own monument in Washington DC. It's comfortable, it's flattering, and you can run around after children in it without worrying about something popping, ripping or lumping.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Celebrity moms = Bad role models

Before having a baby, I never paid any attention to pictures of celebrity moms. Now, I find myself scrutinizing every detail--their hair, their outfits, their accesssories, their back fat (or lack thereof), you name it. I'm not above pulling out a magnifying glass to check to see if their toes are manicured.

What am I doing?

Not only do these women have gobs and gobs of money to throw at their mom-frump, they have ISTS. Lots of them. StylISTS, facialISTS, colorISTS, manicurISTS, personal trainerISTS, plastic surgeonISTS. I, on the other hand, have one full length mirror and some Spanx. That's pretty much the breadth of my frump arsenal.

The bottom line is we shouldn't compare ourselves to women who get paid to look fabulous. The best role models are the moms you see at the park, at the store, getting coffee. The ones that look cute and comfortable yet aren't going to lose their jobs if their child vomits in their hair.

Lately I've read a couple of refreshing articles about celebrity moms that have been honest about how hard it is to look good when you have a kid. Both Jennifer Garner and Keri Russell gave interview and basically said, "I would look like shit if I didn't have a movie coming out and a studio breathing down my neck to unfrump myself." (I'm paraphrasing.)

Bless them and their little size 2 bodies.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

All hail the sexy sweats!

No, I'm not talking about the sweats that have the word "JUICY" running from the far left cheek to the distant right. Even if I had a, well, mouth-watering hind end, I'm not sure that's the precise word I'd want emblazoned upon it in 72-point type. And far too often I notice that the asses proclaiming their succulence are decidedly, decidedly not. No, frump fighters, I have something much better, much subtler and much juicier for you.

If you have a Lululemon store within 100 miles, immediately stop reading and go there. Now. (Tragically, you can't order their stuff online. Yet.) This is a Canadian-born company that finally understands that women (especially moms) want to wear sweats and not look like either Sporty Spice or Barney. All their pants and tops come in actual sizes (4, 6, 8, etc.) and they will hem the pants for free. So you end up with a pair of comfy sweats that actually fit. HALLELUJAH.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Frump Fighters of the universe, unite!

A woman's Frump Factor has nothing to do with being beautiful or ugly, fat or thin, rich or poor. It's about how much you care about caring for yourself. In fact, there's nothing sadder than a naturally beautiful woman with a decent bod and disposable cash that's totally frumpified. Because it means she simply no longer cares. And what kind of message is that to send to your kids?

The thing is, frump is tempting. It's bizarrely enticing to imagine truly not caring anymore about what you look like. We're supposed to care about what's on the inside anyways, right? Visions of gigantic sweats and comfortable shoes and ponytails dance in our mommy-addled heads. There's this sneaky little voice inside us saying, "Hey, as long as my kid looks cute, I can look like the backend of an orangutan."

No one is saying that you can't frump out on occasion. I'm OFTEN teetering on the precipice, dangling one unmanicured toe into the churning waters of frump. Heck, I'm sure even Jackie Kennedy got her frump on once in a great while, at least while she had small children. But the amount of quality time one spends traveling in Frumpistan can certainly be managed.

The reason I've decided to write about this is because ever since becoming a mom, the sheer amount of frump that I encounter out there in momdom is staggering. I also come across women who blow me away with their effortless, comfy style. So I know there are likeminded women out there, fighting the good frump fight. Maybe, just maybe, we can band together to help stamp out a tiny bit of frump in the world and replace it with something nice to look at.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Primer in Momscaping

Here are just a few Unfump My Mom (UMM) words of wisdom:


Invest in some kickass concealer, and use it liberally.

It doesn't matter if you use the box or the salon, just control your root situation.

Never. Ever. Everanever. Wear socks and Tevas.

Find good, supportive bras. WEAR THEM.

If you're having a rough day, don glam sunglasses. It works for Nicole Richie.

Frump happens. It's ok, as long as you TRY.