My sweet and thoughtful husband recently came home from a trip to the store with this magazine for me:
Because A) I was sick and in need of mentally unchallenging reading material and B) he thought it would be good fodder for my blog. I was torn -- I don't even know who this woman is and it peeves me to no end that she keeps stealing perfectly good media space away from MUCH more important stories (Lindsay Lohan? Brad and Angie? Michael Jackson conspiracy theories??) BUT, here is she is saying something of real importance -- "Can't a mom be sexy?" Wow, she's speaking my language! Ok, Kendra Whoeveritson of dubious fame, bring it on. Let's hear what you have to say. Maybe we have viewpoints in common.
Fast forward to the article. Early on, she talks about her husband's uptight attitudes, "He definitely doesn't like the flashing." (That would be flashing other men at clubs.) Also, he doesn't like that she's considering posing for Playboy. And the whole sex tape thing, well, that was a bit of a bump in the marriage too. Her response? "I'm going to go out and shake my butt and have a good time. I'm not a nun." But hey -- "Can't a mom be sexy?"
Apparently moms, you have two choices. Donning a habit, or flashing random men. I always did like The Sound of Music.
The feet on the left with the cute ballet flats and pleated skirt belong to a nine-year old girl, who is clearly not getting fashion tips from mom feet on the right. Apparently post-pedicure thongs now come in leather?
The following was a conversation I had with my 4-year-old daughter while she was sitting next to her not-quite-two-year-old brother, watching television.
Her: Mommy, look! He put his booger on his leg all by himself!
(I check out the situation and, sure enough, my son has a slimy green booger stuck to the underside of his thigh, which seems like an odd place for him to put a booger. Not to mention that he hasn't quite gotten the hang of nosepicking yet.)
Me: Are you sure that's not your booger?
Her: (not missing a beat) I think he grabbed my booger and put it on his leg.
Me: Are you sure you didn't put your own booger on his leg?
This blog rarely goes very deep. It's usually some combination of kids, fashion—the bad and the good—and mom craziness. I keep it light because that's how I get through all of the above. That said, I read a post recently on another blog that went straight to my heart. As a mom whose daughter wants Lightning McQueen on everything she wears, including her underwear (so I buy her boys briefs and let her rock it out), and whose son who loves nothing more than donning his sisters unworn princess dress and dancing spins around the living room, I applaud this mom wholeheartedly. And in a world with so much wrong, it's disheartening to think that anyone, much less a mother, would judge a kid's self-expression.
Without further ado, here is the post. And come to think of it, it IS about kids, fashion and mom craziness after all.
A friend of mine recently shared this video with me and I think it is pure gold. Dads can be frumpy too—I mean, we've all had our eyeballs burned at the park by hairy legs that end in black socks and Tevas. (Which just goes to show that Tevas are gender-agnostic frump.) This video is ALMOST as good as the Sienna "Swagger Wagon" videos which, if you haven't seen them, stop reading this right now and go straight to YouTube. Enjoy!
We had just finished swim class, the two kids and I crowded in the bathroom, trying to rinse, dry off, and change without slipping on the floor or sticking to something disgusting. Once I had gotten my daughter and I together, I turned to deal with my slippery wet and totally naked son. I reached into the bag and.... OH CRAP. NO DIAPER.
I panicked, wondering for a moment if I could put his shorts on with nothing on underneath, only to remember that he seems to take the lack of a diaper as an open invitation to pee on anything he can. I knew I'd be dealing with a constant stream all the way to the car. Suddenly, I saw a nicely packed canvas bag emblazoned with the name PETER. I could tell just by looking at the outside of the bag that it was owned by the kind of mom who would never forget her son's diaper after swim class. (I, on the other hand, was carrying a reusable bag from the Apple Store with a rip in the top.) So I looked around and, seeing no one, rummaged though that bag wildly until I found a beautiful dry diaper. (Don't worry, there was more than one. Of course, because Peter's mom is organized.) I wish I could say I felt guilty, but instead I felt wickedly triumphant. Damn, I'm resourceful.
That said, I'll never forget a diaper after swim class again. Peter's mom might not be there to save my ass next time.
I've used mine for wiping noses and hands (gross but better than my pantleg), covering stains (my own), stuffing between a sleeping child's lolling head and the carseat headrest, and, oh yeah, brightening up a boring outfit. It's like throwing on a cute, colorful dishrag and having it be perfectly ok—stylish, even. There are many out there to choose from, and they're usually pretty cheap. Here's a cute one from Old Navy:
I'm a big believer in little accessories. I have a theory that all you need is a great pair of sunglasses and some decent footwear, and you can get away with pretty much anything in between. So you can imagine my delight when my super stylish cousin (and mother-of-three) came home from a recent trip to New York bearing this fabulous little number:
It's blingy without being gaudy, it's comfortable to wear, and it gives anything I wear it with a major upgrade. (In fact, I'm currently rocking it with the waffle knit shirt I slept in, some yoga pants and a sweater.) And it doesn't hurt that I'm told it was purchased mere minutes after a Soho sighting of Kim Kardashian. I asked: yes, it's that big in real life. And apparently her skin is a study in perfection. Not that anyone is paying attention.
I love my new cuff. I wish I could direct you to this exact one. Alas, I haven't been able to find one like it online, but here's another nice option from Garnet Hill. Click here to go directly to it on their website.
I've been having foot pain for oh, a year or so and, until recently, had yet to do anything about it for fear that the rest of my life would be spent in (heaven forbid) flats or (shudder) corrective footwear. However, the pain finally asserted itself to the point that I made my very first appointment with a podiatrist. Feeling every single one of my 37 years, I dutifully put on my flat sandals and headed in for my sentencing. He came in (and by the way, was kind of hot), looked at my feet, asked me a few questions, and then uttered these five beautiful words, "YOU SHOULD NOT WEAR FLATS." I almost looked around for the hidden camera. What? An attractive podiatrist putting me under doctor's orders to wear heeled shoes? How much better does it get? The downside is that apparently my calves and achilles are so tight (partially genetic, partially from all these years of my beloved heels) that I could end up doing some damage. So I have to do physical therapy and stretches and wear a boot thing at night and blah blah blah. BUT. I now have a MEDICAL need for heeled footwear. Think my insurance will pick up a pair of Manolos for me?
A+ for hitting the elliptical machine. D- for doing it in denim.
Yes, those are denim capris. It's like the direct opposite of wicking material. Did I mention that it was about 99 degrees that day? Think maybe she just changed her shoes and popped back to the office after her workout? I would hate to be this woman's cubicle mate.
Thanks to two friends who gently reminded me recently that I hadn't posted on here in OVER A MONTH (thank you Jenny and Kayla!) I am re-committing to my posting ways and even adding a new feature - the Mom-item of the Moment (or M.O.M.). I am always seeing things in stores or online that I feel would be great, unfrumpy additions to anyone's closets, but especially moms and most especially mine. While I can't always buy whatever I want, I can certainly blog about it, and maybe someone else will benefit! So, speaking of Madewell, here is my very first M.O.M. (I'll try to keep these relatively inexpensive, what with college to pay for someday and all...)
Cute, comfy, unique and less than $50. I love the burnout thing that's going on, I love the color that would mask most child-related emissions, and I really love the buttons on the sleeves. Take that, Beefy-T.
Sometimes while I'm standing in front of my closet, woefully uninspired, I ask myself, "What would J. Crew do?" Throw on a stained t-shirt and yoga pants? Never. It helps get me past those moments of weakness.
And yes, I know that most human beings (especially those of us with boobs) can't put seven layers on without looking like H.R. Pufnstuf. But it's inspirational to see how they style things, the unexpected combinations they put together, the cool and unstuffy jewelry they layer on. All I'm saying is, I'm listening.
And while we're on the subject, do you know about Madewell? It's J. Crew's newest line, a little more casual, a little less expensive - in other words, a little more mom. Yes PLEASE.
Well, I'm about two months into this new gig of mine, and it has been—well, everything. Wonderful, exhausting, rewarding, frustrating, brain-melting, challenging, joyous and all-consuming. I've fished my son out of a toilet, bought four new iPhone apps for my daughter, renewed my pregnancy carpal-tunnel issues and found pure joy in the occasional Starbucks run. A hell of a lot different from my life as a San Francisco advertising writer, but I've found that what's bad for my wardrobe is good for my soul. And I'm totally fine with that.
Many of my friends have asked me how the transition has been, and it's hard to find an answer that sums it all up. As committed as I was as a mom while I was working, there's just no denying the fact that at the end of the week, I had racked up 40 hours or so of time that had nothing to do with my offspring—in heels, no less. That's not good or bad, right or wrong, it's just 180 degrees different from my life now. Now, I think it's stretching it to say that I may have 12 hours a week of time that's not spent dressing, feeding, teaching, shuttling, playing with and cleaning up the poop of my children. And heels? Please. At the end of the day, I'm exhausted and I often smell funny, but my heart is full. That's pretty much the best way to explain it.
That said, here are a few reflections of my new life...
Children are both the best company you'll ever have and the worst. They give you moments that are so much more funny and brilliant and insightful than even the most funny, brilliant and insightful adults, then they follow it up by pooping on your couch.
Who comes in and slows the clock down from the hours of 4:00 to 6:30? Seriously, stop that.
I think I have to take a bit of my own advice when it comes to frump—not to mention apologize for my soapbox stand on it when I was still working. NOT THAT I'M LETTING DOWN MY GUARD OR GIVING UP MY FIGHT!!! It's just a hell of a lot harder when you barely have time to shower much less blow dry much less make up. I'm thinking of inventing a Mom Mask that is some sort of snazzy looking thing you cover your entire face and hair with that makes you look good without having to do any of the above. Anyone with me?
WHY AM I TIRED ALL THE TIME? Not like normal tired. Like I've gone through some kind of military sleep deprivation torture.
I find myself thinking all the time about moms 50 years ago, or 100. Can you imagine? No cartoons, no computer, no microwave ovens, no Starbucks, no pre-packaged snack food, no minivans where you can control the world with your index finger. I can't decide if I'm horrified or kind of jealous.
My kids are magical. So are yours.
I go to bed at night with the weirdest aches in the weirdest places. Why does my right bicep hurt? Oh yeah, because my (30-lb) 19-month old only lets me carry him on that side, with that arm. Why is my left thigh burning? Oh yeah, horsie rides. Why is my forehead sore? Oh yeah, head butt. It goes on.
I can honestly say that I have moments every day—even the brutal ones—when I am awestruck by something. A new word, a funny comment, a spontaneous snuggle, or just the sight of a chubby hand or breathtakingly long eyelashes. Even on the best days, that never happened at work.
I'm not very good at housework. But I sing a mean Old MacDonald.
If you've read my blog much, you're probably aware that I have a personal vendetta against Tevas. Basically, I have the same reaction to Tevas that many people have to rodents—I want to stand up on the nearest chair and shriek when I see them. To be fair, I don't have a problem with the actual shoe, per se, just the fact that it's been woefully misappropriated from mountaineering to motherhood. And because it's summer, and I now spend inordinate amounts of time in public parks, I see them EVERYWHERE. So, I thought now would be as good a time as any to talk about just why I find them so perplexing. Let's begin with the fabric that makes up the outer part of the shoe. Inevitably, regardless of color or pattern, it looks like something that should be tied around someone's neck with a backstage pass to a Grateful Dead concert dangling from it. (And I love the Grateful Dead, but that's not a compliment.)
Now, the straps. What exactly, does the average suburban mom (or dad) have planned in a day that would require your entire ankle and foot to be locked into a 5-point anchor system? I mean, that's more secure than my children are in their respective carseats. Maybe we could just strap our infants into men's size 14 Tevas and call it a day. It would certainly be cheaper, if not more aesthetically pleasing. I'm sure there are times where one's foot needs this kind of security—say, white water rafting or waterfall diving—but I really don't think an afternoon run to Trader Joe's applies.
Lastly, the soles. Holy mother of corrective footwear, do our feet really need the same tread thickness as an SUV? Maybe it needs all that rubber to hold down the NASA-quality strap system. Again, perhaps it comes in handy while walking through pirahna-infested waters or razor-sharp volcanic rock, but hardly the tanbark at the local park.
Please, I beg of you, KEEP TEVAS IN THEIR NATURAL HABITATS. And if you ever get the urge to wear them with socks, at least be kind enough to follow it up with neon paint-splattered wrestling pants to complete the look.
A 150-square foot bathroom with a sink, a toilet, a bathtub/shower combo, a bathroom tower storage thing, a kiddy potty, a 3.5 year old, an 18 month old, and myself. With a hair dryer. My daughter (3.5) is busy applying eyeliner to her tummy, because this is where I have told her it goes. (I figure no one can see it there. She's going to be mighty confused the day she sees me putting it on my eyelids.) My son (18 months) is climbing all over everything and constantly milliseconds away from personal injury. I'm standing at the sink with the blow dryer in one hand and a brush in the other. My left knee is bent with my left knee resting on top of the toilet, so as to keep my son from bathing in it. My right leg is stretched out as it can go to the right, with THAT foot partially blocking the kiddy potty, so as to keep my son from using its contents as hair gel. My arms are switching between trying to achieve some sort of hair style and keeping my son from playing with the toilet brush/unraveling the toilet paper/falling into the bathtub.
Funny thing is, even on the days when I actually get through this exercise without having to scrap it and clean the bathroom, it's only a matter of about three hours before I give up and throw it in a ponytail. You'd think I'd just give up on the whole thing. But see, it's like a gateway drug. I give up drying my hair once in a while and next thing you know I'm out in public wearing a scrunchie. I'll keep up my blow drying calisthenics as long as necessary, thank you very much.
This is one of my favorite anti-depressants. Every time I go to this site, I end up laughing so hard I cry. Even when I'm by myself in the kitchen. See, this is why photoshop was invented. Bless you, Adobe.
And since it may never make it up on the site, here is my submission of my own personal manbabies. It also makes me laugh out loud every time I see it. (Am I admitting too much about my sense of humor here?)
If you're with me so far, and you're sitting there jonesing for more bizarre photoshop magic, please take a stroll over to Selleck Waterfall Sandwich. And have a nice day.
In the last week, I went from a gainfully employed 4-day a week working mom to a full-time stay at home mom. It's a change we've been thinking about and working towards for a while now, and I'm still a little bit shell shocked that it's actually here. Now, on Sunday night after my first week of full time momhood, I can say that I'm physically exhausted but happy. This is going to be quite a change, but my heart and my arms are open and ready for it. Not to mention the fantastic fodder I'll have for my blog!
Here are my initial observations after one week in:
75% of my clothes have been rendered useless overnight.
I blew my hair dry one time this entire week. Once. And it still looked like crap.
I really need to embrace sunscreen ASAP.
My pants are the most convenient and certainly the most preferred napkin for food, boogers, sand, etc.
In the words of Chicago, Starbucks is a hard (hard!) habit to break.
Stay at home motherhood is particularly brutal with a hangover.
I keep forgetting to eat, which could work out nicely if it keeps up.
Deodorant is CRUCIAL.
When I go to bed at night, my eyes are heavy, my back is achy and my heart is full. I'll take it.
My husband once showed me a post from one of his friends on Facebook that said something along the lines of, "I just want to thank Ed Hardy for making shirts that allow me to spot douchebags at a distance." I think this guy was talking about Ed Hardy's illustrious men's line (that has been made famous by celebridouches such as John Gosselin) but lo and behold, apparently he also makes clothing for women.
I get it that sometimes you want to embrace your inner motorcycle girl. Heck, that's what Frye boots and studded sandals are for. You can close your eyes and imagine that your minivan is a Harley and that's wind whipping through your hair, not peanut butter. But I daresay that wearing brightly colored clothing that looks like someone zoomed in 400% on an old man's tattoos is not the way to go.
Picture this: I am casually strolling the aisles of the Loehman's shoe store (mostly a disappointment, except for a cute pair of pale pink ballet flats that make me want to listen to Spandau Ballet and this frump sighting). I hear one of the sweetest sounds in the world—a baby belly laughing. So I follow the giggles until I round an aisle and find this facing me down.
Not sure if you can read the words in the lovely banner surrounding the bleeding heart but it says this: LOVE KILLS SLOWLY. Awesome. What a nice thought to leave with all of us who are looking at your backside. That baby better laugh while he still can't read...
If there is a momiform in my little slice of suburbia, this must certainly be it. Every time I go out with the kids, I run into this outfit in one form or another. I'm trying to come up with a name for it: Camping Chic? Everyday Adventurewear? Backyard Tourist? It's like safari gear meets hiking outfit meets tourist clothes. All of which seems fine for those particular applications, but kind of odd for going to the park with the kids.
The other thing that I can't figure out is where are all these clothes coming from? I mean, I see them EVERYWHERE I look when I'm at the park, but I can't remember once seeing this outfit on a mannequin at the mall. And I don't shop at fancy places—I'm talking The Gap, Old Navy—the basics. It looks like it's been plucked straight out of the window of REI. Which is fine, except there aren't a whole lot of REIs out there where moms can do a little Sunday browsing. I mean, you have to work to put this look together.
It's not like it's so awful, it's just so devoid of personal style. It's so.... functional. I can't imagine that this was the go-to look of choice for these women before they had kids. I never saw this look in my pre-mom life, so I guess there's something about birthing children that makes certain women think they need to dress like they're hunting for wild game when they're hanging out with the kids.
Wait... I think it's all starting to make sense now...
I have discovered the fountain of youth, and it comes from a hose.
Two words: Airbrush. Tanning.
If you aren't squeamish about standing mostly naked but for a skimpy paper thong and a shower cap in front of a strange woman wielding a nozzle, you must try this. I'm not exaggerating when I say that, in just 20 minutes, you will look like you just spent two weeks in Maui. It's not orange, it doesn't streak, it looks pretty darn natural. I had an issue with my tan pooling in my elbow pit, but I think that was user error.
I'd be lying however if I didn't say there are drawbacks. First, the aforementioned mortification of the actual application. I just stand there looking at the wall and thinking over and over "I am not the worst that she's seen. I am not the worst that she's seen." (How's that for an empowering mantra?) Plus, after two rounds of childbirth, my modesty button is slightly broken. There's also the fact that it doesn't fade nicely and naturally. So, while you'll look smoking for 2-3 days (perfect for a big event/weekend away/highschool reunion), soon you'll start looking like an old car with a bad paint job. It just kind of... wears away. So you either need to keep it up on a regular basis, or go back to long sleeves and jeans until the awkward phase passes. Not terribly convenient, but frankly neither are pasty, blue-tinged arms and legs. For $35 and a few days of tan patchiness, I think it's well worth the good pictures you'll have while the fun lasts.
Just got back from a whirlwind weekend in New York for one of my best friend's weddings. It was magical, wonderful, beautiful... and all the more so because it was the first time we went away without both kids. I am a new woman. And though I saw little to no frump in NY except for what was provided by tourists like us, I did manage to snap a couple of pics in Starbucks.
This woman is under the unfortunate impression that her waist lies mere inches beneath her bosom. Where she found pants with that long of an inseam is a mystery. Maybe she's more accustomed to tennis skirts than pants, judging from her shoes and accessories.
Full disclosure: This is my BFF Jill, who we were with in NY. But after taking in the former image with my eyes, turning around and seeing her was like cleansing my eyeball palate. She was the refreshing sorbet I needed after Ms. Highpants. How cute, casual and comfortable does she look? And I don't think she'll mind if I tell you she was smuggling a breastpump in that bag...
Amen to my cousin, Colleen, for emailing me this fine, fine specimen of frump captured at her son's soccer game. Her immediate concern (as was mine, when I saw the photo) was: Why the heel? Even me, being a huge fan of heels, can see no purpose for them on what can only be described as athletic clogs. Or shall we say athleticlogs?
Now that we've addressed the problem of the rubber molded heel, we can spend a moment on the bubble-gum pink smiley-face socks. When one wears socks of this color, especially with mary jane-style shoes, one wants them to be seen, am I wrong? So this was a conscious choice. This mom said to herself, while donning her slightly cropped boot cut jeans, you know what would be really cute and sporty to wear to the soccer game today? My mary jane athleticlogs with those adorable bright pink happy face socks peeping out, like they're giggling at the world.
Either that, or her feet got cold on the way to the game and she grabbed her 10-year old daughter's socks from the floor of the minivan and threw them on. But I'm betting on the former.
Well, I'm back, if you'll still have me. I think this is the longest I've ever gone without posting. Honestly, I don't know where the last 30 days went. It wasn't one thing, it was everything. In a nutshell, here's what I've been doing since we last met: Working ungodly hours, not cleaning my house, vomiting, mopping up my son's projectile vomit (or, rather, watching my husband mop it up while consoling said vomiter), hanging out in emergency rooms, aging, not sleeping, losing weight at the speed of evolution, traveling, more working, more vomit cleaning, even less sleeping. All of which has meant I have also NOT been blogging. So sad. So sorry. Though maybe I'm kidding myself that it's a loss to anyone besides myself.
Well. The LEAST I can do is come back with a picture for you. Shazam!
There really isn't any one thing to point out, here. Kind of like my last 30 days, it's just a big, bad, whirlwind of ickiness.
Lately I've been feeling like I should prop up one of those neon yellow signs in front of me that says, "Under construction. Please excuse the mess." Between the lack of sleep, the husband-health-stress, the inability to exercise and, you know, aging, I am not feeling like myself. At all. But I've had a few wonderful, totally selfish moments over the past couple of weeks that are giving me hope that a person may emerge one day that resembles a me I like.
It all started when my husband noticed how fried I've been and surprised me by taking me to a hotel for a night. AND DROPPING ME OFF. ALONE. AND HANDING ME A ROOM KEY AND DRIVING AWAY WITH THE KIDS. When I got up to the room, there was a bottle of wine chilling, a People Magazine, and a card telling me to order room service and watch a movie. I promptly burst into some of the happiest tears of my life. I watched a movie he'd never watch with me, slept diagonally in the bed and still managed to wake up at all the times the kids usually do, but this time I could just chuckle to myself and go back to sleep. Damn, it was good. Later, I told him that leaving me alone in a hotel room was probably the single most romantic thing he's ever done.
To all three of my male readers, DO THIS FOR YOUR WIFE. To everyone else, leave this post up and out in a conspicuous place in your house where your husband will see it. Like, the bathroom. Trust me, for helping me put myself back together, this was the next best thing to a photofacial and a boob lift.
Remember when, way back in the very beginning of the year, I said I was going to revamp my inconsequential little corner of cyberspace? Well, I DID IT! (Or rather, I had fabulous, talented people do it. Since I am neither. Thank you, oh gifted ones.)
I should really be less excited about this. I mean, seriously, I'm a grown woman. But the fact that my blog no longer looks like it was designed by the blonde technophobe that I am is causing me some serious giddiness. I keep going back to look at it, and every time I do, I get a little flip in my stomach, like falling in love. Am I making you uncomfortable? Ok, I'll stop now. (But it's really cute, right?)
Lately, I've been surreptitiously snapping photos of the frumpy footwear that seems to be taking over my little section of suburbia. Everywhere I look my eyeballs are affronted with shoes that make me wonder if there is a giant shoe store filled with camping shoes somewhere in my midst that I'm overlooking. I wouldn't even know where to buy these shoes, even if I wanted to (and I don't and won't, unless I get some kind of head injury. Or hardcore bunions.) Odds are good that this is just the first in a series of these galleries, since the subjects are just so darn plentiful. It's like whale watching during mating season.
These are probably the least offensive, but still. They look like convertible house slippers:
And now for the ever-popular "grandpa tourist" look:
"Excuse me, I'm just stopping in for a latte before my daily riverbed-walking expedition":
Can't stop. Hammertime (click on the photo for the full effect. I beg you.):
I have been doing a little spring shopping lately and I feel like Alice in Wonderland who fell down the rabbit hole right back into 1987. And I love it. I have never hidden my devotion to the 80's, mainly the music and, ok, specifically Michael Jackson and Jon Bon Jovi. But I still have heart-flutters when I think about certain outfits I wore in the 80's—the pink zip-up dress, the fisherman sweaters (worn backwards, of course), the pop beads, my dad's army jacket. The 80's were good to me, fashion-wise. Part of this is the same reason why I'm happy to see them return. See, the whole baggy-on-top-slim-on-bottom look is EXACTLY what this busty, skinny-legged body needs. One time, I was reading one of those magazine articles where they ask you what fruit you are—apple, pear, etc. I said to my husband, "I never relate to these... I guess maybe I'm an upside down pear?" To which he responded, without even looking up from what he was reading, "You are a lightbulb." So see, I need this trend back. The entire era of the 90's, with the baggy Z Cavaricci jeans and the tight bodysuit tops, was an abomination to my particular body type. Yes, I realize I'm thinking selfishly, but I'm overjoyed to see it all—the neon, the converse, the boots, the layers.
Here are a couple of things I bought that make my toes curl with happiness. First, the cutest, most comfortable ballet flats ever, and you can't tell by this picture but they are straight-up NEON pink:
After the whole surgery/hospital/lack of sleep/purple eye bag thing, I decided I needed a serious look pick-me-up. I mean, I felt like I aged twelve years in two weeks and mama needed to turn back the clock. So here's what I did.
First, I bought myself these glasses. Normally, I'm more of a Nicole Richie/big sunglasses type of gal. These are way more hipster than I usually go for, which has the effect of making me feel like a total stranger when I have them on. They make me younger, more attractive, skinnier and smarter. They do. I swear. They also make my bad haircut fabulous and turn my minivan into a Porsche Cayenne.
Next, I went and got a mani/pedi, but I did something different this time. I went for super-dark-purple-almost-black on my feet AND my hands. I mean, the last time I had a shade on my fingertips besides pale nude, I think it was the 80's and my nails were acrylic. I also believe I caught them on fire, but that's another story. Again, the dark nails transformed my hands into hipster hands, cured my hangnails and added two carats to my diamond.
Between the shades and the nails, I feel like a rock star. Mind you, I'm not saying I LOOK like a rock star, that's not really for me to say. But, on the back end of 30 with two kids and a minivan, feeling like a rock star is a damn good start. Grand total was about $250. Not exactly chump change, but for a full week's supply of being a superstar in my own mind, I'd say it was well worth it.
This past week, I have been out in public in unprecedented states of personal frump. I have held numerous conversations with other adults while sporting unbrushed hair, unbrushed teeth, snot-smeared clothes and zero makeup. If I was being followed by the paparazzi, there could be an entire issue of OK Magazine dedicated to my downhill slide. But I've also been reminded of something important: I am blessed to even be caring about frump in the first place.
My husband had surgery on Thursday to remove a benign but very rare and aggressive tumor from his abdomen. Because of the rarity of the tumor, we traveled to Houston to have the surgery performed at MD Anderson. Even though we'd been planning for this event, and had an inkling that it might be tough, it has spun my head how hard it's been on him mainly, and me secondarily. There were some issues with his pain management, and other things that caused him extreme discomfort the few days following the surgery, and ALL THAT MATTERED was his health and well-being. Whether or not I had time to brush my teeth and hair was hardly a consideration before racing to the hospital to get him the help that he needed, or racing to the hotel to be with the kids.
So, in short, I consider myself extremely blessed that, most of the time, I even have the luxury of caring about something as meaningless as my personal appearance. There are far more important things in the world. I always knew this (though I have been accused of shallowness thanks to the subject matter of this blog!) but it's taken on new meaning this week.
Not to worry, I will once again take up the mantle of frump warrior. Once all is well with the world (and it will be), my frump radar will start picking up signals again. Until then....
My husband got OK Magazine for me as a gift a long, long time ago and it's still coming (even though I'm not sure we've ever renewed it). When he got it for me, I thought it was pretty much one of the best gifts a girl could ask for... celebrity gossip appearing on my own front porch weekly? Yes please! But now, after like 150 weeks of it, I'm totally disillusioned. For one thing, I'm beginning to think that OK Magazine is owned by some combination of the Kardashian family, Kendra Wilkinson, and the Twilight franchise. Because damn if one of them (if not all three) isn't on EVERY COVER. Another thing I can't stand is that they're all about the big fat misleads—as in this week's headline: Brad and Jen Together Again! Only to discover that they're talking about the fact that both of them were in the same room at the Haiti telethon. Get it? Together. Again. Thanks for that newsflash, OK.
Anyways, there's been a particular recent issue that I have to take umbrage with. On the cover is—you guessed it—Kendra Wilkinson and Kourtney Kardashian, both holding their sweet, new little babies (and looking quite fabulous, I might add). These babies are like, 6 weeks old. Can you imagine talking to a magazine, much less posing for a picture 6 weeks after having your first baby? But my big problem lies in the headlines on said magazine. Here's what it says:
New Moms Tell All... -Romantic dates & hot sex lives -Kendra: Hank loves my new booty -Kourtney: Scott's a great dad, he even changes diapers! PLUS: How they're getting fit and losing the baby weight FAST!
So, let's take this line by line.
Romantic dates and hot sex lives? Let's all go back, for a moment, to the time when we just had our first babies. Six weeks later, you're just beginning to get used to being up all hours of the night, your boobs are enormous and sensitive as hell, your body looks like you're still three months pregnant, and your crotch is in a sling. Exactly what about any of that is romantic, hot, or has anything to do with sex? And date nights? Please. I have a 3.5 year old and a 1 year old and we get about three of those a year.
Hank loves my new booty? You mean, the one that's sitting on a three-inch thick maxipad all day? Wow, Hank. That's pretty evolved of you. Quite impressive.
Scott's a great dad, he even changes diapers? Is this some kind of cause for celebration? If a new dad balks at changing diapers, they just need to get the chat about having just pushed a watermelon out of a pinhole. No need for hysterics, just a few firm words of wisdom and it's all worked out.
And as for getting fit and losing weight, I say good on you girls. You knock yourself out. AFTER YOUR BABY IS A FEW MONTHS OLD. Why would anyone even think about such matters 6 weeks after having a baby? Slow down! Chill out! Enjoy your blissful, newborn baby and the well-deserved frump that goes with it. It's so fleeting. You have the rest of your life to fight your body. Right now, just enjoy the magical, powerful, amazing thing it can do—create a life.
And speaking of lives, you need to get one, OK Magazine.
Ok, frump fighters. I have a head scratcher on my hands. For Christmas 2008, my true love gave to me.... two pairs of functional boots. Uggs and Hunter wellies. Keep in mind that I was 12 months pregnant and feeling about as sexy as a barrel, so two pairs of flat, built-purely-for-function boots was an interesting choice, to say the least. However, to his credit (and great fortune), I ended up loving both and, in the case of the Uggs, wearing them nonstop as my go-to, wear-around-the-house-and-every-so-often-on-errands footwear. The wellies on the other hand, have stood in the corner of our bedroom looking kind of cool but going largely unworn. Well, fast forward a year or so to now, when it's been dumping buckets outside for the past two weeks, and here's my dilemma. I know that Hunter wellies are the "cool" wellies. I know they sell them at J. Crew. I know that there's a certain equestrian chic to the whole jeans and wellies look. I appreciate all of that. So why is it that when I wear my cute black Hunter wellies, I feel like any minute someone is going to hand me a shovel and ask me to sling shit? I simply can't figure out how to rock this look. What do I wear on the top of my person when the bottom half looks so.... Scottish? Please tell me. I'm sick of coming home with rain in my pumps.
I would like to prove (with the help of Polyvore) that there is simply no need to wear river shoes in normal, suburban mom life. Also, can we all just take a moment of quiet, intense gratitude for Polyvore? It's like my 8-year old Barbie fashion plates, but with the whole internet to pick from. Normally, I'm slow to come around to anything technological, but this is like my version of computer porn.
So, peruse some cute comfy mom shoe options. I know this is just a sprinkling, but it's a start. I do believe you can click on the image to enlarge it, than click each separate pic to get more info and even to buy, if so desired. Now if only I could buy all these cute shoes! Sigh.
Today is Lincoln's first birthday, and it's blowing my mind that my little baby is one. I truly feel like we just walked in the front door with him all bundled up from the hospital. How did 365 days pass so blazingly fast? Maybe the fact that my entire labor with him was two hours long was a foreshadowing of how fast things would feel in the year to come.
Lincoln brings so much pure joy into life. Not just ours, either... this is the kid that, when we go out into the world, flirts and waves and smiles and coos until every heart within a ten-foot radius of him is officially melted. I can't wait to see what the next year brings, and continue to watch him grow into his own little guy.
Happy day, Lincoln Roland Elliott! We love you so much!
So one of my resolutions this year is about this blog. I sincerely love writing it, and I'm constantly thinking to myself, "I need to write a post about that." But somewhere between the idea and the actual sitting down at the computer to make it happen comes things like life, and parenting, and work, and, every so often, sleep. That said, because I love doing it, and even more to the point, I love love love love love when someone tells me they read these ramblings and enjoy them, I am committed to keeping it up.
So. I'm going on record.
2010 will be the year of Unfrump My Mom. (At least I will think of it that way. You don't have to - that would be weird.) I will post often. I will post pictures. I will make this site look less like something someone slapped together circa 1997. All I ask of you is to keep me motivated by continuing to check in on me. Leave a comment when the inspiration strikes. Maybe even become a follower. I, in return, will become a tireless chronicler of frump in all forms.