Monday, September 27, 2010

A girl after my own heart….

On Saturday, I went out with just Ava for a little trip to Target and Barnes & Noble. Being my daughter, Ava spent about 30 minutes in Target trying on shoes. I didn’t coerce her into this activity. It’s just one of her favorite things to do. Remember, this is the girl who will wear every piece of jewelry she owns. At one time. So, the try-on-athon ended, and we were good girls, only purchasing one pair of shoes. They’re red and sparkly, and perfect to wear with her Minnie Mouse costume for Halloween.

target shoes (image not coming across too well, sorry).

Of course, Ava wants them to be more than just Halloween shoes. She wore them the rest of Saturday, and then wanted to wear them to church yesterday. I told her no three times. So she asked her dad. He said to ask me. Again, I said no. Here’s the thing: I’m pretty flexible about what she wears, now that she has opinions on the matter. Usually she makes pretty good choices. Sadly, she recently announced that she would no longer be wearing bows in her hair, only headbands. Her one concession was that she would wear bows to church. She knows that’s the one time I get to make the final call on wardrobe. And red sparkly shoes? Not church attire. So, upon my 3rd or 4th “no”, drama ensued. Big drama. The kind that involved kicking, screaming, refusing to put on the correct shoes. The grand finale was Ava hugging the red shoes to her chest yelling, “MINE! MINE!” It wasn’t pretty, folks. Not at all. So, despite wanting to scream, I calmly walked over to her, took the shoes, and said, “Not yours anymore.” The shoes then went into what we call “toy jail.” She must have asked for them back about 17,691 times. I said no each time. She did get them back this morning, and I think she understands why they were taken away. Let’s hope so.

The funny thing is, I couldn’t help but think of what would happen if I reacted like that over say, not getting to BUY the shoes I wanted. I was in a shoe store this morning (a nice one, with LOTS of shoes that I wanted), and I could sort of relate to Ava’s feelings of total despair over not being able to wear what she really wanted to wear. I mean, I think I saw no fewer than 6 pairs of shoes I wanted (because if Tory Burch is going to keep giving us new versions of the Reva flat, I’m going to have to keep buying them), along with a bag that I am dying over:

toryburch image courtesy of

I’m not kidding when I say this bag is perfect. PERFECT. You know how some bags look good but just don’t feel good? This bag is not one of those. It hits just right. It’s lightweight. And the leather. Oh. My. Gosh. So soft. So supple.

I digress. Bags and shoes make me do that. Anyway, I’ve been spending a little too much money lately (thanks to J.Crew and an upcoming anniversary trip for the husband and me), so I was only allowed to make purchases in my imagination today. And my imagination was quite active. Boots, wedges, flats. I wanted them all. And I wanted them NOW. So for a moment, I could relate to Ava’s dramatic insistence that she wear the red sparkly flats. Instead, I helped a friend choose new Revas, then headed on my merry way.

But I kind of had a little tantrum about it. In my mind.

Now, if I could just narrow down which shoes I’m going to need for fall…..

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Southern Attire

Not a week goes by that my baby boy does not get mistaken for a girl. Okay. So, he has curly hair. Big blue eyes. And maybe doesn’t wear the most masculine clothes, but for goodness sake, he’s 17 months old. So I get to dress him like that a little longer. Besides, would you really think this hunka hunka burnin’ love is a GIRL?


No. I didn’t think so. But maybe you would if you saw him wearing this:


I mean, I still think he looks pretty manly. But the bubble might be a little um, well, not so manly. Plus, it’s a little too big, which makes it have a dress-like appearance. Don’t judge. This picture was taken during a playdate. The hostess’ mother-in-law was there, and she looked at Davis and said, “Now, I think I’ve seen her before. “ HER. Right. And it’s kind of awkward when you have to correct people and say, “Actually, he’s a boy. HE.”

But here’s something: this particular woman is from Connecticut. Or somewhere around there. She’s not Southern. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Well, not much wrong, anyway. Here in the South, and especially in Raleigh, we DRESS our kids. At Ava and Davis’ preschool, it is not unusual to see all the kids in their smocked and appliqued best for just a regular day at school. That’s just what we do in these parts. I like to think that since I no longer dress as well as I’d like, I can at least keep the kids looking good, since they are a direct  reflection of my own fashion sense.

Here are mine, all dressed up after church recently. Look how nicely their outfits match Ava’s room! (That was actually not planned, but it worked out nicely. Too bad I couldn’t get them to pose better for this picture. At least it shows a sweet moment, where Ava is reading a book to Davis).


Now that Ava is 5, she’s kind of outgrowing some of the cutesty, smocked stuff. Last week I had the pleasure of attending a crewcuts trunk show (you know, J.Crew’s line for kids? In the words of Rachel Zoe, I die.) I ordered her clothes that I am actually envious of. Here are a few of the pieces I got:

atlantic stripe top

chartruese skirt

denim skirt

I also got a cute little henley dress and an adorable embellished navy and white striped shirt, but they were preorder items, and not yet on the website. Now, if I could just get Tory Burch to make some flats in kid sizes…..

Monday, September 13, 2010

Things That Make Me Feel Old

I am a pop culture junkie. I don’t even try to hid the fact that I subscribe to US Weekly. In fact, just last week, I mentioned to the husband that when my subscription expires, I was considering switching to People, because it’s “more high-brow.” Clearly, I’m kidding myself. The husband thought so, too. I think he said that neither of them have much redeeming value, so it doesn’t really matter which one we get. For the record, we also get Newsweek, but sadly, it often sits unread.

(Just so I don’t come across as a total idiot, I do catch up on real news via CNN and NPR on XM Radio. And I’m even dorky enough that I get podcasts of NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” and listen to them when I’m running.)

As I was saying, I do like pop culture and celebrity gossip. It’s fun, it’s loose, and it can make you forget about bigger stuff for a few minutes. So, I will not be ashamed of my addiction little hobby. I will say, though, that over the last year or so, my interest in a lot of the “celebrities” that appear in the weekly tabloids has been almost non-existent. And that’s making me feel a little old, but I’m just calling it maturity.

So, in no particular order, here are some things that make me feel old:

First, Jersey Shore. Sorry, I just don’t get it. At all. When it got all popular last year, I tried to watch it. I only lasted five minutes, if that. And, people, I’m not THAT discriminating in what I watch. I die over Rachel Zoe. Gossip Girl is among my list of most-watched shows. So, you see. It’s not as if I’m locked on PBS over here. But those Jersey Shore kids just make me cringe, and I can’t stand to watch even a minute of that show. In fact, I think the Today Show hit a new low last week, when they ran a story about Snooki during what was once the hard news hour. Man, they’re really pandering over at Today, aren’t they?

Second. The slight boredom I feel when watching the VMAs on MTV. We DVR’d them last night, and are catching up tonight. Chelsea Handler is hysterical. I heart her and have for a long time. I  watch Chelsea Lately when I’m up late enough. I’m a little jealous of her awesome job, and I might like to have my own little talk show one day. Anyway, back to the VMAs. When it came to the Best Rock Video category, I had heard of only 2 of 5 artists. This means one of two things. Either I am way out of it when it comes to rock music (because I am forced to listen to Radio Disney in the car and therefore can sing to you the entire Camp Rock 2 soundtrack), or MTV picked obscure rock artists for the category. Not sure what the real answer is. All I know is that there were some good rock bands that had albums out in the last year who went completely unmentioned on the VMAs. I mean, MTV, have you not heard of the Black Keys? Vampire Weekend? Maybe they don’t make videos. But MTV doesn’t play videos, so what’s the difference.

Third, and similar to above. Justin Bieber. Or Beiber. Whatever. I try to put myself in the shoes of a tween and wonder if I would like him if I was say, 12. I mean, he’s a little bit talented, I guess. I can’t really tell, though. His VMA performance was clearly lip-synched. And his hair is too perfect. And too much in his eyes. Also, Ava recently saw a picture of him and said, “oh. I thought Justin Bieber was a girl. He sounds like a girl when he sings.” Kids say the darndest things, don’t they? Darndest, but truest. Anyway, he seems like a good boy, and I wish him well, but please don’t make me listen to him.

I fear that I may be outgrowing the MTV generation. That’s a hard thing to admit. I mean, for most of my life, I have BEEN the MTV generation. I remember my sister trying to watch MTV on my parents on console set before we actually had cable. She would turn it to channel 27, and you could make out just a little bit of a video every few seconds, but it was all we needed. Luckily, we got real cable soon thereafter.

So, while I’m sad that I’m finally growing up (don’t worry Gossip Girl, you’re still on my DVR. And Stephanie Meyer? Keep writing vampire books. Because I will continue to read them.), I’m kind of becoming okay with it. Thankfully, I have discovered the replacement for MTV in the form of Bravo. I think  Rachel Zoe and the Real Housewives will keep me feeling young for a few more years.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Balance of Power

Back in my Senior year of high school, I took AP European History.That was when I was still kinda smart, and they let me take AP classes. (My, how I had them all fooled!). I recall learning about the Balance of Power, which we referred to as simply, BOP. If I recall correctly, in the context of AP European, the BOP basically referred to parity (big word, eh?) or stability between competing European nations.

Now, in my current life state, I am reminded of the BOP. No, no, I’m not trying to balance the power between my kids and me. Really, it’s between my husband and myself. And I’m not really sure that “power” is the right term. I think it’s more like, responsibility.

As a stay-at-home mom, I’d estimate that 99.9% of the daily responsibilities of the household fall on me. I’d probably actually say 100%, but the husband might read this and get offended, so let’s keep it at 99.9%. This balance is fair, right? I mean, he’s at work, making it possible for me to stay at home, and I’m just living the life of Riley, eating bon-bons and watching Oprah. At least that’s what I sometimes think the husband imagines I do all day. But, as any of us moms know, the day is full of cooking, shuttling, shopping (not the fun kind), cleaning, laundry, discipline, mediation, more cleaning, and then a little more laundry. Oh yeah, and I work from home, remember? So we have to fit that in. And wine. But that’s later.

It’s not that I don’t actually think the husband appreciates all that I do. He has said, “I don’t know how you put up with those kids all day.” (I think, however, that such statements are sometimes said with the hope of being rewarded, and not altogether sincere). The problem is that I find myself resentful of the fact that, despite the long hours he puts in at the office, I feel like I still work harder. And I don’t get paid, unless you count hugs (which is not all bad, but really, I do like cash). The thing is, though, when he does chip in more, I get annoyed.

For instance, last Sunday, we were heading to church. I mentioned on the way there that I wanted to clean our disgusting bathrooms at some point that day. His reply was, “I’ll do it.” Well, quite honestly, I wasn’t trying to get him to clean any bathrooms. What I wanted was for him to keep the kids out of my way so I could get it done in peace, and not have a 17-month-old throwing things in the toilet behind me. So, I said that was very sweet, but that I would get it done. And I meant that.

But then we got home from church, and he changed clothes and immediately started cleaning the bathroom. Very nice, no? Get this, though: he cleaned more thoroughly than I do. He got behind the toilet and scrubbed . He was on his hands and knees cleaning. And then he said something like, “This bathroom is just gross. It’s so dirty!.” Really? REALLY? I know that. But when do I have time to get on my hand and knees and clean? Huh? When? It’s easy to do a thorough job when the kids aren’t following you, ingesting bathroom cleaner. I don’t know. It just got under my skin. On the one hand, I totally appreciated that he wanted to help, but on the other hand, I kind of felt like he was saying he could do my job better than I can. And I felt defensive. I also felt like telling him we are hiring a maid, but I decided to wait on that one.

My point is that the poor guy was full of good intentions, and even though I act like it’s what I want, maybe I don’t really want him to help. At least not like that. What I want is for him to just pick up after himself, so that I don’t have to add that to my list of household chores. I want him to recognize that even though I’m not going to an office every day, that I work just as hard as he does, and my job take a break at the end of the day. Instead of cleaning the bathroom, I want him to see that after I’ve made dinner #2, tnd it’s 9pm, I don’t want to clean up the kitchen. I want him to do it. Maybe not every night. But once a week would be nice.

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t trade my husband for anyone else. I adore him with all my heart. And he works really hard.I just want the balance of household responsibility to be a little more, well, balanced. And frankly, it’s hard to figure out how to make that happen without seeming like a nagging bitch. So, in all liklihood, things will continue as they are, and that will be fine. Eventually, our kids will eat dinner with us every night, and I’ll only be cooking one dinner. In the meantime, I think I’m going to find a wife for me. Or at least a maid.