Today the girls and I finished up "research" for my next article at a few more high-end boutiques in town. Which meant: girls sprawled out on dressing room floors, Sylvie careening about like a drunken sorority girl as she tried out her new walking legs, nervous shop ladies monitoring their inventory, and Lucky Charms strewn about.
Can you believe I was only in each store for about 12 minutes? Imagine the mayhem if I had brought the boys instead!
But we did have a marvelous time, going to "Little Black Dress" where I tried on some samplings of holiday fare:
I wasn't sure if I could pull of the Roman Gladiator look what with my shrimpiness, but I think it looked OK. Alas, the frock was $340, so the only party to which I could wear it is the Open House we will host when I win Powerball.
Then we went to Resurrect Boutique, a "High End Consignment" store. Phew! I'll admit I've always been sort of a snob about consignment stores - just wearing old, used clothes gives me the cooties - but given the price of NEW clothes, it had to be worth a look. So off we went!
And yes, the clothes were indeed High End at Resurrect as well - look at these shoes:
This is as close as I'll ever get to a Valentino pump:
Isn't it beautiful? But at $175 for a USED shoe...sheesh. I guess this place is the drop off site for all the oil heiressess' cast-offs. So my "holiday look for less" really wasn't that much less:
But we had a marvelous time anyway, ooh-ing and ah-ing at beautiful furs and Kate Spade purses. And then! We discovered the KIDDIE consignment room! Woo hoo! Where I bought Colette this "vintage" dress for a mere $30.
And we found a $9 Hello Kitty lamp she had to have. Yep, I could buy that! But I don't think I'll bring her back when she's old enough to drool over Tory Burch bags.
Good lord are you sick of all the kiddie posts around here? So am I! I got an email about boot season today:
Ah, boots! One of the few items of clothing that make me look like I have any sort of leg whatsoever.
Unfortunately there isn't much in my boot budget this year, but I still have these "motorcycle boots" from last year, and I just love them:
Do you see how the strap hangs down rather carelessly on the heel? Well, that is part of the "coolness" of these boots; it in no way affects my ability to walk. But EVERY time I wear these boots, some kind, concerned Okie yells out: "Miss! Your boot strap! You're going to fall!"
I suppose that solicitousness is better than a New Yorker, who would probably try to trip me and, while I'm lying helpless on the sidewalk, take my boots off and keep them for HERSELF.
And when I REALLY want to scare the locals, I break out these boots:
I have had these Paloma Picasso boots for years. And for some reason they seem to strike a mixture of fear and awe into those who witness these boots. Sort of like the aura of Lady Gaga herself is in our midst.
Well, I guess if Lady Gaga had five kids and lived in Oklahoma.
At the recommendation of another blogger, I am rereading one of the books from the Anne of Green Gables series, Anne of Ingleside. Here Anne is a mother of six, married to Dr. Gilbert, her long-time sweetheart, and generally just being the most saintly mother of all time. It is a lovely story, but sometimes I wonder: why doesn't Anne ever yell at her kids? Why doesn't she ever guzzle a large glass of Shiraz at 5pm? Why doesn't she ever have to stop one kid from smacking another? Why doesn't she ever pick up a brown pellet and wonder if it's chocolate or poop? Why doesn't she ever want to lock herself in the bathroom and cry because one kid just smacked her in the stomach because she temporarily disallowed the Wii and another just keeps crying because her Capri Sun won't OPEN...and...and....?
Well, I'll tell you ONE reason: because Anne of Ingleside is in possession of a far greater character than mere MOI.
BUT! There is another even MORE pertinent reason: SHE HAS LIVE-IN HELP.
Yes, yes, I know, the housekeeping burden was far greater a jillion year ago than it is today. If I had to do all my dishes and laundry by hand and cook without a microwave, I suppose I would have ended it long ago.
BUT! To have a jolly angel like Susan around all day long, an older spinster who loves your children like your own, loves your husband like a son, and loves you like a daughter - except without the nagging to eat enough protein and why aren't you wearing socks? - that would simply be WONDERFUL in my mind. To have another adult to share in the minute-to-minute tedium and angst, to have another adult to foist them on for an hour on Tuesday so you don't have to bring a carload to Walgreen's for suppositories, or to simply have another pair of empathizing ears when your five year old yells out every minute of the clock for THREE HOURS because he can't wait for the school's "Lots of Fun" (Ha! Ha!) carnival - well, cripes. I bet I'd be an awesomer Mother too.
So I always get annoyed with myself for letting myself get annoyed with stuff I shouldn't be annoyed with.
Did you follow that?
Exhibit A: everything chez VT is good. Healthy kids, PVT employed, just the usual hustle and bustle and high pitched screams.
So why my vague malaise?
I have put on like eight pounds in two weeks.
Yes, I've stopped nursing, so some of it is just fluids, I suppose. But this always happens: I keep eating like a nursing mother, and suddenly I have a bit more of a tummy, more of an arse, just more of an everything.
This is really really stupid, since I know logically I'm not even close to lard-arse. But I'm going to my high school reunion in a couple weeks, and maybe I want to look good for that? Which is sort of silly because I'm going to have a slumber party at the fancy hotel where the reunion is being held with two of my bestest girlfriends, and I'm pretty sure they'd love me at 50 or 350 pounds.
And my ex boyfriend won't even be there because he's Jewish and the planning committee didn't know that October 7 is Yom Kippur.
And maybe it's bothering me because I'm going to the gym and there are all these hot hot people and I can't even make it through a full step aerobics class? (Well, I did one time. But that's because I went with a friend and she is so fit she could have stayed for a second step class).
So I'm a bit off, and really miffed I'm off for such a stupid dumb reason.
Now I'm not so stupid that I'm going to change anything about what I'm doing, because I eat well enough and I exercise enough for me - that is, I do a little bit but I simply on principle don't want it to become a big focus of my life. Because I don't have time, and what little time I have I'd rather read French erotica or ponder existential dilemmas like what I should spend my Gymbucks on.
Or something like that.
I guess I'm just irked that even at this stage in my life - that after working at a bona fide career for many years, having a very happy marriage, and birthing FIVE healthy children for freak's sake - something so adolescent like 5 pounds could at all affect my mojo for the day.
Nine year ago today I endured what I am sure was one of The Most Harrowing Labors Of All Time: almost five hours of pushing, two horrifying vacuum suckages, an MIA doctor, and an emergency C-section team, prepped and scrubbed if they needed to be.
Gee, that baby must have weighed 13 pounds, right?
Erm, no. He was SIX pounds even. I could not push a measly six pound baby out.
I am a wimp, you all.
And then the whole jaundice nightmare: a week of blood transfusions, beep-beep-blippings, and blood drawings in the NICU.
And then one month later: I was at home with my newborn son making a fancy fish dish for dinner (why I was not just making Hamburger Helper I have no idea) when my guts starting spilling out by the oven, as leftover shards of placenta whacked their way around my innards.
A postpartum hemorrhage: woo hoo! So back to the hospital I went with PVT and my beloved baby, where I vividly remember being wheeled back to the operating room for my D&C and pleading with the nurse, "Please make sure my BABY IS OK...."
I am sure the nurse rolled her eyes and asked the anesthesiologist to pump up my juice a bit.
So our new little fam spent a few more days in the hospital.
Can you believe I went on to do this whole childbirth thing FOUR more times?
Well, I don't think I would haven't done it without knowing I would get a blessed C-section each time, thereby bypassing that whole pesky PUSHING experience.
Oh, Keane. You are quite a kid. Intense, athletic, bright. You worry incessantly; you obsess; you turn over the remotest of scenarios in your head.
Where in the world did you get THAT trait?
While we have the greatest of hopes for you, I hope we don't expect too much from you. We are so busy sometimes dealing with the wee ones around here that I think sometimes we need you to be more mature than you should have to be.
But you seem to be holding up very well, my dear sweet boy.
Happy Ninth Birthday, Mr. Keane. We love you so so so very much.
OK, you all. Apparently there is a parallel universe of fashion that I did not even know existed until a mere month ago: gym couture.
Now, after I joined the gym and made a fool of myself a few times, I felt pretty with it for buying some spandex-y capris at Tarzhay, along with a black tank top, so I at least didn't look like a stripper. But then I noticed that my pink lacy bra straps were still showing under my sporty black tank top. And yet: no one else seems to have the same errant lingerie mishaps. So what am I doing wrong? The women who appear just to have a cute tank top on with nothing else: is there a sports bra hiding in there somewhere (for those who are endowed either naturally or surgically: surely this is a must during a step class?) And then: some girls look like they have TWO layered tank tops in complimentary colors - is one of these complicated strapping sets actually a sports bra underneath?
The details of these complicated criss-crossing straps and bra trappings, I suppose, were offered in Gym Couture 101. But! Once you have passed that class, there is another class in the series, Gym Couture 201: some girls don a kind of cute mesh top OVER a tank top - again, no evidence of inappropriate lingerie busting out. These girls are channeling Flashdance - just with a bit more class and wink wink irony (I suppose - although perhaps some of these girls are too YOUNG to have even seen Flashdance).
And THEN there is one girl I've noticed who has actually received her Ph. D. in Gym Couture: her headband and tennis skirt (a skirt, you all!) coordinate down to the very stripes on her Nike shoes! Yes, all of these details are exactly one color. And these colors ROTATE. The other day it was purple. Tomorrow she may don the salmon-hued ensemble.
If ONLY I had known about the gym long long ago. The sartorial drama that plays out there is simply breathtaking.
As much as I adoring shopping, you all - for ANYTHING, from food to booze to soap dispensers to cosmetics and clothing - I have not bought any clothing for meself for quite a while. Well, I'll amend that: I found a cotton sundress at Tarzhay that I wore the heck out of all summer, so comfortable was it when you're so sweaty that your thighs stick together, your eyeliner drools down your face, and you have to reapply deodorant eight times per day to avoid smelling like a teenage boy after football practice. So much did I adore my little $20 dress that I bought it in red, too.
But now that the cooler, crisper air hints at something like autumn, I figure I better buy myself a few items of clothing that I can't buy while I'm also buying Purina and eggs. And last fall I was still post-partum lumpy, so my wardrobe could use a bit of updating. So for my next article for Tulsa Kids I thought I ought to actually go shopping for REAL. As in, going into a store! Not online! Fingering the merchandise! Looking at some accessories! Talking to LIVE shop ladies!
The girls and I hit a lovely little store yesterday, Bella Dames. We had a fabulous time!
Well, the girls fought over Cinammon Toast Crunch and my phone while I quickly threw some clothes on, fingered some juicy purses and flip flops, and bought a whacky necklace I never would have touched had I not seen it paired with the dress I bought:
Behold! The Not-Target dress!
Shopping, you all. Don't do it every week (unless you are a DINK, an heiress, or a CEO), but once in a while it is terribly instructive. And fun!
Tonight PVT is out playing soccer, so I am in charge of the remote. Which means: I am idling on Facebook! Catching up on DVR'd episodes of the Real Housewives, from New Jersey to Beverly Hills! So I have nothing to offer you, except my latest Hip Mom column.
Yes, it's about reading.
What? What's that you say? I am not so much the HIP mom as the HIP-ocrite mom?
Before I launch into a hypochondriac soliloquy, let me at least tell you something useful:
Yes, it's Triple Rewards Time at Nordstrom! I am sure there is SOMETHING I can buy, even if it's just more soccer socks for the boys - the rate at which white socks vanish or deteriorate around here is astounding.
Now, the crap:
Monday I went to see my leg doctor, and my leg - which has gone from looking like I had a personal encounter with a Great White Shark to merely looking like I was in a Harley accident - is slowing healing. I no longer have to wear those awful grandma support hose, and when the doctor asked me how my leg felt, I hadn't even really thought about it - I just cared that those ugly blue veins seem to be gone. So, yay!
And then I finally capitulated the other day and went to see my GP for an odd lump on the side of my head. I had been avoiding the doctor because she wanted to recheck some levels of my liver functioning - and I really don't need anyone scrutinizing my liver, because I am pretty sure my liver will whisper all sorts of sordid tales about my love of Pinot Noir and margaritas. But I couldn't ignore this stupid painful lump; of course I immediately think I have something that starts with C. And then! Of course I will die! And who would watch my kids? A nanny? Would she be evil? Worse yet, would she be HOT? Then PVT would marry the nanny, they would have a kid of their own, and the new wife would ignore or be mean to MY kids, and shower love, praise and whip cream on her OWN kid! No whip cream for my BABIES! Et cetera, et cetera.
After two doctors poked and prodded my lump, they didn't seem too worried I had anything starting with C, and put me on antibiotics - suspecting maybe I just have a funny little infection. A big subcutaneous zit, if you will (oh, don't you love my blog?). The doctor did insist on testing my blood, however - dang! But she called today, and said that my liver functioning was just fine. Who would have thunk? But I'm a touch anemic and my thyroid is low.
What? My THYROID? That sort of freaks me out; doesn't that mean I'll have to take medicine that makes me bald and bloated? Well, I'll be retested in a few weeks, when they recheck my mystery lump.
Now excuse me while I go pop some Ibuprofen for my painful, engorged left boob.
Sheesh. Weaning babies, and getting old, are a freakload of fun.
While most Americans are commemorating today in a more somber manner, we VT's are a bit lucky in that we have something very very HAPPY to celebrate today.
Our gorgeous fat kalamata olive of a Sylvie is one year old.
Last year, when we were heading to the hospital on THIS date, I was chagrined - what a date for a birthday! But a) well, I couldn't really help that, now, could I? and b) I am sure babies born on 9/11 piss off jihadists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, wherever he might be: how can we Americans have the nerve to crank out more American babies?
So there, you big terrorist poopyheads.
In some ways it would have easier for my last child to have been a real colicky butthead. But this little peach pit has been only a delight, save for a few pesky ear infections.
Sylvie loves to "talk" to us, with precisely pronounced syllables and inflections - none of this goo goo ga ga stuff. I am pretty sure she is addressing us in baby iambic pentameter. When she has something very important to say, she raises up her left hand, mimicking a papal blessing.
I haven't had the heart to tell her that the papacy is not a career path that is open to her.
Now excuse me while I choke back tears: freaking Babycenter just sent me an email titled "My TODDLER this Week," in lieu of "My BABY this Week."
Happy First Birthday, sweet Sylvie Maria. We love you more than a kid-free weekend in Kauai.
Oh how I adore Thursdays. There is no soccer practice; no piano lessons; no NOTHING. It is almost the weekend - and the anticipation of the weekend is almost always better than the weekend itself. Everyone comes home, has dinner and spends a leisurely evening doing homework, being nagged, and fighting about NOT practicing piano or doing homework. There is no bathing (no, I do not bathe my children every night. Twice per week unless there has been egregious sweating or mud wrestling).
And the weather is, for the first time since 2010, absolutely perfect here: cool evenings, warm-ish days, golden light flickering off our summer home - truly truly lovely.
Today my darling daughter proudly marched off to the three year old class at our little church preschool:
Or perhaps you would enjoy this more candid photo taken by her five year old brother:
Could you please ignore the twilight-ish light in these back to school photos? It didn't even occur to me this morning to take a picture of her, until I got to school and saw all the proud mummies snapping shots of their preschoolers.
Ah, motherhood. Je sucke.
And now: despite the suddenly gorgeous, suddenly fall-ish weather, despite this time of year being absolutely beautiful here, I find myself fighting a bit of melancholy for no good reason. Perhaps because two years ago at this time I was pregnant with the baby I lost; perhaps because last year I was just about to have Sylvie, and right around the time a baby becomes one, I start to feel at loose ends.
No, no, I promise you, I'm not going to have another one - PVT has had it to the nth degree with the lot of us lately, and would run away with a Peruvian belly dancer if I showed him a positive pregnancy test.
So what is next for me, if I am not pregnant or nursing - something I've been almost constantly for the past nine and a half years? Well, I am still having a ball at the gym - although I keep leaving classes early because Sylvie just isn't terribly thrilled with my new hobby. But it IS fun, now that I know to wear tennis shoes (oh, yes! I showed up at Body Pump in flip flops - didn't even OCCUR to me to wear sneakers!), and picked up some passable exercise gear at Tarzhay (oh I shudder to recall the day I wore navy with black). Methinks the gym is a marvelous hobby, as long as one doesn't view exercise as punishment for eating too many brownies (as I did in high school), and as long as one doesn't let working out become their raison d'etre - which I suspect the gym is for many of these super hot, super fit chickies.
OK, sure, I'm jealous. But I want to go just to have fun, and to enjoy that rare daylight sighting of another adult. I don't need another mission in life. Keeping my kids alive is enough already.
Exhibit A: My dear friend, whose children go to a private Catholic school here in Tulsa, said that some Mom on a Mission launched a successful campaign to ban the weekly (that's weekly, not daily) ice cream treat at lunch. So now the kiddies get ice cream once per MONTH.
Exhibit B: At a recent PTA meeting, one mom offered to pick up McDonald's for the kiddies stuck at the meeting,. One mom vehemently declined - her child was not going to eat McDONALD'S, at ALL, EVER, for freak's sake.
Exhibit C: My dear kindergartner, who spends his morning immersed in Mandarin, arrives at lunch STARVING. Apparently the Nugget Nazis insist that every bite of lunch is eaten - including the freaking raw carrots (this is what gets me, you all. I cannot STAND carrots - and I will inhale almost any other vegetable) before a whiff of dessert is allowed.
OK, now I have to get freaky. Um, REALLY? These kids are HUNGRY. But since when do they need to eat every little thing on their plate to get a little dessert? And why is within the school's purview to dictate every bite my kid eats? I appreciate that there are a lot of obese kids out there, kids who sit on their arses all day long playing video games, drinking soda and subsisting on fast food. That is appalling. But: there is a lot of misplaced food whackness in this middle-to-oh-we-wish-we-were-closer-to-upper-middle-class echelon that I inhabit: come ON. If we are always banning McDonald's, always banning soda, always banning ice cream (which is, at its best, milk, cream and sugar!), aren't we creating issues in these kiddie brains, creating entire categories of forbidden foods? Foods that will have this sexy allure once our children are out on their own?
Here's my deal: I strive every day to give my kids three decent, well-rounded meals. Sometimes they eat it. Sometimes they don't. I try to buy some things organic - milk, berries and meats, especially - but I am not religious about it. I allow soda once per week when we go out to dinner (and this standard goes to crap when we are traveling). Dessert and snacking are fine, as long as decent meals are eaten - or at least attempted. And yes, we go to McDonald's - sometimes once a week, sometimes once every three weeks.
My spawn are a bit skinny for my taste, but they seem to be thriving, thankyouverymuch.
This week: five soccer practices, three "Back to School" nights, one preschool open house, two piano lessons, three book fair visits, one trip to San Jose (for PVT), one and one half yoga classes, and one ear infection!
Yes, the ear infection was the cause of the half yoga class - I thought Sylvie was just terribly upset about being left at the gym nursery, and perhaps she WAS, but there were extenuating circumstances.
So PHEW! I get to keep going to the gym! Tomorrow I am going to try something scary sounding called Body Pump! Luckily Kappa Kappa Karen is going to hold my hand so I don't cry.
One "perk" that the gym gives you when you sign up is a free two hour personal training session with a personal trainer "to discuss the goals you have for your body." Um, wha huh? I have no "goals" for my body, except for maybe not gaining 483 pounds now that I'm done breastfeeding, but other than that? Really, I'm petrified of letting any of these hot personal trainers within 9 miles of my shark-attacked leg, my floppy c-sectioned tummy - I'm even reluctant to let them near my eye wrinkles. And I am pretty sure they have X-Ray vision that would allow them to penetrate my skin and view the perilous state of my abused liver.
So I think I'll be skipping the free personal trainer.
And I must confess that while some might have been chagrined when their workout was interrupted by a cranky baby, I was a bit relieved: I showed up! I tried to work out! We got out of the house! Mission accomplished. But I am a mama first.
Which is a good reminder amongst all of these super dedicated, super hot people whom I suspect spend a lot of time chez Sky Fit: I'll have fun, I'll try my best - but I don't want to even try to compete.
I am a stay at home mom of seven currently residing in lovely Tulsa, Oklahoma. Cripes, that sounds unsexy! But it's better than it sounds. My mission in life, besides keeping all of these kids alive, is to bring Nordstrom - that pinnacle of shopping from my hometown, Seattle - to Oklahoma. So far no one cares.