mommy&everything

trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the tag “Clothing”

Random Monday Thoughts (on Wednesday)

Welcome to another edition of Random Monday Thoughts. Yes, I know today is Wednesday but Monday was my birthday and I never got around to blogging so I figured what the hell, just do it today.

Hey, it’s my blog and I can do what I want right??? (lol). And now on to my Random Thoughts….

1) Yay me!

I am happy to report that yesterday’s post Belated Birthday Thoughts brought in a 2013 record-breaking 115 views!!!!!!!!!!

I know we don’t blog for numbers. We blog because we want to and it’s a  place to share our thoughts and that stats are not important but…..come on 115 is in the three digits!!!!

I have to be honest, my 115 view would not have been possible without the help of  fellow U of D alumni Jeff Pearlman. Thank you Jeff  for allowing me to link to your birthday post here yesterday AND for tagging me on Facebook!!

2) Team Jake

"Team Jake"

“Team Jake”

As I have mentioned before, this past weekend my family and I participated in Children’s Specialized Hospital’s 7th Annual Walk & Roll event.

I am so thrilled to report that “Team Jake” raised a whopping (insert drum roll) $1030!!!!!!

Thank you to all the friends and family that supported us we really appreciate it!

3) Everyone needs a little vampire love

I am SOOOOO happy that I listened to Mrs. Jeter and stuck with The Vampire Diaries.

I am LOVING the oh-so-hot vampire brothers Damon and Stefan Salvatore who have come back to Mystic Falls (after 145 years) and really shaken things up.

At first, I didn’t think it was possible to love another vampire the way I loved Edward Cullen. However, Stefan and Damon (more Damon) have proved me wrong.

Their love and devotion to the slightly annoying Elena is nothing short of “breathtaking” (Can you name the Seinfeld reference???).

4) Black & White Day

I was very excited to wear my new white skirt to work today. It was a recent Loft purchase (on sale with an additional 60% off) and I thought it would perk me up on this cloudy, über humid day.

I paired the skirt with a black, lace trimmed cami and black, open cardigan and black peep toe wedges. Not wanting to go too overboard, I accessorized with simple silver bangles and hoops. Voila outfit accomplished.

This morning I was reading People.com working, when I got an IM from my friend Nicole asking if I wanted to go for a belated birthday lunch.

YES!!  I immediately responded. Now I would not be stuck eating my boring ham and swiss sandwich at my desk again.

Imagine my surprise when I ran into Nicole in the lady’s room a little while later saw that she too was wearing a white skirt, black, lace trimmed cami and black cardigan!

WTF???!!!!

Aside from the fact that Nicole is about 5 inches shorter than me and 30 pounds lighter, we looked like twins – in a dorky way.

We laughed and muttered something about “great minds” but ultimately decided to postpone lunch for a day when we did not look like a sorority scheme gone bad (lol).

5) Kids are annoying sometimes

PLEASE don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my children. I may not always like them but I love them with all of my being.

However, these 4 children that I carried, gained a total of 180 pounds with and gave birth to (by C-section) are really starting to drive me CRAZY!!

WHY is EVERYTHING with my kids a fight???!! Everything. I am not talking about the usual things either like home work and sibling rivalry. I am talking about stupid, mundane things. Why?? Please help me understand.

For example, to celebrate the last 26 days of school, the twins’ school has assigned each day a letter of the alphabet with an activity associated with this letter. Today’s letter is “G” and it was “green day.”

Sounds easy right? NO.

Instead I spend a half hour arguing with M that his brother’s blue shorts were not  green and that the 3 green t-shirts I held in my hand were the only green clothes that we owned.

Really??!!

What is the big deal? It’s Green Day, just put on a green shirt and be done with it. WHY do we have to argue???!!

AND M is a boy, I thought boys were easy-going and didn’t care what they wore?? Have moms been lying to me all these years???

I won’t even mention the fight over Taco Tuesday with the twins last night and how L kicked the crap out of me today because I dared to tell him it was time to change his diaper, get dressed and go to school (he told me school was closed today).

Well there you have it, some very random thoughts on a Wednesday afternoon. Thanks for reading. Enjoy the rest of your Hump Day!!

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

Notice the animal print cardigan??????

Notice the animal print cardigan??????

I always wished that I could be a true fashionista. Someone on the cutting edge of style who always has just the “right” outfit on for any occasion and always accessorizes perfectly - never too much or too little and just the right pop of color.

Sadly, I was not blessed with fashionista genes in any way, shape or form. This is not to say that I dress like a homeless person (well, maybe if I am just running in Shop Rite on a rainy day) or a throwback to the 1980s. I think my style is just average. I don’t always embrace a new trend, but I will usually give it a try in some way.

A couple of years ago I embraced scarves and can even tie them in several different ways. Last spring it was colored jeans (raspberry capri jeans anyone?) and for fall/winter I have given in and bought some things in an animal print.

However, one thing I have noticed about myself is that I tend to sort of “copy” the style of a person I am friendly with or hanging around with. I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad but at least I can admit that I have a problem.

I guess it started more in college (high school doesn’t count). A northern, New Jersey girl plunked down in the middle of preppy Newark, DE (it was the 90s) what choice did I have????

Slowly I began to incorporate pegged-leg jeans, braided leather belts and the obligatory JCrew Barn Jacket into my wardrobe attempting to “fit in” to the U of D campus look.

After college came the obsession with Coach bags (thanks to my friend L) which has still stayed with me thanks to the many Coach outlets in the tri-state area. My orange and tan coach bag can make me smile on even the gloomiest of days.

Just when I thought my copycat/fashion stalker tendencies were behind me, I started to become friends with the other paralegal at work N. I have written about N before as she is one of those people who always looks perfect. She is VERY tiny (despite have a baby) and EVERYTHING looks good on her. I swear, this girl could rock a potato sack AND pair it with just the right shoes.

N and I had always been friendly in the hallways but over the years we started to actually become friends. We have a lot of things in common (nail polish, make up, shopping addiction, etc) and she hates being a para as much as I do.

In addition to her vast shoe collection, N is also owner of about a gazillion bangle bracelets. She has them in different sizes and colors and they always look (and sound) great. Slowly my copycat tendencies started itching at me thus starting my new stalker-like obsession.

N was all about me copying her and would even send me links to various online bracelet sales (Rue La La and Haute.com became my new “favorites”). I became OBSESSED very quickly and soon my collection grew.

When the bangles had taken over all available space in my drawers and jewelry box, I knew it was time to stop and find a new obesssion hobby. Gee, what could it be?

Shoes would be an obvious choice but I am too cheap to spend a lot on a great pair. I will admire from afar but can NEVER get myself to spend more than $50 on shoes (gasp!!).

Anxiously I flipped through magazines and fashion blogs searching for something to copy try out but nothing was appealing to me. Sweater dresses were too form fitting, skinny jeans too boring and leather and me did NOT go together.

I had just about given up when I began to notice how often N wore a skirt to work. She always looks SO cute in her skirt ensembles that it got me thinking. Hmmmmm, maybe I could wear one?

I am a little pear-like so skirts don’t always work on me but one day in the Loft I decided to bite the bullet and try on a pencil skirt. For years I had read the these skirts were flattering on “everyone” and figured if Kim K could cram herself in one I may as well give it a try.

Well that afternoon in the dressing room I experienced a sort of shopping epiphany – the skirt fit AND it didn’t look that bad – SOLD!

Needless to say, I went a little bit skirt crazy in the weeks and months that followed. I went from being a person who never wore a skirt to wearing one 2-3 times a week – it was madness (and only possible thanks to my bff Spanx).

It’s been a retail frenzy for me (Xmas sales did not help) but I think I am finally done for the time being. Winter stuff is starting to look drab and boring compared to the newer looking fashions entering the store fronts.

I have no idea what spring will bring. Maybe my copycat-ness will go dormant for a while and I will just embrace my style and what makes me feel good and happy?? Anyone who knows me is probably laughing at that last sentence but hey, it’s a new year and who knows what can happen!

Mommy will give you candy??

BK (before kids) I had dreams of what my family would look like. Me and the husband would have 2 kids (boy/girl). The boy would be blond with blue eyes and the girl would have dark, curly hair. They would be THE most adorable children on the planet and ALWAYS be impeccably dressed.

I swore to NEVER allow my child to dress in mismatched outfits, have a dirty face or hands or wear ratty t-shirts with pictures on them. As if!!

I remember glaring at other moms in the mall and shaking my head in disgust at the way they let their children dress in public. To paraphrase Taylor Swift that would never, ever, ever, ever be me!

When the twins were born (my firsts) I would carefully pick out matching outfits for them daily. They never repeated an outfit (even if we were sitting in the house) and if, God forbid, they spilled ANYTHING on themselves, that item was quickly removed, stain-treated and replaced with an equally cute one.

I would spend money like it grew on trees in Baby Gap, Gymboree, Lord & Taylor etc. scrounging the racks for that “perfect” onsie. I took the twins for professional pictures every 3 months (duh, that is what a good mom does) and would plan their outfits for weeks right down to the socks.

J came along 2 years later and I still tried to continue with my obsessive behavior. I remember leaving for the hospital (J was a c-section) and picking out a week’s worth of outfits for the twins to wear while I was gone. After all, I wanted them to look their best when they came to visit my in the hospital.

Once J came home and I was dealing with 3 boys I became a little lax. The twins were starting to become interested in things like Toy Story, Cars and trucks and wanted to wear shirts with those pictures. I grimaced but decided to pick my battles. I was running on no sleep so what did it matter if M wore a shirt with Buzz Lightyear to Target??

By the time L came along (18 months later) I could care less what the kids wore as long as they were dressed. It became easier to let the twins pick out their own clothes rather than fight with them and their wardrobes started consisting of shirts with either Monster Trucks, superheros or race cars.

Gone were the jeans and matching buttown downs. Now I am lucky if they even match a shirt to their track pants and try arguing with a 6yo that his “favorite” Star Wars Lego shirt is too small to wear out in public.

Anyway, today is picture day at my youngest’s pre-k. L hasn’t had professional photos done since he was 3 months old so this is a big deal for me.

After getting the picture form, I ran to the mall to find him the “perfect” picture outfit (on sale of course). I patted myself on the back, as I admired the outfit on the hanger. Damn, he will look SO cute, I thought to myself.

This morning I carefully ironed the shirt and pirate pants (khakis with pirate skulls on them) and button down (I only iron kids’ clothes for photo ops and holidays) and called screamed for him to come upstairs to get dressed.

No Mommy, I watching tv…you come here and dress me was the response I received. I yelled 2 more times before conceding (a mom has got to pick her battles when she is running late for work) and bringing the outfit to the living room.

Look L, look at the handsome pirate pants and shirt Mommy got you I said a little too excitedly. Those my pirate pants? Argh Matey L replied.

I quickly put the pants and button down on him and told me he looked VERY handsome. One more thing and then you can go play, I said as I attempted to pull the coordinating, v-neck sweater over his head. Which resulted in the following exchange.

NO!! I NO WANT DIS SHIRT…I WEAR DIS SHIRT! L yelled pulling at his button-down. 

L, honey, come on, you HAVE to wear the sweater Mommy got you. You will look so handsome.

NO I NOT WEARING IT – umph!

L please, it’s getting late and Mommy has to go to work I pleaded trying to pry his right arm through the sweater hole.

NO!

I became desperate,  I should have been halfway to work and instead I was on the living room floor pleading with an almost 3yo.

L if you wear the sweater….Mommy will give you a cookie.

NO, I no want cookie.

Crap, cookies always work, now what. I could hear the voices of  Hot Mrs. Jeter (she has asked to be referred to as “hot” from now on) and my Mom and the husband telling me to “let it go”. “The button-down looks fine, who cares?”  “Don’t drive yourself nuts over a sweater.”

They are right, I thought as I looked at L half-dressed running away from me. In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter if he is wearing a pull over and a shirt??

Hell yes it matters! and I used the last card in my deck…L do you want candy? If you wear the sweater Mommy will give you candy???

Candy? He said in his sweetest voice. Yes, candy. Just put on the sweater.

Ok Mommy.

And that my friends is how I got L dressed for his school pictures.

No, I am not 100% proud of my behavior. I did, after all, allow myself to be manipulated by a toddler. However, the bribe actually worked and helped me get my way.

I am sure in 20 years I will look back (or rather he will) and ask what the hell I was thinking dressing him like that. Heck, I don’t even know if L will smile for the photographer today (although he better since it’s $45) but at least I know he looked cute when he left the house.

My Totally Insane Insecurities

So today one of my co-workers is back in the office after a 6-month maternity leave. We have texted a lot during her leave, she thinks I am some sort of expert on kids since I have 4 (lol), and today is not a happy day for her.

It was hard for me to think back to my first maternity leave (way back in 2006). I had a fuzzy recollection of crying and not wanting to leave my babies for a second. Fast forward 6 years and 2 more kids and now I can’t wait to leave the house sometimes and cry when it is time to go home.

I knew N was upset so I told her that this week will basically suck but once she gets a routine going, it will be fine. It’s so hard to come back into a professional environment after being alone with a baby for 6 months.

Anyway, I am thrilled that N is back because we share a love of lip gloss, shopping and shoes (her shoe collection is literally to die for). She is a petite, tiny thing that always looks AMAZING in her clothes – which are always incredibly cute and stylish.

Often when I stand next to her I feel like Shrek but I have sort of gotten used to it. On days when I knew I would see N in the office, I would take a little extra time in the morning to get ready. I would try to mix up my accessories and wear something that wasn’t too frumpy or mom-looking. After all, I didn’t want to seem like a total loser simply because I was almost 40 and the mom of 4 boys.

While N has been out, I have tried to keep up my work appearance (which is WAY different that my at-home look). There have been many mornings when I have forced myself to wear heels instead of flats or changed out of a boring black cardigan for something a little more fancy.

Honestly, some days my laziness (or hate of ironing) won out and I found myself in khaki carpi pants with a baggy sweater or even (gasp) sans mascara.

Today, however, N is back so I knew I had to put some effort into my appearance. I didn’t want to look frumpy when she would look fabulous while being the mom of an infant.

I agonized over what to wear and had many outfits lined up in my closet. Finally, I gave in and decided to wear a skirt. I very rarely wear skirts and dresses. They require me to shave my legs and put on Spanx and frankly, sometimes, that is just too much work for me.

As I stood in front of the mirror in my skirt (which shows my knees) and cute wedge sandals, I carefully found fault with several things (my un-tan legs, my muffin top, etc) before I gathered up L and headed out the door.

I am sure there are many out there (men and women) who will think I am totally insane. If N is my friend, why the hell would she care, what I was wearing? I don’t know, maybe it’s a girl thing or maybe it’s just a me thing.

I am sitting at my desk working myself up to go over and visit N. I know as soon as I see her (looking all thin and cute) that I will immediately feel like Shrek (or Fiona) but I guess I can’t hide all day.

I was hoping a lot of my insecurities will magically go away when I turned 40. As if blowing out the candles on my cake would make all of them disappear forever. Honestly, some have left but I guess there are still some I need to work on.

For now my friends in blogosphere wish me luck. I am going to walk over to N’s desk in my skirt, hold my head up high and pretend that I feel great. Who knows, maybe with a little work, I will even be able to convince myself it’s true.

OMG I’m NOT a girly girl?!

Belle

Belle (Photo credit: Valerie Reneé)

I have always considered myself a girl’s girl and at times I guess a girly girl. I LOVE to shop and get my nails done and nothing makes me happier than a new lip gloss (you should have seen my smile when Bobbi Brown changed the size of her shimmer glosses).

When I was growing up I assumed I would have 2 kids - a boy and a girl. My husband would play with the boy while me and my girl would shop and get manicures and have lunch together. There was never a doubt in my mind that I would have a daughter, it was a given.

Imagine the complete and total shock I felt on June 27, 2006 when (at about 1:19pm) I was told I was the mom to not 1 but 2 baby boys!!!!!!!!!! I was in a state of shock for hours afterward (that and the drugs from the c-section and high blood pressure) and could not comprehend how I would be able to raise 2 boys. What the heck do boys play with and OMG there are NO cute boy clothes!

The years went on and 2 more boys joined my brood. After L was born I accepted that I was never going to have a girl and that God must have a reason for blessing me with 4 boys. It’s ok, I have a niece, I will make her my pseudo daughter.

When my niece was born (2 months before the twins) I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to shop for her. Baby clothes, especially for girls, are SO much fun. I loved all the little hats and accessories too.

As my niece Belle got older though something changed. I would talk to her and go to stores and I realized that I had no idea what little girls liked. I would walk into Gap or Gymboree and be clueless about what was “cool” and what Belle would like. OMG what was happening??

Who knew that little girls wear leggings under EVERY skirt or dress and that purple NOT pink was their favorite color. How the heck was I supposed to know that pjs for girls came with little frilly tutus that went over the pj bottoms - at my house all we cared about were monster trucks and Spiderman.

I would see little girls at the mall and be shocked at how they dressed (how old are you?) and sometimes envious of their Ipod touches with designer cases and Coach handbags. Wow, girls are not what I thought.

This past Saturday was Belle’s 6th birthday, the theme was Monster High Ghouls – wtf is that?! She was having girlfriends over to her house to decorate cupcakes and make jewelry and said my boys could come over AFTER her friends left. The boys were happy with that since they had zero desire to make jewelry and hang out with a bunch of “burls”.

Friday night I went to Children’s Place to get Belle a gift card and outfit. Should be easy enough right? WRONG. I walked in and went to the girl section and just stood there in a state of shock and wonderment. I have never been on acid but after being on “that side” of the store for over 30 minutes I could only imagine that is what it feels like.

The music was blasting and everything was pink, purple or turquoise and covered in glitter or lace. There were leggings and bike shorts and tunics and tank tops. Everywhere I turned there were headbands and flip-flops or lip glosses and let’s not forget the jewelry. I walked around in a daze until finally I managed to put together turquoise bike shorts with a tee and headband.

At Belle’s party the next day me and the boys walked into a sea of purple, silver and black balloons with pictures of the Monster High Ghouls all over. Everywhere we looked there were mini Belles dressed in leggings with sequin or lacy tutus over them. The girls all giggled and ran around occasionally whispering something to their friends.

 As we ate our Hannah Montana birthday cake I realized how far removed from girls I am and how I can no longer in good conscious call myself a “girly girl”. 

A true girly girl would have known what Monster High dolls Belle had and what is new in the world of Barbie. A girly girl would know that jewelry making is fun (really?) and that all the bike shorts and flip-flops  in the world can not compete with a Justin Beiber nightgown (ugh!).

I guess there is a reason God gave me boys. After all, my boys think I am the girliest girl they know and hopefully I will never have to worry about them stealing my lip gloss or borrowing my favorite earrings.

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