Archive for the ‘My thoughts’ Category

My 8-Year-Old Dressed Me For A Week

Little Miss’s birthday has begun to become more than just a special day for her. Each year we plan what fun events to do to celebrate, special treats to make, and what kinds of gifts she might like to receive. And while I’m busy planning a special day for her… she’s busy planning a special week for me. Months before she turned 8 she explained to me that she would be dressing me for a week again, and since her birthday fell on a Saturday, my fun in 8-year-old inspired fashion would begin the very next day. So here we go….

Sunday

Little Miss Cut My Head Off

Little Miss Cut My Head Off

Today we are doing one more fun thing to help Little Miss celebrate – and this just goes to show what a great dad she has – we are taking her as a family to the American Girl Doll store to have lunch. She wanted us all there – Sunday Shoeeven the boys. Buddy is excited to see what all the fuss is about (he didn’t go with us last year) and My Man is just a good sport. After lunch she’ll be able to shop a little with her birthday money at the mall where the store is located.

My outfit for the day includes a pair of dark denim boot leg jeans that I’ve owned for YEARS, paired with a striped sweater with a gathered bow thing in front. I am wearing a white tank top under the sweater (it is sheer and she did not want anyone to see my bra – so kind), striped multi-colored socks, silver flats with black patent leather toes, tiny amethyst Mickey Mouse earings (which normally I would think were too corny but since we just got back from a trip to Disney I have a bit of Mickey fever) and my big chunky Timex watch.

The top, pants and shoes I would totally put together. But the socks… that is where the 8-year-old sense of fashion (striped top, striped sock) shines through today. I am glad she picked flats for some mega mall walking!

Monday

Monday (1)

Monday

“Where’s that black dress you always wear with this sweater?” Little Miss is holding up a grey, short sleeve long sweater that I have NEVER worn with a dress. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t wear that sweater with a dress. I wear that sweater with skinny jeans because it’s long and hides the plumber butt I always have when I wear skinny jeans.” “No mom,” she answers. “You always wear this sweater with a black dress.” Little Miss has gotten things a bit wrong – but I humor her and start pulling out black dresses. I own a few too many I think.

  • Is it this sleeveless dress with zippers and a black belt?
  • No.
  • Is it this short sleeve dress with a little tie around the waist?
  • No.
  • Is it not actually black but this dark grey sweater dress?
  • No. Forget it mom. Do you have a plain black shirt?
  • I have several… how about this one… oh this is actually a little cotton dress with 3/4 length sleeves.
  • Yes – that’s the dress you always wear with that sweater!
  • Seriously girl, I do not.
Heart Necklace

Heart Necklace

So, I found the dress. She’s paired that with the sweater and I’m wearing black leggings. She wanted me to wear tights but I wouldn’t because the dress is SHORT and I was heading out on an adventure with Buddy’s Cub Scout den to the local PBS station and I didn’t want to show the local news personalities my personalities. I’m wearing simple black flats with no socks. It is February and I do not live in the south but I can handle cold ankles for the sake of Little Miss’ yearly fun. (I did get a “cute shoes” compliment from a fellow mom in the school pick up area)  I’m also wearing a heart necklace, pink drop earrings and my one and only watch.

Little Miss definitely has her favorite things. I wore the sweater I have on today last year and am even sporting the same pink earrings with the sweater. For the photo she insisted that the sweater be buttoned. Two days done and counting….

Tuesday

Today I have a job. I don’t work every day – but a few days a week I am a substitute teacher. My goal is to be like Peggy Hill and win substitute teacher of the year, 3 years in a row! Since this is my first year I

Buddy Cut My Head Off

Buddy Cut My Head Off

have a lot of work ahead of me. Because it is a work day I told Little Miss she must pick out something that is work appropriate. “Can you wear jeans?” she asked. “Yes, if they are dressy-ish. It’s not Friday so I don’t Tuesday's shoewant to be too casual,” I answer.

I am wearing dark denim trouser jeans with an oxblood (as all the stylists are calling burgundy, maroon, dark red) shirt with a front ruffle. On my ears are dangly white beaded earrings and on my feet are a very old pair of black ankle boots with a buckle on the side and white stitching. This outfit is just perfect for a day in the classroom. Although, I do think I need to stop having my children take the photos. Buddy did today’s and the top of my head is missing yet again.

Wednesday

Wed shoes

8-year-old’s love FUN socks.

Little Miss is picking out many of the same clothes I wore last year when I let my 7-year-old dress me for a week.  I swear Wed soutfitI’ve bought new clothes in the past year but I guess my old familiar stuff is what she likes. Today I am wearing a grey sweater that ties in the front with a pair of jeans. She has matched this with the same shoes I wore on Sunday.

  • LM – You’ll be wearing these shoes a lot this week.
  • Me – Why?
  • LM – They’re my favorite.
  • Me – Why?
  • LM – Because they are all silver and shiny.

I think I still must think a bit like an 8-year-old as I too like things that are silver and shiny.

Thursday

Thurs outfitToday I thought I’d be spending my day in my underwear. Little Miss forgot to pick out my outfit the night before. When I woke her up for school I was wearing my bathrobe. “Is this what you want me to wear today?” I asked. She popped out of bed and ran to my closet. She quickly pulled down a grey and black striped top and a pair of jeans. On my feet were a pair of casual grey flannel loafers. My accessories are my watch and the pink dangly earrings I wore on Monday.

  • LM – Would you wear this?
  • Me – Yes, you’re really not mixing things up very much. You must like the way I dress.
  • LM – Yep

I put the outfit on.

  • Me – Does it look OK?
  • LM – Yes!
  • Me – You don’t think my stomach flabs over the jeans too much (seriously a VERY nice case of muffin top)
  • LM – It doesn’t matter. That’s not what people look at.
  • Me – What do they look at?
  • LM – Your face.

What a wonderful reminder from a little kid that what I wear doesn’t really matter that much.

Friday

friday feet FAncy ButtAll week Little Miss has been asking where my jeans with the fancy pockets are. For most of the week they were in the laundry – but today they are Friday outfitclean and I am wearing them. Those fancy pocket jeans are paired with a plain black shirt and some knee-high grey suede boots with a great lug sole. After Little Miss went to bed last night I got a phone call to work today (substitute teaching is always last minute). It’s Friday, so the jeans are fine to wear to work, but I wasn’t sure if the jeans tucked in the boots were just a touch too casual. I tried on the outfit with the boots and Little Miss decided that we needed to make a shoe adjustment. My feet were switched to the black flats I wore on Monday, but this time were paired with a pair of polka dot socks. In my ears were silver dangly earrings that looked like leaves and around my wrist was my trusty watch.

I liked this outfit and I was perfectly comfortable wearing it to work. Good job, Little Miss!

Saturday

Little Miss decided that she was done with this project. It could be that she was bored with my clothes. It could be that it was Saturday, a day of leisure for her. It could be that she had a sleepover last night and was just too darn tired to dress anyone but herself. So today, I picked out my own clothes.

Observations of the week:

  1. Little Miss often chooses the familiar
  2. I own a lot of black and grey clothes but I swear I own other colors too. Just about every day ths week I was wearing either black or grey.
  3. Fun socks are a must regardless of the shoe choice.
  4. If it’s shiny it’s better.

This was another fun week for me and my girl. Let’s see if she jumps at the chance to do this project again next year!IMG_2564

Advertisements

Squeezing Into Skinny Jeans

I hate skinny jeans. When the trend is gone forever I won’t be sad in the least. I don’t like how tight they feel all over. I don’t like that most styles are so low waisted that when I have to bend down or even sit I’m sportin’ a nice plumber butt as an accessory. I just don’t feel cute in them and am self conscience the entire time I’m wearing a pair.

And yes, I just said “wearing a pair”. Even though I despise the style, I own a few pairs of skinny jeans, and I wear them. I may feel like a flubbery thigh girl in them but I have to admit that they look fabulous with a great pair of boots.

The other day I was wearing a pair of these jeans so I could sport my grey swede lug sole boots. When I was out and about (with the kick-ass boots on) I felt fine. For some reason the boots elevated my skinny jeans and made me forget that I feel a bit sausagy in them. Then I came home, kicked off my boots, and was making dinner….

Me: My thighs look chunky in these jeans.

Little Miss: That’s just how your thighs always look.

Me: You mean chunky?

Little Miss: No, they’re just your legs. They’re just like mine.

And then I paused…. my other name for Little Miss is Little Miss Long Legs. She’s all 7-year-old skinny with bean pole legs that are all knobby knees and very cute. They are her legs, part of her body, and I love them as I love every inch of her. And she looks at me the same way. My legs are just my legs, they are part of my body, and she loves every inch of me…. skinny jeans or not.

I often forget that my kiddos really listen to me. I want Little Miss to always think that her legs are just her legs so from now on when I sport my skinny jeans with my kick-ass boots I’ll keep my mouth shut about how I feel about my thighs and love my legs because they are part of my body and I’m pretty happy with me.

Suxy Lady

Suxy lady.

Gangnam Style by South Korean pop star PSY. It’s everywhere – and all the kids at school know the song, know the dance. Heck, even the teachers at my children’s school did a spoof of the video that was HILARIOUS and super cool. But when Buddy, my six-year-old, is singing suxy lady in the back seat of my car I realize I’ve got some explaining to do.

Me: Are you saying suxy lady?

Bud: Yep.

Me: Do you mean sexy?

Bud: No, I said suxy. That’s what the kids in my class say.

Me: I think the word is sexy. Do you know what that means?

And then I realize that in my quest for my kid to use language correctly and know what he’s talking about I have to figure out a way to explain SEXY to a 1st grader!!! AHHH!

Bud: It means stupid lady.

OH NO!!!! I have to fix this!

Me: I think you’ve got the wrong definition. Is this what the kids at school says it means?

Bud: No, it’s just what I thought.

Me: Well, the word is sexy, not suxy. Sexy means that you like someone so much that you want to hug them and kiss them all over. It’s really a grown up thing – not a kid thing at all. When you’re 18 you can think people are sexy.

I threw the 18 part in there for my benefit. Wishful thinking that my kid won’t do adult things until he’s legally an adult.

Bud: Oh, OK.

I think he got it. I think I explained it in a little kid way. Exhale – yay for mom!

A little later he grabs my leg and hugs me tight and kisses me a bunch and says – is this sexy?

AHHHHHHH!!!!! I screwed up!

Me: And I do this as calmly as possible as I peel him off me. Uh, no. You don’t ever think sexy with your mom. You think it about other people when you’re a grown up.

Bud: Oh, OK.

I really try very hard to be matter of fact with all my kids questions. I want them to know all the words – good and bad – and know what they really mean. I want to be the one to explain what words mean to them so they don’t get the wrong definition elsewhere.

Even though I tried I don’t know if Buddy quite got the sexy thing – I’m not sure he’s ready to grasp it – and I know this because he continues to sing suxy lady as he does his Gagnam Style dance around the house.

Ginger Snaps, Cookie Belly, and a Minor Freak Out

My Cookie Baking Spree

My Cookie Baking Spree

I’ve spent the last 3 days packing up Christmas. There’s a sticky spot of sap on my right hand from taking the ornaments off the tree and I’m sitting here writing this because it seems like a better idea than hefting our now de-ornamented tree out to the curb.

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I like the sparkle and the lights and the hope and joy and songs… it still holds that magic for me that it did when I was a child staring out my window looking for Santa and it gives me the calm peace I always feel after singing Silent Night in a darkened church while holding a lit candle. But this year I had a hard time finding my spirit. My cat Ruby became suddenly ill the second week of December and in a matter of 3 days time went from being perfectly fine to dead. She was only 5. At the same time there was the awful shooting in Newtown, CT that I connected with so deeply as I’m the mom of a 1st grader and a teacher. I felt cracked, sad, disjointed and not fully involved. My Christmas spirit was there but only in hints and whispers and quick moments. At the same time it was a very THANKFUL time. My Man was supposed to be shipping off to parts across the world on December 21 for 6 months away – that trip was cancelled. I can imagine the alternate universe we three would have experienced without him and I know we were blessed and lucky and so fortunate to be the 4 of us. By Christmas Day I did find my joy. The pageant at church, the tour of tacky Christmas lights we took, and my children’s excitement lit my heart and allowed me to be present and happy and glad for the holiday.

I went on a bit of a baking spree this holiday. I made many, many, cookies and I ate many, many, cookies. Which leads me to a phenomenon I call Cookie Belly. I watch what I eat, I exercise regularly, I’m no super fit firm mama, but I’m at a good healthy weight and I think I look pretty all right for an almost 42-year-old. My goal is to stay like this for the rest of my life. My baking did not help that goal. I developed a nice little 5 pound cookie belly from all my sampling and snacking and enjoying. By the end of January I’ll lose that belly – but if anyone who knows me wonders why I’m wearing the same jeans all the time it’s because they are the only ones that fit! My Grandma G’s Ginger Snaps were worth every pound of that Cookie Belly. Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy.

Ginger Snaps

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  1. Mix together shortening, sugar, molasses and egg. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
  2. Roll into balls and roll in granulated sugar. If you were my grandma you’d make very small balls, if you are me you will make biggish ones.
  3. Bake at 375 F for 8-10 minutes until set when touched lightly. They begin to crack on top and are usually set a minute or two later. They need to be lightly browned on the bottom and not jiggly on top.

If you make these I guarantee you will love them.

The day before Christmas I was getting ready for family to arrive. I began to become a small freak out mess as I got overwhelmed with all the tasks I wanted to get done. My family heard my little tirade about chores and they said to me – no worries and they all chipped in. Buddy picked up toys and organized and put everything in its place. My Man vacuumed the entire house. Little Miss cleaned the bathroom. And my self-induced freak out mess stress just melted away as I felt the love of my family. Christmas morning I opened my present from Little Miss. There was a paper in a box that said on it, “do not go into the hall bathroom”. My sweet 7-year-old explained that I actually could go into the bathroom because I got my present early – she was going to clean the bathroom and she had already done it the day before. She knows me so well – a gift of cleaning is always appreciated – and I also got a hug.

‘Tis The Season To Bake Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ll get to writing down a recipe I recently tried for the most delicious Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies I have ever tasted (I’m thinking it’s the cup of BUTTER that makes them so delish) but first I have to share some cute kid things. For those who don’t care… hang tight…. the recipe is coming. There are some who read this who do care about the cute things my kids do and say and since I care, and I’m the author, read quick or skip ahead.

Little Miss is totally into dancing. She moves the furniture to the side and spins and hops and does what she calls her “signature move” which involves a skip around the room with swinging arms to the latest fun top 40 kid friendly stuff I can find. Here’s the thing, Little Miss loves to dance but has refused to take one step into a real dance class. At first her excuse was her hatred for tights – now it’s her desire to have no structure in her dancing. As she says, “Mom, the music comes on and I have no decision on how my body moves. It just does its own thing.” Her own thing is a joy to watch.

Buddy’s vocabulary is blooming. I LOVE what he calls things. We were decorating our Christmas tree last week. He really liked putting up these little red glass ball ornaments we have and was adamant that no one else should hang even one. “Mom, I’m in charge of the red Christmas dots, OK? I’ll do them all.” DOTS – isn’t that great? The other phrase he came up with that I think should go mainstream is calling snow boarding snow surfing instead. I think that’s just as accurate a description and I will now add that to my repertoire of Buddy phrases.

OK, so here’s the recipe for really delicious Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies. I got this recipe from the back of a package of Gold Medal Unbleached Flour. These cookies are quick to whip up, they are drops so there is no rolling or cutting or slicing, and everyone thought they were yum-o.

Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fresh from the oven.

Fresh from the oven.

  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Oven 350F. Beat brown sugar, butter, vanilla and egg until well blended. Add oats, flour, baking soda and salt (I pre-mixed these before adding); mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.

2. On ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2″ apart.

3. Bake 9-11 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly then remove to cooling racks.

These are moist and chewy and buttery and hard not to keep getting into. Enjoy!

Praying A Bubble

On Little Miss’s first day of school – not little Church preschool – but big elementary school, I remember dropping her off and going to the grocery store with Buddy. I was glad she was going to school, glad she was doing her own thing, but she was so small (we’re talking 4-years-old attending a pre-K program) compared to those big 10-year-old’s walking next to her and the thought of this little, little kid navigating the world with out me just made me feel weird. This little girl that I spent so much time with would now be doing so many things without me – and her life which was all mine to view was taking a step away from me. That weird feeling didn’t last long when I saw how happy she was and by the time Buddy went to school I was all “blow me a kiss and have fun!”

Today when I dropped my kids off at school I had that same weird feeling. What it comes right down to is a feeling of being out of control. My kiddos were heading off to their lives and I couldn’t watch over them. And that’s really it. The shootings at that Connecticut school last Friday have just shaken me on so many levels. My son is in first grade and I see the students who have died in Newtown as my son’s friends and the parents of those kids as my peers.

When the news was just hitting the media on Friday my brother and I were messaging each other.  He said, “angels and demons live among us” and that thought has just been tumbling around my brain. It seems like we saw both of those on Friday. My brother and I are both teachers as well as parents of small children.  We both know that if we were working, and a situation like that occurred, we’d do everything we could to keep our students safe – even the ones that are a pain in the neck – because not only do teachers teach, they love.

When my kids walked away from me this morning I prayed. I prayed a big bubble of safety around them – like the love that lives in the very skin of Harry Potter from his mother protecting him from the evil Voldemort or the force field that Bella from Twilight can shield those she loves with. I know the force of my love can’t protect them like in a novel, but the thought of that helps me cope.

I still believe that school is a safe place for my kids to be. I know this weird feeling will pass but I think I’ll continue to pray that bubble of safety around those I love for a long time to come.

Buddy Says. Little Miss Does.

Six-year-old boy is great! It’s full of energy, questions, and, I’m finding, a plethora of quirky uses of the English language.

Ignore the devil eyes - this was a sweet moment.

Ignore the devil eyes – this was a sweet moment.

This is what Buddy has come up with lately.

1. If you get a boost on to your bed and fall forward on your face you do a face planet.

2. If you are walking rightwards you are going the opposite of backwards.

3. If you are pulling something hot out of the oven or need to touch a hot pan grab a pair of kitchen hands. This is my favorite thing he has come up with and my oven mitts will forever now be called kitchen hands.

7-year-old girl is full of doing.  I’m amazed at what Little Miss is doing and also freaked out a little by the amount of what looks like hormonal drama that comes from her.

When she’s not having a freak out mess this is what she’s up to.

1. She can operate the toaster oven. The toaster oven has 3 nobs and a button and she gets all of them to the exact place they need to be.

2. When her grandparents were babysitting she took charge of the 3 remotes it often takes to get our TV up and running and found the evening news for them.

3. She’s reading long, long, long chapter books. I find her curled up on the couch, in her bed, on a chair reading. She reads to herself, she reads to Buddy, she reads to me and to My Man.

Every once in a while I’m able to take a deep breath in and bask in the wonderfulness that my kids bring to my life. Of course by the time I exhale I have the dance of he did, she said, MOM! chaos running around my home again.